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Israel-Gaza: the tragedy of the familiar

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Robin Lustig | 08:48 UK time, Friday, 16 November 2012

Perhaps you remember the time, long, long ago, when we used to talk of something called the Middle East peace process.

It was a time when Israeli and Palestinian officials would sit down and negotiate, not very successfully, admittedly, but in the hope that they might be able to find a way to resolve their many deep-seated differences about how to share the bit of the Levant that they both call their homeland.

Last night, in the Gaza Strip and southern Israel, many thousands of people, Palestinians and Israelis, lay awake in their beds, listening for -- and dreading -- the sound of an incoming missile or rocket. There is no peace process any more, nor has there been for several years; in its place there is either a vacuum, or war.

Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Oslo peace accords, a moment when, just briefly, many Israelis and Palestinians believed there might be a chance of coming up with a way to live in peace, side by side.

The Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (together with Israelis Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin) and took up residence in the West Bank city of Ramallah. He died eight years ago, and now they're digging up his body to see if he was poisoned by the Israelis.

Why did the Palestinian group Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip for the past five years, unleash a barrage of more than 100 rockets against Israel last weekend? Why did Israel choose to respond with its most violent military onslaught since its war in Gaza four years ago?

According to the analyst Hussein Ibish, of the American Task Force on Palestine, whom I interviewed on the programme last night, Hamas hardliners needed to prove that they still have the stomach for a fight, even after five years of trying to be a quasi government, looking after sewers, and power supplies, and health and education. And perhaps they also wanted to force their Muslim Brotherhood patrons in Cairo to come off the fence and back them as the legitimate representatives of their people.

As for the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to Daniel Levy of the European Council on Foreign Relations, who was also on last night's programme, with an election coming in January, Mr Netanyahu may well have caculated that a short, sharp military adventure would do him no harm at all at the polls. It will certainly divert voters' attention from Israel's deep religious-secular divide, which has been a dominant political theme for the past year.

If this all sounds cynical, well, I'm sorry, but there's more to come. The Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz says the Hamas military commander whom the Israelis killed on Wednesday, Ahmed al-Jaabari, had been for several years Israel's go-to man in Gaza. Apparently, he was the man who kept the rockets on their launchers, who kept the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit alive, and who eventually, just over a year ago, negotiated Shalit's return to Israel in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.

According to Ha'aretz, Israel eventually decided that Jaabari was no longer fulfilling his side of the bargain: too many rockets were once again being fired from Gaza into Israel. The message, said Ha'aretz, was simple and clear: "You failed -- you're dead."

So now what? Well, we know the script, unfortunately, because we've watched this drama many times before. Over the next few days -- maybe a week, maybe two -- more people on both sides will die. More people will live in fear, and more will have reason to hate their adversaries.

Eventually, a ceasefire will be agreed. Israel will say it has largely destroyed the Hamas arsenal of rockets and has seriously weakened its military capacity. Hamas will say it has withstood yet another onslaught by its far more powerful enemy, and will salute the resolve and steadfastness of the Palestinian people.

I remember asking a senior Israeli peace negotiator many years ago if he thought the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians would ever end. "Oh yes," he said. "It will end when we grow tired of killing each other's children."

That time, it seems, has not yet come.


  • Comment number 1.

    Lustig has a right to slant his blog. My view is that nothing can erase the evidence of Zionist sociopathy that the years of Israel's existence have clearly shown.

    There is a persisting report that the murdered Jaabari was on the verge of a peace deal. We should learn more about this. (It would be consistent with the claim that he was the principal contact man for the Israelis.)

  • Comment number 2.

    We are seeing the end of the two-state solution.
    What will be left is one state, and gone will be the Zionist State.
    Israel is it's own worst enemy and has been since 1948.
    If Israel was a person and I was a psychiatrist, I would disgnose Israel as paranoid, delusional...even pshchopathic, and treat Israel accordingly.

  • Comment number 3.

    'the tragedy of the familiar'

    Certainly as regards robustness in verifying source material in coverage of 'the story', yes.

