The Truth About Those Hamas Rockets

Five years ago, the Bush administration lied about weapons of mass destruction to dupe us into supporting an illegal, immoral invasion of Iraq.

A few days ago, Israel trotted out only an infinitesimally more credible excuse — the Hamas rockets case — as justification for its own murderous shock and awe in Gaza, a long-planned campaign perniciously aimed at ousting a “regime” that came to power via popular, democratic vote.

Yes, such rockets exist, but they’re little more than slingshots against Israel’s incredible military might, and they’re used out of desperation by Palestinians who’ve never been accorded the democratic space within which to gain redress of their eminently just grievances.

Israeli apologists have presented absurd propaganda about those devices.

We’ve been asked, for instance, what would we do if rockets were being launched on our homes in New York or Texas, from Canada or Mexico?

The proper answer is that, if those two nations had been unlawfully occupied or embargoed by the United States for sixty years of relentless oppression and repression, and if all attempts at peaceful change had been forcefully prevented or scuttled by the U.S., then such attacks would be an understandable, indeed justifiable attempt at gaining intolerably deferred liberty.

Our appropriate response wouldn’t be to bomb the hell out of the nearest Canadian or Mexican city, but to collectively look into mirrors and earnestly ask ourselves, “What have we done wrong to incur their wrath?”

And then act to correct the situation.

Conscientious Israelis acknowledge that the Hamas rockets rationale is fraudulent. For instance, Jerusalem Post writer Larry Derfner has noted:

“We don’t want to see how people in Gaza are living, we block it out of our minds — which, I suppose, is natural for a society at war, but which also keeps that war going longer than it might if we would recognize that Gaza is getting so much the worst of it.

“The [Palestinian] Kassam [rockets] have terrorized the 25,000 people in Sderot and its environs, but have caused very, very few deaths or serious wounds. By contrast, Israel has terrorized 1.5 million Gazans, locked them inside their awfully narrow borders, throttled their economy, and killed and seriously wounded thousands of them…

“This is crazy. Israel is the superpower of the Middle East, but because we still think we’re the Jews of Europe in the 1930s, or the Israelites under Pharaoh, we spend a lot more time fighting our enemies than we might if we looked at the whole picture, not just our half of it . . .”

As Gazan hospitals and morgues fill beyond capacity because of an ongoing air assault that cruelly began at precisely the hour when countless children were heading home from school, we’re expected to believe that small craters mostly in empty Israeli fields constitute this terrible episode’s chief sin.

Bugs bothered by sporadically impacting, glorified fireworks cobbled together in backyard garages are ludicrously supposed to be the primary problem, not human limbs and lives escalatingly shattered by the most destructive weapons that military science can produce!

At any point during the past six decades, Israel could have had peace, simply by assenting to the great moral imperative of our time, namely the Palestinians’ right to their own, unitary, sovereign homeland.

Something that Israel continues to resist both tooth and nail, F16 and Apache helicopter gunship.

Two years ago, in Southern Lebanon, Israel engaged in similar bombings in civilian areas. Then, too, it maintained that only “terrorist” targets were being hit. As impartial observers finally ascertained the truth, clear evidence of enormous civilian carnage surfaced.

The Israeli leadership lied then, and it’s lying now.

There’s a veritable holocaust occurring in densely packed Gaza. Think Guernica, or the Warsaw Ghetto, with all the searing irony that comparison involves.

Apart from being an ethical travesty offending all decent hearts, it’s an unpardonable outrage to especially Arab/Islamic peoples around the world.

Witness the angry protest demonstrations in cities across the planet.

It takes no extraordinary analytical prowess to appreciate that, when the White House ridiculously blames what’s currently happening on “thugs” in Gaza, and when moderate Arab states adopt an accomodationist position pleasing the U.S. and Israel, a profound Arab/Islamic radicalization billows and swells.

New Osama bin Ladens are being born as innocents in Gaza are getting ripped to death by American-made Hellfire missiles, dispatched toward fleshly targets by Israeli pilots.

In fact, the almost certain, counterproductive outcome of Israel’s action makes us necessarily suspect that secret motives mistakenly judged by Tel Aviv to be worth the risk are actually at play.

Three possibilities spring immediately to mind:

1) Obscenely using de facto genocide to give the present Israeli government a “tough” image before upcoming national elections.

2) Roping Barack Obama into a harder pro-Israeli stance than Tel Aviv fears he’d otherwise take.

3) Creating a manipulated, intensely propagandized situation that would enable a desired Israeli attack on Iran.

Whatever the most deeply hidden reality, Israel’s gargantuan crime must be universally condemned in the strongest possible terms . . . and halted at once!

Dennis Rahkonen, from Superior, Wisconsin, has been writing progressive commentary with a Heartland perspective for various outlets since the '60s. Read other articles by Dennis.

