Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Birth...

(Picture depicts the attack that the Irgun 'terrorist' group undertook in 1946 against British assets in Jerusalem)

This is an excellent article written by Correlli Barnett, a military historian at Churchill College. This man witnessed what he calls the first terrorism in the Middle East.

ISRAEL WAS FORGED THROUGH ASSASSINATION AND KIDNAPPINGS
DAILY MAIL (London)
July 21, 2006
By Correlli Barnett

Several of my good friends are American, but this does not inhibit me from criticising George W. Bush's catastrophically misguided invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Similarly, I have good friends who are Jewish, but this will not inhibit me from criticising the current 'total war' being waged on Lebanon by the Israeli state. The fact that some of my Jewish friends will read this article only makes me the more sad that I have to say, as a military historian, that this war is grotesquely out of proportion to the level of casualties and damage previously inflicted on Israel by Hezbollah. It is likewise grotesquely out of proportion to the taking hostage of two Israeli soldiers -- as are the ferocious Israeli attacks inside the Gaza strip in response to the taking hostage of just one soldier.
Certainly, Israel has the right to defend herself today as she has done successfully in the past. But surely her response to Hamas and Hezbollah should have been limited and precisely targeted rather than a version of the 'shock and awe' bombing which opened the American invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Israeli government should have learned that 'shock and awe' may only be a prelude to a protracted guerilla war. During the long and bitter struggle against the IRA in Northern Ireland, it never occurred to any British government that the IRA bases and arms dumps within the Irish Republic should be bombed by the Royal Air Force, let alone that whole districts of Irish cities like Drogheda known to harbour IRA terrorists should be destroyed. Equally, it has never occurred to a Spanish government that it would be right and proper to respond to the lethal, indiscriminate attacks by ETA (the Basque terrorist organisation) by savagely bombing and rocketing San Sebastian and other Basque cities.
Why should Israel regard herself as a p r i v i l e g e d exception? Why should 'the West' in general -- and Bush and Blair in particular -- also regard her as a privileged exception, rightfully entitled to conduct a savage total war in response to Hezbollah attacks no worse than those of the IRA and ETA? These questions are the more pertinent because Israel herself was born out of a terrorist struggle in 1945-48 against Britain, which then ruled Palestine under a United Nations mandate.
The so-called Stern Gang (after its founder, Abraham Stern) specialised in assassination, its most famous victim being Lord Moyne, the Colonial Secretary, shot in Cairo in 1944. But by far the most dangerous Jewish terrorist group was the Irgun Zvei Leumi (National Military Organisation) led by Menachem Begin, who after the creation of the state of Israel founded the Likud political party, and even finished up as prime minister. The group's propaganda stated its political aims with brutal clarity. First, what it called 'the Nazo-British occupation forces' must be driven out of Palestine. Then a Jewish state would be established embracing the whole of Palestine and Transjordan (as Jordan was then known). Too bad about the native population of Arabs, of course.
The group's logo, displayed on the fly-posters which I myself saw as a soldier in Palestine in 1946-47, showed a crude map of Palestine and Transjordan with an arm holding a rifle splayed across it. The Irgun's successful attacks included the demolition in 1946 of the wing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem housing the secretariat of the British mandatory government and also the HQ of British troops in Palestine -- at a cost of 91 lives, Jewish, Arab and British, most of them civilians (for more info on this attack, click here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_David_Hotel_bombing) . Another 'success' was the blowing-up of the Officers' Club in Jerusalem in March 1947. I saw the corpses lying on slabs in the morgue, spittle still bubbling out of their mouths. In combat with a terrorist group perhaps some 3,000 strong, a maximum of 100,000 British troops was deployed in a country about the size of Wales. There was a lesson here for George W. Bush and Tony Blair before their invasion of Iraq -- but of course a lesson unheeded by men with no interest in history.
In July 1947, the Irgun Zvei Leumi kidnapped two British Intelligence Corps sergeants as hostages to trade against the lives of three Irgun terrorists under sentence of death for an attack on Acre jail. Here is an exact parallel to the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah. But unlike the savage reaction of Ehud Olmert's government today, the British government in 1947 did not seek to apply pressure to the kidnappers by ordering the RAF to destroy large parts of Tel Aviv, and the Royal Artillery to bombard selected Jewish settlements suspected of being bases for the Irgun. In the event, the three Jewish terrorists were hanged -- and the Irgun in turn strung up the two British sergeants from a tree in an orange grove and booby-trapped their bodies.
Yet even then it did not occur to the British authorities to impose the kind of savage collective punishment that Olmert's government is now visiting on the Arabs of Gaza and southern Lebanon. A notice posted by the Irgun proclaimed that the two sergeants had been hanged because they were 'members of the British criminal-terrorist organisation known as the British Army of Occupation in Palestine', responsible for the murder of men, women, children and prisoners of war. The so- called 'murdered prisoners of war' were in fact terrorists hanged after due trial.
This Irgun proclamation signed off with the warning: 'We shall revenge the blood of the prisoners of war who have been murdered, by actions of war against the enemy, by blows which we shall inflict on his head.' So blood- thirstily selfrighteous is the language of this long proclamation that it could just as easily have been written today by Hezbollah or Hamas or Al-Qaeda. The sacred cause may be different, but the language and the type of mind behind it remain the same.
In the event, Jewish terrorism against the British finally succeeded. All attempts to negotiate a future for Palestine which balanced Jewish interests against those of the majority Arab population came to nothing. A project for a single state with Jewish and Arab cantons was rejected by the Arabs. An Arab proposal for a single state based on the existing Arab majority and a limit on future Jewish immigration was rejected by Jewish leaders. A two- state solution, proposed by a UN commission and favoured by Washington, was in turn rejected by the Labour Government, who rightly feared that it would be British troops who would have to impose the settlement on one side or the other -- or perhaps on both.
This, the chiefs of staff warned, would require two extra divisions on top of the two already in Palestine. With the Irgun campaign of bombing still going on, and the tally of British casualties mounting, Clement Attlee's Cabinet had quite simply had enough. They refused to impose the UN plan, and instead opted for unconditional withdrawal, even at the cost of (in the words of Ernest Bevin, the Foreign Secretary) 'a period of bloodshed and chaos'. Another lesson here for Tony Blair in regard to Iraq? So Britain handed the mandate back to the UN and announced that British rule in Palestine would end in spring 1948. As it duly did. In the last months of the mandate, the security situation dissolved into three-cornered violence -- Jew versus British and Arab; Arab versus Jew and British; British versus both.
By the time the last British force had left, this violence had degenerated into anarchic civil war between Jew and Arab. It was just the prelude to the full-scale war between the new state of Israel and neighbouring Arab regimes wanting to extinguish it. The war ended in the successful conquest by Israel of the larger part of Palestine, and a tidal wave of Arab refugees into Lebanon and Jordan. Here is the origin of today's bitter Arab resentment of Israeli hegemony -- a resentment which powers Hamas and Hezbollah as they follow the path of terrorism first mapped out by the Stern Gang and the Irgun Zvei Leumi in the 1940s.

