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I am very interested in Middle Eastern issues and while the above argument laid out does make the issue seem very cut and dry, we must remember that this conflict is deep, complex and has the potential to escalate massively if Iran and the US are given license to wade in. If a diplomatic solution exists, it must, at all costs, be championed.

Having met ordinary Palestinians however, I fear that many more innocent lives are going to be lost before there is any sort of peace.

"PA ambassador to the US Zalmay Khalilzad".

Really? When did he give up being US ambassador to the UN to take up his new post?

Thank you, Tim for publishing the facts. I hope people will read this carefully and take it on board.

you lying piece of shit. Israel have always had presence in and around Gaza. Are you saying that the 300 people killed were all militants? oh sorry you said 210 we have to believe you don't we or else UK and US economy will suffer.

There is no getting away from this and the West is turning a blind eye to the problem. The solution of Terrorism is simple and easy. Get your troops out of Muslim areas and be fair when trying to break peace between Palastinians and Jews. Its that simple!

And a last point is that Israel had to start targeting these terrorists after a prayer when they know there will be many people in the streets... Really clever but that is exactly why I believe in God. He has seen and heard all what is being planned and there will be a day when people will have to answer for what they did I would love to see what they'll say then.

Peace? What kind of idiots do you think we are?

The point of course is that Hamas is trying to derail the current peace process which has been inching along. They would do the same if any progress was ever made.

Thank you Cemig; that error has been corrected.

Mohammed: I understand that this is a horrendous situation but please respect ConHome's comments policy on bad language.

There is no excuse for such military action against any country. It is time both parties seeks peace.

I think one might find it interesting research if a journalist did some "investigative journalism" into who and where Israel sells weapons to, they are not as nice as they want the world to think they are. But, this does not mean that Palestine is "good".

I'd have said, Mohammed, that 'God' is a major part of the problem and is unlikely therefore to be part of the solution or retribution.

Tim I fully agree with your analysis and and have had a large volume of Israel critical constituency email now after the IDF attacks on Gaza and following the vote on the proposal to enhance the status of EU-Israel relations which we voted to delay assent for a couple of weeks ago by a narrow vote much to my regret. I am very familiar with the situation in Israel and the occupied territories, and recognise and feel very sad about the suffering of many innocent Palestinians caught up in the terrorist actions of Hamas and Israeli counter attacks. Our Party is rightly strongly committed to a peace based on the Oslo Peace accords, the road map for peace and Quartet criteria with a viable two state solution based on roughly the 1967 borders with land for peace swaps, sadly Hamas rejects such an approach. Conservatives seelking a balanced and just approach must also clearly oppose any new settlement building in the occupied territories. Nevertheless I am proud to support an enhanced agreement between the EU and Israel as Israel as a country shares many of our common western democratic values including free elections, a free press, independence of its judiciary and upholding the rule of law and is at the front line in fighting the existential threat of islamist terrorism as evidenced by the 1988 Charter of Hamas which still outrageously vows to destroy the Jewish state.
At a critical time of elections denying Isreal such an enhanced agreement and not showing solidarity by its friends in the UK and the EU over the Gaza crisis (the EU incidentally at Ministerial level have been united in backing the French and Czech Presidencies' priority support for Israel) in these difficult times would play into the hands of hardliners opposed to a two state solution.
I also believe the security fence for all its problems has considerably reduced the ability of suicide bombers to cross over and kill innocent Israeli civilians who as you point out are still subject to Hamas rockets launched from Gaza on a daily basis even though President Abbas had implored Hamas to stop the launching of these rockets, including recently the more potent long range Katushya rockets at Sderot, knowing the degree of suffering the inevitable countermeasures by Israel would bring on the Palestinian people.
Conservatives must nevertheless work for reconicilation and a lasting peace in the region and must support Israel's right to self defence and I do hope the incoming Obama administration will be able to achieve something groundbreaking.
I gather that Hamas has admitted the vast majority of the casualties were indeed members of the Hamas oppressive security apparatus, who seem bent on a jihad suicide mission by their continuing bombardment of Israel and perhaps seeking to provoke an Israeli overreaction and then get the international comunity to condemn the IDF for the use of disproportionate force.

"What kind of idiots do you think we are?"

I'm sure I could write a long essay on that question, but I'll stick to brief points based solely on what you said in your brief rant.

1. "Israel have always had presence in and around Gaza."

- Indeed, the Jews have been present around the Southern Levant for thousands of years. Longer, I dare suggest than the Palestinians.

2. "we have to believe you don't we or else UK and US economy will suffer."

- As much as I respect Tim and the CFoI, I highly doubt they have that much influence over the economy of Western Countries. If they did, I highly doubt they would be able to exert it by changing one set of figures.

