Comments about ‘Understanding Israel and Hamas: Why this conflict differs from others’

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Published: Friday, Aug. 1 2014 8:05 p.m. MDT

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Bountiful, UT

Most Americans are quite familiar with the pro-Israel position.

We hear a lot of rhetoric and frankly, incomprehensible determination and willingness to absorb a lot of casualties and deaths, from the Palestinians.

The conflict is very, very old, and Dr. Peterson is correct that new eras bring new mixtures of issues, new leadership, etc.

One thing a Jewish colleague - who is very much pro-Israel - told me is disturbing. "The oppressed have become the oppressors, and our experience in WWII as a people is negatively shaping our willingness to dole out punishment highly disproportionately to the Palestinians, today".

Herriman, UT

Here's the bottom line. Hamas wants the destruction of Israel. Nothing less than that will satisfy them. To say otherwise is to turn a blind eye to what Hamas says it will do and what it actually does. When will the politicians and the talking heads ever realize this? We have to realize that at a certain point in time negotiations with certain types of people will always fail. Negotiations with terrorist groups will always fail. If someone says " death to Israel " they aren't mincing words. Here is one other thing to consider. The surrounding Arab nations don't want anything to do with the Palestinians. The Israelis have been a lot nicer to the Palestinians then the other Arab nations. And yet tunnels are being built with which Hamas uses to go and carry out attacks on the Israelis. They want peace? No. Only the destruction of Israel. And if the Islamic State in Iraq ever takes hold all bets will be off.

St.George, UT

It makes no difference if world governments understand why Israel and Palestine continue their eons long fight.
It makes no difference how many students in how many schools study this subject.
It does not appear that it is in the best interest of Israel and Palestine to learn to live together in peace, or they would have done it by now.

Phoenix, AZ

"Here's the bottom line. Hamas wants the destruction of Israel. Nothing less than that will satisfy them. To say otherwise is to turn a blind eye to what Hamas says it will do..."

What Hamas is saying it will do is what most of the Muslim world including Al Qaeda and other Jihadist groups say they will do: Kill all Americans and Jews and set up a Muslim caliphate across all of Europe and the US. They have had these objectives for centuries and are moving ever closer as the days and years go by.

All who are bad mouthing Israel in their effort to defend themselves are blind to what the enemies of all humanity are up to.

kitchener, 00

Israel's brutal oppression of the Palestinians, in violation of international law and human decency, is generations old. This is not a conflict between two equal forces: one, Israel, receives $9 billion from the U.S. every year; Palestine receives nothing. Israel keeps the people in the Gaza Strip in near starvation conditions. Palestinians in the West Bank have their houses bulldozed to make room for illegal settlements. There is no evidence, as this article suggests, that Hamas uses human shields, but videos on YouTube show Israeli soldiers using Palestinian prisoners as human shields. Israel is a brutal, apartheid regime; Palestinians have every right to resist it.

Gonzales, LA

Having watched this situation over the years, I feel if the Palestininans would stop listening to leaders who are tied to the Hamas or other groups that are of the Jihad mind set, that things would go better. I don't believe Israel is the major problem, I listen to what negotiations are given and what Israel is suppose to give up and say wow you want me to give my whole country to Palestine? The people who are sent to these different areas to try and have peace talks in most cases have no idea how or what is the problem, the last Sec of State and the 1 we have now are for the most part clueless on what is going on. They believe that because I say so you need to do it no matter the cost to one or other. Does this establish peace NO, I would hope those that are on the negotiating sides would sit and listen to the problem and make sure both sides are hitting the core problem and not dancing around as many do.

Pleasant Grove, UT

"The oppressed have become the oppressors"

Just because someone who is a Jew allegedly said this doesn't mean it's correct. Why do you think that the major Islamic nations in the Mideast, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia have supported Israel in this conflict? It's because they also recognize Hamas as the major threat to peace and stability in the region.

