Understanding Israel and Hamas: Why this conflict differs from others

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  • Avenue Vernal, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 11:54 a.m.

    @ Schnee

    Your description of Hamas is not at all accurate. Hamas is a terrorist organization that has sworn to eradicate Israel. Israel is doing a just and moral thing by defending their citizens from evil.

  • Uncle_Fester Niskayuna, NY
    Aug. 6, 2014 7:29 a.m.

    This article is an expression of blatant naivete. There is no moral equivalence to the problems going on here. The fact is that on the one hand you have a decent moral civilization needing to defend itself from the aggression of an uncivil cabal of terrorists sworn to eradicate its neighbor. This isn't about Islam versus the Jews or Christians ...the latter today are being killed, raped and pillaged throughout the middle east for having the temerity to not be Muslim; the fact is Islam seems to be at war with the entire world. Look at what is going on in the Philippines, Russia, China, Nigeria, India all of which receive terror attacks on a regular basis. It's not extremists either -or if it is there sure are a lot of them who in the name of Islam commit these atrocities all over the world on a daily basis. This is one inherently violent political system masquerading as a religion. Where is the condemnation for these atrocities in the Islamic world?

  • Social Mod Fiscal Con West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 12:34 p.m.


    "How long must a people occupy a land before it is theirs? The Jews left Palestine 2,000 years ago. The Palestinians have lived there since."

    You are propagating a lie told by the Muslim world for the last 80 years. The land now known as Israel has been very sparsely populated over the last 2000 years, and the inhabitants have included a diverse group, including Jews, Christians and Muslims. The majority of what we call "Palestinians" today, were imported to the area by surrounding Muslim nations at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries in order to bolter their claim to the area as Jewish Zionism was becoming a stronger movement.

    If you want to take the time to get informed, read "From Time Immemorial" by Joan Peters. Cover to cover, it is nothing but facts supported by research of original historical documents regarding that region of the world and the Muslim treatment of Jews throughout history.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 3:05 p.m.

    Just because Hamas is an extremely misguided organization doesn't mean Israel is blameless for the instability in the region. Before the rise of Hamas it's not like we had a solution to the issue and it's not like Israel and the West Bank are on all that great of terms (just better than with Gaza) so suggesting that the only thing stopping lasting peace in the region is Hamas is rather disingenuous.

  • PLM Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 10:53 a.m.

    Blaming Israel for defending herself against homicidal aggressors is like blaming a rape victim. If she hadn't been so attractive, blah, blah blah...

    De Gaulle and the others mentioned were co-dependent, arrogant elitists. If you defend your borders, it will cause the Soviets to penetrate deeper into the region? Really? Israel's defensive posture is inviting genocidal maniacs to pursue her destruction? Were the Soviets angry the Jews left their persecutions and were coming after them? This sounds too much like an abused woman. My heart goes out to the Israelis in their struggle to survive.

  • PLM Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 9:24 a.m.

    My ancestor Charles Martel understood the threat of annihilation and genocide posed by the the Muslim invasion of Europe in 732. He and a handful of soldiers, including the survivors of prior conflicts, withstood the caliphate forces bent on their destruction against all odds and by the grace of God.

    Then they were determined to take Rome and stamp out all vestiges of Christianity in Europe, Asia and Africa. Now they are eyeing Gaza, Israel, and Christians again. Have things changed so very much?

    With Putin in the driver's seat in Russia and anti-Christian forces trying to decimate the innocent, We need to arm Israel and support her attempts at civility and survival.

  • spector Tranquility, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 7:01 p.m.

    Today's Palestinians were born in prison. Unless something changes, they will live and die in prison. Their children and their grandchildren will be born, live and die in prison. Their jailers show no desire to let them out or to improve conditions within the prison.

    That is not right. It is not just. It is evil.

    If you were born in such circumstances with no hope for yourself or your children, would you fight back? No matter how hopelessly outgunned you were? Would you do anything, try anything to get the attention of the outside world?

