(MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)

The Israeli offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip is now in its third week. In the Bay Area, protests, counter-protests and calls for action have been intensifying. In the first half hour, we check in with Bay Area supporters of Palestinians. In the second half, we talk with local supporters of Israel. What impact is the violence having on those in the Bay Area?

Guests:
Lara Kiswani, executive director of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC)
Hatem Bazian, co-founder of Zaytuna College, the first Muslim liberal arts college in America, and faculty lecturer of Near Eastern studies and ethnic studies at UC Berkeley
Rabbi Menachem Creditor, rabbi of Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley, author of "Peace in Our Cities, Rabbis Against Gun Violence" and member of the Executive Council for the Rabbinical Assembly
Mark Schickman, chair of Middle East strategy and past president of the Jewish Community Relations Council

  • SamXie

    Question for Lara. Your organization regularly sponsors demonstrations that feature chants of “river to the sea” and “We support the Intifada”. Its a clear call for the destruction of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, and its the main reason that moderate peace activists in the Bay area no longer participate in your events. Do you support a Jewish State of Israel living side by side and in peace with an Arab state of Palestine, and if not, why not?

    • thucy

      There’s something truly strange about Americans – with their homes built over the bones of so many indigenous peoples – taking such issue with the state of Israel for ethnic cleansing.

      What is this all about? As a non-Jewish person, it seems that much American condemnation of Israel smacks ever so rankly of anti-semitism. Having said that, there is a helluva lot of room for criticism of Israel’s counter-productive behavior.

      • Another Mike

        What was OK in 1880 is not OK in 2014. Women can vote and own property now, black people can ride in any rail car they want, and gay sex is no longer a crime punishable with hard labor.

        • thucy

          Black people may be able to ride in any rail car they desire, but the mass incarceration of blacks in these United States for non-violent crimes that are rarely prosecuted in white communities means that we are hardly a moral exemplar. Rather, it defines us as an apartheid justice system, if not an apartheid state.

      • Robert Thomas

        I’ve spent a lot of years arguing with a number of Jewish friends about the duplicity of the Israeli government, about its grinding condescension and paternalism and its soul-crushing occupation and annexations. I’ve implied that when Yitzhak Rabin actually began to move in a direction that threatened the Israeli Hard Line, all it took was one mysteriously motivated crackpot to erase the threat of Peace.

        And so on and on, I’ve argued (declaimed) in this vein while enjoying the pleasant safety of my home or their homes or at restaurant tables.

        I also have seen pictures of Dresden and Berlin and Tokyo and Hiroshima and Nagasaki (and not only these), after the destruction of each.

        I know that were my national government to propose a “proportional response” to sustained incoming rocket bombardment from a neighboring state, however “asymmetrically” that state was constituted, however competently or incompetently such bombardment was waged and however incidental was the associated damage, that that government would be forced to exit immediately or face the gallows. That eventuality is as certain now as it was in 1943.

        • erictremont

          The bombing of Dresden, Berlin, and Tokyo resulted in tens of thousands of fatalities. None of Israel’s military operations in Gaza have resulted in a body count anywhere close to those conflicts. If you are going to use historical events to criticize Israel, you need to be more careful when making comparisons.

          • Robert Thomas

            On review, I still think it’s pretty clear that the point of my post was that compared to the devastation brought for example to these other places by the Allied forces, within memory of many living people – that Israel’s action in the wake of attack by incoming aerial munitions is measured and justified, though perhaps sadly so. Further, I said, no other state today would respond to sustained bombardment by rocket powered munitions with anything other than overpowering reprisal.

            I admit this, you see, while still being frustrated with and critical of the history of Israel’s tactics and actions with respect to its neighbors. I can afford to be critical of Israel and its American ally in this way, you see, partly because I enjoy the safety of a nation that, were I threatened with incoming rocket fire, would not hesitate to protect ME through the exercise of overwhelming force.

            I regret any obtuseness that may have confused. But if you’re going to criticize someone else’s post you need to be more careful when reading it.

          • erictremont

            I apologize if I misunderstood the intent of your comment. I confess that I am wary of people who cite Dresden or similar bombing campaigns when discussing Israel’s actions, because 99% of the time such comparisons are grossly distorted or taken out of context.

      • Sophie

        Soooo right as to your first comment. And what about the outrage re Syria?! Rwanda…?

      • bobster1985

        Are you suggesting that ethnic cleansing is acceptable?

    • bobster1985

      I no longer support the idea of a Jewish State, just as I don’t support the idea of an Islamic State or Christian State, because it privileges one group of people over another based on religion.

  • ES Trader

    Civilian casualties are deplored but please ask your guests why Hamas positions missile launchers near densely populated areas including schools and hospitals. The NY Times reported yesterday that there is growing outrage by Gazans regarding this tactic and that even casualties on the beach is being blamed on Hamas.

    it may be an effective PR strategy to garner sympathy but the use of human shields is a callous, cowardly act and the conclusion is total disregard for the welfare of its people.

