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What next for US-Israel relations?

10:23 UK time, Tuesday, 16 March 2010

The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, has said Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip is causing unnecessary suffering. What are the chances of Israeli Palestinian peace talks resuming?

Mr Ban is in the Middle East to try to revive the peace process. Speaking in Gaza, Mr Ban said Israel's policy was undermining Palestinian moderates, while empowering extremists.

The international community last week strongly condemned Israel's announcement of planning permission for 1,600 new homes in East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel since 1967.

Do you think the two sides can agree on enough to even start indirect talks? How likely is it Israeli will comply with international pressure to stop building settlements on occupied territory? How damaging is the row over Israeli settlements to peace efforts? And to US-Israeli relations?

This debate has now been closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 13

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    After the ebb tide will follow. It would be foolhardy to assume that there will be a serious rupture in US-Israel relations. The biggest campaign donations for candidates fighting US elections flow from Israel-affiliated companies for decades now. This appears to be a mock-drill to misguide the world particularly the Middle-East countries and in particular the land-deprived poor Palestinians who suffer interminably and see no sign of a Palestine Statehood on the horizon.

  • Comment number 3.

    Israel really put its foot in its mouth by announcing these illegal extra settlements. It's time someone just said NO to them.

  • Comment number 4.

    The redication of a synagogue that was destroyed and pillaged by the Arabs in 1948 before they illegally expelled the entire Jewish population of the old city of Jerusalem cannot in any language be described as a provocation. Especially coming from the representatives of a religion which built a mosque on purpose on top of another religion's holiest site. What the Hammas and PA are showing today is just how far they are removed from any thoughts of peace or compromise.

  • Comment number 5.

    In an ideal situation enough pressure will be applied to Netanyahu to make him realise that East Jerusalem is not the city of gold - it is a golden calf, and he will act sensibly, his unholy alliance of fanatical rabbis, whose latest announcement is that it is forbidden to mourn for organ donors, and intellects like the bouncer who is masqerading as a foreign minister will collapse, and we will get a government dedicated to making Israel a better place, leaving not a stone unturned in the quest for genuine peace. The pressure should then be applied to the Palestinians, to stop the sort of incitement we have seen today, and to sit down and negotiate, which means compromise and acceptance. Our leaders on both sides are so incompetent they are incapable of solving this problem.

  • Comment number 6.

    Nothing will change from this row. Its always the same thing. Israel does something very negative against the peace process... the US barks for a few days but then business as usual. As long as Israel refuses to abide by international law and move back to its 1967 borders... THERE WILL BE NO PEACE!!! None of these US, Egypt etc.. brokered peace plans will ever work. Israel is the illegal occupier here, the Palestinians are fighting for their peoples' survival. When will people see what's really in front of them and stop believing in dirty politicians who have only one thing in mind... filling up their own pockets.

  • Comment number 7.

    I would just like to say that not everyone in the U.S. agrees with our new president and his views. Your article said that the U.S. is angered, but it is the president that is angered not it's citizens. We have always have maintained a good relationship with Israel in the past. I feel that mr. obama does not speak for me or for my family, he has taken stances that are not in line with the the will of a nation that was built on christian beliefs and values (as stated in our history). I agree with Israel that they should not allow the world community to give away it's most important city,Jerusalem, in bits and pieces, slowly over time there will be nothing left. When will it end? I do not know, the white house nor our representatives return or answer our emails.

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 10.

    The simple most worrying statistic is that it is largely the secular on both sides of the divide who most actively seek peace and the ultra-religious who believe that g-d gave the land to them and that there is no room for people of other faiths or who are less religious than them. Secular people average around 2 children a family, the ultra-religious around 10. Time is running out if we are ever to make peace, if not the secular on both sides of the divide will have no future.

  • Comment number 11.

    Israel is making the US look like idiots.

    US go over there to mediate peace, so Israel makes its utter disdain for peace clear, by announcing more settlements - the most divisive thing it could do.

    there will never be peace in the middle east whilst politics is based on murky religious 'tradition' not fact.

  • Comment number 12.

    Israel's 'unshakeable ally' awaits formal response
    (8:21pm on 15 Mar 2010. I don't understand why this piece was neither posted nor rejected. It just appeared on my blog.)

    The US State Department can say what it likes but this latest “fiasco” is all a ruse for public consumption.
    If the US really wanted to stop Israel in its tracks, all it would take is
    a) stop the endless funding
    b) stop the endless supply of weapons.
    There was no real plan for talks with the Palestinians – direct or indirect.
    Each American politcian duly followed the script:
    Hillary Clinton called it "deeply negative", White House adviser David Axelrod said it was an "affront" and an "insult".
    Biden was angry; Obama was angrier.
    In the meantime, one look at a map of Israel/Palestine will clearly show that a viable two-state solution is no longer in the cards; the only thing to talk about is a one-state solutuion, and Israel will never, NEVER agree.

  • Comment number 13.

    Finally some people are waking up, smelling the coffee and seeing through the powerful Israeli propaganda.

    If only the world had the backbone to punish Israel for all of the UN resolutions that it has flouted over the last few decades.

    And shame on the British government for changing our laws to allow alleged Israeli war criminals like Tzipi Livni the right of free passage into the UK without fear of arrest. Never in the history of our country has a British government done so much for a foreign state and so little for the British people.

  • Comment number 14.

    Two icncidents have highlighted Israels attitude towards its allies recently.

    Firstly , the alleged cloning of the identities from the passports of allied european nationals.

    Secondly announcing a huge expansion in East Jerusalem and the settlements just as the US Vice President arrives to restart the peace process.

    Clearly Israel has nothing but utter contempt for its allies.

  • Comment number 15.

    6. At 12:05pm on 16 Mar 2010, ArmandK wrote:
    "Nothing will change from this row. Israel is the illegal occupier here, the Palestinians are fighting for their peoples' survival."

    Wasn't the survival of their people what Israel was fighting for in 1948 after its neighbours invaded, and then in 1967 during the Six-Day War when it captured the territories of Gaza and the West Bank from Jordan?

    Anyway, I see this issue as more of a temporary blip in the friendship between the USA and Israel that will soon blow over. It won't make the USA (or, on an unrelated note, the UK) no longer an ally of Israel, despite this being a fervent wish of many of the commentators here.

  • Comment number 16.

    The indiscriminate support for Israel has been questionable for decades. A new perspective of the relationship has been due for ages. The US should not appear to be appeasing the Muslim world, but neither should they be in a position where Israel tells them how high to jump. Great opportunity for diplomatic resolutions.

  • Comment number 17.

    Israel can manupulate the US public opinion at will, using the media and its religious, financial, political and economic power there.

