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David v. Goliath in Gaza

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Israel is clearly winning the David v. Goliath struggle with Palestinians in Gaza.

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, seized on the murder in June of three Jewish teenagers from a West Bank settlement to launch Israel’s third war against Gaza in six years.

So far, some 230 Palestinians have been killed, 70% women and children, and one Israeli has died. Israeli bombing and shelling has made the rubble in Gaza bounce.

As in the two previous Israeli assaults on Gaza, it’s unclear who began the reciprocal rounds of shelling. Palestinians claim Israel broke what had been a successful, 18-month cease-fire; Israel claims Hamas fired first.

In fact, the latest conflict was likely begun by rockets launched against Israel by the militant Islamic Jihad movement to avenge an air attack by Israel on its members. Israel knows just how to provoke the Palestinians to violence.

Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic movement, replied to Israeli air attacks by launching salvos of home-made and smuggled rockets at Israel. These unguided weapons have proven militarily useless, little better than rocks. But they gave Israel an ideal pretext to attack Gaza and try to crush the elected Hamas government, which Israel considers its bitterest foe after Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

The Palestinians made a grave mistake resorting to rockets and mortars. Firing back at Israel certainly makes Palestinians feel good, but doing so has allowed Israel’s powerful worldwide supporters to portray the Gaza siege as a battle between equals, rather than what it really is – Israel shooting fish in a barrel.

“Israel has the right to defend itself,” goes the pro-Israel mantra – one even repeated by US President Barack Obama.

It matters not that Israel is violating US law – the Arms Control Export Act – by using US weapons against Gaza’s civilians. Nor that the assault on Gaza violates international law and the Geneva Convention. Or that much of the world sees the assault on Gaza as a crime against humanity. US elections are on the horizon and the US/Canadian government and media have taken Israel’ side.

Hamas rejected the fraudulent US/Israeli engineered truce presented by Egypt, Israel’s new best friend. On Thursday night, Israel launched a major ground offensive into Gaza, strongly backed by Washington. Palestinians have been starved and denied basic materials for years by the Israel-Egyptian siege of Gaza. The 1.7 million Gaza inhabitants live in a giant open air concentration camp on the verge of malnutrition.

The current Israeli attacks have shut down Gaza’s sewage, water and power grid, a tactic the US used in Iraq in 1991 that caused the deaths, according to the UN, of 500,000 Iraqi children. These attacks are designed to break the will of Gaza’s people, and cause them to overthrow Hamas.

It’s worth recalling that Israel helped give birth to Hamas. Israel security forces turned a blind eye to Hamas activities, and may have secretly funded it, in hopes the Islamic movement would split the Palestinians (it did) and rival the PLO. This was, of course, before PLO chief Yasser Arafat was murdered and the current PLO leadership brought under US and Israeli control.

Today, Israelis can’t even say the word ‘Hamas” without scowling and making a spitting sound…hhhhhhhhhhhamas.
Hamas has played right into Israel’s hands by launching its rocket barrages, which have proven worse than useless. Israel will now receive a half billion dollars more from the US to acquire more of its excellent Iron Dome anti-missile systems.

Meanwhile, PM Netanyahu has managed to portray Palestinians as rabid terrorists with whom no negotiations are possible. Any Palestinian state next to Israel, warns Netanyahu, would become another Gaza, shooting rockets into peaceful Israel.

Netanyahu used the Gaza crisis to repeat he would never accept even a Palestinian mini state on the West Bank. Israel must forever control the eastern border of Palestine – the Jordan River Valley. Palestinians will be left with self-governing tribal reservations. To many Israelis, Palestinians are simply wild animals who must be caged up.

By again attacking Gaza, Netanyahu has made any Israeli-Arab peace deal all the more impossible. He has also shown that his patron, the United States, has little say in the matter. Ever-timid President Obama offered to mediate between Israel and the PLO (not Hamas) while the world was waiting for him to order Israel to cease fire.

