Editorials 2 June 2010

June 2nd, 2010 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

All four are on the Israeli action on the high seas. First the Herald:

can hardly claim to be surprised by the universal international condemnation of its commando raid on ships taking humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip.

There is a sad familiarity about the episode, which left at least nine activists dead.

Here, as in last year’s military offensive against Gaza, Israel has reacted with force completely disproportionate to the situation. …

It should be noted that Israel had suggested that the flotilla should offload its 10,000 tonnes of medical and building supplies at the Israeli port of Ashdod before it was handed over to the United Nations for delivery to Gaza.

That was a reasonable compromise. Indeed, if such moderation were pursued, the people of Gaza might come to recognise an alternative to an extremism that, according to Israel, has led Hamas to place a higher emphasis on the securing of arms than the wellbeing of the Palestinian people.

Hamas has no interest in peace or welfare of its people. Its goal is to destory Israel.

The Press:

Like any nation Israel is entitled to defend itself and protect its citizens.

It regards Gaza, controlled by the hardline Hamas organisation, as a major threat to its security. This view is understandable as there is a history of attacks on Israel from Gaza using rockets and other weaponry undoubtedly smuggled into the territory.

These attacks have prompted incursions into Gaza by Israeli soldiers. They are also the rationale for the three-year Israeli and Egyptian blockade which is designed to prevent weapons being smuggled into Gaza amidst genuine aid.

But as is often the case, sympathy for Israel’s security quickly evaporates when it resorts to excessive force. That was so this week when its soldiers stormed aid vessels in the Free Gaza flotilla.

Two wrongs do not make a right.

The Dom Post:

Israel believes its problems can be solved with bullets. It is wrong, and deserves the condemnation now raining down on its head for attacking a ship bringing aid to Gaza and killing at least 10 of those aboard.

There is no doubt that the actions of the “Gaza Freedom flotilla” were designed to be provocative and turn the world spotlight on the plight of the Palestinians suffering in Gaza as the result of Israeli-imposed sanctions.

However, it was not “an armada of hate and violence”, as Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Daniel Ayalon, has dubbed it.

Israel must explain why it believed there was no other way of reacting to the flotilla than with an assault launched in international waters in the hours of darkness by a highly trained and – by all accounts – lethally efficient commando unit. It must say why other options to deal with what was a policing problem were not used.

The Dom Post is the most condemnatory of the four editorials.

The ODT:

There should be no doubt, now, about the outcome of the most serious waterborne challenge to Israel’s counterproductive blockade of the Gaza, despite the swamp of propaganda and “spin” from all sides.

People died, many were injured, Israel’s global reputation suffered another public relations defeat, and the people of Gaza continued to be pawns in a hostile diplomatic and strategic contest. …

The Government did make the point, however, that the “situation in Gaza is not sustainable”.

Indeed it is not.

It is deeply regrettable that Israel and Hamas refuse to recognise that reality.

A rational description of Israel’s high seas assault is that it was a severe over-reaction to a situation that could – and should – have been managed in a far more moderate, less assertive manner.

The commandos “slid from helicopters into a violent crowd, which attacked them with sticks.

It’s no wonder the troops opened fire in self-defence,” as one Israeli commentator put it, with more than a trace of irony.

By so doing, he added, “Israel walked straight into the trap that the flotilla organisers set . . .”

If this was really a planned effort to meet and contain the flotilla, it must be counted a tactical and military failure; an opportunity for Israel to earn praise ended in fiasco.

This is the reality. The Israeli Defence Forces should have been better prepared for violence and rather than helicopter troops on board would have been better to disable the vessels, user water cannons etc before boarding.

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59 Responses to “Editorials 2 June 2010”

  1. Repton (769 comments) says:

    Hamas has no interest in peace or welfare of its people. Its goal is to destory Israel.

    Does the Israeli government have an interest in peace either? It seems that both rely on the war to maintain their respective grips on power.

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  2. Positan (393 comments) says:

    We deserve far, far better from editorials in this country’s newspapers. Reactions here seem to have been premised on kneejerk emotions by indentured members of the loopy left. Such is the displayed thinking of the either unsufficiently informed or those briefed and equipped only with selected facts. The said twit-writers might have spent a little time looking into the aims, objectives and past history of that “aid organisation” tackled by the Israelis, “Viva Palestine.”

    But then who expects anything from most of our so-called journalists today?

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  3. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    and the feeding frenzy continues aided and abetted by Mr B Hussain Obama.
    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/06/01/anne-bayefsky-obama-abandons-israel/

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  4. Bryla (263 comments) says:

    These editorials just confirm the public relations disaster that Israel has created for itself. That disaster will get worse as eye-witnesses from all the different countries report to their home communities what it was like to be under Israeli fire for making a humanitarian gesture.

    Don’t expect the walls of Jericho to come tumbling down yet. The US will still support Israel as its regional strategic ally. But we can expect Israel to become more isolated and disliked internationally, and increasing pressure to lift the inhumane siege of Gaza (Egypt has already opened its border crossing).

    To all those apologists and wing-nuts yesterday who tried so valiantly to defend the indefensible, bad luck. This is not an issue to be approached using muscles instead of brains. As others have noted, there is now manifesting generational change in how Israel is perceived. If they keep going the way they are, well it’s hard to see how they’ll survive another 50 years.

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  5. dime (10,113 comments) says:

    its w areal tragedy.

    9 left wing nutjobs gunned down after attacking soldiers with guns.

    some yank was on the radio this morning “they threw me to the ground and kicked me in the head! then they put a hood on me” HAHAHA good!

    maybe now youll go on to be a productive member of society.