CORRELLI BARNETT is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge.

36 Comments:

Anonymous Marc- American said...

Such amazing insight-- The problem with society however is that past trangressions, they believe , should and will be left in the past. Have we really grown that much more civilized in the course of less than a half a century? It's rather dubious. We must first assess the reality that the concept of a "terrorist" and the idiomatic "terrorism" is subjective and we , as a society, surmise as what each term befits in our eyes. Thus, its safe to say , that what one can see as a terrorist regime can easily and duly be seen as a legitimate source of stability. And if this is a legitimate force in a majoritive eye then they are sovereign in their own right-- Needless to say we, as americans, forfeited the right to impose authority and to govern as to whom can defend themselvesa and in what manner because in most parallel of respects there are alot of countries who consider us a "terrorist regime" whom has done as much to them as Iraq did to us-- absolutely nothing-- So who is to govern them for defending themselves as we so righteously did with Iraq? We afterall actually do have weapons of mass destruction -- Marc

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a letter in response to the article below in the DT highlighting certain politician's feting of the King David terrorists and the plaque installed to celebrate the act of blowing it up. I particularly like the rhyming couplet.

London - Daily Telegraph Letters – 25 July 2006

Sir - Your report (July 22) on celebrations in Israel to mark the bombing of the King David Hotel in 1946 is a timely reminder that Israel was largely created through terror.

The slaughter at the King David, the assassinations of Lord Moyne and the UN mediator, Count Bernadotte, and the massacre of the Arab villagers of Deir Yassin are landmarks in a campaign not only to liberate Palestine from its British mandate administrators, but also to cleanse it of the race that formed the vast majority of its inhabitants for 1,000 years.

I offer this update of John Harington's 400-year old couplet on treason:

Terror never triumphs. Where's the error?
If it triumphs, none dare call it terror.





Israel celebrates Irgun hotel bombers
By Harry de Quetteville, in Jerusalem
(Filed: 22/07/2006)


In the midst of its campaign against Hizbollah and Hamas "terrorists", Israel has been accused by Britain of feting Jewish "terrorists" whose bomb attack killed 28 Britons 60 years ago today.

The accusation, which reopens the debate about the use of politically-inspired violence in the region, follows the unveiling of a plaque commemorating the attack on the King David hotel in Jerusalem on July 22, 1946, by the Irgun Jewish "resistance" to British mandate rule in Palestine. The 28 Britons were among 91 people killed.

This week, former Irgun fighters and current Right-wing politicians unveiled the plaque at the hotel, which read: "The hotel housed the Mandate Secretariat as well as the Army Headquarters. On July 22, 1946, Irgun fighters at the order of the Hebrew Resistance Movement planted explosives in the basement. Warning phone calls had been made urging the hotel's occupants to leave immediately. For reasons known only to the British, the hotel was not evacuated and after 25 minutes the bombs exploded, and to the Irgun's regret and dismay 91 persons were killed."


But Israel's celebration of its "freedom fighters" remains highly controversial at a time when it continues to pound Palestinian "terrorists".

Tzipi Livni, Israel's foreign minister, has found herself deeply embroiled in the debate - her father, Eitan, was Irgun's chief operations officer.

