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74 thoughts on “The Controversial Crucified Gazan

  1. The cross here signifies the amount of pain, something shared with Jesus Christ. It’s not being used in any provocative or insulting way. It’s used for what it means.
    The cartoons were insulting, offending. They didn’t share anything with Islam but the character they were attacking. How this was tied to the same issue is byond comprehension.
    Muslims respect the cross, and Christ.
    Analogies in this picture
    Christ suffered on the cross, due to the Jews of his time (not attempting to be antisemitic or anything, this is history)
    Gaza is suffering at the hands of the Jewish state (represented by the star of David on the wood)
    LAW rocket representing the Longinus spear in the side of Jesus. But also representing oppression as violence is used on top of deprivation as a a way to subdue Gaza even more
    And people are left to die … [on the cross]

    As a Jesus lover, I see nothing wrong with it

  2. At first I thought, why would a Christian be offended by the cartoon, since it is not really implicating any Christian party. I thought Jewish people might be offended.

    But then I thought, the crucifixion of Jesus (pbuh) is a tragic event that is very dear to the Christians. Sort of like the Holocaust is tragic event that is dear to the collective Jewish conscience. So just as a Jewish person might be offended by a cartoon that might depict a certain tragedy as being equal to that of the Holocaust, maybe a Christian is justified in being offended by this cartoon as well.

    But there is a difference between the two I think. There was only one Holocaust, but Jesus (pbuh) was not the only one crucified.

    So, and while I still hate to tell people how to feel, I think it is a little unreasonable for someone to somehow perceive this cartoon as undermining the suffering of Jesus (pbuh) on the cross. This cartoon could be perceived entirely in isolation of that story.

  3. I agree with what has been said thus far
    At a first glance, my opinion would totally conform with that of Qwaider’s

    However, the star of David on the cross might symbolize Zionist evangelical conspiracy on Gaza and the Palestinians
    Just like the way we impose a star of David on the Canadian maple leaf (symbol of Canada) to indicate Zionist control of Canadian foreign policy…

  4. I’m finding the symbolism in the cartoon rather confusing. There is a confusion between national and religious symbols. Romans used crosses to punish people all over the Roman empire. Islam respects the Jewish prophets. Jesus was Jewish.

    Does the cartoon suggests that the tradegy in Gaza is a collaboration between Judaism and Christianity against . . . is this a feminine representation of Islam?

  5. I’m speaking as a non-Christian, non-Muslim, non-Jew, non-Palestinian, so please take what I say with skepticism…

    I don’t think this cartoon should be offensive to Christians, since Christians relate to images of Jesus in a fundamentally different way than Muslims relate to images of the Prophet Muhammad. It’s common knowledge that it is considered blasphemous by most Muslims to make images of the Prophet, whereas Christians (especially Catholics) often incorporate images into their worship. Over here in the United States one sees so much Jesus merchandise that you eventually ignore it. Many American Christians slather their cars with Christian images and bumper-stickers, for instance.

    Granted, Christians will still object to images of Jesus that are offensive. However, I don’t think it was the intention of the cartoonist here to offend. It looks to me like the cartoon is meant to identify the suffering of the Gazans with the suffering of Jesus on the cross (while evoking images of the state of Israel as the oppressive Roman Empire). Identifying one’s suffering with the suffering of Jesus is something Christian saints have always engaged in. Mother Theresa said numerous times that she sought to see Christ in the eyes of the beggars she treated. Christian Liberation Theology also identifies Christ in the poor and downtrodden all across the world. In a similar fashion, the cartoonist seems to be extolling us to see Jesus in the plight of the Palestinians. Even though this is just a cartoon, I think there is something almost spiritual about it. “Low art” (i.e. cartoons) is elevated to “High Art” (i.e. religious art, like the Sistine Chapel etc.)

    Now I can understand a Christian who disagrees with the politics behind this cartoon. I think disagreement with the political statement being made here is justified, but there’s a distinction I think between being offended by this as a Christian and disagreeing with the politics as a supporter of Israel. If I were a Christian supporter of Israel (and I’m neither), I would make it clear that my political stance on the cartoon and my religious stance are two entirely different things.

  6. I think the rocket is most probably a Qassam rocket, and the cartoon basically suggests that on top of the misery that is inflected on this lady in the picture, these Qassam rockets which are so inaccurate and technically useless have now found (or lost) their way and hit her right in the chest.

    I’m not sure how you can deduce from the cartoon that there is a hinting at a collaboration between Judaism and Christianity. I don’t see how Christianity can be implicated, or even Judaism as a religion or set of beliefs. The star of David simply resembles the state of Israel, not all of Judaism. I’m sure Hajjaj or any of the cartoonists who draw political cartoons about Israel/Palestine and use the star of David, do not use it to include all people of the Jewish faith.

  7. jesus is a palestinian. his crucification never stopped.

    as a Christian palestinian i am not offended. only those who refuse to recognize israel’s inhumanity and refuse to see the humanity of the Palestinians will be troubled by hajjaj’s art.

    the same get offended when you describe the mass expulsion of palestinians as ethnic cleansing, and their struggle as resistance, and zionism as a refined version of nazism.

  8. I don’t think it’s offensive or provocative in any way for two reasons. Crucifying has been used through art history as a symbol of injustice; it was and still being used in paintings, stories, movies…etc. Also, it is not a holy thing that is only related to Jesus (pbuh), it was used through all ages until recently! The holiness about this is the story itself, and Hajjaj is not picturing Jesus (pbuh) or anything, he is picturing Israel itself and its ultimate injustice that was known through history… There have been many times where crucifying was used, why this case is now raised when used to stand by Gaza situation? No offense dude, but I blame you Nas for giving this issue more than it deserves, you shouldn’t have raised this, making it a big subject and taking it to a further extent… It’s also mean –by those who do- to compare this caricature with the ones of Denmark that was insulting the prophet Mohammad (pbuh), there are huge and significant difference, the latter was directly offending, insulting and picturing the prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and aiming to insult him on purpose. After all, I know and we all know that Hajjaj didn’t mean anything by this but picturing Israel’s cruelty and nothing more…

    Finally, I apologize if I hurt any body’s feeling with my bad selection of words!

  9. “No offense dude, but I blame you Nas for giving this issue more than it deserves, you shouldn’t have raised this, making it a big subject and taking it to a further extent…”

    Awartany: I’m not trying to incite anything or make it a ‘big thing’, lol you give the powers of this blog too much credit. I was simply interested in the debate that took place in Al-Ghad on this particular caricature. I also appreciated the civil tone even the opponents took in articulating their disagreements. Lastly, I like the way different people are interpreting the art, it helps bring the issue of Gaza into the limelight more descriptively in a roundabout manner.

    as always, thanks for your comment 🙂

  10. I think for obvious reasons this isn’t comparable to the Muhammad (pbuh) cartoons. Well I don’t know about offensive, but to be honest I couldn’t exactly make sense of the cartoon-I just don’t think the symbolism is that obvious. There’s jewish symbolism and Christian symbolism but no Muslim symbolism that stands out and we’re talking Gaza here. So Gaza is female and Jesus-like? I’m not sure why the Star of David is on the cross, is there supposed to be an association between the two religions? I wouldn’t get why. I’m not sure why the disconnected electric pole is a cross.

    So my thoughts about this cartoon as a reader of this blog is that I don’t get it really and probably wouldn’t have given it a second thought if it wasn’t for this post, that’s just me.

  11. If we take that indeed the rocket is Qassam, then it would be Hajjaj’s way to represent Gaza (the lady) between the rockets and the cross. As between the hammer and hard place.

