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Travel Report: Israel, Palestine

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posted on Jan, 11 2008 @ 09:55 AM
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Yesterday I returned from a three week trip to Israel and Egypt. I choose this Forum to post my travel report because my first-hand experience is at odds with what I learned about the Middle East in the mass media or right here at ATS. Before my trip I was relatively neutral on the palestine-israel question, granting rights to both sides. After my trip my bias has fundamentally shifted to the side of Israel and counter to what many here post about the israelis being the "bad guys".

A female friend of mine had booked the trip, both of us unaware that our Hotel would be in Bethlehem and that Bethlehem is part of the West Bank...under palestinian rule. We were meant to take a tour bus to various sites in israel, but I sometimes prefer to break loose from tour buses and tour guides to discover places by myself. As I discovered on the first morning in palestine, this was a mistake as it was difficult to get out of palestine without the tour bus. Walking to Jerusalem by foot I came upon the huge wall and checkpoint where I stood in line with dozens of arabs who were being rejected a pass-through to jerusalem. Going through several gates, cages and inconviniences, I did feel sympathy for the palestinians. Their movement was restricted, they were treated arrogantly by the israeli guards...and all of that in the country they had been brought up. It was only when the checkpoint officials saw my american passport that they suddenly apologized and made my pass-through easy. In any case, I decided to take the tour bus out of this prison on the following days.

My sympathy for the palestinians, who sprayed graffitis such as "free palestine from israeli occupation" on the border walls, didnt last long. Emerging through to Jerusalem was a gasp of fresh air. The israeli side was clean, bright, light, friendly, creative, interesting, refreshing, orderly, beautiful, while the palestinian side was trashy, shabby, poorly organized and had hustlers, street-salesmen, crooks and cons lurking at every corner. I soon learned that I cant trust a palestinian on the price of a cab and that it is difficult to take a walk around town without several of them trying to sell me some junk under dishonest premises or having muslim preachings blare through town-wide loudspeakers for hours a piece. The jewish side on the other hand, is very "western". I experienced israelis to have a great sense of humour, high intelligence, respect and to be hardworking in contributing in building up their country. They have turned harsh desertland into blossoming greenlands. I always dreaded returning to the arab side of the fence when returning to the Hotel.

Jerusalem old-town is stunning. I have never seen so much cultic idol-worship in one place. Muslims, orthodox russian christians, armenian christians, fundamentalist christians, orthodox jews...all of them with beha viour that strikes a non-religious person like me as utterly bizzare. An atheist would have a field-day pointing it all out. Nevertheless the city does seem to have a pleasant spiritual presence about it.

On the news we mostly see Israel in the context of tanks, missiles, shootings and killings. I experienced NONE of that there. Instead I saw a stunningly beautiful country....from the dead sea to the sea of galliea, from tel aviv to taba. Two sad images remain in my mind though: An female israeli teenager holding a machine gone at a checkpoint (a teenager for christstake), and a father holding his baby in one arm and a machine gun in the other. There are a lot of weapon holders in israel.

My increasing anger at the agressive and dishonest attitude of palestinians was relaxed a bit as I took part in a new years eve party among arabs (me, an american!). While drunk I enjoyed the arabian live singer and music a whole lot, danced with the palestinians, partied with them. There, finally, I could rev up some tolerance and appreciation of the people and understand that their country has indeed been hijacked by the israelis.
But its not as one-sided as that. The israelis have made and continue to make something of the country while palestinians clearly dont do more than complain and hold out their hand for more money and then critisise those who give them money. As more and more christian-palestinians and wealthy palestianians emigrate to other countries, what stays behind are the type of people I mostly encountered there: Not nice people at all.
Dont make me list all the times I was cheated out of money by them or the items that where stolen from me by them. Sad but true.

The solution will obviously be to give them the places they live in already anyway: Westbank and Gaza. Jerusalem should stay a unique city governed by all sides. That said, the Jews need their own home-country and boy do they deserve it. Theyve been persecuted since centuries...by who? Mostly by religious fanatics with ape-sized brains. Why do they need the Golan Heights? Its their only water supply.

The gist of the message here is: A high percentage of ATS-readers and members do side with the "oppressed" Palestianians and against Israel. But I believe that any civilized person who actually goes to visit the regions will change his mind quickly. I am by no means racist, but as someone civilized I cannot possibly support the islamo-palestinian way-of-life and all that it entails...and what it makes of its followers.

Israel is a shining example of democracy in the middle-east. Its neighbours Syria, Egypt, Palestine are not.

