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Amy Goodman
NationofChange / Op-Ed
Published: Thursday 22 November 2012
The answer is simple, and increases the chances of security on all sides: End the occupation.

In Gaza, It’s the Occupation, Stupid

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“The Palestinian people want to be free of the occupation,” award-winning Israeli journalist Gideon Levy summed up this week. It is that simple. This latest Israeli military assault on the people of Gaza is not an isolated event, but part of a 45-year occupation of the sliver of land wedged between Israel and the Mediterranean Sea, where 1.6 million people live under a brutal Israeli blockade that denies them most of the basic necessities of life. Without the unwavering bipartisan support of the United States for the Israeli military, the occupation of Palestine could not exist.

At the time of this writing, the overall Palestinian death toll of the seven-day assault, dubbed Operation Pillar of Cloud by the Israel Defense Forces, is more than 116, more than half of them civilians, including 27 children and 11 women. Hamas has fired hundreds of rockets from Gaza into Israel, which, to date, have killed three Israeli civilians.

President Barack Obama said on Sunday, “There is no country on earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders. So, we are fully supportive of Israel’s right to defend itself from missiles landing on people’s homes and workplaces and potentially killing civilians.” 

“No one questions that right,” responds Richard Falk, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University and the author of more than 50 books on war, human rights and international law. 

“The question is: When and how is it appropriate? Here, as before in 2008, when Israel launched a similar devastating attack on the population and people of Gaza, there were alternatives, and this kind of approach to security ends up with a new cycle of violence at higher levels of intensity. It’s time for the international community to take some responsibility for protecting the people of Gaza.”

Since 2000, according to an article from the British medical journal The Lancet, the Israeli military has killed more than 6,000 Palestinians. They are harassed at checkpoints, imprisoned arbitrarily, denied clean water and sanitation, and suffer from systemic malnutrition, all part of the illegal siege and blockade. World-renowned linguist and author Noam Chomsky recently visited Gaza, describing it as the world’s largest open-air prison.

Amidst reports of an imminent ceasefire, I spoke with Dr. Mona El-Farra in Gaza. She is the health chair of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society of the Gaza Strip, which, as part of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, is protected under the Geneva Conventions. “Airplanes are still in the sky, drones are in the sky, and we can h ear intermittent shelling. People are tense, hoping for a cease-fire, but people don’t want a cease-fire at any cost. We want guarantees from Israel that this will not happen again.”

I asked her what it is like to endure an air raid: “Every other minute, directly in my area, the airplanes are there, and they hit within 100 meters of my building. You can overhear from the other areas, because it is very noisy, F-16s bombing with large explosions. The whole building shakes, and some of my windows have been shattered.” Dr. El-Farra and her 20-year-old daughter hide under their table. She gets only a few minutes sleep at a time. “With every air raid, you can see the fire from my window, the fire and the smoke.”

She also braves the open streets to attend to her responsibilities with the Red Crescent Society. They have set up phone banks to provide psychological counseling to Gazans who are dealing with death and injury, who are living under the stress of continuous air bombardment and the threat of imminent ground invasion. “We have terrified children in Gaza, children who do not have enough water, do not have enough food, no medicine ... with all that, children have no safe place. There is no place safe in Gaza. I don’t know what will happen next if this madness continues. In the last week, it has been like hell for us. It is ugly, it is horrible.”

Jody Williams, winner of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for her work with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and chair of the Nobel Women’s Initiative told me, “It is very hard to think about Israel calling what it is doing defending itself when it is occupying Palestinian territory. It’s collective punishment. We cannot support punishing an entire population because of the policies and attacks of Hamas. It’s illegal.” 

The answer is simple, and increases the chances of security on all sides: End the occupation.

© 2011 Amy Goodman
Distributed by King Features Syndicate



Author pic
ABOUT Amy Goodman

Amy Goodman is the host of "Democracy Now!," a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 900 stations in North America. She is the author of "Breaking the Sound Barrier," recently released in paperback and now a New York Times best-seller.