    But Qassam rockets don’t look like that.(they only have tail fins and nothing else), And we have no reason to think that Hajjaj is against these rockets. So they might as well be just representing the military might of Israel. The rocket doesn’t appear to have any insignia or logo to allow us to figure it out. (they do look like sidewinders though)

    The crows might be the amount of loud noise the doesn’t do anything. Or maybe he’s just representing Mohanned (Aka Ghrab el bain)

    Either way, this Hajjaj is truly a genius!

  12. As a Christian, I was offended. The cross is the center and core of Christianity, and only Jesus Christ belongs there. In our doctrine, this is where atonement for mankind’s sin took place. To have an image of someone there who was not fulfilling the prophecy given of substitutionary death is demeaning the core elements of our faith. But to those who don’t share this, it would not seem wrong. i understand that.

    Hamzeh seems to cover this. I would like to add, though, the difference with Christ on the cross, vs all the other crucifixions, is that it was the only one which provided freedom from sin and spiritual redemption. This woman’s death is ‘just another atrocity’, which will not end the suffering of her people. I wonder how many more will have to die.

    I also don’t appreciate the image of a woman on a cross. Or the implication of a Judeo/Christian conspiracy. I am glad some Christians complained, as after the cartoon incident some said we don’t care enough about our sacred tenants being scorned. As a result of the cartoon controversy, i am being more vocal when I feel my faith is maligned.

    Hanna, I definitely recognize Israel’s inhumanity, so the limited ‘only’ doesn’t really apply. His crucifixion did stop, it was a one time for all deal. He did not come to end the suffering of humanity, but to pay the price for it and redeem it to Himself. The cross has been empty for 2,000 years.

    That said, I don’t feel Emad had intent to offend and i understand his choice. This woman is making a kind of subsitutionary death. She is paying the collective punishment of her people. She probably never threw a rock, never aimed a rocket. She just worried for her babies and their future. I would have preferred an image of her against a firing squad, where the executioners are shown juxtaposed against the rocket firers in the background. Important to remember, it was to degree, partly the actions of the men of her people, which brought her here. I, as an American, pay the price of my government’s foolish choices too. So far, only in humiliation, not n blood.

    My Gaza friend says that she is sick of paying the price for her own people’s stupid actions. She blames Israelis to the large degree they should be blamed for their inhumanity, for their cruel rule of 100 eyes for one eye, but she doesn’t let her own off the hook either and call them completely innocent.

  13. A parallel can be drawn upon the concept of Christian atonement and Jesus’s crucification. Jesus had to be crucified as atonement for his people’s sins, Gaza is being crucified for its people’s sins. Regardless of their atonement neither Jesus nor Gaza will ever be “accepted” by the Jews.
    the woman is only to imply it’s “madenet Ghaza” cities are feminine nouns
    I don’t find this offensive ..

  14. Maha:

    “Regardless of their atonement neither Jesus nor Gaza will ever be “accepted” by the Jews.”

    that’s an interesting viewpoint!

    “the woman is only to imply it’s “madenet Ghaza” cities are feminine nouns”

    not a lot of people get that. cities are always talked about in the feminine sense and depicted as such in artwork.

  15. I come from a Christian family, though I am not terribly religious myself. I am not offended by this imagery. It’s quite different than the Prophet Mohammed cartoons, both because (1) those were meant to be derogatory and (2) as I understand it, iconic representation of the Prophet is explicitly forbidden in Islam.

    By representing Gaza in the manner of Jesus on the cross, I think Hajjaj is making an interesting political statement. Christians believe that Jesus was sacrificed in order to save all the sinners of the world. When Christ is depicted on the cross, we don’t simply think of the Romans who were responsible for this, but all of humankind. By representing Gaza on the cross, I think Hajjaj is implicating not just the Israelis, who are immediately responsible, but all those who have stood by and watched: various Arab countries who have put their own self-interest in front of Palestine in peace negotiations, Egypt for building the wall at the Rafah border, the United States for supporting Israeli policies– and everyone else int he world who hasn’t said anything.

    I don’t quite understand the decision to use a woman, except that it might evoke more emotion than a man, or the significance of the Qassam rocket.

  16. I wouldn’t read too much into this caricature or over-analyze it because the symbolism of the main elements portrayed is quite clear. If Hajjaj was to translate this caricature into words, i bet the statement he’d articulate would be in the lines of, “Gaza (the woman) suffering(crucifixion of Christ and what it entails) under the state of Israel (star of David).” yes, as simple as it sounds.

    As for whoever suggested that the combination of the Christian and Jewish religious symbolism represents a kind of conspiracy between the Jews and Christians against Gaza, I would say that’s completely absurd! . The star is used as a secular symbol to represent the State of Israel, whereas the crucifixion metaphor is used to stress the element of suffering Jesus Christ went through, for he also suffered on the hands of the Jews, as Gaza is suffering under the state of Israel at the moment. And this answers why the caricature lacked the Muslim element. For those who were wondering, its just clear that hajjaj is not promoting any type of religious propaganda.
    i totally agree that the crows represent the international community watching Gaza bleed, without offering any assistance, whereas the spear represents hamas’ rockets that exasperated Israel to impose the siege on Gaza, leading to the shutting off of the only source of energy.. making normal life impossible!

    The only disturbing element about the caricature, for me, is portraying weak Gaza as a woman.. when on earth will people stop equating women with negative attributes?.. sigh.

  17. Qwaider,
    Ana ghrab? Mashi..
    And since we are at it, and to support my interpretation of the rocket, the rocket didn’t hit the heart, it is on the right side of the chest, which means that it hit the lungs , thus, preventing and stopping the breathing which might have contniued even if gaza was still crucified..And by breathing we mean goods, fuel, and electrecity..

    Kef hay?

  18. It’s not offensive. It’s just over-the-top. Perhaps having the figure on the cross launching mortars at innocent bystanders would help make it more applicable.

    Anyway, who cares if it offends Christians? Christians aren’t going to go out and kill their neighbors because some guy on the other side of the planet draws a cartoon. No one thinks Christians are walking time-bombs who might blow up at the least provocation. So we have the liberty to do as we like with Christian imagery.

  19. Perhaps having the figure on the cross launching mortars at innocent bystanders would help make it more applicable.

    you’re right. but for the sake of artistic integrity they should be qassam rockets and the innocent bystanders should be about a dozen (if we’re counting the last few years) 😉

    No one thinks Christians are walking time-bombs who might blow up at the least provocation.

    yeah lol, because of course the Christian world is the peaceful one without its nutty moments 😀

  20. Honestly, i’m not sure. As Muslims, we respect Jesus (pbuh) but we don’t believe he was indeed crucified. While the symbolism is great, I can understand why some Christians would be offended as the crucifixion is so sacred to them.

    However, what is ignored is that Christian arabs suffer as much as their Muslim counterparts & so the innuendo increases.
    Also, it’s apt that Jesus was crucified by the Jews, and so is Palestine (although here I would say Zionists)

    But I don’t think this can be compared to the cartoon controversy.

  21. [Nas] the innocent bystanders should be about a dozen (if we’re counting the last few years)

    Just because Gazan killers can’t shoot straight, it should not exempt them from full responsibity for making the attempt. It’s not like qassam rockets are being launched by naughty kids with inattentive parents. And qassam rockets are not the only misbehavior seeping out of Gaza.

    Actually, I don’t know why Gazans want electricity from Israel or the ability to enter Israel. Their government doesn’t even admit that the country exists. That’s why I say the crucifix image is “over the top”. The situation is a lot more complex than Gazans = Innocent Victims. I think anyone who supported Israel taking chances to acheive a two-state solution would be embarrassed at the way Gaza has turned into a sanctuary for kidnappers and enemies of any peace deal.

