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Wolf, I don't wish to generalize, but it seems to me that the pro-Israeli side in this debate has repeatedly mistaken purely descriptive statements for personal opinions. For instance, when I said people might tend to side with the Palestinians because they are the underdog, I was only trying to describe the situation - not say anything about the way people should react.

My personal opinion is that the whole war is stupid and both sides are equally to blame. Naturally, I get flak from the ardent supporters of each side for refusing to admit that they are in the right and their opponents are baby-killing fanatics.

I disagree, I think its honestly because Israel, the United States and essentially all other Western countries are held to a higher standard than unconventional militant organizations. Quite honestly, did anyone here think Israel would invade Lebanon over the kidnappings of a few soldiers and the lobbing of a few rockets into an Israeli town?

Well, generally speaking, do you think the capture of two soldiers is a cause for full-scale war? If, say, Mexican rebels of some kind captured two American soldiers in Texas, do you think the US should launch a massive invasion of Mexico?

And, just as a side note, I've heard of Lebanon before, Edric. ;)

I know you have, and most people know quite a bit about the Middle East. But for each of us there was a time when we didn't know anything about it (even if it was as far back as childhood). For each of us there was a time when we first found out about it, and that first impression can colour the views of many people.

When the family of one of my good friends (she tends to call me "big brother") lives in Haifa, my perspective on the conflict is slightly more informed than the average Joe's in Edric's vision. But, I hate to inform you all of this little fact about me, as I do not wish you to discount my arguments purely on emotional terms -- I have seen every comment with an Israeli flag on this forum go ignored for just that reason -- and as you can tell, I have the utmost sympathy for Lebanon's twisted fate being the result of foreign powers wrestling within her.

The way I see it, no one would bother to argue over anything if they didn't have feelings about it one way or the other. No arguments should be discounted (or believed, for that matter) on ad hominem terms.

That Hezbollah is called, "The Party of God" is nothing short of the most obvious corruption. What if I created "The Society of Christ" and began gunning down Muslims? Would they be your underdogs, too?

Oh, if this "Society of Christ" operated in a Muslim country and if the army of that country retaliated in kind, I'm sure many Christians would see the "Society of Christ" as an underdog to be defended.

But, again, keep in mind that I'm only describing what I think people would do, not what people should do.

* * *

Purge, I'm afraid to say that you simply don't get it. It's not about 1948 any more. The circumstances of Israel's creation have become utterly irrelevant. The reason Palestinians fight is called vendetta. "They kill us, so we kill them, so they kill more of us, so we kill more of them."

That is all there is to it (and kudos to anyone who can figure out where the quote is from).

There are some wars that go on for so long that neither side can really remember what they were originally fighting for; but they know the other side wants to kill them, so they fight on. This is one of those wars.

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Israel is on the side of protecting their citizens.  Palestinian terrorists are on the side of blowing themselves up to kill Jews.

I get that it's not 48, but it's foolish to neglect the history for the sake of trying to get a point accross that doesn't quite sit as well when one has knowledge of said history.

"Palestinians" need to choose their leadership better (Abbas was gaining a lot of steam, really like the guy), and recognize that if their goal is to achieve land and a State, this isn't the way to do it.  It's on the brink of realization, it's just awaiting the ceasing of hostilities.  Negotiations are easily attainable and parameters from a 97 resolution or something similar lay out guidelines for the process.

They need to step back and realize that Israel isn't motivated by hurting them.  They need to seperate from the radicals and elect people who have their best interest at heart.

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Well, generally speaking, do you think the capture of two soldiers is a cause for full-scale war? If, say, Mexican rebels of some kind captured two American soldiers in Texas, do you think the US should launch a massive invasion of Mexico?

Of course not, but with if those rebels would endlessly attack the US without Mexico stopping them? That's a slightly closer to the case.

There are some wars that go on for so long that neither side can really remember what they were originally fighting for; but they know the other side wants to kill them, so they fight on. This is one of those wars.

Both sides remember exactly what they fight for. You're ptaronizing the people in the region as stupid idiots who have been fighting for decades without knowing why anymore. This only exists in silly tales for kids.

Hate is an excellent fuel, but it doesn't ignite wars.

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Both sides remember exactly what they fight for. You're ptaronizing the people in the region as stupid idiots who have been fighting for decades without knowing why anymore. This only exists in silly tales for kids.

I said the war is stupid (as in pointless), not the people. The people are trapped in a vicious circle from which there is no easy escape.

Besides, you and Purge have repeatedly said that the only reason Israelis fight Palestinians is because Palestinians want to kill Israelis. Do you see my point?

Hate is an excellent fuel, but it doesn't ignite wars.

True. It only keeps them going...

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"To act like it is a MUST that the land must be taken from the Jews to be provided to them is perposterous when Jordan has almost four times as much land as Israel, and about 1.5 million LESS people."

Wait a minute! Palaestine is twice as densely populated as Israel! By your logic Israel should be pulling out of Palaestine - are you happy to call for this?