40 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. enlightened said on December 31st, 2008 at 8:35am #

    Are you kidding me!?! How about a real example – imagine rockets were being fired into Denver or Salt Lake city from an Indian reservation, by people hiding between their women and children. Would you also say they are justified because of what happened 200 years ago?

  2. Al said on December 31st, 2008 at 8:45am #

    I have a question for you, why can a a leader of the Islam (religion) come to Israel and preach and talk about the issues between Israel & Palestine, but a Rabbi can’t goto Palestine and do the same?

    you say here that Israel could have obtained peace whenever they wanted, but you are very wrong. In all the wars that we have fought we have been attacked by numerous countries at the same time, you think they wanted peace when they attacked us.

    now one more last thing before I go, Why did Israel have to give back any of the land it took over in the ’67 war?

    I’m a Jew who was brought up in an Arab country & the only thing I wish for is peace, but please do not underestimate Hamas or Hizbullah, yes Israel is more powerful, but its a different type of war.

  3. Tom Westergaard said on December 31st, 2008 at 9:42am #

    What must be stressed is the fact that Gaza is an internment camp. The israelis control all traffic in and out of that camp. They also interfere with trade and destroy commercial agriculture within that camp. The Gaza Palestinians are quite naturally enraged by the israeli boot on their necks and the continual daily humiliations at the hands of israeli soldiers and bureaucratic functionaries. When the Gaza Palestinians refuse to submit to israeli subjugation and resist with what little offensive capabilities they have the israelis engage in merciless Blitzkrieg against them using their state of the art American military hardware..The Palestinians have neither F-16s nor sophisticated air defense systems to do battle with the israeli air force so the israelis can attack them from the air with impunity and from a position of complete safety.

    Compare and contrast: The situation in 1942 Warsaw under Wehrmacht control vis-à-vis the situation in Gaza today under israeli control. Note any dissimilarities (if any).aside from the obvious ethnic role-reversal.


  4. Erroll said on December 31st, 2008 at 11:32am #

    Dennis Rahknoen believes that if the U.S. were attacked by Canada or Mexico, that America would then reflect as to why these attacks would have occurred. Unfortunately, that logical thinking did not happen after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 as the U.S. government decided to almost immediately attack a country like Afghanistan, despite the fact no Afghans were involved with the hijackings on 09/11/01. Likewise, many if not most Americans wanted to viscerally lash out and attack someone while never inquiring as to why someone wanted to harm anyone in the United States. Unless I am wrong in my recollection, I cannot remember anyone in the mainstream media, especially on the corporate airwaves [such as Chris Matthews], ever discussing if these attacks could have happened because of United States foreign policy in the Middle East. Instead, the alleged experts took the easy way out by either claiming, like Bush, that the U.S. was attacked because of its freedoms or simply ignoring the raison d’etre of 09/11/01.

  5. DavidG. said on December 31st, 2008 at 2:10pm #

    The first casualty of war is truth! The Israelis are masters of deception and never have they plied their trade as feverishly as they are now doing in Gaza.

    They are trying to make directionless tom thumbs sound like nuclear devices. That is a stretch even for them but they continue and the gullible and the apathetic, which mostly fill the world, believe them.

    Israel is a cancer. It’s influence is spreading across the world, dragging the world down, turning people against each other.

    Where’s the surgeon?

  6. Capt Bob said on December 31st, 2008 at 4:13pm #

    This post seemed to start in one place, didn’t prove the point made in the title, and ended up somewhere else. I’m not sure what the point of this was other than to make some noise.

    The rockets fired from Gaza aren’t the equivalent of rocks, they have killed people in Israel and they most certainly have terrified the population of Israel within their range. Justifiably? Perhaps not. I suspect not using seatbelts contributes to a lot more Israeli deaths. But there’s a big difference between the intentional infliction of harm (regardless of how effective it is, or has been), than simple negligence. The perception of intentional harm changes political dynamics dramatically, regardless of the level of force or effectiveness of the threat. The importance of intentionality is clearly encoded in our own laws: why should we expect it to be different in other parts of the world?

    As a simple example: In our large, rural, county, we had a full-scale month long investigation of CO2 bombs (dried ice placed in plastic containers set out in empty fields), two summers ago that resulted in the arrest and prosecution of minor children. I think there is clearly a precedent in allowing a state body to take action against other state or non-state entities that threaten it’s peace and security, even if it’s only an intention, not a fully realized action.

    If Hamas acted in a more tolerant, pluralistic and peaceful manner (ha!) during the handover of Gaza to the Palestinians, and during the cease fire period, the current military action would not be taking place. However, the combination of Hamas’s:
    -continuing effort to consolidate political power through violence and terror (once voted in),
    -continuing to sanction and sponsor rocket attacks on Israel,
    -continuing attempts to rearm it’s military units through covert means, and
    -increasing recalcitrance at the negotiating table,

    make it very difficult for me, at least, not to feel a great deal of sympathy for the Israelis.