    [Nas] yeah lol, because of course the Christian world is the peaceful one without its nutty moments

    Well, probably not, but (on the whole and for the last 200 years) it takes a lot more to get Christians agitated with a lot less risk than it does for Muslims. Since, the Danish cartoons of Muhammed have come up, I’ll note that their original purpose was to highlight the self-censorship of the publishing industry in DENMARK (not Afghanistan) regarding anything having to do with Islam due to the general fear of violent retaliation.

    Certain Muslims have attempted to control non-Muslims and non-extremist Muslims by convincing them that Muslims in general are “walking time-bombs who might blow up at the least provocation.” Broadly (but not in every instance), they have succeeded.

  22. Salaam ‘Alaikum

    It bothers me, but I can’t put my finger one exactly why. At the same time, Emad Hajjaj has a knack for drawing things that disturb you — and draw your attention to the situation he’s describing. In any case, I am not a fan of provocative religious art, whether it is the deliberately offensive Danish cartoons or the infamous Virgin Mary (aleyha salaam) portrait by Chris Ofili from a few years ago. I do not think the choice to portray the electrical pole as a cross, and Gaza as the crucified is supposed to be some commentary on the choice of some Christians to blindly support Isra’il. I believe that he probably wanted to choose an image that evokes the idea of the suffering of innocents — one that would be instantly familiar to a large number of people.

    I agree with the above re: weak Gaza being a woman, but it could also be meant to show that those who suffer first tend to be the mothers and their children. They pay the price. So, of course, do many, many men who have no hand in politics or any violent acts.

    On a note, regarding the backhand comments about Muslims and violence: if editors, publishers, and the rest in a given country did not fear negative reactions from Christians they would not squash or edit religiously provocative material that uses Christian imagery. Like Chris Ofili, for example. In the US, Christian activists succeeded in getting several programs yanked off the air. No violence other than threats, as far as I know, but interesing nonetheless, considering our pride in the First Amendment, and the fact that these shows are not produced or aired w/ tax dollars.

    Interestingly, that same “brave” editor who ran the Danish cartoons had only months earlier turned down a series of cartoons that portrayed Jesus (aleyhi salaam) in a funny, fun-time guy light. Not violent, not stupid, not a monster with bulging eyes, a huge nose, and fang like teeth. Just a little goofy. He said, at the time, that he feared the reaction of Christians in Denmark and did not want to offend them.

    Besides, as Nas pointed out, I think there is enough stupidity to go around. We all have our “lampshade wearing cousins,” as a friend of mine says.

  23. I am Christian. And to all Christians angered by this: Take it easy! It’s offending to use religious symbols and should be avoided, but Emad didn’t mean ill. And I advise you to stop watching the non-Christian so called “Christian TV station” (Al Hayat) on Hotbird and switch to the really Christian stations like NourSat (Tele Lumiere).

    Now I believe that Mr.Hajjaj meant that the Israelis are crucifying Gaza (the female) and Hamas are just making sure it’s dead (the Romans instead of breaking Jesus’s bones to make sure he is dead, they stabbed him with the lance, because they were almost sure he was already dead).
    Meaning their useless rockets are stabbing Gaza in the side and killing it!

    I am confident that Emad didn’t mean any disrespect.
    This is not the first time he uses Christian religious symbols
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    Emad calling for Christians and Muslims to come together following the protests against the Pope’s lecture, where he used the quotes of the Byzantine emperor while his city was besieged by the Islamic army:”Show me what Islam has brought? Nothing but violence and was spread by the sword”. Several churches (mostly not adhering to the pope (Western church) were burnt in Palestine, so Emad was calling people to unite)
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    It is just amazing how this region is completely insane!
    Northern Jordanian – Southern Jordanian, Palestinian – Jordanian (Falasteeni – Urduni), Muslim – Christian, Amman Shar’eyeh – Gharbeyeh, Beirut Shar’eyeh – Gharbeyeh, Shiite – Sunni, rich – poor, religious Muslim (aka Al Qadea) – Infidel Muslim (aka moderate-God Fearing- praciising Muslim), Al Arab AL Sunnah – Kurds – Shiite Persian, Caledonian – Assyrian, Maronite – all Lebanese , Rafedey – Wahhabi! Ahwazee – Irani
    Ok, I’m bored…People, getting all boiled up and angered is leading us to more Iraqs and Gazas- occupied- Hamas, where you sisters are kept at home and you are asked to join their forces to beat up faithfuls in public squares or you are one of the others.

    YAEL: He didn’t mean the Jews and the Crusaders are killing Gaza! Emad Hajjaj could be described as progressive, and dare I say leftist , he has never been religious in his cartoons, on the contrary some of his cartoons would anger some religious Muslim people. His cartoons indicates he is very open minded.

    PS NAS: Sorry about the Gaza post, I just could not make it! And dude, start blogging about KEWL stuff, like your new shoes or your favorite Gahwa hangouts and such posts.

  24. CMARII,
    Interesting what you have on your blog! Not 1.6 million iraqies died ONLY 65,000!!
    What kind of “culture” talks about lives as numbers? And lets compare it to a culture that in its core says that he/she whoever kills a soul as if he/she killed all humanity!

    Is it the same culture that thinks Obama is an undercover muslim?

    Salam

  25. “Just because Gazan killers can’t shoot straight, it should not exempt them from full responsibity for making the attempt. It’s not like qassam rockets are being launched by naughty kids with inattentive parents. And qassam rockets are not the only misbehavior seeping out of Gaza.”

    CMAR II,,,
    According to your twisted logic and despite your disingenuous concern,if the Zionist killers shoot straight and murder thousands of civilians in Gaza and delibertly starving them to death, then its OK with you? no

  26. I thought the cartoon was very interesting and not offensive, although I think you can bring offensiveness to it depending on how you interpret it. (I am Jewish, by the way, since self-identification seems to cast a light on everything people say here.)

    I read the cross as a symbol of sacrifice and suffering, not of Christianity at all. Christianity has brought this symbol to the world, but I don’t think there is an exclusive relationship between Jesus and the cross any more. In English we can say that somebody is being “crucified,” as in “President Clinton was crucified by the press after the Monica Lewinsky scandal.” That has nothing to do with Jesus — or almost nothing. Here, the cross clearly represents Israel, but I don’t think it necessarily has to be read as representing all Jews (that’s where the readers’ own prejudices may come into play).

    I definitely read the rocket as being a symbol of Hamas’s consistently agitating the Israelis with their rockets that’s why I liked the cartoon so much: it says that Gaza (especially the innocents of Gaza, as we are used to thinking of women and children as innocent) is being crucified (wrongly punished through no fault of its own) by BOTH the Israelis and Hamas.

    I also don’t think most Christians would find this cartoon offensive. But you do have to understand that we’re all a little more sensitive in the west after the Mohammad cartoons. We really value fairness and equality, and it doesn’t make sense to us that Muslims can mock our symbols but get just outraged when and if we mock theirs. That’s why many Christians may be more sensitive to cartoons like this *drawn by Muslims* than they would normally be by the cartoon alone. And even if the author wasn’t a Muslim (I don’t know), it wouldn’t matter, because in the west many ignorant people think “Muslim” and “Arab” are the same thing.

  27. [Mohanned] Interesting what you have on your blog! Not 1.6 million iraqies died ONLY 65,000!!

    Read the whole thing. It’s probably more like 151,000 between 2003 and 2006. The question is, in whose interest is it to dishonestly inflate the number of Iraqis killed at the hands of other Iraqis. Answer: Westerners promoting an AMERICAN political objective without concern for Iraqis.

    [Mohanned] Is it the same culture that thinks Obama is an undercover muslim?

    Who thinks he’s an “undercover” muslim? He seems pretty public about it and so are his supporters.

    [AlurduniAlhurr] if the Zionist killers shoot straight and murder thousands of civilians in Gaza and delibertly starving them to death, then its OK with you?

