More than 200 march in Columbia for peace in Gaza

Friday, January 2, 2009 | 5:54 p.m. CST; updated 5:14 p.m. CST, Saturday, January 3, 2009
Ahmed El-Tayash chants for a cease-fire and peace in Gaza during a march by the Islamic Center; Boone Tikkun, a Jewish and interfaith group; the Mid-Missouri Fellowship of Reconciliation; and Mid-Missouri Peaceworks. The group marched at 2 Friday afternoon from the Islamic Center up Providence Road then east to the Post Office.

COLUMBIA — More than 200 people gathered on Friday afternoon at the Islamic Center of Central Missouri to call for an end to Israel’s military attacks in Gaza.

Those who attended the rally headed to the intersection of Providence Road and Broadway, where they stopped for a 10-minute demonstration. Then they proceeded to the post office, shouting “support justice, support peace” along the way.

The “Let Gaza Live” peace march was co-sponsored by the Islamic Center; Boone Tikkun, a Jewish and interfaith group; the Mid-Missouri Fellowship of Reconciliation; and Mid-Missouri Peaceworks.

Lyman Harb, 41, joined in the march with his son, Yusaf Harb, 8. Harb came to the United States 18 years ago from Palestine looking for a more peaceful country.

“I want to show my son what is over there in Palestine, and I have to show him we need a peace.”

Harb said some of his family members are still back there. “We don’t need the war, we need to keep peace to save the country and kids.”

The participants observed a moment of silence to acknowledge the more than 400 people who have died and others who have been wounded in Gaza since Israel began launching the aerial campaign Saturday. The military action is a bid to halt weeks of intensifying Palestinian rocket fire from Gaza, according to the Associated Press. It has dealt a heavy blow to Hamas, but has failed to halt the rockets. New attacks on Friday struck apartment buildings in a southern Israeli city, but the AP said no serious injuries were reported.

At the Columbia march, Jeff Stack of the Mid-Missouri Fellowship of Reconciliation circulated a petition that urges elected officials to halt unconditional military assistance to the Israeli government that comes at the expense of U.S. taxpayers.

“We want the government to show leadership,” Stack said.

Stefani Engelstein of Boone Tikkun also spoke. “The Israeli attack on Gaza is immoral and should be against international law.”

“Our government needs to put pressure on Israel,” Engelstein added.

Once the demonstration was over, the marchers headed to the offices of U.S. Sens. Kit Bond, R-Mo., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., to deliver the petitions.

Mark Haim of Mid-Missouri Peaceworks joined the march, saying he hopes such demonstrations will help stop the “massive killing” someday.

Organizers of the march said in news release before the event that they agree with the sentiments of Mahdi Bray of the Muslim American Society.

“We cannot remain silent while the Palestinian people continue to suffer from these abominable acts, and we call upon all Americans of good will and conscience to join us in calling for a cease fire on both sides, an end to the Gaza embargo, and to ‘Let Gaza Live,” Bray said in the release.


Abdillahi Abdinoor holds a protest sign. The demonstration lasted more than an hour.
Syed Ahsam holds up a sign among the protesters gathered outside the post office.
Demonstrators gather outside the post office.
Protesters cross Walnut Street toward the post office in downtown Columbia.
Ahmed El-Tayash chants for a cease-fire and peace.
Protestors march west down Locust Street away from the Islamic Center of Central Missouri. As they marched, they chanted for peace and justice and an end to the Israeli siege in Gaza.

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Ray Shapiro January 2, 2009 | 6:27 p.m.

My posters never made it to the rally....





In any military action, the death of innocent civilians, young and old, is horrible. There may be, more to this demonstration, however, than meets the eye.

When will the Arab community take a strong stand against their militant terroristic Muslim "brothers!"

Are they praying at their Mosque for Israel to run out of bombs, or for Hamas to "see the light?"

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 2, 2009 | 6:35 p.m.

It seems they forget Hamas attacked first.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 2, 2009 | 7:26 p.m.

Considering a large group of 200 demonstrators, maybe there's an Iranian presence in Columbia?
I hope the FBI is all over this one!

(Report Comment)
Sudarshan Loyalka January 2, 2009 | 9:26 p.m.

Violence is to be deplored- & I deplore also the deaths/injuries that the Israeli offensive is causing.

But the root cause for the violence is Hamas, & the islamic insurgency everywhere. My muslim & palestenian friends will have a lot more symapthy from me & others if they demonstrate also when muslim terrorists kill innocent people and bring mayhem to the world. Israel has to defend its people, and I see a lot of justification in its going after Hamas with full force. At least this is one country that is not giving the terrorists a free pass- Other people/countries should learn from it.

(Why did not these guys in Colubia demonstrate against islamic terrorists who killed innocent people, including a Rabbi, women & children in India just 6 weeks ago?)

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 2, 2009 | 10:02 p.m.

Dear Sudarshan Loyalka:
Thank you for taking a position against the death of all innocents.
The problems in the Middle-East are complex and when they begin to spill over to a college town, such as Columbia, it is important how these concerns are addressed. (Recently, this town was given notice about a Nazi-type group wanting to march, once again, through our town. There was no notice given about this demonstration. I find that deceptive.)
Also, many of the signs at today's "march" were professionally done by MAS...
After I heard about the march, I went to the Mosque to discuss some concerns I had. Prayer was in session and I did not interupt.
I am also concerned about the folowing...

What gives?

(Report Comment)
Tom Jagger January 2, 2009 | 10:42 p.m.

What's wrong with a country defending itself?
If the people of Gaza cannot or will not stand up to stop those launching rockets at civilians, what else can Israel do?
Pretty simple calculation if you ask me. A failure of domestic policing became an international problem and has now become a war. Terrible, but I think the protestors have missed the point.

(Report Comment)
Matthew Crook January 3, 2009 | 1:22 a.m.

What's wrong with a country defending itself? I don't think that it is appropriate to label the Iraeli retaliation as self defense. Dropping bombs over civilian populations, killing innocent people who are not those who have attacked you with no liklihood of the retaliation meeting its desired end whatsoever is not self defense. No, that is terrorism, just as the violent attacks by Hamas were also terrorism. Each side is accusing the other and then retaliating and innocent people are dying on both sides. So what could have Israel have done and what can the do? Well, they could have treated the violence as horrendous criminal acts and called for the apprehension of those responsible. They could have excersized every avenue of intelligence and investigation possible. They could have gone to the UN to ask for the support from other nations to help them pursue and apprehend those responsible. These are all much more morally defensible options that could have been excersized before blindly, violently and indiscriminately retaliating.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 3, 2009 | 1:50 a.m.

Matt Crook:
Even the United States is not well supported by the United Nations. Case in point Sadaam and Bush.
Israel had to react quickly to missle attacks. The U.N. can get involved now. Also consider the following:
The Jewish community has always held mixed feelings about the United Nations. While the State of Israel was created by the U.N., the international body has a history of a one-sided, hostile approach to Israel.

After decades of bias and marginalization, in recent years there have been some positive developments for Israel at the U.N. Nonetheless, the record and the culture of the U.N. continue to demonstrate a predisposition against Israel, its policies, and its full involvement within the international body. Indeed, in a meeting in April 2007, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon acknowledged to ADL leaders that Israel has been treated poorly at the U.N. and that, while some progress has been made, this bias still remains an issue.

Examples of institutionalized bias against Israel include:

From 2007-2008, the U.N. General Assembly (GA) continued to spend a disproportionate amount of time focusing on Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, passing 18 resolutions which are one-sided or blatantly anti-Israel.
Of 10 emergency special sessions called by the GA, six have been about Israel. No emergency sessions have been held on the Rwandan genocide, ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia, or the two decades of atrocities in Sudan.
The U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC), which replaced the Commission on Human Rights in March 2006, has been even more hopelessly ineffective than its predecessor, and is permanently engaged in criticism of Israel while ignoring pressing international human rights crises.
For decades, Israel was the only member state consistently denied admission into a regional group. The Arab states continue to prevent Israeli membership in the Asian Regional Group, Israel’s natural geopolitical grouping. As a result, Israel sought entry into the Western and Others Group (WEOG) and in May 2000 was granted admission to that regional group in New York, but not in Geneva, the seat of several U.N. bodies and subsidiary organizations. Israel's participation in the U.N., therefore, is still limited and it is restricted from participating in U.N. Geneva-based activities.

There have been some recent positive developments at the U.N. with Israel accomplishing a major first when the U.N.’s Second Committee (Economic and Financial) adopted an Israeli-initiated draft resolution dealing with agricultural technology for development. In addition, the U.N. has begun to address other issues of concern to the Jewish community, particularly anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, in a highly visible way.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 3, 2009 | 1:55 a.m.

Matt Crook:
Part 2 from ADL:
It is ironic that the United Nations is often viewed as a forum for the delegitmization of the State of Israel, considering that the international body played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Jewish State.

In fact, the U.N. laid the essential groundwork for the establishment of Israel by passing U.N. Resolution 181 in 1947, which called for the partition of British Mandate Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. Following Israel's independence in 1948, the Jewish State became an official member of the international body.

Since that time, however, the U.N. has more often than not demonstrated hostility and antagonism toward Israel by disproportionately criticizing Israeli policies, singling out Israel for human rights offenses, and prohibiting Israel from the full participation enjoyed by other members.

Since Israel’s establishment, Arab member states of the U.N. have used the GA as a forum for isolating and chastising Israel. With support from third-world nations, particularly the Non-Aligned Group, and others, the Arab states have had little difficulty passing harsh anti-Israel resolutions through the GA. Even today, the strength of these groups in the world body allows them to continue rebuking Israel.

While anti-Israel resolutions are easily passed in the GA, this is not the case in the Security Council, where resolutions are binding in nature, and where the United States has consistently used its veto power to prevent the passage of such resolutions.

Several U.N. committees and divisions of the Secretariat established as a result of GA resolutions, which primarily carry out the anti-Israel agenda of the Arab nations that were instrumental in their creation in the 1970s, are deeply engaged in promoting programs and initiatives that are harshly critical of Israel.

Among these are:
The Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat;
The Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices in the Territories; and
The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

Some U.N. agencies have also exhibited anti-Israel sentiments. For example, between 1974 and 1978 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) instituted financial sanctions against Israel, passed hundreds of resolutions criticizing Israel’s activities in the West Bank, and denounced Israel's archeological and restoration efforts in Jerusalem.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 3, 2009 | 1:59 a.m.

Matt Crook:
Part 3:
Among the most harmful anti-Israel U.N. resolutions was the notorious General Assembly Resolution 3379, equating Zionism with racism, which passed in November 1975 by a vote of 72 to 35. That resolution declared Zionism is “a form of racism and racial discrimination... [and] is a threat to world peace and security.” The resolution was meant to deny Israel's political legitimacy by attacking the moral basis for its existence. This resolution remained on the books for many years until it was finally repealed in December 1991, following the Madrid Conference, as a goodwill gesture in support of Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts. Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan called Resolution 3379 “the low point in Jewish-U.N. relations.”
In the 1960s and 1970s, two resolutions were passed by the U.N. which have become the cornerstone of Middle East diplomatic efforts. On November 22, 1967, following the Six Day War, the Security Council passed Resolution 242 with the stated intention of providing a solution for the conflict in the Middle East. This resolution called for the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied during the Six Day War, in exchange for the “termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.”

Similarly, Resolution 338, passed on October 22, 1973, in the midst of the Yom Kippur War, called for the termination of the ongoing armed battle and for negotiations to begin between Israel and her Arab neighbors on the land-for-peace premise of Resolution 242. In calling upon the Arab states to end their war against Israel, and to engage in direct peace talks, the U.N. created a framework for future peace negotiations.

Resolutions 242 and 338 call for Israel's “withdrawal from territories” as part of a peace agreement. This provision is understood primarily by Israel, the United States and the drafters of the resolution that, as part of a peace agreement, Israel’s withdrawal from territories would be consistent with its security needs. However, the Palestinians and other U.N. member states continue to use these resolutions to claim that Israel should withdraw from all West Bank and Gaza territories.
After several years of increased Israeli participation and acceptance at the United Nations, Israel once again became the target of condemnation and unduly harsh criticism on a host of issues, including the status of Jerusalem, Israel’s operations in Lebanon, its policy toward the Palestinians, the peace process, and Israeli housing projects over the Green Line.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 3, 2009 | 2:03 a.m.

Matt Crook:
If you haven't caught my drift by now, you can read even more about this at...

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 3, 2009 | 10:59 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) - President George W. Bush yesterday branded the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel an "act of terror" and outlined his condition for a cease-fire in Gaza, saying no peace deal would be acceptable without monitoring to halt the flow of weapons to terrorist groups.

Bush chose his weekly taped radio address to speak for the first time about one of the bloodiest Mideast clashes in decades. It began a week ago. Israeli warplanes have rained bombs on Gaza, targeting the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which has traumatized southern Israel with intensifying rocket attacks.

"The United States is leading diplomatic efforts to achieve a meaningful cease-fire," Bush said. "Another one-way cease-fire that leads to rocket attacks on Israel is not acceptable. And promises from Hamas will not suffice - there must be monitoring mechanisms in place to help ensure that smuggling of weapons to terrorist groups in Gaza comes to an end."

The White House released Bush’s radio address a day early. It airs this morning.

Despite Bush’s account of a U.S. leadership role, with time running out on his presidency, the administration seemed increasingly ready yesterday to let the crisis in Gaza shift to President-elect Barack Obama. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice briefed Bush on developments in Gaza, and she continued furious telephone diplomacy to arrange a truce. But she said she had no plans to make an emergency visit to the region.

Bush offered no criticism of Israel, depicting the country’s air assaults as a response to the attacks on its people. The White House would not comment on whether it views the Israeli response as proportionate to the scope of rockets attacks on Israel.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 3, 2009 | 1:25 p.m.

Jan 3, 2:12 PM EST
Israeli ground forces enter Gaza in escalation
Associated Press Writers

Israel Allows Some Gazans to Flee Bloodshed

Palestinian police ban pro-Hamas protests

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Israeli tanks and infantry entered Gaza after nightfall Saturday, launching a ground offensive that the military said would be a "lengthy operation" in a widening war on Gaza's Hamas rulers.

Heavy gun battles were reported as troops crossed the border into Gaza. Local TV networks broadcast images of troops marching into Gaza after dark.

"We have many many targets," Maj. Avital Leibovich told CNN. "To my estimation, it will be a lengthy operation." She said the goal of the operation was to take over the areas used by militants to launch rockets against Israel.

"The civilians are not our target, only militants, Hamas militants," she said.

Defense officials have said around 10,000 soldiers massed along the border in recent days. Heavy artillery fire in the early evening was intended to detonate Hamas explosive devices and mines planted along the border area before troops marched in.

It was not immediately clear how deep into Gaza the Israeli forces would go.

Israel's offensive against Hamas had begun with a week of aerial bombardment of Hamas target. Israel had held off on a ground offensive, in part because of concern about casualties among Israeli troops.

Hamas leaders have warned that they have prepared a violent welcome. They have also threatened to resume suicide attacks inside Israel.

[We will do all that is necessary to provide a different reality for southern Israel, which has been under constant attacks for the past eight years," Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told Channel 2 TV.

Israeli defense officials said some 10,000 troops, including tank, artillery and special operations units, were massed on the Gaza border and prepared to invade. They said top commanders are split over whether to send in ground forces, in part because such an operation could lead to heavy casualties but also because they believe Hamas already has been dealt a heavy blow.]

(Report Comment)
jacop Musa January 3, 2009 | 1:32 p.m.

I am an international student, I am new in Columbia, I was chocked when I first saw this page with the full control of extremists, zionists and anti-justs people on the page. I can not believe that happening here in the US.