    Israel has had its boot to the throat of these people for 50 years. Hamas is the battered wife who finally finds the strength to fight back. War is never right. But of the two sides, Hamas can be justified in their actions. Israel cannot.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 3, 2014 3:45 p.m.

    "How long must a people occupy a land before it is theirs? The Jews left Palestine 2,000 years ago."

    The Jews were taken captive by Assyrians and later Babylonians then eventually were scattered across much of Europe/Asia. As you know, Hitler didn't care much for the Jews in Germany (thou he had some Jewish blood in his veins).

    "The Palestinians have lived there since."

    That was the Jews' (Israel) fault for not conquering the inhabitants of Palestine when Joshua crossed the Jordan with Twelve Tribes. They took down Jericho but left many cities intact.

    "What if the U.N were to declare the Native Americans the rightful rulers of America?"

    To the victors go the spoils.

    "The British colonial mandate to Palestine expired in 1948..."

    The 1948 Arab–Israeli War was fought between Israel and a military coalition of Arab states and Palestinian Arab forces. Who won? Israel. To the victors go the spoils.

    The June 1967 Arab–Israeli War (Six-Day War). Who won? Israel. To the victors go the spoils

    "Peace is worth striving for."

    Tell that to Hamas.

  • tgurd Gonzales, LA
    Aug. 3, 2014 3:15 p.m.

    There were so wonderful comments and then there are those comments where people either don't know what's going on or listen to the spin put out by the media. There have been 3 cease fires and in every case Hamas violated them, the 72 hour one hadn't even gotten 3 hours. So to you who wonder why civilians get killed, did you know that Hamas hides their missiles and rockets in school houses??? Did you also know that they do use the Palestinians for shields, these brave souls that yell jihad and push children and women out in front. I agree with several the comments no Jews person in Israel should be allowed to live. How would you people that can remember 911 feel that are so saddened by a country that protects its self and innocent people die can you name a war that was different anytime in history??

  • windsor City, Ut
    Aug. 3, 2014 8:59 a.m.

    BobF2012 siad "Israel's brutal oppression of the Palestinians, in violation of international law and human decency, is generations old...Palestinians have every right to resist it."

    While this may be true, the Palestinians have nothing on some of their fellow humans in many cases, who are wronged and oppressed "in violation of law and human decency" notably to those reading this newspaper,the Mormons.

    Palestinians would do well to do as Mormons in the past did, who had their lands, homes & property stolen again & again & were driven out of multiple US states. (with never a finger lifted to help them recoup their losses.)

    So Palestinians, here's what you do:

    Acknowledge your anger, your fury, your sadness & GET OVER IT & MOVE ON, as the Mormons did.

    To do so will mean that you & your children & grandchildren would live in peace, as the Mormons--who got over it and moved on--now do.
    To not do it means just continuing the same mess you have now (for the last 60+ years) of conflict and chaos.

    You can keep being aggrieved. Or you can get over it, move on, accept peace and be happy.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 8:27 a.m.

    The ultimate goal of ISlam is the destruction of western society. This conflict may well become much larger. Why we take in Muslim immigrants is beyond me. Europe will rue the day they took in Arabs.

  • spector Tranquility, UT
    Aug. 3, 2014 7:15 a.m.

    "So, who's homeland is it, anyway?"

    How long must a people occupy a land before it is their's? The Jews left Palestine 2,000 years ago. The Palestinians have lived there since.

    What if the U.N were to declare the Native Americans the rightful rulers of America? Europeans have only been here a few hundred years. If 2,000 years isn't enough to establish the Palestinians as "natives" to Palestine, how can a few hundred establish European Americans as "native" to America?

    The British colonial mandate to Palestine expired in 1948, and the U.N. split the region into 2 states: Jewish and Arab. I support Israel's right to exist. But the creation of Israel was carefully planned to avoid the current situation: 2 states, with neither's capitol in Jerusalem. Jerusalem was to be open to all.

