God's Politics

God's Politics


Jeff Halper: Yes Virginia, It Is Apartheid

posted by jmcgee

Beliefnet asked God’s Politics to dialogue with a recent post by one of their Virtual Talmud bloggers, Rabbi Eliyahu Stern, which compared Jimmy Carter with Orthodox Jews who attended Iran’s Holocaust deniers summit:

While Carter’s new book is not half as despicable as these Jews’ recent trip to Tehran, where they joined hands with Iranian President Ahmadinejad at his Holocaust denial conference, it is pathetic if for no reason other than its title, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.

Israeli Jewish peace activist Jeff Halper responds:

Jimmy Carter’s use of the term “apartheid” to describe what is developing in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel these last 40 years is both accurate and useful. Accurate because apartheid is emerging in Israel/Palestine.

What is apartheid? It is the forced separation of populations in which one people establishes a regime of permanent and structured domination over another (whether on racial lines as in South Africa or on national/religious lines as imposed by Israel). This is exactly what Israel is doing, from annexing its huge settlement blocs to imprisoning the Palestinians behind 26′ concrete walls and electrified fences. I don’t even see what the “controversy” is about. Just go to the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem and open your eyes.

Carter’s use of the term is useful because it names the thing: apartheid is the only term that gets at the systemic qualities of the regime of domination Israel is establishing. Its not just a policy or a response to terrorism or occupation – it is a full-blown, thought-out, intentional system of control and domination. Indeed, Israel itself calls its policy hafrada, separation, apartheid.

Let’s thank Carter for giving us a handle on this thing. Let’s stop arguing about the semantics and get on with the job of stopping it. Jews as the new Afrikaners. What a chilling thought!

Jeff Halper is the coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), based in Jerusalem.



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Will

posted December 20, 2006 at 3:13 pm


A member of my church community has just returned from the Holy Land and he agrees that what is happening there is apartheid. He said that he has even heard South Africans describe the situation as worst than apartheid because of the wall. Thank you for your witness.>



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kevin s.

posted December 20, 2006 at 4:13 pm


Except that the wall was constructed to prevent bombing attacks. The Palestinians want their own state, and have their own government. Of course, they would prefer that they had the whole state, hence the wall and the efforts to “separate” Israel. This isn’t apartheid, it is self-defense. Kudos to Rabbi Stern for calling a spade a spade (though he get no points for supporting his viewpoint with specifics). I would commend you all to Alan Dershowitz’s damning review of the book. “>http://www.nysun.com/article/43958>



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Deryll

posted December 20, 2006 at 4:24 pm


[This isn't apartheid, it is self-defense.] I agree that is partly true; but as Carter said, then put the fence on the border. Carter said Israel has the right to put a fence on the border; it would then need to be only 1/3rd the length of it’s present course.>



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Will H.

posted December 20, 2006 at 4:30 pm


The importance of apartheid is not the separation aspect of the word; it is the structured domination of one group over another. We as Christians should not support this sort of domination and the US should not either.>



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jesse

posted December 20, 2006 at 4:40 pm


What’s interesting about these last two posts is that they mainly consist of appeals to authority. This post quotes an “Israeli Jewish peace activist” who agrees with the point Sojo supports (Israel is an oppressive country). Because he is “Israeli” and “Jewish” and a “peace activist”, he must have some special, impartial view that we should all respect. The last post mainly consists of criticism from a respected Republican (Powell) who somewhat agrees with the point Sojo is trying to make (Bush is wrong). I guess I don’t need to tell you that this is form of argumentation is kind of lazy and is not very convincing.>



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kevin s.

posted December 20, 2006 at 5:04 pm


“The importance of apartheid is not the separation aspect of the word; it is the structured domination of one group over another. ” Correct. However, I see no evidence of structured domination here. Again, if the Palestinians cease to terrorize Israel, the conflict is over.>



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anna araguala

posted December 20, 2006 at 5:43 pm


this commentary is absolutely true. the israeli gov’t is practicing apartheid and the world needs to really wake up. the truth is the the palestinian people are living in a world of poverty and blight, while just over ‘the wall’, the israelis are enjoying a relative life of ease. you cannot expect people who are living in desperation to just take it forever. at some point, they are going to do something to remedy their situation- whether positively or negatively. america needs to help bring about peace by promoting true self determination of the palestinian people. they should be free to live life without a wall on their land. it is unfair for us to assume less.>



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kevin s.

posted December 20, 2006 at 5:54 pm


The reason Israel is enjoying relative prosperity is that they don’t elect terrorists, and haven’t devoted their governmental resources to the elimination of a nation. How does America promote true self-determination among the Palestinian people? What does that entail? Making Israel cede more land? When that isn’t enough, what is the solution? Make Israel cede more land? Shall we simply eliminate Israel?>>



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Justin

posted December 20, 2006 at 5:56 pm


I think terrorism is characterized by a dual attack. Military destruction is not the only way to terrorize another people. Economics, politics, legislation, all can work to “terrorize” a population and can often be more effective than military destruction. I think what’s important is that people, “know we are Christians by our Love.” So while we must agree that terrorism must end, so must the forced subordination of a group. As a voice, a voice led by the Spirit, in the Word, allowing Christ to speak through us, we should call to “do unto others as we would have them do unto us.” That should go for Israel as well as Palestine. “They will know we are Christians by our love”, not by our condemnation or desire to enforce our personal safety. That’s just my two cents.>



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Beth

posted December 20, 2006 at 6:03 pm


As Halper says, “I don’t even see what the “controversy” is about. Just go to the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem and open your eyes.” If you’ve been there, you know that what Israel is doing is disproportionately WRONG. ANY person, whether of faith or not, can see that if he will just open his eyes. If you haven’t been there and seen BOTH sides with your own eyes, maybe your opinion is a bit off. And if you haven’t LIVED it, well, maybe you should try and see what you think then.>



