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Ceasefire vigil on Thursday

7. January 2009 • Chuck Warpehoski
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Michigan Peaceworks, Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice, and several other local groups are holding a candlelight vigil for a ceasefire in Gaza on Thursday, January 8 at 6:00 p.m. at the corner of Main and Liberty.

Peaceworks and ICPJ are have issued a statement saying they “mourn all death and deeply want the violence to stop” and calling for “an immediate ceasefire.”

  1. I know that there is a lot of passion on this issue from all sides. I hope there can be a civilized discussion of the issue here.

    Since these discussions have too often gotten out of hand, I want to remind you all about our guidelines for participation

    We will be actively moderating this thread so things stay respectful. I just wanted to be clear on that upfront.

       —Chuck Warpehoski    Jan. 7 '09 - 10:43PM    #
  2. Boycott Israel.

    Israel has killed and wounded almost four thousand men, women and children so far in its assault on Gaza; it has entombed whole families together in the ruins of their homes. As I write these words, news is breaking that Israeli bombs have killed at least 40 civilians huddling in a UN school which they mistakenly thought would be safer than the homes from which Israel’s relentless barrage—and its deliberately terrorizing “warning” leaflets and prerecorded phone calls—had already driven them. (I still have one of the leaflets the Israelis dropped on besieged Beirut in 1982 and the language is exactly the same—“flee, flee for your lives!”). Mosques, schools, houses, apartment buildings, have all been brought down on the heads of those inside.

    All this death and destruction comes supposedly in retaliation for rocket attacks that had not inflicted a single fatality inside Israel in over a year.

    Boycott Israel. No More Silence and evasions to protect Israel.

       —No evasions    Jan. 8 '09 - 12:52AM    #
  3. Looks like Hamas worked on their aim since the rocket attacks have now resulted in several deaths.

    “At least 35 rockets struck Israeli territory yesterday compared with 40 the day before, according to the army. That’s down from a peak of 76 on Dec. 27, the first day of the operation. As many as 3,200 rockets and mortar shells have been fired at Israel since the start of 2008. Rocket attacks have killed four Israelis since fighting began. At least five rockets from Gaza struck Israel this morning, police said.”

       —John Q.    Jan. 8 '09 - 12:59AM    #
  4. No evasions,

    Its odd that you seem to ignore the hundreds/thousands of Hamas rockets fired at innocent civilians.

    Had those rockets not been fired, this conflict would not have happened.

    Violence begets violence. Its unfortunate that you ignore the cause and focus on the effect.

       —anonymous observer    Jan. 8 '09 - 01:59AM    #
  5. Boycott Israel.

    This is not a “conflict”.
    This is an illegal occupation by a super military power (Israel) of a helpless abandoned people (Palestinians).

    The violence e that has been inflicted upon Palestinians, with the help of $ 5 billion U.S. tax money per year, is not in any shape or form comparable to what Palestinian rockets have been able to do to Israel.

    But then you would not know that since you and all the rest of America, lives and breathes Zionist propaganda and are incapable of rational thinking.

    For that reason America is considered the land of the totally ignoramuses by the rest of the world.

    But being huge ignoramuses that we are has got to change because the world is tired of our arrogance and dangerous behavior.

    So, first step start thinking boycott Israel.

       —No evasions    Jan. 8 '09 - 02:14AM    #
  6. Is anybody else already feeling like they’ve heard this debate before? It’s almost as if you could recite each sides’ talking points because they’re both reading off an old script.

    Eboo Patel had a recent article that that calls for new rules for Middle East engagement. It’s a refreshing take.

       —Chuck Warpehoski    Jan. 8 '09 - 02:32AM    #
  7. You continually ignore the cause. No rockets would mean no violence.

    Also, how do you reconcile the fact that Israel is negotiating with the Palestinian aurhority while Hamas, acting in a violent fashion, generates this conflict?

    It doesn’t appear that Israel is after “helpless abandoned people”, it appears that Israel is after Hamas.

    Furthermore, doesn’t it bother you that Hamas is using human shields – women and children – to protect themselves?

       —anonymous observer    Jan. 8 '09 - 02:41AM    #
  8. Boycott Israel!!!

    The cause is an illegal occupation, stealing of the land and killing people.

    The cause is attacking all people in the Middle East and expecting to be loved back in return.

    The cause is Zionism and blind following of American media of these Zionist butches.
    Israel is the engine behind much death and destruction in the Middle East and it will be stopped by international boycott as was the racist white supremacist state of South Africa.

       —No evasions    Jan. 8 '09 - 02:55AM    #
  9. Chuck,

    I would be more than happy to engage in discussion with you and people like you if you stopped pissing and moaning about some unreachable peace without any real means to change the situation in Palestine.

    You only piss and moan once in a while (only when things get real bad).

    Never do you EVER propose any real measure to actually stop the genocide of the Palestinian people.

    I, and many other Ann Arbor residents say:

    Boycott Israel NOW!!!

       —No evasions    Jan. 8 '09 - 03:01AM    #
  10. If we all just stop eating the Israeli olives or whatever at the co-op, we’ll feel much better.

       —sarcastic    Jan. 8 '09 - 03:33AM    #
  11. Boycott Israel NOW!!!

    Making jokes at the time of genocide is reprehensible.

    You are either too nervous to engage in a real discussion, or you are evading the subject to benefit the Zionists of this town.

    Whichever you are trying to do, it ain’t working.

    Boycott Israel NOW!!!

       —No evasions    Jan. 8 '09 - 03:54AM    #
  12. “You are either too nervous to engage in a real discussion”

    Is that the discussion that starts and ends with screaming exclamation marks?

       —John Q.    Jan. 8 '09 - 04:30AM    #
  13. Ever notice how topics that include the words “Palestine”, “Zionist” or “Israel” always end up with several hundred screaming posts?

       —scooter62    Jan. 8 '09 - 05:14AM    #
  14. Thanks for the link, Chuck, for the article by Mr. Patel. His views make a lot of sense. I agree with his citation of Congresssman Ellison’s observation that there has been suffering by both sides in the conflict.

    This particular offensive of Israel was largely motivated by the fact that the Likud and Kadima parties are facing elections and each wants to appear strong in dealing with the Palestinians. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni (Kadima) wants to become prime minister and the Likud wants to control the government, and polls suggest the Likud Party will have a majority of seats in the Knesset. Even Israeli President Shimon Peres of the Kadima Party when visiting wounded IDF troops in a hospital in Beersheba gave enthusiastic support of the invasion as a way of punishing Hamas whereas he has previously gone on record as taking the position that the IDF is incapable of destroying Hamas.

    The popularity of Hamas and Likud typically spikes in times of armed conflict. They use armed conflict as a way of justifying their legitimacy and necessity as leaders. Likud’s popularity was at its lowest just before the commencement of the Second Lebanon War when it was relegated to third party status as far as the number of seats it held in the Knesset but it will likely control the next Israeli government.

    The current number of casualties suffered by Gazans will likely approach those sustained by Palestinians in the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps in Lebanon in September of 1982 following the June of 1982 IDF “Operation Galilee” invasion that was preceded by the attempted assasination of Israeli diplomat Shlomo Argov (who himself denounced the invasion). That invasion resulted in 17 years of occupation of Lebanon by the IDF and the IDF sustaining over 1,000 fatalities with the Lebanese toll much higher. The Kahane Commission Report in 1983 discredited the conduct many senior Israeli officials, including Ariel Sharon and several high-ranking IDF generals. The ultimate aftermath of Operation Galilee was the rise of Hezbollah as a terrorist force and, later, as a powerful and popular political party in Lebanon that continues to prosper and enjoy support from Iran. Ironically, it was then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak (the current defense minister) who withdrew IDF from south Lebanon in 1999. In a nutshell, the IDF Operation Galilee invasion in 1982 was the event which radicalized large segments of the Lebanese public against Israel and led to the power and prestige Hezbollah currently enjoys which was augmented by the Second Lebanon War in 2006. The same result will occur as a result of the IDF’s current “Operation Cast Lead“in Gaza.

    I believe that the firing of rockets by militants into Israeli civilian population centers constitutes war crimes, as does the IDF’s dropping of one-ton bombs on crowded schools, apartment buildings, and mosques on the pretext those structures may contain weapons.

    The leaders of Likud and Kadima parties have exploited young college-age Israelis in the IDF (including Arab Druzes) as pawns to further a political campaign agenda for upcoming elections. Karen Russo, an American lawyer and journalist for the Sacramento Union, reported that a regular stream of helicopters evacuating IDF injury casualties can be seen flying into Beersheba from where Israel’s largest hospital is. The number of dead or wounded IDF personnel now likely is well over 100 and will increase as the IDF enters crowded civilian neighborhoods.

    In the future I see this as the ultimate result of the IDF incursion into Gaza: (1) a mutual cease-fire will be concluded somtime soon, which will eventually be breached by both sides and reversion to the pre-invasion cycle of violence;(2) horrific casualty totals for Gazans at large, including civilians and children, and widespread suffering due to the extensive damage to the civilian infrastructure ; (3) not insignificant casualty totals for the IDF and Israeli communities in the range of Hamas missile crews;(4) a phenomenon previously pointed out by former President Carter – the Gazan populace giving even more ardent support of extremist groups such as Hamas , Islamic Jihad, even al-Qaeda; (5) the Israeli electorate giving enthusiastic support for all candidates and parties that took part in or encouraged the IDF’s vaunted Operation Cast Lead .

    The humanitarian crisis facing Gaza right now is reminiscent of the Jewish suffering during the Nazi SS suppression of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, although in this case fault can be equally allocated to Islamic militants in Gaza, on one hand, as well as the Israeli government. A critical absence of needed leadership from the Bush administration at this time has prolonged and exacerbated this unfortunate and deadly crisis. Further the Israeli reliance on “search and destroy” military tactics and “body count” as a measure of its success is unsound and was discredited by military historians analyzing the Vietnam Conflict.

    In sum, the current IDF offensive in Gaza will succeed only in helping Likud and Kadima party candidates get elected, but will galvanize Palestinian public opinion further toward Islamic extremism and, after these extremists regroup and rearm with continued Iranian support, the cycle of violence will commence anew. The Palestinian and Israeli public both will, however, suffer in the short-term. It is not until Israeli, Palestinian and world leaders begin taking ideas like those of Mr. Patel seriously will there be a true prospect of a lasting and prosperous peace in that region.