    By occupying the territories, Israel creates an Apartheid state with the minority ruling over the majority. Israel has created giant prisons of the territories. Such a situation is not sustainable. Moving the capitol to Jerusalem further sends the message that Israel will not compromise. A will not compromise attitude is not a road to peace.

    Peace is worth striving for.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 3, 2014 12:09 a.m.

    "Comments in articles like this worry me. How on earth can anybody justify murdering 1500 sitting duck civilians..."

    The sitting ducks are sitting in the middle of missile embankments in Gaza. If they don't wanna get harmed, then move. Or maybe, tell Hamas to stop shooting missiles into Israeli cities.

    @Goddess Divine:
    "Someone said Palestinians that are Israeli citizens would stay in Israel because of the freedoms they enjoy there."

    Palestinians for the most part are peace loving people. It's the Muslim Jihadists that call themselves 'Hamas' who are the troublemakers.

    "I think if Palestinians citizens stay in Israel is because they know that if they lived in Palestine their houses will be destroyed..."

    The Palestinian West Bank houses are not being destroyed. And the Palestinian Gaza houses would not be destroyed if Hamas had not fired 2,000 missiles at Israel cities.

    "It must horrible to live in a country that you know is destroying your family and friends and you cannot do anything about it."

    They could insist their jihadist friends (Hamas) stop firing missiles at Israeli cities. That might help.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 2, 2014 8:24 p.m.

    The Palestinians and the Israelis have been duking it out over the same territory ever since David Slew the Philistine giant Goliath. The word 'Palestine' and 'Philistine' have the same root source.

    The land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and national identity was formed.

    Exiled from Palestine, the Jewish people remained faithful to it in all the countries of their dispersion, never ceasing to hope for their return and the restoration of their national freedom.

    In recent decades the Jews returned en mass. In the year 1897 the First Zionist Congress, inspired by Theodor Herzl's vision of the Jewish State, proclaimed the right of the Jewish people to national revival in their own country.

    This right was acknowledged by the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917, and re-affirmed by the Mandate of the League of Nations, which gave explicit international recognition to the historic connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and their right to reconstitute their National Home.

    So, who's homeland is it, anyway?

  • koseighty The Shire, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 8:07 p.m.

    As Mitt Romney said in 2007:

    "When facing the need to strengthen the democratic underpinnings of a country like Lebanon, our education, health, banking, energy, commerce, law enforcement and diplomatic resources are in separate bureaucracies, all under separate leadership, all protecting their own powers and their own prerogatives. So while we watched, Hezbollah brought healthcare and schools to the Lebanese. Guess who the people followed when conflict ensued? The same thing happened with Hamas and the Palestinians."

    People calling for the Palestinians to raise up against Hamas miss this simple point: It is Hamas that smuggles in educational materials and medical supplies, that establishes hospitals and schools. You can't expect people to side with occupiers over benefactors.

    Israel has done everything to push the Palestinians to support Hamas. Perhaps that is what it wants -- an excuse for a "final solution."

  • koseighty The Shire, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 7:56 p.m.

    On May 24, 1967, Charles de Gaulle, prior to the Six-Day War, gave the following warning to the Israeli Foreign Minister:

    "Don't make war. You will be considered the aggressor by the world and by me. You will cause the Soviet Union to penetrate more deeply into the Middle East, and Israel will suffer the consequences. You will create a Palestinian nationalism, and you will never get rid of it."

    We sometimes forget that, while Egypt and other Arab states were building up military forces in the area, it was Israel that shot first, with preemptive attacks across its borders on June 5, 1967.

    Israel settled in to occupy the defeated territories. On November 27, 1967, de Gaulle predicted:

    "Now, Israel is organizing on the territories it holds an occupation which can only lead to oppression, repression, expulsions, and against which there is already a resistance, which Israel calls terrorism."

    If you choose to occupy -- to control territory where you are not wanted and are not in the majority -- you must resort to force. And Israel has. An oppressed majority can only be contained for so long. "Freedom fighter" or "terrorist" depends on which side of the line you were born.

  • koseighty The Shire, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 4:58 p.m.


