Friday, January 16, 2009


The atrocities committed by the Israel in the past few weeks in Gaza will haunt the country for years to come. Just when a corner seemed to have been turned on Al-Qaeda, the most perfect terrorist recruitment campaign has just been waged. One does not have to be a Hamas apologist to utterly condemn the use of phosphor and the killing of so many non-combatants.

I used to believe that a two-state solution is the only viable option going forwards. Perhaps like others, my view is hardening against the idea. I've been flirting with the idea of Israel ceasing to exist, and a one-state Palestine taking over, under a secular constitution. Israeli Jews would be allowed to stay (although all Jewish settlements illegally constructed would be returned to their Palestinian former owners). Palestine would return to what it was pre-Zionism: a more-or-less peaceful multi-cultural society, inhabited mainly by the children of Abraham/Ibrahim. The city of Jaffa as was is the template for the country to-be.

It sounds like a dramatic thought, but what alternative is there? During the next 50 years, American influence will continue to wane. Like it or not, as soon as US support for Israel becomes economically and politically unsustainable in Washington, Israel will find it increasingly difficult to defend itself against the triumvirate of Egypt to the West, Syria to the East and Iran to the South.

At some point, something dramatic like this will have to happen. Why not start to plan for it now?


Jaycee 4:01 pm  

I am toying with the idea of the reverse of this post...

Chxta 4:16 pm  

One state solution? Palestine? Not going to happen any time soon.

Whilst on the one hand the Palestinians have suffered a grave injustice, they don't have the right friends. Even the other Arab states befriend them only when it is politically expedient to do so.

But then there's another angle which so many commentators are yet to touch, one I would like to do when I get home tonight...

yodude,  5:37 pm  

Was wondering when you were going to say something on the Israel/Gaza conflict.

I agree. Dont see how any two state solution can work out now.

Just for good measure - whats the point of international law if no ones folloing it? Israel... the US...

Abuja 6:03 pm  

Why does a one state solution lead to thinking that the one state needs to be Palestine? I can think of one very obvious alternative.

Difficult to conceive of being a member of a race that is so despised by others to the extent of wanting to wipe them from the face of the earth.

I would have thought that any musings on the importance of a sovereign Israeli state need to take into account the holocaust which is still in living memory.

Jeremy 6:17 pm  

The land was known as Palestine before it was Israel. When it was called Palestine it was a peaceful, multi-cultural society - you can read several accounts from various well known and less well known writers on what life was like (Edward Said's memories of his Palestinian childhood spring to mind).

The creation of the State of Israel involved the erasure of some 4,000 Palestinian towns and villages and widespread ethnic cleansing of the land. What the Zionists did to the Palestinian state is the originary violence that has been bottled and contained in the refugee camp known as Gaza for the last 50 years...

Anonymous,  6:36 pm  

Iran to the south? Your geography isnt as good as your History methinks.

Anonymous,  6:40 pm  

As much as I would love it if Israel ceased to exist, I doubt that will happen. Unfortunately, Europeans are the masters or ethnic cleansing (North America, Carribeans, South America, Australia and New Zealand). They seldom fail to it through, one of their most notable failure has been in Southern Africa.

Jeremy 6:49 pm  

Iran is of course to the South-East. It was a rhetorical flourish you nitwit.

Meanwhile, the word Palestine is indeed ancient. Herodotus refers to the area as such in the 5th BCE. The Romans referred to the area as either Judea or Palaestina, as has practically every other 'owner' since.

The name 'Gaza' seems to be even more ancient and was known to the Egyptians.

All events in history are contested; however, historians would generally agree that the area has been known for longer as Palestine than any other name. The only period (before the second half of the twentieth century) the territory was NOT known as Palestine was for 300 years under the Ottomans. It certainly wasn't called Israel for that period either!

A-Jad,  7:38 pm  

I agree with "Abuja." The threat Israel, and Jewish Israelis, face cannot be swept under the carpet. Their army is committing major crimes in Gaza at the moment, but that doesn't mean Iran isn't intent on wiping them out, given the chance. And the Arab nations would be happy to stand by and watch, or even participate. That's very very serious stuff. The violence in Gaza, sickening as it is, is not on the level of genocide, which is the real threat that Israel faces.

Waffarian 8:07 pm  

I think the problem with the two sides is that they are both EXTREME and FANATIC about their fucking lands. This is what happens when two extremes meet each other. There is no winning. They shall both lose.


Where is the voice of reason? How long shall we pay for the crimes of leaders past?

Oh...and lets not forget that both lands keep calling on the name of the LORD...


Occupied Territory Funk... 9:25 pm  

Naijablog, thanks for this post. In the years since independence of each and every country created in this manner (i.e. whether by UN resolution or not - , there has been constant conflict. And one needs not look far. Your readers should simply look inwards and they will see it. For example, Nigeria has not known peace since its creation. Were Barack Obama to suggest what you have outlined here which might be the most viable way forward, I think the program would plan his assasination.

Occupied Territory Funk... 9:26 pm  

I think Waffy is missing the point put by Naijablog

Goy 9:53 pm  

A one state solution as you outline it would be probably both fair and just. Sadly, these concepts are in pretty scarce supply in the foetid world of international relations.

More to the point, one ought to acknowledge the internal difficulties in the countries that surround Israel to appreciate why what you describe hasn't already happened. Syria and Egypt both have issues with internal dissent, often brutally suppressed; Lebanon has been pretty much a basket case since the 1920s; Iran is soon going to have to deal with the long term consequences of the precipitate drop in oil prices (domestic tensions tend to concentrate the mind far more clearly than rhetoric about demolishing the 'Zionist oppressor')

I've always believed that the Arab governments hold the Palestinian people in as much distaste as the Israelis, in any case (take Lebanon, and its treatment of Palestinian refugees for example), and that the 'cause' of the liberation of the occupied lands is merely a useful pretext for a proxy war.

