No matter our views about the Israeli bloody war* terrorism against the Palestinian people, Al Jazeera can teach us some lessons about openness and information democracy: its broadcast-quality video footage shot in Gaza is released under the least restrictive Attribution license.
Quoting the CC’ blog:

Each professionally recorded video has a detailed information page and is hosted on blip.tv allowing for easy downloads of the original files and integration into Miro. The value of this footage is best described by an International Herald Tribune/New York Times article describing the release:

In a conflict where the Western news media have been largely prevented from reporting from Gaza because of restrictions imposed by the Israeli military, Al Jazeera has had a distinct advantage. It was already there.

More importantly, the permissive CC-BY license means that the footage can be used by anyone including, rival broadcasters, documentary makers, and bloggers, so long as Al Jazeera is credited.

There’s more information over at Al Jazeera’s CC repository, and in our press release. You can also add the Al Jazeera repository to your Miro feeds by clicking here

So, rather than labeling its unique original footage as “exclusive”, the Arabian network is giving it away for anyone (competitors included) to watch, analyze, share and reuse, leveraging an open source (GPL) open media platform and hosting it on an open source (GPL) CMS.
What do you think?

74 Responses to “Gaza, Al Jazeera and Information Democracy”

  1. #1 Alan Baxter says:

    It’s hard for me to think of much more than Israel’s long-standing "bloody war against the Palestinian people". It makes my blood boil. Glad to hear that Al Jazeera is allowing such widespread use of its footage. I’ll take a look at what my limited bandwidth permits when I get a chance. Thank you for the heads up.

  2. #2 Anonymous says:

    I think that still doesn’t prevent them from using publication bias (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Publication_bias): they might only provide the footage favorable to the points of view they want to push, and discard the footage they want to suppress. In which case, they most certainly *want* people to spread their choice of footage far and wide.

  3. #3 Nan M says:

    What?!

    That Al Jazeera is indeed on the ground in Gaza when most other newsagencies have been filtered out of contention by Israel is almost less remarkable than this shift towards a real availability of information so long denied "the public" by major newsagencies.

    It will be interesting to note which of the news organisations who’ve been given only restricted access to Gaza, will use and acknowledge Al Jazeera footage. Lack of use of footage of key events could show up an organisation’s inability (or maybe unwillingness) to do some real reporting.

    Think also of what kinds of investigation of broadcast quality footage may be made by so many individuals if they are able to view stuff that hasn’t been rendered into fuzzy mush by the youtube yahoo filter or edited into meaninglessness by whichever newsagency has an interest to protect.
    Of course Al Jazeera’s own biases may be also dissected in any free and open viewing ;-) And with any luck, voices from Gaza may join in to refine the Al Jazeera version.
    But only if this stuff is out there and freely viewable.

    What’s not to like about a content model that prevents concentration of control into single hands? I just wish that producers of content would wake up to the logic that open control will always allow them a better set of options than signing their ownership away.

    I’m a fan of subscription and hope that content producers can eventually find many transparent subscription models to fund their activities.

  4. #4 Tomer says:

    Keep in mind that the Israeli Defense Forces are not fighting against "the Palestinian people" as you described them but against the Hamas terrorism. Hamas is using kids in order to protect the Hamas terrorists, and the Hamas leaders are hiding themselves in Gaza hospital in order to make sure Israel won’t be able to locate them.

    Al Jazeera, as a news network, are taking side in this war, and not broadcasting pictures from the other side, from the side in which Israeli kids can get hurt or even die in their schools by missile attacks made by the Hamas Terrorists, for 8 years now, and they do some propaganda pro-Hamas while telling only half of the truth by faking photos and not making showcase for the Israeli part in this conflict.

    I do know some civilian Palestinian people and hope they won’t get hurt. At the moment Hamas will stop attacking Israel, IDF will get out of Gaza strip right away.

  5. #5 Ran says:

    You forget than Al-Jazeera has ulterior motives in this. They show a certain perspective and still edit the footage before releasing it, deciding what to show and what not, in order to further their agenda and the agendas of their sponsors, all in the guise of "Freedom of Information". So while the model itself is right-on, having one biased player in the scene is a problem.

  6. #6 anonymus says:

    "No matter our views about the Israeli bloody war against the Palestinian people"

    Israel is making war against Hamas, that returned to attack Israeli citizens. there are more then 1,000 armed people that where killed, and the civilians that where killed, mostly by the Hamas itself rather then the Isreli attack.

    Al Jazira, invent picture and footage, and never display the whole story, so what does we have to learn from it other then it’s just distribute propoganda ?

  7. #7 Peter Reaper says:

    "Israeli bloody war against the Palestinian people"

    I find that statement highly erroneous, misleading, and offensive.

    The Israelis are most definitely not waging a war against the Palestinian people, they are waging war against Hamas, who have been firing rockets into Israel for the past 8 years - even after Israel completely withdrew from Gaza more than two years ago.

    I hope you will consider some additional news sources other than the anti-Semitic mainstram media:

    http://www.israellycool.com/
    http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/
    http://www.jihadwatch.org/

  8. #8 Peter Reaper says:

    Oh, and why do you think a for-profit news organization is giving away their footage for free? Out of altruism? Or because they want to spread their anti-Western propaganda as far and wide as possible?

    By advertising for Al Jazeera uncritically, you have just become a tool of the Islamic Jihad.

    Did you know that Al Jazeera recently threw a big birthday party for the man who went into Israel and murdered a father in front of his young daughter, and then smashed her head with his rifle butt?

    A must-read book:

    http://www.amazon.com/Politically-Incorrect-Guide-Islam-Crusades/dp/0895260131/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1232014267&sr=1-1

  9. #9 Giorgio says:

    @Anonymous and anonymous:

    [Al Jazeera] might only provide the footage favorable to the points of view they want to push, and discard the footage they want to suppress.

    Well, on these grounds it’s very easy arguing that, by banning all independent reporters from the zone, the Israeli military are trying to “only provide the footage favorable to the point of view they want to push“, i.e. none.
    Keep in mind that the Israeli Defense Forces are not fighting against “the Palestinian people” as you described them but against the Hamas terrorism. Hamas is using kids in order to protect the Hamas terrorists, and the Hamas leaders are hiding themselves in Gaza hospital in order to make sure Israel won’t be able to locate them.
    Have you got any proof of what you’re saying, other than the surely unbiased words of the Israeli establishment?
    And talking about words, why are Hamas’ rockets, which made less than 20 dead in 6 years, to be called “terrorism” while Israeli bombs, white phosphorus and other experimental (thus illegal) weapons, which are killing hundreds and wounding thousands (the vast majority of them civilians) in a few weeks are “legitimate self defense”?
    We need some word hygiene here, as my “bloody war” original term is probably an euphemism: it’s terrorism from both sides (at least), and if you can grade terrorism by its civilian death toll, Israel’s is 100 times worse than Hamas’. If you disagree, please give me a clear definition of “Terrorism”, because on the ambiguity of this word the most terrible mass murders have been committed by nations after WW II.

    there are more then 1,000 armed people that where killed

    Even if it was true, most armed people in Gaza are regular civilian police. Are you counting policemen dead in the 9/11 tragedy as “armed people”, therefore not worth to be counted as terrorism victims?

    and the civilians that where killed, mostly by the Hamas itself rather then the Isreli attack

    Again, have you got any proof of what you’re saying? I’m afraid you’ve got none, and for one reason very pertinent to my post: Israel did not allow any 3rd party to go there and verify its claims.

    @Peter Reaper:
    There’s no “mainstream anti-Semitic media” that I know.
    Actually, it’s quite a nonsensical expression, since after WW II and the Holocaust, the idiocy called antisemitism has been banned from any mainstream, and rightly so. The only “mainstream” antisemitism that is coming back in recent times is from the ever-fascist catholic church, with Mr. Ratzinger restoring in 2007 the “Oremus et pro perfidis Judaeis” (”Let’s pray for evil Jews“) prayer and denying the well-documented softness of pope Pius XII about Nazi’s policies.