I’m obviously incapable of

I’m obviously incapable of understanding a culture that sees victory in haplessly flailing at its enemy to successfully provoke the killing of a 150 of its citizens, widespread injuries, the terrorizing of its citizens, and massive destruction of property to create a “victory.”
I can only guess more is at play and Iran comes first to mind for examination.

What about the other small

What about the other small bone of contention - The Palestinians - from Gaza and beyond - will never actually accept a two state solution, at least not one that enables Israel to continue to exist as a nation in that area?

Remarkable, is it not, that

Remarkable, is it not, that folks who style themselves as "Progressives" align themselves with the theocrats of Hamas, and, unquestioningly, parrot their talking points.

"This latest Israeli military assault on the people of Gaza is . . . part of a 45-year occupation. . . where 1.6 million people live under a brutal Israeli blockade that denies them most of the basic necessities of life. "

Amy, dear. As we say to the Tea Party: "You're entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o37GHxeRqGA&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxaDmAyt84g

Point extremely well taken!

Point extremely well taken! Those who parade as "progressives" don't know that the term means to reject orthodoxies; instead they have decided to buy into the Arab's orthodoxy which would eradicate the state of Israel if they could. Historical facts, such as an economic boycott back in 1891, when local Arabs asked Palestine’s Ottoman rulers to block Jewish immigration and land sales. In 1922, the Fifth Palestine Arab Congress called for the boycott of all Jewish businesses.

A longer official boycott by the twenty-two nation ArabLeague, which banned the purchase of “products of Jewish industry in Palestine,” was launched in 1943, five years before Israel’s founding. This ban extended to foreign companies from any country that bought form or sold to Israel (the “secondary” boycott), and even to countries that traded with these blacklisted companies (the “tertiary” boycott).
In most civilized countries a boycott of a country's industrial output is considered a "casus belli," a case for war.
Amy Goodman would do well to study some recent history which includes the fact that Israel withdrew from Gaza some years ago, before demonstrating her profound ignorance of the facts.

I am a Progressive who faults

I am a Progressive who faults Israel for the Occupation of the West Bank and its heavy handed (at times) tactics. At the same time, I fault the extremist religious ideology of Hamas which, according to reports, has been pursing the "Talibanization" of Gaza. Women are made to comply with Sharia law, gays are threatened with death if they are caught having gay sex and children are taught at an early age that Israeli people are evil and when given the chance should be killed.

Amy, my question to you is this: if all occupation were eliminated and Israel opened it's borders totally to the Gazans, would the impetus to kill Jews as an act of extreme Islamic piety magically disappear? Would all those Gazans....including the kids who have been taught that Jews should be killed...have a change of heart about the humanity of Jews? Does any of this matter to you?

Yes, the occupation should be stopped. But to argue that the remedy for the decades long Israeli/Palestinian conflict rests exclusively with the elimination the occupation is rather shocking. The problem with this supposed progressive position is that it is not reality based.

Even if we start history this

Even if we start history this year instead of 1948, or 1921, 40 AD, your column is nonsense. Gaza is not occupied. In 2005 the Palestinians were given, no strings attached, all rights to Gaza. Against significant internal political pressure, Israel forced its own citizens out of homes they had lived in for a long time. Gazans then had a choice: create, with Israeli help, a place that would be safe for them to live and prosper, or continue on their path to genocide. History tells us which side they took.

In 1948 Israel absorved 800,000 Jews forcibly expelled from Arab states. The Arab states isolated 600,000 fellow Arabs who fled or were evicted from Israel. Responsibility for Gaza and West Bank Palestinian repression lies entirely with the Arab states, not Israel, that is only fighting for survival.

Remember that in WWII the Arab states supported Hitler, and their spritual leader, the Grand Mufti, went to Europe to help Hitler while imploring him to import the Final Solution to their lands. Not much seems to have changed.

Arab states would be apartheid if Jews were allowed to live there. They are not.