(Reprinted from EricMargolis.com by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Gaza, Israel/Palestine
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30 Comments to "David v. Goliath in Gaza"

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  1. As in the two previous Israeli assaults on Gaza, it’s unclear who began the reciprocal rounds of shelling.

    Please – some truth – the world Zionist cabal started this in 1948, and it has been an unrelenting war continuum against the Palestinians ever since – how can the Palestinians ever be considered to be the aggressors when they are ones fighting for their freedom?

    Gaza is a virtual prison – Israel holds a million people hostage – their land, sea, and air space are controlled by an evil tribal culture that kills them at will.

    What human being would not justifiably fight back?

    What righteous human being would deny them that right?

    p.s. Jew 101 – build a false comparison – then push it – push it – push it. Those with no skin in the game will give up. The lie will carry the day.

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  2. There is no law anymore other than what democratically unaccountable unitary executives decree, keeping even their supposed legal basis for them secret from the people. Law is simply become a cudgel to wield against any imagined threat to their power.

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  3. The liberation of the Hebrew tribe did ==not== begin in 1948. It began in 1891, when Eliezer Ben-Yehuda established a Hebrew-language kindergarden in Jerusalem. By the way, the rulers of the city were not Arabic-speakers; they spoke Turkish.

    After that seminal event, the fate of the colonialist invader Arabic-speakers was sealed.

    PS: Hebrew is indigeous to the Levant. Arabic arrived in the AD 690′s. Arabic has no more rights to be a political-entity in the Levant, than it has in Spain.

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  4. We’re witnessing in Israel’s pummeling of Gaza the logical expression of Talmudic doctrine.

    The post-48 neo-Israel is a nation of Pharisee’s, the sect whom Jesus and his apostles condemned.

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  5. Every year “militants” in Gaza launch rockets at Israel, doing little harm. Israeli warplanes bomb Gaza “in self-defense” and kill dozens, to recruit more militants. The conflict goes on and on because we are told that neither side wants peace.

    If one reads international news (i.e. non-USA), stories appear about Israel’s gradual ethnic cleansing of the West Bank. Israeli squatter towns (aka settlements in American news) continually expand after Arabs are forced off their lands, in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions. In order for this to continue year after year, a “comprehensive peace plan” must be avoided. This is achieved by perpetual “fighting” around Gaza. Israel maintains complete control of Gaza’s borders (including access to the sea), so how do “militants” acquire thousands of unguided rockets every year? Most are home made, but where do they get the propellant and explosives?

    Israel ensures they are supplied. Israel refuses to guard Gaza’s border with Egypt, even though it could easily establish a security strip on the Gaza side to ensure that no rockets, propellants, or explosives cross into Gaza. Egyptian troops could also secure the border, but show no interest. There have been several international news reports over the years of large tunnels under the Gaza border where all sorts of things are “smuggled.” This includes a 2012 issue of “National Geographic” and television news shows where reporters walk through the tunnels. However, whenever Israeli airstrikes occur, the tunnels are rarely targeted. I wouldn’t be surprised if Israel’s Mossad secretly ensures a steady supply of rockets to Gazans.

    Despite all our “news” coverage, no one ever suggests the solution is to simply seal the Egyptian-Gazan border, using UN troops if necessary, so that no more rockets rain on Israel and a comprehensive peace plan can be enacted. No one asks why Israeli warplanes bomb varied targets around Gaza rather than the tunnels? Why doesn’t the Israeli army just sweep into the border area and destroy all the tunnels? Most television reporters can read a map, so why do they fear to address this obvious question? In this latest invasion, the Israelis claim they will deal with this obvious problem, but then what? If Hamas can’t fire rockets, how do they evade peace talks?