If/when the US get bored/fed up/return to their senses and recalibrate their policy of unswerving support towards Israel, I rather suspect that a lot of international attention towards the issue will wane. People will shrug their shoulders and assume that it is one of those interminable conflicts that make no sense to anyone, including the participants. And what will replace it is a long term, low grade war of attrition, something that suits Israel just fine for all sorts of reasons. It will just become another conflict, like Sri Lanka, or Somalia, or the DR Congo.

As for Israel and Israelis? The general opinion seems to be that this had to happen; to lay a marker, to reestablish 'deterrence' (such an odious word!), and to stop Iran setting up Hamastan to its South. To paraphrase, 'we wish we didn't have to behave like crazed beasts, but it is our survival we're talking about'. There was an excellent article about this by Ethan Bronner in the NYT a couple of days ago.

Why do I include this? because, to my general astonishment, it seems to me that a lot of people are buying this line - take Germany, or the czech republic, for example. In practice, what this means is that in an increasingly polarised Middle east, Israel will still find friends to justify/'contextualise' their actions, and act to save it from the collapse that you predict. Me thinks that Israel, as we see it today, is going to be around for a long time yet...

CodLiverOil 10:17 pm  

If you had Jewish ancestry (would you entertain those thoughts?)

Who says the corner has been turned on Al-Qaeda, as President George W Bush said recently, "our enemies are patient". Let's not rush to conclusions about them.

What has allowed Israel to survive, is that they are usually one step ahead of the rest. I see no reason for them to fall asleep now.

They knew what they were undertaking when the state of Israel was established. I'm sure they are making plans to deal with any eventuality.

Let's say for argument sake, should a Palestinian state replace Israel, what would prevent counter-ethnic cleansing, ie the expulsion of Jews from Palestine? Will they rely on the UN (United Nations) to defend them ? I think not. In that part of the world, no one has time for the UN, (both the Israeli government and Hamas dismissed Ban Ki-Moon's calls for an immediate ceasefire).

This is a long running problem, that will need a well-worked out solution, that is not on the horizon anytime soon. Both sides will need to compromise, which seems very distant now.

Anonymous,  10:44 pm  

Jeremy, be careful! Mossad reads stuff like yours. Your thoughts on this are quite refreshing, but a beg o, make you watch yourself well o!
I almost cried watching Palestinian children wailing next to dead mothers, yet the US & Europe dither and a lot more hot air is expended (excuse the unintended pun!).....the inaction of their fellow Arabs is rather unfortunate. But then I asked my self what about Darfur? The raping and pillaging of Black Sudanese by their fellow Arab Sudanese types.....its a mess. Still I feel for the children in Gaza and the trauma they face.

le Sapiosexual 4:02 am  

HAMAS' creed is to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.
They constantly use women and children as shields even the legitimate Palestinian government in the West Bank region wants HAMAS out of their hair.
HAMAS has fired over 4000 qassams into Israel since the so called truce of was 2005 (I forget...) some of these qassams purposely target schools.
Now that Israel is "retaliating" the whole world is in an uproar calling for a unilateral truce on the part of Israel...
Israel is trying to make HAMAS desist from dangering the lives of its citizens...the collateral damage has been appalling but HAMAS is to blame. If they were for the people of Palestine as they claim to be, they would not be hiding in mosques, houses, or schools.
Besides, HAMAS is already a pawn of Iran who also promised to wipe Israel off the face of the earth...coincidence? I think not.
There has to be an end to extremism...while I am not happy with innocents loosing their lives, Israel has to protect its own, if I were a leader and I had rockets fired at my schools daily...I sure as hell would make sure the culprits pay...thank heavens I'm not.
Hopefully the Palestinians in West Bank grow a spine and get rid of HAMAS for their nation's sake

Controversial Anon 12:07 pm  

Before called me a nitwit, maybe you should have glanced at a map, Iran is NOT to the South-east of Israel, nor is it to the South.

Rhetorical flourish or not, an error like that might make it seem as if you know very little about the region, which in turn blights an otherwise excellent point.

As for Israel blind-supporters, imagine that a group of Chinese people came to Nigeria and said that their 'god' promised them this land, and that their god gave them coordinates and all, and that their ancestors lived here 5 thousand years ago and that Nigeria is actually called Xinhua. Armed with their holy book, and enough military, economic and political support form Mother China and the rest of East Asia (Japan, Korea, etc), they proceed to acquire Nigerian land by force, they move us Nigerians to Borno and Sokoto (Kinda like what Europeans did in Southern Africa, or what Europeans did in Palestine), and keep us there in inhumane conditions for 60 years. Imagine that!

Again, remember, Land in Africa was offered by Britain to European Jews to establish Israel, but the Zionist rejected it, and insisted on Palestine. Meaning that the plight of the Palestinians could quite easily have been the Plight of the Kenyans or Tanzanians or Mozambicans, or maybe Nigerians. So think about that next time you offer blind-support to Israel, think about the people who suffered under Apartheid, cos this is even worse!

C. Ezeh 5:44 pm  

I agree with Sir Gerald Kaufman, MP for Gorton in Manchester, who compared the actions of Israeli troops with Nazis who forced his family to flee Poland. This is genocide, there is no other nice name for it

o opesan 10:09 pm  

Kudos for a brave blog ... Israel supporters will trot out the anti-semitic line rather than give a moments thought to this solution.

Anyway, I hope you and your readers realise that both groups that lay claim to this land were not the orignal inhabitants. The orignal land owners were blacker than me and I'm black.

In all this, once again, its the poor suffering on both sides ... is the UN working? Who else can save them?

lopto,  4:51 am  

A one-state Palestine under a secular constitution? What have you been smoking Jeremy? That is like envisioning a United States of America without materialism. How about a two-state solution void of extremism?

We need more balanced and experienced opinions, like those of Goy.

Patrice,  5:05 am  

I left the comment above. I must have mistakenly typed the "visual verification" into the name field.