What? Don't know what the

What? Don't know what the heck you are talking about. Crazy.

I had been eagerly looking

I had been eagerly looking forward to following President Obama's historic visit to the Mekong countries, but Mr. Netanyahu took a direct dump on our President's parade. Israel sucked all the oxygen out of the room by their murderous assault on the besieged Palestinians, destroying the public focus on our President's endeavors. This is preposterous and Israel must be severely chastised and punished.

Amy Goodman is very brave to

Amy Goodman is very brave to tell the truth. Murdoch JUST ADMITTED to the world that Jews own the media. It's Ok. The whole rest of the world beside the misinformed United States is on the right side. They see the apartheid that is taking place and the human rights violations. They see that Israel has more UN violations than any other country. They don't want peace. Or a two state solution or for that matter wealth evenly distributed in America. I say this because Jewish Americans are only 2.1% of our population but 4 out of 7 of them are on the Board of governors that run the Federal Reserve that runs the MONEY POLICY of our country. Do the math...thats 57%!!!It's a fact...look it up. Also, look up who the CEO's of the media are. Bernie Madoff types are typical. It's all about greed. Go to the website JEWISH VOICES FOR PEACE and read about those Israeli's that condemn their country's policy and treatment...the ILLEGAL settlements, the OCCUPATION. That's because good people exist everywhere, no matter how horrible their country is...Look at the US. We RE-ELECTED GEORGE BUSH for God's sake. Wake the hell up people!

The US, according to its

The US, according to its style, should have supported Germany in its
occupation of its neighbors. In fact, the US DID oppose the resistances
in various nations after WW II sometimes by the use of military force.
Representatives of socialist/communist resistance movements----those
who had worked hardest against Hitler during WW II--- were excluded
from service in post WW II nations. See Joyce and Gabriel Kolko's
THE LIMITS OF POWER... Instead conservatives who had worked in
support of Hitler were put in charge.

I've had a quick look at some

I've had a quick look at some of the respnses after skimming the article. I have one quick comment, repeating what our (the Australian) Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, has said on international tv: what's required is a two-state solution. The problem goes back to Ishmael and Isaac. Let's get our history right! It's blood brothers who are still fighting. When we see sorrowful Palestinians on Aussie tv, not already identified, my private reaction is, They look Jewish!' Of course. The Australian philosopher, Raimond Gaita, now retired from Kings Colllege, London, and attached to Melbourne University, has written a book on Gaza. I haven't had time in recent days to re-read it, but I'm going to do this. He is in the Middle East right now with his Israeli wife, Yael. He isn't Jewish.

Ishmael and Isaac are just

Ishmael and Isaac are just two unsavory characters in a fictional book called the Old Testament written by the Israelites for their own self-serving purposes. It has nothing to do with the present occupation and incarceration of Palestinians, the apartheid policies and the brutality by Israel. 'Nuff said.

Israel is notorious for

Israel is notorious for False Flag operations . Bombs , assassinations ..........

Google Operation Susannah.................. also known as the Lavon Affair [ 1984 ]
Israeli Terrorists were sent to Egypt to plant bombs in American installations in Cairo and Alexandria and leave false evidence behind to implicate Egyptions .
Innocent Americans would die and when the U.S. would declare WAR on Egypt and bomb the hell out of them , thousands of innocent Egyptian women and children would die . Consider it collateral damage .
Google..... www.ussliberty.org ........ June 8 , 1967 the Israeli Air Force Jets attacked a barely armed U.S. Naval Communications ship in International waters off the coast of Israel and Egypt . Machine gun fire , rockets , napalm and finally torpedo boats sent 5 torpedos at the ship . One torpedo struch the ship. This was all done in broad daylight at 2:30 P.M. The ship was clearly marked with a large American flag on the stern [ rear ] of the ship , large letters on the rear of the ship spelling out U.S.S. LIBERTY and on the Bow [ front ] of the ship large letters with their Identification GTR - 5 on both sides . The idea was to sink the ship , kill all crew members and then put the blame on Egypt . As it turned out out of a crew of 294 Sailors and Marines , 34 were MURDERED and 141 were severely wounded. That is a 71 % casualty rate .
Duplicity , Treason and Murder They will stop at nothing .