Israel has hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who are Israeli citizens. Have you noticed that none of them have any interest in giving up that citizenship to live elsewhere? They have rights in Israel that wouldn't be available to them anywhere else in the entire Mideast. Where else in the Mideast are women allowed to drive, vote, hold office and travel without a male escort? Where else in the Mideast are the same civil rights available regardless of religion or ethnicity? The average Israeli Arab enjoys a level of prosperity unavailable to him or her in Arab nations.

Sugar City, ID

I remember the 1967 war. Israel plead with their Arab neighbors not to star the war. I remember listening to Abba Evban's eloquent speeches in the UN. I remember how outnumbered Israel was. Few people expected Israel to win. Then, the Arabs started the war and Israel pushed the Arabs back and conquered a lot of Arab territory. Under these circumstances, since the Arabs started the war, Israel could have kept all the land they conquered. But they didn't. They pulled back from from many areas including Gaza and what happened? Palestinians have used Gaza as a base to launch rockets into Israel and have used their own women and children as shields. Don't forget, it was Palestinians who danced in the street on 9/11. Granted, there have been atrocities committed on both sides but, how in the world can Israel protect itself when its enemies are incapable of rational behavior. You cannot reason with unreasonable people. For those people who condemn Israel, what do you suggest they do?

Hyrum, UT

And those who supposedly believe in martyrdom are not the ones being martyred. EJM. Issis is not what the U.S. wants, nor what most Arab states wish to see. The Palestinian Israel concflict is the calm before the storm.

davis, UT

This so-called Gaza war is no different than the early battles that took place in most of the countries in North and South America. A colonizer,usually of European descent,forces its way into the area and tries to politically,economically, and militarily control the land and the population that are living on the land. The colonizer is not above killing off most of the locals or forcing them into controlled areas. The colonizer often will do this under the guise of religion or some sort of 'Manifest Destiny'. Utah is a good example of this, as the early settlers routed the local Indian population in battles,like the Black Hawk War, and placed what was left on reservations to be controlled.

Sandy, UT

I appreciate the more even-handed article. It's sometimes interesting to me that Mormons who once had similar threats from the government to take their lands by force and live a second class life can't understand the challenges of the Palestinians and some of the reasons behind this conflict. I am not trying to justify Hamas' approach in any way but it's not hard to see why this conflict continues with ongoing illegal settlements (if you haven't, study the history of these, Israel is literally just seizing land and building neighborhoods on them) and the limited rights of the Palestinian people.

Hamas needs to be removed but Israel also has to be much more compromising in its approach to living with and next to the Palestinians.

Olympia, WA

I find this "news" to be very biased. There is not a single mention of the terrible lives the Gaza people live day to day, year to year, decade to decade.
Israel is an Occupying power who controls all the water, imports, exports, and borders, of Gaza.
Americans are paying a daily amount of their wages, working to pay Israel for every year since she formed, and we will be taxed by the poor country of Israel each year in the future. The truth about the end game is that Gaza is, an Israel Ghetto. It is like the Ghettos that the Jews were kept in in Warsaw, and the Ghetto of Soweto South Africa. In all situations where entire generations are kept helpless and hopeless, then is it any wonder they are prepared to die rather than live a Ghetto life? What future do the youth have? They see 4 generations who hoped, waited, fought, made peace, and died by the thousands.
Israel wants the land, not the people. They will have to kill hundreds of thousands of non combatants and America will pay the bills, build the weapons, and give cover in the U.N.
Jesus weeps.

Bountiful, UT

Having sympathy for Palestinians under Hamas is akin to having sympathy for Germans under Nazis. The Palestinians chose this internationally recognized terrorist group to govern Gaza. Hamas is to blame for the deaths of their own people who they place in harm's way to gain the sympathy of those already inclined to antisemitism. People who support Hamas's position are either ignorant, anti-Israel to the core, or radical Muslims. The Palestinian ability to self-govern has proved to be disastrous and blaming Israel for their plight doesn't fool anyone open-minded enough to see the facts for what they are.