Patrice,  5:25 am  

@Controversial Anon

Are you suggesting that the Chinese are to Nigeria as the Jews are to Palestine/Israel, in other words, that Jews and Palestine/Israel have only a fictional relationship?

Ola,  4:29 pm  

1. I might entirely share your frustration and even advocate that Israel should cease to

exist if all I knew about the conflict were from the BBC or Al jazeera but I think your

suggestion ignores a few things:
2.@controversial anon, your analogy about the Chinese invading Nigeria by force of arms is

not at all consistent with the facts of history. People like you create the impression

there was once a nation state called Palestine occupied by Arabs, which was suddenly invaded

and occupied by Israelis who came from nowhere-the actual circumstances were a lot more

complicated than your simplistic analogy suggests. Many of the states in that region were

artificially created and had their borders drawn and redrawn by a succession of powers in

the region-the name Palestine as it is approximately known today only came back into use

under the British Mandate following the collapse of the Ottoman empire which ruled over the

land for over 400 years-the territory was just a piece in the intense geo-political

struggles amongst the world powers following WWI (coincidentally about the same time Africa

was being carved up amongst the French, German and British powers) Yes, the Jews after

hundreds of years of being without a homeland, had a spiritual claim on the land and the

idea of returning to the homeland remained central to Judaism, and later on Zionism-it was

a defining philosophy-almost as much as the birth and resurrection of Christ is to

Christianity. In fact, many objective historians consider it something of a miracle that the

Jewish Nation has been able to maintain its cultural, linguistic, religious and historical

Integrity (as in wholeness) over a turbulent 3000 year period-esp since the Jews were

without a homeland in 2 of this 3 thousand year period-and even the prior 1 thousand years

were very turbulent with all kinds of invasions, and some spells of exile. The Jews were

scattered across the globe from Ukraine to Ethiopia and were yet able to retain their ties

to their heritage and their spiritual quest for a return to the homeland. The JEWS did not

just emerge from Nowhere-there was always the remnant of Jews who weren't exiled and

scattered across the globe after the Roman conquest of Jerusalem in AD70 and yes there were

Arab dwellers who also lived side by side and peaceably (perhaps this is what Jeremy alludes

to) with them even when the first wave of immigration began in the 19th century following

the initial pogrom in east europe(yup the roots of the holocaust started that far back). In

the intervening period though, the land was actually something of a No-man’s land, maybe

with a higher population of Arab dwellers-but it was a mix of various ethnic nationalities-

Kurds, Cypriots, Armenians, Greeks etc The Jews started moving back (with help and funding

from other Jews in the Diaspora) in relatively large numbers and began to acquire and buy

land-not by conquest or force of arms(!!!). They brought in tremendous improvements in the

condition of the territory-introducing new methods of farming/irrigation etc THERE WAS no

nation called Palestine, there WERE no people called PALESTINIANS (if you think otherwise,

I’d like you to name one single credible historical reference to that). As a matter of fact,

Jews have always been INDIGENOUS to the land-perhaps more so than any other nationality-

there's enough archaeological evidence to support that so it's not worth arguing about. The

issue became politicised during WWI after the defeat of the Ottomans by the British and the

power play involved in trying to win the support of Jews/Arabs. By this time, the success of

the Jews and the intervention of external forces had created a hostile envrionments with

raids into Jewish settlements, killings etc but things became worse when the British mandate

began in 1917-it was abt this time that the famous Balfour declaration was issued-promising

the Jews a homeland in the Palestine territory-this was a valid and legal declaration which

remained inchoate till 1947-the issue had become so complicated that the British were only

too relieved to pass it on to the United Nations. Here's the point-the validity of any

claims or counterclaims to the land would depend on how far back in History you want to go-

and that would be just be an idle exercise.

3. To focus on the contemporary situation, the UN voted and created 2 states-effectively

splitting the territory btw Jews and Arabs-this formed the legal basis for the creation of

ISRAEL but this vote was accepted by Israel and hot-headedly rejected by Arab states which

declared war immediately to snuff out the new state-this started the current refugee

problems-Israel fought back and managed to defeat 6 arab armies. The

refugees from this (and their children) war are the people we refer to as Palestinians

today. Jeremy, please check various accounts, there's some credible version out there that

the Jews did not actually drive out the 'Palestinians' but rather, the surrounding Arab

armies urged them to leave to make the job of wiping out the JEWS easier, with a promise of

a quick victory and their immediate return to the whole of the Land; and also that most of

the Arabs left in fear of a revenge massacre by the Jews after several Jewish settlements

had been wiped out etc. Here's a fact, the Refugees who did return remain till today

citizens of Israel (yes, Arab citizens of Israel). The UN partition was rejected, the Arabs

waged war and were defeated and Israel started to build a country-the rejection invalidated

any legal claim to the land if we want to be technical. More so, these refugees were simply

not absorbed by the Arabs states they fled to-they were kept in these camps and practically

left hostage for political purposes-and we still see that till today. Several wars were

waged after that by Arab states on Israel resulting in the loss of more territory to Israel

most notable the West bank and the Gaza strip seized from Jordan and Egypt respectively

after the 1967 war initiated by these states, and later on the Golan heights from Syria. I

really wonder if I wouldn't also try to make geo-strategic capital out of these seizures if

I were in the shoes of Israel's leaders. It is a fact that these lands were ALL seized in

DEFENSIVE wars-a point Jeremy has consistently ignored. Swapping land for peace doesn't

sound terribly unreasonable to me. The existing dispute now is for Israel to withdraw to the

lines existing prior to the 1967 war-namely, GS and WB. And what's been happening since

steps have been taken in that direction?
4. People talk like Hamas were a perfectly legal entity in the Gaza strip. Does anyone ever

hear that Hamas practically seized the Gaza Strip in a 'coup' in 2007? Has everyone

forgotten the atrocities committed by the various factions

( How come there's been relative

progress on the WB end with the PA? Did Israel not unilaterally withdraw from the Gaza

strip? How come the Gaza strip, instead of being held up as shining model of how a

Palestinian state might look, has descended more and more into chaos with no most toward

peace or progress? I totally disagree with the idea that Israel is the problem-no sir, it is

groups like Hamas, their puppet masters in Tehran and Damascus and the blind, short-sighted,

backward, fanatical, hateful and self-defeating ideology and approach they follow. This

isn't about defending every action Israel takes-it's just asking that we try to be little

more honest in explaining the context of the dispute.

