EVERYONE Who Truly Supports Democracy Should Back Israel Against Hamas-Jihadi Terrorists

War IS hell ! It is brutal; it is ugly; it takes the greatest toll on civilians; but, sometimes it IS necessary.

Each Nov. 11th, on Remembrance Day, we applaud our beloved hero veterans.  And when you  look into the eyes of far too many, you can still see the pain because you know many of them have seen and experienced a thousand Gazas … terrible realities, all in the defence of democracy and freedom.

As I watch the conflagration between Israel and Gaza, I can’t help think back to OUR own great fight  in the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War, Bosnia and Afghanistan.

And yes, we killed civilians.

In fact, WE (the Allies) killed more than 50,000 civilians in the bombing of Berlin alone.

We did not drop leaflets advising civilians to flee or where to seek safety; we certainly didn’t phone homes in each area to be bombed and urge civilians to leave.

We bombed, and bombed, and bombed and bombed Berlin …. trying to target military objectives, but also devastating residential areas, schools, churches etc.  … and THAT was just the softening up for what was to follow on the ground.

It was awful … but we beat them!

We also bombed Dresden … even though it had no strategic importance …  and again we gave no advance warning for the elderly, women and children to get away: in fact,  we even used incendiary bombs to create a firestorm that destroyed the city  … and took the lives of 25,000 Germans … by far most of them civilians.

And much of the rest of Germany suffered a similar fate. It was war: it was horrific, but we supported our troops and were proud to do so.

Can you imagine what it would have been like if, during that period,  as we do now, had DAILY video on-the-ground reports from Germany delivered into our homes … full of close-ups of all the dead and wounded women and children resulting from OUR military’s actions! Would WE have stopped, pulled back and let the Nazis survive in power?  No.

We probably would have arrested the reporters who dared to show us the true, ugly side of war and the consequences of our soldiers’ actions … especially if they emphasized civilian suffering as a result of our attacks.

War IS truly ugly …. but  did we regret it?

Not I !

I THANK OUR VETERANS …. after what the Germans (and the Japanese) wrought on the world …. for SAVING our freedom and democracy,  even at the overall cost of 30 million CIVILIAN lives.

Like so many others, I am devastated by the daily devastation of Gaza and the horrific pictures of victims served up to the world media by Hamas and imbedded Western media …. although I have noticed Hamas DOES NOT allow the media to show pictures of Hamas fighters hit or destroyed or active rocket launch locations.

It’s ALL civilian victims, all the time.  Horrific!

But let’s keep it real: EVERYONE who supports democracy, freedom should pray for an Israeli win against the terrorists of Hamas and their Jihadi buddies. They ultimately want YOU dead too, unless YOU convert and submit to radical Islam.

Yes, it’s ugly; yes, it’s brutal and yes, Gazan civilians are paying a terrible price … but remember, they voted for Hamas, just like the Germans voted for the Nazis.

What did they expect?

Hamas is VERY CLEAR in its Charter, which you can read  by clicking here:

It SAYS it will accept NOTHING LESS than the complete obliteration of Israel; it endorses the killing of Jews anywhere in the world; and, it calls for a TOTALLY ISLAMIC Middle East … devoid of ANY Christians and other non-Muslims.  And their worldwide actions have shown they ARE quite serious about achieving their goals … by violence!

We must not forget that Israel HAS established peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan and would also likely already have a peace deal worked out with Lebanon, if it was not for the Hesbollah Islamic terrorists who seized southern Lebanon and now have it in a stranglehold.

And in dealing with the Palestinians, it was Israel that withdrew all its forces from Lebanon, pulled its settlers out of Gaza, released more than a thousand Palestinian prisoners … and is much closer to a deal with Fatah/PLO on the West Bank than many realize, once land swaps and the future of Jerusalem can be worked out.

Gaza?

Israel withdrew ALL its settlers and ALL its troops from inside Gaza in 2005. Peace and open borders WERE within reach, had Hamas wanted it.   But Hamas chose to pursue their Charter instead.

So rather than  build housing, offices,  trade schools, hotels, shopping malls, seaside resorts with the hundreds of millions of dollars Hamas received in foreign aid and support, Hamas used the money to acquire more than 10,000 OFFENSIVE missiles, rockets and mortars, and build more than 30 underground tunnels INTO Israel … not to bring in food and supplies … but so they could to carry out terrorist attacks.

I shudder to even think of what weapons Hamas would have imported from Iran if they had their own unmonitored port … as those naive flotilla terrorist allies had their way!

Even their tunnels from Gaza to Egypt were used  to import …. not food and goods and medicines (which they already get and are still getting even during the war in great abundance through the Erez crossing into Israel!) … but smuggled missiles, mortars and weapons from Iran.

And they’ve used ISRAELI cement along with wiring and steel imported through Israel to build those tunnels and their entire violence-centred infrastructure …. with no other aim than to kill as many Israelis INSIDE ISRAEL as possible,  soldiers, women, children and elderly included.

Many here believe the current conflict began with the murder of those three Israeli teenagers and the revenge murder of a Palestinian teen. That is simply NOT true.

In 2013, more than 50 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel, in a DELIBERATE ATTEMPT TO KILL CIVILIANS;  then this year, even before the teens’ killing, there were 184 more rockets fired into Israel from Gaza, again trying to kill civilians.

How many rockets would YOU accept fired towards YOUR home, YOUR workplace, YOUR kids’ schools before YOU would demand the government go after them?

For me, the answer would be ONE.

But Israel waited and waited … at the behest of the “international” community and the U.N. …  hoping things would quiet down.

This July Hamas and the Jihadis have fired 2,600 missiles into Israel … out of their estimated stockpile of 10,000 (Some blockade they’ve suffering under!).  And almost 8 million Israelis (lots of women and children there too!)  live and work every day and try to sleep every night  within range of those rockets.

Adding to the horror on both sides, many of those Hamas rockets HAVE now been proven to have been fired from schools, mosques, office buildings and homes. (In case you missed it, a THIRD U.N. school was discovered Tuesday hiding Hamas missiles … and once more, the UN allowed Hamas to cart them away!)

The Israelis MUST finish the job in Gaza: wipe out Hamas’ arsenal of missiles and rockets; and, destroy EVERY single tunnel built INTO Israel from Gaza’s homes, offices, mosques and beside hospitals.

It’s only AFTER Gaza is demilitarized and its terrorist infrastructure is wiped out that any REAL opening of  its borders …under international supervision … can be seriously adopted.  Anything less will just lead to another re-arming of Hamas by Iran, Qatar and Turkey and another war in a year or two.

Yes, war is ugly and, in this the tv age, we get to see every close-up detail of it we never saw daily in World War Two.

But Premier Christy Clark got it right in publicly declaring this week her support for Israel in its fight to stop Hamas’ missiles and destroy those tunnels.

This should NOT be a partisan issue … EVERYONE who cherishes freedom and democracy should support Israel’s fight against the terrorist group/regime Hamas and its Jihadi allies.

Until a fair and just long-term SECURE peace can be negotiated.

Harv Oberfeld

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66 Responses to EVERYONE Who Truly Supports Democracy Should Back Israel Against Hamas-Jihadi Terrorists

  1. 13 says:

    Harvey,,,,,,, I simply agree with this post. I have a friend that argues with me daily that Israel is so horribly wrong. Look at the pics of the children in schools and hospitals how can you support that he asks. My reply has been that if the people of Gaza want it to stop they must rid themselves of Hamas. The sole goal of Hamas is the total destruction of Israel . What do you expect them to do, watch the missles come and hope for the best? So the arguement goes on and on.
    Then Christy Clark puts pen to paper and shows the support of British Columbians for Israels right to defend itself. Once again the arguement ensues. She has no right to do that she should look after her own problems, she is not qualified
    ( really he used less flattering language) to speak out on world affairs. She is and she has. If they censored every minor politician from strata council members to school board to lowly city councilors that spoke out on issues that ” dont concern them” how can you form an opinion on their ethics before you vote for or against them.
    I applaud Ms Clarks stand. If the NDP had any common sence they would simply state that they too support the democratic right of Israel to defend its people and boarders against all terrorist organizations.

    (Response: The pictures ARE horrible and while the Israelis are more powerful militarily, Hamas has been MUCH BETTER at propaganda… deliberately causing civilian carnage because it engenders sympathy worldwide. Of course it does, even with me, although I know exactly what it is and how it is being arranged, manipulated. Horrible. What makes it worse today is that too many of the “reporters” in Gaza are just showing it in the greatest detail ever while failing to ask the really tough questions of Hamas about WHY they are housing rockets in schools, mosques, apartment buildings? Why didn’t they use all the cement etc they received to build civilian and business facilities to build their economy instead of tunnels into Israel? h.o)

  2. RS says:

    Just as all Germans were not “friends” of Hitler’s Nazi regime, not all British Columbians are “friends” with either Israel or Palestine. Sure Christy Clark, like everyone else, is entitled to her own point of view, but she should not be so presumptuous to equate her personal views with the collective views of all British Columbians. Perhaps she should have stopped at “The world continues to hope for a peace that satisfies both Israelis and Palestinians.”

  3. Craig says:

    Hasbara is alive and well in BC.

  4. Rick Lebitschnig says:

    I disagree with much of your post. I challenge you to listen to the interview with Rabbi Henry Siegman on today’s broadcast of Democracy Now at http://www.democracynow.org

  5. morry says:

    “But Premier Christy Clark got it right in publicly declaring this week her support for Israel ”

    Disagree with you VEHEMENTLY on this issue. She is grandstanding.
    As for the Hamas / Israel conflict… your simplification of the issues is jus that.. simple. From al lI read about the issue …it’s obvious that there are many subtleties at play. One area I agree with is that Israel has a right to defend itself. But so do others

  6. Mein Kampf/Hamas Charter says:

    Mein Kampf page 282: “Since the Jew is not the attacked but the attacker, not only anyone who attacks passes as his enemy, but also anyone who resists him. But the means with which he seeks to break such reckless but upright souls is not honest warfare, but lies and slander. Here he stops at nothing, and in his vileness he becomes so gigantic that no one need be surprised if among our people the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew.”

    Article 28 of the Hamas Charter: “the Zionist invasion is a mischievous one. It does not hesitate to take any road, or to pursue all despicable and repulsive means to fulfill its desires. It relies to a great extent, for its meddling and spying activities, on the clandestine organizations which it has established. All those secret organizations, some which are overt, act for the interests of Zionism and under its directions, strive to demolish societies, to destroy values, to wreck answerableness, to totter virtues. It stands behind the diffusion of drugs and toxics of all kinds in order to facilitate its control and expansion.”

  7. jimson hogarth says:

    I can’t agree Harvey. This isn’t a battle for civilization, as many right-wingers want to claim. This is a territorial battle about settlements. Israel has countless in the West Bank and have 2 in the Gaza Strip (that dangerous place, obviously not so dangerous for settlers).

    Whether you want to admit it or not, this is collective punishment. That is against the Geneva Conventions. This would be immoral if any nation perpetrated it on another.

    Gaza is the size of Surrey and there is no way to justify this level of bombing, just as there is no way to justify shooting any Palestinian fisherman who travels outside the 3 mile (out of the 20 miles designated as Gaza waters) fishing zone Israel has set up in their blockade. Just as it is not justified to launch rockets at Israeli cities.

    Because Israel receives a great deal of international money, and is a nuclear power, it is important that they exercise restraint that reflects their responsibility as an occupying nation. With over 1200 casualties, I don’t think any reasonable person can argue Israel has used their military superiority responsibly or with restraint.

    Finally, I don’t see why Palestinian resistance is seen in such a negative light. The Irish, South Africans, Vietnamese, and Jews in the Warsaw ghetto all dug tunnels, blew up buildings and resisted.The Irish, South Africans, Vietnamese and Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto were fighting against occupation, blockade, a passport system, unjust laws and persecution, collective punishments, etc.

