Massachusetts Daily Collegian

The desecration of Gaza

By Waqas Mirza

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As students began returning to school this fall in the United States as in much of the world, an ambiance of despair and despondency engulfed the people of the Gaza Strip. Schools opened there as everywhere else, but students and teachers alike found themselves overwhelmed with problems (the word doesn’t exactly capture it) that many of us here at Amherst fortunately do not have to cope with. According to Al-Jazeera, the remnants of nearly 300 schools that Israel bombed in its latest assault on Gaza (in self-defense, as always) were visible across the densely populated region. Moreover, the continuing U.S.-Israeli-Egyptian siege of the enclave, which Amnesty International labeled the world’s largest open-air prison, has continued to inflict incalculable suffering on an already beleaguered and destitute population.

Disregarding for the moment the terrible human and physical cost Israel so callously imposed on the people of Gaza during the January massacre, the Gazans continue to live under a siege which has turned their homes into a concentration camp, their borders into Israeli missile test sites, their graveyards into overflowing boroughs of human flesh and their lives into disposable instruments of geopolitics. Most harrowing about all of this is the complicity and active support of the United States government as Israel continues in its biblical quest to punish the Palestinians for resisting the occupation of their native land.

For many of us, it is quite difficult to comprehend how Gaza’s children – the ones who survived Operation Cast Lead – were even able to return to schools after they were forced to witness the slaughter of family members and friends, the incineration of their society and, most painful, the silence of the international community. With what standard does a child in Gaza measure the worth of his/her own life when the countries which are supposedly the guarantors of human rights are the same ones which sanction Israel as it tramples upon any and every vestige of humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions with impunity?

Ninety-eight percent of Gaza’s children, according to a study by Queen’s University, are currently suffering from what the researchers called debilitating psychiatric and psychological effects. Imagine sitting in a classroom where 20 percent of students have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, 39 percent have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and most others have some sort of an emotional disorder and/or suffer direct physical trauma. As it happens, these children are the lucky ones. Three-hundred-and-twenty children were not able to enjoy the privilege of sitting in damaged and burnt schools with debilitating psychological effects as they perished in Israel’s assault on the territory in January 2009.

The siege of the territory is calculated to maximize the misery and distress of the Gazans without the public relations debacle which accompanied Israel’s military strikes in January. World Food Program estimates indicate the need for nearly 400 trucks of food to meet the basic nutritional need for Gazans. Israel allows a fraction of that amount. According to Israeli journalist Amira Hass, in the list of items Israel explicitly forbids Gazans to be able to import, one can find books, blankets, cups, glasses, musical instruments, tea, coffee, crayons, clothing, shoes and so forth, rendering any illusions one may have had about the siege reinforcing Israeli self-defense as entirely ludicrous.

A recent report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Jerusalem described the pernicious effects of the Israeli siege and gave an estimate of 120,000 job losses in Gaza. In addition, it described 75 percent of Gaza’s population as being food insecure due to 80 percent of Gaza’s agricultural crops being destroyed by Israeli forces. Adding to the chorus of consternation by international organizations, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) warned that Gaza’s water supply were in danger of collapse due to the Israeli military’s assault and ongoing siege. Israeli restrictions on the import of any metals and pipes have left the sewage system in Gaza in dire need of repair, with sewage overflowing in the streets in many parts of the territory.

The continuing siege of Gaza is merely an extension of the January military operation, both in terms of its effects and its intentions. As the diplomatic and political stalemate continues with superficial pronouncements of a Palestinian state by the Palestinian Authority, along with Israel’s illegal settlement building in the West Bank, with generous contributions by American taxpayers via the U.S. government, the suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza prolongs. In the words of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, a civilization is being destroyed in Gaza, with complete support by the U.S. government.

Waqas Mirza is a Collegian columnist. 


48 Responses to “The desecration of Gaza”

  1. JK on September 23rd, 2009 12:27 pm

    The poplulation of Gaza is unforutnately being held captive by a brutal Hamas regime. Thousands of weapons and supplies can be brought from Egypt, yet Hamas finds it fit to let the children go hungry. Or, heaven forbid that anyone should approach the Israeli clinics that were set up at the crossings. Stand up to Hamas and you get to fall off a tall building. The continued fighting serves Hamas nicely. If only their leaders would have the courage to step forward and sit down for real peace talks.


  2. MIke on September 23rd, 2009 5:34 pm

    Israel doesn’t have some sort of blockade around Gaza, right?
    They can just walk over to Israel’s free clinics and get medical attention, food, water, clean clothes, a standing school, psychological help… everything they need, Israel will provide.
    I mean, Israel can do nothing bad, or wrong, right?
    It has to be Hamas.

    But for real now.
    What the hell is wrong with you?
    It’s the people of Gaza’s fault there in this mess?
    That is bullsh*t.
    The truth of the matter is, yes, Hamas is bad, but Israel is just as bad as Hamas. And if the Gaza needs to stand up to Hamas, then we, as American’s and the rest of the world need to stand up to Israel and have them end an illegal occupation.


  3. BL on September 23rd, 2009 10:10 pm

    Unfortunately, this article is exactly what we don’t need as we try and move forward in peace talks. All this is is a scathing attack on Israel that doesn’t look at the root problems of the issue. Editorials such as this only incite agressive behavior and hatred towards Israel instead of peaceful talks and negotiations which is what everybody wants. The article discusses the Gaza conflict and the effects it has on the people of Gaza. Not once does the article talk about the children of Sderot-who have withstood 8 years of rocket attacks. Not once does the article discuss that after the conflict, once a peace treaty was agreed upon, Hamas continued firing rockets into Israel and continues today-just look at the daily news in Israel. I can go on with examples. All this can be ended tomorrow if Hamas-who rules Gaza and who was elected-recognized Israel’s right to exist which they have refused to do. We all want peace and the only way to accomplish that is through constructive peaceful talks rather than hateful and aggressive speech.


  4. RE on September 23rd, 2009 11:43 pm

    I agree with BL. Last year there was an unproductive continuous back and forth (I wouldn’t even call it a dialog) with these issues. When a campus becomes polarized and complex issues are made into simple arguments, the students are the ones that suffer. With articles like this fueling aggression towards the issue, real educational opportunities are lost in a sea of one-sided perspectives. Whatever this article expects as a response: either pro-peace or pro-Israel students acquiescing to the content of the article, or an upset response responding aggressively to all the aggressive allegations in the article, it is not productive. The ideal approach is collaborating on events which provide a safe environment for both sides to understand, and for unknowing students to get a clear two-sided picture which is thoughtfully and educationally founded.
    The fact of the matter is both sides have had problems in the past few years. Children all over, both in Palestine and Israel are suffering from PTSD from their current reality.
    How to approach the issue is crucial to coming up with ways to improve the situation, instead of just biasly ‘documenting’ one way or another. We all want (I sincerely hope) peace, but how can it be achieved when us college students, distanced from the conflict’s brutal reality, can’t build an educational forum to understand both sides. Trying not to be too cheesy, but Gandhi said: “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. If we are preaching peace, we should act in a manner which encourages that behavior instead of inflammatory articles polarizing the campus.


  5. Hannah on September 24th, 2009 12:44 am

    Just as BL and RE have said, this article is what makes constructive dialogue and peace seem unattainable- on our campus and in the world at large. Not once does the author refer to the other side of the story. Making a mockery out of Israel’s right to self defense, not even mentioning why Operation Cast Lead happened- ignoring those Israelis who suffered for years of incessant rocket firing coming from Gaza (which was AIMED at civilians, unlike the war in Gaza).

