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Yesterday, the UN has issued a report on the Gaza war. It accuses both Israel and Hamas of war crimes.

Here's an article about the report (from the British 'Guardian'):

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/15/un-gaza-war-israel-hamas

The report itself:

http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Guardian/documents/2009/09/15...

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Opinions welcome!

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From what I see it is just a blame game, we know that Israel used a lot of force, and we know Hamas attacked civilians; here I can say freely that any use of weapons is a crime; and I also recognize that in some situations act of violence cannot be avoided.

This document will be used to attack Hamas in Israel and to attack Israel in the world, but it is just another element in the endless stupid blame game we have. we must get out from this loops. it does not give us anything not to blame Hamas to do what it done, and not to blame Israel for doing what it done. they both needed to avoid that.

Our energy should be in creating change and promoting what we know to bring better relationship and better future that include all of us, and that cannot be done through blame.
Yes, Neri, that's right. However, in our efforts to transcend such "blame games" we are - willingly or not - confronted with the 'real world', which - however sad this is - is as it is. I think it's important to shed light on the deeds (of both sides) during the Gaza offensive. After all (just like in the Balkans, or in Rwanda) people want justice. 'Who is responsible for the death of my baby?' is a legitimate question of any mother or father - Israeli and Palestinian alike.

It's not always easy..especially not in our world of 24 hours breaking news coverage (digest or switch off) - but I try to use both a 'normative' and an 'empirical' eye in order to assess the cruelties of our present.
Oliver wrote "I try to use both a 'normative' and an 'empirical' eye in order to assess the cruelties of our present"

Does this http://www.freedom.indiemaps.com/ help?

http://www.freedom.indiemaps.com/ is an very interesting link to an interactive map of human rights levels worldwide. The score is based on some 300 criteria with data collected from respected human rights groups (there are such things, really!!) and international organizations from around the world. The top score is 40 and the lowest 0. Israel scores 37 and is in the highest range (Canada scores 40, like the Scandinavian countries, Australia is 39, the US scores 38).

Go to http://www.freedom.indiemaps.com/, and then point the curser at a country to see its score

The countries that set the mandate of the UN commission under the auspices of Judge Richard Goldstone to judge Israel's moral standards, countries like Cuba and Iran, all rank around 4 or 5; Saudi Arabia 0; Libya 0; Syria 1. What can we learn from their moral guidance? Apparently the UN thinks we can learn quite a bit.
Oliver,

I do not know if "show the did" really helps; it is important to keep in our consciousness that even in war time it is people who get help and we have to respect them and make effort to preserve all human lives, even of your enemy. but do we get it when we over-reacting?

also reading in reactions here and on the web, we can see many fall into the blame trap? Do any wrong doing of Hamas Justify killing of innocents? if we blame Hamas, does it justify all Israeli actions? can we really say that we should force our super-morals when one family in Sderot is at risk? can we really say to Israelis to accept that the Hamas will should rule since they must use force to prevent it?

This logic goes both ways, and but seeing that if we cannot as "moral superiors" prevent any of the sides from aggression we cannot really prevent the contra-reaction that will be deadly for children and civilians who done no crime.

It is not easy, we all care for the innocent, and I think that there are even some like me who care for the non-innocent too. the Hamas and Israel people who do not have the moral and consciousness to realize how wrong their doing are. we need for protection from them, but also we need to protect them as "super-morals" as we claim to be.

all wars are the same, and all wars bring death,pain and sadness. this is what wars are - all crimes against humanity. in a reality where war and violence exist we cannot judge any side, both sides are violating the basic human duty of care to the other.

The "blame game" is real, it is not game as you can see one of the commentators here point to he source of truth but ignoring other sources. who to judge what is the true interpertation of events?

when you get out of blame game you stop looking for the one cause of evil. you stop looking for the Judge who will say you are right and they are wrong. you all of it as a system, with many faults and seek ways to holistically engage and help Palestinians and Israelis to grew up and realize they are the ones who need to create their future, and this future that include all of us we need to get read of blame and aggression. we need more order and respect.
Yes Neri: "we need to get read of blame and aggression. we need more order and respect."

But can we do that?

Don't most people just want JUSTICE? Their JUSTICE?

And don't you just want your own way, just like all those others?
There is a fine line between people who think their justice is the one and other people justification is based on their interests.

Justice is an element in our life, we have many other important elements from the basic needs of food and shelter to the desire to service humanity with who we are.

If any one wish to service change, he needs to accept that many of us are not perfect and the change we need include us all, the not perfect as well. so for Palestinians it would be acceptance of Zionist movement with all what it created, and for Israelis it would be the acceptance of the Arab culture and all what it is and all what is not Jewish in it.

