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January 1, 2009
International pressure mounts to end Gaza violence

Israeli forces dropped a bomb on an apartment building in Gaza on Thursday, killing a man described as a top Hamas official. Hamas continued to fire rockets into southern Israel, damaging a building in Ashdod. 

On the diplomatic front, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni met with French leaders in Paris for talks on the crisis. French President Nicolas Sarkozy is scheduled to travel to the region next week, part of mounting international pressure to bring an end to the violence, which has generated protest around the world. 

Israel says it will not consider a truce without international monitors and that it is prepared to launch a ground invasion in Gaza. 

Robert Pastor, a professor at American University and senior advisor to the Carter Center on conflict resolution in the Middle East, joins Martin Savidge to discuss his recent meeting with Israeli and Hamas leaders, prospects for a new truce before an Israeli ground assault begins and potential options for U.S. President-elect Obama and Secretary of State-designate Clinton.

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20 comments

#20

Susan, I’m sorry I haven’t been to this site in a long time. I don’t mean to be rude, but I (and I’m sure you) have too much to do to spend a lot of time debating with someone who makes outrageous claims out of thin air.

You keep claiming that “Israel’s ultimate objective is to kill as many Palestinians as it could.” Susan, even Israel’s most extreme critics concede that the Israeli military is pretty good and pretty powerful. If their aim is “to kill as many Palestinians as it could” don’t you think several hundred thousand would have been dead by now?

You claim that “A jew can take any house, land, water well, he feels like taking in the occupied terrtories with out paying for it.” You well know that SOME Palestinians have gotten quite rich. Don’t you know that there are millions of Jews who would love to live in some of those mansions?!?

This is just all too ridiculous, and I wanted to point that out to other readers. But, it obviously makes no sense to point it out to you. That’s why I’m not going to waste any more time on this. Good-bye and may peace be with you, Susan.

#19

Fred: you did not answer any of my questions, you strike me as a typical blogger who loves to throw incoherent points here and there with no substance. You talked about major Israeli settlement, but what about the other ones. Take for example Kiryat Arab in Hebron, it is not included in the wall, but has more than 15,000 illegal settlers living in it. Also what the settlers are doing in Hebron, they are taking houses left and right. What about Jerusalem, many houses have been taken without the consent of their owners. I am still waiting for your well informed number on the total land confiscated by Israel for the WALL, SETTLMENTS, ROADS for JEWS only and SECURITY ZONES. Please give the readers a number

Less than four month ago, the Israeli Deputy prime minister Haim Ramon said that the settlement of Efrat was built on a privately owned Arab land and was illegally taken from them. How would you answer that? Is Mr. Ramon (anti-Semitic). This cheap shot at anyone who speaks against the occupation to be labeled as anti- Semitic, must stop. Israel must not be above the law or under the law, it has to be equal to all nations. The way people are talking about Iran’s Nuke, people must talk about Israel’s, and the way people are talking about war crimes in the Sudan, they must talk about it in Israel. This is a simple fact. If our generation are not capable of doing it, the coming generation will, I hope.

If all the massacres that I have presented to you and to other readers on the blog are not enough to convince you and others that Israel’s ultimate objective is to kill as many Palestinians as it could, what will? I referenced you to a published book. There are many books out there confirming Israeli massacres against the Palestinians. For you, it seems that killing 500 Palestinians is nothing (just collateral damage) imagine 500 Israeli soldiers have been killed in this operation, what would you have said. The truth is that we in the west care less about the other side all the time. Since the invasion of Iraq more than 600, 000 civilians have been killed and more than five million have been displaced or forced to leave the country. The American media is not interested in talking about the Iraqi suffering at all, the same with the Palestinians, more than 5 million refugees are scattered in the Middle East for the last sixty years, but the American media is concerned more with those who took their place (Jews from around the world) but not the indigenous people of the land.

Fred Please answer my points one by one and do not come back to cheap shots like anti Semitism , or the house of a specific individual. Looking forward to reading your enlightened comments

#18

US and European people pay tax and their governments give it to Israel to kill women and innocent children. Hamas was selected with Palestine nation vote. Why Israel surrounds Gaza and don’t let food and drug to wounded persons? Isn’t Israel a occupier??
I think Democracy and Human right is a big lie in West.

