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Israel's War Crimes?

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is not much of a public speaker, at least not in English, but what he had to say at the United Nations on Thursday was both sad and provocative. It was sad that any Israeli leader -- anyone, for that matter -- would find it necessary to bring to the rostrum proof that the Holocaust had happened and to rebuke those UN delegations that stayed in their seats for Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has asserted it had not.

But it was something else that Netanyahu said that I found provocative: the suggestion that under UN rules, both Roosevelt and Churchill would have been brought “to the dock as war criminals."

“What a perversion of truth,” Netanyahu went on. “What a perversion of justice.”

Is it? The possibility, I grant you, is jarring, but the fact remains that both Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill were complicit in the wholesale bombing of German cities in which no effort was made to spare civilian lives and, indeed, hundreds of thousands of them were killed. The two most famous examples are the fire bombings of first Hamburg and then Dresden with huge civilian losses.

But Netanyahu did not mention the most obvious example of a retroactive war crime, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There, too, civilians were the main target. He did not mention, either, the fire bombings of Tokyo, which resulted in a greater loss of life than Hiroshima.

Netanyahu’s point is worth considering. In Gaza, Israel, as opposed to the United States and Britain in World War II, went out of its way to minimize civilian fatalities. That does not mean, as the UN Human Rights Council has alleged, that Israel (as well as Hamas) did not commit war crimes in Gaza, only that had it followed Harry Truman’s logic in authorizing the atomic bombing of Japan, it would have relied almost exclusively on air power to pound Gaza into submission. That would have ended the rocket attacks into southern Israel and would not have cost Israel the life of a single soldier. As it was, Israel reported 10 soldiers killed (4 by friendly fire) and 336 wounded.

Clearly, standards of what constitutes a war crime have changed -- and a good thing, too. But what has not changed is anger and provocation. In World War II, Germany and Japan’s bombing of population centers and their record of atrocities fueled a desire for payback. (The Russians excelled at this.) Truman had scant sympathy for Japanese civilians, but his first priority was to end the war and save American lives. He was, after all, the commander in chief. Still, you can imagine what various human rights groups would today say about the “disproportionate” use of force.

Israelis, too, were angry. After withdrawing from Gaza, they did not get peace but eight years of incessant rocket and mortar fire into Southern Israel. On the single day I spent in the Southern Israeli city of Sderot, three rockets landed. I wondered at the time how long Israel would put up with the situation, and I wondered, too, how long the world would do nothing. In the end, the world did nothing, so Israel did something. Doing nothing is the UN’s version of passive aggressive behavior. It’s not a war crime. It just produces them.

By Richard Cohen  | September 25, 2009; 10:41 AM ET
Categories:  Cohen  | Tags:  Richard Cohen  
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Comments

But the provocation matters. Fire-bombing someone over nothing at all is clearly evil.

Truman used the atom bomb to force a conclusion to the Pacific front in WWII. Based on the experiences we'd had taking even the smallest of islands, it could reasonably be assumed that the use of the atom bomb would actually save hundreds of thousands of lives. An invasion of Japan would've been an incredibly bloody mess. In a war like WWII, changing the length of a conflict by a few months can spare thousands upon thousands of lives.

Is it moral for the Israeli army to kill thousands of Palestinians to cease rocket fire whose effect on Israeli health was similar to an incremental increase in the highway speed limit? No. Unequivocally, no. *That*, Bibi, is evil.

Posted by: davestickler | September 25, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Any American (US) citizen who puts the interests of Israel ahead of THIS nation (the USA) needs to get out and soon.
Either you're an American or you're not.

Posted by: Tomcat3 | September 25, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen,
The war crime rules were put in place by the allied powers at the end of World War II, I believe. Yes, if We fought WW2 under current rules, that is true. I suspect the US was/is guilty of war crimes in Iraq as well. Because you don't like it, or because you feel it was justified by the actions of the opposing "side" neither mitigates nor lessens the war crime. You thesis seems to be either, the Palestinians are nasty people who constantly attach Israel with rockets, suicide bombers et al. so it is ok or, other countries have done as much or worse so it is ok. Neither argument is very compelling (and I think you know it)>

Posted by: samson1 | September 25, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

LMAO! He's talking about YOU Cohen:

"What a perversion of truth,” Netanyahu went on. “What a perversion of justice.”

Posted by: Tomcat3 | September 25, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Cohen is right, Israel could have bombed Gaza into submission so that they had no choice but to accept a perpetual military blockade and occupation of the West Bank. Oh wait.

Does Cohen really think there is something analogous between the situation that the British faced with the Germans in World War II and what Israel faces with the Palestinians?

To justify its perpetual occupation Israel requires an ability to draw distinctions. That they would throw it away to defend war crimes against a captive population is not good for the long term interests of Israel.

Posted by: beckerl | September 25, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

This "logic" is distorted. What Churchill and Roosevelt did during WW2 was done before the Geneva Conventions and the Nuremburg trials. This does not excuse their actions, only to say that international law against civilian deaths was not in place as it is now. Your argument is pathetic--that Israel could have dropped a nuclear bomb on Gaza but exercised restraint, or that Israel was just following the example of Roosevelt and Churchill. Can you scrape the barrel any more for excuses to let Israel off the hook for its war crimes? Furthermore, your claim that in Gaza, Israel went "out of its way to minimize civilian fatalities" is just plain false--Israel minimized military casualties, at the expense of civilian deaths. Read all the human rights reports, including the most recent British report--they all state unequivocally that Israeli soldiers used Palestinian civilians as human shields, fired on civilians deliberately, and used phosphorus bombs. There is no doubt whatsoever that the Israeli military committed war crimes in Gaza. And finally, that "incessant rocket fire" you allude to is another pathetic excuse--homemade rockets that perhaps killed 4 civilians in 10 years is absolutely not a legitimate reason to bomb thousadns with super weapons. That was a crime of astronomical proportions that will forever brand Israel as a bully and a coward. If you choose to defend war crimes, and war criminals, then you are complicit also.

Posted by: donnasaggia | September 25, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

You seem to suggest that it is moral to allow the killing of a few Israelis in order to prevent harm to the Palestinians who permit terror from within their borders? Truman authorized the death of thousands to prevent the death of tens of thousands. Aren't the Israelis doing the same, or do the Palestinians suggest that Israelis are expendable?

Posted by: mcooper2 | September 25, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse


Oh, gosh,
Most of us didn't know how entirely kind and
sympathetic the Jews had been in Gaza.

And has there EVER been a statistic like
1300 Gazan women men and childrn killed as
opposed to 16 Jews?

Cohen is pathetic. Stinking. Vile and very Israeli.

Posted by: whistling | September 25, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Do you realize how this "war crimes" stuff actually creates more war?
We have disconnected "the people" of a country from "the government" of a country to the point where we have dismissed them from all responsibility for aggression and war. The populace has to be held in some responsibility for the problems in Gaza. At a point where they allow the terrorists to rule, they are complicit in the crime.
Making war only a contest between competing evil governments is dangerous for humanity. Who exactly makes up these governments and these military units?

Posted by: marisman | September 25, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

If Israel were to yield to the 2002 Saudi peace plan or something reasonably close to it, they would regain the moral basis for these self-defense arguments. Few would then care about the fate of the rejectionists. And that's why you don't often hear criticisms of what the Allies did in World War II, and why you do hear frequent criticisms of Israel. In order to have a claim of immunity from war crimes due to a higher morality, one has to consistently act under a basis of morality. Taking other people's land away from them on the West Bank one house at a time is not moral.

Posted by: ripvanwinkleincollege | September 25, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Israel has carried out some of the worse war crimes of the 20th and 21st centuries. The only reason the world has been slow to react to their atrocities is due to Israel's tool of moral superiority, that it uses as a bludgeon against its critics.


Posted by: demtse | September 25, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

"There is no doubt whatsoever that the Israeli military committed war crimes in Gaza."

Well, we've heard from an expert. No need to debate this any further.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | September 25, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I felt insulted by being taken for a fool by Netanyahu, and I feel insulted by this article for exactly the same reason.

I hope that I am not the only one that feels this way, and that the so-called "internatioanl community" will get their act together and force Israel to become a member of their club, instead of a racist, terrorist rogue state.

Posted by: haggesitze | September 25, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

And???? Logically if Hamas wanted peace they wouldn't have shot the rockets and attacked Israel. They did and got a response. The UN is wrong and the US. should veto any action in the Security Council. Time for the Palestinians to get on with their lives and build a future for their children. Not linger in the past.

Posted by: johnturkal1 | September 25, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

the facts are right there.
we firebombed japan and now we are friends.
we bombed the heck out of germany and now we are friends. even our own civil war, which cost the lives of 620,000 Americans in 4 years, was violent and shermans march to the sea put the finishing touches on the war. now we are one again.
why is that? because in the end there was a real winner and a real loser! there was no doubt.
so when the jews play this 'protect civilians" garbage just keeps the war going.
so here is a trugh - war is the total commitment of assets to the destruction of the enemy in the field and any support structures off the field.
so if the jews want the war to stop with islamics - islamics who are sworn to destroy not just israel but every jew, the response cannot be limited.
israel must totally destroy those who seek its destruction. keeping in mind the support structure, which means civilians too.
and remember this - on may 14 1948 israel was attacked by 5 arab islamic armies. israel won. then there were a number of other wars against israel. on one occasion the jews got to cairo and then gave it and all of egypt back. they did not want war - just to leave them alone.
the 67 war was started by islam and this time israel got the west bank. that was in accord with the laws of war - you start a war and lose it you can lose land and jordan lost the land and then gave it up, so now the jews own it.
so israel must totally destroy all of the west bank and gaza and free itself from the terrorists within.
and why is it that islamics can live in israel and even participate in the government but all jews must move from the west bank?
start a war and lose - you die. works for me.

Posted by: infantry11b4faus | September 25, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

An important distinction: Attacks on Japan and Germany were planned in hopes of ending the conflict (though this may be argued). On the other hand, attacks on Gaza may have been designed to end the rocket attacks, but ending the conflict--resolving territorial disputes--is not on Israel's agenda. They are happy with the status quo.

Posted by: writinron | September 25, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

The standards of war and what is or is not a war crime has changed. I don't think we catapult rotting corpses behind enemy walls any longer.

It's also most likely true had the Germans won WWII FDR and Churchill may have been tried and convicted of war crimes.

But an important distinction that Netanyahu misses is that neither FDR or Churchill continue to commit war crimes while Netanyahu does.

Posted by: James10 | September 25, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Excellent point, Cohen.

Bebe, by all means, keep committing war crimes. It's OK since we did it.

The beauty of this argument is that now everyone can do it, including us. Yay.

Posted by: geezjan | September 25, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Yes . . . we weren't too kind to Native American Indians whom we displaced with our settlements, either.

That was Back Then.

Netanyahu is NOW !!!!

Posted by: lufrank1 | September 25, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

It amazes me how so many seemingly smart people in the comments area have missed Cohen's point and lack the basic context of the Gaza operation. Some notes:

(1) Israel had already left Gaza. 100%. It was not occupied. Various armed groups we deliberately attacking Israeli citizens on a daily basis from Gaza after the occupation ended.

(2) Israel conducted a remarkably humane campaign going to great cost and risk to avoid civilian harm. They did so with occasional errors, but always intending to avoid harm to civilians. Nobody disputes this point -- some people just focus on the accidental harm and miss the context.

(3) Hamas deliberately encouraged these accidental civilian casualties by fighting and firing from around houses, hospitals and schools. It is a technique Hezbollah pioneered in Lebanon. If you deliberately hide yourself among civilians and attack, then eventually you will be targeted in war and, here and there, you will cause civilian casualties which you can blame on Israel and win a PR battle. HERE IS THE POINT -- Those who spend their time blaming Israel for the results of this Hamas/Hezbolla tactic encourage its use in the future. You are at least as responsible as Israel for the civilian casualties because Hamas is playing to your well-meaning by uninformed sympathies.

Posted by: ahutman | September 25, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

What about the U.N. Peacekeepers who were caught in the crossfire a few years back?
They pleaded for a halt in the action so they could escape.
They PLEADED with the Israelis again and again.
They were ignored.
They were MURDERED.
State-sponsored MURDER.

Posted by: Tomcat3 | September 25, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

The difference is that Israel is a group that forced the Palestinians from their land and homes into a ghetto and now maintains them in dire conditions. Israeli provocations never stopped, so Palestinian rockets never stopped.
But the solution is easy. Let the people of Gaza out, send them back to their homes along with all other Palestinians. Establish one state for all with equal rights. Perpetual war will end and peace will reign just as in South Africa.

Posted by: rkthomas2mriscom | September 25, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Apples and oranges. Then was a world war with multiple countries at it. We learned from that and therefore Geneva Convention was born. Gaza is present day and there are not even a country yet. There are still in captivity after 60 years. In the US you go to prison for dog fight and beating caged animal. Go figure.

Posted by: lembukong | September 25, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen,

Israel tossed thousands of Arab Palestinians off their land and herded them into what amounts today as refugee camps. Gaza can be considered such a camp. Israel is an occupying power toward Arab Palestinians in the West Bank and has, in effect, surrounded Gaza leaving few Gazans the chance to leave. Gazans get upset and fight back any way they can (with small rockets and mortars). Israel, in pique, lobs artillary, launches bombs at food factories and water purification plants, and sends soldiers into an area that civilians cannot escape from...among other things.

"War crimes" is a strong term that is enforceable by those able to capture and try such suspects (physically and politically). Israel appears to believe that it, like the CIA under Bush/Cheney/Addington, is offered a "golden shield" by the US govt and thus feels utterly justified in any conduct it feels fit towards Palestinians.

