The Gaza Pull-Out

The deadline for Israeli settlers to leave the Gaza has come and gone. Thousands of settlers have been evicted/evacuated, leaving homes, farms, businesses, and synagogues behind. Now Israeli soldiers are tussling with those who have refused to leave. Meanwhile, Palestinians in Gaza, including those living in overcrowded refugee camps around Gaza City, are wondering what will happen now that the settlers are gone, considering that their economy is in shambles, their movement around the territory still greatly restricted, and there’s great uncertainty about their political future.

We’re putting together a show featuring both Palestinian and Israeli bloggers who can describe what’s been happening in Gaza over the past week and the impact it’s having or is likely to have on their lives. So what do you want to know about what’s happening in Gaza right now, and what it means? Here’s your chance to ask the people at the center of the storm.

Shlomo Wollins

Blogger, Israel Reporter

Former Resident, Gush Katif settlement

Laila El-Haddad

Blogger A Mother from Gaza

Reporter, Al-Jazzera

Resident, Gaza City

Amira Hass

Author, Drinking the Sea at Gaza

Reporter, Ha’aretz

Ganit Nave-Farhan

Daughter of Avi Farhan

Former Resident, Elei Sinai settlement

Deema Arafah

Physicians for Human Rights

Resident, Gaza City

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  • Potter

    I have a cousin that moved there not too many years after the 67 war- so maybe it’s close to thirty years or even more that she’s been there, raising a family and farming. I just heard from her brother, who lives here, that she and her family were just evacuated yesterday from the Gush Katif bloc, Ganei Tal. They are among those orthodox Jews who believe that the land belongs to Israel and I really believe that they felt patriotic about what they were doing. They apparently waited to be removed. I don’t know the particulars, but there seems to have been a lot of solidarity even at the risk of forfeiting compensation. They have been moved to a temporary place I hear. I hear from her brother that my cousin is in mourning. They have just passed the holiday in which the destruction of the 2nd Temple is marked with a fast. For her it was all apropos so devastating it is; the death of a dream.

    I know this is not much information. I wonder if the community which they formed, over the years will find a way to stay together and reconstitute their lives, and move on.

    I also have to tell that many years ago when I heard that she was moving there it twisted my stomach. Well the day finally came.

    There are many in such mourning. I have great compassion for those who built there lives there and worked so hard to make something good but it was on a false dream on shakey ground. They got to live too well and too protected and too subsidized on too much land ( prime beachfront real estate yet) with poverty and suffering all around them. Gaza having one of the most dense concentrations of population on earth had one quarter of it’s land taken up by settlers and their needs. They were a constant reminder to the Palestinians of what was being taken from them. Even the most moderate Palestinians had to resent their presence though many were employed on the farms.

    One post I read ( I have had my head stuck in the Haaretz forum) from “Gaza boy” said simply, “Now I can go to the beach”.

    Over the years relations between Arabs and Jews became worse in Gaza, as they did in Israel proper. Arabs and Jews even in the bad old days got along much better.

    We have friends in the north near Haifa. They have been riding around with a blue sticke on their car- for the disengagement ( as opposed to the orange of the anti-disengagement) . They always speak with sorrow about what has happened over the years regarding to “the situation”. (Moshe fought in 5 wars.) They don’t hate the Arabs. Arabs and Jews still get along somewhat better there and they are proud of it.

    The years of broken peace agreements, two intifadas and dashed hopes have taken a big toll. A lot of bitterness and hate has grown. But maybe also everybody is also so tired of it all as well that they are ready to make calm if not peace. People really yearn for normal life. Will this yearning be stronger than the recriminations and the struggle over land?

    I wonder if things will turn around. We look to Gaza now and hope that they will sort themselves out and get going- of course Gazans need help, particularly from Israel ( I think). I hope Israeli’s will risk and allow this to happen. They can well afford this in my opinion. (I understand Gaza is still under occupation technically, even after withdrawal.)

    I hope that both sides will turn a deaf ear to the extremists’ voices on the other side and control their own violence.

    What a revelation this disengagement has been about the extremists within Israel though. Though a minority, it’s a real and possibly growing problem.

  • Did anyone else read about “Operation Bamba”? I wrote about it on my blog a few days ago…

    A group of soldiers came to evict a family from their home. Their son, a toddler named Itamar, greeted the soldiers as guests and insisted that each soldier get a piece of Bamba, a crunchy peanut butter snack that’s enormously popular in Israel. The soldiers were so moved by his generosity that they got in a parallel formation so Itamar could inspect the troops and hand out a piece of Bamba to each of them. Once the operation ended, his mother said, “That’s all, Itamari. We have to go now.”

