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November 19, 2009
Settlements blocking Israeli-Palestinian path to peace?

Israeli soldiers argue with a Palestinian farmer in at-Tuwani, West Bank. Photo: Flickr user JoshHough

The peace process between Israel and the Palestinians is in crisis, with no sign that a key issue — freezing Israeli settlements — can be resolved any time soon.

With that in mind, we want to go beyond the rhetoric and look at how Israelis and Palestinians see their shared land.

Should Israel agree to demands to freeze all settlement building?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Please remember to be respectful and on-point in your comments. Malicious or offensive comments will be deleted and repeat offenders will be banned.

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185 comments

#185

Inasmuch as nearly 20% of Israelis are Arabs and an ever-increasing percentage of West Bank inhabitants — thanks to the settlements –are Jewish, why not promote the formation of one state that would be equally the homeland of Jews and Palestinians? Just as America is the promised land for tens of millions of diverse peoples, why cannot Israel be equally a promised land for both Israelis and Palestinians, Jews, Muslims and Christians?

#184

Israel must cease building settlements in occupied territories immediately and unequivocally. Israel has already made it almost impossible to create a viable Palestine. Continued building of settlements makes this even more improbable. I believe this is Israel’s long term plan even though is guarantees continued instability for their own daily existance.

#183

One unspoken “elephant in the room” goes as much to the question, “Who is a Jew?”, as, “Who is a Palestinian?” Some of the commentators suggest that the “Palestinians” [meaning: non-Jewish Palestinians] are descended of the ancient Philistines or the ancient Canaanites, for example. There are many other ancient nationalities — including Hebrews (Jews, Israelis) — all subjugated by invader after invader. Given the Islamic subjugation of that geography for approximately 1500 years, it stands to reason that a goodly portion of the so called Palestinians are likely to be genetically of Hebrew origin, Muslim or Christian by conversion whether forced or not forced. Genetically the conflict is not strictly Hamitic v. Semitic. It is modified by genetic history, a history informed by genetic subjugation as by genetic exile. And so the conflict is largely brother against brother and cousin against cousin, across time and space, speaking different languages and worshipping different religions.

#182

re #175 “Lauteur Calme” (the ‘calm’ author?) is perhaps calm, because he has a place in the world, where his (her) existence and existential right is taken for granted.

Not so the Israeli “Settlers”. In truth whether within the meager portion of land the world recognizes as belonging to Israel or in the meager portion of land the world appears to recognize as not belonging to Israel and belonging to “Palestine” (see my comment #142 below on that subject), the Arab enemy denies all existential right to any and all part of Israel, (the notable well-paid exceptions of Egypt and Jordan not withstanding). The Arabs have been given precedent to believe that what they have lost in war — war they initiated themselves — is negotiable and may be returned to them at no cost, not even peace.

As to exclusive religious nationalism as a justification for ownership of land, it should be obvious to all that the Muslim Arabs are the prime “settlers” in this regard, all the way from Saudi Arabia eastwards to Indochina and Indonesia, North into Europe and Russia, Northeast into China, Southeast into India, West into Africa, and of course everywhere in the Middle East. And their numbers grow also in the Americas, a latent threat to a continent that accepts all comers without question. In Israel the threat is not latent and is in fact an existential threat every day, as ethnic cleansing of Jews from the Holy Land is the express and active intent of the Arabs.

As to the Calm Author’s questions:

(1) Ownership of land after WW2 as per purchases became a question after WW2 in that previously (2) land ownership was under the jurisdiction of Turkey. Some land throughout the Holy Land was owned by purchase prior to WW2 by Jews, some of whom sought to establish a Jewish State. That land included some of the Gaza Strip, land which the State of Israel forcefully depopulated of it’s own citizens and then gave to the Arabs [the recent infamous Gaza Withdrawal], who promptly accelerated their missile attacks into southern Israel, where the land is indisputably Israeli by international recognittion, except of course by the Arabs.

(3) Before WW2 and during and after WW2, what is today Israel was known as Palestine. Palestine (again, see my comment #142 below) consisted of Jews and Arabs and others, united in name only by the designation of the territory as “Palestine”, a name of occupation first applied by the Ancient Romans and later by Britain and France. The Arabs in Palestine obtain national identities from the many Arab nations with which they are allied: Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt to name a few.

The Arabs of Palestine are not now nor have ever in history been a unique political entity. In 1948 the UN voted Israel into existence — a much tinier Israel than exists today — simultaneously planning to establish a non-Jewish state in the majority of the Holy Land. That land instead was overrun by armies hostile to Israel from all the surrounding Arab nations, as those nations sought to finish what the Nazis had started just a few years before and annihilate the Jews. This became known as Israel’s “War of Independence”. Israel survived, slightly enlarged after that war. Yet, most of the Holy Land remained occupied by Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. The “West Bank” was annexed in 1950 by Jordan. And so the various Arab nations themselves dashed the UN initiative to create a non-Jewish state simultaneous to the creation of Israel. In the Six Day War of 1967 Israel liberated the “West Bank” from Jordan. At that time Israel was optimistic that the Arab residents would create their own political entity with Israeli help and would live peacefully. Now here was a road paved to hell by good intentions….

There is a landed ocean of Arabia and Islam that intolerant Arabs of the Holy Land can melt into overnight. That landed ocean surrounds Israel and stretches across five continents. Israeli Jews have no such choice. They must survive where they are or die. Sure, a handful can go into exile again in Europe, home of the Holocaust, or to America or a few other historically temporary places of refuge. Why should they? Why should they not have their own home once again in the place they first became a Nation?

#181

I wonder if Worldfocus will ever report on the following story:

“Jerusalem Planning Over 5,000 New Arab Housing Units”

by Gil Ronen

(IsraelNN.com) “The Jerusalem Municipality is plowing ahead with plans for construction of more than 5,000 housing units in Arab neighborhoods. These include the following:

* A master plan for the Tel Adasa neighborhood in northern Jerusalem, where 2,000 new housing units are planned.
* A master plan for the Arab a-Sawahara area for a new housing compound with 2,500 units that is currently being prepared for discussion at the local council and district council levels.
* A master plan for the Dir el-Amud and Al-Muntar areas in Beit Safafa in southeastern Jerusalem, currently in advanced planning stages.
* A construction plan for 172 housing units and public buildings at the Jabal Mukabar neighborhood, which has completed the mandatory waiting period and will soon come up for additional discussion and approval in the district council.

The municipality noted that it is also destroying illegal structures in the Arab sector. Three buildings were demolished Wednesday: a structure, 90 square meters in size, that was built on public land in Isawiya; a structure in Wadi Hilwah, also built on public land, sized 32 square meters; and three temporary structures in Silwan that served as pens for sheep and horses. All of the structures were razed after courts ordered them to be torn down.

Mayor Nir Barkat noted that the Jerusalem Municipality is acting to meet the demands of both Jewish and Arab residents for new housing on a basis of equality.@Jerusalem Planning Over 5,000 New Arab Housing Units

by Gil Ronen(IsraelNN.com)

“The Jerusalem Municipality is plowing ahead with plans for construction of more than 5,000 housing units in Arab neighborhoods. These include the following:

* A master plan for the Tel Adasa neighborhood in northern Jerusalem, where 2,000 new housing units are planned.
* A master plan for the Arab a-Sawahara area for a new housing compound with 2,500 units that is currently being prepared for discussion at the local council and district council levels.
* A master plan for the Dir el-Amud and Al-Muntar areas in Beit Safafa in southeastern Jerusalem, currently in advanced planning stages.
* A construction plan for 172 housing units and public buildings at the Jabal Mukabar neighborhood, which has completed the mandatory waiting period and will soon come up for additional discussion and approval in the district council.

The municipality noted that it is also destroying illegal structures in the Arab sector. Three buildings were demolished Wednesday: a structure, 90 square meters in size, that was built on public land in Isawiya; a structure in Wadi Hilwah, also built on public land, sized 32 square meters; and three temporary structures in Silwan that served as pens for sheep and horses. All of the structures were razed after courts ordered them to be torn down.

Mayor Nir Barkat noted that the Jerusalem Municipality is acting to meet the demands of both Jewish and Arab residents for new housing on a basis of equality. “

#180

I used to be a supporter of Israel but since their inhumane treatment of the Palestinians, their devastating attacks on Lebanon and their strong influence on American foreign policy leading to our current wars and hostility toward Iran, I no longer support Israel and believe the Palestinians should receive the world’s support in protesting current and future Israeli settlements, walls and harsh treatment of civilians.

#179

The reality is that the recently approved new building in Jersusalem is a red herring,an issue without any merit raised by its proponants.The construction is taking place within existing communities, there is no new taking of any land.Beyond that, it has long been recognized that these communities along the Green Line will remain with Israel after any settlement is reached with Israel compensating the Palestinians with a land swap.The Obama Administration has made this an issue indicating its failure to grasp the reality and past understandings. Actually,the Palestinians have NEVER made this a precondition to participating in peace talks before and now raise it feeling they have been given the green light by the Obama Administration seems to make it such. In actuality, the Palestinians seems to moving towards a single state solution knowing that by population growth they would ultimately control the entire area. They are using this to play for time while appearing that they are actually engaged. They know the reality of the future of these communities that is why the issue is a phony one. With 100,000s of residents it is impossible to relocate the residents of these communities and those who talk here and elsewhere so casually about moving them have lost touch with the reality of what that would mean.The Palestinians should return to the table without precondition if they are sincere about seeking a 2 state resolution.

#178

I support the settlers claim to the West Bank. It’s the only way to ensure they don’t end up like Rhodesia and South Africa.

#177

Yes they should stop building settlements.The lady states that “the land didnt belong to anybody,it wasnt taken away from anybody”.S
he should ask the Australian Aborigine about the old British legal concept of terra nullus.As for violence,what happened in Gaza recently was a disgrace. Also, it isnt just President Obama who sees the settlements as an obstacle to peace,its also members of the Isreali Govt who agreed to this step.

#176

Indeed, the Israeli government should prevent the settlements. It seems these settlements are just another way for people to escape through nationalism and their dogmatic beliefs that they have a right to the land.

Thus, I believe the central questions are:

1.) Who bought the land after W.W. II in which the Israeli state currently exists?
2.) Who owned the land prior to the incarnation of the State of Israel?
3.) Who lived on the land prior to the incarnation of the State of Israel?
4.) How can peace be possible without the repudiation of all connections with organized
religions and ideologies that suggest our way is the way or we are the chosen people?

As long as there are divisions from a nationalistic, linguistic, and religious viewpoints, with each sect opposed to another, and each saying its way is the way, there will always be conflicts and war!

#175

Oh, how the Israel-bashers love to use the word ‘illegal’. No, myths in the propaganda war against Israel,-Sice the League of Nations and the Peel report, etc., this land was seen as the legitimate Jewish home.The Arabs rejected their state in 1947, and attacked the newborn Israel. ..(which in my view can be seen as a ‘refugee camp’ too, -no?)The ‘Occupied’ territories were designated DISPUTED territories, and the essence of UN Resolutiion 242 is that only negotiations and agreements can determine permantent boundries. The movie shows the usual poor ‘refugees’ (60+ years?)displaying their largely self-inflicted wounds,- and the Jews as living in high style. Jews have as much RIGHT to this land as anyone..and if Israelis do not deserve to live in a Gated Community, -who does? The main issue is that the Palestinians do not WANT a seperate State, they want the OBLITERATION of ‘the Zionist Entity’- and so do many with a Death-Wish for the Jews. What’s new? When the Hamas-types can bring themselves to utter the MAGIC 6 WORDS, then there may be some hope. The words?-‘We recognize Israel’s RIGHT to EXIST’. But many do not.