    The tunnels into Israel can only serve one purpose, what do you expect Israel to do?

    • Sean Dennehy

      1) Forum’s guests aren’t members of Hamas and aren’t responsible for what they do,

      2) Gaza is a prison camp with no escape: the tunnels are their only means out.

      • ES Trader

        really ? then why was so much scarce money used for cement to strengthen it and why are weapons smuggled in / Escape into Israel ? Guess they have poor GPS

      • ES Trader

        If Gaza is a prison & Israel is the warden ( your implication), why dig a tunnel into Israel ?

  • Sean Dennehy

    Please ask your guests who support Israel what other country in the world would be allowed to have 75% of their killings be civilians (this is not up for dispute; it’s a UN number)? How does terrorists acting among civilians make the civilians’ lives forfeit in the eyes of the IDF?

    • rick d.

      #1 – sadly the UN is not the gospel
      #2 – independent eye witnesses report Hamas weapons and offices in schools, hospitals, & mosques ….. is Hamas free to operate from these locations without retribution?

      • Strandwolf

        How many Israeli civilian deaths? It’s 30 soldiers, 1 or 2 civilians.

        • rick d.

          1) If Hamas did not shoot rockets from behind human shields, Palestinian deaths would be way lower.
          2) If Hamas used concrete to build shelters rather than tunnels, there would be way fewer deaths
          3) Because Israel does a better job protecting her citizens, does that mean they cannot respond to rocket fire?

          Bottom line – Israel wants a ceasefire; Hamas does not – they wants a large number of Palestinian deaths to raise awareness and support. Until Hamas have claimed sufficient Israeli lives, they will not agree to a ceasefire – they have said that.

        • BeaZea

          Israel focuses most of its efforts to PROTECTING ISRAELI CIVILIANS
          Hamas PROTECT THEMSELVES by using the poor Palestinians as human shield.

  • colinvgallagher

    Questions for the pro-Israel activists on the panel. If Israel genuinely wants to live in peace with its neighbors, then why does its present government continue to build illegal settlements in the West Bank? & how is it in America’s interest to continue give Israel billions of dollars of unrestricted economic and military aid to create an apartheid state in the Occupied Territories?

    • Darthmaul

      Mark Schickman says that it isn’t “settlement expansion” but “adding to the neighborhood.” So by this magic relabeling, the theft of this land is now OK.

    • BeaZea

      For your information,Every Israeli, Arab or Jewish, has the right to move freely (under security restrictions) within the state of Israel, has the right to a free trial and the ability to voice his opinion, access to state education and health system AND mainly the freedom to vote as his heart chooses. This is NOT true in so many Arab countries. And you call Israel an apartheid state.

      As for the “illegal settlements”, they are part of the freedom to
      live where you choose. Israel has proven 9 years ago that when a peace
      settlement is on the scales it will vacate ALL settlements, as was done in
      Gaza, and return the land, free of settlements and settlers to the Palestinians.

      As for American Aid, Israel built a state where science flourishes (most Nobel prizes in the world), innovation of new technology skyrockets (#3 in start-ups in the world), Free and public education to all its citizens (regardless of religion) and one of the world’s best health systems, Oh, and the Iron Dome – TO PROTECT it’s own citizens. What did the Palestinians do with the
      relief money they received (from US and the UN) for the past 9 years – built tunnels, bought more ammunition and “educated” the new generation to hate and destroy
      Israel.

      http://youtu.be/YGJajyjMCbs
      http://youtu.be/CBRrj0uEJgw

      • Murad

        But the truth is that when the peace proposition was proposed some years ago, the settlements did not vacate. The settlements are not a part of the freedom to live were you choose, you will never see a Palestinian in Israeli land. Palestinians can’t even leave their area in Palestine to see a family member. Many roads are closed only to Palestinians even in their own state. The settlements are structured in such a way to separate little segments of land to “subdue” (abuse) the Palestinians. We built tunnels so that we would be safe from the barrages of missiles Palestinians receive from Gaza.