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  6. 1http://www.haaretz.com/news/features/white-man-s-burden-1.14110
    -”there would have been no Iraq war if 25 of those neocons were banished to a desert “and repeated attacks on Gaza. Syria,Lebanon would not have taken place

    2 http://mondoweiss.net/2012/01/clark-there-was-no-national-debate-over-the-policy-coup-by-the-hardnosed.html
    Wesley Clark on the conspiracies hatched by Wolfowitz from 1991

    3http://mondoweiss.net/2011/05/picking-apart-the-new-york-timess-zionist-narrative-on-the-nakba-using-the-new-york-times.html – The New York archives of 1947 and 1948 that prove the lyings and falsehood and aggressive preemptive wars mongering by the Zionist

    Nothing new in the behavior .this is what was planned by Herzl,Weizman and Ben Guiron and continued by Shamir,Sharon,Netanhu

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  7. http://www.theamericanconservative.com/israel-runs-up-the-score/

    Scott Mcconell offers the latest time line on planned Israeli aggression on Gaza

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  8. Margolis claims: “So far, some 230 Palestinians have been killed, 70% women and children…”

    The total of 230 is outdated, but the claim that 70% of those killed are women and children is backwards. Pro-Palestinian NGO Euromid has been reporting on the gender ratio of the casualties. On July 16th, they reported 217 deaths, including 48 children and 26 women; that is, women and children constituted 34% of those killed:

    The updated info is as follows: 338 deaths, including 83 children and 33 women; that is, women and children constitute 34% of those killed:

    https://twitter.com/euromid/status/49064830688887193

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  9. English arrived in the United States in the 1600s after Spanish and the indigenous languages were all the native Indian languages anyway, so we should undo the US as it stands (violently?). The actual languages of the invading terrorists in the1940s into Israel was Yiddish, German and Russian, many had to be taught Hebrew. Arabic is a Semitic language that evolves like Hebrew in the second millennium BC which has an Arabian Ethiopic origin but nevertheless was, through trade, used heavily in Syria alongside Aramaic and Syriac at the time of Christ. Not that that has any relevance, because the Palestinians are the original Jews, who merely converted over the years to Christianity and Islam as time progressed. I could go on and on but all these kinds of arguments are facetious if not Faecetious

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  10. Eric – you’re wrong. it’s do or die for the Gazans. the rockets were intended to draw the Israelis in, so that they do their worst (which they are doing as we speak). Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah are pursuing the path you suggest, and what are they gaining? They are being squeezed every day more and more – East Jerusalem having more or less been taken from under their noses bit by bit through sly manipulation of land records as well as forced evacuations. The Dome of the Rock is not long for the chop. In the West Bank, the Palestinians aren’t even getting enough water to grow things and drink. It’s easy to commentate, less easy to live in occupied Palestine.

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  11. Eric Margolis has rightly pointed out the futile reactive behaviors of Hamas-Rocket firing. It creates a mirage ,a deceptive impression ,and helps manufacture a narrative that Israel and Ametican pseudo- leaders use then to strengthen illegal position of continued blockade which is war by another name on defenseless people.
    Israeli behavior is criminal and it will haunt them for centuries . These Eichmans will not escape the justice.

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  12. “Israeli behavior is criminal and it will haunt them for centuries . These Eichmans will not escape the justice.”

    Israel is surrounded, and will eventually be destroyed because it is surrounded. The Nazis were punished because they lost, Mao and his clique lived to a ripe old age. There is no justice, there is only power.

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  13. American tax dollars at work:
    “Updated: 5:51 p.m. Friday, July 18, 2014 | Posted: 5:51 p.m. Friday, July 18, 2014
    1 in 5 of Gaza dead are children”

    http://www.wpxi.com/news/ap/top-news/1-in-5-of-gaza-dead-are-children/ngjBL/

    They should rename Palestine to Rubblestine: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/07/20/harrowing-images-of-gaza-neighborhood-hit-hardest-by-israel/

    Video game developers should take notice. Rubblestine would make an awesome pro-Israel video game where you fight dehumanized Palestinians. It is sad that unconditional pro-Israel supporters on here are more interested in their land claim, or they are more interested in the statistics. Can you imagine talking about the holocaust and the person is more focused on being statistically right than morally right? Also God should bless America for standing with Israel. I think unconditional American support for Israel should at least allow us to have a taste of the fruit of life so we can be gods too. How many human blood sacrifices in Palestine does it take to bring back freedom and prosperity, or have people misunderstood what God wants for Israel? Karl, I don’t think that the current property owners of my ancestral homes in Western Europe would accept my claim to the land. I’d be mad to think otherwise. There are a couple ancestral lines that people on the internet have supposedly traced to Fulk, King of Jerusalem. I’ll accept the title your majesty.

