A few of us have been revisiting the Powder Keg thread for several days now discussing the fighting on the Gaza Strip. The Middle East just scares me and I am one of those rare birds who see 2 sides to the Palestinian/Israeli on-going issue. Basically I want to scream at both and say STOP DOING THAT!

Usually a war that involves Israel gets top billing on the news. Many people stayed glued to their televisons during the Hezbollah/Israeli conflict 2 years ago However, so much else is going on that the current battle in Gaza is often is taking a backseat to the financial crisis, the Inauguration, and Blagojevich. The Pew Institute provides us with the following chart:

Fewer people are interested in the conflict with Hamas than they were with the conflict with Hezbollah 2 years ago. Now that Hezbollah is firing missiles on towns in northern Israel, perhaps the interest will ratchet up some. It makes for a very dangerous situation in that region.

Blogger Gainesville Resident has referenced 2 very good reading resources on the current conflict. One is from Time Magazine and the other is from The Jewish Voice and Opinion. Don’t be mislead by the title on the later. It gives a variety of points of view. Neither are quick reading but are highly recommended.

Can Israel sustain a 2 front war? What should the United States role be in this conflict? Is our position weakened by a change in the Presidency? Are America’s enemies waiting and watching to see what President Obama will do? When a conflict is going on involving Israel, are we more vulnerable for a terrorist attack? What do you all think?

Click for more information from the Pew Institute on current events.

36 Thoughts to “Mideast Conflict Competes With Economy and Obama for Public Interest”

  1. Gainesville Resident

    MH – interesting table there on the Pew Institute’s survey of what people think of the press coverage. You would have to put me in the category of Too Critical for coverage of Israel and Not Critical enough for coverage of Hamas. But my view is biased since I’m Jewish. I identify myself as a Republican just to line myself up with a particular column in that chart. I was suprised how many people thought the coverage of Hamas was fair, and thought that of Israel was fair. In my opinion, the press has been fairly critical of Israel and not as critical of Hamas – that is they were siding maybe not with Hamas but with the Palestinians. They were also giving out misinformation – CNN claimed Israel started this latest conflict first, and also seem to be showing too much of the casualties on the Palestinian side and going on about Israel’s “disproportionate response”. If Israel just fired back one missile for every missile Hamas launched – what good would that do. Israel is justified (in my opinion) in taking out Hamas’ capability to launch an attack on Israel. That is the only reason Hamas has weapons there anyway.

    Thanks for linking those two articles I referenced in the other thread and crediting me for them. As you said, the one in the Jewish Voice and Opinion is suprisingly factual and really a survey of opinions on it from world leaders, many countries, and groups and lists opinions pro and con Israel. It is just a reporting of the current beliefs by all these different groups on their opinions and which side they support (if either – some are on the fence sort of). It probably should be required reading by anyone interested in following this topic. It is very long reading and I had to read it in 3 separate parts – and there is a lot of information in there.

  2. Gainesville Resident

    I will say in response to one of the questions you posed above – Obama most certainly will be judged as to how he handles this – both by Americans and by the world at large. It may be one of his first big tests after he takes office, in addition to the US economy of course.

    As you alluded to, Hezbollah is getting in the act, so it is starting to turn into a two front war for Israel. Although they have fought wars like that in the past so that is nothing new to them. I don’t know how much weapon power Hezbollah has – I have a feeling they don’t have the capability to shoot as many missiles at Israel as Hamas does.

    As to us being more vulnerable to a terrorist attack – hard to say. We are already pretty unpopular with the terrorists, so supporting Israel in this probably doesn’t make much difference. Also, a lot of terrorist attacks seem to be carefully planned and a long time in the making. So I think for the short term, I would have to say no – we are probably just as vulnerable as we’ve always been. I have a feeling terrorists with really strong opinions on this might be gunning more for Israel – then again Israel’s security at their airports and their airline El Al is top notch and much better than ours so they may view us as a softer target than Israel. Still, i have a feeling this hasn’t changed our vulnerability to terrorist attack very much in the grand scheme of things, for the short term, at least.

  3. Gainesville Resident

    On a different topic, but one you mentioned above – not to change the subject, but glad they impeached Balgojecvich – what an arrogant jerk!

  4. Moon-howler

    Gov. B really is an arrogant jerk. I am facinated by his arrogance actually.

    Thank YOU for providing the links. I enjoyed reading both. I was particularly pleased to see the Jewish Voices and Opinions give such a fair multi-sided in-depth analysis. So much for saying they are biased. It sure didn’t show. Excellent journalism!

    After reading that Pew Institute report, I can only conclude that Americans remain fairly clueless about midde east affairs. I think that is going to have to change. I think the middle east drives much of our operations as a country.

    I also think that we are going to have to team up with other countries to broker a peace that creates a Palestinian State. There will never be lasting peace until everyone feels like they have won something. Both groups have to get over this winner takes all mentality.

    Its a shame we can’t build a great wall of Palestine, cover the top with broken glass and barbed concertina wire and dare each side to cross over to the other side. Anyone who lobs a grenade, shoot them on the spot. No fighting. Everyone stay on their own side of the wall.