  • Comment number 18.

    Of course Israel should be able to build what they like and where they like in their own sovereign country. It is apalling that the US, EU or anyone else tries to dictate their building policy. Israel wouldn't dream of interfering with ours, so we shouldn't theirs. It seems that the US is only interested in appeasing terror groups who have designs on destroying legal Israel. They have fallen hook line and sinker for all the adverse stuff that comes from Hamas, Fatah and Hezzbollah. Why haven't these groups used the £millions of international aid to improve the welfare of their own people instead of spending every penny on weapons to attack a bona fida country?

  • Comment number 19.

    No belief approves greed...

  • Comment number 20.

    Come on now, the Iranians don't respect Obama, why than should Israel respect Obama?
    Obama was rasied in Islamic Indonesia, has ties to Reverend Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, his Pastor of 20 years Reverend Wright blamed most of the American Black man's problems on Jews as has Reverend Jesse Jackson and AL Sharpton. Did anyone think he would be sensitive to the needs of this one small Jewish nation surrounded by large powerful Islamic states?

  • Comment number 21.

    Why does the US fund the Israelis? The US is in a difficult financial position and should explain to the Israelis that their relieous dreams of a palestinian free West Bank just can't be afforded. Surely the US people don't want their tax dollars spent on foreign wars of conquest?

    But if the donations to US politicans by these lobbies are just too lipsmackingly good to resist, then at least reduce the aid to Israel so that it can only defend its orignal boarder rather than its conquests.

    There is no better signpost to peace than the war money running out - If Israel couold not afford to have so many people in arms it would need to negotiate.

  • Comment number 22.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 23.

    My comment at number 15. should have said "the territories of Gaza from Egypt and the West Bank from Jordan."

  • Comment number 24.

    The US is angered by israel's actions because it believes those actions endanger american lives. For a moment I actually thought that america was angry because of yet another injustice visited upon the Palestinians. How foolish of me. This is just a lovers tiff, normal service will soon be resumed - expect to see uncle sam puckering-up to israeli posterior very shortly.

  • Comment number 25.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 26.

    A refeshing change from a US administration, there may be hope for peace afterall, but I won't hold my breath.

  • Comment number 27.

    Israel is a state born in the terrorism of the Stern Gang on the back of the Balfour declaration and European / UN guilt over the holocaust. It has been maintained by indiscriminate funding of their military and weapons by the US - as well as the US consistently enabling them to flout international law by vetoing any effort to force them to adhere to UN mandates. UN mandates that are enforced all over the world - except for Israel where all of a sudden UN mandates are biased and anti-Semitic. The fact that the Palestinians are also semites and that the mandates are generally intended to get this displaced people some of their land back and some propsepct for peace and prosperity seems to get lost in translation.

  • Comment number 28.

    I hope that USA & Israel will soon be friends again, USA has always been behind Israel. I hope Israel can carry on building their houses....

  • Comment number 29.

    Exactly what does Israel do for the US ? We all know what the US does for Israel.
    We know that the Israeli lobby is the second most powerful in Washington next to the AARP .
    Wat if the 4 billion dollars Israel gets annually from US were partly returned to fund the Israeli lobby and influential politicians, I mean its an interesting theory inasmuch as there is no accountability for how the funds are used.
    In my experience the Israels may be brutal bloodstained occupiers, and land grabbers but they are not stupid.
    This so called offensive announcement of the building of settlements was well planned and that should reveal its self soon.just as the assasination in Dubai was staged for an effect.
    The refusal by the US to stop funding Israel while 1 in 5 children live beneath the poverty line and 1 in 3 seniors cannot afford their prescription medication makes it clear Obama is not in charge of ME policy, nor is either the right or left politicians opposed to Israel.

  • Comment number 30.

    Post 8 from Lewis Fitzroy wrote:
    "The peace talks have been going on for years? Israel and America are the best of friends and will always be so . Israel has every right to build as many houses as they like, The Palestinians are just terrorist funded by terror groups, around the world to cause trouble ? The other arab countries in that area, Have the land and money, to look after all of they palestine brothers'. But they just dont want them in their country its a muslim probelm.”

    No it is not a Muslim problem, this is the result of a nation being displaced by invaders, the zionists, invaders who stopped at nothing to take land and property and continue to do so to this day, illegally. Invaders who have ignorred more UN demands than any other country. Invaders who are so powerful that they can ignore all laws.

    Why does Israel have the right to build as many houses as they like, would you not defend your land if I tried to build in your front garden ?

    As for other states taking in the Palestinians, well they do ! But to demand that this is the right solution is rather like saying that, should a third country invade Greece everyone in Greece should migrate to England because they are European; utter nonsense.

  • Comment number 31.

    #25 "The antisemites are in a frenzy today."


    You have no pride whatsoever do you? The shameless, pitiful manner in which israelophiles deploy the anti-semite ruse to counter any and all criticism of israel is embarrassing to behold.


    Or am I being anti-semitic?

  • Comment number 32.

    If Israel wants to bully its way into occupying lands and to treat the Palestinians like animals, let them do it without any arms supplies from the west. Then maybe they will start behaving like they actually want peace.

  • Comment number 33.

    It's refreshing to see the U.S. being more even-handed since for several decades the policy has been to let Israel get away with ignoring multiple UN resolutions through the "Get out of jail card" that is the veto used by a few countries on the UN security council.

    Israel have constantly carried out assassinations - contrary to the peace plans - as well as incursions, control of the air & sea surrounding the occupied zones, the building of homes in the West Bank/East Jerusalem, the security wall on Palestinian land, & the dire attacks last year where Israel bombed UN resources and used dubious weapons.

    Under Dubya, Israel has decided it can do pretty much what it wanted - along with the closure of the Egypt border and the backing of the Palestinians the West decided they liked, Hamas got in. Hamas offered to recognise Israel, who carried out the usual incursions/bombings around the time of their attack on the Lebanon.

    Israel's refusal to negotiate for the two-state solution has resulted in Hamas being elected - what other option did the people in occupied Palestine have? & now Hamas are in power Israel say they won't negotiate - despite Hamas stating in 2006 they would recognise Israel.

    A two-state solution is required and since the US arm/fund and clear Israel with the UN-veto, an even hand is required. I'd like to see all arms exports to Israel end and a freeze on their land/sea like the occupied zones. Pass UN resolutions and send in a UN force to police both sides - I'd suspect that Israel would then behave as Hamas do - which is just like Zionists who bombed the British and founded Israel on terrorism in the 1940's anyway.

    Will the pro-Israel lobby in the States take this? Israel does need to be made to comply - having been given a green light for decades, someone has to reign them in. The US is that someone...