       —Mark Koroi    Jan. 8 '09 - 05:28AM    #
  15. Mark Koroi, I was with you until this sentence:
    “The humanitarian crisis facing Gaza right now is reminiscent of the Jewish suffering during the Nazi SS suppression of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, although in this case fault can be equally allocated to Islamic militants in Gaza, on one hand, as well as the Israeli government.”
    That’s a very big difference, don’t you think?
    Let’s face it, this is a generations-long conflict with both sides dug in very deeply. It will take international involvement and leadership from the U.S. government to bring it to any kind of peaceful resolution. Yelling “Zionist” and using exclamation marks is not a help. And by the way, is Zionist even a valid term any more? Wasn’t the Zionist movement’s goal the creation of Israel, which took place more than 60 years ago?

       —not sarcastic any more    Jan. 8 '09 - 05:42AM    #
  16. British Labor M.P. Oona King, a member of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality, had in 2003 compared Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto. My comparison was to the horrific suffering in both situations, not to equate the IDF with the Nazi SS. For instance, this morning International Red Cross rescue workers found malnourished children clinging to their mothers corpses and recovered no less than three dozen bodies from a bombed out structure. Several IDF soldiers also were killed in action today.

    I salute those organizing the local vigil and would appreciate anyone attending tonight to post on how it all went.

       —Mark Koroi    Jan. 9 '09 - 01:21AM    #
  17. I thought the vigil went well. The Daily counted 175, which seems about right to me. I think that’s an incredible turnout for such a sort turn-around time.

    In addition to the Daily, I talked to reporters from WWJ Radio, Channel 4, and Channel 7. It was also covered no WEMU.

    In addition to the 175 pro-ceasefire people, there were two groups of counter demonstrators: one that is anti-Israel and the other that is anti-Hamas. You can see photos of both groups of counter-protesters in the coverage by the Daily.

    In general, I think that the vigil had the right message if the extremists and hard-liners on both sides decided to protest it. The hard-liners’ politics of polarization hasn’t brought peace to the Middle East and is not a recipe for co-existence.

    I find it very hopeful that so people came out for a ceasefire, humanitarian aid, and for a negotiated resolution. At the pro-ceasefire vigil there were students and retirees; Jews, Muslims, Christians, Unitarians, and atheists; Israeli’s and Palestinians.

    This is the kind of coalition that will end the cycle of violence, and while the fighting in the Middle East brings me despair, this growing collaboration brings me hope.

       —Chuck Warpehoski    Jan. 9 '09 - 08:09PM    #
  18. If people want to understand why peace in the Middle East is hard to achieve, look at this video from youtube: The woman’s name is Megan Buren who I think is a fitting example of the type of spokespeople Israel is putting forward to explain the Gaza genocide. I believe this woman is a narcissistic psychopath, anyone want to disagree?

       —Chuck L.    Jan. 10 '09 - 09:02PM    #
  19. I always like my pro-genocide propaganda delivered to me with a Valley Girl-accent. Thanks for the link, Chuck. But calling Meagan Buren a narcissistic psychopath may be giving her too much credit, as that would require that she have at least a nominal understanding of the situation. She seemed to be merely reading from a script and she must have went to the Fox News school of broadcasting, where they teach that the louder and more often you repeat something, the more “true” it becomes. I almost spewed my coffee when Meagan complained that the massacre was necessary because shower schedules were being disrupted.

       —Michael Schils    Jan. 10 '09 - 10:42PM    #
  20. “Palestinians” have been given every opportunity to reform their ways through the years. Instead, they continue to lob rockets into Israel. It is abundantly clear they have no interest in changing and it is clear they do little else but salivate at the idea of murder of Israelis at this point. It is the endgame of a culture that worships violence.

       —L. C. Burgundy    Jan. 11 '09 - 08:35AM    #
  21. Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say “Hamas”?

       —John Q.    Jan. 11 '09 - 09:52AM    #
  22. Here’s Ron Paul making the point that US meddling in foreign politics is not worth the blowback it creates. Paul points out the similarity between Israel formerly supporting Hamas to counter Arafat, but now wants to kill Hamas, with the US formerly sponsoring Osama Bin Laden to radicalize Muslims to counter the Soviet Union.

    Here’s Dennis Kucinich reminding us that those are American-made Hellfire missiles that are finding fleshly targets in Gaza right now.

       —Michael Schils    Jan. 12 '09 - 01:37AM    #
  23. The director of Gaza emergency servces reports that 275 children have been killed thus far in Operation Cast Lead.

       —Mark Koroi    Jan. 12 '09 - 09:48AM    #
  24. As it appears a cease-fire may be near in Gaza, the repercusssions are being felt worldwide with respect to Operation Cast Lead.

    Firstly, the Bolivian president has severed dipolmatic relations between his nation and Israel and stated he will try to press war crimes charges in the International Criminal Court against top Israeli officials. Venezuela had previously expelled the Israeli ambassador to its country over the Gaza invasion ; Turkey and Jordan,who had been among the most friendly neighbors of Israel, have denounced Israel’s acts in Gaza and indicated actual or threatened cooling off of relations with Israel. In Spain, over 100,000 marchers protested the Gaza operation.

    French and Norwegian foreign ministers are slated to meet in Paris Thursday with representatives of European Union and Arab countries to discuss raising funds and planning the rebuilding of Gaza due to damages sustained in the Gaza invasion. There is no doubt American taxpayers will be shelling out millions as they did following Operation Defensive Shield in order to assist in rebuilding the Palestinian infrasructure in Gaza. Preliminary estimates are that $1.4 billion will be required for Gaza’s reconstruction, which will likely take five years, according to estimates.

    The Hamas Health Ministry has reported that the death toll of Gazans is well over 1,000 with over 4,700 wounded.

    The Israeli domestic intelligence service Shin Bet disclosed in a story reported in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz yesterday that 565 rockets and 200 artillery shells fired by Hamas have struck Israel during the IDF operation, resulting in 1,272 wounded in Israeli territory; four have been killed, including one Israeli Arab construction worker.

    Human Rights Watch has accused the IDF of illegally employing the chemical agent white phosphorus against human targets, including civilians in a refugee camp, during the Gaza invasion; such use, if accurate, violates international law.

    The IDF has reported ten of its soldiers have been killed in action, however it has not, to my knowledge, disclosed cumulative totals of wounded servicemen since follwing the second day of the ground invasion when it had reported one dead and 66 wounded as of that juncture; witnesses in Israel near the Gaza region have reported a steady stream of ambulances and helicopters evacuating injured IDF troops from Gaza. I am sure the Israeli government may be reluctant to reveal such injury statistics for public relations reasons, however it would probably be safe to say that IDF injury casualties probably number several hundred at this juncture.

    It is unclear what Israeli government leaders have accomplished via Operation Cast Lead other than to assist their respective political parties in gaining an upper hand in national elections occurring in the upcoming weeks. Israeli intelligence sources have confirmed that Hamas, though damaged, remains intact as an organization despite Operation Cast Lead; indeed Hamas rockets continue to be fired into Israel, albeit at a lower rate. No major Hamas leaders have been captured and no significant number of Palestinians have blamed Hamas for the ruin brought upon Gaza. The good news for the Israeli government is that polls show that less than 10% of Israelis feel Cast Lead was a failure and that only 13% of Americans polled were oppposed to the IDF incursion into Gaza, with 56% in favor, so continued U.S. State Dept. support can be expected.

    It is my opinion that Cast Lead will likely go down among Palestinians as one of the great atrocities in the history of Arab-Israeli relations on par with the 1948 Deir Yassin and 1982 Sabra and Chatila massacres with the wanton disregard of human life. It will undoubtedly set back diplomatic achievements Israel has garnered in the Moslem world, especially Turkey and Jordan, and shall serve to isolate Israel in the international community. Further, it shall undeniably hurt peaceful relations between Israelis and Palestinians in general – a principle the founding of the ruling Kadima Party was predicated on.

    Finally, the IDF operation resulted in devastating humanitarian consequences to both Palestinians and Israelis, as the total dead and wounded on both sides likely exceeds 6,000 at this time.

       —Mark Koroi    Jan. 15 '09 - 05:17AM    #
  25. The Michigan Daily reports that 200 demonstators turned out at the Michigan Union in zero-degree weather Wednesday night to address the Gaza crisis; this has echoed sentiments around the world.

    British M.P. Gerald Kaufman, a Jewish Labour member and pro-Zionist, called for an arms embargo on Israel during a parlimentary debate and likened the IDF invasion of Gaza to the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939 in which his own grandmother died.

    Venezuela has terminated diplomatic relations with Israel after expelling the Venezuelan ambassador several days ago.

    Thousands of pounds of foodstuffs earmarked for relief efforts stored in a United Nations warehouse at the U.N.‘s headquarters in Gaza were destroyed in a fire caused by IDF shelling. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has called for an invesigation.

       —Mark Koroi    Jan. 16 '09 - 08:54AM    #
  26. Yes, the “Michigan Daily” has video of the latest demonstration for Gaza, at:

    Demonstrating for Gaza

       —Campus    Jan. 18 '09 - 10:26AM    #
  27. Re Post #20: No less than eight Israeli human rights organizations have requested Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz open up an investigation into possible war crimes committied by the IDF in Gaza.

    Amnesty International is collecting evidence that the IDF illegally exposed Gazans to the chemical white phosphorus.

    United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon was the first world leader to visit Gaza after the cease-fire and has demanded an investigation and judicial action be taken into the shelling of United Nations facilities resulting in dozens of civilian deaths as well as property damage.

    The Christian Science Monitor reported today that Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to be elected the new prime minister due to a surge in the polls following the cease-fire in Gaza. It seeems that the Israeli public was critical that the operation was ended without Hamas being toppled from power nor the recovery of IDF prisoner Corporal Gilad Shalit, who has been detained for over 2 years by Hamas. Foreign Minister Livni and Defense Minister Barak are currently seeking the prime minister seat currently held by Ehud Olmert and both recommended to Olmert to end Operation Cast Lead.

    Recent polls in Israel show that public approval over the Gaza operation by the IDF is evenly split at 41%-41% with 37% of the Israeli public believing that Hamas rule could have been destroyed by the IDF – something Israeli military and political leaders have previously said was not possible.