    That said, if I praise Al Jazeera for an initiative which objectively improve information freedom (no matter its intention or its affiliations) I’m not at all becoming “a tool of Islamic Jihad” (go figure if I could, as a rationalist atheist).

    On the other hand, if I judged your position by the “additional news sources” you’re recommending, I should say you’ve just become a tool of “Zionist Terrorism”:
    Just quoting the topmost entries at http://www.israellycool.com/:

    1:00PM: An IAF strike has reduced 5 more terrorists to compost.

    12:25PM: UNRWA official Chris Guinness is claiming that their building was hit by white phosphorus shells. And he knows this based on “military savvy” eyewitness reports. More like “propaganda savvy.”

    12:10PM: Israeli tanks have been shelling downtown Gaza, hitting a UNRWA site and apparently Reuters offices. There are also reports that Hamas terrorists had barricaded themselves inside a press office, using people there as human shields (If this is the Reuters office, then I would assume the people there volunteered to be human shields).

    “Reduced to compost” sounds like the worst fascist rhetoric to me, and the way the UNRWA+Routers hit is reported speaks a lot about the whole “human shield” excuse: “OK, we hit the United Nations Relief and Works Agency and the offices of a primary press agency, but wait, “there are reports” that some terrorists were inside and after all those journalists deserved to die!”.

  10. #10 Ian M says:

    "Even if it was true, most armed people in Gaza are regular civilian police."

    Actually, it’s even worse than this - those police targeted in the first days were UNARMED civilian police who were NOT affiliated with Hamas.

    And why do Hamas fire rockets? Because even in ‘peacetime’ Israel was killing people in Gaza daily by the blockade - see this post on a site most people should find fairly impartial, Oxfam - http://www.oxfam.org.uk/applications/blogs/pressoffice/?p=2954 for a taste of what it’s like to live there.

    I’d also like to point out something about Al-Jazeera - all the criticisms see about them seem to boil down to the argument that "they aren’t white". They are one of the first really independent sources of media in a region of the world where the alternatives are almost all state controlled. They have been criticised in the past for letting terrorists and other undesirables etc air their views alongside everyone else. What, actually balanced reporting covering both sides of a story? They must all be evil terrorist collaborators! How dare other people have different opinions!

    Not to mention that a large number of people working at Al-Jazeera are from one of the most respected news organisations in the world - the BBC. Is the BBC also an evil source of only terrorist propaganda?

  11. #11 Ian M says:

    Oh, and finally, see this chat with this lovely chap from the Israeli police - http://digg.com/world_news/Israeli_border_policemen_about_Palestinians

  12. #12 jojoj says:

    the jews are occupires that oppres the people and commit violations against man hamas are freedom fighters

  13. #13 Peter Reaper says:

    It’s a big topic, and very hard to "discuss" in the comment section of a blog. so I’ll just say this:

    Anti-Zionism is a facade for Antisemitism.

    Just look at who is protesting against Israel together with the Muslims. Mainly the left! Hmmm.

    Accusing Israel of "terrorism" is perverse. Terrorism is when you intend to scare the civilian population. Here, we don’t have the Israelis "terrorizing" (active voice), we have the Arabs "being terrorized" (passive voice). Yes, the civilian population is scared by Israels actions, but as an unwanted side effect of Hamas’ using them as human shields. This is so obvious, that not seeing it is an excellent litmus test for antisemitism (or ignorance).

    The comment about BBC being a quality news organization: They are not.

    It’s not about Al Jazeera not being "white" (that’s ludicrous), it’s about Al Jazeera being a Muslim organization! Read the Koran and Hadith, or the book by Robert Spencer I linked to previously to understand why that is important.

  14. #14 Peter Reaper says:

    while Israeli bombs, white phosphorus and other experimental (thus illegal) weapons

    More leftist lies. The facts:

    "using phosphorus to illuminate a target or create smoke is legitimate under international law, and that there was no evidence the Jewish state was intentionally using phosphorus in a questionable way, such as burning down buildings or consciously putting civilians at risk.

    White phosphorus has, however, been used as a weapon against civilians during this conflict… by Hamas."

    http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2009/01/gaza-jihad-fires-phosphorus-bomb-at-israel.html

    It’s always the same game: The left makes false claims against Israel. The claims are dis-proven. The left ignores those proofs and makes new false claims. I wonder what the motivation behind this could be. Hmmm.

  15. #15 Giorgio says:

    @Peter Reaper:

    Anti-Zionism is a facade for Antisemitism.

    Yeah, and anti-Bushism is just a facade for eugenics…

    Just look at who is protesting against Israel together with The Muslims. Mainly the left! Hmmm.

    Oh sorry, how could I miss that?
    In facts, I should have noticed those two antisemitic guys, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, the most famous left-wingers in history…

    Accusing Israel of “terrorism” is perverse. Terrorism is when you intend to scare the civilian population. Here, we don’t have the Israelis “terrorizing” (active voice), we have the Arabs “being terrorized” (passive voice). Yes, the civilian population is scared by Israels actions, but as an unwanted side effect of Hamas’ using them as human shields. This is so obvious, that not seeing it is an excellent litmus test for antisemitism (or ignorance).

    Terrorism is the right word for what Israel is doing. Gaza is a sealed-borders prison with an impossibly high population density and no escape for civilians: bombing it the way Israel is doing amounts to genocide. Did you notice there are no refugees in this so called “war”?
    The whole human shields myth is a blatant lie, as demonstrated also today by the Routers and UNRWA carnage, for which Israel had to officially apologize, since UN officials testified there was no Hamas agent in the nearbies. Not seeing that is an excellent litmus test for zionist fanatism (or ignorance).

    The comment about BBC being a quality news organization: They are not.

    Right, those blogs you linked are far more reliable than BBC, thanks. Or do you prefer Foxnews?

    It’s about Al Jazeera being a Muslim organization, Read the Koran and Hadith

    I couldn’t agree more with this statement. Confessional bias is the worst of all biases, because it has no rational basis and you can’t logically argue with it.
    Most if not all the western media are self-proclaimed Christian or Judaist, and the Bible teaches the very same irrational, cruel and inhuman contempt for the different as the Koran, which after all is a late derivative of the same culture.
    Then, I’m still for free-speech and free-press, as long as we’re able to recognize the bias and discern the truth inside biased reports.

    More leftist lies. The facts:
    “using phosphorus to illuminate a target or create smoke is legitimate under international law, and that there was no evidence the Jewish state was intentionally using phosphorus in a questionable way, such as burning down buildings or consciously putting civilians at risk.

    Here’s a clear example of “unbiased facts” from a directly interested party charged for war crimes by UN officials who eye-witnessed them.
    But let’s give it some credit. you know how much Gaza is overpopulated.
    Even if you were not lying and in your intention phosphorus bombs are to “to illuminate a target”, you’re unavoidably making them fall on the civilian people, burning their bodies in the most atrocious ways.
    If you can’t understand that, you’re too stupid to hold any weapon and you should be immediately disarmed by the international community.

    White phosphorus has, however, been used as a weapon against civilians during this conflict… by Hamas.”

    Proofs? Any 33d party validation of this claim whose primary source is an Israeli right-wing activist site?

    It’s always the same game: The left makes false claims against Israel. The claims are dis-proven. The left ignores those proofs and makes new false claims.

    It’s a bit different: the international community, humanitarian organizations and free press, observe, testify and condemn Israeli war crimes (which would be sanctioned by UN, but can’t be because of the right-wing US vetoes). Israeli establishment denies, while trying to suppress any possibility of independent reporting from the area.
    Denying is very different than “disproving”.

    I wonder what the motivation behind this could be. Hmmm.

    That’s a very good question.
    Israel’s motivation in denying its responsibility is clear. So would be Palestinians’ or Iran’s motivation in accusing Israel.
    But why should international humanitarian organizations and press agencies lie?

    BTW, are you interested in an official Israeli Defence Forces admission of using white phosphorous as a weapon against people in the II Lebanon war reported by your own side?

  16. #16 Peter Reaper says:

    I’ll just respond to this:

    the Bible teaches the very same irrational, cruel and inhuman contempt for the different as the Koran

    That is demonstrably and dangerously false (full disclosure: I’m an atheist). Please read this:

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/islam101/

    Particularly this section:

    What about the violent passages in the Bible?