3. "The solution of Terrorism is simple and easy. Get your troops out of Muslim areas and be fair when trying to break peace between Palastinians and Jews."

- As we have seen in Ulster, to stop terrorism people must be willing to compromise and actually want terrorism to end. Not "getting troops out of Muslim areas". Indeed, designating some areas as uniquely Muslim is part of the problem.

4. "He has seen and heard all what is being planned and there will be a day when people will have to answer for what they did I would love to see what they'll say then."

- Tell that to the Islamic suicide bombers. Please.

So the Conservative foreign policy spokesman in the European Parliament uncritically accepts the CFI line, backs the security fence and an enhanced relationship for Israel with the EU with no quid pro quo. Oh dear.

In my opinion the fact so many Conservatives Fox, Osborne, Tannock? etc are members of CFI is a massive liability for the party, shows a lack of objectivity and ties our hands in the search for a solution.

We should cut our links with CFI before it becomes more of an embarassment or Israel demonstrates it does want peace, on anything other than its own dictated terms - something I very much doubt.

Do that, George Lees and the Party loses many supporters - possibly including myself!

Are CFI supporters (a)lobyists for Israel who have joined the Conservative Party to lobby for Israel (in my opinion succesfully) or (b) Conservatives who happen to be friends of Israel?

If it is (a) we should have nothing to do with them and if it is (b) that is great and we should listen as we do to all Conservatives with informed views - but a true friend is not an uncritical one. We should be friendly to Israel, offer support against terrorism but make clear that in return we expect Israel to stop settlements and negociate in good faith towards a permenant peace. Giving up the West Bank would be good for Israel a friend would say so and stop allowing itself excuses not to. To be loved Israel must be loveable.


17 people have been killed by Hamas Rockets in almost 8 years.

This is inexcusable. Just one old bloke in the period since the cease fire ended.

c 350 people have been killed by the state of Israel in 24 hours.

Including c 100 civilian police recruits and c 50 small children and, according to the State of Israel, 40 Hamas people.

This takes inexcusable to a new level.


Read it again, Chris Paul - only this time, ALL of it!

The Israel-Arab conflict is not a football match. The death toll is not a scoreline. It is irrelevent.

Know this: Israel's army is there to protect Israelis. That is what Israeli taxpayers pay it for. They would not expect anything less.

Most importantly, they do not pay it to spare the lives of her enemies. It certainly should not refrain from kicking the shit out of those that want to destroy that little country, on the off-chance that it will kill a lot of people.

The end was tragic, but the means was justified.

Read this thread and you can understand why there is fighting. Extreme views on both sides of the fence. Israel have behaved terribly over the years in the way they have treated the Palestinians and the Palestinians have frankly been there own worse enemy at times.
Hopefully with the election of Barek Obama we will see new moves to bring peace to the region and we will at least see the opposing sides talking to one another because that is the only think that will bring peace. War and dropping bombs never will bring peace

"Israel have always had presence in and around Gaza."

- Indeed, the Jews have been present around the Southern Levant for thousands of years. Longer, I dare suggest than the Palestinians.

For Palestinians, read "Philistines". They were there long before the people of Judah, who if you read your Bible, came out of Egypt going down the east side of the Red Sea, past Mt Sinai, then up the other side of Sidon, passing along the east coast of the Dead Sea, and then they took a left turn at Jericho into Canaan (Philistia and Galilee), which they conveniently called the "Promised Land". Jososhua then proceeded to fight battles all over Canaan.

I am ashamed of many of the comments in this thread. Only one Israeli has been (tragically) killed in the last few weeks by the rocket attacks. To kill over 300 in 24 hours in retaliation is immoral and all Israeli supporters around the world should hang their heads in shame. I am and I do.

Following the similarly disgraceful and ultimately failed attack on Lebanon the state of Israel has to learn that it will never be able to kill all its opponents and that the Palestinians and other arabs have legitimate aspirations and land claims to which it must accede.

Israel created the Gaza we see today. It made it a cage, a pressure cooker, and now it is reaping what it sowed. No politician who really wanted peace would have sanctioned this action, but then, there are elections coming.....

Indeed Mark, I am aware of the significance of the Philistines. The Romans named the region Palestine after the Jews rebelled in the mid-First Century, to blot out the clear Jewish-ness (probably not a word, but what the heck) of it. To suggest that modern day Palestinians are all descended from the Philistines of the Old Testament is frivolous and quite frankly false.

Sally Roberts, sadly, people will take nothing on board because they have been very successfully brainwashed by the mass media. Otherwise they would know which side they should be on in Israel's struggle for survival.