#174

It always amazes me how if one is just the least bit critical of Israeli policies they are automatically anti-semetic or anti-Israel; Sometimes the reflection in the mirror isn’t pretty but if one acknowledges it one can grow from it and make a better policy

#173

What Worldfocus has NOT reported is that the Municipality has just approved over 5,000 apartments for Arabs in Jerusalem! I guess that would spoil Israel’s image as a total pariah.

#172

Settlements separate the affluent settlers from the poverty of the Palestinians; that may explain Israelis reluctance to “do the right thing”. Their rocks and missiles are no match for the razing of homes, shelling of homes w/children in them, the isolation from families and friends and businesses and farms and homes–all are reminiscent of the Warsaw ghetto or the Berlin wall. Israel is making a prison of all Palestine, while claiming lands that they are occupiers in, not settlers. Occupation degrades the settler and the Palestinians. While children try to walk to school (when not harassed by Israeli soldiers and settlers’ children they are often detained at checkpoints so long that they miss school. They have no running water and they pass Israeli settlers basking in swimming pools. My mother would have said, “I will not swim in a pool or run more than a few drops of water to wash my hands while children have no water to drink.” Go and do thou likewise is the Bible (and the Torah) admonition on many occasions similar to today in Israel/Palestine. Let each and all live under her/his own fig tree–in Peace

#171

I have never seen so much interest when Israelis move to their suburbs and build new houses. Each time Worldfocus treats the subject you get piles and piles of blogs. The anti-Israel crowd is poorly informed, and a lot of bigotry comes to the surface. What are 700 new apartments in East Jerusalem, not yet approved, a drop in the bucket.

And get hold of this, when Olmert was prime minister and expanding the suburbs, Abbas kept discussing peace arrangements with Olmert. Then Bibi Netanyauh becomes prime minister, and Obama president. And Obama brings back the subject to the forefront. And now Abbas does not want to talk to Bibi.

Now I moved from the suburbs to the city, nobody said nothing, but of course I live in the USA. My house of the suburbs is up for sale, but you would not be interested.

Hope this note helps the non-believers.

#170

The Greek word “Philistine” was taken from the Hebrew word “plishtim” meaning invaders. They were sea Greek-like invaders from the sea, just like the Vikings 2000 years later. After centuries of struggle, they were finally subdued by David. The name “Gaza” is actually the Arab pronunciation of the Hebrew “Azza” which means a strong point, or stronghold.
The present day “Palestinians” have no ethnic or linguistic or cultural relation to those people, any more than they do to Vikings.
The Arabs took the name “Palestinians” only to give themselves a label to contrast themselves with “Israelis” who are mainly Jews. Not having a national identity, they had to invent one. They have fooled many for sure, but not those who know better.

#169

The U.S. should withhold all aid to Israel, especially until the illegal settlements have been dismantled. No country that treats people the way they have treated the Palestinians should receive our support. Anyone who believes that “God” favors Jews over Palestinians is delusional and dangerous. There is no “God” making decisions favoring individual groups on planet Earth. It is surprising that modern Jews, often considered to be generally intelligent, and having suffered persecution as a group, would continue to hold such childish, primitive, and self-serving beliefs. The state of Israel should have been carved out of Germany.

#168

Ancient Israel used to be called Palestine, the Philistines lived there, the Giant that David slayed with a sling shot to the forehead, was a Philistine. They lived in the Gaza area. They disappeared completely because they changed thier name to Palestinians. They have been enemys for centurys, and always will be, there will never be any peace between them until the Prince of Peace returns. !!!!

#167

No they should not stop building the settlements, that is Israels land since God led them out of Egypt to Israel. And why are we even involved in it? They are a soverign nation, like us, and its none of our business anyway. How would you like some other country coming in here, telling us what to do??? And where we can not build etc. ? Use common sense is all.

#166

The JEwish people recovered their homeland FAIR AND SQUARE! They were allowed to immigrate and settle it thanks to the League of Nations. They resettled and built the country into becoming the most advanced country in the Middle East despite constant Arab terror, boycotts and warfare. And despite the lack of any natural resources. They conquered the land legally, by their labor and blood. They recovered the land in the face of constant wars. It’s right to statehood was acknowledge by the UN decision of November 1947 which the Arabs rejected. It conquered the land fair and square, under the Bible, Balfour and by their Blood. Israel does not have to answer to anybody, including Muslims, Christians, the US, Europe, Russia or anybody regarding how they dispose of their justly liberated homeland.

#165

People here seem to have forgotten that it was Jews who invented the atomic bomb FOR America in 1945! It was Leo Szilard and Albert Einstein who urged FDR to set up the “Manhattan Project.” That Oppenheimer was its director, and Leo Szilard and Enrico Fermi (an Italian) invented the first atomic reactor. The Edward Teller invented the first hyrogen bomb. That Hyman Rickover created the US nuclear submarine navy. What did Iranian or Arab atomic scientists contribute to the US at Los Alamos? Iran got much knowledge supplied by Pakistan which itself got it from China which got it from Russia which got it from US spies.
The Jewish state did not sign the NPT (nor did Pakistan and INdia) and has a full right to nuclear bombs. Iran and the Arab states signed the treaty promising not to build any bombs, and so Russia and France built their reactors. The Israeli nuclear program is totally legal under international law, as is India’s and Pakistan’s, whereas the Iranian, North Korean and others who signed the NPT have no right to nuclear bombs. The issue is international law, and who is abiding and who is not. Israel is abiding with international law.

#164

If there is ever to be peace, the Muslims have no choice to accept that tiny Israel is Jewish soil, and they have no right to make any claims on it. The Muslims have Mecca and Medina (originally Yathrib, founded by Jews), as well as Qoms and many holy cities. Jews have only Jerusalem, and to a lesser extent Hebron, the first Hebrew capital city of Abraham. The “Palestinians” can make Bethlehem their capital, or Shechem (Nablus) or Gaza or Jericho or whichever. Jerusalem is the Jewish capital and will never be redivided or compromised again. Both Muslims and Christians fought over it, but it is back in the rightful hands of its true people. As the God of Israel intended.

#163

Who gave America to settlers from England, Spain, Ireland, Germany, or slaves from Africa? WHich God did that? Was it Wotan or Odin? The fact is that in addition to the God of Israel, it was also the man-made Council of the League of Nations which in 1922 that ruled that Palestine is the national homeland of the Jewish people. So even if there are no gods at all, the Jewish people still have a manmade legal right to their ancient homeland that is legally stronger than the right of Europeans to steal the lands of the natives of the Americas and confine them to tiny reservations. The fact is, that on a purely man-made legal basis, Israel has a stronger right to exist than does the United States of America.
Just because a bunch of white landlords got together to write some “constitution@ for 13 colonies alongside the east coast of North America does not give them the right to expand into the entire continent and subjugate the true natives of the continent. ISrael has offered the so-called “Palestinians” a state many times, but the US has never offered the Lakota Sioux or Navajos statehood at all! If Obama does not recognize the legitimate national rights of the Lakota Sioux, who declared their independence two years ago in Decemeber of 2007, he has NO right to tell Israel what to do. ANd if he wants to cut off aid, that’s fine too, as long as he cuts off aid to Israel’s enemies, such as the Egyptians and Palestinians as well, along with arms sales to the Saudis and other enemies of Israel.

#162

I think they should stop the settlements right away. Israel’s settlement policy is an outrageous violation of the international law.

#161

When one listens to that rubbish from these phony money grubbing bible toting tv preachers proclaiming that God gave the land to the Jews who’s “God” are they refering to? Well of course it was the Jew’s God. Who else? And who wrote that bible that created that God? Well of course the Jew’s did. How convenient.

#160

We can really see the paid propagandists from http://www.giyus.org here

#159

Israel must stop immediately from further expropriating lands from the Palestinians and should give up settlements in the West Bank – the settlers will have a 3 year transition period to either return to Israel proper or become residents under Palestinian governance – The US should recognize NOW the state pf Palestine within the 1967 borders and NOW open Embassies in East and West Jerusalem without further delay tactics

#158

If there is ever to be peace in Israel and Palestine, the Israelis have no choice BUT to cease building settlements in the occupied lands. Even a grade school child can understand that simple concept. If they insist on remaining in the West Bank, then those Israelis settlers will have to take on Palestinian citizenship because they will no longer live in Israel.

The system of Semitic Apartheid must end but I strongly believe that will only happen with a world-wide boycott of Israel, using the same sanctions the West uses upon other Middle East ‘rogue’ nations.

Israel has three hundred nuclear weapons under its control. I would say their continued angry refusal to heed international calls should be viewed as seriously, or even more seriously, than Iran’s recalcitrance – and they are still years AWAY from a bomb.

#157

I’m tired of paying my hard earned tax dollars to a country that oppresses another country. (Especially when they have health care for all and we don’t. Why not use that money right here at home)! When will MAN ever learn to be peaceful? We have o bisiness giving money to a country that would be so vile…after all aren’t we “SPREADING DEMOCRACY FOR ALL”. NOT JUST THE CHOSEN. I believe that when they were said to be the chosen people…what were they “chosen” for? To set an example or be the example? My God, Jesus, would never ever make another suffer for anothers gain.

#156

Yes!!! It would be very nice if these so called jews 1) Honored a God The Hebrew Religion Define as one who cannat lie and hate lairs!!!
2) Honor their owe words and not build any more
3) Tear down all the settlements build after those so call jews agreed not to build any more. Thanks A Lot Alfred

#155

In relation to “John in Dallas”, you can say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, but I consider your capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile!

It seems that people are accepted into a church for what they believe, but turned out for what they know!

#154

The sole historically unaccurate argument the jews insist on to maintain to the rest of the world in believing is that the whole “holy land” belong to them since forever, as a gift from their protector divinity, although they started their saga in Palestine as invadors of Jericho. Since the very beginning, they’ve been stealing land from the others, arguing a mystic right to do attrocities to others, as if God himself had an ultimate preference for them, in detriment of everybody else. That’s a very convenient way to see themselves, and can justify any crimes against the right of others.

#153

Indeed, the Israeli government should prevent the settlements. It seems these settlements are just another way for people to escape through nationalism and their dogmatic beliefs that they have a right to the land.

Thus, I believe the central questions are:

1.) Who bought the land after W.W. II in which the Israeli state currently exists?
2.) Who owned the land prior to the incarnation of the State of Israel?
3.) Who lived on the land prior to the incarnation of the State of Israel?
4.) How can peace be possible without the repudiation of all connections with organized
religions and ideologies that suggest our way is the way or we are the chosen people?

As long as there are divisions from a nationalistic, linguistic, and religious viewpoints, with each sect opposed to another, and each saying its way is the way, there will always be conflicts and war!

#152

Israel should get their border back to the one the world gave them…and stop being aggressive in the name of their freedom, like us in the US have. The road to self destruction lies in on the same road of destroying others. When will humans learn? Just play nice!