    To me it seems a pretty convenient distinction being drawn because this current group believes in Allah rather than whatever god you believe in.

  8. Larry Bennett says:

    Well Harvey, I can’t believe that you didn’t expect exactly the reaction you’re getting on this post. Many of your bloggers are not just anti-Semites, but they are too, anti-Christian and anti-Deist in all its forms. That said, I am not about to attempt to pretend that there have not been Jews that I find despicable. But for every Morgentaler, there is a Dr. Bernard Nathanson. When the religious sceptic Fredrick the Great asked one of his advisors to give him one incontrovertible proof of the existence of God, the man replied “The Jews, Majesty”!
    I recently read stats that claimed that of little more than 15 million Jews worldwide, there were 198 (22% of total winners) who had won Nobel Prizes – Mostly in science and medicine, literature and physics – you know, really useful pursuits. Of the roughly 1/2 billion of the other Semites (Arabs) there are exactly 6 Nobel Laureates, mostly for so-called peace initiatives – you know, like Obama who won it for doing nothing, before he was even elected! Oh, and let us not forget Lester B. Pearson, (old marble-mouth) who won it for peace initiatives in …. Gaza – right!
    The Bible tells us that the Jews would be a “light unto the Gentiles”, and it has been proven to be so; though there are many self-loathing Jews among them. But of course, even their God called them a “stiff-necked people”.
    We should note too, that when the Jews vacated Gaza after whopping the UAR, they left behind thousands of industrial sites, including huge greenhouses which the Palestinians immediately began tearing down and selling it for a quick buck in salvage. What can be done to help or assist people like this? The Palestinians also seem to have a lot of children on hand for taping every time there is a supposed opportunity to show them as victims of Jewish aggression. It is not unlike stopping yourself from smashing your head against a wall, because it feels so good!

    (Response: Of course I expect it … but I always stand up for freedom and democracy against proven terrorists. It IS horrible when they deliberately place their own civilians in the line of fire or fire missiles from beside hospitals or schools or mosques …but what are they Israelis supposed to do? Just sit there and let themselves be fired upon by missiles every day? They MUST fire back and take out Hamas’ rockets wherever they are …just as we took out the German armaments and weapons, WHEREVER they were…. even when we killed tens of thousands of women and children. h.o)

  9. frosty says:

    Baird does not speak for “Canada”, and Clark does not speak for BC. There are two sides to this…and because of lobby groups and western based media…we only hear one. Terrorists, or freedom fighters…? I don’t think the “radical Muslim” label has a place in this one…as these trapped people are becoming more and more desperate. Walk a mile in their shoes.

    (Response: Hamas IS quite radical … their message/ideology … if you read it …is very close to that of Al Qaeda, ISIS and other radical Islamic groups. Very violent and supporting very radical Islamic rule. Just ask the PLO/Fatah supporters how many Palestinians Hamas have murdered who just disagreed with them politically or suggested the two state solution would be a good one. h.o)

  10. jimson hogarth says:

    Harvey, one last response on the subject because this is your blog and I respect your opinion:

    When you look at the Gaza Strip, there is not a lot of places to seek refuge. This is why you see such large numbers in terms of human casualties. The metropolitan area of Gaza is roughly the size of Surrey. Think if Surrey was blockaded, with all bridges and roads out of Surrey cut off. Where would you seek refuge from this kind of intensive bombing campaign? The myth of “human shields” has been debunked by international reporters and Hilary Clinton herself, you can look that up on the google.

    Secondly, to claim that Israel needs to take out Gaza’s rockets, even if it means bombing a school where children are currently learning, “as we took out the German armaments and weapons” really shows where your mindset is at. Gaza holds no new technologies like the “V2” rocket, holds no modern armies, is not a colonial power and has not invaded western Europe. If this is nostalgia for the glory days when the West meant freedom, its misplaced.

    In fact, more similarities can be found in the history of the Warsaw Ghetto and the Ghetto of Gaza; from the Wikipedia entry on the Warsaw Ghetto:
    “Hundreds of people in the Warsaw ghetto were ready to fight, adults and children, sparsely armed with handguns, gasoline bottles, and a few other weapons that had been smuggled into the Ghetto by resistance fighters. Most of the Jewish fighters did not view their actions as an effective measure by which to save themselves, but rather as a battle for the honor of the Jewish people, and a protest against the world’s silence.”

    This sounds a lot like the people of Gaza. Further, claiming Hamas has “better propaganda” when most images are coming from international reporters or civilians via social media reveals your age. The images of children with their bodies dismembered aren’t fake, just as the photo’s of Vietnamese children screaming in agony from Napalm burns weren’t faked. The fact that the IDF and Israel has a political communications and messaging team filled with professionals paid millions of dollars has me leaning towards them having the slight edge on propaganda and getting their side out.

    Lastly I will leave with 2 articles, one from the Washington Post, the other in the New Yorker. As someone who hopes for a peaceful and secure two state solution, I don’t see how you can see this continued status quo as progress or helpful.

    http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/collective-punishment-gaza

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/07/30/how-israel-helped-create-hamas/

    (Response: The people of Gaza are MORE a victim of Hamas than of Israel. If Hamas had NOT fired over 100 rockets into Israel BEFORE those kids were also murdered, there would be no war, no deaths on either side, no carnage. That’s the reality. As for the “siege” of Gaza, that’s a myth promulgated by Hamas …quite successfully. There are border controls, just as we have in Canada, but no siege: Gaza gets much of its electricity from Israel; Gaza gets all its fresh water from Israel; Gaza gets almost all its food, medicine, furnishings and every other non-military product from and via Israel. Haven’t you noticed that whenever there is a temporary truce and the shops open ..how FULL they are of food and goods? Some “siege”! The only BAN is on military weapons and supplies …and even you should be able to imagine what Hamas would bring in from Iran, Qatar and Turkey …and maybe even North Korea …. if they had TOTAL open access from the sea or Egypt or through Israel! In fact, as part of the last deal, cement was finally allowed in and we are now seeing what they used it for …and it wasn’t to build hotels! The human cost IS tragic …but It is the fault of Hamas alone. Again, every Canadian should ask themselves HOW MANY ROCKETS would they allow to be fired into their community before THEY would DEMAND the Canadian government take them out. Period! h.o)

  11. EllBee says:

    They IDF are losing the high moral ground on this and the spin masters are not happy. Some of the MSM are starting to ask real questions about the occupation of Gaza. The sacred cow of not a discouraging word about the Israelis is wearing thin. Not to mention their state sponsored killing of innocents as opposed to the terrorist killings. The lines between the two have become blurred. they are one and the same no matter what you say.

    (Response: What occupation? There is not a SINGLE Israeli living/staying in Gaza; ALL the Israelis who lived there were pulled out …with great political bravery… almost 10 years ago. Hamas COULD have turned the place into a great tourist area with beach resorts, even industries trading with both Israel and Egypt. Instead they brought in a terror regime that began by killing HUNDREDS of other Palestinians …members of the PLO who dared to question their violent radicalism ..and they have continued to imprison their own people inside their own territory, ruling with nothing less than terror. And almost all the CASH aid they have received were used to prop up their corrupt government, acquire/build 10,000 rockets and weapons and build more than 30 tunnels 40 feet underground, each MILES LONG … into Israel so they can launch terrorist attacks there. They may be the type of people you would love to have as neighbours, I think it’s ridiculous to expect the Israelis to just sit there and be attacked by terrorists on a regular basis. h.o)

  12. david hadaway says:

    I lived through a terrorist campaign and saw first hand its results, the IRA campaign in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The cost in lives was as great as anything Israel has suffered.

    We did not send tanks into nationalist areas of Belfast or Londonderry. We did not bomb Dublin because of support coming across the border. We did not use Flechette shells, 1,000 kg bombs or any battlefield weapons in that struggle. We did not destroy schools and hospitals and homes. Had we done so the world would rightly have condemned us as barbarians.

    What we did was stand firm and negotiate with our enemy without preconditions. Hamas doesn’t recognize Israel? Sinn Fein didn’t recognize British government in Ulster. And now there is peace.

    80% of the population of Gaza are either refugees or descendants of refugees, expelled by force from what is now Israel. Israel has an unrecognized debt to them which it repays by a cruel blockade and occasional invasions whose futility is only equalled by their brutality, which I am sorry to see you trivialize.

    It seems to me leaders on both sides have lost their reason and humanity. We have little influence over the weaker party, Hamas, but we do over the stronger, Israel. (As an aside read the Likud charter and consider what that implies for Palestine!)

    The unthinking blank cheque given to Netanyahu by our leaders, even it seems after the monstrous attack on the Jabilaya school, guarantees that these horrors will continue. Your article, I’m sorry to say, is in the same vein.

    (Response: EVERY death …civilian or military ..in this conflict is ultimately the fault of the Hamas terrorists …just as EVERY death …military or civilian … was ultimately the fault of the Nazis during the Second World War. I just hope the Israelis can get rid of those terrorist rockets and tunnels as soon as possible …but I, for one, do NOT blame them for doing that. h.o)

  13. Larry Bennett says:

    That’s right David, they sent in the Black and Tans who were little better than hired murderers, and that was going on long before you began your first whelp. What happened in Ireland, especially in the north, was far worse than anything that happened in England.
    If Israel were not in existence, there would be no Palestine, such as it is now, they are living better than they ever did. Nobody seems to care about all the Arabs being killed by Arabs, in the tens of thousands, in most countries of the Middle East and northern Africa. The slaughter of Christians, (the first residents of the Middle East, after the Jews) is not even discussed in world reports. Where is the outrage???? When Harvey brought it up here there was little commentary.

    (Response: In fact, that reminds me how, during the Israel/PLO recent negotiations, one proposal discussed was a land swap: an area of northern Israel populated by Israeli Arabs would be given over to the new Palestine, in exchange for the West Bank area immediately adjacent to the Israeli line …to allow for a secure zone. The only problem …the Israeli Arabs held demonstrations …they DO NOT want to go, preferring to remain Israeli citizens, with all the benefits they enjoy, even as “second class” citizens than become “first class citizens” in any Palestine state. That says everything! h.o)

  14. No one will be winning this war, no matter who holds this tiny, tormented chunk of desert real estate, Gaza.

    I just hope this campaign does not presage some wider conflagration engulfing the greater Mideast. I fear that it will, in time if some of the other main regional players can wrought some kind of outcome favouring them. By then, it’s “all bets are off” time.

    Israel has a right to exist and a right to self-determination, so sayeth the United Nations vote on its desire to come into existence, which it did in 1948.

    That said, it has ALSO been the only country in the world to have to arm itself against what it views as a group of nasty neighbourhood toughs who want to see its extinction. In otherwords it has been at war continuously since 1948.

    What also doesn’t help Israel’s desperate cause is the ongoing anti-semitic responses from so many people everywhere, including the usual hypocritical bands of “well-meaning” Lefties, who bleat that it is wrong for Israel to do what it is doing because so many civilians are being killed, especially children.

    But this is war, and civilians are the first and last casualties, always, as history unfortunately records. How horrible. I can barely stand to watch those graphic TV reports.

    Therefore it may also help to look at Hamas, which is orchestrating this campaign and its leaderhip, which doesn’t give a damn about its citizens, even those who voted them into government.

    Hamas’ agenda is wicked and venal: to obliterate Israel and using its citizens as cannon fodder, knowing the West is supplying reams of “useful idiots” to support the so-called Palestinian cause.

    Hamas also has the support of other Mideast groups. And the rest of us should never forget the true face of evil amongst this collection of religious zealots and wackos. These folks also hate Christians, Hindus, other Muslims, in addition to the Jews.

    Right now many Israelis are sacrificing everything to “win” this unwinnable incursion into Gaza, at least from a straight public relations point of view. Militarily, the outcome will not be in doubt, unless…

    We’ll see what happens.