    […] the violent passages in the Bible certainly do no amount to a standing order to commit violence against the rest of the world. Unlike the Quran, the Bible is a huge collection of documents written by different people at different times in different contexts, which allows for much greater interpretative freedom. The Quran, on the other hand, comes exclusively from one source: Muhammad. It is through the life of Muhammad that the Quran must be understood, as the Quran itself says. His wars and killings both reflect and inform the meaning of the Quran. Furthermore, the strict literalism of the Quran means that there is no room for interpretation when it comes to its violent injunctions. As it is through the example of Christ, the "Prince of Peace," that Christianity interprets its scriptures, so it is through the example of the warlord and despot Muhammad that Muslims understand the Quran.

  17. #17 Peter Reaper says:

    bombing it the way Israel is doing amounts to genocide.

    Have you noticed how the population of Gaza keeps increasing? Those Jews must suck at genocide. ;-)

    Right, those blogs you linked are far more reliable than BBC

    Yes, I do think they are more reliable and honest. At a minimum, I hope you will consider reading some of them for a while to at least get the other side’s viewpoint.

    anti-Bushism is just a facade for eugenics

    I don’t think you know what you wrote there. ;-)

    PS. I’m having a hard time "reading" those captcha images - even after multiple regenerations. No biggie though.

  18. #18 Giorgio says:

    @Peter Reaper:

    Speaking about “Christ, the Prince of Peace” who came “not to bring peace, but to bring a sword” (Matthew 10:34), I don’t recall Jews are bound to a supposedly Christian “pacifist” interpretation of their books (and so don’t seem to be most fundamentalist right-wing US self-proclaimed Christ followers).

    Have you noticed how the population of Gaza keeps increasing? Those Jews must suck at genocide. ;-)

    Do you mean Gaza population grew since last Christmas? Hard to believe and not funny at all, especially considered the tragic destiny of Jews in the past century. Anyway, give Israel some more time: after all, Holocaust could not been accomplished in a few weeks.

  19. #19 Peter Reaper says:

    Here is a worthwhile read on hypocrisy, proportionality, and civilian casualties:

    http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2009/01/15/some-comparative-urban-aerial-warfare-martin-sherman-compares-allies-in-kosovo-vs-israelis-in-gaza/

  20. #20 Giorgio says:

    @Peter Reaper:
    In Kosovo there were several armies at war, a couple of ongoing genocides and, nonetheless, the NATO intervention has been a slaughter and the post-intervention “peace keeping” as been ineffective, to say the least.
    Using this epic failure as an argument to justify Israel’s terrorism is an idiotic nonsense, though.

    P.S.:
    I thought my “anti-Bushism = eugenics” joke was quite understandable, if not nice, but can admit that my humour is often contorted, or just non-existent.

  21. #21 Peter Reaper says:

    A direct answer to the article you cited

    Ironically, that article links to another article, which completely debunks the whole equivalence argument:

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/011599.php

    Do you mean Gaza population grew since last Christmas?

    Oh, so you meant the genocide started around Christmas, and not 60 years ago? Well, when this war ends (prematurely), the Arabs will still be in Gaza in large and increasing numbers, and you and the other leftists will have forgotten about that (non-existent) genocide, and will be proclaiming the next genocide perpetrated by the Jews. And thus the cycle of anti-Zionism continues.

    I thought my “anti-Bushism = eugenics” joke was quite understandable

    I know what you meant to say, but if you look at the logic of your sentence, you actually said the opposite of what you meant! ;-)

  22. #22 Peter Reaper says:

    Jews completely misunderstand how to commit genocide:

    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/32448_Video-_IDF_Strikes_Aborted_to_Protect_Civilians#rss

  23. #23 John Drinkwater says:

    Peter,
    what’s with constantly focussing on ‘Jews’, do you think Giorgio is condemning Israel solely on religious grounds? If you’d read his post and further comments which you’re ignoring…

    All you’ve done so far in comments is link to propaganga that agrees with *your-viewpoint*

  24. #24 Alan Baxter says:

    On the subject of distributing someone else’s work. I think I can add this opinion under fair use. (BTW, I didn’t get your joke either, Giorgio, but I figured it’s because you have a warped sense of humor.)

    From http://www.economist.com/opinion/displayStory.cfm?story_id=12899483
    There is a limit, however. Taking Hamas down a peg is one thing. But even in the event of Israel “winning” in Gaza, a hundred years of war suggest that the Palestinians cannot be silenced by brute force. Hamas will survive, and with it that strain in Arab thinking which says that a Jewish state does not belong in the Middle East. To counter that view, Israel must show not only that it is too strong to be swept away but also that it is willing to give up the land—the West Bank, not just Gaza—where the promised Palestinian state must stand. Unless it starts doing that convincingly, at a minimum by freezing new settlement, it is Palestine’s zealots who will flourish and its peacemakers who will fall back into silence. All of Israel’s friends, including Barack Obama, should be telling it this.

  25. #25 Simon Chen says:

    It’s nice that one news network is allowing clips to be shared freely. I’ve been watching this on the news and it is disheartening.

    As for whom to believe, rhe IDF don’t really have a track record of being truthful about the battlefield or even "peacetime" petrols in territory they are occupying. Remember James Miller. When that was happening, the video of his murder was already available and it showed that the Israeli everchanging official position of … it was a hamas bullet to his back, which then changed to … an anti-tank missile came from that direction, then changed again … he was hit in a crossfire, and then finally … guess what, it was our soldier that killed him all along. but we’re not gonna do him for murder, we’ll just disciplene him for not getting his story right the first time and for failing to follow the rules of engagement.

    While the video that was available all along, showed absolutely nothing else going on. Only two shots fired. Both by the israeli soldiers, while Miller’s team had bright TV vests on with a white flag, and were shouting we’re TV crews.

    Simply … if in the face of video evidence like this the israeli are willing to lie for so long, how can you trust them to tell the truth when they are not allowing press in there.

    That video of the aborted IDF strike is as authentic as Comical Ali’s account of how the Americans were being slaughtered and defeated in the borders of Iraq.

  26. #26 Shachar says:

    Hi,

    My name is Roy. I have this site on my google reader for quite a long time. I was surprised that instead of hearing about new security related issues we need to hear some mumbling from a person who probably never took the time to get the details but still writes on the Israeli-arab conflict with such strong opinion as if he was observing it for decades.

    Well I am 32 YO from Israel and this is my POV, maybe you’ll hear for the first time in your life the story not from the biased European media.

    Lets begin from the end – the current war in Gaza. It did not start a couple of weeks ago. It actually started 8 years ago (February 10, 2002) when the first quasam rocket was fired from Gaza to the Israeli city "sderot". It was the first out of thousands of rockets fired at southern villages and cities in southern Israel. During the last 8 years these rockets killed 28 people, wounded hundreds and made the life of civilians in southern Israel a living hell. Needless to say, these are rockets targeting civilians – nothing else. This is not a case of targeting military and hitting civilians by mistake. The Palestinians deliberately fired almost 10,000 rockets during these 8 years exclusively on civilians.
    You can see here Osher twito, an Israeli boy who lost his leg by one of these missiles:
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/965269.html

    and you can read about the rockets here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qassam_rocket

    In the summer of 2005 Israeli performed ethnic cleansing when it expelled 9000 Jews, Israeli citizens from their home in Gaza region. They where taken by force from their home and afterward the villages where they leaved were demolished. On September 11 , 2005 the last Israeli soldier left Gaza. By the way in the year 569 there was built a big synagogue in Gaza by the Jews who lived there:
    http://www.daat.ac.il/encyclopedia/images/gaza-phsephas.jpg
    You can’t find historical evidence on Palestinian life back than because the Palestinian people was invented (yes, invented) on the 20′th century (the biblical Palestinians where actually red headed mariners from Europe according to historical research, The "come back" of the Palestinian was when the British soldiers who occupied Israeli 70 years ago, called the locals Palestinians (both Jews and Muslims).