    Of course not. But the situation is much more ambiguous than “Gaza = Innocent Victim”. Gaza used to “occupied Palestine”. The Israelis pulled out of there and dragged the Jewish settlers from their farms. The best thing Gazans could have done to prove how their lives would be so much better without Israel would have been to turn the place into a garden of peace. Instead, they turned it into a haven for criminals, kidnappers, and religious maniacs, and they turned it into a launching pad for rockets. I feel very sorry for the situation in Gaza, but frankly I just can’t see how Israel is the one that is the most to blame.

  28. CMAR
    “just can’t see how Israel is the one that is the most to blame.”
    Are you out of your mind or pretend to be,,Israeli is an occupying power supported by another occupying power,under international laws( and UN Charter(if international law matter to you that is) Israel is solely responsible for the safety and the well being of the occupied .

  29. Hello .
    Didn’t get the chance to read all comments really But this is how i saw it !!

    -Gaza is a city refered to as a [SHE]in arabic language.. thats why its a woman ,not a feminine representation of Islam ..

    -the cross is symbolizing the pain and the idea of unjustness of jews towrds Jesus Christ.. They are the ones that tortured Jesus Christ so the pain is signed by them and thats the star above , a signiture..
    i don’t think he meant to offend any christian..

    -The rocket is a symbol of misdirecting the powers that led to returning it back to its heart ..

    Simply an idea of using the elements and transforming the lines to an image ..
    Mais::

  30. [AlurduniAlhurr] Israel is solely responsible for the safety and the well being of the occupied .

    If you believe and are not merely adopting any position to blame Israel for anything going badly for Gazans, then you would agree that the government of Israel would be justified in arresting and putting underground anyone who throws rocks, shoots bullets, or in anyway threatens the saftey of IDF members since they have a RESPONSIBILITY to be ON THE STREETS OF GAZA to protect the Palestinians.

    But you don’t believe that because you are not interested in being reasonable in regard to Israelis. You are just adopting the most ornery position possible.

  31. CMARII,
    Permenant occupation(i.e israel) is another issue.
    But what about throwing away a government and dissolving the army and security forces(i.e what america did in Iraq)? Isn’t it america’s ethical responsibility to protect Iraqis? And don’t tell me they didn’t know how “fragile” iraq was!

    Both ways your argument is completely built on false assumptions.

  32. [Mohanned] But what about throwing away a government and dissolving the army and security forces(i.e what america did in Iraq)? Isn’t it america’s ethical responsibility to protect Iraqis? And don’t tell me they didn’t know how “fragile” iraq was!

    This chasing rabbits, but okay.

    The US, along with it’s Iraqi insurgent allies (Shi’a & Kurdish) OVERTHREW the government. It was the US responsibility to protect Iraqis to the best of its ability until a new government was established (in this case, by free elections conducted by Iraqis). Then it is the responsibility of the new government. But of course, the US has a pratical (not moral or legal) obligation to help the new government defeat the cruel and wanton attacks organized by the members of the deposed tyranny. That’s all pretty obvious. And the US has devoted a rotating force of 150,000 troops and half a trillion dollars to providing for Iraqis’ safety. What did the surrounding countries provide in the way of help? Human bombs?

    The former Iraqi Army (which was the tool of the former regime to keep the country under its boot) dissolved itself after its defeat on April 9th, 2003. Resurrecting it in its original form (headed by committed Ba’athist officers) would have been ridiculous. The generals were all on the run. The Kurd’s would have seceded and the Shi’a leaders said they would revolt. In the end, the only people left in it would have been the ones who eventually joined the insurgency. Should the US have given the insurgency heavy weapons?? But, the US *did* continue to pay the officers of the former Iraqi Army until July 2004 when the day-to-day operations were handed over to the provisional government.

    Any country is “fragil” when facing a small percentage of its population that is willing to burn the whole place down if they can’t lead it. Oh yeah, and, once again, thanks a lot to the surrounding countries for sending Iraq all their loser human bombs. That really helped too.

  33. CMAR, just stop it.. when you reach planet earth, you are more than welcome to get into conversations. This is just typical. Your kind of dialogue starts from the fact that an Israeli can not live in a settlement near Gaza because of the savage arabs living near by, how the arabs were tortured is obviously non of your concern, how were the immigrants packed in Palestine, how was the country of Israel established, supported, and survived is non of your concern… Its just that scared family of Israelis that matter, how many arabs lost their lives and their well being for settlers to enjoy life.. is just out of your drama movie.

    Hajjaj is a very smart person, indifferent of any religous background of his, he would never offend anyone and would not have drawn that if he had any idea that this would happen… I wish he can join the platform to express his views 🙂

    CMAR,
    the army of the republic of Iraq was dissolved by the american governer…

    And obama said many times that his grand dad was the muslim, not himself..

    And thanks for the american dream of Iraq, that was such a trip… As a freedom believer yourself, just imagine the hundreds of billions spent so far on Iraq and afghanstan were directed else. I wonder if there would be anymore illness, refugees, poverty, unemployment, corruption, prostitution in the whole wide world.

    Come to earth, there is alot to see 🙂

  34. CMAR,, Sham on you,sham on you,you are justifying war crimes in Palestine by the Zionist who have no right to be there in the first place
    Acountry that is occupied and it’s people under foreign contro,l have the right to resist the occupiers, this is shrined in UN Charter and under international law,just like the American when they resisted the British occupation in North America ,the Palestinians and Iraqis are not different and it’s within their legal and moral rights to defend and resist foreign and brutal occupation .

  35. [Ahmad Al-Sholi] the army of the republic of Iraq was dissolved by the american governer
    No. Just saying it over and over doesn’t make it so. It dissolved itself. Based on the impracticalities and consultation with the Shi’a and Kurdish leadership, they chose not to reform it. Instead, they paid the salaries of the officers for over a year.

    [Ahmad Al-Sholi] And obama said many times that his grand dad was the muslim, not himself.
    Ah! I see what you mean. I thought obama was a mistype since I couldn’t figure out how the American Democrat primaries could get into the discussion.

    [Ahmad Al-Sholi]Your kind of dialogue starts from the fact that an Israeli can not live in a settlement near Gaza because of the savage arabs living near by, how the arabs were tortured is obviously non of your concern

    Now you are being ridiculous. I’ll tell you where my kind of dialog starts. It starts tonight with the birth of a Palestinian child in Gaza. What kind of world will he live in when the sun comes up? Will it be one of liberty and hope?

    What is none of my concern? I’ll tell you. What happened 90 years ago is none of my concern. What happend 40 years ago is none of my concern. What happened 10 years ago when Arafat walked away from a peace deal is none of my concern. I’m concerned with what happens tomorrow.

    When the sun comes up in Gaza, there will be no Israelis in Gaza to blame all the problems on (well, maybe a few, now, but if the Gazans leave them alone, they will go away). For some in Gaza, this is a problem. So they shoot rockets at Israelis to get them to come in and make things (more) miserable. Or they kidnap Israeli hostages and FORCE THEM INTO Gaza. See how much better that is? Building a new country is hard and we might fail. So, instead, lets gin up a brand new fight with the IDF and dream of how it will be when one day we force the great-great-grandchildren of Jewish immigrants to leave the region.

    On the other hand, before we force all the decendents of Jewish immigrants to leave the former territories of Jordan, perhaps we should perform an experiment on a small scale with what it will be like when that happens? Maybe we could start with Gaza and show how peaceful and prosperous it will be?

    [AlurduniAlhurr] a country that is occupied and it’s people under foreign contro,l have the right to resist the occupiers, this is shrined in UN Charter.

    That only means that it is not a war-crime to resist. It doesn’t mean it is a good idea to resist in every circumstance. It doesn’t mean that anything the resisters do to resist is not a war crime. Also, how a territory CAME TO BE occuppied certainly colors the MORAL right of the resisters (leaving aside legal rights).