    In addition to the many fabrications and exaggerations in the article, it does not have an even handed approach. If one truly wants peace he must first learn to be willing to see and accept the other side. We are in a university where we have an incredible opportunity to learn from one another. In order to make that happen, there needs to be less polarization and aggressiveness and more respect for one another’s views. Articles such as this create a threatening environment for those who disagree and are an impediment to the didactic experience we should be having.


  6. AH on September 24th, 2009 12:45 am

    I’m hesitant to even post here, after the sarcastic and patronizing comments from Mlke. To create meaningful dialogues and learn from one another, its necessary to listen to each other’s opinions – even when they are in complete opposition to your own. I completely second the positive sentiments expressed by BL and RE.

    While I have many problems with this article’s extreme bias and many of the false claims and statements made, my biggest issue is with its intent. This article only fosters hatred and conflict toward Israel. After what occurred on campus last year, I was hopeful that this year would be different. Starting off the year with such a completely unproductive and inflammatory article, clearly trying to polarize the community against Israel, is extremely disappointing and alarming. I can’t help but be reminded of the lessons that apparently were not learned in the aftermath of Dan Feder’s speech.

    “America’s campuses are seeing a growing movement by students to shut off debate by organized groups and silence speakers with whom they disagree. Rather than engage in the give-and-take that should be characteristic of the university as a “marketplace of ideas,” these students have decided that opposing views don’t even bear hearing…The real casualty of the heckling “arms race” fostered by such policies will be the possibility of getting a truly liberal education.” (qtd. from an article by Robert L. Shibley in response to Feder’s attempted speech)

    Please don’t deny students the opportunity for a truly liberal education by encouraging conflict and hatred. This is not the solution and will never result in what I hope we all really want: Peace.


  7. SW on September 24th, 2009 8:58 am

    I must admit that I enjoyed reading this article. Yes, it polarizes and inflames an already controversial topic, but I feel that it is something that needs to be said, regardless of who is to blame. What Israel is doing is committing a flagrant violation of human rights seemingly with the US’ approval, and yet the international community is content to sit by and watch as Israel ‘defends’ itself by laying siege to a strip of land and by building more settlements on Palestinian lands, only further aggravating the cause.

    Why does not the US step in to protect “freedom-loving peoples” like we did in Iraq and Vietnam? For that matter, why do we ally ourselves with a backwards and brutal Saudi regime, one that is on the same page as Hussein’s Iraq in terms of lunacy? Hypocrisy is abundant on the world stage.


  8. RE on September 24th, 2009 10:13 am

    I think you are right- something does need to be said about the situation. But the whole situation. Disregarding who is to blame is exactly the kind of problem that allows distortion of the situation. There are many factors that contribute to this complex situation, which are important to understanding how everyone deals with the before/aftermath of the situation.
    For example, describing the remnants of the schools in Gaza, is unfortunately true. What the article leaves out is that the shooting was initially coming from the schools. Many times Israeli Forces tried to ensure that there were as few civilians as possible around the building, before responding to the attack.
    And in terms of the international community, it is not really silenced. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are sent in cash and provisions to the people of Gaza, but they rarely see the benefits because as JK pointed out, Hamas withholds the money from the people, who disparately need it.
    The point is, once again, that it is important to portray the whole issue. As much as you enjoy reading this exaggerated sometimes false piece of writing, it does more hurt than help in informing people of the issue. Instead of just venting about the problems, which does nothing; we should works towards constructive methods.


  9. JM on September 24th, 2009 7:31 pm

    How can anyone take an article seriously that cites Al-Jazeera? Moreover, the article cites Mary Robinson! Mary Robinson is a notorious Israel basher. This article is sheer propaganda, and any semblance of journalistic integrity has clearly been thrown out the window by the Daily Collegian. Gaza’s poor children that Israel attacked? That is simply untrue; Hamas used their own people as human shields and there are even videos the IDF released that prove this. Additionally, lets not forget to mention how Israel sent Gazans text messages and went out of their way to alert them of impending strikes on Hamas. Of course, the article leaves out the fact that Hamas is a militant terrorist organization that has no regard for its own people. Over, this is a pathetic, abhorrent, ignorant, shameless, and fictitious article. I am waiting for the author’s next article in which he will likely praise Amadinejad and claim that the holocaust is a myth! Who can deny that this article contains veiled anti-Semitism? This author should truly be ashamed of himself. This is perhaps the most despicable and virulent article I have read in a long time as it is simply a LIE.


  10. David Robertson on September 24th, 2009 7:59 pm

    Last year this was debated at UMass when students wanted to withdraw UMass investment money from all Israeli companies because they thought Israel was at fault for the conflict. During the senate meeting deciding this many students from both sides showed up in support, and the motion was thankfully shot down due to its controversy. However, the senate decided that it would be beneficial to sponsor a debate over this in order to reflect all opinions across campus. This years SGA administration is great, and I am sure if requested would follow through on last years promise, all it takes is you to ask.

    David Robertson
    Governor of Central


  11. S.P. Sullivan on September 24th, 2009 10:22 pm

    JM: While I think you’ve got every right to disagree with Mirza’s column, I think writing off Al-Jazeera because of a percieved pro-Hamas bias is as unconstructive as someone who disagrees with your perspective calling the Jerusalem Post’s coverage of a conflict “propaganda.”

    To be honest, in my 3 years working for this newspaper, two of them in Ed/Op, I don’t think I’ve seen a single column that pays appropriate respect to either side.

    I’d also encourage you not to throw around accusations of anti-Semitism unless you’re sure of it, because calling someone a racist is a pretty effective way to end a civil discourse. Because at the end of the day, the author of this column wants for the innocent people of Gaza [that is, the non-militants born into this mess] the same thing you presumably want for the people of Israel: self-determination and peace.

    Anyway, I think we should take Governor Robertson up on his suggestion and allow students from every possible perspective to meet on neutral ground to talk about the issue. Perhaps we can continue the more civil parts of the conversation happening in these comments and quit caricaturing each others’ opinions.


  12. Chris W. on September 24th, 2009 11:23 pm

    By not “assessing blame” you are not understanding the seversity of the situation. This begins with 1880s(If you do not know this decade’s developments in Zionist/Arab history you should not bother talking about the subject) and goes on until today. By saying things such as “this polarizes” or “incites” this and that I say good, at least someone is talking about it in a serious way. This article does not throw around false facts or generic slanders about either side. It presents facts about a situation in the Arab/Israeli conflict that is being neglected and that is the Gaza Strip. I am sorry that Israel does not come out to be the good guy, as if it ever does, but that is reality. Just because you wish to see a Jewish democratic state to exist and thrive does not mean you can manipulate facts to make it so. The truth of the story is that the Gaza Strip just like the West Bank are under occupation, two very different forms. In Gaza you have a maximum of 3500 settlers inside this tiny piece of land, making up less then 1% of the Palestinian Mandate. On the outside you have a giant wall with 2 border crossings, one into Israel proper and the other at Rafah on the Egyptian border, both of which are controlled by Israel. In addition to this humanitarian aid is not let in by even a fraction of what is needed to give a human being the bare minimum of subsistence. Now take this and have this go on for 42 years, 20 of which extreme and the other 20 mild and you tell me you wouldn’t take money and living expenditures from this big evil group Hamas. Hamas is not this authoritarian entity bent on world domination and mass murder. They are a political party who has(had) an effective form of social welfare systems that kept starving people with enough to be considered human in terms of diet by the UN. They were then voted in, democratically, and have since had to be punished for giving Israel concessions. Hamas has publicly stated its wish and desire for years for peace talks and 1967 borders but all you ever hear from the Israelis is “we have no one to talk to.” Hamas has made every attempt at ending violence by it seems that instead of no one to talk to it seems the Israelis just have nothing that they wish to talk about with words and concessions, just military dominance


  13. JM on September 24th, 2009 11:55 pm

    I have the right to my opinion and I stand by my words. I can only say it is veiled anti-Semitism if I know for sure? How can you say it isn’t, and how do you know for sure? My point is that it surely resembles veiled anti-Semitism that is hiding behind the guise of an “informative article.” Maybe I would listen to what you have to say about whether I am justified or not to say what I see, feel, and think if you too were missing more than half of your family because of the Holocaust.