    There’s a pic of the operation on my blog as well. I’d post it here but I don’t think the blogging software will let commenters post pics through HTML tags. I’ll post it to the flickr site. -ac

  • Potter

    Amira Hass! She is the conscience of Israel. Thank you Amira.

  • LeeJudt

    Chris is at it again.

    Stacking the deck against the Jewish State.

    Fairness to the Jewish side is not part of his profile.

  • LeeJudt

    Amira Haas has no conscience. Even her family has disowned her.

    Of course Jews haters will allways gravitate towards self hating Jews. Jewish self hatred and anti-Semitism go together like a loveless marriage or a horse and carrgiage.

  • manousheh

    Thank you for this wonderful show. All of your guests today are brilliant and contribute so much to our understanding of the reality on the ground regarding this complicated issue.

  • Potter

    Questions have been asked about what Sharon will do, but the question also is and maybe more imprtantly: where are the Palestinians going to put their attention and energy? Are they going build, root out the corruption and control their militants? I wish this side was presented. When that happens I think further withdrawals will happen preferable in a negotiated settlement with a strong authority on the Palestinian side.

    I wish this business of “self-hating Jew” would be stricken from the vocabulary. It’s a conversation stopper. A real self-hating Jew is not who is critical but one who is rare and needs therapy. LeeJUdt- this is for you. It’s unbecoming. I am not a self-hating Jew and Amira makes perfect sense to me.

  • Thank you for this show. The guests were all well informed, articulate, clear and highly communicative.

    I am glad that the Palestinian side was given this much space. It was a breath of fresh air after the overfeeding of “evacuation trauma”.

    Was very pleased with your efforts and hope you continue in this vein as much as possible.

  • LeeJudt

    Yes, another brilliant anti Jewish program from the microphones of Chris Lydon.

    I’ll remember this program during the next fund raiser.

    Even on its own terms the program was less than brilliant. Disengagement isn’t just an issue for Israelis and so called Palarabs. It’s also an issue that concerns Egypt and Jordan.

    Of course there was none of this on this shallow programs.

    Read what the Jordanian King said about future disengagement moves by Israel on the West Bank to see what I mean.

    Some day Chris will devote a whole programs to something he knows something about, but I am not holding my breath.

    Still, he could refrain from programs that are hostile to the Jewish people, but before he could do that he might have to go into therapy.

  • LeeJudt

    “I wish this business of “self-hating Jewâ€? would be stricken from the vocabulary. It’s a conversation stopper.”

    Potter the term will be stricken when there are no more self hating Jews around which is to say never.

    One needs to be a Jew to be a self hating Jew, so that cuts you out.

  • LeeJudt

    “I am glad that the Palestinian side was given this much space. It was a breath of fresh air after the overfeeding of “evacuation traumaâ€?.”

    To people like “the cutter” no Jew could possible suffer any trauma. Rael traumas are reserved for non Jews, especially for Palestinians.

    Think of the poor Palarab who has to blow himself up to kill Jewish children, what a traumatic experience for his friends and family. The so called trauma of Jews, well they just had it coming.

    What a bigot you are.

  • Potter

    LeeJudt is a good example of the kind of hateful divisiveness that is going on within the Jewish community coming from the Right. There is also a good deal of “there are no Palestinians”. Yes that one is rearing it’s ugly head. For a people who know what it is like to be dehumanized this is shameful. Perhaps Chris was wise not to let this kind of thing enter the conversation. At least some of us who are still listening can hear without this noise.

    Sorry. I’ll try to be nice next post.

  • LeeJudt

    Potter,

    most Jews, whether in the US, in Europe or in Israel agree with me. Poeple like you, if you are a Jew at all are in the minority, period.

    Not to present a majority Jewish point of view in a program about Jewish disengagement it at best ignorant or irresponsible, and probably a sign of not so unconscious anti-Semitism.

  • LeeJudt

    Potter keep your deadly “niceness” for your friends. I prefer your hostility to your hypocritical niceness.

    It’s “nice” people like you who are responsible for most of the suffering in the world these days.

  • jdyer

    I sort of agree that the conversation was a missed opportunity of presenting both sides of the issue. Not the side of the settlers but the side of the Israeli main stream that supports disengagement for practical rather than ideological reasons.