    After Israel left Gaza the rockets didn’t stop. The Palestinians took advantage and used billions of dollars that they got from the European community donations to build more and more rockets, to build tunnels from gaza to Egypt and to build their army. This was getting even more serious when on June 2007 Hamas took control over Gaza killing hundreds of Palestinians from the Fatch movement, executing them on the streets of Gaza: http://www.btselem.org/english/special/20070617_inter_palestinian_violence.asp
    Hamas throw rivals off high-rise Gaza buildings:
    http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvSMlPaD_Zo
    HAMAS execute FATAH & Civilians youth Woman, Etc.. more then 750 Murdered:
    http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=MVBYMNRFdbM&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brmqjsm0lMI

    No one in Israel was surprised. This it the same Hamas the killed more than 1000 Israeli citizens in suicide bombing attacks on schools, synagogues, coffee bars, discos, buses, shopping malls. These are the "liberty" acts of your friends Giorgio, this is what you are actually supporting:

    http://stage.co.il/s/299562 (very graphic)
    http://uploaded.fresh.co.il/2004/09/05/534684.jpg
    http://www.jr.co.il/terror/israel/index.html

    In one of these barbaric acts I lost a dear fried of mine, my first love, Bat Chen was her name. she was torn to pieces by a suicide bomber on her 15′th birthday:
    http://www.batchen.co.il/english/site/

    So instead of reading about new XSS/CSRF/Phising attacks I am now trying to understand how come people blame Israel for what’s going on. No other nation in the world but Israel would cope with thing like these.

  27. #27 Peter Reaper says:

    I am now trying to understand how come people blame Israel for what’s going on.

    There are many reasons: ignorance of facts, inability to judge reality based on values, the need to make their former victims - the Jews - also be "bad" to lessen their guilt, simplistic view of what humanism is, etc.

    Israel must:

    - do what is necessary to defend itself from the totalitarian barbarism called Islam

    - constantly educate the left in the West about the historical facts

    Israel has my support. Good luck!

  28. #28 Zena says:

    I’m sure nobody in palenstine loses a loved one daily…

  29. #29 Shachar Roy says:

    dear Zena,

    people are dying on both sides. but the big difference is that hammas uses children (and adults) as human shields, my friend was murdered while crossing the street outside a shopping mall.

    Hamas is now firing his rockets from school yards and roofs in Gaza. this was the same in Lebanon when Hizbullah fired his rockets from UN camps and from schools hoping that there will be civilians killed when IDF shots back.

    So I get you Zena, it doesnt matter if on one side theres a country defending its bombarded citizens and on the other side there is a terrorist organization fighting with the kids as his shield. you are only interested in the body count. from that perspective you might as well support Gernmany on WW2 over Britain right?

  30. #30 Shachar Roy says:

    Listen to what Hamas is saying:
    http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=RTu-AUE9ycs&NR=1

    Listen to the palestinian girl who lost her sister:
    http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=uoi0TGyx_uA&feature=related

    Hamas using children as human shield:
    http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=J08GqXMr3YE&feature=related
    Hamas using children as human shield (2):
    http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=i3c5uWIDBXY&NR=1

    education of kids in gaza, supported by European donations:
    http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=qSwpAX1xvrc&feature=channel_page
    http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=L0_ExnR6yxs&feature=channel
    http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=6fiRMLVcjfc&feature=channel

  31. #31 Klank Kiki says:

    Hamas using human shields is a blatant lie:
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=J08GqXMr3YE

    Hamas rigging a school rigged with explosives is a blatant lie:
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHhs9ihSmbU

    Don’t believe these videos. They were obviously made in Hollywood studios under orders from ZOG.

  32. #32 Shachar Roy says:

    Here are some more vids from Hollywood (controlled by the zionists…):

    The twin towers - was attacked by them filthy Jews (that blamed those innocent muslims)
    http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=vSfYmBCzIOo&feature=related

    And again Jews commited a massacre in Bislan and claimed it was an Islamic attack:
    http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=TwqYRAtyc0c

    14 yo jewish suicide bomber kid (don’t believe he is a muslim):
    http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=PPU4UN03t7E

    Jews killing an old jewish lady (great production by the zionist hollywood team):
    http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=ove5ncfA71s

    Zionists Jews attack innocent british civilians:
    http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=EZXBMC4-l-w

    Jews killing spanish childer:
    http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=6Eoxa7G0LUk

    Jewish suicide bomber explodes in India:
    http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=Yihv8bQnK3M

    Jewish women suicide bomber in Iraq:
    http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk7b7idwC5s

    Jews killing 200 muslims and austrelian turists in Bali (indonesia):
    http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=XcuTlN110gY

    Jewish women talking shit about Islam:
    http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=vAxUh7IL2FQ

    Jewish man talking shit about Islam:
    http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=7w8nTcjDdzk&feature=related

    The Jews killed the armenians, not the turkish people!!
    http://il.youtube.com/verify_age?&next_url=/watch%3Fv%3DotwzEGReFeI

  33. #33 Simon Chen says:

    Wow, I we were top when it comes to propaganda, but I guess we have nothing on you guys with your dedicated you tube channel! I guess the Chinese government can learn a lot from the Israeli government on distorting views, and spreading hate against others!

    I can also say that there is no way we’d get away with killing 1200 Taiwanese in three weeks, let alone get someone else to pay for the weapons for us to do it with! :-)

    If Israeli thinks it is fine to start killing 14 to 15 civilians for each potential enemy combatant, when all the enemy is capable of doing is firing rockets the general direction of an israeli town typically just disturbing dust, I wonder what they would do if the enemy blew up hotel or something like it happened in India. You can learn a thing or two about civility from that country.

  34. #34 shachar roy says:

    Hey Simon Chen,

    What would China do if taiwan throw around 10,000 rocket at it? Lets say the body count would be around 10,000 at least…
    And if its only disturbing dust I guess you wouldn’t mind if someone would drop 10 kilo of C4 explosives onto your house. it would even bother the sleeping children right Chen?

  35. #35 Simon Chen says:

    Don’t be silly, if a bomb actually hits a child than it isn’t just distrurbing dust now is it? :-p

    How many israelis have these rockets killed? … only 13. so like I said, these rockets are just disturbing dust. They’re not doing that much damage.

    What would China do? well that’s just rhetorical since, China isn’t doing anything to aggrevate the Taiwanese population. It still is an occupation of sorts as we claim it as part of our territory, but we let them do as they please.

    We don’t
    - blockade their borders
    - keep them under seige
    - control their waterways
    - stifle their business
    - dictate whom they may trade with
    - withhold any aid heading their way
    - meddle in their finances
    - taunt them with sonic booms of jet fighters flying over them all the time

    Israel does all of the above when it comes to palestine.

    So let’s assume China actually did do all of that, and Taiwan did have a resistance movement, which did manage to kill 13 Chinese over a period of 8 years. I still don’t think even China would respond by killing 1300 Taiwanese over 3 weeks of indiscriminate bombing.

    But, I’m not saying for a second that China has a good government. It’s done its fair share of killing and stealing land (from its own population mind you). I’m just saying it looks angelic compared to the Israeli one.

  36. #36 Peter Reaper says:

    For those of you who still believe Israel is full of hate and aggression, here is some reporting from inside Israel you will not see from the MSM:

    http://www.pjtv.com/?cmd=video&video-id=1192&video-title=Joe_the_Plumber_visits_Lebanon_border%2C_Kibbutz&series-name=Middle_East_Upate

    http://www.pjtv.com/?cmd=video&video-id=1205&video-title=Growing_Up_With_Rocket_Attacks_-_Joe_the_Plumber%2C_Day_6&series-name=Middle_East_Upate

    http://www.pjtv.com/?cmd=video&video-id=1200&video-title=Joe_the_Plumber_Challenges_Obama_on_Hamas_Charter&series-name=Middle_East_Upate

    PS. Chen: Does the term "projection" mean anything to you? (i.e. it sounds like you would like China to attack Taiwan)

  37. #37 bleh says:

    "No matter our views about the Israeli bloody war* terrorism against the Palestinian people,"

    Those stupid ass palestinians are getting _exactly_ what they asked for. I hope that Israel doesn’t stop until each and every last one of them are "gone".