    Moreover, how can you tell me not to write off Al-Jazeera? I read Al-Jazeera sometimes (obviously I completely disagree with it) simply because I always take contrasting opinions into account. HOWEVER, Al-Jazeera compared Israel’s FM Avigdor Liebermen to Adolf Hitler last spring (,%20Israel,%20and%20Nazi%20Germany%20Tweedldee%20and%20Tweedldum%20By%20Khalid%20amayreh.htm), and you are asking me how I can write off Al-Jazeera? Once again, I realize that you are shilling for your buddy, but to compare the Jerusalem Post to Al-Jazeera is simply asinine.

    I understand that you are covering for your fellow friend at the collegian, but to write such a slanted and distorted article that makes no attempt to be objective at all does not benefit you, your friend or the collegian. Specifically, citing facts from conspicuously biased and anti-Israel sources (Al-Jazeera, Mary Robinson, etc) ends true civil discourse in my opinion. Surely there were innocent Gazans who were negatively impacted by the war, although it cannot be denied that Hamas purposely endangered its civilians so it could accuse Israel of “war crimes” and win the “diplomatic war” (despite losing the military war). I cannot live in a world where the ONLY democracy in the Middle East, that has tried to make peace with its hostile neighbors numerous times, is treated like a terror organization; on the other hand, a fundamentalist group that permeates terror, death, and inhumanity is treated as doves. This is pathetic and most Americans would agree with me because 70% of them are pro-Israel. Nevertheless, that apparently means nothing to you because the Daily Collegian is coming to characterize an anti-American and anti-Israel publication with each passing day.

    If there had been a pro-Israel editorial following this extremely anti-Israel editorial, then I would not be as offended. I just think it is important that the Daily Collegian holds some sort of credibility. Articles like this one, however, help alienate readers and turn the paper into a distorted afterthought.

    Overall, I will once again reiterate the fact that I understand how you are trying to defend your fellow writer. However, to throw my opinion out the window by saying that it ends civil discourse because you don’t agree with it is rather immature. He can have an opinion, but I can’t? Sorry, but the hallmark of democracy is dissent, and I don’t appreciate your attempt to take this right away with me with perverse rhetoric. Is there such thing as objective journalism anymore? Apparently not, and this is unfortunate for everyone.


  14. Chris W. on September 25th, 2009 12:14 am

    Israel is not a democracy, especially not the “only one in the Middle East.” Unless you definition of democracy is “people are given pieces of peper with a name on it and they pick one of them.” If that is the case then i would agree completely. If by democracy you mean an ethnocracy where one group of people, 80% of the population, dominate every aspect of life and install laws that are prejudice against that other half, I would agree with that. I would like to very much doubt that either of these fit you personal idea of democracy but they happen to be the traits of the Israeli state. The very fact that the Law of Return exists does not allow for a fluid democracy to exist. Needless to say the Land Law of Israel is also inherit in its non democratic nature. These two laws still in use and the foundation of the State of Israel are more then enough to debunk this myth of “the only democracy of the Middle East.” And as a sidenote when comparing Israel to the American propped up dictatorships of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan, etc it is not saying much as Israel to have little pieces of paper with handpicked politicians on them.


  15. JM on September 25th, 2009 12:29 am

    I hate to break your heart like this, but Israel was handed nothing. Prior to Israel’s War of Independence, the UN offered a partition plan that would allow both peoples to have states that could live along one another in peace, dignity, and respect. Unfortunately, Israel’s neighbors were not satisfied with this suggestion and said the only way they would accept an Israeli state would be if it were at the bottom of the sea. Israel was then attacked by ALL of its neighbors (Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria) in its War of Independence. Despite not having an established military they won the war and established their independence. Those fighting for Israel were mostly Holocaust survivors who were tough as nails and had nothing to lose because most of them had already lost everything that they held dear to them.

    Moreover, the Palestinian territories are not “occupied,” but rather they are “disputed.” Once again, in 1967, Israel was attacked by Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. Specifically, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria contributed weapons and finances to this cause. Israel won this war too and took control of the West Bank, Gaza, and the Sinai Peninsula. However, the Sinai Peninsula was returned to Egypt in 1978 in a peace treaty because Israel has never been the party that objects to peace. Israel remained in Gaza for security reasons and they left because they thought it would bring peace; instead they were flooded with rockets by megalomaniacs. So let me state this very clearly for you: Israel is no oppressor. They won the war, and it is that simple. Israel is still willing to make peace; the Jews are a peaceful people. When there is a partner for peace it will happen, unfortunately I wouldn’t hold my breath though.

    Furthermore, I have no idea what you are talking about trying to discredit Israel as a democracy because your words have no fluidity and make no sense. What is a democracy in the Middle East to you? Let me guess… Iran? Saudi Arabia? Nonetheless, I enjoy intellectual discourse but you are uninformed and your attempts to smear Israel show your true face.


  16. Chris W. on September 25th, 2009 1:01 am

    Oh how I love narratives that have no foundation. Yes you are right, those Arabs who constituted 68% of the population and 94% of the land should have given the invading foreigners 55% of the land including 80 of the arable land. The Arab armies that invaded were ill equipped, ill trained, and were forced into a war where they had no unty or cohesion. YOu had armies fighting for their own personal gain. Let alone the agreements between Israel and most of the Arab states to contain fighting to certain aras while the Jews maximized control in certain Palestinian strongholds.
    HAHAHAHAHAHA 1967 was started by the Arabs, oh jeez I am conversing with an amateur who has never read a book. 1967 was started by Israel when it pre emptively bombed over 300+ planes and crossed the Sinai. How Egypt started the war I would love to know. Also if Egypt were so hell bent on attacking Israel why were 85000 Egyptian troops including all the elite commands in Yemen on June 5th 1967? Answer: Nasser did not want war, and he publicly proclaimed this.
    Israel only gave Sinai back because the US gave them billions of dollars up front and then continous to this day. Nasser offered a comprehensive peace agreement with Israel his whole tenure up until his death. On the day of Sadat’s first day in office he offered the Israel’s full peace for the Sinai, not even Gaza and the Israelis turned it down because they were full of themselves and it took 1973, 2500 Israeli deaths and American dollars to get Sinai back to Egypt.
    Oh yeah those Qassam rockets are a biggggggggg threat to Israel, how many have been launched at Israel since the January Gazan Massacre? 400+ how many deaths? exactly.

    Iran is a dictatorship just the same as Saudi Arabia, I would argue there is no democracy in the Middle East.