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  6. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    I wonder what Helen Clark would have done if she were Prime Minister… on both the Israeli action and Bethune.

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  7. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    Bryla you lie
    Humanitarian gesture, My arse.
    It is part of the asymmetrical war Israel is facing in all forums intending to lead to the destruction of the sovereign state of Israel as the end result.
    That you are committed to it as are the people on board is clear, you aid and abet war against Israel and her peoples, not humanitarian aid or purposes.

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  8. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    “This is the reality. The Israeli Defence Forces should have been better prepared for violence…”

    I think, given the logistics, looking at how the operation was engaged, and and upon reviewing the results, it is disputable whether they could have been even better prepared for violence.

    Perhaps torpedoes?

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  9. BlairM (2,365 comments) says:

    Ummm…. if you aim/throw weapons at the IDF, expect to be shot at.

    Completely justified. And the dead jihadis leave me cold. The only good jihadi is a dead jihadi.

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  10. Manolo (14,066 comments) says:

    Lamentable editorials from lame, illiberal newspapers for which Israel is always at fault, regardless of the terrible security problems it faces being surrounded by enemies.

    The issue with the a majority of the media is their double-faced attitude. Do you see the same strong stance when dealing with Muslim radicals and fundamentalists? Some of these coward newspapers even refuse to print the Danish cartoons in fear of offending the primitives.

    What moral authority do they have to condemn the Jewish State? None.

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  11. 3-coil (1,222 comments) says:

    It appears the UN obviously places far less value on the lives of 46 innocent South Korean sailors, compared to 9 anti-Israeli Westerners.

    The UN clown’s anti-Asian racism exposed – or is it just that (for the UN) any Jew-hating whities trump all other racial groups?

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  12. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    NYTimes reports “An Israeli official said that the navy was planning to stop five of the six vessels of the flotilla with large nets that interfere with propellers, but that the sixth was too large for that”. So disabling the boats was the plan.

    Good plan. Tow ship to port. Tell protestors/terrorists that they may disembark for processing at their leisure, and that any aid found on board will be transported to Gaza immediately after the last disembarkation. Send Palestinians aboard to clear any booby traps before aid is uplifted. Job done.

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  13. Jeff83 (745 comments) says:

    Or alternatively to your conclusion Israel could of called it what it was an act of provocation, and let the humanitarian aid through untested, the only propoganda coup would have been for Israel who could of proved they are the reasonable party. All they have done is prove they are not.

    The current embargo as it stands is beyond immoral. I do not envy Israel’s situation, as they are not surrounded by natural friends. But previous more moderate governments have proven that peaceful relations are possible (see Eygpt, Turkey) where they are reasonable. There never ending economic sabotage of Gaza however is not as all it will do is drive more to the extremes, as such conditions have historically always done.

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  14. Jeff83 (745 comments) says:

    “It appears the UN obviously places far less value on the lives of 46 innocent South Korean sailors, compared to 9 anti-Israeli Westerners.”

    Actually 3-coli the reason there has not be condemation is because that is exactly what north Korea wants, and the unfortunate reality is they have Nukes and are not rational. The sad reality of N Korea is it is proving again that appeasement does not work against an undefeated enemy, however the stakes are now raised with nuclear arsenal. However it is also key to remember the greatest success of the US from WW2 was ensuring there was not a war like it since, by rebuilding the economies of Japan and Germany. This is the tragic part of Palestine, who were defeated, but at that point really needed to be rebuilt.

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  15. Sean (301 comments) says:

    @ Jeff83, Israel cannot let the flotilla through because that would breach the blockade that it has established with Egypt. A significant reason for the blockade is to restrict the threat from Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood to the government of Egypt (not Israel). If there is no blockade, the government of Egypt is threatened and if that goes down, there will be trouble.

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  16. Bryla (263 comments) says:

    I think the hard-core wing-nuts here ought to immediately form a NZ version of the tea party. Be careful to keep your rhetoric beyond extreme, alienate as many moderates as possible, and make genuine conservative parties unelectable. Among other things it’ll be a huge help to Israel.

    Oh? You’re doing that already? Nuff said.

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  17. Jeff83 (745 comments) says:

    You are right Sean that unfortunately the radicilisation of Islam is an unfortunate threat to countries like Eygpt, Turkey. But the US / Israel’s hardline tactics against places like Palestine, alongside the most extreme teachings coming from schools set up by our friends the Saudi’s are hardly helping.

    Finally deeming Gaza to poverty is not going to help either, which is what this 3 year old blockade is doing.

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  18. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    I think the hard-core wing-nuts here ought to immediately form a NZ version of the tea party.

    We would call it the coffee and tea party… to account for Maori being on board.

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  19. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Given that Israel is “damned if it does, and damned if it doesn’t” – next time it is confronted with another flotilla with similar intent it should, after sufficient verbal warning, put one across the bow; and if the flotilla/vessel refuses to comply, it should put one in the midships – end of debate!

    And given a similar scenario, and a similar threat, any other sovereign state would not hesitate to follow such a procedure. That the world attempts to hold Israel to a higher, and in the circumstances unreasonable, standard just shows the level of anti-Semitism directed against the nation of Israel in particular, and the Jewish people in general.

    That much/most of the leftwing MSM condemns Israel no matter what the provocation just shows how important it is to go to other news sources to get accurate and factual information about events in the Middle East in general, and in Israel in particular. Most of the MSM should be ashamed of themselves in what they present as ‘news’.

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  20. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    I posted this on general debate below but this is now a better home.

    Anyone like to check out these claims on the NOTPC Blog?