    A good place to start would have been inviting the Israeli writer David Grossman whose recent article in Haaretz presented his views quite succinctly:

    Something to mourn

    By David Grossman

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/612522.html

  • LeeJudt

    OK, jdyer, my turn, then to quote Haaretz:

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/615193.html

    “UK Jews unite to support Israel

    By Haaretz service

    The UK Jewish community intends to put political and religious differences aside to show moral support for the State of Israel in a rally planned for Sunday night.

    The event has been organized by former Union of Jewish Students Chairman Danny Newman. The former chairman has been deeply concerned by the polarization in Israeli society caused by the deep-seeded tension between right and left, religious and secular sectors within Israel.

    “Our diverse views are not as important as what unites us, namely our deep love for Israel and our wish to stand in solidarity with Israel at this difficult time.

    Israel’s society must endure this trauma with its unity intact,” Newman said in a press release published ahead of the rally. “

  • LeeJudt

    http://nytimes.com/2005/08/24/opinion/24wed2.html?pagewanted=print

    Ariel Sharon’s Statesmanship

    This page has never been shy about criticizing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. But this week the last Jewish settlers left Gaza, completing Israel’s withdrawal from the desert it took control of 38 years ago. And yesterday, Israeli soldiers completed the evacuation of four much smaller settlements among the hundreds on the West Bank. This is the first time Israel has abandoned communities in lands the Palestinians claim for their future state, so it is incumbent upon us – and all of Mr. Sharon’s many critics – to reflect on this extraordinary accomplishment.

    The history of the Jewish people made the relative ease of the Gaza evacuation all the more remarkable. For Israeli forces to force Jewish settlers off land that many consider theirs by birthright was clearly gut-wrenching. The commander of the Gaza pullout praised his troops, with good reason. So did Mr. Sharon. “No state in the world can be as proud of having mobilized such a force in such difficult conditions,” Mr. Sharon said, adding that they had done their job “in a way that demands respect.”

    Mr. Sharon can take pride in his own actions. He was resolute in the face of condemnation from extreme right-wing members of his own Likud Party, which may well fracture from the strain of the Gaza pullout. As the father of the Israeli settlements and a member of the bloc that has always favored a greater Israel, Mr. Sharon has nevertheless demonstrated that he is able to carry out a territorial compromise, a necessity if there is ever going to be any chance for peace.

    The Palestinians have done themselves a favor by behaving with restraint during this emotional time. Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, knows that for better or worse, the Gaza pullout now puts the burden on the Palestinians to show that they can govern themselves. It would behoove the Arab states to favorably acknowledge the Israeli withdrawal and provide more aid to Mr. Abbas. That would further strengthen his hand among moderate Palestinians, who must be made to see that their best chance for peace and a Palestinian state lies with Mr. Abbas, and not militant groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

    On Monday, Mr. Abbas called Mr. Sharon to praise him for a “brave and historic decision.” He suggested that Israel and the Palestinian Authority renew negotiations, and he told Mr. Sharon that “we are your partner for peace.”

    That is a good start. But both men have big battles looming. Mr. Sharon will probably face another election soon, with Benjamin Netanyahu, the former prime minister, as his likely challenger for control of Likud. Mr. Abbas’s party, Fatah, will be battling Hamas in the coming municipal and legislative elections.

    Real peace talks are unlikely before those elections are settled, but such talks are needed to build on the Gaza withdrawal, which we hope is a sign of readiness to negotiate rather than a final gesture. In a region where there have been too many dark days, this flicker of sunshine deserves to be nurtured.

  • LeeJudt

    WHY GAZA? WHY NOW?

    From Newsday’s report of the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza:

    Palestinians Friday celebrated what they consider their victory over Israel…

    ‘This pullout is a result of our sacrifice,’ he [Mahmoud Abbas] said, ‘of our patience, the sacrifice of our people, the steadfastness and the wise people of our nation.’

    Still, all was not calm among Palestinians. Two Hamas militants were wounded as they carried an explosive device that blew up accidentally near the evacuated Kfar Darom settlement…

    Ah, well. Even when Ariel Sharon hands them a great “victoryâ€?, some Palestinians can’t stop blowing themselves up long enough to celebrate it. I’ve never subscribed to the notion that this or that people “deserveâ€? a state – a weird and decadent post-modern concept of nationality and sovereignty, even if it weren’t so erratically applied (how about the Kurds then?). The United States doesn’t exist because the colonists “deservedâ€? a state, but because they went out and fought for one. The same with the Irish Republic. By contrast the world deemed Palestinians “deservingâ€? of a state ten, three, six, eight decades ago, and they’ve absolutely no interest in getting it up and running. Any honest visitor to the Palestinian Authority is struck by the complete absence of any enthusiasm for nation-building – compared with comparable pre-independence trips to, say, Slovenia, Slovakia, or East Timor. Invited to choose between nation-building or Jew-killing, the Palestinians prioritise Jew-killing – every time.

