Basil - Just to be clear the prisoners released were responsible for the death of 600 innocent civillians.... We are talking about people who sent killers to homes, blow them selve up on busses, in cafe and on the street. We can all agree these are not freedom fighters and that their release will not help peace just increase the chance of war.
As for the Palestinians that have been killed, it is quite sad but, it is importnat to put it in the correct perspective Israel, does not target civillians. Palestinain terrorist. not only target civillians but cellibrate their deaths and further more use their own peopel as human sheild by firing missles from home, schools and the ecnter of cities. Israel on teh other hand builds shelters for thier civillians when they are attacked. I think this is somthing that we all have to recognize.
Note the tens of missles showering cities in Southern Israel, also note the lack of any military installations in these area - one hit a school, once again trying to kill civillians...... How do you believe Israel should respond?
I have been following discussions and arguments on the mepeace website for about 2 years and have finally decided to apply for membership (accepted). The reason I did apply was my belief that mepeace, with all its potential, is, and was, failing. The piece by Mr. Keilani, a mepeace stalwart, illustrates my point. Has there ever been a Jewish terrorist (other than Baruch Goldstein). Whereas Goldstein is by and large despised in Israel, terrorists, including suicide bombers, are praised in the Palestinian territories (Westbank and Gaza). Streets and squares are named after them. Not so in Israel. The Fogel killings, the coldblooded throat slittings of a civilian family including a 3 month old infant, has there ever been an Israeli Jewish equivalent, Mr. Keilani? Stopping buses and hunting down the passengers within and shooting them dead, has there ever been an Israeli equivalent|? Shooting mortars and rockets at civilian areas, recently killing a Thai farmer working in a kibbutz and a schoolboy in a yellow schoolbus, has there ever been an Israeli equivalent? Throwing jagged rocks from the hills above at passing Israeli vehicles so that the driver swerves, loses control and injures or kills himself and the passengers inside, has there ever been an Israeli equivalent? Flinging rocks into the windshield of an Israeli auto from a passing car so that the driver (Mr. Palmer) loses control dies as does his innocent son, has there ever been an Israeli equivalent? Tearing down a busy thoroughfare in Jerusalem in a bulldozer, imploding vehicles and pedestrians alike, has there ever been an Israeli equivalent? Leaving a "package" at a busy bus stop in Jerusalem and explording it from afar (telephone booth) injuring many and killing a British tourist, has there ever been an Israeli equivalent?
I could have presented a multitude of other examples but refrain from doing so. How are we to talk "peace" when one of the foremost members of mepeace makes false equivalencies in order to buttress his own perspective and, at the same time, makes ad hominem barbs at the person with whom he disagrees and even insults? In every way, this comment represents why mepeace appears to be failing. Towards that end, I will begin a new discussion in hopes that mepeace may be resurrected to fulfill the purpose which its founder set out to do. Thank you.
Ghazi do some reading on state terrorism.
Here is a report that I prepared looking at excesses of IDF violence on PAlestinians. This is based heavily on B'Tselem's work.
Lehi/ Stern Gang
Published on Monday, April 1, 2002 by Tikkun Magazine
Israel's State Terrorism
by Lev Grinberg
What is the difference between State terrorism and individual terrorist acts? If we understand this difference we'll understand also the evilness of the US policies in the Middle East and the forthcoming disasters. When Yassir Arafat was put under siege in his offices and kept hostage by the Israeli occupation forces, he was constantly pressed into condemning terror and combatting terrorism. Israel's Stateterrorism is defined by US officials as "self-defense", while individual suicide bombers are called terrorists.
The only 'small' difference is that Israeli aggression is the direct responsibility of Ariel Sharon, Benjamin Ben Eliezer, Shimon Peres and Shaul Mofaz, while the individual terrorist acts are done by individuals in despair, usually against Arafat's will. One hour after Arafat declared his support of a cease fire and wished the Jews a Happy Passover feast, a suicide bomber exploded himself in an hotel in Netanya, killing 22 innocent Jews celebrating Passover. Arafat was blamed as responsible for this act, and the present IDF offensive has been justified through this accusation.
At the same time, Sharon's responsibility for Israeli war crimes is being completely ignored. Who should be arrested for the targeted killing of almost 100 Palestinians? Who will be sent to jail for the killing of more than 120 Palestinian paramedics? Who will be sentenced for the killing of more than 1,200 Palestinians and for the collective punishment of more than 3,000,000 civilians during the last 18 months? And who will face the International Tribunal for the illegal settlement of occupied Palestinian Lands, and the disobedience of UN decisions for more than 35 years?
Suicide bombs killing innocent citizens must be unequivocally condemned; they are immoral acts, and their perpetrators should be sent to jail. But they cannot be compared to State terrorism carried out by the Israeli Government. The former are individual acts of despair of a people that sees no future, vastly ignored by an unfair and distorted international public opinion. The latter are cold and "rational" decisions of a State and a military apparatus of occupation, well equipped, financed and backed by the only superpower in the world.
Yet in the public debate, State terrorism and individual suicide bombs are not even considered as comparable cases of terrorism. The State terror and war crimes perpetrated by the Israeli Government are legitimized as "self-defense", while Arafat, even under siege, is demanded to arrest "terrorists."
I want to ask: Who will arrest Sharon, the person directly responsible for the orders to kill Palestinians? When is he going to be defined a terrorist too? How long will the world ignore the Palestinian cry that all they want is freedom and independence? When will it stop neglecting the fact that the goal of the Israeli Government is not security, but the continued occupation and subjugation of the Palestinian people?
As Israelis in the opposition, we are fighting against our government, but the international support that Sharon receives is constantly jeopardizing our struggle. The whole international public opinion must be reverted, and the UN must deploy intervention forces in order to stop the bloodshed and the imminent deterioration. Israelis and Palestinians desperately need the awakening of the international community's public opinion and a reversal in the global attitude. These are needed both in order to save our lives (literally), and preserve our hope in a better future.
Dr. Lev Grinberg is a political sociologist, and Director of the Humphrey Institute for Social Research at Ben Gurion University
Reasons for terrorism
Ghazi - also take a look at Miko Peled's work. His father was a general in the 1967 war. His niece was killed by a suicide bomber. His grandfather was asignatory to the Dec of Independence.