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I have been away from this Forum for some time, so, was naturally curious. Im a very brief exploration, I noticed that the tone of discussions has become more abusive. Somebody had posted a video "Free Palestine: Zionist Jews killing Orthodox Jews", but when I watched it, there was no killing, just an altercation over building works. So why was it posted? To breed hatred? There was also an article claiming that the Jews controlled US policy with "lavish contributions" to election campagns. Fotr anybody who has taken the trouble to check, this lies in the same realm of fantasy as "the Proptocols of the Elders of Zion" and other antisemitic slurs. US Jews tend to favour the Democratcs by about a 60:40 split. If you check any of the contribution reports, say that of Hilary Clinton, which was published on the Web, you find that less than 1% of her campaign contributions were Jewish, an infinitessimal drop in the bucket, and if no Jews had contributed, most candidates wouldn't even notice the difference.

So why the lies? Intolerance and hate really have no place on a peace forum. On the other hand I also noticed so very many comments that display huge ignorance of history, even recent events, and a powerful adherence to the political line they favour.

If you're truly interested in peace, then learn, as objectively as possible, what happened, so that you can independently decide what's right. Put yourself in each person's shoes. There is something wrong with anybody who doesn't recognise Palestinian suffering, but something just as wrong with anybody who automatically puts the cause of it at Israel's door. Anybody who ignores the horrific oppression of the Palestinians by Hamas, the brainwashing (abuse) of the children in order to produce more martyrs, their theft of food and fuel destined for the hungry, anybody who ignores this, needs to rethink if they truly have any interest in peace, or rather, "peace" at whose expense. Similarly there is something wrong with anybody who doesn't recognise Israeli suffering. The wars to destroy Israel, or more recently, 8 years of 8,000 missiles on a million vulnerable civilians, and the suffering imposed can't be ignored by anybody interested in peace either.

I have always believed in discussion on any level, but was shocked by many calling themselves peacemakers. Discussion is, after all, about hearing the other, checking what they say, then responding, not automatically rejecting points simply because they don't fit your prejudice.

These are just comments

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Our fear prevents us from empathising with "the other side" . Once you really get to know people them, you appreciate that we all motivated by the search for happiness and a reduction of suffering.

As well as racist generalisations of jews/Israelis, there are now some very ugly racist generalisations of Palestinians and arabs on current posts on this site, which I now find very upsetting and more importantly pointless and of not value to the search for peace - but it did take me a while to get there.
Basil,.if this is in response to my post, I wasn't talking about doing wrong but about the ability to emapthise and see things through different eyes. I have always had arab friends but only recently have really been able to see things from their other side. it dissipates the fear. My trip to Jenin helped.
Like you, Rivka, I have Arab friends, and it was through them that I realised that the issues weren't simplistic, and for me there has been a separation. I feel for the Palestinians, but Hamas are not the Palestinians and don't have Palestinian interests at heart. So when I think of issues I think of how to stop Palestinian suffering, how to stop Israeli suffering ... not how to cater to Hamas, whom I hold responsible, not just for the violence, but for the brainwashing of Palestinian children in order to turn them into little Hamas soldiers .... there is nothing more inexcusable.
Hey?! Who's supporting Hamas and what's it got to do with what I wrote?
It's further evidence that we don't listen to or, in this case, read what the other person is saying.

You only cited racist slander against jews/ Israelis while there there are very many posts with racist slander against arabs and jews. Hardly conducive to mutual tolerence and understanding.

Btw you don't need to support Hamas in order to empathise with arabs.
And also I do appreciate your countering the anti-semitic lies that have appeared here and that we hear all too often.
Basil, I picked the first two examples I saw, and didn't put much thought into "sides", because that's not what it should be about. It should be about truth and each of us stepping out on that journey through discussion. Some of the things said we won't like, but if we check them, we may find that we've been wrongly informed, and that's a very good thing in the big picture. I certainly expect nobody to take what I say on trust, but expect them to check things out, but with reputable objective sources, and primary documents.

I'm sure that many people here get carried away when their pet prejudices are challenged, and challenged they will be, but they will also find that they get nowhere berating, attacking or insulting the other, but only by presenting facts for discussion.
It is fine to have an opinion but please do not make up numbers. You write "if you check any of the contribution reports, say that of Hilary Clinton, which was published on the Web, you find that less than 1% of her campaign contributions were Jewish, an infinitessimal drop in the bucket, and if no Jews had contributed, most candidates wouldn't even notice the difference."

This is demonstrable false. Up to 60% of campaign contributin to teh democtratic party in the 2004 elections came from Jewish sources. But I personally do not care about religious affliation of donors. It is their political interests that matter and hwo they guide policy. Plus money isn't everything. There is the influence on the media that can take a popular congresswomen like Cynthia McKinney and lie and distort her record in local newspapers to get her out of office. Please read Mearsheimer and Walt (professors at Harvard and Univ Chicago) especially their book on the Israel lobby (which I think harms Israel and Israeli citizens to prop up a corrupt racist Zionsit structure). If you do not have time to read the book, plaese read this:
http://www.qumsiyeh.org/thelobby/
ping pong, ping pong and so it goes on
I'm sorry that you brought "Walt and Mearsheimer" to this discussion. They are at best a highly dubious source who are in the business of making lots of money pushing an irrational view. There is a Jewish lobby, but with a 1% Jewish voting block split between both parties, monetary contributions (and I took my data from the published accounts for the last election) also split between the two parties, a mythical media power (so few Jews are involved in media these days it's laughable). I get it, Mearsheimer and Walt don't like Israel. Here is an indepth critique of what's wrong with their book, including some real figures, regarding campaign funds. Even in your own words "Jewish sources" would be a world away from "pro-Israel lobby".

As Rivka says ... ping pong ... you'll just have to believe what you want, though I'm not sure of the point. Everybody lobbies.

By the way, you still haven't said, have you read the Hamas Charter and the Fatah Constitution? I am truly curious.
Dear Mick,

It is good to see you with us again,

about the issue of tolerance and abusive language its a great chalange, but we must accept that as we keep mepeace free to all we get extrimists and some of us, in moments of pain like this one, will express their feelings.

mepeace is a multi-political open global social network, we need to tolerate other views and expressions that we find insulting. we - all members. we need to tolerate people who do not tolerate our views. this is real.

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