    There are only two ways out of this for Israel: They must kill or deport enough Palestinians to restore a Jewish majority. Or, they must withdraw from part or all of the occupied territories, resettle any other Palestinians there, and create a two state situation.

    Only then could Israel be freed from the role of oppressor. Palestine would be free to import and export at will, provide their own power and electricity, elect their own government. And Israel would be free to defend itself militarily against any aggression.

    As it stands now, there is no way around the fact that Israel is the oppressor and aggressor. Many can't see that because of deep seeded loyalties. But when you treat any group -- for generations -- as Israel has the Palestinians, conflict and death are the natural outcome.

  • koseighty The Shire, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 4:50 p.m.

    Imagine that the non-Mormon minority of Utah took control, forced all Mormons to live on the west desert. Took away their rights to vote; to travel outside a designated, walled and well patrolled area; allowed them no voice in government; strictly controlled all imports and exports from the area; allowed only 8 hours of power and water a day; arrested Mormons at will, for no reason, without trial or appeal, and held them indefinitely. The U.S. sides with the non-Mormons, supporting them militarily and financially. Calls by the U.N. to end the situation go unheard. Imagine this goes on for 50 years.

    In such a situation, I can see a group among the Mormons who dig tunnels into Nevada to smuggle in food, supplies, (and yes) weapons. I can see otherwise peace loving Mormons supporting such a group over their oppressors.

    I support Israel's right to exist. But in occupying the conquered territories, they've placed themselves in an Apartheid situation. They are the minority in their own country. And the ONLY way a minority can maintain control is by force.


  • ThornBirds St.George, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 4:17 p.m.

    In 1948, did anyone mention to Israel that they might want to rethink the area they had chosen for their home?
    Sure it was the historical place of the Jews, but....
    How is it that these intelligent people could not visualize the contention and violence that could erupt at any time in the neighborhood where they would be living?
    Were their idealistic blinders preventing them from recalling major historical issues?
    How could they not understand they would never be welcome by their middle eastern neighbors?
    This move on their part has really has never made sense to the rest of the world.

  • Tzadikim Bakersfield, CA
    Aug. 2, 2014 4:16 p.m.

    There's enough tragedy here without inventing false scenarios and flagrant "inaccuracies".

    Open the border and see just how many Palestinians scramble to escape the injustice and poverty of Hamas and the PA.

    That'll spare all the ignorance and hyperbole expressed by the deluded and the prejudiced here.

  • Filo Doughboy Bakersfield, CA
    Aug. 2, 2014 3:59 p.m.

    More than platitudes are expected from a BYU prof who knows the realities of the region. Specify those inequities please.

    Less is expected of the perpetual victim mentality that demands more from Israel than it does from its own corrupt, dysfunctional "governing" body.

    Nothing accurate is expected from the ignorance that is expressed here by those who clearly have never visited the region nor care to verify their misinformation and fantasies.

    DN: Next article on Israel vs Gaza, let's have a balanced story. Try the Wall Street Journal one on 7/28/14: "Palestine Makes You Dumb". Now that's the full story, statistics and all.

  • Shazandra Bakersfield, CA
    Aug. 2, 2014 3:28 p.m.

    US aid to Israel: $3.2 Billion.
    US aid to West Bank & Gaza: $459.40 Million

    Who lines their pockets, uses food/educ. $ to build tunnels & arsenals, promotes explicit hatred and intransigence in all its schools, mosques and political machinery?

    Who ravaged every greenhouse gifted to it after complete villages/kibbutzim ceded their land to the PA?
    Who will eternaly play the victim?

    Only Genesis 12:16 has the answer, the tragic answer to Ishmael's genetic legacy.

    Jesus weeps indeed.

  • Abdulameer Chicago, IL
    Aug. 2, 2014 2:30 p.m.