#17

Susan, you are making claims that go over well with anti-semitic audiences who are ready to believe any outrageous statements about Jews. But, I don’t buy them.

You absurdly claimed “A jew can take any house, land, water well, he feels like taking in the occupied territories with out paying for it.” When I asked you why no Jew has taken any of Munib al-Masri’s mansions, you avoided the question.

You claim that “the settlers have more than 45% of the West Bank in built settlements,” but just look at a map of the security border (which includes all the major settlements PLUS some other land to make the fence more streamlined). Can you honestly look at the path of the fence and tell me with a straight face that 45% of the West Bank lies on the Israeli side?!?

You claim that Israel’s objective is to “kill as many Palestinians as it could.” Well, if the Israeli military is so incompetent that, with all the firepower used in the last week, all it could kill was 400 militants and 100 civilians, then I guess you have very little to worry about.

Seriously, Susan, I could go point by point and refute your claims, but they are so outrageous that I think I’m wasting my time trying to use logic with you. So, I’ll have to end my side of this conversation, but if you can ever come up with a peace plan that is not based on Israel committing suicide, let me know.

#16

Fred: what is the true number of land confiscated by Israel in the West Bank for roads, settlements, the WALL, and other security areas. Would you please enlighten us? I challenge you and any conscious human being to give me a number that will challenge mine. All you have to do is read Israeli Websites, do not mind others. You belittle human rights watch accounts, I do too on Israel. Human Rights Watch is willing to condemn many countries around the world, but not Israel. At any rate I will be waiting for your numbers on that. As for Darfur and numbers, the Palestinians have been suffering so much in the last six decades on the hands of the Israelis, and as a result many of them have been killed. Many massacres have been committed by Israelis against them in the last six decades. Dier Yassin 256 people were killed in 1948, Kufer Qasem 56 people we killed in 1956, Dwayma 1949, Samoo 1966, Hebron 1994, Qutmoon 1948, Many in Jerusalem around the Al Aksa Mosque, Jenin, Gaza and many more. Read Michael Palumbo. 1991. The Palestinian Catastrophe: The 1948 Expulsion of a People From Their Homeland. Olive Branch Press. Add to his accounts another 10 massacres committed by “peace loving and civilized Israel” in the last two decades in Lebanon and Palestine.

I am sure facts do not impress you, you seem to love fiction “ Israel will jump at any peace agreement” since 1948, the world have put forward more than 100 agreements and all have been rejected by Israel. The last one is the Arab Peace Plan to which Israel has said no. Remember when James Baker (then Secretary of State under Bush 41) told the Israeli government if still want peace call me at the State Department. Baker’s statement was based on the total frustration felt by the Americans from the Israeli reaction to their peace proposals. In addition, Muslim countries have invited Israel to normalize their relations with her based on a solution for the question of Palestine. The invitation was in the NY times, less than a month or two ago and it was based on the Arab Peace Plan The Israeli response was invading Lebanon in 2006, bombing Syria in 2007, and invading Gaza in 2008/09, building more settlements, arresting more Palestinians, and increasing the number of check points in the West Bank. Israel would love to sign a colonial peace with the Arab countries, by which it can keep the land and expel the people. Then Israel will sign a peace a greemnt with itself.

When somebody dies due to a natural disaster like an explosion of a gas line or an earth- quake,that is very tragic. But when someone dies because a trigger happy solider is firing from his F.16 or M.16 that is a war crime. The day will come when war crime tribunals will be set to investigate many of the abuses of human rights around the world and I hope that Palestinian civilians will be able to press charges against all those who have been aiding in their killing for the last six decades.

#15

Susan asks, “how would you explain that the settlers have more than 45% of the West Bank in built settlements”? That’s easy. It’s not true. Not even close. Not even close to close.

With Darfur, you are playing with numbers. A family was recently incinerated near me because a gas line exploded. It’s a terrible tragedy, but with your logic, you would claim it was “worse than the Holocaust”! After all, the Holocaust “only” killed half of all Jews, while this fire killed 100% of a family.

Are you seriously saying that all the photos, videos, secondary explosions, witness accounts, and even UN reports and Human Rights Watch reports are lying and that Arab terrorists never hide themselves and their arsenals in civilian areas? So, no, Palestinians don’t have to build their schools, mosques and hospitals in the middle of the Mediterranean, but if they put their terrorists there, it would sure make their lives much easier.