    I believe these policies have led up to a massive miscalculation on the part of Hamas, and they are paying the price.

    Yelling loudly about the difference between “homemade” rockets (neither the rockets nor their payloads are easy to make at home) and “professional” military weapons misses the point. All that says to me is incompetent v. competent, which says nothing about intention or the root of the violence.

    I think the residents of Gaza are in a hard place. I think Israel is in a hard place. Unfortunately, I don’t think things are so bad yet that either side has any incentive to back down or change their ways of doing business. Until that happens, you can (metaphorically) yell all you want, but events are going to devolve until there’s internal incentives to change behavior.

  7. Hue Longer said on December 31st, 2008 at 6:28pm #

    I liked the article but did think too the hypothetical with Canada/Mexico was odd…Mexico is not as strangled as Gaza and the ire of the people are more effectively controlled and redirected, but an argument could be made for them making slingshots as well

  8. Passenger 57 said on December 31st, 2008 at 6:31pm #

    9-11 was an inside-job

  9. Foster Foskin said on December 31st, 2008 at 7:30pm #

    While the US leadership remains firmly blinkered to reality in the ME, the Israeli’s will continue to kill innocent people at will. And until the world starts vocally protesting we all stand indicted and guilty of genocide. It’s time to put a stop to this farce. The VN war was a good excuse for the Military/Industrial complex to test new weapons without regard to the human cost. The current ME situation is the same.

    Rather than giving us an example of Mexico or Canada attacking the US, Mr Rahkonen should have made it more personal, as I do on many blogs I write to:

    Imagine an aggressor comes to your house armed to the teeth and forces you and your family from your home. If anyone objects they are gunned down, and then your home is bulldozed to the ground. Wouldn’t you use any and all weapons to try and stop this naked aggression? Wouldn’t you fight with everything you have to regain your home, your land, and your dignity?

    The Palestinians were forced from their ancestral lands on the mere whim of Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill because they didn’t want the Jews in their lands. The current conflict is a direct result of their decision. There is no other way to look at this war, and until we do the carnage and death will continue.

    By continuing to attack relatively defenseless Palestinians, the Israeli’s look more and more like the Nazis and Communists they fled from. When are they going to stop acting like bullies and sit down to talk rationally and compassionately? Let’s hope President Obama will live up to his promises for a change. It’s time!

  10. The Angry Peasant said on December 31st, 2008 at 8:06pm #

    Well, here it is, New Year’s Eve and everyone is going out to celebrate. Given the nature of the year we are all facing ahead, I believe it would be a wonderful idea if nobody left their house. Of course, I’m totally dreaming here, but if in some parallel dimension the American people actually had some degree of thought, courage, or self-discipline, they would all stay home this evening. Imagine if nobody showed up in all those urban centers to act like buffoons. Picture a practically desolate Times Square at midnight, when that stupid ball drops. I can’t think of a better way for the American people to tell those ruling-class bastards, “We The People are not at all happy.”

    Again, I dream…

  11. damon said on December 31st, 2008 at 9:03pm #

    I read this because I was hoping to find real info on the rockets, range, destructive capability, accuracy, something?

    But all you have are soundbites like “slingshots compared to the military might”…

    Wikipedia has some good info on the Qassam rockets (5000 fire into Israel in 2008 alone).

    These rockets are pretty simple and unguided, but it is 1-10kg of explosives flying around randomly for each rocket.

  12. bozh said on January 1st, 2009 at 6:29am #

    usssr did allow emigration of jushits. UK in ’45 did not allow immigration of ‘jews’ into UK.

    bears repeating: pals have legal and moral obligation to resist forever their occupation.

    bears repeating: one day innocent ‘jews’ will pay for their fathers’ nazilike crimes.

    israelites bit the dust

    judeans also. thnx

  13. Max Shields said on January 1st, 2009 at 7:34am #


    The point is the context within which these Qassam rockets are being flung. What is happening in Gaza?

    While none of this back and forth violence moves the situation into anything approximating justice and peace, there is the larger context tha must be included.

    If you are living in a hell hole created by an occupier who continues to settle and take more and more of the land that was original where you and your family lived, then I think the situation begins to connect.

    Even if a 100,000 of these rockets hit Israel, where are they landing and what has been done to address the root cause? For Israel it is ceaseless war using US made weapons on civilians.

  14. Aaron Aarons said on January 1st, 2009 at 8:35am #

    People don’t usually do anything, including massacring people in an open-air prison, for just one reason. But it has occurred to me that one purpose the attack on Gaza is serving is to distract much of the world’s attention away from the massive looting that the largely-Jewish-and-Zionist international bankers have been doing, and are still doing. I certainly can’t prove that that’s one of the motives, but it seems more than plausible.