    I believe that an ad hoc United Nations war crimes tribunal authorized by the United Nations Security Council comparable to the one that was formed to address possible war crimes in Yugoslavia would be a step in the right direction, although it could never come to fruition without U.S. support that would have to come ultimately from President Obama. Reputable international observers have or are in the process of recording evidence of possible violations of international law by the IDF. The current cycle of violence in Gaza has been fueled by horrific civilian casualties in which each side uses its own victims as justification for further violence against the other side.

    I am not optimistic however given the track record of the U.S. in obstructing such inquiries in the past. For instance, when the Belgian government initiated war crimes proceedings against Ariel Sharon as a result of the 1982 massacres of Palestinians at Sabra and Chatila refugee camps in Lebanon, the U.S. threatened Belgium that it would support removing the NATO headquarters out of Brussels if Sharon were to be continued to be prosecuted. The Belgian government eventually abandoned its attempts to prosecute Sharon.

    President Obama made a campaign pledge to intensify efforts to bring a lasting peace to Israelis and Palestinians. He could help fulfill his promise by supporting the establishment of a war crimes tribunal which would deter future abuses and bring perpetrators of human rights violations to justice.

       —Mark Koroi    Jan. 21 '09 - 04:43AM    #
  28. After five hours of debate in the Michigan Union last night, the Michigan Student Assembly passed the “Resolution to Call for Peace in Gaza and Israel”

    “The Michigan Student Asssembly mourns all death and deeply wants the violence to stop for the sake of the residents of Gaza, Israel and the world and supports humanitarian efforts and peace,” the resolution read.

    The full story of the debate and of the substance of the resolution was repoted in today’s Michigan Daily.

       —Mark Koroi    Jan. 22 '09 - 01:08AM    #
  29. That Daily article is here:

    After long debate, MSA passes Gaza resolution

       —Campus    Jan. 22 '09 - 01:16AM    #
  30. Some things never change at the MSA.

       —John Q.    Jan. 22 '09 - 04:53AM    #
  31. More in the Daily today:

    Daily Article on Gaza Situation

    Very mild stuff, compared to Oxford:

    Oxford Students Occupy Buildings to Protest Gaza Situation

       —Campus    Jan. 22 '09 - 10:04PM    #
  32. Re Posts #14, 15, and 16: Reuters reported today that United Nations investigator Richard Falk, a retired Harvard-educated law professor, stated in an interview that “compelling evidence” that the IDF’s actions in Gaza violated international law required an independent investigation whether war crimes occurred.

    Falk, who is Jewish indicated: “To lock people into a war zone is something that evokes the worst kind of international memories of the Warsaw Ghetto,and sieges that occur unintentionally during wartime…the U.N. Charter, and international law, does not give Israel the legal foundation for claiming self-defence.”

    Haaretz, one of Israel’s oldest and most respected daily newspapers, published an editorial today, questioning whether the IDF violated international law in Gaza and supported the empanelling of a commission of inquiry akin to the body that published the Winograd Report critical of the handling of the Second Lebanon War:
    “Israel does not need this probe solely because of image considerations. Its moral profile in its own eyes is invaluably important. Now has come the time for a Winograd committee for this war: An independent legal official who will probe all accusations. Just as Israel investigates airplane crashes and instances of medical malpractice in hospitals, it must also probe its actions in Gaza.”

    Further, Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy called the Gaza war “utter failure for Israel”; a second columnist labeled the IDF’s performance “mediocre” and likened it the the Second Lebanon War.

    Much of the current IDF/Hamas conflict revolves around the Israeli blockade that has been imposed on Gaza since Hamas took power; this blockade has been implemented to prevent the smuggling of arms into Gaza, but also serves to impose a severe hardship on Gaza residents who cannot receive sufficient basic necessities of life as a result. The Hamas rocket fire into Israel was substantially motivated by this blockade. Israel’s military response in Operation Cast Lead was intended to not only suppress Hamas rocket fire, but also to destroy underground tunnels running beneath the “Philadelphi Route”, a strip of land that separates Egypt from Gaza; these tunnels are used to deliver necessities of life (foodstuffs etc.) to Gazans from Egypt. Israel has contended these tunnels are also used to import weapons to Hamas and other militant organizations.

    The anguish now felt in Israel is that these tunnels, thought to be destroyed by hundreds of Israeli Air Force bombing runs, are largely either still in operation or capable of being repaired. A Fox News camera crew, led by reporter Michael Tobin, recently was escorted underground from Gaza into Egypt by tunnel operators and verified that the aerial bombing did not damage the tunnel he was in. When the unilateral cease-fire was declared by Israel several days ago there was no commitment by Israel to lift the blockade and it was felt that the Gazans source of trade with the outside world – the tunnel system – had been destroyed and could not be restored for an indefinite time, causing some to initially believe that Israel had won a decisive victory in Gaza.

    The Israeli government has now hinted that it may lift the blockade – for a price that will include a plan being implemented giving sufficient assurances that arms importation into Gaza will not continue and that captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit will be released. Gazan militants have responded that their prior offer to release Shalit in exchange for a number of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons remains on the table. The public in Israel has largely felt that the recent failure to recover Shalit was one of the disappointments of Operation Cast Lead.

    The fact that there are negotiations that could lead to relative peace and satisfaction to both sides is a positive thing. This is where leadership of the international community, and especially of the Obama administration, is sorely needed to mediate a dialogue between the warring parties and to avoid future bloodshed and an amelioration of relations between both sides in this region.

       —Mark Koroi    Jan. 23 '09 - 04:54AM    #
  33. Re Post#31: Yesterday’s Michigan Daily reports that there is currently a push to curtail the ability of non-students to address the Michigan Student Assembly during the Public Commentary period.

    This push was motivated by the recent extended discussion that led to last month’s Gaza resolution by MSA. Some assembly members have felt that too much time is being spent on non-core issues; opponents have countered that the true motivation is trying to prevent discussion and criticism of Israeli conduct in Gaza.

    In any event, I applaud the Michigan Student Assembly for their resolution last month promoting peace in that region for all sides.

       —Mark Koroi    Feb. 13 '09 - 01:45AM    #
  34. It looks like the equivalent of Michigan Student Assembly is very busy at Hampshire College:

    Board of Trustees approved the proposal to divest from companies affiliated with Israel’s military actions in Palestine.

       —Campus    Feb. 13 '09 - 04:01AM    #
  35. I take issue with your assertion that the Michigan Student Assembly is the “equivalent” of the Hampshire College Board of Trustees as the former is a student government organization and the latter is the actual charter ruling body of the college.

    Hampshire College’s actions in divesting from corporations transacting business with the State of Israel, including Caterpillar and ITT, among others is nothing short of historic. I am sure the shock waves in academia and among civil rights groups has not yet been absorbed as of yet.

    No matter what side of the fence you are on the matter of divestment, it is clear that Hampshire College’s actions are groundbreaking and we will a lot more about this story and the pros and cons in general of divestment as a protest strategy in the near future.

       —Mark Koroi    Feb. 13 '09 - 07:31AM    #
  36. Just saw this:

    Motion to boycott Israel passed at University of Manchester Student Union

    Are the Michigan students going the same way?

       —The Colonel    Feb. 13 '09 - 08:48PM    #
  37. More activity at the U-M campus:

    Warsaw Ghetto Comparison

       —The Colonel    Feb. 19 '09 - 02:09AM    #
  38. Re Post#14: Congressman Keith Ellison is back in the news again as he visited Gaza along with Senator John Kerry and Congressman Brian Baird.

    A United Nations intermediary at the U.N. compound in Gaza handed the Massachusetts Democratic U.S. Senator a letter from Hamas representatives to forward to President Obama.

    The trio of Congressmen also visited the beleaguered Israeli city of Sderot.

    Congressmen Ellison has previously visited the region and is considered one of the most forceful proponents for a peaceful solution in this troubled area.

       —Mark Koroi    Feb. 20 '09 - 04:11AM    #
  39. That explains today’s news from the campuses.

    Suddenly the NYU campus is occupied. Students are demanding aid to Gaza:

    NYU Occupation Demands Aid to Gaza

    Similar campus occupation at St. Andrews University today, as well:

    St. Andrews Student Occupation

       —The Colonel    Feb. 20 '09 - 05:47AM    #
  40. Re # 40 from The Colonel. The specious comparisons by Finkelstein and mentioned several times above along with a lot of other pro-Hamas/anti-Israel rhetoric were countered by me and others such as “Ayatollah Ghilmeini, actual graduate” who could have hardly refuted this gross distortion any better, “In the actual Warsaw ghetto, 95% or more did not survive to see 1946, but Gaza’s population is growing pretty fast. In the Warsaw Ghetto, thousands died of disease and depravation, in Gaza there have been zero reports of starvation or dehydration deaths. Not one. So how exactly is Gaza like the Warsaw Ghetto? One has to ask, by what rational criteria does Finkelstein [and others] make [t]his comparison? The prewar population [of Gaza] was about 1.5 million, and it is still about that. Not even one tenth of 1% died in a war. If you can find me a single instance of Hitler ordering his armies to behave humanely during WWII, I will convert to Islam and support the PLO.

    “But there are plenty of videos and reports of Hamas throwing human beings off of buildings and shooting opponents in the legs. Oddly enough Finkelstein blames Israel for that too.”

    Re # 42, also from The Colonel, I’m happy to report that the NYU siege is over.

       —Mike    Feb. 21 '09 - 11:18AM    #
  41. Re Posts #41 and #43: One of the most salient aspects of Congressmen Ellison and Baird’s observations has been the intense suffering of Gaza’s children during the recent Israeli incursion. It cannot be denied that hundreds of Gazan children were killed or maimed during this fighting. On the flip side, there were significant numbers of Israeli children who were seriously wounded by Gazan rockets.

    The Gaza conflict has severely impacted the lives of all children in the region in an adverse manner. No one should minimize their plight. It, rather, should be the impetus to support efforts for general peace in the area as well as relief aid for these undeserving young victims of a political and military conflict.

       —Kerry D.    Feb. 22 '09 - 12:47AM    #
  42. Re # 44: Kerry D, I don’t think any reasonable person would argue with you that innocent people, including children, both Arab and Israeli, have suffered terribly as a result of violent actions by Hamas and its allies and the IDF. That wasn’t the main point of the discussion. I’ll leave aside the issue of who is to blame for this as almost everyone has strong feelings on that matter and, believe it or not, I think that there is plenty of culpability to go around to all the parties involved.