Cyber Caravan 5:59 pm  

I'm Palestinian myself, parents having fled the terror of the Jewish gangs (Irgun and Hagana) in May 1948 to Lebanon where they became refugees. In effect, we lost our homeland which later became known as "Israel" - although everyone knows the area's population was predominantely Arab prior to the Nakba or catastrophe. 60 years on, Lebanon and all other Arab countries treat us like subhumans, with most countries reluctant to grant us visas due to our "travel documents" which don't quite match a passport's legal status. More disgusting is Israel's arrogance in denying us the right to go back to our homes or even visit our relatives who somehow managed to stay put.
The landscape you painted of Palestine prior to the illegal and racist formation of Israel was not as rosy. My grandfather recalls days when local Jews were stoned whenever they visited a local shrine near our village in the Galilee. The communities did manage to coexist though for centuries (you're very right). While it was certainly more peaceful, with the new jewish settlers (on kibbutzim) living in relative calm with their Arab neighbors. Moreover the government of the British Palestine (Mandate) had both Jewish and Arab members.
From the 1930s onward there was Arab animosity towards the British for turning a blind eye illegal Jewish immigration into Palestine from Europe. While I do understand the Jewish plight at the time, Nazi persecution, etc. it gave them absolutely no right to displace an entire people (700,000) and claim their land.
The bigger catastrophe came when the UN partition plan came into effect, because it was simply unfair and allocated most of the fertile land to the new Jewish arrivals.
Besides the above the Jewish gangs committed a terrorist attack on the King David Hotel were 135 VIPS and members of the Palestine Government were massacred in cold blood.
In 2009 we Palestinians still consider ourselves a collective people with a common destiny, and if a Palestinian state cannot deliver that, for whatever reasons, we ARE open to a binational state according us our inalienable right of living in dignity and freedom, away from checkpoints and Israeli official subjugation.

maitumbi,  10:13 pm  

Yawn. Three weeks and they only killed a thousand. We achieved that in Jos in just a couple of days. And at a more cheaper cost. I beg. Yawn.

Controversial Anon 11:33 pm  

@ Ola

Ignorance is NOT bliss. Free your mind!

Nuggetzman 9:50 am  

Thanks Ola for the insightful review of the background history of the present day wahala btw palestinians and Israelies. History in a sense is relative and each party would lay claim and quote the section of history that suits their expectations and actions. If we must bring equity in the real sense, we may have to also visit the Biron-Hausa/Fulani crises in Jos, the Aguleri and Umuneri wahala in Anambra...not to talk of the European conquests of the America's and the Pacific region: New Zealand, Australia etc. American support for Israel may wane in coming years/decades but the fact still remains that the territorial integrity of any nation doesn't altogether rest on military might or power. Isreal might defend and attack, while Hamas and Hezbolla keeps attacking them under the behest of Iran...stoking and sustaining the we-against-dem tyranny among humans. Peace can't come from legislations or by winning or losing a war. Jews and Arabs ( don't wanna call them Palestinians) will have to trace their ancestry back to the same God that they revere : Yahweh ElShaddai, and Allah Akbar.
I believe that when humanity coalesces to understand that we're one, then we'd cease to commit all the atrocities that are fuelled by hate..actually FEAR and distrust of one another.
A respected Nigeria social crusader and musician , Ben Okafor ( has been campaigning against war as a result of his experiences as a Biafran Child Soldier. War is senseless, irrational, and burnishes the warped ego of man and allows our base instincts of brutality to take the forefront of civility. In one of Ben's songs he said, and I quote his lyrics .." I am, not because I am; I am just because WE are; Those who make you suffer, do me wrong..."

My heart is with the people and children of both Israel and Palestine. No one would love to have their blood spilled out of their veins...I have a soft spot for Israel as a nation cos I've been reading abt their history since my childhood days; some kinda fascination. Yet I love Palestinians too...they're humans created in the image of God, the apple of God's eyes...and I hate to watch and see them suffer helplessly!

Anonymous,  11:38 am  

You must be dreaming.

"What other choice is there?"

I'll tell you. they'll continue to kill each other until time ends.

Let them. I'm fed up with the whole thing.

Anonymous,  11:48 am  

Who will bring an end to israel? As if it could just "cease to exist". They're the one who hold all the power. Its like saying the only solution to Northern Ireland was that the UK should "cease to exist".

you're the nitwit, if you think thats going to happen. The only way it could would be if it was destroyed politically and economically like the USSR.

The only solution to a conflict like this is both sides need to make compromises.

Hamas and affiliates need to acknowledge Israels right to exist, and Israel needs to allow the palestinains to live in better conditions.

Neither of these things are about to happen soon.

Anonymous,  2:54 pm  

please this is a simple case of human rights and the JEWISH complex.
These people are killing innocent babaies, men and women and yet the western media is shamelessly trying to make it a hamas issue.

How can you occupy some ones land, make them live like prisoners with rationed access, supplies etc and expect them to sit back?

I dont care very much for the state of ISREAl and the fact that the USA is shamelessly showing that they are above the law (The USA and Isreal) & can blatantly abuse human rights and have no regard for the UN when it suits them.

Y? bcoz the USA = JEWS= ISREAL.

These guys r breeding enemies for every palestinian life they take. so, Isreal, watch will sow what you reap.