  5. info

    Driver accused in teen’s death had high blood-alcohol content
    By Emily Gersema
    The Arizona Republic (Phoenix), January 8, 2009

    The driver accused in November of killing a 16-year-old Mesa girl on her way to meet her marching band for the Gilbert Days Parade had a blood-alcohol content of .19 – more than twice the legal limit, according to a Mesa police investigation.

    Manuel Contreras-Galdean, 32, was arrested Nov. 15 and charged with manslaughter and aggravated assault in connection with the early morning collision that severely injured and later killed Kelly Tracy, 16, a sophomore at Gilbert’s Highland High School.

    Contreras-Galdean has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Police have said Contreras-Galdean told them he has been living in the country illegally for several years, and he was placed on an immigration hold. He is being held at Maricopa County Jail without bond.
    . . .

  6. GainesvilleResident

    MH – not to drift off the subject too much – but it is truly bizarre to me how arrogant Gov. B. is. Then again I guess to commit a crime like that one has to have a personality like he does! I was astounded the first time he held a press conference after the news came out – the way he spoke and acted during it. I’m just glad I don’t live in Illinois – with a governor like that.

    I was surprised at how balanced that article from Jewish Voice and Opinion is. Usually they are much more slanted toward the Jewish point of view. It is too bad the mainstream press doesn’t publish an article like that, but then again I forget – in that article we are dealing with facts and not hype or trying to generate shock headlines…

    It sounds like you are right about the results of the Pew Report, unfortunately. Then again, a lot of people believe what they read in the mainstream press, and we all know how accurate they’ve been on their reporting about the conflict in the past few weeks.

    I do agree that the Israelis and Palestinians aren’t going to resolve this by themselves and they need help. It would help I think if a group of countries got together to broker a solution – and not just the USA.

    That’s a good one about building a great wall of Palestine.

  7. Moon-howler

    I don’t believe a lot of what I read. I try not to read things that are associated with either ‘side’–liberal or conservative. That’s hard to find things without a slant.

  8. GainesvilleResident

    MH – it is hard to find things in the press that aren’t slanted one way or the other. I definitely don’t believe what I read in the press – anytime I read an article on something I know a lot about, I find all kinds of inaccuracies – whether they are intentionally or just mistakes or poor research. It is especially true on articles related to my technical field. So for things I don’t know much about – I’m sure I’m reading a lot of misinformation, unfortunately.

  9. michael

    I believe that Isreal will take over the Gaza strip for good and HAMAs (what will be left of it), will likely retreat to Lebanon and the West Bank. This will not solve the problem however, until a recognized fully isolated and self-deterministic Palestinian state is formally walled off and recognized by more than 96 countires, and given self rule, so that Isreal has no control over or claim over it ever again and no need to invade the territory again.

    The problem is as you said originally “illegal” immigration. As long as Palestinians and Isrealis continue to “illegally immigrate” to the same region, and stubbornly cling to seperate ethnicity and religious political seperation, there will be war and conflict. The Gaza war-zone will create another Palestinian Diaspora, and maybe for a final time completely seperate the two ethnic groups and religions.

  10. Marie

    MSNBC has been reporting all week on the “Morning Joe” show that the missle attacks launched on Israel did not get press coverage but as soon as Israel began to defend herself then it was splashed all over the news. Interesting. Israel has every right to defend herself against the aggressors.

    You can be sure that Iran is behind the attacks, probably supplying weapons and money.

  11. What difference does it make to our country, who wins between the Palestinians and the Israelis?

    If these two sides want to commit genocide upon one another, why do we want to stick our nose into it and thereby bring this conflict into our streets?

    Whether or not one side wipes out the other or they learn to live together in peace makes no difference to the national security of the United States. But defending the Isrealis, as we always do, puts us at odds with 1.3 billion muslims. Are we insane?

  12. Moon-howler

    Israel always gets spanked it seems. I have been critical of Israel at times for being heavy handed. This is not one of those times. I also look at them in awe for their prowess in the intelligence department. They are probably best in the world. They also take their security seriously and without all the mamby pamby arse kissing that we do. Of course, their very existence depends on them being right.

    Michael, I hope you aren’t right. I really do. So much of this could have been avoided back in the beginning, by just applying some common sense. USA and UK had the sensitivity of charging moose for all concerned.

    Marie, I agree. Iran with their little buddy Syria is probably aiding and abetting the weapons sales.

    I would love to see the people of Gaza turn on Hamas. What callous bastards!

  13. michael

    I do disagree that the two religions will NEVER merge. Although it is highly unlikely that they can ever become politically homogenous in the next 10 or even 50 years, history has shown over 8000 years that over a period of time ALL religions merge within a given region, and ALL religions diverge in geographically seperated regions, even though they have the same origins or roots.

    Occassionally this merger and change can and often does happen in a SINGLE generation, and at most 3 generations if political conditions are right for revolt, revival or philosophical change.