However, I don't think that occupying and killing people in hundreds will continue for ever, nor misleadings and distorting the truth will last.

Zionists, you are playing a losing game and all you are doing is inheriting hate to your children , better to think again and correct your selves before it is too late.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 3, 2009 | 2:09 p.m.

jacop Musa my views are not for either religious sect but for the people themselves. This style of war in that region has gone on for centuries on end with nobody really wanting to reach across the tables of prejudices to begin building real bridges to long lasting peace.

I do support the good people of Israel and the good people of the other countries in that region due to they were not the ones who launched the first shots.

It is the same as if you launched stones into my yard or into my house. You can guarantee that at that point as alot of Americans say these days "Let's get it on".

Hamas launched those rounds first into Israel's house and now Israel responds accordingly as they are entitled too.

If the good Muslims and the good people of the entire Middle East and around the world itself do not want these unwarranted behaviors to continue then I suggest they stand up as one voice and demand peace in that entire region.

It is that simple but it will not happen due to real peace they do not know.

May Israel do what she must to protect herself and her citizens of all nationalities that she shelters.

May the God of Abraham and Issac protect Israel in her time of need and guide her with all wisdom and diligence to ensure her survival.

Maybe tonight as my show of solidarity with the good people of Israel and the good people of that entire region I will shave my head too. Seriously it would not be the first time believe me.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking January 3, 2009 | 3:49 p.m.

jacop Musa:

Should you be surprised? The US is the main supporter of Israel, and many Jews and Christians look to that land as the birthplace of their religion. It is hard to find a lot of anti-Israeli sentiment here.

That said, I feel you are correct about inheriting hate. Israel's long term strategic position is very difficult, due to oil supplies. When oil is running so low that it is difficult for them to fuel their military, their enemies will still have all the oil they need. It is possible that, if a lasting peace is not found, that much of the Middle East will be consumed in nuclear fire from an Israeli retaliatory strike. Hopefully a peace can be found before this.


(Report Comment)
Tom Jagger January 3, 2009 | 4:20 p.m.

Jacob, who is a zionist? I have no allegiance at all to Israel. I simply think a country has a right to defend itself and when its citizens are under attack from 150 rockets per day, enough is enough. If the people of Gaza will not control the extremists, then it is Israel's right to do so.
It's really very simple.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 3, 2009 | 7:32 p.m.

jacop Musa:
You don't need to be a Zionist to know what's right.
And, you don't need to be a weather man to know which way the wind blows...

(Report Comment)
Susu Susu January 4, 2009 | 11:59 a.m.

A RIGHT TO DEFEND THEMSELVES? ISRAEL IS KILLING INNOCENT CIVILIANS AND CHILDREN DAILY!!!!!!! AND WE JUST SIT HERE AND SAY "OH WELL, ISRAEL HAS EVERY RIGHT TO DO THAT." THATS RIDICULOUS, WE DONT KNOW WHAT ITS LIKE TO HAVE TANKS COME IN AND SHOOT AT US AND OUR CHILDREN....FOUR HUNDRED PALESTENIANS HAVE DIED AND MUCH LESS (FOUR) ISRAELIS HAVE DIED AND WE BLAME INNOCENT CIVILIANS...we MUST disconnect politics from this for a second and look at humanity...the number of people that went to the march times two is how many innocent palestenians have died. They never chose this lifestyle instead Israel has bombarded them with it. They're trying to live just like us....JUSTICE WILL BE BROUGHT; PRAY FOR THE INNOCENT AND FOR PEACE

(Report Comment)
jacop Musa January 4, 2009 | 10:27 p.m.

Good day Columbia,
I just wanted to clear something for you about this issue.

The people in Gaza live a very horrible life, no jobs, no food, no housing, nothing at all, (70% unemployment) it is the worst place to live in, they get the food from the United Nations Organization (as Gaza is an occupied territory) and they have been in this situation for decades now, the life there has been systematically brought to death, but why is that? Who is responsible for that? The Zionists will tell you it is the rockets of Hamas, but this situation is much older than Hamas existence.
In brief, the people of Gaza are still till now under occupation. How come they still under occupation till now? All countries including the US got independence long time ago; occupied people by all lows have the right to liberate themselves and liberal people would help them. But this is what didn’t happen, and here is why.
Gaza is a very small area with the highest average population in the world (5500 capita/Square kilometer). The highest!! How? We don’t see skyscrapers in Gaza, it is only poor houses? Because most of Gaza residences are originally refugees from outside Gaza, but were they came from? They came from inside Israel itself from Palestine, Why they fled there homes and lands, why don’t they go back to their places, who is in their homes and lands know? They have been terrorized and forced to flee in large numbers, and their homes and lands were taken and given to settlers came from around the world.
What kind of occupation is this? It is the worst ever known, it is the one that kills and flee the people to take their lands and give it to people come from Russia, Poland, Ethiopia and other far countries, but how this happens in the 20th century and continue to the 21st, it has been done in the name of the religion, I do not think that Jesus accepts this oppression and terrible unjust, nor God do (any God), It the people how have their own interests and agendas, using all means and power (including media), who continue fooling the masses, and suppressing the victim’s voices asking for our help. But how are this bad people? Simply they are the Zionists. End
It is now your turn to look for the truth and find out about it, but why shall I care for all this?, Because it is your God who is is one day going to ask you “why didn’t you do anything to help the oppressed people?”

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 5, 2009 | 12:17 a.m.

jacop Musa:
Um, if your Muslim brothers are living in such terrible conditions in this small strip of land, how many of your fellow bretheren in the many Middle Eastern countries ruled under Islamic Law are quick to bring them into their own homes and lands? (Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists could lead the way.)
Wasn't it your beloved Iranian President Ahmadinejad who proposed that the entire Israeli population be moved to Canada?
Wouldn't it be easier to leave Israel alone and move your Gaza people into already existing Muslim/Arab countries?
Or does your tribal mentality, customs and culture forbid that?
Afterall. in America, that would be the Christian thing to do!

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 5, 2009 | 12:33 a.m.

Susu Susu, Shame on you-you you-you.
I care about and pray for the innocent. However do you care about or pray for the souls of your Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists who use civilians, young children, women and old people as human shields. Is it Allah's will that every "innocent" becomes a martyr at your own manipulation. Do you then use the deaths of innocents as a P.R. tool to further your cause?
Smart Columbians know better.
If Mas and your other ant-Israel groups had the guts to announce your demonstration to the general population of Columbia, you would know that Columbia is an all American city that supports its allies. Hamas and Hezbollah are not allies of America. Are you?
Jihad Watch....
January 2, 2009
Palestinians boast of using civilians as human shields
Hamas - Fathi Hamad
Uploaded by bivouac-id
Video from Palestinian Media Watch at Daily Motion, kindly sent along to me by Pastorius at Infidel Blogger's Alliance. Pastorius provides this rough translation:

For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry
In which excel the women and all the people of this land:

The older people excel, the jihadists excel

And the children excel

Consequently, [the Palestinians] created a human shield of women, children

Older people and jihadists

Against the Zionist bombing machine

That is telling the Zionist enemy

We want death just as much as you desire life.

Posted by Robert at January 2, 2009 1:44 PM

(Report Comment)
jacop Musa January 5, 2009 | 12:36 a.m.

I do not talk to haters but explain to people, and to the ones who wants to dwell on the details, and repeat that Hamas is responsible for breaking truce with Israeli, I would say go back to the news and you will find that Israel is the one who started the violence on Nov.4. the following link is to a neutral Chinese news agent which stated:

"The latest violence came in the wake of a rocking week, which started on Nov. 4 when Israeli paratroopers killed six Hamas gunmen in a Gaza operation and the Gaza-ruler responded with a barrage of rockets. Since then, over 10 Palestinian militants have been killed and Israel was stricken by tens of rockets"
Source: Xinhua | 11-15-2008 07:47

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 5, 2009 | 1:01 a.m.

Hey Musa:
I'm glad you figured out where your post really belongs.
And once again, my reply to you is...

"It started way before your November 4th date and it even started way before this...
Hamas Takes Over Gaza Security Services
By ELI LAKE, Staff Reporter of the Sun | June 15, 2007

WASHINGTON: An Iranian-financed group considered terrorists by America and Israel now control the preventive security services the CIA helped erect 14 years ago in Gaza.
...A CIA spokesman yesterday declined to comment. But a former CIA operations officer who worked in the Middle East, Robert Baer, said it was a major blow to Fatah, the party founded in 1966 by Yasser Arafat that America sought to prop up during the Oslo process as the CIA and Egyptian security services trained its members in the hopes that they would take action against jihadists such as Hamas...
A terrorist is a terrorist. No matter where they hide in waiting!

(Report Comment)

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 5, 2009 | 2:39 a.m.

I do not understand why the good Muslims of this world do not stand up to the radical militant Muslims who are giving the nation of Islam itself a very bad name.

Using women and children as human meat shields is just wrong and I cannot support in any form any country,people, nation,organization,religion or anybody else who would use their own women and children in such a cowardly way.

That shoe that was thrown last month by a Muslim should have been thrown in the face of every good Muslim who will not stand up against this cowardly practice by their own brothers and sisters.

The God of Abraham and Issac will bless little Israel in many ways and protect her as she does what she has to do. Even if it is the precursor to the foretold Battle in the Valley of Megido so be it(there will be wars and rumors of wars but the time is not yet).

God bless Israel!

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 5, 2009 | 1:22 p.m.

Mr.C. Dudley Jr.
My sentiments exactly
And, God Bless the USA.
It's always good to hear from those who are not afraid to take a position against those who are trying to destroy America from within.
These are the people who take advantage of democratic governments' free speach and manipulate those who do not know the "big picture."
It is important that we utilize the availability of local sites, such as this one to balance the accusations made by those influenced via groups like Hamas and Hazzbolah. Militant radical Islamic extremist are a real threat to America's safety and secutity. I hope that the public and private opinions of American citizens realize exactly whose side these protestors/demonstrators are on and that these people have a much bigger agenda against our cultural, religious and political way of life.
I hope citizens across our country and organizations like the Ant-Defamation League, Jewish Defense League, Hillel and B’nai B’rith keep track of these groups in America, such as Mas, and other anti Israeli/anti-American slander movements.
Many members of these groups are unwittingly aiding our enemies while others are willing to join as they benefit from American College Educations and the freedoms we have to offer. The same freedoms these groups despise and take advantage of.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 5, 2009 | 2:25 p.m.

>>> while others are willing to join as they benefit from American College Educations and the freedoms we have to offer. The same freedoms these groups despise and take advantage of. <<<

See this is the problem as well in they love our freedom of educational systems but then after they get what they want that their own country cannot provide they cuss us up a blue streak!

Talk about hypocritical!

Until every good and faithful Muslim stands up and against all radicalism with in this society by those radical Muslim Extremists Groups nobody will ever be able to say "Here this is peace,the peace we have always wanted with all and for all".

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 5, 2009 | 2:45 p.m.

I agree with Ralph Peters:

Here's the bitter truth: Israel can't stop its own bleeding without drowning Hamas in blood. That's Hamas' choice, not Israel's. No negotiations, no compromises, and no shuttle-diplomacy bargains will ever placate terrorists who believe their god wants tributes of Jewish blood...

There's going to be ugly fighting ahead, as the terrorists set layers of ambushes while using Palestinian civilians as human shields. Hamas will strive to bog down the IDF, which needs to maintain battlefield momentum - a challenge in any urban environment. (And let's be absolutely clear: Except for dead Jews, there's nothing Hamas leaders like better than dead Palestinian women and children, since the global media's appetite for dead kids verges on necrophilia.)...
Meanwhile, there's grueling, bloody fighting awaiting Israeli soldiers constrained by the laws of war and civilized standards, while facing opponents who revel in atrocities.

Fighting in dense slums and clearing high-rise buildings is just about the toughest work an infantryman can do. Effective combined-arms tactics - the infantry, tanks, engineers, artillery and special operators working together - reduce the risks somewhat, but, in the end, an infantry squad has to clear that basement or gauge the level of risk behind the apartment door. (Is there a booby trap, an ambush - or a family?)

Meanwhile, Israel must confront not only its flesh-and-blood enemy in all his ruthlessness, but a perverse global media, busybody diplomats seeking personal glory, a worrisome incoming US administration, and the West's historically illiterate intelligentsia conditioned to bleat that "war is never the answer!"

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 5, 2009 | 2:49 p.m.

I can agree with this story here:

This person said it all quite well.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 5, 2009 | 3:22 p.m.

Thanks, Mike, for coming forward and going on the record. I salute you...

(Report Comment)
Susu Susu January 5, 2009 | 10:10 p.m.

You salute innocent women and children being murdered? The death toll has risen to 530 with many probably still hidden under the gravel of the bombs dropped on them, and you're proud?!?!?!? You havent read the stories of the 2 girls age 4 and 11 that went to get food for their family and were bombed down. You didn't read the story of the 6 year old boy that was hiding in a trash can and the Israelis exploded it and they couldn't distinguish his flesh from the trash. You don't care about the PEOPLE of the world. Many Israelis don't even agree with what is happening. You don't care what the PEOPLE of Israel want, let alone the PEOPLE of Palestine. In this world, the PEOPLE are what matter. I salute you Columbia, for caring and supporting justice, peace and tranquility for the innocent PEOPLE of the world.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 5, 2009 | 10:42 p.m.

I salute any American citizen or enlightened foreigner who understands the "big picture."
People do matter. This includes the innocents which terrorist groups, such as Hamas and Hazzbollah, use as human shields and then martyr off on their public relations campaign against Israel.
I do not read of Arab/Muslim/Islamic countries, in the region, scrambling to bring innocents into their safe homes and cities. All I read about is the propaganda spewing from the mouths of anti-Israeli factions.
Mosques are being destroyed for the same reason, as Hamas and Hazzbollah will desecrate these holy sites by stockpiling missles, rockets and weapons within the confines of their walls.

I salute the courageous letters and support of our democratic ally in the Middle East...ISRAEL.

People count, Susu, but tell me this, what do your evil ones count for?

(Report Comment)
Susu Susu January 5, 2009 | 11:15 p.m.

If the other countries brought the Palestenians into their lands
First of all: Thats not fair, its their land. If I took you and stuck you in Spain just because we were allies with them, would you like that? And if you didn't have a choice, heh ur S-T-U-C-K...u see, I'm with the innocent. I salute the innocent and I pray for them and hope that one day they will go to heaven as martyrs for what they believed in even if they didnt want to, but they were choiceless bc of ISRAEL!
Secondly: Would Israel even let the other countries. Look, Egypt tried helping, they tried bringing in FOOD, MEDICINE, AND SUPPLIES for the innocent, and israel hit them...
IT IS VERY EASY TO TALK BUT IN REALITY THINGS ARE VERY DIFFICULT...god help day israel will get a taste of what they're giving now!

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 6, 2009 | 12:15 a.m.

Is it about fair or is it about safety and saving lives?
If the innocents of Gaza were allowed to be safe in other Muslim/Arab/Islamic lands and the fight against Hamas/Hazzbollah and other "tribal-mentality radical extremist terrorists" and Iranian Anti-Israeli forces gave up on their Jihad, after all this "fighting and feuding" between these "Hatfields & McCoys" had ended, I'm certain that your precious innocents would be allowed to return to the strip. (I am certain that Israel, America and the United Nations would see to that.)
Have they been invited into the homes of their brother Muslims/Arabs? Are they even wanted by them?
This is the "Show-Me" state. I'd like the Arab Nations to show me how much they care about these innocents that you speak of by bringing them into a safe place until the war between Hamas, Hazzbollah and Iranian suported forces is over. Stop putting their problems on Israel and the American public.
This has to do with a Muslim, Arabic, Islamic culture where dictators consider their wealthy oil fields more important than their people while Islamic tribal clerics manipulate their people abusing the Koran and keeping their followers in the dark ages.
Heck, even the Jews and Christians had a reformation. Maybe it is time for your people to catch up to the 21st. century!
["To have reformation is really living out the will of God. The reason is because reform brings a person who believes in God back to the roots of faith observance. It is simply a cleaning out of the spiritual house. Both the Jewish and Christian faiths have been going through must needed reformations and still do. It is time that Islam has its reformation and Muslims must not be afraid of reformation. This reformation would include the need to end violence against non-Muslims and true respect of Jews and Christians as "people of the book". The time is NOW for Islamic reformation."]