Anengiyefa 5:46 pm  

It is true that before the creation of the Israeli state, every inhabitant of Palestine was a Palestinian, even the Jews amongst them. But surely, the two-state solution has been carefully articulated well thought-out. It is not reasonable to suggest that what happened more than 50 years ago can now be undone. Israel has come into existence and to suggest that she should cease to exist as a state is not a reasonable proposition.

Although Jeremy suggests a secular Palestinian state, any attempt at a single unified Palestinian state will provoke Hamaslike calls for an Islamic state, (which incidentally is what the Hamas charter says about any such single Palestinian state)! And I do not for one minute believe that the Jews will acquiesce to any such arrangement. The two-states solution obviates this eventuality and this, in my mind, is the way forward but of course, following intense and complex negotiation and dialogue and if possible, agreement over the disputed matters such as the Israeli West Bank settlements, provided that the willingness to compromise is present on both sides.

I think that Hamas are the obstacle to peace. Their views and objectives are intolerant, uncompromising and extremist. And it is important thay the are disempowered and the political landscape altered, in order for peace to have a chance.

Anonymous,  7:32 pm  


Don't dream on that for long. Israel right now is the 4th most powerful military in the world...thanks to the U.S.A.

The Jews invaded Palestine and by force of arms, STOLE the land and set the Palestinians in flight through a series of well planned and premeditated massacres.

My theory is that, Israel ultimate aim is to completely exterminate the Palestinians people under the pretext of self-defence and thereby make the creation of a two state impossible. The Gaza genocide is part of that plan and watch for a return of the Israeli troops in the coming months. if they can do that before the U.S.A influence wane, then they may succeed.

On Hamas, Hamas won an election that was free and fair according to international observer at the time and the U.S. government keep calling them terrorists.According to Jimmy Carter, it's criminal for the U.S. government not to recognize Hamas.

Rocket fire by Hamas most of the time is a reactionary measure.

Hamas in recent times has agreed to the existence of Israel but of course you wouldn't read that in the BIG media!.

Anonymous,  4:44 pm  

@ last anon.
The only reason you won't read that hamas have recognised israel in the "big media" as you call it, is because that is utter bollocks.

Hamas are a bunch of callous murderous thugs who will stop at nothing in their power to destoy israel.

(israel defence force are a bunch of callous murderous thugs who will stop at nothing to destroy hamas. but i'm talking about hamas right now)

I honestly wonder when i read bullshit from europeans about how hamas is a "pluralistic organisation" ready to make peace if it sees an opportunity, and about how it cares about palestinians. Bullshit bullshit bullshit.

Why are so many non palestinians, non muslims, blinded to how horrible these death-worshipping neo-facist child murderers really are? I'm glad Israel got at least a few of their leaders in this latest attack, at least it makes a change from them sending out children on their self-serving "matyrdom" operations.

One thing i really hate about the left in the UK is their blind support for hamas. Everyone looks at what they're against, not what they're FOR. What are they for? Outside the boundaries of gaza they're for killing jews indiscriminately. inside the Gaza strip they're for sending their own children to their deaths. If that was anywhere else they'd be condemned.
Hamas are not heroes. They're death worshipping neo fascist fanatics who are against free speech, free thought, women's rights, gay rights, child rights. If they were in government in any other country they'd be a pariah, under sanctions until they were strangled.

I've seen some of those idiotic Palestinian solidarity ovement people singing songs that if they even knew the translations of what they menat, they'd never sing them.

they used to have a word for these people in the USSR : useful idiots.

Anonymous,  12:33 am  

@ Anon 4:44, I think more people should read about Hamas, about what they stand for and about what their objectives are. Like Al Quaeda, Hamas were spawned by the Muslim Brotherhood, a group founded by Hassan Al Banna, a Nazi sympathiser. The Hamas Charter states:

"The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) is one of the wings of Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine. Muslim Brotherhood Movement is a universal organisation which constitutes the largest Islamic movement in modern times. It is characterised by its deep understanding, accurate comprehension and its complete embrace of all Islamic concepts of all aspects of life, culture, creed, politics, economics, education, society, justice and judgement, the spreading of Islam, education, art, information, science of the occult and conversion to Islam."

There is no doubt that the Hamas views itself as a part of the Muslim Brotherhood and an ideological heir of al Banna. The growth of the Muslim Brotherhood was accompanied or caused in part by the fact that Al-Banna associated it with the German Nazi party and the Third Reich. From the ideological point of view, the Jew hatred, authoritarianism, addiction to violence and desire to defeat the British of both the Muslim Brothers and the Nazis were quite enough to make the two movements find common cause.

The Brotherhood’s political and military alliance with Nazi Germany blossomed into formal state visits, de facto ambassadors, and overt and covert joint ventures. The Muslim Brotherhood transformed Nazi anti-Semitism into a Muslim version, providing Arab translations of Mein Kampf (translated into Arabic as “My Jihad”) and other Nazi anti-Semitic works, including Der Sturmer hate-cartoons, adapted to portray the Jew as the demonic enemy of Allah rather than the German Volk.

Hamas is purely a religious movement in the classical sense. Their ultimate objective after all the Jews have been killed, is to spread their own version of militant Islam all around the world. Every single Jewish person is a legitimate target. These are not people who are interested in peace. The Hamas Charter declares in no unclear terms:

"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it." (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).

"The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. "

"There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."

"The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews."

The whole text of the Hamas Charter can be found here:

Anengiyefa 6:49 pm  

Seen in a larger context, the current conflict is not just the failure of Hamas, it is also the failure of Israel and the international community. It is a failure for Israel since Israel was confronted with two Palestinian visions -- the Hamas vision representing more violence and conflict and the Fatah vision of a peaceful negotiated settlement and a two-state solution. Israel refused to distinguish between these two visions and continued to treat all Palestinians the same. Thus far from assisting Palestinian President Abbas to sell his vision of peace to the rank-and file they made it harder. Israeli checkpoints continue to strangle the West Bank economy whilst illegal settlements in Har Homa and elsewhere continue apace in violation of the Road Map which Israel agreed to. It was also a failure of the international community and especially the United States. Despite President Bush's much vaunted promise of an independent Palestinian state before he left office, Washington did not put enough pressure on Israel to make the necessary concessions to realise a two-state solution. As Palestinian disillusion grew with the faltering peace process, as they watched ever more Israeli encroachment on Palestinian land, more were attracted to Hamas' militant agenda which emboldened Hamas further.