    It is also worth mentioning, that Israel (in addition to the Palestinians) have been allies and whipping boys in the vast geopolitical world of which the USA is the primary controller.

    For instance, the US is shipping billions of dollars in weapons to Israel all the while calling on the state to leave Gaza.

    What is a US ally to do?

    Can’t go forward for going backward.

    (Response: Actually, the US has also supplied BILLIONS of dollars worth of weapons to: Egypt; Saudi Arabia; United Arab Emirates; Kuwait, Afghanistan; Qatar; Jordan, Bahrain … I’ve probably missed a few more! As for avoiding a wider mid-East war, I believe the only thing that is stopping Hesbollah (Hamas’ terrorist ally in Lebanon) from attacking Israel simultaneously is that they are bogged down in another war …in Syria. The whole Mid East is a mess … when they’re not attacking Israel, the Arabs are busy in many countries killing each other … and the truth is Israel is the ONLY one of the entire lot where opponents of the government and its policies, Jewish and Arab citizens, can hold rallies, peaceful protests, write newspaper articles and do all kinds of highly critical interviews in local and foreign media … without being arrested, tortured, shot and/or beheaded. It boggles my mind when people … who would be openly and publicly killed by Hamas radicals or ISIS or Hesbollah for refusing to convert to Islam from Christianity …. try to defend those groups! Unless, of course, one of their own friends or relatives, fall into their clutches in a highjacking, or attack on a hotel or shopping mall anywhere in the world. h.o)

  15. morry says:

    This is a totally ignorant and reductive comment:
    “Many of your bloggers are not just anti-Semites, but they are also (sic), anti-Christian and anti-Deist in all its forms.” None of the comments herein reflect one iota of this pronouncement! Learn To red Mr Bennet.

  16. Crankypants says:

    Maybe someone can enlighten me on something. Israel has had a virtual lockdown on everything that goes into the Gaza Strip. How has Hamas been able to arm themselves with the seemingly endless supply of missiles?

    (Response: That’s because the “siege” and “blockage” is a total myth promulgated by Hamas to portray themselves as victims ..and lapped up by their anti-Israel allies in the media, on university campuses, far left politicians and the United Church, which is very anti=-Israel. Before hostilities, there were SEVERAL open border crossings between Israel and Gaza and Egypt and Gaza: almost ALL Gaza’s imported food, clothing, supplies, medicines, furniture came through those crossings …imported from Israel, Jordan, Egypt and overseas, through the port of Ashdod. Even now, what the anti_Israel media … like CBC, BBC, Al Jazeera … won’t tell you is that the biggest crossing from Israel, Erez, is STILL OPEN: just yesterday 43 truckloads, carrying 750 tons of fuel, food, medicine and other supplies were sent through by Israel for Gaza civilians. Some siege! The “blockade” is against military weapons etc. , but Hamas turned imported “building supplies” … pipes, electronic parts etc …into rockets, and they also smuggled in thousands of actual Iranian missiles through tunnels they built from Egypt. And the cement they imported from Israel was used to build that massive tunnel labrynth underground back into Israel with no other purpose but to attack and kill as many as possible there and kidnap hostages. THAT’S WHY the Israelis don’t want a fully open coastal port etc …can you imagine what weaponry Hamas will bring in from Iran. If only they spent the same efforts on building businesses, hotels, seaside resorts etc. Gazans could be fully employed and many could make fortunes …from Egyptian and even Israeli tourists! Once Hamas is routed by Gazan voters, if peace is established and the area demilitarized, there would be no reason to maintain the existing restrictions. h.o)

  17. david hadaway says:

    Larry mentions the Black and Tans, the effort by the British government to keep control of Ireland by unrestrained oppression. It failed, not least because of revulsion in Britain itself. But how was its grim legacy ended? Not by more violence but by negotiation between enemies made possible in part because of the understanding in Britain that the evils of the IRA were not just the product of the wickedness of its members, but also the end result of our own past misgovernment.

    Similarly the current situation in Gaza does not arise merely from the brutality of Hamas but from the dispossession of Palestinians to create Israel and from past and present Israeli misgovernment, degenerating into repeating circles of violence and counter violence.

    In the West Bank Fatah has recognized Israel, co-operates with the IDF and what benefit has it gained? 850,000 illegal settlers on ever increasing swathes of the best land, walls separating villages from their fields, daily humiliations and killings at the rate of about two a week (including 67 children over the most recently counted three year period so no wonder Israeli Arabs are not keen to be ‘exchanged’). In Gaza unrelenting violence made the settlements untenable. Hamas may have created hell but it ended land theft.

    The only lesson to be learned from that is that terrorism exacts a high price but, if you want to keep your land, it works.

    Israel could show a different lesson if it changed its policies in the Occupied Territories, but it won’t unless put under pressure by its allies. A real friend is the friend who tells you when you are doing wrong not the person who condones or facilitates destructive behaviour, that’s why I have no time for the likes of Harper or Clark.

    Why the focus on Israel? Well, Apartheid era South Africans asked the same question. It’s because both states claim, or claimed, to be part of the western community, received support at the highest levels but behaved in ways completely at variance with what that should mean. Sadly we expect low standards from China, Russia, Syria, and so on. But when Israel behaves as it is now, it’s not just them but in a sense us too.

    (Response: Shame on you. You are quite clearly an educated, articulate person, but you are either so out of date on what’s been going on over there or you are allowing your decades-old biases to blind you. You suggest the West Bank has not benefitted from accepting Israel and taking a more peaceful approach to their differences. The truth is the economy on much of the West Bank is doing VERY WELL; people there have one of the higher standards of living among Arab countries in that region; many even work in Israel; many cross the border to visit Arab relatives in Israel; West Bank Arabs with serious medical cases get treated at Israeli hospitals. Not bad for two entities still with no peace treaty! You also conveniently ignored the fact that Israel withdrew ALL its forces from Lebanon in pursuit of peace; Israel removed ALL its settlers from Gaza in pursuit of peace; Israel released more than 1,000 Arab prisoners ..including some who had committed terrorist murder (despite huge political protest inside Israel) …in pursuit of peace. It’s the Israeli’s who have done all the giving in pursuit of peace; what have the Palestinians given back: NOTHING! Each conciliatory move by Israel is just met with NEW demands. Nevertheless, if you were up to date …or not deliberately ignoring the facts on the ground …Israel and the PLO (West Bank) have already AGREED on land swaps that will allow Israel to keep those settlements it built closest to its former border, for security reasons, in exchange for Israeli land that will turned over to the Palestinians when a peace treaty is signed and apparently has even agreed to pull out other settlers deeper in the West Bank, leaving their homes for Palestinians to use: the big remaining sticking points are the future of Jerusalem and the right of return. As far as apartheid, that is just silly bigoted rhetoric: Arabs in Israel have more freedom, better education, better jobs, better pay, better pensions, even better security and more civil rights than ANY of their brothers and sisters in neighboring Arab countries …so much so that an entire Arab area of northern Israel has said “hell no, we won’t go!” when they found out their area could become part of Palestine in the eventual land swaps. h.o)

  18. Gene the Bean says:

    Congrats Harvey – I agree completely and it shames me that there are so many supporters of terrorists in Canada.

    (Response: Thanks. It’s very strange: people just don’t know much about Hamas and its openly stated goals …not just about Israel, but Jews and Christians and others too. And it is the utmost in hypocrisy for anyone …. especially those on the left who profess support for open government, freedom of speech, unions, women’s rights, GBLT rights etc. etc. to ALWAYS rush to judgement blaming Israel for everything, as if they are responding to some Pavlovian stimulus, as soon as the word “Israel” is even spoken. They consistently condemn and call for boycotts against the ONLY country in the entire Middle East that comes anywhere close to achieving those ideals they claim to support. I believe it’s bigotry ..plain and simple. Yes, war is terrible, yes, battle cause terrible carnage, but surely any person with any sense of fairness knows full well that the Israelis target terrorists, while its Hamas, Hesbollah, Islamic Jihad who PROUDLY proclaim as legitimate targets ANY Israeli …women and kids included … and by the way ANYONE as well who does not accept Islam. The Gaza death toll is more than 1,360 … but what the media are FAILING TO REPORT is that HUNDREDS of those are Hamas fighters fighting who were firing from right in or right beside schools, mosques, housing. Meanwhile the CIVILIAN death toll so far in Syria tops 170,000; in Iraq 500,000 … and yet there are no boycotts by the so-called intelligentsia on our campuses, by radical unions, or by the United Church, no UN Human Rights taking sides the way they clearly do in Gaza … and NONE of those countries were fighting to survive against outside forces trying to wipe out their entire country. EVERYONE who stands for freedom and real justice and a fair peace should openly speak their support for that little democracy and their people. h.o)

  19. Christy Palin rocks! says:

    Learning that the Preem can see Jerusalem from her porch, can she weigh in on the Khalistan/India feud. Should be quite enlightening!

  20. gary says:

    Whats needed is for the entrenched apologists like you on both sides to go sit in the corner while reasonable heads prevail. To go down the “they started it” road is a trip to the big hamster wheel in the dessert. Neither side can claim to be right and neither side can say the others are wrong. Neither God is right and neither God is wrong. Who’s got the toughest God? The analogy with N Ireland is spot on, nothing was accomplished until both sides were able to take their we’re right, they’re wrong blinders off. Nothing will ever be resolved until people like you Harv (on both sides) get sent to the corner. As my mother (and many others’ too I’m sure) said TWO WRONGS DON’T MAKE A RIGHT.

    (Response: Peace anywhere begins ONLY when each side recognizes the other’s right to exist: Israel has accepted the two-state solution; Hamas has not. Get back to me when they do. And recognize Christians’ rights there as well. h.o)

  21. Larry Bennett says:

    Brian Lilley on SunMedia made note of the fact that almost all of western media are of a similar mind as many here and about, in that somehow Israel is the aggressor here and that it is up to them to come to heel.
    He notes too that this seems to put the lie to the common conception that the Jews (of the diaspora) run and control the media. I once thought this also, and it is true that they have great influence for their numbers, but as I said earlier, there are those Jews who do not consider themselves to be the People of the Book in the religious sense, and this tends to colour their perceptions, I think.

    (Response: It is indeed a sad reality that if you just say there’s a protest against Israel, you can get a few thousand people out and massive media coverage …without them even asking exactly what it is being protested …but say there’s a protest against the beheading of Christians by radical Muslims in Iraq or Africa or the burning of churches in Egypt and the banning of churches or even the display of a Christmas tree in Saudi Arabia … and very few can even be bothered, including the media. h.o)

  22. WD says:

    Harvey, time to declare yourself. Are you Jewish?

    (Response: That question is dripping in innuendo and bigotry. I have never seen anyone who writes articles about the Pope or the Vatican asked if they are Catholic; I’ve never seen anyone who wrote about the IRA and Britain asked if they were Catholic or Church of England; I’ve never seen anyone else who has written ANYTHING about Gaza or Iran or Iraq what their religious affiliation is. It is irrelevant what my (or any other writer’s) personal religious beliefs are, if any: the only thing that should count is their accuracy in facts, their proven credibility … and, agree or disagree … the value of their reasoned arguments/critiques. And by the way, you thankfully don’t have to be Jewish to support democracy and freedom over Jihadi terrorism …. or, for that matter, to enjoy pastrami or bagels and lox! h.o)

  23. e.a.f. says:

    One person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter. Remember when the King David Hotel was blown up. The Brits weren’t all that amuzed, back in the day.

    Harvey I don’t agree with you on this. Yes Hamas is a nasty little organization which would like to eliminate Israeli. However, it is far from being able to do that.