    There’s no charity in Viva Palestina
    Repeaters have been reporting that New Zealand woman Nicola Enchmarch, being held in Israeli custody, works for what they is an “aid organisation” called Viva Palestina.

    HERALD: “Enchmarch is a member of the British aid group Viva Palastina”
    STUFF: “ … one of a number of people[working for] aid organisation Viva Palestina”
    TV3: “…working for a British aid organisation – Viva Palestina”

    If Viva Palestina is an aid organisation, then I’m the UN Secretary General.

    Viva Palestina was founded by George Galloway. Remember him? The former British MP who received millions of dollars stolen from the United Nations Oil-For-Food Program, in exchange for his public denunciations of the UN sanctions against Iraq. Who once told Saddam Hussein, “I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability.” Who recalls the day that the Soviet Union fell as the worst day of his lifeWho used to fly the Palestinian flag over the Dundee Town Hall. Who set up the Mariam Appeal as an anti-sanction “charity” whose stated purpose was “to provide medicines, medical equipment and medical assistance to the people of Iraq.” But a four-year inquiry by the House of Commons Select Committee on Standards and Privileges found massive amounts of incontrovertible evidence — including bank records and Iraqi government vouchers — that Galloway had used the money largely to enrich himself, suspending from the House of Commons for his egregious breach of ethics.

    This is the founder of the front organisation for which Miss Etchmarch works—an organisation founded by Galloway holding up a bag of money and declaring: “This is not charity … This is politics.” One set up explicitly “as a challenge to international law”; one that has given given millions of dollars as well as non-cash aid directly to Hamas. “It’s not about charity … but in every way that we cut it, it is political.” That’s how Lamis Deek, a member of both Viva Palestina and Al-Awda, described it.

    Viva Palestina does not hold formal charity status; rather (like other radical organisations) it uses the tax-exempt status of The Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization/Pastors for Peace (IFCO) as a conduit to funnel funds and materiel to Hamas.

    Their last convoy, in January, saw Viva Palestina protestors erupt in violence at the Egyptian-Gaza border, leaving dozens injured and an Egyptian soldier dead.

    Viva Palestina is not about charity … but in every way you cut it, it is political. And can be violent.

    So let’s stop this nonsense about calling it a charity organisation, shall we.

    [Thanks to David Horowitz’s Discover the Networks for the many links.]

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  21. wreck1080 (3,965 comments) says:

    Iran wants to destroy Israel too.

    When Iran gets nukes, lets see what happens then.

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  22. tvb (4,513 comments) says:

    Israel has radicalised the palastinian people trough their outright blatant racism. In this case the boat people were on the high seas and suddenly Israeli soldiers dropped down on to the boats to forceably take them Are the people supposed to stand idle during this blatant act of piracy by Israeli security forces? The actions of the Isreali Government is dividing moderate opinion (such as me) into two extremes. For my part I support the dissolution of the state of Israel and have it placed again under a United National mandate. The experiment of having Israel as a safe haven for Jews has failed.

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  23. davidp (3,588 comments) says:

    >But as is often the case, sympathy for Israel’s security quickly evaporates when it resorts to excessive force.

    Excessive? If a large group of religious facists attacked a group of NZ police with iron bars, kives, and firearms and threw one of the police over the edge of a building then the police would have reacted in the same way. It is justifiable self defence.

    But the extreme violence was confined to one vessel, the Mavi Marmara, which was operated by the IHH. These guys are Islamofacist nut jobs, not aid workers or humanitarians…

    “Turkish authorities began their own domestic criminal investigation of IHH as early as December 1997, when sources revealed that leaders of IHH were purchasing automatic weapons from other regional Islamic militant groups. IHH’s bureau in Istanbul was thoroughly searched, and its local officers were arrested. Security forces uncovered an array of disturbing items, including firearms, explosives, bomb-making instructions, and a “jihad flag.” After analyzing seized IHH documents, Turkish authorities concluded that “detained members of IHH were going to fight in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Chechnya”.

    According to a French intelligence report, the terrorist infiltration of IHH extended to its most senior ranks. The report, written by famed counterterrorism magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguiere, revealed that IHH President Bulent Yildrim had directly conspired in the mid-1990s to “recruit veteran soldiers in anticipation of the coming holy war [jihad]. In particular, some men were sent into war zones in Muslim countries in order to acquire combat experience.

    Furthermore, in the hopes of “obtaining political support from these countries, financial aid was transferred [on behalf of IHH], as well as caches of firearms, knives, and pre-fabricated explosives.” An examination of IHH’s phone records in Istanbul showed repeated telephone calls in 1996 to an Al-Qaida guesthouse in Milan and various Algerian terrorist operatives active elsewhere in Europe – including the notorious Abu el-Ma`ali, who has been subsequently termed by U.S. officials as a “junior Osama Bin Laden.”

    http://www.diis.dk/graphics/Publications/WP2006/DIIS%20WP%202006-7.web.pdf

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  24. Bryla (263 comments) says:

    Bastard aid workers died when they were shot! If that doesn’t prove it was an anti-Israeli plot, what does?

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  25. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Bryla 2:04 pm,

    Bastard aid workers died when they were shot! If that doesn’t prove it was an anti-Israeli plot, what does?

    The only type of ‘aid’ these so called “aid workers” were looking to bring into the situation was their ‘aiding and abetting’ of the destruction of the sovereign Jewish state.

    But mind you, Bryla supports the wanton destruction of private property a la the Waihope three; so no doubt ‘aid workers’ wielding iron bars, knives, etc., and outnumbering IDF personal 60:1 while attacking them constitutes ‘peaceful’ protest.