    They are a waste of skin anyway.

  38. #38 David s. says:

    Don’t be silly Chen , did you forget the 1100 people from Israel that were murdered by the suicide bombers from 1993 to 2003?

  39. #39 Simon Chen says:

    @Peter: no I’m quite fond of Taiwan, and I’d rather have our government gave up its claim to Taiwan and Tibet. But that’s only a little more likely than the Israeli government actually allowing the Palestinian people to prosper. It is however way more likely than Israel allowing independence of Palestine.

    You should visit Taiwan some time. It’ll show you how civilised societies allow even their occupied territories to prosper. When that happens, they stop trying to kill you and find otherways of seeking independence. I go their on business quite regularly. I could show you around.

    I see you posted more propaganda links…

    I’ve already had a look at israellycool.com. A bunch of us were looking at the site at work and laughing at the propaganda it is spewing. A Jewish guy at work noticed us checking out the site with giggles and comments, and asked How I would feel if he was reading some site on Chinese government propaganda and was poking fun at them? I said I’ll show him a few and I’d join him. And also reminded his very short memory that we just had the olympics and prettymuch everyone including him (and myself) were doing extactly that for months leading up to that. And that at times they did step over the line so far that would’ve got him screaming anti-semetism and reminding me of what his "people had been through".

    My point is, even moderate jewish people know that web site is full of propaganda. It is funny to see how they still get so defensive about even the most absurd right wing people like the author of that site. Even though they when away from "outsiders" they curse the people like that site’s author. You’d never see me get all worked up about communist bashing and china jokes that had been the hot topic for weeks.

    Jihad Watch … That site is just plain racist!

    The youtube sites are simple Israeli Army Propaganda, on par with the Iraqi ministry of information.

    And Joe the plumber visit’s middle east?! LOL! he’s just trying to stretch his 15 minutes!

    @David: Olmert didn’t mention these 1100. He kept saying this attack on gaza was because of the rockets being fired out of there.

    But, if you want to go by those numbers, Israel has killed 10s of thousands, probably close to a hundred thousand since the jews were moved into that area. and back then, they were the terrorists attacking the british, the arabs, and even the americans.

    @bleh: someone brave enough to say what 90% of israeli’s seem to want. ethnic cleansing.

  40. #40 Peter Reaper says:

    Jihad Watch … That site is just plain racist!

    You do realize that Islam is not a race!?

    And the reason the site is anti-Islam (and not "racist"), is because a rational analysis of Islam reveals that it is a very inhumane totalitarian militaristic political system disguised as a religion. If you had read some of the articles there, you would (hopefully) have seen that they are based on provable facts about Islam.

    Your offhanded remark about "racism" and lack of supporting arguments indicates that you are more interested in clinging to your world-view than a rational and honest evaluation of reality.

    what 90% of israeli’s seem to want. ethnic cleansing.

    Oh, come on! They are so interested in ethnic cleansing that they (foolishly) agreed to yet another cease-fire. And before you say they were forced into it by the international community: When was the last time a regime that was truly engaged in ethnic cleansing respond to international diplomatic pressure. Hitler? No. Stalin? No. Janjaweed in Darfur? No. etc.

    It is clear that you want to see Israel as the aggressors, because any objective view of the facts point in the opposite direction.

    PS. I’m glad to hear you oppose the forced annexation of Tibet and the support the independence of Taiwan.

  41. #41 Giorgio says:

    @Peter Reaper:
    systematically shooting children in their heads is not ethnic cleansing (an euphemism for genocide), right?

    And yes,the cease-fire has been forced by international pressure and it’s a “courtesy” to Obama’s inauguration week, just like the decision of attacking during the last month of GW’s presidency to be sure of the unconditional US protection against concrete UN retaliations: in other words, just cowardice.

  42. #42 Peter Reaper says:

    systematically shooting children in their heads is not ethnic cleansing (an euphemism for genocide), right?

    There is no indication that the child was deliberately shot, let alone an indication that such deliberate shooting of children is "systematic". Why do you ignore all the evidence that Hamas is using these children as human shields, and that these tragic incidents are solely Hamas’ fault?

    attacking during the last month of GW’s presidency to be sure of the unconditional US protection […] cowardice

    What is wrong with waging a war when the conditions are more favorable? You use an objectively successful war strategy as proof that the war is unjust. That’s illogical.

    An the US’s support is not "unconditional". That would mean that both Israel and the US encourage and perpetuate genocide. If Israel really were committing genocide, the US would be one of the first countries to object (as it has with Darfur!). You demonstrate a severe lack of understanding of Americans and Israelis and their values.

  43. #43 Giorgio says:

    @Peter Reaper

    There is no indication that the child was deliberately shot, let alone an indication that such deliberate shooting of children is “systematic”

    The fact multiple children survived to bullets in their heads, having no bullet wounds in other parts of their bodies clearly hints to deliberate shots, rather than casual mass firing. The latter would be equally criminal anyway, in close proximity to civilians, and especially underage civilians.

    Why do you ignore all the evidence that Hamas is using these children as human shields

    What evidence? The whole “human shield” lie has been debunked both on the legal side and on the factual side. Unless you consider schools, hospitals, press agencies and UN offices full of civilians who have no other shelter or escape as “military targets”…

    You use an objectively successful war strategy as proof that the war is unjust.

    No, I was answering yourAnd before you say they were forced into it by the international community” nonsense, just saying Israel can get away with its criminal conduct only because it is well protected by the US vetoes in the UN security council. Any other country behaving similarly would be immediately invaded by US army (provided that there’s enough economic incentive, like in Iraq or Afghanistan) and/or “peacekept” by Blue Helmets. This “successful war strategy” about the US presidential transition timetable is just another proof of this self-evident fact.

    An the US’s support is not “unconditional”. That would mean that both Israel and the US encourage and perpetuate genocide.

    I still don’t want to believe you’re utterly dishonest, so I’ll maintain you’re just ingenuous and misinformed. Ever heard of Rwanda or East Timor?

  44. #44 shachar roy says:

    systematically shooting children in their heads is??
    systematically shooting children in their heads is??!?!?

    whoever wrote this down is not pro-Palestinian, not anti-Zionist and not even anti-Israeli. this is plain old anti-Semitism, stinking madivel anti-Semitism.

    There was only one child delivertly shoot in the head / executed in Israel during the last 50 year:

    Shalhevet pass - 10-month-old jewish girl was shot in the head by an Islamic Palestinian sniper (monster): http://www.israelnewsagency.com/palestinechildterrorismisrael88480521.html

    And there where also Einat haran , 4 year old jewish girl -> "Kuntar killed the girl by smashing her skull against the rocks with the butt of his rifle" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1979_Nahariya_attack
    The killer of einat was Samir kuntar, your favorite Al-jazira channel threw him a party when he was released from prison in Israel.

    I guess that although you are denied Christianity some of the poison that was probably poured into your head about "the traitors that gave Jesus to crucifixion" is still live and kicking. At least I now know that this is just the usually old European hatred, nothing we can’t deal with…

  45. #45 shachar roy says:

    multiple children survived to bullets in their head?

    can you prove it? Even the palestinians don’t claim this

  46. #46 Giorgio says:

    @Shachar roy:

    whoever wrote this down is not pro-Palestinian, not anti-Zionist and not even anti-Israeli. this is plain old anti-Semitism, stinking madivel anti-Semitism.
    […]
    multiple children survived to bullets in their head?
    can you prove it? Even the palestinians don’t claim this

    In facts, he was not a Palestinian but the Egytptian surgeon who treated those children, Dr. Ahmed Yahia, quoted by the British Telegraph.
    And I’m not denying some Israeli innocent people have been murdered by Palestinian “terrorists”, but reacting with a disproportionate mass slaughter of harmless children and women, is just creating more desperation and, therefore, more “terrorism”.

  47. #47 Peter Reaper says:

    The fact multiple children survived to bullets in their head, having no bullet wounds in other parts of their bodies clearly hints to deliberate shots

    For me, it would be an indication that Hamas was using them as human shields and that the Israelis were trying to shoot above the smaller children to hit the taller adults. And that’s assuming "multiple" means much more than two - which I don’t believe is the case.

