Sunday, January 4, 2009


Yesterday, I managed to see two separate television coverages of the current Gaza conflict. One was BBC and the other CNN. In both instances, a young woman anchor asked an Israeli representative in the most sympathetic yet pointed way, "How do you feel about the deaths and hardships being brought on the Palestinian civilians in Gaza now?" In both cases, the young woman anchor fairly dripped with sincerity and humanitarian concern and barely disguised personal condemnation and outrage.

It was amazing to see virtual clones on two networks separated by an ocean ask the identical question in exactly the identical manner and tone.

Of course, as soon as you hear an interviewer ask anyone about anything with the "How do you feeeeel..?" rubric, you know you're in trouble. Tell me, Mrs. Smith, how do you feel knowing that your three-year old daughter was hit by a runaway truck and smashed into a million pieces?

Where have these two young know-it-alls been the past year while Hamas rockets have maintained a steady rain on Israeli towns?

When did these "journalists" ask Hamas leaders when they plan to stop hiding under women's skirts?

When will they ask Hamas and other Arab leaders when they plan to accept the right of 7 million people to live in a sovereign state called Israel? Or when will they stop teaching their children that Jews are rats and vermin, that must be exterminated from the earth?

Israel is under siege. It has been for a long time. It will continue to be as long as the hundred million people who surround it hate everything about it and everyone in it.

The Gaza attacks from Israel show, if anything, amazing restraint.

Yes, people are being killed and yes, that is horrible. And no, I don't dismiss these deaths and injuries casually.

But what is Israel to do? Sit there and bless the Hamas rockets as they fall on their heads?

Thank the Arab world for continuing to preach hatred?

Israel knows full well that Hamas will not go away, will not be "defeated." We all know that, in addition to its role as Terrorist, Hamas has other faces. Hamas is deeply involved in positive ways in building communities with schools, food, and health care.

All Israel hopes to gain by this latest military initiative is to get Hamas and others to stop attacking Israel and to meet with some reasonableness at a bargaining table.

The condemnation of most of the world press - arrogant and ignorant at best - and the condemnation of the United (Arab) Nations is of no help and disgusting at the most basic level.


Anonymous said...

I'm afraid the editorial stance of the news media is slanted towards avoiding any 'provocations' of the Arab world. Better to slag Israel than end up with more of the type of violence that has happened in so many countries by Islamic 'revenge terrorists'. From India, through Europe, England, New York to Seattle the 'collateral damage' of supporting peace is plain to see for anyone that wants to see it. It is only a matter of time before the next atrocity takes place. Where and when and how many deaths no one know and as the Arab World celebrates Governments in the West will cringe and hope the oil supply will not be cut off. Is Canada next on their list?

John said...


Of course Israel has no choice but to defend itself. How can anyone straight-faced suggest anything different? Do you think if someone was shooting rockets randomly at Canada that we would have tolerated it for as long as Israel has?

Anonymous said...


By no means am I expert in understanding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but with all due respect, and while acknowledging that Israel had no choice but to respond militarily to terrorist Hamas rockets, it is often what Israel does not do that is an issue for me. I feel that Israel needs to give back the land occupied in the 1967 war and stop building settlements in occupied land. Palestinians need their own homeland as well, a free Palestinian state that is economically viable. Until serious moves in this direction take place, I don't see how one can expect peace. I would also say that both sides have become expert in using the press to their advantage.

Of course the Muslim terrorists who breed fear and destabilization throughout the world are wrong and must be stopped, however, neither side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is without guilt.


sean orr said...