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Hali

posted December 20, 2006 at 6:05 pm


Jesse asserted, ” What’s interesting about these last two posts is that they mainly consist of appeals to authority.” However, Jesse does not refute any of the content of the posts. Therefore, Jesse’s post is pointless and ineffective. Point goes to Pro ;)>



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Will H.

posted December 20, 2006 at 6:09 pm


Kevin, when 800,000 Palestinians were displaced by Israeli occupation was that terrorism? For that matter what is the difference between terrorism and self-defense? It seems to me that according to you any violent act a Palestinian does is terrorism and any violent act an Israeli does is self-defense.>



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jesse

posted December 20, 2006 at 6:33 pm


However, Jesse does not refute any of the content of the posts. Therefore, Jesse’s post is pointless and ineffective. Point goes to Pro –My point, of course, was that the posts were lacking in any depth of content.>



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kevin s.

posted December 20, 2006 at 6:33 pm


He is correct, though, that the appeal to authority is in play here. To me, however, it does not soften the blow of comparing the Jews to Afrikaners. Chilling, indeed. I’m glad that folks like Alan Dershowitz are advocating on Israel’s behalf. This is not a partisan issue, it is a perspective issue.>



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Wolverine

posted December 20, 2006 at 6:54 pm


Whenever you cross the border from Canada into the US, you have to go through customs. You wait in a long line, you get asked lots of questions, you may have your car searched. Is this apartheid? Of course not, it’s just the process you have to go thorugh to get from one sovereign country into another. Nearly everyone agrees that the best solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict involes two states. South African apartheid included the creation of seperate “homelands” that the Government of South Africa claimed were seperate black states, but these were widely regarded as a sham. Israeli “apartheid” consists of Israel establishing a border between itself and a “state” that the world insists on seeing established. The border would be more open if the Palestinians were less prone to use terrorism against Israeli civilians. The location of the border would be more to their liking if the Palestinians could negotiate in good faith. One need not approve of everything the Israelis have done to see that “apartheid” is not an accurate description of what they are doing. Apartheid does not apply when one state fortifies itself against a threat from another state. And Palestine is supposed to be another state. Wolverine>



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Emmett Grogan

posted December 20, 2006 at 6:56 pm


Alan Dershowitz is a publicity whore and a joke.>



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Wolverine

posted December 20, 2006 at 7:02 pm


All in all, one gets the feeling that Israel’s opponents are switching over to South African parallels because they’ve realized that ad hitlerum arguments have gotten stale. So at least we’re making some progress. Wolverine>



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Chris

posted December 20, 2006 at 7:12 pm


Palestine is not a totally equal ‘state’ on a par with Israel since Israel collects (and withholds) taxes. Israel controls transportation and the movement of Palestinians even within their own ‘territory.’ Palestinians in Gaza aren’t even allowed to work their trade (fishing). Israel has always held a thumb on Palestinians which increases tensions. I do not condone the Palestinian violence against Israelis but I also don’t condone the Israelis’ violence against the Palestinians.>



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Deryll

posted December 20, 2006 at 7:21 pm


[Is this apartheid? Of course not, it's just the process you have to go thorugh to get from one sovereign country into another.] Except Canada doesn’t occupy Michigan and hasn’t put a wall between Michigan and Indiana. Let Israel put their wall on their land (on the border) and then ask the UN to enforce the border. The “world community” sought to have Israel established and now seeks a Palestinian state.>



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kevin s.

posted December 20, 2006 at 7:48 pm


“Kevin, when 800,000 Palestinians were displaced by Israeli occupation was that terrorism?” No, they were displaced as the result of a war that surrounding Arab nations declared on Israel. Israel won. “For that matter what is the difference between terrorism and self-defense? It seems to me that according to you any violent act a Palestinian does is terrorism and any violent act an Israeli does is self-defense.” Israel’s actions have consistently responded to the threat of both military and terrorist action agaisnt them. They are dedfending their interests. When Hezbollah launches rockets into Israel, and follows it up my kidnapping Israeli’s, they are not simply doing so to defend their national interests. You seem either to be willfully ignorant of Muslim anti-Semitic sentiment, or unwilling to acknowledge it’s role in the ongoing conflict. The onyl way to come to the conclusion the Israel is comparable to Apartheid South Africa is to dispense with the notion that there is a right and wrong.>



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kevin s.

posted December 20, 2006 at 7:53 pm


“Except Canada doesn’t occupy Michigan and hasn’t put a wall between Michigan and Indiana.” As Wolverine mentioned, the reason that the “border” is so nebulous is because Palestinian authorities have refused to agree or adhere to any treaty or peace agreement. Right now, Israel would accomodate a two-state solution with a deined border, but Palestine will not accomodate such a thing, and has proven that it will continue the cycle of violence. Israel has a right to exist, and has a right to see violence end as a part of negotiations. I can gurantee you that It isn’t going to happen that way.>



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Will H.

posted December 20, 2006 at 8:32 pm


“No, they were displaced as the result of a war that surrounding Arab nations declared on Israel. Israel won.” This is simply not true Kevin. Israel was declared an independent state on May 14, 1948. It was after that date when surrounding Muslim countries tried to invade Israel. “Israel’s actions have consistently responded to the threat of both military and terrorist action agaisnt them.” The initial settlement of Palestine by Jews and then the establishment of a Jewish state was not a response to terrorism. This settlement was itself an unprovoked act of violence that led to the unstable situation that exists in Israel today.>



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kevin s.

posted December 20, 2006 at 9:44 pm


“This is simply not true Kevin. Israel was declared an independent state on May 14, 1948. It was after that date when surrounding Muslim countries tried to invade Israel. ” Correct, and the result of this war was to establish boundaries that resulted in refugees. “The initial settlement of Palestine by Jews and then the establishment of a Jewish state was not a response to terrorism. This settlement was itself an unprovoked act of violence that led to the unstable situation that exists in Israel today.” How so? The Jewish people declared no war. Jews existed in the territory even before the Ottoman empire. After World War I, more migrated to the region. This constitutes an act of terrorism? Even if I cede this argument, are you suggesting that the existence of Israel is an unprovoked act of violence that justifies an ongoing terroristic response? By this logic, then, we cannot support the right of Israel to exist. Therefore, we cannot support the right of the United States, or any other nation to exist. Where do we draw that line?>