Simon Macdonald, the British ambassador to Israel, and consul general John Jenkins, wrote to the mayor of Jerusalem protesting at the plaque. "We don't think it's right for an act of terrorism to be commemorated," their letter read.

The embassy said: "There is no credible evidence that any warning reached the British authorities." The plaque has subsequently been amended, dropping the implication that Britain ignored any warnings.

6:33 PM  
Blogger dobegs said...

yet again another well researched HATE propaganda. well done! this blog is really about positive reporting and positive hopes and dreams for all people.
well done to all contributors.
lovely reading the history and research in the creation of more and more HATE.
excellent stuff.

7:03 PM  
Blogger mrtez said...

dobegs this is not about hate, this is about shedding light on truth - past or present.
why is it that we are not allowed to portray what happened, but everyone else can discuss what is happening?
Are you saying these events never took place? Did I twist Barnett's arm to write this article?
what i am trying to say is that let us all get off our pedestals and agree we all did some awful things in the past and the present. lets stop using the word terrorist so irresponsably. israel has done some awful things and still is doing them, dont you agree? and hizbullah is definetly not blame-free either.
again, it is important to look at ourselves before blaming the other...if you think the truth is HATE, then we will always be doomed...
cheers

7:19 PM  
Anonymous Michael Newcomb said...

mretz,

The problem is you are apparently justifying the actions of Hezzbolah and Hamas (and Al Qeada and every other terror organization) by pointing to the fact that the Jews conducted "terrorist" activities prior to the formation of the state of Isreal.

1939 was a very long time ago (75+ years ago). Heck, the Germans had yet to murder the 6 million Jews at that time. In America, blacks still rode in the back of the bus and were not allowed to even eat in the same restaurant as whites. Every country and race is guilty of some form of terrorism. In my country, the U.S. Government terrorized and exterminated the Native Americans. Rather than holding a grudge, the Native Americans embraced this country and built a 7.4 billion dollar gaming industry (http://www.indiangaming.org/info/pr/presskit/FACTSHEET.pdf).

What Isreal did 75 years ago is a nice historical lesson explaining one of the reasons the Palestinian problem exists. However, it does not justify the actions of Hezzbolah nor legitimize terrorism.

Good luck and stay safe.

7:52 PM  
Blogger Lilu said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:18 PM  
Blogger Lilu said...

Tarek,

EXACTLY! :)

Fundamentalism and terrorism is actually everywhere, it's just the Middle East seems to be the most famous place for it.. Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Chechniya, Africa, Japan, The U.S. (did someone say Timothy McVay?).. Britain even has a national holiday named after one of it's own..

I have to say though, I think we will all serve each other best if we focus on all the victims which are suffering right now instead of debating on who used to do what to whom. We're not politicians, just the ordinary citizens on whose backs the well protected leaders of the are playing their world domination games, and we need to remind them we are here, and we have an opinion.

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the first response...this isn't 300, 200, or 100 ....even 20 years ago, this is now. Lebanon was coming back and backed by the U.S. in the government...was the U.S. telling anyone there what to do? no, we were happy to see Lebanon become somewhat peaceful and most here were happy to see it doing so well.

Isreal will not and could not launch missles nowadays at anyone because they are demanded not to do so by the international community which seeks peace for the world. Lebanon could have lived, thrived, and grown for 1000 years from now without ever seeing any aggression from Isreal, if Isreal was the aggressor, they would surely be cut off from the U.S. and the international community...I don't care about the past...in the past we washed our clothes in a river and drove steam powered cars, this is today.

Hezbollah caused this misery on Lebanon by launching missles at another country...it wouldn't have mattered what country, they could not accept peace because it means they are no longer heros and have to get real jobs.

I want you guys in Lebanon to know we are all here hoping for peace there, and that includes you simply leaving Isreal alone, you can't win...this isn't a movie where the hero resistance takes out the advanced military country with rockets and AK47s...this is real life, and all attacking Isreal does is cause more death for no reason.

I am heart broken to read the stories of those in Lebanon who were peaceful and forced into this by morons in Hezbollah.

8:36 PM  
Blogger dobegs said...

Tarek - you posted: " ....lets stop using the word terrorist so irresponsably. israel has done some awful things and still is doing them, dont you agree? and hizbullah is definetly not blame-free either.
again, it is important to look at ourselves before blaming the other...if you think the truth is HATE, then we will always be doomed...
cheers"

ok I agree! but where is your time and research to portray in equal weight the horrible things that Hizbullah and Seria and Iran are doing to Lebanon and to the rest of the middle east.
cheers

8:37 PM  
Blogger mrtez said...

one thing which i am surely not trying to do is to legitimize any form of killing, especially civilans.
what i am trying to do is to make people stop using this word that is 'terrorism' as an answer to the problems that currently exist. its just too easy...
the problem is much deeper than a pretext, a word...this is why we have to look at our faults to solve the problem...
if we dont, then whats the use of advancing???

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an American I get quite annoyed at times so many in the middle east call us devils and hate us...not all but a lot...most Americans would like peace throughout the world.