  • Comment number 34.

    Posting number 27 by Tyto alba:

    Thank you for your post, it is an excellent summery of the truth.

  • Comment number 35.

    I hope this is the end of blind US/UK support for a state with a shocking record of human rights.
    Lets remember that if israel gets away with this they are literally destroying any arab hope of a capital in jerusalem. Therefor ripping apart any hope of a just peace.
    They would also be breaking international law, and be liable, justly, to face international sanctions.
    its a disgrace that the US, above all, has turned a blind eye to the disregard of human rights shown by israel for so long.

  • Comment number 36.

    25. At 1:05pm on 16 Mar 2010, Call_Me_Ishmael wrote:
    The antisemites are in a frenzy today.

    ---

    Thats right anyone who disagrees with the decisions of the Israeli government must be either an 'anti-semite' or a 'self-hating Jew'.

    Must be lovely in your black & white world.

  • Comment number 37.

    Israel should do what it has promised to do for its citizens, it is upto the Palestenians to seek peace, at this time there is no leadership within the popular Palestenian leadership that is touting peace as the only viable way to live with Israel. America should also wash its hands away from this problem, the modern wars all have roots to Islam, why should any one have any sympathy towards its followers if they do not respect the human rights of others?

  • Comment number 38.

    At this time there is nothing that Israel has done to bring a rift in the relationship with America. The Palestenians need to pick and choose the fights that will bring them prosperity, their leadership has so far failed to deliver anything concrete for the upliftment of its citizens, it is not the responsibility of Israel to make sure that its arch enemies are well taken care off. Israel should continue building what is rightfully their property and administer it well.

  • Comment number 39.

    There should be a world boycott of israel until there is a free country of Palestine with full compensation for all the terrorist acts committed against Palestinians- Stern and Irgun gangs come to mind- the first terrorists in Palestine. Not only did they murder Palestinians, but also British nationals.

    I hope millions are paid in reparations to the Palestinians for all that has been stolen from them. Some of those to be targeted will be Waitrose, Sainsbury, Tesco, M&S, etal. Waitrose hypocrisy is the worst with their claim to providing ethical food when so much comes from occupied Palestine and israel. Their big bonuses from this employee owned business might cover some of the damages- shame on them for being irresponsible as collective owners. They don't even offer Palestinian products such as Zaytoun.

  • Comment number 40.

    How many billons is the US sending to israel and for what.. the US get slapped in the face and will probably go crawling back for more. The dignity of the american people is at stake here.. or maybe they have none..

  • Comment number 41.

    So Israel is putting itsself first, and not considering the needs of others?

    Remember, the creation of Israel was more-or-less set up by the USA.

    I guess the apple doesn't fall very far from the tree, does it?

  • Comment number 42.

    Israel seems to have a death wish. The recent snub to the USA, is just its latest action taken apparently with total disregard for world opinion. It cannot survive without having some friends, especially among its neighbours. Nor can it rely on having military superiority in the Middle East for ever.



  • Comment number 43.

    "UN mandates that are enforced all over the world - except for Israel where all of a sudden UN mandates are biased and anti-Semitic. The fact that the Palestinians are also semites and that the mandates are generally intended to get this displaced people some of their land back and some propsepct for peace and prosperity seems to get lost in translation."

    I'm not getting into a discussion over who is and who isn't an antisemite on this forum. However, while not wishing to get bogged down in semantics or appear pedantic, it is indeed true that Arabs are Semites too, but regarding the very definition of antisemitism, (although judging by the name it erroneously appears to suggest a hatred of all Semitic people), the term antisemitism was coined in the 1800s exclusively to mean a hatred of Jews.

  • Comment number 44.

    "As long as Israel refuses to abide by international law and move back to its 1967 borders... THERE WILL BE NO PEACE!!! "

    Because there was a lot of peace sentiment in Arab countries when Israel had its 1967 borders ....

    Educate Yourself

  • Comment number 45.

    Obama is ruining the security of India and israel besides compromising americas security. he is undoing the good work done by his opredicessor by making compromises with terrorists in Pakistan and middle east. Hopefully americans will get rid of him before he gets rid of them.

  • Comment number 46.

    Post 27 from Tyto Alba:

    Thank you for your succinct summary of the real truth. You really hit the nail on the head. One other thing you may have overlooked, though: the fact that US politics itself relies heavily on Jewish voters... .

  • Comment number 47.

    This would all be solved if Israel ran Jerusalem in the same way the Muslims run there most Holy city, Mecca, that's fair isn't it. I mean non Muslims who go to Mecca face execution and no one batters an eyelid, why not allow the Israelis to run Jerusalem in the same way, kick out all the non-Jews and the kill any that try to get back in. It's disgraceful that they are force to share there holiest city with people who once conquered them. But as things stand, I, an atheist can go a visit Jerusalem, but would the Arabs allow me to visit mecca? NO!

  • Comment number 48.

    Whatever happens on the West Bank is a matter between Isrealis and Palistinians where no foreign power has the right to intervene.What we need to do is purchase the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt and put it on the negotiating table and have both Hamas and the Isreali government divide it up between them and have Isreal lift the embargo against the Gaza Strip and relieve the hunger and hardship there.

  • Comment number 49.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 50.

    What's all the fuss? Most posters here failed to remember history. It does notmake any difference if it is Jews versus Arabs; English versus indians, Spaniards versus indians, Mongols versus Han Chinese.

    You need to remember the winners won. This means they get to make the rules. All this silliness about violating international law is just silly. There is only the law of the winner.

    History doesn't much care if it is an Israeli or a Palestinian who won, only that there was a winner.

    Remember the Romans and the Druids? Remember the Spaniards and Montezuma of the Aztecs? Remember the English and the Zulus? Only the winners are still around. The losers are just history.

    I think this time around, the Jews will be the winners.

  • Comment number 51.

    Finally American foreign policy with respect to the Mid-East conflict is front and centre in the public eye around the planet. There can be no more hiding behind the "war on terror" excuse for the blind support of Israeli policy. Now the US Administration is now face to face with the issues of human rights and international law. The United States of America is either in support of human rights and international law or it is against them. It is either with the rest of the civilized world or it will be isolated from it. The position taken will very much show the world who really runs the USA, the President and the people or the lobbyists and the corporations.

  • Comment number 52.