    There is no equivalence in this conflict. And, there is no solution. This is not an "Arab-Israeli conflict", and it is not a "Palestinian-Israeli" conflict. It is not a territorial conflict, and it has nothing to do with “settlements”. Israel's deadliest enemy is The Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Iranians are not Arab. The Hamas Charter makes it crystal clear that the conflict is NOT an "Arab-Israeli" conflict but rather an Islamic holy war against the Jews. I urge everyone to read the Hamas Charter (Google it!) to see for yourself. Hamas, a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, quotes Islamic sacred texts to justify their war against the Jews. The Moslem god, Allah, in the Koran, and the Moslem prophet, Muhammad, in his sacred sayings, command Moslems to make war on the Jews and either kill them or subjugate to them to Islamic rule. The very existence of Israel stands as a rebuke to Islam itself. Therefore, no Moslem can make peace with Israel without violating the sacred commands of his god and his prophet. That is why the conflict is intractable. It takes two to make peace, but only one to prevent peace.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 2:09 p.m.

    The solution is as far away as the notion that all men are created equal are endowed by their creator with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In America we've been working on it for centuries and still don't have it.

    The final impediment to believing all people have rights, just because they are people, seems to be in the belief that God is a more than just a creator of life but is a whole lot of programs and agendas. As I understand it, the Jews believe that they are Gods favorites, Muslims believe that they are to force people into their belief, Christians seem to think that they are duty bound to spread their version, and maybe there are thousands more.

    Since life and death and our existence, is the most important thing if every case, until we can solve the riddle of life and overcome the fear of death, we have not much chance of success. And if we can do that before we become extinct, we might someday own the uiniverse.

  • john d REXBURG, ID
    Aug. 2, 2014 2:02 p.m.

    if the Palestinians want peace they would throw out hamas and go after them but they wont. hamas control the situation over there and kill them if they don't obey. Palestinian wants peace and hamas use them as human shields specially the kids. Israel will give warning before they attack. I really believe if Palestinian wants peace they would go after hamas.

    Aug. 2, 2014 1:57 p.m.

    Nothing new in this conflict that has played out somewhere else in the world at one time or another. Religion, language, ethnic, race, any type of diversity has always been a catalyst for conflict. This area just happens to have diversity on a Biblical scale.

  • Shazandra Bakersfield, CA
    Aug. 2, 2014 1:43 p.m.

    Only in Kitchener do non-stats rule.

    Israel receives $3.1 B in US aid; West Bank & Gaza get $459.40 M. Who lines their pockets, promotes hatred in all educational and religious literature, buys concrete for tunnels and arsenals instead of food and schools?

    Watch the wildly popular "Arab Labor" (Link TV) sometime. The comedy/parody of real life in Arab-Jewish Israel, produced by Arabs. The only complainers? The PA-Hamas propaganda machine.

    Or... read the biographies of defected Hamas sons. That'll cure your fantasies.

  • Goddess Divine Orem, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 12:17 p.m.

    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.

  • Another Perspective Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 12:09 p.m.

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

  • DougB Spanish Fork, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 10:59 a.m.

    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.

  • baddog Cedar Rapids, IA
    Aug. 2, 2014 10:45 a.m.

    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.

  • Alpiner Alpine, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 10:40 a.m.

    "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?

  • jimy St. Geroge, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 10:07 a.m.

    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.

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    @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.

  • DonM Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 9:34 a.m.

    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.

  • bullet56 Olympia, WA
    Aug. 2, 2014 9:29 a.m.

    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.

  • liberate Sandy, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 9:17 a.m.

    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.

  • 59fitz davis, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 9:15 a.m.

    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.

  • chiksika Hyrum, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 7:38 a.m.

    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.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Aug. 2, 2014 7:24 a.m.

    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?

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 6:56 a.m.

    "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.

  • tgurd Gonzales, LA
    Aug. 2, 2014 6:21 a.m.

    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.

  • BobF2012 kitchener, 00
    Aug. 2, 2014 5:36 a.m.

    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.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 1, 2014 11:07 p.m.

    "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.

  • ThornBirds St.George, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 11:05 p.m.

    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.

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 9:01 p.m.

    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.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 8:26 p.m.

    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".