Amy and Editors, the problem

Amy and Editors, the problem is YOUR OCCUPATION, STUPID!

Your article features and pivots on a stupid, shameless lie: an alleged 45-year Israeli occupation of Gaza.

GAZA" OCCUPATION" - except by HAMAS - HASN'T EXISTED SINCE 2005!!

For the bulk of the Gaza strip - including Gaza city and all Palestinian population areas; everything except a few Israeli settlements - Israel's occupation (which began in 1967) ENDED IN 1994. The small remaining 'occupation' of the strip by any Israelis, military or civilian, ended in 2005. (E.g. check Wikipedia, under 'Gaza Strip')

YES, the sufferings in both Israel and Gaza might be considerably alleviated by ending the actual Gaza occupation: the HAMAS OCCUPATION since 2007!

In this article your pretend occupation is journalism. Your indicated actual occupation is deceitful propaganda.

Stupid all right: your credibility demands the end of YOUR apparent occupation.

Yeah, yeah, we get it, Israel

Yeah, yeah, we get it, Israel got bigger, better armaments than their Palestinian neighbor whom they have essentially assigned into a leper quarantine. Israel could wipe them off the map in a blink of an eye and Gaza is to be "appreciative" of the "mercy" bestowed upon them. Shades of Schindler's List.
The Jewish community holds its history with great reverence but the Israelis seem not to have actually learned from their lengthy documented historical trail. The Israelis apparently have not grasped anything from their suppression under Roman rule. The more the Romans turned the metaphorical screws to add restrictions including those of social and economic barriers, the more the Judea society simmered and plotted resistance. Are the Israelis trying to make Gaza into the Palestinian Masada? It certainly appears that what the Israelis did learn from history came from mid-20th century and the art of alienation and repression.
Allowing Gaza access to free trade and the ability to advance economically will go a long way into achieving long-lasting peace.

Amazing that you do not

Amazing that you do not mention the role of Hamas in this condemnation of Israel. I'm sure Israel would happily provide economic development to the Gazans if Hamas (the elected government of Gaza) would acknowledge their right to exist. It's pretty hard to hold your hand out to someone who sends thousands of rockets into your cities (and the range of those Iran-provided rockets has improved dramatically). Like you, I'm not happy with Israeli government tactics. But to not acknowledge that an open-borders policy with a group that demonstrates it's desire to destroy you every day is not a realistic solution strikes me as naive.

The one good development with the current cease fire is the willingness of Egypt to play an active role in working towards peace.

If Amy and everyone else

If Amy and everyone else would just go back to the war waged against Israel by the 7 surrounding Arab nations in the 50s, which Israel somehow won and in winning took the Gaza Strip as a barrier between her and these less than friendly nations, they would realize that Israel is the only democracy in the whole region and just trying to defend her people. What is wrong with the other countries around her is that they want her gone from the face of the earth. Israel just wants peace and to be able to practice her freedom.

Israel is not a true

Israel is not a true democracy. They have one ruling party and a ruling party approved "opposition" party. If you go back to the days when the UN Treaty spelled out the State of Israel and the State of Palestine you will see that a petulant Israel decided they were not going to live by that treaty. They decided they were going to rule over the entire area and thumb their noses at the UN and everyone else. This continues to today.

If Israeli Government wants peace "she" will fully honour the UN Treaty (read return to those borders), recognise the independent State of Palestine, and disarm their nuclear weapons. But hell no, they will never do that because they want every last Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim dead and will keep up the apartheid and bombing until there is not one Palestinian, Arab, or Muslim left in the world.

I have never seen a more

I have never seen a more lopsided biased account of the Israel/Palestinian conflict.
Self hating Jews are the hardest to take. Cancel my daily receipt of the 'paper'.

thanks amy you said it

thanks amy you said it right...the jews and arabs must live together!!!!!!!!!!!!