    I'm an American, now living in Europe, who was always sympathetic to the idea of a Jewish homeland and have long hoped for peace within the '67 borders for Israel. The current government there has just about plucked my last nerve and is fast turning Israel into a rogue state that claims to be democratic but looks more and more racist. Racism is something we Americans know a lot about. The Palestinians haven't had great leadership either, but the Israeli victim stance is a joke in the face of their continuing brutality toward the civilian population of the Occupied Territories. I believe Israel is hurting itself beyond repair at this point. America has its idiot tea-baggers to contend with now, but the Israeli settlement movement makes America's right wing look positively soft. The world may need to seriously consider repeating the actions that stopped apartheid in South Africa in order to get Israel to come to its senses. What a shame.

  • Comment number 53.

    I do wish that the State of Israel would try to behave more like a civilised country and less like militant estate agents, forcing out the sitting tenants to install their friends and family. Israel needs to rein in it's extremist minority.

    Why minority views should be allowed to destabilize the ME and override the civil rights of a settled population is beyond me. Israel has no territorial claim that would be recognised in any court in the World. They should think themselves lucky to have got away with what they have achieved so far. The Cold war is over.

    Maybe the USA needs Israel to carry out some 'cloak and dagger' acts against whoever it perceives as the latest 'axis of evil' in the area. Otherwise I cannot see why the USA they find it more in their interest to prop up Israel at tremendous cost, rather than force them to make peace and save the billions in arms money, and a lot of friction. If the US spread the money out amongst all the interested parties to increase living standards all around, they would have far more friends and far less threats. That will occur to them sooner or later.

    Nobody with any moral or legal sensibilities can condone Israel's extremists continuing greed and trouble making. If my position was as precarious as theirs, I would really be a lot more careful before I upset the very people who enable them to exploit and antagonise their neighbours.

  • Comment number 54.

    Based on the last elections, where there was a low turnout - probably only 25% of Israelis voted for this catastrophe masqerading as a government. It is obvious to us that in return for genuine peace and the end of the conflict there will be a Palestinians state in the west bank with Jerusalem as its shared capital. Which is why this building of 1600 units is so crassly stupid - it is not even housing for Israeli taxpayers, but for the ultra orthodox who mock our state. Most of us want peace, but all that we can see on our side is what passes for a government with a bouncer as foreign minister doing nothing but isolating our country and on the other side a PA that is using the "peace talks" as a weapon to attack Israel and a Hammas that does not recognize our right to exist.

  • Comment number 55.

    This is little more than posturing by the United States for the sake of international and domestic public opinion. In the end, the US will back down, probably after Israel has made a token concession. It will then use this concession to coerce the Palestinians back to the bargaining table, and Israel will continue its systematic ethnic cleaning campaign. Let's not mince words: ethnic cleansing is exactly what Israel is doing. How else do you explain 40 per cent of the West Bank being under Israeli control.

    Events might not unfold exactly as above, but anyone care to wager that Israel won't come out on top in the end?

  • Comment number 56.

    There are many comments here about what we Israelis feel about this situation - the truth, most of us feel like we are supporters of a football team (the governemnt), which has a fool-back (Lieberman) who scores two own goals a game, a midfield (Shas) who will not kick the ball until a message has been received from its octagenarian spiritual leader as to whether to kick the ball or not, except the answer comes back curse half of the supporters because they carry organ donor cards, a captain (Bibi) who does not know where the goalposts are and when he gets the ball looks for a microphone for another Blair-like sound byte, and the other players all think they are playing rugby so they give away free kicks the only time. SO far we have been saved because the other team think that we are playing lacrosse - but some time they will wise up.

    Faced with this chaos, we really do need some sort of impartial referee, a sin-bin for all the players, and a change of kit.

  • Comment number 57.

    US-Israel relations are indeed, as Biden put it, "unshakeable". This spat shouldn't be over-analysed. What we are talking about here is not whether Israel can get away with breaking international law, but the degree to which it can do so. The US-Israel alliance has nothing to do with shared values (which is the usual speil they come out with), it is all about lobbyist influence and campaign financing.

    The view from Europe is that US politics has reached such a state of open corruption that it would make the dictator of a banana republic blush. The AIPAC lobby group has backed Netanyahu and criticised Obama, whilst the more liberal J Street has backed Obama. But AIPAC, which is known as the "800-pound gorilla" in Washington, has (and will for the forseeable future have) the boss hand - their particular WMD against potential Congressional shirkers being the charge of anti-Semitism, a switch which remains permanently primed in the staunchly Likudist offices of the ADL.

  • Comment number 58.

    What can any of us say here which is new? Those on either side have more than enough arguments to make themselves feel they are "right" to act as they do. I think #50 summed it up quite nicely. RE the actual question: This isn´t a moral issue. It has nothing to do with an imagined right or wrong. This is about politics, business, mutual and personal interests. The US will never seriously damage their relations with Israel as long as they are dependent on the Jewish vote come election day. Until a politician takes office with no ambition to be elected for a second term (in other words: never), this relationship will never really change.

  • Comment number 59.

    America needs to wake up and see that the Cold War is over so our need for an alliance with Israel has come and gone. We no longer need a client state in the Middle East to counter Soviet client states in the Arab world. Furthermore, preventing the rise of a united Islamic world by keeping Israel afloat is no longer necessary with our occupation of Iraq.

    In short, with the exception of placating Jewish voters in the US, Israel has almost no use to us in any practical geopolitical sense. It is my hope that the American Establishment is waking up to this new reality and that this current “issue” is simply the beginning of a total restructuring of our relationship with Israel. I don’t think this restructuring should involve us abandoning Israel but I do think it will be refreshing to see Israel not essentially dictate US foreign policy in the region.

  • Comment number 60.

    Based on recorded history, why has anti-Semitism been so prevalent? For example, the following are three intentional attacks upon the Jewish people: 1) during the reign of the Persian king Xerxes I (519-465BC)through the instigation of Haman the Agagite; 2) the anti-Semitism displayed during the middle ages, in particular England; and 3) the efforts by Nazi Germany to exterminate the Jews during World War II. Is it because satan (i.e., the devil) only attacks that which is truly of the Most High God? The U.S.A should atleast assume that Israel remains the chosen people of God (according to the Pentateuch) and that by turning its back on Israel they invite the stern judgement of God Almighty.

  • Comment number 61.

    Martin1983 said: "Wasn't the survival of their people what Israel was fighting for in 1948 after its neighbours invaded"

    Who lived there before 1948 and what was it called... Palestinians and the land was called PALESTINE! Get your history correct, Martin1983. When the Jews came to Palestine after WWII, initially they were welcomed by the Palestinians until they started their campaign of terror and violence to oust the Palestinians from their land. The state of Israel came about by violently pushing out the original inhabitants of that land. As Joseph Weitz wrote(director of the Jewish National Land Fund)on December 19, 1940: "It must be clear that there is no room for both peoples in this country...we must not leave a single village, not a single tribe".