    What is going on in Gaza today, in my opinion, has little to do with anything but arms, the sale of arms, and making money off of arms. To do that you need a war or at least a lot of fighting. Qatar has once again purchased a few billion in arms from the U.S.A. Qatar supports and supplies Hamas. Most of the other Arab states also make major arms purchases in the U.S.A. as does Israeli. If the U.S.A. stopped selling to Qatar we might see a different picture.

    Israeli has fought some interesting wars. They had one where they came out the winner in 7 days. They found all but one of those who murdered their athletes and executed them. They found the holocaust murders and brought one even back from South America to be tried in Israeli. Israeli went and retrieved its citizens when Idi Amin held them at an airport. Israeli is a country with great military strength. What is going on in Gaza right now isn’t so great. It may make Benny happy. He is keeping his ultra right wing happy, so he gets to keep being prime minister. He is keeping the arms dealers happy.

    If Israeli wanted those tunnels closed, and cared about the children of Gaza they would have found anther way to do it. Yes, the citizens of Gaza could get rid of Hamas as some argue, but that is easier said than done. We have to only look elsewhere in the world where terrorists held or hold sway in an area.

    What is interesting is no other Arab country has offered to take the children and civilians of Gaza. You really have to wonder what is going on.

    As to the tunnels. If the Israeli’s knows where they are, and they are coming into Israeli, then there are other ways to get rid of them. It is not that I am holding Israeli to a higher standard, its just so ugly and they can do better. Yes, in war armies can do better.

    What I do find interesting, that in days gone by, you usually saw the generals of Israeli doing the interviews not the politicians. This maybe as much about benny staying in power as it is about dealing with Hamas.

    Yes, I come from one of those families whose motto is “never again” because only one survived the holocaust. We were taught it happened once, and it will happen again. However, this isn’t what this fight is all about. Its about Benny staying in office. Its about keeping the ultra right wing in Israeli happy. Its about the making of money on arms sales.

  24. morry says:

    HO i think you have lost your credibility on this issue of Keeping it Real:
    “The UN’s top human rights official is accusing both the Israeli military and Hamas militants of committing war crimes in Gaza, where Israel is expanding its campaign to destroy Hamas rockets and tunnels.”

    H.O. i just can’t buy your simplistic analysis of the problem.

    (Response: I think it’s the UN that has lost much of its credibility…not just recently but many times over recent years. There are more than 50 Muslim nations in the General Assembly; not to mention …but let’s … the automatic support the Arab nations there automatically get in the General Assembly from a large number of poor African states that are paid off with oil money. The UN Human Rights Committee is such an anti-Israel farce that some countries, including Canada, have refused to attend/take part in its “deliberations”. And it’s amazing how easily the UN and its various condemn Israel anytime on any issue …but somehow have remained silent on the killings of Christians and the burning of Coptic churches in Egypt, the slaughter of Christians in Iraq, the massacres of Christians by radical Muslims in a number of countries in Muslim countries in the Mid East and Africa or the arrests and harassment of Christians in China. And in Gaza, UN officials have not only allowed their facilities to be used to store rockets, but when exposed ..even allowed Hamas to keep them and take them away. And by the way, as part of the truce between Israel and Hesbollah in Lebanon, the UN was SUPPOSED TO keep Hesbollah from bringing in rockets and missiles: there are reportedly 40,000 missiles there now. Some UN! h.o)

  25. WD says:

    Bigotry. No. Innuendo. Perhaps guilty on that one. But my point is that your post is not reporting but editorializing and as such the reader has a right to know the background of the writer in order that he/she can make an informed opinion. In that sense it is a legitimate question. Truly sorry if I have offended you. It was not my intent.

    (Response: Well, you are right: I do editorialize! That’s what blogs like mine do. This is NOT a news reporting site ..although I often do REPORT things the MSM don’t. Maybe you haven’t noticed ..there are no ads, no subscription fees and I’m supposedly retired: the ONLY reason I spend all the time I do on this blog is so I can have some fun ranting my personal views (which I tried very carefully not to do while reporting) AND to let people and disagree. It’s called discussion …and that can only begin when someone puts forward an idea or position …which is what I happily do, especially since I know I’m always right! And by the way, not only Premier Clark, but Elizabeth May, Thomas Mulcair, Justin Trudeau, and Harper have all defended Israel’s actions in defending itself. Of course, the civilian casualties are AWFUL, but you’re lucky we didn’t have HOURLY reports from close up on the ground of civilian casualties we caused with OUR bombing in Germany or Japan! The Israelis MUST continue until ALL the terrorist tunnels INTO THEIR COUNTRY are destroyed and the rockets stop …that’s ALL they want ..and no one in any other country would tolerate anything less in their own case. h.o)

  26. Realist says:

    Thanks Harvey for keeping it real once again. Any of the above terrorist sympathysers would be shaking in their boots if they had to walk around in a Hamas controlled Gaza with a crusifix around their neck. It’s easy to sit comfortably in their western democracy and shout “it’s the joos fault” because they’ve never set foot in a Muslim country where radicals are the norm rather than the exception.

    (Response: Thanks. It doesn’t even have to a radical Muslim country … when US and Allied soldiers went to Saudi Arabia to save their asses from Saddam Hussein, they were PROHIBITTED from displaying even a Christmas Tree (never mind a crucifix!) ANYWHERE that could be seen by the public. Ask church leaders what it is like to be a Christian living or working in Saudi or Qatar or the UAE …supposedly “moderate” Arab states. And I’d rather be a Muslim living in nasty Israel, which gives them free education, health care, pensions, freedom of speech and even to hold protests, as well as several seats in Parliament, than be a Jewish person in ANY Arab state!!! h.o)

  27. 13 says:

    Simplistic adages
    “one persons terrorist is another persons freedom fighter”. Response to the people of Gaza not getting rid of Hamas might be “your either fer us or agin us”. Sadly if a people cant get rid of a regime because they will be killed for trying what does that say about the regime.
    The UN? Does this organization have any credibility? Only to those looking for an excuse to rationalize their actions.
    If Israel is to exist in the midst of the chaos of the Arab countries it needs to be vigilant in its defense.

    (Response: The thing I cannot understand is why it’s usually those on the left who so often support EXTREME RIGHT WING terrorist groups like Hamas …when it’s exactly people like them … infidels who support open government, democracy, full women’s rights, gay liberation …. who would be the first to the pit under Hamas, Islamic Jihad etc. Think I’m exaggerating? Perhaps people forgot that when Hamas was ELECTED in Gaza … for their victory celebrations, they shot in the knees many of those who ran or campaigned against them and then took the top local PLO leaders/candidates and threw them to their deaths off the roofs of local buildings. How can anyone who claims to be anything but an extreme right wing fascist or Islamic jihadist support a group like that? h.o)

  28. Dale Andrews says:

    Just another right wing blog by a person who looks at only half the news and this is from the National Post. The motto of this site should be “Fair and Balanced”, it works for Fox News.

    (Response: How silly and intellectually immature. Now I’m a right wing blogger; when I wrote MANY crushing blogs against Gordon Campbell, the HST, Christy Clarks theft of power in her first term ( for months I refused to refer t her as premier) … I guess I was then a left wing blogger! Silly! h.o)

  29. Gene the Bean says:

    Hi Harvey – just re-read all the comments here. Didn’t think you had so many simpletons as followers but if a majority could elect the BC Liberals, well, you get the picture…

    (Response: I would use the word naïve. It’s as if when they see the news about the deeds of terrorist groups … they think it’s all Hollywood …. despite pictures of beheaded opponents, 150 people lying down in ditches with their hands tied and being shot, churches being burned, or blown up and even their own being threatened with death for just failing to cover up or listening to music. Geez! But believe me, it PAINS my heart every time I see pics of those injured kids …or grieving adults … even though I know Hamas “controllers” have directed the “reporters” to exactly what they can shoot and cannot …or say all those injured men are ALL civilians. Rubbish. It’s still very sad and maybe the naïve among us can’t realize how they are being propagandized … quite successfully …by Hamas and their supporters. War IS ugly … but believe me … NO ONE reading or commenting on this blog, even if they are against Israel, would want to live under Hamas or any other group of its type. h.o.)

  30. e.a.f. says:

    Dale Andrews, “r e a l l y” you have got to be kidding. Harvey a right wing blogger??? I’ve been watching Harvey report and blog since the days of old, yes we had t.v. but Harvey was slim, as was I.

    If you looked at Harvey’s body of work, you would not ever describe him as right wing. Perhaps if you were “ultra” left wing, but, even when I don’t agree with Harvey’s comments, as in this article, right wing certainly isn’t a description for someone who has on the whole been pretty good at reporting FACTS.

    Blogs are not only about reporting facts but voicing opinions. It is called free speech and some of us enjoy it. I for one enjoy reading opposing opinions, because: 1. it keeps us real; 2. it gives some of us a chance to gain some perspective on things.

    As to the U.N. it is huge waste of money, resources, time, etc. It no longer serves a real useful purpose. It has become a money making operation for some and a waste of tax dollars for others. A permanent structure such as the U.N. is no longer necessary in this age of instant communication. It would be far better to have the various sections broken up and sent to other places in the world. The security council, perhaps, could remain, but really, it needs to be pared down to a rep and no more than 10 assistants.

    No one much listens to it. It has become a place where two bit dictators can go and find a podium, have a nice vacation, and not pay their parking tickets. Some of the atrocities which are committed in member state’s countries, ought to get them kicked out of the U.N. and out of the U.S.A. or as a min. cause them their voting rights. They are a waste of time, money, resources.

  31. Larry Bennett says:

    I don’t think Harvey needs anyone to come to his defence, but I will vouch that he is hardly a right-winger; me yes, Harvey, no. What I will say about Harvey is that he is incredibly fair in his posts. And we should ask Mr. Andrews if he really finds MSNBC to be “Fair and Balanced”?
    I will give him credit for using his real name to comment with – that is your real name isn’t it Dale? something the most vitrioliic of the Left, seldom do!

    (Response: You know me …I state my view, but value others too. If I’m hardest on anyone, it’s my colleagues who consider themselves journalists …but are slanted in any direction when they are supposedly “reporting”. In fact, I do find myself wondering why NONE of those reporters imbedded in Gaza ever ask Hamas reps any tough questions about WHAT WAS in that building that was hit, WHO WAS in that office that was taken out; or WHY DID Hamas even start this war by attacking Israel with rockets for more than a year before they had enough??? But Of course, I know the answer ..anyone who asks Harvey type aggressive questions of Hamas IN GAZA won’t be around very long! h.o)

  32. DonGar says:

    Thanks for Keeping it real.

    How people can support Hamas who use women and children as human shields and who’s main objective, like Hitler, is to kill all the Jews is simply indefensible. What is also indefensible is how all the other Arab states standby and do nothing or actively support these terrorists sacrificing Arab children for political gain.

    (Response: People don’t understand how radical, how extreme Islamic these Hamas terrorists are … totally authoritarian not only against Israel and Jews and Christians, but against ANY Palestinians or Muslims anywhere who dare … on peril of their lives ..of openly disagreeing. I for one would love to see the Palestinians living in peace and prosperity in their own state …but you don’t have to be a Mensa member to know the path to achieve that is NOT by electing a group that OPENLY pledges NO Israel, NO negotiations with Israel, ONLY the violent “liberation” of that land. It’s tragic, but the people are Gaza are getting EXACTLY what they voted for in ELECTING Hamas. h.o)

  33. Justin says:

    Harvey you are a fantastic writer on local BC Politics. You are woefully ignorant on the Israeli/Arab conflict. Let me explain your #1 “omission”. The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, is the leader of the Likud Party.
    The Likud Party charter states that there is only to be a Jewish State in the Land of Israel, from the Sea to Jordan, eternally and indisputably. Started saying it in 77. That’s a solid 37 years, right there.
    Sadly the Likud Party is more “moderate” than many parties in his governing coalition. But yeah, keep telling yourself that Hamas are the only crazies in that dispute.