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 6, 2009 | 1:10 a.m.

Associated Press Writer
Wanted: Border monitors to oversee Gaza truce
JERUSALEM (AP) -- The contours of a cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas are emerging, with diplomacy focusing on international guarantees, including foreign border monitors to oversee any agreement.

Various truce ideas have been floated in recent days in a swirl of diplomacy in the Middle East and at the United Nations, most involving international monitors.

Israel has two key objectives - to prevent weapons smuggling from Egypt into Gaza, and to create enough deterrence to persuade Hamas to halt rocket attacks for good.

Opening the borders without conditions would mean de facto recognition of the rule of Hamas, something Israel, Egypt and much of the international community are loathe to do. The Islamic militants are branded as a terrorist movement by many, and have refused to recognize Israel or commit to previous peace agreements.
The State Department said the U.S. was pressing for a cease-fire that would include a halt to rocket attacks and an arrangement for reopening crossing points on the border with Israel, said spokesman Sean McCormack. A third element would address the tunnels into Gaza from Egypt through which Hamas has smuggled materials and arms.

President George W. Bush emphasized "Israel's desire to protect itself. The situation now taking place in Gaza was caused by Hamas," he said.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 6, 2009 | 1:40 a.m.

Part one...

Israel's obligation to defend against terrorism

Special to The Palm Beach Post

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Every country has a fundamental right to protect its citizens from physical aggression. Confronted with an attack on its territory, designed to indiscriminately kill or maim its citizens, no country can morally be expected to withhold its duty and responsibility to defend against such an assault.

Once again, Israel finds itself having to protect her citizens against the Hamas terrorist infrastructure. Beginning with Israel's 2005 disengagement from Gaza and continuing with Hamas' violent assumption of power over the Gaza Strip in 2007, Hamas has focused on stockpiling as many weapons as it can muster in order to continue its rampant violence against Israel. While the world was hopeful that the six-month "period of calm" brokered this past June might lead to a more permanent state of nonviolence in the region, Hamas was all too eager to resume its attacks against Israel once the period ended. In fact, Hamas even began shelling Israeli cities before the end of the ceasefire, proving to the world that it has no desire to moderate its policies towards Israel. The result has been nothing less than the complete disruption of a peaceful, everyday life for Israelis in cities such as Sderot and Ashkelon.

No country can be expected to remain passive while its citizens are under heavy and steady attacks. No country is obligated to remain idle when its sworn enemy has pledged to immediately resume terrorist suicide bombings within its borders. And finally, no country can afford to resist defending itself when a neighboring militant organization spends years building up a military infrastructure with the sole intention of attacking that country.

Israel's response to Hamas' aggression is aimed at eliminating these very real and palpable threats to its safety and security. The targets chosen by Israel's military have been Hamas operational centers. Tragically, Palestinian civilians have lost their lives because Hamas has deliberately embedded their facilities within and among the local populace. By focusing on terrorist operational centers, such as Hamas training camps, rocket manufacturing facilities, and tunnels used for smuggling weapons, Israel is doing all it can to avoid civilian casualties.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 6, 2009 | 1:43 a.m.

Part two:
Israel's obligation to defend against terrorism

Special thanks to The Palm Beach Post

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Hamas represents the worst that Islamic extremism has to offer the world. Gaza is now an armed military camp whose "mission statement" is to see to the destruction of Israel. Hamas has shown no mercy in carrying out that mission, even if it means creating a humanitarian crisis for its own people, deliberately putting its citizens in harm's way, or isolating the Gazan population from the rest of the world.

Thankfully, the United States, Israel's greatest ally, as well as many other countries within the international community, have condemned the relentless attacks against Israel and Hamas' recent proliferation of violence. Such condemnation must remain steadfast and consistent. The world must continue to pressure Hamas to respect the rule of law that is so vital in keeping the civilized world safe from such terrorist regimes.

In the meantime, as long as rockets continue to shell Israeli land, we must support Israel's legitimate right to defend itself.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 6, 2009 | 2:25 a.m.

Part one:
Israel's surgical strikes aim at reasonable goal
Tuesday, December 30 2008 @ 11:34 CST
Contributed by: jdlchicago
(The following appeared in the Dec. 30 editions of the Chicago Sun-Times.
The surprise Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip has killed scores of Hamas leaders, terrorists and allies, reduced their key installations to rubble and stunned the Islamist fanatics and their supporters with the magnitude, fury and success of the attack. While we hear complaints from the usual suspects about a "disproportionate" Israeli response to Hamas provocations, the real issue is whether in the end the offensive will have been strong and decisive enough to constitute a "terrible swift sword" cutting down Hamas' ability to wage terrorism.

Neither Israel nor the civilized world's struggle with Islamist terrorism can afford a repeat of what, in appearances at least, was the inconclusive outcome of the Second Lebanon War in 2006. Though Israel inflicted major damage and casualties on Hezbollah, the perception was that it failed to defeat its enemy. That enabled Hezbollah to claim a victory against the heralded Israeli military, spread its power in Lebanon and present itself as a symbol of terrorist prowess to the Arab street.

We could use a high-profile victory over terrorism right now. It was only a month ago that Islamist terrorists wreaked death and havoc in Mumbai. Headlines tell of a resurgent Taliban making gains in Afghanistan. And, unfortunately, disenchantment with the war in Iraq obscures the concrete victory achieved over al-Qaida. So the stakes are very high in Israel's offensive. Fortunately, there are reasons for optimism. . . .

First, it's clear Hamas caused the Gaza crisis. Though you'll read news stories using neutral terms in saying the informal cease-fire between Israel and Hamas "collapsed" or "expired," the simple truth is that Hamas announced --announced! -- last week it was ending the truce and stepped up rocket attacks on Israel.

I say "stepped up" the attacks because in truth, the terrorists never stopped targeting Israeli civilians. During the six months of this so-called cease-fire, 215 rockets were launched from Gaza into Israel. And a month ago, the Israelis discovered a tunnel from Gaza to Israel, dug no doubt with the intention of kidnapping an Israeli soldier or civilian.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 6, 2009 | 2:26 a.m.

Part two:
Israel's obligation to defend against terrorism
Special thanks to The Palm Beach Post
Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hamas, a rabid hater of Israel and Jews, was never committed to a meaningful break in violence, only to a tactical lull in hostilities to solidify its hold on Gaza while it rearmed. Among the Israeli objectives in the current offensive are 40 tunnels between Gaza and Egypt used to smuggle weapons and explosives.

Also working in Israel's favor is the small size of the Gaza Strip. It's only about 25 miles long and measures 7½ miles at its widest point. So Hamas doesn't have the option of retreating beyond the reach of Israeli arms as Hezbollah did in Lebanon. Egypt deployed troops to keep Palestinians from breaking into the Sinai Peninsula.

It's worth noting that Hamas doesn't have the unqualified support of Arab governments today, though that may change as anger builds in the Arab street. For one thing, the informal truce Hamas killed was brokered by Egypt.

In 2007, Hamas staged a coup to push the Palestinian Authority out of Gaza, and Arab states are unhappy that Hamas has resisted their efforts to reconcile the two groups claiming to represent Palestinian interests. And Hamas is funded and armed by Iran, stoking Arab fears about Persian ambitions for hegemony in the Middle East.

Another plus is that Israel planned well for this offensive. Civilian casualties are unavoidable when killers like Hamas hide amid the innocent -- a war crime -- but the Jewish state has taken pains to surgically target the terrorists. Its surprise attack caught them out in the open. While Israel has called up reservists in preparation for a possible ground assault into Gaza, it does not plan to reoccupy the strip and its population of 1.5 million Palestinians.

Also in Israel's favor is its goal: End the daily missile attacks on 250,000 of its citizens who live in the cross hairs of Islamist terrorists in Gaza. That's a clear, reasonable, attainable objective

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 6, 2009 | 2:52 a.m.

Susu Susu do you and the other so called "Good Muslims" support your fellow brothers and sisters in your faith using innocent women and children as human meat shields? If you do not why don't you stand up as one voice and do something about it?

Do you support your so called "Good Muslim" faith backing up what Hamas has done and does do by their rein of terror tactics to gain control and win elections?

I cannot believe in all good faith that any good Muslim would support those things above but if they do then obviously they are not good Muslims and I toss both of my shoes into their faces in the act of ultimate shame,disgrace and loathing that a faith such as that would support or condone such inhumane actions by it's followers.

That is just not being a Good Muslim in the eyes of the world of decency and humanity.

Maybe all of Columbia who supports Israel in this cause should gather at the local Muslim Temple in a show of solidarity and throw shoes to show our disgust at a faith who would allow it's fellow brothers and sisters to use others as human meat shields.

Then again no........... We are alot better than that. We stand and fight face to face and do not need to use innocent women and children to go before us as human meat shields!

May Allah have mercy on their retched souls.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 6, 2009 | 1:21 p.m.

Jan 6, 12:59 PM EST
Rice traveling to UN to push Gaza cease-fire
Associated Press Writer
Rice plans to hold several separate meetings with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Arab and European foreign ministers to lobby for a three-tiered U.S. truce proposal and will then attend a U.N. Security Council meeting on Gaza...
***The fighting's in Gaza.
Maybe they should all travel to Gaza.
It would make for one good field trip.
Hamas could buy lunch.

(Report Comment)
Susu Susu January 6, 2009 | 6:00 p.m.

How come many of the people against Palestine are just quoting what others have written...why aren't you using your own thoughts? I only reply to genuine thoughts of the reader and not simple copy pasting. Why don't you copy paste the stories of the c-h-i-l-d-r-e-n that were bombed on their way to school for the little education they could get ahole of?

With the "Big Picture" mentioned earlier: Aren't 660 dead civilians death total as of today, mostly being children bombed while in SCHOOL...isnt that "big picture" enough? 660 seems HUGE compared to "big". You are protesting against innocense. The Israelis are taking away life from many and one day there will be justice. Israel is overpowering a country that they know can't defend itself. Palestine is so poor, barely making it by and the bombarding of bombs and death of people that havent uttered a mean word in their life isn't helping them at all. They didn't choose to be "human sheilds". If Israel wasn't hitting them there would be no need for any of that in the first place! It's their land, there are people coming to THEM...they didn't ask for it. I'm with the helpless because I care, not going against them as a careless murderer.
God help you Palestine, you are in our hearts, unfortunately some don't understand your difficult situation. But many peaceful people are on your side, keep your hopes up.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 6, 2009 | 6:36 p.m.

Get with the program. Peace is important and life is precious. However in order to stop a war, you need to look beyond death during such a conflict.
Also, know your facts, This is about Gaza, right now and not about the concept of Palestine.
Rockwell Lazareth
These and other questions will be addressed more fully as you go through this website. However, there is a preliminary historical fact that must be established now. There has never been a civilization or a nation referred to as "Palestine" and the very notion of a "Palestinian Arab nation" having ancient attachments to the Holy Land going back to time immemorial is one of the biggest hoaxes ever perpetrated upon the world! There is not, nor has there ever been, a distinct "Palestinian" culture or language. Further, there has never been a Palestinian state governed BY Arab Palestinians in history, nor was there ever a serious Arab-Palestinian national movement until 1964... three years BEFORE the Arabs of "Palestine" lost the "West Bank" and Gaza as a result of losing the 1967 Six-Day War (which the Arabs started).
****You can shed tears for the dead and martyr them. Blame Israeli missles, blame Hamas, blame Iran, blame Allah...I really don't care who you blame. But know reality.
Hamas wants death and they don't care who dies.
Talk to your Islamic clerics. Don't rant and rave to me about how bad it is for people to die during wars.
Mourn for them, pray for their souls, make them into martyrs. Nothing will change until your culture and religious biasis change.
As I've posted before, Jews and Christians have gone through a reformation.
It is time that the tribes of Islam do the same.
Stop hating Western ways and advocating for Sharia Law based on the Koran for America and Europe.
Stop living in the dark ages and join the 21st century.
And also please note accurate history:
Before the 1967 war, the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) primary goal was to destroy Israel. Post-1967, their goal became two-tracked: Either (1) destroy Israel outright (the same pre-1967 goal) or (2) the creation of an Arab-Palestinian state to be used as a launching pad from which to destroy Israel. Different strategies - same ultimate goal... a state not along side Israel, but IN PLACE OF Israel. It's really that simple!

(Report Comment)
Susu Susu January 6, 2009 | 7:20 p.m.

Religions shouldn't have to go through reformations if they're true religions. They should be followed as presented. Just because the Jews and Christians had a reformation doesn't mean Islam should. Why do you hate Muslims and Palestenians? You don't care that THEY are the ones getting kicked out of their homes and then targeted with weapons they didn't even know existed. If you ask me, thats inhumane, we shouldn't even treat dogs like that, but look this is how Israel is treating humans: children, men, women, all innocent. THEY DID NOTHING; they're just trying to live like you and me. They're the victims yet they continue to get blamed: YOU'RE BLAMING THE VICTIM! Enough with what they've been through, their population whiped out, children murdered and then they get blamed for it? Don't tell me "Get with the program. Peace is important and life is precious." You dont know anything...660 DEAD for doing nothing, and YOU tell me precious life? If you cared about precious life, tell Israel to get out of the civilian's streets and let them live in peace and allow them to worry about what will happen in the upcoming years, not if they were going to be alive the next day. You haven't lived under oppresion, try it for ONE day, and you will want anything but it...and see how far ur "simple" goes, it's much more complex than the way your putting it.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 6, 2009 | 7:27 p.m.

For the record I am not against Palestine nor It;s people. I am against those cowardly radical so called good Muslims who use women,children,schools and other innocents as human meat shields. That is just wrong in anybody's book and if you cannot accept that fact Susu Susu then you seriously need a reality check.

May the God of Abraham and Issac always protect and look after little Israel and all good Muslims too but may God's swift and righteous vengeance wreak havoc upon her enemies.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 6, 2009 | 8:00 p.m.

Al-Qaeda on Gaza war: Blame Barack Obama
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
CAIRO, Egypt - He isn’t even president yet, and he’s already being blamed for trouble in the Middle East.

An intelligence monitoring center reports that al-Qaeda’s No. 2 leader is blaming Barack Obama and Egypt’s president for the Israeli offensive in Gaza.

The SITE Monitoring Service says the audio statement purportedly made by Ayman al-Zawahiri was posted on Islamic extremist Web sites yesterday.
It is al-Zawahiri’s first comment on the crisis since the war began Dec. 27.
In a transcript of the statement released by SITE, al-Zawahiri calls the Israeli offensive a “Crusade against Islam and Muslims” and “Obama’s gift to Israel” before he takes office.
Al-Zawahiri also calls Egypt’s president, Hosni Mubarak, a “traitor” for keeping his borders closed to Palestinians.
In earlier messages, al-Qaeda has attacked Obama with racial and religious slurs, accusing him of doing the bidding of white Americans and Israel.
****Susu: Face facts, Hamas, Hazzballoh, AlQaeda, Al-Zawahri, Bin Laden, Ahmadinejad, many of your Islamic clerics and you all need reality checks. Big time!

(Report Comment)
Susu Susu January 6, 2009 | 8:11 p.m.