    By the way, I’m of Jewish ethnicity myself. Not all Jews are Zionists, and even fewer of us are banksters. But, for too long, we’ve worried more about the anti-Jewish attitudes of “goyim” than about the racism, tribalism and sociopathic behaviors of our fellow Jews. In the spirit of the late Israel Shahak, it’s time to come clean!

  15. John smith said on January 1st, 2009 at 12:07pm #

    The Zionists in charge of the massacre in Gaza have just one objective: to clear Palestine of Palestinians. The ongoing carnage in Gaza is just another day at the office for them. And they hope you won’t notice!

    Ethnic cleansing has been the Zionist credo since 1948, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced to become refugees.

    The Palestine Review

  16. bozh said on January 1st, 2009 at 12:35pm #

    glad u brought that up: to draw attention away from the scams going on.
    i did not think of that.
    as for u being of jewish ethnicity, i doubt very much that u r genetically descendant of the israelites or judeans.
    people claiming to be jewsih r just deceiving us so as to lay a greater claim to the lands of the shemites or semites.
    but u’r not semitic but an admixture of dozens of voelken. thnx

  17. Bob said on January 1st, 2009 at 1:01pm #

    How much of the land that constitutes Israel could have been merely purchasaed with the trillion dollars that has been spent in the ME to enable Israel to take it by force and murder its neighbors?

    No despot, no tyrant, no butcher in history has ever prevailed. Every Jew in the world should tremble at the hatred and animosity Isarael is creating all over the world. Paybacks are hell.

    Israel and the U.S. think they can avoid paybacks with their propaganda and fascist tactics. They are wrong.

  18. D.M.Duarte said on January 1st, 2009 at 1:07pm #

    It is hard to understand why Palestinians keep launching rockets and perpetrating terrorist attacks against Israel.
    It is so stupid.
    What do they want to get with this silly strategy?
    They are just self-inflicting an endless suffering to their people.
    Why don’t they try a more smart approach such as diplomacy, serious peace talk, etc.

  19. Max Shields said on January 1st, 2009 at 2:51pm #

    I hear you mother calling you for cookies and milk. Hurry now, it’s time for another bedtime story before you go off to dreamland.

  20. The Angry Peasant said on January 1st, 2009 at 5:38pm #

    Ooh! Ooh! I want a bedtime story! How about the one about “freedom and justice for all” again?

  21. Aaron Aarons said on January 2nd, 2009 at 12:00am #

    bozh writes: “as for u being of jewish ethnicity, i doubt very much that u r genetically descendant of the israelites or judeans.”

    I don’t give a damn who or where my ancestors were a few thousand years ago. I don’t even know a hell of a lot about my grandparents, who spoke mostly Yiddish and came to New York from Eastern Europe early in the last century. I do know that I grew up, as did my parents, as part of the Jewish community of New York City, and that my parents spoke Yiddish as well as English. Also, my grandparents and, to a lesser extent, my parents practiced Jewish religious rituals, like eating kosher food.

    I don’t think that being “Jewish”, whether by an ethno-cultural definition or a racist, genetic one, gives anyone any special rights to land that other people called “Jews” occupied in the distant past. I’m an egalitarian, believing that the earth, to the extent it “belongs” to people at all, belongs to everybody, but that people who have established lives somewhere shouldn’t be displaced by newcomers. (But not being displaced is not the same as keeping an excess of land or resources as your “property” or “your country”, as, e.g., capitalists and AmeriKKKan nationalists want to do.)

  22. Josh said on January 2nd, 2009 at 12:01am #

    I am a christian and live in america but i hate and i am disgusted in our govt because of all the support we are giving to the israelis and all the money we are giving to them. “israel” was once palestine but those damn jews took over the palestinians land BY FORCE and killed innocent civilians and little kids. And one thing with the war right now between hamas and israel, israel is trying to rebound and show off their muscles with a country that has all its borders closed so they can reclaim their power after getting fucked up by hezbollah. If it wasnt for the resistance hezbollah more lebanese land will be invaded till this day the shibaa farms are being occupied by the israelis and for what reason. Israel has invaded palestine since 1948 Little by little israel is going to try to take over as much land as possible. The israelis are the real terrorist not the arabs if America was invaded by Israel by FORCE would you sit back and let it be. Many people would do anything in their power to get their homeland back. It was taking by FORCE so we will get it back by FORCE. Hopefully those damn israelis will suffer and pay for the massacare they have caused for the past 61 years.