    To even think that Israelis would target children in such a way demonstrates an extreme level of ignorance about Israel and its people.

    The whole “human shield” lie has been debunked

    Really? I think the evidence is overwhelming.

    Unless you consider schools, hospitals, press agencies and UN offices full of civilians who have no other shelter or escape as “military targets”

    The Hamas who are hiding in these buildings make these legitimate military targets. It is Hamas who you should be aiming you outrage at.

    "Mosques, like all houses of worship, are presumptively civilian objects that may not be attacked unless they are being used for military purposes, such as a military headquarters or a location for storing weapons and ammunition."
    http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2008/12/31/q-hostilities-between-israel-and-hamas#_What_are_the

    "Gaza militants used to wear black or khaki uniforms, but since the start of the Israeli offensive have been operating in civilian clothing, blending into crowds, residents say."
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=99071510&ft=1&f=1001

    Ever heard of Rwanda or East Timor?

    In Rwanda, the US was the only country sitting on only one thumb. All other countries were sitting on both thumbs. To claim that the US "encourages and perpetuates genocide" is dishonest, ingenuous, and/or misinformed.

    I was only 10 when East Timor happened. A brief check reveals that the situation was complex. We are having a hard enough time agreeing on basics about today’s events, so bringing up another complex subject would be counterproductive. (no, I am not avoiding it because I’m conceding your point!)

  48. #48 Shachar Roy says:

    It’s actually getting ever worse-

    Now a sniper that shoots a 10 month baby girl is not a terrorist, he is a "terrorist". you just forgotten to add the wink right?

    And about the Egyptian surgeon - is this your idea about object or reliable source? You must be kidding. Every time the Palestinians have evidence about something horrible they show it to the entire world, if this "doctor" had even one child with a bullet wound in his skull (and only there) your friend at al-jazira would show it over and over (and over) again…

  49. #49 Giorgio says:

    @Shachar Roy:
    I quoted “terrorism” and “terrorist” because nobody seem to agree with a definition for this word.
    However I said “murdered”, which qualifies whoever pulled the trigger as a murderer at least.
    That said, insensitive people could use the same argument Peter Reaper is making against Hamas to excuse snipers hitting children. Not to mention that the poor baby Shalhevet tragedy is also paradigmatic of how terror calls terror, on both sides: two years after the fact, her father was found with explosive in his car, and charged for anti-Arab terrorism. I doubt I wouldn’t seek revenge as well if my child was killed, but I would probably hunt down the murderer, rather than targeting a people or ethnicity as a whole. Tragically, the more the despair and the disproportion of forces, the easier an orphan, a brother or a father can be turned into a kamikaze.

    @Peter Reaper

    And that’s assuming “multiple” means much more than two - which I don’t believe is the case.

    I’m not sure if your problem is with words or numbers, however this is the very first paragraph from that Telegraph article:

    On just one day last week staff at the El-Arish hospital in Sinai were called to perform sophisticated CAT brain scans on a nine-year-old (1st), two 10-year-olds (2nd & 3rd ) and a 14-year-old (4th) - each of whom had a bullet still lodged in their brain, after coming under fire during the Israeli ground assault on Gaza.

    To claim that the US “encourages and perpetuates genocide” is dishonest, ingenuous, and/or misinformed.

    I would laugh, if the matter didn’t make me cry for my soon-to-be-born child:

    • Native Americans (really need a link?)
    • Filipinos
    • Supporting, financing and training authoritarian contra-revolutions and state terror in Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Honduras, Columbia and many other countries (”exporting democracy and free market”).
    • Nicaragua
    • East Timor (you should really check it out)
    • Rwanda, actively preventing it from being declared “genocide” to avoid involvement
    • Iraq

    and I could go on, but I really have no more time to waste feeding the trolls.

  50. #50 Peter Reaper says:

    a nine-year-old (1st), two 10-year-olds (2nd & 3rd ) and a 14-year-old (4th) - each of whom had a bullet still lodged in their brain

    ACK! I overlooked that. Sorry! :-[

    I find that report highly suspicious, considering the Israelis’ culture of respecting life, and especially the well-known dis-information produced by the Arabs in that region, which is willingly propagated by the western media - aka "Palliwood".
    http://www.theaugeanstables.com/category/pallywood/

    Native Americans / Filipinos / Supporting, financing and training authoritarian contra-revolutions and state terror in Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Honduras, Columbia and many other countries (”exporting democracy and free market”) / Nicaragua / East Timor / Rwanda / Iraq

    I would agree that those are examples of honestly debatable (i.e. not necessarily bad) actions by the US. However, none of them are examples of the US “encouraging and perpetuating genocide” (other than perhaps "political genocide").

    genocide:
    the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group.
    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=genocide

  51. #51 Shachar Roy says:

    Iraq?

    if you didn’t noticed until now - it’s the muslims that kills people (other muslims) in Iraq on a daily basis. not americans. America released the people of Iraq from a horrible dictator. if italy would do it you would praise it, but since it’s the hated USA you think what you think

  52. #52 Giorgio says:

    @Shachar Roy:
    Your latest sentences are idiotic (or ingenuous) on so many level that it’s very difficult to believe you’re serious.
    I don’t hate USA (even if most of the people who ruled USA government and corporations during the last century do deserve life-time conviction or worse), and I don’t think Italy establishment is better: our post-WWII governments (heavily financed by USA) even bombed our own innocent civilians (doesn’t this ring some bells on you too?) in order to prevent any social change during the cold war times, and our current prime minister is the only one in the “civilized” world still capable of praising GW.

    That said, as everybody except you knows, Dick Cheney and his gang sent USA youth in Iraq only because during the previous presidencies they didn’t manage to bribe Saddam Hussein into making Iraq an oil protectorate and 1st Gulf War had been a failure. When USA had once again a Big Oil boss as their (illegitimate) president, aided by a bunch of gangsters able to pump huge profits out of the war, security and “reconstruction” businesses, they just needed a pretest to attack…

    Regarding the slaughter of Iraqi people (unprecedented during the whole “horrible dictatorship”), if you really believe it’s due to them killing each other (or being killed by “Al Qaeda” or “terrorists” from Iran), you will be delighted by these readings.

  53. #53 Simon Chen says:

    "Israelis’ culture of respecting life"

    Sorry, but I had to stop and laugh at that statement.

    And as for your explanation that anti-islam is not racist. How’s it any different from anti-semetism. To an outsider like myself anti-semetism and anti-islam is exactly the same thing, only they target a different group of people. I don’t particularly care about the history of why one group needs to be more protected than the other.

    And you do know how your views look when you dismiss reputable media from around the world, yet you only cite a handful of blogs, when skimmed over show the fanatic nature, or even worse indiscrimiated hatred.

    Also, isn’t the israeli definition of a "terrorist" anybody the Israeli army or settlers happen to kill. Everytime they kill a group of people, it was because that group was or included terrorists… o_O

    When you’re so vehement in your claim that every kill is justified, even in the face of video evidence refuting it, your character does come into question, as do all your other claims.

  54. #54 James Napolitano says:

    Giorgio, I understand how you (and everyone else here) feel(s) about this topic, but I think this discussion is a perfect example of why one should keep political topics and comments off planet mozilla (not off your blog of course, but just not tagged with mozilla)

  55. #55 Giorgio says:

    @James Napolitano:
    Let me kindly disagree.
    My article was very on topic with Mozilla, talking about the power of copyleft, open media and free software. It’s much more on topic than the several idiotic memes (like “Not Shaving In December” or “7 Facts You Don’t Know” — OK, I’m guilty too) which infest the Planet, anyway.
    Feeds don’t include comments, AFAIK.
    On a side note, Mozilla is part of a political movement towards openness and information democracy. Keeping politics off the community discussion would be quite nonsensical and hypocritical.

  56. #56 Peter Reaper says:

    "Israelis’ culture of respecting life"

    Sorry, but I had to stop and laugh at that statement.

    Seems more like denial or ignorance than thoughtful consideration of another’s viewpoint.