    Likud’s charter states that the existence of the Gaza Strip is fundamentally inimical to the existence of the State of Israel, and if peace is to be achieved it, and any place where Palestinians have the right of self-governance, must be eliminated.

    The major IDF breaches of cease-fire every two years since Likud gained power (conveniently enough, six months before elections in all cases) as well as Bibi bragging about how he has never wanted peace when he thought he was in private make a great deal more sense with this fact incorporated.

    Turns out it’s hard to negotiate with someone whose political future is dependent on having promised to kill you, and that seems to be both Hamas and Likud’s stance on peace.
    Ironically, Israel created the religious based Hamas in the 1970’s as a way to undermine the secular Palestinian Authority – a job which it’s done very well!

  34. Justin says:

    Pro-Isreali Social Media soldiers like to say how there is no occupation in Gaza, unlike the West Bank which has been mostly under Israeli complete Israeli occupation since 1967. People should know that since 2007 Israel has exerted TOTAL control of Gaza’s borders, water, and airspace. They have used this total control to inflict collective punishment on the citizens of Gaza including not allowing them to get out of Gaza, putting them on a “diet” (a euphemism Israel uses to obscure the fact they have been limiting foodstuffs severely), destroying thousands of houses (Gazans can’t get insurance), amongst other indignities forced upon the people of Gaza that amount to breaches of international law and war crimes. For all intents and purposes since 2007, GAZA HAS BEEN AN OPEN AIR PRISON DUE TO THE COMPLETE MILITARY BLOCKADE BY ISRAEL! Of note all Western Countries, the US and Canada included, consider any type of military blockade to be an act of war. So by the Americans and western allies own definition of what a blockade means, Israel has been at war with Gaza since 2007 because of the total military blockade they have enforced (to say nothing of the aforementioned collective punishment they inflict on the residents of Gaza as well as war crimes)

    Israeli officials have joked publically how this blockade was meant to put Palestinians “on a diet”.
    Why is there no coverage of Israel before this war intentionally limited food stuffs into Gaza and joking about putting Palestinians there “on a diet”?
    Israel used ‘calorie count’ to limit Gaza food
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/oct/17/israeli-military-calorie-limit-gaza
    But don’t take British newspaper word on it, read Israeli newspaper that talks about it:
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/2-279-calories-per-person-how-israel-made-sure-gaza-didn-t-starve.premium-1.470419

    Does this sound like a moral democracy? (To say nothing of the fact Israeli Arabs are second class citizens when it comes to many basic rights afforded to all Jews in the country – cough apartheid cough)

    (Response: By the way, ANY suggestion in this current conflict that the media has been PRO Israel is absolutely ludicrous! The media have lapped up those terrible pictures of injured civilians every hour when they are taken to hospitals by Hamas supporters/minders …without EVER asking ANY questions about HOW MANY of the casualties are Hamas fighters? WHY didn’t Hamas allow its civilians …and not just its own leaders … into the miles of concrete tunnels underground to protect them? WHY has Hamas fired almost all its rockets from homes, mosques, even deliberately close to hospitals? WHY did Hamas build the entrances to its terror tunnels INSIODE homes, mosques etc.? Or why did Hamas initiated this war with hundreds of rockets in the first place, instead of keeping it real, recognizing Israel’s right to exist and getting to the bargaining table for a two-state solution??? The media covering Gaza are lucky they are dealing with a democracy in Israel that knows full well these media have become messengers and propagandists (quite successfully!) for Hamas..but niot only let’s them get their broadcasts out. Do you think Canada, the US or Britain would EVER have allowed German broadcasters to feed pictures every hour into our countries of ALL the mothers and children killed by our bombing … without a single photo of any Nazi soldiers or gun emplacements ever hit? We would have arrested them all. h.o)

  35. Justin says:

    The situation originally escalated back in May when Israeli soldiers murdered 2 then unarmed Palestinian children and the murder was caught in cold blood on Camera:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaibEqx2m_k
    http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/world/2014/05/22/pkg-watson-4a-west-bank-teens-shot.cnn.html
    No outrage by John Baird over the murders of unarmed children by Israeli snipers! It’s worth noting that Israeli soldiers who murder or beat unarmed Palestinian civilians rarely face jail time. It’s part of the Apartheid practises of the Israeli government of 2 laws and treatment for 2 different people but Baird has no problem with this. Meanwhile Israel reserves the right to “liquidate” (murder) any Palestine it deems a “terrorist”. So Israeli murders of unarmed Palestinians rarely face jail time, while any Palestinian alleged to be a part of a terrorist organization can be murdered. Is this justice?

    Where are Canadian official’s condemnations of war crimes like this?
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2710397/15-Palestinians-killed-90-injured-Israeli-tank-shell-attack-UN-school-used-refugee-shelter.html

    Lastly, a significant problem with the current conflict is that Israeli society is increasingly being hijacked by the extremist settlers it has courted to steal PAlestinian land in the West Bank.

    Here’s a video of Israeli’s cheering on the murder in Gaza and advocating the murder of an Israeli Arab Politician.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7qFACSfd_k
    Key quotes:
    “In Gaza there’s no studying No children are left there”
    “”I hate all the Arabs.”
    “Tibi – Ahmed Tibi I wanted you to know the next kid to be hurt will be your kid”

    Funny how this stuff never makes the news here huh?

  36. Justin says:

    I apologize Harvey, I screwed up my timeline explanation a little bit in the previous post. These were the 2 incidents that started the escalation of this conflict:

    May 2014 – Israeli snipers were caught murdering 2 unarmed Palestinian children in the same area of the West Bank (caught on closed circuit TV). The soldiers were safely hidden on roof tops as they sniped the clearly unarmed children:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaibEqx2m_k
    http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/world/2014/05/22/pkg-watson-4a-west-bank-teens-shot.cnn.html

    March 2014: 2 unarmed Palestinian teenage soccer players were deliberately shot in their feet (10 bullets in one of their feet, 2 in the other one’s feet). They will never play soccer again because of this unprovoked war crime:
    http://www.thenation.com/blog/178642/after-latest-incident-israels-future-fifa-uncertain#

    Of course, in the overwhelming majority of these clearcut cases of war crimes (murdering and maiming of unarmed civilians who plainly pose no threat to soldiers in open view) not a single day of jail time was given to the Israeli’s who committed those crimes. If you don’t get that there will never be peace until there is justice, that a Palestinian death in those circumstances should be treated every bit as seriously as a Jewish death by the occupying party (I have to make the distinction that Israeli is the occupying party – and not the other way around) there will never be peace.

    What I would expect from a usual quality reporter such as yourself is a nuanced approach that says while Hamas actions are despicable, there have been plenty of examples of War Crimes by Israel in the peaceful West Bank that show both Hamas and Israeli Government contain a significant amount of religious fanatics that fail to meet out there obligations and push for justice equally. The Geneva Protocols, by the way, but greater responsibility on the occupier to behave civilized. You can’t claim that Israel is some great moral democracy yet there are many incidents of war crimes during peace time there (in the West Bank) that go unpunished despite overwhelming evidence.

    You also can’t ignore that after the death of Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas took over in the West Bank and has preached non-violent resistance. For his peaceful overtures and relative calm he has maintained in the West Bank, Israel has rewarded him with the highest level of settlement building and expansion in Israel’s history. The demographic reality in the West Bank has gotten so bad that Britain’s deputy Prime Minister, Nick Cleg, a staunch supporter of Israel has recently said that the reality of settlements on the ground has all but made a viable Palestinian state impossible.

    Your articles amount to giving a blank cheque to Israel, and obscure it’s own crimes against Humanity not just in Gaza, but the West Bank as well.

  37. Justin says:

    One last thing Harvey, many of your talking points seem like you have been talking to people (Israeli’s) who have studied this Israeli guide on how to manipulate public opinion on the dispute.
    It’s a fascinating read: “The Israel Project’s GLOBAL LANGUAGE DICTIONARY”

    This guide is meant to help you to manipulate coverage and discussion of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in favor of Israel’s point of view (the only one that matters!)
    It’s a must read and keep in mind tons of exhaustive research and lots of money have been poured into making this document which is quite effective for helping us manipulate public opinion in favor of Israel!

    This is a short explanation of how this document helps Israel:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/israelgaza-conflict-the-secret-report-that-helps-israelis-to-hide-facts-9630765.html

    A copy of the guidebook can be downloaded here:
    http://mondoweiss.net/2009/07/no-it-isnt-the-pentagon-papers-but-heres-a-small-sign-that-the-msm-is-finally-going-to-take-on-the-b.html
    http://www.stopdebezetting.com/documents/pdf/090713Hasbara%20handboek_tip_report.pdf

    Secret guidebook helps the Pro-Israel supporters manipulate the media in favour of Israel:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/israelgaza-conflict-the-secret-report-that-helps-israelis-to-hide-facts-9630765.html

    I challenge you to post this message to allow some of your readers to explore how Israel directs its PR army to manipulate and frame the discussion on the Arab/Israeli Conflict.

    (Response: I haven’t talked to anyone, anywhere: my stand is based on my own observations … Hamas’ OWN stated policies and its RECORD of its own proudly declared terrorist actions (rocket launches, tunnels, suicide bombers …for YEARS, backing up those policies… enough for MANY nations, not just Canada and the US but even the EU (no great supporter of Israel!) to declare it a TERRORIST organization. Important to note; I do not have any problem with anyone criticising or supporting Israel’s policies in the West Bank or settlements … Lord knows, in a democracy, many Israelis have many opinions on that. But Hamas IS an outright terrorist organization … that rules Gaza with an iron fist and has murdered HUNDREDS of Palestinians who dare to voice ANY contrary views. And I don’t know ANY country in the world that would wait as long as Israel did (more than a year) before firing back at a neighboring territory that fired hundreds of rockets its way! Or allow ANY tunnels into its land so a sworn enemy that vows to kill and capture any citizens it can. Not one. h.o)

  38. Justin says:

    Harvey I DESPISE Hamas (as I despite Likud and Nutanyahoo). I agree that Hamas using people as human shields is despicable, but do they have any alternative if they choose armed resistance as a strategy? Let’s examine what the whole human shield argument means for a guerrilla army facing one of the most powerful military’s in the world. Hamas is armed with light arms and RPG’s In contrast, Israel has the best a modern military financed by the US has to offer: fighter jets, tanks, advanced attack drones, attack helicopters, advanced mortars, missile defences, and heavy arms. I also can’t understate the value of having Gaza under a complete military blockade, it’s basically an open air prison with no escape. Is Hamas supposed to meet that head on by going into an open field and being bombed into oblivion by “brave” Israeli fighter pilots / drones / helicopters and tanks? If the US was occupying say Vancouver and had a complete military blockade of Vancouver and we had no military vehicles of any sort and only light arms, do you think Vancouverites would go out into open fields to confront the Americans with light arms and RPG’s to be bombed into oblivion? The whole Human shield argument that Israel keeps pushing is meant to obscure the fact that Hamas has no other way to defend itself and fight because the military blockade of Gaza has made this the biggest military mismatch in human history. How would you suggest Hamas should fight Israel militarily? Keep in mind that Palestinian leader Abbas in the West Bank has maintained peace with Israel for over a decade, yet all he has to show for it is continued Israeli occupation AND the creation and expansion of Israeli settlements under Abbas “peace” is as at record levels. Do you understand, “Peace” for Israel in the West Bank has allowed them to expand and create settlements at a record rate? So why is the impetuous solely on Hamas to accept the occupation which in their case is the complete military blockade of Gaza that often includes collective punishment (e.g. Israeli imposed “diets”, etc.) and murder of a civilian population?

  39. Justin says:

    Or why did Hamas initiated this war with hundreds of rockets in the first place, instead of keeping it real?