I welcome debate, critisism of my position and questions about my trip.




posted on Jan, 11 2008 @ 10:07 AM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


Terrific report. A hands on experience. What a novel thought!

I wanted to give you a positive post because the line behind me is begining to form and let's just say "It ain't gonna be pretty"

Your logic and reasoning make sense after such a trip. If you could afford to, I would bet you'd like to take 50 or 60 select posters from this board on your next trip huh?

As a 1st Gulf vet, I encounter the same "behind the keyboard" mentality some posters have. Many want to rationalize and create dialogue with radical fundamentalists. So I here where you coming from.

Only question: Are you Jewish?

Becker



posted on Jan, 11 2008 @ 10:12 AM
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Thanks Skyfloating for sharing your firsthand account with us here.

It sheds a new light on a situation when you hear it from someone who has had a personal experience in an area.

I feel like I know a bit more about the people there by what you have shared.

It must have been awesome being there during the holidays!



posted on Jan, 11 2008 @ 10:47 AM
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Originally posted by Becker44

If you could afford to, I would bet you'd like to take 50 or 60 select posters from this board on your next trip huh?



Would those posters ever be surprised how quickly they change sides.





Only question: Are you Jewish?



No, not that I know of. But from now on I will be a supporter of civilized society.



posted on Jan, 11 2008 @ 12:22 PM
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Originally posted by interestedalways

It must have been awesome being there during the holidays!


It sure was. Since we werent watching the news we didnt even know that a rocket had been fired from Gaza to Israel or even that George Bush would be visiting the places we visited a few days later.



posted on Jan, 12 2008 @ 07:17 AM
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A visit to the Holocaust Museum

After reading a lot about "did the Holocaust happen or not?" a visit to the "Yad Vashem" museum in Jerusalem taught me how I had been wasting my time even reading threads based on revisionist ideas. The documentation and documentary quality of the museum would put any revisionist at shame. Not only do they have an entire street dedicated to hundreds of non-jews who helped jews during the war, but even the killing of non-jews is documented there. Apart from the millions of jews that were killed or went missing...people who´s full names are spelled out, some of who´s faces are photographed, testimony of thousands of witnesses to the holocaust and so forth and so on.

Jews have been accused of exploiting their victimization for monetary gain. While there might be some truth to this, I wouldnt call it "exploitation" but the strong desire for it to never happen again and therefore gain enough support to build an own home country....israel. Since jews have been under attack throughout history and still are today, they do need the support.

I talked to quite a few arabs in egypt and palestine and there seems to be a general consensus that jews should be "wiped out" and that Jerusalem "belongs to them". However, arabs only laid claim to Jerusalem AFTER jews started inhabiting it. In any case, judging by the angry responses I got from cab drivers, hotel managers and even our anti-israeli tour guide (who calls Israel "our beautiful palestine" - I should have reported him since he is actually employed by israel), the jews still need a little bit of protection, until their country is stabilized and accepted by all. The U.S.A. is providing this protection as one of the countries ONLY real allies.



posted on Jan, 12 2008 @ 09:47 AM
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It's all point of view really,

A friend of mine, a Southern Baptist Zionist pro-Israeli American when she left here, went there for the New Year as well. She stayed in Tel-aviv mostly but visited Bethlehem for New Years Day. Her experience was a polar opposite. Before she went there she had no idea that the Israelis had shut down the Gaza strip (no food no fuel) and were not even allowing Palestinean children to leave Gaza even for the sake of medical help. She did not know that most of the aid money that was sent to Palestine from the US was mostly stolen by corrupt Palestinean leadership backed by the US. Or that aid was being with held because the the US and Israeli governments did not agree with the outcome of the Palestinean Gazan Democratic elections.
The daughter of the family she stayed with (Jewish folk) told her all of these things while they toured the country.

So what you saw as uncivilised or barbaric, she saw as the result of economic sanctions and imprisonment (by your own account it was a prison). How can people become civilized when they are not allowed to trade freely with their neighbours or the outside world? Have you ever been inside a prison? Is it civilized?

Truly, there are rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza on a daily basis. You must ask yourself this, If you were watching your family starve because a foreign country had decided that your country was not allowed to have food, wouldn't you want to shoot somebody too?
Ain't got no food!!!