Perhaps, just as grotesque as attacking an area without allowing civilians to leave and attacking their sources of food and water, is the Israeli sentiment that the people who they have wronged and keep in a geo-political chokehold - Palestinians - are the authors of their own fate. "Why don't the Palestinians just be more responsible?" they cry. Ask yourself, Mr. Cohen, what would you do as a young man in Gaza? What would you do as an Israeli leader in control of thousands of angry, nation-less people? Attack them?

Posted by: jeromebelgium | September 25, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

All these comments against Israel are amazing. How long do you all think the USA would have put up with Cuba rocketing the southern portion of this country. Remember the Cuban missile crisis? There really was a reason for it or did you all forget that matter? Is Israel supposed to put up with rockets from anyone? I don`t think so.
Think before you are so critical!!

Posted by: dgarb20 | September 25, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

It is articles such as this one by Mr. Cohen that make us, regular Americans to get mad at the ambivalence of most jewish Americans' (like Mr. Cohen) to (mis) to want to have the cake and eat it too! They want to keep the privileges of an American citizen but act as hard-core orthodox Israeli jews! For them Israel can do nothing wrong. They reserve themselves the right to kill and bully Palestinians, and all other citizens of the Middle East countries, without crying "foul play" as soon as someone has the courage to call their "cowardly" behavior by its name! Israel should be confronted with sanctions and punishment (for instance, no more economic aid from America, from my taxes!!!) the same way that other "WAR CRIMINALS AND TERRORIST STATES DO"!

Posted by: ptrchss | September 25, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I saw the war criminal (Bibi the Terrible) yesterday admonishing the rest of the world for not leaving when the leader of Iran was speaking. What chutzpah, as the Jews say. He of all people , the leader of a country that continues to enslave and wipe the identity of a nation(Palestine).

Posted by: vjohn72 | September 25, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Some of the latest Muslim terror plots here in the U.S. had Pakistan basis. But overall due to good work of cops, Muslims have had a bad week here since they were not able to satisfy their blood thirsty Allah and war-mongering and pedophile prophet Mohamed.

Jews were living in Arabia at the time of Mohamed. jews belong there.

Posted by: joharish | September 25, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Non- symetrical warfare is not yet understood. Our stories are about evenly matched long struggles -- WW1 WW2. including ties --- Korea. Or we understand the short wars where the big crush the small. Say Grenada.

But the old tribal - "we will lose for generations until we win" is not part of the American story understanding. Viet Nam, Hati, Palistine. Afganistan? These are real struggles for the US people to understand.

We really do like our history tied up in 22 minutes like a Sitcom on TV or at least at the end of a biography of a major personality or official.

Posted by: Landknelson | September 25, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Cohen writes as if Israel was an innocent, aggrieved party suffering through rocket barrages for no reason at all. That is the typical Zionist b.s. The rocket attacks were in response to Israel's frequent bombing raids into Gaza, Israel's assassinations in Gaza, Israel's starvation blockade of Gaza, and a myriad of other acts of war against the people of Gaza. Hamas' offer of truces were only accepted by Israel to gain time to assemble its invasion units then it was target practice on the unarmed and innocent.

I have read, not in American newspapers of course, that Israel was field testing some of the latest American weapons used to kill people in urban settings. America is certainly giving more money to Israel to pay for the expense of Israel's war crimes. America, too, has blood on its hands.

There was another element to Israel's invasion and devastation of Gaza. It gave Israel the opportunity to show President-elect Obama who really runs American foreign policy. Israel and AIPAC required him to humiliate himself in public by backing Israel's war crimes. As if that nose rubbing wasn't sufficient, Netanyahu humiliated Obama again this week over the settlements freeze. The American main stream media has kept quiet about the UN report of Israel's and Hamas' war crimes and refused to point out that our president has once again been punked by Israel. Some things never change.

Posted by: Lazarus40 | September 25, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

You ask, "Is it?" Is it what, Cohen? A perversion of justice? Do you mean to tell me that you cannot unequivocally answer that question? Don't you know shame in having the need to ask such an idiotic question? The reason why you cannot answer the question with a resounding "yes", and the reason why you raise it at all is because of your wanting to have George Bush on the war crimes docket waiting list. Isn't it? This blind hatred is blinding you and liberals to life's realities and a profound sense of what is right and wrong. It is astonishing that we are spinning downward at such an alarming speed, all to slake your thirst for revenge that Al Gore couldn't even win his home state in the 2000 elections. Don't give me the malarky about an illegal Iraq war; it's about your obsession with 2000.

Of course, just to make it clear, the UN itself is a perversion of truth, justice and anything else that is human. Ergo, the war crimes definition produced by a corrupt, perverted UN is inherently perverted.

Posted by: jpfannen | September 25, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

My problem with Israel isn't the issue of war crimes. My problem with Israel is their unwillingness to stop settlement building, and our inability to make them.

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | September 25, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

No surprise here. Mr. Cohen reiterates the same old tiresome one-sidedness we've come to expect from the US media: Palestinian lives have no value; Israel can do no wrong.

Posted by: gperson | September 25, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Expansion of settlements on the West Bank. Forcing Palestinians the indignity of going through check points to go to work, their places of business or visit their families. Anyone would be expected to fire a few rockets under these circumstances. Attempting to minimize casuaties? So you kill 500 people instead of 2,000. Are you supposed to be consoled when your love ones are killed if they are one of those 500 minimal casuaties?

Posted by: browneri | September 25, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

OMG!! Comparing FDR to Netanyahoo is brazenly insane.

Posted by: qualquan | September 25, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

It is obvious from this article, as well as others in the past year that Israel fully intends to expand it's borders in Gaza. World opinion means nothing to them. They have conquered the Palestinians and taken their land, they would rather kill anyone who opposes them keeping it than give it back, they will not give the Palestinians equal rights as citizens within those stolen lands and they will say anything that they can think of to justify their actions to the world.

The only way for the nations of the world to show how they feel about their continued atrocities is to withdraw all financial and military aid to Israel, unless they actually support those apartheid atrocities.

Posted by: MET9 | September 25, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Cohen is right and so is Netanyahu. When the Palestines love their children more than they hate Israel, there will be peace. Imagine leaving this hatred as an inheritance to your children.

Posted by: paris1969 | September 25, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

What are you saying? Bebe is a great public speaker, in English also!

Posted by: mbm011 | September 25, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Is there any nation in this whole wide world which seriously doubts Netanyahoo did not commit war crimes....other than Israel?

Posted by: qualquan | September 25, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

the land of israel has and always will be jewish. "palestinian" is a 20th century made up consept. if you understood history and the current conflict, you would realize that israel wants peace and the islamofascists want death and war. israel has withdrawn from gaza only to get a terror compaign increased against israeli civilians. read the PLO and hamas charters- they don't want to co-exist, they want israel destroyed. their arab brethern force them to live in squalor by not absorbing them into their societies. jews expelled from arab countries since 1948 have been accepted and integrated into society, not held hostage in brainwashing refuge camps like the so-called 'concerned arabs' have done with their 'brothers'. face it, the conflict would end if arabs faced reality: that israel has every right to exist, isn't going anywhere, and the conflict is used by arab countries to change the subject while they subhugate their own peoples.

Posted by: cthruall | September 25, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen. I find it comforting to know that the far majority of the world does not believe the one-sided logic espoused by you and Israel's other apologists. The time of labeling the victim as the aggressor is over.

You have so much sympathy for the poor citizens of Sderot, but none for the Palestinians, who have lived under a brutal occupation for over 40 years. The so-called withdrawal in Gaza was followed up with a choke hold on the territory's civil and economic life. Gazans were and are continuing to starve because of Israel's blockade. Israel wants the Palestinians to capitulate and it has used all means, including methods consistent with war crimes, in its efforts to do so.

I find it funny that an illegally occupying country, such as Israel, can claim "self-defense", while continuing to imprison Gazans and build more illegal settlements on Palestinian land. You are right about the world not doing anything, but you are wrong about the victim.

Posted by: naddy | September 25, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

To protect Netanyahoo Cohen will besmirch anyone including America and FDR.

Posted by: qualquan | September 25, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

The only way Israel's current situation is like WWII is that Gaza is like the Warsaw Ghetto. Plenty of Israelis oppose the militarist and expansionist policies of the Israeli right wing that has dominated their government for so long. The true tragedy is that Israel has by its actions with respect to the Palestinians begun to resemble that which it should most fear and loathe.

Posted by: NetLoa | September 25, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

“...the 67 war was started by islam and this time israel got the west bank. that was in accord with the laws of war...“ posted by infantry11b4faus

Go back to your history. The 67 War was started by Israel attacking Egypt, Jordan and Syria. The Israelis were the ones to drop the first bombs. If Israel is justified in taking the West Bank as a result of this war, then Japan Germany should be USA fiefdoms. You can rationalize Israel's occupation of the the West Bank and Gaza all you want, but it is still illegal and immoral as is our policy of unconditional support for Israel.

Posted by: rs1952 | September 25, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Cohen is dead right!

The carpet bombings of German cities during WWII were controversial at the time in both military and political circles.

The motives varied: they did it first so it was payback; it was necessary to bolster our morale under the payback theory and so on.

There was also considerable evidence that such bombing was ineffective both as for a tool to damage German morale and a tool to damage German armaments production.

The American public didn't care about the effects of such bombing on the enemy populations.

Imagine the outcry if miscreants in Mexico or Canada were to begin a daily barrage of missiles into American border towns.

How long do you suppose it would be before the US military were to wade in and put a stop to that situation regardless of the cost in civilian lives.

The dropping of the A- bombs on Japan were clearly designed to save tens of thousands of American lives in bringing to a close a war that Japan started without the nicety of a declaration in order to further the aims of their unprovoked aggression in Manchuria and China; and to extend their cruel and barbaric rule over all of Southeast Asia.

And yet it was well known and accepted that the victims of these A-bombs would be, almost without exception, civilians.

But we continue to argue over how many angels can dance on the head of an Israeli pin in order to label as a war criminal, this tiny, democratic nation facing constant and credible threats of annihilation from the world of Islam.

Sounds like anti-semitism to me!

David A. Jewell
Philadelphia, PA

Posted by: dajewell | September 25, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Nice try Cohen.

FDR and The United States of America have never bombed a population that we were keeping in bondage and under total occupation.

ISRAEL MUST EMPTY ALL SETTLEMENTS 100% AND AQLLOW A SOVERIGN PALESTINE IN THE WEST BANK WITH ITS CAPITAL IN EAST JERUSALEM.

THAT IS THE LAW!

Posted by: onestring | September 25, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

It is true that both Roosevelt and Churchill had their dark sides. From the Jewish perspective, the failure of either of them to make any effort to reduce the murder of Jews is a particularly black part of their records. It is also true that American actions in Vietnam were responsible for crimes on a large scale that did not even have the justification of any vital national interest. It is also true that most of the international protest against war crimes comes from those with their own history of blood on their hands. It is also true that the Jewish conflict with the Palestinians is a life and death battle for the Israelis. Unfortunately, none of this reality alters the tragic situation that the Israelis find themselves in. They have become the ethnic cleansers. It is far from clear that time is on their side. Even if it is, they will never succeed in washing the blood off of their hands.

Posted by: dnjake | September 25, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Move to the home country Cohen.

Posted by: FLvet | September 25, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

There is a clear and obvious attempt by Israel and it's supporters to ignore the war crimes mentioned in the UN report, including but not limited to the deliberate killings of civilians, use of civilians as human shields by the IDF, deliberate bombing of food supplies, the bombing of a sewage plant that flooded grain fields with sewage etc. The US, by supplying Israel with bombs and bullets and ignoring the evidence of their use in war crimes, is complicit.

Terrorism is motivated by a sense of injustice. By ignoring them, we only enable terrorists to thrive for years to come.

Posted by: shukris | September 25, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

dgarb, such mental gymnastics are too tiresome for many of these posters to perform. I assume they're not idiots, which makes everything all the more scary. Israel is once again realizing that military strength is the only way to "convince" Arabs to make peace. As we are witnessing, notably in recent UN speeches, dependence on America (read these posts) or the international community is not a sound strategy. This should be completely intuitive for everyone. No one, from Venezuela to Canada, is looking out for the best interests of the US, for example. That's our job. Israel should similarly completely disregard the seriously skewed views held by obama + his new dictator friends, which many of you here support as well. There's no point arguing anymore. if you think Israel is an occupying force, you chose to ignore facts and reality. If you think that the palestinians are little davids running around with slingshots, not hurting anybody, your naivete is a fraud.

Posted by: batigol85 | September 25, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Cohen, you forgot about the blood shed by OBAMA's drones in villages across Afghanistan and Pakistan...much of it was from children, and women and old men.

America's leaders don't come to the table with clean hands...TREYF, indeed!

Posted by: Common_Cents1 | September 25, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I agree with johnturkal1. He's right -- if Hamas wanted peace they would NOT attack Israel. And Israel has every right to defend themselves. The US had better back Israel. When we start turning our back on Israel, we will really be in trouble.

Posted by: IndyPatriot | September 25, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Rocket fire before the conflict killed one Israeli citizen who happened to be an Arab farmer. The invasion of Ghaza according to an Israeli human rights group, caused the deaths of 1387 Palestinians, half were civilians and 232 of those were children. Now I am less outraged by the fact that poor Netanyahu has to get up and prove the Holocaust happened than I am that 232 innocent children were killed in an unnecessary conflict ,and yes even Palestinian children are innocent. Call me crazy, call me anti-Semitic but I don't think there is anything a right wing Israeli prime minister loves more than taking umbrage against holocaust deniers especially when they can use that false outrage to justify the murder of children for the safety of greater Israel.