    When cultures merge, their religions tend to merge. When culture remain politcallt divergent, and politically isolated by region and neighborhood, their religions remain isolated, but also typically become less popular and more outdated with each generation. I believe the current generation of Muslims and Jews (under tha age of 30) do not share the same religious convistions and deep hatreds that their older >45-75 YO parents do. In the same way that Catholocism is decling in the US, except amoung specific ethnicities, Muslin and Jewish doctrines are changing and decoming something different than the fundamentalist sects are fighting to re-claim and retain. This change is driving many of them to extremism and hatred, while the majority of both Jews and Muslins do not hold those core religious values and hatred for one another.

    In 50-100 years it is very possible these two religions will become less popular as extremist sects and morph into less extreme and much more peaceful doctrinal sects. Once this happens, the time is ripe for a new “Messiah”, or messenger to come along and declare all previous writings and text “invalid”, re-write the basic religious doctrine and start a new religion that contains elements of both. This has happened many times in the past 8000 years. The early Hebrews and Summarians shared doctrinal roots (the tora). Then 4000 years later, Roman and Greek religions, merged with the jewish religion in Galilee, Jeruselum. Christ expressed the “single” God version of Hebrew, Greek and Roman belief systems in the region that had merged doctrines together in 2000-3000 years, after Egyption religion had dominated the region post Summrian and Babylonian/Persian/early hebrew religions disappeared. The Apostle Paul, after the death of Christ, and the writers of the Gospel, re-wrote Pagen and hebrew beliefs into both Nostic and non-nogistic versions. The Nostic version was stamped out in 400 AD, when Constantine mandated the Canon, but not before it had spread west to persia, and the concept of EDEN and PARADISE, and 7th heaven influenced the writings and teachings of Mohammed around 800 AD. Interesting Buddah, was also influenced by early hebrew and Summerian concepts of Eden, paradise and 7th heaven.

    It all started here 8000 years ago as ADAM ( a paleo neolithic age priest) was the earliest human lineage recorded to communicate with God: Google it in google earth and you will see what influenced the writings of the hebrews, the summarians and the Persians, as these cultures moved both east and west. Gilgamesh (summarian text, and Noah, hebrew text) were identical figures, of the flood that occurred when the Black Sea flooded as a result of an earth quake to 600 feet above its pre-5000-4000 Y/O fresh water lake geology.


    Satellite photos reveal two dry riverbeds flowing toward the Persian Gulf near where the Tigris and Euphrates in Mesopotamia also terminate. This would account for four easterly flowing rivers. Archaeologist Juris Zarins claimed that the Garden of Eden was situated at the head of the Persian Gulf, where the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers run into the sea at 29°47′0″N 48°38′0″E / 29.78333, 48.63333, from his research on this area using information from many different sources, including Landsat images from space.[citation needed] In this theory, the Bible’s Gihon River would correspond with the Al-Qurnah in Iraq, and the Pishon River would correspond to the Wadi Al-Batin river system (also now called the Kuwait River) that 2,500-3000 years ago drained the now dry, but once quite fertile central part of the Arabian Peninsula from the Hijaz mountains 600 miles to the South West.

    You can find the “exodus” route from Eden to Nod that led “civilization” to both early hebrew and summarian civilizations about 5000 years ago (retaining the torah). Egyptians came 3000-5000 years ago, after the 4000 year old minoan civilization (Cyprus) was destroyed by Santorini volcano eruption. Mycenians picked up the pieces, then greeks, then romans 100BC-400 AD, then Persians, then Muslims around 800 AD. The nostic versions and the torah were both influential on the Easter Persia religions in Persia, and later influenced the Hindus, and even the building of the Tas Mahal (7th heaven and paradise. It is the Torah and early nostic texts from which Mohammed derived early material for his additions to the regional religions and led to his writing the Qur’an.
    Many contemporary secular biblical scholars date the completion of the Torah, as well as the prophets and the historical books, no earlier than the Persian period (539 to 334 BCE).

    Islam holds that the Qur’an was revealed to Muhammad by the angel Jibrīl (Gabriel) from 610 AD to his death in 632 AD.[2][6][7] The Qur’an was written down by Muhammad’s companions while he was alive, although the prime method of transmission was oral. In 633 AD, the written text was compiled, and in 653 AD it was standardized, distributed in the Islamic empire and produced in large numbers.[8] The present form of the Qur’an is regarded as Gods revelation to Muhammad by academic scholars, and the search for significant variants in Western academia has been unsuccessful.[9][10]

    Muslims regard the Qur’an as the culmination of a series of divine messages that started with those revealed to Adam, regarded in Islam as the first prophet, and continued with the Suhuf Ibrahim (Scrolls of Abraham),[11] the Tawrat (Torah),[12][13] the Zabur (Psalms),[14][15] and the Injeel (Gospel).[16][17][18] The aforementioned books are not explicitly included in the Qur’an, but are recognized therein.[19][20] The Qur’an also refers[21] to many events from Jewish and Christian scriptures, some of which are retold in comparatively distinctive ways from the Bible and the Torah, while obliquely referring to other events described explicitly in those texts.