    And as for your explanation that anti-islam is not racist. How’s it any different from anti-semetism.

    Islam is a man-made totalitarian, inhumane, socio-, political system disguised as a religion. A Semite is a human who is born as such without any decision of their own. The former is bad, the latter is neutral. See?

    When you’re so vehement in your claim that every kill is justified

    I never said nor indicated that! Please do not put words in my mouth!!!

    Consider this:

    A letter to the citizens of Gaza from a concerned neighbor

    Dear neighbor,

    My name is David and I live in Israel, thirty minutes (or one minute rocket time) from you, in a beautiful house by the woods. I hope someday to have you over for a cup of tea. We have a lovely view from the balcony. On a clear day we can see our jets bombing your neighborhood.

    I think it’s time we had a heart to heart. It’s time you knew the truth. After all, what are neighbors for? You might have wondered why both you and your parents were born in a refugee camp. Why is it that even though we live only 30 minutes apart, I live in prosperity and you live in poverty and filth? Why you live in despair and hatred while we live in hope and love.

    Here is the truth, neighbor:

    There really was a Holocaust. I realize you’ve been taught otherwise. I know, that ever since you were a small child you’ve been told that the Holocaust is something the Jews fabricated to justify taking your land. Well, dear citizen of Gaza, it really happened. Not very long ago. It happened. And guess what? It’s NEVER going to happen again. The time in history when Jews were led to slaughter, persecuted, raped and pillaged is over and will never recur. Never. Now we have our own country. Now we have the bombs. We will never forget what was done to our people and you better not either.

    We don’t hate you. We don’t hate anyone. Jews are a peaceful people. We do not want your land. We don’t want oil. We don’t want to rape your women or murder your children. We never tried to force our religion on anyone. Our eternal capital, Jerusalem, is open to all faiths to love and to worship. We treat your Arab brothers who live among us as equals. Our hand has been extended to peace with our neighbors since day one. We have proven this time and time again through numerous negotiations and extensive compromise.

    We ask only for one thing. Leave us in peace. That’s right. We have no other demands. Just leave us in peace. It’s as simple as that. If you don’t, we will fight back ferociously and mercilessly. We will destroy your homes and your cities. We will make your miserable lives even more miserable. If you don’t want this to happen any more, leave us in peace.

    Our soldiers are not motivated by hate but by determination. We embrace life and will do anything to preserve it. However, we will kill and die to protect our land and our way of life. That’s what they should be teaching in your schools instead of useless lies.

    A terrorist is a terrorist. Sorry to be the one to break the news, but it’s about time somebody told you that a terrorist is nothing more than a coward. Not a hero. Not a Shahid. There is nothing heroic in blowing yourself up amongst a crowd of woman and children. Anybody can do it. Anybody can hide inside a school or a mosque and blindly fire rockets into cities, hoping to kill as many babies as possible. There is nothing courageous or admirable in these acts of cruelty. To take pride in an act of terror is pitiful and pathetic. I know you’ve been raised to believe the contrary, but it is a lie. I have seen how your children are taught to commit suicide. How your suicide bombers are glorified. This is tragically sad. A real hero faces his enemy and doesn’t hide in schools and hospitals. A real hero protects his people and will die for them but not among them.

    Israel exists and it belongs to the Jewish People. I’ve seen your school books. I know that Israel has been omitted from your maps. Contrary to what you’ve been told, the State of Israel really does exist. Look outside your window. We are here and we are not going anywhere. Dear Palestinian neighbor, it’s time to deal with the facts. We love our beautiful little country. We will protect it with our lives. You are not getting it. This was explained to you in 1948. You got your country and we got ours. Your arrogant and stupid leaders promised you that you will get the whole thing. Thousands have lives have been lost for nothing. It’s NEVER going to happen! While you have been foolishly drooling over our land instead of nurturing your own, we have built one of the most beautiful and successful countries on Earth. We have done it not to spite our greedy neighbors, but rather in spite of them. We’ve planted forests and quenched the desert. We’ve drained wetlands and cultivated fields. We built universities, opera houses, superhighways, hospitals, skyscrapers and stadiums. We have millions of refugees, but no refugee camps.

    You could do the same. Focus on what you have and not on what you will never have. It takes love, hard work and determination. We can help. We have experts and scientists helping developing nations across the globe. Accept the facts, lay down your weapons and join us in making this great region of the planet even greater.

    Remember, we’re neighbors.

    David Rosenblatt, Sarigim, Israel - Jan. 9th, 2009

    Does that not ring true?

    PS. Have you read the Koran and Hadiths, or a summary of their contents? You really should!!!

    http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/islam101/

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/articles/bloggingtheq.php

  57. #57 Peter Reaper says:

    ACK! I forgot to close a "blockquote" somewhere in my previous comment. Sorry! :-[

  58. #58 Giorgio says:

    @Peter Reaper:

    ACK! I forgot to close a “blockquote” somewhere in my previous comment. Sorry! :-[

    Two places, I fixed them for you.

    Islam is a man-made totalitarian, inhumane, socio-, political system disguised as a religion. A Semite is a human who is born as such without any decision of their own.

    That’s all right.
    You just forgot to add “Zionism”: the dangerous belief that an imaginary god reserved a specific land for it’s “preferred” people (based on their religious affiliation or mother-side lineage), and nobody else can live there as a 1st class citizen.

  59. #59 Peter Reaper says:

    You just forgot to add “Zionism”: the dangerous belief that an imaginary god reserved a specific land for it’s “preferred” people

    First of all, I was responding to Simon Chen, who only mentioned "Semitism", and not "Zionism". Now to Zionism…

    Zionism is not exclusively or even necessarily religious. Zionism is primarily the Jews’ claim to "Zion", which is a hill in Israel. This hill’s name symbolizes the Jews’ desire to live in Israel.

    From Wikipedia:

    "Zionism is partly based upon strong historical ties and religious traditions linking the Jewish people to the Land of Israel, where the concept of Jewish nationhood first evolved somewhere between 1200 BCE and the late Second Temple era (i.e. up to 70 CE)."

    "Zion is a hill in Jerusalem just outside the walls of the Old City. Most often Zion is used as a synecdoche for Jerusalem and the Land of Israel."

    I share your dislike for religion (I’m an "anti-theist"), but you should be careful to not let that (justified) dislike cloud your judgment of other, sometimes even more important, issues.

    nobody else can live there as a 1st class citizen

    The Arabs in Israel have the same legal protections and rights as Israeli citizens. Also, they are allowed to vote. Show me one Muslim country where Jews (or any non-believers / infidels / dhimmis) have equal rights, let alone are allowed to vote.

  60. #60 Giorgio says:

    @Peter Reaper:
    you’re the one turning it in a religious dispute, with your repeated comparisons with Islam.
    All the established religions are equally irrational (aside perhaps Buddhism, if you can call it a religion). Therefore they can be bend to justify any kind evilness.
    But in this specific case, I was speaking against nationalism (which often, but not necessarily, claims a religious justification like “god gave us this land”).

  61. #61 Peter Reaper says:

    you’re the one turning it in a religious dispute

    This is not "a" religious dispute (implied: from both sides). This is the religion of Islam vs. a people who just want a homeland to live in peace in (where the majority of the justification is not religiously based).

    All the established religions are equally irrational

    That’s a very shallow generalization. Sure, there mere belief in a god is "equally" irrational. But if you were to look at the religious texts, you would see that Islam is vastly more violent. If you look at the way Islam has spread, you would see that it was through violence. The Jews? Hardly any large-scale violence, and no forced conversions or land-grabs. But the "source-code", the religious texts themselves give the answer. That is why I keep suggesting that people read. Reason is derived from the honest evaluation of reality. ;-)

    Here are the links again:

    http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/islam101/

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/articles/bloggingtheq.php

    Shalom (means "peace")
    Islam (means "submission")

    I was speaking against nationalism

    What’s wrong with nationalism?

    "nationalism: loyalty and devotion to a nation; especially: a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups."

    People should be allowed to have and be proud of their country. Nothing wrong with that.