Herriman, UT

@BobF: with all due respect the evidence is overwhelming that Hamas is using its own population as human shields. When have we gotten away from the idea that there truly is evil in the world? Hamas has stated that the only thing it wants is the destruction of Israel. ISIS only wants a world that is under Muslim rule. There is no tolerance. There is no respect. Only sharia law. All unbelievers either convert or they die. And that includes me and you. You think The Gaza Strip is an oppressed area? All that money being spent to build tunnels into Israel could have gone into building schools, hospitals, mosques. Instead it has gone into finding a way to destroy Israel.

St. Geroge, UT

The "difference" between this conflict and the many others where Muslims kill Muslims by the tens of thousands, or "coalition" battles kill thousands of Arabs is this: The people defending themselves against Islamists are Jews and that is apparently offensive to certain segments of our society and especially the European powers.

Alpine, UT

"A lot of Palestinians are very upset about the civilian casualties that have occurred in Gaza," Peterson said. "You can't blame them. It's been terrible." The Palestinians should be angry at Hamas for using them as human shields and using schools and hospitals as launching sites for their rockets.

If there is a constriction of free trade into and out of Gaza, how do the Iranians get rockets in there? Why doesn't the UN work on this so that the Hamas isn't armed?

Cedar Rapids, IA

So, one group continually attacks another. The attackers point to ancient complaints. The attacked want to live in peace.

The aggrieved justify their attacks because they deem they are treated as second class citizens.

Rockets, tunnels to infiltrate Israel's borders to kill and kidnap, suicide bombers: all are justified because of not being treated in a manner the Palestinians demand?

Patience in affliction is one thing. To allow one group (Hamas) of kill off another (Israel) without the permission of the world for self-defense by the attacked is stupid.

If Hamas wants its innocents to avoid death in this conflict, I suggest they call for a ceasefire, reveal to the Israelis the location of every tunnel and rocket cache, then refrain from attacking thereafter.

The innocents in Palestine would likely welcome the change.

Hamas reminds me of a school bully when I was growing up. Taunts, teases and worse, then a reaction from the bullied to stop. The bully would then run to a teacher to complain someone had hurt him, Hamas brings this on themselves.

Spanish Fork, UT

Comments in articles like this worry me. How on earth can anybody justify murdering 1500 sitting duck civilians because allegedly some in the political party currently in power in that nation might have extremely crazy racist views? My own nation, the United States of America, is full of crazy, uninformed, misinformed, and corrupt politicians -- some of whom support totally immoral foreign policies. But not all of our politicians hold such views. It would not be fair to hold our entire nation responsible for rhetoric in the platform of the political party that currently holds the White House, or Congress, or that a particular military leader belonged to. That kind of collectivism is *precisely* what the terrorists who attacked America on 9/11 explicitly stated in justification of the terrible terror attacks. They stated that all Americans were complicit because of American military actions in the middle east -- including near daily bombings along "no fly zones" in some nations.

I hope most people in the world can see how it was wrong and immoral to kill American civilians on the basis of who the majority had voted for or because we hadn't overthrown our leaders who sometimes hold unreasonable atttitudes towards other nations.

Another Perspective
Bountiful, UT

Israel should consider moving the population of Gaza to the west bank.

Goddess Divine
Orem, UT

Someone said Palestinians that are Israeli citizens would stay in Israel because of the freedoms they enjoy there. I think if Palestinians citizens stay in Israel is because they know that if they lived in Palestine their houses will be destroyed, their land taken and their children killed. It's is just common sense. It must horrible to live in a country that you know is destroying your family and friends and you cannot so anything about it. But if we really want to know what the Palestinians think we should ask them directly instead of guessing what is on their mind.

Israel is abusing their military power targeting civilians, schools, hospitals, and destroying Palestinians lands and homes. Israel is not defending their land. Israel is terrorizing Palestinian families with violence. Just last Wednesday, the country of Bolivia declared Israel a "terrorist state" and the president accused Israel of genocide. At least in other countries they tell it like it is, here in the US the media is scared of the political power of pro-Israel politicians.

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