    This is why I tell you it is possible for new religios doctrine to emerge out of old ones when a people inhabit the same region but with different religions. An example of how quickly this can change is the rapid rise of the Protestant doctrines (1800s), and the relatively new Morman faith, which modifies and extends the Christian faith with messiahs, who claim the old is now revised to a new faith.

    I believe this will happen some time in the middle east, and very likely cause western, muslim and buddist religios concepts to merge as the world cultures merge. I think it could be as short as 100 years or as long as 1000 years, but it will happen if history repeats itself as it has some many times before.

    It is only from a new religion that warring religious factions can find regional peace, according to history.

  14. michael

    Mackie, I think what matters to the western cultures in general who “wins” is how easily or how hard totally divisive religions and political ethnicities, can ever learn to live in close proximity without non-stop violence and hatred between them.

    What transpires in the next 4 years, and what Obama does, could bring the world together, and make it more peaceful, or do what Bush has done by declaring war as a solution to peace, and drive the world furthur apart with religious based warfare.

  15. michael

    Marie, watch mhz television, you will see both sides. The western media is biased on how to report world events, and what takes priority.

  16. michael

    MH, I agree I hope it does not become true either, but I believe it likely will. We cannot get peace through warfare, but peaceful periods usually follow total warfare where one side wins all.

  17. michael

    Peace in the region, IMHO can only come when a third party (Western and Arabic leaders), sit down to a world confefrence on religion, discuss its morality and immorality, comdemn together the “immorality”, and agree to allow each religion to peacefully “co-exist” in the same nationalistic political umbrella. As long as the political seperations and ethnic seperations continue, peace will never be achieved, and diversity will always lead to conflict and warfare.

    I belive that is Obama’s only choice in this matter, find a democratic way to put a common political umbrella over two warring factions as a co-alition of muslim ans wertern religious leaders, and provide a “legal” olution to allow each religion to practice its beliefs in community peace, until (as I hope all religions may someday be able to do) merge into a common ideology that takes the best of all of them, and throws out the most violent and oppressive doctrines from all of them.

    As you said before, religious hatred is responsible for mosr world conflict throughout history. Until hatred is removed from each religion’s doctrine conflict will never become peace, and love will never become the world’s principal religious and political doctrine.

  18. Moon-howler

    michael, is that because one side has no more marbles left?

    You said you spent military time in that region. Without prying, care to share some of your experiences and insights with us?

    That was quite a history lesson and from a perspective I had never quite seen before…well not on one big gulp at least. I will have to let it digest but you make some very interesting points.

    2 arguments to your thesis I would make would be the duration of Judaism and Catholicism. Obviously Judaism is longer and goes back what? 6-7 thousand years that we can trace? Probably the only reason for the newer forms of Judaism are concepts like living in suburbs…but the faith hasn’t changed, just how it is practiced.

    Catholicism really has not veered much off path either. It has remained steady and those who take issue have formed new religions.

    Other than that, my world history and comparative religion knowlege base are way too limited to put down any more of an argument than that.

  19. michael

    Judaism and Catholicism are long persiting religions because they were both very geographically isolated, and centers of civilizations that were also geographically isolated as political empires. Judaism survived because of the Hebrew empire, and early hebrew civilizations, as soon as those civilizations declined a new religion rose, primarily surviving because of the Roman empire from which the Vatican owes its very survival. One could argue that Judaism will survive less longer than Catholicism, and if it had not been for post-WWII 1956-59 creation of a nation of Isreal, would likely have disappeared completely in favor of Muslim and Catholic empire influence, but who is to say what will happen in the future in terms of political empires. Protestant doctrine will survive as long as the US empire survives. The Muslim religion will survive as long as the Arab/Turkish/Persian empire survives. It is very political empire dependant.
    Personally, I believe Buddists will likely outsurvive all religions as it has historically been the most peaceful, least aggressive, and most widespread in terms of numbers of people (1.5 – 2 billion of the world’s 6 billion population). Its only survival problem occurs when there are more buddist monks than there are non-monks, and they starve to death rather than work for food.

