Palestinians and Israelis can’t find common ground


A blockade is an act of war and an act of violence against the civilian population of Gaza [“ Gaza blockade divides B.C. observers”, November 22-29]. Stephanie Goldberg of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs calls it “an act of self-defence by Israel”.

Most of the population of Gaza was ethnically cleansed from what is now Israel. Israeli historian Ilan Pappe has described this in his book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Goldberg wants “Hamas to stop firing rockets into Israel” and to “recognize Israel’s right to exist as a state”.

Where is Palestine’s right to exist as a state? Where is the right of Palestinians to live in their native country and not to have their land and houses stolen from them? Where is their right to not be forced into exile, or to not have their homes bulldozed or bombed into rubble? Where is the Palestinian right not to have their children shot or imprisoned for resisting an illegal occupation? Where is the Palestinian right to be free from foreign military occupation and military siege? Where is the right of Palestinians to self-defence?

Palestinians have a legal right to self-defence and to resist ethnic cleansing, military occupation, and a blockade. Israel is an aggressively expansionist, ethnic-cleansing, racist western colony in the Middle East. Where is Stephanie Goldberg’s shame for justifying a genocide in Gaza and ethnic cleansing in the West Bank, as defined by Pappe?

> James Hillen / North Vancouver


According to Gwynne Dyer, stupidity can cause a war [“Stupidity can cause a war”, November 22-29]. How true: the stupidity of Hamas having installed rocket launchers in hospitals, schools, and mosques throughout Gaza, then targeting more than half of the civilians in Israel using hundreds of rockets daily, only to be surprised that Israel retaliated and that civilians got hurt. Hamas ought to have learned the effect of its actions from Operation Cast Lead in 2008.

If terrorists in Bellingham attacked Vancouver with hundreds of rockets daily, surely we would call on the government to stop the shelling. Why is Israel criticized for doing the same?

As to the attack on the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981—Israel could not rely on the opinion of “most outside observers” that the facility was not large enough to enrich uranium. After 2,000 years of persecution of Jews throughout Europe and the assembly-line-style slaughter of six million during the Second World War, Israel does not have the luxury of taking even the most remote risk regarding the security of its population. Those who do not understand that are stupid.

The same philosophy that aims to destroy Israel also considers Christians “infidels” and therefore doomed to be killed. Dyer is supporting his own executioners. Now, that is stupid.

> Inda Cneac / Vancouver

Comments (9) Add New Comment
It's time for the Jewish Colony of Israel to realize just how far Out-to-Lunch, vulgar and criminal they are, in their treatment of Palestinians.

It is somewhat disturbing that the Hebrew Language brought to the English Language two words that are frequently used.

Assassin and Zealot
Rating: -3
Juan Carlos
Hey Spy vs Spy... The Hebrew language and the people who generally speak it have also brought you great advances in medicine and technology, including the guts of the computer you're typing on whose CPU was either designed or manufactured (or both) in Israel. Same with your cellphone and IM technology.

But that aside, Israel would love to have a Palestinian nation next to them. There's only one catch -- that nation needs to accept Israel and its right to exist. Not asking much, are they? Are they? Because this entire problem would go away if that simple little thing happened... Palestinian acceptance of a Jewish State. Or are you saying that Jews don't deserve a homeland? Is that what you're saying? Kick them out of the land that's been theirs for thousands of years?

Palestinian refugees are suffering, and it's entirely the fault of their own government... like Arafat who stole billions instead of using it to build up his people, and the current government of terrorists.

Did you know that millions, yes million of Jews lost their homes in Egypt and what is now Jordan, in 1948? Sort of the inverse of what's being complained about today. Of course, nobody talks about that, especially as most of those people aren't interested in returning to the backwards cultures they left behind, preferring to live in what used to be a wasteland and is now a hotbed of innovation, technology and oranges the size of basketballs.

Indeed, two things would bring peace INSTANTLY to the region -- the PA's acceptance of Israel's right to exist, and the nearby countries accepting the Arab refugees that they should've decades ago.

As much as everyone would like to blame Israel, it's not up to them to solve this problem. They're just fighting to survive. Unless of course you think Israel doesn't deserve to exist... but if that's the case, I'll tell you something. Israel is here to stay, because there are still enough Jews around today who remember, and who teach their kids and grandkids to remember. One day, it'll happen again as it always does throughout history -- but now there is a place to run to. Trust me, the generations of descendants of Holocaust survivors will hold on to Israel to their dying breaths.
Rating: +2

I just spoke to 10 Palestinians and I e-mailed Hezbola and Hamas. I was quite surprised that they all agreed that Israel has a RIGHT TO EXIST.

As a matter of fact, they have already drawn up the BORDERS OF ISRAEL.

They also made a few great suggestions about where you can stuff your oranges.
Rating: -5
My 2 cents
I'm tired of Israel trotting out the poor us bullshit, the government is criminal. So is the American government and now Canada's as well for supporting this.They have been stealing land for decades. How would Canadians feel if the Americans were moving the border northwards? Check out the loss of land
If Israel restored a good chunk of the land and allowed the "country" to flourish, then perhaps the moderates could deal with the extremists wanting to deny Israels existence.
Rating: -8
Juan Carlos
Actually, Spy vs Spy, if you check Hamas' own comments, they currently and continually call for the destruction of Israel. It's really that simple. Yes, many Palestinians support Israel as an independent country. So do most Israelis and Jews around the world, such as myself. I would, as most reasonable people should be, both pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian. The unfortunate part of this, as evidenced at a protest I walked through recently in front of a Vancouver Synagogue, is that the vast majority or pro-Palestinians are anti-Israel and more importantly, anti-Jew.