Hussein Solomon
(Professor Hussein Solomon lectures in the Department of Political Sciences, University of Pretoria.)

יש (Yosh) 7:27 pm  

Like it or not, Israel will never cease to exist. Everyone seems to be ready to pounce on Israel for acting on its own defense. Where were you when the south of the country was under constant barrage of rockets? Where was your condemnation when innocent civillians were maimed and their homes destroyed by supposedly "harmless" grad rockets (Qassams)? And don't go starting the whole "illegal occupation" thing because you weren't there when most of the lands were sold and conquered in several defensive wars.
And what about BEFORE the Ottomans? There was no "Israel" before then? There was no "Palestine" until circa the Roman Empire.

Funny thing is, the people whom you defend don't even give a rat's tuchas about you or your opinion/feelings about them. If you were sitting in a cafe in Tel Aviv, a rocket/suicide bomber wouldn't "filter" you out of the shrapnel recipients.

Let American influence wane. Even before "American influence", the infantile country was still on its battle for survival. But the strategic importance of the Jewish State to America in the region could not be overlooked that's why it gets its support to the chagrin of people like you.

You really should worry about homegrown and foreign based threats to your native England. Oh, I forget, terrorism and the world economic downfall is all the Jooooos fault.

יש (Yosh) 7:54 pm  

Mr Controversial Anon, that says it all about your "opinions". Ever heard of "exiled Jews"? Believe in the Bible or Jewish history or not, history proves that there was a nation of Israel in what you call "Palestine". Well, the UN gave a mandate to settle the Jews in what was their home and this happens to be a crime to Arabs who attacked the fledgling country at the time. For what? For being Jews?

Well, knowing that it'd take more than diplomacy to survive, and thank God for brains, the country has armed itself against any possible onslaught that'd jeopardize its existence. So those of you who want Israel to "cease to exist" had better be careful what you wish for.

By the way, the country didn't have what it has now back then, so they weren't really "armed militarily, economically" or otherwise.They have the willpower and what it takes to get themselves where they are today.

Too bad for folks like you, they are here to stay!

Am Y'Israel c'hai

יש (Yosh) 7:54 pm  

Ola, thanks. You say it better than me!

If only most people know what is really behind the whole ME conflict, we wouldn't be looking for dead Jews!

יש (Yosh) 8:03 pm  

Anonymous 2:45 and Controversial Anon:

Maybe you should ask why Hamas is feedin Gazans with Qassams instead of building infrastructure?

And have you ever considered why the West Bank wasn't attacked? Did you ever know Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 to get more attacks on its citizens?

Do you really think the "Palestinians" care about your agitation? Have you ever wondered why the West Bank is governed by the PA and Gaza by Hamas? Maybe you missed the video of Hamas operatives throwing off PA members off roofs during the clash for power in Gaza. Why did Abbas say Hamas was to blame for Operating Cast Lead?

Oh, and Hamas DID call for an end to the ceasefire and then they beg for the world to condemn the "Zionist genocide". Maybe you should have an open mind and see things as they are.

These thugs only hate each other a little less than they do Israel. If it pains you so bad, go open an NGO in Gaza and see how far you'd go.

Ola,  8:48 pm  

@Controversial Anon:I suspect that it may prove a challenge to engage you intelligently on this issue. It is very typical of your type to throw up a controversial(and baseless) remark e.g It's like the Chinese invading Nigeria! and then, when confronted with an alternate viewpoint based on facts,rather than justify your position, you conveniently fall back on simplistic, feel-good platitudes about ignorance not being bliss, lets make love not war or whatever Bob Marley quote catches your fancy.

@Yosh: Tnx.I am often amazed at how people carry on with total disregard to the facts of History; the whitewashing of Hamas in much of the media in europe is simply unbelievable; the number of intelligent people who actually think the jews came out of nowhere and invaded a once-upon-a-time peaceful Nation called Palestine is mind-boggling-and the list goes on.

Anonymous,  5:52 am

Controversial Anon 12:07 pm  

@ Ola

Usually, I do not reply directly to post like yours, but for the benefit of other readers, I shall proceed to debunk your silly 'facts', not that I think it will change your mind (dogmatic minds are almost impossible to change), but it will help other readers know the truth about Israel. And I shall be even more simplistic about this, I believe that is the only way to get across to you.

First, let us take 10 popular Israelis, and find out where they are from. The popular Israeli's I believe most people will know/recognise will be Presidents and Prime Ministers or their kind.

1) Yitzak Rabin - Israeli Prime Minister (1992 - 1995) born to Nehemiah Robitzov (Ukrainian father)and Rosa Robitzov (Belarussian mother).

2) Shimon Perez - Currently Israeli President. Real name Szymoni Perski, born in Poland to Polish parents.

3) Benjamin Netenyahu - Born to Benzoin Mileikowsky (Lithuanian Father) and Cela Mileikowsky (Lithuanian American Mother)

4) Ehud Olmert - Current Prime minister. Born to Bellah and Mordechai Olmert (Russian parents)

5) Ariel Sharon - Real name Ariel Scheinerman. Born to Shmuel Scheinerman (Belarussian Father) and Dvora Scheinerman (Belarussian Mother).

6) Golda Meir - Real name Golda Mabovitch. Born in Kiev, Ukraine to Ukrainian Parents Moshe and Blume Mabovitch.

7) Tzipi Livni - Current Foreign Minister. Born to Eitan and Rosa Livni (Polish Parents).