  23. bozh said on January 2nd, 2009 at 9:38am #

    u cld’v said it in more civilized manner and welcomed free speech instead of of trying to deter it.
    yiddish, implies that this dialect of a german language, is a judean dialect.
    it is desirable that one be adequate and accurate.
    to me u r a “jew” only inasmuch u adhere to a cult; as a human, u r an admixture of people.
    what is so shemitic or hebraic ab paul newman, bacall, kirk douglas and many other?
    it is not my fault that u have chosen a cult as ur nationality.
    but ‘jewish’ or treachery/lies of any wrong doer must be adequately and accurately exposed. thnx

  24. pieriot said on January 2nd, 2009 at 6:42pm #

    O-o-ops! Roosevelt, Stalin, Churcil not only wanted judes in their countries – they were put to power by judes cuz three were jews themselvst. Plz study a ltle bit of history befoore making statements.
    Just look who RULES three countries now!
    BTW izzis didnt flee nazi or commi – they came toPalestine to take control of MidEast as formost strategic point/ got it/never will let it go.
    Unless some able body will brake this stick, but where is it, that body ??!!

  25. Aaron Aarons said on January 2nd, 2009 at 7:47pm #

    Regardless of whether it’s a good idea for them to do so at all, Hamas has only fired its rockets in response to violent attacks by the ZioNazis. The cease-fire with Israel was broken when the latter killed a bunch of Hamas people in Gaza. For Israel, a “cease-fire” means “you be totally non-violent and we’ll only kill you when it serves our interests”.

    Personally, I think Hamas shouldn’t be firing rockets into Palestine, even if the part they’re firing into has been in the possession of the Zionist Occupation Regime (ZOR) since 1948, rather than since 1967. Doing so, unless they’re targeting a specific base or facility of the ZOR, seems to be an implicit recognition that the areas that they’re targeting, which are inhabited by both Palestinians and settlers, are actually part of something called “Israel”, rather than occupied Palestine. I certainly hope that Hamas doesn’t recognize any “right to exist” of this so-called “Israel”.

    But Hamas and all anti-imperialists have a right and, perhaps, a responsibility to retaliate against legitimate military targets. Even if one is much more cautious than the Zionists are in defining “legitimate military targets”, clearly any person or entity anywhere in the world that actually arms and/or finances the ZOR is such a legitimate target.

  26. bozh said on January 3rd, 2009 at 10:16am #

    u’r the first ‘jew’ who, afaik, doesn’t recognize isr in any shape. i, too, only recognize palestine.
    i have been saying of late (since a few yrs ago) that armed resistance against isr cannot succeed.
    it may exacerbate the sit’n for them. i suggest they adopt freesex care and make lostof babies.
    and wait and wait. one certainty: everything changes. thnx

  27. Suthiano said on January 3rd, 2009 at 10:56am #

    Ten Commandments and Israel

    You shall not kill… oops
    You shall not steal (kidnap according to Talmudic interpretations), even foreign peoples… oops
    You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour… “Hamas attacked us” yikes
    You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbour.. including their land… shucks.

    Four of the ten commandments broken repeatedly by Israel since it came into existence. Says a lot about the moral and spiritual condition of Israel and its leaders.

  28. Patrick Cunningham said on January 6th, 2009 at 12:07am #

    Isn’t it grand that the US A Capitalists are making money off another war/military force…Isn’t it interesting how all we hear about are those rockets coming from palastine.. Two people killed from those rockets while five hundred killed and two thousand injured from Israel……. Many more palatine people to be killed and injured… Israel and the USA , brothers in arms and land. Start a war and take the land…

  29. Dan said on January 6th, 2009 at 9:34pm #

    Oh boy, I can picture a family looking at their destroyed car in their driveway and Mum saying “Hoho those feisty Palestinians, they really got us today! But man do we ever deserve it, we’ve been real jerks. It’ll be the bus for us for a while, which will give us plenty of time to think about our actions! Sure glad we didn’t come out five minutes earlier.”

    I don’t like Israel occupying Palestine either, but you can’t say just because they’re only little flying explosives that it should be brushed off as just desserts. People are voted out of office for issues like bad public transport and not keeping the local sports franchise from moving on = do you think an average American would hesitate to vote out a guy who’s not doing something about the rockets landing on the baseball diamond on a Saturday morning during little league?

    Everyday folks aren’t big on looking in the mirror and taking responsibility for the country’s direction, regardless of how much you wish they were. They’re jealously protecting their kids and their walls.

  30. karen rhinehart said on January 8th, 2009 at 10:08am #

    I was watching the news and while the newsman was talking a siren sounded and he stood there while a rocket came in. I have seen fireworks more ominous than that rocket! That is not to say that anyone should be shooting even bottle rockets at someone else, but the terrible, overwhelming response from Israel is a sin againest God and man.

    I have not kept up with the Israeli casualties but the first day I know 3 of their soldiers were killed by their own tanks and fortunately for them, only a small number of Israeli soldiers have been killed. But when you talk about the casualties among the Palestinian, the numbers are in the hundreds and a great many of them are women and children. How can the United States support such an action? Why are we not insisting that the Israelis withdraw, that the Red Cross or the Crescent Cross be admitted and that aid be offered to those poor suffering people. How can we support Israelis when we know that what they are doing is morally wrong. We stood by them when they invaded Lebanon because one of thier soldiers was captured. It would be laughable if it were not so tragic.