Posted by: mlang46 | September 25, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Since war is basically organized murder, of course, innocents will be killed, accidentally and deliberately. Every time. Everywhere.
It is good that civilization has progressed to the point where people are even talking about "war crimes", but, as long as war happens, especially with the kind of mass destructive weapons we have developed and proliferated around the whole world, it will remain true that "war crimes" will occur.
At this point, talking about "war crimes" is merely political maneuvering.

Posted by: cms1 | September 25, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I see.."crimes against humanity" truly came into existence after the west had "finished their business"?

We seem to be especially good at electing screwball leaders like Bush and Cheney who believe in these ideas too.

No wonder every other country wants to arm itself with nukes. Why would they trust our moral uprightness and believe that we may not bomb them to the stone ages..? Isn't that what Bush did in Iraq? He didn't dare touch North Korea, or Pakistan that actively plays these dirty games everywhere..heck we even pay the Pakis in the slim hope that they will one day "help us!!"

Posted by: roberto3 | September 25, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

We are a pathetic species!! We are so self absorbed in our intellect as a superior species that we actually believe our own rhetoric. As a species we have come to believe in our own humanism with a religious fervor to rival the most devout faith as to think that we can actually put 'rules' to war and expect all of humanity to obey. As grossly unfortunate as it is civilians have always been caught in the cross fire and in spite of the 'incredible intellect of man' it will never be avoidable. The bottom line is war is a crime!! Plain and simple. With a history of well over 5000 recorded wars we as a species are by nature a warring species. As heinous as it is that is our nature. But we want to think now that if killing in war occurs at the control of a joy stick it is 'humane' as opposed to being eye to eye and putting a sword through someone’s chest. Don’t get me wrong.....all nations have the inalienable right to defense and therefore war is inevitable. But for any entity to perch themselves above and condemn some and justify the same act by others is just another example how as a species we over intellectualize the issue.

Posted by: blahblahblahblah1 | September 25, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Though I can agree with the premise that war crimes were committed by the allies in WW2, you cannot equate it with those of the Israelis in current history. Israel uses their tactics to commit genocide, deny the Palistinians a homeland and as a terrorist tactic. Netanyahu is reaching and is completely disingenuous to attempt justification by raising the FDR /Churchill actions. The Israelis felt the need for a homeland, but deny it to the Palistinians. Hypocrisy at best, demonizing (as the Third Reich did to Jews) at worst.

Posted by: jckdoors | September 25, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

The fact is most people in the world knows clearly that Israel has committed massive war crimes and will someday have to answer for them. This is why Israel spends so much time dissing the UN. Comparing the US actions during World War II shows just how petty they can be because the US has been their one true supporter during all their carnage in the Middle East. False claims and access to the corporate propaganda machine which is called the American media does not change the fact that this is a blood thirsty regime that has a history of oppression and violence against the original inhabitants of that country and all of their neighbors!

Posted by: halex8420874 | September 25, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Israel is not an 'illegal occupier' anymore than Americans that are living on former native American land are. War happens boundaries change. England conquered the land Israel now sits on in WWI. It was their land, and they chose to create a Jewish State with it.

Israel may have fired first in the 1967 war, but they were preemptively striking out against a rising army from the surrounding nations. The U.S., and any intelligent country would have done the same thing. Interestingly, much of the land that Israel captured in this war belonged to them originally in 1948, but had been recaptured by arabs in other wars before 1967. Israel was simply reclaiming what had originally been lost to them. Again, war happens, boundaries change.

Someone posted here that America should put its own interests first before Israel's. Absolutely correct, but the commenter fails to realize that allying with Israel (a democracy) in the hostile middle east is good for the United States interests. If the U.S. were to sever ties with Israel, do you think Iran, the Palestinians, Jordan and Pakistan would suddenly like the U.S.? That's like saying that a child being bullied should actually give the bully his lunch money so the bully will like him. This won't work! The bully will just find other reasons to hate the child.

Frankly, the fact that the Palestinians cheered during the September 11 attacks is proof to me that these people are unworthy of U.S. support. In contrast, Israel offered their support, as any ally would.

Taking human life is definitely sad, but can anyone on this site claim that the U.S. would have responded differently had Canada been firing rockets incessantly into the U.S.? Israel was simply defending it's borders against incoming Gaza attacks.

Additionally, Gaza originally belonged to Israel after the 1967 war, but they chose to give up this territory to appease the bully Palestinians. Obviously, the Palestinians want all or nothing as this appeasement has not worked.

If the Palestinians want land, tell them to wage a legitimate, open war, rather than resorting to propaganda and suicide bombers. They are nothing more than cowards.

Posted by: logicshouldprevail | September 25, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Israel is not an 'illegal occupier' anymore than Americans that are living on former native American land are. War happens boundaries change. England conquered the land Israel now sits on in WWI. It was their land, and they chose to create a Jewish State with it.

Israel may have fired first in the 1967 war, but they were preemptively striking out against a rising army from the surrounding nations. The U.S., and any intelligent country would have done the same thing. Interestingly, much of the land that Israel captured in this war belonged to them originally in 1948, but had been recaptured by arabs in other wars before 1967. Israel was simply reclaiming what had originally been lost to them. Again, war happens, boundaries change.

Someone posted here that America should put its own interests first before Israel's. Absolutely correct, but the commenter fails to realize that allying with Israel (a democracy) in the hostile middle east is good for the United States interests. If the U.S. were to sever ties with Israel, do you think Iran, the Palestinians, Jordan and Pakistan would suddenly like the U.S.? That's like saying that a child being bullied should actually give the bully his lunch money so the bully will like him. This won't work! The bully will just find other reasons to hate the child.

Frankly, the fact that the Palestinians cheered during the September 11 attacks is proof to me that these people are unworthy of U.S. support. In contrast, Israel offered their support, as any ally would.

Taking human life is definitely sad, but can anyone on this site claim that the U.S. would have responded differently had Canada been firing rockets incessantly into the U.S.? Israel was simply defending it's borders against incoming Gaza attacks.

Additionally, Gaza originally belonged to Israel after the 1967 war, but they chose to give up this territory to appease the bully Palestinians. Obviously, the Palestinians want all or nothing as this appeasement has not worked.

If the Palestinians want land, tell them to wage a legitimate, open war, rather than resorting to propaganda and suicide bombers. They are nothing more than cowards.

Posted by: logicshouldprevail | September 25, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

It is really hard to compare the two situations. The situation in WWII is completely different than what is happening in what used to be Palestine until the UN got involved. Neither situation is right, with the fact that innocent civilians are dying, but Isreal in this case should be seen more like the Germans than the Allied Forces. In this situation I see the Palestinians similar to the Poles after the Germans invaded their Country. They are just fighting to regain what was once theirs. But like the Germans, the Isrealis are systematically killing the Palestinian population. It is time for the world to turn its back on Isreal, especially the USA. We have tried too many times to help them in their pusuit of "peace". The Isrealis nor the Palestinians will rest until there is a complete anniliation of the other. So we as a country should determine why it benefits US to continue to deal with it. Let the rest of the world worry about it for a while, we have enough issues at home to deal with.

Posted by: sanmateo1850 | September 25, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is as sincere and dangerous as German Chancellor Hitler. Both peoples took land that belonged to others, with the justification of needing expansion "living-room". Both justified murderous repression of all opposition as normal security measures.

Both nations created "prison ghettoes and prison camps". What is the difference, 60 to 70 years later ??????????

Today's Zionist are yesterday's Nazi.

Both are war criminals !!!!!!

/

Posted by: JAMadison4 | September 25, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Yes, and it is an important conversation. What are the grounds for war and the collateral damages that can't be contained and those that can? What of the scale of years of pop bottle rockets and how much they compare to the power of one jet fighter and its bombs on civilians? What of our multiple choice reasons for the invasion of Iraq. What part did unconditional versus conditional surrender play in using the atomic bomb just to avoid a condition relative to the Emporer versus all of those civilians? If we excuse someone for WWII it would seem Russia has suffered the most over the last few centuries at the hands so Europe.
What should be said is that war solves nothing, revenge begets revenge, and hatred hatred. This tiny jewel of life called Earth is in urgent need of ways to resolve problems without killing innocent civilian not in finding ways to justify it. Otherwise we as a species will be the csuse of our extinction.

Posted by: Wildthing1 | September 25, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

One of the War Crimes mentioned at Nuremburg was Hitler's invasion of Norway. However the Brits planned to invade Norway beforehand partially in order to assist Finland and partially to disrupt Swedish Iron ores from being shipped to Germany. That was what prompted the Germans to get there first. The British also invaded and occupied a peaceful and neutral Iceland - at that time a Danish colony and then handed it over to the Americans. These actions could be construed as 'War Crimes'. Some of the criticism of Israel stems from the fact that we are now in supposedly more modern and enlightened times. Digging through the relics of history there is no nation on earth that has not committed a 'War crime' at some time or another. Also Israel's other problem is that its battle is seen as a battle between unequals especially as Israel has many of the characteristics of a European nation isolated in a non-European world. Israel is so much more powerful than the rabble in Gaza whereas Great Britain vs Germany could be superficially viewed as a battle between 2 European powers of similar strengths. I am of British origin and am glad that we prevailed during WW2. I am merely pointing out that it is almost impossible to adhere to strict legal conventions in many human activities especially during wartime.

Posted by: KavJack | September 25, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Cohen is still trying to use moderate language and discussion to deflect criticism of Israel for its war crimes. 2001 is not 1945. The world has moved on. Whether or not Roosevelt and Churchill committed war crimes is an issue definitely worth exploring and considering whenever we contemplate engaging in a new war, but their actions are irrelevant to current Israeli war crimes. The impartial commission, headed by a Zionist Jew, found substantial evidence that Israel has committed war crimes in Gaza. Action must be taken.

Posted by: jklfairwin | September 25, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Israel killed all the animals in the Gaza Zoo. Why? Blocking all food and fuel to Gaza sounds so similar to their Bolshevik cousins. Killing hundreds of women and children makes Stalin real in Gaza. Israel does have crazed muslim enemies but is ruthless with the defenseless animals, women and children. Israel's actions in Gaza were very ugly by the Jewish State.

Posted by: mascmen7 | September 25, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Both Mr Cohen and lovable Bibi are right. Of course, Holocaust did happen. Nazis were disguised Palestinans, in fact, and therefore, using simple logic, the Allies threw the palestinians out of Europe, and placed them in the ancient desert of Israel. There they were supposed to live like good neighbours, and not built new and newere settlements, except to accomodate their natural growth. And look what they did! Senidng advanced drones to kill civillians, and how successfully. And lo and behold, the palesinians complain about the settlement building by the rightful owners of the land--the Israelis. You guys, you are guests of Israel--behave, okay? Not only that, but using Nazi Storm Trooper tactics, palestinians repeatedly enter Israel, under the cover of sophisticated armor, and dump these cluster bombs killing thousands of Israeli civilians. Now is that not a situation parallel to the German and Japanese aggression? What choice the west and Israel has, I ask? And what business do the palestinians have occupying the land that belongs to Israel? Not only they caused and executed the Holocaust, but are still occupying Israel. Give Israel a break! How long are they going to be there--I mean why have they been occupying that place for so many thousands of years. Go back to Europe, or Israel would do that--if you do not obey your rightful masters of the ancient master-race, the original haus-owner. Israel has a Biblical right to live and exist in the land of its fathers, etc. Palestinian occupation is illegal, immoral, a violation of human rights. Now that is the truth. Palestinians, listen to the master-race, Israel has been kind and caring, do not push it, okay?

Posted by: AyulZamir | September 25, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Lebanon, 2006 July, war breaks out, Zionists attack Lebanon. Many US, UK, French citizens inside Lebanon. US sends American ships, they evacuate US citizens to safety. UK sends Royal Navy ships, they evacuate British subjects to safety. France sends French ships, they evacuate French citizens to safety.
Gaza Strip, 2005, Zionists pull out of Gaza, set up blockades, stop supplies, Gaza Arabs trapped inside blockade.
The ships, ¿where are the ships to help? So many Arabs in UK, ¿does UK not have room for Arabs evacuated from Gaza Strip?
So many Palestinian Arabs in USA, so many vacant homes in Detroit, ¿does Michigan not have room for Arabs evacuated from Gaza Strip? So many North African Arabs in France, in Paris suburbs, ¿does France not have room for Arabs evacuated from Gaza Strip?
German Nazis, 1930s, 1940s, Semitic Jews try to run away, USA won't let ship with Jews land, Canada minister says, «one Jew is too many», Western world won't accept fleeing Semitic Jews, German Nazis kill them in Europe.
Gaza Strip, 2008 December, war breaks out, Zionists attack Gaza Strip, Semitic Arabs are trapped. US, UK, France, Canada, ¿did any of their diplomats tell the Zionist leaders, «let our rescue ships land in Gaza, we will evacuate all Gaza Arabs to safety in Detroit, in Birmingham, in Paris suburbs, in Toronto, they will be safe there»? No. Western World does not want Semitic Arabs any more than Western World wanted Semitic Jews in 1930s and 1940s. Blind fools, blinded by Western prejudice! Do they not see? Bring Gaza Arabs to Detroit, give them auto jobs, tell them, «Build Buicks, not Bombs!»