    If you enjoy intellectual discourse why do you rely on false narratives that have no academic basis to prove your points. Your own misconceptions are not accepted by Israeli scholars and academics let alone American ones. Go read Avi Shlaim, Ilan Pappe, Mordechai Bar-On, or real historians and leave the Dershowitz ont he bookshelf, you are wasting both our time.


  17. JM on September 25th, 2009 1:25 am

    Pre-emptive, huh? That is very debatable considering how Egypt positioned over 100,000 troops on the border with Israel and closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships. Now that is an act of war, especially considering how tyrannical Nasser was, and Israel had to do what it had to do to survive. Unfortunately, that isn’t the issue with you; you’d be happy if Israel didn’t exist because G-d forbid the Jews have a homeland and the ability to defend themselves after being systematically killed in the Holocaust! If there was an Israel during the Holocaust it could have been avoided, and now the Jews have somewhere that they can seek refuge in case of an existential threat. They can also now defend themselves. Moreover, considering the fact that Nasser was a ruthless despot, it is laughable that you believe he wanted peace. Just to put things in context, Sadat was killed for signing that peace deal.

    Furthermore, you neglect to mention that Egypt too receives billions in aid from the USA for signing the peace treaty. In fact, Egypt is a large country and they are a force; they have a ton of weapons and they also greatly benefited from the peace deal. I would also like to know what makes you the omnipotent figure that decides what number of deaths innocent people must endure due to unrelenting fundamentalist terrorism? NO ONE should have to live in fear, and if rockets were fired at your home you would feel that way too.

    Your earlier post about how Israel is just as bad as Hamas says a lot about you as a “historian.” Hamas says a lot of things but they mean nothing. If Hamas wanted peace like you claim, wouldn’t they have reconciled with Fatah by now? Israel is a democracy and I am going to stop wasting my time even talking with you because anyone who says Israel is not a democracy is a fool. You can continue to support Nasser or Mussolini or Hitler or whichever despot you choose to. This is a free country and you are entitled to that; however, I will not waste my time conversing with a bigot. I have better things to do than talk to an apologist of terrorism.


  18. Anthony on September 25th, 2009 1:35 am

    It is sad to see the amount of pure ignorance that is staining this eye opening article, the comprehension of the sittuation in Gaza by the commenters is luaghable. I would like to adress several points made by the pro-Israel side of the argument.

    1.) the alegation made by JM that Mr. Mirzza is an anti-semite.

    This is the classic and cliches argument of those who have no real point to contribute to a debate regarding Gaza. Any one who gives reasonable criticism to Israel is labeled as anti-semitic. Well then that would make you ant-semitic by your own argument seeing as how palestinians are a semitic people. Furthermore, to shed light on a conflict is in no way discriminating against jews, i see no where in the article where he even references jews.

    2.) The idea that this wrongfully attacks Israel.

    First off, i challenge anyone to show me evidence that proves any of mr. mirza’s statements false. Second how is stating a reality and fact an unlawfull attack? Thats like saying me stating the amount of Iraqis killed in the Iraq war is a vicious attack on the United States.

    3.) The idea that Hamas is at fualt for this and that he is trying to undermine Israel’s democracy and existance.

    I would first like to inform everyone one this board that the United States was pushing for elections in Gaza, and Hamas was democratically elected. If anything Democracy in Gaza is being undermined by suggesting Hamas has no right to rule. Second, if one puts biases aside and looks at the facts, it is impossible for any sentient human being with a decent IQ to place the majority of the blame on Hamas. Just look at the death ratios. For every 1 Israeli, 7 palestinans have died (of course this does not count the current conflict in Gaze, if i did the ration would be alot higher favoring the Israelis). Now lets look the civilian ratio, for every 1 Israeli civilian death, 5 palestinian civilian die. This means that statistically, Israel is five times the terrorist. As far international law, one can argue that Hamas uses tactics that violate international law. Unfortunately since Palestine is not a country with its own seat in the UN, it can not be bound by international laws it does not take a part in creating. Israel on the other hand has violated international law countless times and has violated 28 binding UN resolution.

    4.) Israel won the land fair and square

    I am going to destroy this argument with a simple statement. UN resolution 242 clearly states that its illegal to aquire land through war.

    5.) Gaza started it by firing rockets

    If you knew anything of the rockets used by Hamas, you would know that they have a .64 kill rate. This means for it to kill you it would have to hit you in the chest or face. Now lets look at Israel’s scatter bombs and U.S. manufactured F-16’s. They bombs have a large blast radius. I think the firing of rockets into sedrot was an act of terrorism, the dropping of bombs in crowded marcket places is also an act of terrorism. Israel must have gotten Hamas’s grocery list and the time Israel goes shopping for humus because Israel claims they were aiming for hamas targets…….
    I would also call the illegal use of white phosphorus bombs and act of terrorims and a violation of international law. This is the ultimate form of Collective punishment (also illegal under international law).

    6.) Israel does not target civilians

    This is completely false according to Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch (american based org.), Physicians for Human Rights, and B’Tselem(Jewish Human Rights org.) The statistics make this statement impossible to be true.


  19. Chris W. on September 25th, 2009 1:37 am

    Oh jeez, the handholding continues. The idea of a Jewish state was not made up in 1947. It was an idea originally mentioned in the 1830s and then written about in the 1880s extensively by a minority. The Straits were closed the vast majority of time between 1947-1967 and was found by the International Sea courts to be legal and within Egypt’s right, hence not an act of war, again check your references. Also Eilat only made up 5% of Israel’s imports at the time in addition to the fact that only war or warlike materials were blocked from getting into Eilat during this 20 year period seems again to be a point you whitewash over. Nasser offered peace whether he was a despot or not, if somehow you think only great peace loving guys offer peace to the Israelis I would say then what was King Hussein and Sadat if not despots and dictators. It seems the Israelis deal with these people because the Arab street wants nothing to do with the Israelis.
    Sadat was NOT killed for signing the peace deal 3 years earlier, if you actually spent 3 secs and read his murder’s testimony you would read that he did not regard that as even an idea in his head. He said the reason he murdered Sadat was Sadat’s convergence with the United States and Europe and the infitah that he started in the economic sector. But hey these are just facts why start regarding them now. Egypt does get money from Camp David, currently they get 1/4 of what Israel gets, officially, for having over 10.5 times the amount of people, I can definitely see how that is equal, not.
    I agree no one should have to live with the fear of death by missiles but the difference is I believe the numerous Palestinians killed per year by sophisticated military hardware is much more a threat then the under 10 per year killed by elementary missiles lobbed indiscriminately at Israel.
    Read some books, it is not that complicated, I would gladly given you a long list of Israeli authors who will debunk everything you spout off. Lastly, since you must resort to lame unfounded analogies and name calling to try and “win” a debate you losr hours ago. My family is Jewish and I am moving to Israel in 3 months so why don’t you keep you’re unfounded analogies to yourself and stop embarassing yourself.