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jurisnaturalist

posted December 20, 2006 at 9:56 pm


I think both sides are wrong, and that it is useless to be involved. How did Israel come to exist? Some (British) men with guns decided to let some other men with guns (Israelis) take the land belonging to other men (Palestinians?) Did the Israelis buy at market value from willing sellers the land that they came to occupy? But world governments would rather discuss the actions of central governments against one another. Helps to avoid having to deal with all those pesky “individuals” and “civilians” and “innocents.” Especially within evangelical camps there has come to exist a strong support for the state of Israel, under the auspices of supporting the Jews – God’s chosen people. Opponents to this ideology often attack the “chosenness” of the Jews in light of the New Testament. This is a misstep. The correct tactic is to oppose support of centralized governments. Here, the Christian has a clear ethical standard which can be applied to Jews and Gentiles alike without jeaprodizing the “chosen” status of the Jews. Up to two years ago I was a Israel loving, ditto head Republican waiting for the rapture. I had a hard time understanding why the three often went together. The key is statism.>



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timks

posted December 20, 2006 at 10:20 pm


Alan Dershowitz is a publicity whore and a joke. As opposed to Jimmy Carter? Please.>



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timks

posted December 20, 2006 at 10:29 pm


the truth is the the palestinian people are living in a world of poverty and blight, while just over ‘the wall’, the israelis are enjoying a relative life of ease. Included among those Israelis enjoying a relative life of ease is a significant number of Muslim Arabs. Israel, for all its faults, is a better place for a Palestinian to live than “Palestine” is.>



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kevin s.

posted December 20, 2006 at 10:34 pm


“Did the Israelis buy at market value from willing sellers the land that they came to occupy?” No, the British won it from the Turks in WWI. “Especially within evangelical camps there has come to exist a strong support for the state of Israel, under the auspices of supporting the Jews – God’s chosen people. ” I have never understood this. However, I still support Israel. “The correct tactic is to oppose support of centralized governments. ” How does this opposition play out in this scenario? Absent a centralized government, palestinian Arabs would set to destroying the Israeli people, as they were doing before Israel declared independence. “Up to two years ago I was a Israel loving, ditto head Republican waiting for the rapture.” That’s too bad, but there is an entirely independent case for supporting Israel’s right to exist.>



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laura n

posted December 20, 2006 at 10:50 pm


Kevin writes a lot, but I am guessing he has never been to Israel and witnessed the purposeful humiliation and degradation of Palestinians, which has been the intention of the state of Israel since the first day. I went to Israel many years ago as an Orthodox teenage Zionist and discovered the terrible racism and scorn my co-religionists heaped upon even those Arabs who lived in Israel. As I was a fluent speaker of Hebrew, nothing was hidden from me. I do not support the senseless violence of suicide bombing, but what is there to defend the use of torture (as Dershowitz does) and assassination even of a wheelchair-bound crippled leader by the Israelis, tactics which always radicalize many more people and which have no ethical defense? Apartheid is too kind a word for the treatment of the residents of the occupied territories (I also worked in S Africa in the early 1990s, so I have a point of comparison. Furthermore, the South Africans were already comparing Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to apartheid). Sadly, Dershowitz is a man of no integrity, unlike Jimmy Carter, a very brave man indeed. Many Israelis demonstrate daily in support of viewpoints like his. I recommend the New Profile listserv.>



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jesse

posted December 20, 2006 at 11:34 pm


The fact that some Jews blame all the middle east’s troubles on Israel is not very meaningful. Many Americans blame most of the world’s troubles on the US. You’ll find those kind of people in every country. Jeff Harper writes on his website, “Let s be honest (for once): The problem in the Middle East is not the Palestinian people, not Hamas, not the Arabs, not Hezbollah or the Iranians or the entire Muslim world. It s us, the Israelis . . . This is just childish…does anyone really think that Arafat, who made millions off of the Palestinians’ suffering, didn’t negatively impact the situation in the middle east? Does anyone seriously believe that suicide bombers do not negatively affect the middle east? Also, the fact that you’ve seen Palestinians who have suffered gives you a unique pespective. But so would someone who’s spent time with Israeli families who live in fear or who’ve had their children killed by suicide bombers. Or those who’ve witnessed Palestinian prayers for Israel’s total annihilation.>



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Emmett Grogan

posted December 20, 2006 at 11:42 pm


Jimmy Carter has certainly made mistakes, but I believe him to be a true man of God. His career after leaving the White House puts most ex-presidents to shame.>



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kevin s.

posted December 20, 2006 at 11:43 pm


Laura, you have been to Israel, but you have not addressed my arguments. I know people who have been to Israel who hold the complete opposite viewpoint. Also, I have hear a few general insults hurled at Alan Dershowitz. I agree that he is not the best conduit for his ideas, but I would be interested in some reaction to his words.>



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Emmett Grogan

posted December 20, 2006 at 11:46 pm


Dershowitz calls anyone critical of Israel an antisemite. It’s the cheapest kind of debating tactic.>



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Wolverine

posted December 21, 2006 at 12:23 am


Under the Oslo accords and the “road map to peace” (as far as I know still operational, somehow) the border between Israel and the Palestinian state was originally to be set by negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians — after the Palestinians abandoned terror tactics. The Palestinians responded to this reasonable plan by mounting terror attacks. So the Israelis have replied by setting the borders more or less unilaterally and giving the Palestinians their state. Is that fair? I think what the Israelis did was reasonable under the circumstances. One could argue that the Israelis were fairly generous — the Palestinians weren’t entitled to a state before abandoning terror. It certainly wasn’t the same as apartheid. Under apartheid the Africans were isolated from South African society but had no prospect of being given their independence. Wolverine>