  • Comment number 62.

    46. At 2:03pm on 16 Mar 2010, ed_butt wrote:

    the fact that US politics itself relies heavily on Jewish voters... .

    ---

    A common misconception - Less than 5% of US citizens are Jewish.

    I think the biggest problem Israel has is that at the minute they really do look like the bad guys.

    The world sees just how far conditions in Gaza have deteriorated.

    The palstinians are virtually caged in a bombed out slum, with limited access to water, food, power, healthcare and fuel, thing which their Israeli neighbours take for granted.

    This is compounded by the fact that the current Israeli government won't even allow suuficient building materials in the territories to reapir the damage which they themselves inflicted.

    its been over 12 months since the last Israeli incursions and the majority of the thousands of famillies whose homes they destroyed are still living in tents while their children are educated in the open air or the rubble of their old schools.

    The world sees this and listens to the Israel's assertions that there is nothing iniquitous about the situation with complete incredulity.

    The actions of the current Israeli government seem to be losing the support of the average American citizen and thats a very dangerous road for them to travel.



  • Comment number 63.

    this is what happens when people assume their intelligence is beyond reproach.i have to say, blindly pointing to, it was written is a bit silly. the thing is there are people lives involved. its historically recorded and proven that most first world countries robbed, abused and cheated their way to riches and comforts but that does not mean poorer countries can then just march in and grab, whatever is written was theirs. Right now, is more important than then, because even if we go back to then, other problems will come up.

    As far as im concerned the has been too much polarisation in this for any of the people making efforts to achieve peace to actually achieve peace, Obama would be committing political suicide by putting his foot down in any way, and if he does not well, don’t except me and others to believe the “we believe in a two equal states solution” because the equal has proven too one sided for too long.

    Ps. Im not sure i like this new blog style HYS, but well the world has bigger problems

  • Comment number 64.

    Whilst it is absolutely right that the USA is pushing for peace in the Middle East, I think the USA, led by Barack Obama, made the critical mistake of instructing Israel to consider relinquishing sovereignty over parts of Jerusalem, a city that is a cradle of Jewish history and cultural landmarks, a city in which Jews have lived for the last 3500 years, and a city that is now in Jewish hands following the Balfour Declaration, the League of Nations instructed British Protectorate of Palestine (solely for Israel) and as a direct result of the 1967 war waged against Israel with full Arab support with the intent of annihilating her (Israel). I am ashamed to see that the Palestinian Authority have asked for this as a pre-condition of peace and I am ashamed of the hatred with which Jews are greeted by Arabs in the Middle East now that they've returned to their historical homeland.

    Barack Obama, by his persona and message, has the unequalled opportunity to fight against racism and hate based crimes. But through his own actions and through the actions of his administration he has instead supported racism and shown the world that those whose core message is hatred have the ear of the world and of the USA.

    What next? Real leadership needs humility first followed by vision and effective communication.

  • Comment number 65.

    I still see the same old mantra about how bad the Israelis are. They take and hold land. They dispossess the Palestinians of their land and claim the Muslim holy sites. They starve, abuse, marginalize, and even kill the Palestinians. And the Palestinians have done nothing to deserve any of this. (Actually, I think the Palestinians have brought it on themselves, but that is really beside the point.)

    You all should be objective and recognize that the Jews won at this point in history. The last few times they weren't so lucky, but they have learned.

    The Jews have been quite benevolent from my view. They have not lined up all the Muslims against a wall, they haven't banned Muslims from practicing their religion, they haven't enslaved the Muslims. (Remember Bosnia, Hutus/Tutsis, Khmer Rouge, Armenia/Turkey, America/Apache, etc., etc., etc.)

    I believe the Palestinian Muslims would be wise to figure a way to co-exist with their conquerors, rather than incessantly aggrivating the Israelis.







  • Comment number 66.

    Absolutely nothing will happen. AIPAC has already given Obama what orders he HAS to follow. The Israelis spat in the face of President Obama and that of Secretary Clinton and thus in the face of the American people to say that it is they the Jews who control what the US can or cannot do with regards to Israel. They arrogantly laugh while Obama wipes the spittle from his face. The entire world knows the US is the slave servant of Israel. That will not ever change unless an American Hitler comes to power. Obama has to make a decision. As president there are many executive actions he can take unilaterally against Israel such as embargoing all military aid to Israel even rupturing diplomatic relations. It would be a seminal event long overdue that is unlikely to occur. Obama is basically an appeaser a concensus seeker wihout the fire in the guts to take direct and tough action against Israel. VP Joe Biden is a clown who talks like a clown. Secretary Clinton feels justifiably outraged by Israel's actions but she can only do what Obama permits her to do and Obama will like all previous American presidents before him hang his tail between his legs and be let off like a dog by AIPAC back to his cage and muzzled. The American news media is barely reporting this a virtual TV blackout exits. Stories about it in newspaers have been assigned somewhere to page 25 with only a single paragraph. Somebody doesn't want the American people to be cogniscent of what is going on and that is no surprize since controlling American public opinion is vital to Israel. Only foreign news broadcasts such as the BBC and Aljizeera are giving full coverage but the major American TV networks are totally ignoring the US-Israel row as if it never happened. And they have the affrontage to talk about freedom of speach and of the press in the US when there is none where the topic of Israel is concerned.

  • Comment number 67.

    Will the US and Israel become the world's new "axis of evil"?

  • Comment number 68.

    It's high time the world stopped babying Israel. And it's well past time they got off the American aid list......

  • Comment number 69.

    It looks like the world's two biggest rogue nations will self-destruct together, at last.

    Whatever...

  • Comment number 70.

    UK politicians bleat continually about the 'special relationship' with the US, yet it is Israel who has the specfial relationship. Israeli internal politics affect US politics.
    President Obama is discovering as previous Presidents before him that the view from Tel Aviv determines US policy in the ME, especially over the Israeli/Palestinian issue. IAPAC has more control over Congress and the Senate than the President has.
    An equitable two-state solution would provide more long term stability and peace in the ME but IAPAC won't wear it ,so it won't happen.

  • Comment number 71.

    Israel rebuilds and rededicates an old synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City - destroyed by Jordanians in 1948 who brutally forced the Jewish inhabitants of the area to leave - and this long overdue rebuilding is apparently a provocation? Non-Muslims want their human rights simply to be able to pray in peace, presently denied, at the holiest Jewish site of all on the Temple Mount to be respected, and suddenly "extremists" are supposedly trying to destroy the Muslim buildings there? Much needed housing in the long-established Jerusalem suburb of Ramat Shlomo is to be built, previously a desolate hilltop recaptured by Israel in 1967 which was never inhabited by Arabs, and suddenly Israel is apparently gravely insulting the USA? Frankly, the mindset that tiny Israel, the one democratic state in the Middle East surrounded by largely hostile Arab nations, is forced to contend with is staggering in its seeming lack of connection to any conception of reality. I really don't know how any reasonable person can make peace with a mindset that refuses even to recognize your right to exist.