You do know, don’t you, that Hamas has proudly undermined every peace effort. The bottom line is what I said before: “Anyone who doesn’t think that Israelis would jump at the chance to live side-by-side with a PEACEFUL Palestine is not grounded in reality.”

#14

Fred, if you object to the fact that “any Jew can walk to house, land, or water well and destroy or take it under the protection of the government” then how would you explain that the settlers have more than 45% of the West Bank in built settlements and more than 20% of a network of bypass roads and selective highways (Jews only can drive on them) in the West Bank. In addition, how would you explain the burning of houses in Hebron by settlers all the time, and the eviction of Al Kurd family in Jerusalem and the eviction of the Jaber and Abu Sunnyna families in Hebron and the Building of the Raciest Wall on more than 12 % of the West Bank land ( by the time it finishes it will be 384 Miles long). In addition, how would you explain the settlers barbaric attacks on Olive Groves and Palestinian farmers. The settlers attacks prompted the American Council General in Jerusalem to volunteer to pick up olives with a frightened Palestinian population.

Fred, as for the 300,00 Sudanese in ratio to the population of the Sudan’s (35 Million) killing 8000 Palestinians in the last 8 years and injuring more than 100,000 out of three million Palestinians, I think the numbers speak for themselves. In the last week only the Palestinians lost in ratio to their population more than America lost on the despicable and heinous crimes of 9/11.

The Mantra that Israel left Gaza and there are no Jews in Gaza is a flat lie. The Palestinians are not allowed to bring in even a loaf of bread from the outside with Israeli permission, thus what happened when Israel redeployed from Gaza was replacing an expensive occupation with a cheaper one. Instead of keeping the military inside Gaza they took it outside, and tightened their control over the boarders. Here in the West we tend to live in denial when the concept of colonialism is invoked. Unfortunately, it remains embedded in our culture and we tend to justify it.

It remains my convection that Israel’s ultimate objective is to inflect a great deal of damage on Palestinian infrastructure and kill as many Palestinians as it could for demographic and political reasons. Many massacres have been committed against the Palestinians since 1947, in which most of the victims were civilians and Israel and its apologists (you Fred included) will always justify that Palestinian armed men hide in Civilian areas. As if having a police station in the middle of any town is against the law. Next time Palestinians must build their Schools, Mosques, UN buildings, Hospitals, and kindergartens on the middle of the Mediterranean, so (Free, democratic, peaceful, weak, and Westernized Israel) will not target civilians.

#13

I was disappointed in the Pastor interview, and felt the show could have balanced it with someone on the Israeli side. Pastor’s bias was evident in saying things like the truce fell apart because “Hamas was not able to stop the rockets.” That makes it sound like they tried. However, the Hamas government was very open about not trying to do anything to stop other groups from firing rockets. They proudly asserted they would not arrest anyone firing rockets or planning any other terrorist activity.

It is absurd for Susan Walsh to claim “Clearly Israel’s intention is to kill as many Palestinians as it could.” If that were Israel’s intention, don’t you think there would be hundreds of thousands of dead Palestinians by now? Not even Islamist apologists accuse the Israeli military of being that incompetent. Clearly, Israel is doing everything it can do limit civilian casualties while fighting an enemy that hides its soldiers among civilians and hides its arsenal in schools and mosques.

Walsh supplements this absurd type of logic with absurd claims, such as “What is taking place in Gaza and the West Bank is worse than…Darfur.” The UN now estimates over 300,000 have been killed in Darfur, not to mention the rapes. Hello? Then, she claims “A jew can take any house, land, water well, he feels like taking in the occupied terrtories with out paying for it.” For one thing, there are no more Jews in Gaza. Second, have you ever seen Munib al-Masri’s home on the West Bank? (Google it.) I wonder if Walsh could explain why no Jew has “taken” it?

Anyone who doesn’t think that Israelis would jump at the chance to live side-by-side with a PEACEFUL Palestine is not grounded in reality.

