I think the talk of a multinational force has to become the fact of a multinational force. Now! <br><br>Hezbollah knew full well that when it kidnapped 2 Israeli soldiers that the response would be disproportionate. It's what Israel does. A slap will get you a punch in return. A bullet will get you a grenade in return, and so on... But at this point, the argument over justification or not has to be tabled in the interest of stopping the killing. On both sides. Just because Hezbollah knew what it was doing when it provoked this mess, doesn't excuse Israel's 10-fold force policy. <br><br>Hezbollah is not going to release those soldiers any time soon. And Israel is not going to ground it's jets until they do. So the only way to protect innocent lives is to get a powerful security force in there immediately. This will not be a long-term fix. That's a bigger conundrum. But the dying has to stop now.<br><br>Does this mean I'm buying the IronChef's POV? Not a chance. Israel is not a terrorist state. But I do believe that the longer this conflict goes on, the worse it will get. For everyone.<br><br>
Loc: Pinellas Park, Florida
Israel is not a terrorist state.<br><br>Try telling that to a Palestinian.<br><br>Apologies in advance for the copy/paste, but this came via a listserve without a linky:<br><br>Bishop Riah, the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, 25 July, 2006<br> <br> <br> <br>Bishop Riah on the current crisis in the Middle East<br> <br> <br>Dear Friends,<br> <br>For the past forty years we have been largely alone on this desert fighting a predator that not only has robbed us of all but a small piece of our historic homeland, but threatens the traditions and holy sites of Christianity. We are tired, weary, sick, and wounded. We need your help. <br> <br>We have seen and we have been the recipients of the generosity of our American and British friends. We cherish the support of everyone throughout the world who stands with us in solidarity. Daily, I hear from many of them who express outrage at the arrogant and aggressive positions of President Bush, Secretary Rice, Senator Clinton, and Prime Minister Blair. I am saddened to realize just how much the deserved prestige of the United States and Britain has declined as a result of politicians who seem to devalue human life and suffering. And, I am disturbed that the Zionist Christian community is damaging America’s image as never before.<br> <br>Little more than a week ago, we were focused on the plight of the Palestinian people. In Gaza, four and five generations have been victims of Israeli racism, hate crimes, terror, violence, and murder. Garbage and sewage have created a likely outbreak of cholera as Israeli strategies create the collapse of infrastructures. There is no milk. Drinking water, food, and medicine are in serious short supply. Innocents are being killed and dying from lack of available emergency care. Children are paying the ultimate price. Even for those whose lives are spared, many of them are traumatized and will not grow to live useful lives. Commerce between the West Bank and Gaza has been halted and humanitarian aid barely trickles into some of the neediest in the world.<br> <br>Movement of residents of the West Bank is difficult or impossible as “security measures” are heightened to break the backs of the Palestinian people and cut them off from their place of work, schools, hospitals, and families. It is family and community that has sustained these people during these hopeless times. For some, it is all that they had, but that too has been taken away with the continued building of the wall and check points. The strategy of ethnic cleansing on the part of the State of Israel continues.<br> <br>This week, war broke out on the Lebanon-Israeli border (near Banyas where Jesus gave St. Peter the keys to heaven and earth). The Israeli government’s disproportionate reaction to provocation was consistent with their opportunistic responses in which they destroy their perceived enemy.<br> <br>In her recent article, “The Insane Brutality of the State of Israel,” American, Kathleen Christison, a former CIA analyst says, “The state lashes out in a crazed effort, lacking any sense of proportion, to reassure itself of its strength.” She continues, “A society that can brush off as unimportant an army officer’s brutal murder of a thirteen year old girl on the claim that she threatened soldiers at a military post (one of nearly seven hundred Palestinian children murdered by Israelis since the Intifada began) is not a society with a conscience.” The “situation” as it has come to be called, has deteriorated into a war without boundaries or limitations. It is a war with deadly potential beyond the imaginations of most civilized people.<br> <br>As I write to you, I am preparing to leave with other bishops for Nablus with medical and other emergency supplies for five hundred families, and a pledge for one thousand families more.<br> <br>On Saturday we will attempt to enter Gaza with medical aid for doctors and nurses in our hospital there who struggle to serve the injured, the sick, and the dying.<br> <br>My plan is that I will be able to go to Lebanon next week - where we are presently without a resident priest - to bury the dead, and comfort the victims of war. Perhaps as others have you will ask, “What can I do?” Certainly we encourage and appreciate your prayers. That is important, but it is not enough. If you find that you can no longer look away, take up your cross. It takes courage as we were promised.<br> <br>Write every elected official you know. Write to your news media. Speak to your congregation, friends, and colleagues about injustice and the threat of global war. If Syria, Iran, the United States, Great Britain, China and others enter into this war - the consequence is incalculable. Participate in rallies and forums. Find ways that you and your churches can participate in humanitarian relief efforts for the region. Contact us and<br>let us know if you stand with us. I urge you not to be like a disciple watching from afar.<br> <br> 2 Corinthians 6.11<br>“We have spoken frankly to you Corinthians, our heart is wide open to you. There is no restriction in our affections, but only in yours. In return - I speak as to children - open wide your hearts also.”<br> <br> <br>In, with, and through Christ,<br> <br>The Rt. Rev. Riah H. Abu El-Assal<br>Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem<br><br><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by MacBozo on 07/30/06 01:35 PM (server time).</EM></FONT></P>
Interesting read. Thanks. And frankly, a Palestinian is among the last persons I'd try to convince otherwise, because from his perspective, Israel has committed terrorism against him. In many ways, "terrorism" is a matter of perspective.<br><br>Israel does not employ suicide bombers. Israel does not use human shields. Israel does not indiscriminately kill thousands of it's own people — in the name of martyrdom — to get to it's enemies. What Israel has spent most of it's time doing for the past several years is responding to terrorism.<br><br>Yes, they have grossly over-reacted too many times. And sadly, they have done so under the noses of and with the enablement of the U.S. and Britain.<br><br>I am not proud of how they've conducted themselves. But I won't buy the argument that they're THE aggressor. That they're THE terrorists. What I will not excuse Israel for is allowing groups like Hezbollah to push their buttons when restraint and reason should have been the default response.<br><br>
<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>Try telling that to a Palestinian.<p><hr></blockquote><p>I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for people who made Hamas the majority party of the Palestinian Legislative Council.<br>No where in the article is Hamas mentioned.<br>What did they (the Palestinian people) expect when Hamas kidnapped the Israeli soldier?<br>With Hamas in power did they think that good times were ahead? <br><br>
<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>What I will not excuse Israel for is allowing groups like Hezbollah to push their buttons when restraint and reason should have been the default response.<p><hr></blockquote><p>What response did you expect from Israel when Hezbollah kidnapped two of their soldiers?<br><br>
That's my point. The response was disproportionate. Worse, it's the expected response. And Hezbollah has effectively exploited it. If Israel wanted to really diffuse Hezbollah's mission, they should have taken a less strenuous approach. The corner they've painted themselves into now is that they are trying to vaporize Hezbollah on their own as quickly as possible. And the fact that it's not working is just exacerbating the physical and PR wars. In the meantime, more and more innocent lives are being lost in the process.<br><br>
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