  • David Kelley

    I’m so perplexed I can’t believe how anybody can sit here and not notice what really is going on or maybe people do but they’re just saying an invented storyline for the masses or maybe you all just innocently don’t realize what’s really going on I’ve been studying this for a while now and putting all the evidence together, reading book after book, and following the Jewish philosophy and religiosity along with the collaborators efforts of the evangelical Christian movement that says it from their own lips this is a systematic effort to remove the Palestinian existence off the face of the earth . Inside the Christian evangelical movement and along with the Jewish community there is an agenda based on their interpretation of the Bible that has them strongly believing that Jerusalem will be the central point for Armageddon based on their interpretations of the Bible.. they believe that a 3rd temple will be built which will bolster the second coming of Jesus and that Jesus will convert the Jews into Christianity and open up the doors for everyone to worship him as the Lord and Savior . You can google ” Jewish menorah waiting for the Third Temple”  this very large menorah is encased in glass waiting for the Third Temple to be built right where the dome is now in the center of Jerusalem Mecca this item does exist and I have heard it from their own lips from the evangelical Christians coming from a TV station called the church channel where one evangelical gentleman during discussion of the crisis that is happening now inside the region of Gaza, he said that the Palestinian people should not even be considered people because they are not human and that came from his own lips as everybody on the panel chuckled and agreed I know this for a fact that this Christian evangelical movement is building itself up in political arenas the United Nations as well as funding political movements inside United States of America in both parties Democratic and Republican which helped to fund their political campaigns with astronomical amounts of campaign contributions as long as they help in funds their religious campaigns for the usher of the third temple idea which is not a difficult task to achieve since many of Republicans and Democrats are evangelical Christians that strongly have this philosophy as their own personal and public belief preached in their churches all over the world and it’s their belief that if they stir up conflict this will usher  the coming of the temple being built that will bolster the second coming of Jesus this is why there is so much funding going on in protection of Israel and Jerusalem and for the systemic declination of all Palestinian people . I have seen for my own eyes people such as Pat Robertson explain himself the underline agenda inside their religious movements one explanation was that in 1948 after the war and the separation of Palestine and Israel of the Gaza Strip, borders were drawn and anywhere that that pencil lead drew its border considered neutral ground and in that neutral ground evangelical Christians had taken advantage of that policy and had bought property there to side themselves with the Jewish community. As Pat Robertson was explaining this, he was sitting in a patio of a house on one of those borders that was drawn by pencil and explain it in detail ..
       I am a Christian myself and I have no doubt that the philosophy that they’re using is nothing more than a systematic ethnic cleansing I would hope and I’m asking you with full whole heartedness to please take a look at this, investigate this, look deep into this and ask questions… don’t just assume the skin deep level of multimedia explanations of what they say is going on… after all many news groups are funded and back by evangelical Christian movement themselves and you Michael at least its seems to have a more liberal and open mind so I beg you please investigate this, look into this, you can start with Google, just googling the menorah encased in glass waiting for the Third Temple I would hope that you would look at this and maybe start a segment on your show many such as I believe that this is actually taking place inside our political government which is no more than just an ethnic cleansing of a race and of a people and this is exactly what happened to the Jews in WWII  and I have to ask myself why would they do this? well that’s because they strongly believe in a philosophy that is only built upon the murdering and the slaughter of somebody else and I’m not against the Jews, they are my beloved friends but their philosophy and religion is marred with error and corruption and contradictions so I beg you please look into this look at all the evidence look at all the facts if you want more I can give you more
              Sincerely Your friend David M. Kelley

    • Ehkzu

      Nobody is going to read thousand-word sentences, David. This looks like a brain dump, not an entry aimed at persuading anyone else of anything. You’re trapped in your own mind. Learn to write sentences short enough for others to read. Learn to use paragraphs.

      I know you want others to respond to your content, not to your form, but precious few will reach your content because your form is in the way.

      • David Kelley

        I know…our society is built on fast and quick ..can’t explain it in any other way..you must have read it….those who are really interested in reading will read..

        • thucy

          As a reader, I must demur: your sentences would be far more easily digested if you included some paragraph breaks.

  • ES Trader

    media bias ? Comment on the Hamas broadcasts into Gaza regarding the Israeli military casualties to prop up nationalism

  • David S

    General comment: The dichotomy of Pro-Israel v. Pro-Palestine is the dominant narrative of the conflict. But radicals on both sides, who are driving the current round of warfare, seem more alike than different. Both are driven by rabid racism and are willing to use violent means to press for change. Neither take into account the long term consequences of that violence. Nor do they have realistic solutions that respect their counterparts. The real dichotomy is between moderates and radicals. Only when moderates win on both sides will there be peace.

  • Bill_Woods

    Michael Krasny notes that the term ‘genocide’ is often used loosely … and in response Lara Kiswani provides a demonstration.

  • rick d.

    Do your Palestinian panelists accept that Hamas are using human shields? Eye witnesses report Hamas offices and weapons in schools, hospitals and mosques – is this true and does it constitute a war crime?

  • ES Trader

    why cant you answer simple questions with yes/no ?

  • ES Trader

    sounds like you really believe in Israeli end

  • ES Trader

    both guests are under utilizing their talents.

    They should be employed in PR , its better pay

  • curleegirl

    It’s clear to me that the present government of Israel does not want a 2 state solution, or peace with the Palestinians. Despite words to the contrary to placate the international community in general, and the US in particular, Israel’s ACTIONS indicate an ethnic cleansing campaign, the goal being to eradicate the Palestinian people from what had been Palestine. What actions by Israel can the the Israeli activists on the panel point to which would demonstrate a legitimate support of an independent, viable and free Palestinian state?