Amy, Your conclusion that

Amy,

Your conclusion that "it's the occupation, stupid" is incredibly simplistic. Yes, the occupation that continues in the West Bank is reprehensible, but to use that as a justification for indiscriminate rocket attacks launched by Hamas or terrorist groups from Gaza (which is not occupied) to Israeli populations is sophistry. As I see it, the Palestinians who live in Gaza are victims both of Hamas and the Israeli government. I don't give Israel a pass for its occupation policies, but I also don't give Hamas a pass for it's refusal to acknowledge the right of Israel to exist. As a progressive voice, you risk giving Hamas a pass for its civil rights violations of the Gazans by taking an absolutist position that singles out Israel for all the woes of people living in Gaza. Please check out this article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamization_of_the_Gaza_Strip

So, Ms. Goodman: What

So, Ms. Goodman: What happens, in your view, if the "Blockade" is lifted by Israel? Will the so-called "Palestinians" live in peace and prosperity? Or will they get bigger and better weapons with which to destroy Israel?

Presumably--you are on the side of those who want to see Israel destroyed. Why not come out and be honest about it?

The Blockade by Israel is for

The Blockade by Israel is for things that don't even relate to weapons. They block people from getting medical help, they used to block chocolates and school textbooks. If your neighbor takes half of your land and shoves you into the outhouse, unable to get out and even get the proper medical care. I am not supporting Hamas but there are two sides to every story.

All of this tragedy stems

All of this tragedy stems from the history since 1948 of these two peoples. Under international law after a war civilian populations are to be allowed to return home. This of course will not be allowed by the Israeli government, and so we have pockets of displaced and impoverished Palestinians surrounding the occupied territories and of course on going violence in the absence of law and justice.

What the Israeli government calls the right to self defence is really the necessity of having their military carry out the repression of the Palestinian people to keep them at bay as there will be no redress under the law. This latest one sided "mowing of the lawn" as an Israeli government minister put it, is but one example of the many Israeli initial incursions into Gaza with the intent of drawing Hamas into retaliation. This of course is never reported in the Western press, the shooting and killing of a 13 year old boy out playing soccer by Israeli soldiers inside Gaza, that sparked this recent episode. Just like the proven false flag bombing of the Israeli tourist bus at a Black Sea resort. with resulting deaths and injuries, with the intent of blaming Iran, there was no follow up in the Western press. The elites are quite prepared to kill their "own" if it will advance their game, 9/11 being the most aggrieved case of all. You can't treat people as vermin and not expect resistance, or what all the Western press calls terrorism.

The U.S - Israeli relationship is very disturbed morally but will continue because of the geo political importance of Israel within the region. Israel knows this and continues to leverage this point (outing Patreus) within their relationship to the American Empire.

Israel removed its

Israel removed its settlements from Gaza in 2005. When territory is under the power and control of Israel and the USA (as Mister B. says in his comment: "Where is Palastine?"), and is surrounded on all sides by checkpoints which allow nothing in or out but very slow transit of some small portion of the neccessary food, fuel, and medical supplies which are actually neccessary for a territory the size of Gaza to survive, this is occupation. We will not mention the constant overflying of Israeli Air Force drones and manned flights, which is the other half of the occupation.

Assassination of moderates like al-Jabari, who was negotiating with the extremists like Islamic Jihad who had launched almost all the rockets into Israel this year for a truce when he was blown to shreds along with civilians, is one thing. Shooting a 13 year-old playing football in his backyard this fall, which provoked the cycle of "throwing missiles at folks" the "Palestinians 'like'" is perhaps why the commenters who have written previously feel there is so much "hate" on the part of the Palestinians? Have they read what the official policy of Israel has been on collective punishment (prohibited under the Geneva Convention) for Gazans on account of the criminal actions of those who launch missiles? Here is an account of the blockade policy:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/israels-solution-for-gaza-a-starvation-diet...