Posted by: abu_ibrahim | September 25, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

What about Israel's illegal usage of weaponized white phosphorous?! There are published pictures of this substance being bombarded over a school playground, but no one will ever do anything to hold Israel, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, or any of the other war criminals from hegemonical countries accountable for their war crimes. How can we be so hypocritical to accuse other "3rd world" leaders of war crimes when we don't have the chutzpah to enforce them on our own?

Posted by: DanWales | September 25, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Cohen! you are a typical Jew. Your article reflects clearly. Let me tell you one thing that how long Israel will survive by commiting war crimes and hide behind powerful countries and powerful people. If Palestinians would have the similar weaponary system with them what Israel possess today then the whole World could see the different story. That day is not far away when Jews will live again under other Countries Governments what "GOD" says in original "TORAH." Jews does not have their own homeland. Period.

Posted by: zaka_mustafa | September 25, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Cohen, you hit the spot.

Hamas declared war, antagonized a response, and then called foul when they got one. It does not mater that they were not particularly competent. No one should have to live with their unpleasant neighbor throwing munitions at them.

Israel made an effort to minimize civilian damage, which is what we should expect for a modern nation. That civilians were killed is the nature of the battlefield. The choice of the battlefield was made by Hamas.

Hamas routine justification for bringing destruction to Gaza, that they are justified in attacking Israel but Israel is not justified in defending itself, is the obscenity.

Posted by: AZinOK | September 25, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"Clearly, standards of what constitutes a war crime have changed..."

In part standards change based on the threat posed. Palestinian terrorists do not pose an existential threat to Israel. Acting like the Israelis should be patted on the head for not obliterating all Palestinians, therefore, is absurd.

Posted by: ihatelogins | September 25, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I agree that the U.S. media is dominated by Jewish interests and necessarily spins coverage in a pro-Isreali fashion.

But let's be honest: if Israel really wanted to, it could eliminate Palestine tomorrow and take a lot more land. In that sense Israel is showing restraint. There also weren't any Jews piloting the planes that hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Ultimately though I agree that Israeli interests have WAY too much power over U.S. policy and, frankly, our economic system. Money, of course, is the reason. The Shylock stereotype is why the vast majority of these comments are negative.

Posted by: sneakylong225 | September 25, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Israel, with Bebe as a commander in chief, do no wrong as long as she does not gas anybody, that will be too much to swallow even for her, and, I am sure nobody wants to hear anymore about holocausts and certainly not Nat.. Thanks God we all respect human beings, at last, as we all are children of "God" ? . What's wrong with fire and nuclei?

Posted by: atrium | September 25, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Cohen has fallen for Netanyahu's unbelievable chutzpah. (And added a little of his own.)

The UN report to which Cohen alludes was the result of a UN-instigated probe into the recent atrocities in Gaza by Judge Richard Goldstone.

Judge Richard Goldstone is both a Jew and a Zionist -- and one of the most outstanding International Jurists alive on the planet.

Had someone other than Goldstone been in charge of the probe the report could have been (and probably would have been) an even more damning indictment of Israel.

But as usual with the Likudniks when there is any criticism of their actions they turn on the critic -- and since they can't accuse Goldstone of being anti-semitic, they have trotted out their other favorite rebuttal: that he is a self-loathing Jew.

However, according to his daughter Nicole, Goldstone, "is a Zionist and loves Israel."

Goldstone himself, in a 2000 speech in Jerusalem, noted that "bringing war criminals to justice stems from the lessons of the Holocaust."

Among many other things, Goldstone was a member of the International Panel of the Commission of Enquiry into the Activities of Nazism in Argentina (CEANA), established in 1997 to identify Nazi war criminals who had emigrated to Argentina and transferred victim assets there.

He is also a trustee of Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu's chutzpah knows no bounds.

It is taken directly from Mein Kampf: a lie so "colossal" that no one would believe that someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously".

Cohen, of course, fell for it. No surprise there.

Posted by: WhatHeSaid | September 25, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Let's step back a moment. You liberals/anti-Semites are, as usual, missing the point. Israel withdrew from Gaza. It carried their people kicking and screaming out of the Godforsaken territory. Period.

The Palestinians elected a terrorist organization, Hamas, to run the Gaza government. Hamas' charter and raison d' etre is the destruction of Israel. It was these terrorists who started shooting rockets and mortars into Israel indiscriminately. Some of these projectiles landed on houses, schools, and hospitals. In spite of being warned to stop, and no action to discourage this behavior from the U.N. (oh, I'm sorry, the U.N. probably passed a resolution condemning Israel), the attacks continued. Finally Israel had to
re-enter Gaza and take care of the problem. Collective punishment? You bet, for collective guilt. Every death in Gaza can be laid at the feet of the Palestinians, Hamas in particular. The people elected these clowns, and reaped the consequences.

Do you think the U.S. would stand by if over 1,000 rockets were launched from Tijuana into San Diego? Why should Israel be held to a different standard?

Posted by: V4vigilant | September 25, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Israel does not try and stop civilian deaths, they aim only for civilians. The fact is that Palestinians have no army, no navy, no tanks, no bulldozers or any of the other equipment that the IDF has as they bomb, maim and kill at will.

Tried to stop civilian deaths. You are demented mate.

Planning down to the last minute an attack that would deliberately murder hundreds of civilian young cops and kids at school changeover is not minimising civilian deaths.

I don't know what bubble US media live in but in the rest of the world we see the truth raw and as it happens and Israel did not do anything to save one single civilian life.

But at this point in time Olmert and co. do deserve to be in the dock in the Hague but Bush, Blair and Howard in Australia deserve to be right next to him.

Israel has been committing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians for over 60 years - they already occupy every square inch of stolen land.

That is the difference between that and the crimes committed in a world war.

There was no provocation by anyone, the Hamas wanted political answers so Israel bombed them.

it's all on the official record.

Posted by: shepherdmarilyn | September 25, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

There is no doubt that Israel used white phosphorus on the civilian population of Gaza and cluster bombs on the civilian population of Lebanon. Both of those actions constitute war crimes.

There is also no doubt that Israel and the Knesset are held hostage by tiny factions of belligerent, bellicose, racially and religiously-driven fanatics.

These racially and religiously driven fanatics form the right-wing basket-case coalition that governs Israel -- but they do not represent the Israeli people at large.

Witness for example, the following:

June 2009, Yediot Ahronot Poll: most Israelis support the establishment of a Palestinian state

Israel’s leading daily, Yediot Aharonot, published a poll (June 5th, 2009) which finds that the majority of Israelis support the establishment of a Palestinian state and the US demand to freeze construction in settlements.

The poll was conducted by Dr. Mina Tzemach at the Dahaf Institute and is based on a sample of 501 Israelis. Marginal error: 4.4%.

Below the poll’s findings:

1. Should Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu accept the demands set forth by U.S. President Obama or should he reject them even at the price of sanctions?

56% - PM Netanyahu should accept President Obama’s demands
40% - PM Netanyahu should reject President Obama’s demands

2. Should Israel agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state as part of a peace agreement?

55% - Israel should agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state
41% - Israel should not agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state

3. Should the construction in settlements be stopped?

52% - Construction in settlements should be stopped
43% - Construction in settlements should not be stopped

4. Should Israel dismantle illegal outposts?

70% - Israel should dismantle illegal outposts
25% - Israel should not dismantle illegal outposts

5. Should Israel dismantle settlements, will you join activities in protest?

85% - Will not join activities in protest of dismantling settlements
12% - Will join activities in protest of dismantling settlements

http://www.geneva-accord.org/mainmenu/june-2009-yediot-ahronot-poll-most-israelis-support-the-establishment-of-a-palestinian-state

Posted by: WhatHeSaid | September 25, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Israel itself is a war crime committed by Truman and post-war European leaders upon the Palestinian people as a feeble attempt to mitigate other war-crimes that stemmed from European and American anti-Semitism. Israel has been America's biggest welfare child ever since. You may disagree with much of what Ahmadinejad says, but there is no disputing that Israel is an anachronistic and unsustainable idea which most of the world rejects. It's time to end US support of the "zionist dream." The vast majority of America's Middle East problems will be solved instantly if Israel were forced to stand on its own two feet and finds ways to get along with its neighbors and become a truly pluralistic democracy.

Posted by: lhflier | September 25, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

What Cohen is arguing is the worst kind of moral equivalency: Truman and Churchill oversaw much worse war crimes than Israel committed in Gaza therefore Israel should be given a pass.

It's an argument that is repellent not only for its intellectual dishonesty but for its total lack of morality.

Posted by: WhatHeSaid | September 25, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

How many people writing here believe their own zionist shilling tripe?

How many of you know that under Henry Morgenthau and Eisenhower with Truman's blessing over 9 million German civilians were murdered by the so-called allies AFTER world war 11 in 5 years of monstrous revenge?

Did you know that the US and British ethnically cleansed 16 million German women, kids and old people out of Europe and 6 million of them died?

It was deliberate, brutal and the blue print for the zionist cleansing and massacres in Palestine.

And for those fools claiming the Palestinians came after the jews settled the place in 1948 how do you explain the 1200 year old Al Aqsa mosque, the 850 year old mosque that Israel bombed to bits in Beit Hanoun in 2006 and forget the stupid rockets rant.

How do you think the Palestinians have felt after 62 years of jewish oppression and occupation and the Iraqis feel after years of being bombed by the US?

Posted by: shepherdmarilyn | September 25, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Cohen, you slime, the title of your lame argument should be "Red Herring." Please don't involve the U.S. in Israel's internationally critized 2008-09 Gaza attack.

Israel's attack needs to be measured on its own merits. Don't obfuscate the condemnation Israel received from respected international organizations, human rights organizations, and a host of other countries by comparing it to U.S. conduct during WW II.

Here is another great example of Israel policy being spread by the Israel Lobby in the US, of which Cohen is leading member.

How despicable you are Cohen.

Posted by: freespeechrocks | September 25, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Shall we say that Mr. Cohen is clearly a "shill" for Netanyahuo and Israel?

"Ben-Gurion recognized the strong attachment of Palestinian Arabs to the land but hoped that this would be overcome in time. In a conversation about "the Arab problem" in 1956, Goldman wrote that Ben-Gurion stated: "Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country ... There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that? They may perhaps forget in one or two generations' time, but for the moment there is no chance. So it is simple: we have to stay strong and maintain a powerful army"[1]

"Nahum Goldman, president of the World Jewish Congress, criticized Ben-Gurion for what Goldman viewed as his confrontational approach to the Arab world: Goldman wrote that "Ben-Gurion is the man principally responsible for the anti-Arab policy, because it was he who moulded the thinking of generations of Israelis"[1]."

__________________________________________________

There is a distinct difference between the US attacks on Germany. Excluding the Battle of Britain (in which Hitler targeted civilians), what the Japanese did in China? The US and Britain, in fact all of of Europe and most of Asia were attacked by the Germans, Japanese, and to an extent the Russians to begin that war?

Finally, consider: Today Israel is saying you see? When will the US find the guts to say, "you see" addressing what Israel's very first prime minister said?

Posted by: periculum | September 25, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Reading through the posts here, especially those at the top who seem to be professional lurkers waiting to pounce on the latest commentary, it is clear that the arab-lover/Jew-hater clubs are busy spewing their adolescent, Pollyanna view of the middle east and the plight of those poor "palestinians." If the arabs want peace, prove it. Otherwise, expect to be treated like unruly children until you come around.

Posted by: daliot | September 25, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

a jew that does not support Israel, is not a jew...
what are you...

Posted by: DwightCollins | September 25, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Mr Cohen's essay is outrageous without any thought what an occupied people suffer at the hands of a ruthless power of oppression. John steinbeck's WW II novel "The Moon is Down" is a must read for an indepth understanding of the horrible suffering that Europeans realized at the hands of the Germans. The Palestinians currently, in Gaza and the West Bank, likewise have been under seized for years.

Posted by: noelblincoe | September 25, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Does Cohen really think there is something analogous between the situation that the British faced with the Germans in World War II and what Israel faces with the Palestinians?
--------------------------------------------
Thats a great point. Cohen doesn't address this because he can't. The Palestinians are certainly not the Third Reich, or imperial Japan.

Posted by: billy8 | September 25, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Israel committed war crimes in Gaza. Everyone from the UN to Amnesty International said so. The majority of Palestinian casualties were civilians. Even Israeli soldiers have come out and said they were told to effectively shoot first and ask questions later. So, come on, dude, who are you trying to kid?

Posted by: assiduousreader | September 25, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

The "palestinians" have been under the rule of corrupt, incompetent leadership ever since they rejected the UN offer to have their own country. Thousands have died needlessly. They have missed every opportunity presented to them to make peace for a very simple reason: they do not want peace. They want to annihilate Israel. Every attempt has failed and so they continue to behave as unruly children.

Posted by: daliot | September 25, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

They want to annihilate Israel. Every attempt has failed and so they continue to behave as unruly children.
--------------------------------------------
We know. Muslims and Jews hate each other. That isn't news to us (Americans).

Posted by: billy8 | September 25, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Totally agree. After the mighty Palestinian Wehrmacht had conquered large swaths of the Middle East and the entire Palestinian people had declared total war on the rest of world, Israel was right to retaliate and bomb them into submission.

Clear case, in particular if your name is Cohen.

Posted by: brux1 | September 25, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

And so Israel withdraws from Gaza, hands it to the arabs, and the world watches to see how palestinians govern themselves. Soon, we watch Gaza descend into chaos: Islamists take over and instead of economic development, they fire missiles. Did anyone imagine that Israel would sit idly by? All these tears over a disproportionate response are comng from people who would gladly reverse the situation and murder every man, woman, and child in Israel if they had the chance. All you arab-lovers, spare us the hypocracy, please.