    So, for now, at least, setting aside the subjective discussion on who initiated the latest round of violence, I think we should focus on what I wrote in reference to post #40; therein, the link to the Daily article at, “At event, controversial professor shifts focus, discusses Gaza,” has been labeled by The Colonel, “Warsaw Ghetto Comparison.” This refers to the following in said article:

    “Finkelstein also compared the Palestinians in Gaza with prisoners in the Warsaw Ghetto of Nazi-occupied Poland, saying that both are ‘captive populations,’ that have been ‘deprived of food, water, medicine and other necessities.’”

    This is an entirely spurious and reprehensible association—made by more than one person on this blog—that does not correspond with the facts. This blatantly false connection debases the memory of all those who were deliberately penned in to a truly crowded and disease-infested ghetto—true barbarism that was repeated in thousands of places occupied by the Nazis—(a city quarter, not a whole region with numerous towns and villages and several cities as is the case in Gaza) and forced into slave labor, starved, worked and beaten mercilessly almost always unto death (if disease and malnourishment didn’t do the trick), tortured, forcefully denied any food and other provisions or basic sanitation, and totally and systematically dehumanized, all because of the accident of their birth, i.e., as Jews. And, if being shut in to the ghetto and brutalized within it didn’t kill off its inhabitants, those that somehow survived this terror were deported to forced labor camps or extermination camps like they were subhumans.

    And, once again, the Jews trapped in the Warsaw Ghetto—as well as all the other death traps methodically instituted by the Germans and their collaborators—were not heavily armed (with rockets and AK-47s) and supported with military aid and hardware by several well-heeled outside organizations and countries such as Iran and Syria, e.g. Nor did they have the propaganda machine that Hamas has. The differences are so striking that anyone making such a specious assertion is either completely ignorant of history or is cynically manipulating reality to try to gain propaganda points for simplistic and hate-based drivel in much the same way as Holocaust deniers. The latter will state that this brutal period, 1933-1945, in which Hitler nearly succeeded in his stated aim of annihilating all the Jews of Europe, never occurred while maintaining just as cavalierly that it was a shame that the Nazis didn’t finish the job!

    Assertions that 2009 Gaza is just like 1940s Warsaw are nothing short of obscene.

       —Mike    Feb. 22 '09 - 11:58AM    #
  43. I remember the newsreels of the Warsaw Ghetto being cut off, and the last horses loaded with flour being allowed in. It does remind you of Gaza.

       —The Colonel    Feb. 23 '09 - 08:29PM    #
  44. Re Post#45: Dr. Marek Edelman of Poland may disagree with you. He is the last surviving leader of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. He escaped Warsaw after the uprising where he joined the Polish Resistance. After WWII he attended medical school, became a cardiologist, and later became an activist in the Solidarity movement. After the fall of the Communist government he was elected to the Polish parliament. He was later awarded the Order of the White Eagle, the highest honor given by the Polish government.

    In 2002, he authored an open letter to Palestinian militants emphasizing the educational links between Poland and Palestinians and encouraging them to avoid inflicting civilian casualties as his fighters had done and to seek a peaceful solution to the conflict, observing that there will never be a military solution for either Palestinians or Israelis.

    Dr. Edelman indicated that the peace pact between Ireland and the United Kingdom is an example that such peace is possible for conflicts such as that between the Palestinians and Israelis.

    There are few with such moral standing as Dr. Edelman to give such valuable recomendations toward a lasting peace in th region.

       —Mark Koroi    Feb. 24 '09 - 05:07AM    #
  45. waiting for the punchline…. did Dr. Edelman compare the warsaw ghetto to gaza?
    or do you take the fact that he advocated for peace between israelis and palestinians as a rebuke to #45’s argument? if so, your logic escapes me.

       —stupid    Feb. 24 '09 - 05:59AM    #
  46. I don’t know how many times this can be said, but comparing what the Nazis did to the Jews in Warsaw and thousands of other places between 1933 and 1945 to what Hamas basically brought upon itself and many innocents in Gaza is totally baseless and morally offensive.

    To The Colonel in Post # 46: your statement, “I remember the newsreels of the Warsaw Ghetto being cut off, and the last horses loaded with flour being allowed in. It does remind you of Gaza” is beyond absurd. The best one can say about this remark is that your association is akin to saying, “I remember seeing newsreels of dead people in Warsaw and a bunch of rival gangland killers cut down by Al Capone’s mob in Chicago; the gang wars in Chicago were just like the Warsaw Ghetto!” It’s apples and hand grenades. If you want to complain about Gaza, at least keep it in context, and stop making spurious, misleading, and ultimately inane links between two sets of events that are not now and never will be analogous. If you so desperately want to construct a connection between 1943 and 2009, I suggest this: the Nazis wanted to destroy all the Jews, and so does Hamas! There’s your equivalent.

       —Mike    Feb. 25 '09 - 09:22AM    #
  47. It does seem that the campuses are unhappy with the situation in Gaza.

    Minnesota students protest ties to Israel

    Israeli Apartheid Week at many campuses

       —The Colonel    Feb. 25 '09 - 08:35PM    #
  48. Yesterday’s article from ‘Times Online’,

    Amnesty International: Gaza white phosphorus shells were US made

    White phosphorus bombs used by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip were produced and supplied by American arms manufacturers, according to an Amnesty International report that called for a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel.

       —Michael Schils    Feb. 26 '09 - 01:15AM    #
  49. A candidate for mayor has also been asking for boycott, due to the same situation:

    Candidate for Mayor Says: Boycott Israel.

    It makes you wonder if that will happen here, too.

       —The Colonel    Feb. 26 '09 - 02:45AM    #
  50. Hey, The Colonel,

    Interesting how you make your nonsensical comparisons, then don’t answer the questions and comments that show how absurd your remarks are. So, students are protesting. I used to be a student who protested, too. What’s the matter, can’t think for yourself?

    Egypt gets as much aid as Israel from the US, suppresses all dissent pretty harshly; where are the calls for divestment? We fuel the Saudi economy by being slaves to their oil, then they fund Al Qaeda (mostly Egyptians and Saudis caused the brutal murders of 9/11) and other terror groups: where are the protests to cut ties with the Saudis? China owns the US economy, and they suppress not only Tibet—a totally sovereign, independent nation until the Chinese brutally occupied it and suppressed the Tibetan culture. Except when there’s an Olympics, no protests by all these great students you admire so, Colonel. And no mass demonstrations calling for divestment from China. Know what the difference is? Israel is a Jewish state, the only one in the whole world and surrounded by a huge sea of mostly autocratic or worse Arab and Moslem states, and that’s what really irks you and the other anti-Israel crowd, that one tiny Jewish state exists. That’s why you have to fall on specious arguments that try to link Gaza of 2008 and 2009 with Warsaw of 1939-1945.

       —Mike    Feb. 26 '09 - 02:51AM    #
  51. I don’t know why I am being accused of “can’t think for yourself?”

    I made no personal remarks to Mike, and I hope to see an apology from him.

       —The Colonel    Feb. 26 '09 - 03:16AM    #
  52. To The Colonel, re: 52: You wrote, “A candidate for mayor has also been asking for boycott, due to the same situation:

    “Candidate for Mayor Says: Boycott Israel.

    “It makes you wonder if that will happen here, too.”

    Well, I followed the link to this article at A few salient points.

    “Hermann Dierkes, a leftist candidate for mayor [from the Leftist Party, yes, that’s its name] in the Ruhr Valley city Duisburg, on Wednesday defended his call for a boycott of Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians despite widespread criticism he was stoking anti-Jewish sentiments in Germany.”

    By alluding to this article, most of which discussed how even his extreme leftist, Socialist party repudiated his remarks, and at least seeming like you agree with him, it really makes one wonder by your continuous comparisons of Gaza, 2008-09 to Warsaw, 1939-45, if you, too aren’t trying to stir up antisemitic feelings here in Ann Arbor.

    And what did your wonderful mayoral candidate in Germany say? “Dierkes,” the article continued, “unleashed a storm of criticism this week after saying the Holocaust could not be used as an excuse for Israel’s recent military campaign in the Gaza Strip.

    “Even The Left’s party leadership felt compelled to distance itself from Dierkes on Wednesday, saying his call for a boycott ‘absurd’ and an ineffective way to help promote peace in the Middle East.

    “And Petra Pau, a high-ranking MP for The Left, said Dierkes’ language was unacceptable.

    “‘In light of Germany’s history, such comments awaken unspeakable associations and serve the darkest clichés,’ Pau told Berlin daily Der Tagesspeigel.

    So, all this article highlights is that even this fellow’s own party heap scorn on his call for a boycott of Israel.

    You say, “It makes you wonder if that will happen here, too.” Don’t hold your breath. And, if what will happen? An imbecilic, hate-motivated candidate for mayor of Ann Arbor some day calls for a boycott of Israel? Such a stand would be ridiculed here, too, just as it should be.

    Re your post # 54: Why should I apologize to you? It seems like all you do is foment hatred for Jews under the guise of your anti-Israel stance. And as for the comment about not being able to think for yourself, I think it’s most appropriate. All you do is send these little snippets with re-labeled titles to links to articles that you take out of context, anyway, highlighting what supports your concepts without saying what the main thrust of them are. This is pure deceit. If anything, you owe the readers of this blog an apology for the simplistic, spurious comments you snidely make. But I don’t expect you will do that any more than you will drop the sick allusions.

       —Mike    Feb. 26 '09 - 08:37AM    #
  53. Correction to my previous post, #55: Hermann Dierkes’ party, which distanced itself from his call for a boycott of Israel and related insensitive remarks is called The Left, and not what I wrote in the fifth paragraph of my message. Sorry for the error.

       —Mike    Feb. 26 '09 - 09:06AM    #
  54. It appears that another university is facing rather strong demands by its students today:

    Plymouth University is occupied; Students demand Boycott of Israeli Products.

       —The Colonel    Feb. 26 '09 - 11:19PM    #
  55. Re Post#48: “…did Dr. Edelman compare the Warsaw Ghetto to Gaza?”

    If not expressly, Dr. Edelman did make an implied comparison, according to observers.