    You useful idiots really do live in la la land. And when the Islamists come for your ilk, you won’t even see it coming until they hold up your severed head – more fool you!

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  26. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    “This is the reality. The Israeli Defence Forces should have been better prepared for violence and rather than helicopter troops on board would have been better to disable the vessels, user water cannons etc before boarding.”

    Yeah they should have hosed the decks with .50, that would have looked great on the news. In fact the IDF stops ships all the time, this was the first time they’d needed anything more than a paint gun. The responsibility for the violence does not lay with the IDF.

    And if they’re going to continue to be accused or slaughter and masacre at what point do you think they’ll just say fuck we may as well be hung for the sheep as the lamb.

    “Aid worker” is the new leftist word for violent terrorist Kris. “Activist” is another.

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  27. Bryla (263 comments) says:

    The possession of sling shots and Iron bars definitely put those Israeli warships and helicopters at risk. The fiendish dastardly fishing knives threatened Israel’s nuclear submarines. Talk about self-defence!

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  28. WTM (23 comments) says:

    Thanks all…

    The humour from the vitriol pouring forth in this thread is entertaining beyond belief. You really aren’t doing Israel any favours, but merely reinforcing a lot of stereotypes.

    Regardless of the right or wrong of the event, the reality IS that this is a PR disaster for Israel.

    With social media allowing “reporting” (loosely used) by any individual with a phone and/or internet connection; actions taken by any sovereign power needs to be carefully measured.

    The west may in general turn a blind eye to dead palestinians, but when it’s own (left or right wing) being hurt, things change….

    As the saying goes, with great power comes great reponsibility.

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  29. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    How about rendering them unconscious and taking their weapons and opening fire? How about stabbing them with knives? Throwing injured men over the rail?

    How about taking a ship load of unknown cargo to an enemy with a stated intention of destroying your country aftrer reusing inspection by two nations?

    Tell me at what point you regard something as beign a threat because it looks to me like you have a pretty fludi bench mark based on who you personally like. And by all means share with us the vast experience you have at arriving on a ship by rotorywing insertion. I’ve got a feeling I may have more than you on that score alone.

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  30. Bryla (263 comments) says:

    Nine dead.

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  31. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Bryla 2:51 pm,

    The possession of sling shots and Iron bars definitely put those Israeli warships and helicopters at risk. The fiendish dastardly fishing knives threatened Israel’s nuclear submarines. Talk about self-defence!

    As I said before; when the Islamists come for you, Bryla, make sure you thrust your neck in front of their very sharp knives so that you won’t be accused of ‘disproportionate self defense’.

    And rest assured; if Israel didn’t have warships, helicopters, and a significant nuclear arsenal then the Islamists wouldn’t think twice about following through in their threat to “drive the Jews into the sea”. You pathetic appeasers of Islam make me sick – enablers one and all!

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  32. redeye (630 comments) says:

    So, if I get this right? A right wing site promoting conservative values seems to have a problem with privately owned news organisations promoting themselves to the majority view. Which is, ironically not the view held by the minority represented here.

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  33. dime (10,113 comments) says:

    50 of the activist scumbags have ties to terrorist groups. 50!!!

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  34. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Murray 3:01 pm,

    How about rendering them unconscious and taking their weapons and opening fire? How about stabbing them with knives? Throwing injured men over the rail?

    How about taking a ship load of unknown cargo to an enemy with a stated intention of destroying your country aftrer reusing inspection by two nations?

    You know the rules of the game, Murray: One set of rules for the most of the world’s nations, another UNIQUE set of rules for Israel. There never was, and never will be a level playing field when it comes the Israel/the Jews. She really is “damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t”.

    That useful idiots like Bryla refuse to acknowledge this duplicity reveals they are, in fact, part of the problem, rather than part of the solution. And it will be their ilk that will eventually remove any alternative other than Israel being left with the Samson defence (as someone else mentioned) – allow yourself to be annihilated, or take down your enemies in mutual destruction. Short of divine intervention, this is the penultimate scenario I believe will play out.

    [Of course, some of us have ‘inside knowledge’ about how these events will play out – it’s more just a matter of ‘when’.]

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  35. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    redeye 3:22 pm,

    Since when have the ill-informed ‘majority’ ever been right about anything?

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  36. davidp (3,588 comments) says:

    A picture (in this case a cartoon) is worth 1000 words…

    http://www.investors.com/EditorialCartoons/Cartoon.aspx?id=536001

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  37. ben (2,384 comments) says:

    I have to say I have very little sympathy for the activists in this mess.

    They knowingly run a blockade.

    They refuse to allow a search by Israel.

    They attack commandos that land on their deck.

    Finally it appears they were smuggling weapons into a terriroty with a history of violence against their neighbour.

    Firstly – all indications are that this ship’s purpose was not to aid Gaza. Aid workers do not run blockades, refuse peaceful search, attack commandos, and carry weapons caches.

    Second – all indications are that the purpose of this boat was to provoke an incident, knowing the international condemnation that would rain down on Israel. Unlike all of you, I am not falling for it. Like Pete Bethune, these blockade runners knew what they were getting themselves into, and they paid the consequences. If you make the decision to attack commandos, you get shot. Arguing legality and proportionate response after an attack on an armed commando at night is a classic case of Monday morning quarterbacking.

    I am frankly shocked at how little attention is being given to the behaviour of the blockade runners. They were given every opportunity to avoid this – now I am not saying that gives Israel a license to kill, but then I strongly doubt it was ever Israel’s attention to kill anybody in this incident. But that’s what happens when you attack an armed commando of any nationality at night. In my opinion, based on what we currently know, primary responsiblity for this is with the blockade runners who were plainly trying to provoke an incident. They succeeded.