    In some quarters, getting to be a bit of a habit.

  • Comment number 4.

    @2 A Tel Aviv clinical psychologist wrote a book called "Israel on the Couch", amplifying his take that the society (via his patients) manifested an adolescent stage of development.

    Quite serious studies have been done demonstrating that sociopathy/psychopathy has a strong (around 37% as I recall) genetic component. Two such studies were performed in Israel.

  • Comment number 5.

  • Comment number 6.

    I was hearing reports that it wasn't even Hamas that was firing the rockets - it was Islamic Jihad. It doesn't surprise me that Ahmed al-Jaabari was a moderating force on the Hamas movement and paid the price. Israel has record on surpressing moderates, whether they'll be Arab or Jewish. It are the moderates who are the greatest threat to Israel. That tells you all you need to know.

    Given that the UK and America has ground troops in Iraq and Afganistan Israel is putting their lives at risk. Who needs foes when you have allies like Israel.

  • Comment number 7.

    Ahmed al-Jaabari wasn't that moderate as you describe
    He was one of the Hamas hardliners the Israelis had been hunting after for many years
    r you to know before all this mess began we were under constant rocket attacks and sirens were and are still unattached component of our lives and Hamas as it rules Gaza is responsible and even has been involved in launching rockets to Israel
    Isn't that Hamas declared war till Jews will be drown in the sea!?

  • Comment number 8.



    Just because you're paranoid...


    Rusholme Ruffian,

    "Israel has record on surpressing moderates, whether they'll be Arab or Jewish. It are the moderates who are the greatest threat to Israel. That tells you all you need to know."

    On what evidence do you base this opinion?

    "Given that the UK and America has ground troops in Iraq and Afganistan Israel is putting their lives at risk. Who needs foes when you have allies like Israel."

    Please elaborate.

  • Comment number 9.

    More on the Hamas leader the Israelis assassinated:

    "The day after the assassination, Israeli peace activist Gershon Baskin, who had been involved in mediating Shalit’s release, disclosed that he had been in contact with Ja’abari up to the last moment. Ja’abari had been interested in a long-term cease-fire. The Israeli authorities had been informed."

    Full text: https://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1353080494

  • Comment number 10.

    When it comes to using and finding arms (weapons) and the subsequent consideration and analysis of retaliation, sanctions, culpability and further action, where does most responsibility lie?

    1) The manufacturer
    2) distributor
    3) buyer
    4) user or group the user belongs to
    5) governors of the area where the arms are manufactured
    6) governors of the area where the arms are distributed
    7) governors of the area where the arms are bought
    8) governors of the area where the user resides
    9) governors of the area where the arms are found
    10) There's no point in applying any rationale when considering responsibility

  • Comment number 11.

    for many years now the israeli and the palestinian authorities have deserved each other...bbc's "any questions" programme response by shirley williams provides the caveats but for me the rockets from gaza on jerusalem (depressing to visit for its mad religious groups) and on tel aviv (a brilliant modern city) are hugely beneficial....they will concentrate the minds of sane israelis (of which there are many) in their efforts to find ways to avoid the consequences of Clearly-YAHU's approach to avoid a two state solution

  • Comment number 12.

    The time is long overdue that Zionism be placed where it has long belong --next to its neighbors Fascism and Communism -- in the dustbin of history.

    Its development has become an insult not only to Jews worldwide but to Humanity.

    Oppression and death is all its promises has delivered, as did its ´bedmates´.

    If its demise brings the end of Israel as a State --then so be it.

    -- The experiment has failed --and must be ended before it drags millions to the grave.

    --with deadly force if necessary --the only language it knows and uses.

  • Comment number 13.

    The brief comments relayed by Katya Adler from Tel Aviv do indicate that Peterc (above) may be on to something- it seems the inhabitant were not previously sensitive to what their government was doing to the Palestinians.

    Quiet Oak Tree reflects my thinking. Hopefully, this is an indication that many share our view.

  • Comment number 14.