#151

Should Israel agree to demands to freeze all settlement building?
At one time the USA defended and protected the rights of the under-dog. Now many will claim that Israel is the under-dog but historically their losses have always been minute compared to their enemies. Whether Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, or Palestine, Israel always comes out on top when comparing damage done to the rival. Whatever the out come, historically Israel manages to acquire more land (some under-dog) in the process. The recent devastating attack on Gaza by the IDF that left thousands dead on the Palestinian side and a hand full of IDF forces, only amplifies my point. Yes Israel should freeze all expansion and return all land confiscated since 1948.

#150

Just a note regarding John in Dallas. I agree with what you say about Jesus. However, what you say about today’s Israel does not support what you purport to say about Jesus. I don’t recall Jesus supporting the wealthy landowner, but rather the oppressed and downtodden. Thanks Vince Graham for setting “John in Dallas” straight!

#149

Yes, Israel should stop the building of settlements & vacate the ones already built. The wall is shameful. “Tear down that wall.” The Palestinians should turn away from violence & stop raising martyrs & elect peaceful leaders. The US should stop sending military aid to Israel until they cease aggression. And all of us should support only peaceful & lawful actions by all governments including our own. No nukes. Peace & love to all.

#148

Ajarbuz (130)
If Palestine never existed then we could also say Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Oman didn’t exist till after WWI. These are all new nation just as Israel is a brand new nation one who by the way has violated 28 resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, which are legally binding on member-nations and almost 100 resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly; a nation that should be expelled from the UN under Chapter 2 Article 6.

#147

if I ask every one of us would you except someone come to your home and take you out of it leave him for him self, simple of that Palestinian would not except some one to took their home. In my opinion i would same close settlement building.

#146

All Israeli settlements should be frozen and the U.S. should stop all aid to Israel.

#145

If I commented on all of the previous blogs, it would clog the ethernet but “here goes”.

As a Christian, I am tired of people invoking my religion to bolster the “Chosen People”. Chosen for what? As far as I can determine, they were chosen to produce the “Chosen One” whose name Christians espouse. That “Chosen One” talked a whole lot more about justice and fairness, than he did about conquering and oppression.

Thanks, World Focus, for taking us to the West Bank, to make us “experts”. There are lots of people who have visited the Holy Land from the Israeli perspective who consider themselves “experts”.

Of course, halting settlements will not auto- matically produce peace. But PLEASE, don’t use Gaza as evidence. Settlements or not, Gaza has not been released from the “prison-hood” imposed by Israel who controls all access to Gaza (save the tunnels to Egypt) and controls all of Gaza’s resources (water, electricity, imports, exports, etc).

Settlement expansions are NOT Palestinian’s excuses not to talk. Rather they are Israel’s efforts to give Palestinians reasons not to talk.

Even if the West Bank land would belong to Israel (which it does not), that is no excuse for confiscating land or demolishing homes for settlement expansion. Lets say, Canada claims to own Minnesota. That would not excuse Canadians from demolishing Minnesotan’s homes, forests, etc to provide homes for Canadians.

Finally, “History Buff”, whats this “one sided” pressure on Israel? I would say ‘put your money where your mouth is”, and “if you pay the piper, you should be able to call the tune”. Perhaps the US should withdraw some of the “one sided” financial support!

Thanks for the majority of bloggers who voted for Justice! The Israeli’s stance on settlements is analogous to nibbling on the pie, while stalling discussions about how to divide the pie.

Freezing settlements is the least Israel should do, and if not, US monetary support should be withheld. On this issue, Obama ( Clinton and Mitchell, too) has been a wimp!

#144

Ajarbuz (130)
If Palestine never existed then we could also say Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Oman didn’t exist till after WWI. These are all new nation just as Israel is a brand new nation one who by the way has violated 28 resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, which are legally binding on member-nations and almost 100 resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly. A nation that should be expelled from the UN under Chapter 2 Article 6.

#143

Five phrases repeated ad nauseum by the media depict an anti-Israeli bias by which the world has come to buy into the Arab propaganda about the Arab-Israeli Conflict. These five phrases are: PALESTINIAN LAND, ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT, ISRAELI OCCUPIED LAND, ISRAELI SETTLERS, ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS.

1) There is no Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. By definition Jews are Jewish Palestinians. The designation “Palestine” was given to Ancient Israel and surrounding territories by the Ancient Romans, who conquered, occupied, and largely destroyed Ancient Israel. In modern times the British and the French hegemonies in the Middle East included “Palestine” (the British and the French so eagerly adopted the Roman designation for the Holy Land). As a Jew today living in the USA, coming from parents, whose ancestral journeys of exile include Russia, Poland, Turkey, Italy, Spain, Greece, to name a few, I am as much a Palestinian exile as any Arab in exile today from the Holy Land; the only difference is that my exile is two thousand years greater in length of time, preceding even the existence of both Islam and Christianity. But, the Arabs and the World today would deny that I am a Palestinian. There is an Israeli-Arab Conflict; the phrase “Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” is a misnomer that denies the real issue, which is the ancient conflict between Arabs and Jews, transmogrified by the bigotry and hatred of Islamic Religion and Jihadism.

2) By definition of Ancient Rome and modern Britain and France, the term “Palestinian Land” does not refer and never did refer to any single unified political entity of Arabs, exclusive of Jews, in Palestine. Misuse and the constant repetition of the term by the PLO first and then other Arab terror organizations has given the term it’s twisted and bigoted meaning that is regretfully current and ubiquitous today, however fraudulent.

3) The phrase “Israeli Occupied Land” is a pejorative usage of language that distorts the issues and biases opinion against Israel and Israelis. The implication is that Jews cannot be Palestinians and can have no right to live in their ancient homeland. Arabs deny Jews that right, as they have done worldwide throughout all “Muslim Lands” ought not be a reason for the World to join them in their exclusion and bigotry against Israelis. For a moment put the shoe on the other foot. In Israel there are a million Arab citizens, who work, study, vote, participate in government, govern their own towns in Israel…. Does the World ever cry out about “Arab Occupied Israel”? Does the World ever deign to support any movement to rid Israel of it’s “Arab Occupiers”? From Africa to Indonesia, from Russia to Iraq, from Kosovo to India, from Mongolia to China — does the World cry out about “Arab Occupiers”? Does the World cry out about the lives and civilizations they destroy? Does the World cry out about the double standard, “You may welcome us into your midst as we are, whereas you are welcome into our midst only by conversion to Islam….” Does the World cry out that Arabs may live peacefully in Israel; but, Jews may not live at all in Arabia, anywhere?

4 & 5) So then Israelis are also pejoratively referred to as “settlers” and their homes as “settlements” — as newcomers encroaching on peoples and territories they do not belong –this in total disregard of the Israeli return to the ancient homeland to reconstitute it’s national existence after more than two-thousand years of exile, persecution, Inquisition, and Holocaust…. And then there are those, so ignorant of history, who equate Israelis with Nazis!

Marshall McLuhan famously stated, “The Medium Is The Message”. He was anticipated by the famous Greek Philosopher, Socrates, who said, “Define your terms and most arguments disappear.”

Perhaps, if the Media were to define it’s terms of usage correctly, the Truth would be brought into broad daylight, and the World would find that there really is no Israeli-Palestinian Conflict after all, that in fact there really is no valid argument for disputation, and the Israeli-Arab Conflict would resolve itself most quickly and even amicably!

#142

This should be decided as a matter of law – international law, by an international tribunal or by the UN General Assembly. What was or may have been promised to Abraham should have nothing to do with it. Get real, Israel.

#141

This should be decided as a question of law – international law – by an international tribunal or the UN General Assembly. If this ever happens – that is to say, if the US stops blocking such an event, it’s very unlikely that Israel will be found to be in the right. What was or may have been promised to Abraham is not binding on the international community of nations.

#140

John in Dallas: (129)
Not everyone believes that the god of the Jews is a true representation of what a god should be. My god is not a real-estate agent nor does he favor one tribe over another. The God of the Old Testament is found and expounded upon in text written by Hebrews who were probably biased in promoting the prosperity of their own people. If you base property rights on religion then lets bring back the Holy Roman Empire. Or hoe about everyone in New England should be a Puritan? Real estate and religion is exactly the problem in the Middle East. Palestine should seek independence in the UN, it need UN protection from a rogue state like Israel. And John you don’t need to be saved – You were never lost.

#139

If Israel agree or not this war will not end until the Arab nation wake up and teach Israel unforgiven lesson.

#138

The real reason why the soc-called “Palestinians” don’t have a state is because they never had a state in all of recorded history. They were never a nation, and have no historical record of ever being one in the past. Not even a mythological one. Really, the only thing that unites them is that they are not Jews, and want to get revenge on the Jews. Some may be the descendants of Israelites, and Samaritans, and various others who drifted into the area over the centuries. Just like the population of Brooklyn :) They are a collection of people but not A people. Jews are A people. They have historical, religious, cultural and national roots in that land, as well as the legal ruling of the League of Nations to back it up. That is why the Jews turned it into a viable state so quickly, whereas the so-called “Palestinians” can never seem to get their act together. What divides them is greater than what unites them, which is mainly hatred and the desire for revenge.

#137

The land belongs to Israel. According to the Bible, the Abraham and the decendants of Issac (the Jews) were promised the land by God. The Jews are God’s chosen people, whether we like it or not, they are still the chosen race whom He promised to send the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Those who accept Jesus as their Savior will be saved. Turn to the only One Whom all was created for, created by, and created through- Jesus Christ. Without Him, nothing was made.

Jesus will forgive your sins and save your life. He did this for me, He’ll do the same for you.

#136

Yes, they should. The time has come to create a fair two-state solution to this long-festering problem. The Palestinians have very valid claims to much of this land and the U.S. needs to be much firmer in demanding reasonableness from Israel. Until there is peace here, there will be no real progress in the Middle East.

#135

When Mr. Obama talks of breaking down walls that separate peoples, let him begin by tearing down the wall along the American-Mexican border. Jerusalem has been Israel’s historic and eternal capitol since King David conquered it from the Jebusites in 1000 BCE. There was no Moslem yet born. Judaism is 3000 years older than the birth of the camel-driver Mohammed. We are going to continue building our cities and settlements on our sacred Biblical land. Arabs can have the right to breathe our air and bear their babies, but that is all. Our settlements will grow like the roses of Sharon and like the lillies that proliferate the hills of Judea and Samaria and Galilee. No settlement freeze. No peace with the Arabs. We are content with the staus quo for the next thousand years.

#134

There should be a freeze on the expansion of Israeli settlements on the West Bank. Understandably this has become a major impediment in the Israel/Palestine peace negotiations and has only served to inflame the divisions between these two countries. The settlements are illegal under international law. It is egregious that this law is not being enforced. There will never be peace until the settlement expansion stops.

#133

Editorial Staff. Good morning. When you return to work…. #41 should also be immediately DELTED because it is clearly HATE SPEECH Thank you.

#132

The comments you received regarding this issue are far more evenly balanced than they would have been 10, 20, or 30 years ago. I think this demonstrates a move away from blind support for Israel and toward more concern for the plight of the Palestinians. This is long overdue.