    Based on the evidence so far in this instance Israel has my every sympathy.

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  38. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    Regardless of the right or wrong of the event, the reality IS that this is a PR disaster for Israel.

    A Palestinian kid with a stubbed toe is a PR disaster for Israel, while the world turns a blind eye to 1000’s of rockets sent indiscriminately into Israeli suburbs, and the UNHRC drafts yet another resolution condemning Israel.

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  39. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    Yep, there are those in the Israeli military stupid enough to put a couple of Harpoon missiles into a ship with four hundred odd Europeans aboard including a survivor of the Nazi murder camps.
    Now that would go down real well in Europe, it would help Israel’s exports to Europe no end.

    Winning the battles while losing the PR war.

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  40. somefella (19 comments) says:

    WTF is wrong with you people ?

    Israel has occupied land belonging to other people since 1948, then expanded that by illegally occupying further land captured during a military action 43 years ago. Then brutalised the populous for those 43 years and annexed more of this land to the state of Israel through illegal settlements and the building of a barrier fence.

    Yet according to you guys it is the Palestinians that have done all wrong and any one who tries to help them deserves the death at the hands of the Israel’y military. Why do all you crazy conservative nut jobs have to paint the world as black and white ? Surely Israel can be at fault just as much as Hamas is ?

    Can’t both sides be considered evil with the voices for good from both communities stifled ? Because frankly that is exactly what has and is happening. People have been dying for 60 years, people are still dying and now people from outside the communities have died and some of you are taking joy in that fact because you don’t agree with your assessment of their political views.

    What sort of human beings are you ? How little empathy and compassion do you have ?

    You are no better than the violent people you rail against.

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  41. Fletch (6,494 comments) says:

    somefella, um, “us people” know the truth, that is why. If you look at history, in 1948 the UN formulated a partition plan for two states in Palestine – one Jewish, one Arab. If you look at the site HERE, you can see the map of how it would have been divided up evenly between both, with Jerusalem being under international administration. The Jews accepted this plan – the Arabs did not.

    The newly created United Nations approved the UN Partition Plan (United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181) on November 29, 1947, dividing the country into two states, one Arab and one Jewish. Jerusalem was to be designated an international city – a corpus separatum – administered by the UN to avoid conflict over its status. The Jewish community accepted the plan, but the Arab League and Arab Higher Committee rejected it. On December 1, 1947 the Arab Higher Committee proclaimed a 3-day strike, and Arab bands began attacking Jewish targets. Civil war began with the Jews initially on the defensive but gradually moving into offence. The Palestinian-Arab economy collapsed and 250,000 Palestinian-Arabs fled or were expelled.

    On May 14, 1948, the day before the end of the British Mandate, the Jewish Agency proclaimed independence, naming the country Israel. The following day five Arab countries – Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq –invaded Israel, launching the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Morocco, Sudan, Yemen and Saudi Arabia also sent troops to assist the invaders. After a year of fighting, a ceasefire was declared and temporary borders, known as the Green Line, were established. Jordan annexed what became known as the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and Egypt took control of the Gaza Strip. Israel was admitted as a member of the United Nations on May 11, 1949.

    I know nothing is simple, but the map looks pretty much split 50/50 to me. The Arabs rejected it and 5 countries attacked Israel with help of troops from four other countries. Israel won and the rest is history. Of course, these countries also attacked Israel in 1956, 1967 and 1973 and lost again, but they will keep on trying…

    So tell me somefella, how d’ya say they have been occupying land that isn’t theirs since 1948 when it was the UN that suggested the split – which the Arabs rejected, Israel became a nation, which was accpeted by the UN and other countries?

    As far as empathy, I have none for the Arabs really. Isreal gave Gaza back to them in 2005 I think it was – shifted all their people out and how did the Arabs repay them? By moving missle launchers in to Gaza and shelling them from there.
    You must realize that the Arabs DO NOT WANT peace. They want Israel destroyed. If the Arabs laid down their guns today there would be peace. if Israel laid down it’s arms, it would be totally destroyed.

    I think this quote from a PLO leader in the past says it all –

    In March 1977, Zahir Muhsein, an executive member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), said in an interview to the Dutch newspaper Trouw: “The ‘Palestinian people’ does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel.”

    And, a good point …

    Keep in mind that the Arabs control 99.9 percent of the Middle East lands. Israel represents one-tenth of one percent of the landmass. But that’s too much for the Arabs. They want it all. And that is ultimately what the fighting in Israel is about today . . . No matter how many land concessions the Israelis make, it will never be enough. — from “Myths of the Middle East”, Joseph Farah, Arab-American editor and journalist, WorldNetDaily, 11 October 2000

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  42. jcuknz (704 comments) says:

    “Hamas has no interest in peace or welfare of its people. Its goal is to destory Israel.” That is a rather silly comment and simply means you believe the tub thumping of the politicians. It is quite normal when the confrontational situation retreats people behave with pragmatic common sense. So while they say that I don’t believe it would happen in a thousand or million years. Israel needs to get over its persecution complex and behave like normal sane people do around the world. It is disgusting how Israel has contained the Gaza concentration camp and exercises their thugs in the IDF with illegal and disproportionate force. Israel has an abismal record right from the Irgun terrorists of the 1940’s and the stealing of palestinian land from the moment the State was established, and continue to place restrictions on the unfortunate arabs who live within Israel’s borders. Israel is a pariah state without any concept of how to behave in the world. Once I cheered them on. Entebbe Munich etc, but they have pood in their pants in recent decades with their unreasonable fear of their neighbours. Its all terribly sad with Hillary Clinton’s statement a faint light at the end of the tunnel that tough love by their principle supporter may help to turn the situation around.