    There it is. The Final Solution. Dunno why I'm so surprised.

    A wee quote from What's Left? by Nick Cohen;

    • "No liberal would want to live in a state ruled by al-Qaeda or the Muslim Brotherhood. Liberals, socialists, women, gays, freethinkers and Christians could not possibly prosper in an Islamist Palestine or Islamist anywhere."

    Another quote from your side of the political fence, this from Amos Kenan.

    • "Shukairy used to say that the Jews should be driven into the sea. After the 1967 defeat, it became apparent that a slogan of this sort was not good public relations for the Arab cause. So today, only the Zionists are to be thrown into the sea. The only trouble is that when the Arabs get through pushing all the Zionists into the sea, there won't be a Jew left in Israel. For not a single Jew in Israel will agree to less than political and national sovereignty."



    If quietoaktree truly reflects your thinking then your thoughts are dark indeed.
  • Comment number 15.

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

  • Comment number 16.

    "If quietoaktree truly reflects your thinking then your thoughts are dark indeed."



    "For obvious reasons the JDL UK website is not hosted or registered in the United Kingdom, If you feel the need to report any of our posts or file a complaint, non-EU country law applies.

    If you have suffered anti-Semitic attack in the United Kingdom in any way, verbal, physical or otherwise, do not hesitate to contact us. We will maintain confidentiality in all cases."

  • Comment number 17.

    For a source that often reflects my thinking, check Uri Avnery at zope-gush shalom and their archives.

  • Comment number 18.

    Hussein Ibish is not really someone I would ask to comment on Israel or Hamas. He is biased. Daniel Levy may be Jewish, but he does not live in Israel, and holds views contrary to those of most Israelis. Ha'aretz has an anti Netanyahu bias. I am a cynic, but I find it hard to believe that any Israeli prime minister would go to war and endanger our soldiers, to win an election. The Arabs attacked Israel in 1967, not to mention the ongoing terror war since before 1948. They were offered peace and a return of most of the land. Their reply, No negotiations, No recognition, No peace.

  • Comment number 19.

    Analysis of Conflict:
    In order to determine the root cause of a conflict you have to return to the first
    aggressive or provocative act which started a chain reaction of violence.

    In this case it was...

  • Comment number 20.

    The success of Israeli Zionist propaganda cannot be doubted. It has taken a Jewish dream and transformed it into a Jewish and world nightmare. Long gone are the times when Crimes against Humanity and Apartheid are condemned by governments and their populations (also Jewish) -- by the fear of being victimized by powerful and slanderous Zionist ridicule.


    The strategy of the now worldwide well organized Zionist media (and its followers) to cause division between Jews and the societies they presently live at every opportunity, is successful. Tinder is piled, doused with oil -- and if ´fire´is screamed-- with luck it will ignite -- and any Jewish casualties will only help ´Zionism´.

    --preferably with such outcomes.


    "Oh yes," he said. "It will end when we grow tired of killing each other's children."

    -- An interesting theory

    ..But difficult to prove unless the Israeli-Zionist death rate does not radically increase.

  • Comment number 21.

    '14. At 18:11 17th Nov 2012, Scotch Git'

    Appreciating the effort, my thinking is this is another BBC published effort best left to Mr. Lustig, the mods and their fellow champions of balanced consideration.

  • Comment number 22.

    Innocent people from both sides are caught up in this conflict, young women and children who have been dragged in so cruelly. Political leaders from both sides are prepared to go to the bitter end regardless of the abject, inhumane suffering. Don't leaders have a conscience or is power so blinding and intoxicating? The tragedy is that key statesmen seem inept at finding lasting solutions as the killing and maiming go on unchecked.

  • Comment number 23.



    Indeed. But when the response to the response is a link to a group as representative of Jewish opinion as Neturei Karta and a lecture from Gerald "...Yasser Arafat, who was a friend of mine..." Kaufman, I reckon it's worth it.

    Some statements cannot be allowed to go unchallenged.

  • Comment number 24.

    Scotch Git

    "Some statements cannot be allowed to go unchallenged."