    Um, things escalated prior to the murder of 3 Israeli teens in Jun:

    May 2014 – Israeli snipers were caught murdering 2 unarmed Palestinian children in the same area of the West Bank (caught on closed circuit TV). The soldiers were safely hidden on roof tops as they sniped the clearly unarmed children:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaibEqx2m_k
    http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/world/2014/05/22/pkg-watson-4a-west-bank-teens-shot.cnn.html

    March 2014: 2 unarmed Palestinian teenage soccer players were deliberately shot in their feet (10 bullets in one of their feet, 2 in the other one’s feet). They will never play soccer again because of this unprovoked war crime:
    http://www.thenation.com/blog/178642/after-latest-incident-israels-future-fifa-uncertain#

    Hamas was blamed for the kidnapping of 3 Israeli teens and hundreds of their members were illegally arrested AND Israel ran military operations in the Gaza strip.

    That proceeded Hamas rocket volleys.

    You take the same Israeli track of defining the beginnign of any current conflict as the last time the Palestinians did something while refusing to look at what recently preceded it.

    Again I don’t support Hamas, but Israel’s response was wholly disproportionate and the blame on the current round of fighting originates with Israel’s failure to jail its soldiers and border guards for war crimes committed earlier this year, while collectively punishing Palestinians for the murder of the 3 Israeli teens in June (e.g. a serious lack of Justice by the occupying power).

    Now I understand that many people here won’t knowledgeable of the fact of the 2 incidents that took place in May and March because the bias of this conflict has always been that during “peace time” every Isreali death at the hands of a Palestinian is covered by our media, but many Palestinian deaths at the hands of Israeli’s aren’t covered during non-combat flareups.

  40. Justin says:

    We hear about Israel’s right to self-defence. What if the people of London were being rocketed like the people of Israel? Wouldn’t they strike back? Well yes, but we Brits don’t have more than a million former inhabitants of the UK cooped up in refugee camps over a few square miles around Hastings.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/the-true-gaza-backstory-that-the-israelis-arent-telling-this-week-9596120.html

    What if Dublin was under rocket attack, the Israeli ambassador asked then? But the UK town of Crossmaglen in Northern Ireland was under rocket attack from the Irish Republic in the 1970s – yet the RAF didn’t bomb Dublin in retaliation, killing Irish women and children. In Canada in 2008, Israel’s supporters were making the same fraudulent point. What if the people of Vancouver or Toronto or Montreal were being rocket-attacked from the suburbs of their own cities? How would they feel? But the Canadians haven’t pushed the original inhabitants of Canadian territory into refugee camps.

    (Response: Cooped up? Do you know how tiny a country Israel is? The Arabs have thousands of square miles ..and ALL the oil! And if you’ve ever read the Bible or studied archeology and history, the Jews were in Israel 5,000 years before the Arabs ever heard of Palestine. And what historically was Palestinian “lands” (there NEVER was a Palestinian country … EVER) is actually Jordan, which was taken away from them by the Hussein clan … and, in fact, killed more Palestinians than the Israelis have in ALL their wars. Nevertheless the solution WILL BE two states … but before that can happen, the moderate Palestinians MUST get rid of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists within their midst who have publicly said they will NEVER accept an Israeli state. h.o)

  41. Justin says:

    Harvey I would like to thank you for taking the time to respond. Further understanding is facilitated when we can have these open and frank dialogue’s.
    I would like to make a public appeal to your readers. If any of Harvey’s readers has a strong knowledge of website creation, could you help him to create a feedback mechanism where it is easier to respond directly to each other’s posts, kind of like the way Alex Tsakumis blog wrote.
    It’s confusing to the reader when I can’t reply directly to Harven’s comment to me. It would make the point/counter-point discuss flow better better. Thank you again Harvey for engaging in a civilized discussion that hopefully helps both of us and our reader’s gain a better knowledge of the issues at hand. I can think of few political issues that are more complex and layered then the Arab/Israeli conflict.

  42. Justin says:

    I know history very well. That is why I know that
    A) The state of Israel was founded thousands of years ago on the genocide of the Caanaites in the land of Canaan by the tribes of David. (To be fair, a lot of genocide took place back then back then in the name of religion so agent Israel wasn’t unique). So to be clear, that land we call Israel / Palestine / whatever belonged to non-Muslims, non-Israeli’s, and non-Christians well before Ancient Israel ever came to be.
    B) The Romans initially drove most of the Jews out of Ancient Israel in response to their armed rebellions, this started the Jewish Disapora. Many of them fled to Europe and under the auspices of Christanity it began 2000 years of Jewish persecution by the Christians of Europe culminating in the Holocaust.
    C) The Arabs in that region also drove Jews out along similar lines as the Christians – however of note until the 20th century they seemed to be fair more tolerant of Jews – and less interested in converting them – then Christians were. This is why many semetic-looking Jews (eg. They look like native Palestinians because they come from same gene pool) and they got along quite well with the native Palestinians (in the British mandate of Palestine) until many Jews started immigrating from Europe Israel in the first half of the 20th century and this began the escalation of the current conflict.
    I am hesitate to cite history and “God’s promises” from the Torah, Bible, or Koran, because even though I believe in God and was raised on both Judaism and Christianity, my knowledge of history makes it clear as day that Judaism took many of its beliefs from other religions that pre-dated it. It is in no way unique. Christianity, which is a type of Neo-Judaism, took a significant portion of its beliefs from Judaism, as well as from Jesus Christ and his followers. Christianity was a sort of melting-pot religion that incorporated many local pagan traditions and beliefs into it to broaden its appeal (see Equinox, Solstice, Christmas, etc. for examples of amalgamated beliefs of non-Christian origin). Islam is a type of Neo-Christianity / Neo-Judaism hybrid that incorporated many things from both religions and branched off under Mohammed. That is not to say that Jesus wasn’t divine, that Abraham didn’t talk to God, that Mohammed wasn’t a profit, etc., I’m just pointing out that the entire accuracy of all 3 books needs to be called seriously into question, for many reasons but particularly because many of the central beliefs of all 3 religions were actually taken from prior religions. In the case of Judaism, the religion that influenced both Christianity and Islam, overwhelming evidence points that many of their fabled stories that established them as “the chosen people” were nothing more than Fairy Tales taken from other religions that predated Judaism.

    I will not defense a single dictator in the region, including the Hussein Clan, when it comes to their treatment of the Palestinian people. All of them do nothing really to advance their cause and use the Israelis as scapegoats for their own domestic troubles while paying lip service to helping the Palestinians.

    Here’s the big difference. Israel and the West claim that Israel is this moral democracy that is far different than the other countries in the region, and that it doesn’t discriminate against Palestinians, there is no type of institutionalized apartheid in Israel, that it doesn’t wantingly commit any sort of war crimes against the Palestinians (including ethnic cleansing and population transfers). Israel claims it is morally superior, and because of this other people need to “shut up” and trust Israel to do what is right.
    Regardless of what King Hussein of Jordan did, the fact is the most Gazans are refugees from Israel proper. The fact is that most Palestinians in West Bank and in refugee camps in Lebanon are from Israel proper or the West Bank. In other words, the Palestinians were are concerned about are the native born Palestinians of Gaza, Israel, and the West Bank, not the one’s that were from Jordan proper because that’s a different argument for a different despicable regime (the Hussein dynasty of Jordan)

    It’s intellectually dishonest to only point out that Hamas charter does not recognize the state of Israel (which by the way is different than advocating the genocide of all Jews in the area) when Netanyahu’s party – Likud’s – own charter is against the creation of any Palestinian State in the West Bank or Gaza. It’s also worth mentioning that a number of the coalition parties in the current Israeli government advocate the same and even some have advocated for population transfer (ethnic cleansing) as well as Genocide in some cases. (Lieberman mentioned that it might be a good idea btw to drive all Palestinians into Jordan and the Mediterranean). This is important because we know the West Bank is a distinct entirty from Gaza, and even though Abbas has been in power for a decade and has preached non-violence and peaceful co-existence, every successive Israeli government during that time has escalated settlement building and expansion to record historical levels – thus prejudicing the chances of any future continuous Palestinian State.

    Of note, staunch Israel supporter Deputy British PM Nick Clegg even points out that if you look at a settlement map of the West Bank in 2014 – the prospects of a viable and continuous Palestinian state have been nearly rendered impossible due to recent Israeli settlement creation / expansion.
    Why can’t you be intellectually honest enough to say that some Israeli political parties, including those that are part of the governing coalition, are against a Palestinian State and even advocate ethnic cleansing? Is that because once you admit that some of them are not that different then Hamas it’s a slippery slope because Israel as the occupying power has some serious explaining to do about what has been happening in the West Bank the last 10 years? That such admissions that members parties of the Israeli government hold those beliefs opens them up to a real examination of war crimes and breaches of international law?

    Keeping in mind that Abbas and the PLO have recognized an Israeli state with its 1967 borders. Israel has done no such thing for the Palestinians, and its actions in the West Bank the last 30 years show that its actually committed to making a viable and continuous Palestinian state impossible (it’s referred to as “Facts on the Ground”)

    This argument that Hamas is the only barrier to peace without mention of Likud and other extremist parties in Israel’s actions is disingenuous at best – criminal at worst (when you look at what has been happening). Justice is required for both sides and honest criticisms of both sides, not one-sided Israeli brand justice and blind 100% support for all of Israel’s policies.

    You do realize that your blind support of Israel and what it’s reeked, most notably the fact that Israeli society is increasingly made up of Jewish fundamentalists and extremists, is increasingly putting Israel in danger as it sits in a sea of 1 billion Muslims? That the only way to guarantee Israel’s safety is to give the Palestinians a viable state and to work with them to provide a powerful example to Arab world of what cooperation with Israel can do for other Arabs? That the Arab dictators would lose their ability to use Israel as a scapegoat for many of their domestic problems if this was the case?

    (Response: Be careful how far back you’re prepared to go into ancient history …unless you are prepared to give up your own home to your local native band. I suspect you’re just being hypocritical …applying a standard in the Mid East which you are not willing to apply here, to yourself! If I’m wrong, prove it … forward me a copy of the deed when you give back your home to those who lived on that spot …not 3,000 years, but only 500 years ago. Peace will come from modern Arabs and Israelis who realize the possibilities of living in peace, side by side, co-operating on water, electric, agriculture and economic …not those mired in thousand year old historical debates that in fact still sees Sunni and Shiite Arabs still killing each other by the thousands … before they even involve Israel/Jews in their debates! h.o)

  43. Justin says:

    When I say “the fact that Israeli society is increasingly made up of Jewish fundamentalists and extremists” let me clarify that the policy of attracting Jewish fundamentalists and extremists from outside Israel in countries like the US, Russia, etc. for the purpose of colonizing the West Bank (and formally Gaza) has meant that increasingly a higher and higher percentage of Israeli population is being made up of religious extremists as each year goes by. That Israeli society is increasingly being radicalized by this demographic change and it’s pushing the more sane voices in Israel, like Livni and Peres, to the periphery of political discussion while giving the Lieberman’s and Netanyahoo’s of the world increasing power in that state. That’s a bad demographic shift, and its making Israel’s position in that region increasingly more dangerous as its policies get more and more dictated by these right-wing religious extremist policies. It’s becoming more of a intolerant theocracy which each passing year which is not what David Ben Gurion and the founding fathers had in mind.

    (Response: You’re totally wrong. From everything I’ve read and heard about modern Israel, in fact, more and more Israelis are SECULAR ..not very religious at all.. and that’s why we keep seeing stories how most are fed up with the ultra religious who got out of serving in the army and that is now changing; also this lack of religiosity has led to Tel Aviv being the gay capital of the Mid East, where Gay Pride is now widely accepted and annually celebrated and even Arab gays come to seek refuge. I think you are displaying quite a lot of prejudice …based on very OLD narratives, not keeping it real at all. h.o)

  44. Paul says:

    Quote: “But Premier Christy Clark got it right in publicly declaring this week her support for Israel…”

    But she didn’t just declare “her” support for Israel, did she?