There are also constant sniper attacks from the Israeli watchtowers that overlook the Palestinien areas. A young man carrying a guitar case was shot and wounded by Israeli sharpshooters while she was there. You probably saw that on the news on the Palestinean side I am sure. Shot for carrying a guitar! Both sides attack each other constantly. The difference is that the Israelis really do oppress the Palestineans and they really do cut off food and money from outside sources and they really do get support from the US government. 30BN USD annually for Israel from the United States. That's $4,222 per Israeli a year. From tax payer money. Then they use it to build concrete walls around the Palestineans and deny the Gazans the abilty to recieve food or medical care solely based on the government they elected.

So my friend, the Southern Baptist Pro-Israel Zionist, went to Israel for 3 weeks. She came back trying to spread the truth to her friends and family about the humanitarian crisis that Israeli policy is causing over there (she is still a Christian and real Christians care). She does not think that Israel should be wiped out, she just thinks that intentionally starving people is wrong. The point being though is that once she viewed the same things you viewed she did not blame the powerless who are suffering. She has in fact begun to seek help from the moderate Israelis she has met (apparently most Israelis and American Jews are deeply concerned over what is being done on their name) and has tried to open the eyes of her fellow "Christian's" who somehow have the idea that starving a child is ok because one of his neighbours launches a homemade rocket.

The leadership on both sides have caused this problem to be much worse then it should be and US intervention has prolonged and expanded the troubles, in my humble opinion.

Most things I have read here on ATS are not so much Anti-Israel as they are anti having to pay for things the Israeli government does that many people find morally questionable.

Thanks!



posted on Jan, 12 2008 @ 10:07 AM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


Skyfloating,
Thank you for the firsthand account and perspective. I had a similar experience in 1999. While I didn't stay in the palestinian part of town, we drove to it as part of a personally guided tour, and I was warned not to walk to certain areas as well.

At the time I was there, we visited many religious sites, including the Wailing Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and other primarily Jewish and Christian sites. We did see the major Mosque in Jerusalem, and learned some of the history of it as well. We also walked through the arab markets, went to some arab and some Jewish restaurants, and talked to a lot of people. I stayed both in hotels and in a private home, and since my hosts were Jewish, I definitely spent more time talking to Jewish people than Muslim.

I remember a very strong positive spiritual feeling from just being in Jerusalem, really an incredible city and one that from my limited perspective as a visitor had Muslims, Jews, and Christians all living in harmony, of course guarded by Israeli forces. I remember feeling a sense that it gave me hope for real peace in the region as well. Of course, at that time, Israel was talking of ceasing all additional settlements, and I had no idea what was coming to our administration or theirs.

Most of the Jewish people I met were incredibly friendly and open minded. Though I didn't spend as much time with arabs there, the ones I did talk to were also very friendly. Since I wasn't there just for tourism and spent time with a lot of people in close settings, I also experienced a significant amount of more private discussion that included strong expressions of bigotry towards the arabs.

One of the other things I experienced, unlike you, was to be on multiple sides of the scrutiny that we, as Americans, have now started to experience through our airports. In one case, before meeting my hosts, who also had a lot of military background, I was questioned for 45 minutes in what seemed an absolutely ridiculous cat and mouse game with me being an honest, but increasingly frustrated mouse before being allowed to enter the country.

I remember one of my hosts, a highly decorated military veteran who had lost his leg in a famous massacre telling me how he felt their draconian security measures actually didn't make the country safer and served to alienate visotors and sometimes citizens. Now we are headed towards that state of living in the US it seems and have even exceeded some of their measure through our TSA. I still remember the lessons I learned there about what really does work and what is more about showing people who's boss, and I think about it every time some TSA officer wastes time/resources intimidating obviously good citizens that could be devoted to actually making us safer. That same host was also strongly prejudiced against arabs, but given his experience and the fact that otherwise, he was one of the kindest people I've met, I left those kinds of comments alone and generally changed the subject.

Later in 2000, things started to get bad in Israel. I talked to some of my friends about it, and they spoke of a rising tension across the whole area. IMO, our country's actions as well as those of Netanyahu have been disastrous for the region and the world. I still remember the hope I felt and the small movement that seemed evident in the arab position towards Israel. I only wish we could have kept working towards peaceful resolution.

Regarding the squalor and corruption you saw in the arabic places you visited, I think it's also important to recognize the breadth and depth of damage to the human condition that subjugation, loss (or worse) of loved ones, violence, and a feeling of hopelessness can cause. I've spent time with some of the wealthiest and some of the poorest people in the world alike, not just in their company, but actually talking to both stratas. I truly believe that while we may like to think of ourselves as having a particular set of values or morals that events, circumstances, and experiences can change people/us more than we would like to believe. I have met people I would consider to be very good/honorable and people I would truly consider twisted and generally destructive to society at all levels. I have also seen that the presence of hope, met needs, freedom, and well being of loved ones brings out the best in all of us.