    So now Ariel Sharon has given them Gaza. On the face of it, this has a certain logic: The Zionist enterprise foundered in this unpromising territory. No more than a few settlers ever showed any gusto for this particular turf and, with their offspring, in the end mustered no more than eight-and-a-half thousand Jews among one-and-a-half million Arabs.

    Nonetheless, the Israelis could have held it without much difficulty for many years to come. Instead, in the short term, Gaza will decay even further into a terrorist squat fought over by Hamas and Islamic Jihad. And, in the long run, its strategic value – as the most appealing location from which to launch the more ambitious Islamist rocketry – will likely turn it into a latterday Taliban Afghanistan: jihad central masquerading as a political jurisdiction.

    So why would Sharon enable such a move? If you talk to the more deluded disciples of the New York Times school of foreign policy analysis, they’ll tell you the Israelis have been forced into this by the pressure of world opinion and are doing it as a good-faith gesture to the Palestinians, to the broader Middle East and to the bien pensants of the European Union and the United Nations. I doubt the Israeli Prime Minister could even peddle that one with a straight face at an international conference. He knows the government of the Palestinian Authority is not a “partner for peace�, merely a sewer of corruption whose only political opposition is even more deranged and violent. And he knows the international community only have one response to Israeli concessions and that’s to demand more, even as they’re still flaying Israel for having the impertinence to withdraw from Gaza “unilaterally�.

    A couple of years ago, I had a conversation with a British cabinet minister who was denouncing Sharon for the usual reasons – his “intractability� and so forth. I replied blithely that, au contraire, I thought he’d dismantle the settlements and withdraw from Gaza. The New Labour bigwig was stunned, and, thinking it over, so was I. After all, Sharon had won the 2003 elections in part because he opposed a pull-out from Gaza. I didn’t quite know why I said what I’d said, and I didn’t really have a rationale for it.

    But, with the benefit of hindsight, maybe that was the point – that Sharon has come to understand, as Bush did after September 11th, that the glorification of “stabilityâ€? invariably favours the bad guys. Under cover of “stabilityâ€?, the situation always deteriorates. The world’s embrace of the Palestinian “causeâ€? is now almost complete: Blow up a nightclub in Bali full of Aussie tourists and Scandinavian backpackers and within ten minutes someone will have identified the “root causeâ€? as the lack of a Palestinian state. The current intifada has in essence been funded by European taxpayers – and the EU’s auditors don’t seem to care. The withdrawal from Gaza was celebrated with promotional materials bearing the slogan “Today Gaza, tomorrow the West Bank and Jerusalemâ€?, which doesn’t sound awfully like a “two-state solutionâ€? but was nevertheless paid for by the United Nations Development Programme, whose logo appeared just underneath the slogan.

    Taking their cue from the Palestinians themselves, these various forces have little interest in a Palestinian state itself, only in using the lack of one as a means to undermine Israel and its legitimacy – which in Europe they’ve done very effectively. A continuation of the status quo – whereby the Palestinians are preserved in perpetuity as “deserving� a state without ever having to earn one – would only see further remorseless deterioration for Israel in the world. In that sense, any change in the situation would be for the better – especially a change that makes Gaza not Israel’s problem but everybody’s problem.

    Thus, the Egyptians have just deployed their own troops to the strip to replace the evacuated Israeli Defence Force. Why would they do this now the Zionist oppressor has fled and Arab lands are rightfully back in Arab hands? Well, for a very obvious reason: an Islamist squat in Gaza is a far greater threat to the Mubarak regime than it is to Israel. With the Jews out of the way, the Egyptian government can no longer avoid seeing Gaza for what it is. This is one way of re-engaging Arab nations in the grubby reality of Palestinian “nationalism�.

    It was my National Review colleague David Frum who came up with the clearest assessment to date of the Israeli strategy: “Could it be that Sharon is calling the bluff of Western governments and the Arab states? By creating the very Palestinian state that those governments and those states pretend to want but actually dread Sharon is forcing them to end their pretense and acknowledge the truth.�

    The Frum thesis sounds right to me. In Britain since July 7th, political figures have twisted themselves into pretzels trying to explain how suicide bombers in London are somehow different from suicide bombers in Tel Aviv – unwilling, even as the double-deckers are exploding across Bloomsbury, to abandon their fetishization of the Palestinian cause, and unable to see that in an ever more

    Islamified continent the Europeans are the new Jews. Maybe an Islamist statelet on the Mediterranean will concentrate even European minds.