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Will H.

posted December 21, 2006 at 12:37 am


“Correct, and the result of this war was to establish boundaries that resulted in refugees.” No, the refugees were a result of Jewish occupation of Palestinian lands, and that is the main issue here. You keep saying that the Palestinians are terrorists and the Israelis are acting in self-defense but how can that be true if the Israelis were the first to strike? Even if I cede this argument, are you suggesting that the existence of Israel is an unprovoked act of violence that justifies an ongoing terroristic response? No I am not, furthermore I recognize Israel s right to exist. However the point I am making is that both sides here have done things that are horrible. As long as we keep trying to put all the blame on one side we can never come to any sort of resolution. I am tired of hearing the conservative mantra that Israelis are the good guys and Palestinians are the bad guys. The fact of the matter is that Palestinians have something to be pissed about and we should at least recognize that. Now that does not mean their actions in response to their anger was appropriate. I think the random killings of all sorts have been horrible and you can t justify killing innocent civilians. This goes for Palestinians and Israelis as well.>



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kevin s.

posted December 21, 2006 at 12:57 am


“Dershowitz calls anyone critical of Israel an antisemite. It’s the cheapest kind of debating tactic.” Do you have a reference for this? ” but how can that be true if the Israelis were the first to strike? ” Perhaps I do not no to which incident you are referring here? Are you referring to the war of independence? “However the point I am making is that both sides here have done things that are horrible.” Well, yeah… Israel even attacked us. TO support Israel is not to say they are perfect. I support the United States. We have done quite a few terrible things. “As long as we keep trying to put all the blame on one side we can never come to any sort of resolution” I agree, which is why Jimmy Carter’s book is so vile. ” The fact of the matter is that Palestinians have something to be pissed about and we should at least recognize that. ” What they should be pissed about is the inability of their leaders to focus on providing a better situation for their people. Answer me this. If Palestine came to the table, and offered an end to terrorist tactics in exchange for a recognized, secure border, do you think Israel would refuse? If the Palestinian government then ceased to sponsor terror, do you really think Israel would continue this war? Israel has gone to great pains to reduce the number of innocent lives taken by their attacks. Can you say the same of Palestine? Can you say the same of Hezbollah? No, you certainly cannot.>



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Jack Thompson

posted December 21, 2006 at 12:58 am


“The reason Israel is enjoying relative prosperity is that they don’t elect terrorists, and haven’t devoted their governmental resources to the elimination of a nation.” Kevin, you’re gravely mistaken here. Israel does elect terrorists, it’s just that they’re on our team, so we don’t call them “terrorists”. How did Sharon earn his nickname, “The Bulldozer”? He devoted government resources to bulldozing Palestinian homes *while they were still inside*. What does it matter if an assailant has a bomb strapped to his chest or a bulldozer under his command? He’s still a terrorist. I read an article recently about Israel responding to a terrorist attack by shelling the village where the terrorist fled, killing more than a dozen civilians, mostly children. How exactly is that any different from just blowing up a marketplace? It’s still indiscriminate slaughter targeting non-combatants. It’s still inspiring fear in the civilian population. It’s still *terrorism*. Anyone who just doesn’t see it that way is stubbornly refusing to open their eyes and look at what’s happening, and that kind of conduct is unbecoming of anyone claiming to be a Christ-follower. Please, everyone, just open your eyes.>



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kevin s.

posted December 21, 2006 at 2:46 am


“I read an article recently about Israel responding to a terrorist attack by shelling the village where the terrorist fled, killing more than a dozen civilians, mostly children.” Where did you find this? I’d be curious to read it, along with some information abut bulldozing houses with Palestinians inside. Sharon’s army didn’t wait for people to leave? Or is there more to the story?>



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Wolverine

posted December 21, 2006 at 3:12 am


Actually, I believe there was a case involving an American activist type who squatted in a house scheduled for demolition and refused to leave. Wolverine>



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Kevin Wayne

posted December 21, 2006 at 3:27 am


Kevin S & Wolverine’s statment’s are a sad reminder that was the USa are a country that hasn’t yet come to grips with it’s own sins of displacing and oppressing an indigenous people. Join teh Anti-Zionist Jewish movement in praying for a peaceful dismantling of the State of ISrael: http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/zionism/notjews.cfm http://www.jewsnotzionists.org/opposed.html “>http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/zionism/whatis.cfm>



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Anonymous

posted December 21, 2006 at 3:29 am


“Laura, you have been to Israel, but you have not addressed my arguments.” Kevin, maybe people aren’t here to argue with you. Isn’t that what the Beliefnet message board is for?>



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kevin s.

posted December 21, 2006 at 3:32 am


“Kevin, maybe people aren’t here to argue with you. Isn’t that what the Beliefnet message board is for?” Curious that she would mention me by name then.>



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Anonymous

posted December 21, 2006 at 3:33 am


I’m guessing it was the fact that you had already posted 8 “comments” to one post.>