    --then challenge !

  • Comment number 25.

    Some comments in this thread illustrate the sociopathy complained of. The best defense would be to celebrate those who have made significant, non-sectarian contributions to society.

    It seems to me that, concerning moral behaviour, there is a development from the adolescent gang to the criminal gang (e.g. Mafia) to murderous tribalism. Our world needs to replace tribalism with universalism. How is this to be effected?

  • Comment number 26.

    #25 madmax.

    --after living in 3 societies for longer periods and studying others over a 50 year period --it became obvious that societies can indeed become ´mentally´unstable.

    -- Laws are passed --then accepted by societies as ´normal´-- the next laws are passed and again with time accepted ..until societal insanity is achieved.

    With Nazi Germany and Zionist Israel I see no deviations from my observations and conclusions.

  • Comment number 27.



    Someone else who reflects your thinking.

    If you get stuck on the details, quietoaktree's observations and conclusions will enlighten you.

  • Comment number 28.

    #27 Scotch Git

    I threw the gauntlet !

    "Some statements cannot be allowed to go unchallenged."

    --then challenge !"

    30. At 16:59 28th Jul 2012, quietoaktree to Scotch Git

    "As you have avoided taking a stance on the attempted sabotage of the Games by the actions of some Jewish and Israeli groups (and pro-Israel politicians) -- can I assume you were in agreement with them ?

    Their success would have destroyed and wasted the effort the UK has undertaken to show itself to the world in a positive light --by encouraging an immediate boycott."

    32. At 23:31 28th Jul 2012, quietoaktree to Scotch Git
    #31 Scotch Git

    "Sabotage? What websites have you been visiting?"



    I further showed that memorial a service had indeed occurred.

    "--In the wake of the hostage-taking, competition was suspended for the first time in modern Olympic history. On 6 September, a memorial service attended by 80,000 spectators and 3,000 athletes was held in the Olympic Stadium."

    My accusation of both your attempt and that of UK Zionist media to split the UK society -- un-necessarily to the detriment of British Jews-- and in the interest of Israeli Zionism --

    --still stands.

  • Comment number 29.

    Scotch Git

    -- This can also be added to the (your) list !


    --and by the signatories --the list is long.

  • Comment number 30.

    @27 References a publication of the Aryan Nations where they, also, speak of the need to replace tribalism with universalism. Apparently, this observation is occuring to many throughout the World. How best to effect this change?

    "It seems to me that, concerning moral behaviour, there is a development from the adolescent gang to the criminal gang (e.g. Mafia) to murderous tribalism. Our world needs to replace tribalism with universalism. How is this to be effected?"

    There appears to be a cultural pathology. One poster above alluded to a post-traumatic distress syndrome as an explanation therefor. But, few Italians are Mafiosi.
    There are advantages to being a gang member. How does one convert to being a unival human being?

  • Comment number 31.

    23. At 18:45 18th Nov 2012, Scotch Git

    OK, 'good men (sorry about the 'ism; it was a different time, to use BBC SOP excuses)' an' all that.

    As you know, while my interests range, I am most interested in how folk get educated and informed, and what that can lead to.

    Hence, as it's open season on links from around an about, let me chip in with one of some concern, especially in light of other aspects of reporting in complement.


    I have no way of knowing how true it is, but given recent events I have no reason to think it impossible, or indeed see fit to 'trust' the subject more than any other source that appears to to in turn 'source' from twitter.

    STOP PRESS: He has now said 'Soooowwwwy'. Unsure this apology will cut it.

    When views are shaped by 'news' that are actually also just views, the move to propaganda rolls on. When that gets backed by censorship (I believe Lord Patten has suggested that no one gets to question the BBC other than the BBC), the historical precedents take a darker turn still.

  • Comment number 32.

    'When views are shaped by 'news' that are actually also just views, the move to propaganda rolls on.'

    That is now getting too familiar, and from one place in particular.

    That takes tragedy beyond farce to clear and present danger.