    In all seriousness where do the unconditional Israel supporters who come on this site and throw anti-Semitic charges stand on this issue? Did the Palestinian population have it coming? Was it time to mow (down the people) the grass again? Are you glad that US tax dollars are going towards this? Is it worth the backlash in Europe?

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  14. Here’s a more recent update:

    Israel-Gaza conflict: Gaza death toll rises as the world protests

    “The toll, after 12 days of the Israeli mission, number more than 340 Palestinians dead, according to Gaza health officials, 76 of them children and 28 women, with 2,279 injured. The number of Israeli deaths rose to five yesterday, with two civilians and three soldiers killed since the conflict began.

    The Israeli military announced that it has, so far, hit 2,350 targets in Gaza, including 1,100 rocket launchers and, during the first 24 hours on the ground, uncovered 13 tunnels into Israel, some 30m deep. An infiltration into a border kibbutz, the second such attempt, was foiled, with a militant fighter killed and others retreating. Two Israeli soldiers were killed in the fight, the army said.”

    [Snip]

    “However, more than 50,000 people have been forced to leave their homes and sought refuge in UN temporary shelters, mainly schools. A brief tour of some, in Gaza City and the north, showed that even with more than 30 packed into a classroom, space was running out.”

    [Snip]

    “Thousands of protesters took to the streets of central London yesterday to demand an end to Israeli military action in Gaza. The peaceful demonstration marched from Downing Street to the Israeli embassy in Kensington, where a police blockade prevented them from gaining access. More than 340 Palestinians have been killed since the conflict began.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israelgaza-conflict-gaza-death-toll-rises-as-the-world-protests-9617003.html

    340 Palestinians Vs. 5 Israelis. David and Goliath, indeed.

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  15. The world rises up against the conflict. Will there been a U.N. resolution to make it official?

    FRENCH YOUTH GO ON RAMPAGE AT ANTI-ISRAELI PROTEST

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_FRANCE_GAZA_PROTEST?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-07-20-13-36-16

    Tens of thousands rally in London against Israel’s Gaza op

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/tens-of-thousands-rally-in-london-against-israels-gaza-op/

    Anti-Israel protesters rally across France, defying ban imposed after synagogue clash

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.606036

    Gaza death toll rises as the world protests

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israelgaza-conflict-gaza-death-toll-rises-as-the-world-protests-9617003.html

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  16. Here is a source quoting the U.N. as estimating that the vast majority of those killed are civilians:

    “The Palestinian death toll from the conflict rose Saturday to more than 330, including about 60 children, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. An additional 2,200 have been injured. The United Nations estimates that 80 percent of the casualties are civilians, many of them children.”

    [snip]

    “More than 81,000 Palestinians are seeking refuge in 61 U.N. shelters, more evacuees than in the fighting during the three-week war in 2008-2009, which saw Israeli forces enter Gaza and effectively cut the strip in half. There were more than 1,100 Palestinian deaths in that conflict.
    By Saturday, large swaths of the coastal enclave, including Gaza City, had been without electricity for 24 hours. Residents worry about their water supply, because they need electrical power to pump water to their rooftop tanks.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/israel-begins-heaviest-bombardment-yet-in-gaza-sending-residents-fleeing/2014/07/20/578ae882-0fe5-11e4-8c9a-923ecc0c7d23_story.html

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  17. During the time of Ezra and Nehemiah , Arabs were already flourishing into Edom,Negev,southern Syria. Phoenician was dominating the coast from Akko to Gaza . Arabs were known as Nabateans .
    Ezra did what current Israeli leaders ( including the rabbi) are doing. He did not want any intermarriage ,he dissolved established intermarried couple’s marriages,children’s of these marriages were rejected or enslaved . He rejected and banished other languages (only Hebrew allowed). He forced sabbath .Samaritan was considered outside territorial boundary of Judah and was removed.Locals fought but Ezra and Nehemiah had the Persian power behind them . Like today Israel back then fought and succeeded for an exclusivistic society maintained by foreign power and money.