IMO, the primary problem in the world, which is very striking in and around the middle east is lack of tolerance for true diversity, increasingly institutionalized division, categorization, and dehumanization based on differences, and childlike immaturity and egotistical insecurity displayed by adults with power who's toys and tools for bullying have become powerful armies and high-tech weapons of mass destruction.

As quaint as it may sound to some, loving thy neighbor, doing unto others, respecting individual freedoms, taking the risk to trust people more, even when you might be wrong, and the refusal to dehumanize others because they look, think or worship differently are lessons that we as a people must learn or we will continue on our march towards a very dark future. Unfortunately, that requires an openness that we are losing even in the US, embracing and respecting dissent, giving when you may want to take, and serious investment in education of our entire society. Those ideals I speak of are currently driven out of our societies and cultures by the very people who have forced themselves into the position of our leaders, money changers and power mongers who simply never find peace or happiness within themselves but seek it through acquisition of obscene hoards of resources, power and wealth, regardless of their contribution to the rest of society.

When someone steals your wallet or swindles you out of a buck, they may be inherently corrupt or they may have been taught by life's lessons that that is how their family can survive. When someone who is already wealthy steals the pensions of millions, or siphons billions of dollars from the economy by manipulating markets or raising the price of oil while extinguishing countless lives or creating unimaginable suffering for others, I say, rid them from our society like lice and help the people of this earth recover and share the goodness that can be brought out in almost everyone.

[edit on 12-1-2008 by lifestudent]



posted on Jan, 12 2008 @ 10:15 AM
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Originally posted by Tinhatman
It's all point of view really,

A friend of mine, a Southern Baptist Zionist pro-Israeli American when she left here, went there for the New Year as well. She stayed in Tel-aviv mostly but visited Bethlehem for New Years Day. Her experience was a polar opposite. Before she went there she had no idea that the Israelis had shut down the Gaza strip (no food no fuel) and were not even allowing Palestinean children to leave Gaza even for the sake of medical help.


You forgot to mention that the suppies were shut off only after the palestinians shot a random rocket into a civilians area (civilian for christsake...how barbaric is that?). The power supply is back on now.


She did not know that most of the aid money that was sent to Palestine from the US was mostly stolen by corrupt Palestinean leadership


Why should israelis be made to pay for corrupt palestinians? They themselves are responsible for getting their act together.




So what you saw as uncivilised or barbaric, she saw as the result of economic sanctions and imprisonment (by your own account it was a prison). How can people become civilized when they are not allowed to trade freely with their neighbours or the outside world? Have you ever been inside a prison? Is it civilized?


I am all for giving them their own part of the country and own government. In this way they cant blame their demise on the israelis anymore
From what I saw they prefer going to pray umpteen times a day more than picking up the trash in front of their house. Of course their apathy is partially due to oppression, but half of it is a dumbing down of their senses by the rigidity of their religion. Seriously.


Truly, there are rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza on a daily basis. You must ask yourself this, If you were watching your family starve because a foreign country had decided that your country was not allowed to have food, wouldn't you want to shoot somebody too?


Well, when I was there every palestinian seemed to have food and a driving car.


There are also constant sniper attacks from the Israeli watchtowers that overlook the Palestinien areas. A young man carrying a guitar case was shot and wounded by Israeli sharpshooters while she was there. You probably saw that on the news on the Palestinean side I am sure. Shot for carrying a guitar! Both sides attack each other constantly. The difference is that the Israelis really do oppress the Palestineans and they really do cut off food and money from outside sources and they really do get support from the US government. 30BN USD annually for Israel from the United States. That's $4,222 per Israeli a year. From tax payer money. Then they use it to build concrete walls around the Palestineans and deny the Gazans the abilty to recieve food or medical care solely based on the government they elected.


You say the israelis are the oppressors, I say the israelis are protecting themselves. It really is a point of view matter. Three weeks ago I might have agreed with you.


So my friend, the Southern Baptist Pro-Israel Zionist, went to Israel for 3 weeks. She came back trying to spread the truth to her friends and family about the humanitarian crisis that Israeli policy is causing over there (she is still a Christian and real Christians care). She does not think that Israel should be wiped out, she just thinks that intentionally starving people is wrong. The point being though is that once she viewed the same things you viewed she did not blame the powerless who are suffering. She has in fact begun to seek help from the moderate Israelis she has met (apparently most Israelis and American Jews are deeply concerned over what is being done on their name) and has tried to open the eyes of her fellow "Christian's" who somehow have the idea that starving a child is ok because one of his neighbours launches a homemade rocket.