    By the way, the US was never occupied by Britian. Well, from the Indians POV I suppose it was occupied by the Americans (quite perminently). But the British were the cousins of the Americans. The Americans decided they didn’t want to be in the same country with their cousins anymore. The result was sorted out with war. But what if the war had gone on for 60 years instead of 7? Would it still have been worth it?

  36. CMAR II,
    So if I occupy your home, and you start resisting, this makes us equal, I have no responsibility, and you are not the victim? And then if I pull out of your home after destroying it, you are indebted to me, and you are supposed not to throw a stone at me.

    Israeli army pulling out of Gaza does not end the occupation, as long as the one million refugees in Gaza are not permitted to return to their homes in what is now “Israel”, while a jewish person in Russia who has not heard of the Middle East is allowed to “return” to Israel!!

  37. The simple fact of life is that today, the Israelis have a country, a viable economy, a nuclear capable military, a regionally dominant air force, and live in relative peace compared to the Palestinians whos every aspect of life they [Israelies] have control over.

    On the other hand. The Palestinians don’t have a country, an economy, a true government, a military or even an effective security force to establish rule of law. Their infrastructure is constantly being threatened by Israeli missiles, while their ministries are often bombed by these missiles. Half of their elected leadership is prevented from actually doing their job by being imprisoned in Israel, and they need Israeli permission to cross from point A to point B on their own land.

    The often neglected question is not who to blame in this picture, but which of the two parties is more capable of effecting change in the status quo and therefore who needs to be held more accountable for failure?

    Anyone who does not see that it is Israel is simply blind to reality.

    The Palestinian Authority has very primitive law enforcement capabilities. It is unreasonable and unfair to demand that it guarantees the halting of all attacks from militias before continuing with negotiations. On the other hand, Israel is in full control of its regular army, yet it still deliberately targets civilians and applies methods of collective punishment. IDF soldiers who use civilians as human shields are allowed to get away with it unless they were videotaped doing it. Snipers who shoot girls sitting in their classrooms get away with it. IDF soldiers are probably the only soldiers in the world today who can get away with killing an American or a Brit (Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndall). This balance of fairness is inverted in this situation. Israel should be held more accountable for these deaths than the entire Palestinian people should all be held accountable for the actions of the few that they cannot control directly because of the occupation that limits their capabilities.

  38. [mohammad] And then if I pull out of your home after destroying it, you are indebted to me, and you are supposed not to throw a stone at me.

    Mohammed, what I said was that you can’t say “Palestinians have a right to resist” AND “Israel has an ethical responsibility to protect the Palestinians including Palestinians making protection impossible by invoking their right to resist.” Occupied people have a right to resist and a right to be protected by the occupier. But they can’t have both at the same time.

    [mohammad] Israeli army pulling out of Gaza does not end the occupation, Israeli army pulling out of Gaza does not end the occupation, as long as the one million refugees in Gaza are not permitted to return to their homes in what is now “Israel”

    Are you willing for the next generation of Gazans to grow up in a sewer so you can hold that righteous position? Because that is exactly what it will mean. Israel is not going away, and they would be idiots to remove their boot from Palestinians neck as long as “peace” means being driven to sea (and, be honest, that would be the end result of your plan). So if that is what you are willing to have, then I think you should move to Gaza and live there until every heir of a displaced Palestinian returns to his inheritance in Israel (whether it still exists or not)…and, oh no! COMPENSATION for their land is not enough. Every heir must reclaim his ancestor’s actual land.

    Look, Mohammad, you and I don’t live in 1928 or 1948 or 1968 or 1998. We have to live in THIS time and play the cards it has dealt us.

  39. [Hamzeh N.] The often neglected question is not who to blame in this picture, but which of the two parties is more capable of effecting change in the status quo and therefore who needs to be held more accountable for failure?…The Palestinian Authority has very primitive law enforcement capabilities. It is unreasonable and unfair to demand that it guarantees the halting of all attacks from militias before continuing with negotiations.

    Negotiations for what? You have already proved that the P.A. has no control over the militias that are at war with Israel. You assert that Israel can affect the change because they have an orderly society and military. But the average Palestinian considers the existance Israel’s society to be an immoral offense, and the use of its military to defeat the militias to be a war crime.

    The obvious solution (based on your depiction of the situation) is for Israel to forestall any negotiations until the P.A. is strong enough to keep any promises it makes.

  40. I guess that most of us (Arabs) can not see that: as much as we believe that Palestine (the land) is ours and belongs to us, the Israelis believe that it belongs to them too (they are fighting in fact more for it). As much as we hate to live with them together in peace (would love to throw them in the see), the Israelis hate it too (they love to make us hate them and they step not a single inch in the peace process unless we step 10). Gaza’s bad situation is to be blamed on every one who thinks it belongs to them…. i think.

    Concerning cartooning the religious icons, I don’t know if we should look at it from this side, Christianity is not a cross, Islam is not Mohammad, and Judaism is not the star of David, even if we made them look like this.. It is obvious that Hajjaj didnt mean to say that Jews are the bad guy here, he meant the Israeli government (who is sadly jew). But its interesting that we now look at these cartoons from a religious point of view, which I think have happened because we learned it in school, we see it on our identity/passport (in some countries) as if religion is a part of identity that should appear. maybe we should see something else in the symbols, something other than the religions. something like : a cross for sacrifice and pain, a crow for neglect, a David’s star for …… u know what? maybe Hajjaj is just mistaken..

  41. “Every heir must reclaim his ancestor’s actual land.”

    Just like jjews reclaimed “their” land 2000 years later..

    “and they would be idiots to remove their boot from Palestinians neck ”

    What a mentality!This phrase makes it clear about the kind of person we are talking to, and I hope one day the boots will be on the necks of you and your alikes.

    And regarding living reality, keep in mind that us people create reality, and “reality” won’t change by itself..There is no such thing as reality except on VH1, everything else should be called perceptions and views..

    Salam

  42. [mohanned] Just like jjews reclaimed “their” land 2000 years later…And regarding living reality, keep in mind that us people create reality, and “reality” won’t change by itself.

    Fine. But go live in Gaza since you are happy for the next generation there to live in squalor while you plot the conquest of Tel Aviv over the next 2000 years.

    [mohanned] What a mentality!This phrase makes it clear about the kind of person we are talking to, and I hope one day the boots will be on the necks of you and your alikes.

    Your plan is to remake the last 80 years and drive the Jews in Israel into the sea. Your plan is “no compromise” and “the great-great grandchildren of someone who lost land (under any circumstances) must return and take it back from some Jew who has lived in the region for generations”. You are creating a scenario that will ensure a “cage fight” to the death between the Israelis and the Palestinians. It is quite clear to me the kind of person I’M talking to right now: I imagine you would enjoy gambling on a dog fight.

  43. Negotiations for what? You have already proved that the P.A. has no control over the militias that are at war with Israel.

    Most Arabs actually share this opinion, and I almost lean towards it too. Negotiations under the current situation are useless. One side of the table has everything they are entitled to under any fair agreement and more, and it happens to be the dominant side. The other side has nothing, and you can’t really take it seriously, because it doesn’t speak for all the people that it is trying to represent on the table.

    You assert that Israel can affect the change because they have an orderly society and military. But the average Palestinian considers the existance Israel’s society to be an immoral offense, and the use of its military to defeat the militias to be a war crime.

    Even if you were to grant the Palestinians the right to “consider the existence of Israel to be a moral offense,” it would not suddenly change the fact that Israel does exist and that everything I said in my post is still true and it is the only entity that can create change. So I’m not sure what your point is here. Palestinians and all Arabs for that matter do not consider the use of Isreal’s military to defeat their militias a “war crime.” It is when Israel targets civilians and collectively punishes civilian populations that it occupies that they call it a crime.