Posted by: daliot | September 25, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

The leaders of the Israeli apartheid and rogue state should be tried for terrorism, ethnic cleansing, and genocide. (the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and the NY-based Human Rights Group have many times called for an independent war crimes investigation in Gaza for illegally using phosphorus bombs (made in the USA), using Palestinian boys for shields, intentionally targeting pregnant women (and boasting about it on their T-shirts),shelling a house full of Palestinian civilians, killing 30 people), etc, etc, etc..
Also, Israeli supporters in the U.S. should be tried for treason, because their first priority is Israel and not U.S.
Criminal Olmert and his apartheid Israeli regime had Gazan people suffocated for years - no food, no electricity, no medicine, no water, no city service, no movement rights, etc, etc.
Netanyahu, Lieberman and their fascist allies from U.S. Congress, New York and Florida have killed a lot of Lebanese and Palestinian women and children using our freely provided high-tech weapons.
The American Zionists and necocon traitors are using their usual propaganda with the help of press and fake journalists use our money, weapons and boys in the military to wipe Palestine off the map! Aren't we already fighting an unnecessary and illegal war in Iraq for them!?

Posted by: 1humanity | September 25, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

The attempt by Cohen to reinforce the slime of Netanyahu's ridiculous justification of Israeli terror and apartheid in Gaza and Palestine recalls the equally immoral antisemitic arguments of Josef Goebbels more than half a century ago.

Posted by: gargoyle22 | September 25, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

You want to know what perversion is, Mr. Cohen? It's 1,700 palestinian deaths to 17 Israeli deaths. How do you sleep at night, Mr. Cohen?

Posted by: August30 | September 25, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

America has helped Israel, a country comprised of an oppressed people who were nearly annihilated in WWII. The Jews returned to their land, worked hard, leveraged their collective skills, and thrived.

Who helps the pathetic palestinians? Their arab brothers? No, they are abandoned to the dung heap of history by their arab brothers. At least Israel has a good friend. Can't say the same for the palestinians.

Posted by: daliot | September 25, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

So Israel needs to hammer the palestinians into submission? They are already locked into a cage, where everything going in or out is controlled by Israel. This includes food, medicine, building materials, everything. As a consequence they are entirely dependent on outside aid, which Israel controls. They can't even leave. They have approximately the same status as zoo animals. No one else is allowed in to find out what is going on. It seems to be the Israeli point of view that these lesser mortals should be happy in their cage. If only they would just settle down and accept their fate as a subject people, and allow the Israelis to take their land, water and anything else they want, everything would be just fine.

Posted by: pgr31 | September 25, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

If Hitler was an Israeli, you can bet Mr. Cohen would be defending him too.

Posted by: August30 | September 25, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

And so Israel withdraws from Gaza, hands it to the arabs, and the world watches to see how palestinians govern themselves. Soon, we watch Gaza descend into chaos: Islamists take over and instead of economic development, they fire missiles. Did anyone imagine that Israel would sit idly by? All these tears over a disproportionate response are comng from people who would gladly reverse the situation and murder every man, woman, and child in Israel if they had the chance. All you arab-lovers, spare us the hypocracy, please.

Posted by: daliot | September 25, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse
------------------------------------------
An you are an extreme racist, posting from where, I wonder?
Attacking the messenger ("All these tears over a disproportionate response are comng from people who would gladly reverse the situation and murder every man, woman, and child in Israel if they had the chance.") is an argument tactic used by those who can't win an argument on the merits.

Posted by: billy8 | September 25, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

If the palestinians wanted peace, it could happen in a day. The fact is, they have always had corrupt, incompetent leadership that are not empowered to make peace lest they be assassinated by the majority who simply want to kill the Jews, to wipe Israel off the map. As long as they choose to be an enemy, they will be treated as one.

Posted by: daliot | September 25, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Now that Israelis have voted for the extremist and militant Likud party and Lieberman party, is it time to boycott them, put them in a small area with no access to outside, no food, no medicine, no schools, etc., and bomb all their infrastructures, hospitals women and children, so that they will learn a lesson not to vote for these terrorist parties anymore!?

Sounds familiar!?

In the past couple of weeks the inhumane atrocities of the Israeli soldiers blessed by the highest military officials and rabbis are surfacing one by one killing old women and children for fun!
How low can one become!? Even animals don't kill for fun!

Posted by: 1humanity | September 25, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

The extremist and Fundamentalist American Jews, such as Cohen, just don't get it, do they? If they want one state solution, then everyone should have the same rights and privileges including voting rights (I am sure this won't be acceptable to them). If not, then the Palestinians should have their own sovereign state with complete autonomy.
Pick one you bigoted racists - you can't have your cake and eat it too, with the entire world against it. Rather than burying your bone-heads in Florida and N.Y., look into the public opinions of the entire world about Israel and how much its inhumane actions are hated in the ENTIRE WORLD.
The irony is that there are still some moderate and peace loving Israelis in Israel (not N.Y. or Florida) who are against the brutal current regime of Israel and are willing to negotiate a serious peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Posted by: 1humanity | September 25, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

If the palestinians wanted peace, it could happen in a day. The fact is, they have always had corrupt, incompetent leadership that are not empowered to make peace lest they be assassinated by the majority who simply want to kill the Jews, to wipe Israel off the map. As long as they choose to be an enemy, they will be treated as one.

Posted by: daliot | September 25, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse
------------------------------------------
If your country truly has "the most moral army in the world", why do they need to talk about how moral they are at every chance? Why do they pay so many trolls to post on American newspaper boards?

Posted by: billy8 | September 25, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Germany and Japan had launched wars of aggression. The Palestinians were attacked first and want their lands back. BIG DIFFERENCE.

Israel attacked first in 1947, 1956, 1967, 1980, 2000, and 2006. Israel is the conquest-obsessed aggressor.

Israel had a UN partition plan that ignored the rights of the Palestinians. Hitler had a Munich agreement that ignored the rights of Czechs and Slovaks.

The Goldstone Report is honest, objective, and accurate. Its critics are not.

Posted by: Garak | September 25, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

"...is an argument tactic used by those who can't win an argument on the merits."

Wrong, defender-of-fools, that statement is fact.

Perhaps you who sits at a keyboard clucking your tongue about the brutish behavior of those mean Israelis would have a different perspective if you lived in the land of your ancestors, an ancient country re-born in modern times by the authority of the United Nations, thinking you are safe from centuries of persecution, only to see everyone you love necessarily become warriors to survive as 22 hostile arab countries declare war and endeavor again and again and again to slaughter each and every one of you. You might have a different perspective on what is proportionate. But I suspect you've never been threatened by anything more than a school yard bully.

Posted by: daliot | September 25, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

"...is an argument tactic used by those who can't win an argument on the merits."

Wrong, defender-of-fools, that statement is fact.

Perhaps you who sits at a keyboard clucking your tongue about the brutish behavior of those mean Israelis would have a different perspective if you lived in the land of your ancestors, an ancient country re-born in modern times by the authority of the United Nations, thinking you are safe from centuries of persecution, only to see everyone you love necessarily become warriors to survive as 22 hostile arab countries declare war and endeavor again and again and again to slaughter each and every one of you. You might have a different perspective on what is proportionate. But I suspect you've never been threatened by anything more than a school yard bully.
--------------------------------------
So its fact. So I fantasize about killing Israelis? Interesting.

Posted by: billy8 | September 25, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

If you thought Richard Cohen was writing an unbiased objective article on Israel based on facts, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I want to sell to you.

Posted by: August30 | September 25, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

infantry11b4faus, will you please run for the position of Prime Minister of Israel?

Posted by: motherof3 | September 25, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps you who sits at a keyboard clucking your tongue about the brutish behavior of those mean Israelis....
---------------------------------------------
I couldn't care less about the brutish behavior of both sides. It's a religious war, and I don't want my taxes funding it. If American money was removed from the equation, Israel can conquer all of the middle east as far as I'm concerned. Couldn't care less.

Posted by: billy8 | September 25, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

FDR is 64 years dead. And even if he weren't, how would that exonerate Israel? The "you're another one defense"? As in, ten people rob a bank and only one gets caught -- and his defense is that the other nine got away with it? That's logic for idiots...

Never mind... let's go with that idea. From the article: "Clearly, standards of what constitutes a war crime have changed..." Well, maybe. But the context of World War II is so far removed from the present Middle East conflict: 62 million dead (NOT 6 million), involved Europe, Asia, North America, Africa... well, let's just say it was called a "world war" for a reason. Not surprisingly, the boneheads in Israel and their unregistered foreign agents in the United States equate themselves with all that is, all that has ever been and all that will ever be. No, actually... it's a bit more than that even...

The best thing the United States could do is disentangle itself from the political and religious nonsense in the Middle East and let the people living there destroy themselves if they need to do that. Most of the rest of the world could then get a decent night's sleep. Of course, that would require expelling the unregistered foreign agents from the United States and especially its government...

Posted by: srb2 | September 25, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

The best way to answer all you, is to ivite you to try and imagine your home town, your schools, your caffes beeing bombed for a day. not 8 years..
Hipocrates.

Posted by: shameonyou2 | September 25, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Richard Cohen has plainly and eloquently stated the truth. That Israel withstood the rockets and still tried to minimize civilian casualties against a cowardly enemy that hid behind women and children is testament to her righteousness. God bless Israel.

Posted by: farmerjohn | September 25, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

start a war and lose - you die. works for me.

Posted by: infantry11b4faus | September 25, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

infantry11b4faus, will you please run for the position of Prime Minister of Israel?

Posted by: motherof3 | September 25, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------------------------
I certainly respect the fact that the trolls on here make no secret of their blood-lust.

Posted by: billy8 | September 25, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Not a dime to insure the health of American children living in poverty, but $4 billion a year in taxpayer money to fund the Israeli war machine. Think about it....America. Think why 42 million Americans have no health insurance.

Posted by: August30 | September 25, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Well said. The situation is different from what the US and Britain did in WWII. Those were punishments deliberately aimed at civilian populations and the consequences are horrible to contemplate.

I do not think Israel targets civilians. But out of frustration when the enemy hides in the thick of the population they do not take care to sustain the mantle of civility. Hamas does target civilians. Suicide bombers also target civilians. The entire strategy of an occupied people is to hit soft civilian targets of the occupier.

The Gaza situation is further complicated by the fact that Israel withdrew from Gaza and then the Gazans immediately started lobbing in missiles into Israel. So there is no land for peace trade offs here.

The crisis between the Israelies and the Palestinians is unique because it has to do with occupied lands and because the state of Israel has never been acknowledged by any representative Palestinian governing entity.

Many in Israel want to push all arabs out of the lands that they deem to be part of Israel based on a biblical interpretation, and also those parts that strategically make them vulnerable. That stresses the entire situation even more.

For many Palestinians, and those who support the Palestinian cause, there really is no other solution than the dismantling of the Israeli state and the return of all land to Palestinians.

From the point of view of some Israelies and some Palestinians, perhaps a deal can be made, a trade of land for peace. The right of return, a partitioning of Jerusalem.

The problem is that the two extreme sides will never give up. The future is just the same static steady state war that we have seen unfolding for the last 60 years. It has gotten worse, and it will continue to worsen. Maybe, when the death, pain and despair is great enough, something will be worked out, but clearly not yet. Give it at least another fifty years.

Personally, I do not think that any religion should be the raison d'etre of any nation, but the religious fervor of Moslems and Jews makes the notion of a secular one state solution, an unrealistic proposition.

Posted by: maddymappo | September 25, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Not a dime to insure the health of American children living in poverty, but $4 billion a year in taxpayer money to fund the Israeli war machine. Think about it....America. Think why 42 million Americans have no health insurance.

Posted by: August30 | September 25, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse
------------------------------------------
This is my problem with Israel, not some hatred of Jews, much to the trolls dismay.
In fact, I consider all religions equally stupid, and have known enough secular Jewish people to know they aren't any different from me. Just like secular Catholics, Muslims, etc. Its the fanatics of all stripes I can't stand.

Posted by: billy8 | September 25, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

What I take from Richard Cohen’s comparison of Operation Cast Lead to the bombing of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, etc. is that once war begins the parties will and must do whatever is necessary to defeat the enemy. To do otherwise is to prolong the misery and horror endlessly. The 60-year Israeli-Arab conflict is a case in point. Had Israel continued to fight until their enemies surrendered unconditionally (the Roosevelt/Eisenhower/Churchill standard) in 48, 67, 73, 00, 03, 06, or 09 the conflict would now be over.

All this gibberish about "laws of war" is nonsense. Churchill and Roosevelt did what any leader, including Olmert, must do and that is protect their country by fighting to win. (Note that it was Olmert who fought Cast Lead, despite the ravings of the know-nothings gratuitously calling Netanyahu a "war criminal"--he was a private citizen at the time).

What the Hamas and their supporters here should note, is that while no (actually few) rockets are being launched at Israel, there are no Gaza deaths at the hands of the IDF. There is a lesson in there somewhere.

Posted by: bklynbirny | September 25, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm lost-- You're defending a nation that was founded on its own brand of terrorism and collective world guilt? That has hundreds of nuclear weapons but has and will never sign a non-proliferation treaty? That has threatened to use their nuclear weapons? That continues to expand its borders with settlements while isolating in ghettos other Semitic peoples whose histories there are as long? Whose lobby in the US leads Congress around by its collective noses? And which wanted us physically present in the Middle East to guarantee our inability to refuse cooperation with whatever the hardliners want? And then there's Bibi the crook! You actually get payed to write this BS??