    In an article entitled “Palestine’s Partisans” in the August 22, 2001 volume of the Guardian, authored by journalist Paul Foot, Dr. Edelman was cited as one of two respected world leaders who came to the defense of jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti, who had been awaiting trial in Israel:

    “While Mr. Barghouti waits for his trial to start, two other powerful voices have been raised to haunt the Israeli authorities. The first is that of Nelson Mandela…[t]he other voice was that of Marek Edelman, who was deputy commander of the historic Warsaw ghetto uprising of the Jews against the Nazis in 1943.

    “Now in his 80s, Mr. Edelman wrote a letter earlier this month to Palestinian leaders. Though the letter criticised the suicide bombers, its tone infuriated the Israeli government and its press. He wrote in a spirit of solidarity from a fellow resistance fighter, as a former leader of a Jewish uprising not dissimilar in desperation to the Palestinian uprising in the occupied territories. He addressed his letter to ‘commanders of the Palestinian military, paramilitary and partisan operations – to all soldiers of the Palestinian fighting organisations….’ “

    Subsequently, Dr. Edelman authored a letter addressed to Dr. Mustafa Barghouti. Barghouti is the Stanford University-educated director of the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees; he had earlier been kept in detention by Israeli authorities, where he claimed to have sustained severe beatings by his Israeli captors and suffered a fractured knee and head injuries. The letter called for Mustafa Barghouti’s help to initiate a joint Jewish-Palestinian movement for peace in the Middle East. Dr. Barghouti acknowledged the letter in a reply correspondence “with great pleasure”.

    A copy of each of the respective letters have been reprinted in their entirety at

    Not too long ago, Dr. Edelman was visited at his home in Lodz by a Palestinian civil rights leader.

    The interest exhibited by Dr. Edelman in the Palestinian cause and his desire to initiate a joint Palestinian-Jewish peace movement clearly are a product of his history as a freedom fighter and the parallels between that history and the ongoing gridlock in Israeli-Palestinian relations. His efforts should be applauded by all.

       —Mark Koroi    Feb. 27 '09 - 06:18AM    #
  56. Another campus has taken drastic action today:

    University sit-in forces divestment of stock in companies that supply military equipment to Israel.

       —The Colonel    Feb. 28 '09 - 03:39AM    #
  57. re #58.
    I applaud Dr. Edelman’s efforts. But none of the information you have posted provides any justification for comparing Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto. Some are justifiably sensitive to any comparison having to do with the Nazis, and you do your cause a disservice by repeatedly invoking that era.

       —dumberer    Feb. 28 '09 - 04:40AM    #
  58. While the death rates in the Gaza and Warsaw ghettos don’t match, it isn’t because Israel hasn’t tried. There would certainly be many more dead Palestinians if it weren’t for the UN aid and the tunneling of supplies.

    Rather than the Nazis, the situation in Gaza may more closely resemble the US treatment of its indigenous peoples. Both were driven from their lands before being “reduced” over time.

    But maybe the best reason that the Warsaw/Gaza comparison should be avoided is because it inevitably results in the Israel sympathizers making claims for victimhood exclusivity, which only serves as a distraction from the most important issues — Gaza is a concentration camp controlled by Israel, and Israel has committed war crimes (while using weapons supplied by the United States.)

    Regarding this thread, any comments directed at the person are counter-productive and puts the discussion at risk of degenerating into a useless series of emotive rants by extremists who like to “yell” their talking points at each other, usually in all capital letters. (Like has happened here before.)

       —Michael Schils    Mar. 1 '09 - 01:05AM    #
  59. Re Post # 57:

    Well, I really hate to quote “Saint” Ronnie, but “there you go again…”

    “It appears that another university is facing rather strong demands by its students today:

    “Plymouth University is occupied; Students demand Boycott of Israeli Products.”

    —The Colonel

    1) Quoting an anti-Israel source, it’s not at all surprising that they showcase your misleading views.

    2) 20 students? A real “mass” protest. Out of a student body of over 30,000, that’s less than 6/10ths of one percent.

    3) It’s so “important” that there’s nothing on this on the University of Plymouth’s own website or any story in a major UK newspaper.

    4) The U of P administration showed what little backbone they have, however, by giving in quickly to just one of the “big band’s” blackmail demands. You see, the administration acceded to a compromise version (not even what the occupiers demanded) of a single one of the protesters’ stipulations to end their illegal occupation. On the surface, anyway, this appears to be the only one of their demands (in the way the UP admin. changed it, anyway) that made any sense. If Hamas gets to pick the 6 Gaza students who get the scholarships to UP, however, maybe the Plymouth community better start watching out for left packets and check lockers again as they had to do during the IRA terror bombing campaign of not that long ago.

       —Mike    Mar. 3 '09 - 01:20AM    #
  60. Re post # 59: “Another campus has taken drastic action today:

    “University sit-in forces divestment of stock in companies that supply military equipment to Israel.

    —The Colonel

    Congratulations, Mr. Colonel, you found the Hampshire College of Wales! Amazing how easy it is to spread an anti-Jewish state movement while ignoring the crimes of Hamas, which set the defensive strikes by Israel into motion; this is how they paid Israel back for its genuine and huge unilateral peace gesture of three years ago when Israeli forces evacuated all Israelis from Gaza and ceded the territory to Palestinian Arab control. The payback? Deadly rockets are launched on a daily and indiscriminate basis into Israeli territory. Also amazing how only the one Jewish state in the world draws so much ire for justly defending itself while everyone ignores the crimes of all the authoritarian, theocratic, and/or dictatorial Islamic regimes of the Middle East and elsewhere. And how all you so-called “defenders of peace and justice” are silent about real genocide and/or ethnic cleansing and other forms of violent repression taking place in Darfur, the Congo, Tibet, Iran, Burma, and to only a slightly lesser extent in Gaza and the West Bank where Hamas and others of their ilk spare no efforts to eradicate anything that resembles compromise or moderation or is non-Islamic.

    And, BTW, nothing about your linked article above on Cardiff U’s website, either. Remarkable how ashamed the administrators at both of these UK universities—Cardiff and Plymouth—are about their shameful actions. At least Hampshire came out with a cowardly two-faced press release where they tried to say they divested and at the same time didn’t divest and weren’t giving in to an extremist student group while having praised the same group out of the other side of their institutional mouth.

       —Mike    Mar. 3 '09 - 02:02AM    #
  61. Re post # 61:

    The writer of this post is once again not very subtly making the baseless and obscene comparison of the events of 1940s Warsaw with the situation in 21st century Gaza. This comparison, false as it is, is reminiscent of the huge, antisemitic fraud that is still widely circulated and accepted as fact in some quarters, many of them in the Arab and Islamic world as well as among white supremacists, i.e., the infamous forgery known as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

    “While the death rates in the Gaza and Warsaw ghettos don’t match, it isn’t because Israel hasn’t tried.”

    By basically saying that the Israelis have tried to eradicate the populace of Gaza and labeling Gaza “a concentration camp controlled by Israel,” he is in no equivocal terms equating Israel with Hitler’s Nazi regime. Like the Nazis, you can keep repeating the Big Lie until you are blue in the face—and you find numerous people, either malicious or easily misled to buy into it—but it will still not make it true.

    “There would certainly be many more dead Palestinians if it weren’t for the UN aid and the tunneling of supplies.”

    There would be far fewer Palestinian Arabs dead or injured if Hamas and their ilk would stop firing rockets into Israel; or sending mostly brainwashed or woefully misled suicide bombers, often teenagers or younger, to kill as many innocent Israeli civilians as they can; and stop trying to come up with as many ways as they can (driving cars, trucks, and construction equipment into crowds of Israelis, e.g.) to kill as many Israelis as they can.

    There would be many more Palestinian Arabs still alive today if the “brave” fighters of Hamas and other anti-Israel guerrillas would stop hiding among civilians when they make their cowardly attacks.

    There would be fewer dead Palestinian Arabs if Hamas didn’t use a campaign of terror and violence to limit opposition in the territory it controls. When shooting opponents in the knees or throwing them off of buildings was insufficient, they went into hospitals in Gaza and killed wounded victims of the recent battles between Israel and Hamas to help inflate the death figures.

    A lot of those “supplies” tunneled into Gaza, by the way, are deadly weapons, not just bread, cheese, milk, chewing gum, and cookies.

    Jews in Nazi Germany, and especially not in the Nazi-imposed ghettos such as Warsaw and all over 1940s Europe, never made large scale indiscriminate attacks on German civilians and were in fact, peaceful, loyal, and productive citizens of Germany, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Italy, and all other lands that Hitler eventually occupied. Hamas, on the other hand, has access to the kind of weaponry that persecuted Jews of Nazi Germany could have only dreamed of as they were first denied all their rights; then herded into tiny disease-infested ghettos and starved, frozen, tortured, brutalized, beaten, and worked to death; then sent to slave labor, concentration, or extermination camps. Anyone who equates Gaza—a land Israel unilaterally ceded to Palestinian Arabs three years ago to see themselves repaid with daily rocket fire and a series of suicide bombings—with Nazi ghettos is either pathologically ignorant of history or cynically perpetuating a hate-riddled propaganda that can only be labeled as extreme antisemitism. Such comparisons have been, are, and will always be malevolent and not grounded in fact.

    That we still have to have this kind of argument in 2009 shows how pernicious and deeply-rooted Judeophobia is.

    If anyone bears a resemblance to Nazis or certainly their ideology, it is Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade, the PFLP, the Iranian regime, the Sudanese Islamic government and its genocidal maniacs in Darfur, and the other Islamic fanatics. For they, just like the Nazis, have as one of their highest priorities, the annihilation of all Jews. And, also like the Nazis, in many cases, the goal of jihadists is not only spreading Islam all over the world, but eradicating all “infidels,” whether by conversion or by murder.

    “But maybe the best reason that the Warsaw/Gaza comparison should be avoided is because it inevitably results in the Israel sympathizers making claims for victimhood exclusivity, which only serves as a distraction from the most important issues.”

    The above statement is perhaps the most ridiculous, self-serving piece of drivel in post 61! The same person who then calls Gaza a “concentration camp controlled by Israel,” argues for avoiding the comparison, not because he doesn’t think it’s a valid one—he obviously does—but because he’s afraid that it can be used by Israeli sympathizers to turn this preposterous argument on its head. There seems to be a pathetic, almost desperate need among Israel’s haters to come up with a highly-charged negative simile for Israeli’s absolutely legitimate defense against continuous, violent onslaughts by its enemies that they hope and pray could not be easily disproved as is the specious “Gaza is just like the Warsaw Ghetto” lie. Well, it won’t work, because Israel has a right to defend itself, and no amount of false labeling will make this simple truth disappear.