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  43. jcuknz (704 comments) says:

    Unlike what the Jewish Minister said about ‘thousands of rockets’ raining on Israel the total last year was about twenty. This shows that Hamas have control over most in Gaza but just as we have criminals in New Zealand so Gaza has a few uncontrolled too. The death toll from rocket attacks last year was just one. In earlier years it was just a few. Military people have known for hundreds of years, since Colonel Congrieve had his ‘great idea’ for rockets around the time of the Napoleonic War that while they scare hell out of the opposition they are singularly ineffective as a killing machine. So frankly all this talk about rockets is just spin on the Israeli’s part though it helps to keep the world’s eye on the situation, which is why some in Gaza continue to fire a few of them across the border. One should note that there is a world of difference between the Gaza’s home made rocket and the guided missile of todays millitary.

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  44. jcuknz (704 comments) says:

    While Israeli run scared and fearful of the arabs surrounding them and refuse to make any progress to a solution there is a real danger that other organisations like Hezbollah will be armed by Iran with military grade rockets and next time Israel goes on the rampage a serious excalation will occur … it is all a scarey thought.

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  45. Fletch (6,494 comments) says:

    jcuknz, sorry, but you’ve lost a lot of here before you even began.
    It’s simply not true. Especially when you talk about “Palestine” or “Palestinian land”. There is no such thing. Never has been.

    Palestine has never existed… as an autonomous entity.

    There is no language known as Palestinian.

    There is no distinct Palestinian culture.

    There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians.

    Jews living in British “Palestine” were even referred to as “Palestinians” prior to 1948!

    Modern Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians (another recent invention), Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, etc.

    As I said in my previous post – Israel gave Gaza back in 2005, and what did they get? I will quote PM Benjamin Netanyahu

    In 2005, hoping to advance peace, Israel unilaterally withdrew from every inch of Gaza. It dismantled 21 settlements and uprooted over 8,000 Israelis. We didn’t get peace. Instead we got an Iranian backed terror base fifty miles from Tel Aviv. Life in Israeli towns and cities next to Gaza became a nightmare. You see, the Hamas rocket attacks not only continued, they increased tenfold. Again, the UN was silent.

    Finally, after eight years of this unremitting assault, Israel was finally forced to respond. But how should we have responded? Well, there is only one example in history of thousands of rockets being fired on a country’s civilian population. It happened when the Nazis rocketed British cities during World War II. During that war, the allies leveled German cities, causing hundreds of thousands of casualties. Israel chose to respond differently. Faced with an enemy committing a double war crime of firing on civilians while hiding behind civilians ? Israel sought to conduct surgical strikes against the rocket launchers.

    That was no easy task because the terrorists were firing missiles from homes and schools, using mosques as weapons depots and ferreting explosives in ambulances. Israel, by contrast, tried to minimize casualties by urging Palestinian civilians to vacate the targeted areas.

    We dropped countless flyers over their homes, sent thousands of text messages and called thousands of cell phones asking people to leave. Never has a country gone to such extraordinary lengths to remove the enemy’s civilian population from harm’s way.

    Yet faced with such a clear case of aggressor and victim, who did the UN Human Rights Council decide to condemn? Israel. A democracy legitimately defending itself against terror is morally hanged, drawn and quartered, and given an unfair trial to boot.

    By these twisted standards, the UN Human Rights Council would have dragged Roosevelt and Churchill to the dock as war criminals. What a perversion of truth. What a perversion of justice.

    Very true. If you think this is all about Israel and the Arabs, THINK AGAIN.
    Israel has always been the canary in the coalmine – what happens to Israel first, happens to the rest of the world.
    After Israel, it will be “the Great Satan” (as they describe America) and the rest of the world.

    Wake up and smell the napalm.

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  46. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    @jcuknz – In 2008 Gaza launched 3380 indiscriminant rocket and mortar strikes on homes and schools in southern Israel.

    If the “total last year was about 20″ then I’d say the blockade to doing precisely what the Egyptians and Israeli governments intended. Long may it continue.

    Also, the Qssam rockets are a particularly effective terror inducing and killing machine, despite your attempt to dismiss them as little more than annoying, airborne firecrackers.

    Edit: @Fletch – the graph I linked to highlights the increased rocket attacks

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  47. jcuknz (704 comments) says:

    Naturally as you support the Jewish thugs you give the credit to the blockade whereas the reduction in rockets are a result of Hamas control following the withdrawal of the thugs. In using the term Palastine I am refering to a general area as it was known when under British rule. I’m sure everybody gets the idea except you foolish nitpickers. You should not confuse terror induction with effectiveness, naturally if a rocket hits something it will cause damage or very occassionally a death. The Israeli situation is a good example that brutal might cannot subdue an idea in the long run. I really cannot see why ships cannot be unloaded at the Gaza strip with Israeli monitors .. definitely a case of the obvious slipping past great minds.

    How generous of the Israeli to give back something which was not theirs in the first place ….. never mind one cannot tell Israeli supporters anything for their persecution complex overwhelms their likely normal good sense.

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  48. Scott (1,818 comments) says:

    I think Fletch has done a great job of explaining the history of modern Israel since 1948. However readers of the Bible will know that the history of Israel goes back much further. The Jews were given that piece of land by God who promised it to Abraham and his descendants. The land was physically taken over under the leadership of Joshua somewhere between 1400 BC and 1200 BC (scholars debate this question). Despite invasion and enemy occupation the land belonged to the Jews for over 1000 years. They were finally expelled by the Romans in 70 A.D. who destroyed the city of Jerusalem, razed the temple built by King Herod, drove out the Jews and renamed the land Palestine, after their enemies the Philistines.