    We continue to support any action Israel makes because so many of our politicians are dependent on Jewish backers to contribute to their campaigns. The networks are run by Jewish businessmen. Until recently, most of Wall Street was runs by Jewish people. They are a very talented, gifted group of people. But they have way too much power in our newspaper and television industry. The news is slated and anyone who says anything negative is automatically anti-semetic. We have to separate our guilt about the HOlocaust from this current situation. Is the killing of Arab women and children ok because they are being killed by jewish soldiers. I listen to the BBC because they do not seem to be afraid to call a spade a spade, where the American press gives the Jewish casualites as much weight as the Palestinian ones, even though the percentage is about 50 to one. This holocaust must stop. We know Bush won’t doanything, but OBama should condemn Israel’s action and call for a truce. Enough already!!

  31. bozh said on January 8th, 2009 at 11:56am #

    Dan, in case you did not know, we’ll repeat that an occupied people is bound by law and morality to resist its occupation by any means.
    why do you think amers engaged i a revolutionary war to free themselves from british yoke?
    were amers then terrorists? and as such having no right to be free of foreign domination.
    you say you don’t like occupation. what is that mean?. did you try it onyour own skin and found it not likeable?

  32. Shy said on January 9th, 2009 at 10:36pm #

    There is no statistical equlivence between Hamas largely ineffective but occasionally deadly rockets and the massive full scale military assault being perpetrated by the Israeli state against Gaza. A comparison of the death toll between Israelis killed in Hamas rocket attacks and Gaza residents killed in Israel’s latest attack:

    As of January, 4th 2009 the number of Israeli’s killed by Hamas rocket attacks as of 2001 = 28 (

    Number of Palestinians killed in ten days of the Israeli military attack on Gaza = 531
    entitled and

    More eye opening stats:

    Not to gloss over the deaths of non-combatants, neither Palestinian or Israeli, but the disparity in the death toll between Palestinians and Israeli’s definitely impedes upon any notion of a reasonable defense of human life. But then again at the heart of nationalism or patriotism is a chauvinism that denies the validity of a universal humanity in favor of the rights of the citizen. Liberalism liberated itself from the rule of theocracy in Europe only to enshrine of a sovereign nation-state and the idea of the rights of the citizen as new superstition that glosses over the reality that the earth is the natural habitat of man and that humans, regardless of where they hail from, share a common origin and common biological needs.

  33. jan said on January 11th, 2009 at 10:15am #

    Your “real example” of rockets being fired form an Indian reservation into Denver city is good one, putting aside the obvious fact that it’s not “real” and that you got the point of your example backwards.
    The question for most people living in Denver (and by extension, the occupants of America) isn’t whether the indigenous people would be justified in fighting back from a walled, embargoed and besieged reservation, but whether the people of America and the government of the United States would be justified in bombing the reservation and over a period of about a week killing over 800 (& maiming thousands more) of the women, children and other civilians in response. The Israeli action in Gaza is clearly a war crime, like those in Serbia, Rwanda and other recent examples. We are complicit in this to the extent that we remain silent . We need to advocate for the prosection of those leaders amongst us that sanction these crimes.

  34. dan said on January 12th, 2009 at 1:08pm #

    No country in the world would tolerate what the terrorists are inflicting on Israel. It is proportional my friends. What is not proportional is what is shown on the news.
    There are more pictures of injured in west bank than there are of all the atrocities against hundreds of countries, included those done by american armies, nazi armies, and african madmen.

    Not at single Arab country gives a penny to allow “palestinians” improve their life. All the relief help is to organize rallies and build more rockets and bombs. If suicide bombing is such an acceptable way of life there, perhaps they could all blow themselves up, go to heaven, and leave Israel alone. Israel is the most productive country in the world; for its size, it has contributed more to advances in living in medicine, technology and arts than all the billions of Arabs that have collectively ever lived on earth.
    Their goal is peace, the Arabs goal is destruction of Israel…pure and simple.

  35. Richard Savary said on January 20th, 2009 at 8:05am #

    I’d like to respond to “enlightened’s” remarks. (S)He states “How about a real example – imagine rockets were being fired into Denver or Salt Lake city from an Indian reservation, by people hiding between their women and children. Would you also say they are justified because of what happened 200 years ago?”

    Well, how about if the hundreds and thousands of Indians had been slaughtered YESTERDAY? What if “between their women and children” was the ONLY place these Indians had from which to launch a resistance? And finally, what if these Indian rockets were being launched, not into large cities, but rather into rural areas interspersed with small towns, where the damage and casualties are minimal? THIS is the case with Hamas in Gaza, NOT what “enlightened” describes.