    The obvious solution (based on your depiction of the situation) is for Israel to forestall any negotiations until the P.A. is strong enough to keep any promises it makes.

    You almost had it. Until there is a strong enough and representative Palestinian side at the negotiations table, the negotiations are useless. But until then, the whole of Palestine is in Israel’s control, it has control over every aspect of the Palestinians’ lives: their air, their water, their roads, their money, their movement, simply everything. So how can a strong P.A. develop? Or what could stop it from becoming strong?

    The only way a real strong Palestinian side is going to appear at the negotiations table is if Israel wills it, allows it or somehow fails to prevent it.

    Currently, I think Israel calculates that it can hold out under these circumnstances without the need for negotiations or seeing a strong Palestinian side develop. In other words, if you were to talk about the “peace” that’s been talked about for more than 15 years now between the Palestinians and Israelies, Israel currently believes it can live [happily] without it.

  44. And Mr.CMARII how did you know my plan? Is it the brainwashing machine that created how you view arabs and muslims?
    And how dare you list all of your analysis while you are the one that used the phrase boots on the neck? Or maybe we arabs are just too sensitive to think that a boot on the neck is a kind of torture just like your friends define Water boarding as not-torture?

    “You are creating a scenario ”

    Actually you did, I didn’t say anything, YOU created the story, YOU Produced it, YOU directed it, and YOU delivered your judgment!Whic clearly shows how effective brain washing and/or ignorance and/or relegious fanatisicm are/is!

    “I imagine you would enjoy gambling on a dog fight.”
    No my relegion teaches me not to hurt animals, not to mention also gambling is prohibited by our viloent relegion..

    🙂

  45. CMAR,
    the decision of desolving the Iraqi army came under the presence of the american governer, the justification was their envolvement in Ba’th Party, accordingly they were involved in the bloodshed of their own people. your statement is partly true for the republican guard that dissolved immediately after the escape of its two leaders to the states “as it was said back then” after the defeat in the baghdad traffic tunnel and the airport battels.

    As much as I support the state planning model and future structure that the P.A and dominant arab countries are hardly trying to implement as a pack in their states (having associated thoughts of the region future through out peace process and the arab initiative) I disgise Hammas for the short term planning -if any- that they have. Still, can not blame the people who are hardly trying to live, who want better future, but just can not have a chance to obtain any of it.

    Do not blame people that are hardly living because they do not believe in future anymore..

    How dare you compare a dog fight cheering to belief in a nobel cause like the palestinian cause?

    If you are an Israeli “I understand where you come from”, If you are a palestinian or an arab “your approach does not take things in true perspective, you can not unlink the 1928 from 2008 as you said”, if you are from a third part “you just do not get what the whole problem is all about”.

  46. I’m not trying to incite anything or make it a ‘big thing’, lol you give the powers of this blog too much credit. I was simply interested in the debate that took place in Al-Ghad on this particular caricature. I also appreciated the civil tone even the opponents took in articulating their disagreements. Lastly, I like the way different people are interpreting the art, it helps bring the issue of Gaza into the limelight more descriptively in a roundabout manner.

    Brother, don’t act like if you don’t know how powerful your blog is. You are number ONE in Jordan and have a reputable place in the Arabian blogosphere.

    I didn’t mean that your purpose of this post is to incite or anything. I know you… All the readers do!

    It’s just that you are giving a space for a hot and open discussion of a sensitive subject that could lead to a negative debate.

    As of the comments progress, this discussion turned into the classical debate about Israeli occupation of Palestine. That’s a way better than anything else…

    Now I wonder what this “CMAR II” is. You are just the typical Israeli media person…………………

    Firas: I love your clarification. So true.

  47. Most importantly… the jews did not clame their land back after 2000 years, the time passed by and what you fail to understand is that we are the owners of that land and the decendants of the people who lived there for thousands of years.. It was Bani Kana’an, Ammoun, and many genuine tribes and cultures that lived in Grand Syria.. The religions were introduced on many phases: there were Jews, then christians, then muslims.. many converted between religions but the people remained the same, which they are now named ARABS.. The settlers are coming from the whole wide world, its the zionist theory that claims they are uniting from exiles 🙂

  48. Hamzeh N.,

    One thing you wrote I definitely agree with: The lives of the Israelis are insecure but tolerable The lives of Palestinians are insecure and miserable. But that is the reason that Palestinians need a PERMANENT peace settlement far more than the Israelis. It is an unfair but incontravertible law of negotiation that the party who needs a deal the most will have to pay more for it. Hamas is promising the Gazans that if they just launch few more qassams at some Jews, they will eventhe negotiation positions. But in truth, they only forestall an agreement that Palestinians desperately need. So, Palestinians will have to say “I would rather have my children and grand-children have happy prosperous lives than get my rights regarding land that Israel now considers its own” or they will have neither. I think the Palestinians should make Israel pay dearly for the land it calls its own. Then I think they should take that money and make a country that makes Israel’s look puny.

    It is not true that Israelis control every aspect of the Palestinian’s lives. Fatah and Hamas control a very important aspect in Gaza and the West Bank: the freedom of thought and speech of Palestinians and the value of the good word of Palestinians making an agreement. As long as Hamas says “we’ll have a truce today and make agreements but we won’t make any promises for peace later”, then their agreements mean nothing.

    Please excuse the following analogy. I am not saying Palestinians are vicious dogs. Here goes. If I have own a vicious dog that will rip out my throat whenever I step into the backyard, it is true that I have “complete control” over that dog. He can’t eat without me. He can’t leave the yard without my say so. But I can’t make an agreement with that dog. I can’t trust that dog. And I can’t let that dog into the house. From the Israelis point of view, that is what they see when they look across their walls at the Palestinians. Unless that changes…unless the Palestinians make it clear that they are willing to accept permanent concessions that include the continued existence of Israel, then they will continue to live (unfortunately) under Israel’s boot…locked up in their backyard.

  49. Palestinians need a PERMANENT peace settlement far more than the Israelis. It is an unfair but incontravertible law of negotiation that the party who needs a deal the most will have to pay more for it.

    There is no price that Palestinians can pay which would make Israel today agree to give them a permanent peace settlement.

    The price Israel has to pay in order to give the Palestinians the minimum a decent human being is willing to accept for a group of people who want to have a state of their own, is a price that Israel deems too high to pay.

    Even if all Palestinians truly and honestly denounce and stop all acts of violence against legitimate targets and nonlegitimate targets, Israel will still have no incentive to give them what they want. It will be living in peace and prosperity and now with the missing small piece that it was so worried about before; security.

    Therefore, you can’t look at the Palestinian side of the negotiations to foresee any peace settlement. It is completely in Israeli hands, and that is where the international community needs to throw its weight demanding action and concessions, because the Palestinians currently have nothing to concede.

  50. Hamzeh N: “Even if all Palestinians truly and honestly denounce and stop all acts of violence against legitimate targets and nonlegitimate targets, Israel will still have no incentive to give them what they want.”
    So true. All these overtures for peace are just a sham. After receiving Bush this month, & talking about getting back on the peace track, what does Israel do? It anounces that it’s building a new settlement on the West Bank.
    (Kamagra Online Belgie)
    And this after Olmert having apparently ‘assured’ King Abdullah that no more land will be appropriated & no more settlements will be built there.
    (Kamagra Online Belgie)
    Just one indication that Israel is not sincere in its proclamations about peace.

  51. From the Israelis point of view, that is what they see when they look across their walls at the Palestinians. Unless that changes…unless the Palestinians make it clear that they are willing to accept permanent concessions that include the continued existence of Israel, then they will continue to live (unfortunately) under Israel’s boot…locked up in their backyard.