    Regarding my insight’s from military service,

    1. Religious hatred is rampant and destructive, is not based on love, but based on control over a population, by radical religious leaders and extremist fanatics who put religious law into political law, and merge religion with politics. Merging religion and politics is destructive to any concept of democracy or power given to people, because religious power is always concentrated at the top of a dictatorial empire organization (like the vatican, exerting political power in the 1200-1400s, and oppressing the population as serfs and slaves under a monarchy leader.
    2. “individuals” have no rights to political or religious freedom, only political laws and religious laws are used to oppress the behavior of male and female populations according to different laws for each, so GENDER discrimmination is a result of un-equal law, just like racial discrimmination is a result of un-equal law.
    3. With religious law controlling any government, you cannot have a democracy, and you cannot have religious freedom (just like protestants were thrown in jail under catholic law) and banned from reading the original hebrew and greek bibles, that were more acccurate than the Latin Vulgate.
    4. Religion permeates people’s belief about how man should treat man, and what oppresssion and punishment should be given to any “non-believer” of that state declared religion, regardless of what the religious text actuallly says about “Gods” punishment. People with extreme religious belief, takes the role of oppressor and punisher away from God and declare themselves as the “judge and jury”, harminh and killing anyone they determine does not follow their interpretation of “morality”, which is a mixture of un-informed doctrine of man or local doctrinal law (as told by “interpreters”), and the specifc mandates from God about entry into heaven.
    5. People fight because they are “afraid” they will not get to heaven if they do not fight. They erroneously believe God is telling them to be the punisher, rather than God declaring he and only he is the punisher and forgiver of sin. They (the punisher’s) see themselves as the archangel “Michael”. In some religious sects these are called “priests” or “elders”, in some they are called “mutawah” or religious police.
    6. Most importantly I learned that the “majority” of people do not have violent religious beliefs, only the “minority” of political activists, so wars and conflicts are always created by the radical political activists, who divide into gender, racial, religious and ethnic hate groups, and as activists take over a political party, especially any democratic party, in much the same way that Joseph Stalin took over a democratic and later social political party and killed all others who opposed him, eventually declaring himself, “king” or the next “political messiah” or religious leader. In Stalin’s case it was “atheism” he was a religious leader of.
    7. Once these leaders are in place, they declare an official religion, declare a new set of laws, and declare that all concepts of democracy are invalid, as the power of the people to govern themselves is threatening to them, and the religious elite (just like in medival Europe, and Turkish empires, all concepts of democracy were threatening.
    People under these government live oppressed lives, and under draconian rules regarding how they can behave and where they can go, even what job they have or what social “class” they are allowed to belong to and associate with.
    8. People are then taught to hate any one that does not belong to their specific race, gender, religion or ethnic group, and to imprison all those who oppose them.
    9. They only find peace when everyone practices the same religion and the same law. If the law is too oppressive, the “have-nots” revolt, typically declaring a socialist doctrine, rather than a democratic doctrine. Socialist doctrine usually results in poverty, religious doctrine usually results in poverty (poverty is widespread in the Middle East), and only democratic doctrine usually results in weath and affluance as a nation and in well-off communities (especially when your oil runs out, as the Venezuelan, and Russian oil economies discovered, and Saudi’s, Iraqi’s and Iranians will soon discover in 2030).
    10. Hatred will dominate over love, when a nation follows greed and religious political extremes that take over a government, rather than a doctrine of peaceful co-existance and religious tolerance that is based on common “individual” rights to pursue liberty, life and happiness withput government or religious political intervention.
    11. People will continue to kill each other as long as they have hatred, their communities are diverse, their cultures are diverse, and their politicians divide them into gender, racial, ethnic and religious groups.
    12. Democracy, “individual” common law, and harmonius, politically united communities are our only hope and escape from oppression and persecution by criminals, fanatics and extremists that control political parties and create war when they become leaders of nations (usually by corruption of the political infrastructure, hatred, and greed).

  20. michael

    You can see that even in the US when the “religious extreme” took over our government (the Bush, and Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay extreme religious political strategies), hatred and conflict prevails as a political solution to the world’s political goals, and divided political groups promote diversity rather than unification of political ideology. This leads to conflict and eventually war as we have seen, and oppression of political groups based on what gender, race, religion or ethnicity you politically belong to, rather than a guarantee of “individual” freedoms and common “rule of law”… which strengthens democracy and individual rights to peace, life, liberty and happiness.

  21. Moon-howler

    Michael, I am glad to see someone else leery about the religious extreme in our country!

    Thank you for your explanation above. That is an interesting perspective. I am not sure I agree but it is certainly an interesting hypothesis. I have not given much thought to the religions of the world and for there to become a merging of religions. I guess I think everyone will tenaciously hang on to their own.

    My theories on religion tend to run along the lines that religons that encourage people to read the holy books develop the most technological civilizations. My theory really has nothing to do with the religion but literacy and that literacy leading to bigger and better things.

  22. GainesvilleResident

    I don’t believe Israel would take over the Gaza strip. They would like nothing better than for a non-extremist faction (like the Fatah) to run Gaza. Unfortunately, right now Hamas is in control over it and that is bad.

    We can only hope in time the residents of Gaza will turn on Hamas and somehow overthrow them. That may be our best hope unfortunately.

    That is correct that the first missile attacks on Israel by Hamas that started this did not get press coverage, and then the press jumped all over Israel when they first fired back and made it sound like they were the ones that launched missiles first. You can’t believe everything you read or hear from the press.

    I totally disagree about Judaism not surviving “had not been for post-WWII 1956-59 creation of a nation of Isreal” (a quote from Michael’s post). First of all, Israel was created in 1948. Second, there are millions and millions of Jews worldwide – the ones in Israel are just a drop in the bucket. Europe has huge Jewish populations. In the USA there are more than 6 million Jews (that’s a number I remember from when I was young – it has to have increased by now). If Israel never existed it wouldn’t have caused the Jewish religion to fade away. The Jewish religion is rooted in strong traditions, and has persisted very well over the many years of its existence. It has adapted to modern times, with many of the traditions being hard to uphold in the age of technology. It is not in any danger of fading away, that’s for sure.