  20. JM on September 25th, 2009 1:50 am

    Just because you say something is a fact that doesn’t mean it is. Maybe closing the Straits was their “right” but you gloss over my mention of the 100,000+ troops being strategically placed on Israel’s border. Nasser “offering” peace means nothing because peace is something that must be recpiprocated; just like the “offer” Hamas has made is meaningless. Plus everyone knows Sadat was killed for signing the peace treaty, so please contain yourself. Egypt gets MUCH more than other Arab countries and that is a fact, and it wouldn’t be that way had they not signed the peace deal. You are Jewish too? Good for you, I guess. I don’t really care what you are, it doesn’t give you an excuse to propagate nonsense as “facts.” Just because you are moving to Israel it doesn’t mean that my analogy is unfounded and that you aren’t an apologist of terrorism. What books do you read? Who is your hero? Chomsky? Hahahahah. Why are you even moving there if it is so bad in your mind? Get a grip! Just because you are Jewish and are moving there it doesn’t mean you can just make stuff up and put on this charade of it being factual. It’s too bad because you won’t have many friends in Israel; even the Israeli left doesn’t spew the rancid rhetoric that you do.


  21. muad'dib on September 25th, 2009 5:58 am

    Not this bullshit again. Do we have to have an Israel-Palestine flamewar stoked every fucking year!?


  22. S.P. Sullivan on September 25th, 2009 9:55 am

    JM: When I was Ed/Op editor I hired the then-president of SAFI as a columnist. Likewise, we have a Jewish columnist, Eli Gottlieb, writing from Israel right now. So I’ll go out on a limb and say you’re not a regular reader, you were incensed by this column and have formed, in your mind, a series of misconceptions about myself and my news organization.

    I’d appreciate you not characterizing my counter-point [which was by no means an endorsement of this column] as a stifling of your constitutional rights. I have the ability to delete or even edit your comments if I were so inclined, yet I’ve let everything on this thread go through unfiltered. To suggest I threw your opinion out the window because I disagreed with a few points is a bit of hyperbole.

    Additionally, there is plenty of objective journalism out there, but you likely won’t find it here, in the “Opinions” section. Try News, a few clicks away.

    So please, continue your discussion here, or email Waqas Mirza and do it privately. But don’t go accusing me or my paper of some sort of inherent, secretive bias. We’re a local paper. We don’t have an institutional take on something happening thousands of miles away. Hell, we hesitate to endorse SGA candidates.

    Thanks for your comments.


  23. Chris W. on September 25th, 2009 9:56 am

    At least in Israel you can question aspects about Israel and not be labeled “anti-Semitic.” It seems to be one of the only places on earth where you can question Israeli policy and THAT is why I am going, to get my master’s in Middle Eastern Politics/Economics. The difference between you and I JM is I have facts and documents backing up my words, you have a generic narrative that even israelis are not stupid enough to say because they know better. They admit that their country has faults and has made bad decisions in its time. Such as turning down Nasser/Sadat and their respective peace offerings. This is not me just saying these things, these are backed up documents presented by Israeli authors. Now I appreciate the fact that you like most Americans want Israel to succeed and that is fine, I understand, but you can not take that want and then make up facts to support it. Israel should be held to the same standards as other states and in those regards they have many faults. Do I wish they were better, absolutely but I am not going to make up and manipulate numbers or stories to get that result. I am going to point out their faults and hold them to a higher standard when they are acting like a brutal and belligerent dictatorship. I do not “apologize for terrorism” I simply show you the reasons these kind of things happen and the circumstances that would cause them. If you would like a list of authors, mostly Israeli who are critical of Israeli policy and will prove every misconception of yours up, then here you go
    Avi Shlaim
    John Quigley
    Shlomo Ben Ami
    Hillel Cohen
    Moshe Ma’oz
    Ilan Pappe
    Benny Morris
    Tom Segev
    Nur Masalha
    Rashid Khalidi
    Tanya Reinhart
    Norman Finkelstein
    If you would like more please ask


  24. [name removed by editors] on September 25th, 2009 10:58 am

    [Editor’s note: This comment’s author used a pseudonym that does very little to foster constructive dialogue. If he/she has an issue with me editing it, they can complain to spsulliv [at] dailycollegian [dot] com.] The text of the comment remains unedited. -S.P. Sullivan, managing editor.

    Completely right. Don’t listen to these mindless posters. It’s the only thing they can say without going crazy and calling Arabs animals. Although there is good in a lot of Israelis who are on our side, there are very few who will admit the truth about Israel and its tactics. It performs acts of terrorism, no questions about it. All their lies about Hamas using children as human shields, Hamas launching from hospitals, and Hamas killing innocent Palestinians are all cheap ways they bring the gullible public into their control; accepting their money and aid. Do you think Hamas was launching from the UN convoy when it was struck by Israeli planes? If we can’t fight them with our weapons, we’ll fight them with our words! There will be no peace! Neither side wants peace! Israel is building settlements as we speak! What a gesture for peace! It is a complete lie that the rest of the world is too scared to realize! Keep throwing it at them! One day we will get the point across! Israel won’t be able to hide behind the US for ever! I can’t wait till the day we march through Jerusalem! I’ll be there on the FIRST day! We will have ours, my brothers and sisters, we will have ours! VIVA PALESTINA!


  25. JM on September 25th, 2009 11:28 am

    S.P. All is good, some of what you are saying is probably right. I did misconstrue some of your comments but you’re not so bad, you seem like a decent guy so hope all is well.

    Chris W: I really would read your suggestions had you not said that Israel is not a democracy but I truly fear that what you would send me to is propaganda… because I really haven’t ever heard someone say it isn’t a democracy so no thanks.


  26. S.P. Sullivan on September 25th, 2009 12:03 pm

    JM: That’s why I’m here. I just try to remind people that there are human beings behind these comments, with legitimate opinions and a unique perspective. I honestly haven’t got my own take on the Israel/Palestine conflict, I just know it’s an issue people get emotional about.

    I’d encourage everyone on this comments board to spend a little time thinking about the human being on the other end of this series of tubes we call the Internet before calling each other idiots, racists or liars.


  27. RE on September 25th, 2009 1:58 pm

    Thank you S.P. for words of wisdom, from someone who can see clearly from the outside and not be too absorbed in their own argument.
    Are we just ‘listening’ to each other to disprove each other’s points?! Or are we trying to learn about things we may not have known and engage in a constructive dialog.
    I have a list of bullet points of things everybody has said, but considering the atmosphere that was created I am hesitant to post anything. I don’t want to fuel more ranting.
    As suggested, a debate is a fantastic idea.
    I know that SAFI and MPAC are planning such an event, as well as others to provide a non intimidating educational environment for students to discuss these complex issues.

    Continuing to fight in such a manner is not only useless but not productive.


  28. LUBNANI on September 25th, 2009 2:48 pm

    Great article! It’s great to have an informed article backed with nuetral citations to please voth sides yet offer the true image and reality in Gaza. Its unfortunate to find so many ignorant posts and repeated allegations of anti-semitism and bias even though every single piece of fact posed by Mr. Mirza is backed by the internationally acknowledges sources of UN, WFP. UNEP.
    In response to JK post: CNN and many international outlets have admitted that Israel was teh first to break the cease-fire. For the haters thinking otehrwise, here’s a link from CNN itself.
    Second, the internationally banned use of phosphorus weapons on civilian areas is just one the COUNTLESS atrocities committed by the IDF. Or the bombing of UN schools in Gaza.
    Israel’s “cease-fires” are a political game and is based on lies and deception. Even today, after a cease-fire was declared by both Hamas and Israel. Israel continues to launch missiles on Gaza while Hamas respects its part of the deal.