    • Another Mike

      Israel seems dedicated to maintaining the status quo. They could have granted Palestine its independence back in the early 1990s, when Arafat agreed to their demands.

    • ZEKE

      Gaza was ethnically cleansed, of Jews.

      • curleegirl

        Zeke, better read your history. You are incorrect.

        • ZEKE

          There are Jews in Gaza? Best as I can tell, they pretty much all left.

          • curleegirl

            Yes they did. They occupied, and then they left, per agreement. Voluntarily. They were not “ethnically cleansed,” as you stated.

          • ES Trader

            semantics !

          • curleegirl

            Indeed!

  • Alex S

    It is probably fair to say that many in Israel regard the country as a Jewish state, and, yes, that is inherently racist. But what of all of the Arab countries that are openly Muslim states, caliphates even, imposing Muslim law. Is that not inherently racist as well? Do your guests condemn these countries and their many many humanitarian violations (that significantly outnumber those of Israel) as well?

    • Strandwolf

      Two wrongs make a right??

      • Alex S

        Well – no. But starting with the most democratic state in the region, focusing on it like a laser beam, when addressing racism makes it apparent that this has nothing to do with fairness or democracy, but is instead an excuse to invalidate Israel as a state.

        I do not condone violence of any sort. All of this is saddening.

    • ZEKE

      Israel is one of the very few countries in the region where their minorities aren’t leaving (or have fled in recent years) or living in fear of being massacred. There are large numbers of mosques and churches.

      You can go thru the list, Copts in Egypt, Orthodox in Turkey, Christians in Iraq, pretty much everyone in Iran. Saudi Arabia has a cleansed society, no non-Muslim religions are allowed to build a building for worship.

  • rick d.

    Lara Kiswani criticises the existence of a Jewish state as apartheid?

    Does her opinion extend to the many Islamic states that do not tolerate the practice of anything but Islam?
    By way of example …. the Sudanese woman who arrived in Italy today condemned to death for her christianity???

    • Ehkzu

      Plus, once no one is left is an Islamic country but Muslims, they they go to work on fellow Muslims who are not of the “correct” sect.

      One tech point: the Sudanese woman was condemned to death not for being Christian but for converting to Christianity from Islam–a capital offense in many Muslim countries (and not in some, to be fair).

      I’d compare the laws of contemporary Muslim countries with those of Christian countries in the 16th century.

    • Strandwolf

      These are non sequiturs. If Israel would set an example of fairplay it would be a further embarrassment to the “Islamofascist” regimes.

      • ES Trader

        no one uses Marquis of Queensbury rules in a brawl

        • Another Mike

          There are rules of war — the four Geneva Conventions. One has a lot to say about treatment of civilians in wartime.

          • ES Trader

            yes Im certain Hamas adheres to the Geneva Convention; ask the Israeli soldier that was a prisoner or Daniel Pearl’s family, the Olympic hostages, the Achille Lauro hostages etc. and the Israeli soldier trapped on the upper floor that was savagely beaten to death and thrown out the window.

            People that applaud the kidnapping of teens and hailed as heroes only invoke “rules” when they are beaten

          • Another Mike

            Does Hamas adhere to the Geneva Convention? Ask the
            Israeli soldier that was a prisoner — Reportedly, Hamas treated Gilad Shalit quite well — his captivity was far more pleasant than in Gitmo.
            The other tragic events had nothing to do with Hamas, unless you believe in collective guilt for an entire people:

            Daniel Pearl’s — killed by al-Qaeda
            the Olympic hostages — killed by Black September
            the Achille Lauro hostages — killed by the Palestine Liberation Front.
            the Israeli soldier trapped on the upper floor that was savagely beaten to death and thrown out the window.– killed by irate Palestinians not affiliated with a known group.

    • ES Trader

      Wait till ISIS reaches Gaza

  • ES Trader

    right tunnels into Israel are for economic reasons ?! Get a job in tobacco industry to tell us nicotine is neither addictive or toxic

    • Another Mike

      Israel controls Gaza’s border crossings, Gaza’s coastline, and Gaza’s airspace, except for the Gaza-Egypt entrance, which has been subject to strict controls under the current Egyptian government.

      • ES Trader

        Hamas used a lot of money to dig the tunnels and acquire the materials ( cement etc ) that could have been used for housing, hoospitals, and schools. Unemployment in Gaza is nearly 50%, a government concerned about the social welfare of its people would have used the money to lessen the misery.

        • Another Mike

          50% unemployment means plenty of labor available to dig tunnels.

          • ES Trader

            then I guess that means they aren’t innocent civilians……

    • Strandwolf

      With $70 billion for Israel to play with, courtesy of the US taxpayer, for Iron Dome, I would think they could monitor the subsurface of a short border for the burrowing of little gophers. The tunnel meme is nothing but more cynical handwringing by the Israeli masters.