Nothing against Palestenians? Yet you have no problem with 660 of them DYING as innocent civilians...i dont think I need a reality check, I see hundreds dying and I actually feel bad for them and wish that no more dye...and you think theres no problem that more and more should keep dying...shame. Again, I'm with the helpless bc I care, not with the careless murderers.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 6, 2009 | 8:27 p.m.

Susu Susu they are dying due to Hamas, Hazzballoh, AlQaeda, Al-Zawahri, Bin Laden, Ahmadinejad, many of your Islamic clerics in Radical Islam who think they are on some kind of holy crusade.

They are the very ones using women and children as human meat shields to hide behind when ever they go on these crusades as they do. Don't you get it or are you so blinded you just refuse to admit that radical Islam is just wrong.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 6, 2009 | 8:44 p.m.

SuSu: I know Mr. Dudley and he speaks the truth. I also believe that you are stuck on a one tactic cry. Innocents are dying and this does trouble me. However, there is more to this Hamas/Gaza/Israeli dilemma than just the deaths of innocents, everywhere. (What troubles me more is that I hear no sympathy or
acknowledgement from you that a Jewish life is as valuable as an Islamic's. What gives?)
I also read this artcle and it initially saddened me. Then I realized that these people wanting to enter Gaza to help are outsiders. Gaza is not currently safe and secure for them to enter:
Doctors stuck at bottleneck on Egypt-Gaza border
Tuesday, January 6 2009 | 8:01 p.m. CST
By REBECCA SANTANA, Associated Press
RAFAH, Egypt
Greek anesthesiologist Dimitrios Mognie and another doctor arrived at this border crossing loaded with medical supplies to help Gazans wounded in the Israeli offensive. Instead, they have waited at the border for days.
On Tuesday, a representative from a Norwegian medical aid organization was allowed to enter the Gaza Strip from Rafah. But most doctors have been denied entry by Egyptian authorities and spend their days drinking tea and coffee at a small, dusty cafe near the crossing's metal gates.
Gaza's few hospitals have been swamped by more than 2,400 wounded in Israel's 11-day campaign to stop Hamas militants from launching rockets into Israel. Almost 600 Palestinians have been killed. Nearly half of the dead are civilians, according to U.N. and Palestinian officials.
Mognie and his colleague, both from the Greek organization Doctors for Peace, were the last in their group of six Greek doctors to remain at the Rafah border after arriving last Friday with medical supplies. The others returned home after being continually rebuffed by the Egyptian border guards.
Three Norwegian medical personnel, including the one who crossed on Tuesday, have been allowed into Gaza from Egypt.
Since Israel's offensive, Egypt has taken in a trickle of wounded Palestinians through the crossing at Rafah. The Egyptian government, the main mediator between Israel and Hamas, has said it would only open Rafah if moderate Palestinian forces of President Mahmoud Abbas are in charge of the crossing.
Palestinian ambulances are not allowed beyond the Egyptian border crossing. Patients are taken out of the often poorly equipped Palestinian ambulances and transferred on gurneys to Egyptian ones.
At least 20 wounded Palestinians were brought to Egypt on Tuesday, bringing the total transferred to 143 since the start of the offensive, said Mohammed Arafat, a Palestinian Authority representative in Rafah.
Obstetrician Jemilah Mahmood, the president of Mercy Malaysia, said her group worked with the Egyptian Red Crescent to transfer about $100,000 worth of medical supplies to Gaza on Monday and planned to send another shipment next week.
****Maybe it is time for United Nation Security Forces to be called in to help Israel stop Hamas.

(Report Comment)
Furqaan Sadiq January 6, 2009 | 11:33 p.m.

For your information, the local Muslim community did indeed condemn the attacks in Mumbai, and will continue to condemn all attacks on civilian and otherwise innocent life, regardless if the victims are Muslim, Jewish, or Christian, or anything else for that matter.

The problem with this discussion is that we're using extremist opinions as fact, i.e. Daniel Pipes and other certain commentators.

I would implore everyone to visit the local Mosque here and see for yourself what local Muslims have to think and say about this issue, and granted, you will find willing ears to listen and answer your questions, as well.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 7, 2009 | 12:15 a.m.

furqaan sadiq: I have been to the local mosque and I agree that there are many conervative Muslims in Columbia. The passionate discussion we've been having here is the result of the above article's report that a relatiely unannounced demonstration took place by organizations with anti-Israeli sentiments, such as Mas.
Then, several posters chose to focus primarily on the deaths of "innocent Muslim civilians" in order to build a case against Israel. I have heard some news reports on television that convey that true civilians in Gaza would be distancing themselves as far away as possible from Hamas. This and the fact that Hamas uses human shields and Mosques to warehouse weapons is deplorable during war times.
I thank you for coming forward, however I am tired of hearing people crying about death during war.
Hamas loves death and they do not care who they martyr.
True Americans support their allies and Hamas is not an ally of the US of A.
Worldwide Rallies Support, Praise Israel's War on Gaza Terrorism
by Malkah Fleisher

Many more rallies will be attended by Israel-supporters throughout the United States and Canada in the coming days, as Israel continues its efforts to weed out the rocket-wielding jihadists who have attacked Israeli civilians in the past several years with thousands of rockets and mortars.

Some of the demonstrations, with local times, include:

New York
Date: Monday, January 5, 2009
Time: 1:30 pm
Location: Dag Hammarskjold Plaza (across from U.N.)
Street: 1st - 2nd Avenue @ 47th Street

Date: Monday, January 5, 2009
Time: 5:30 pm
Location: Hebrew Educational Alliance
Street: 3600 South Ivanhoe, Denver

New York
Date: Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Time: 12:30 pm
Location: Across from Israeli Consulate in New York
Street: E 42nd Street @ 2nd Avenue
Chicago (Mass Prayer Rally)
Date: Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Time: 4:00pm
Location: Congregation KINS (Orthodox)
Street: 2800 West North Shore Avenue

Los Angeles
Date: Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Time: 4:30 pm
Location: In front of the Israeli Consulate in L.A.
Street: La Jolla & Wilshire

Los Angeles
Date: Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Time: Noon-2:00 p.m.
Location: Federal Building in Westwood L.A.
Street: Veteran and Wilshire

Date: Thursday, January 8, 2009
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: Congregation Mishkan Tefilah
Street: 300 Hammond Pond Parkway, Chestnut Hill

Date: Thursday, January 8, 2009
Time: 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Location: Congregation Beth Tzedek
Street: 1700 Bathurst Street

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 7, 2009 | 12:44 a.m.

Iran condemned Israel’s deadly raids on the Gaza Strip on Saturday and called on the international community to take immediate action to stop them, the ISNA news agency reported.
It quoted foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Ghashgavi as demanding “urgent action... from the UN Security Council, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and other countries to prevent the Zionist regime from continuing its crimes.”
“These crimes... are proof of the aggressive attitude of the Zionist regime and are the result of silence in the international community to the unjust encirclement of the people of Gaza,” Ghashgavi said of the Israeli blockade of the Islamist-run territory.
The United States on Saturday urged Israel to avoid civilian casualties in air strikes on Gaza but did not call for an end to the attacks in pursuit of Hamas targets. The White House put responsibility for ending the violence on the conduct of Hamas, the Palestinian group which controls the Gaza Strip and which the United States considers a terrorist organization.
“Hamas’ continued rocket attacks into Israel must cease if the violence is to stop,” White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said in Texas where President George W. Bush is on vacation at his ranch.
“Hamas must end its terrorist activities if it wishes to play a role in the future of the Palestinian people,” Johndroe said. “The United States urges Israel to avoid civilian casualties as it targets Hamas in Gaza.”
Um, I'm an American. I think I'll go with The United States of America on this one.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz January 7, 2009 | 2:24 a.m.

Ray, what does it matter that this it was an unannounced protest? I'm of the opinion that the CPD form that Chuck filled out when there was the protest in front of City Hall regarding the Adaptive Recreation Program violates the First Amendment right to gather peaceably. Are you just grumpy you didn't get to wave your opposing signs? You can always head down to Providence and Broadway if that's what you want to do.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 7, 2009 | 3:29 a.m.

The continued use of humans as meat shields by the cowardly Muslim Terrorist group known as Hamas is just wrong on too many levels to even contemplate!

If the Palestinians want peace they need to work together and ask for help from the world community in kicking Hamas completely out of the Gaza Strip once and for all.

No peace will come to that land until all of the good Muslims around the world stand up as one voice and demand the end to all terrorists activities by all radical Islamic Groups world wide.

It is time the good Muslims stand side by side with all of other good world citizens of faith and take a stand against these cowardly terrorist activities once and for all to reestablish the good and honorable name of the Islamic faith that loves and seeks real peace as all other good faiths do.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 7, 2009 | 6:57 a.m.

Propaganda tools
Hamas won't let wounded leave Gaza
Why? Because they need them for propaganda purposes.

"Hamas 'bars injured leaving Gaza,'" the BBC, December 28:

Egypt says the Hamas militant group, which controls Gaza, is preventing hundreds of wounded Palestinians from leaving for treatment in Egypt.
Cairo says dozens of empty ambulances are at the Rafah crossing - the only one to Gaza which avoids Israel.

Hamas said it was drawing up lists of the injured but that it was difficult getting them to the border because of the ongoing Israeli air strikes.

Egypt has summoned Israel's ambassador to demand an end to the bombardment.

Hamas officials say 271 Palestinians have been killed and 600 wounded since Israel began its aerial assault on the Gaza Strip on Saturday, but none of the injured have yet left via Rafah....
Peres: Hamas needs to be taught a lesson
Sunday, 04 January 2009 17:45
President Shimon Peres was interviewed Sunday by ABC's The Week and said that Hamas "needs a real and serious lesson. They are now getting it."

Peres rejected international calls for a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel: "The idea that Hamas will continue to fire and we will declare a ceasefire... It does not make any sense.

"They did things that are unreasonable," he continued. "They are shooting endlessly without reason or purpose."

The terror group, he added, "is beginning to feel the weight of its mistakes… (but) we don’t intend to occupy Gaza or crush Hamas but crush terror. Hamas needs a real and serious lesson. They are now getting it."

Peres argued that Hamas began an assault on Israelis on orders from Iran. "When they stop shooting we will leave," he said.

"We have by law and by reason to defend our people and nobody else has suggested to do it otherwise."

'Remember who the enemy is'
Meanwhile, Vice President Richard Cheney said on CBS' Face The Nation that Israel did not seek approval from the US before embarking in the ground incursion of Gaza.

“I think it’s important to remember who the enemy is here," he said. "The enemy is not the Palestinians, from the perspective of the Israelis – it’s Hamas... You’ve got a UN member state being attacked by a terrorist organization and to go after that terrorist organization, I think they probably decided that an air campaign wasn’t enough, that they had to go in on the ground if they were going to take down the sites from which the rockets had been launched against Israel.”

Cheney called his comments “informed speculation.”

“If there’s to be a ceasefire, you can’t simply go back to the status quo of a few weeks ago, where you had a ceasefire recognized by one side but not adhered to by the other," ,” he said. "It’s got to be a sustainable, durable proposition, and Hamas has to stop rocketing Israel. And I don’t think you can have a viable ceasefire until their prepared to do that.”

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand January 7, 2009 | 11:58 a.m.

The rhetoric heats up:

"Go back to the oven," she shouted. "You need a big oven, that's what you need.",2933,477450,00.h...

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 7, 2009 | 1:00 p.m.

Some Muslims are so eloquent. Must be from the schools they attend and the company they keep.
I wonder how many Muslim/Islamic/Arabs who live in Columbia and/or attend our local Mosque would be willing to come forward and express their distaste for such a recipe?
Thanks for posting it.
Raw, misguided hate needs to be exposed.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 7, 2009 | 9:18 p.m.

Charles Dudley Jr.
I looked at that article you posted and was shocked by the following:
[" Israeli warplane dropped leaflets over the Rafah refugee camp on the Gaza-Egypt border, urging residents to flee because of planned Israel strikes. Hamas has weapons smuggling tunnels in the area, and Israel has already destroyed dozens of them in airstrikes.

"Because Hamas uses your houses to hide and smuggle military weapons, the IDF will attack the area, between the Egyptian border until the beach road," the leaflet said, according a local U.N. official."]

What kind of fun is it to bomb woman and children when you give them a chance to get away from the areas you plan to bomb?

Do you think that that is fair to the Israeli soldiers?

(Report Comment)
Susu Susu January 7, 2009 | 10:06 p.m.

Where are the people supposed to flee? They've already been moved around multiple times, where are they to go now?
The death toll of palestenians has reached to about 700, with the majority of those from unexpected series of attacks...a chance to flee, are u kidding me? Those that saw others getting killed are living in fear of being dead next, and they know they did nothing wrong and they didn't. I don't need a reality check because heres the thing: for so long, no one has been on their side. Everyone was against them because they were Palestenian and Israel hated them for their own reasons. I think that is morally wrong we CAN NOT blame the victims. Living under strict rules from Israel and under occupation their whole lives that was so inhumane. They were kicked out of their homes BY ISRAEL AND WERE FORCED TO LIVED IN HORRIBLE CONDITIONS AGAINST THEIR WILL....WAT PART OF THAT IS UNCLEAR?!? There are SO many prisoners with many women and the majority of those prisoners, again, did absolutely nothing. But then, the country that was constantly pressuring them comes and KILLS them on their own land. What ever happened to a fair fight? Israel is overpowering a country that they know can't defend itself, and using its power in the wrong manner. But the Palestenians, they, more than anything want peace but Israel has showed no interest in doing so. The Palestenians are helpless, they need the people that know what its like to be on their side, not people that just think life is a breeze...Israel should know better; they experienced the holocaust and know what its like to be unrecognized...or do they know what its like? We should pray for the Palestenian people and try our hardest to stop Israel from continuing what it is doing.

(Report Comment)
Furqaan Sadiq January 7, 2009 | 10:19 p.m.

Ayn Rand: The article you posted is quite shocking and deplorable. Like I said earlier, it's essential to not seek out diplomats amongst extremist who are in the significant minority of the Muslim viewpoint.

I would recommend you check out this website for a far more accurate example of Muslim perspectives. The scholars behind the Zaytuna Institute are quite respected in the Muslim world abroad, too.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 7, 2009 | 10:56 p.m.

furqaan sadiq:
Religious scholars will not solve global problems. They debate amongst themselvs and are leaders of their own followers.
There are many religious oriented schools of higher learning. Here are a few from the Christian side of the world...
Until tribal oriented radical Islamic clerics instruct their people to accept Israel's right to exist and work with democratic nations towards peace, the middle east and now other parts of the world will continue to have a dis-favor towards those who are trying to impose SHARIA LAW the "laws" of the Koran.
And, why should these non-reformists do anything but obey their Koran literally as it says,
the "laws" of the Koran :
[5.51] O you who believe!do not take the JEWS and the CHRISTIANS for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.
[Koran 5.33] The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His apostle and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement,
2.191] And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers.
The only true faith in God's sight is Islam.Q 3:19
"Seek out your enemies relentlessly." (Surah 4:103-)
"Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends." (Surah 5:51)
"...make war on the leaders of unbelief...Make war on them" (Surah 9:12-)
"Fight against such as those to whom the Scriptures were given [Jews and Christians]...until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued." (Surah 9:27-)
"Prophet make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home." (Surah 9:73)
"Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them." (Surah 9:121-) "Say: 'Praise be to God who has never begotten a son; who has no partner in His Kingdom..." (Surah 17:111)
Those who say: 'The Lord of Mercy has begotten a son,' preach a monstrous falsehood..." (Surah 19:12-, 29-, 88)
"When we decide to destroy a population, we send a definite order to them who have the good things in life and yet sin. So that Allah's word is proven true against them, then we destroy them utterly." (Koran, 17:16-17)
**And there's loads more.
No wonder there are so many militant Islamic Muslims.
I also now know why the World Trade Center is gone...