    Several farmers and other Palestinian civilians have been shot by Israeli forces while in rural communities since the 18th of January 2009 when Israel declared a unilateral “ceasefire”. This list includes only confirmed cases of Palestinian civilians killed or injured by gunfire or (shrapnel of) artillery shells. It doesn’t include Palestinian civilians killed or injured by air strikes, previously unexploded Israeli ordinances, or injured while trying to escape from Israeli gunfire. It doesn’t include cases of casualties reported but not confirmed with their names

    According to this list, 7 Palestinian civilians (among them 3 boys and 1 girl) have been assassinated and 28 others (among them 7 boys, 1 girl, 2 women) have been injured by IOF gunfire or shelling.


  29. LUBNANI on September 25th, 2009 5:53 pm

    Someone read Hannah’s quote and laugh.

    In the Israeli offensive on Gaza, far more Palestinians, including women and children, were killed than Israelis. 1,314 Palestinians were killed in the conflict, 412 of them children. These numbers are being used by international organisations, like the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Dr Issam Younis, the Director of Al Mazen, said his field workers were documenting every death. The Gaza UN office stated that 437 children under the age of 16, 110 women, 123 elderly men, 14 medics, and four journalists were among those killed. The wounded include 1,890 children and 200 people in serious condition.

    You can’t compare the civilian deaths on both sides. It was obvious that Israel deliberatly attacked Palestinian civilian areas like hospitals, UN-supervised schools, mosques, residential buildings.

    One last thing, with anyone, whether a Zionist, anti-zionist, muslim, druze, chrsitian, jew….is this not Israel’s fault?

    “The two fathers rushed to their daughters. Mayar and Noor were sitting where they had been working, still in their chairs. Their heads had been blown off “


  30. Ed Cutting on September 26th, 2009 10:40 am

    My take on the issue is simple: I have more respect for the people who argue for Israel than the ones who argue against it.

    Those who support Israel have been, to a person, quietly reasonable people who, if given an opportunity, will explain why certain things were necessary. And I know it has been a while, but I don’t remember anyone other than the far right wing fringe calling Janet Reno a war criminal for what happened in Waco. And children died there, too.

    My exposure to the other side was via the Graduate Senate and folk like Hussain Ibish, Pasard Venapul and others of their ilk. (Ibish, by the way, is the reason why graduate students are not permitted to write – any more – for the Collegian.) And these people were ideological bigots.

    My take on the whole thing is that Israel, like the Soviets and Romans before them, simply wish to be left alone — and are willing to create buffer zones around them. (That is all Eastern Europe was to the Soviets, a buffer zone.) And Israel is only 9 miles wide, that is from UMass to the bridge — imagine living in a place where Northampton and Belchertown were hostile countries intent on killing you. Imagine if Holyoke was building nukes…

    By contrast, the anti-Israel people just want to finish what Hitler started. I don’t say that lightly and if there are any who just oppose the Israeli government and not Israel itself (like I oppose NoBama but not the USA), I have yet to meet them. Also remember that much of the current “Arab” political culture is a direct legacy of the German National Socialists.

    Germany was over there during the Colonial era. Hitler declared Arabs to be “Aryans” and there were close ties. This is all documented. And the problem there, as with Mugabe, is not the people but the political system that has been imposed upon them for more than half a century.

    What did it for me was the story of a boat named the Petra. Ibish would write in his “developing nations” page of the Collegian (back when there were segregated collegian pages) about how the evil Zionists had murdered their own people to make a political point and the next day or so the polite scholars from CAMERA would show up at my place with copies of primary documents showing that each and every one of Ibish’s “facts” was wrong.

    After the first time, they were kind enough to send English translations of the documents….

    Remember one other thing in all of this — there was something called the “Cold War” and while Israel was on our side, places like Egypt were very much on the other side. The Soviets built the high dam on the Nile and had armed Egypt. And the ’67 war and the next one could well be described as proxy fights between east & west.

    So yes, I feel sorry for the children of Gaza. And also for the children of Dresden and if you want to talk about a war crime, firebombing Dresden was one. Yet it was war.


  31. Ed Cutting on September 26th, 2009 10:46 am

    You can’t compare the civilian deaths on both sides. It was obvious that Israel deliberatly attacked Palestinian civilian areas like hospitals, UN-supervised schools, mosques, residential buildings.

    You also are not supposed to use such civilian areas as places to store or fire weaponry from. And as I understand the Geneva Convention, if they put a rocket launcher or something in a civilian area, you have every right to attack it, civilians notwithstanding.

    It was the same thing we were running into in Iraq – they would hide all their weapons in mosques knowing we would neither destroy it nor enter it. Well, a mosque full of weaponry is an armory, not a house of worship, and can be leveled.


  32. Farhan Zia on September 27th, 2009 7:09 am

    It is hard to understand how a peace process can succeed or how a peace negotiation will be fruitful on the basis of the “might is right” rule. Don’t we look at the history to know the root cause of this issue? Is there any doubt in any one’s head that Israel has illegally captured the land of Palestinians? Answer this simple question: If someone illegally enters your house with a gun and start killing/beating your father, mother and siblings – what will you do? The only thing you will want is to throw that person out of your house and ask people to punish him for all that he has done. And when nobody comes to your help, you will try doing it yourself. How will you feel then if your neighbors starts asking you to start a peace process with that person or enter into some peace negotiations? Won’t you call it ridiculous? What peace process? What peace negotiations?

    US did the same thing as that neighbor above, actually a step further. Instead of helping you to throw that person out of your house, US is backing that person and asking you to enter into a peace process. The current horrible situation of this world is because of this US policy. Think about all the bad incidents that has happened in the past 9/10 years including 9/11. Is it really that hard to understand the root cause of this problem? All we need is to come out of what media and our policy makers wants us to think and use our own head. We can see things clearly.


  33. DLG on September 27th, 2009 8:19 am

    I see two issues here.

    1. Who is responsible for the problems in Gaza? There are three broad possibilities:
    A. Primarily the fault of Israel and U.S.
    B. Primarily the fault of Palestinians and Arab states
    C. Fault of both

    2. What is the role of the Collegian in this field?
    A. To create a forum for debate
    B. To avoid the issue
    C. To let certain radicals on one side or the other hammer away at the same point of view, over and over across the academic year

    Commentary. The troubling thing about the article was not only how one-sided it was but that it probably made some readers fearful that a barrage of such articles was going to be coming out across the academic year. The reason a lot of people weighed in critically against the article could be that they wished to nip in the bud this possibility. That is my goal in writing now.

    I can remember back to earlier years of the Collegian when editorial after editorial appeared against Israel. The Collegian has become much more balanced in the past few years not only on international politics but on campus politics as well.

    This is surely because the main editors decided not to let New England’s largest college newspaper cater to radicals over and above all others. However, this article, published so early in the academic season, and so extreme in its rhetoric, suggested that the Collegian may be heading back to unbalanced practices.


  34. Ed Cutting on September 28th, 2009 1:08 am

    I can remember back to earlier years of the Collegian when editorial after editorial appeared against Israel. The Collegian has become much more balanced in the past few years not only on international politics but on campus politics as well.

    I remember back even further when the _Collegian_ (due to terrorism) had to have specific pages each day – a women’s page, a black page, a gay page and a “developing nations” page. And Hussain Ibish had the “Rita and the Rifle” article and lots of stuff even worse.

    Enough is enough. Israel is our only ally over there, we need to support our friends. And if they need to kill a few thousand people to deal with an issue, well what about Turkey? What about China? I am fairly certain that the latter two kill far more than Israel ever could…..