    That the Jews got the land back in 1948 is something of a miracle. That all the world rails against God’s chosen people and God’s promised land has always appeared to me to be a religious issue. That the international community can spend so much time and anger against a people living on a tiny piece of land the size of Canterbury cannot to my mind be explained by purely secular reasoning.

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  49. ben (2,384 comments) says:

    Scott: the bit where a group of people unilaterally declare land is given to them by their god is likely to piss anybody off. Hell, nobody took anything off me and the breathtaking unadulterated arrogance of that statement has me riled.

    The 1948 return of land was not a miracle. I am quite sure no laws of nature were suspended for it to happen. Call it ‘unlikely’ or ‘surprising’.

    That all the world rails against God’s chosen people and God’s promised land has always appeared to me to be a religious issue

    Ya think?

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  50. Fletch (6,494 comments) says:

    Naturally as you support the Jewish thugs you give the credit to the blockade whereas the reduction in rockets are a result of Hamas control following the withdrawal of the thugs – jcuknz

    Huh? You actually think the reduction in rockets is because of Hamas? O..kkkkk….

    I really cannot see why ships cannot be unloaded at the Gaza strip with Israeli monitors .. definitely a case of the obvious slipping past great minds.

    Actually, Israel had suggested that the flotilla should offload its 10,000 tonnes of medical and building supplies at the Israeli port of Ashdod before it was handed over to the United Nations for delivery to Gaza. What is ‘obvious’ to me is that’s what the flotilla should have done. They didn’t, because they wanted to provoke Israel.

    How generous of the Israeli to give back something which was not theirs in the first place ….. never mind one cannot tell Israeli supporters anything for their persecution complex overwhelms their likely normal good sense.

    I’m sorry dude, but that is complete rubbish. Israel has been attacked time and time again by it’s neighbours over the years. It shouldn’t really exist. In fact, a King once asked one of his advisors for proof of the existence of God, and his advisor said, ‘just look at Israel’.

    As for Gaza, it was taken by Israel when they won the Six Day Way in 1967. Israel was willing to trade land captured in a defensive war for peace, as it eventually did with the Egyptians and Jordanians, but neither the Palestinians nor the Syrians have been willing to offer peace in exchange for land, as required by Security Council Resolution 242.

    Almost immediately upon prevailing over the Arab armies that had pledged and planned to annihilate Israel, the Israeli government agreed to comply with Resolution 242 of the U.N. Security Council, which for the first time in history ordered a nation to return territories lawfully captured in a defensive war. But it ordered this only as part of an overall peace agreement recognizing Israel’s right to “live in security.” This is what 242 provided:

    [The Security Council] (1) Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both of the following prin¬ciples: (i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict; (ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement 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.3 [emphasis added]

    Note that the resolution does not require Israeli withdrawal from all the territories, only “territories,” thus contemplating some territorial adjustments of the kind proposed by Israel at Camp David and Taba in 2000.

    The elimination of the definite article the was an explicit compromise engineered by the United States in order to permit the reten¬tion by Israel of territories necessary to assure secure boundaries.
    Israel immediately accepted the principles of Resolution 242. Accord¬ing to Morris, “The Israeli government hoped to convert its stunning military victory into a political achievement: the conquered territories could be traded for peace.”4 Moshe Dayan, who was then defense minister, was quoted as saying that he was “waiting for a telephone call from King Hussein” to discuss an exchange of land for peace.5 The call did not come until many years later, by which time Hussein had renounced all claim to the West Bank in favor of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

    On June 19, 1967, the Israeli cabinet decided that Israel would “give up Sinai and the Golan in exchange for peace” with Egypt and Syria, writes Morris.6 “Within days both Egypt and Syria had rejected the overture.”7
    As we shall see, Israel has, in fact, implemented the operative principles of Resolution 242 by eventually returning all the captured territory sought by Egypt when Egypt terminated all claims of belligerency against it. Israel also returned land claimed by Jordan as part of the peace agreement with the Hashemite Kingdom. Finally, it offered to turn over to the Palestinian Authority nearly all of the remaining territory captured from Jordan in exchange for peace, but the Palestinians rejected this offer made at Camp David and Taba as recently as 2000, and instead resorted to increased terrorism.
    The major Arab states, along with the Palestinian leadership, on the other hand, categorically rejected the principles of Resolution 242 in 1967 because it required making peace with Israel, which they adamantly refused to do. At a summit in Khartoum, Arab leaders issued their noto¬rious “three no’s” statement: “No peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel, no recognition of Israel.” The Palestinians responded to the Israeli peace offer based on its acceptance of Resolution 242 by adopting the Palestinian National Charter, which expressly denied Israel’s right to exist and pledged to continue “armed struggle” as the only way to liberate all of Palestine.

    So you see, the Palestinians could have had that land back if they had sued for peace but they didn’t want to. They rather want Israel destroyed. In the end, Israel gave Gaza back in 2005 as part of the ‘roadmap to peace’, but all they got were more rockets fired from Gaza at them in return.

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  51. Fletch (6,494 comments) says:

    Scott, yes it is Biblical also. It seems like these two nations were always destined to struggle. Rebecca (Jacob’s wife) it says in the Bible gave birth to twins Jacob and Esau. In Genesis, God says to Rebecca,

    “Two nations are in your womb,
    and two peoples from within you shall be divided;
    the one shall be stronger than the other,
    the older shall serve the younger.”