(Report Comment)
Susu Susu January 7, 2009 | 11:25 p.m.

You said you didn't have anything against Palestenians. You just made claims against Muslims and the majority of Palestenians are Muslims. You do have something against them! Obviously, you don't care what happens, if they were all whiped out you'd probably be very happy. If Israel and Palestine were switched, with Palestenians coming in and bombarding Israelis you would be making a big deal about them coming in and taking over. Shame, you don't care about humanity as a whole, only specific races. You know that the Palestenians are the innocent ones...God is with them and there will be justice and Israel will get a taste of what it has given to the innocent people of Palestine.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 7, 2009 | 11:44 p.m.

Susu Susu:
If you are addressing me:
that which would make me happy is
if you would read a book
and get a clue.

(Report Comment)
Susu Susu January 7, 2009 | 11:59 p.m.

And what would make me happy:
If people shoved their racism and phobia of Muslims aside and thought about humanity and the innocent Palestenians being murdered on the other side of the world. I'm for peace and justice for people everywhere. Incase you haven't noticed, they give Noble Peace Prizes, not Noble War Prizes.
Maybe you should open a book sometime...

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 8, 2009 | 12:09 a.m.

Susu SuSu:
I have a lbrary card.
What's in your wallet?

(Jake, help me...)

(Report Comment)
Susu Susu January 8, 2009 | 12:17 a.m.

Same, along with a gift card to Barnes and Noble, but mine has a peace symbol on the front of it...U see, I care about humanity. I think that almost 700 dead is a big deal especially if they're innocent and didn't do anything at all. I believe in justice and equality. It will be reached with the help of people that care. I feel sad and sometimes cry when I read stories about children that get attacked on their way to school or trying to get food for their families. I dont shrug it off and think that "its part of war" because children shouldn't have to pay the price of murderers, but unfortunately in a world with the careless, they have to. Thank you Columbia for marching for the sake of the children!

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 8, 2009 | 1:00 a.m.

Susu Susu:
The "innocent" served as martyrs, human shields and good anti-Israeli P.R. for Hamas and the ultra-liberal media.
The following is a partial posting from another thread on this topic and I respect him for it.....
["... do your own thinking rather than being brainwashed by the Liberal news media. Hamas IS TARGETING JEWISH CIVILIANS AND USING palestinian CIVILIANS AS HUMAN SHIELDS TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN KILLED WHEN ISRAEL RETURNS FIRE KNOWING THAT THE LIBERAL NEWS MEDIA WILL PRESENT BIASED STORIES OF ATROCITIES BLOWN OUT OF PROPORTION AND HOPING TO INCITE THEIR ARAB NEIGHBORS INTO ATTACKING ISRAEL. If Israel truly was commiting genocide and killing civilians indiscriminately they certainly, without a doubt would incur the wrath of the other Arab nations. Again, the liberal press is really playing up the protest marches. I hope you can see thru the Charade."]
Human life is precious.
Hamas should demonstrate to the world that they care enough about their own.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 8, 2009 | 1:53 a.m.

A "National Day of Action" in over 30 locations around the country took place on December 30. Many of the demonstrations, which were held in front of Israeli embassies and consulates, U.S. Federal buildings and elsewhere, were marked by offensive Holocaust imagery likening Jews and Israelis to Nazis, anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic rhetoric, as well as expressions in support of terror.
The demonstrations were organized by a coalition of far left, Muslim and Arab organizations that often unite in protest against Israel, including Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition, and the Muslim American Society (MAS). The groups touted the events as a response to Israel's "Massacre of Palestinians."
****I noticed a lot of professional "MAS" signs at the Columbia rally. What other anti-Israeli organizations were behind this march and what ties does the Mosque in our town share with these groups?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 8, 2009 | 3:11 a.m.

Susu Susu tell all of us here and now do you really support radical cowardly Muslims who use innocent women and children as human meat shields? By all of your postings that is exactly how you come across is as a radical Muslim who supports this very thing.

All of this violence will not stop until all good Muslims stand up as one and take control over their fellow brothers and sisters actions by speaking out and up as one voice and begin to show a zero tolerance for these types of behaviors that bring shame down upon the Muslim community as a whole.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 8, 2009 | 4:10 a.m.

Here is your radical Muslim cowards at work once again!!

Rockets from Lebanon hit Israel amid Gaza offensive

>>> Several rockets fired from Lebanon struck northern Israel Thursday, slightly wounding two people, police and medics said, in attacks seen as linked to Israel's war on Hamas Islamists in the Gaza Strip.

Israel hit back after a first salvo with artillery shells in what an Israeli army spokesman described as "a pinpoint response at the source of fire" -- a limited military reaction that appeared to signal a desire to avoid escalation.

Three hours later, Israeli emergency services said at least one more rocket had landed. There appeared to be no casualties.

There were no reports of casualties in Lebanon.

It was not immediately clear whether Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrillas -- against whom Israel fought a 2006 war -- or Palestinians fired the rockets in a new challenge to the Jewish state on the 13th day of a Gaza campaign. <<<

Cowards!!! Nothing but wretches and filthy dogs who cannot stand and face their enemy but have to lurk and hide in the shadows to rein terror upon more innocents and you wonder why Islam as a whole is looked down upon? This is why!

What is wrong with the good Muslims of the world not standing up in a total show of protest against all of these activities that bring shame upon their faith and people and doing something about it too?!

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 8, 2009 | 12:08 p.m.

Iran and Syria are supplying the weapons being used by the terrorsits Muslim organizations of Hamas and Hazbollah. Maybe it is time for Israel, America, Great Britain, France and all democratic countries to have the United Nations join forces in destroying the militant extremist Muslim/Islamic/Arab clerics who perpetrate this violence among the free world. It is time for the Muslim world to go through their reformation just as the Jews and Christians have. Until then, atrocities such as these will continue and there will never be peace in the miiddle east or in the world...
Rockets fired from Lebanon into northern Israel
By Bill RoggioJanuary 8, 2009 1:45 AM
Hezbollah appears to be willing to escalate the conflict with Israel. At least three Katyusha rockets were fired into northern Israel, striking in western Galilee and lightly wounding two civilians, according to Haaretz. Some reports indicate as many as five Katyusha rockets landed in northern Israel.

Today's rocket attack comes as Israel is battling Hamas in the Gaza Strip after hundreds of rockets and mortars have been fired into southern Israel after the expiration of a six-month truce.

Just yesterday, Hassan Nasrallah, the political leader of Hezbollah, said his terror group is prepared to fight Israel if attacked and castigated Arab states for failing to support Hamas. "We are prepared for every possibility and are ready for all aggression. ... The Zionists will discover that the war they had in July (2006) was a walk in the park if we compare it to what we've prepared for every new aggression," he said.
Israeli military and political leaders have made it clear that any attack from Hezbollah would be considered an attack by the Lebanese government, and they would bring the full weight of Israeli military power to bear on Lebanese institutions.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 8, 2009 | 12:24 p.m.

Taliban Killing "U.S. Spies"
The Pakistani Taliban have stepped up their murder campaign against what they term "U.S. spies" in the tribal agency of North Waziristan. Over the week, the bodies of eight men accused of spying for the United States have turned up in the Taliban-controlled tribal agency. The men are often mutilated or even beheaded. They always have a note pinned to their chest warning others against "spying" for the United States.
January 6, 2009
Al Qaeda
Ayman al Zawahiri vowed revenge for the deaths of Palestinians in Gaza on a newly released 10-minute audiotape. "We will never stop until we avenge the death of all who are killed, injured, widowed and orphaned in Palestine and throughout the Islamic world," he said. He also blamed President-elect Obama and Egyptian President Mubarak for the Israeli operation.
AP: Hamas was Firing from UN School Hit by the IDF
The Associated Press confirmed the Israeli Defense Force’s claim that Hamas fighters were firing from the UN school in Gaza, which lead to Israeli troops to return fire and tragically kill more than 30 Palestinian civilians. As with much of the reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, many initial reports focused on the Israeli “attack” on the school and played up the civilian deaths.
The initial reports aided the Palestinian / Hamas narrative that the Israelis are committing war crimes during its operations in Gaza. But, as Michael Totten noted yesterday in his criticism of media reports, the real war crime was committed by Hamas for firing from the school and apparently rigging it with explosives:

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 8, 2009 | 5:40 p.m.

Susu Susu:

Interesting that you kept using those words about "you will feel the wrath"
Who is feeding you those words?

["Hamas calls for 'day of wrath' after senior official killed by Israel
The group says suicide attacks may begin again in response to Thursday's Israeli airstrike on the home of Hamas leader Nizar Rayan.
By Arthur Bright
Agence France-Presse reports that Hamas called for a "day of wrath" in response to the death of Nizar Rayan, a party hardliner and military leader. Several of Mr. Rayan's wives and children were also killed in Thursday's attack.

Rayan is the most senior Islamist figure killed by Israel since Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi in 2004 and Hamas again warned that it could resume suicide operations against Israel for the first time since January 2005 to avenge his death.

"After the last crime, all options are open to counter this aggression, including martyr operations against Zionist targets everywhere," Hamas official Ismail Radwan vowed after the attack."]

"Martyr operations against Zionist targets everywhere."
**Does that exclude outside of Israel?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 8, 2009 | 11:16 p.m.

The United Nations Security Council has passed a resolution that "all attacks from and within Gaza" stop. It is now up to Hamas to stop shooting rockets into Southern Israel so that Israeli troops may withdraw, allowing humanitarian efforts to begin. Sounds like it is, and has always been, up to Hamas to demonstrate to the world that they can restrain themselve from terrorist attacks.
Time will tell if they are now ready for reason.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 9, 2009 | 3:52 a.m.

Hamas and Hezbollah will not stop their ongoing reins of terror due to their fellow good Muslims will not stand up as one voice and and call a halt to their activities.

The good Muslim people around the world cry for peace but yet they refuse to stand up as one voice to put a halt to all of their fellow Muslim's terrorist activities.

They cry for peace yet hand the world a boms in friendship.

What is wrong with this picture I have to ask all of you?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 10, 2009 | 2:17 a.m.

Jan 10, 2:33 AM EST
Israel and Hamas ignore UN call for cease-fire

In Washington, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said it is difficult to protect civilians in a place as densely populated as Gaza.
"It's also an area in which Hamas participates in activities like human shields and using buildings that are not designated as military buildings to hide their fighters," she told reporters
Hopes that Thursday night's U.N. Security Council resolution would end Gaza's worst fighting in decades were further tempered by dismissive remarks from Hamas, angry that it was not consulted during exhaustive diplomatic efforts at the world body.
In Israel's first official response to the U.N. resolution, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office said more Hamas rockets fired Friday "only prove that the U.N.'s decision is not practical and will not be kept in practice by the Palestinian murder organizations."

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking January 10, 2009 | 3:21 a.m.

Responsibility for the ongoing violence rests with both sides. Both sides are so quick to return violence with violence. They're like a couple of 8 year old boys:

He hit me first!

No, you hit me first!

Well, you looked at my toy truck first!

You put it in front of me!

Silly, but I think the analogy stands.

Israel has recruited another legion of Hamas terrorists with it's heavy-handed response. Hamas knows this, and wants to keep the violence going by continuing it's rocket attacks. Hamas doesn't really care about the innocent civilians either - they just want to keep their numbers up. To them, a warm body is a warm body. Suicide bombers have a high turnover anyway - they need a constant supply of fresh faces.

Concrete steps need to be taken to improve the lot of people in Gaza, so they are less likely to pick up arms. Remember, the Palestinians elected Hamas to represent them - they must have felt that Hamas, with it's position of armed struggle, was a better hope for improving their lives. What does that say about living conditions in Gaza?


(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 10, 2009 | 12:51 p.m.

Hamas in Gaza also means that there is an Iranaian presence in Gaza. Iran is bent on the destruction of Israel. This has already been declared by Iran's dictator.
Gaza's people, supporting Hamas, also support the destruction of Israel and support terrorists which America has declared our enemy as well. Israel and America are allies. America and Gaza are not.
You can take the side of a terrorist organization, if you wish. I choose to side with Israel.
God bless Israel. God bless America.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking January 10, 2009 | 5:40 p.m.

I'm not taking sides, Ray. Both sides have their share of blame for this latest violence. Israel's ground assault will not solve the ongoing problem. Hamas' rocket campaign will not solve the ongoing problem. We need to move beyond attack-counterattack and work at the roots of the problems.

Both sides are fighting for the same God. Bet he's having a fit right now...


(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 10, 2009 | 8:25 p.m.

I know you're not taking sides. I will take one side over the other, when push comes to shove. I've asked myself the question, if I were to awaken at the Isreal/Gaza border and had to choose a side, which side would I choose? My answer would have to be the Israeli side. But that would be my choice.
As I am a person who dislikes violence, I agree with you that working on the "roots" is a much more preferred scenario.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 10, 2009 | 9:58 p.m.

I consider the lack of a Islamic/Muslem/Arab religious reformation as being a main "root" to the Israe/Hamas conflict.

Historical roots include the following:
British rule in Palestine (1918-1947) - 51k -
Balfour Declaation, Great Britain, Nvember, 1917
During the First World War, British policy became gradually committed to the idea of establishing a Jewish home in Palestine (Eretz Yisrael). After discussions in the British Cabinet, and consultation with Zionist leaders, the decision was made known in the form of a letter by Arthur James Lord Balfour to Lord Rothschild. The letter represents the first political recognition of Zionist aims by a Great Power. - 17k -

In 1929, Hebron, an ancient, peaceful community of Jews was attacked by a group of Arab rioters.
A group of Arab rioters from Hebron and surrounding areas rampaged through Jewish Hebron. They had been incited to this action by their religious leaders.

The Peel Commission in 1937 concluded the only logical solution to resolving the contradictory aspirations of the Jews and Arabs was partition of Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states. The Arabs rejected the plan because it would have forced them to accept the creation of a Jewish state and required some Palestinians to live under "Jewish domination." The Zionists opposed the Peel Plan's boundaries because they would have been confined to little more than a ghetto of 5,000 out of the 26,700 square kilometers remaining in Palestine. Nevertheless, the Zionists decided to negotiate with the British, while the Arabs refused to consider any compromises.
The Grande Arab Revolt of 1936-1939 in Palestine agent refers to the Arab rebellion of the S Palestinian for the creation of an independent State in Palestine agent and against the authority British agent, the parties Arab supporting it and against Jewish immigration.

Covenant of League of Arab States, emphasizing Arab character of Palestine, signed in Cairo by Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Transjordan, and Yemen.

United Nations established in 1945

1945, (After WW II),
President Truman asks Britain to allow 100,000 Jews into Palestine.

Arab League Council decides to boycott goods produced by Zionist firms in Palestine.

The west wing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem which housed British Military Headquarters and other governmental offices was destroyed at 12:57 PM by explosives planted in the cellar by members of the Irgun terrorist gang. By the 26 of July, the casualties were 76 persons killed, 46 injured and 29 still missing in the rubble. The dead included many British, Arabs and Jews. .

UN proposes the establishment of Arab and Jewish states in the Land.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 11, 2009 | 3:09 a.m.

The roots go farther back than those do but alot might not understand ancient history as some of us do and have studied.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking January 11, 2009 | 4:25 a.m.

Ray ax'd:

"which side would I choose?"

I wouldn't choose a side. Both sides have valid grievances, and both are guilty of perpetrating indiscriminate violence.

Irgun would be considered a terrorist organization these days. Menachem Begin, the great Israeli statesman, is considered a terrorist by many for his role in the King David Hotel bombing. Both sides have their skeletons.

The UN did not consider the reaction of the people living in Palestine when they set up the states in 1948. They solved a European political problem in typical Eurocentric fashion. This is what we have to deal with today.