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Kevin Wayne

posted December 21, 2006 at 3:47 am


Here’s some tidbits from the website Jeff Halper is connected to: Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) http://www.icahd.org/eng/ Ethnic Cleansing and Israel s Racist Discourse: http://www.icahd.org/eng/articles.asp?menu=6&submenu=2&article=311 Were it not for a decided campaign of institutionalized racism that occurred on such a large scale and which is maintained until today, it would have been impossible and implausible to gun down scores of innocent people after lining them up against the crumbling wall of the old Tantura mosque in May of 1948, or to bulldoze the home of a crippled man in Jenin in April 2002 without giving his mother the chance to evacuate him. Or to describe as a “great success” the killing of 14 civilians, including children when a one-ton Israeli bomb slammed into their apartment building in the Zeitun neighborhood in Gaza in July 2002. Or the wanton murder of 19 people, most of them women and children of the same extended family in Beit Hanoun earlier this November. But according to Israeli officials, every other method has been tried, and failed. “With murderous, bloodthirsty terrorism that wants to wipe you off the map, you have to respond accordingly: Wipe it out,” as Ben Caspit commented following the brutal massacre of Beit Hanoun. The Problem with Israel Jeff Halper Thursday, November 23, 2006: http://www.icahd.org/eng/articles.asp?menu=6&submenu=2&article=306 Let s be honest (for once): The problem in the Middle East is not the Palestinian people, not Hamas, not the Arabs, not Hezbollah or the Iranians or the entire Muslim world. It s us, the Israelis. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the single greatest cause of instability, extremism and violence in our region, is perhaps the simplest conflict in the world to resolve. For almost 20 years, since the PLO s recognition of Israel within the 1949 Armistice Lines (the Green Line separating Israel from the West Bank and Gaza), every Palestinian leader, backed by large majorities of the Palestinian population, has presented Israel with a most generous offer: A Jewish state on 78% of Israel/Palestine in return for a Palestinian state on just 22% the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. In fact, this is a proposition supported by a large majority of both the Palestinian and Israeli peoples. As reported in Ha aretz (January 18, 2005): Some 63 percent of the Palestinians support the proposal that after the establishment of the state of Palestine and a solution to all the outstanding issues – including the refugees and Jerusalem – a declaration will be issued recognizing the state of Israel as the state of the Jewish people and the Palestinian state as the state of the Palestinian people…On the Israeli side, 70 percent supported the proposal for mutual recognition. And if Taba and the Geneva Initiative are indicators, the Palestinians are even willing to swap some of the richest and most strategic land around Jerusalem and up through Modi in for barren tracts of the Negev. And what about the refugees, supposedly the hardest issue of all to tackle? It s true that the Palestinians want their right of return acknowledged. After all, it is their right under international law. They also want Israel to acknowledge its role in driving the refugees from the country in order that a healing process may begin (I don t have to remind anyone how important it is for us Jews that our suffering be acknowledged). But they have said repeatedly that when it comes to addressing the actual issue, a package of resettlement in Israel and the Palestinian state, plus compensation for those wishing to remain in the Arab countries, plus the possibility of resettlement in Canada, Australia and other countries would create solutions acceptable to all parties. Khalil Shkaki, a Palestinian sociologist who conducted an extensive survey among the refugees, estimates that only about 10%, mainly the aged, would choose to settle in Israel, a number (about 400,000) Israel could easily digest.>



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Kevin Wayne

posted December 21, 2006 at 3:48 am


More from the same site: Frequently Asked Questions: http://www.icahd.org/eng/faq.asp?menu=9&submenu=1 Q.Are Israeli settlments legal under International Law? A.Under article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention Israel is prohibited from establishing settlements: “The Occupying Power shall not transfer parts of its own civilian population into territories it occupies” Q.Are expulsions of Palestinians legal under international law A.Under Articles 35 & 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention it is forbidden to deport or “forcibly transfer,” the local population, including such common Israeli practices as revoking the Jerusalem residency of Palestinians or banning Palestinians from returning from work, study or travel abroad. Q.Are Israel’s house demolitions legal under international law? A.No. Under the Fourth Geneva Convention Occupying Powers are prohibited from destroying Palestinian property or employing collective punishment. Article 53 reads: Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons is prohibited.” Under this provision the practice of demolishing Palestinian houses is banned, as is the wholesale destruction of the Palestinian infrastructure. Q.Since Israel seems to be annexing the Occupies Territories, why not create a single democratic state? A.If the Palestinians are given citizenship in a state incorporating the entire Land of Israel, Israel ceases to be a Jewish state. In the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean live 5 million Jews and 4 million Palestinians not including the refugees. If Palestinians are not given citizenship in a state incorporating the entire Land of Israel, Israel becomes an apartheid regime. Israeli Government Demolishes Entire Bedioun Village: http://www.icahd.org/eng/news.asp?menu=5&submenu=1&item=392 At 5:00am today, 6 December 2006, hundreds of police accompanied six bulldozers and demolished 17 homes and 3 animal pens in the village of Twail Abu-Jarwal. The entire village is demolished. People are sitting by the piles of tin that were their modest dwellings and wondering what to do, where to go even their family cannot host them, as no one has a house standing This is the fourth time this year that the government demolished in this village. This time they got it “right” no house is left standing. But the villagers have nowhere to go to. They lived on the outskirts of the Bedouin town of Laqia, the old folk paid for plots of land to build homes in the 1970s, they still hold on the receipt, hoping someday to receive the plots. For the last 30 years they have been living on land belonging to others, in shacks, the housing becoming ever more crowded, until there was no room left for another baby. They turned to the government for a solution the option for joining the rest of the residents of Laqia, in a regular house, on a regular plot of land. But the authorities had no options for them. The owners of the land on which they were living requested that they leave 30 years is enough. So eventually they left back to their own ancestral land only a couple of miles south of Laqia by the old ruined school, by their old cemetery. The adult sons built their old mother a modest brick home. The rest built tin shacks. Israel’s scandalous siege of Gaza http://www.icahd.org/eng/articles.asp?menu=6&submenu=2&article=304 Israel has killed 2,300 Gazans over the past six years, including 300 in the four months since an Israeli soldier, Corporal Gilad Shalit, was captured in a cross-border raid by Palestinian fighters on June 25. The wounded can be counted in the tens of thousands. Most of the casualties are civilians, many of them children. The killing continues on a daily basis – by tank and sniper fire, by air and sea bombardment, and by undercover teams in civilian clothes sent into Arab territory to ambush and murder, an Israeli specialty perfected over the past several decades. How long will the “international community” allow the slaughter to continue? The cruel repression of the occupied territories, and of Gaza in particular, is one of the most scandalous in the world today. It is the blackest stain on Israel’s patchy record as a would-be democratic state. Some form of intervention is urgently required, perhaps in the form of an international force on the border between Israel and Gaza, to protect each side from the other, to allow some air into the moribund Gaza economy, and to bring relief to a humanitarian catastrophe.>



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kevin s.