    Then you agree it is the Israeli point of view of the Palestinians that is skewed, because your analogy, Israelis view Palestinians as vicious dogs in their backyard, and therefore treat them as such. If you and I both agree Palestinians do not act like vicious dogs in this context (since you say it is not your point of view and it definitely isn’t mine either), then really the problem of the Israeli fear and paranoia of the Palestinians lies solely in the minds of the Israelis. They need to start treating their Palestinian counterparts as humans, their equals, not as vicious dogs.

    Second, you say “unless that changes” and then follow it by hinting that the only way this could change is if Palestinians “make it clear that they are willing to accept permanent concessions that include the continued existence of Israel.” Unless Palestinians do that, Israelis will continue to maintain the status quo.

    You only need to look at the historic evidence since the beginning of Arab/Israeli negotiations in the 90s to see that this is not true.

    Remember that from the start of negotiations (actually well over 40 years before), Israel existed as a country, and never at any point in the negotiations did the Palestinians put its continuation as a viable state into question on the table. The PLO affirmed Israel’s right to exist in the late 80’s, well before the official negotiations began. Still, more than a decade and a half later, Israel was seeing no incentive to change its position on Palestine or allow the Palestinians to have their own state. As a matter of fact, and for those who were following the stories closer at the time, even when Hamas won the elections, it made public statements to the Arab world that endorsed the previous commitments of the PLO (which guarantee the continuation of the state of Israel), and its official spokespersons said that it was willing to negotiate with Israel (under already established PLO terms that guarantee its existence). This was still not good enough for Israel.

    In other words, and to borrow your analogy, even if Palestinians do what you say, Israel will still find it safer to keep them “under the boot and locked up in their own backyard.”

  52. Even if all Palestinians truly and honestly denounce and stop all acts of violence against legitimate targets and nonlegitimate targets, Israel will still have no incentive to give them what they want. It will be living in peace and prosperity and now with the missing small piece that it was so worried about before; security…It is completely in Israeli hands, and that is where the international community needs to throw its weight demanding action and concessions

    I am interested in what is acheivable. Since the Israelis believe, right now, that Palestinians will be satisfied with nothing less than the eradication of Israel (either violently or by a series of acts that amount to the same thing), no amount of international pressure will cause Israel to make concessions (except the pressure is an invading army). If it is true, that Israel will not stop occupying the West Bank and Gaza without the pressure of violence, then the Palestinians should mount an open and no-holds-barred attack on Israel immediately, from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, because they have not grown stronger by dithering in their camps. The qassams Hamas is launching are worse than doing nothing, since they keep Israel in a state of preparedness, and they weaken the resolve of the international community against Israel.

    So if peaceful engagement TRUELY will not work in the Palestinian’s favor (and I don’t believe that is the case), then they should invade Israel, or emmigrate to other countries, or kill themselves. A middle initiative is the worst of all options.

    Then you agree it is the Israeli point of view of the Palestinians that is skewed…If you and I both agree Palestinians do not act like vicious dogs in this context…then really the problem of the Israeli fear and paranoia of the Palestinians lies solely in the minds of the Israelis.

    I don’t agree that it is a paranoia based on nothing. Hamas makes no bones about about their goals toward Isreal and their goals are the fulfillment of the Israelis’ worst nightmares about the Palestinians. All the talk talk talk about rubbing Israel off the map is worse than Palestinians fighting a final battle to the death or shutting up and accepting their miserable lot.

  53. Since the Israelis believe, right now, that Palestinians will be satisfied with nothing less than the eradication of Israel

    That is not true. Israelis know very well that Palestinians (and all the Arabs) will be satisfied with a two-state solution that addresses the issues of the refugees and Jerusalem and solves them in a just manner. The reason Israelis keep saying that Palestinians “want to drive thems into the sea” is as an excuse to cover their unwillingness to change the status quo which holds them in great favor and with a lot more than they deserve under any just final agreement.

    No amount of international pressure will cause Israel to make concessions

    That is not true either. Israel thrives on the continuing support of the US-pressured international community and the financial aid given to it yearly by the US. The theory that international pressure cannot yield concessions from Israel has never been tested before, and really has no backing.

    So if peaceful engagement TRUELY will not work in the Palestinian’s favor.

    This implies that I said peaceful engagement with Israel doesn’t work. This is not what I meant. There is a difference between what Palestinians can do, and what the international community can and should do. The Palestinians can’t do anything to effect any kind of change, only the international community can, and it can choose to engage Israel in peace and exert pressure on it that would force it to make concessions that it will have to make under even the most minimum fair final forms of settlement, but is currently unwilling to.

    Hamas makes no bones about about their goals toward Isreal and their goals are the fulfillment of the Israelis’ worst nightmares about the Palestinians.

    There are extremist Jewish parties in Israel that are represented in both Kenesset and Israeli government that do not recognize even the right of Arabs in Jordan and half of Egypt and Iraq to have their own country, yet this never prevented Arabs from sitting on the negotiations table with Israel.

    All the talk talk talk about rubbing Israel off the map is worse than Palestinians fighting a final battle to the death or shutting up and accepting their miserable lot.

    I would be hesitant to bring up the “talk talk talk about rubbing Israel off the map,” because it pretty much has been established that the origin of this expression (Ahmedinejad’s speech) was at best questionable. One thing is for sure, he wished the removal of a regime that currently occupies old Jerusalem. There is a big difference between “wiping a country off the map,” and simply “removing a regime.” We have two good examples that illustrate this difference: the first was called the “Catastrophe,” the second was called “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” In the “Catastrophe” of the Palestinians, entire villages scattered across historical Palestine were systematically destroyed by Jewish gangs that later developed into Israel’s “Defense” forces. In “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” an oppressive regime was removed and people were given a rare opportunity for change.

    I am interested in what is acheivable.

    To finish with this and tie it to the fear and paranoia we talked about. Israelis have no one else to look at than themselves for a source of this paranoia and fear. It is the same Catastrophe that they inflected upon the Palestinians in the past century that is the only reason they don’t trust the Palestinians and never will. Palestinians could burn all their charters, disband all their militias and political parties, and tape their mouths shut and not say anything and just say “let me live in peace in my own country,” and Israelis would still worry that one day, if these Palestinians are allowed to group and organize and become a country that is developed or makes theirs “look puny,” that they [Palestinians] will come back for revenge.

    There is only one way to deal with this kind of paranoia and fear, you have to be forced to face it head on. It’s like someone [Israel] standing on a bunji jumping platform only they’re not sure that they are actually tied to a rope, and they are being asked to jump. They will never jump, unless someone is there to make sure that indeed they are tied by a bunji rope to the platform and therefore are safe after they jump.

    That role of the person who provides the guarantee can only be played by the international community and if there is anything regarding this conflict that is achievable, then this is what it is.

  54. [Hamzeh N.] That role of the person who provides the guarantee can only be played by the international community and if there is anything regarding this conflict that is achievable, then this is what it is.

    But it is not going to happen. It. will. never. happen. Meanwhile, as we wait for the ideal solution, Isreal will expand its settlements into whatever land has value. With each passing year, the amount of property that a democratic Israel will be able (speaking practically) to return to the Palestinians idecreases as it is built over by development. Within 100 years, they will establish a defensible wall around all the land that they want and the refugees will just have to go elsewhere. I mentioned the American Indians earlier. They should be a forbidding warning.

    [Hamzeh N.] That is not true. Israelis know very well that Palestinians (and all the Arabs) will be satisfied with a two-state solution that addresses the issues of the refugees and Jerusalem and solves them in a just manner. The reason Israelis keep saying that Palestinians “want to drive thems into the sea” is as an excuse to cover their unwillingness to change the status quo which holds them in great favor and with a lot more than they deserve under any just final agreement.