    This then is the audacious gamble of the Gaza withdrawal: the best way to demonstrate that the Palestinians are undeserving of a state is to force one upon them. It’s a dangerous move, but in a tough neighborhood there aren’t any other kinds.

    The Irish Times, August 22nd 2005

  • Potter

    Thank you Chris for your apologies and nevertheless for a show that had value. I know that you planned a show with more from the other side and were beset by difficulties.

    True, we did not see or hear much from the Palestinian side during this disengagement except for those sewing machines humming making flags and the belligerant slogans of Hamas.

    The apparent onesidedness of the show did bring out some ugliness here on this blog that might have been more in check. Rabbi Leejudt, issuing a “fatwa” against me , has taken it upon himself to decide who is a Jew and who is not, now demoting me from a self-hating Jew to not one at all. All this is based on his anger and on whether I agree with him or not. This is shameful as if anyone had such right. This is our problem, clear as day.

    This has been an emotional time. The David Grossman article above is good. Even better is his book ” Death as a Way of Life”.

    Many on the Israeli side and within the wider community, wanted to celebrate, celebrate for this opportunity, for the breaking of a taboo, but it was hard because we all also felt the pain of the settlers losing everything so it was more quiet. But it was a time for celebration as well as mourning.

    The Newsday article above is interesting. The attitude is ‘you want a state? – okay here’s your state!’ We’ll see how much Israel allows to happen with arms crossed defensively, The attitude of this article is an almost gleeful “lets wait and watch them self destruct”.

    Sharon leaves a dangerous situation whereby Hamas can gain the upper hand over Abbas who is weak. The past five years of attempts at military solution have made Hamas stronger than ever. Palestinians now have to switch channels from being against Israel and victims to nation builders. They will need help. And it’s in everyone’s interest that they succeed, especially Israel’s. I fear that this little strip of land with all it’s pent up anger and hostility will be overtaken by Hamas extremist ideology to fight on. What will those waiting for their day in the West Bank do as they watch settlement expansion and the construction of the wall in their state-in-waiting?

    Sharon and Abbas must keep things moving in a positive direction. Maybe a settlement freeze and ASAP.

  • Brendan

    LeeJudt –

    We started this show as an experiment, one that public radio stations — and some other production companies — are watching with interest. Opening comment threads was a leap of faith, one that has been almost completely met with thoughtful responses and useful suggestions.

    But public radio is a strange beast, hesitant to open up its own sites and programming to direct, unmediated comment. The point is, say whatever you want about Chris or the show, but when you argue using words like “bigot,” and particularly when you direct those words at other listeners, it makes it harder for us to show this site to radio stations and say “See? Trust the listener.”

    We want anyone who listens to feel a direct sense of ownership on this site, which means that you are a guest in Potter’s house, and she in yours. Feel free to argue with her, but you gotta help us here, give her at least the benefit of the doubt and don’t call her a bigot.

  • LeeJudt

    OK Brendan, but you got to understand that the Gaza show did not meet the standards of fair inquiry into an issue.

    From beginning to end the guests chosen argued that the Jews were wrong, wrong wrong, and the Palestinians the victims of Jewish aggression.

    This point of view is definitely one sided.

    I would like to know what you would call a show that has shown itself to be so anti-Jewish? And what would you call people who applaud such a show?

  • Potter

    I did not get any message about Palestinians being victims of aggression. Amira Hass was explaining how cruel the occupation is to daily life and how the settlements there were resented and why. She spoke about plain facts and this lead her to understand the inherent immorality of the situation for the last almost 40 years.

    This is the worsening situation what made the Hamas much more powerful over the last five years in particular. And of course part of the vicious cycle of violence begetting more violence.

    Israeli’s have managed to carry on rather well throughout all of this. If you go to Israel, life is relatively normal prosperous and housing is burgeoning all over. It’s quite something to see. But Palestinians are suffering and they are boiling over with anger and despair. This is quite something to feel. Of course this is not only because of Israel. They have their own problems that they have to get out from under.

    Any presentation would have been deficient in one way or another. I applauded what the show was, not what it could have been or should have been. It was very obvious that there were technical difficulties. If you go to Schlomo’s web site, you will see quite another point of view which also has my sympathy and my ear. After all this is my family.