    Ref Dr Ian Barnes .Joshephine Baron
    The Historical Atlas of Judaism

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  18. The Derb’s got it right, here: Israeli/Palestinian conflict is as predictable, and as unchangeable, and
    as boring, as the weather. If you’re a Jew, or a Palestinian Arab, maybe it makes at least a little bit of sense for you to care, one way or the other. But if you’re neither of the above, it just doesn’t.

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  19. Do you honestly think that not firing rockets into Israel will make the Israelis treat the Palestinians properly? They will continue their blockade until every last Gazan dies or goes completely mad: they aren’t even allowed to fish their own waters! Best thing to do in an open prison to keep yourself occupied (stop you going mad) is to make weapons, train, and then make war when the occasion presents itself. At least you’re living. In fact, you’re probably living more than the average Israeli who works from 9-5 and can hardly afford the rent on his apartment, can’t educate his kids and is worried about medical bills, because his government spends every last penny on importing wild and crazy settlers from God knows where to beef up the Jewishness of the apartheid state.

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  20. Jews living in the Holy Land at the time of Christ had been speaking Aramaic for centuries like neighboring peoples, who similarly made the switch from one Semitic language to another. It would also seem if the Jews who were forced to leave the Holy Land at the time of the Roman Empire had remained there, their descendents would be speaking Arabic (while keeping Hebrew for prayers). Again like surrounding peoples they would have switched from one Semitic language, Aramaic to another one, Arabic, just as the Jews who staid in the Holy Land. “the rulers of the city were not Arabic-speakers; they spoke Turkish” seems somewhat questionable and hardly relevant in any case, of course the country was part of the Ottoman Empire and local rulers may well have been at least able to speak Arabic, which was necessary to govern the country in question as well as neighboring countries. Also educated Turks had a great appreciation for Arabic and Persian and many spoke these languages besides Ottoman Turkish which itself had many more borrowings both from Arabic and Persian than today’s Turkish which as a result of Ataturk’s nationalism removed a lot of Arabic and Persian words as well as Arabic and Persian grammatical features from Ottoman Turkish.

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  21. Don’t forget Paul (Saul) and his generation, his father’s and grand-father’s generation, as well his sons and grandsons were Hellenised Jews – Greek was language No1

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  22. “so how do “militants” acquire thousands of unguided rockets every year? Most are home made, but where do they get the propellant and explosives?”

    they have extensive networks of tunnels in to sinai, a large portion of the gaza economy is supported by trade through the tunnels.
    they even cut up cars bring them through the tunnels and reassemble them.

    the idea that the only way to solve this problem is for israel to strangle the gaza strip even further is laughable.

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  23. Why do so many people assume Palestinians are in their position because of the misdeeds of others (especially the fairer-skinned Israelis) rather than because of their own innate passions and shortcomings?

    Why do people want Israel to act like a bunch of guilty white liberals, genuflecting and apologizing?

    Why is “international law” something to be (rightly) scoffed at when it comes to “gay rights” and so forth but suddenly becomes very serious and important when it comes to how Israel deals with the hostile nations that surround it?

    I’m basically a paleocon, but most other paleocons seem to have a special allergic reaction to Israel where it makes their heads spin around backwards and they turn into leftist college students.

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  24. Cabinet ministers: IDF may have to reconquer all or part of Gaza to ensure security | Stop Making Sense
    says:
    • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment

    […] Eric Margolis: David v. Goliath in Gaza […]

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  25. Actually, Egypt controls Gaza’s southern border.