“When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are to possess and casts out the many peoples living there, you shall then slaughter them all and utterly destroy them…You shall make no agreements with them nor show them any mercy…You shall destroy their altars, break down their images, cut down their groves and burn their graven images with fire. For you are a holy people unto the LORD thy God and He has chosen you to be a special people above all others upon the face of the earth…”

–Book of Deuteronomy, 7:1-8

The aerial assault on Gaza thus far resulting in several hundred deaths and close to a thousand casualties (much of which will result in even more deaths) must–if it is to be understood correctly–be placed within the historical context of the religious ideas expounded by Judaism since its inception and which today constitute the philosophical lifeblood of the state of Israel.

Although 2,000 years too late, it is imperative now more than ever that the world come to grips with these facts, and until it does that “great day of reckoning” commonly referred to as Armageddon will continue to barrel towards civilization like an out-of-control freight train. The curing of any disease begins with isolating the cause, and in the case of the present circumstance involving the Jewish state being at war with the entire world (and more specifically against the Arabs in Palestine) it is the recognition of the “I will bless those who bless thee and curse those who curse thee” mindset coupled with the justification of genocide and enslavement of “the other” that threatens all life on earth.

Anyone needing proof of this should simply visit some of the photos of the most recent massacre taking place against the Palestinians–Christian and Muslim alike–who are and have been sacrificed now for the last 60 years on the altar of twisted Judaistic thinking. This most recent massacre taking place during the Jewish “festival of lights”, where Gaza was “lighted up” with balls of fire after 200,000 lbs of high-explosives were dropped is proof positive that Israel is not a nation of people devoted to a righteous, loving God, but rather a civilization of vampires making up the caricature of the beast described in the Book of Revelations that threatens all life on earth. And unless the rest of the world comes to this “revelation”, they too will soon find themselves in the same place as those today being exterminated in the interests of appeasing the “God” of the Jews.

"a civilization of vampires"


How, when you say something like that, do you propose to be taken seriously?

The problem with threads like this is that they always attract those who are not merely trolls but part of a more sinister agenda.

editor please remove Malik's post!

Editor, please do not remove Atiq Malik's post. He is entitled to express his opinion, even though we may disagree with it.

it is offensive to Jews!

Ulster Tory,

Israel is not like other nations. Both secular and religious leaders have gone to great lengths in trying to sell the idea that the Jewish state is the “embodiment of God’s word” on earth. As former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir once quipped Israel is “The fulfillment of a promise made by God Himself…It would be ridiculous to ask it to account for its legitimacy.”

What all of this means is that as long as Israel (a nation founded on the Old Testament tales of genocide,expulsion etc.,) exists, massacres such as the one taking place against the Palestinians in Gaza will be a regular occurrence, just as they have been throughout the last 60 years.

Sally with due respect I have no intention to offend Jews yes If Zionists are offended then so be it,

Israel has Jews, Christians and Muslims as its citizens. If Israel has a case against Hamas let International Community (UN) take actions against Hamas/its militants wings.

Israel justification of recent bombing is not acceptable to International community.

Atiq Malik's post made me giggle. Actually, Israel wasn't created for religious reasons. Israel was created from the smouldering rubble of the failed British Mandate as an alternate to being beaten, shot, expelled, rounded up and subject to an organized genocide or blown up. The latter being the justification incidently for the current operation in Gaza.

The IDF is protecting their own people.
The Isreali reaction is the only sensible one.
I don't think most people in Britain comprehends the malice and hatred that fuels Hamas and their sort.

I beleive Great Britain would react in the same way if we were confronted with the same enemies.

Offensive to Jews Sally?

How would you like to be bombed by the local oppressors? Would you find that offensive too?

A death ratio of 350:1 is a fascist massacre, is it not?

Adam, your post is ignorant and generally beneath contempt so I suspect you will get plenty of support from readers here. Well done! You can be a Tory MP.

I am hiding my name again (although some people on here know who I am). Israel's response has been incredibly disproportionate. I am pro-Palestine, but do not hold Hammas in high regard. The Palestinians are, though, very desperate people. They have not turned to Hammas through choice. They have nothing - no running water, electricity or medicines. Hammas gives them hope (false hope in my view) but hope is hope.

I would strongly disagree with the comments above that CFI should be disaffiliated from our Party. That said, CFI does have an astonishingly high influence on our Party and its members. I don't think that's healthy. No one pressure group should have such influence. CFI members have to realise that many hard-working and loyal Conservatives strongly support Israel’s right to exist --and exist in peace with its neighbours -- but do not wish to give it a blank cheque. Israel’s behaviour is not only shocking and appalling but is probably in breach of UN policy (not that Israel, sadly, has ever taken any notice of the UN). For a race that suffered at the hands of thugs, I fear Israel is in danger of becoming one.