Palestinians in the US should take a more proactive stance by running for Congress. If more Palestinians were walking the halls of Congress, Israel could no longer assume that Congress was “in their pocket”… and we (the US) would no longer be viewed as a patsy for Isreal.

As the song goes, “The times… they are a changing.

#131

This partition of Palestine and Israel has become very complicated with both sides sharing complicity. However, there should be a freeze on new Israeli settlements as well as giving back those already build over the years against international law and against the requests of every US administration since 1948. President Obama’s (or any other US president’s) request to stop the settlements will only have effect if we decide to stop monetary and military aid to Israel. Misguided US Christian support of the Israeli cause of Zionism gives much incentive to the Israelis to continue doing whatever they wish in order to expand their “homeland”.

#130

HELLO EDITORIAL STAFF…..are you sleeping on the job? comment #104 is clearly HATE SPEECH and should be DELETED IMMEDIATELY. Thank you.

#129

The issue of settlement construction in Judea/Samaria is highly contentious. Personally, I don’t believe that the West Bank is “occupied” territory. There never was a Palestinian state located on that land. Historically, Israel has every right to build as it pleases. The only reason Israel restrains construction is in the hope of arranging some sort of peace treaty with the Palestinians and the larger Arab world. I believe that the Obama administration sees, in accordance with Palestinian statements, all settlement activity beyond the’67 borders as illegitimate. Obama’s vision is warped. A return by Israel to the ’67 lines will not bring a lasting peace. The elimination/destruction of Israel as a Jewish entity remains an Arab objective. Israel will continue to struggle for its survival. Despite U.S., Palestinian and world-wide denouncements, Israel will not halt settlement construction. Israel has every right to maintain a presence in the territories and, for that matter, East Jerusalem also. The battle for Israel’s life as a nation goes on. I pray that Israel will be victorious in its quest.

#128

History tells us that there were two percent Jews in Palestine in the late 19th century. Then Great Britain forced displaced Jews from Russia, then the Germanic states such that by the time the second world war was near it’s end 33 percent Jews were in Palestine. However, this unwanted event was not defendable as Palestine, newly released from 400 years of Ottoman Turk rule were unable to afford to defend themselves. They were not yet able to organize as a state. Now they are occupied by the UN sanctioned Isreali state. Imprisoned by racist attitudes, walls, encroachment, and annhilation they are ruled by untreated adult children of holocaust and terrorist survivors. The right thing to do is obey the UN resolutions and obey international law. US policy currently is to be obedient to the highest bidding lobbyist, AIPAC.

#127

What is this nonsense about “settlements”? Why is it that jews are the only people not able to live wherever they want? Muslims live in Israel.
No other people of any religion are prohibited from living wherever they want.If there is any apartheit state it is that which denies freedom to a person of any ethnicity or religion to reside where he wishes.

#126

If the USA were in Israel’s position, we would do pretty much as they have done and the result would be the same – stalemate. Israel’s politicians lack vision as much as ours do. Israel’s actions are counterproductive. They continue to reinforce the hatred which the Palestinians feel for them. The situation is clearly very complicated and very difficult; however, Israel must realize that their future is tied to the future of Palestine. The current status is unsustainable. Israel can not, in the long run, be secure unless Palestine is also secure both militarily and financially. Israel must be much more proactive in trying to work with Palestinian leaders to develop their economy and strengthen their institutions. This is no small task, but the only way Israel can reach its potential is for the Palestinians to reach theirs as well.

#125

If there is to be peaCE in the Middle East, Israel must freeze their illegal settlement building and be prepared to give back at least some of the land. Only then will thr Arab world believe in Israel’s sincerity. I personally do not bemieve Israel wantrs to share the land art all. They want to eliminate all the Palestinians and own thr whole teritory. If thry could they would practice genocide. They conveniently forget the Hplocaust when it suits them

#124

Israel is no more obligated to freeze further West Bank settlements, in obedience to Pres. Obama, than the US is obligated to permit Iran to pursue its nuclear ambitions, in obedience to Pres. Ahmadinejad.

#123

Divide and Conquer!

#122

I totally agree with #111, Patricia’s comments. Isreal should have stopped the settlements a long time ago. The US is indirectly funding these settlements and should withhold funding for Isreal until there is a freeze on this issue.

#121

This conflict is not about religion. Religion is the cover story meant to distract from the truth of gun-running and war profiteering, including land speculation, that is so lucrative to an amoral few. While we get caught up in arguing the esoteric points of dietary laws, they are making money blowing up expensive ammunitions and clearing the land of bothersome populations. The veil is being lifted from the eyes of the world, and the emperor stands before us in new clothes.

#120

there will be more new setelment in west bank becuse Europe and US want that.Theye rather some of thier citizens live somewhere else.somewhere far and hostile.

#119

Provocation by any side, has historically, never allowed for real conversation.

#118

I have been to the West Bank. The Palestinians are an oppressed people. Israel should freeze development of settlements. They are on land that really belongs to the Palestinians. This is grand theft. Israel ignores UN resolutions. It violates international law, destroys Palestinian homes, built a wall INSIDE of the green line stealing the water from the Palestinians. These are criminal acts. The international community needs to get serious about dealing with this situation.

#117

Lebensraum – why is it ok now?

#116

I have no axe to grind here… I see both sides clearly. I have very good friends who are on both sides of this ugly mess.

First: all Jews “are not” united in support of Israelis actions against all the Palestinian people and the bulldozing of Palestinian homes and redeveloped a settlements… just some right wing ultra-fundamentalism groups.. There are many of these Right-Wing groups In Israel. Just as Hamas does not represent all of the Palestinian people. Nor does Jewish fundamentalism and the Likud represent all the jews. Thank God that there are moderates on both sides of this issue.

What is going on here is more about profit and less about self defense. We must not all lose site that these lands have been Ethnically Cleansed. No different the what happened in Serbia or Kosovo. Wrong is still Wrong.

It is obvious being so distracted with the importance of “justification process” Trying to confuse issues they have lost site of the realities of that acts of being an occupier… And see that the whole world is watching these on-going acts of bulldozing Palestinian peoples homes and treating the Palestinian people as sub-human. Such short memories some people have…

But, to be so blind not to see the immorality of these ongoing acts…. While anyone in the world can look and see the vast amounts of profits being made of the development of the stolen Palestinian people’s lands… But, in the minds… of the people profiting and living there and the Ultra-Zionists who feel that God gave them that land They conclude: That what is happening it is not a crime and, that all the Palestinian people all collectively deserve to have their homes bulldozed and re-developed as Jewish super settlements? Their rationale… is absurd! What we are all observing is by definition Ethnic Cleansing.

I do not support “any country” that commits crimes of Ethnic Cleansing.

Those acts are clear violations International Law. ( No Justification needed.)

No families anywhere should have their homes bulldozed and then redeveloped a settlements.

If my neighbor bulldozed my home…. I would be more than upset. Anyone would anywhere be more than upset if any of our homes were bulldozed! But, that is what the primary goal is for most of the right wing Groups: to Ethnically Cleanse all that land.

The Current Ongoing Acts Of Apartheid Today:

There is forced segregation between Israeli settlers and Palestine’s citizens, with a complex pass system required for Arabs to traverse Israel’s multiple checkpoints. An enormous wall snakes through populated areas of what is left of the West Bank, constructed on wide swaths of bulldozed trees and property of Arab families, obviously designed to acquire more territory and to protect the Israeli colonies already built.

Combined with this wall, Israeli control of the Jordan River Valley will completely enclose Palestinians in their shrunken and divided territory.

Gaza is surrounded by a similar barrier with only two openings, still controlled by Israel. The crowded citizens have no free access to the outside world by air, sea, or land.

The Palestinian people are now being deprived of the necessities of life by economic restrictions imposed on them by Israel.

The UN has reported food supplies in Gaza equivalent to those among the poorest families in sub-Sahara Africa, with half the families surviving on one meal a day.

IT ALL GETS DOWN TO THIS…

The reality is simple…. Killing and bulldozing family homes are both crimes…

“Self-defense” is not… stealing property and re-developing it for profit.

To have any peace… all crimes must stop!

it all comes down to… A very simple saying that I live by”

“Do on to others as you would like done on to yourself.”

———————————————-

MY PERSONAL SUGGESTED LINKS FOR A FUTURE OF PEACE:

http://heartoftheother.com/theyre-both-right

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsSW3mdIrpM

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?lang=en&ModuleId=10007043

#115

The US continues to “demand” a freeze on settlements, Israel builds a wall so they don’t have to even see the Palestinians and then demolish
Arab owned properties in Jerusalem and plan to build many more apartments. So why does the US continue to give them money? Otherwise they will continue to do exactly what pleases them.

#114

I saw Rabbi Meir Khanane speak when I was at University, His take was that the Palestinian country was Jordan and that all of Gaza and West Bank needed to be evacuated and settled by Jews. I wonder, given that many of the zealots are former Americans from Brooklyn, if they didn’t internalize this message and are trying to slowly but surely divide the West Bank until a Palestinian state is not viable.

#113

Someone help me out, why do Israelis or jews think they can take this land, why they own this land? If you cite the bible I call bs since that is 2000 years old. I thought the whole country was founded just to make up for the holocaust so they wouldn’t get screwed again?

#112

Yes, the settlements are illegal under international law. It is occupied land stolen from the Palestinians. The Palestinians live in de-facto prisons in their own country, without citizenship or rights. Jews from around the world migrate there and are given citizenship, rights and luxurious housing all paid for by US taxpayers. These Jews are not fleeing persecution but are themselves persecuting the Palestinians. Israel is a racist illegitimate state, established on ethnically cleansed Palestinian land.

#111

Obviously a heated debate. Reminds me of a lecture I attended at University given by Rabbi Meir Kahane. In it, he basically said that the Palestinian land was Jordan and any of them in Israel deserved “what they got”. He also beckoned the audience to “Come home, come home to Israel” He was living in Brooklyn at the time but whatever. I wonder if the hardcore former American citizens, mostly formerly of Brooklyn internalized this message and that is what they are going for; slice and dice till the Jordanian Border or thereabouts and make a viable Palestinian state impossible. If I were to bet I guess that is the strategy nothing to do with “safety or negotiating” etc… Only to, over time drive the Palestinians out by default. However, I actually don’t think the biggest threat to the State of Israel is external but rather internal. There are many IDF on the lam here in NY because they have problems with dropping white phosphorus on hospitals etc…. If Israel continues to debase itself with its policies it may well lose it best and brightest and end up with a bunch of war thugs.

That said, the Palestinians are obviously not guilt free. Anyone who suicide bombs or rockets houses is far from guilt free.

So, this is Cain and Abel, Stalin and Trotsky, Blood and Crips. Neither side can come to a compromise so neither deserve the land. Declare the “Holy Land” a world heritage site. Three day pass: All religions and ethnicities welcome $199.99 , get your foto taken with Pharaoh, Moses, Jesus, Muhammed ….throw in Zoraster and Bhudda free of charge. Build up some beach front property for package holidays for the Chinese middle class since they really don’t care about this spat and are going to run the next century anyway and it will be like a stimulus package for archeaologists who need the work anyway.