  23. Moon-howler

    I think if nothing else, people of these established religions will dig their heels in. Christianity is famous for swallowing up existing religions. Check out some of the pagan aspects found in Christianity like the yule log, or Easter eggs. Swallowing up pagan religions in order to make the transition a little easier probably is a crude explanation.

    I feel certain Judaism is no different. Good heavens, Jews were scattered all over the world and yet they still survived and came back stronger than ever, even after a horrific process of elimination like the Holocaust. Israel is a tiny fraction of the number of Jews and stands for a NEVER AGAIN visual for all to see.

    Hopefully some of these rogue ‘clubs’ like Hamas and Hezbollah will learn not to screw with Israel. They will not win nor will anyone they are hiding amongst. Israel will only cater to world opinion but so much and then its sense of survival will take over and blow off all the bad boy nattering they hear. The only state I have heard saber rattling at Israel is Iran and that lunatic is saber rattling at the USA also.

  24. Marie

    I listen to International News about everyday and I am surprised at that coverage as well. Nothing of significance was ever reported about the shellings on Israel unit Israel decided to defend herself.

  25. Marie

    Forgot to mention I have a short wave radio to listen to news from around the world.

  26. GainesvilleResident

    Yes, the press around the world is just as bad as the American press on this – nothing ever was said about Hamas launching missiles at Israel recently – then they made a big deal about Israel firing back, but made it sound like Israel took the first shot.

    I saw a very shocking video on my friend who is the managing editor of the Jewish Voice and Opinion – on her facebook page, showing the actual use of children by Hamas as human shields! Very shocking, and I wish I could link it, but I can’t. It shows Hamas terrorists, wearing their typical hats or whatever that cover their faces other than their eyes and mouth – holding guns and dragging children in front of them to use them as shields as the Israeli troops approach! Just shocking.

    Here’s a link to a short article (for a change!) titled: Three Questions About “Disproportionate Force” – http://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/three-questions-about–disproportionate-force–14362

    I am not familiar with “Commentary Magazine” but this was linked to on my friend’s facebook page. It is interesting reading.

  27. GainesvilleResident

    I found a link to that video I was talking about that I THINK anyone can look at even if not a member of Facebook. If you want to see something shocking – go to http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=42281953533 and scroll to the very bottom of the page. Under video it is the first of two at the bottom of the page – the one titled “Hamas Using Palestinian Children as Shields” – it is only 14 seconds long but it is long enough to be very shocking to watch.

  28. Moon-howler

    You know, one of the criticisms of the Iraq War has been that we went in there and acted all prissy over the war and didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. War should be so horrible that it is an act of last resort. It isn’t something we do if our nose is out of joint.

    War is a nasty, horrible evil bastard and should be treated as such. Disproportional violence? Poppycock! If Israel fires back, then they ought to fire back with every ounce of power they have, short of nuclear weapons. If you don’t mean business then don’t go to war. War ought to be so hateful, and so dreaded that only a moron would think twice about starting one.


    Can’t figure the Palestinians out….they kick the meanest pitbull on the block between the legs, then can’t figure out why it bites them. Seems pretty straightforward to me.

    Robert E. Lee:

    It is well that war is so terrible — lest we should grow too fond of it.

  29. GainesvilleResident

    You are right MH – who goes to war and just fights back half heartedly? You go to war to win, and you throw everything you can at the enemy. When you think about it that way, these remarks about “disproportionate use of force” really don’t make any sense. What did Hamas expect Israel was going to do anyway – just sit there and do nothing? Then again, several articles I’ve read (and I believe this to be true) suggest Hamas wanted Israel to fight back hard, hoping public opinion would turn against Israel when huge amounts of civilian Palestinian casualties started to occur.

  30. Moon-howler

    Yes, I do believe they want to draw them in to a war of popular opinion. That’s the only way they can win an actual war.

    I just heard that Israeli troops are now taking fire from Syria. Is it the state of Syria or is it an Hamas strong hold inside Syria? Either way, this cannot be good. Israel is saying it is going in to phase 3 of its offensive. Not sure I know what 1 or 2 is.

  31. GainesvilleResident

    I hadn’t heard about Syria getting into things. I’ll have to see what I can find out about that. I don’t know if Hamas is active in Syria or if it is the Syrian gov’t or yet some other group.

  32. Moon-howler

    Syria is a loose cannon from all I have read. I kept the sound down this afternoon. I just didn’t feel like being depressed by the world.

  33. michael

    I don’t think any religion “disappears”, it usually just gets “revised”, according to history.
    10,000 years ago, in Turkey, religious priests create a temple “Gobekli Tepi”, that was only a couple hundred miles from the “garden of Eden” located between the Caspian sea, and the large lake in northern “iraq”. The early neo-lithic peoples of this area, had not yet created tools for the “bronze age”, but passed their religion down orally, eventually incorporating the oral history of the neo-lithic priest ADAM, then Abraham, who was born just below the temple site in southern turkey.