    “Regarding this thread, any comments directed at the person are counter-productive and puts the discussion at risk of degenerating into a useless series of emotive rants by extremists who like to ‘yell’ their talking points at each other, usually in all capital letters. (Like has happened here before.)”

    By setting up this straw man, Michael Schils is trying to derail any legitimate opposing arguments to his own claims before they are even made. Funny how he sees as “extremist” rants anything that runs counter to his own fulminations just because he avoids placing them in ALL CAPS!

       —Mike    Mar. 3 '09 - 03:36AM    #
  62. Mike,

    So when do Palestinians get to return to Palestine, the land their families lived on before 1948? Tell us something Mike, what would you do if you were told the land you were born in was no longer your country? Yasser Arafat went out of his way to prostrate himself and recognize Israel’s right to exist, so what did that buy him and the rest of Palestine (Hint: before Arafat died, Ariel Sharon was quoted in the newspapers as saying they should have assassinated him in 1982 when an IDF sniper had him in his sights)? Mike, are you a narcissistic psychopath? I need to ask since the kill ratio was 100 Palestinians killed for every Israeli killed in operation Cast Lead aka the Honica Massacre but you would have us believe it is the Palestinians that are the major threat to peace in the middle east. It is the Israelis that are doing a better job of driving Palestinians into the sea, not the other way around but you want us to drink the cool-aid that it is the Israelis that are the victims here!
       —Stuart    Mar. 3 '09 - 08:37AM    #
  63. Re Post #62: The Jewish suffering during 1933-45 was indeed reprehensible, not only in the Warsaw Ghetto, but also the Roman Ghetto in which over 1,000 Jews from this historic district were deported in 1943 to Auschwitz as well as other acts of violence, including the massacre at Babi Yar. The historical examples of evil on a massive scale perpetrated against the world Jewry reached its historical height during this time period.

    Likewise, there are many within Israel who have direct ties to the Holocaust. The founding of the State of Israel in 1948 was largely due the problem of large numbers of displaced Jews following the end of World War II. Many of the founding members of the Jewish State were in fact numbered from
    among such refugees from Eastern Europe. Menachem Begin, a leader of the Irgun, was among these.

    Many Palestinians at that time welcomed the Jewish refugees. Others even became allied with the Jewish underground in the War for Independence. These would include the Arab Druze community in Israel. The Arab Druzes have since held high positions in the State of Israel governments, including many Knesset seats over the years. Today the is a brigadier general in the IDF who is Druze, a recent deputy speaker of the Knesset was Druze, and a recently-elected member of the Knesset from the ultra-rightist Yisrael Beitinu party of Avigdor Lieberman is an Arab Druze. Likewise, Israel’s Bedouin Arab community has a long history of service in the Israel Defense Forces, largely needed for their skills as pathfinders in the Israeli wilderness areas that the Bedouin community is familiar with.
    Since the Gaza invasion two of the IDF soldiers killed in action included one Druze and one Bedouin.

    To label the Israel/Palestine conflict as one between Arabs and Jews oversimplifies it. Keep in mind that 20% of Israeli citizens are Arabic. Many of the Israeli dead in the 2006 Second Lebanon War were Arab Israelis.

    One study identified Gaza as the second poorest territory in the world, next to only Zambia. Unemployment is about 40%, running water is scarce and numerous outside observers to the region, most notably and recent being Tony Blair, have expressed shock over the human suffering.

    Top Israeli leaders, including Lieberman and Netanyahu have pledged further military action in Gaza toward eradicating Hamas as a force. This action would only send the Gazan populace further toward death and starvation. Netanyahu personally has suffered the pain of terrorism as his brother was killed in the Entebbe raid in 1976 attempting to rescue airline passengers. Lieberman’s background and motivations are, however more political.

    The rockets fired into Israel from Gaza were motivated to attempt to pressure Israel to lift the blockade on Gazan trade. Jimmy Carter recognized this and thus concluded Israel bore a degree of responsibility for the Hamas rocket attacks. Carter also recognized Netanyahu as a potentially reasonable leader who could be a positive force for peace in the region as Prime Minister Begin had been 30 years earlier.

    If we look at the “success” of Israel’s invasion into Gaza we see the more of the same. A “drizzle” of Katyusha and Qassam rockets have struck into Israeli population centers since the cease-fire. Gaza militants exploded a roadside bomb at an IDF patrol causing a number of dead and wounded soldiers. And, of course, the IDF delivered the obligatory retaliation for those acts.

    In a nutshell, there will be no peace in the region until both sides sit down and negotiate a truce based upon reconstruction of Gaza, lifting the blockade and a demilitarization of the borders between the parties as part of a cease-fire, hopefully with a sizeable U.N. peacekeeping force as was implemented in the Sinai Peninsula as part of the Camp David accords, or has been emplaced in Lebanon following the Israeli incursion in 2006.

    There will be no military solution in Gaza. A negotiated peace is the only answer.

       —Mark Koroi    Mar. 3 '09 - 09:48AM    #
  64. Stuart, when you are ready to let the Native Americans have back the land that they were violently driven from—land that you probably live on right now—beginning in the 17th century and pretty much completed by the 1880s, maybe then we can talk honestly about this complicated mess that you are trying to simplify into black and white. Without making this concession, you are a flaming hypocrite.

    What makes me a narcissist? You obviously only see what you want to see. I didn’t say the Israelis are the victims, though so many only like Jews when they are victims. You’re putting words in my mouth, and what could be more narcissistic than that? If you read carefully and look carefully, you will maybe see that the Palestinian Arabs or at least their leaders and the governments of their Arab brothers are largely responsible for their own horrible situation.

    The UN voted to partition Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state in 1948. The Israelis accepted this even though it meant a fractured country. The Arabs rejected it, and Israel was attacked on all fronts by their neighbors before the state even had a chance to get off the ground. There’s only one tiny Jewish state in the world (the size of New Jersey) and dozens of Islamic ones (most of which are dozens of times the size of Israel), but even though almost all of the latter are oppressive, despotic lands, it is only the one, tiny Jewish and democratic country, Israel, that no one wants to exist. If the shoe were on the other foot, and Israel lost even one war, do you think its conquerors would allow it to continue to exist for even a minute?

    What other nation that has won a series of battles with its enemies ever gave back an inch of territory? Israel reached a peace agreement with Egypt and returned every inch of the Sinai. Israel unilaterally forced its own citizens out of Gaza. This wasn’t a palpable gesture of peace? What did they get in return? Daily rocket attacks and suicide bombers.

    Also, if Hamas was sincere in wanting to help its own people, would they have burned down all the greenhouses the Israelis left behind just because Jews built them? They could have used these as part of a series of bases to feed their people who are supposedly starving. If they aren’t responsible for the carnage in their land that they add to by kneecapping, torturing, and killing any domestic opponents, who is? They even recently went into hospitals and killed injured Gazans to get a bigger death total. Even the UN, which others say help keep the casualty figures lower in Gaza, had food and supplies that it was going to use to feed the people stolen by Hamas at gun point. So, they are the victims? Give me a break!

    If the houses, schools, and streets of Ann Arbor faced daily rocket attacks from Windsor (using tunnels under the Detroit River to resupply their arms), and your home got hit, maybe killing some members of your family, G-d forbid, you would be the first one screaming for the US to go into Canada and destroy the sources of the missile fire.

    As for Arafat, he not only said in English that he was for peace with Israel and in Arabic that he would drive the Jews into the sea, but he was so corrupt that he siphoned off most of the aid he received from the West to line his and his cronies’ pockets (shades of Bush/Cheney/Rove) and set his wife up in multi-million dollar mansions in Paris and villas in “Palestine.” The question is, what did Israel get in return for bending over backwards and more to make an agreement with this two-faced, corrupt, truly narcissistic terrorist? Two intifadas, explosions in public places and a series of suicide bombings deliberately targeting, killing, and maiming civilians.

    Say what you will, most Israelis truly want peace and are willing to give up land in exchange for it despite the fact that it would make them even more vulnerable to attack, while too many Arabs and Moslems just want to wipe the Jewish state off the map as Ahmadinejad, Hamas, Hezbollah, and others plainly spurt forth.

    The Palestinian Arabs would gain much from a true peace and territorial compromise with Israel, but they just don’t want it. Their hatred for Israel and their desire to destroy her—like the anti-Israel faction on this blog, including you, Stuart—far exceeds not only their desire for peace, but for their own Palestinian state. If this weren’t true, they’d have had their state 60 years ago.

    And, although I do not agree with everything that Mark Koroi says in post #66, he at least presents a much more balanced take on what is truly a very complex and painful situation for almost all concerned. Where I do agree with him completely is when he says, “In a nutshell, there will be no peace in the region until both sides sit down and negotiate a truce” and “a negotiated peace is the only answer.” Right now, I think, that a truce is the most we can expect to get, if even that. I am not very optimistic about a long-range and lasting peace although, as any reasonable person would, I desire that more than anything, for this long, intractable conflict and bloody region.

    And since The Colonel likes to share links, here are two to articles by Israeli Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh:

    “No tears for Hamas leader in Ramallah” at

    “Telling the Truth about the Palestinians” at

    As Toameh, someone who openly and justifiably criticizes Israel for unequal treatment of its own Arab citizens (yes, I see imperfections in the Israeli government’s behavior just as in many other governments; many others are far, far worse, but are often given a pass), recently said while speaking here in Ann Arbor:

    “I would rather be a second class citizen in Israel than a first class citizen in the West Bank, Gaza, Cairo, or Amman.” When Jews, if such are ever allowed to live there in peace, safety, and security, can ever say this about being citizens of a Palestinian Arab state, living side by side with Jewish Israel, we will have really come a long way towards a better world.

       —Mike    Mar. 3 '09 - 10:50AM    #
  65. Mike,

    So by referencing the Native American Indians, you are implicitly acknowledging that Israel is a colonial settler regime and their goal is to perpetrate genocide against the indigenous population, namely the Palestinians. Thanks, I’ll take that as a yes to my question, “Are you a narcissistic psychopath?” You see Mike, I’m not ashamed to admit that my ancestors were wrong and that I see my obligation today as one of acknowledging the full human and civil rights of the American Indians. I don’t see my generations task as “giving back the land” but rather sharing the land in an equitable way with the decendents of the American Indians; why can’t Israel do the same?
       —Stuart    Mar. 4 '09 - 04:57AM    #
  66. No, Stuart, I’m saying that you are a big, pathetic hypocrite by having a double standard. Jews have lived in the Land of Israel continuously for thousands of years, unlike you and your ancestors here in America. If you expect that Israel on the tiny amount of land it has should resettle every Arab who lays claim to territory in what is the State of Israel and at the same time not be willing to repatriate all Native Americans to the land (in this country that is hundreds of times the size of Israel) from which your ancestors, as you freely admit, brutally evicted them, you are a crass, name-calling, pathological and hypocritical fraud.