  35. Lubnani on September 28th, 2009 9:45 am

    Israel as a US ally?

    Israel has cost avg US taxpayer billions of dollars. iSRAEL receives 3 bn dollars from US including military (1.8 bn). It’s worth noting that that figure does not include U.S. government loan guarantees to Israel, of which Israel has drawn $9.8 billion to date. They greatly reduce the interest rate the Israeli government pays on commercial loans, and they place additional burdens on U.S. taxpayers, especially if the Israeli government should default on any of them.On this basis the $84.8 billion in grants, loans and commodities Israel has received from the U.S. since 1949 cost the U.S. an additional $49,936,880,000 in interest.

    Second, The US has been perceived as number one enemy due to the funding of israeli activities putting the american people in danger. ex: 9/11. Osama Bin lAden’s justification was because of US aid to Israel and supporting it militarily.
    Third, It has put the US at odds with its European and much more important, Arab (oil-rich) counterparts which has cost them diplomatic and trade power. Ex: 1973 when King Faisal boycotted oil to US because of continuous US aid.
    Fourth, US looks like a fool during proposed sanctions or condemnation of Israel with the usual vetoes; US, Israel, and Palau.
    Fifth, it’s popularity amongst Muslims (in Iraq and Afghanistan are esp most important) has declined ever further due to ongoing US support to Israel. And not only Muslim world, a recent BBC report puts the US with Iran and Israel as one of the most “negatively viewed nation”
    As an ally and a state that is dependent on US for technological and military support, it fails to be diplomatic with Washington such as the halt of illegal settlements which has made Obama look like a fool in this latest UN meeting in NY as Netanyahu outmaneuvered Obama cleverly amongst the int’l stage.

    I can agree that Israel played a role as an ally during the Cold War. But the Cold War is over now. What has Israel offered the US? In General, Israel has cost the US diplomatic power, increase in anti-American sentiment, an expense on US taxpayer and gov’t, and many conracts with non-friendly states to Israel.


  36. Lubnani on September 29th, 2009 10:44 am

    Israel as a US ally? in response to one of the ignorent posts above

    Israel has cost avg US taxpayer billions of dollars. iSRAEL receives 3 bn dollars from US including military (1.8 bn). It’s worth noting that that figure does not include U.S. government loan guarantees to Israel, of which Israel has drawn $9.8 billion to date. They greatly reduce the interest rate the Israeli government pays on commercial loans, and they place additional burdens on U.S. taxpayers, especially if the Israeli government should default on any of them.On this basis the $84.8 billion in grants, loans and commodities Israel has received from the U.S. since 1949 cost the U.S. an additional $49,936,880,000 in interest.

    Second, The US has been perceived as number one enemy due to the funding of israeli activities putting the american people in danger. ex: 9/11. Osama Bin lAden’s justification was because of US aid to Israel and supporting it militarily.
    Third, It has put the US at odds with its European and much more important, Arab (oil-rich) counterparts which has cost them diplomatic and trade power. Ex: 1973 when King Faisal boycotted oil to US because of continuous US aid.
    Fourth, US looks like a fool during proposed sanctions or condemnation of Israel with the usual vetoes; US, Israel, and Palau.
    Fifth, it’s popularity amongst Muslims (in Iraq and Afghanistan are esp most important) has declined ever further due to ongoing US support to Israel. And not only Muslim world, a recent BBC report puts the US with Iran and Israel as one of the most “negatively viewed nation”
    As an ally and a state that is dependent on US for technological and military support, it fails to be diplomatic with Washington such as the halt of illegal settlements which has made Obama look like a fool in this latest UN meeting in NY as Netanyahu outmaneuvered Obama cleverly amongst the int’l stage.

    I can agree that Israel played a role as an ally during the Cold War. But the Cold War is over now. What has Israel offered the US? In General, Israel has cost the US diplomatic power, increase in anti-American sentiment, an expense on US taxpayer and gov’t, and many conracts with non-friendly states to Israel. Israel is LIABILITY not an ALLY to the US.


  37. M.Q. on October 6th, 2009 12:11 pm

    It is interesting to read many of these comments and to see a clear reflection of non and mis- information in terms of factual factors pertaining to this on-going “peace process”. #1 – Hamas is not even allowed to speak and/or negotiate with Israeli representatives on any real-public-legitimized-serious basis because since it’s democratically elected seat has been set -both the U.S. and Israel have refused to acknowledge it as the government though they first helped prop them up. What you also may not know is that Mahmoud Abbas is not the legal president of the Palestinian people, but rather a self imposed, Israeli propped up PUPPET who incidentally new investigations show may have been directly involved in the poisoning and assassination of the late Yasser Arafat. You also may not know that Hamas was initially favored by Israel as it’s anti-Fatah, anti-PLO protege who at that time was the supposed evil-aggressor against Palestinians and Israelis alike. Fatah was militarily trained by the United states. There are accessible U.S. government published materials on the military strategies of Hamas, Israel, Fatah and so many in between available at your UMASS LIBRARY if you could just for a moment see further than the tips of your noses and see what is just below it. This is a free country and you can find the material if you really want to know the truth- but it will not come to you in any mainstream forms of media. As for the 8 year rocket fire into Israeli territory- how convenient that Israel would hide behind such a defense EIGHT YEARS LATER- I am sure the military wing really cares about its citizens. And again please look at the facts look at the numbers, the playing field, these so called “weapons” and how they measure up against Israel’s artillery… be real… ASSUMING- just to humor pro-isrealis- that all other things have been swept aside and this is a war between two “willing” parties on opposite sides of a sky high fence- look at the tactics, materials, strategies, and politics of both sides and if you some how still have a skewed perspective go get checked because you have anti-human syndrome – a sickness that spreads indiscriminately and is highly contagious. GOD forbid any of you find yourselves at the mercy of one infected by this malaise.


  38. WM on November 9th, 2009 2:47 pm

    If the U.S. refuses to criticize Israel even for the war crimes that the U.N.’s Goldstone report documents, it is difficult to believe the U.S. will ever criticize Israel. The only way we can begin to change things in this country is by electing politicians who refuse to take money from AIPAC. I highly recommend Walt and Mearshimer’s The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, a thoughtful and well-researched analysis of this issue from two highly accomplished academics.


  39. Boris Revsin on November 10th, 2009 12:33 pm

    This article is miserably inaccurate, and does absolutely nothing to stop the bloodshed. It was written from a position of un-informed anger and should be treated as such by both Israeli’s & Arabs.

    “The siege of the territory is calculated to maximize the misery and distress of the Gazans without the public relations debacle which accompanied Israel’s military strikes in January.”

    Yeah, they have nothing better to do than “maximize the misery” of Gazans. Are you for real dude?


  40. Daniel on November 10th, 2009 2:28 pm

    Great how this article doesnt even mention the thousands of rockets fired from Gaza into israeli cities like ashdod and sderot for the past three years. How would the US react if Mexico started shooting rockets into Texas? A key difference is that the Israeli attacks were in response to years of terrorist rockets, while the Hamas fighters in Gaza have been intentionally targeting cities and the civillians there. Many of the casualties are caused by Hamas hiding inside schools and using human shields. See Palestinian terrorist benefit whenever civillians die. They benefit when Israelis die because thats their goal, and when Israel accidentlaly kills their civillians, the Pals still benefit because it influences negative world reaction towards Israel. Israel takes the time to warn these people. The Pals support Hamas largely as well. Think of that Israel tolerated thousands of rockets for years. Would any other nation do that!! Just because many people didnt die from the rockets, does not justify allowing them to go not reacted to by Israel. I have personally been there and Israelis in those cities had to live under the constant threat of rockets landing around them for their daily lives for years. They hear a siren and then have about 15 seconds to get to a bomb shelter or safest area they can. Is this anyway for people to live? Granted many civillians died in Cast Lead, but many terrorists did as well, and its a known fact they hide amongst their own population, which raises civillian deaths. These are the same people that walk into restaraunts and blow themselves up. Pals still count the bomber in a suicide attack as a civillian death!