As for Isrealis and Palestinians……green card to the USA. CA, NV, AZ, UT, Better education, better health care, better food IMHO, and no threat of an F-16 or a rocket dropping on your head….and we have lots of Arabs and Jews here already who …..not only don’t kill each other on a regular basis but….inter-marry, BBQ and even…watch football together. What a great country not bound by 2000 years of myth.

For the US taxpayer, savings on foreign aid, military expenditures and a boost of additional population, like a whole other economic stimulus package. Think about it it may be your only solution.

So Israelis and Palestinians …..Get over yourselves, the world is sick or your childish spat, your holier than thou bullshit, your killing of civilians on both sides, your citations of mythical books and incantations. You are the ultimate family feud and unfortuntely have made your problem the worlds problem for 60 years. However the world is shifting in a direction with no connection to you; you would be well advised to get your act together or be destined to the proverbial dustbin of history,

#110

israel is no more a democracy than is iran: both are theocracies. the orthodox jews determine israeli policies. they do not intend to allow palestinians any land or economic viability. while palesinian terrorism is reprehensible, it is occasional; once an attack-some time since the last one-is cleaned up life goes on. palestinians are terrorized 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in their towns, on their farms, trying to go to work, even to jerusalem. their land is stolen, their crops and orchards are destroyed, goods are prevented from entering and leaving gaza and the west bank, utilities are shut off, palestinians are stopped willy-nilly on their streets, on the roads, anywhere, by 19 year old idfs, toting machine guns, palestinians exiting or entering israel routinely wait for hours at border crossings while others pass thru in a few minutes; terrorisms like these are routine, inescapable. israel has a much better, more widespread, wealthier, dogmatic publicity machine than do the palestinians and the rest of the arab world. thus, they are the victims. sometimes yes, horribly so. but it is the palestinians who have no life, no future, nothing they count on doing that won’t be interfered with by israelis. no, israel intends for there to never be a two-state solution, certainly not one that includes the west bank. israel will never stop teasing and lying to the u s and the rest of the world until the u s tells it the money and aid stop, right now.

#109

One-sided US pressure on Israel is not good for the US:

It encourages Arab extremists, who interpret it as US weakness.

It encourages the Arabs to take an even harder line (if that is possible).

It sends the signal that the US will sell out its friends to curry favor with enemies.

It does not create a climate for negotiations, let alone peace.

Recall the result of Chamberlain’s “Peace in Our Time” with Hitler? Recall what happened after Czechoslovakia was sold out?

#108

In no other conflict, is land conquered in a war of self defence, forced to be handed over to the aggressors.

The Arabs incited wars again and again. Each time the Jews survived by winning. yet they are supposed to hand over land to the Arabs.

Isn’t that an incentive for the Arabs to keep launching more wars?

#107

Definately not! They have a right to that land. The Palestinians will never quit fighting against Israel as long as Israel exists.

#106

There should be a freeze on the settlements and the 67 Oslo Accord should be honored. Why do the Israeli’s continue to insist on appropriating more Palestinian Land?

#105

If Hebrews are not allowed in Hebron and Jews are not allowed in Jericho, why should Arab settlers be allowed in Amsterdam?

#104

Stopping Jews from adding on a balcony will hand the Palestinians and Arab world a victory without them doing anything i n return.

One-sided Israeli compromises have not brought peace in the past.

It is time for the Arab world to start to match every Israeli compromise.

#103

If Israel must freeze all settlements, then the Arabs should freeze all new construction in the areas they occupied by conquest in North Africa, the Sudan, and elsewhere.

Oh, there is a difference. Israel conquered the land in a defensive war. The Arab conquest was an unprovoked brutal conquest.

#102

They should freeze and have all settlements closed. It is not their land period. Should be given back to where Isreal was originally founded.

#101

Tom face facts- jews as a percentage have by far more noble prizes than any other “group” of people- we are consistently persecuted yet always come out on top. we teach our kids to love and to learn and to take care of your community–and we are successful at it. That is why we are hated. Our arrogance is deserved-the arabs have had their land for thousands of years and without oil they would still be living like they did a thousand years ago. We were given ( read your history tom) a tiny sliver of swamp and desert land and turned it into the jewel of the middle east. More high technology, life saving, ingenuity is produced by 6 million Israelis than all the 1.2 billion arabs/muslims alive. I mean that is fucking amazing-yes perhaps it is arrogance-but really we are just proud of what we accomplish. From nothing we created a military that is feared by most–and me a jew can live and not worry about people like you because i have a homeland and army that will defend me. Next time you get a starbucks, invest in goldman sachs, google something, or take one of your crazy pills remember that it was all made possible by the people that you hate the most–us the jews!!!!

#100

As someone who has been treated like crap most of my life because I look like a guy (just being honest) but I’m female, I have to say this whole religion thing is bringing us all down. Please, for the sake of Mother Earth, stop the insanity. If you don’t want to eat clams, don’t eat them. If you want to cut your son’s penis…okay, maybe that’s not such a great idea. We have got to educate people so that they realize that books that were written hundreds, if not thousands of years ago should not be taken as proscriptions for life in the 21st century. And anyone who says that they know what some extra-terrestrial being wants, and is willing to bomb schools!?! to defend their beliefs, should be locked up, IMHO.
Respect and Peace. And to the guy or guys who are calling people’s mother’s names, grow up already. You’re not doing your people any favors by acting like an idiot. Laws should protect everyone’s personal beliefs, not just one ethnic group or another. Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You – The Golden Rule, seems to be the only way to end this conflict.

#99

Tomorrow night’s question should be: Is the Arab world’s refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state an obstacle to peace?

Another: If Israel demolished all settlements, would there be peace? Or would these be turned into bases for firing rockets into Israel, as was done in Gaza?

#98

I think all settlement action should be frozen now.

#97

The simplest solution to the conflict is to accpet Jordan as a majority Palestinian state. Indeed, it is 5 times larger than Israel, and the West Bank, and has a majority Palestinian population.

It was also the largest part of Balfour mandate Palestine.

It is a historical tragedy that the British gave the largest part of Palestine to the Hashemite Kings rather than allowing it to be the natural Palestinian state.

#96

Tonight’s question is an unfair question.

Most of those who call themselves “Palestinians” are not indigenous, but descended from Egyptians and other Arabs who came to the Holy Land since the 1880’s – just look at photos and documentation of British travellers of the 19th century.

By the same token, Hebron, Safed, the Old City of Jerusalem has major Jewish populations for hundreds of years.

So who is indigeneous? The Jews who survived the Arab conquest, or the Arabs who came as Jews redeveloped the land?

These are complex issues. Unfortunately, World Focus chooses stereotypes to advocate for the Palestinians.

This maybe because the Palestinians seem to be the underdog – but they back by a vast Arav world, and are responsible for their own suffering.

#95

Settlement construction should be frozen IMMEDIATELY. As a Jewish American, I find it the height of arrogance that these foreign born settlers, invoking fundamental religious values, would set up shop in a contested area during these troubled times. The Palestinian people are the victims here, a stateless people in their own land, a nation of regugees, and residents of walled ghettoes. What a disgrace. The situation is terrible, also, for U.S. interests in the area. I also feel the U.S. should withold aid to israel if it doesn’t immediately freeze ALL new settlement activity. Whom do the Israelis think they are fooling here?

#94

“Can’t we all just get along!?”

#93

Dear World Focus,

After being cheered by the recent segment on Israel’s Hi tech, I was appalled by tonight’s piece by Mr. Himel on “settlements”. It played into every possible stereotype about Israel.

All the stereotypes were there: the gun-toting American immigrant; the Palestinian refugee; the relatively wealthy Jew; the poor unemployed Arab; the roads used only by Israelis; the security barrier.

World Focus could have interviewed Israelis whose parents were Jewish refugees from e.g. Iraq or Yemen. Instead it interviewed American immigrants.

It could have reported the refusal of the Arab world to upgrade refugee camps into towns – as Israel did decades ago for Jewish refugees. It did not.

It reported Palestinian claims about land lost in what is now Israel – but not that this happened after the Arabs rejected a two-state solution, and invaded a tiny Jewish state. It did not. Likewise it could have pointed out the losses of Jewish refugees from the Arab world. It did not.

It could have reported on Palestinian mismanagement and corruption, and the Palestinian penchant for diverting all resources to conflict against Israel. It did not.

It could have pointed out that after Israel forced all Jews out of Gaza, that instead of peace, there was a new war.

It could have pointed out that settlements are not the only or the biggest issue in the Arab-Israeli conflict. It did not.

The bottom line remains Arab refusal to recognize a Jewish state, no matter how small. Placing all the blame on Israel, while ignoring 60 years of Arab attempts to destroy Israel, is dishonest, and one-sided. And it will only encourage more conflict.

#92

It is in U.S. interest that the Palestinians be treated fairly according to international law. If Israel can’t reign in the settlers, we taxpayers must insist that our funding of Israel stop

#91

Of course Israel should cease building on Palestinian lands. How many UN resolutions have there been to this effect — all ignored.

#90

Ireland vs. England
Sunni vs. Shia
Catholic vs. Protestant
Mormon vs. Gays
Jew vs. Everyone

What is the common feature?
God.
Help us.

#89

Earlier Comment from Ishmael:
Jews will outlast all of you–we are the most resourceful people, intelligent people, caring people, inventive people in the world!

It is this kind of Jewish arrogance that has caused many in the world throughout history to not like them. You are not the chosen ones just some crazy religous fanatics.

Oh and Ishmael what are you doing on the computer? Get yourself to a library and learn about the true history of Israel: stolen from Palestine.

#88

Flame War!!!!!

#87

Yes, and why are Americans living in the settlements? All American Jews in Israel should come back to their home in the USA and stop stealing land from Palestinians!

#86

Israel should absolutely stop the construction of new settlements, as it is an illegal action under international law. Unfortunately Israel seems to think that it is untouchable because it has the U.S. as an ally. As a result it feels it can do whatever it likes with no regard for the international community.

#85

Religion offends me. I mean, when I look at a Jew or a Palestinean they look the same to me. What’s the difference besides their culture? I don’t get why they can’t all just get along…

#84

Israel should stop the settlements immediately. and we should stop supporting the Israelis. Why would I want my taxes being used to occupy Palestine and basically imprison the Palestnians. I don’t think The U.S. is able to deal with this conflict objectively or effectively and we should get the EU involved.

#83

Of course. Only a Zionist or a Zionist’s proxy or an idiot would think otherwise. The audacity of 6 million people who think settlement building is legal; when 6 billion people think it’s illegal.

#82

its unbelievable how jealous you are all of us Jews….really its quite astonishing. That is the only explanation there is for such ignorance and lack of intelligence in this talk back. Myabe if you all got off your computers spent some time with your kids or in the library –not reading al jazeera — you would be productive citizens as well and wouldnt have ot be jealous of others. Jews will outlast all of you–we are the most resourceful people, intelligent people, caring people, inventive people in the world!

#81

The Obama administration is on the verge of coming under the boot of American Zionist imperialists on the issue of settlements. After the Cairo speech, Obama is silent. Instead we have a lap dog in training with no guts to cut off aid to Israel. Israelis will steal what they want and continue the settlements.