Not too bright. Nobody is starving over there and there is no humanitarian crisis.


The leadership on both sides have caused this problem to be much worse then it should be and US intervention has prolonged and expanded the troubles, in my humble opinion.


What we can probably agree on is that all people deserve their own nation, be it the israelis or the palestinians. From what I observed, the israelis will have no other choice than to give them the places they are already living in anway. I see no point whatsoever in prolonging this decision.

Id be curious if anyone who has been down there himself and sides with the palestinians will come to reply into this thread.

Thanks for your contribution.



posted on Jan, 12 2008 @ 10:19 AM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


Excellent post, and I'd agree that it's refreshing to have some first hand perspective on this topic. But in my opinion, while I cannot question your experience, I feel that your conveyance of is flawed in logic and reasoning. Based on your report, I get the idea that you also feel that poor, "inner-city" areas of this country are occupied by a "lesser" people. You (accurately) point out the results of the upper class Palestinians' exodus leaving behind a society that cannot, or will not, "westernize" their homeland for the benefit of those who don't want to feel so far from home when they visit. Cleanliness, infrastructure, and societal order all require resources to achieve nationally. The absence of said resources tend to make it difficult to achieve these goals on a national scale. So I ask, why is this 'upper class' leaving? Could it have anything to do with Israel?

Remember, the Palestinians require water to sustain as well. Are you postulating that because Israel, as a country and a society, is a wealthier establishment that they are more entitled to something as fundamental to life as water than the Palestinians? How different do you think Palestinian society would be without the various hardships imposed by the Israelis?

Please understand, I'm not being combative here. Like you were, I'm decidedly neutral on the subject. As Tinhatman mentioned, and your original post supports, it's all a matter of perspective.

[edit on 1/12/2008 by Unit541]



posted on Jan, 12 2008 @ 10:22 AM
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reply to post by lifestudent
 


your peace-affirming post deserves staff-applause. I agree with most of what you say.

And yes, I also felt intimidated by the draconian security measures. When in arab places I felt the preying eyes of salespeople. When in jewish places I felt the preying eyes of paranoid security-officials.

I will add that my annoyance isnt at poor people per se. Ive been to africa and enjoyed the company of the poor there very much. There is, however, something inherent in palestianians that didnt sit well with me at all...despite all my affirmations to practice tolerance. Yes, maybe its because theyve been through rough times. Lets hope so.



posted on Jan, 12 2008 @ 10:29 AM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 



Not too bright. Nobody is starving over there and there is no humanitarian crisis.


Actually Skyfloating, I don't think that any of our short visits qualify us to make statements like that. While it's not Gaza or the West Bank, I also have friends who were present in the south of Lebanon with family when Israel bombed in 2007. These Americans saw children killed by cluster bombs, fleeing families exploded in their cars as well as other horrors, and they themselves barely escaped with their lives through Syria. I did see starving people when I was there and have seen homes razed by Israeli forces. I think your first post was great, but what do you mean when you say there is no humanitarian crisis among the Palestinians? Do you know the employment rate, average income, average education, infant/child mortality rates, or state of health care among the Palestinians?



posted on Jan, 12 2008 @ 10:31 AM
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Originally posted by Unit541
reply to post by Skyfloating
 


Excellent post, and I'd agree that it's refreshing to have some first hand perspective on this topic. But in my opinion, while I cannot question your experience, I feel that your conveyance of is flawed in logic and reasoning. Based on your report, I get the idea that you also feel that poor, "inner-city" areas of this country are occupied by a "lesser" people. You (accurately) point out the results of the upper class Palestinians' exodus leaving behind a society that cannot, or will not, "westernize" their homeland for the benefit of those who don't want to feel so far from home when they visit. Cleanliness, infrastructure, and societal order all require resources to achieve nationally. The absence of said resources tend to make it difficult to achieve these goals on a national scale. So I ask, why is this 'upper class' leaving? Could it have anything to do with Israel?

Remember, the Palestinians require water to sustain as well. Are you postulating that because Israel, as a country and a society, is a wealthier establishment that they are more entitled to something as fundamental to life as water than the Palestinians? How different do you think Palestinian society would be without the various hardships imposed by the Israelis?