    Christy Clark sent a letter to the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

    Christy Clark: “…I’m proud that British Columbia can be counted as a friend of Israel.”

    Another rebel without a clue, Selena Gomez, posted an Instagram message that read: “It’s About Humanity: Pray for Gaza”

    Another one, Rihanna, tweeted under the hash tag “#FreePalestine”.

    Rihanna deleted the tweet just 8 minutes later after the message was retweeted thousands of times and after numerous angry responses.

    A source close to Rihanna: “She deleted it because it was never meant to be tweeted. She didn’t even realize it was a tweet until she started hearing from her fans.”

    Rihanna clarified that all she wants is “peace and a swift end” to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    (from Wikipedia): ‘Rihanna is known for frequently reinventing her style and image, most notably since Good Girl Gone Bad.’

    And just three days earlier NBA star Dwight Howard sent out the exact same tweet as Rihanna and quickly deleted it saying “previous tweet was a mistake. I have never commented on international politics and never will.”

    Are we having fun yet?

    All four of these people share two things in common.

    All of them are publicity seeking opportunists, and none of them made it past high school.
    _____

    It’s embarrassing that Christy Clark presumes to speak for all British Columbians on this important international incident.

    During last years BC election campaign, her 11-year-old kid successfully dared her into driving through a red light – with a Vancouver Sun reporter sitting right there in the car documenting a day in her life.

    A wise owl Christy Clark is not.

    And after the red light incident, Global News showed a clip her lying about what she said about it.

    Watch it here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Kvxhrr7Ks0

    After watching that video, there’s no reason for anyone to take anything that comes out of the woman’s mouth seriously.
    _____

    Joan Rivers: “Oh, Selena Gomez, yeah, that college grad. Well if Selena said that… let’s see if she can spell Palestinian.”

    LMAO

  45. Larry Bennett says:

    Gosh, I leave the laptop for a couple of hours, and look at all the pedantry spewed by one discontented commentator. But of course, history is very subjective and varies with almost all famous (and infamous) historians. One is almost tempted to say, with the Hilarious Clinton woman – “What difference, at his point, does it make”? If, in the old dispensation, we are told that the God of the Israelites told them that this land was theirs, because he had ordained it so, and that they were to kill all the inhabitants of those presently occupying said land – who are we to disagree. These matters are difficult to comprehend, abstruse and recondite in the extreme. We can’t express it, and can only feel it inarticulately.
    It is said that some citadels must be taken by storm (Palestine?) and others yield only to a long siege. (Israel? by thousands of years). If it is true that the destruction of the temple, by Titus, was the reason for scattering the Jews from their home, it is also true that the return of the stranger – the wayfaring stranger – was responsible for its re-establishment! It’s history folks, move on.
    One gets the impression that, when “right-wing religious extremists” is mentioned, it refers to anyone who believes in the existence of God. A few years back I worked with a young Jewish gal who told me that the past generations of men on her father’s side had all died before a certain age (I think it was quite young, 48-50). They were from a rather liberal Jewish sect, but as her father aged, he decided as many Jews do, to return to the Holy Land. While he was at the Temple ruins, an old woman, a religious ecstatic (there are many in Jerusalem, of various creeds) called him by name and told him if he returned to the old laws, religious and dietary, the curse would be broken. Of course he lived on past the fateful date with death. I doubt he cares whether he be called an extremist in religious thought.

    (Response: Well, the blog sure did get a good discussion going on this one! Almost regret I’m soon travelling again! But I feel really good about taking a stand against a brutal terrorist group like Hamas … that has actually, even before this conflict, killed more Palestinians than Israelis because they merely supported Fatah, and not Hamas …both before and after the 2006 Gaza election. The sooner the Palestinians get rid of Hamas themselves, the sooner the Palestinians WILL be able to achieve their own state. h.o)

  46. DonGar says:

    Interesting comments from Justin focused entirely against the existence of Israel / Jewish state. Harvey your comments and others on this blog have focused on Hamas, the terrorist organization, not Palestinians or Arabs or Muslims or their rights. In fact most feel a great deal of empathy for these people being used as fodder by Hamas. Justin seems to be fixated on hatred for the existence of a Jews state.

    He says he despises that Hamas use of children as human shields and then goes on to defend it. Very sad and very telling.

    (Response: You’re very perceptive. They are two very separate issues… and those who …for whatever reasons … hate the Jewish state are confusing the two, either through ignorance or deliberately. However I am buoyed by the fact that a guy named Mosab Yousef (you can Google him) , the son of one of one of the FOUNDERS of Hamas, came out today and condemned Hamas and said it is carrying out its campaign quite purposefully …and WANTS dead children filmed by world news crews … because it believes that will aid its causer and turn people against Israel. He also warned that if this brutal Hamas tactic succeeds, there will be 100 more Hamas type groups spring up. There you go. Anyone can support the Palestinian cause or, as I do, favour a two state solution …WITHOUT being suckered into buying the terrorists’ tactics. THEY are totally to blame for what has happened to THEIR own people: what did they REALLY expect Israel to do after firing hundreds of rockets into that country for over a year, then kill three teens and then fire another 3,000 rockets??? And also build three dozen sophisticated tunnels under the Israeli border, with NO OTHER purpose than to launch terrorist attacks. I also keep asking, if they’re so “under siege” , how did they get 6,000 rockets from Iran in …but somehow not be able to get enough medical supplies in? This IS the time to stand up to defend democracy … in Israel … and defeat EVERY terrorist group, so we don’t have to do it later much closer to home. h.o.)

  47. Justin says:

    It’s worth noting and repeating that the 2 biggest obstacles to peace in the Arab/Israeli conflict are both Israeli made creations:
    1) Hamas was created by the Israeli version of the CIA – the Mossad – in the 1970s as a way to undermine the secular leadership of PLO leader Yasser Arafat who was increasingly successful at unifying all Palestinian factions behind him. Hamas was created to undermine secular Palestinians by using radicalized Political Islam to form a destructive counter balance against more moderate and secular Palestinian forces. As you can see, the initial creation and support of Hamas is quite literally blowing up in Israel’s face (as did the similar US support for the Bin Laden Network in Afghanistan in the 1970’s fyi – interesting parallels there.) Hamas has never undermined the Palestinian cause as much as it does today – which is in stark contrast to the non-violent resistance that Mahmoud Abbas preaches in the West Bank. You might say that Hamas is the settler’s best ally because their actions give Israel cover to keep expanding and creating settlements.

    2) Israeli had for decades recruited Jewish fundamentalists and extremists from outside of Israel to migrate there (from the US, Russia, etc.) for purposes of colonializing and altering the ethnic makeup of the West Bank in order to increase the size of Israel Lebensraum (territory). Unfortunately over time these settlers became bigger and bigger in number and now have a significant influence on the Israeli government – starting with their champion Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud Party, as well as more extremist politicians and parties like Avigdor Lieberman, amongst other vile cockroaches on the far Israeli right. Ironically, the more extreme that Israeli governments get due to these religious extremists, the more Palestinians gain Political leverage and good will from the international community. You might say that Benjamin Netanyahu has been the best Israeli President for advancing Palestinian diplomatic standing, even though his intentions have been to undermine Abbas at every step.

    Both Hamas and the Israeli right-wing political parties are the biggest obstacles to peace. To point out that only Hamas is to blame for the current status quo is both ignorant at best, hateful at worst. Like I said, ironically both Frankenstein monsters are the creation of Israel.

  48. Justin says:

    Harvey my point is that Israel cannot make a 2000 year old argument about Israel’s history and pick and choose facts, like ignoring the facts that Ancient Israel was created on the genocide of the Caananites a few thousand years ago. My point was that clearly land claims issues AFTER 1945 are far more serious than before 1945. Making 2000 year old land claim arguments isn’t just stupid, it’s dangerous.
    I fully agree with when you say “Peace will come from modern Arabs and Israelis who realize the possibilities of living in peace, side by side, co-operating on water, electric, agriculture and economic …not those mired in thousand year old historical debates that in fact still sees Sunni and Shiite Arabs still killing each other by the thousands … before they even involve Israel/Jews in their debates”. The potential all-out war between Sunni’s and Shiites could be a catalyst for WWIII.

    That’s why it’s so important to democratize these states and to emphasize the importance of separation of Church vs. State because let’s face religion is always at the center of the majority of these conflicts. (That’s also why I am so concerned about Hamas gaining power over Abbas’s secular party, and even more concerned that with each passing year Israel becomes increasingly theocratic – it’s a recipe for disaster).

    (Response: You don’t seem to get it: what’s happening NOW is a war between a democracy and a terrorist group that had been attacking it with rockets for more than a year. If anything, Hamas has made it CERTAIN now there will be NO resolution of the overall dispute over borders etc for many more years. So what was the point? Or benefit? NONE … except maybe for right wing Israelis who don’t want to give up an inch in negotiations, which behind the scenes are a lot closer to agreement than many realize. Hamas … like all terrorist groups in any country … has set back any peace prospects: that probably FITS their agenda perfectly, but as always it’s the masses under their control who pay the highest price. h.o)

  49. MAD says:

    God bless Israel. They need to stay focused as they are, and stop this bad bunch who come from the the same snakepit as Hitler and his merry band of genocidal mad dogs with the same belief in wiping Isreal off the map, but truthfully that is doubtful given the real deterance they have. And they will use their nukes if they have to, with these crazed World War Z’s around them. Aalso while we’re on this Israel should continue to hunt down and bring to justice every damn Nazi War criminal scumbag even if their on their last breath. And also nice of Christy Clark to back Israel but i think it’s grandstanding also. That morally bankrupt creature would sell out the country, constitution and flag at a garage sale for a vote.

    (Response: If this war has proven anything, it’s that Israel and Egypt are absolutely right in maintaining controls on what goes into Gaza while Hamas and Islamic Ji8had are running rampant there. It’s one of the biggest myths promulgated by Hamas and its media propagandists that there is a “blockade”: There are border inspections ..just as between Canada and the US. But food, medicine, consumer goods etc go through EVERY day, even DURING the current conflict: haven’t you noticed that when there is a ceasefire of even a few hours, the stores are FULL of food? ALL that comes from Israel and Jordan, through Israel. Can anyone just imagine the “imports” a terrorist regime would acquire if borders were completely open, uninspected? That would be NUTS and suicidal for Israel. And if Canada doesn’t do, or Mexico …even though we are not at war with the US, it is ridiculous for anyone to suggest Israel should do that. h.o)

  50. Justin says:

    Regarding the religious and secular make up of Israel, Israel is and always has been home to some of the most progressive democratic ideals and religious tolerances. This still remains true and that part of Israel’s demographic is – let’s face it – awesome! Tel Aviv, for example, is one of the best cities in the world to experience for this reason. Jewish culture in particular that transcends Israel has always been at the forefront of academic excellence particular when it comes to science and the Liberal arts and for a people so small in number, their contribution to science and academia is remarkable (and essential!) That’s the awesome part of the Israeli demographic. Have I made it clear how much I love this part of Israel’s demographic?

    The contrast to this is that there’s a higher % of religious nuts in Israel due to the courting of religious extremists from outside of Israel to fulfill the settler enterprise. If you look at the makeup of the current Israeli governing coalition, having that many right-wing extremists in a governing coalition 30 years ago was unthinkable. Now it’s common place and the Israeli left – the people that are needed to create a lasting peace – are struggling for political relevancy. The actions of the right-wing extremists is isolating Israel internationally – even amongst its allies – and is endangering not just the peace process but Israel as well!

  51. Justin says:

    Dongar: I am really surpassed when your analysis of what I said is:
    “Interesting comments from Justin focused entirely against the existence of Israel / Jewish state. … Justin seems to be fixated on hatred for the existence of a Jews state.”