Does it really matter where it started? many things in every country around the world were pretty bad if you go into the past, but we don't live there, we live now, in the present. Isreal isn't going anywhere, and all the high hopes for Lebanon are getting trashed by Hezbollah attacks on Isreal.

Terroism has no place nowadays...the best thing about the internet is talking to people from all over the world finally, and learning we all want the same peace...friends, family, children who feel safe to play and become whatever they want in life...hezbollah is about fighting, and they have no place in this time. Like I said before, these terroists need war to be heros, or they would have to get real jobs and do peoples taxes or something, they prefer to be glorified and keep bringing death to people.

8:54 PM  
Blogger mrtez said...

again, the word that is terrorism is too easy to use...i lived in America and experienced 9/11 as i was a NYC resident...i never wish or ever wished such a horrible, disgracful event...
let me ask you this: if the 417 meters (1,368 ft), 110 story high Twin Towers were bombed and brought down by Mig-29s by the same people that operated the commercial airlines, what would you have called it? war?
at the end of the day, it is killing of people for useless, stupid reasons that do only one thing: add more hatred, violence and killing througout.
but what is the real cause that is making these people do what they are doing? can u strap a bomb on your chest and set it off while knowing you would die on the spot and kill other along? i know i cant even come close to thinking about that...
but what is making the so called 'terrorist' do this? terrorism? no, its something else...that word is to easy to use...
what needs to be answered here is the reason why...
please put some thought to this...

9:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the point with this entry is to show that Israel is not so different from the 'terrorists' it spends its time attacking. No one is justifying Hezbollah with this entry. The point is to show that Israel does not possess this moral high ground which exempts it from criticism. And it's not about hate either. It's about putting people on the same level. Israel, Hezbollah, terror - what really is the difference?

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Michael Newcomb said...

Mretz,
Anybody with half-a-brain and a little education knows "why" strife in the region exists. How we got to this stage is irrelevant, how we fix the problem is where real debate and discourse can be had.

Nonetheless, to answer your question: "What is making the so called "terrorists" do this?" The answer: Both Hamas and Hezzbolah (and Al Qeada and every other muslim terror organization) subscribe to beliefs that hold the state of Israel must be destroyed and an Islamic state put in its place. An excerpt from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamas) on Hamas:

Founded in 1987, Hamas was the Gaza Strip branch of the Pan-Arab (Sunni) Islamist Muslim Brotherhood movement, which had been founded in Egypt. Hamas is opposed to the existence of Israel and has denounced the 1993 Oslo Accords, the foundation of the failed peace process, as a "betrayal of God's will". However, in 2004, Hamas offered a 10 years truce, or hudna, in exchange for several conditions including a complete withdrawal from the occupied territories (see below).

Hamas regards the territory of the present-day State of Israel — as well as the Gaza Strip and the West Bank — as an inalienable Islamic waqf or religious bequest, which can never be surrendered to non-Muslims. It asserts that struggle (jihad) to regain control of the land from Israel is the religious duty of every Muslim (fard `ain). This position is more radical than that now held by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which in 1988 recognized Israel's sovereignty. Hamas does not recognize Israel as a sovereign state and refers to it as the "Zionist entity", a common hostile term in Arab political rhetoric, and calls for an end to the state of Israel in its charter. ...


Hezzbolah is no different than Hamas and actively supports Hamas. "Hezbollah supports the destruction of the state of Israel[65] and has co-operated with other militant Islamic organizations such as Hamas in order to promote this goal." (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party_of_God_%28Lebanon%29#Ideology)

Now lets review the players:

* Israel - a legitimate state recognized by the UN. Wants peace and has actively negotiated with various states in the region for peace.

* Lebonon - a legitimate state recognized by the UN. Officially wants peace, but is made of various groups, including Christians, peaceful Muslims and militant Muslims (Hezzbolah).

* Hamas - a terrorist organization whose charter actively demands the total destruction of Israel.

* Hezzbolah - a terrorist organization whose charter wants Lebonon to be an Islamic Republic and actively supports Hamas.

Side players -

Syria - a legitimate state that supports Hezzbolah and Hamas.

Iran - a legitimate state that openly supports Hezzbolah and Hamas and publically calls for the destruction of Israel

The United States of America - a legitimate state that openly supports Israel and Lebonon, but recognizes Hamas and Hezzbolah as terrorists groups that must be eliminated if lasting peace is to be had.

Seems fairly simple. Lasting peace will only come about when all parties that desire the destruction of Israel either (1) change their minds or (2) are destroyed.

Because the ideaology of both Hamas and Hezzbolah are founded upon religious ideals, no logic or reasoning will change their minds. Thus, option (1) is unlikely and option (2) is the reasonable only solution.

The history of how we got to this point in history adds nothing to the solution. Hezzbolah and Hamas want the destruction of Israel and will actively work towards this goal because their understanding of Islam demands it.

9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mrtez, I don't know the actual definition of "terrorism", but to me it doesn't cover the Oklahome city bombing because it's just two people...I basically in my own mind consider it large known groups, that are harbored by countries who KNOW they are there.