(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 11, 2009 | 9:41 a.m.

An interesting point of view and a real look into radical Islam:

>>> It was lost amid the news of Israel’s counterattack on Hamas in the past few days, but Hamas’ leadership passed several new laws for Gaza in December. They’ve adopted the Sharia criminal code, which legalizes a number of medieval punishments including cutting off of hands, stoning, lashing and crucifixion. Possession of wine will now get you 40 lashes in Gaza City. Thus does Hamas express its solidarity with its patron and inspiration, the Islamic Republic of Iran. <<<

Ya nothing says love thy neighbor more as a hand chopping off event.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 11, 2009 | 12:14 p.m.

It must be true because the Koran tells me so....
{"Hamas’ leadership passed several new laws for Gaza in December. They’ve adopted the Sharia criminal code, which legalizes a number of medieval punishments including cutting off of hands, stoning, lashing and crucifixion. legalizes a number of medieval punishments including cutting off of hands, stoning, lashing and crucifixion."}
***Change they can believe in...
(And D.K.- I never asked you to make a choice. I said, "if I had to make a choice." I also included the "King David Hotel" incident in my timeline because 1. It is historical and 2. I wanted to see what you'd do with it.
Thanks for emphasizing an incident anti-Israelis love to use out of context. I have an understanding that this group r Sort of like using the words of someone's statement and then using those words to claim they asked you a question.)
And Mr. Dudley, you are absolutely correct, the roots of this Arab people/Jewish people problem goes way back to the tribal days of Canaan.
As I've said before, until Islam has a religious reformation, there will be no chance for peace.
Their religion will not allow for it.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 11, 2009 | 2:01 p.m.

Considering that Islam has more than its fair share of terrorist groups, which includes:

Al Qaeda: not just one organization, but a loose network of affiliated groups with a similar ideology of global jihad.

Islamic Jihad -- Palestinian Islamic Jihad combines Palestinian nationalism, Islamist ideology, and a belief in armed confrontation with Israel.

Hezbollah (Lebanon)
The summer 2006 fighting between Hezbollah and Israel gave the Lebanese terrorist group global prominence.
Hamas, the Gaza based Palestinian movement, is both a political party and a terrorist group known for its history of suicide bombings.

Fatah Al Islam was founded in 2006 in Lebanon, raising new questions and fears about the spread of radical Islamist extremism in the region.

Carlos the Jackal (PFLP; independent)
The terrorist known as Carlos the Jackal offered the image of terrorist as a glamorous, ruthless criminal able to pull off amazing capers, then elude authorities.

Ayman Al Zawahiri (Al Qaeda; Egyptian Islamic Jihad)
Ayman al Zawahiri began his life as a militant Islamist as a fifteen year old in Cairo. An ambitious leader, he later became what many suspect was one of the chief planners of the 9/11 attacks.

Al Qaeda in Iraq, also known as "Qaidat Al Jihad in the Land of Two Rivers" was formed in 2004 under the leadership of Abu Musab Al Zarqawi. The group continues activity in Iraq today.

Al Qaeda Leaders
Who runs Al Qaeda besides Osama bin Laden? These presumed Al Qaeda leaders strategize, plan and command operations for the organization and its affiliates.
Al Qaeda
A profile of the terrorist group, Al Qaeda
Abu Nidal -- Terrorist Leader
The Palestinian terrorist leader Abu Nidal was known in the 1970s and 1980s as a prolific, if paranoid, terrorist. Learn more about Abu Nidal here.
Osama bin Laden (Al Qaeda)
This profile of Osama bin Laden traces his life from childhood and schooling to his association with the Afghan Mujahideen, to the declarations of jihad that have made him the world's most notorious terrorist.

The Taliban, under the direction of Mullah Muhammad Omar, brought about this order through the institution of a very strict interpretation of Sharia, or Islamic law. Public executions and punishments (such as floggings) became regular events at Afghan soccer stadiums. Frivolous activities, like kite-flying, were outlawed. In order to root out "non-Islamic" influence, television, music, and the Internet were banned. Men were required to wear beards, and subjected to beatings if they didn't.

As well as the tribal organizations:

Sunni, Shiite, Kharijitis, Wahhabi, Ismailis, Ismaili, Druze, Assassins, Sufi and Baha'ism.
Those who follow the Koran, (to the extreme manifistaton of JiHad, and wish to kill all non-Koran believers), makes for one unstable, "elusive peace in the world" scenario.

(Report Comment)
Anton Berkovich January 11, 2009 | 2:06 p.m.

What about the KKK? Do they fall under a Christian terrorist group?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 11, 2009 | 2:29 p.m.

Interesting question as the K.K.K. practices mainly White Supremacy as a whole but they believe in strict segregation and not the elimination of a species or race as far as I have ever heard. Now there are hard core White Supremacists group who do believe in genocide whole heartedly. There are also other cultures and races who do believe in the same too.

I do not think though that the K.K.K. nor any of the White Supremacist groups would use their own people they claim to protect as human meat shields as the majority of the radical Islamic Cultures have done in the past and still do such as is the case of Hamas,Hezbollah,Al Queda and others.

Any culture,race,religion,group who claims to want peace but then again turns around in the same breath and hides itself behind innocent women and children as human meat shields and let those innocents take the brunt of the battles that they continue to force the battles of "are not human" <<< yes human and not the word humane by far in my eyes.

(Report Comment)
Anton Berkovich January 11, 2009 | 2:39 p.m.

What about anti-abortionists who bomb clinics? Are they Christian terrorists? Groups like:

Army of God
The Lambs of Christ

People like Clayton Waagner, Mike Bray, James Kopp, Paul Jennings Hill and Eric Robert Rudolph

Also this group, "Christian Identity"

What about the group known as Christian Patriots, who had such believers like Timothy McVeigh?

There's this group in India, a Christian organization that practices violence and forces tribes to convert to its religion:

Don't forget about the Guardians of the Cedars in Lebanon, another Christian group that advocates violence.

There's also Northern Ireland, that has practiced terrorism in the past.

Then there's the very violent "Russian National Socialists" who base their party on Christian Orthodox beliefs and claim to fight "against the supposed Jewish dictatorship in Russia."

The Tsar Lazar Guard in Serbia is another paramilitary Christian group, as well as a Christian group called the White Eagles, who massacred people in the region.

There's these guys:

(Report Comment)
Anton Berkovich January 11, 2009 | 2:41 p.m.

Based on Ray's argument above, I'd say that then christianity

"Those who follow CHRISTIANITY, (to the extreme manifistaton of the Bible, and wish to kill all non-Bible believers), makes for one unstable, "elusive peace in the world" scenario.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 11, 2009 | 3:08 p.m.

Is there proof beyond doubt that any of those groups have or do use their own people as human meat shields? Do they do that openly?

Hamas and Hezbollah make no games about it as they do it right before the eyes of the entire world.

The only group you mention that I have heard in the major media was McVeigh and even then you do not see much if any of them.

There are radical factions all around us all of the time that rear their ugly head up to be seen by the world. The facts are most of them die off in time due to attrition of sorts but these radical Islamic factions in the Middle East have been around the longest in recorded history since the days of early Babylonian times and before where as those you mention have not been around as long.

(Report Comment)
Anton Berkovich January 11, 2009 | 3:13 p.m.

You probably haven't heard much of "them" (McVeigh) because he was one person, Chuck.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 11, 2009 | 3:31 p.m.

Of the groups and people you mention, which one(s) are "at war" with the State of Israel?
There will always be militant etremists popping up from time to time, however the article above does focus on Islam and Gaza/Israel and its impact on America and the world. It does not focus on fringe Christian individuals/groups, the Klan, Nazis or the Irish National Liberation Army, etc.
Also, the Jewish and Christian religions have gone through their reformation. I propose that until the Islamic religion and Arab culture, via its clerics and poltitical leaders, go through this process, peace in the middle east will be elusive and the rest of the "democratic world" will suffer from "spill over"
Also, inhaling the fumes of overly-toasted bread does not get you high. I tried it and I got no buzz.
Am I doing something wrong?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 11, 2009 | 3:42 p.m. disgusting and squalid is the behavior of the Hamas gang. It knows very well that sanctions are injuring every Palestinian citizen, but—just like Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq—it declines to cease the indiscriminate violence and the racist and religious demagogy that led to the sanctions in the first place. Palestine is a common home for several religious and national groups, but Hamas dogmatically insists that the whole territory is instead an exclusively Muslim part of a future Islamic empire. At a time when democratic and reformist trends are observable in the region, from Lebanon to the Gulf, Hamas' leadership is physically and economically a part of the clientele of two of the area's worst dictatorships. (Should you ever be in need of a free laugh, look up those Western "intellectuals" who believe that a vote for an Islamist party and an Islamic state is a way to vote against corruption! They have not lately studied Iran and Saudi Arabia.) Gaza could have been a prefiguration of a future self-determined Palestinian state. Instead, it has been hijacked by the Muslim Brotherhood and made into a place of repression for its inhabitants and aggression for its neighbors. Once again, the Party of God has the whip hand. To read Benny Morris is to be quite able—and quite free—to doubt that there should ever have been an Israeli state to begin with. But to see Hamas at work is to resolve that whatever replaces or follows Zionism, it must not be the wasteland of Islamic theocracy.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 11, 2009 | 4:52 p.m.

Many organizations that are accused of being a terrorist organization deny using terrorism as a military tactic to achieve their goals, and there is no international consensus on the bureaucratic definition of terrorism. ...

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 11, 2009 | 5:25 p.m.

Hamas, Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda: 21st Century Nazis:
Hamas, Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda are not political extensions of an ethno ideology contextualized within the framework of a religious narrative. These groups represent nothing more and nothing less than an unbridled commitment to murder, destruction and terrorism. Accordingly, the prophets and ministers of this hybrid religious/political cult preach from the canon of fear and chaos, vociferously advocating the message of religious totalitarianism. This belief system adheres to a strategic plan addressing four specific tactics:

1. The Destruction of Israel
2. The Death and destruction of all non believers including Christians, Jews, Hindus and all others
3. The exploitation of women and children as tools of terror, from human shields to suicide bombers.
4. The manipulation of media in order to justify and brand behavior, victimization.

Source: -

(Report Comment)
jacop Musa January 13, 2009 | 11:00 a.m.

Are you still arguing about Israel's crimes.

Watch this clip and you will hear it from the jew themselves:

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 13, 2009 | 11:05 a.m.

jacop Musa are you still a supporter of the cowards who use innocent women and children along with their places of worship,education and habitation as human meat shields?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 13, 2009 | 11:08 a.m.

Added Note: lol @ Fox News.

The same news network that brought us all Baghdad Bob on a daily basis.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 13, 2009 | 12:13 p.m.

The government of Israel has the right and obligation to protect and defend it's people and retaliate against any Iranian supplied terrorist organization, of which Hamas is part of.
The man in your posted interview is not "the jew themseves"
he is a self-proclaimed, pious jewish orthodox rabbi who believes that the Jewish people are meant to suffer as Nomads amongst the world population. Many Jews do not live in Israel, so his ancient/pre-reformation stance on the existance of Israel is by definition "old school"
He did not mention any physical crimes commited by the people of Israel, as you implyed in your writing.He did however express his support of Iranian Ahmadinejad's desire to dismantle the state of Israel.
If this is the best you can present to imply that the Israeli people are commiting "war crimes" and that "the State of Isael has no right to exist" then you need to take a closer look at your own militant-extremist clerics and dictators before you ostracize or condemn those who consider Israel an ally of the free world.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 13, 2009 | 1:40 p.m.

Well said ray shapiro.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 13, 2009 | 9:00 p.m.

Israeli Tanks Enter Gaza - Today in Politics
Original Article

Israeli troops and tanks encircled Gaza City on Tuesday, after which the tanks proceeded to enter the city with some 1.5 million Palestinians living in it. Suffice to say that both Hamas and Israel have rejected the ceasefire advocated by the international community.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon once again displayed the powerlessness of his organization by calling on both sides to “just stop” the violence after which Israeli tanks happily went into Gaza City in order to severely weaken if not destroy Hamas.

Foreign Confidential....

Hamas is history. Israel intends to end the terrorist group's control of Gaza ahead of the looming conflict with Iran and Hezbollah, which, Israel hopes, Syria will not join.

The clerical fascist Foreign Terrorist Organization (official U.S. designation), which is formally and clearly committed to Israel's annihilation, will itself be annihilated. Hamas leaders and fighters will be rooted out and eliminated, down to the last suicide bomber.

The Israeli ground and air operations will continue until the strategic objectives have been met, regardless of world opinion and criticism over Palestinian civilian casualties.

Israel has actually shown remarkable restraint by international and historical standards. Its message to Iran is clear: Israel has had it with encirclement and ever-more menacing rocket attacks. The onslaught on Gaza is just the beginning. In an all-out war of survival, World War II rules of engagement--rather than Gaza rules--will apply. All of Tehran could be taken out, along with a a big chunk of Beirut and, if necessary, Damascus.

If the choice is mass death in Israel or mass death in enemy states, Israel's leaders will not hesitate to make the right choice.

The wannabe Hitler, Iranian maniac-in-chief Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, will not be allowed to bring about a second Holocaust. Rather, his attempts will lead to Iran's destruction, just as Hitler, who once seemed invincible, destroyed Germany.

(Report Comment)
jacop Musa January 13, 2009 | 10:41 p.m.

Have you said that Hamas takes civilians as human shields, I want to remind you that all people killed in Gaza were only sons and relatives of Hamas people, and that Israeli army knows and uses this fact in a horrible way. I suggest you to see the following BBC report about human shields in Palestine :
However, this is not the main problem, the main problem is this:
I know what you will say but the clip, my answer to you and to all other's questions is to hear from the Jewish themselves, and tell me how do you feel about it:

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 14, 2009 | 12:11 a.m.

I have already rsponded to your video interview of a pious, orthodox rabbi who has pre-reformation ideas about his interpetation of the Torah's description that the Jewish people are meant to suffer as Nomads throughout the world. His hardline/antiquated beliefs are as old as your Koran's preaching of JiHad against Christians and other non-Muslims. This is the portion of the Fundamentalist Cleric problem which I have mentioned in past postings.
As for your linkage to bloody bodies, give me a break. Even the American and foreign press had the decency not to show the actual bloody bodies and human carnage of September 11, 2001 Posted: 11:36 PM EDT (0336 GMT)
Emergency workers in New York City
(CNN) -- The rubble at the World Trade Center may yield thousands of bodies of people killed in a terrorist attack Tuesday, police and emergency specialists said.
=========================================================== Unlike the "shock value and propaganda techniques" used by Arabs, who wish to capitalize on the war Hamas has provoked and instigated on its own people, smart Americans wait for all the facts to come in.

After each and every middle eastern blood bath there are follow-up investigations and evaluations. It is unfair and inaccurate to accept words such as accused, apparent, alleged and "4 testimonies a year" as facts, when none of these are proven to be true.

Hamas is the enemy and apparently so are you.

Thanks for disclosing your true intentions concerning an ally of America.

Something which you are not.

(Report Comment)
Susu Susu January 14, 2009 | 9:16 a.m.