    This is hyperbole. Hamas is a political party of Arabs. They are quite emphatic that Israel’s existance is illegitimate. To believe that Israelis don’t believe that Palestinians are only only interested in solutions that would effectively end the nation of Israel is self-delusion.

    [Hamzeh N.] The theory that international pressure cannot yield concessions from Israel has never been tested before, and really has no backing.

    How long are you willing for Palestinians to wait for it to be tested? And even if in some dreamworld it were tested, the most international pressure can likely accomplish is to make Israelis as miserable on their land as Palestinians are. That’s as much as I think we can hope for…an escalation of the “caged death match”.

    [Hamzeh N.] I would be hesitant to bring up the “talk talk talk about rubbing Israel off the map,” because it pretty much has been established that the origin of this expression (Ahmedinejad’s speech) was at best questionable.

    By Juan Cole, whose translation and analysis were determined by the New York Times to be incompetent or dishonest. Hamas and Hezbollah say pretty much the same thing in other words all the time. They are not minority parties.

  55. But it is not going to happen. It. will. never. happen.

    The only thing it takes for it to actually happen is for people to stop believing that “it will never happen.” There is nothing that says the international community can’t step in to make things right. There are many players in the international community, and while they are almost all currently pressured by the US, you cannot say that this situation will “never change,” so yes, it can happen, and you should start believing that it should happen.

    This is hyperbole. Hamas is a political party of Arabs. They are quite emphatic that Israel’s existance is illegitimate. To believe that Israelis don’t believe that Palestinians are only only interested in solutions that would effectively end the nation of Israel is self-delusion.

    Hamas is but one political party of many. Israelis today already know that the majority of Palestinians would agree to a two state solution, and that ALL the Arab countries will endorse it as well. They also know that it is impossible for anyone to destroy their state, so they can afford to not take such threats seriously, and in reality they don’t. To use what minorities like Hamas say as an excuse is only that, coming up with an excuse, which is what I said. Also, I already mentioned that Hamas had already moved in the right direction of endorsing the PLO committment to the two state solution when it was elected. So really, Israel could have used that to hold Hamas accountable for its own words, but it didn’t, why? Because of what I explained before, Israel is not interested in changing the status quo, so why bother?

    How long are you willing for Palestinians to wait for it to be tested?

    For however long the Palestinians themselves are willing to wait, but that’s irrelevant to my point.

    And even if in some dreamworld it were tested, the most international pressure can likely accomplish is to make Israelis as miserable on their land as Palestinians are.

    What is this claim based on? All the international community needs to do is pressure Israel to give the Palestinians what is rightly theirs and at the same time hold both sides accountable under any agreement. Why would Israelis be as miserable on their land as the Palestinians are today? No one would be occupying them, blocking their roads and demolishing their houses. Sure, some of them who are currently living on illegally settled land will face difficulty in either relocating or living in a now different state, but they do not have to be miserable, and they will need to be helped just as the Palestinians will need to be helped to restore their society, land and government. Everyone can be accomodated and no one is saying they can’t. There is nothing that stops the international community from making sure both sides address all the issues involved.

    By Juan Cole, whose translation and analysis were determined by the New York Times to be incompetent or dishonest.

    The New York Times editor who “determined” this relied on the translation of the same folks that Norouzi and Cole themselves disputed, so really Bronner only provides his own opinion that only exhibits recursive logic. Iran’s foreign minister himself denied that Ahmedinejad said to wipe Israel away, and said that he was talking about the regime, not the country.

    Hamas and Hezbollah say pretty much the same thing in other words all the time. They are not minority parties.

    But do they? If this one case with Ahmedinejad’s speech proves one thing, it proves that these claims that muslims want to see Israel “wiped off the map” or Jews “driven into the sea” should be heavily scrutinized. Where exactly does Hezbollah say that it wants to wipe Israel off the map? Of all of Israel’s enemies, Hezbollah was the one with the most narrowed focus: liberate the south of Lebanon, and return the prisoners, that’s it, so are you sure you wanna say that?

  56. Hamza,,,,”Palestinians could burn all their charters, disband all their militias and political parties, and tape their mouths shut and not say anything and just say “let me live in peace in my own country,” and Israelis would still worry that one day, if these Palestinians are allowed to group and organize and become a country that is developed or makes theirs “look puny,” that they [Palestinians] will come back for revenge.”
    Do you really know why the Thieves will always feel that way? A thief will always worry about their safety and his /her stolen goods even if they don’t have to return them, it’s called psychology at works.

  57. Hanna
    Jesus (7–2 BC/BCE to 26–36 AD/CE),[2][3] also known as Jesus of Nazareth, was a 1st century Jewish leader who is the central figure of Christianity, and is also an important figure in several other religions. He is also called Jesus Christ, where “Christ” is a title derived from the Greek Χριστός (Christós), meaning the “Anointed One,” which corresponds to the Hebrew-derived “Messiah”. The name “Jesus” is an Anglicization of the Greek Ίησους (IÄ“sous), itself a Hellenization of the Hebrew יהושע (Yehoshua) or Hebrew-Aramaic ישוע (Yeshua), meaning “YHWH rescues”.

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    And Hanna, even your name is Jewish…….

  58. It seems pretty hypocritical to be using such powerful central religious symbols when if this was a comment on the Islamic world (with Islamic symbols) there would probably be riots and death.

    I realize there are some serious human rights issues going on in Gaza right now but lets not pretend that the Palestinians are the victims that the cartoon portrays. Time for the whole world to take a hard look at the reality in that part of the world and make the two state solution work.

  59. This cartoon as all of those printed by the anti jewish artist and newspaper/website (including this one) are of the same sewer caliber which really don’t need much of a brain to understand as all you people are interested in is to bash Israel and Jews who live there and who have been living there for the past 3,500 years.
    As for the cartoon, I am reminded a couple years ago when I recall the palestinians complaining that bethlehem was closed by Israel due to terror warnings. the Palest. complained to the world naturally (forgetting that THEY were the terrorists who were trying to kill innocent Christians, jews and Arabs in the first place) and they said, “if Jesus were around today he wouldn’t be allowed to visit Bethlehem either”. Yeh, right. But rightly, the ISraeli soldier guarding the checkpoint who was interviewd said, “if Jesus was around today, you would kill him!”.
    Yes, Jesus was a Jew, and yes SOME jews were responsible for his death (and the romans gladly agreed) but he himself forgave them which is something Muslims seem to have conveniently forgotten.
    In this cartoon, having a gazan woman being crucified (ie as if she was jesus being crucified by the jews…again) is really a one sided BLIND way of looking at the reality of the situation. This blockade of Israel would NEVER had taken place if the Palestinians prevent the rockets from being fired from their territory. BOTH Hamas and the Abaas (ryhmes) are guilty of inflicting pain (and I’d add murder) on their own brothers and sisters. What are you people masochists? Israel has signed dozens of agreements, ALL absolutely ALL have been broken by the Palestinians! They let missles from THEIR territory be shot on innocent men women and children and Israel takes precautions by closing the border, instead of bombing ALL of Gaza regardless of the people their, since in any normal country THAT is what would happen! The USA does it in Afghanistan, Russian did it in Chechniya, (both did it on Germany in WW2) Syria did it in Hama, Lebanon did it recently in the PALESTINIAN refugee camp and NONE of these countries were directly fired upon and yet all you Arabs on this site whine all the time about the Zionist entity which just tries to protect its innocent civilians (including arabs). And what do they get? No accolades for being humane by having targeted killings (of terrorist murderers).
    I pity you all here for having tunnel vision, of seeing one side of a story. One day you’ll wake up, but by then, half the world will be destroyed because of the Haman in Persia. And then it won’t make a bit of difference who shot the first missle, since we’ll all be breathing nuclear air!

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