Just out of interest, what alternatives do people think Israel should do to protect itself?

"it is offensive to Jews!"

If we removed every post on ConHome that offended people there'd be hardly any posts!

I'm sure many posts here in the past have been offensive to Muslims but nobody has demanded they be removed. As a Christian I do not demand that anti-Christian posts be removed.

In any event, the insane neo-Nazisesque rantings of the anti-Semite or anti-Zionist or whatever he wants to call himself only harm his own cause. Give him enough rope with which to hang himself etc.

"it is offensive to Jews!"

If we removed every post on ConHome that offended people there'd be hardly any posts!

I'm sure many posts here in the past have been offensive to Muslims but nobody has demanded they be removed. As a Christian I do not demand that anti-Christian posts be removed.

In any event, the insane neo-Nazisesque rantings of the anti-Semite or anti-Zionist or whatever he wants to call himself only harm his own cause. Give him enough rope with which to hang himself etc.

I was in Palestine up to the end of the Mandate and met and discussed the future then with both sides. The (then) 'Jewish settlers' had built up a formidable self Defence Force in the Haganah together with some most unpleasant terrorists in the so called Stern Gang and the Irgun Zwai Leumi.

When the Mandate ended the Jewish Settlers declared the State of Israel while all the neighbouring Arab States invaded with their armies expecting a pushover, but were repulsed. Terrible atrocities were committed by the Jewish settlers notably in a village (?Dir Yassin? - spelling ? ) on the road up to Jerusalem. Meanwhile the surrounding Arab governments instructed the Arab population to flee their homes with the promise that these homes would be restored to them by the force of Arab arms.

Several wars later Israel is an established state and to decide on the blame for the initial horrors is singularly unproductive. One thing is clear is that if proper peace could be established the economic prospects for the whole region would be improved beyond measure!

To play silly games about one Israeli dying against 280 or more Palestinians is an obscene game. The Israelis are not as concentrated and have bomb shelters . Hamas don't care about lives or they would not have fired 110 rockets in the last two days! It was inviting retaliation which was bound to cause heavy casualties with the packed nature of the Gaza Strip. Hamas is using the Palestine dead as a propaganda weapon. Of course Israel would retaliate. It has to defend its country.

What I want to know is how did Hamas acquire these much more sophisticated rockets. Assuming the sea coast is properly blockaded it can only have been through Egypt. Assuming the Egyptian government is not double dealing then Egyptian officials in the border region must have been deeply corrupted. This escalates the nightmare.

In this case we must back Israel and - may I add - that I have personal reasons going back 60 years not to be an uncritical friend of Israel . But as always the Palestinians have been their own worst enemies.

It is so simple - if you want it to see it.

If you were born in israel you would probably behave as they do; if you were born in gaza you would behave as they do. It is all entirely rational if you take a very local view.

Saying 'no' and 'dont' is entirely pointless unless you can sasy 'do this instead'... just ask any parent...

Something which is ethically irrelevant and morally repugnant is this calculus of mortality. Someone wrote that "only" one Israeli settler had been killed. "Only"? How does one weigh a death? Any death caused by human intent? I think only the God I don't believe in could do that.

Somehow, by whatever means it takes, negotiations have to be continued. We were so close, not so long ago. Israel displayed the huge political courage needed, the PLA was on the brink of acting like a rational entity and the world looked a more hopeful place... Until the election of Hamas. What does the West do when electorates turn their back on reason? There's no answer to that, is there. More prosaically, I suppose, for our governments and for Israel: what can be done to strengthen the position of Fatah?

Graeme, I know how compassionate you are and I too am sad at the numbers of people being killed - but are we being fed the true facts in this country? I think not. I know from people who live in Israel that for instance when the IDF pulled out of Gaza they left behind hot houses so that the incumbents could grow crops. Those hot houses were immediately smashed. Israel also offered housing which the local Hamas leaders told their people to reject. Another point is that the people of Gaza do not have early air-raid warnings and bomb shelters as the Israelis living in Sderot and Ashkelon who are subjected to rocket attacks day after day do. In Sderot and Ashkelon small children know the drill for going to the shelters. Some families spend hour after hour in those shelters. By contrast the poor victims of Gaza are being used in the most cruel and unspeakable way by their leaders who would rather the world saw hundreds of dead and injured. They do not wish their Muslim brothers to help them; they would rather force their people to play the martyr.