    I happen to believe that it is vital for Israel’s survival to understand what they have done to ordinary Palestinians. That was the value of last night. I do not think most Jews or Israeli’s know or even want to know. It’s upsetting having to face it. Leejudt does not want to hear “wrong wrong wrong” This was not the message last night but what he heard because we were hearing mostly one side.

    Chris has apologised though Mr. Technical difficulties was really at fault. So should Leejudt.

    Let’s move on in any case.

  • LeeJudt

    Potter

    “I did not get any message about Palestinians being victims of aggression. Amira Hass was explaining how cruel the occupation is to daily life and how the settlements there were resented and why. She spoke about plain facts and this lead her to understand the inherent immorality of the situation for the last almost 40 years.�

    Amira’s point of view is pro Palestinian, period.

    She doesn’t ever in her writing, those that I have read, and certainly not on the radio program take into account the Jewish point of view.

    The Palestinians are suffering, why? How is their suffering Israel’s point of view when for over fifty years the Arab countries and later the PLO have refused to negotiate with Israel and have refused to help the Arabs displaced during the wars started by the Arab countries?

    There is a long history which Amira refuses to take into consideration.

    “This is the worsening situation what made the Hamas much more powerful over the last five years in particular. And of course part of the vicious cycle of violence begetting more violence.�

    This is nonsense, Potter. Hamas got power because of the corruption of the PA, especially under Arafat.

    Moreover, there is no “cycle of violence.� There is violence perpetrated by Hamas, and other Palarab groups who chose to kill Jews rather than negotiate a peace agreement with the Jewish State. None of this is ever discussed by Amira in her reporting from the West Bank.

    “Any presentation would have been deficient in one way or another. I applauded what the show was, not what it could have been or should have been. It was very obvious that there were technical difficulties.�

    Technical difficulties doesn’t explain the guest line up. Technical difficulties need to be taken into account before the show even starts. It’s not true that any “presentation would have been deficient.� If you start with a guest line up that has two or three guests presenting the Arab point of view and one guest presenting the other side, then you can’t blame the show’s one sidedness on “technical difficulties.�

    “I happen to believe that it is vital for Israel’s survival to understand what they have done to ordinary Palestinians. That was the value of last night. I do not think most Jews or Israeli’s know or even want to know. It’s upsetting having to face it. Leejudt does not want to hear “wrong wrong wrong� This was not the message last night but what he heard because we were hearing mostly one side.�

    Bull snoogers. I know more about the so called “Palestinian point of view than you do.�

    I spent a lot of time reading books by Palestinians and their western friends. I also talked to a fair number of them both in Israel and in the West (England and the US). At the end of the day their point of view is merely a cover for a desire to get rid of the Jewish State. This was true in 1947 before the establishment of the Jewish State and it was true in 1967 before Israel conquered the West Bank during a war started by the Arabs and it was true in 2000 when the P A chose to break off negotiations in order to launch a so called “intifada� with the aim of murdering as many Jews as they could.

    That Potter refuses to acknowledge these realities shows that she is not sincere in her claims to being “sympathetic� to the Israelis. Finally the Chris Lydon needs to schedule another program that takes a broader view of the issues and invites more some Israeli guests like Benny Morris (read his op ed piece in today’s NY Times) who really know what they are talking about.

    “Let’s move on in any case.�

    As for moving on, I will do so when shows like Chris’ start presenting a non biased point of view of the conflict or when the conflict comes to an end, whichever comes first.

  • Jon

    In the Gaza Pull-Out show we repeatedly heard the themes of how badly the Palestinian Arabs have suffered and of how this was in large part the fault of Israel. Given the guest selection for the show, I think this result isn’t too surprising. Had Shlomo Wollins participated, there undoubtedly would have been more point-counter point, but the terrain of the discussion likely would have been fairly similar. Trying to take a positive approach to this matter, I would suggest that Open Source use this program as a springboard to explore two related issues–each constituting a program in itself.

    First, I think it would be very interesting to spend an hour exploring the relationships between Palestinian Arabs and the other Arab countries in the region between the period of 1948 to the present. How did these countries respond to the aftermaths of 1948, 1967, 1973, and the near-peace agreement of 2000? Most specifically, what was their approach to helping the people living in this area regain normalcy, build social, educational, scientific institutions, etc? Or did some of these countries put more emphasis on using these people as pawns in a geopolitical struggle against Israel? I would suggest that you try to get Alan Dershowitz as a principal guest for this show.