    God made a promise to Jacob –

    And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. 28:13 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; 28:14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 28:15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.” (Genesis 28:12-15 KJV)

    And Jacob’s name was changed to Israel –

    And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed

    So, the Israelites are descendants of Jacob (Israel), the other Arabs from Esau, and there has been enmity between them ever since and probably always will be. I know that is putting it a bit simplistically, but that is where it all comes from.

    Some more info HERE

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  52. Fletch (6,494 comments) says:

    opps, I meant Rebecca, Abraham’s wife, there…

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  53. Scott (1,818 comments) says:

    I am not totally with you Ben. Is it unadulterated arrogance to believe in God? Does it make you angry that people claim to believe in God? That God could interfere in human affairs?

    I must say I do get annoyed with snippy little comments. Try and make an argument and be clear what you think. You might think you are being clear. But as for me, I am not at all sure what you’re getting at.

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  54. somefella (19 comments) says:

    Fletch :

    I bow down to your completely ignorant and biased view of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. Of course the issue is so black and white , the evil Palestinians are the entire cause of the problems and they should have been grateful with the offers they have been given over the years.

    And if you are going to start quoting reference sources then try not to take it all out of context.

    “If you look at history, in 1948 the UN formulated a partition plan for two states in Palestine – one Jewish, one Arab. If you look at the site HERE, you can see the map of how it would have been divided up evenly between both, with Jerusalem being under international administration. The Jews accepted this plan – the Arabs did not.”

    Who wouldn’t be happy with 56% percent of the land being given to at the time 33% of the population, that had been only 10% in 1922. Those stupid Palestinians for not signing up to the plan imposed on them by the Western Powers (through the UN) to assuage their guilt over the Holocaust.

    Seriously this would be the equivalent of the United Nations proposing that the US states of New Mexico, California, Texas and Arizona give over half their land to a ‘Latino State’ with cities such as Los Angeles becoming international zones. And when the US population rejected this proposal the rest of the world telling them how intransigent they had been and standing back while offering arms and supplies to the Latinos.

    But nor can we really blame the Jewish population for that original conflict and war. After 1500 years of attacks against the diaspora by both government and citizens of many empires and countries culminating in the mass murder of 6 million Jews through the extension of these same evil ideas. The Jews understandably were going to jump at the idea of a homeland and safe-haven and would use the guilt of other nations as well as their own incredible tenacity and hardwork to make it happen. It was up to the rest of the world to make sure that what resulted from this desire created as few new victims as possible; they failed to do this and we are still living with the festering sore that was the result.

    And yes the war after declaration was a disaster largely caused by the incompetent and corrupt Arab governments and armies who joined in the fight, but it is hard to blame the Palestinians for the ill-advised choice of accepting that support either, since nobody else was going to help them. And since then there have been decisions made by both sides and their outside supporters that have been inhuman, tragic and evil for all involved.

    It is not a black and white issue on the whole and I would say there are not even many specific and minor incidents within this whole sorry mess that can be distilled down into one side is right and one side is wrong.

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  55. Scott (1,818 comments) says:

    No somefella -I agree with Fletch. I must say I think your moral equivalence is extremely misguided.
    The arabs hate Israel and will not accept a Jewish state under any circumstances.

    There is no both sides. The arabs need to accept a Jewish state and allow them to live in peace. Until they do then Israel will have to continue to fight.

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  56. somefella (19 comments) says:

    Scott:

    “The arabs”

    Have you been talking to everyone of them ?

    Also can you not understand the basic instinct that would drive many of the Palestinians to hold this view ? Imagine if 60 years ago the Jewish refugees had all ended up in New Zealand instead and 50% of our land had been taken by them to form their new nation displacing large numbers of kiwis ? Would you be 100% confident you would be able to take a dispassionate view of the situation ? In that case I would find it hard to criticize any of my fellow countrymen that called for the destruction of the state the invaders created however misguided and un-constructive that sentiment was.

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  57. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Fletch 12:23 pm,

    opps, I meant Rebecca, Abraham’s wife, there…

    Actually you meant Rebecca, Isaac’s wife – but we know what you mean. I have been known to transpose wives between Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the heat of debate – easy to do.

    For those interested:
    Abraham’s wives: Sarah (wife & mother of Isaac – chosen line), Hagar (concubine; mother of Ishmael), Keturah (concubine).
    Isaac’s wife: Rebekah (mother of Jacob (Israel) – chosen line, and Esau).
    Jacob’s (Israel) wives: Leah, Zilpah (Leah’s handmaid – concubine), Rachel, Bilhah (Rachel’s handmaid – concubine). From these four women (two wives, two concubines) came the twelve tribes of Israel, and ultimately the Messiah; the Lord Jesus Christ – both son of man and Son of God.

    That the descendants of Israel (Jacob) still exist as a largely pure and distinct genetic group, and are back in their land (some of it, promised to them by God) after over 1900 years, and that they speak the same language as spoken by King David approx 3000 years earlier (a truly dead language brought back to life), are testimony to God’s sovereign hand upon His chosen people.

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  58. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    somefella 6:31 pm,

    Also can you not understand the basic instinct that would drive many of the Palestinians to hold this view?

    Yeah, we can – it’s called being indoctrinated from birth; both with a hatred for ALL Jews and the Jewish state, and a totally revised history of both recent and past events of the Middle East – and all of it built on the Islamic foundation of hatred and annihilation for the Jew, the Christian, and all those who will not convert to Islam.

    The irony is that useful idiots like yourself, Somefella, won’t realise the truth of the matter until the Islamists come for you, sever your head, and hold it aloft while screaming “Alluhu Akbar”.

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