8) David Ben-Gurion - 1st Prime minister of Israel, and perhaps it's most famous. Real name David Grun, born in Poland to Russian Parents Avigdor and Scheindel Grun. David Grun was part of the Russian revolution of 1905.

9)Chaim Weizmann - First President of Israel. Born in present day Belarus to Russian parents. Became a British citizen in 1910. Worked closely with Arthur Balfour on the Balfour Declaration.

10) Moshe Katsav - Immediate past President of Israel. Born in Iran to Iranian Parents. Moved to Israel in 1951 aged 5.

There over 1.5 million people in Israel who speak Russian as their first language(20% of the population), the Jewish people who make up 77% of the population of the state of Israel are Immigrants (1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation Israelis). Do a quick search for these peoples profiles, and check CIA world factbook and google for the stats above.

Israel did not exist before 1948, - and unless you believe in a fictional God who promised a bunch of European Jews the land of Palestine at the catastrophic detriment of the Palestinians - Israel has no legal reason to exist now. The only reason why this crime isn't as clear cut as the European settlers in Southern Africa is because in places like South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Angola, the settlers where of a completely different race to the natives. In Palestine though, the settlers and the native are 'caucasians' so the unsuspecting observer may be pardon for thinking that European Jews have always lived in Palestine and that that is their natural habitat. It is racism, Apartheid, and Ethnic cleansing put together.

Do a quick search on the Zionist movement, and the Balfour Declaration. Find out how this country called Israel come to exist.

Gullible people like Ola can be fed phony history and they will repeat it as 'fact', now while i have no problem with stupidity, it is particularly painful when Africans are the ones supporting such cruelty, such blatant injustice, when such cruelty and injustice has been meted out to us for hundreds of years, it is particularly chilling that people like Ola are still not intelligent enough to recognise it.

You mention the United Nations, but in 1948 the United Nations had barely 50 countries as members, most of which where European Countries. 4 of the 5 permanent Members are supporters of Israel, the 5th - China - a traditional neutral country in the UN. As at 1948, black people in the US had no right to vote, there was segregation and most of Africa was European colonies, to think that the UN in 1948 was an honest broker is to reveal yourself as uninformed. The UN, much like its predecessor The League of Nations, was created to advance the interests of the Victors of World War II and one of the interests of the Victors was to help the Zionists, considering what Jewish people had gone through during the war.

East Africa (Uganda/Kenya) was offered to Zionists to create Israel, had they accepted it, black Africans would have been swept aside for European Jews, in much the same arrangement as in present day Israel, or Southern Africa of the past. On one hand, we can thank their fictional God that they rejected it.

And yes, there was a Place called palestine, colonised by the British and the Turks before them, Palestine had Muslims, christians and a jews living there, just like any other British colony, just like Nigeria or Ghana before independence. Unlike Nigerians or Ghanaians, Palestians were not so fortunate to be given their indepence, the British (fulfilling the Balfour Declaration) facilitated an immigration of Europeans to Palestine, those Europeans destroyed more than 500 palestinian towns and villages to make way for a new country called Israel.

You proceed to condemn Hamas as a terrorist organisation. Well, you can call them what you want, one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. The ANC and Nelson Mandela where labelled terrorists once, people like you agreed. George Washington was declared a terrorist once, people like you agreed. Toussaint Lóvertoure was labelled a terrorist once, people like you agreed. Even the PLO that Israel and hypocrites like yourself now praise where labelled terrorists once. Hamas has over 500 PhDs in their ranks, they have no tanks, no F16s, no nuclear weapons, no standing army equiped with all sorts of fancy fighting equipments that need to be used every 6 months. The only bargaining chip Hamas has is the recognition of the state of Israel, and they will not use it until they can be assured that they will get something in return. The PLO recognised Israel, what did they get in return? Arafat was under seige until his death, the west bank has been fragmented into several prison towns for the 'security' of 170,000 Jewish settlers, at the detriment of 6 million Palestinians.

Call them terrorists for as long as you wish, it doesnt make them terrorists. How I wish we had a Hamas to resist slavery, how I wish we had a hamas to resist Apartheid, how I wish we had a hamas to resist segregation, and all the crimes and injustices against people of this continent. I bet you if we did, they would have been labelled terrorists by people like you Ola. History has proven time and again, that Hamas are in good company.

And finally Ola, I hope you realise that your new found friend Yosh is an 'Internet Robot'. Yes, countries like Israel, China and Russia now employ people full time to surf the web and post comments and arguments supporting the 'Party' line. No country does this better than Israel, the spread of misinformation of which you are obviously a victim is what posters like Yosh are paid to do, this his his day job.

Ignorance is not bliss. Wake up!

Ola,  8:09 pm  

@controversial anon:
I see you have been busy on Wikipedia-no doubt a valid source. However, you lost me in that blizzard of angry words, half-truths, twisted ‘facts’, conspiracy theories, outright falsehood, and anti-western/ black-power rhetoric etc. Out of consideration for other readers, it might be better to focus on the key issues- which your furious presentation of trivia has almost obscured.