Egypt cannot make its own decisions on whether or not to open its borders with Gaza. It is dependent on American food aid or its people starve. It must cooperate with Israeli policy on its border crossings or else. President Morsi of Egypt, however, was probably the most useful party in negotiating the ceasefire, since he could talk to Hamas and Israel, and was in the area the whole time. No one else could, would, or was there.

Noam Chomsky recently

Noam Chomsky recently reported that Gaza is an open air prison, a concentration camp. All those criticizing Hamas/ Palestinians please imagine yourselves in their shoes: your land is given to someone else, forced on you because they wanted to get rid of their own problem which caused lots of destruction. Then these people keep expropriating you out of your homes, lands; building walls around you, quarantine you in a space where you cannot get out or anyone can get in (including humanitarian efforts), cannot deal with anyone outside of the quarantined area. You start fighting with sling shots, they flatten you with their sophisticated overwhelming force and for every one you injure or kill, 20-30 of your people are killed. Major big international bullies are on your side. What would you do? Die in the concentration camps or fight for your freedom? That is what is happening to Palestinians.

Thank you for your comment.

Thank you for your comment. I have long said that if Americans were to experience the restrictions, apartheid, and other facts of Palestinian life, they would tolerate it only long enough to grab the first thing that could be used as a weapon; then they would start fighting back, fighting for their rights and freedom and would not stop fighting until they won or died.

This is absolute nonsense.

This is absolute nonsense. The only goods being kept out of Gaza are "dual-use" goods that can be used for weapons. There is absolutely no credible report of any "humanitarian efforts" being blocked from entering Gaza, no reports of supposed malnutrition or anything near as dire as folks want to portray. Israel has not had any settlements or "occupation" in Gaza for years, and it is fully controlled by the Hamas terrorists. You can agree or disagree with positions and opinions, but at least keep to reality and the facts, not what masquerades as such on the internet.

This article is so

This article is so unsophisticated that it barely deserves comment but here goes. Israel, a country the size of New Jersey, is surrounded by four Arab nations which have been threatening it's destruction for 60 years. Rather than letting a population of self-made refugees emigrate into the four countries or remain in Israel, they chose to isolate them as an instigating force, to keep terrorist pressure on Israel. What would New Jersey do if it were constantly bombarded by New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania?
And this all because of a myth that Hagar and her son Ismael were cast into the desert 5000 years ago! Read modern history instead of making it up. I'm sure Israel would welcome peace with it's neighbors. And they no longer occupy Gaza.
Or should we return our country to it's rightful owners? No I don't mean the British.

Your analogy and historical

Your analogy and historical knowledge are very weak and incorrect, let alone any reference to international law. Peace will only come when the Arab nations in the region agree to allow the Jewish people's invasion of Palestine to stand and the resulting state of Israel agrees to a bilateral compensation package for the dispossessed and new generations of Jews and Arabs decide that they can live interspersed amongst one another as they have in centuries past. That is if the geo-political imperatives of the Western Plutocratic Empire will allow.

As QSMITH says, the

As QSMITH says, the Palestinians have been teaching hate thru their schools, madrassas for decades. They have also chosen terrible leaders: Yasser Arafat who stole millions into Swiss bank accounts for his wife Suha living in Paris, and then Hamas with a charter goal of destroying Israel and saying Jews incited the Holocaust for personal financial gain. As many have observed for decades, the Israel-Palestine conflict is an industry supported by the Arab Middle East to divert attention from internal problems. As Arab News editorial states 10-6-2012, the Arabs in Israel live better than Arabs in their own countries. We can only hope that Egyptian fear of losing their own US military aid and of internal jihadis will continue the Morsi administration's efforts now to subdue the Hamas attacks against civilians in Israel. Netanyahu in Israel has a stubborn support for new settlements based on fundamentalist Biblical claims, but Hamas focus on destroying Israel instead of building an infrastructure with an economy to interact among other global economies is the Palestinians' greatest problem. And Iranian training and weapons are involved in all this, from Lebanon and Syria to Gaza. Get real.