Posted by: cbesance | September 25, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Hamas has dedicated itself not to ever have peace with Israel while the old ineffective Fatah stands helplessly by. Hamas shows no regard for human life Israeli or Palestinian. Palestinians who reside in Israel may be lesser class citizens(debateable) but have generally better lives than non-elite Arabs in most of the middle east. The Palestinians would have peace tomorrow with assent to reasonable boundaries. The Arabs attacked or threatened Israel militarily three times in twenty years. They were soundly defeated three times. Losing wars have consequences. They need to start to deal with it. When will the Arabs, and their sympathizers in this country and the rest of the world, begin to understand "Never again"?

Posted by: bobtich | September 25, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

This is what happens when extremists--Netanyahu and Ahmadinejad—are taken seriously. Ahmadinejad is an idiot and the whole world knows that by now. No one, including Iranians, takes this fool seriously. The media also rightfully challenges him. However, Netanyahu, extremist on his own right, is never challenged. I was SHOCKED to hear Netanyahu’s warped ‘analogy”! I am disgusted, however, with Mr. Cohen’s attempt of boosting this comparison. This is intellectual dishonesty on Cohen’s part, to say the least. The logic does NOT FIT! For starter, FDR/Churchill were fighting against sadistic Hitler (no comparison there). Second, the US was NOT or seeking on occupying other Germany, France, etc. it’s defending humanity. Third, the US did not start war with Japan; Japan attacked us. Thousands of American service men were killed in Pearl Harbor, as you should know. I can go on and on of why this comparison is preposterous.

Mr. Cohan, you owe the American people an apology.

Posted by: JHigginss | September 25, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

What I take from Richard Cohen’s comparison of Operation Cast Lead to the bombing of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, etc. is that once war begins the parties will and must do whatever is necessary to defeat the enemy. To do otherwise is to prolong the misery and horror endlessly. The 60-year Israeli-Arab conflict is a case in point. Had Israel continued to fight until their enemies surrendered unconditionally (the Roosevelt/Eisenhower/Churchill standard) in 48, 67, 73, 00, 03, 06, or 09 the conflict would now be over.

All this gibberish about "laws of war" is nonsense. Churchill and Roosevelt did what any leader, including Olmert, must do and that is protect their country by fighting to win. (Note that it was Olmert who fought Cast Lead, despite the ravings of the know-nothings gratuitously calling Netanyahu a "war criminal"--he was a private citizen at the time).

What the Hamas and their supporters here should note, is that while no (actually few) rockets are being launched at Israel, there are no Gaza deaths at the hands of the IDF. There is a lesson in there somewhere.

Posted by: bklynbirny | September 25, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse
-----------------------------------------
This is all true, and to assert that Israel has no right to self defense is crazy.
It's equally crazy to assume that people living under a 40+ year occupation are going to be happy about it, and not respond the only way they can (rockets).
Both sides are guilty. Hamas are lunatic Muslim fundamentalists, settlers are lunatics who believe they are on a mission from god. It's a fight between two equally crazy sides. The US has no dog in this fight, and would be better off walking away.
People say the Palestinians could have peace if they wanted... Probably true. Israel could have peace if it stopped settlement building.
Neither side wants peace. War is a great way to get yourself elected, whether you're Hassan Nasrallah or Benjamin Netanyahu.

Posted by: billy8 | September 25, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

jeromebelgium et al.

Actually, Israel didn't throw anyone off their land originally. The surrounding arab countries told all the non-jews to leave the country so that they could attack and drive the jews out without killing their friends. So most of the arba population packed up and left, expecting to come back after holiday to a jew-less land. Of course the attackers got their @$$es beat and everyone who left was considered an enemy combatant and forfeited any rights to their property.

Which actually makes sense. Fight for it, or lose it.

Oddly enough, Palestine is another form of the word for Philistine. The land of the Philistines was originally where the Gaza Strip lies today; not the entire area between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean. So with the Palestinians in control of the Gaza Strip, they now possess their ancestoral homeland. And the rest of Israel, INCLUDING the West Bank, is in control by the Jews, who also now possess their ancestoral homeland.

There will never be a solution acceptable or fair to everyone. But the current state of national boundaries in the area of Israel is the optimum compromise. The Palestinians, surrounding Arab countries, and the rest of the world had better accept it as it is and move on; or they are the trouble makers who'd rather do evil for their own gratification rather than seeking peace and prosperity.

Posted by: mhoust | September 25, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Mommy, why do I have to die?

Sorry son....your govt will pay $4 billion for a foreign country engaged in perpertual war, but zero dollars for your treatment. And I lost my job because of the recession started by a war with Iraq egged on by Isreal and people like Cohen.

Posted by: August30 | September 25, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

"The best way to answer all you, is to ivite you to try and imagine your home town, your schools, your caffes beeing bombed for a day. not 8 years.."
**********************************************************
You must be referring to the Lebanese or Palestinians, both of whom are regular targets of Israel's bombing jets and helicopter gun ships. Israel is the only country in the world that uses neighboring peoples for its military training and target practice.

What is your explanation for the IAF flying over Gaza day and night while breaking the sound barrier so that Palestinian children can't get a nights sleep?

Do you have a moral justification, for we know that Israel is the most moral of countries, for Israel starving Gaza children so that about 75% of them are below weight, anemic, and suffering from the equivalent of combat fatigue? Let me guess, you are thinking, "What's the moral problem?"

Would you Israelis let half the Gaza children be properly fed and sleep in peace if the Gazans offered the other half of their children as life-time servants to Israelis?

Posted by: Lazarus40 | September 25, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Billions of American taxpayer money go to Israel every year.

Yet not a penny for universal health care coverage.

AMERICA....THIS IS NOT RIGHT!!!

Time to lynch the crooks.

Posted by: August30 | September 25, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to lay out the cards on the table on the Israel- Palestinean conflict. There are angry unreasonable people on both side and sweet, kind people on both sides as well.

I have met these people. I wore a Bedouin scarf and took a picture with one young Palestinean about 19 and watched a Palestinean man in his 30's berate a member of my party as we walked through Bethlehem. The member of my party simply said he was 'sympathetic to the Palestinean cause'.

I met Christian Palestineans who are not treated well by either side.

It is true that the Israelis took Palestinean land. It is also true that the Jews are there and they have the right to live as well.

Palestinean unemployment and frustration are high - 50%. The Jewish people are mistrustful of the Palestineans. Suicide bombers in grocery stores make an impact.

Both sides have issues with each other and with their own members. For the Jews: the Orthodox and the Reformed/seculars don't like each other and the Conservatives are merely tolerated by both ends of the religious spectrum.

Hamas and the PLO are at each other's throats with only the PLO showing any signs of sanity. But since the PLO is too weak to run the party the Palestineans de facto have no leadership.

The Israeli government realizes that muslims have the doctrine of Sharia - if the Muslims become the majority they try to impose Islamic law on everyone - so the Israeli government encourages the high birth rate of the Orthodox to combat this ambition.

And it goes on and on and on. And it could all change tomorrow if both sides were reasonable but neither side is or feels that they can afford to be.

Posted by: agapn9 | September 25, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

This "ancestral homeland" stuff is nuts. It has no bearing on any debate. If I went to Europe (or Africa, for that matter) and claimed "God gave me this land", I'd correctly be labeled a lunatic.
Ancestral claims to land result in war and nothing else. If everyone in the world played that game, the war would never end.

Posted by: billy8 | September 25, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I shocked and saddened by many of my fellow Americans comments to Mr. Cohen's columns. I have to believe that they either have been brainwashed or are just plain intellectually dishonest. To imply that over 10,000 rocket attacks on Israel isn't a provocation worthy of almost ANY retribution is deceitful. Israel's restraint has been admirable. Can anyone who has been critical of Israel's efforts to defend herself really say that they would "turn the other cheek" if even one rocket was fired from Cuba or Mexico or and other foreign country and landed on US soil? What a bunch of hypocrites!

Posted by: s1954stein1 | September 25, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

It is really amazing. The US suffers one day of terrorism and starts bombing Afghanistan and Iraq and Human Rights watch and the UN say nothing of possible war crimes being leveled on the USA about the civilians who have been killed in those countries.

Israel unilaterally withdraws from Gaza and it is rocketed continuously for years while the UN and Human Rights Watch keep silent. Talk about the anti-Semitism in the world and in the comments here.

Apparently there is one set of standards for the world and another set for the Jews. Well for the anti-Israeli bashers on this board too bad. Jews are not going to be slaughtered as they were in Europe without fighting back.

It was the Arabs in 1948 that did not accept a two state solution. Conveniently, the world seems to have forgotten this.

Posted by: morryb | September 25, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

It is really amazing. The US suffers one day of terrorism and starts bombing Afghanistan and Iraq and Human Rights watch and the UN say nothing of possible war crimes being leveled on the USA about the civilians who have been killed in those countries.

Israel unilaterally withdraws from Gaza and it is rocketed continuously for years while the UN and Human Rights Watch keep silent. Talk about the anti-Semitism in the world and in the comments here.

Apparently there is one set of standards for the world and another set for the Jews. Well for the anti-Israeli bashers on this board too bad. Jews are not going to be slaughtered as they were in Europe without fighting back.

It was the Arabs in 1948 that did not accept a two state solution. Conveniently, the world seems to have forgotten this.

Posted by: morryb | September 25, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------------------------
We get it. You're the victim, and we all hate you. If thats what you need to tell yourself, go for it.
Has there been a rocket attack that killed 3,000 people? Our "day" of terrorism in the US was a pretty big day, and certainly warranted a response.
Many of us disagreed with the war in Iraq for precisely the reasons you stated.

Posted by: billy8 | September 25, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I tend agree with Mr. Cohan on most issues. But I think he’s completely off-base on this one! What happened to you eloquent logic Mr. Cohen? Your assertion that “No collateral damage” should be considered in wars is MAD. Plain silly, frankly. Also your comparison of WWII to current Middle East conflict is outright unjustified. America NEVER OCCUPIED or sought to occupy Germany or Japan, for one. Japan attacked Pearl Harbor; hence attacked US. Shame on you on this one. I hope and pray that you get your senses back. Have you gone mad, really?

Posted by: JJames081 | September 25, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

The United Nations Unit that opened the investigation on the last Gaza War (Cast Lead Operation) is dominated by Arab and other Muslim Nations-members). The Verdict about Israel"s guilt was ready before the investigation. No investigation will be opened against the United States of America because it is the Superpower and it will ignore any verdict.

Posted by: alitani | September 25, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

The United Nations Unit that opened the investigation on the last Gaza War (Cast Lead Operation) is dominated by Arab and other Muslim Nations-members). The Verdict about Israel"s guilt was ready before the investigation. No investigation will be opened against the United States of America because it is the Superpower and it will ignore any verdict.

Posted by: alitani
==========================
==========================

NOT TRUE.

Honorable Justice Richard Goldstone, who is Jew of course heads the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict.


Let’s be objective and reasonable here. Many of us, who staunchly support Israel, believe human right violation were committed in Gaza as IDF soldiers attested.

Posted by: JJames081 | September 25, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I have one more comment for this string and then I must leave it as it is so sickening to read.

In the "old days"...the biblical times...if two tribes fought a war, the winner killed every adult male and all the children of the losing tribe. The women who were not killed were taken as either slaves or concubines.

Let's review more recent history...The Arab countries sided with the Germans in WWI, they sided with the Nazis in WWII, they have lost multiple wars to Israel...seems to me that they should feel fortunate that they even exist as countries in 2009. Except for the whim of a couple thousand years, their countries would have faded into the sands of history.

Let's get real people. Reality is that if you start a war, people are going to get killed. If you fight your war amongst your civilian population, you are going to get your civilians killed. We can "invent" all the laws we want about what constitutes war crimes, etc. but "nature's law" of defending oneself, whether as an individual or a country, will always be operational.

Posted by: s1954stein1 | September 25, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse


Cohen equates the brutal Jewish thug Netanyahu

WITH BRITAIN'S SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL?

Now, that's pukeable.
Clearly Cohen's and his own have no conception of what they are and how the world regards them. Always and still. Barbarians.

Posted by: whistling | September 25, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

'Has there been a rocket attack that killed 3,000 people? Our "day" of terrorism in the US was a pretty big day, and certainly warranted a response.'

Yes, it did. Those 3000 people represented approximately 0.001% of the US's population.

From 2001 to 2007, 542 Israelis were killed in terror attacks. Those 542 people represent approximately 0.008% of Israel's population. Proportionately Israel has lost eight times as many victims as the US did on 9/11. Those losses warrant a response.

Posted by: motherof3 | September 25, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

All Israeli gangsters and child killers,icluding their prime minister, should be dragged to the Hague for their crimes against humanity.We have all seen on independent TV screens the bodies of Palestinian children and babies torn to pieces by Israeli air raids.We in the USA and the rest of the world are suffering and paying for such merciless crimes as they have already led to unmatched state of disappointment and despair in the Middle East, which in turn has led to the creation of terrorist groups who are ready to sacrifice their own bodies in a holy war agianst Israel and US interests, not only in the Middle East but all over the world.
What do we expect from a palestinian refugee who has been deprived of all his belongings and thrown out of his country to live in a refugee camp for more than 60 years now. AllPalestinian land ,houses and properties were granted to invading jews from Poland ,Russia,Ethiopis etc.
Palestinian refugees must be given the right to return to their stolen homes and belongings in Israel.The only solution for this chronic Dlemma is establishing one secular state on all the land of Historical Palestine for Jews,Moslems and Christians with equal rights and responsibilities and without any kind of descrimination.