    UK policy is shaped in part by public mood.

    Public mood is shaped in part by media, especially broadcast.

    If some cannot be trusted to report with accuracy, they cannot be trusted; full stop.

  • Comment number 33.

    The more I watch this warring catastrophe, the more I think: "Testing Ground". Israel is testing its "Iron Dome", and Palestine is testing its unguided, but more lethal missiles. Of course, it is Israel that has more to gain; with limited damage, as compared to Palestine, it can test, revamp its Iron Dome, and get ready for the bigger war ahead - a war that will include Iran.

  • Comment number 34.

    #33 BluesBerry

    -- you may know this ? (an open question to all)

    -- How does Israel know their nuclear weapons really work ?

    --where did their test data come from ?

    --a joint effort with America ?

  • Comment number 35.

    @32 There is a difference between "news" and "narrative". News is often disjointed, fragmentary and contradictory. Narrative seeks to tell a story and, in seeking to avoid these imperfections, is biased and misleading. If BBC personnel opt for narrative, the public must suffer.

  • Comment number 36.

    Even if involving only a portion of a population, a criminal culture can be transmitted.
    Some 2000 years ago, the Sicarii murdered Jews who would not revolt against the Romans. They eventually organized a large-scale Jonestown at Massada where those who did not commit suicide were killed by armed guards. Today, Israel's MOSSAD murder squads call themselves "Sicarii" and some officials speak of the "Samson Option" that calls for destroying the planet with the detonation of dirty nuclear bombs should Israel be seriously threatened.

    This mentality is a threat to decent Israelis as well as to the civilized world. If one were to establish democracy in the Middle East, perhaps one should begin with the problem of Israel.

  • Comment number 37.

    Just more Tribalism.

    There doesn't have to be any consistency or rationale behind people's views.

    What is it that makes you decide to
    1) generalize something bad as representative of the whole group.
    2) dismiss something bad as not representative.
    3) not generalize something good to the whole perceived group.
    4) dismiss something good as not representative?

  • Comment number 38.

    #36 madmax

    --I fail to see how Israel can get itself out of the trap it set for itself.

    With the 3rd generation of Palestinians being born with hatred and bombs and Israel insisting on a Gaza ´ghetto´while becoming ´fortress´ Israel, a ´rainbow´semite state appears an impossibility.

    -- A two state solution with Israel holding on to the WestBank and Golan Heights will also bring no peaceful solution.

    --probably both sides cold at least agree on mutual genocide -at least it would be honest and contain the approaching Apocalypse.

  • Comment number 39.

    I notice the usual 'BBC is biased against Israel' are out again. If the BBC ran the story in the same style that ITV1 did last night these extremists would be frothing at the mouth!

    38 Quietoaktree

    The two-state solution based on the Green Line is the only viable option for both parties. Israel's one-state solution, because of Arab demographics (their population is set to grow much faster than the European settlers), is going to led to ethnic cleansing or something else more hideous. Judging by the Zionist ultra-nationalist's record the latter looks more likely.

  • Comment number 40.


    Israel-South Africa are believed to have tested nuclear weapons in the southern Indian Ocean in the seventies in what was called the Vela Incident. Given that these were the darkest days of apartheid in SA it tells you all you need to know about Israel.


  • Comment number 41.

    #40 RR



    --also an interesting summary.

  • Comment number 42.


    What makes you think that you get to choose what statements I do or do not challenge?

    Do you ever actually read the things you write? Sometimes you come across as a spokesperson for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad!

    The mask slipped irretrievably at #12. (Betcha wish the mods had removed that comment). I am no longer prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt.

    You have demonstrated that there is no doubt.

  • Comment number 43.

    #42 Scotch Git

    -- I am very careful what I write.

    -- I will not allow any Israeli Zionist drag the memory of 6 million murdered through the dirt.

    --especially when misused to justify their own atrocities or their support of them.

    The locations of a possible Israel --ranged from Uganda ( British idea) to Mauritius (Nazi idea )


    --watching the failure of the present location within the region, the Falkland Islands would have been more appropriate.