  41. gnj on November 12th, 2009 4:12 am

    there are so many points to touch on that many already have. so in short – there is no denying that Israel acted grievously in Operation Cast Lead, especially in the proportion. But, the incessant rocket attacks from Gaza into Israeli towns, like Sderot, is grievous in its own right. Two wrongs do not make a right. I can write pages on the topic, but this is clearly not the place, presently. The two sides could do so much to work for peace, but despite Obama, Clinton and Mitchell’s prodding, things may actually be at more of stand still than during Bush’s inactivity.

    I also do highly recommend Mearshimer and Walt’s Israeli Lobby work. It is a fine piece of scholarship.


  42. js on February 20th, 2010 11:34 pm

    As a 57-year-old former Umass student I can tell you that this heated debate” between Israel’s supporters and those that hate Israel is nothing new. I can also tell you that much of the anti-Israel crowd is motivated by various levels of anti-Semitism. How do I know it is anti-Semitism (or not)? If someone is outraged by Israel but cares nothing about the many places in the world where “one people is oppressed by another” (in many cases cannot even name any other examples of man’s “inhumanity to man”), then that person is probably an anti-Semite or just plain ignorant, or both.
    As to the poster who suggests that Israel started the 6-day war of 1967: you were not there, I was. Nasser proclaimed publicly and unambiguously that the “Jews would be driven into the sea”. Israelis dug thousands of graves, anticipating a bloody war (Israel was not considered a military might yet) The 100,000 solders massed on the border was further proof of Nasser’s intentions. That Israel launched a preemptive attack destroying much of Egypt’s air force, was considered a brilliant move that saved Israel by anyone at the time. What was obvious to people around at the time is forgotten by people born decades after.


  43. Arafat on March 4th, 2010 3:29 pm

    What about this wall? Why doesn’t Waqas mention it?

    And concerning the IDF? They are a role model for all armies as is clearly and factually made clear in this short UN presentation.


  44. Arafat on March 4th, 2010 3:32 pm

    The Palestinians created the need for the wall.

    And if you want to talk about a racist ideology, well I am not sure what could be worse than the following quotes.

    “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Qu’ran should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth.”—Omar Ahmed CAIR (Council for American Islamic Relations) Founding Chairman

    Or this one,

    “Very soon, Allah willing, Rome will be conquered, just like Constantinople was, as was prophesized by our Prophet Muhammad. Today, Rome is the capital of the Catholics, or the Crusader capital. . . . This capital of theirs will be an advanced post for the Islamic conquests, which will spread through Europe in its entirety, and then will turn to the two Americas.” — Hamas MP and Islamic cleric Yunus al-Astal, 2008

    Or this one as well.

    “We reject the U.N., reject America, reject all law and order. Don’t lobby Congress or protest because we don’t recognize Congress. The only relationship you should have with America is to topple it. . . . Eventually there will be a Muslim in the White House dictating the laws of Shariah.” — Muhammad Faheed, Muslim Students Association meeting, Queensborough Community College, 2003


  45. Arafat on March 4th, 2010 4:45 pm

    I am an “Islamophobe” and I’m proud of it, because I’m in good company. Winston Churchill, William Gladwell, Bertrand Russell, John Quincy Adams, Teddy Roosevelt and thomas Jefferson among others saw things not very differently than I.

    “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia [rabies] in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. …The fact that in Mohammedan law [sharia] every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities—but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.” —Winston Churchill (1874-1965) British Prime Minister

    And here is what Bertrand Russel wrote.

    “Bolshevism combines the characteristics of the French Revolution with those of the rise of Islam…. Marx has taught that Communism is fatally predestined to come about; this produces a state of mind not unlike that of the early successors of Mahommet…. Among religions, Bolshevism is to be reckoned with Mohammedanism, rather than with Christianity and Buddhism. Christianity and Buddhism are primarily personal religions, with mystical doctrines and a love of contemplation. Mohammedanism and Bolshevism are practical, social, unspiritual, concerned to win the empire of this world.” —Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) Liberal icon

    And here is what Gladwell wrote.

    “Qur’an… an accursed book… So long as there is this book there will be no peace in the world.” —William Gladstone (1809-1898) Prime Minister of Great Britain 1868 – 1894


  46. Arafat on March 4th, 2010 4:47 pm

    Here is what Teddy Roosevelt wrote.

    ”“I view Islam not as a religion, but as a dangerous, totalitarian ideology—equal to communism and fascism. Aren’t I allowed to say so?” —Geert Wilders Dutch politician
    Mr. Wilders is currently on trial for “incitement to hatred and discrimination.” I guess you have your answer Geert. So much for free speech—welcome to Eurabia.

    “Christianity was saved in Europe solely because the peoples of Europe fought. If the peoples of Europe in the seventh and eighth centuries, and on up to, and including, the seventeenth century, had not possessed a military equality with, and gradually a growing superiority over, the Mohammedans who invaded Europe, Europe would at this moment be Mohammedan and the Christian religion would be exterminated.

    Wherever the Mohammedans have had complete sway, wherever the Christians have been unable to resist them by the sword, Christianity has ultimately disappeared. From the hammer of Charles Martel to the sword of Sobieski, Christianity owed its safety in Europe to the fact that it was able to show that it could, and would, fight as well as the Mohammedan aggressor.”

    The civilization of Europe, America, and Australia, exists today at all, only because of the victories of civilized man over the enemies of civilization—because of victories through the centuries from Charles Martel, in the eighth century, and those of John Sobieski, in the seventeenth century. …There are such “social values” today in Europe, America and Australia only because during those thousand years, the Christians of Europe possessed the warlike power to do what the Christians of Asia and Africa had failed to do—that is, to beat back the Moslem invader.”—Teddy Roosevelt (1858 -1919) Twenty-sixth President of the United States

    And John Quincy Adams wrote the following.

    Adopting from the new Revelation of Jesus, the faith and hope of immortal life, and of future retribution, he [Mohammed] humbled it to the dust by adapting all the rewards and sanctions of his religion to the gratification of the sexual passion. He poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST.—TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE…. Between these two religions, thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. The war is yet flagrant … While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and good will towards men.” [The words in caps are as originally printed].— John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) Sixth President


  47. NYerker on July 7th, 2010 5:24 pm

    Where were the jew supposed to go at the end of WWII? The US wouldnt take them. They couldnt go back to their home cities in europe, they were terrrorized. They were still living in displaced persons camps well after WWII. These were not concentration camps, agreed, but they had no place to go. Please tell me what you would suggest they did.

    Btw, after Israel became a country, about the same number of jews were expelled from Arab countries as Palistieans. But those Arabl countries would not give citizenship to the Palistianeas.


  48. steve garbowit on August 30th, 2010 3:37 pm

    More stupid pro-Arab propoganda, why does UMASS allow such drivel to be published?


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