    And it doesn’t matter if some or even all of them "claim" religious justification. They deserve and have a right to a land, and the most appropriate land is Israel.

  62. #62 Giorgio says:

    @Peter Reaper:
    we’re starting repeating ourselves.

    He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses.
    Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

    Regarding nationalism, the definition you quoted is enough an explains of what’s wrong with it:

    nationalism: loyalty and devotion to a nation; especially: a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups.

    Just one of the tools the few who have power use to take advantage of the masses.

  63. #63 Peter Reaper says:

    He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy…

    No doubt, the Bible includes punishments for non-believers. But if you look more carefully, you will see that the punishments in the Bible are far fewer, are balanced by an abundance of calls for love and forgiveness, and are often descriptions of historical event - not explicitly general "laws" for all eternity.

    Islam OTOH is full of explicit punishments for non-believers, the peaceful passages are superseded by the aggressive ones (because they came later), and are explicit "laws" for all eternity.

    Also, it’s the way people act, and it’s where the emphasis lies that is important.

    nationalism: […] one nation above all others […] as opposed to those of other nations

    Yes, you demonstrated some negative aspects of nationalism (although thinking ones own county is "the best" isn’t necessarily bad, if it’s based on reasonable an humane criteria). I have demonstrated some positive aspects of nationalism.

    My point is that Zionism, and, even more importantly, the Jews’ desire for a homeland, is majorly a good thing.

    The Israeli’s do not "promote its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations". It does "promotes its culture and interests in preference of those of other nations".

    On a related note: It is OK to be open to and invite other cultures, but one must also "oppose" cultures that one deems destructive of ones values. Of course, I only support this premise if these values are freedom, peace, justice, democracy, humanism, etc. I think Israel and "The West" represent these values to a very large degree. I also think that Islam and other totalitarian systems (yes, Communism too) are very destructive of these values.

    And that is why I support Israel (and "The West").

  64. #64 Peter Reaper says:

    BTW: Why can’t I see my post until much later? It would be useful if i could review what I’ve written as it appears in final form. Also, it’s a bit of an ego gratification to see my words in "print". ;-)

    Could you please at least shorten the delay to 1 minute?

  65. #65 Giorgio says:

    @Peter Reaper:
    There’s no automatic “delay”.
    All comments are manually moderated by myself, because this site receives literally tons of spam (notwithstanding ReCaptcha and the Bad Behavior plugin). As you can see, spam aside, I willingly publish everything, no matter how distant from my views it is.

  66. #66 Peter Reaper says:

    I willingly publish everything, no matter how distant from my views it is.

    And the world is a better place because of that. Thanks! :-)

  67. #67 Peter Reaper says:

    speaking of free speech: Did you hear that a European country is limiting free speech by redefining the stating of facts in a captivating way as hate speech?

    "The Dutch judicial authorities are going to prosecute Geert Wilders, one of the 150 members of the Dutch Parliament, for making the movie Fitna."

    More: http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/3757

    It’s nothing more than silencing dissent and "inconvenient truths".

    We live in dangerous times, and it isn’t the Neo-Nazis, Jews, or Americans who are the threat. It’s Islam and their western appeasers (usually the Left).

  68. #68 Giorgio says:

    @Peter Reaper:

    t’s nothing more than silencing dissent and “inconvenient truths”.

    We live in dangerous times, and it isn’t the Neo-Nazis, Jews, or Americans who are the threat. It’s Islam and their western appeasers (usually the Left).

    You’re in total blindness and deny.
    99% of the media and news outlets in the West are controlled by very few big corporations, and “democratically elected” governments are just an emanation of those corporations which artificially forge the so called “public opinion”. It’s not Left or Right, it’s just corporate interest. Neo-nazis (as ignorant young idiots), Americans (as a people) or Jews (as a people) are just a tool of corporate leaders.

    Speaking of free speech: did you hear our current Italian fascist (in the historical right-wing sense, not just a label) government today announced a legislation forbidding any kind of assembly in the vicinity of churches, public offices, super-markets and shopping malls? And do you know what’s the official pretest for this “urgent” decree, which is being applauded by both the “right-wing” majority and the “left-wing” opposition? Last week, during a pacific and authorized protest against the Gaza slaughter, some of the protesters (those of Islamic religion) went down to their knees and performed their prayer, mandatory for them at that time of the day, while being in a public square which was in front of a church. Now you know in Italy there are churches about everywhere, and that every single square, especially those big enough to contain an assembly, are built around a church. So, with the declared and popular intent of preventing muslims from praying near catholic churches, the Italian government is taking away our constitutionally-granted freedoms: religion freedom explicitly, but most important, assembly freedom for everyone (muslims, christians, jews, pastafarians, atheists), and ultimately freedom to dissent, which is the thing they fear most.

    When the Nazis came for the communists,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a communist.

    When they locked up the social democrats,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a social democrat.

    When they came for the trade unionists,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a trade unionist.

    When they came for the Jews,
    I remained silent;
    I wasn’t a Jew.

    When they came for me,
    there was no one left to speak out.

    Martin Niemöller, 1946

  69. #69 Stephano says:

    A little Q&A for you:

    http://www.zcommunications.org/znet/viewArticle/20269

    @ Giorgio…
    When JavaScript is disabled on your site, I didn’t know whether I needed to enable to be able fill out the captcha. You seemed trustworthing, though. ;) Maybe a nosource tip? Dunno.

  70. #70 Giorgio says:

    @Stephano:
    thanks for the link.
    Regarding ReCaptcha, it works if you either have both the main site and recaptcha.net allowed or both forbidden. It doesn’t work in mixed mode because of a ReCaptcha limitation. I’ll update the comment template to hint users about this ASAP.

  71. #71 alexa kim says:

    I am a visitor who likes to read the latest in computing in general and scripts specifically due to security concerns while I travel the interwebs.

    I find this particular topic fascinating because no matter what blog I visit, regardless of its expressed purpose, if it posts anything concerning politics, and even more especially about Israel and the Palestinians, the comments section is disproportionately larger than that on other posts. We humans feel certain things very deeply.

    The exchange between the host, Giogio, and Peter Reaper, is in action with different actors all over the globe. However, few of those productions come close to the level of citation and point-counterpoint that I’ve read here, which is a compliment.

    I won’t opine further except to say only this: Based on careful reading of numerous news sources, and the operative word is "careful," representing the range of political bents they each might acknowledge or deny, and placing the digest of those readings in with the numerous other reports collected over the decades that I have lived, I have concluded that only one solution is viable:

    Remove the Judeo-Christian holy sites from their original location, transplant them to Juneau, Alaska. Offer anyplace in Montana to the Israelis to colonize. The Arabians and Palestinians keep their desert and Medina and Mecca.

    Then watch how fast Hamas and the rest pick a fight with someone new because their favorite whipping boy is no longer around.

    So long as anyone, and I mean anyone, continues to refer to the Israelis as "Nazis" they will find in me nothing but antipathy. Forever.

  72. #72 alexa kim says:

    [My apologies, there is a typo in my comment above, of Giorgio’s name. My proofer is not very good but then again, she works for free, so….]

  73. #73 Peter Reaper says:

    99% of the media and news outlets in the West are controlled by very few big corporations

    I used to think that too, until I began seeing the news with different eyes and considering some facts:

    http://engram-backtalk.blogspot.com/search/label/Media%20Bias

    @alexa kim: Thanks for the compliment.

  74. #74 Peter Reaper says:

    Regarding Gaza and the issue of proportional response:

    "Article 51 of the UN Charter is quite clear that any nation has the right to engage in self-defense against armed attack. The response has indeed to satisfy the principle of proportionality. But it is not correct to claim that Israel has violated that principle by killing more Hamas terrorists than the number of Israelis killed by Hamas rockets. There is no legal equivalence between the deliberate killing of civilians, which is what Hamas is doing by lobbing its rockets into Israeli cities without strategic significance, and the targeted killing of Hamas militants. The law is clear that any number of combatants can be killed to prevent the killing of even one innocent civilian."

    Read more here: http://www.factsandlogic.org/ad_114.html?emc=el&m=1890259&l=19&v=73ddd2c6e4

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