Your saying what the Palestinians are doing is horrible and disgusting? Look at yourself. You think what Israel is doing is justified AND on top of that you think it is time for Islam to have a reformation? You know very well what a reformation would lead to: an even bigger divide between the Muslims, mostly between the ones in North America and those in the Middle East. You want this so that Islam will be wiped out because of all the differences that will come from this 'reformation'. There are signs in the Quran about the future, and a reformation could lead to a disposal of many of those signs and this is completely unnecessary. Islam doesn't need 'expert advise' from people that can't even read the Quran...sorry to disappoint you.
Today, in this society, the more powerful countries of the world have initiated this fear in the minds and souls of the weak and innocent. For the Palestinians, they're FED UP with this constant bombarding and no one to control it. They're scared that the only hope that they have with Hamas, if it is gone, they will be on their own. Their little homes and poor lifestyle against that of Israel's. And that is what why there is no decrease in the amount of rockets shot into Israel. The more powerful needs to stop first if they want the less powerful to stop. You can't have the little man step down first because that makes it even more unfair and easier for the big man to pound him down. You seem very proud of the humanitarian rights that have been violated by your 'fellow' Israelis. I think what Israel is doing is Disgusting. They used a lethal substance, and dropped it down in many Gaza camps. White Phosphate, it is burning the civilians and leaving them with excruciating pain and here is the thing Hamas wasn't anywhere nearby! This is obviously an attempt by Israel to wipe-out all Palestinians now and even more obvious when they sent out their reserve troops. This is an unfair fight. Every single one of those children killed by Israel because they didn't want them to grow up and every single woman and man killed were killed bc Israel didn't want them to bring children into this world. And then you say what Palestine is doing is Disgusting! What they're doing isn't even close to justified. But, justice will be brought out. If it isn't now, then it will be because one day the world will revolt and realize blaming the victims isn't really a smart move.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 14, 2009 | 9:30 a.m.

Susu Susu Hamas started this last round of a obviously long running battle between Hamas,radical Islamic terrorists and the free world. That is a fact when they fired rockets indiscriminately into Israel proper upon innocent civilians.

Israel responds in kind only they are targeting Hamas military targets. Hamas is using so called safe houses where the cowardly Islamic terrorists and holding up using schools as well as women and children to hide behind as human meat shields.

Now today Bin Ladden supposedly pops up and declares Jihad against Israel asking all radical Islam to join into the foray.

The truth of the matter is Hamas and Hezbollah will not stop their ongoing reins of terror due to their fellow good Muslims will not stand up as one voice and call a halt to their activities.

The good Muslim people around the world cry for peace but yet they refuse to stand up as one voice to put a halt to all of their fellow Muslim's terrorist activities.

They cry for peace yet hand the world bombs in friendship.

What is wrong with this picture I have to ask all of you?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 14, 2009 | 12:23 p.m.

Losing My Jihadism
By Mansour al-Nogaidan
Islam needs a Reformation. It needs someone with the courage of Martin Luther.
This is the belief I've arrived at after a long and painful spiritual journey. It's not a popular conviction -- it has attracted angry criticism, including death threats, from many sides. But it was reinforced by Sept. 11, 2001, and in the years since, I've only become more convinced that it is critical to Islam's future.
Muslims are too rigid in our adherence to old, literal interpretations of the Koran. It's time for many verses -- especially those having to do with relations between Islam and other religions -- to be reinterpreted in favor of a more modern Islam.
Viewing modern education as corrupt and immoral, I joined a circle of scholars who taught the Islamic sciences in the classical way, just as they had been taught 1,200 years ago. My involvement with this group led me to violence, and landed me in prison. In 1991, I took part in firebombing video stores in Riyadh and a women's center in my home town of Buraidah, seeing them as symbols of sin in a society that was marching rapidly toward modernization.
At the same time, my eyes were opened to the hypocrisy of so many who held themselves out as Muslim role models. I saw Islamic judges ignoring the marks of torture borne by my prison comrades. I learned of Islamic teachers who molested their students. I heard devout Muslims who never missed the five daily prayers lying with ease to people who did not share their extremist beliefs.

Muslims have the right to question and criticize our religious leaders and not to take everything they tell us for granted.

The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, gave new life to what I had been saying. I went back to criticizing the rote manner in which we Muslims are fed our religion. I criticized al-Qaeda's school of thought, which considers everyone who isn't a Salafi Muslim the enemy. I pointed to examples from Islamic history that stressed the need to get along with other religions. I tried to give a new interpretation to the verses that call for enmity between Muslims and Christians and Jews. I wrote that they do not apply to us today and that Islam calls for friendship among all faiths.

I had found my Islam. And I believe that others can find it, too. But first we need a Reformation similar to the Protestant Reformation that Martin Luther led against the Roman Catholic Church.

Nevertheless, I find myself inspired by Luther's courageous uprising. I see what Islam needs -- a strong, charismatic personality who will lead us toward reform, and scholars who can convince Islamic communities of the need for a bold new interpretation of Islamic texts, to reconcile us with the wider world.

Source: -

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 14, 2009 | 12:44 p.m.

Your desire and methods to attain the Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's plan to destroy Israel is an atrocity on the free world.
Hamas does not serve to help the people in Gaza. Hamas serves their powers of materialistic support. That is primarily the wealth of Iran and Syria.
Gaza people have been duped and intimidated by their own.
If your people in Gaza were smart, they would have been working with the United Nations, just like any other third world country.
Israel is under the attack of terrorist organizations, anti-Zionists, anti-semites and anti-democracies.
America is fighting against your militant extremist Islamic Muslim organizations which are supported by Arab countries and so too is Israel.
If you are in line with these terrorist organizations, what does that make you?
Are there sleeper cells in Columbia? In America?
Federal agents seize articles
in ‘criminal investigation’
Thursday, October 14, 2004

Federal agents seized cars, scores of boxes and 14 computers in a raid on the Islamic American Relief Agency near Providence and Broadway that began Wednesday afternoon and ended about six hours later. No arrests were made.

FBI Special Agent Jeff Lanza said the raid was part of a long-running, ongoing investigation of the agency.

The U.S. Department of Treasury said in a release Wednesday that the name Islamic American Relief Agency is one of the names used by some of the 40 organizations worldwide with links to the Islamic African Relief Agency, which the treasury department alleged to have links to Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida and the Taliban. On Wednesday, the department blocked “all accounts, funds and assets” of the Islamic African Relief Agency and its affiliates in the United States.

The department alleged that the overseas branches of the Islamic African Relief Agency provided “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to Bin Laden in 1999. The treasury department also believes that as early as 2003, the group was responsible for moving money to the Palestinian territories to support terrorist activities and served “as a conduit to Hamas in one Western European country.”

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 14, 2009 | 1:47 p.m.

From today's article in the Missourian:

...Iran doesn't recognize Israel and has no trade ties with the Jewish state.
...The Israeli navy intercepted an Iranian ship...
...Iran's top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued a religious opinion, or fatwa, declaring the purchase of any Israeli goods or trade with Israeli companies to be forbidden...
...Israel has said it launched its campaign to stop rocket fire aimed at civilians in southern Israeli towns by the militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.
...Iran is Hamas' main backer, providing it political and financial support, though Tehran denies sending the organization weapons.

...Israeli military officials said the ship was prevented from reaching Gaza as part of a general naval blockade meant to prevent weapons smuggling...
On Dec. 30, a boat carrying activists and medical supplies to Gaza was turned back after an altercation with the Israeli navy. Israeli officials said the boat tried to outmaneuver an Israeli navy ship and crashed into it, lightly damaging both vessels.
That trip was organized by the Free Gaza group, which previously made five deliveries of aid by boat to Gaza since August, defying a blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt when Hamas won control of the territory in June 2007. The activist group on Wednesday sent another boat loaded with supplies to Gaza from Cyprus after a previous effort Monday was aborted due to rough weather and engine trouble.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday Iran has stepped up diplomatic efforts to push for an end to the Israeli assault on Gaza, state television reported.

"In short term, the most important measures are to end (Israeli) assault on Gaza, end the Gaza blockade and recognize the rights of the Gaza people," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.

Iran has already sent a cargo plane filled with 50 tons of aid to Egypt to be sent on to Gaza.

Iranian authorities issued an order last week banning international companies from working in Iran if they are found to have any shares owned by Israelis. And on Sunday, the Iranian government said it plans to impose sanctions on foreign companies in Iran who also deal with Israel. It is not clear how or when the ban might be carried out, and no details were given regarding the sanctions.

In the fatwa posted on his Web site, Khamenei said Muslims throughout the world must avoid the purchase, import, and promotion of any products Israelis may profit from.

"All Muslims are required to avoid purchase and use of goods that bring profit to Zionists who are at war with Islam and Muslims," Khamenei said.

A fatwa is a religious opinion Muslims obey if they revere the person issuing it, which in the case of Khamenei would be restricted largely to Shiites in Iran and other parts of the world.


(Report Comment)
Susu Susu January 14, 2009 | 2:41 p.m.

Today, the death toll of innocent Palestinians has reached 1000 with about half being women and children...

(Report Comment)
Susu Susu January 14, 2009 | 2:44 p.m.

That is what I consider to be a massacre...what a shame

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 14, 2009 | 4:16 p.m.

"Que lastima!"
I don't consider it a massacre. I consider it casualties of war. This is what Hamas wanted for its people. This is what Hamas and Iran has brought upon its own.
Yes, it is a shame. A shame on them.
Israel can be proud, that as a legitimate democracy in the free world, they can and will fight back at terrorism.
Perhaps when Militant Islamic Faciststs realize that Israel and its allies will not allow proliferation of Sharia Law, the "laws" of the Koran, to infiltrate free thinking minds and souls, and until your people have their reformation, your people will continue to shame themselves with terrorism and JiHad.
Perhaps some of you are now beginning to realize that being a martyr isn't all it's cracked up to be...

(Report Comment)
Mike Zweifel January 14, 2009 | 4:48 p.m.

If you would like an Israeli point of view on the conflict, visit and read the blogger's daily and timely updates.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 14, 2009 | 8:11 p.m.

Thank you Mike Zweifel, for a very insightful blog site.
Ismail: You are a fool. Supporting Hamas is supporting terrorists. Plain and simple. Period. (Some times the real truth hurts!)
For example:
("Zeidabadi: Even Israel does not Say ‘From the Nile to Euphrates’
Dana Shahsavari - 2007.02.22

“The idea that is known as ‘Conquering everything from Nile to Euphrates’ that is pursued in Iran is no longer supported in Israel. Nobody talks about it these days.” These are parts of the message that Ahmad Zeidabadi, an Iranian analyst and expert on the Middle East, had for his audience, mostly students, at Tehran University as he responded to their questions. Israel has been accused by the Arabs and Iranian radicals of desiring to establish a greater Israel extending from the Nile to the Euphrates.")

Your implication, Ismail, is nothing more than Islamic/Terrorist Propaganda. Do not confuse that which is fact with that wich is Islamic/Terrorist propoaganda.

Also, Hamas is an extremist, Islamic, militant terrorist organization which, as supported by Iran and Syria, wants to dismantle Israel. Israel has the right to defend its borders and sovereignty.
Also Israel is a legitimate country, per the United Nations and people throughout the world, regardless of what you spew.
Additional info:
The Sovereignty of Israel
Submitted by Rebecca Moulds, May 7, 2008 17:12

Abbas Zaki's statement about driving Israelis from Palestine goes to show that he doesn't understand who Israel is, or who God is, for that matter. The State of Israel, as we know it, may be 60 years old on May 8th, but the land of Israel is thousands of years old, the people of Israel have been eternally blessed, the nation of Israel shall always be.

One needs only look into the Scriptures to see how God gave the land to Abraham and his seed forever. (Genesis 13:14) . Israel has as many enemies now as it had in the past, but thank God that the USA is still a staunch ally, and we need constant reminders about how this tiny democracy must have our support. Israel may appear to be a much more secular state than it was, but that doesn't negate the fact of its sovereignty. The Palestinian Authority has much to answer for, and as for the torture and death of Omar Barghouti, someday this will be avenged, but by God, not by man.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 14, 2009 | 10:54 p.m.

Jan 14,Bin Laden urges jihad against Israel over Gaza
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) -- Osama bin Laden urged Muslims to launch a jihad against Israel, seeking to harness anger over the Gaza offensive with a new message posted on the Internet on Wednesday.

The al-Qaida chief vowed to open "new fronts" against the U.S. and its allies beyond Iraq and Afghanistan and also criticized Arab leaders, accusing most of them of being allies of the U.S. and Israel.

Bin Laden spoke in a 22-minute audiotape posted on Islamic militant Web sites where al-Qaida usually issues its messages.

The authenticity of the tape could not be independently confirmed. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said he had no reason to question its authenticity but was not certain whether the U.S. had verified the voice.

The tape, entitled "A call for jihad to stop the aggression on Gaza," was played over a picture of bin Laden and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of Islam's holiest sites.

"The bin Laden speech is an obvious and cheap attempt to capitalize on the Arab world's boiling anger about the Israeli invasion of Gaza," said terror expert Eric Rosenbach of the Center for International Affairs at Harvard's Kennedy School.

Bin Laden and his lieutenants frequently use the Palestinian issue to try to rally support for al-Qaida and often call for holy war to free Jerusalem.
Bin Laden made no direct reference to Hamas, and al-Qaida leaders have frequently criticized the Palestinian militant group for participating in elections and failing to seriously pursue jihad against Israel.

The al-Qaida leader also accused Arab leaders of "avoiding their responsibility" to liberate Palestine.

"If you are not convinced to fight, then open the way to those who are convinced," he said. Bin Laden accused most Arab leaders of allying themselves with the U.S. and Israel.

Rita Katz, director of SITE Intelligence Group that monitors militant Web sites, said bin Laden was "attempting to convince Palestinians and the Muslims around the world that the only group that can help them is the jihadists" and that "Arab rulers and the Palestinian movements have failed them."

"His other purpose is to exploit the conflict to exhort others to jihad and build support for al-Qaida," she said.

Katz said the bin Laden's appeal for money to finance jihad was unusual and "might reflect financial difficulties facing al-Qaida."

Bin Laden pointed to financial problems facing the U.S., saying that was a sign that the U.S. power was falling apart.

"The Islamic nation's jihad is one of the main causes of these destructive results for our enemies," he claimed.

Raw Video: Bin Laden

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 14, 2009 | 11:08 p.m.

Just another reason why Islamic/Muslim/Arab Koranites need a reformation:
Published Wednesday, January 14, 2009
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) - Saudi Arabia’s most senior cleric was quoted today as saying it is permissible for 10-year-old girls to marry, and those who think they’re too young are doing the girls an injustice.

The mufti’s comments showed the conservative clergy’s opposition to a drive by Saudi rights groups, including government ones, to define the age of marriage and put an end to the phenomenon of child marriages.

"It is wrong to say it’s not permitted to marry off girls who are 15 and younger," Sheik Abdul-Aziz Al Sheikh, the country’s grand mufti, was quoted as saying.

"A female who is 10 or 12 is marriageable, and those who think she’s too young are wrong and are being unfair to her," he said during a Monday lecture, according to the pan-Arab Al-Hayat newspaper.

Al Sheikh’s comments come at a time when Saudi human rights groups have been pushing the government to put an end to marriages involving the very young and to define a minimum age for marriage. In the past few months, Saudi newspapers have highlighted several cases in which young girls were married off to much older men or very young boys.

Though the mufti’s pronouncements are respected and provide guidance, the government is not legally bound by them.

On Sunday, the government-run Human Rights Commission condemned marriages of minor girls, saying such marriages are an "inhumane violation" and rob children of their rights.

The commission’s statement came after a ruling by a court in Oneiza in central Saudi Arabia last month that dismissed a divorce petition by the mother of an 8-year-old girl whose father married her off to a man in his 50s.

Newspaper reports said the court argued that the mother did not have the right to file such a case on behalf of her daughter.

The court said that the petition should be filed by the girl when she reaches puberty.


(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 15, 2009 | 4:41 a.m.

Hams soon forgets how history has shown how powerful little Israel can be. Little Israel is just like the Spartans of old and does not just roll over like a beaten dog. She will fight for her right to exist and she will fight for her place as it has been fore told oh so long ago.

Her brother in faith America will always be there for little Israel through thick and thin as it has also been fore told oh so long ago.