#12

Robert,
Of course you would use the openly biased against Israel UN and their ‘figures’ as a credible source.
I remember how your club gave the bloody killer Yasser Arafat great status for your phony peace scam against Israel.
The same show continue’s with the Road Map which has led to the Hamas control of Gaza which the US is directly responsible for.
President Bush’s pressure on P.M. Sharon to ethnically cleanse every Jew from their land in Gaza and pressuring the removal of the IDF from the Philadelphia crossing into Egypt where smuggling of weapons into Gaza could proceed unhinderd.
Israel is the only one required to produce for your strange peace ,never the ‘poor,victims’ we know as Islamic yerrorists.
While the U.S regularly bombs wedding parties in Afghanistan you have the arrogance to tell Israel how to fight her wars.
This will end ,soon!
Kudo’s to you and your roundtable of wise men in successfully dumbing down the majority with your devious propaganda ,but not all of us are snookered.
The sinister agenda of the US,EU,UN globalist elite against Israel is evident by how long the U.S. has been allowed to deal with Islamic terrorists half a world away in Afghanistan, 7 years and Iraq almost 6 years.
With Israel the game has different rules ,only a week into it’s war against Hamas next door fireing mortars and rockets into IsraEli cities the CFR boys and girls work hard to make sure that Israel never again defeat another Arab army.
Saving Arab face is necessary to your sinister plans and Israel must always suffer for this.
To the resuce of Hamas they ride on their dark horse as they did with Hizbollah in Lebanon.
Israel is reatrained while Israels’ enemies are emboldened and given a pass.
What goes aroud comes around dear globalist elite snobs.

#11

According to my sources, in early December, Libya tried to deliver Food, powdered milk, blankets…but was turned away by Israel because no established diplomatic relations with Libya.

In turn, Quatar faced pressure from Israeli government to back down from sending in Cancer Medication.

In turn, this prevents UNRWA (United Nations Relief & works Agency) & UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Council) from truly doing their jobs when food deliveries are stopped at the border crossings.

This rumor, not known if true or false, but, (this is probably) why Iran’s Ahmadinejad has made comments about wiping Israel off the map, due to the humanitarian issues, violence that are bestowed upon the Palestinian peoples. Unknown about the facts, because of brief sound bites coming from MSM (mainstream media).

#10

There’s a HBO Documentary, “Death In Gaza.”
A British Filmmaker, James Miller, was killed by Israeli troops during his filming of this piece. It was caught on tape.

People need to remember U.S.S. Liberty!!!

And for the Israelis posting angry comments on this blog about others not being fair, you have a right to voice your grievances. And for the people who don’t believe in your point of view, have a right to believe as they do, and feel differently than you do.

However, you must take into account, you can go into Palestine and kill every human being there. That does not mean you will kill every Palestinian, there are some Palestinians in Syria, Egypt, and throughout the world. Look at the protests around the world.

I am not Pro-Israel, nor am I Pro-Palestinian, I am Pro-Humanity.

I am only making this point because, there was a time when the Jews went on a world-wide manhunt against some of the perpetrators of the Holocaust – You need to think about it, will this open the door to a world-wide manhunt against the Jews for the Palestinian-Israel war.

You, along the with Europeans and Americans don’t really have big families anymore. On the other hand, some Arabs do. There’s nothing wrong with having big or small families.

However, the actions taken against the Palestinian people will only breed more hatred against you, just like the actions taken against the Native American Indians have bred more hatred toward Americans.

Behind every action is a consequence. Sometimes it’s worth learning how to pick and choose your battles.

#9

World Focus, I have to commend you for the excellent job you’re doing to present the news about Gaza.

Yes, some people may accuse you of being biased. You’re not. It’s not all about Israel. Palestinians are not given access to most media outfits, so, in essence, not given an international voice such as Israel.

I urge people to visit the website
http://www.freegaza.org

Here, you will get Europeans serving as Red Cross, Human Rights workers post online videos, pix, and events as they happen on the ground.

World Focus – I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving a voice to people that otherwise wouldn’t have one. And for giving both sides a chance to voice their views – not that everyone will agree all the time, but, they are given a chance.