    The cultures of the neo-lithic peoples near this area and those in the seven mountain passes (7th heaven) of Eden as well as from cush abouve NOD form the basis or the area’s early civilizations and early religious history. This is an oral history, eventually codified in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Hebrew Torah.

    “archaeologist David Rohl who states that there was two garden of Edins. One that existed pre-flood in Iran, which was the original garden of Edin. And one that existed after the flood in Bahrain. Based on archaeological evidence, putting the garden in north-western Iran. According to him, the Garden was located in a vast plain referred to in ancient Sumerian texts as Edin (lit. “Plain”, or “Steppe”) east of the Sahand Mountain, near Tabriz. He cites several geological similarities with Biblical descriptions, and multiple linguistic parallels as evidence. In the Sumerian texts, an emissary is sent north through “Seven Gates”, also known as Mountain passes in ancient texts. Hebrew lore includes references to Seven layers of Heaven, the 7th being the Garden of Eden, or Paradise. Just beyond the seventh gate, or pass, was the kingdom of Aratta[citation needed]. The region today is bound by a large mountain range to the North, East and South, and marshlands to the west. The eastern mountain region has a pass leading in and out of the Edin region. This fits with the Biblical geography of Eden containing marshlands to the west[citation needed], and the Land of Nod to the east, outside the Garden. Geographically speaking, it would form a “wall” around the Garden, conforming to the definition of the Persian word pairidaeza (paradise) and the Hebrew word gan (garden), both of which mean a “walled garden or park”. Additionally, this location would be bound by the four biblical rivers to the West, Southwest, East and Southeast.”

    The summerians incorporated many of these concepts into their religion as they settled into the area of mesopotamia 3000-4000 years BCE ago, as did the hebrews who after abraham and jacob, came into the area of the Jordan river and settled there above the sea of Galilee over 3000 years ago, supposedly fleeing from persecution by the hittites civilization around 3000 BC in southern Turkey (see the original hittite caves of southern Turkey, that christians some 1500 years later used to hide from roman persecution 200-300 AD).

    These religions conflicted with both Minoan religion on Crete (3000-1500 BCE bull worshiping), and later Mycenean Religion, and Egyption civilization religion 4000-3000 BCE. Both of these religions spread into Persia and influenced babylonian, early persian peoples (4000-2000 BCE) and eastward into India (Hinduism) around 4000 BCE, and Buddah (around 2500 BC), with concepts of seventh heaven, and Paradise (as 4 rivers with heaven to the north of central walled garden of paradise) and Iraq/Iran Summerian religious concepts.

    The egyptians and Hittites dominated the religions and empires from 4000-3000 BCE, until the days of Jacob, who had 12 sons from two wives, and two servants of those wives. These became the 12 tribes of Isreal, apportioning land to each sone on both sides of the Jordan river.

    Egypt, invaded and inslaved the tribes, and caused them to spread (with DNA testing confirming) into Cannan, Hittite, Persia, Ethiopia, Uzbeskistan and even India as slaves of conquerors. Somewhere around 1500 BCE, moses led the remaining Hebrew slaves out of Egypt, and back to Isreal, where Saul, David and Solomon, created a united hebrew empire, lasting for many generations, the last being destroyed by nebecannezer. It is during the period of these Kings that Hebrew religion became so popular and such a long lasting empire, equally competing with Eqyptian and Persian religion and eventually (replacing it).

    The Romans had many gods of these early myceneian and minoan religions as they rose in an empire, after the greek civilization collapse, and after the first Persian empire collapse (by Macedonian Alexander the Great), persecuted the Christians, killed Christ 33 AD (actually 6 years earlier due to a calendar error, who was born in Bethlehem 17 April 6 BCE) and was killed around 33 years old. The Apostle Paul was killed by Romans in 66 AD, but not until he had written 7 of the 13 epistles (others were written by his diciples, and signed his name), starting a “new” religion called Christianity, that was a “revised” religion of the hebrews, including all the books of the torah, psalms, etc of the old testament, and “new” Gospel works by first Mark (not matthew), then matthew, then Luke and John. Luke never knew Christ, but was the most historically accurate, re-using others writings around 60-70 AD.
    The end result is that all the disciples spread to 12 parts of the globe to carry on the gospel and writings of Paul as a new church after Christ died, replacing Roman, Persian, Babylonian, Summerian and Magi( the three maji, came from the mystic astrology religions in Persia and Turkey).

    Thus religion “revises” old religions over a period of time, always has always will.