Israel is teaching their

Israel is teaching their children hate of Arabs, Palestinians, and Muslims too since 1947. PBS has a documentary on an elementary school where there are Arab and Israeli students. The students are taught in Arabic and Hebrew, taught Arab and Israeli history, taught that both groups had the right to live. The children (about age 9-10) both thought they would be killed by the "others" at the school. The shock on the Israeli student's face when the "soldiers" would not allow her Arab friend to go to the ocean with her, because the girl was Arab said it all. All the hate, all the lies that come from both sides. The Israelis are just as much at fault as the Palestinians are.

I have a good friend who is

I have a good friend who is half-Palestinian, so I don't think I'm biased. There are extremists in every culture. If the occupation ends, the extremists will move up their insurgency material and continue their drive to push the Israelis into the sea, which won't succeed, because the Israelis are organized and unified, where the Palestinian groups are not. Hamas runs Gaza, not Fatah. What do you think would happen? The Muslims must have the courage to control their jihadi elements, and assimilate. Otherwise their culture will eventually fade away.

What have you heard from

What have you heard from Hezbollah over all of this? Hmmmm, silence. Why? Because they have learned that being the "government" comes with a lot of responsibilities. Revolutionary ideals, and jihad have no place in governing.

Extremists tend to calm down and behave when their voices are heard. Sure there are exceptions and the two prime examples are the Christian extremists in the US and the ruling class and ultra orthodox Israelis.

It seems to me those

It seems to me those "occupied lands" were acquired when their previous owners started a war they could not finish. They lost the war and their land. When they apologize to the world and promise to go and sin no more, maybe the rest of the rational world will listen.

Under international law all

Under international law all civilians are allowed to return home after hostilities in a war cease, therefore it is in the interest of the State of Israel to keep hostilities on going....beside the point of the hostile takeover back in 1948 of what was a sovereign country under administrative British rule. Of course you are correct in that might makes right up to this point in time.

Israel ended it's occupation

Israel ended it's occupation of Gaza in 2005. The Palestinians in Gaza demonstrate, almost daily, their enmity towards Israel, Israelis, and Jews in general. Gaza also has a border with Egypt. Egypt is a sovereign nation: why won't they open their border to Gaza?

The responsibility for addressing conflict in this region does not rest solely on Israel. Egypt, Hamas and Fatah (and their silent partners in Iran, Syria and Russia) also bear responsibility. There are brave, suffering people on both sides of this conflict who just want to live their lives in peace. But the responsibility for creating the conditions for peace also rests on both sides. I have little expectation that the totalitarian mindset of Hamas will be able to sufficiently accommodate the idea of compromise and shared responsibility, and until this happens, the consequences will be painful and bloody. Likud needs Hamas to survive in it's present form. And as long as it does, there will be little incentive for Israel to reduce it's reliance on violence and oppression as a mechanism to address its own need for physical security.

There is hate on both sides,

There is hate on both sides, but only one oppressive occupier.

It seems like common sense

It seems like common sense would dictate that if you throw missiles at folks it would be reasonable to expect missiles in return. Where is Palastine?

The impression I get is that

The impression I get is that the Palestinians 'like' the bombing and have no regard for the safety of its own people. What good does it do to lob rockets over to Israel and have Israel retaliate and then 'force' Israel to stop it? All the cheering in the streets is for what? The death of its own people? I believe that even if Israel returns the lands they have occupied since 1967, it is still all about HATE. The haters will continue to lob rockets into Israel, inviting retaliation.

You clearly have no idea of

You clearly have no idea of the world as it is and the forces at "play" in this situation and what they are capable of in their own interests. But ignorance is bliss until it happens to you....

You clearly have no idea of

You clearly have no idea of the world as it is and the forces at "play" in this situation and what they are capable of in their own interests. But ignorance is bliss until it happens to you....oops posted twice

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