      • ZEKE

        $70billion for Iron Dome? Please, find something that supports that — I’m pretty sure you added several zeros to make up that number.

      • ES Trader

        gophers are sneaky

  • Another Mike

    Sadly, it took firing rockets and building tunnels for Gazans to get Israel’s attention.

  • rick d.

    Interesting that not once during the 30′ segment with the Palestinian activists did Egypt receive a mention – not even the word!
    Gaza has an extensive border with Egypt – is there no culpability for the alleged blockade of Gaza. …..
    …..or is there a double standard for Israel?

  • Ehkzu

    Most Americans don’t have a dog in this fight, but are generally predisposed to lean towards Israel’s side.

    Those who support the Palestinian cause seem to have no consciousness of either of these facts. They take as a given that Americans will support the Palestinians if they call Israel’s actions towards Palestine “genocide.”

    But in fact most Americans who listen to this segment will wind up leaning more strongly towards Israel. I’m not saying this because I favor Israel personally, but because the pro-Palestinian activists on this panel don’t know how to bridge the gap between the understandings of most of this show’s listeners and what they believe.

    Calling what’s happening “genocide” is the perfect example. Genocide is what the Turks did to the Armenians. What Rwanda’s Hutu government did to the Tutsi. What the Serbs did to the Muslims in Srebenetza (sp.?).

    Likewise is calling Israel an apartheid state–when every Arab Muslim nation isn’t an apartheid state because they’ve killed or expelled all their non-Muslims. The odds of a Palestinian “river to the sea” state tolerating the presence of Jews and Christians is, well, laughable.

    Over the top–from the listener’s viewpoint–rhetoric works to the benefit of Israel. So does the fact that the Israelis know how to talk to the average American. Netanyahu speaks excellent English and will appear on practically any major TV show that will take him. Hamas’ leadership don’t appear to speak English and appear nowhere here. That doesn’t mean Netayahu is right. It does mean that this is a fact on the ground that you aren’t dealing with.

    The Palestinians have legitimate grievances. But the average American isn’t going to consider them as long as Palestinian supporters make so little effort to bridge the gap between their reality and that of most Americans.

    • thucy

      “The odds of a Palestinian “river to the sea” state tolerating the presence of Jews and Christians is, well, laughable.”

      I support a two-state solution, and I recognize Israel’s right to exist. But if you think a tolerant Muslim state is “laughable”, I suggest you read Mark Mazower’s “Salonica: City of Ghosts: Chistians, Muslims and Jews 1430-1950.”

      • ES Trader

        Some of us work and cannot spend 100% of our time on issues outside our livelyhood so provide a CliffsNote version instead of endless recommendaations for summer reading

        • thucy

          wow. I work anywhere from 50-60 hours a week, and I still manage to stay on top of the reading and volunteer and train, so maybe you just need an organizer or a stronger cup of joe.

          Here’s a review of Mazower’s book by none other than Robert Kaplan:

          http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/08/books/review/08KAPLANL.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

          excerpt:
          “For Mazower, the author of a previous history of the Balkans, this project is part of a natural progression: for over half a millennium — until the cold war — Salonika was the ultimate urban melting pot, a place where Europe met the Middle East. Mazower has succeeded so well at his task that scholars of all nationalities and religions will refer to this book as their principal source on the city.

          • ES Trader

            excuse me didnt take Eveylyn Woods course

      • Ehkzu

        I don’t have to go the distant past to find a tolerant Muslim state. Indonesia is arguably the most tolerant Muslim state, with a few localized dramatic exceptions. And historically, the Muslim state in what is now Spain was quite tolerant, while the Spanish Christians were fanatical, expelling all of Spain’s Jews and Muslims the moment they took over.

        But in today’s Middle East, the Arab states seem to be channeling 16th century Christian Spain.

        Egypt today is about 10% Coptic Christian, and their presence is barely tolerated, with second class legal status and frequent murderous attacks and forced “conversions.” After we “liberated” Iraq the first order of business of the Muslim militias there was the extermination of Christianity in Iraq–a goal they are very close to achieving at this point.

        Not to mention what happened to the 800,000+ Jews living peacefully in the Arab countries as of 1947. All of them were expelled or killed–and their possessions appropriated–in revenge for Israel coming into existence. A few emigrated to Israel voluntarily, but most would have stayed in the country of their own ancestors, given a choice in the matter.

        You supporting a two state solution and tolerance for all is peachy, but I don’t think it reflects the reality of today’s Middle East.

        • Another Mike

          Israel worked to recruit the Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews, because they needed them to bulk up their numbers. There are Jews flourishing in Morocco and Iran today. Algeria’s Jews were welcome into the 1990s.

          • rick d.

            Flourishing??? Algerian Jews welcome – more likely tolerated.