Israel is under siege? Yeah, poor Israel. 6 billion a year from America, unlimited Security Council Resolution vetoes, constant expansion of territory, refusal to admit refugees back into Gaza and the West Bank from generations ago, many who still own the keys to their houses, which were repossessed by terrorists such as the Stern Gang and Irgun. All other arab states are paid off with maybe the exception of Syria. Jordan sold out the Palestinians first, then Nasser's Egypt, then the princes of the peninsula, then the Baathists. You think ALL ARABS are united against Israel? That is fvcking racist. How can you "negotiate" when one state has the second most powerful military on earth, and the other isn't even a state and its run by a militants? THERE IS A SIEGE ON ISRAEL? Israel has nukes, but Gaza doesn't even control its own ROADS. its own borders. They cannot travel from the West Bank to Gaza in this supposed state of theirs. Its the equivalnet of blaming the Taliban for not forming a proper government because it keeps shooting at the Americans. Israel must drop its zionist aspirations and return to 67 borders. We cannot let religous fundamentalists recreate biblical era Judea in some sort of pre-requisite for ensuring the comming of the messiah (or for Christians, the second coming, I guess we'll see). You must drop the religion and deal with the situation politically, like in northern Ireland.

Pelalusa said...

Ah hah, Sean Orr (aka Greg Felton's little buddy) has showed up. I've never understood why Radical Leftists like Orr ALWAYS HATE JEWS. The smarter ones say this isn't the case, that they're against "Israel" but the underlying hatred for PEOPLE OF THE JEWISH FAITH always comes through. Hitler & Goebbels would be so proud.

Here's an example of the tactics employed by those "innocent" Palestinian soldiers. In the video please note that they're using a UN marked ambulance as troop transports. That's against the Geneva Convention, isn't it, and thus a war crime? Yet we don't hear a thing about that on the MSM.

Anonymous said...

"We cannot let religous fundamentalists recreate biblical era Judea in some sort of pre-requisite for ensuring the comming of the messiah (or for Christians, the second coming, I guess we'll see). You must drop the religion and deal with the situation politically, like in northern Ireland."

Well put Sean Orr. And I most certainly do not have an "underlying hatred for PEOPLE OF THE JEWISH FAITH". I do however feel it is my right to hold a differing point of view without fear of being called a racist.


A. G. Tsakumis said...

What shameful fucking horse shit by Sean Orr...

7,000 rockets have landed on Israeli soil in the last two years from Hamas propelled Gaza.

Hamas, like Hezbollah, are terrorists.

All the manure shovelling about Hamas not controlling their roads in Gaza, etc. is IRRELEVANT and displays a shocking disregard for the human rights of Jews to live in peace and safety.

It also shows a not-so-shocking, yet sad (and fraudulent), position on Israel's right to defend herself.

I find it incredible that anyone can provide an argument for the Palestinian murder of Jews. The Jews are surrounded by those who want to wipe them from the map. An exercise of military muscle will remain necessary until the radical Muslim propaganda machine is stopped. Most of the Muslim world are God-fearing, wonderful people, but not the ones who teach hate. Astoundingly, these are the ones mainstream media bitches like Orr, embrace...

And it is all fuelled, often, by rabid left-wing, doctrinaire mutts like Orr, who have made a career out of getting it wrong.

The HATRED of the Jews by these whackjobs is absolutely uncontainable.

David I think you should remove Orr's posting for it's complete lack of intellectual rigor, and fraudulent spin.

sean orr said...

Pelalusa cries wolf, sorry anti semite, yet again. Big surprise. I don't hate Jews, I hate injustice.

zalm said...

David, I'm surprised. I remember you as one who stood up for the underdog in all your writings and shows, and yet here you take an obviously hard line on a matter that clearly has no right side, no wrong side.

This is election season in Israel - if the rockets from Hamas weren't severe enough to do anything about six years ago, or three years ago when the IDF and settlers left Gaza, or last year or six months ago, why now? Because Livni and Barak and whozis need to be seen as "strong" for voters to vote for them. It's the politics of fear that we just finished watching the US unelect themselves out of after seven years of some of the most devastating governance the world has yet seen. Besides, until December 19th, there WERE no rockets, not for six months.

After all, who are the Gazans? You have lumped them all - men, women, children, policemen, doctors, garbage men - in with the soldiers who blow themselves up in Israeli pizza parlours. They aren't, and it's despicable to dehumanize them in that way. I don't lump all Israelis in with terrorism simply because a faction within Irgun launched political terrorism in 1948 with the bombing of the King David Hotel.