Anyone can build a bomb, but I define terrorists as parts of large groups who are known by their government and allowed to opperate. 1 or 2 people who would have blown up the twin towers would have just been called "murderers" by me, or simply criminals...but yeah, the word is very subjective, and many we call terroists don't agree with the label...so I guess we all decide on our own who we think "terrorists" are. Bush has made a joke of the word, but that doesn't mean it isn't a real word.

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, people of Lebanon, wouldn't you rather be watching your kid at some sporting event for his school hoping he did well? Watching him and his friends play outside laughing? This is what the Lebanon government was trying to do...

Instead why not back hezbollah and make sure your kids have no future and are forced to have nightmares the rest of their lives because of your own dreams of what "heros" are?

The children of Isreal and Lebanon would gladly play and laugh together if you let them... and quit forcing death and calling killers heros.

10:26 PM  
Anonymous Marc- American said...

I agree with the previous post, I being muslim do recognize that there are always misinterpretations of the Quran and that, like most religious have and has done, minipulation of the text for own personal gain is sometimes a very effective tool. And yes we are dealing with religious fanatcism and extremism beause muslims around the world condemn the actions of hamas and hezzbolah. However what I believe that author was trying to get at is that although history of the conflict may reside in the past it still takes precedent in the present and future -- if we can honestly say that racism in America was formed in the recent years and not a result of the history then we are wrong clearly... what needs to occur is a synthesis of both the current issues and the history to better understand what's really going on --- it was an amazing analogy of trying to conceptually place a bomb on your body knowing the consequences, ladies and gentlemen that's not insanity that's desperation , in fact the very essence of the word. If wayward muslims and terrorists groups are willing to fight and exhaust themselves in vain I think its more of a cry for help than anything else an overt and violent means to grab our attention. It is not impossible to remedy the mistake of attempting to make a jewish state in the middle of muslim territory due to tenants founded millenia ago stating that the Jewish people had stake on the this land and people actually going along with the concept. The previous response was right , Israel is not going anywhere but I honestly believe that Israel is not the culprit of the problems but the United States and its aid--- before the Jews came in the land which is now Israel was deplorable and arid.. now its flourishing but it wasn't only through the result of Jewish merit but international aid.. overtly from the US ally.. I am certain over the course of a half century resentment of that is there that the people surrounding Israel were left behind while the Jews were suceeding.. thus in hamas eyes its not a concept of terrorism for they are fighting within their faculties -- almost like a guppy fighting a shark excuse the analogy but they continue to fight for something.. and it should show us all that this is a matter of just the destruction of Israel to them but the problem stems from how Israel was founded and who supports them...The United States , in order to properly ordain the war on terror, needs a more psychological approach were rather than them playing devil's advocate be a legitimate mitigator between the forces in the Middle East and try to compromise-- or simply leave the are in its entirety and stop supporting anyone over there.... Marc

10:54 PM  
Blogger mrtez said...

mr. newcomb, to say that israel wants peace is a fair statement. to say that the israeli government does is very unfair.
2002, in Beirut: a historic gathering...do you remember it? ofcourse not because suddenly, and coincidentally one group, one person blew himself up in a hotel in Haifa, during a wedding. many dead...
couple of hours earlier, in Beirut, more exactly the Phoenicia Hotel, every Arab country called for peace with Israel. I mean every single one of them. And this was during the Arab Summit. what a historic evening it was for all of us here. at last people were talking some sense...peace was coming...
but here they were, the people who didnt want to hear any of that.
suddenly one person decides to blow himself up, kill a dozen of unfortunate innocent civilians in Haifa, and all of those dreams were gone, in thin air...
did the israeli government even think about pursuing the initiative? no, they preferred to blame the 'terrorists'.
do i blame them, yes...because we are not all terrorist, far from it...do i blame the so called 'terrorists', yes, because this is not what i want...
but what is the solution to the problem: lets create even more havoc...

11:00 PM  
Anonymous Michael Newcomb said...

mrtez,

I do remember the 2002 peace initiative offered by Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. The Saudi proposal contained the following terms (source :

* Israel would complete a "full withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories."

* Israel would recognize "an independent Palestinian state with al-Quds al-Shareef (East Jerusalem) as its capital."

* Israel would allow "the return of refugees."

* Arab nations would establish "normal relations" and security for Israel.

Israel's welcomed the peace initiative as a good first step - despite the Netanya suicide attack, which Hamas took responsibility for. It is important to note that Hamas rejected the peace initiative and later claimed the bombing was specifically directed at derailing any peace plan.

You are wrong in believing Israel didn't think about pursuing the initiative. In fact, Israel's response was:

"Israel views positively every initiative aimed at arriving at peace and normalization. In this respect, the Saudi step is an important one, but it is liable to founder if terrorism is not stopped. We cannot, of course, ignore the problematic aspects which arose at the Beirut Summit and the harsh and rejectionist language used by some of the speakers.
It is also clear that the details of every peace plan must be discussed directly between Israel and the Palestinians, and to make this possible, the Palestinian Authority must put an end to terror, the horrifying expression of which we witnessed just last night in Netanya."[1]
[source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_Peace_Initiative and http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/About+the+Ministry/MFA+Spokesman/2002/Response+of+FM+Peres+to+the+decisions+of+the+Arab.htm]

The peace plan required Israel and the PLO to engage in negotiations concerning the conditions set forth. Unfortunately, the PLO refused to negotiate - instead allowing Hamas to continue its suicide bombings against Israeli civilians.