posted December 21, 2006 at 4:11 am


“Join teh Anti-Zionist Jewish movement in praying for a peaceful dismantling of the State of ISrael:” No thanks.>



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timks

posted December 21, 2006 at 4:45 am


Sadly, Dershowitz is a man of no integrity, unlike Jimmy Carter, a very brave man indeed. I will believe Jimmy Carter is a brave man when he goes to Gaza and publicly condemns the memory of Arafat and the suicide cult that believes bombing Jewish children in pizza parlors is righteous. If he lives to tell his story, I will consider him a brave man. Many Israelis demonstrate daily in support of viewpoints like his. How many of those Israelis are lynched because of it? How long would a Palestinian last who protested against murder and thievery on behalf of Arafat’s ideological heirs?>



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timks

posted December 21, 2006 at 4:48 am


Dershowitz calls anyone critical of Israel an antisemite. This is false. I have heard Dershowitz criticize Israel. Is he an anti-semite?>



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Kevin Wayne

posted December 21, 2006 at 6:22 am


Kevin S: “No-thanks” Oh, I’m sorry. The invective you wanted to hear was: “Join Kevin S and other shortsighted Consevartive Republicans in thier shortisghted support of the Isreali aparthied regime that pours gas on the fire and reaches no workable solutions.” Was that better?>



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Wolverine

posted December 21, 2006 at 1:27 pm


Wayne, I think what Kevin was saying is that he wants no part of any organization whose goal is to “dismantle” Israel. I tend to agree with him. Wolverine>



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Wolverine

posted December 21, 2006 at 1:42 pm


As for Jimmy Carter, I believe he is a well-intentioned man who has gotten in way over his head. Carter had one success: the Camp David Accords. Let’s not be grudging, Camp David was a major accomplishment, but since then, he has basked in the acclaim from that one success and in the process he has become convinced that he, and he alone, understands the Middle East. (On a related note, Menachim Begin and Anwar Sadat, who actually made the agreement and showed real courage in doing so, deserve more credit than they get.) Carter tends to forget that he also presided over the Iran Hostage Crisis, a mideast policy disaster which in no small part led to his downfall. Far from flawless as a President, Carter has done at least as much damage as he has good as an “elder statesman”. Wolverine>



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Wolverine

posted December 21, 2006 at 2:05 pm


Here’s a less charitable view of Carter’s book, from Kenneth Stein, the first Executive Director of the Carter Center: President Carter’s book on the Middle East, a title too inflammatory to even print, is not based on unvarnished analyses; it is replete with factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions, and simply invented segments. Aside from the one-sided nature of the book, meant to provoke, there are recollections cited from meetings where I was the third person in the room, and my notes of those meetings show little similarity to points claimed in the book. Being a former President does not give one a unique privilege to invent information or to unpack it with cuts, deftly slanted to provide a particular outlook. Stein has terminated his association with the Carter Center. (I believe he was a fellow up until the book came out.) For the record, I think Carter means well, but schlock is schlock. Wolverine>



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kevin s.

posted December 21, 2006 at 4:28 pm


“Join Kevin S and other shortsighted Consevartive Republicans in thier shortisghted support of the Isreali aparthied regime that pours gas on the fire and reaches no workable solutions.” You present a false choice between dismantling Israel and supporting Apartheid.>



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Kevin Wayne

posted December 21, 2006 at 6:18 pm


Wolverine- read the Anti Zionist Jews and learn from them what consistutes true “Isreal” (it’s in one of their links I posted) and then consider what a sham it is that we allow this mock-up country that bears the same name as the Biblical Israel to continue to be a thorn in the side of peace. Kevin S- But short of dismantling Israel, you and other neo-cons present no long-term, workable solution to the problem other than “its the Palestinians fault and they should just such it up in the face of injustices and lay down thier arms”… Well, actually there IS another solution- Jeff Halper has it on one of the links I gave you.>



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Kevin Wayne

posted December 21, 2006 at 6:31 pm


Here’s a good book by a Palestinaian Christian on the subject. I have read an older edition, but it still should be pertenent: http://www.barclaypress.com/xcart/customer/product.php?productid=16376 Hope someone is taking note of the information posted.>



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Joshua Bachman

posted December 22, 2006 at 3:56 am


Palestine deserves no more and no less than does Israel. Peace. Life without fear of death or injury. Some degree of enjoyment of life. The torah teaches us to be kind to animals. How can we be so inhumane to our arab ‘brothers’? If we are to ensure that the livestock we slaughter does not suffer needlessly, how then are we to allow the human suffering in the territories? And to the self rightous ones writing that we do not elect terrorists or murderers to office, that too is open to interpretation. Were our first leaders not branded terrorists by the british at one time (not all that long ago?) I have been to south africa and the HolyLand. the suffering of the palestinians at our own hand is, IMHO, worse than what white aparthied has wrought in africa. In closing, we have tried to beat the palis into submission without favorable result. Peace must be earned by handing the promise of hope to the hopeless in palestine. Bulldozers and tanks have not won peace, maybe a shared prosperity can and will.>



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Kevin Wayne

posted December 22, 2006 at 6:05 am


Personally I think Bush must be either a terrorist or a blithering idiot. Either he’s a terrorist who’s out to send more troops to Iraq so he can conquer it and rule with an iron fist- forever- because that’s the ONLY way a military victory can be accomplished- the US woyld have to permananently occupy… OR Bush is incompetent and doesn’t undestand the implications of the course he is pondering.>



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Don Costello

posted December 22, 2006 at 9:38 am


Personally, I think Jimmy Carter needs to get right with God. This is just another one of his anti-Biblical positions, such as his positions on same sex lust and child sacrifice. Thank you Kevin for the link to the Dershowitz article. Don Costello>