    -- (not my idea, but from a student friend who volunteered and flew to Israel to assist in 1967 --probably organized by the Kahane group)

    --another of his wisecracks was --´Visit Israel --see the pyramids´.

  • Comment number 44.

    "-- I am very careful what I write"
    I think he means that the end of Zionism/Nationalism/Fascism/Communism doesn't equate to Genocide.

    Scotch Git

    Just to clarify,
    In your #14 and #42 you are accusing quietoaktree of advocating Genocide in #12?

  • Comment number 45.

    #43 correction

    Madagascar NOT Mauritius

  • Comment number 46.

    #44 marko

    "I think he means that the end of Zionism/Nationalism/Fascism/Communism doesn't equate to Genocide."


  • Comment number 47.

    Scotch Git

    Do you have any suggestions how this never ending killing and maiming can end ?

  • Comment number 48.

    Lustig's title "Israel-Gaza: the tragedy of the familiar"
    is particularly appropriate. Given a 2000 plus year history of Sicarii Mafia-type activity, the heritability of psychopathy, and the ability of a relatively small number to control a large population, perhaps the solution lies in diluting the concentration to the status of a small minority.

    This logic would argue for a one-state solution and the removal of Israel from the map, creating a much larger Middle Eastern entity.

  • Comment number 49.

    Mr. Lustig, rather than produce your typical PeeCee moral equivalence between Israel and a terror group committed to destroy the country, why not try dealing with the following facts:

    *Hundreds of thousands of pamphlets dropped over Gaza warning civilians AND TERRORISTS of targets to be attacked

    *More care taken now than in 2008/9 to single out only the terrorists for elimination by targeted killings

    *Hamas’ Charter mandating the killing of Jews and the destruction of Israel

    *Hamas’ deceptive use of truces to regroup and rearm for the next assault on the Jewish state

    *Iran’s role in arming, training and funding Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah for the murder of Israeli civilians

  • Comment number 50.

    Scotch Git

    Early Zionists were aware that most of the inhabitable areas of the world had already been claimed -- either by already independent countries or by Colonialism. The choice of wording (to avoid antagonism) was that of a Jewish ´homeland´. The prerequisites were that the area could sustain the population and that the area provided safety.

    Many serious and not so serious locations had been suggested and the justifiable impatience grew.

    The speech given by British MP Kaufman (#20) expresses my views -- seen from that standpoint -- I am also Zionist.

    We (and the world) are faced with an ´out of control´ ever intensifying tragedy and dilemma.

    ´With all to lose --and only more of the same to win´

    You have chosen the first as justification for your views -I, the second.

  • Comment number 51.

    The more I watch this Israeli aggression, the more I think of it as a testing field. For what? The Iron Dome. How effective is the Iron Dome in stopping better grade Palestinian missiles. Well, reports say that 90% of incoming fire to Israel is being stopped. That leaves 10%. It also leaves battery run-downs - on a little Gaza war - there are battery run-downs in maintaining power for the batteries on the Iron Dome.
    What if this was not Palestine, but Iran firing into Israel? What then would be the success of the Iron Dome?

  • Comment number 52.

    Lots of question flying to and fro; causing much heat and little light (a metaphor perhaps).

    Here's one for the democratic vast majority here with the odd ability to spend as long as they like, when they like on threads such as these. I can't now find it, but it is based on a suggestion today that had some rather vocal types heading back to their bunkers to revisit their next PR angle..

    Much is made of 'proportionality' in weaponry, especially in service of some odd new, and often selective accounting system in war.

    How about... if the Israelis ceased all strikes by aircraft?

    Then, when a 'firework' from Palestine is seen coming in (assuming it makes it makes it and doesn't provide sloppy, compromised journos another photo op closer to home), and presuming you are still cool on Iron Dome doing its defensive job, the Israelis simply disconnect all the sophisticated targeting from their arsenal of 'fireworks' and lob one in the vague direction back?