    Do you believe as fervently that all the Arab states from whence Jews were violently forced out over the years should give them back their property and let them all move back? Since they would be as unwelcome in almost all those countries now as when they were driven out, this is basically a moot point, but let’s see if there is any consistency to any of your arguments…

    “I don’t see my generations [sic] task as ‘giving back the land’ but rather sharing the land in an equitable way with the decendents [sic] of the American Indians; why can’t Israel do the same?”

    The Native Americans aren’t blowing up non-American Indians, aren’t teaching their children to hate and destroy all whites, aren’t smuggling arms in tunnels to use against white civilians of all ages, and aren’t firing rockets at non-First Nation houses and schools; that’s a big difference. Also, as cited above, the US has a lot more land to play around with than Israel.

    And, come on, how is “your generation” sharing the land “in an equitable way with the descendants of the American Indians?” Where and how is this equity working out since your ancestors squeezed the Native Americans into mostly unproductive land on reservations while “your generation” has reserved the lion’s share of the territory, and by far all the best land, for itself?

    So, you see it as this generation of Israelis’ task to give back or share the land with Arabs you claim were thrown off of their land, but you don’t have the same standard for your generation here in the land you occupy? What crass duplicity. And, you have the effrontery to call me a “narcissistic psychopath?” It doesn’t even relate to anything I said. It shows that you are either an ignoramus who doesn’t even know what he’s saying or someone who likes to set up irrelevant smokescreens similar to your two-faced arguments. When you admit that you have a double standard, one for yourself and “your generation” along with all nation states (except one) in the world and another one for Israel, maybe we can actually have an honest discussion. Until then, I see trying to have a discussion with you as pointless. All you’re good at is attacking me—and presumably anyone else with whom you disagree—while failing to come to terms with your own bilious hypocrisy.

       —Mike    Mar. 4 '09 - 09:05AM    #
  67. “…you are a crass, name-calling, pathological and hypocritical fraud.”

    Mike, the irony of you accusing someone of “name-calling” is breathtaking.

    Are you the same “Mike” who, earlier in this thread questioned whether Israel would even allow itself to be investigated for a possible war crime, and later claimed that Israel’s actions had damaged its credibility and still later spoke favorably about a billboard encouraging peace for Palestinians?

    I suspect that you weren’t the author of these earlier comments, in which case I would suggest that you reconsider your decision to choose an almost-anonymous handle that was already being used. And pipe down a bit, will you? Your personal comments against all those that disagree with you are coming close to the civility threshold and might scare away would-be participants in this discussion. Here’s a hint — You may find that if you use your real name, then you will feel more inclined to address others with respect.

    Question — Can a person disagree with Israel’s policies of military aggression without you calling them ‘anti-Israel’, ‘an anti-Semite’, ‘a Jew hater’, or ‘a Judeo-phobic’?

       —Michael Schils    Mar. 4 '09 - 07:18PM    #
  68. Thank you, Michael. This morning, there seems to be more action on the campuses:

    Columbia students demand divestment against Israel

    400 U.K. academics protest Israeli universities, for working in the service of the Israeli military

    At Columbia University, Divestment is demanded against Israel, after ‘Israel’s brutal attack last month and the ongoing economic siege of Gaza’

       —The Colonel    Mar. 4 '09 - 08:44PM    #
  69. The BBC reported today that 4.48 billion dollars has been pledged to rebuild Gaza.

    Secretary of State Clinton reports that the U.S. shall donate $900 million of that total. Saudi Arabia will contribute a total of $1 billion.

    This aid package announced by Clinton and other foreign dignitaries at a conference in Sharm al-Sheikh was described by Egyptian Foreign Minister Aboul Gheit as “beyond our expectations”.

    The Palestinian Authority had requested only $2.8 billion for reconstruction.

    The funding has been described as the easy part as there still is the political logistical problem of having the rebuilding materials be cleared by Israel for entry into Gaza, which is now being subject to an Israeli blockade.

    It is good to see the U.S. join the world community in rendering necessary assistance to Gazans, even though those monies could have been used at home to help Americans who are losing their homes in foreclosure.

       —Mark Koroi    Mar. 5 '09 - 03:32AM    #
  70. Mike,

    Once again, 100 Palestinians were killed for every Israeli killed in Operation Cast Lead/Hanukkah Massacre; you continue to show no remorse and continue to blame the dead for their plight. This is why I will continue to accuse you of being a narcissistic psychopath. But you should not despair Mike, it seems to be a common affliction for most of the apologists for the state of Israel. You are following a well worn script Mike; Israel is never wrong, Israel is only defending itself blah, blah, blah. You’ve constructed this abstract paradigm that you continue to substitute for reality and in this paradigm, Israel is never wrong and Israelis are always the victim, regardless of the actual facts. What we on this list are being treated to is the usual automated drone attack by a rabid supporter of Israel who’s just following the usual script.
       —Stuart    Mar. 5 '09 - 05:54AM    #
  71. I’ll (try to) get to post 71 as soon as I can, but like all responses to “The Colonel,” who finds snippets to link to and can’t come up with his or her own text, it’s undoubtedly futile. Instead of responding to actual questions and the debunking of his disembodied snippets, he or she finds more links to paste. How very substantive!

    As for you, Stuart, you are beyond help; you are a very sick person.

    You didn’t read a word of my message and fail to respond to any of my legitimate concerns and questions, proof positive again of what an immense dissembling hypocrite you are. And, by always putting words into my mouth, you are not only a psychopath, but truly an egotist of the first magnitude.

    I plainly said that Israel is not above reproach and that there is enough blame to go around for all sides. And, there are victims on both sides of this intractable dispute including Israelis. But, you only see what you want to see through your monochromatic glasses. The problem with a monomaniac like you, my friend, is that you see everything in black and white terms, i.e., Israel=evil/Palestinian Arabs=good. It’s much more complicated than that, but you are far too much of a simpleton to see that.

    You can’t even offer a reasonable defense for your very unbalanced opinion that it’s perfectly fine with you for Israel to turn over all its land to Arabs (“share” it, as you say), but not do the same for the Native Americans here. People like you are great at very few things: name-calling (with totally ridiculous and meaningless epithets to boot) and projecting onto others what you yourself are, chief among them.

    You, as an apologist for Hamas and the Palestinian Arabs, think that these people are infantile children who can never be blamed for anything, too immature to bear any kind of responsibility for their actions; they have nothing whatever to do with their own plight; they don’t ever deliberately target innocent civilians (or you always justify such attacks as legitimate). You’re as blindly unwilling as you accuse me of being to ever admit that Hamas and the Palestinian Arabs ever do any wrong. No doubt about it: you are a vile and slimy hypocrite.

    I’d advise you to seek psychiatric help, but you probably think your mind is as healthy as you believe the cause of Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran’s government, and even Al Qaeda to be. You know, Stuart, I pity you; you are unbelievably pathetic.
    You must be taking psychotic lessons from Blaine Coleman.

       —Mike    Mar. 5 '09 - 10:23AM    #
  72. PS, Stuart, more proof of your hypocrisy: you stated (post 73)”

    “What we on this list are being treated to is the usual automated drone attack by a rabid supporter of Israel who’s just following the usual script.”

    Funny how you follow the robotic fanatical anti-Israel screenplay as in “oh, the Israelis are genocidal maniacs, brutally ‘occupying’ and ‘oppressing’ the poor Palestinians” while defending to the last breath of every victim in the Middle East every violent action of the Palestinian Arabs. If that’s not duplicitous verbiage, I don’t know what is. Maybe you should learn how to think before you speak and really try to look at all sides of this terrible conflict. It’s a good thing you’re not the one trying to negotiate a peace settlement: there would be nothing left to barter by the time you were through.

    Then again, I don’t know why I’m dispensing free psychiatric help to you. You should be paying someone for such counseling.

       —Mike    Mar. 5 '09 - 10:41AM    #
  73. Both the Israeli newspaper Haaretz as well as the Forward have reported in recent weeks that the 15,000-member Park Slope Co-op in Brooklyn is mulling a boycott of Israeli goods.

    A Park Slope co-op member has recruited ten other members to put the issue on the agenda for an upcoming general meeting. It had previously ben raised at an “open forum” discussion.

    Park Slope had previously boycotted Nestle as well as South African products.

       —Mark Koroi    Mar. 5 '09 - 11:15AM    #
  74. To Michael Schils in number 70:

    If you had actually followed the thread more carefully, you would see that Stuart was leveling all the names, especially “narcissistic psychopath,” a very popular term with the Israel bashers here, it seems. He also will not respond to my questions but resorts to double standards, and therefore, he legitimately merited the sobriquet, “crass, name-calling, pathological and hypocritical fraud.”

    Is it allowed that there be more than one Mike on this blog? Are you the arbiter of what people’s names are? Do I tell “The Colonel,” “No evasions,” Chuck L.,” (the “Green” coiner of the “narcissistic psychopath” term so beloved of Stuart and others on this thread?), “Campus,” and “Kerry D.” that they should identify themselves more positively?

    FYI, I’m not the same Mike of posts #20, 27, and 35; I am the Mike of posts #44, 49, 53, 55, 56, 63, 64, 67, and 69. Enough identification for you?

    I posted here in the past, and no one ever challenged my handle before. Why is it that the anti-Israel faction here is so arrogantly always ordering everyone about, trying to impinge on their free speech if it doesn’t dovetail with their own views? Something to ponder, I think.

    You don’t see Mark Koroi slinging nasty epithets around. I don’t agree with all—perhaps very little—of what he says, but at least he practices something resembling civil discourse, something that some people—lately Stuart is the best example—never seem to be able to do. He attacks the person and not the arguments. If he did the latter, one could possibly have a discussion with him. But when Chuck L., Stuart, and others project on others their own distorted outlook and label everyone who doesn’t share it a “narcissistic psychopath” (what a ridiculous and meaningless label that is, something invented by someone who can’t properly use language, and you accuse me of coming close to “crossing the civility threshold?”—on this blog?! You’ve really got to be kidding!) instead of discussing the issues in a gentlemanly manner like Mark Koroi, they add nothing to the “discussion” and—like Hamas—must bear the responsibility for the brunt of what they get in return.