    Do I really need to clarify my stance on Israel because you don’t understand what I said? Let me put it all out there.

    It’s important for those that use the 2000 year old argument why Israel deserves to colonize the West Bank to point out that Ancient Israel was indeed founded on genocide of Caanites. I believe that because of the Holocaust, the creation of the State of Israel was the right thing to do for 2 reasons:
    1) Give the Jews a homeland in the area that is tied to their religions origins
    2) More importantly, to give the Jews a refuge where they can escape persecution so that they never experience genocide again.

    I fully support the state of Israel within the 1967 borders. I also fully support the natively born Palestinians to have a country in the West Bank and Gaza, and for some limited right of return for those that still hold valid land titles in Israel. (Since it happened in 1930’s and later, this would mirror the responsibilities European powers had to European Jews after WWII)

    Until recently, Israel was an oasis of democracy in a sea of Tyranny in the Middle East. Until the death of Arafat, I found it difficult to defend the Palestinian cause. With that said,under Abbas and his non-violent resistance ethos, it’s equally been hard to defend Israeli’s record levels of settlement building and expansion in the West Bank. If you actually look at a map of the West Bank – you will see that Israel’s demographic plan is to have Palestinian settlements there encased into Bantustans. It’s not my opinion, just look at a map.

    I know that Israel needs to be protected from many of its Arab neighbours (there’s a lot of “angry” Muslims amongst the billion that surrounds Israel). I’ve said before that in return for a comprehensive and peace agreement with the Palestinians:
    1) Israel should be admitted into NATO as a ultimate guarantee of it’s safety
    2) Palestnine should remain demilitired for a decade, and every decade it should be renewed if they show they are not capable of being responsible.
    3) Jerusalem should become given special status as the capital of both Israel (west) and Palestine (east)
    4) An international force with teeth should initially be deployed between Israel and Palestine until such a time that Palestinians have proven that they won’t resort to violence to gain more land. (The same also goes true for Israeli religious extremists fyi).

    It is my strong belief that a democratic Palestine living side by side with a Democratic Israel would sound the death knell for many Arab dictatorships in the region. That is why so many of those despots work to undermine the peace process while they publicly claim to support it. So much has been working against the moderates on both sides.

    Have I made it clear that I am strongly pro-Israel, but not blindly Pro-Israel?

  52. 13 says:

    Justin knows his history, and would likely be able to defend Hamas actions in a courtroom. Good for him. As for Hamas and the rest of the radical muslim world I hope that sooner than later the rest of the free world becomes very intollerant of their behavior. People like Justin will allways be able to justify barbaric behavior by citing historical injustices.
    By the way Bean, I dont appreciate your idea that Harveys blog is rife with simpletons. To equate voting BC Liberal to supporting Hamas is a stretch that doesnt make sence. BC Liberal leader has stated her position. I suppose that a person that voted for the NDP can not be labled a simpleton irregardless of his or her position on Hamas , Israel , Gaza. What is the position of the provincial NDP. Like pipelines its a flexible one?

  53. Gene the Bean says:

    Justin – you need to look up the word SUCCINCT in the dictionary, please.
    I have found those that take a page to say what should/could have been said in a sentence are often lying. If you have to try that hard, your position is coming from weakness.
    If you cant make a succinct point, easily and rationally, your point is based on fantasy.

  54. Larry Bennett says:

    Did anyone notice how Justin so blithely associated the term “liebensraum” to Israeli policy? Of course, most amateur historians would immediately associate the term with Nazi Germany’s policy of expansionism or “living room”; how subtle was that?!
    He goes on to state (with seeming authority) that separation of Church and State was necessary because “Let’s face (it) Religion is always at the center of the majority of conflicts”. Did you notice how he so subtly drops the “State” part of his equation? I suggest Justin face the fact that most conflicts (certainly of the last century) were caused by the forced imposition of atheism, onto the State.

  55. nonconfidencevote says:

    Total agreement Harvey.
    Either Hamas is eradicated or Gaza is eradicated.
    Bulldoze it into the sea.

    Trouble is.
    NO ONE wants Gazan refugees !
    Not the West Bank. Not Egypt. Not Jordan. Not Lebanon. Not Syria. Not the Saudis. NO ONE wants these people.
    Everywhere palestinian refugees have migrated to they have stirred up nothing but trouble.
    Time for them to have a long hard look in the mirror but I highly doubt THAT will ever happen.
    Reap what you sow Gaza….my sympathy is at zero.

    (Response: I still hope for a two state solution but to get anywhere close to that, Hamas has to be out of the picture. They have been very open and very firm: Israel must be obliterated. Only the most radical Arabs, Jihadi terrorists and the anti-Jewish bigots pervading the world … and the UN … would agree, but will spurned and defeated by people of better will and understanfing. h.o)

  56. harry lawson says:

    Harvey .

    great post , passionate responses

    war is hell i agree,
    all involved in a war will have soldiers or freedom fighters acting on their own committing war crimes.
    it is human nature.

    the people of Israel have a right to exist. they have a right to defend themselves
    yes war is hell.

    (Response: You know, it all started wuith the Viet Nam War…this visual portrayal of how UGLY war really is. Until then …Korea… Europe … Japan ..we saw lots of bombing and shelling and refugees with all their belongings …and some dead civilians. But we never saw every day new closeup pictures and videos of dead/injured kids, wailing parents etc. Nothing like we see now. And anyone who thinks Hamas isn’t “working the media crowd” in Gaza is horribly ignorant of the truth. NOTHING gets covered in a war zone by imbedded reporters/cameras unless those in charge want it covered. Notice how we NEVER see people we are told were Hamas fighters killed after or during a missile launch. Instead EVERYBODY is a student or librarian or bicycle repairman. Those holes in the floors of their shops, mosques and HOMES are just for storage. Civilian deaths in ANY conflict (our own wars, or Syria or Afghanistan or Iraq) ARE HORRIBLE: but Hamas has USED THEM more effectively than anyone to come off as the victims, even though THEY fired hundreds of missiles in Israel for a full year before the Israelis said ENOUGH. There’s no doubt these pictures have badly hurt Israel’s image …except with those who really understand what Hamas is doing…. and realize ALL wars are really ugly when you see the details up close. h.o)

  57. morry says:

    A provincial premier has no business in speaking for their province when it comes to international politics and issues, They should be focused in the provinces business,… and you know even hold Legislative meetings !!

    Also it’s not wise to pick one side over another in a very complicated matter such as what is going on over there in Israel/ Gaza.

    “As Israel began to redeploy significant numbers of its troops away from populated areas of Gaza on Sunday, an Israeli air force missile struck near the entrance of a United Nations school sheltering displaced Palestinians in Rafah, killing 10 people and wounding 35 others and drawing a new round of international condemnation.”

    While I don’t like the Hamas leadership but neither do i think the Israelis are “right” in what they are doing.

    “Who’s Right and Wrong in the Middle East?”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/20/opinion/sunday/nicholas-kristof-whos-right-and-wrong-in-the-middle-east.html?_r=0

    I prefer that analysis.

    It shows us what an lightweight Christy Clark is. She is among the dumbest politicians we have in Canada. OPPORTUNIST of the worst kind

  58. e.a.f. says:

    while a number of blogs have all sorts of people commenting about children being killed in Gaza by bombs, no one is saying much about the Americans sending children back to Central American countries where they too will face certain death. Like why is not o.k. to have children in Gaza kill, but its O.K. to have children sent back to Central America so they can be killed there?

    Its just that there is so much ink about Gaza/Israel but not so much about the children coming to the U.S.A. from Latin America for sanctuary.

  59. david hadaway says:

    Well you’re off on a well deserved holiday, which I hope you will enjoy, so probably won’t pick this up for while.

    However I am amazed you put up that comment by “nonconfidencevote”. Substitute any race or nationality for ‘Gazan’ in his statement and its inherent racism becomes clear.

    We can all disagree and disagree strongly but this anonymous bigot has crossed a line.

    (Response: Thanks. I try to allow as free a discussion as I can: you should see the stuff I DON’T print! h.o)

  60. Larry Bennett says:

    Noncon has my confidence, what he says is not all that far off. However, e.a.f.’s silly comment that the children of illegal Central American families who are entrusting them to thugs and gangsters, will all face “certain death” if returned, is so extremely unproven that it isn’t worthy of notice. Also he must be aware that it is just a matter of time before they are crawling over his back fence.

  61. 13 says:

    Its sad that eaf and morry will go unchallanged till mid August. Oh well have a safe and enjoyable break.I hope this weather holds up till you get back.

  62. Beenie says:

    I CAN’T BELIEVE ALL YOUR RESPONDERS THAT TAKE THE SIDE OF HAMAS.
    HOW IGNORANT CAN ONE BE? OR ARE THEY JUST A BUNCH OF ANTI-SEMITIC IDIOTS. TOO MANY;AND THAT’S A CONCERN TO ME.

    (Response: Many people are just moved by the horrible pictures …which suits Hamas PERFECTLY! And I believe those who are not anti-Semites are just incredibly naieve … and don’t understand what a terrorist group is or how it governs. Or that most of them …especially the women ..would NOT like their lot under a Hamas regime; and the men would not DARE speak up against ANYTHING the government does ..not if they want to live. Notice by the way that Hamas was ELECTED in Gaza in 2006 …and there has never been another election since! Hmmm! h.o.)

  63. Beenie says:

    Nice work on this blog Harvey. People should remember that its not winning a war but survival that counts. I would like to know what these nay sayers would do if their neighbours next to there house decided to store all sorts of ammunition in their garages, let alone aim a rocket at their home with wife and children inside?Wouldn’t anyone do what they can to stay alive? Hamas wants Israel to disappear and all the Jewish people in it, so why shouldn’t Israel do what it can to stay alive.

  64. Justin says:

    Again thanks Harvey for facilitating such excellent discussion and for only censoring the most extreme comment. It’s nice to see people generally be respectful of what other people say. I think like most people my point of view is a work in progress, and by discussing things and seeing new evidence I and other readers are free to change our opinion based on the evidence at hand. I think the Arab/Israeli conflict is the most complicated and layered major conflict out there, and there is so much going on that simple declarations like “Hamas is a terrorist organization” or “Israel practises Apartheid” isn’t really an argument in itself, it’s an attempt to poison the well against one faction and that is why elaboration and discussion is needed.
    Thanks again for your facilitating and openness on a very divisive and complicated issue.

    Justin

  65. nonconfidencevote says:

    I think the fact that Israel doesnt bomb Gaza until Hamas either;
    a) sends suicide bombers to kill civilians, or
    b) sends homemade rockets indiscriminately into Israel to kil civilians.
    Speaks volumes.
    hamas “kicks the bear” and then complains when it gets “bitten”.
    Perhaps Israel should follow the hamas playbook and just fire rockets into Gaza with no warning and with no designated targets.
    Blast them back into pre-civilization where they belong……

    (Response: Your analysis is right on …but no one should fire indiscriminately into any territory …as Hamas does. And with the Arab and Muslim-dominated UN Human Rights Commission already going crazy about Israel just firing back at missile-firing and tunnel locations … just imaginer if they just fired missiles/bombed indiscriminately the enemy …as so many other countries do quite regularly. By the way, I wonder when the UNHRC will get about to raging against ISIS, Syria, Afghanistan, Boko Haram etc.? h.o)

  66. BMCQ says:

    HO – Interesting Blog here. You have done a very good job with providing information and insight on this very complex situation.
    No comments on the conflict as yet other than to point out that none of us should ever forget that Israel are in a position that they can never lose even one Battle, they are literally fighting for survival!! but……
    I am very sure that some will condemn me for my next comment but here we go.
    In reading some of the Comments, Beliefs, and Theories by some here one can easily assume that many here obviously have much stronger Medical Marijuana than others!

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