As to the difference between Jordan and Israel, the latter may have four times the land Israel has, but only 4% of it is Arable, in comparison to Israel's 17%.

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Maybe this argument will finally die down once everyone is dead.

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"To act like it is a MUST that the land must be taken from the Jews to be provided to them is perposterous when Jordan has almost four times as much land as Israel, and about 1.5 million LESS people."

Wait a minute! Palaestine is twice as densely populated as Israel! By your logic Israel should be pulling out of Palaestine - are you happy to call for this?

As to the difference between Jordan and Israel, the latter may have four times the land Israel has, but only 4% of it is Arable, in comparison to Israel's 17%.

Arable land?  Much of Israel's land is the Negev Desert (over 13,000 km2 out of Israel's 22,145 km2).  And for the record, Jordan's percentage of arable land today is estimate maybe a little under 10%, however only a small percentage (between 4-5%) of it is used.

As for Palestinians, there is no Palestinian people.

"Palestinians" are nothing but Arab emmigrants from Syria, Transjordan, and various other Arab lands, most of which emmigrated to "Palestine" in the early 1900s when Jews began replenishing the lands they'd purchased, and thus provided tons of jobs to Arabs form surrounding nations.

They never left, and by the late 40s the British had gone from declaring the right of the Jewish state of Palestine, to giving 76%+ percent of the land of Palestine to the Arabs, to PROVIDING weaponry, locations to attack Israel, aid, and even British military vets leading Arab armies AGAINST the Jews the first day they became a state in an attempt to capture the other 24%!

"Palestinians" are over 70% of the economy of Jordan, and 75% of the government posititions.  They make up 2/3 of the entire population of Jordan.  They ARE Jordinian, but most of all they are Arab.

There is no Palestinian people, and before 1948 the Jews were almost EXCLUSIVELY called Palestinians.  It was Jewish businesses in Palestine that were called the Palestinian Press, or the Palestine Philharmoic, or the many other Jewish businesses which were named after Palestine.

The Arab leaders in the 40s flat out said that Palestinian was a Zionist term created for Zionists by Zionists.  Not even 20 years later Yassir Arafat was falsely claiming these Arabs "Palestinians" and manufacturing lies about some bogus long history there.

When will people realize that Palestinians are a fictitious ethnicity with no seperate ethnicity, language, or anything else than the Arabs.  They are Arab.  And Arabs have 99% of the Middle East.  The only reason they use the title Palestinians is because when they tried to take it calling the Arabs there "Syrians" in "lower Syria" nobody took them seriously.

"It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria."

- Ahmed Shuqeiri, later the chairman of the PLO, to the UN Security Council

Syrian President Hafez Assad once told PLO leader Yassir Arafat:

  "You do not represent Palestine as much as we do. Never forget this one point: There is no such thing as a Palestinian People, there is no Palestinian entity, there is only Syria. You are an integral part of the Syrian people, Palestine is an integral part of Syria. Therefore it is we, the Syrian authorities, who are the true representatives of the Palestinian people."

In the words of the late military commander of the PLO as well as member of the PLO  Executive Council, Zuhair Muhsin:

    "There are no differences between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. We are all part of one nation. It is only for political reasons that we carefully underline our Palestinian identity....yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel."

There are literally tons of quotes out there before the 67 war of the propaganda ALL being that Palestine was Syria and the people were Syrians.  When that didn't work they called them Palestinians (again, a non-existant people), and Palestine.

It is transparent, and it is obvious in the fact that it you were to settle "Palestinians" in Jordan and the various nations they come from/live in, it likely would have little effect on the Iranian idiot's wet dream of killing the Jews and taking the 1% of Middle Eastern land they own.

Another thing of note is this claim that the British promised the Arabs Palestine.  No, they promised them a number of lands, but not once was Palestine mentioned.

The central figure in the Arab nationalist movement at the time of World War I was Hussein ibn 'Ali, who was appointed by the Turkish Committee of Union and Progress to the position of Sherif of Mecca in 1908. As Sherif, Hussein was responsible for the custody of Islam's shrines in the Hejaz and, consequently, was recognized as one of the Muslims

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Quick question, supposing if Israel annexes all of the land south of the Nitali river, and turns that stretch of land into a waste of landmines, barbed-wire fences, guard towers and machine gun posts all the way to the northern border of Israel... will that really make a difference? Will that stop Hezbollah from entering Israel and carrying out attacks against civilians? I mean, I think they'll find a way with or without any lebensraum the IDF cares to create.

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"As for Palestinians, there is no Palestinian people."

When I say Palaestinian people, I mean all the people living in the occupied territories of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza who do not have rights as Israeli citizens. I don't care what their ethnic descent is, and I am not arguing for some kind of racial agenda. You can argue however you want about who is an Arab and what you call them. The fact is that the lives of people who were born and raised in these areas are being made a living hell by the policies of succesive governments of the state of Israel.

Oh, and one last thing, now irrelevant to the debate, but something you should know: "And Arabs have 99% of the Middle East" Iranian Arabs are persecuted by the Persian state.