Please understand, I'm not being combative here. Like you were, I'm decidedly neutral on the subject. As Tinhatman mentioned, and your original post supports, it's all a matter of perspective.

[edit on 1/12/2008 by Unit541]



Again, its not about upper-class, lower-class, but the question of where all the "evil israelis" and "good palestinians" I have read about here on ATS are. What an unlucky coincidence that I didnt meet any (ok, ok, a few palestinians I talked to were ok).

And yes, of course palestinians have the right to water. And the right to their own nation. No question.



posted on Jan, 12 2008 @ 10:34 AM
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reply to post by lifestudent
 


I may be mistaken, but compared to circumstances Ive seen in africa, the west bank is doing quite ok. Maybe Gaza is a different story and I should be careful to make those kinds of statements after only a short visit.

Now, on to how israel and palestine are portrayed in the news: I saw a lot of beauty and progress over there...something which I dont recall EVER having seen on CNN when reporting about the area.



posted on Jan, 12 2008 @ 10:38 AM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
Again, its not about upper-class, lower-class, but the question of where all the "evil israelis" and "good palestinians" I have read about here on ATS are. What an unlucky coincidence that I didnt meet any (ok, ok, a few palestinians I talked to were ok).

Perhaps the terminology should be refined. I believe it's a question of those with means, vs. those without means. You met a few 'ok' Palestinians, given time, I'm sure you'd meet a few Israelis of questionable character. Your position is based on your assessment of the current situation on both sides of the wall, but fails to question how things got the way they are.



posted on Jan, 12 2008 @ 10:41 AM
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Give them their own nation so that they cant blame it on the israelis...

thats basically the essence of what I feel after the trip. I feel they are blaming everything on the israelis...the israelis who built a country out of nothing and despite being under constant threat from lebanon, syria, palestine and formerly egypt and jordan.

Because they have been bullied in the past, they have become somewhat of a bully themselves



posted on Jan, 12 2008 @ 10:41 AM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 



Now, on to how israel and palestine are portrayed in the news: I saw a lot of beauty and progress over there...something which I dont recall EVER having seen on CNN when reporting about the area.


I completely agree. I think showing the incredible beauty or interviewing Jews, Muslims, and Christians for their personal perspective, while offering a more realistic view of the current situation, probably would not result in quite as high ratings or promote whatever the current agenda happens to be.



posted on Jan, 12 2008 @ 10:41 AM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


Gaza has been shut down (other then momentary reprieves) since Hmasa was elected. I urge you to follow the link I posted earlier.

There is a cycle of retaliation in Israel/palestine, to cite one rocket attack as the source for anyhting is to miss the big picture. The Palestineans have been caught in the middle of three major wars and used as political pawns not only by other Arab countries that refuse to help because they prefer to have the playing piece available but also by the Israelis and the Americans.

There are serious issues with extreme Islam indeed, but when you have been locked in cages, starved, shot at , rolled over by tanks (some of them being your supposed allies at that) had your home bulldozed, been put into a refugee camp, shuffled around your own homeland, gassed, imprisoned, and had to watch your family suffer where else is there to turn except to a religion that promises hope. Whether it is sanctuary in this life or the next hope is hope to people that have been broken. Jesus appeared in the same area to the same people while they were being oppressed and occupied.

As far as your claims that there is not a humanitarian crisis in Palestine makes me wonde rwhat kind of world you think is acceptable to live in. You said yourself that they have to go through gates and walls and cages to go about their business.
What do you think happens when you build concrete walls around a city and do not let anyone out or in without your permission and then cut off the food and energy??

I believe Israel should exist as a state and has every right to defend itself, I just happen to think that the Palestineans too have the right to exist and defend themselves. Cooler heads on both sides must prevail.



posted on Jan, 12 2008 @ 10:44 AM
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reply to post by Unit541
 


well...I see how israelis managed to build an entire country out of nothing in a very short time.

And I asked the pro-palestinian tour-guide: "What have the palestinians built? They are only asking for money all the time, trying to profit from entrance fees to churches (christian) they never built".

My pro-palestinian tour-guide said similar things: "Because we have been oppressed...etc.etc.".

He also said: "The Americans government is an enemy"

To which I responded: "Then palestinians should stop taking money from the enemy".



posted on Jan, 12 2008 @ 10:47 AM
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Originally posted by Tinhatman
I believe Israel should exist as a state and has every right to defend itself, I just happen to think that the Palestineans too have the right to exist and defend themselves. Cooler heads on both sides must prevail.


Well, I concede that life is tough for them and that they do have the right to their own state.



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