    How long before the entire Western media currently claiming they are being targeted when they clearly are not.. scarper in case they really are subject to the same odds they require of the people in Israel?

  • Comment number 53.

    #52 junkkmale

    -- Terror and racism was practiced in the region by the Stern Gang et. al. against peace loving Jews and Arabs before 1948.


    -- I am careful of propaganda --especially when justifying or denying atrocities.


    --but some historical documents are disturbing --very disturbing.

  • Comment number 54.

    '53. At 13:37 20th Nov 2012, quietoaktree'

    That was quick. Anyway, no answer to the actual question.

    And then straight to a version of Two Wrongs Time Team?

    I'd hate to see what happened were you ever not careful.

    But I can appreciate how disturbed you must be. Historically.

  • Comment number 55.

    #54 Junkkmale

    -- could you re-phrase the question using simpler language --I had trouble finding one.


  • Comment number 56.

    With much info on the accuracy of Israeli missiles and bombing --I assume that Arafat´s remains have not been vaporized.

    -- I have waited patiently for the forensic results.

  • Comment number 57.


    "But I can appreciate how disturbed you must be. Historically."

    --what is that supposed to imply ?

  • Comment number 58.

    When one can't respond to facts, some habitually attack the person. It may be a cultural thing.

  • Comment number 59.

    As Scotch Git has made himself scarce (#47)

    -- My suggestion is that Reparation discussions begin -- no outside (USA or other) interference is necessary if both sides realize the necessity. Equality ( life for life and property for property) should be the basis. I suggest a (first) financial solution along the lines of West Germany´s reparations to Holocaust victims and their descendants.

    -- The EU, UN and others will also have claims to be resolved --but that comes a long second at present.

  • Comment number 60.

    Junkkmale @54:

    The best website that I know on the history of the region is here: https://www.mideastweb.org/nutshell.htm

    Re: bombing by aircraft
    A wee bit pointless this one as the bombing is also launched from warships.

  • Comment number 61.

    Interesting quote given the latest sorry events from Gaza...

    "It would appear that up to this point Hamas has killed twice as many Gazans as it has Israelis. (Not taking into account casualties from rockets dropping short)."

    The basis for this will perhaps be more apparent to those whose factual experiences are less driven by dogma supported by propaganda.

  • Comment number 62.

    #61 Junkkmale

    --your non-response disappoints. (#55 and #57)

  • Comment number 63.

    Israel's use of DIME ammunition against the Palestinians is reported to have quick genetic effects: https://www.911oz.com/vbulletin/archive/index.php/t-3117.html

    Is this an attempt at a "final solution" ?

  • Comment number 64.

    @60 The archives of gush-shalom go back about 60 years and are machine searchable. Uri Avnery is a very reliable source for Israeli affairs.

    "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine" is based almost entirely on official Israeli archives and is a serious history by an Israrli professor.

    These are two very reliable sources.

  • Comment number 65.

    On BBC HYS, a Hamas representative said that it would have nothing against Jewish citizens in a Palestinian State.

    -- I presume this would include the West Bank.

  • Comment number 66.

  • Comment number 67.

    Those interested should download and save the legal definition of GENOCIDE:

  • Comment number 68.

    In the spirit of posting how I please, while one still can, it seems a pity that at such a febrile period in world news and the media's part in it, the BBC 'The Editors' page seems stuck in a time warp, not that any threads stay open too long when added.

    Staying on how domestic issues can relate to events overseas, here's another link contributing to the wealth of knowledge that the internet can bring...


    The public's faith in statesperson-, and leadership is assured.

  • Comment number 69.

    I find most media these days a trial.

    Just now I was on my evening surf and saw this..


    Which was odd as it was next door to this on the home page:

    "Israel announces Gaza ceasefire"

    That in turn was linked to this...


    I guess the reason (if not excuse) is the fast moving nature of 'Live-updates'. I sometimes wish there was a little less liveliness to them, and a bit more time taken in consideration first.