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Jason Stillwell

posted December 22, 2006 at 7:12 pm


I would be willing to agree that the walls and fences need to come down and the Palestinian deserve to have their own state, but not until the Palestinian’s agree to fully disarm Hamas, capture thier leaders and turn them over to the Hague for Crimes agianst Humanity. I also believe that the world needs to accept the fact that the Palestinian people are the occupiers and have for almost a century been unwilling to accept peace with Israel. The bottom line is the land rightfully belongs to the Jews and not the Palestinian people or any Arab. In every historical dig they are bringing up Hebrew artifacts not Arab artifacts. That land belonged to them historically and it was taken from them by force essentially when the Romans committed a mass kidnapping of the Jews and moved them elsewhere, burned down the temple and the they allowed the Arabs to come into the land. I am willing to agree to a Palestinian state and think they should hvae a state and have it next to Israel, but not until Hamas is disarmed thier leaders turned in to the Hague for crimes against humanity and the senseless homocide bombers are no longer in use or a threat to innocent civilians.>



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Kevin Wayne

posted December 23, 2006 at 7:46 pm


Carter tends to forget that he also presided over the Iran Hostage Crisis, a mideast policy disaster which in no small part led to his downfall. Far from flawless as a President, Carter has done at least as much damage as he has good as an “elder statesman”. Wolverine I just noticed this, & I needed to respond: I beleive the Iran hostage thing was orchestrated by Reagan & Bush to humiliate Carter. Seems awful suspicious to me that they held onto the hostages until the last minutes of JC’s presidency.>



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Steven of Adelaide

posted December 24, 2006 at 8:21 am


I suggest & recommend people read Elias Chacour’s book ‘Blood Brothers’ (With David Hazard, Chosen books, 1984.) As someone who has followed and studied this issue for well over a decade, writing an honours thesis on that topic, I can state without doubt that the Palestineans are a people far, far, far more sinned against than sinning and that Isreal has treated them with appalling brutality, contempt and evil. Israel is, quite simply in the wrong here -persecuting and oppressing a population of “brother” Semites very similiar in culture and outlook to themselves. It is ironic but true that the creation of Israel is Hitler’s legacy and that the Zionists who founded it have shown a ruthless cruelty more akin to the gestapo than their parents and their ancestor Jewish populations who were scapegoated, villified & denied humanity as the Israeli’s have long been doing to the Palestineans. I can add that the Western nations -principally, the USA and UK, but also others have fallen completely for the powerful, well-financed Israeli propganda lobby which includes Derschowitz as a prominent apologist and ideological warriror. I would take anything Derschowitz says with as mountain of salt. He is a biased, partisan commentator who shows an utter contempt for the other side of the story and a disturbing unwillingness to accept the Humanity of the people he would have suffer agonisingly. He is the man who calls for torture and for others (that have done him no harm) to suffer immense pain in many other ways. We must see him and his arguments for what they are : cowardly, unethcial and cruel. (Yes, in case you’re wondering, I _have_ read his books & heard him interviewed on TV.) As for Hamas compared with other “terrorists”, well it did seem that they were on the path to becoming more a political organisaion than a military one. They were duely elected in a free and fair election -and, while I & others may regret that fact, this does mean they _are_ the legitimate government. If Western rheoric about spreading democracy, of working to create democracy means anything then it means we must accept the rights of other populations to choose leaders we may dislike. Petulently blockading and collectively punishimg an entire people for not voting how _we_ wish is unfair, unjust and unacceptable. Plus, it’ll only backfire making Hamas and similar groups more popular. Worse yet, Israeli political assasinations – which usually murder innocent by-standers – and jailing of political leaders like Marwan Barghouti as well as the sense of utter powerlessness, hopelessness and despair are only going to lead to more savage violence and hatred. This is NOT the way – of Christ, or of Abraham or Moses. You break a cycle of violence by talking, by forgiving and accepting your enemies humanity and worth and, most of all, by putting down your arms. As for trying “terrorists” (a loaded term depending on one’s point of view) at the Hague (or anywhere else) for war crimes, I have some symapthy for this argument but it must _not_ be limited to the criminals on one side alone. There are numerous government and non-government Israeli “terrorists” too : Menachem Begin & Yitzhak Shamir, Ariel Sharon & even Golda Meir – all participated in & or ordered numerous atrocities : murders of Palestinean villagers & individuals, forcing innocent people from their homes and properties which are then destroyed or resettled with others, sending agents to murder individuals believed – often wrongly – to be responsible for killing Israelis , denying basic human rights, violating UN resolutions, building secret Weapons of Mass Destruction, inciting and engaging in illegal and needless wars, the list goes on ad nauseam… If Hamas and Palestineans are to be held accountable why not such Jewish war criminals and callous mass murderers? If the Jewish Shoah (holocaust)is something we must never forget’ then why sweep under the rug and deny the countless evils of the much longer fifty years of Palestinean Nakbah? (‘Catastrophe’ ie. Israeli Oppression) More importantly, why not act now to stop it occuring? To achieve this we need to justly criticise and, yes, impose sanctions on Israel – stop blindly supporting it and start speaking out against their agressions, atrocities and continual injustices and insist they treat Palestineans as they would like themselves treated. For Palestineans too bleed, have been wronged and thus seek revenge. Or better justice. Creating the State of Israel was a historical eorror of the first magnitude that has harmed many third party innocents (Palestineans, Lebanese and many others)as well as the people it was meant to save. Alas, it cannot now be uncreated. But it can – indeed, must – respect its fellow humans, its semitic brothers and neighbours. The “Holy Land” can be shared in peace between the family branches of the ‘Children of Abraham’ – if only enough people work & pray to see that it is so.>



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kevin s.