There is only one group standing in the way of peace in the middle east - islamic fundamentalists, all of whom support and make up Hezzbolah, Hamas, Al Qeada and Iran. The islamic fundamentalists will continue to create havoc - regardless of what the Arab League wants.

12:17 AM  
Blogger Anon said...

Lilu...either you are alluding to April Fool’s day or Guy Fawkes. Although April can be rather cruel, I suspect you mean the latter. We have the national holiday to celebrate the thwarting of terrorism, not to celebrate it.

I wholeheartedly agree with the comment of “I think we will all serve each other best if we focus on all the victims [who] are suffering right now...we're not politicians, just the ordinary citizens...we need to remind [the leaders] we are here, and we have an opinion.” Yet what is the best way to do this effectively?

Mortimer

12:31 AM  
Blogger mrtez said...

So let us weaken the people who want peace? ie the Lebanese state?
i agree that the likes of the Hezbollah and the Hamas dont want direct peace, but that's because they learnt a strategy that Israel embraced: no negotiations and outright fighting...
these groups have made alot of mistakes and killings, but again you havent answered why they exist? you dont want me to believe they suddenly popped out to create havoc in the world...there must be a reason why they appeared...
why did the american revolution start?
why did the french revolution take place?
why did the nazis emerge?
why did the iranian revolution take over?
why did jewish militant groups bomb?
why did al qaeda destroy?
why did a young female martyr herself?
why is all this happening?
there must be a reason other than just "standing in the way of peace".
please answer this...

1:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Islamic extremists are sworn to kill Isreal...personally I don't give a crap about the past, or why Isreal is there, but they are....if you have nothing better to do with you life than to kill people as a religion...die is what I say.

I'm so sure we here in the U.S. could get a group together and shoot rockets at Mexico and they shouldn't care?? WTF? if you support the retards in Hezbollah then get south and die in the holy war....take your kids since you feel like robbing them of a good life, if you don't support Hezbollah, get north or get out for now, and the good people of the world will try to help you rebuild again once the morons are gone. They have to go...they are shooting rockets you can't even aim at an advanced military country with nukes....I guess there is a fine line between a moron and a hero??

1:35 AM  
Blogger mrtez said...

ok, anonymous...
so lets simply bomb the hell out of them?
did this work in the past?
no, why? because the root of the problem is not answered.
you are trying to save a sinking ship by taking out the water before plugging the holes. doesnt make sense...
thousands of these people die, and still they exist? why? because the answer is left unanswered.
please think again why...

1:54 AM  
Anonymous Michael Newcomb said...

mrtez - you sure do ask a lot of questions. Here you go:

why did the american revolution start?
A: After Britain defeated Franch in the French and Indian War, it found herself in serious financial straights. To help recover, Britain heavily taxed the American colonies, which really ticked off the colonists. The colonists were also becoming much more self sufficient and insular from British policies and a new wave of republicanism ideology was taking hold. Because Britain refused to give the colonist sufficient representation in parliament - the colonists revolted.

why did the french revolution take place?
A: while there are many reasons, it basically comes down to the French people believing the Louis XVI was taking advantage of them - similar reasons for the American revolution.

why did the nazis emerge?
A: This one is easier - Nazism is the ideology held by the National Socialist German Workers Party. The Nazis of Hitler's time believed in the superiority of an Aryan master race, advocated strong leadership through a centralized government and claimed to be defending Germany and the entire Western world against communism and Jewish subversion. The Nazis emerged because of the humiliation of Germany at the Treaty of Versailles and due to serious economic devastation all over Europe after WWI.

why did the iranian revolution take over?
A: The Shah was oppressive to the people of Iran, thus, fermenting religious ferver against the monarchy. The big "mistake" made by Iranian leaders was to allow Khomeini back in the country. Once Khomeini came back in, he effectively turned the moderate into zealots and his followers swept the country.

why did jewish militant groups bomb?
A: Because the arabs were killing the Jews and the British were powerless to stop it.

why did al qaeda destroy?
A: Because they are religious zealots who want Islam to rule the world.

why did a young female martyr herself?
A: Because she was a religious zealot who was brain washed by some hate filled so-called Muslim.

why is all this happening?
A: Because the Arabs have refused to stop the religious zealots like Hamas and Hezzbolah. Rather than stopping these groups, many Arabs have supported both financially and morally the goals and activities of these terror groups. There are many Arabs that live with the misguided and stupid idea that Israel can be wiped off the map.

Once moral and financial support for the religous zealots ends, these groups will dry up. Unfortunately, as long as Arabs view these groups with reverence - the problem will fester. All Arab nations and people must join Israel in the unconditional goal of eliminating Hezzbolah, Hamas and all other terror organizations ... then you will have peace.

My questions to you are easier:
Why did the people of Lebanon not demand Hezbollah disarm?
Why did the people of Lebanon allow Hezbollah to stock pile so many Iranian missles?
Why isn't the Lebonese army working with Israel to destroy Hezbollah?
Why do Arabs believe there can be a lasting peace in the region without the extermination of groups like Hamas and Hezbollah?