#80

Absolutely! Please end the madness. The region will continue to have tension with no end in sight. No peoples like to live oppressed. Put me in that situation and I would want to fight my freedom. It’s all simple common sense.
If only the arrogance will stop. Give the Palestinians equality and maybe the region can finally accept the Jewish presence and maybe someday peace…
If only it were so easy.
Mark-USA

#79

paul–your are so smart why didnt we think of that– oh yeah we did remember a few years back where every single jew/israeli got out of the Gaza strip– and what did the dirty palestinians do? they bombed us? and then they elected hamas ( who has sworn to “push Israel in to the sea” –so yes again we apologize if we dont exactly trust the other side—-palestinians are in charge of their own fate not israelis

#78

There will not be any peace as long as American Zionists keep supporting the illegal actions of Israel,blindly.Israel doesnot want peace it wants piece of palestinian land .Right now they are
drunk with power which no arab country can match,but this superiority is not going to last for ever.Fourteen million people cannot humiliate
and fight 1.57billion people for ever.Israel should learn lesson from the past colonial powers,
such as Britain, France, spain portugal, south africa etc.See what happend to them.Even the crusaders were finnaly defeated and went home to
Europe.Jewish people are smart people but when it
comes to support for Israel,they become unreasonable and dumb.Israel should go back
to pre 1967 border and arab should buy back
all the Jewish settlements. The whole world is on fire because of Israel-Palestinian dispute.I hope Zionists have not chosen the MASADA or SAMSON option.
Israel is so arrogant because of our,U.S.A,blind
support for her illegal actions.Israel knows very well that it has AIPAC here which has almost all
the congress members in its pocket.No President
can push the Israleis to compromise because COngress will always override the President.
America is suffering due to this blind support for Israel.We are HATED all over the world.We have lost thousands of our young people in wars
fought at the behest of ZIONISTS.We are almost
Bankrupt. Now They are Pushing us to go to war against Iran.We must say to these Zionists, enough is enough. We are not going spend more blood and Treasure for your foolish dream of GREATER ISRAEL.

#77

re: carol

Who said the Jews are Gods chosen people; oh that’s right, it was a Jew. And you’re right Obama isn’t the ruling emperor of earth but, neither is Netenyahu, Sen. Lieberman or Queen Elizebeth (to mention a few) for that matter.
You, like so many others, are a scared lost sheep mesmerized by the rhetoric of politicians who use the Christian and Jewish religions to spew out their oppressive fascist doctrines. Not that Islam is more divine. But, as humans we are all Gods chosen people. If only Gods people world would stop hiding behind religion, race and ethnicity as an excuse for their selfish greedy oppressive ways. It would make for a much better world if as human beings all enjoyed the inalienable rights of freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

#76

Yes. Since they are accepting our financial and military aid they should respect UN resolution 242, or the aid should be TOTALLY cut off.

#75

If the Israeli government were to freeze the construction of new buildings in their West Bank colonies and begin to relocate the residents of those colonies to new or existing villages outside the Green Line, it would demonstrate a desire for peace greater than their desire for land.

#74

The so called “palestinians” are Jordanians, without the bravery to confront Jordan and demand repatriation. They instead take the cowards path of demanding that the democratic Jewish state take care of them. They know that their homeland, Jordan, would simply kill them if they acted there as they have in/against Israel.
Their only legitimate demands for land or any other rights must be directed to their country of origin, Jordan. There they are citizens.
Did I leave out the part of the cowardliness of these people/murders of children?
Peace is simple in this Middle East region. The partition that redefined this region is clear.
Israel exists.
Palestine is only a city.
Jordanians are citizens of Jordan. They lack the necessary courage to demand their basic human rights from Jordanian princes.
Cowardliness equals worthlessness

#73

Israel’s continuing expansion of settlements into Palestine to accommodate it’s “natural growth”sounds chillingly like “lebensramm”, Germany’s justification for it’s invasion of Poland 70 years ago.

#72

Isreal wants the territory of King David. Everytime somebody suggests a peace talk Isreal violates 242 again. Isreal will cause WWIII.

#71

Jesus, My Boyfriend, told me that I’M smarter than everyone else and that I own all of Washington, DC, so I’m going to go and start killing everyone there if they don’t move and let me live in the White House, as is my divine right. And if you don’t believe me, then just ask JC, he will tell you. I’m right and you’re wrong. So fuhgeddaboutit!

#70

Israel should continue to build the settlements to accommodate their growing population. If the Palestinian leadership would focus on building an infrastructure for their own people and would come to the negotiating table with Israel, I’m sure the parties would be able to make peace. Settlements have nothing to do with making peace.

#69

Israel should freeze all settlements immediately, so that at last a genuine peace process can begin. The Palestinian people have seen their land whittled away for years, by the occupation and by Israeli govt. policy. It is time to get serious about a two-state solution!

#68

Yes, they should not only stop but they should abandon the settlements. They land is not theirs. It rightly belongs to the Palestinians.

#67

Yes they should definitely stop the settlements. At least until they reach a decision to the peace plan. The fact that Israel is still building settlements in the West Bank tells me that they have no intentions on any sort of peace in the region.

#66

…and one more thang!
there are distinct ways of view the land….
indigenous peoples believe we are in relationship with the land, which is why we don’t feel compelled to lay claim to it the same way conquering imperialistic forces do…if you don’t understand, respect, or value this framework, then why would you be moved to consider the lives of the palestinian peoples…some people just really believe in manifest destiny and have the power to carry it out and exterminate whole peoples…it happened here to our native community..without apology…and continues to happen on smaller scales in communities with people of color and poor white folks as gentrification pushes folks out of their homes with little regard for potentially harmful consequences/impacts…

#65

Thanks God, for your Healing Gift of Religion!

#64

Stop the settlements, stop the $3-5 billion in foreign aid each year(over $100 billion to date), stop supplying the weapons(incl. nuclear weapons)and maybe the Israelies will see the light. Unfortunately, Israel is ruled by fanatic zionism and the stupid U.S. tax payer is footing the bill.

#63

Believing that you are “chosen” is a form of narcissism. Thinking that you are better than someone else to the point that you want to bomb them because a voice in your head tells you so, should be considered psychotic and dangerous, not codified and approved as a way of life. Peace.

#62

When you force people to live like dogs it should surprise no one that they bite back. When Israel builds modern settlements with all the amenities of modern life next door to refugee camps where people lack sewage disposal, water, the ability to develop an economy; when Palistinians are forced everyday to compare their lot to middle class Israelis – how can peace be made. Such a system of dehumanization in South Africa was condemned by the world in decades ago. Only in Palistine would it be ignored today.

#61

SM Meckly–you took a tour to the west bank and all of a sudden your an expert? You are so naive im not surprised to hear you are american. listen –why dont you take your next trip to new orleans and then come lecutre us about how to treat people. You are a worthless antisemite . The palestinians will have their home when their leadership grows a backbone and can stand up to the like of hamas al akssa and who ever else gets in their way. In the meantime you are right the people will suffer but look around Egypt/sudan/jordan/syria–all free of “jews” and their people still suffer–its their culture. like i siad before and ill say again when arabs/palestinians learn how to take care of themselves and work together they can move on and stop blaming israel for their problem–

Jews are the chosen people-look at the smartest people in the world they are all jews— :) i love us — jealousy wont get you anywhere guys–

#60

Honestly, unless there is a freeze in settlement building, there will be no possibility of a peaceful 2-state solution. As settlements expand and take over more land, a cohesive Palestinian state becomes less and less possible. It seems to me that this is what the Israeli government wants by their inaction or ineffectiveness in halting the expansion. By the time any real action is taken, it will be too late. It may already be too late. And what is being gained? A larger Israel…OK…with a poor, frustrated Palestinian population ripe for terrorist picking. How large does Israel need to be to feel safe?

#59

On a recent visit to Bethlehem, I saw first hand how these settlements are gradually encroaching on Palestinian lands. Israelis then connect the settlements with roads, then put up walls nearby which block Palestinian movements. It is like a prison for the Palestinians and this practice is increasing. They should be stopped from further settlement building.

#58

Would there be peace if Israel handed over the West Bank?

Israel tried that in 1948, 2001, and the result was that the Arabs started another war.

Would there be peace if the Dalai Lama was Israel’s PM?

Or if Israel consisted of just Tel Aviv?

Of course not – and by castigating Israel, while ignoring 60 years of Arab warfare, World Focus is taking an unbalanced one-sided view.

#57

World Focus lives up to its Al Jazeera English broadcasters – all the Arab perspectives, almost all the time.

#56

Israel is building on land conquered in a war of self defence; on land which Jews lived on until the Arabs kicked them out in the 1920’s.

If Israeli settlements are illegal, then the Arab conquests of North Africa are much more illegal, because the Arabs started the wars!

And if Israeli “settlements” are illegal, so are the boundaries of most of the world’s countries today.

#55

My invisible friend can beat up your invisible friend!

#54

All of this madness must come to an end. How? I don’t know. Both parties are guilty of horrible criminal acts. The biggest problem is that the governments do not want to acknowledge rights to exist. Many people say that the land belongs to the Jewish community because of Biblical proof of ownership. No. No. No. Everything is based on mutual hatred. This hatred is cultivated by supposed Christians who side only with Israel. Israel really needs to take a good look and see what the true motivation for this support is. As is always the case, fundamentalism equals violence and self-interest. The average Palestinian and Israeli citizen simply wants to live their lives in peace and they would rather do it as friends rather than enemies. This post is a bit confusing, but the situation is condfusing, too. One cannot make sense out of something that does not make sense. I will continue to pray for peace for Israelies and Paletinians. May they all find peace and an opportunity to raise their families with personal security.

#53

Israel should agree to stop settlement expansion when:
(1) The Arab world agrees to compensate the millions of Israelis whose parents were kicked out of Arab lands after 1948;
(2) The Arab world genuinely accepts a two-state solution, instead of using the “peace process” to dismanlt Israel.

#52

Thank you, World Focus, for showing an element of truth of the situation in Palestine – yes, IN Palestine, not Israel. Regardless of the history (whichever version) or the leadership (or lack of it) or religion, this is a human rights issue! After having visited the West Bank this year, I now know the truth and am ashamed that we Americans are helping to support the Israeli government to demolish Palestinian homes, to build Israeli-only roads, to build a separation wall on Palestinian land, to hold children (yes, children) in administrative detention for months for throwing stones etc., etc. This issue is not about security or religion, it is about land, resources, and power. I hope this program opens the eyes of some Americans so they pressure the US Congress to cut off the funds sent to Israel – did you know that Israel gets 1/3 of the aid that the US sends to all foreign countries – to the tune of about 3 billion a year? Shame on us, shame on us and shame on the Israeli’s who support such despicable actions.

#51

If I remember right, Israel did agree to halt all settlement expansion previously. But the ultra-nationalist government of Netanyahu refuses to honor signed agreements. It’s sort of like Israel’s word is worth nothing. The Israeli goal is Judea and Samaria–without the Palestinians–not a Palestinian State. Ethnic cleansing of Arab East Jerusalem is already under way, and the West Bank continues to be carved up like Swiss cheese with settlements to prevent a contiguous Palestinian State. This situation can only lead to continued conflict in the Mideast and another war. War is a way of life for Israel, but the Palestinians are the ones who suffer.

#50

Talk about peace? Mahmoud Abbas, the “moderate” continues to fund and arm the Al Aqsa terror Brigades.

It was Mahmoud Abbas who rejected the generous peace offer almost all the West Bank from the previous Israeli PM Olmert.