1. Do the Jews have a historically valid claim on the territory (approximately) they presently occupy? Absolutely. Again, the answer to the question of “who got their first?” would depend on how far back in history you want to go. The fact remains that there was a historically and archaeologically recognized nation of Jews prior to the initial Roman conquest which led to their exile. Are you aware that the people you prefer to as ‘Palestinians’ could very well at different points in time have been described as Jordanians, Syrians and Egyptians by your reasoning? Is it not true that the Jews who lived in Palestine were referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Jews until Israel was established in 1948? You obviously choose to ignore the fact that the exclusive description of Arabs in the territories as Palestinians was a political move by the ‘Palestinian Jews’ to identify with their new Nation, and by the ‘Palestinian Arab’ to identify with their dream of a home state. Palestinian Nationalism is a fairly recent thing.
2. There HAS NEVER been a Nation of Arabs called Palestine. The territory known as Palestine under the British mandate was inhabited by SEVERAL nationalities including Jews (and I’m not even talking about those who initially returned from their European exile. You claim Israel has no legal basis for its existence-this is astoundingly laughable-what determines that? You claim the UN was biased bla bla bla-what has that got to do with the issues? Does it change the fact that it was the primary International authority in that regard-no matter what your issues with its then membership structure are? So what if there were 50 states in the UN? Since Britain devolved its authority over the territory to the UN which then went ahead to vote, does your logic not question all the other states that were a creation of the British? Besides, YOU ARE WRONG on the UN vote-it was put before the entire 56 or so member General Assembly under Resolution 181 and it wasn’t an act of the permanent SC members sir. Of the 33 countries that voted in favor of the creation of Israel, only abt 12 of them were western countries-pls check your claims. You suggest that the issue is as simplistic as Europeans choosing to sweep aside some poor Arabs and taking their land-your insistence on such blatant falsehood is exasperating. Does the fact that the Jews were exiled across the world for about almost 2 thousand years mean anything to you? Does it perhaps explain the ‘lithuanian” father, the “Russian” mother, “the polish uncle” etc you found on the CIA website? Of course they mostly came from Europe but does that invalidate their “jewishness” –you probably do not realize how offensive you sound in denying the basic identity of Jews-that’s just low. Europeans? The same Europeans who were victims of the pogrom in France and Germany in 1096, or in London in 1190? Are you aware of the mass killing of Jews in Arab countries in the 11th century-morroco being an example? Are you aware of the mass killing of Jews in Russia and Ukraine? In the Greek war of Independence(where complete annihilation was almost successful?) Again, the wonder of the Jewish Nation is how it has remained a Nation over a 2 thousand year exile period in places far apart and in the face of repeated attempts to annihilate them. What makes the “artificial” creation( based on what I describe as the geo-political equivalent of action painting) of Israel less legal or valid than the British creating Iraq (out of several ethnic groupings), Jordan out of the western half of Palestine; the French creating Syria; the British creating India and Pakistan etc tell me how it is different

Ola,  8:11 pm  

3. Did the contemporary claim to the territory have a legal and moral basis? The balfour declaration-the lobbying or pressure which may have brought it about is beside the point-provided an initial legal basis-and the subsequent UN vote confirmed it. You obviously do not appreciate the driving philosophy of the Zionist movement. Read the examples I cite above again-the fact is that the Jews were never assimilated into the societies they were exiled to-it wasn’t just a question of being second class citizens, it was about being hated enough to have been victims of ethnic cleansing campaigns over and over again. The early Zionists basically said “well, since we can’t seem to find peace anywhere, perhaps we shall re-discover our roots. You have your History and Logic all WRONG on the issue of Jews returning from Europe. What you are missing is the significant population of Jews in the Palestine territories who a) Never left and were considered the remnant, and by so doing, retained their legitimate claim to the land as their homeland and b.) The many Jews who returned from across the world from the 10th century right through to the 19th century in waves of emigration of flight known as the early aliyah. The Jews who returned in relatively small numbers toward the end of the 19th century, esp after the mass killings in Ukraine in 1880 and earlier ( you can look up the Ukrainian and Russian pogrom if you care) fully settled into the territory over several decades of acquiring and cultivating often barren land in a community(not a Nation) of about 600,000 people of all ethnic nationalities; rejoining their kin, and living harmoniously with the other nationalities for the most part. The existence of Jewish “sons of the soil” is recognized in the term sabra (as used even prior to the creation of Israel), and then the later attempts to united them culturally and economically with the returnees (the ones you call Europeans) in collectivist kibbutz communities.
4. The world is not new to debates about nationality, settler vs indigene rights/claims, territorial disputes, ethnic nationalism etc We see this everywhere-from the ethnic nationalities in China, even to the native Indians in the US, South Africa, the Kurds in Iraq, Turkey and Syria, Taiwan and China etc. Even though I think lies and historical revisionism should be challenged, a “who got here first?” debate would be pointless if historical lines are not drawn, and in this case, most reasonable commentators-Jewish, Arab, western-agree that the pre 1967 lines would be a good place to start. The existence of Israel as a nation is a fait accompli and you can butt your head against that all you want-it is as valid and sacrosanct as the existence of Nigeria, The US, Australia, South Africa, Jordan, Saudi Arabia etc-so get over it. I believe the options are clear-what we have is a lack of political will, the over-politicisation of the issue, and the negative interference from external parties. A one state solution would seem appealing to those who may understandably be exasperated by the unceasing violence, but it just isn’t realistic for either Israelis or Palestinians to give up their national identity. A two -state solution can work roughly along the lines of the Oslo accords.
5. You can question specific Israeli actions wrt Palestinians, argue the case of Palestinians or question the wisdom of Israel’s military exertions-that’s all fine, but attempting to crap on History and Jewish identity with your disingenuous and hateful remarks is a totally different matter. You defend Hamas and insultingly compare them to Nelson Mandela? I’m sure you’d extend the same courtesy to al-qaeda, after all, osama also claims a righteous cause and does have some strong arguments against ‘western injustice’, right?
6. I’d leave Yoshi to defend his identity but a casual look at his profile and blogs might suggest he’s resident in Abuja and perhaps isn’t a faceless character. I’d think you have no reason to be worried about the Mossad coming after you-I‘m sure they have more important things to do in Iran and the Gaza strip.
By the way, the Libyan President Muammar Ghaddafi seems to agree with Jeremy! See :

Anonymous,  12:19 pm  

Jeremy...tch..tch.... it is quite sad that someone with your ignorant views has a quite large and publicly visible canvas to paint on.

Your article displays and unforgivable ignorance of the roots of the confilect and the individual participants......I sincerely hope you never have the chance to decide the fate of other human beings, such power in your hands along with your views would be quite disastrous.

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