posted December 24, 2006 at 7:03 pm


” It is ironic but true that the creation of Israel is Hitler’s legacy and that the Zionists who founded it have shown a ruthless cruelty more akin to the gestapo” This is completely ridiculous and, frankly, anti-semitic on it’s face. The notion that the actions of Israel are akin to genocide is lacks, at minimum, a sense of proportion. “I can add that the Western nations -principally, the USA and UK, but also others have fallen completely for the powerful, well-financed Israeli propganda lobby” Ah yes, the dark cabal of influential Jews who are running everything in secret. To anyone with a real sense of history, this should sound familiar. ” I would take anything Derschowitz says with as mountain of salt. He is a biased, partisan commentator who shows an utter contempt for the other side of the story ” It is true that Dershowitz (not Derschowitz, though I’m sure it must seem to you as though those crazy Jews are stringing together letters willy-nilly) is a partisan. He is a partisan Democrat. To the extent that he shows an utter contempt to the other side of the story, what are you doing here? You refuse to even acknowledge his arguments, on account of his partisanship. “They were duely elected in a free and fair election -and, while I & others may regret that fact, this does mean they _are_ the legitimate government.” Except that they refuse to accept peace-treaties establishing the boundaries of their nation, which decreases their legitimacy somewhat. “Petulently blockading and collectively punishimg an entire people for not voting how _we_ wish is unfair, unjust and unacceptable. ” They aren’t being punished for electing leaders that America doesn’t like. They are being punished because those leaders are sponsoring terrorist attacks. In fact, that’s the reason we don’t “like” them. ” and jailing of political leaders like Marwan Barghouti” Political leaders? He led a militia! “This is NOT the way – of Christ, or of Abraham or Moses. You break a cycle of violence by talking, by forgiving and accepting your enemies humanity and worth and, most of all, by putting down your arms” So Christ forbids self-defense, and the capturing of murderers? Or only when the dirty Jews do it? This is lazy pacifism. Christ never commanded governments to put down their arms. “Menachem Begin & Yitzhak Shamir, Ariel Sharon & even Golda Meir” Ah yes, Golda Meir was the real terrorist. “For Palestineans too bleed, have been wronged and thus seek revenge. Or better justice.” Ooooooh, a little turn on Shakespeare, eh? “Creating the State of Israel was a historical eorror of the first magnitude” The creation of the state of Israel was a response to the continual attacks against Jews in the region (which, by the way, was never a state to begin with). All the acts you describe were instruments of attempted self-defense. If the Palestinians would agree to a peace treaty and hold to it, the conflict would be over. But then, the Shylock-propagandists have gotten to me.>



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Kevin Wayne

posted December 26, 2006 at 5:26 am


Kevin S. has compeltely ignored the claims by Anti-Zionist Jews that back up the reality that Zionism is exactly the “Evil Cabal” others claim it to be. But I don’t think he can handle the idea that there are Jews who agree with this, which wold blow his claim that it’s “Anti-Semitism.” C’mon, Kevin we’ve shown you evidence over and over again by Jews and by people who actualy live in Israel. There was no need to create a Jewish state, the Jews are better off living the Diaspora. Read the information I gave you.>



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Learn

posted December 27, 2006 at 12:16 pm


Almost every Palestinian claim attaches the term “apartheid” to the fence. But the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is nothing like the situation that existed in South Africa, and Israel’s anti-terrorist fence has nothing to do with racial separation, but with the need to prevent terrorism. Racial separation, as embodied by apartheid, was used in South Africa against fellow citizens of the same country; black South Africans were denied all rights and mingling between the ethnic groups was strictly forbidden. Palestinian propaganda utterly ignores the fact that the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis is not a racial one, nor a domestic one, but, in fact, a national-territorial conflict between two distinct peoples. * Israel does not wish to rule the Palestinians and accepts in principle the establishment of a Palestinian state, provided that it not be a terrorist state and that it exists in peace alongside Israel. * Israel is basically interested in contacts between Israelis and Palestinians. The only reason that Palestinians have in recent years been restricted from entering into Israel is because of their terrorist attacks against Israelis, attacks that escalated every time Israel tried to relax restrictions. The Palestinians are not citizens of Israel. But Israeli Arabs are citizens, and they have equal rights under Israeli law. The attempt to depict the building of the anti-terrorist fence by Israel as somehow related to “apartheid” is ridiculous. What Palestinian propaganda purposefully omits is that the sole reason for the building of the fence by Israel is Palestinian terrorism.>



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DAle

posted December 27, 2006 at 1:00 pm


I do not have any respect for a group of people and thier supporters who believe that if you strap a bomb to your body, get on a bus and kill innocent women and children you will get what you want.>



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David Brown

posted December 27, 2006 at 6:21 pm


Hello and Merry Christmas! Christmas? Jesus was born in Bethlehem, where Christians today are living in extreme poverty walled in by Israel’s security fence. Christians in Bethlehem and everywhere in the world (except in the United States) know that the state of Israel is an apartheid system of government that favors Jews. It’s time that American Christians stop supporting Israel in its persecution and occupation of Palestinian Christians, now only 1.7 percent of people living in the Holy Land. American Christians need to start listening to the peaceful voices of the Christians who have lived in the Holy Land since the time of Jesus himself.>



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F Phillips

posted December 27, 2006 at 10:44 pm


Jeff Halper and Will H. are correct. Those who disagree might want to consider doing a little research on the pro-Israel bias of the media and check some sources from overseas to get a clearer picture of what is happening in Palestine. Not only werethese people be pushed off their land, they’re suppossed to like it! The Palestinians arent’ allowed to have a “liegimate” army thus they are terrorists. The Israelie army is responsible for many times more civilian deaths than any Palestinian organization – yet this is okay because they are acting in self defense. Yet, the Palestinians are the ones living in squalor in refugee camps that recall the Warsaw Ghetto. What about their self-defense?>



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Steve K

posted December 27, 2006 at 11:27 pm


Kevin S: “However, I see no evidence of structured domination here. Again, if the Palestinians cease to terrorize Israel, the conflict is over.” If Israel would stop terrorizing the Palestinians, maybe they’d stop. It’s a two way thing, you can’t just lay all the blame for Israel’s atrocities at the feet is the Palestinians. Also, the means are not justified by the end. The end is justified by the means.>



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Learn

posted December 28, 2006 at 12:29 pm


The Arab Christians in Bethlehem are leaving by the droves because of Islamofasicts bullying them out of town.>



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