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No, they are being made a living hell by the Arab nations that A) won't allow them in their borders under the bogus declaration that "they need to fight agains assimilation for the preservation of their 'unique race'", and B) the ones that ARE, are second class or not citizens at all, because once the fictitious "Palestinian people" failed to yield them more land, they were done with them (at least in the sense of truly helping them, not in the sense of still using them as a rallying cry for insane people), and Arab nations began issuing sanctions against and oppressing them when they came into THEIR borders (quite similar to what you are describing the Muslim nation of Iran doing to Iraqi and Afghan refugees).

The current refugee problem has some but very little to do with Israel, other than the fact that when these "Palestinian Arabs" came back the Jews were still there, when Egypt, Jordan, and the others told them they'd be dead and gone, and that they'd inherit the former land of the Jews.  But hundreds of thousands left because the Arab League told them to leave and return upon the defeat of the Jews, not because Jews just came in and kicked them all out.

Of course, even when Egypt and Jordan occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip for 20 years, they killed and ran off the Jews in it, and hammered down, and painted over tons of Jewish mezouzahs, of which is evident in tons of homes in these territories still today, where mezouzahs can be seen still on "Palestinian" doorposts.  And never ONCE did they attempt to create a cohesive state, nation, or anything of the "Palestinian people".

They never once sought to create a state, because they knew and recognized these were not any kind of organized people in any way other than the political mission they've selected them to be the foundation of.  If "Palestinians" just wanted to coexist in Israel with Israelis like the other 20% of Israel does, it wouldn't be a problem, but they want all of Israel, and they want the Jews out, and whether you categorize it as a political movement or not is irrelevent as it's own perpetrators and leaders admitted so from the very beginning.

And insanely, despite how crazy the West seems to think many of these leaders are, they go right along with their propaganda, and are quick to spew baseless statements about a Palestinian people, when they (Arab League) themselves tried to demonize through the 30s and 40s as a "Zionist word pertaining to Zionists", and only adopted all this Palestinian propaganda during the Six Day War after claiming to just be Syrian and Arab didn't work.

"And Arabs have 99% of the Middle East"

Slightly incorrect quote, and I apologize, as it was pretty later.

What I meant is that Israel has 1% of all the Middle East, the rest of which is controlled by Muslim countries, most of which are Arab countries.  All of Palestine was supposed to be the Jewish state, but it was gradually over time sliced and sliced again just showing how crazy people are when they talk about all the favors the British Empire did Jews.  However, no biggie, Israel has what it has, and if the surrounding Muslim and Arab nations would quit sending people in to disrupt that, this issue wouldn't exist.  You surely wouldn't see Israel going country to country in the Middle East picking fights just because they don't like Arabs.

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"No, they are being made a living hell by the Arab nations"

Ah, I didn't realise it was the Jordanians and Egyptians who were driving bulldozers into Palaestinian houses, building walls through schools, blocking off all food and water from one of the most densely populated areas of land in the world, never mind military occupation and so forth.

Quite frankly, though, I'm not about to defend the states of Jordan, Egypt, Syria, et al. I'll criticise past governments for past actions and present governments for present actions, and you have quite rightly described some quite awful behaviour on their parts. But that doesn't mean the actions of Israel are entirely without blame.

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It boggles my mind that CNN, the New York Times and Reuters can hate Israel more than Hezbollah.

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they dont hate israel... they just know that controversy sells newspapers and gets TV ratings.

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Recently there is news that Israel bombed a Syrian nuclear power plant.

I'm sure bombing a nuclear power plant will be just as successful as when they bombed the Beirut power plant in 2006.

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Yea, I'm sure the nuclear plant they were building is for peacful reasons.

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Well, the representative has backtracked on his statement about the nuclear plant. It is now considered an "unused military building."

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Yea, I'm sure the nuclear plant they were building is for peacful reasons.

Well, we'll never know now, thats always the trouble with being so gun-ho.

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PALESTINIANS PREPARE FOR STATEHOOD

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

After decades of war, Palestinians are trying to revive a flagging economy.

While media attention is focused on the attempts to broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, work has been quietly going on behind the scenes to prepare the ground for building a nation state. George Abed, the outgoing head of the Palestinian Monetary Authority, has revealed that his department inside the Palestinian Authority would be ready to form a central bank and issue a currency by 2010, adding,

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"I don't have much hope for the Palestinian currency especially in the current position Palestine is in"

Agreed. Even the World Bank agrees Palaestine's economy isn't going to recover with the current 'closure' system of checkpoints on every road and permits required to travel outside of Zone A areas (some of which, like the 'prison-city' of Nablus don't even have permit offices).

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Ah, yeah, but when you're acting in self defense, and besides, you're GOD's OWN Chosen, it doesn't stink, does it?

Your you-know, I mean, not the white phosphorus.

(Religion, ethnic strife ... ooh, it's almost like it's all part of SOME GRAND DESIGN! ;) )

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I forgot which comedian said it, but it goes along the lines of: "Ah, Jerusalem. One holy city, three religions. Christians, Muslims and Jews. Let's see who wants it more."

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