Posted by: mass2 | September 25, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"Palestine is another form of the word for Philistine. The land of the Philistines was originally where the Gaza Strip lies today; not the entire area between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean. So with the Palestinians in control of the Gaza Strip, they now possess their ancestoral homeland. And the rest of Israel, INCLUDING the West Bank, is in control by the Jews, who also now possess their ancestoral homeland."

Correct, except for one point. The "Palestinians" are not the descendants of the Philistines. The Philistines were originally from Greece, and the "Palestinians" are Arabs. But since they want to adopt the name of the people who lived in Aza 3000 years ago, they should be satisfied with the land of that people.

Posted by: motherof3 | September 25, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Isreal is happy beening the bully terrorist they are. They have thier captive nation under thier strong arm control. Able cut off food, electricity,water,food,medicne,roads and any and all supplies at will. Killing thousands not with rockets. But with fighter planes missiles,helicopter gun ships and what ever Amreican arms they have. Many village totaly destoryed. Ten of thousand confined to consentration camps. Taking land at gun point nonstop since 1948. Not peace only the Status Quo. Always playing the same tune. "We are always being attacked or are going to be attacked". We can do this being well financed and armed. By U.S.A., Taking with both hand then thumbing our noses at.
Not an ally an enemy.

Posted by: pete7519 | September 25, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Correct, except for one point. The "Palestinians" are not the descendants of the Philistines. The Philistines were originally from Greece, and the "Palestinians" are Arabs. But since they want to adopt the name of the people who lived in Aza 3000 years ago, they should be satisfied with the land of that people.

Posted by: motherof3 | September 25, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse
----------------------------------------
Should I go to my parent's ancestral homeland in Europe and build a settlement? Should try to settle the Rift Valley because at one point my ancestors lived there?

Posted by: billy8 | September 25, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

"If Hitler was an Israeli, you can bet Mr. Cohen would be defending him too.

Posted by: August30 | September 25, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse"

Even by the low standards of the feebleminded jewhating scum flooding this board with their swill, that post makes utterly no sense at all.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | September 25, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

"Should I go to my parent's ancestral homeland in Europe and build a settlement? Should try to settle the Rift Valley because at one point my ancestors lived there?


Posted by: billy8 | September 25, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse"

Go for it, ace. Knock yourself out.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | September 25, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

netnyahau's package of lies and theatrics before the UN body had one purpose:change the subjetc to distract attention from jewish war crimes in Gaza and more importantly from jews stealing and colonizing the little mutilated Palestinian land left.

"israel" targeted civilains 24/7 for 23 days from sea,land but mostly from the air and mudrdered well over 1400 Palestinian civilains mostly infants,children,women,the elderly,thousands of homes and UN institutions in Gaza.

netnyahuo never uttered a single world about his continued THEFT of palestinain land !!!!!!!!!

Posted by: asizk | September 25, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen forgott one little and simple argument.Israel is military ilegal ocuppier of Palestina. There is no legal excuse for the israeli goverment, under Geneva convention, to don´t protect civilians in the occupied territorys. So the actions in Gaza are quite similar to the actions of the nazi SS in the occupied countrys, like France, Poland and many otheres. Yes defintly Israel commited war crimes, and the world should conndemn them.

Posted by: utopico | September 25, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Semantics.
There are no "war crimes."
War is a state where governments permit designated people (soldiers, "contractors," "operatives," etc. ) to perform acts on the "enemy" that they would be prosecuted for if done to their own people.
Governments then attempt to dignify this behavior by making rules about how people can go about butchering their fellow human beings.
If you break one of these "rules" you are a "war criminal."
The whole thing is a sham to make the victor feel a little less horror at his own behavior.

People in this thread seem to be caught up in whether there were rules in place about one or another type of slaughter before or after specific types of mass-murder technologies were employed.

They also think one kind of human is better to kill so we can save the lives of others ("ours").

Some here also think that the attempted, almost successful, genocide, of a group of people somehow puts the survivors in a special category.

The establishment of Israel as an inherently non-pluralistic, European society is the root cause of most of the problems there. Why is it that I can move to Israel any time I would like, but I can't do that with Canada? The underlying premise is racist. Why can't people who have lived there all along before WW2 get along fine with refugees in a pluralistic society?

This notion poisons some (not all) Israelis with a fascist sense of entitlement.

The whole concept of Israel is modeled after European colonialism in a very perverse fashion. European Jews have no more rights to live in an ancient homeland than anyone else. Do the remnants of decimated indigenous peoples make specific claims for restored homelands throughout the world? When it happens, there is usually a racist motive driving it.

Remember the black homeland of Liberia?
Whites loved it and there were enough crazies to fuel its creation.

It funny to watch the crazies in this country go nuts over the possibility of returning indigenous "Mexicans" violating "our" borders. Borders that are a result of expansionist policies in the mid-1800's.

In summary:
State sponsored murder, was, will be, and always has been just that.
Murder.

Posted by: cushlomockree1 | September 25, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

"Should I go to my parent's ancestral homeland in Europe and build a settlement? Should try to settle the Rift Valley because at one point my ancestors lived there?"

Should people whose ancestors never left their homeland, until Jordan came in and evicted them and stole their land, be forbidden to return and build? Should they be evicted again? Should Jordanians who refused to return to Jordan, and who had their citizenship stripped from them by their king for that refusal, be rewarded by being given the land they had acquired by theft?

Posted by: motherof3 | September 25, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Who are we kidding? Israel through its murderous leader(s) have committed more war crimes against humanity than any other nation on this earth.
Is it "United States of America" or "United States of Jews"?

Let's not forget about the nuclear weapons Israel has stashed away. If the G8 leaders wants Iran to divulge their nuclear secrets and facilities, they should demand the same from Israel. No exception.

Posted by: paulinthedesert | September 25, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

The crimes are well documented,
no matter how they will spin.

Posted by: HOTSPATAR | September 25, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

I'madinnerjacket did not, to my ear, say the holocaust did not happen. What I did hear him say, plainly, when cornered by some CNN AIPAC lackey about the killing of Jews, is: "Sixty million people were killed in WWII, why is the focus aways only on these 6 million?"

Obviously, if he says that 6 mil is only a part of 60 mil, he does not deny they were killed. He denies they should be the greater focus of history than the remaining 54,000,000, and he's right.

Posted by: AIPACiswar | September 25, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

those writing against israel may like to remember the events that followed "blackhawk down" in somalia.

one thousand somalis were killed.of these 80% were civilians.that means eight hundred somali civilians were killed over a twenty hour period following the downing of the american helicopter.

theer is disagreement in israel about the casualties of the gaza war.israel maintains that up to 350 civilians were killed and about one thousand militants.

Posted by: razor2 | September 25, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

justification for military action is not found in the equality of casualties. once again, logic has been abandoned. Object of any war: kill them before they kill you. Ideally, kill all of them and don't lose a single soldier. 1400-10 is a victory.

Or for the slow: Lets say that your team is the redskins and you're playing the cowboys. Would you rather win by 1 or by 40? See! there you go. big bright star for you.

I'm honesty just doing this for my own good nowadays, no use in attempting to convince. You people are disgusting.

Posted by: batigol85 | September 25, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

the comments appearing here are almost wholly against israel.yet the polls are pretty steady.68% of americans support israel.
we can assume the posts above represent a minority in the united states.

Posted by: razor2 | September 25, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

motherfarckerof3 - please get a life.

Posted by: AIPACiswar | September 25, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

the civilian casualties in afghanistan from october 2001 to january 2003 was 4200-4500 dead and tens of thousands maimed.

since 2003 civilians deaths have incresed to many many more thousands.

figures from wikipedia

does that put war in perspective for some of the posters above?

Posted by: razor2 | September 25, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

I'madinnerjacket did not, to my ear, say the holocaust did not happen. What I did hear him say, plainly, when cornered by some CNN AIPAC lackey about the killing of Jews, is: "Sixty million people were killed in WWII, why is the focus aways only on these 6 million?"

Obviously, if he says that 6 mil is only a part of 60 mil, he does not deny they were killed. He denies they should be the greater focus of history than the remaining 54,000,000, and he's right.

Posted by: AIPACiswar | September 25, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

A filthy jew defending Israel...nothing new here.

Posted by: playa_brotha | September 25, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

ahaha imadinnerjacket you're an idiot but that was funny

Posted by: batigol85 | September 25, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

"why is the focus on the six million."

they were killed in a premeditated and planned campaign against civilians.men women and children

most of the others killed in the war were casualties of fierce battles fought over six years.

Posted by: razor2 | September 25, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

net-and-yahoo....that's even funnier. Bwahahahahaha.

Posted by: playa_brotha | September 25, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else want to shove an icepick up netandyahoo's @ss?

Posted by: playa_brotha | September 25, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Tu Quoque.

Time to posthumously pardon the Nazis hung at Nuremberg.

Posted by: patrick3 | September 25, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

mother of 3

the palestinians were not the only refugees.other nations absorbed and settled their displaced persons.

there were millions of refugees in india and pakistan in 1948.

17 million europeans of german ancestry were thrown out of europe in 1945.they migrated to germany and were absorbed.

it is only the palestinians who were deliberately kept in camps by their arab hosts.

the unrwa also helped to make them dependents.

Posted by: razor2 | September 25, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Good lord, Binyamin Netanyahu & Israel vs Gaza being compared to Roosevelt and Churchill vs the Nazis? You know it has to be from the irrational mindset that marks the Israel firsters. BTW, it was Netanyahu who commissioned what would become the blueprint for getting the USA to do their fighting and dying for them. A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm link...
http://www.iasps.org/strat1.htm.

From which...

"Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq — an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right "

and

"To anticipate U.S. reactions and plan ways to manage and constrain those reactions, Prime Minister Netanyahu can formulate the policies and stress themes he favors in language familiar to the Americans by tapping into themes of American administrations during the Cold War"

So if and when the Israelis fly over Irag to attack Iran, you can bet that Netanyahu could not care less how many American soldiers die when the backslash comes. After all as far as he is concerned to meet the "important Israeli strategic objective" in Iraq the sacrifice of American lives was worth it. All he has to do is "manage and constrain" us. And with people like Cohen he has help.


Posted by: real_democrat | September 25, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

israel has no wish to go to war.they are a nation of small families who are terrified at the thought of losing their children in wars forced on them.

israel left gaza to the united nations demarcated border.yet they we re attacked.and so they defend themselves after many warnings to the other side.

Posted by: razor2 | September 25, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

real democrat

syria has been allowing their citizens to harass american soldiers in iraq.syria is afraid of israel and so does not get overly involved in fighting allied troops.
they are alwals looking over theit backs and wondering at our intentions.

Posted by: razor2 | September 25, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Forcing Palestinians the indignity of going through check points to go to work, their places of business or visit their families. Anyone would be expected to fire a few rockets under these circumstances.
Posted by: browneri | September 25, 2009 12:03 PM
**
Please, please, please let everyone know which airlines you plan to fly - you are rage waiting to 'pop' if you think waiting in line for security checks justification for firing off rockets.

Posted by: Gracefulboomer | September 25, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

For all who support Israel, it is always "If the Palestinians would do this or that, the problem would be solved." For all who support Palestine, it is always "If the Israelis would do this or that, the problem would be solved."

If a 2-state solution is not found nor imposed, eventually the world will demand a democratic, secular nation. Israel can't be Jewish and secular at the same time; something has to give. Israel's survival as a Jewish nation depends on finding a solution, but they show no inclination. Palestinians only need continue resisting and wait, so they have no urgency to find a solution either.

The real war crime is not being interested in peace.

Posted by: greg_cunneen | September 25, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

razor2

Israel left Gaza but has controlled every aspect of life there ever since. Get a grip on reality.

Your comment on Syria entirely misses the point. Right now in Iraq there are many Shiites who are sympathetic to Iran. Even the leadership there has strong ties to Iran. So the threat to Americans will come from the country we occupy not Syria. BTW, Donald Feith was one of the authors of that paper, and he was a primary force in creating the lies that got us into a war that was in Israel's strategic interests, but not ours.

You description of Israel as "a nation of small families" is pretty funny though, unintentionally I sure.

Posted by: real_democrat | September 25, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Richard,

How much does AIPAC pay you? If you want to do WWII comparison, how about comparing Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto? Might be a more accurate description.

Posted by: sibwalker | September 25, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

All that has ever been required of the Palestinians is to stop engaging in terrorists activities. The fact that they do and they get a response shouldn't be surprising. This has absolutely nothing to do with the actions of the FDR and Churchill in WWII.

Terrorism is always wrong and the international community should be standing on the side of the civilized nations of the world and fighting it.

However since the UN has as many rouge nations as civilized ones what do you expect.

Quite frankly the term war crime is now tossed around anytime one group disagrees with another engaged in a war.


Posted by: marctrain1 | September 25, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Cohen is a moron. He has no grasp of the intricacies of history. Get him off the web please.

Posted by: therev1 | September 25, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Something interesting about WWII...consider how both the allies and the germans treated the native population in north africa...then consider where everyone in israel moved from when they moved to israel...

Posted by: jlhistory | September 25, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

My goodness, is there any media balance anywhere regarding Israel? Does Cohen have to chime in on how great and tolerant the Israelis are?