            Yes there are Jews in Morocco who are accepted, but in Iran they are barely able to practice and identify as Jewish. The N. African (sephardic) and Middle Eastern (mizrahi) Jews were mostly kicked out between 1948 -1952 through the 1970’s; moreover they cannot return as Jews.

            Speak to some of the Tunisian, Algerian and Libyan Jews forced to leave. Take a look at the JIMENA website.

    • ES Trader

      When in Rome………….I agree though reading between the lines says a great deal on the “unsaid’ agenda of pro Palestinians

  • ZEKE

    It was discouraging, to say the least, that neither pro Palestinian guest could utter even a slightly negative word against the cancer that is hamas. No mention of hamas rejecting the cease fire over a week ago. No suggestion that the diversion of cement to tunnels and acquisition of rockets hurts Palestinians more than helps them. No suggestion that close to 10,000 rockets fired at Israel over the years is just a bad thing. Not even criticism at hamas for failing to build civilian bomb shelters — as their shelters are for their bombs.

    • erictremont

      You observations are correct, the comments made by the Pro-Palestinian guests were mostly vile.

    • ES Trader

      the odds were better at getting a winning Super Lotto ticket

    • Strandwolf

      At least their “rockets” (cardboard mailing tubes about the size and lethality of roman candle fireworks) don’t have white phosphorus payloads.

  • Another Mike

    So why is Israel running up the death toll? Two Israeli civilians killed, something like 500 Gazans killed?

    • Ehkzu

      If I hold a civilian in front of me while I’m shooting at you–shooting with lousy aim, to be true–what should you do?

    • ES Trader

      Israel has superior weapons and Hamas uses human shields, if launchers were placed elsewhere the #’s would be less

      • Strandwolf

        Gaza is the most densely populated plot of land on the planet. The rockets were nowhere near those boys on the beach. Give up on that ridiculous meme.

        • ES Trader

          they never heard of the “pill” ?

    • ZEKE

      That’s easy. Israel cares about its civilians. They built bomb shelters for people to get in. hamas built shelters — miles of tunnels — to shelter its bombs. When bombs fall, you don’t hear the question “where are we supposed to go?” in Israel. You hear it all the time in Gaza.

      • Another Mike

        How many rocket launchers in that hospital’s operating rooms?

      • Strandwolf

        As if Gazans have the wherewithal to build bomb shelters worthy to withstand Israeli bombs. This is not a valid argument.

        • ZEKE

          They have built shelters!!! Miles and miles of tunnels. Which are keeping bombs and militants safe. DOH!!!

  • Another Mike

    Ah, what can Israel do?

    Negotiate with Hamas.

  • Strandwolf

    Sure Israel “wants peace”! On their terms: master and slave.

    • rick d.

      Not exactly @Strandwolf …… just secure and respected borders. Is that a lot to ask? Hard to do this when the adversary refuses to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist.
      Lara is a great example – she wants a one state solution so that Israel will no longer be a Jewish state. I guess it’s alright to have 52 Islamic states, 22 in the region, but not alright to have ONE Jewish state, as democratic as it is.

      Since you are using a very emotive vocabulary, I’m wondering if you too think a Jewish state is objectionable. If so, how about the Islamic states?

      • Another Mike

        And what are those borders? The 1967 borders? Today’s borders? The river to the sea?

        And what is the “right to exist”? Does the US have this right? If so, who has acknowledged it?

        And what is a Jewish state? Is it one where everyone obeys all 613 commandments? Or is it one where 51% of the population is Jewish? What would happen to Israel if the population was only 49.5% Jewish?

        And what does it take to be Jewish? What if only my dad is Jewish, not my mother?

        • rick d.

          All good questions – let’s take them one at a time:

          1) Defensible and secure borders – the 1967 borders were neither. I believe you and I have discussed this before – Israel cannot live at the foot of an escarpment with it’s foes directly above it ….. like in the valley in W. Marin heading out on SFD. It is also hard for any country to have a waist that is just 9 miles wide and flat. The borders have to be negotiated and defensible.

          2) Right to exist simply means that any country that openly threatens to wipe out another one is violating international law. Think of it in terms of every country in the world being willing to host an Israeli embassy.
          US largely has this right – there may be one or two countries at any given time that will not host a US embassy or do not have diplomatic relations – BUT certainly the US has this right with all its immediate neighbors.

          3) A Jewish state is not defined by the observation of Jewish law or religious courts – although that may be a secondary system available to those who choose. There is a civil legal system alongside as an option. It is not a question of percentage – it is a question of welcoming any Jew to immigrate from any country without question or barrier – which takes us to your last question.

          4) Israel has defined a ‘Jew’ for purposes of making aliyah (immigrating) as one who can establish one of their four grandparents is/was Jewish. This is clearly a different standard to orthodox religious law that only defines a Jew by the religion of their mother.

        • rick d.