Why dehumanize them? Some Gazans are even former Arab Israelis who were dispossessed from their land, and then from citizenship because they could not prove their birth or citizenship. Would you call such people terrorists dedicated to the destruction of the country they were born into? shouldn't you talk to them first before you blindly categorize them?

Israel under siege? Please. That's like Tzipi Livni saying "There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza" after b'Tselem just finished pointing out the extent of it a day earlier on radio and in Ha'aretz. I think you've lost all perspective on what human suffering really is, and this is truly tragic, because of your former stance as someone who spoke for the underdog. If you want to have a conversation sometime, join the Tyee which is moderated. I'd like to join in here, but it appears this is unmoderated, and has no limits to the abuse and disinformation that can be posted on it.

zalm said...

Alex, your comment displays not only that you are clearly a war-mongering nutjob, but you have lost what little of your senses still remain to you. If you can't even see how the political silly season is taking its toll once again on Palestinians of all stripes, as it does every two or three years, then I wonder what you are doing blathering on in the paper and on blogs everywhere, besides shouting "Fire!" in crowded theatres. Clearly what political acumen you once had is gone. Better stick to real estate and boiler room promotions.

zalm said...

Huh. Greenwald says it so much better than anyone else has yet done. Take notes.

sean orr said...

Yeah David, remove my post. That will totally help things. You call yourself a journalist Tsakumis? No wonder we're doomed.

David Berner said...

It is discouraging to see the ad hominums flowing.

So few seem capable of discussing an important issue wthout throwing rocks at each other.

I appreciate that this is a deadly situation that inflaames passions, but must we become the combatants and do nothing better than attack each other personally?

You are this and I am that and he is suchandsuch.

Let's stick to the matter at hand.

A deadly war continues in and around Israel. All of it is tragic.

We all have opinions and reactions.

Let's continue to express them without resorting to childish name-calling.

Naomi-Eliana said...

what would happen if these articles and opinions explored how to support a process which vigorously and with candor addressed deep and ancient ptsd?

(half brothers continuing an ancient feud head slams against a wall...blood droplets arcs-ouch -right now ... and again now, another one - owww)

i call on the long memory of our collective soul and the place in each of us which owns neither this nor that - which is neither this one nor that one, but simply vibration and light. i think of the story of Job at times : what does it take to come back in to the fold, fully broken, fully seen, fully accountable, fully self-forgiven, fully forgiven.

such honesty is terrifying, and hard to open to.

what if articles and editorial pieces and public opinion worked towards creating a culture in which this would be possible?

hearts holding peace

Anonymous said...

Human nature indicates that when some people have more money than they could possibly spend on themselves and their families in 20 lifetimes, they begin to fill their hollowness with power. What greater power can people wield than to have the power of life and death over other people?

The disconnect occurs as children are raised without acquiring a sense of true empathy. A certain distance from others, emotionally and spiritually, is maintained into adulthood. It makes wreaking havoc more of a sporting event for the bloodthirsty than a geopolitical human rights disaster.

The hand that rocks the cradle in those homes of the elite is cold to the touch.

Jonathon Narvey said...

Great post, David. I've had my own run-ins with Sean on this issue, God bless his poor misguided soul. But a cynic like me isn't exactly surprised at how the media has overwhelmingly cast this story. For my own take on what's happening in Gaza and on our own streets in Canada, see

sean orr said...

"God bless his poor misguided soul."

Thats what got us into this mess. Your condescension astounds. Its this arrogance that permeates the debate. "You'll come around in the end", as if the end is some sort of magical day of judgement where we'll find out who was right and wrong. Its this fatalistic stubbornness, this outright failure to address the terms politically that is the problem.

My own father was able to eschew the fervor of religion and nationalism that came with being the son of the leader of the Orange Order in Northern Ireland, and was able to see that the cycle of violence begins with the marginalisation of people based on ethnic lines, in this case Catholics.

I have no other ties to the situation in Gaza other than my never ending solidarity for any repressed people anywhere; wherever human rights are dismissed.

To address the racist observation that Israel is surrounded by countries who want to see it destroyed one would have go to into a country by country account of how this just isn't true, but this isn't the place. See rather Tariq Ali's Clash of Fundamentalisms.