#8

Regarding Marcel’s comment,rocket fire into Israel from Gaza was significantly reduced from late June until the November 4th Israeli military incursion into Gaza. UN statistics reported that the average number of rockets declined from about 250 month to about 9 a month during that period. Interestingly, the Israeli Defense Forces just issued a report – “Summary of rocket fire and Mortar Shelling in 2008 – which indicated that the number of rockets from Gaza to Israel fell even more sharply – to an average of fewer than 3 a month from July through October. (p. 6)

#7

Judith, your comment on Palestinian civilians verses Israeli civilians is misinformed. Since its invasion, Israel has bombed a UN compound and a UN school, a University, three Mosques, and a hospital. Clearly Israel’s intention is to kill as many Palestinians as it could regardless. They are very lucky to have people like you in the West who are willing to buy into their arguments and defend their brutality. They are even luckier to get the producer of this program to apologize for not being balanced. The program has invited Israeli officials many times in the last ten days and has shown many reports by Israeli TV on Israeli towns. Judith, out of the 420 Palestinians who have been killed the majority are civilians. The argument that Israel does not target civilians is a flat lie. In the last seven years Israel has killed more than 6000 Palestinian civilians in which Israel promised to open more than 500 investigations to explain to the world why many Palestinian civilians have been killed. None has been concluded until now. In a true democracy abuses of human rights or power take place and their recommendations appear in a year or two, in Israel such a procedure never finish. We all saw what happened in the Iraqi prison of Abu Gareeb. An American investigation team got to the bottom of it in no time. Accordingly, some people were forced to resign and other were imprisoned. I have never seen that taking place in Israel. Although many human rights organizations included Israeli ones have evidence that the Israeli Army targets civilians especially “children and the elderly,” we have never seen any punishment against any Israelis. In fact those who kill Palestinians are promoted.
One day a serious war crime investigation will take place and we will see that Israeli and Sudanese leaders will have the same fate. Judith all the missiles that the Palestinians have thrown at Israel from Gaza have killed 7 people until now. On the other hand, Israel has killed more than three thousand Pale

#6

Bennie, Mr. Pastor did not condemn Israel. He just mentioned the facts; somethings you seem to have troubles with. Israel’s worst enemy is an informed analyst. Most of the people who know the Middle East are not welcomed on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, CBS, ABC,and BBC. I does not suprise me to see your comments, for you have been acustomed to corporate media. PBS is trying to be balanced, but not yet. I hope to see more informed people appearing on your programs, because others are giving very poor comments on all the issues with no substance. Besides, the term biased should be replaced by ” when I do not agree with you,then you are biased”

#5

You allowed a news report by Robert Pastor, condemning Israel in its strike against Hamus, without providing an apposing point of veiw from Israel. Now the public is left with unilateral and potentially partial facts.

I think that it’s important to present opposing points of veiw, simultaneously. I wonder if someone among your agency is biased?

Truck driver’s Web Page SF title at “http://www.drwarpenstein.com”

#4

Judith: on Wednesday night’s broadcast, we featured a lengthy report from one of our partners, Israel’s Channel 10, describing the rocket attack that killed the woman at the bus stop in Israel. We are working very hard every day to ensure that our reporting is balanced.
Marc Rosenwasser
Executive Producer, “World Focus”

#3

The interview with a six year old boy and his mother from Gaza was very “touching” and bias. What is missing from your program is an interview with a child and his/her mother who live in Sderot or Ashkelon or Beer Sheva. Hamas is shelling these Israeli towns and the surrondig kibbutzim for weeks. Schools are closed, children live in fear, families are frightened to leave their homes. Innocent citizens from both side are the victims of terrorism. The only difference between the citizens in Gaza and in Israel is that Hamas puts strategic buildings in the midds of the civilan population and using civilians deliberately as human shields against the military attacks, while the Israeli towns are attacked by Hamas with the goal to kill civilians. It is very disapointing and unfair that a news organization like public broadcasting is blatantly bias when presenting the facts – the public needs to hear the Israeli side of the story.

#2

Everyone is lying except Israel and most of the American media. Marcel, have some humanity in your heart. What is taking palce in Gaza and the West Bank is worse than South Africa and Darfur. A jew can take any house, land, water well, he feels like taking in the occupied terrtories with out paying for it. Let alone cuting trees, destroying property, shooting civilains, or evecting people from their homes. Al Kurd family in Jerusalem was thrown out of their home because of their ethnicity. Many more olive trees have been burned. Then you come and say “Robert Pastor lies.” You should get informed on this subject before you write your comments

#1

Robert Pastor outright lies when he says Hamas had reduced it’s rockets to 8 or 9 a month.
Placing Israel on the same level of Hamas is par for the course with the arrogant and blind CFR snobs from hell.
His record of failure and failed policy related to Israel is long and duplicitious.

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