          I replied to this but it never got posted …

          All good and valid questions –
          1) Israel needs defensible,negotiated borders – hard for a country to survive with a 9-mile flat waist, of living under an escarpment.
          2) Right to exist allows Israel to place an embassy in every country in the world – that is to say, every country acknowledges Israel’s sovereignty
          3) A Jewish state is one that welcomes and provides security for every Jew that wants to live there. Maybe there is a separate and optional religious court guided by the 613 laws – not to be confused with the 10 commandments.
          4) The current Law of Return (Aliya) – that one grandparent can be established a Jewish works. This is different to the religious law.

  • ZEKE

    Lara was an especially vile guest. She called the the actions genocide, which means either she doesn’t own a dictionary or she’s throwing out deliberate lies. She refused to criticize hamas. She openly said Israel was exclusionary — even though there is a large Arab population — many holding significant roles in society. Without the host, you wouldn’t know that there were Arab members of the Israeli Parliament, or an Arab Supreme Court justice, or an Arab judge that presided over the trial of a former Israeli president, etc.

    I want to hear the replay, but I think she said Israel has occupied Palestine since 1948 — meaning she believes Israel should disappear. She accused Israel of not being a democracy — a charge that is laughable on its surface. Its the Palestinians who haven’t held elections in over 8 years.

    She is exactly the sort of person that holds the Palestinians back.

    • Strandwolf

      Come on, Arabs are clearly second-class citizens of Israel. How many Knesset seats do they hold?

      • ZEKE

        Yes, the old ‘second class citizen’ thing. There is some truth in that. There is also truth in Israeli Arabs owning property, businesses, etc. They are doing far better than they would in the vast majority of Arab societies around the world. My recollection is that about 10% of the Israeli legislature is Arab. Those numbers do bounce around a bit.

      • Ehkzu

        Yes, Arab Israeli’s are second-class citizens, in practice if not in law.

        On the other hand, what class are the roughly 800,000 Jews who were living in the Arab countries for many centuries until those countries expelled them and took all their property in revenge for Israel’s birth?

        What would be the life expectancy of a Jew who chose to stay in what is currently Israel, if Hamas took over?

        • Another Mike

          There’s a fascinating article online from the Journal of Israel History on how the Mizrahi Jews became a permanent underclass in Israel. Sammy Smooha contrasts their lack of political and economic power with the later mass migration of ex-Soviet Jews.

  • Darthmaul

    Mark Schickman when asked the question about how Israel can want peace when it continues expanding settlements, responded “These aren’t expansion of settlements, but “Neighborhoods.” Relabeling the theft of land that belongs to others, doesn’t make it somehow right. Israel won’t be satisfied until the Palestinians are living on land that’s the size of a postage stamp.

    • Ehkzu

      It’s true that Israel wants the land around it, until “the Palestinians are living on land that’s the size of a postage stamp.”

      But it’s equally true that the Palestinians want the land around them, until the Israelis are living on land that’s…well, where that’s where the analogy breaks down–because they wouldn’t give the Israelis even a postage stamp’s worth of land.

      “River to the sea,” right?

      • Murad

        Not true, maybe Hamas thinks that way, but you can’t label the Palestinian citizens as supporters of Hamas. You do know that Palestinians can barely leave Palestine, they are stuck there. A lot of Palestinians hate the state that they live in and want to leave because of it. The fact of the matter is that, Palestinians barely have any land, and Israel is doing nothing to increase it. Now let’s say that they did, if they increased the land significantly and removed the Israeli settlements (by the way the settlers are required to be armed and indiscriminately abuse Palestinians children going to school) and then after that Hamas did declare another war, then they would be at fault. At this point, the way that I see it is that Hamas is firing rockets into Israel to get them to stop firing rockets into their homeland and killing more civilians.

  • darqmyth

    This and the the previous discussion only serve to demonstrate that neither Israelis or Palestinians are willing to accept that they are not blameless for the ongoing conflict and peace is only a talking point for both side and not a goal to strive for. Perhaps when they get tired of playing the blame game and cloaking themselves in their faux righteousness, perhaps they will then start to love their grandchildren more that they hate each other and feel the need to be right no matter how much blood flows.

    • Ehkzu

      The problem is that most of those grandchildren will be Arab Muslims, due to the extreme difference in breeding rates between Israelis and Palestinians (except for ultra-Orthodox Israelis, which doesn’t comfort most other Israelis).

      • darqmyth

        And that is a problem why???

  • Harry Wiener

    The parsing of the two “reasonable voices” from the perspective of Israel leaves out the word siege. The window dressing of aid to Gaza is simply an pretense required by International Law. The actions of Israel for the last 30 years is a schande!

    • rick d.

      The schande is that Israel cannot live in peace and security – and never has been able to since its inception. That is truly a schande!