    Hamas rockets killed 4 Israelis (one a soldier) with its rockets in all of 2008 before the Gaza invasion. During the invasion Hamas killed 13 more Israelis, while Israel killed over 1300 innocent Palestinian men, women and children. The Hamas rockets are a symbolic and political act, demanding freedom from brutal oppression. Israel’s invasion of Gaza was a viscous slaughter.

  36. Neil Spire said on January 20th, 2009 at 2:30pm #

    Sorry, Dennis, but your earnest insight is biased and factually incorrect. You wrote “… Israel trotted out only an infinitesimally more credible excuse — the Hamas rockets case — as justification for its own murderous shock and awe in Gaza, a long-planned campaign perniciously aimed at ousting a “regime” that came to power via popular, democratic vote.Yes, such rockets exist, but they’re little more than slingshots against Israel’s incredible military might, and they’re used out of desperation by Palestinians who’ve never been accorded the democratic space within which to gain redress of their eminently just grievances.”

    Point #1: “murderous shock and awe”. On this point, you’re right – Israel did that. But all Hamas had to do was reinstate the ceasefire. I would expect Palestinians to be more concerned for the welfare of their people than Israel, their avowed enemy. But Hamas chose – as it consistently does – to assert its military attempt to eradicate Israel rather than protect its own people. Wouldn’t you do that for your family and neighbors? NOT fight? It didn’t have to recognize Israel, pay obeisance, or even look bad to their own people – just stop firing rockets into Israel.
    Instead, Abu Obeida of Hamas told Al-Jazeera, “Our capacity to launch rockets hasn’t been diminished, and we will launch more rockets with God’s help.” (Note the invocation of God, by the way. Not “peace with God’s help.”) Tehran University will celebrate the end of the Gaza war in a feast that will be attended by Iranian President Ahmadinejad. University students will hold a special celebration at Tehran University on Tuesday to “commemorate the Palestinian resistance and to discuss the consequences of the bitter Zionist defeat.” President Ahmadinejad on Monday described the Israeli decision to pull its troops out of Gaza as a “victory” for the Palestinian resistance.
    By the way, Reuters reports that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak told a summit of Arab leaders in Kuwait on Monday that Hamas invited Israel’s offensive against Gaza by not extending their cease-fire when it expired last month.
    Also, you dismiss Israel’s motives (“Israel trotted out only an infinitesimally more credible excuse”). What’s your basis for that charge other than your own prejudice?

    Point #2: “Rockets exist but they’re little more than slingshots…” That’s patently untrue. Those rockets have destroyed houses, schools and playgrounds – as well as killed people. But you minimize the violence done to the Israelis because your fundamental argument is that they are colonizers. At least be candid enough to admit that those “slingshots” are lethal and that Israelis in some towns have had to sleep in bomb shelters for eight years and their children have to have bomb shelters in their schools. Sirens go off three and four times a day. Don’t suggest that that is not serious aggression on Hamas’ part.

    #3. “Palestinians who’ve never been accorded the democratic space within which to gain redress of their eminently just grievances.”
    Oh those poor democratic Palestinians – all they want is life and liberty. Right. Of course, that has to include the right to cut off the hands of 8 year old thieves and to stone to death girls for the crime of being raped.
    You ignore – either deliberately or out of ignorance – the reality that Hamas is a religious, not nationalistic, organization. They are committed to the implementation of fundamentalist Islam over all of the land, not just Gaza and the West Bank, and together with other fundamentalist groups, around the world. Let’s not forget that yesterday Hamas militiamen rounded up hundreds of Fatah members in Gaza and a Fatah official in Ramallah said at least 100 of his men had been killed or wounded as a result of the massive Hamas crackdown. Some had been brutally tortured. The official said that at least three of the detainees had their eyes put out by their interrogators.
    Hama speaks in the language of democracy but means to use it as a vehicle for implementing sharia, Forget one-man-one-vote. Maronites, Copts, Eastern Orthodox and missionizing Christians have been victims of Islamic prejudice for centuries. This prejudice is manifest in most Islamic countries, where religious inequality requires that non-Moslems must wear distinctive clothing, may not look a Moslem in the eye, may not defend themselves in court against a Moslem and must pay a tax. In the case of proselytizing, non-Moslems can be sentenced to death, as has happened repeatedly.

    Point #4. “unlawfully occupied or embargoed … for sixty years of relentless oppression” This is of course your real issue: not the settlements but Israel proper: 60 years of “repressive” action by Israel. The Palestinians could have a two-state solution if they would only take it. But they are determined to win a one-state solution bought at the price of a second Holocaust. This is the reality that Israel’s critics willfully refuse to acknowledge. You ignore the fact that there were five wars against Israel by its Arab neighbors – wars pledged to drive Israelis “into the sea”. Were Hamas to have the power to be the dominant force, Israel would not be confined to Gaza, it would be totally and mercilessly destroyed, and that would be done in the name of God, no less. We can go back and forth debating whether Israel’s actions are ‘disproportionate’ or even inherently inept but let’s be clear that if the situation were reversed, Hamas has absolutely no intention of compromise.Now, THAT’s genocide. But nary a mention by you.