My problem is that I have been driving and listening to talk radio a lot today and apparently the Israel First lobby issued their talking points to every radio host out there - Netanyahoo great/Obama bad, Iran is another Nazi Germany.

Where is the balance?

Posted by: wj03412000 | September 25, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

The anti-Israeli and and Jew comments on this board are stunning. Typical Liberal, east coast bigots. Your hatred should be directed at the UN and Britain for CREATING Israel, but most of you too stupid to think that critically.

Posted by: hardgj | September 25, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

"Tomcat3 wrote: ..needs to get out and soon. .Either you're an American or you're not...."

Exactly! And when you go, take the Kenyan and his brood currently slumming at 1600 Penn...and gtfo.

Posted by: MDDem1 | September 25, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I see that many people here refer to the "crushing occupation" of Palestine. The Palestinians have lost one war after another in 60 years fighting for the land of Israel/Palestine. It's reminiscent of the fate of the American Indians. The loss of their land was a great tragedy for the Indians, but what kind of a future would they have had if they embraced endless terrorism as their main response to American military superiority? The American Indians will never get their land back, but at least they have a chance to live and work in peace. In time, when the anger dies down, I hope the Palestinians will choose peaceful coexistence with their militarily superior neighbor rather than endless hatred and terror. The main difference between the Palestinians and the American Indians is that the American Indians didn't have millions of Muslims worldwide arming and encouraging them. I find it ironic though that so many who sympathize with the Palestinian militants struggle against "brutal occupation" in the western media fail to mention that the militant's goal is the complete destruction of Israel. Perhaps the critics of Israel can explain to me how a nation or a person can be reasonable or fair with any entity or person who is sworn to his complete destruction. I suspect many of those who criticize Israel for winning the struggle either share the militants desire to see Israel destroyed, or are under the false impression that if enough concessions are made, the Palestinians will be so happy that no more suicide bombers or rockets will explode in Israel. Only a fool would believe that. It ain't gonna happen. To all my fellow Americans sitting comfortably at home posting comments critical of Israel I say: remember that your comfort and security is guaranteed by overwhelming military might, and in Israel, surrounded by millions of enemies this is even more the case. "War crimes"? That's a subjective judgment depending on which side you view the war from. Yes, Palestinian civilians were killed by the Israeli Army. It's a real tragedy, a tragedy caused by Palestinian militants who've chosen martyrdom over peaceful coexistence time after time.

Posted by: harris7369 | September 25, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

For 61 years, Israel has been forced to defend itself from continuous aggression.

For many years, the threat was conventional warfare. The Palestinians and their Arab supporters tried to destroy Israel by conventional arms, but they failed each time. Eventually, Israel's two most important Arab neighbors, Egypt and Jordan, made peace.

Next, the Palestinians tried to destroy Israel by terrorism, including suicide bombings. But, Israel built a security barrier/fence/wall and learned how to counter terror.

Now, the Palestinians and their Iranian and Arab allies use missiles. The missiles are not used as strategic weapons but as weapons of terror. Their value is to cause terror and prevent people from living a normal life.
Therefore, to compare their effect to the highway fatalities that would result from raising the speed limit is absurd and ignorant.

Israel is developing the technologies to protect itself from missiles without killing anyone, but those technologies aren't ready yet. In the meantime, Israel has to take out the missile-launchers and their terror infrastructure as carefully and humanely as possible. Of course, to those who are the human rights equivalent of PETA, nothing Israel does will ever be good enough. To such people, one can only say sarcastically "so sorry for living."

For 61 years, Israel has had to put up with this unending aggression, and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. I doubt there is any other nation now or in history that has ever shown such patience and restraint.


Posted by: Ezekiel22 | September 25, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

What is that stench? Oh, it's the unwashed jewhating rabble posting on this board. They are so foul their odor permeates the entire internet.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | September 25, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

"After withdrawing from Gaza, they did not get peace but EIGHT years of incessant rocket and mortar fire into Southern Israel.”

Mr Cohen, you tripped up. You are mixing up two separate, and time line incompatible, Israeli PR lines that Israel supplied to its critically-incapable supporters:

1. “Rockets have been launched at us for no reason for 8 years”
2. “We withdraw from Gaza in 2005 - then rockets begin to fly”

In any event, both are verbal slights-of-hand similar to showing only a part of a statistical graph which can give a false representation of the real longer-term trend. Missing from the beginning of the narrative is this: Gaza is a Palestinian area of impoverished slums, filled with many descendants of Palestinian refugees who fled their homes in Israel never to return during its 47-48 birth, subsequently militarily conquered, occupied, and controlled by Israel, with an increasing zealot, religious and violent Israeli settler movement moving in to take over its prime oceanfront real estate, agriculturally fertile areas, and control of its water resources - and all in violation of International law and convention. Then in 2001, 34 years after being under Israeli rule, with Israel continuing its rightward trend and electing Sharon (who never heard of a peace deal he liked - the historic Camp David peace with Egypt included) who refuses to restart the Taba Peace talks (that although were making very significant progress were terminated by E. Barak in late Jan 2001 as Israeli elections loomed a week later and which were slated because Barak's coalition didn't hold from the right in direct connection to his negotiating with Palestinians and demonstrating Israel's structural lack of political will for a historic compromise) and who then hardens the military and economic stranglehold of Gaza – ONLY THEN (8 years ago) in response -the homemade Quasam rockets begin to fly.

The historical difference here is the tragic underlying truth behind Israel’s actions, war crimes or not: They are done with the purpose of DENYING LIBERTY AND SELF DETERMINATION in order for Israel to achieve its long term political goal of Palestinian acquiescence to any deal Israel cares to offer them - if ever.

Posted by: AlMoene | September 25, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Israel clearly has not committed any crimes. Self defense is a right available to all nations and NO nation would accuse Israel of that as they won't want the same impossible standards applied to them.
Palestinians do not have potent weapons as the Nazis did but what they do they use without any remorse or criticism. The world says nothing...It is once more complicit with terrorism against Jews. Israel must defend itself and let the world whine as much as they like...in about 300 years none of this will matter anyway....

Posted by: huntyrella | September 25, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Israel clearly has not committed any crimes. Self defense is a right available to all nations and NO nation would accuse Israel of that as they won't want the same impossible standards applied to them.
Palestinians do not have potent weapons as the Nazis did but what they do they use without any remorse or criticism. The world says nothing...It is once more complicit with terrorism against Jews. Israel must defend itself and let the world whine as much as they like...in about 300 years none of this will matter anyway....

Posted by: huntyrella | September 25, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Israel is a terror nation and 911.

Cohen forgot we firebombed Tokyo and burned to death 250,000 Japanese.

Fine, dig up Truman and Churchill, and hang them with Netanyahu and the rest of the Israeli war criminals.

Amazingly, the MISSILES fired from GAZA landed on LAND stolen by ISRAEL. LAND STOLEN BY ISRAEL!

Israel is a nation of racist terrorists and land thieves proven by the facts. All MR. Cohen has to do is go to Jerusalem and sit in a café and listen to the RACIST jokes or tour the West Bank and see modern day Dachau in action and find out Israelis profit from the tourism and Palestinians are slaves and considered scum.

Israel is the most degenerate nation in Asia, being responsible for more refugees, murder and land theft than any other nation in 61 years until the invasion of Iraq.

Israeli UN sanctions and nuclear weapons and Apartheid are inhuman and if any nation deserved to be nuked, it is Israel, if just for their creating the animosity that spurred 911.

Israel is not a Jewish nation, it is a terror nation that hides behind the Holocaust and bribes or blackmails the US with payola and nuclear weapons.

Anti-Semitism? Israel is Anti-Semitism.

We need to treat Israel like the cancer it is. We can treat it by cutting out the Likud leadership or help Iran irradiate it away.


Israel is South Africa NORTH. We are not any better with our treatment of the American Indian, but at least they have Casinos, something Israel would never allow Palestinians to make money as born out in their controlling all West Bank WATER and tourism.

If Palestinians were Christians, Israel would be but a mention in the Bible. SEND CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES!!!!!

Posted by: nacirema | September 25, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Boy, talk about perverting situations. So now it's the UN's fault the Arabs and Jews are fighting? Are you nuts?

The Arabs hate the Jews. OK, that's like saying the sun will come up tomorrow. The Jews want the Arabs out of their way. Again, the sun will rise tomorrow. On one side we have the Jews and on the other we have the Muslims. They don't like each other. This is a religious war that has been smoldering for over 60 years. Sometimes it spontaneously bursts into flames on to be restored to a smoldering status.

On what grounds should the rest of the world get involved in a conflict between the Hatfields and McCoys? I would argue never. Let the Jews and the Arabs fight it out. Our inolvment should be limited to refusing to sell arms to either side.

Peace isn't about to break out in the ME anytime soon. Listening to both sides makes me sick.

Posted by: boblund1 | September 25, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Tough comments against Israel...but let's put it all in context:
1. More Muslims kill Muslims each year than Israel has killed in the entire 60 years of its existence...so much for Israeli aggression and crimes.
2.The Palestinians have committed double war crimes: shooting at civilians from behind civilians.
3. Israel did not steal any land from the Palestinians. In 1947, before there was an Israel or a country Palestine, the UN divided the land between Arabs and Jews. The Jews accepted, the Arabs did not and instead started a war along with five Arab countries and lost. Even still, Israel is willing to give the Arabs, now called Palestinians, a country on 95% of what they want and the Palestinian leader said in the Wash. Post that the gaps are wide.

Posted by: mb3937 | September 26, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Why is most of our media defend Israel and its terror and unjust action against the native Palestinian and its neighbor.

Where are those American that defend our values and our interest, is there not enough American to defend our country?

Does our foreign policy will always be controlled by the chosen people?

The article that defend terrorism and promote injustrices against the weak and the poor whose land is stolen by the Zionist and its allies the Neocon in the US like this appear in our media only shows that our mass media are pro-Israel instead of pro-America or pro-Justice which is a universal human value.

Come-on, wake-up America!

Posted by: oemar001 | September 26, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

I am shocked by the anti-Semitism here. The only war crimes in the region occur when there are suicide bomb and rocket attacks against Israeli civilians. Israel occupies land that it has owned legally since 1948. Jews have occupied this land for 3,000 years, at least 1,500 years before there was a Muslim religion. The only other residents there at the time, were Canaanites; and they have no contemporary descendents. This land belongs to Jews and there has been a Jewish presence there for countless centuries before there were Palestinians. How can Israel be accused of stealing land that they have owned for 3,000 years?

Today, the legal Palestinian authorities (including Hamas and Hizbollah) declare openly in their charters that they vow to destroy all of Israel and eliminate the Jews who live there. This is a war crime. Their proctor, Iran, vows to "wipe Israel off the map." That's another war crime in the making. In fact, it sounds remarkably like Nazi Germany.

Palestinians deliberately attack Jewish civilians with suicide bombs, rockets, snipers and even bulldozers. Israel responds by attacking Palestinian terrorists, who hide behind their own civilians. There would be no collateral casualties if terrorists did not hide among their own civilians after launching rockets and suicide bomb attacks on Israeli cities and towns.

I ask all of you this. What would you do if your neighbors launched rockets at your family's legal home day after day? What would you do to stop them? Or, would you simply allow your family to be murdered?

Israel has a right and a responsibility to defend itself from terrorists who openly vow to murder all Jews. Whether the numbers killed are few or many, Israel has the responsibility to respond and to protect its civilians. How would you defend your family from daily murderous attacks by neighbors who openly voew to murder you and destroy your home, the place where your family has always lived?

Charles Weinblatt
Author, Jacob's Courage
http://jacobscourage.wordpress.com/

Posted by: csw18 | September 26, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I cannot believe that you would think that any society that was imprisoned in the plight of the Gaza for years would not react violently--right or wrong!
It seems to me that the same thing happened in the late 1940's with another society in that general area; let me see, who were those people that needed to use violence to win their freedom?

Posted by: johnboanerges7 | September 26, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

razor2, I am aware of all the refugees you mentioned, and that the "Palestinians" have *deliberately* not been absorbed, in order to make of them a pawn in the fight to annihilate Israel.

You forgot to mention the 850,000,000 Jewish refugees who were expelled from their homes in northern Africa and other Arab and/or Muslim countries. They were absorbed by Israel.

Posted by: motherof3 | September 27, 2009 2:11 AM | Report abuse

According to International Law, Gaza, as much as the West Bank, remain illegally occupied by Israel, which has the responsibility to protect the civilians in them, something that Israel never cared to do. Its withdrawal from the illegal settlements in Gaza is a duty, not an act of generosity. It should do the same with ALL the occupied lands, like Eastern Jerusalem, and the West Bank.

Second, according to an Israeli writer, the "rockets" launched by the Palestinians have killed in 10 years less Israelis than those killed in road accidents. Can this be compared to killing more than 1400 civilians (half of them are women and children) in Gaza in less than one month?

Posted by: Alesanchez20 | September 27, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey at least we were at War. Israel is committing genocide or mass murder or whatever you want to call it because there is nothing for them to declare war with.
They are ultimately in control of Gaza so they can't be at war with Gaza. I don't know what to call it but it can't be War because you need two States or Countries to have a War.

Posted by: elgunjduts | September 27, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

> there is nothing for them to declare war with.

Yes, there is. its called Hamas and fatah.

And yes, you can use the war powers to contain a mere "conspiracy"--assuming you call them only that. we did it. go read Lincoln's call for 75,000 troops.

Rockets were rained down on peaceful civilians for days on end. yes, that is war. but i don't expect the 9/10 crowd to get that.

Posted by: awalker1972 | September 28, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

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