  • Comment number 72.

    61. At 2:48pm on 16 Mar 2010, ArmandK wrote:
    "Martin1983 said: "Wasn't the survival of their people what Israel was fighting for in 1948 after its neighbours invaded"

    Who lived there before 1948 and what was it called... Palestinians and the land was called PALESTINE! Get your history correct, Martin1983. When the Jews came to Palestine after WWII, initially they were welcomed by the Palestinians until they started their campaign of terror and violence to oust the Palestinians from their land. The state of Israel came about by violently pushing out the original inhabitants of that land. As Joseph Weitz wrote(director of the Jewish National Land Fund)on December 19, 1940: "It must be clear that there is no room for both peoples in this country...we must not leave a single village, not a single tribe"."

    My history is correct (or rather, more correct than your simplified version above).
    In response to your question "Who lived there before 1948?" Both Arabs and Jews.
    Jews lived there long before the Zionist movement came about, and Jews immigrated to Palestine before, during and after WWII. Equally, Arab people also immigrated to Palestine during the Mandate years. The Jews/Zionists/whatever you wish to call them did not suddenly "turn up" in 1948 with the intention of forcibly expelling the Arabs, 100% of whom were entirely indigenous, which is what you're appearing to suggest. There was no Jewish-led campaign of terror or violence in order to oust Palestinians from the land until the Lehi and the Irgun were formed - and these were formed to counter the violence that Arabs instigated against Jews in the 1920s, particularly in 1921 and 1929 (not that this makes it better, but it was clear that the violence was started by the Arabs. Whether you think that this violence against Jews was justified or otherwise, historical evidence makes it perfectly clear who started what).

  • Comment number 73.

    It's clear that the current government of Israel isn't interested in a real dialog about peace. The framework of any peace deal is largely understood but it will require compromise by both parties and Netanyahu isn't interested in any compromises. The creeping annexation of the West Bank is illegal and should be vigorously opposed by the US government. Carter was correct when he referred to the situation as "apartheid".

  • Comment number 74.

    Extract from message #64, by OneEssence

    "What next? Real leadership needs humility first followed by vision and effective communication."

    Many will argue that real leadership needs absolute conviction, unswerving dedication to survival, and ruthless application of force.

    I am not sure which is correct, but I do know that most civilizations that survived follow the latter description of real leadership.

    I just read up on Mecca, and a prior poster is absolutely correct. You must be Muslim to enter Mecca. That surprised me and further leads me to believe the Jews will win this round in survival.

  • Comment number 75.

    The BBC of course would love there to be some massive rift, hence the personal opinion of one ambassador is emblazoned across the BBC front pages. In fact, I think Israel has been in the BBC headlines for about a week now, each time the story seemingly seems too tame to be front page news.

    We all know about the BBC's obsessive-compulsive disorder when it comes to Israel. I mean "obsession" doesn't even begin to cover it. Apart from getting quite tiresome, the fact that the BBC spends so much of its time and effort obsessing over Israel, is getting quite worrying too. It almost seems to be bordering on extremist. I've seen much less focus on Israel on Islamic publications than the BBC.

    The BBC website is not covered by the BBC trust, so essentially the BBC is free to use their website as their main anti-Israel source whilst on air they have to try and hide their obsession a bit more carefully.

    When will the left wing's grip on the BBC be loosened so that we can have OUR BBC back that reports fairly and accurately without left wing opinions being put forward as fact?. I don't have to remind you about the BBC's chief middle east correspondent Jeremy Bowen being admonished by the BBC trust for his anti-Israel spin.

  • Comment number 76.

    It's the fact that the writer of Post 60 thinks they have made a valid contribution to what's under discussion here that is one factor in the problem. Religious tracts have nothing positive to contribute to the matter at hand. Unhappily his view colours the US electorate attitude to the issue which has created an unholy(I am choosing my words carefully here) alliance between AIPAC, the Christian Right and Likud who lobby assiduously for their view of what is in Israel's interest.

  • Comment number 77.

    I lost any respect for the Israeli Government many years ago now and by the looks of it so have many others. Nothing against the majority of the Israeli people or the Palestinian people.
    But nothing justifies genocide and they of all people should understand that.
    They (Israelis) have obviously decided they don't want to live in peace, they should remember that "he who lives by the sword, dies by it".



  • Comment number 78.

    At last the current administration has the guts to stand up to Zionist lobby in America. Israel is no ally to America but just a big albatross hung around our collective neck. If you are an American you have to ask yourself- what do they do for us? They are even more casualty averse than we are. Why should we encourage Al Qaeda terrorists to fly planes into our cities or fight wars in far off lands simply because we are perceived as friends. Both Arabs and Jews are by definition Semites, so I am sick and tired of anyone who criticizes Israel of being labeled anti Semitic. I do not deny the right or recognition of the state of Israel, but they are big and bad enough to defend themselves without our help. The demographics show that one in five Israeli citizens are Arab, given that the Arabs have larger families at some point they will outnumber Jews in Israel. From a people who experienced the horrors of the Holocaust and the Warsaw Ghetto I somehow expect more. No more Ghettos no more Apartheid please!

  • Comment number 79.

    It looks like the Israeli government is so out of touch with what the rest of the world thinks of its actions that even its chutzpah is being seen through by the US, the country without which it would not be able to exist.

    Please continue down this line Netanyahu and Lieberman, your lies have been seen through and the world knows you're warmongers with no intention of making peace with the victimised Palestinians. Carry on insulting the country which gives you billions of dollars of US taxpayers' money every year. Then the world may soon be free of the rogue state of Israel.

  • Comment number 80.

    What is needed now is some honest indepth news reporting that isn't biased. According to resolution 248 the Jews are suppose to have the right to build in the West Bank on a level equal to the Palestinians. So the question is, does Israel give preferential treatment to Jews by refusing to allow the Palestinians permits for building houses? Secondly, why do Palestinians think they have a right to Jerusalem for their capitol? They have never ruled from there, in fact no one has except the Jews. The city first became significant when Kind David established it as the capitol of Israel. Oh, and for those of you who don't know it David was Jewish.