Although all of the ancient houses of Israel may be scattered through out the lands as sand is to the seas she is still one in heart,mind,body,spirit and soul and always shall be.

How soon Hamas forget little Israel studies her enemy and takes total advantage of their weaknesses in fighting for a victory.

Let all cowardly Islamic Terrorist Groups bodies hit the floor:

(Report Comment)
Saad Ali January 15, 2009 | 5:58 a.m.

Dr. Ron Paul: ‘Palestinians are in a concentration camp’

Dr. Ron Paul, a true American.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 15, 2009 | 9:13 a.m.

I do not drink Kool-Aid, I prefer Mogan David Wine and Hebrew National Franks. Sometimes, I'll even have a glass of milk with a Ham Sandwich w/mayo, on rye bread, of course.
You ask: What right do the European Jews have to come over and displace any local population for their own self-interest?
1. The "tone" of your question implies that Jewish people have no right to be in Israel, as if Israel and immigration laws should not exist. There also seems to be some resentment as if post-World War II, Great Britain, the United States and the United Nations did you some kind of injustice.
2. A partial answer to your question is that International Law allows for the State of Israel to exist. As a sovereign state it has the right to regulate. If you had read my original posting about this, I have already answered your "fundamental" question. As you have difficulty understanding that answer, I will try you again.
"Sovereignty is the power of a state to do everything necessary to govern itself, such as making, executing, and applying laws; imposing and collecting taxes; making war and peace; and forming treaties or engaging in commerce with foreign nations."
You may also want to consider the following, which you might not agree with or like, but it's the law...
There is also some good comments on the following:
I hope this begins to shed some light on your question about where Israel gets its right to exist.
You can also go to the local library and read a few history books.
Have a nice day.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 15, 2009 | 9:46 a.m.

Supporting Hamas is supporting terrorists. Plain
and simple. Period. (Some times the real truth hurts!)
For example:
(Even Israel does not Say From the Nile to Euphrates¹
Dana Shahsavari - 2007.02.22

³The idea that is known as ŒConquering everything from Nile to Euphrates¹
that is pursued in Iran is no longer supported in Israel. Nobody talks about
it these days.² These are parts of the message that Ahmad Zeidabadi, an
Iranian analyst and expert on the Middle East, had for his audience, mostly
students, at Tehran University
as he responded to their questions. Israel
has been accused by the Arabs and Iranian radicals of desiring to establish
a greater Israel extending from the Nile to the Euphrates.")

Your implication, Ismail, is nothing more than Islamic/Terrorist Propaganda.
Do not confuse that which is fact with that wich is Islamic/Terrorist

Also, Hamas is an extremist, Islamic, militant terrorist organization which,
as supported by Iran and Syria, wants to dismantle Israel. Israel has the
right to defend its borders and sovereignty.
Also Israel is a legitimate country, per the United Nations and people
throughout the world, regardless of what you spew.
Additional info:
The Sovereignty of Israel
Submitted by Rebecca Moulds, May 7, 2008 17:12

Abbas Zaki's statement about driving Israelis from Palestine goes to show
that he doesn't understand who Israel is, or who God is, for that matter.
The State of Israel, as we know it, may be 60 years old on May 8th, but the
land of Israel is thousands of years old, the people of Israel have been
eternally blessed, the nation of Israel shall always be.

One needs only look into the Scriptures to see
how God gave the land to
Abraham and his seed forever. (Genesis 13:14) . Israel has as many enemies
now as it had in the past, but thank God that the USA is still a staunch
ally, and we need constant reminders about how this tiny democracy must have
our support. Israel may appear to be a much more secular state than it was,
but that doesn't negate the fact of its sovereignty. The Palestinian
Authority has much to answer for...

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 15, 2009 | 9:55 a.m.

The Palestinians and all of the Arabic region over there would be in shock if the God of Abraham and Issac brought once again all of the 12 tribes of the house of Israel to "their land".....oh yes those there now would not be happy at all. For it was promised to Abraham and Issac that their generations would multiply as the sands of the sea and be too numerous to count. This simple prophesy has been full filled twice by once in the land of Israel and once through the prophecy of Ephraim and Manasseh? Does radical Islam realize who these two entities are today? I will bet they don't.

Radical Islam has alot to learn about ancient prophesy and who is foretold to actually inherit that land and who is not. They have alot to learn who just has full filled all prophesy of old and who has not,nor ever will in this life time.

Radical Islam has alot to learn.

(Report Comment)
Jake Sherlock January 15, 2009 | 10:52 a.m.

Here's a question for the group: Regardless of who is right and who is wrong in this debate, what needs to happen to bring peace to this region? What has to happen for Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace with each other, or is it even possible anymore after all the bloodshed?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 15, 2009 | 11:04 a.m.

Iranian President Calls for Israel's Destruction
October 27, 2005
Ahmadinejad said "Israel must be wiped off of the map," Speaking at a program titled, "The World Without Zionism," Ahmadinejad called on Palestinians to take control of the land, saying that "The establishment of a Zionist regime was a move by the world oppressor against the Islamic world."

The following is a compilation of statements by world leaders:

European Union- "EU leaders ... today condemned in the strongest terms the comments in respect of the State of Israel attributed to Ahmadinejad. The destruction of any state is manifestly inconsistent with any claim to be a mature and responsible member of the international community.

U.N.–Under the United Nations Charter, all Members have undertaken to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State.

France: Israel's right to exist cannot be contested. That State was created by a decision of the United Nations General Assembly. International law applies to all.

Germany – The Federal Government holds Israel's right to exist to be inviolable.

Russia – "Tehran will realize the extent of damage that can be inflicted by confrontational approaches".

Italy – Ministry: The contents and tone of such unacceptable statements confirm worries over the political positions pursued by the new Iranian leadership, especially concerning the nuclear dossier."

Spain – Statement by Foreign Ministry: " ... Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos has expressed his rejection in the most emphatic terms.

Hungary – Secretary Varkonyi: "No leader of a country which considers itself a responsible member of the international community can make such a statement."

Turkey – "Turkey believes that regional conflicts can only be solved through dialogue and peaceful methods.

China – "This violates the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

Canada – "I want to vigorously condemn the remarks made by Iran's president. We are in the 21st century. Canada will never accept such hatred, intolerance and anti-Semitism. Never.

Australia – "To have the president of any country saying another should be wiped off the face of the earth is a reminder of the psychological pressure, quite apart from the actual pressure, that the state of Israel is under.

Palestinian Authority – Senior Negotiator Saeb Erekat - "This is unacceptable to us. We have recognized the state of Israel and we are pursuing a peace process with Israel, and ... we do not accept the statements of the president of Iran. This is unacceptable."

Japan – Foreign Ministry statement: Comments are ''unacceptable in whatever context."

(Report Comment)
Susu Susu January 15, 2009 | 1:12 p.m.

An immediate ceasefire would benefit both the Palestenians and the Israelies....any objections?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 15, 2009 | 1:38 p.m.

Susu Susu only if Hamas keeps their word which n the past they have proven not to be able to do.

Hamas is nothing but a bunch of cowardly thugs who hide behind human meat shields.

(Report Comment)
Susu Susu January 15, 2009 | 6:43 p.m.

Let me rephrase that...would a proper ceasefire be beneficial?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 15, 2009 | 9:38 p.m.

Of course a ceasefire, that the Israeli government and its people can live with, would be another good start for negotiations.
This would also allow for humanitarian aid to get to those who need it.
Personally, I do not trust Hamas, or any terrorist organization, and I would like to see Iranian aid and its influence removed from Gaza.
Democratic nations will deal with Iran and the rigid cleric imposition and spread of militant "SHARIA LAW the "laws" of the Koran," whenever it threatens the safety of free people and nations.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 15, 2009 | 10:27 p.m.

Hamas, to its perverse credit, does not lie, at least not on fundamental issues. It has never accepted the Oslo Accords. It is sworn to Israel's destruction. Its charter is nakedly and aggressively anti-Semitic; no fig leaf of "anti-Zionism" there. The closest it has ever come to terms with the Jewish state is the offer of a long-term hudna, on the model of the Prophet's 10-year truce with the tribes of seventh century Arabia. "Anyone who thinks Hamas will change is wrong," said supreme leader Khaled Mashal in 2006. Could he be any clearer?

Of course, Hamas enjoys "democratic legitimacy" by virtue of its parliamentary victory in January 2006. And with the quiet expiration last week of Mahmoud Abbas's presidential term, it is the only Palestinian party that enjoys such legitimacy. But this turns out to be no legitimacy at all, since Hamas refuses to recognize the legal basis of the Authority it purports to represent. And this is to say nothing of the putsch through which Hamas came to power in Gaza.

Still, it isn't merely Israel's right to exist, or the Palestinian Authority's, that Hamas denies. It denies Palestine's as well.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 16, 2009 | 3:43 p.m.

The Palestine Nakba Controversy
The creation of the State of Israel in 1948 was to have been accompanied by creation of an independent Arab Palestinian state. Instead, a war broke out, and at the end of the war, between 600,000 and 711,000 Arab Palestinians had left their homes and were refugees. The defeat of the Arab Palestinians and the creation of the refugee problem is called the "disaster" (Nakba) by pro-Palestinians, and it is blamed on a supposed Zionist conspiracy to "ethnically cleanse" Palestine, and on forced expulsion of the Arabs from their homes.

Palestine Nakba: Arab Palestinian Refugees
It cannot be disputed that a large number of Palestinian Arabs were displaced during the Israel war of Independence. Their suffering is real. It cannot be disputed that the Jews (and later the IDF) carried out violent acts, often targeting civilians. The Irgun rolled barrels of explosives out of the backs of trucks in the Old City of Jerusalem and elsewhere, and the Haganah and Irgun attacked villages in various reprisal raids. They did it because the Arabs were terrorizing the Jews, attacking Jewish transportation and murdering people in ambushes. Reprisals were thought to discourage further attacks. Sometimes removing a hostile population was the only way to open roads or stop repeated attacks. It is equally true that the Arab Palestinians committed atrocities against the Jews. They bombed Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem, murdered people in Gush Etzion and attacked the Jews of Tel Aviv and Haifa.

The Arabs however, were acting in defiance of a UN resolution, and their leadership announced the express aim of exterminating the Jews of Palestine. The Arabs left Palestine in large numbers, whereas, despite large massacres and a bitter siege in Jerusalem, the Jews did not leave. The fact that the Arabs left can be attributed to response to Jewish violence, poor social organization, to exaggeration of Jewish atrocities and also to the circumstance that they lost the war. However, the Arabs began leaving Palestine fairly early in the conflict, when most of them believed they would win the war, and when the capacity of the Jews to exert physical coercion was limited by the presence of the British. Exaggerated atrocity stories about Deir Yassin and other real or alleged massacres may have prompted some to leave, but the Jews had quite real atrocity stories of Arab massacres of Jews, that were documented by eye-witnesses, yet they did not flee.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 18, 2009 | 1:34 a.m.

Israel declares ceasefire in Gaza

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announces the ceasefire
Israel has begun a unilateral ceasefire in Gaza, three weeks after launching a full-scale assault against Hamas.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel had achieved its goals and Hamas - which has been firing rockets at Israel - had been defeated.

But hours later, five rockets fell near the Israeli border town of Sderot, and there was a brief exchange of fire.

Israel said its troops would remain in Gaza for now. Hamas said it would not accept one Israeli soldier in Gaza.

Nearly 1,200 Palestinians have been killed since the violence began on 27 December. Thirteen Israelis have died.

The US has welcomed the ceasefire, saying it "expects that all parties will cease attacks and hostile actions immediately".

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed relief, saying the ceasefire should be "the first step leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza".

Aid organisations have expressed concern that crossings into Gaza will not reopen fully unless Hamas is committed to a ceasefire.

We feel the pain of every Palestinian child and family member who fell victim to the cruel reality created by Hamas

Israel's "goals have been achieved, and even more", Mr Olmert said.

Hamas was badly damaged both militarily and in terms of government infrastructure; rocket factories and dozens of smuggling tunnels had been destroyed, he said.

But the success of the ceasefire depended on Hamas, he said.

Troops would remain in Gaza for the time being and if Hamas held fire, the military would "consider pulling out of Gaza at a time that befits us".

If militant rocket fire into Israel continued, Israel would respond with force, the Israeli leader added.

A Hamas spokesman, Fawzi Barhum, condemned the move. Hamas could not "accept the presence of a single [Israeli] soldier in Gaza", he said.

BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen says the question now is whether Hamas decides to lick its wounds and regroup - or whether it gambles on dragging Israel into a war of attrition.

Egypt will on Sunday host a summit, attended by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, the UN chief and several EU leaders, aimed at securing a permanent truce.

Representatives of Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Jordan are expected to attend the meeting in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

On Saturday, Germany, France and Britain sent identical letters to the Israeli and Egyptian governments offering support for a ceasefire and their help in preventing arms smuggling into Gaza.

Minutes before Mr Olmert spoke, a rocket was fired from Gaza, a BBC producer in Gaza said.

The Israeli announcement came on the 22nd day of violence in Gaza.

(Report Comment)
James Dolph January 20, 2009 | 10:05 p.m.

ahhh it's good seeing citizens doing great work. I am the vice-president of Chouteau Grotto (local caving community), avid rock climber, a husband, a former US army soldier (13 years of service) and a very active truth activist, truther, info warrior, or whatever you might call us. i am HIGHLY against the wars in iraq and afganistan. DO YOURSELVES A FAVOR, WAKE UP!!!! will get you started.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 20, 2009 | 10:59 p.m.

James Dolph:
I looked at your "infowar web-site" and conclude that it's an inaccurate "on the fringe" unreliable source.
Case in point the article on Israel which reads...
"Israeli assault injures 1.5 million Gazans"
Jonathan Cook
The Electronic Intifada
January 16, 2009
If you are truly a "truth seeker" look elsewhere.
Also, I fail to see how the conflict in Iraq and Afganastan has anything to do with the Israeli/Gaza topic.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 21, 2009 | 9:33 p.m.

News agencies Published: 01.21.09, 19:48 / Israel News
Gaza smuggling resumes after Israeli withdrawal:
...Tunnelers and smugglers were suspicious of visiting reporters and warned them not to take pictures. But big generators were running and men were clearly at work behind tents of canvas and plastic sheeting.

AP Television News footage showed Palestinian smugglers filling a fuel truck with petrol that came through a cross-border tunnel from Egypt. The footage also showed workers busy clearing blocked tunnels and bulldozers carrying out other repairs.

Iran has rejected the international attempt to deny Hamas weapons. In statements reported Wednesday on the website of Iranian state TV, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said because Israel is so well-armed, Palestinians shouldn't be barred from obtaining weapons.

Iran is one of Hamas' main backers but denies Israel's claims that it arms the Palestinian group.

"All of the money that I had invested here went down the drain (because of the bombings)," said smuggler Abu Moussa, "but with Allah's help the tunnel will be operational again in about a month."

Israeli Foreign Minister Livni is expected to address 27 European foreign ministers in Brussels Wednesday night, in an attempt to enlist their support against the arms smuggling into Gaza. An agreement to that effect was struck with EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana earlier in the week.

The European Union ministers are expected to pledge their cooperation. Israel and the US have signed a memorandum to that effect as well.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 21, 2009 | 11:17 p.m.

-NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams -

Despite Threats, Hamas Digs Deeper

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 22, 2009 | 2:29 a.m.

I give Hamas less than 6 months and they will break that cease fire. Next time Israel should just take over the entire sector and stay there enlisting the help of the United Nations(what a joke the United Nations is it will be the good ole U.S.A. doing all of the work) in holding that ground out of the terrorists hands.

Hopefully the U.N. member nations will see what is going on and act accordingly.

(Report Comment)

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