This is hard for Jewish Israelis to accept that the culture of Israel will not be dominated by Jewish heritage, it is hard for Arab Palestinians to accept that Israel will continue to have strong relation with the Jewish people.

but there is positive side to all of this, Israel bring economic strength and business connection no Arab country have ... and the Palestinian bring the Arab culture of peace and livelihood Israel lost in its war for survival.
another thing if this war happened to iran you will see how they will punish it buttttttttt this is isreal, man what is this this is isreal, no one can say no for it
Samah,

I am not sure I understand what you wrote.

I do not think that all man killed in Gaza were civilians, but it is clearly unfair fight while israel has stronger weapon and better technology it can be expected to avoid killing as much as possible as we (at least me and you) wish to avoid war.

I think we both agree that the israeli settelment project in the territory is problematic, I even agree that the 1948 and even 1880 jewish emigration to Palestine was act that brought the Nakba.
with that, as Israel who born here and have his son born here, I think Israel as state should stay. and with that we need to find a fair honest solution to live with the arabs and the Palestinian nation.

This is not trivial, as any other idea (1 Jewish state control the Palestinian, 1 Arab state control the jews etc.) are not trivial; but from practical perspective we need to find solutions for the refugees, for the freedom of the Palestinians and for the natural resources we all need to share.

for solving this we do not need strong Israel or strong arab palestine, we need merge of interest and culture and resources for serving the whole human tissue, and for that we need to think from a one future perspective a future that must include all of us and the settlers and the Hamas and the simple men and women like you and me who wish fair just good life for their children.
this is will not happen here or out side, palestinian people have a lot of pains in thier heart, many things changed inside my people, now people happy to have the check points opened, but truely they are tired here in west bank, you want to merege palestinian within isrealis this vey hard i feel that you are dreaming sooooo much bcoz politics above you and your power you will discover that within the time
Dear friend

I do not think we will be able to mix imidiatly, and this is why I am pro Palestinian state separated from the Israeli one, in that state the Palestinian people utilize the world donation funding (and I think also israeli money for the land and lost property). I like what Fayad is proposing in his plan. I know that as Arabs the Palestinians are standing in the front of education and cultural complexity hence they have potential to become arab leader within generation or two.

two or tree generations after we Have Palestinian state we will be able to move forward and frame a confederation to make sure that the governance in Israel and in Palestine is serving all the citizens. I guess that by that time Lebanon and Jordan will want to join such social arab dominated trust.

this is future and to build it we need time, imagination and courage. but non of the parties Israelis or Arabs cannot do that by themselves.

For Palestinian independence I see two main problems, from the outside Israel settlements who create a problem to have a border agreement, and from the inside the Palestinians have the internal conflict of Hamas and Fatah which disable them to get agreement with Israel.
but the weight of the isreali wepon killed around 1500 people in the other hand hamas wepon killed may be 50 , all the people killed in Gaza were civilizans, so the isreali army killed the fighters of gaza and the people there , why. too make the hill over GAza people, man we saw every thing in the media, so everything documented if as you said you blame both sides, look to the whole world they were protesting aganist isreal bcoz what it did is over the human feelings,you cant see felsh of people cooking what are we if we are cooking people in this wepons, for hamas rockets it doesnt do any thing in the settlements the fact was isreal want to invest time where Bush cant do any thing in that time, the other thing obama coming, so hamas rockets was just a reason to draw another boundries and isreal want to destroy any thing related to hamas the first was in west bank , and now in Gaza, you if you choose liberman and some one come and arrest liberman what you will do, imagine your self in big Jail, prevented from any human right biengs what you will do Gaza is a big jail i think from 2004 till now , gaza people are very poor more than palestinian so now thier living like the hill.

man inifada the fisrt and second, something ijn our life is changed we arent happy like the past, we cant luagh as normal people, now when we heared one is died then we say that he take a rest from the future the future will not be normal, peace i think people here give up from this word, bcoz in oslo agreement many things we lost , after that we had second intifada , which was worse than the first realy that is too hard, now many people are leaving Palestine in other hand many new isrealis come to Isreal, so we are serching for anoth home to live in quite life , where the isrealis come to the other side of palestine and live there. what a silly story we have it here
Honestly, I didn't expect much different from the UN on their findings. It doesn't change the situation. The answer will not come from the United Nations. It is just a formal ground to bring laws and regulations into effect. The question remains if the UN can remain effective in opening dialog with Israel or Palestine or is this a formal way of dismissing the actions of two groups. We need to take direction from other groups that have a formal stake in the future of this area. Historically the UN gets an F in Somolia, Rawanda and other areas where geonocide has taken place. The food shortages, lack of water, transportation structures and economic growth will better be worked out by creating and instilling stronger foreign fronts and working with the GNP and GDP. If the areas are not allowed to grow and trade then we will see more ethnic cleansing and mafia said groups using human bodies as test shields to underground money markets.

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