    Second, I would propose that you do a show on a sort of flip-side of this matter: After 1948 and then again after the Suez crisis of 1956, whole communities of Jews were forced to flee their homes in a number of Arab countries. You could either approach this broadly, or perhaps focus for clarity on a single exodus–in which case I would suggest the example of the Egyptian Jews forced to leave Cairo after the events of 1956. How did other countries respond to their plight? What are the attitudes of those who made the exodus, nearly 50 years now after the event? I’d particularly suggest exploring how these refugees for the most part moved on from the crisis that rocked their lives, to develop new lives elsewhere–virtually in all continents on the globe. Their stories are compelling and really quite interesting.

  • I do not know of any US mainstream media that informed the public that it is a violation of international law for an occupier to move its people to an occupied territory. The colonists are war criminals for engaging in this practice. The colonists in Gaza were a mere eight thousand who lived on forty percent of the land. Palestinians in Gaza comprise 1.3 million. In addition the colonists controlled sixty percent of the water. Now US taxpayers will be called upon to come up with 2.2 billion for their resettlement; some of whom will go on to illegal colonies in the West Bank.

    I recall a Sixty Minutes segment with Mike Wallace over thirty years ago in which he interviewed Palestinian Americans living in Detroit. I called my father and we cried because it was the first time that he or I had read, seen, or heard of Palestinians presented in a humane fashion in the US media.

    The program this evening reminded me of that time. Articulate Palestinians were given an opportunity to discuss the pernicious effects of colonization and occupation.

    Numerous UN resolutions and international law stipulate that Paletinians have an inalienable right to return to homes and lands from which they were expelled in 1947-48. At least 533 of their villages were detroyed and the names of the villages were changed. Wells were poisoned to ensure that the refugees could not return. Israeli historians affirm that there was a systematic plan to expel Palestinians so that the area partioned for Israel would have a Jewish majority. Remember that despite massive immigration, Jews owned only seven percent of Palestine in 1948. No attempts at obufuscation re what Arab countries should have done invalidates the simple truth: the Palestinians’ tragedy is that they happened to be indigenous to the land which Jews coveted and which they continue to covet.

    Instead of sympathizing with today’s colonists, one should question why they are still engaged in what most of the world finds anachronistic and racist, colonisation of others’ lands. If one follows the current events in the West Bank, it is obvious that the words of Laila El-Haddad, Amira Haas, and Deema Arafah that Israel is merely restructuring its occupation are true.

    Thank you for an exceptional program. I believe that it will further the cause of justice. US taxpayers must be made aware through venues such as Open Source that their monies contribute to suffering and injustice, and until there is a change of consciousness among Americans, there will be no peace.

  • Potter

    Shlomo Wollins and Avi Farhan would have made two on the Israeli side if you don’t count Amira however Amira DOES represent a Jewish viewpoint. I think Leejudt has to get that straight before all else.

    So that would have been three for the Israeli side.

    Amira’s piece on Haaretz today: “The Remaining 99.5 %”‘ http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/616309.html was good and it got a good response from readers. And Benny Morris piece in today’s NYTimes was good too.

  • LeeJudt

    “Amira DOES represent a Jewish viewpoint. I think Leejudt has to get that straight before all else.”

    It’s a viewpoint supported by less than one percent of the Jews world wide and even less than that in Israel.

    Is it a “Jewish” viewpoint? There are bizarre people everywhere and their viewpoints represent only their own idiosyncrasies.

    Amira’s view represent mostly a small coterie of bizarre left wingers.

    GREAT POST JON, THANK YOU.

  • Potter

    I don’t know where Leejudt’s percentage number comes from. What survey? When? Additionally most Israeli’s are unaware of what is really going on on the other side of this. One extraordinary post on Haaretz to day in response to Amira’s article ( see link above post #66 by Jane) testifies to that. People are sheltered from it and will be even more now. This is what makes Amira Hass’s reporting so extraordinary. Most of what LJ is reacting to is plain reporting of facts which he does not like.

    So three for the Israeli side and two for the Palestinian side on this show if we had the show as planned.

  • LeeJudt

    “I don’t know where Leejudt’s percentage number comes from. What survey? When? Additionally most Israeli’s are unaware of what is really going on on the other side of this.”

    What nonsense, how do you know what most people do or don’t know?

    My percentage come from the way people vote in Israel. Very few people support the political views of people like Amira and her ilk.

    “So three for the Israeli side and two for the Palestinian side on this show if we had the show as planned.”

    More nonsense, the show as planned? Deal with the show as it was aired, Potter.

    Your exhibit the kind of arrogance most Jews reject.

  • Potter

    Back to Mr. Technical difficulties, when it suits your argument.