Kindly explain to me where among these arguments, it is ok for someone to spit in my face and call me a dirty Jew. This is in Vancouver, 2012. Explain to me how me, a Canadian-born Jewish man should be hearing this with respect to a conflict thousands of miles away. The answer, if it's not blatantly obvious to you (and of course it is because you feel this way) is that the anti-Jewish lobby has moved on from Nazi-like right-wing fanatics and settled comfortably with the Palestinian cause. This is the new venue from which it's politically correct to bash Jews, and boy oh boy are all the Jew-haters flocking to it.

To re-itirate my point, Jews have been fleeing for persecution for thousands of years. My grandparents survived the war and fled here. Throughout history, there have been quiet times and quiet places, and Canada's government recently has been a great friend for Israel. But that won't last forever. And I know full well, as do you, that when Harper isn't around to support Israel and the not-so-friendly-to-Israel Canadian or US government is in power, that guy who spat in my face an called me dirty -- won't get in so much trouble for doing so. And then, once again, as historically has happened, the floodgates will open and me or my children or grandchildren will be looking to flee somewhere. And that place will be Israel.

Again, this peace negotiation requires a very fundamental starting point; the right of Israel to exist as an independent Jewish state in the region. It's not a lot to ask for considering if you add up all the Muslim land in the world and shrink it to a football field, the land-mass of Israel would be the size of a mouse pad. And we're to believe handing over the mousepad will make all the problems go away?

Over a billion Muslims in the world. Barely 15 million Jews. Come on.
Rating: 0

Again with where you can stuff your Oranges!

Please tell me and everyone who reads this, what do you see as the Borders of the Palestinian State?

If you wanted peace, you would move the 250,000 - 300,000 Israelis, out of The West Bank NOW.

Israel has no intention of ever allowing a Palestinian State. It will be Harassment, War, Impoverishment and Imprisonment until every last Palestinian is dead or has moved away.

That's why good people around the world get angrier every day at Israel and all those who support and finance the Genocide of the Palestinians.

You included, again with the Oranges!!!!!
Rating: -7
Spy, it is racist to tell Jews they can't live in the West Bank. Jew have been ethnically cleansed from the Arab countries that they were born and raised in! Arabs and Muslims immigrate all over the world, but the Middle East should be Jew-free???? Why? That is where Jews originate from. I am sick and tired of this f***ing double standard. So-called progressives are actually just bigoted racists when it comes to Jews. Maybe Arabs should get the hell out of Israel, if Jews can't live in Gaza, the west bank, Libya, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt etc. What's good for the goose...
Rating: -3
Juan Carlos
The problem with the West Bank and the Golan Heights is the same as the problem currently being seen originating from Gaza... which is that it's a great place from which to attack Israel. Israel left Gaza, and it's become a rocket-launch pad, to the tune of thousands of rockets a year. Give up the West Bank and the rockets will be hitting Jerusalem and Tel Aviv within minutes. Until they agree to stop launching rockets, it doesn't make a lot of sense to give up that land, does it?

I know, Spy vs Spy, you want Israel gone. I get it. But like I said, not only is it not going away, it has every right in the world to defend itself.
Rating: +2
Gene Logan
With the Canadian gov't poised to cut off humanitarian aid to the Palestinians it's worth wondering, if everything is so hunky dory under Israeli oversight, then why the need for humanitarian aid in the first place?

While the world may need more love sweet love, what the middle east needs first is a little honesty. Israel needs to take a good long look in the mirror and be honest about the ongoing illegal occupation of Palestinian lands; it is racist, reminiscent of South African apartheid and inhumane. They could ask themselves if they had approached the Oslo Accord in good faith would there still be intifadas and rocket attacks. Worth considering too is why, as a people with a long history of persecution and subjugation, would they ever want to visit the same on another people.

The Palestinians need to borrow that mirror and acknowledge that violence is not serving them well and be honest about how much further ahead they would be if they had modeled their resistance on Gandhi's campaign for Indian nationhood instead of Osama bin Laden's jihad against all infidels. A good first step would be to stop that pathetic display of modern muslim male machismo that is responsible for launching rockets at Israel on a regular basis - it is not working, invariably invites Israeli retaliation and leads to more death and suffering.

The West certainly has it's share of reckoning to do. We could start by admitting that we do have the power to bring about a just and peaceful settlement ... if only we wanted to. A good start: revoke the Special Envoy credentials of war criminal, Tony Blair, and appoint an honest person to the job, someone like, say, the Prime Minister of Iceland. If the media were to start telling the whole story (instead of just leaving that to Robert Fisk), and stop lying by omission, then our gov'ts might actually have to approach the issue honestly. And if the media really don't know what's going on (which wouldn't be surprising), a good read of Fisk's reporting would quickly bring them up to speed.

Essentially, Israel and Observer State, Palestine, must allow that hatred never ceases by hatred ... and that it's way past time they both acknowledged each other's right to exist.
Rating: -1
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