    There has been a long history of Arab/Palestinian attempts to rewrite the history of that land by destroying Jewish holy sites. If the roles would have been reversed how long do you think the Dome of the Rock would have lasted? To answer this ask yourself how it got there in the first place and what happened to the most holy site of all to the Jewish people, the Temple. Palestininas have a long history of this kind of behavior, taking Jewish holy sites like the Tomb of the Patriarchs, Rachel's Tomb, The Temply Mound, and once they set their foot their they claim them and expect the world to agree with them. This needs to end. In all honesty Israel would be within their rights to destroy the Dome of the Rock and to reclaim their most holy site at the cost of Islam's third most holy site.

    If there is to be peace it must be built on truth, and truth can lead to trust. The truth is that Israel is the homeland of the Jews, their only home land, and they have every right to live there. The truth is that Jerusalem should not be divided and that an attempt to take half of it is in reality an attempt to take all.

    "We plan to eliminate the state of Israel and establish a purely Palestinian state. We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion. We Palestinians will take over everything, including all of Jerusalem."
    Yasser Araf

    The goal is still the same, it is not peace with Israel, it is peace without Israel. The rest of the world needs to stop playing the fool and realize what is really being sought when they ask for half of Jerusalem.

  • Comment number 81.

    Very interesting to see the global revisionism going on, and of course at the BBC too.

    Who was it that were ethnically cleansed in 1948 from their homes in East Jerusalem? JEWS by ARABS.

    So why on earth is it illegal for Jews to build homes in East Jerusalem where they were forced out of? land that they owned.

  • Comment number 82.

    If the US are now putting pressure on Israel with the objective of making them more sensible in dealing with their Arab neighbours then that is the best possible thing they could do to help bring about peace in the Middle East.

  • Comment number 83.

    Nothing really new here. The Americans are angry that the Israelis showed them up so blatantly during Biden's trip. America has determined it will never oppose Israel, whatever Israel does, but go through the outward show of "making peace" between Israel and Palestine for world consumption. Most Israelis have long ago consciously decided that they will use this policy to corner maximum resources and land for themselves, while also going through the outward overtures of making peace. The Palestinians don't believe peace will ever be a reality with such asymmetry in power and influence between them and Israel, so they are out to maximise the influence and power they can wield over Israel (with different Palestinian factions pursuing this aim through radically different means..). Finally, there's me -what do I think? That we are all dumb clucks that don't deserve this crazy situation on our shared planet.

  • Comment number 84.

    the jews beleive a future jew king will one day appear and give them israel right? then why not wait instead of taking it all now? is the jew king going to be happy with the widespread killing and suffering caused to fellow human beings of other faiths (inc chistians) who used to reside in your land? is obtaining your land worth all human costs? its not like you need all that land. israel is enticing foreign jews with cash to come and live in israel as it does not have a large population.

    israel would be a desert tommorow if the US decided to stop funding and arming Israel today. This show of friendship strain is probably just and act to reassure the other side and the world that the US is non biased. Fact is, the US sells arms and finances Israel to this day as it has done for decades.

    everyone knows that a lot of american tax payers money goes to support israel - shame the tax payers over there are oblivious.

  • Comment number 85.

    ArmandK wrote:
    Who lived there before 1948 and what was it called... Palestinians and the land was called PALESTINE! Get your history correct, When the Jews came to Palestine after WWII, initially they were welcomed by the Palestinians until they started their campaign of terror and violence to oust the Palestinians from their land. The state of Israel came about by violently pushing out the original inhabitants of that land.

    Armand - maybe get your facts right - the Jews were already a majority in Jerusalem in 1880, the Jews could not get into the land after the second world war because the RN had half its ships patrolling the med preventing them but at the same time turning a blind eye to massive Arab immigration (estimated at over 25% of the Arab population. The Palestinians before 1948 were so welcoming that they had massive pogroms in 1929 and 1936, the Mufti spent WW2 in Berlin. The land the Jews held before 1948 had been bought, and there was no independent country called PAlestine -there never has been. But as usual, attack Israel, never debate the issue, never make a suggestion as to how we can get past the hatred and make peace. Why is it that Palestinian supporters instead of arguing the case for a peaceful Palestinian state living beside its neighbors just attack, attack and attack.

  • Comment number 86.

    I think it's high time somebody got the bulldozers out and ensured all land that is legally Palestinian etc but being held by the Israelis is flattened and handed back.

  • Comment number 87.

    The US needs Israel as much as Israel needs the US. The US gets a well-armed and stable ally in a volatile and resource-rich part of the world, that is absolutely dependent on it for its survival, and therefore susceptible to American wishes. Israel, in turn gets to survive in a very hostile neighbourhood.
    With Israel, the US also gets a "bogeyman" of sorts who is used by many pro-Western Arab dictators to deflect criticism from their rule at home.
    The people who are the most shortchanged are the Palestinians - losing their homes to Israeli settlers, whilst being used as anti-Israel fodder by neighbouring Arab countries, who refuse to help them fiscally or politically.
    By contrast, no Israel-US relationship at this point will result in an isolated and nervous nuclear armed Israel surrounded by hostile neighbours sensing blood. And no outside party at all to mediate the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. A very frightening scenario for both Arabs and Israelis.
    A reasonable person would want both Israel to continue to exist, and equally a viable and thriving Palestinian nation, along with democratic Arab regimes that wouldn't need to exploit that conflict for their own reasons.
    Seems like mission impossible, but I'll always hope for everyone's sake.

  • Comment number 88.

    The U.S. should be careful.

    Israel has hundreds of Nuclear weapons poised and ready to launch. They have not denied having them. They have violated more UN sanctions that any other nation. They can the capability in theory to launch in way less than 45 minutes. They have a history of oppression and violate military action against the refugees it has created in seizing its land.


    Im sure all this sounds familiar. Does a pre-emptive strike not qualify?

  • Comment number 89.

    Tim says "You all should be objective and recognize that the Jews won at this point in history. The last few times they weren't so lucky, but they have learned. I believe the Palestinian Muslims would be wise to figure a way to co-exist with their conquerors, rather than incessantly aggrivating (sic) the Israelis."

    And here's a message that I am sure was heard in late 1930s Europe:

    You all should be objective and recognize that the Germans won at this point in history. The last few times they weren't so lucky, but they have learned. I believe the Jews would be wise to figure a way to co-exist with their conquerors, rather than incessantly aggravating the Nazis.

  • Comment number 90.

    One of the main characters in the futuristic film "Beyond the Pleasure Dome" was "Master-Blaster". This character was actually composed of two bodies- "Blaster" an all-powerful but intellectually challenged giant whose every action was directed by "Master", a wizen homunculus sitting on his shoulders and given a Semitic appearance.