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  26. @Power Child. The only thing I would say about your comment, is that it is not worth commenting upon.

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  27. “Consider the following from Israel’s founding prime minister.

    The fellahin are not descendants of the Arab conquerors, who captured Eretz Israel and Syria in the seventh century CE. The Arab victors did not destroy the agricultural population they found in the country. They expelled only the alien Byzantine rulers, and did not touch the local population. Nor did the Arabs go in for settlement. Even in their former habitations the Arabs did not engage in farming…their whole interest in the new countries was political, religious and material: to rule, to propagate Islam, and to collect taxes…the Jewish farmer, like any other farmer, was not easily torn from his soil…Despite the repression and suffering the rural population remained unchanged.[vii]

    Ben Gurion’s co-author in the statement above, Yitzak Ben Zvi, a rock-ribbed Zionist, later wrote that “The great majority of the fellahin do not descend from the Arab conquerors, but before that, from the Jewish fellahin, who were the foundation of this country before its conquest by Islam.[viii]

    What else then are the fellahin but the descendants of ancient Jews who chose to convert to Islam? Does that choice negate their ancient claim to the land on which they have resided for millennia?

    Sand marshals linguistic and philological evidence such as the fact that “many Hebrew place names remain, unlike the Greek and Roman names meant to replace them.” Again he quotes Ben Gurion: “The entire biblical terminology of Eretz Israel remains alive.” Moreover, the local dialect is “strewn with Hebrew and Aramaic words” distinguished from other Arab vernaculars. Jews and Muslims are buried in many older cemeteries. Importantly, the Palestinian populace does not see itself as Arabic. To them the Bedouin are the Arabs. They refer to themselves as the “fellahin.” Ben Gurion and Ben Zvi also argued that “the entire biblical terminology of Eretz Israel remains alive… as it had been, in the speech of the fellah population, adding that some 210 Palestinian villages still retained old Hebrew names and many fellahin practiced, in addition to Muslim law, a code of “fellahin laws” known as the “laws of the patriarch Abraham.

    One of the Zionist founders of Israel, Israel Belkind, wrote that “The historians are accustomed to say that after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, the Jews were scattered all over the world and no longer inhabited their country. But, this too, is a historical error, which must be removed and the true facts discovered.” According to Sands, Belkind believed that he and his fellow pioneers were meeting “ a good many of our own people, our own flesh and blood.” In 1967 the founder of the Department of Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University, Abraham Polak, wrote an essay entitled “The origins of the Arabs of the Country,” in which he argued that there was “considerable likelihood that Judeans did convert to Islam,” and urged that scientific study be devoted to this issue. His article was met with hostility and no university took up his challenge.”

    By-

    Paul Atwood is Interim Director of the William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences, and faculty in the American Studies Department, University of Massachusetts-Boston, and member of the Smedley Butler Brigade, the Boston chapter of Veterans for Peace.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/02/14/whatever-happened-to-shlomo-sand/#_edn23

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  28. ” Arabic has no more rights to be a political-entity in the Levant, than it has in Spain.”

    You people sincerely deserve to be thrown into the rubber cell, you know that right?

    If people speak a that language for 1 and a half milennia, then that place is officially Arabic. Spain on the other hand has been Spanish for 600 + years.

    You are a bottomfeeding lunatic.

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  29. Monsieur de Vinteuil: I care about how my tax dollars are being spent. I care about who is bribing my Congress and what their agenda is. I care about the disruptive destabilization of North Africa and the Near East, which does not benefit America or the West but rather a certain Chosen Nation Which Must Remain Nameless. I care about this Administration violating US law by supporting Morsi in Egypt.

    Maybe you are bored watching Hamas wresting the standard of Palestinian nationhood from accommodating puppet Abbas and daring to challenge, at tremendous sacrifice and with remarkable grit and ingenuity, their far stronger oppressor; personally, I find it quite interesting.

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  30. Corrigendum: I meant “supporting Al-Sisi”, not “supporting Morsi”. Mea culpa.

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