    As a final thought, given the delivery system for that bus blast, I wonder if any of the many red-mist charged (and doubtless now adrenaline cold-turkey suffering... often a worrying time, integrity-wise) journalists rushing around that dangerous, crowded part of the world will again be claiming it was in fact targeted at them, and missed only to inflict its impact on innocent civilians?

    Or do errors in fog of war count as worse than deliberate acts?

    That's an actual question to any seeking disappointment on a regular basis too.

  • Comment number 70.

    The (at times) mocked statement by British MP Kaufman --that Hamas ´is the only game in town´-- has been reinforced.

    The PLO has been reduced to ´collaborators´ --and even the moderate American Jewish organization J-Street appears redundant.


    --its PLO support, while ´good intentioned´ requires a ´painful´ re-think.

    -- and they are not the only ones facing dilemmas.

  • Comment number 71.

    ´Deciphering the Ceasefire
    Israeli Press Declares Victory for Hamas´


    "Hamas has morphed from the enemy that must be brought down to the enemy that is the lesser of two evils,"

  • Comment number 72.

    New BBC chief Lord Hall has advised: 'We can get through this crisis'

    Not by making sure only a small fraction of the country ever gets a say in in the various BBC crises they manage to create. I wonder what he makes of the fact that the announcement blog on the BBC was posted around lunchtime and shut to comments before just about any working Brit got home, holding-to-account, speaking-for-the-nation wise?


    Another BBC unique? Propaganda backed by censorship has poor historical precedent. As some are finding when it comes to the tragedy of what is not shared or quickly removed from view.

  • Comment number 73.


    "-- I will not allow any Israeli Zionist drag the memory of 6 million murdered through the dirt."

    You will protect the memory of 6,000,000 Jews from their descendants?

    Seriously, do you ever read this stuff before hitting Post Comment?

    Somewhat inconveniently for the policy which you advocate at #12, when Israeli Zionists say "Never again!" they really, really mean it.

  • Comment number 74.

    #73 Scotch Git

    "You will protect the memory of 6,000,000 Jews from their descendants?"



    You will for the next 1000 years ?

    -- Palestinians building their own Ghettos ?

    -- Those arguments and scenes have been used and seen before.

  • Comment number 75.

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

  • Comment number 76.

    #73 Scotch Git

    -- Both our personal experiences and studies on this topic have left us with diametrically opposing views and conclusions.

    We can both agree on the words ´never again´--but apparently little else on how they become an enduring reality. The mental scars of the crime still lives on with the survivors and to varying extents with their children and their grandchildren.

    --with hate comes fear then even more hate. I disagree that a society (or country) is doing themselves (or others) good --with circular arguments and vengeance.

  • Comment number 77.

    Spiegel (German)

    -- Israel has just deployed the first War Robots (not yet armed)--at Gaza border.

  • Comment number 78.

    'Israel has just deployed the first War Robots (not yet armed)--at Gaza border.'

    May make encounters with all those farmers and metal recyclers who so often work hand-in-hand less fraught.


    One is sure the BBC's accounts in report, and cross-examination, were to their usual exemplary standard, though.

    ps: Kind of funny to note that the new Egyptian peacemaking President is finding certain democratic bits 'n bobs a wee bit incovenient and sees merit in simply skipping to what he wants, who he wants and when he wants.


    'President Mohammed Mursi has appeared before supporters in Cairo to defend a new decree that grants him sweeping powers.'

    Any similarity with the anointing of the new 'the whole world approves' (Patten. C Lord) BBC DG is purely coincidental.


    'Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures - and for the BBC these are extraordinary times.

    That is why BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten approached Tony Hall to be the new BBC director general without going through the normal recruitment process'

  • Comment number 79.

    As Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi writes, "The current clash between Israel and Hamas did not begin with rocket fire but with ramped-up terror activity on the Israel-Gaza border. Hamas’ strategy has changed over the past two years. It believes the “Islamic Spring” has altered the balance of power between the Arab world and Israel. "

    Nothing about this situation is new, and unfortunately a solution doesn't seem to be anywhere on the horizon.


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