It is Mahmoud Abbas who named a US funded computer center in the West bank after Dalai Mugrabi, whose sole claim to “fame” was the murder of 39 Israeli civilians in a bus attack decades ago.

Why blame all on Israel when the Arabs are far more opposed to peace?

#49

How selfish that these people are putting their own special interests ahead of the peace of the world; and I’m speaking of BOTH sides in this silly conflict. “God says that land is MINE!” “No, God says that land is MINE!” Did you ever think that your foolish superstitions are pointless? It’s one thing to believe that you have an invisible, powerful friend. It is another thing to threaten to use nuclear weapons on someone who doesn’t believe in the foolishness that you’ve chosen. Wake up, people! This is the 21’st century. Silly beliefs in an afterlife just make you look like ignorant, bigoted hicks. Educate yourselves and stop killing people in the name of NOTHING.

#48

The state of Isreal, has every right to accomodate a growing population on what is their land. Should the U.S. return their land to the native americans from which took it from. Get real people!!!

#47

yes…stop the madness, stop the occupation, stop the displacement!!! free palestine!!

*viva viva palestina*

#46

That was a seriously slanted report. Why are people not asking why don’t the Palestinians help themselves? Why are they destroying their own property? In tow minutes of film I didnt see one wall or house without graffiti (spelling). The Jews built up Israel from nothing–Palestinians should stop hating Jews and start building in the West Bank-take care of your own people–leave us Jews/Israelis.

#45

The settlements should be stopped. Instead of US military aid to Israel, we should buy out the existing settlements on the West Bank and sell them to Palestinians. If the Jewish settlers don’t want to sell, then they can live under a Palestinian government.

#44

This story is only slanted to people who will not except the truth that Israel is, and has broken not only the law, but common morals between people. If Irael wanted peace, they would Stop steeling land. Fine, the spoils of war gave them land, but when does it stop? Ever? Yeah, Peace GMAFB

#43

Mahmoud Abbas raised the settlement issue as a new precondition to stymie talks.

World Focus doesn’t report illegal Palestinian and Arab building in Israel’s Negev.

World Focus doesn’t cover the ongoing rocket attacks.

World Focus does not report Abbas’ rejection of a two-state solution through his stance on refugees, and Israel as a Jewish state.

#42

* “The cause of unrest in Palestine, and the only cause, arises from the Zionist movement, and from our promises and pledges in regard to it.”
—Winston Churchill, House of Commons, 14 June 1921.
* “A Zionist state in Palestine can only be installed and maintained by force and we should not be a party to it…”
—President Franklin Roosevelt, 5 March 1945, Department of State’s Foreign Relations, 1945, Volume III.
* “Because we took the land this gives us the image of being bad, of being aggressive. The Jews always considered that the land belonged to them, but in fact it belonged to the Arabs. I would go further: I would say the original source of this conflict lies with Israel, with the Jews — and you can quote me.”
—Yehoshofat Harkabi, former Israeli Chief of Military Intelligence, in “Peace Won’t be a Plane Ticket to Cairo,” International Armed Forces Journal, October 1973, p.30.
* “Let us not today fling accusations at the murderers. Who are we that we should argue against their hatred? For eight years now they sit in their refugee camps in Gaza, and before their very eyes, we turn into our homestead the land and the villages in which they and their forefathers have lived.”
—Moshe Dayan, 1953, quoted by Uri Avneri in Israel without Zionists, p. 134.
* “I don’t understand your optimism. Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country.”
—David Ben Gurion, 1956, quoted by Nahum Goldmann in The Jewish Paradox, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1978, p.99.
* “It seemed to me to be symptomatic of a certain blindness to the human reactions of others that so many Israelis professed not to understand why the Arabs who had been driven from their lands should continue to hate and try to injure those who had driven them out.”
—General E.L.M. Burns, Chief of Staff of UNTSO, Between Arab and Israeli, p. 162.

#41

How like World Focus to selectively cover this issue to slant against Israel.

You interview American immigrants – not Israelis who were refugees from East Jerusalem or Iraq or Yemen.

You castigate Israel for its sucess. You lavish sympathy on the Palestinians for the failures of themselves and their leadership.

#40

The Isreali govermnent does not have the backbone to remove the settlers from the settlements nor from stopping them from building new settlements. The Government is too afraid to make any commitments and fullfill their promises of giving the Palestinians their land.The answer will lie on when do the Isrealies want peace and allow the Palestinians their land and the opertunity to exist in peace. The Isrealies are afraid of the Palestinans surpassing them …Stop being afraid and keep your commitments to the Palestinans and the World…

#39

Why did World Focus not show the luxury homes of Mahmoud Abbas? Or the bank accounts and corruption of the Palestinian leadership.

It is their manipulation, and indoctrination of the Palestinians, that has prevented peace, and kept Palestinians poor.

It is they who refused to allow refugee camps to be upgraded.

#38

The question is the wrong one: the correct question is: Would there be peace if there were no Jews on the West Bank?

The obvious answer is no, the Arab world would keep attacking just as it did in 1948 and 1967 and 1973 and through terror attack ever since.

What is also forgotten are the documented attacks on Jewish communities in the Holy Land in the 19th century. These were documented by European Christians.

#37

There were ancient Jewish communities in Hebron and East Jerusalem until the Jews were killed and kicked out by Arab attacks in the 1920’s. This is proven by British statistics of the time.

Why is it wrong for Jews to live on land where there were Jewish communities prior to 1948? At the same time Israeli Arabs have full Israeli citizenship.

#36

I feel sad and angry each time I hear that the Israli Jews deserve all land they want with Bibical justification. The deplorable conditions that they impose upon the Palistinians, their demand that everything is THEIRS alone echoes sadly their earlier enemy, Nazi Germany, who behaved much the same way in their attitudes and their demand for any land they wanted. If one sticks strictly to the Bible, then the
Jews have a ‘right’ to rule the whole earth as the chosen people of God. The evanagelical Christians,the strict extremist Moslems, the Israeli – with their absolute ‘we are right and any disgreement is wrong’ sadens me and concerns me deeply. It takes a lot of pollyanna faith to think that this disagreement ( and ignoring of UN verdicts ) can ever end peacefully. To re -create American culture ( and recreation ) in Palistinian lands by American Jews as another reason to justify occupation is a travesty of Democracy, particularly when it is at the expense of Palistinia freedom , health, education and welfare. What do they expect when year after year they have taken Palistinian lands from the Palistinians ? Meek subservient slavery to the Isreali demands? They didn’t like that demand from the Nazis, so it is horrifying that they would impose it on any non- Jewish group and complain if there is any protest. As an elder, I caution that such attitudes of ‘I am right and you are utterly wrong’ is spreading thruout the world and is leading to dreadful consequences for us all and our descendents.

#35

Reguardless of the past, how horrible it must be for a population mostly born post 1967 having to come into this world not ever having a better standard of living to compare their plight and no freedom to move elsewhere. The United Nations along with the world media should monitor and help govern and provide security until a newer generation can tackle this with a clear head.

#34

Come on, World Focus: the real issue is Arab refusal to accept Israel, no matter what the boundaries.

When Israel handed over Gaza, the result was 10 000 rockets launched into southern Israel and the election of Hamas. Every Israeli land handover has only encouraged extremists.

In addition, the West Bak was conquered in a war of survival – only Israel is expected to keep handing over land to enemies who openly say they will destroy her.

#33

I feel Israel should stop building futher settlements as they are provocative at the least and violate UN resolutions. I feel this would assist in peace talks. A withdrawal to the pre 67 war boundries could also be on the table if the Palestians were able to control there responses…

#32

“Palestine is not the original home of the Jews. It was acquired by them after a ruthless conquest, and they have never occupied the whole of it, which they now openly demand. They have no more valid claim to Palestine than the descendants of the ancient Romans have to this country. The Romans occupied Britain as long as the Israelites occupied Palestine, and they left behind them in this country far more valuable and useful work.
“If we are going to admit claims based on conquest thousands of years ago, the whole world will have to be turned upside down…”
—Lord Sydenham, Hansard, House of Lords, 21 June, 1922.
* “If it is proper to ‘reconstitute’ a Jewish State which has not existed for two thousand years, why not go back another thousand years and reconstitute the Canaanite state? The Canaanites, unlike the Jews, are still there.”
—H.G. Wells, quoted by Frank C. Sakran in Palestine Dilemma, p. 204.
* “Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English, or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct.”
—Mahatma Gandhi, Tendulkar, Mahatma, Vol. IV, 1938, p. 312.

#31

Tonight’s piece was very biased against Israel.

Will World Focus ever interview the descendants of Jewish refugees from Arab lands? They form more than half Israel’s populace.

Some 800 000 Jews were expelled by the Arab world after the failed 1948 Arab invasion of Israel. They fled to Israel but rebuilt their lives.

By contrast, the Arab world manipulates descendants of a similar number of Arab refugees.

#30

No! building should continue. Building in our own land should continue. It is not an obstacle to peace. The people who call themselves palestinians do not want a state, they want to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. That is the obstacle to peace. The money that has been sent to help Gaza and its people has been poured into weapons, not homes, schools, etc. If the palestinians would stop trying to destroy Israel there could be peace. We have arabs in our Kinesset, they have their own party. Believe me there could never be a Jewish party in a Hamas run government.

#29

What a biased leading question!

If there were no settlements, the Arabs would find some other pretext to attack Israel. It is they who started all the wars, and who still vow to destroy Israel.

Jews lived in the West Bak, especially Hebron and East Jerusalem before they were expelled by the Arabs in the 120’s.

#28

Carol,

A couple points:

1. As a fellow Christian I find your description of Muslims as “dangerous” to be completely rascist.

2. Palestinian should be capitalized and spelled correctly.

3. How old are you? “The Palistinians should never have been GIVEN any land in that area . I was appalled when I saw that happen.”

You must be pretty old if you were around during the Roman Era.

#27

“The population of Palestine was basically composed of Moslem and Christian Palestinian Arabs. The Palestinians had lived in the country since the dawn of history. They did not come to Palestine with the Moslem Arab invasion of the seventh century as is sometimes erroneously thought. They are the earliest and the original inhabitants of Palestine. The Palestinians of today are the descendants of the Canaanites, the Philistines, and the other early tribes which inhabited the country. Professor Maxime Rodinson points out that the Arab population of Palestine was native in all senses of that word. There were infusions of other racial elements into the Palestinian stock, mainly from the Greeks, the Romans, the Moslem Arabs and the Crusaders. But this Palestinian stock, which comprises both Moslems and Christians, continued to constitute the main element of the population until the majority of the original inhabitants of Palestine were displaced by the Israelis in 1948.”
—Henry Cattan, Palestine and International Law, p. 13, 1976.

#26

NO ! The land belongs to Gods chosen people . THE JEWS . The Palistinians should never have been GIVEN any land in that area . I was appalled when I saw that happen . Obama is NOT the ruling emperor of earth & neither are the palistinians { muslims } . If the palistinians want to live in Israel then they should abide by the rules of that land just as they should abide by our laws when they come to the United States . Muslim { Islam } is NOT the ruling religion . These people are dangerous ! As a christian I support Israel & will gladly send them money to help them defend THEIR land & their right to occupy it ALL .