2:03 AM  
Blogger Lilu said...

I suddenly feel the need to point something out. Israel goes through a change of government about once every six months (well, that's what it feels like, anyway). We seem to change governments more than we change socks. In the past 11 years we've been very unstable politically. Therefore, one should be careful with generalising all Israeli governments as one. Each one has different attitudes and ideas for solutions to the Middle Eastern questions (well, unfortunately except when the same people get to occupy the knesset seats time and again - why we seem to be in a shortage of politicians so they have to rotate knesset shifts, I do not know. It's stupid, I know.) I'm not saying any of the bunch were much good and came up with positive stuff, but we did get some inventive breaks here and there - Barak pulled out of Lebanon in 2000, Sharon pulled out of Gaza and dissassembled its settlements last summer... just to emphasize that governments here tend to change very often and their policies change accordingly.

5:42 AM  
Blogger dobegs said...

Tarek I would like to read your response to Michael Newcombe's question and to his answers to your questions!

I am pretty sure you will come up with a lovely response... not! its a shame that some of the regular bloggers on here cannot show some ability to see things from the other's view point.

goes back to previous posts by Lilu that said for every thing one sais one thing she could also say another thing.... my point is we are probably both right but the strength is when we leave the negative and hatered and move on to positive and accepting some painful facts that the other may well be right when they say...... and perhaps I am wrong thinking this........ or maybe I think this way as this is all I know from my parents...... and this is what I read on the twisted media!

use your Mind and heart a little.

11:15 AM  
Blogger mrtez said...

Newcomb, your answers have alot of truth in them, but again you are missing the real reason why all these events took place, more exactly what fueled them...
why did the american revolution start?
. the americans felt oppressed and abused
why did the french revolution take place?
. the french were being oppressed and abused
why did the nazis emerge?
. the germans felt oppressed and abused
why did the iranian revolution take over?
. the iranians felt oppressed and abused
why did jewish militant groups bomb?
. the jews felt oppressed and abused. They wanted 'their' land

Now the three last questions are trickier, because these people do feel oppressed and this is what made them rise, but again, and this is where we completely agree, they have taken their religion and sickly distroted it for their own cause. but this is not the core of the problem.
If we will use religion as the excuse then i can also call the jews religious zealots because they wanted their 'promised' land talked about in the Torah. but the real reason why the jews fought so hard and built such a solid society with networks that span the world is because they felt oppressed throughout time, and wanted a land where they could live among each other. they never wanted to be oppressed again.
my question is left unanswered. why is it that people can strap bombs around their chests, set it off knowing that they and everything around them will die? religion? no way.. religion is an excuse, its what is used to brainwash these people into believing they are doing it for a greater cause. this is why the people who plan these suicide attacks are never the ones with the bomb around the chest or in control of that plane.
so where is this oppression coming from? what is fueling it?
i, like you, want to finish off with all these desperate people that want to continously kill for no reason or a transparent cause. but we cant do that if we are blind to the real reason why they are doing it... lets figure that out and solve it smartly, not aggressively...

My answers to ur questions:
Why did the people of Lebanon not demand Hezbollah to disarm?
. We have been working, non-stop on finding a political solution to the problem. However, such a process takes time, especially if the backers of the group dont intend to help. We cannot simply 'demand', but we can find working solutions. Believe me, its not easy...

Why did the people of Lebanon allow Hezbollah to stock pile so many Iranian missles?
. Unfortunately for us the geo-political and social fabric of the region and Lebanon makes us a fragile country. we had been 'ruled' by Damascus for many years and just last year we were able to free ourselves from all that. Again, the political games in the country changed, and we were working on a political solution. On the Hezbollah side, they see their weapons as a means to defend themselves from Israel. For them, these weapons from Iran are the same as the weapons Israel gets from the USA. The larger the threat, the more firepower they want. that said, lebanon's weak government should have found a way to stop these weapons. and thats the process that started to take place.

Why isn't the Lebanese army working with Israel to destroy Hezbollah?
. Hezbollah is not only a group of people, its a cause. Again we live in a very fragile country, and if the army goes against other lebanese this could mean only one thing: civil war. do we want that, no way. Again, we were working on finding a solution to the problem. Would i like to see hizbullah disarm, or even integrate the lebanese army, yes. another question, did israel even seek diplomatic channels or even coordinate with the lebanese govt to find a solution before deciding to bomb the entire country? no...they made it hard for anyone to cooperate

Why do Arabs believe there can be a lasting peace in the region without the extermination of groups like Hamas and Hezbollah?
. The only reason why these groups exist is because there is no peace in the region, because people feel oppressed. dont you find it rather odd that Hamas emerged from a country where Israel continously bombs and the Hezbollah emerged at the same time Israel invaded Lebanon and killed thousands of Lebanese and Palestinians(1982)?
lets remove the one thing that fuels these people, the real reason, and maybe just maybe, we could at last take a deep breath and smile...

cheers

12:42 PM  
Blogger dobegs said...