    Was this a metaphor for the US-Israel relationship? The US as a superpower having its actions in the Middle East implicitly directed by AIPAC (The American-Israeli Political Action Lobby) and the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organisations? AIPAC is recognised as the most well organised and powerful political lobby in the US, punching well above its political weight seeing that there are only some 2 million Jewish voters in the US, not all of whom agree with AIPAC's policies. Senate and Congress candidates likely to obstruct AIPAC's, objectives rarely get elected. Political funding for AIPAC's causes are channelled (legally) though a myriad of small, undetectable channels to favoured candidates.

    This is not a criticism of Israel or AIPAC. Both have clear objectives and know how to achieve them using the system.

    However, history shows that when push comes to shove, Israel will ignore the wishes of the US to pursue its own objectives. Again, nothing wrong in that- that is realpolitik. but nobody should be fooled into thinking there is an equal "Special Relationship" between the US and Israel, any more than there is one between the US and the UK.

    "Master" will will find another "Blaster" whenever its is necessary for "Master's" own survival.

  • Comment number 91.

    #64 OneEssence is dismayed by the Palestinian position.

    I cannot believe your conscience believes what you write. More likely your conscience is fully aware of international law and basic human rights, which you conveniently ignore in your writing. The Talmud must say something about honesty and respect for others. Is there something wrong with having recognition of international law as a precondition. The Palestinians are not going to accept negotiations with Israel making "painful compromises" with illegal goods.

  • Comment number 92.

    The US has been the greatest supporter and assistor of isreal for long,it was shocking that the isreali can embaressed the US at a time the American are finding another way to restart the peace process,but it will not affect there relationship too much they will find solution and the US will not because of that withdraw there support for the isreali.

  • Comment number 93.

    I love Israel. I really do. I love all our allies and do not take them for granted. People from other countries like to insult the "West" all the time and blame everything on us. It's ridiculous. I always stick up for our allies. They are our brothers and sisters. They are our true friends. We should never forget this or how they have helped us in times of need. We should help them in their times of need.

    However, allies should treat each other with respect. Many Americans, including myself, were extremely hurt that Israel insulted and snubbed the USA for no reason. They could have announced that settlement after our Vice-Pres. Biden left. Why tear down your friend, Israel?

    There is a rift now between the Obama Administration and Israel, due to the lack of respect by Israel. We are still allies. I do not believe that anything can break our allies, even this. But no one should expect any big breakthrough. Basically, the "peace deal" between Israel and Palestine is over.

    To be fair, it is not just Israel, though. Both Palestine and Israel are unwilling to compromise with each other. They are alike in that aspect- more than they would like to admit. Neither is willing to give anything up. So they are both to blame for not being able to make a deal.

    USA and other countries will continue on against Iran. This situation will not stop us. Iran is dangerous to Israel, but also to our other allies in Europe. They have threatened the West time and time again. We must not delay and not give up. Doing the right thing is not always easy, but stopping Iran from nuclear weapons is the right thing to do. We must stay allies and stay strong. Peace to all.
    God Bless America and her Allies.

  • Comment number 94.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 95.

    69. At 3:35pm on 16 Mar 2010, Clevor Trever wrote:
    It looks like the world's two biggest rogue nations will self-destruct together, at last.

    Whatever...


    ----

    thats the problem - they wont. why? because america continues to finance and arm israel. it is not a level playing field when the palastinians have stones and sticks to fight back with.

  • Comment number 96.

    Time for America to demonstrate to Israel just who the boss is!
    America has backed Israel over the years and it seems that Israel know believes its TOP DOG.
    Israel has a long history of hiding behind the US, accepting and expecting military aid and money.
    Come on Mr President grab them by the scruff of the neck...they long deserve it!

  • Comment number 97.

    The Jews created a country with there land,the Arabs created a warzone in theres.
    Israel`s bombs faltened the Gaza but it was the Arabs with there suicide bombing and 8,000 rockets that brought them there.
    Why is it when the Israeli children are traumatised by Hamas rockets and there schools turned into bomb shelters the world has no care,yet when Israelis have enough and seek to prevent these attacks,the world and Guardian readers are up in arms.
    I hear alot comments about Israel playing America for a fool,try take look at yourself and see your being played a fool by the Arabs who show the children who sadly suffer but never the men who bring the IDF upon them.

  • Comment number 98.

    61. At 2:48pm on 16 Mar 2010, ArmandK wrote:
    Who lived there before 1948 and what was it called... Palestinians and the land was called PALESTINE! Get your history correct, Martin1983. When the Jews came to Palestine after WWII, initially they were welcomed by the Palestinians until they started their campaign of terror and violence to oust the Palestinians from their land.

    I'm pretty sure the Jews lived there pre1949, and they lived there in 1049, and in 49, how many Muslims were living there in 49AD? 0, not a single one.

  • Comment number 99.

    Atleast now the U.S, E.U are seeing the reality of israel's provocations. In the past too israel was only provocating palestinians and when palestinians were reacting they were branded as terrorists and israel used to kill the unarmed palestinians in the pretext of Defending the proples of israel. But why are they provocating, can any country ask this question to israel. Why palestinians are doing this can any country try to see the reason. Truth shall always prevail and in same way world will see the real acts of israel and very soon all country's specially U.S and U.K's eyes will open. In reality israel do not want peace talk or peace because israel have everything in their hand what belongs to palestinians so when peace talk is complete israel will have to give all what belongs to palestinians and whereas palestinians do not have not have thing what belongs to israel. This is the reason israel do not want peace or even peace talk to start and they provocate palestinians knowing palestinians are very fast in reacting and israel is using this tact to delay even peace talk. I request BBC to think on this, If I am right please give these points to U.S, U.K officials so that peace comes to our world as soon as possible. I dont say you do injustice with israel but injustice must not be done with palestinians also.

  • Comment number 100.

    56. At 2:41pm on 16 Mar 2010, Miche Norman wrote:
    There are many comments here about what we Israelis feel about this situation - the truth, most of us feel like we are supporters of a football team (the governemnt), which has a fool-back (Lieberman) who scores two own goals a game, a midfield (Shas) who will not kick the ball until a message has been received from its octagenarian spiritual leader as to whether to kick the ball or not, except the answer comes back curse half of the supporters because they carry organ donor cards, a captain (Bibi) who does not know where the goalposts are and when he gets the ball looks for a microphone for another Blair-like sound byte, and the other players all think they are playing rugby so they give away free kicks the only time. SO far we have been saved because the other team think that we are playing lacrosse - but some time they will wise up.

    Faced with this chaos, we really do need some sort of impartial referee, a sin-bin for all the players, and a change of kit.
    ----

    this is why palastinians dont get anywhere on the negotiation table lol

 

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