#25

Of course a total freeze is necessary as a first step towards a general peace agreement that builds cooperation between Israel and all Muslim countries. That peace can be built on the Geneva Accords, prior UN Resolutions, and the Saudi proposals.

#24

Yes, assuredly, Israel has been acting the rogue nation for decades. They make big issue about their own casualties as though the Palestinians haven’t suffered a hundred times more than have they and it is all because they feel entitled to do whatever it takes to have all of Palestine. Why, when they have all the US as their land? They have made this whole issue into a religious issue when from the beginning it has and is a land and power one. All settlements in the territories of the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights are illegal and should be dismantled. If Israel cannot hold all their people on the territory the United Nations granted them at mainly the insistence of the most powerful United States and Britain at the time it is because they have imported people from continents all over the world with the precise aim to occupy Palestinian land. This doesn’t seem very Godly to me. In the past Israel even encouraged American Christians to come occupy Palestinian land when they cannot get enough Jewish people to occupy them. A woman who lives in my house was recruited by her Baptist church recently to join their group to occupy an Israeli kibbutz. I think Israel has used the Christian church long enough for its purposes. For the past thirty years I’ve asked myself, “What would Jesus do?” Tortured by the question I visited Israel and the Palestinian territories myself. There is no doubt in my mind Jesus would have found the road to peace fifty years ago, or more.

#23

Israel should stop building all settlements and comply with all existing pertinent U.N.resolutions.
The controversy is easily settled. Israel should withdraw to’67 boundaries and allow unrestricted travel to and from the territories.

#22

Yes, further construction &/or expansion into the disputed lands need to halt. But let’s be honest, it will never happen.

#21

i think they should stop the settlements.

#20

Your program, which I just saw on television, indicates to anyone looking closely which group is the hateful one. The Israeli dentist carries a gun and advocated everyone do the same, and children are shown learning how to fight.
All settlements should be stopped, and my country (USA) should stop supplying money and weapons to Israel.

#19

Israel’s settlement policy is an outrageous violation of international law and sabotages any serious attempts for peacemaking with Palestinians.

#18

“We must define our position and lay down basic principles for a settlement. Our demands should be moderate and balanced, and appear to be reasonable. But in fact they must involve such conditions as to ensure that the enemy rejects them. Then we should manoeuvre and allow him to define his own position, and reject a settlement on the basis of a compromise solution. We should then publish his demands as embodying unreasonable extremism.” – General Yehoshafat Harkabi, Ma’ariv, 2 November 1973.
“We came here to a country that was populated by Arabs and we are building here a Hebrew, a Jewish state; instead of the Arab villages, Jewish villages were established. You even do not know the names of those villages, and I do not blame you because these villages no longer exist. There is not a single Jewish settlement that was not established in the place of a former Arab Village.” – Moshe Dyan, March 19, 1969, speech at the Technion in Haifa, quoted in Ha’aretz, April 4, 1969.
“Among ourselves, it must be clear that there is no place in the country for both peoples together. With the Arabs we shall not achieve our aim of being an independent people in this country. The only solution is Eretz-Israel, at least the west part of Eretz-Israel, without Arabs . . . And there is no other way but to transfer the Arabs from here to the neighbouring countries. Transfer all of them, not one village or tribe should remain . . .” –Joseph Weitz, entry in his diary for 1940 (quoted in his article: ‘A solution to the Refugee Problem: An Israeli State with a small Arab Minority’, published in Davar, 29 September, 1967.

#17

Khaled Abu Toameh has been reporting on Arab affairs for close to 30 years
“I’m pro-Palestine. What makes you pro-Palestine?

“If you’re really pro-Palestine, come help us instead of just spewing poison about Israel. Come teach my people democracy. Instead of Israel Apartheid Week, why don’t you have Palestine Democracy Week?”

There was something authentic and disarming about him. His words didn’t smell like propaganda or activism. He spoke for moderate Palestinians like himself, and he spoke from his heart, not from talking points.

He brought up a private meeting he’d had with President Obama a couple of years ago, while Obama was still a U.S. senator. Toameh told Obama that the key obstacle to peace is the hatred and incitement to violence that prevails throughout Palestinian society — in schools, the media and mosques — and is endorsed by the Palestinian leadership.

Commenting on the charge of incitement, Obama asked: “Is it true?” and later asked: “What can we do about it?”

Toameh suggested that the United States and other donor countries should predicate aid to the Palestinians on their stopping the incitement, to which Obama responded, “Isn’t this political extortion?”

Toameh clearly thinks not. He thinks it is in the interest of the Palestinians to stop incitement, and he shared an Arab perspective on the subject.

“Look at the language that is now flying back and forth between Hamas and Fatah,” he said. “It’s the same poison you hear about the Jews: sons of pigs, infidels, etc. Incitement has spread and backfired on the Palestinians.”

This incitement has also hurt the Palestinians’ ability to make peace: “How do you tell people to make peace with the people you’ve called monsters and sons of pigs?”
The entire piece can be read at http://www.jewishjournal.com/david_suissa/article/peace_in_arabic_20091117/

#16

The building of settlements should stop immediately and all lands annexed after 1948 should be returned, as well as the 700.000 displaced Arabs.
Biblical claims about indigenous Jews are absurd. Most of the settlers are indigenous to Europe.

#15

we have asked israelis to stop building settlements for decades now…I think we should impose sanctions since they ignore what we say.
They love war and love to play their drum beat as in the Iraq War which should never have happened.

#14

How did the West Bank end up this way? It was used to invade Israel in 1948 and 1967 by armies WHOSE MISSION WAS GENOCIDAL.In 1967, Israel decided that it needed to de-militarize the area. Today, the West Bank is at peace with Israel (except for random acts of murder) while the Gaza Strip, which has NO SETTLEMENTS is ruled by a medieval organization, Hamas, whose official charter includes a provision for KILLING EVERY JEW in the world (Article 11). Should the lesson be that settlements lead to peace and withdrawing leads to THOUSANDS of missiles?? Please consider.

#13

Absolutely; Israel should not only freeze building new settlements for immigrated Jews but, return all lands they are illegally occupying.
Israel seems to enjoy war as they continue to instigate conflict. From there oppression and suppression they profit at the suffering of the Palestinians.
Having watched tonights show I find no difference between the maritial arts training that was being demonstrated by the young school boys in Israel and the Al Queda training camps in Afganistan.
Israel will never find peace as long as they continue with their oppressive policies towards the Palestinian peoples and neighboring Lebenon.
Imagine if religion could be taken out of the equation.

#12

Under international law, the Fourth Geneva Convention recognizes Palestinian resistance to the occupation as legitimate and legal, especially because the Israelis are deliberately transferring a civilian population into occupied territories, which legally makes every single Jewish settler a member of the occupying army and a legitimate target for the indigenous people of Palestine.

Simply put, the UN Human Rights Council didn’t “call out” the Palestinians or Hamas because under the terms of the Fourth Geneva Convention, what they’re doing is legal and legitimate resistance to an occupying army… it’s no different than what the French Resistance did during WW II. By contrast, everything Israel is doing is illegal.”

#11

The whole settlement issue is just another manifestation of the “smoke and mirrors” game of Arab propaganda. It serves well to sideline their clear & ultimate intent to destroy Israel. It also sublimates real concerns about Arab corruption and other such self-destructive policies and practices.

#10

Stop the settlements, return to the 1948 line. reimburse the 700,000 evicted from their land.

#9

PEOPLE! WAKE UP! The settlements are not legal under international law! There should not by ANY settlements on Palestinian land! So building 900 or so more is clearly an ethnic cleansing that MUST stop. HOW DO YOU NOT SEE THIS???

#8

No, of course not. The Palestinians are simply using this as an excuse not to talk. If the Jews complied with this, the Palestinians would put up another pre-condition. The only thing acceptable to the Palestinians is total removal of the Jews from Israel. Anything else is just a stall tactic.

#7

Israel should stop settlement building immediately. Until these stop I don’t see how we can think the Israeli government is serious about pursuing peace. Netanyahu seems content to remain behind the walls of Fortress Israel but until there is a viable and independent Palestinian state I can’t see peace ever coming. If they’re not serious it follows in my opinion… why send Israel the billion or so in Foreign Aid we do every year. I agree with a previous post that it is in many ways analagous to S. Africa during Apartheid.

In addition, it is interesting that the most adamant and radical settlers seem to be former citizens of the United States. I wonder if there is some explanation for this? I would like Worldfocus to investigate this part of the story.

#6

ABSOLUTELY NOT! The Land of Israel belongs to the indigenous population, Jews!

#5

Thse people wlll never agree to stop building settlements. This government will coddle Israel until the cows come home. They are quick to put sanctions against others but you wont see it happening here. The Jewish lobby runs foreign policy when it comes to Israel. If they are so pro Israeli then why dont they just live there.

#4

Stop the building of settlements. They are called occupants for a reason. Most of them were born in another country. The family you had on your show tonight last name is Kowalski. The poor Palestinians are only trying to regain and fight for what was taken from them. People can mock at it as “rock throwing” in their defense they were trying to stop was happening.

#3

This is a very interesting question, which has a very simple answer. The fact that we have a strong case of occupation of a sovereign land by foreigners should be of concern to all of us. With the UN resolutions 181, 240 and 242, the settler state should definitely not only stop from spreading more settlements, but withdraw from all the lands that belong to its indigenous population, the Palestinians. With respect to the issue of an Israeli-Palestinian agreement, it looks like the prospect for such a deal is fading by the day, mostly because there is no political will on the side of the Israeli and U.S. governments to solve this issue, which endangers the security and peace of the region and the whole world. Under no circumstances should it be allowed the establishment of any form of Apartheid or concentration camps the way it is happening with the Gaza Strip at this moment. All signs of oppression and exploitation should be dealt with the strongest condemnation in any part of the world.

#2

This is a sad commentary of the embattled middle-east dilemma. Why the onslaught of building is perplexing to say the least,but inadvertantly signifies a lustful omminous bulimia….a chasm for confrontation. It seems,as though…the more the Obama Administration is bogged down in Health Care Legislation,Afghanistan’s War,Iraq imploding politically,and getting America’s financial house in order,has caused the United States to take their eye’s off the ball regarding the “Two-State” proposal President Obama so elegantly said would/could come to fruition between Palestine,and Israel. Obviously,…Israel doesn’t want a two state settlement agreement,even when they would benefit the most. This indeed…is another quagmire the United States has gotten itself into, with no one’s fault but their own. America must stop being the world’s (stop meddling America,please) police,and let the rest of the grown-up world deal with their own problem’s. Ironically,…as America is policing,…. Russia,and China go merrily on their way unscathed by political/financial detente. Interesting,…very interesting should someone take notice?

#1

Yes they should stop the building of settlements in the occupied territories. I normally support Israel in most cases, not necessarily because I agree with them in most cases – because I think Israel is wrong in many cases to the point of arrogance, but as a Christian, we are bound to protect Israel. But for Israel to continue to build settlements with out regard to the needs of the Palestians is provactive and will end only in war. The world ought to intervene and develop a suitable solution fair to all and to guarantee Israel’s security not only from Palestians but Hamas too and Iran should be “forced” to stop sending arms and munitions to Hezbollah terrorist war lords. Jim @ USA

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