Tarek - well made comments, I dont think that Lebanon with its alies in the arab and international community did enough to integrate or contain the Hizbullah army wing! allowing the amunition into your country via your borders or via the airport is wrong! and must be stopped as it does not help progress towards any peace process you are talking about.

I must say Tarek I do agree with your comment: "...another question, did israel even seek diplomatic channels or even coordinate with the lebanese govt to find a solution before deciding to bomb the entire country? no...they made it hard for anyone to cooperate"

Israel should have for the last years before any provocations achieved some agreement with Hamas , Fatah, Syria, Lebanon but they hadnt and that is a big big shame!! Israel should negotiate and use diplomacy to create meaningful agreements in the area and if that does not work as a last result in defending its land and people targetted war can be an option but I cant even agree with that as I am against any WAR. it doesnt bring any results other than pain and hurt.
Cheers

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Michael Newcomb said...

I think its safe to say that in any conflict described as a "revolution" one group felt oppressed. It appears there is a fundamental difference of beliefs concerning militant Islam. One side believes the militants are motivated because of oppression that can be remedied peacefully, the other side believes the motivation is a twisted religious interpretation and claims of oppression are simply convenient excuses to maintain moral support.

Having independently researched Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda – I am struck by a single unified theme all groups share – the complete and total destruction of Israel. The only basis for the belief is found in their twisted interpretation of Islam.

While I appreciate the desire of many to find a peaceful solution, I believe it is naive to think groups dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish people would somehow change a fundamental tenet of their belief system. To do so would require the followers to reject their religion – extremely unlikely.

Islamic terrorists are unique – they are motivated by a belief that Islam demands a Palestinian state be created on every square inch occupied by Israel. Moreover, groups like Al Qaeda believe the entire world must be an Islamic state. Other terrorists throughout time have been motivated by political or territorial goals, which could often be satisfied through negotiation. Once religion enters the equation – the peaceful solutions become much narrower or are completely eliminated.

8:39 PM  
Blogger mrtez said...

You havent read the article's conclusion:
"By the time the last British force had left, this violence had degenerated into anarchic civil war between Jew and Arab. It was just the prelude to the full-scale war between the new state of Israel and neighbouring Arab regimes wanting to extinguish it. The war ended in the successful conquest by Israel of the larger part of Palestine, and a tidal wave of Arab refugees into Lebanon and Jordan. Here is the origin of today's bitter Arab resentment of Israeli hegemony -- a resentment which powers Hamas and Hezbollah as they follow the path of terrorism first mapped out by the Stern Gang and the Irgun Zvei Leumi in the 1940s."
Israelis 'conquested' Palestine under sole religious belief that it is the promised land, and this to the detriment of the people already living in it. Such was the religious belief that no one could stand between the Jews and their religious destiny.
WHat happened, happened, and we have to live with it. But please dont tell me that Israelis didnt kill innocents before: the list includes all kinds from babies to journalists, passing by diplomats.
We are not here to point fingers, because ALL sides did some awful things.
Religion is an excuse, the reason for this "fanatisicm" is that Israeli policy is meant to harrass without thinking what the after effect would be. Israeli strategists even created a rating and its goal was to make sure that no one is willing to fight Israel by pounding the enemy to the ground. the second an enemy passes a certain point in that rating, the IDF would bomb them to the ground again.
This is the basis of religious fanatisicm in the Middle East. This is why Hamas came out of a land continously bombed by Israel and Hezbollah came out of a land continously bombed by Israel.

The strategy used is not the strategy that should be used.
Again read the article The Birth, and please tell me the real reason behind this "fanatisicm".

6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Micheal Newcomb and al.

it is probably time to remove the blind fold and take a peak at the world out there - yes it exists!-and get out of the israeili self-rightous victimisation bubble.You need to first acknowledge that your ancestors -not very ancient ones, parents or grandpatents- committed injustice by appropriating houses that belong to other people and tip exed entire villages belonging to a whole population - the palestinians, many of whom are still alive and hold keys and documents to their homes! then your same ancestors established an apartheid state based on religious fundamentalist foundations. If you really claim that Israel wants peace, then the recipe is very simple: Acknowledge and apologise, and make up for the injustice by recognising a palestinian state and allowing return of all palestinian refugees, then you will have peace.

otherwise, dont blame frustrated people who are kept by your government in a huge prison to ask for their right to live in dignity.

11:49 PM  
Anonymous Michael Newcomb said...

Anonymous,
My ancestors came from Europe. Typical of most Americans, my ancestors are Irish, Scotish and German. While my ancestors were not directly responsible - I suppose you could say my ancestor's relatives were responsible for murdering 6 million Jews.

I am well aware of what my ancestors did - appropriating land belonging to Native Americans. There was also a little thing called the "crusade".

You wrote: "otherwise, dont blame frustrated people who are kept by your government in a huge prison to ask for their right to live in dignity."

There is a big difference between "asking for a right to live in dignity" and "blowing one's self up on a bus filled with children." As long as the terrorists are given financial and moral support there will never be peace.

2:28 AM  
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3:19 AM  
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Some may think that Israel has given up its terrorist begginings, but the truth is that is has simply been transformed into state terrorism as is evident in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Lebanon...

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