    The Nostics wrote versions of the gospels that spread to spain, ethiopia, and turkey. The non-nostic text became popular in Roman society in 280 AD when the wife of the emperor, got “religious”. In 400 AD, the Canon, “codified” the existing Roman bible, later taking the form of the “latin vulgate” This version had many Byzantine monk copy errors, and so was questioned by later scolars for accurracy, replaced eventually by NIS and other versions using the original hebrew and greek texts. Around 633 AD, Mohammad, again “revised” religion, incorporated the torah, tawat, psalms and gospels, and added new text to create the Koran. This is how religions are “revised over time, based on ideas and revelations from new political empires (like the ottoman empire, that influenced moderm Islam spreading to all the nations of the world the ottoman empire conquered in 1200-1400 AD. Obviously the crusades limited the spread of the ottoman empire, or the entire world would likely be muslim. The Vatican (via the medici family wealth, and the crusades, and later Spanish and British empires spread Christianity to the new world (North and South America), the protestant doctrine (lutheranism) and the German bible (based on translated greek and hebrew in german and later english, rose in popularity as the people questioned the accuracy of the official “catholic” bible, which had many inaccuracies in the King James version, because of the Latin Vulgate. So again, Religions are “revised”, as the catholic bibles still sanctioned by the roman catholic church are inacurate according to historians and scholars.
    The new religions of the future will likely be mergers of all faiths, as people integrate their cultures, just like new “religions” emerge out of “old” religions throughout history.

    What will NOT stand the test of time are religious concepts that promote violence and killing, no religion that promotes this has survived long doctrinally in the world. Even the concept of “jihad” means “self-struggle”, not “struggle to kill all people known as “kuffers” or non-believers. That is an erroneous interpretation of what Mohammed meant by “jihad” or internal struggle between good and evil in ones self. This is wat the non-extremist muslims correctly believe.

    Until they unite and stand up against religious hatred and fanaticims in religious run governments, the muslim themselves will suffer under oppressive rule and extremism, rather than be allowed to follow concepts of “love” in the Koran. I believe the muslin people will “revise” their religion, until it is non-violent, just like the Hindus and Buddists have done. The Christians may need to do the same, if they continue to believe violence and killing is sanctioned by God or Christ. It is not.

  34. michael

    Sorry Eden (in moderation) is in northern Iran, not Iraq. The rest of the hebrew early religion is in Souther Turkey, until Jacob, takes his people (his twelve sons and their tribes) to Isreal and the Jordan river.

  35. Moon-howler

    Michael, how do you know where all these biblical characters supposedly lived? None of those places ever meant a thing to me when I heard them in Sunday School.

  36. michael

    That is because you never asked the question, “if these were REAL people (which they were) where DID they live, and WHEN did they live. Also, WHERE did they go?
    I know these “facts” with a high degree of certainty because I have studied “reality” as much as possible, and stayed away from “fantasy” as much as possible. There are many sources of archeological evidence, when put together that build such a picture of historical reality.

    Here is an example that will illustrate how little people really know, and how easily they are fooled by a church’s “DOCTRINAL” fantasies.

    Do you believe the pictures of Christ you see in a catholic church are what Christ looks like? Do you believe the pictures of God you imagine are what God looks like?

    Christ was an Israeli, he lived in Bethlehem, then Nazareth (a real place). He was born on 17 April, 6BCE, because the “comet” seen by the Magi (from the city of Petra), appeared on 17 April 6BCE. THEY were ASTROLOGERS (likely Zosterites, and it would have meaning to them enough to make them journey west of Petra). It has an orbit, and regularly returns, so the date is very accurate (definately NOT Christmas 25 December, 1 BCE). His DNA was ethnically jewish, descended from abraham and jacob, and a member of the twelve tribes of Isreal. He would NOT have LONG hair, this was a sin to jewish men, and they would be ashamed if they were seen as a woman of long hair. His hair would be cropped short and likely curly. He would look very similar to an Egyptian in brown skin color, and stature (thick, short muscular frame). He would likely have a beard, but short beard, as was custom for men his age, and he would have the facial features of jewish males (broad face, large nose, wide forhead), typical of today’s average jewish male of age 33. He would NOT look like the EUROPEAN paintings, of a 22 year old, handsome sharp-faced european sex-symbol with long hair as was popular when Italian, Spanish and Dutch masters painted under commission for the Medici family, or other patrons of Catholic Church (1100-1400 AD) art. He would look like a middle-aged jewish man does today, not what you see painted in modern churches and modern books. Using jewish skulls from tombs in the area around the time of Christ, modern movie companies have actually created an 3D and latex modeled image of “Christ” as he would likely have looked, and put it into a museum of biblical history in an attempt to get the facts straight, and the fantasy removed from Church folklore.

    God, describes himself as “light”. That means “like a photon” in image. It is as accurate as you will ever get for an image or possibly actual physical explaination of the “reality” of God and a universal “intelligence”. Think of Him as a large neural network of sub-atomic particles, spread through-out the universe and throughout time, and you will get close to what He likely and truthfully is. That is closer to “truth and reality” that the 6 foot high, human-like form, we see pictured in religious books and sunday school, because we erroneously think He was made in the image of a “human”.
    Man was made in the “likeness” of God. We are made of photons too (and some other things like Quarks), and that is NOT fantasy.

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