    %60 were in favor of disengagement. I can assume that quite a percentage of those were uncomfortable with it morally.

    Enough Lee. Keep posting. you owe me an apology as well as Chris. I’m done. Have your say.

  • LeeJudt

    “%60 were in favor of disengagement. I can assume that quite a percentage of those were uncomfortable with it morally.”

    I am in favor of disengagement, how is that relevant to the argument?

    “Enough Lee. Keep posting. you owe me an apology as well as Chris. I’m done. Have your say.”

    Enough yourself. No one is twisting your arm and telling you to post.

    As for apologies, Chris owes an apology to the Jewish community for airing such a shabby one sided program. You owe me an apology for supporting with callous supercilious and arrogant arguments the one sided program.

  • LeeJudt has apparently taken the blog hostage. Sighting Mickey Mouse statistics and fudging facts he is set to implement his agenda. In my opinion, the program was balanced and so is Chris. LeeJudt’s perception of fair and balanced, however, is undoubtedly biased. That the settlers had to be evacuated in such manner is a tragedy; but the blame lies squarely on the irresponsible policies of the governments that placed them there to begin with. When you settle folks on land without a title, you’re essentially using them as pawns. You advance them when necessary and sacrifice them when the time comes. That’s what they did to these poor people. It’s sad but that’s what seems to have taken place here. We can all hope that these issues are resolved as peacefully as possible. But I think LeeJudt should try to make his arguments rationally versus emotionally attacking folks who disagree with his extreme position. Chris is a great host and does not have an agenda. Let’s get along and use mindfulness vs. fatwa’s and decrees for the demise of fellow bloggers simply sharing their opinions. Don’t worry LeeJudt, the fate of Israel does not change based on comments by a couple of amatures trying to solve the world’s problems. Just chill and don’t raise your blood pressure, and definittely don’t accuse our gracious host with unfounded allegations. I, for one am grateful for his many great programs.

  • LeeJudt

    “Don’t worry LeeJudt, the fate of Israel does not change based on comments by a couple of amatures trying to solve the world’s problems. Just chill and don’t raise your blood pressure, and definittely don’t accuse our gracious host with unfounded allegations. I, for one am grateful for his many great programs.�

    You chill out endoman and stop monitoring other people’s blood pressure. Better check your own.

    I am not worried about the fate of Israel and your host was less than gracious in his Gaza broadcast. Those who love this broadcast better worry about its fate. A few more imbalanced programmed and it will be ready for the ash heap.

    Now, I made a comment about my and a few other people I know perceptions of the Gaza program. If people don’t like my views tough! This is an open forum, isn’t it? Just because I posted my views and just because I’ll answer those who attack my views doesn’t mean that I am trying to “monopolize this so called open source blog.�

    I have a right to my comments just as other have a right to theirs.

  • LeeJudt is right that he and everyone else has the right to their own opinions. I certainly won’t begrudge him for that. But I think we also all have a responsibility to keep the forum civil and constructive, and not turn it into a rhetorical cockfight with no way of ending it. I’m worried we’re seeing the creation of a vicious cycle in which everyone involved in this particular debate wants to get in the last word. This kind of tit-for-tat fighting won’t change anyone’s opinions; instead it’ll just entrench them.

    LeeJudt thinks Chris owes Jews an apology. As far as I’m concerned, he doesn’t owe me one. No matter what balance of people had been on the show, I guarantee you there would have been some listeners who would be outraged, demanding an apology. When it comes to discussions around Palestine, there’s no way to have a conversation without insulting someone, somewhere.

    LeeJudt, I’m sure you’ll disagree with me, so there’s no need to reply. This will be the only message I’m going to post on this particular thread. Everyone has made their opinions clear, so let’s just move on….

  • LeeJudt

    “LeeJudt, I’m sure you’ll disagree with me, so there’s no need to reply. This will be the only message I’m going to post on this particular thread. Everyone has made their opinions clear, so let’s just move on…. ”

    You are right I don’t reply to self serving messages.

    As for the substance of you message, yes you are wrong on most of the points you brught up.

    Just because someone somewhere will be offended somewhere doesn’t mean that those offended should keep their mouths shut. Nor does it excuse the offending party.

  • Brendan

    Hi guys, I’m a little worried at the direction this thread has taken, with the invective now almost exclusively personal. This is an open forum, yes, but everyone on it has an obligation to keep it civil. I probably should have done this yesterday, but I’m closing down this comment thread. You are all welcome and invited to comment anywhere else on the site you’d like.

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