    You order me to “address others with respect.” Are the people who call everyone with whom they disagree a “narcissistic psychopath” addressing “others with respect?” Who started the name calling? Who began to use such degrading and ultimately nonsensical appellations? Why doesn’t this apply to “your” side? How come you don’t find the remarks made by Stuart and others in your camp disrespectful? Why don’t they need to pipe down? Don’t tell me that that’s not a gross example of a double standard, of hypocrisy. Only those who defend (any action taken by) Israel are “yelling” their talking points according to you. This line of “reasoning” is absolutely parallel to your one-sided view of the Israeli-Arab conflict. What a surprise!

    “Question — Can a person disagree with Israel’s policies of military aggression without you calling them ‘anti-Israel’, ‘an anti-Semite’, ‘a Jew hater’, or ‘a Judeo-phobic’?”

    First of all, you are the one who labels Israel’s activities, acts of “military aggression.” That’s your opinion, and I take strong exception to it just as I assume that you vociferously disagree with me that Hamas is a terrorist group that delivers death and destruction to Israel—or tries very hard to on those many occasions when, thankfully, they miss—and thus brings fatalities and devastation on its own people.

    As much as I disagree with your opinion on Israel’s military activities, which I see as justifiable self-defense, your stating that doesn’t in and of itself make you an antisemite.

    But when you or anyone singles out Israel among all the nations of the world for special condemnation—while ignoring atrocities committed against her and the hatred of Jews, not just Israelis, of Jews, that is inculcated in Palestinian children from an early age and fills the airwaves of Egypt and elsewhere and the textbooks and blackboards of Madrasahs; while overlooking other acts of violence committed by Islamic fanatics even against other Moslems; and the despicable actions of an incredible array of despotic regimes from Sudan to China to the Congo to Zimbabwe—yes, that is antisemitism because the difference between Israel and those other states (besides the fact that it is a democracy), is that it is a Jewish state.

    And being a Jewish state doesn’t excuse the country for any acts of wrongdoing. But supporting that state’s obliteration is absolutely antisemitic. By the way, I have yet to see anyone who shares yours and Stuart’s and others’ extreme views condemn a single action of Hamas and other Palestinian Arabs who attack Israel. And when anyone makes the groundless and blatantly false accusation that what Israel does is just like what the Nazis did, that person is a Jew hater. And, making the entirely spurious claim that Gaza in 2009 is a “concentration camp” and just like the Warsaw ghetto of 1939-1945, is blatant Judeophobia.

    There’s nothing wrong with criticizing Israel, but when that censure is all out of proportion to that nation’s responses in defending itself—while not always being even in their own best interest, but never part of a nationwide policy based on malevolence or a desire to wipe out their neighbors, unlike what the Germans did to the Jews six decades ago—and such criticism does not allow that Israel has any right to ever defend itself under any circumstances, which, unfortunately, does end up in a certain proportion of innocent civilians being injured or killed—then the critiques are heavy-handed and seriously one-sided, and one has to honestly question the motives and prejudices of the critics. Israelis themselves are often their own harshest critics. One may disagree over the boundaries of the state, one may argue about the tactics, but when one makes the disingenuous remarks and comparisons discussed above, and denies Israel’s right to exist as an independent and Jewish state, yes, that is antisemitism, whether conscious or unconscious. And, I said that all without calling you a single name, unlike Stuart. So, please don’t tell me to pipe down. I have as much a right to my opinion as you do, wrong as I think yours is.

    And, if you’re really worried about scaring people off this site, maybe you should think before you blurt things out, too, and be a little more polite yourself. You called Gaza “a concentration camp controlled by Israel,” and you think that you can state that lie with impunity? You may not think so, but that is an absolutely extremist view and flies in the face of your call for civility (only on the part of those who are not of the same mind as you, it seems).

    (pause, take a breath)

    Mark, that same tactic (boycotting the handful of Israeli goods at the People’s Food Co-op) was tried here in ultra-liberal Ann Arbor and was overwhelmingly defeated by a democratic vote of 77%-23%. As one those ultra-liberal members, I was very proud of the Co-op for crushing this absurd attempt to boycott Israeli couscous. I would be shocked if it doesn’t go down to a handy defeat in Brooklyn, too.

    And, G-d, thank you for weighing in!

       —Mike    Mar. 5 '09 - 12:59PM    #
  75. Quite a lot of campus activity today, in support of Stuart’s comments:

    * University of Massachusetts student government debates divestment from Israel

    * Columbia Panelists Push Divestment, Support Gaza

    * ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’ demands boycott against Israel

       —The Colonel    Mar. 5 '09 - 10:50PM    #
  76. Mike (The 2nd), I didn’t think you were trying to be deceptive when you used someone else’s handle, but I figured you would at least recognize the possible appearance of impropriety that you were creating. But now I see that you are completely oblivious to this and you are insisting that it be “allowed that there be more than one Mike on this blog”. So I give up on the point I was trying to make.

    How can you “disagree” with Mark when all he’s been doing is reporting the facts? So you “disagree” with these facts, which you cannot refute? You must also “disagree” with Stuart’s fact that the ratio of dead Palestinians to Israelis is 100 to 1 even though you must know that it is true. Your disagreement with reality is called “being in denial”. This disproportion in the death rate makes the Hamas rockets you often decry, seem more like firecrackers.

    My dictionary defines ‘concentration camp’ as “a camp where persons (as prisoners of war, political prisoners, or refugees) are detained or confined.” This seems like an accurate term for Gaza right now.

    Is “GOD” hinting that Mary wasn’t a virgin when the Holy Spirit took her or am I reading too much into “His” message? If the IP address is not all 7s, then we most probably have an imposter.

       —Michael Schils    Mar. 6 '09 - 12:17AM    #
  77. Is there really any controversy about what is occurring, to the population of Gaza? Isn’t it well enough documented, who is doing what to whom?

       —The Colonel    Mar. 6 '09 - 12:44AM    #
  78. Re Post #61: There is one striking parallel between the American Indian relationship with the U.S., on one hand, and Palestinian Arab residents to Israel. That would be the casino experience.

    About ten years ago the Oasis Casino was constructed in the West Bank city of Jericho. It eventually became the largest private employer in the West Bank, employing at one point nearly 1,600 persons. Over 95% of its customers were Israelis and the casino was a financial success, earning over $1 million per day.

    Hamas was strongly opposed to the casino on moral grounds and , due to civil unrest, the casino had to shut several times.

    The casino made news in recent years due to a bribery scandal involving a number of prominent Israeli officials over its permit to operate.

    It was one of the few areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority that Israelis and Palestinians could actually be in close quarters and enjoying each other’s company.

       —Mark Koroi    Mar. 6 '09 - 04:43AM    #
  79. Mike,

    Your not interested in having a reasonable discussion; your an apologist for Israel. When Israel can kill 100 Palestinians for every Israeli killed and you would have us believe it is the Palestinians that are at fault you have crossed a line that myself and others on this list will not tolerate (the no-tolerance for intolerance response.) You need to understand that your clap-trap is not going to fly here and will be met with stiff resistance. You can continue to whine about what hypocrites we are all you want but the truth remains that every time I actually look at what you have to say it reduces to the same formula: Israel is good, Israel does nothing wrong, any problems in the Middle East are always someone else’s fault, Israelis are always the victim, Palestinians are sub-human and should understand that they just need to disappear but in the mean time, just accept the fact they have no rights any Israeli is bound to acknowledge. Palestinians never have the right to defend themselves from officially sanctioned violence perpetrated by Israel since Israel by definition is only defending itself. This is the essence of your position which you claim as the “reasonable, non-extreme” position! We have nothing to discuss, you are an apologist for a Jewish Supremacist State that is in the process of ethnic cleansing the area known as Israel of anyone not Jewish (you have implicitly acknowledged this with your reference to the Native American genocide which took place here in the 19th century.) I quite frankly have as much tolerance for you as I would the Ku Klux Klan; which is another way of saying not much. No, I’m not a member of your exclusive club and further, have no desire to be either. There’s no hypocrisy in not seeing things your way, nor will I be bludgeoned by some psycho into accepting a form of ethnic cleansing as right and necessary.
       —Stuart    Mar. 6 '09 - 06:45AM    #
  80. rahim khan,

    Do you support the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Palestine? When the state of Israel came along, there were already people living on the same land who did not give their consent to a large group of mainly Europeans moving in and displacing many of the people already there. This wrong has never been corrected and in fact, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Palestine continues more than 60 years later. I want to know why the American Gov. continues to send billions of dollars in aid to Israel. I believe that if the aid to Israel were eliminated, there would be a better chance for peace. I believe that if Israel stopped killing Palestinians, there would be a much better chance for peace. But, I guess these views make me an extremist because Tom Brokaw assures us that Israel is only defending itself when it blows up a house full of men, women and children!
       —Stuart    Mar. 7 '09 - 05:29AM    #
  81. The Jewish Ledger this Thursday reported that the president and chairman of the board of trustees of Hampshire College authored an open letter to Alan Dershowitz that disavowed the prior existence of any divestment action that in any way related to Israel or the occupation of Palestinian territories. This letter was the second “clarification” by Hampshire College’s administration, which now appears to have allayed the concerns of several Jewish groups.

    The article can be found at:

    According the article, it appears that the Hampshire College administration’s current position is that nothing involving protest of the Israel military’s conduct toward Palestinians ever occurred in terms of divestment.

    After reviewing the initial statements by college officials last month and the statement recently reported in the Jewish Ledger, I find these official statements to be hopelessly irreconciliable.

    A demonstration in support of Israel shall be held at the college this Sunday, it was reported.

    Can anyone give an opinion as to what happened at Hampshire College?

       —Mark Koroi    Mar. 7 '09 - 05:47AM    #
  82. Thank you everyone for your comments. We at Arbor Update feel that this thread has gone off topic from the original post regarding a Ceasefire Vigil. We have stopped allow comments to this post.

    Thank You

       —Arbor Update    Mar. 7 '09 - 07:20PM    #