  37. Al- A-j said on January 29th, 2009 at 5:11pm #

    If you are an advocate for peace and social justice, albeit a radical one, you have to look at this issue square in the eyes. Let’s not get carried away with the terms “shock and awe “and “slingshots,” which the tv images and asinine commentary tend to reinforce.
    You have a country, Israel, which is mostly a reform Jewish state, young and progressive, a strange and startling “problem” in the middle of a larger Arab problem which is, going through bouts of religious pain due to the recognition that the free market and free thought can make people feel free from Allah and free from hadiths, and holy duties.
    The conservative Muslims and the moderates have to negotiate closer to the middle and the West has to meet them both on neutral ground (meaning the McDonald’s parking lot is not going to work).
    Instead of grieving over the whole big weapons versus little weapons dilemma, how about we discuss the possibility of Arab neighbors and Jewish neighbors being accountable for the safety of each others’ citizens. That’s what this is all about. This war is a war of accountability. The Israelis need countries such as Turkey, such as um Egypt, Syria, U.S., European Union (starring Sarkozy) to share accountability of Palestinian citizens, aid etc. Israel should share the responsiblity too.
    Your post, Dennis, points out exactly what most of the free press has been feeling and thinking. The problem is they think too much with their emotions, picking the most shocking footage, the most marketable way of attracting viewers, unfortunately clouding the path to reason. There is not security for the people in the region, because some neighbors are understandably afraid of pissing their Islamist buddies off by becoming too involved in peace with a Jewish state, risking Islamist retaliation for allying with Israel. Israel, frankly has good reason to fear anhillation. We don’t need to go looking for WMD’s to prove that. Israel’s anhillation is already written as past tense in Hamas’ constitution. Quit comparing deaths. Compare which neighbors can share the blame and help put out the fire.

  38. John Dreiling said on February 18th, 2009 at 9:20pm #

    I wonder if drunk drivers in Isael or Hassam rockets killed and injured more people during the 2001-2008 period. If drunk drivers killed more should all the bars in Israel be firebomded?

    Only fifteen people died from Hassam rockets in eight years! More UN relief worker than that were killed by Israel in their last Gaza invasion.

    Whatever the discussion, the rules of engagement must be applied eqully to all sides. Israel does not do this. They just (Feb 15) expanded a settlement in the West Bank. Did Hamas or Fatah physically occupy Israeli land in response? No. What would have been Israel’s response if Hamas or Fatah had done to them what they did? A massive deadly attack. The Bible says do unto others as you would have done unto yourselves. Israel does not do this at all.

    The situation is tragic. Hamas is honest but fanatically unrealistic and its support of the rocket attacks is hugely counterproductive. Fatah is corrupt and inconsistent. Israel is self deceiving, rule bending and mean.

    Israel, if you want peace, look honestly into your actions. Would respond differently than the Palestinian if some country, say Jordan, claimed Israeli land and began constructing settlement “peacefully”? And if ,when they were attacked by you, they claimed you were attacking civilian settlements, would you see their logic and let them continue building? That sort of compliance toward occupation and land seizureis what you expect of the Palestinians.

    Hamas, if you want success, bend a little. Face reality. You are too scary and that draws violence and irrationlity from within and without.

    Fatah, if you want success, clean up your operations. Work to provide a transparent and efficient government that can represent your people. Hamas takes your support because they are more honest, not because their ideas are more popular.

  39. J said on March 25th, 2009 at 8:50pm #

    I have to say you missed the mark rather dramatically… If you would like to see the truth about Hamas just read their charter. Here’s a link

    If I were you I would start doing a little research before posting misdirected libel online. While Israel might not be the white knight it wants to be seen as, blaming one side never covers the whole picture. Hamas is NOT a unifying force as it sits it is committed to the eradication of the Nation of Israel and the Jewish religion. As far as peace this is their charter’s view of peace, “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors. The Palestinian people know better than to consent to having their future, rights and fate toyed with.”

    They even hate the Rotary Club I mean come on….

  40. william said on May 6th, 2009 at 11:26am #

    The problem is we keep debating the past, the only path to a peaceful future is to move forward. Focusing on blame is how we got here; we cannot undo the past, impossible. But we can shape our future, we must learn to forgive and appreciate what we all have to offer. No one nation or people have the answer, we as individuals must work together to overcome these issues. If we could use our imagination to solve problems instead of laying balm we could have fixed this long ago. There is hope, Ireland put both Catholics and Protestants together for school and social engagements, it took a while but things there are better than ever. There is no one big answer just allot of regular people working together to make the world a better place for our children.

    “All you need is love” / “there is nothing to fear but fear itself”