"–Book of Deuteronomy, 7:1-8"

I looked up a book of commentary on the Torah (Essential Torah by George Robinson) and people here may be interested in what he says about the passage (mis)quoted by Mr Malik.

Mr Robinson says "Many people, including not a few Jews, are uncomfortable with the idea of the Jews as "God's Chosen People". For contemporary adults, the concept smacks of a triumphalism and a particularism that makes us ill at ease with its echoes of ugly racial politics. Small wonder that the Reconstructionist movement (a Liberal branch of Judaism) eliminated all references to chosenness from its siddurim (prayer books). Such a response, while understandable and even laudable, is based on a misreading of the message of the Torah. As outlined there, chosenness has a very different meaning. The significance of God's Covenant with the Jews is at the heart of parashat eikev (this particular portion); The picture that Moshe paints of the nature of the Covenant in this Torah portion is a far cry from the idea that B'nei Yisrael (the Children of Israel) have been singled out for God's approbation like some nation of spoiled favourite children. Indeed it looks rather more like a burden, the yoke of the mitzvot (good deeds)...."

A midrash (little story) refers to God's choosing the Jews: God offers the Torah to other Nations. One group asks "What's in it for us?" and God replies "Thou Shalt Not Steal". "Well, that's how we make our living - not interested". God goes to another group of people - "What's in it for us?" "Thou Shalt Not Kill" "We're a nation of warriors - we can't do that so not interested". Finally God asks the Jews and they agree to accept the Torah.

The point I make is that to be "chosen" is not a privilege - it is a duty and a responsibility.

To end with, I quote the writer G K Chesterton "How Odd of God to Choose The Jews; It's Not That Odd - the Jews Chose God".

how about the conservatives cut their ties with the conservative muslim forum , which has defended hamas a terrorist islamist organisation .


The post which refers to Israel as "a nation of vampires" is indeed offensive, but I suggest you don't remove it, as it represents the mindset of the people who have been launching rocket attacks on Israel for years. How is it possible to negotiate with anyone with views like that?

One thing should be certain. The continuing bully-boy tactics of the clearly out of control Israelis should not be allowed to succeed. It is very sad that a people who have suffered such enormous and unspeakable wrongs against themselves in the past should now be the ones to treat the Palestinians with such inhuman cruelty.

All the talk in the world won't solve the deep seated problem which exists between those who want to see the end of each other. Many are obviously outside influencing the political question themselves and simply seek revenge.

When Palestine can see people who hurl bombs, mortars, and suicidal maniacs into Israel as criminals and betrayers of democracy and peace, then it will stand a chance of being viewed differently by Israelis, and when Israel can stem the deep seated problem of fundamentalism in its own country, then peace may develop between both Israeli and Palestinian peoples who deserve nationhood. But meanwhile I won't hold my breath.

Instead, I'll support any right monded political statement like William Hague's which is both balanced and concerned for both sides of a long running problem which I doubt will go away just because there happens to be a new guy at the White House, and William Hague probably knows that too.

Incidentally, it may be worth noting that according to my recollection, Israel has kicked off whenever there's a change of US President pending, and did so in the case of Carter, Clinton, Bush and now Obama.

Needless to say, the Israeli position at a new table will of course have to start with a new bargaining position, and what Israel may have previously agreed may likely by now just as well have been written on burnt parchment, which in itself is quite a cynical political move at this stage if recent actions are a means to roll back its previous preparedness to reach agreement with Palestine under the US Road Map.

Love and peace and condolences to all involved.

How has my post been 'bolded' ?

Issue now corrected rugfish :-)

Thank you Tim its good to see that not everyone is fooled by the likes of Hamas.
I believe that Israel has acted with great restraint up until now. Of course nobody wants civilians to suffer but how can Israel avoid such inevitable damage when Hamas insists on putting its rockets in schoolyards etc.

The "world" and "its people" will destroy Hamas and its ignorance this week..........

I agree Hamas needs to be told. There is no future for the Palestinian people, unless they act like regular members of the community of nations. Ham ass-e-one’s , have to get the message that the existence of Israel is utterly real, it is nonnegotiable and it is supported by the Nations. If Ham ass insists on a fight they will get one.

I support the Israel's actions in Gaza, because they have been attacked by Hamas rockets, and it is human nature to retaliate. However, I cannot support violence to innocent women and children, and there is a need therefore for negotiations between the two parties as soon as possible.

I wonder how Conservative members would think if France stole 80% of the UK and was busy building French towns on the 20% remaining occupied territory? Would it call those that resisted 'terrorists'?

I wonder how Conservative members would think if France stole 80% of the UK and was busy building French towns on the 20% remaining occupied territory? Would it call those that resisted 'terrorists'?

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