  • ES Trader

    Thank you Michael for presenting both sides, equally in time, it illuminated the differences in culture clearly

  • RS

    It kind of discouraging to see both sides blaming each others for wrong doing.
    It is definitely issue to kill innocents of any color, religion, creed or caste.
    There will be reaction of every action and hate will spread more hate on both sides.

    At this point of issue seems to be Israel wants the land and has the power.

    It will just better for Palestinians to leave the Gaza and rest of Israel and move out. This could a Hijra and don’t know what good will come out of it. It is hard but that is only good for Palestinians.

    • ZEKE

      Israel returned land to Egypt and withdrew its people from Gaza. The problem isn’t that. The problem isn’t that Palestinians are living in Gaza. The problem is that the leaders in Gaza want to destroy Israel, and don’t really care about their own people. If they did, they’d have used cement for homes, not for tunnels to keep their rockets safe.

      • RS

        I understand Zake, what you are saying but this problem is not going to get solved. Each side will keep on killing and blaming other. Israeli and Palestinians are not going to love each other in near future.
        The only solution is, Palestinians should move out and keep faith in God.

  • Sophie

    Late response to the woman, I think Lara’s, comments which were so extreme and incorrect I could vomit. She was obviously brain washed for many reasons… Anyone may live in Israel. It is the ONLY DEMOCRACY in the Middle East… Israel is seeing up to 100 rockets a day and it’s supposed to sit there and take it?? The Israeli President is begging for a cease fire and Hamas or the Palestinians REFUSE. Israel supplies food and supplies to the Gaza, and as one panelist commented, Hamas uses those tools for their own selfish and harmful reasons and could care less about assisting their people or achieving peace… Laras last comment was that Israeli’s all join the army, not to protect themselves from 5000 years of persecution, but to keep the Palestinians down is the biggest JOKE I have ever heard. The world is so much worse off bc of lying propaganda pushing idiots like her. Jews have better things to do!!!

    • Another Mike

      Anyone may live in Israel? Even the 5 million descendants of those who fled Israel during its war of independence?

      • Sophie

        Yes, unless of course you have ties to a terrorist org… Just like in the US, the best democracy on the planet, you have to protect the current citizens. May I ask…are you upset about the conflict in Syria at all?

        • Sophie

          150,000 are dead…

        • Another Mike

          Yes, but I am not surprised when a totalitarian ruler slaughters his own people. Look at Saddam Hussein, look at North Korea, etc.

          On the other hand, Israel
          Is our best friend and ally.
          Is the only true democracy in the Middle East, and
          Receives well over $3 billion in US aid every year.
          Further, many Israeli citizens, and even soldiers, are also US citizens.

          Moreover, Israel is highly developed, with top flight universities and researchers. Not to mention universal health care.

          Based on these facts, I have much higher expectations for Israel than I do for Syria.

          • Sophie

            Israel does not randomly start violence. They respond to it…given the Jews history, if they don’t fight back strong, they would be decimated from the planet. When Israel does open its boarders to the Palestinians, bus bombings, etc. begin again… not until the Palestinians recognize Israel and the rights of Jews to live in peace and freedom like everyone else, nothing will change. Israel is tiiiiiiiiny, and has still negotiated its land away in the name of peace. Why don’t the bordering Muslim countries welcome the Palestinians? Why does no one care that this began bc they murdered those 3 innocent teenage boys trying to get home?

          • Another Mike

            Because
            1. It happened in the West Bank, and
            2. Hamas was not responsible (three terrorist groups did claim responsibility).

            Perhaps the bordering Muslim countries don’t welcome the Palestinians for the same reason Americans don’t welcome our neighbors, the Mexicans, even though they are also Christians, who are also hard-working and family oriented, and whose cuisine is the most popular foreign food in America.

            (Edited to make more sense)

          • Sophie

            I do love Mexican food, and people. The difference is Mexicans want to live among us in peace and have a good life. Palestinians/Hamas want Jews everywhere, especially in Israel annihilated. I don’t think anyone who despises America should be welcome here.

  • wassa

    Maybe if the Palestinians on the Gaza Strip proactively tore down gun and rocket emplacements hidden there like cowards by Hamas amongst the general population and schools and hospitals, they wouldn’t have the problems they are experiencing. All it takes is law abiding citizens to group together and rebel against those who use them as human shields like the cowards Hamas are. Of course Israel is going to fight back when they are attacked with rockets aimed indiscriminately at Israel. Wouldn’t you if yoy were them? It doesn’t surprise me that Hamas have no respect for their countrymen. Just take a look at what Arab states do to their women and non moslems. No other cultures use women and children as human shields. Wake up before this gutless cancer spreads to the rest of the world.

  • rick d.

    This very recent article from the Irish Independent says it better than I have seen in many years:

    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/carol-hunt-killing-children-is-always-wrong-so-why-do-we-blame-israel-more-30461954.html

    We mourn those lost on both sides – but viewing casualties like a football score does not justify adopting different moral criteria for Israel and Hamas,

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