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View Poll Results: Do you support the Palestinians' election of HAMAS officials?
Totally 2 8.33%
Kind of 3 12.50%
Not really 4 16.67%
Absolutely not 9 37.50%
Don't care 6 25.00%
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Thread: HAMAS dominates Palestinian parliament
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Old 01-26-2006, 12:46 PM   #1
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HAMAS dominates Palestinian parliament

This is definitely bad news for Israel, and I believe, for the entire Middle East. Whether they know it or not, the Palestinians have, through this election, pretty much said that they don't want peace - rather, they agree with http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satelli...ud Ahmadinejad, that Israel should be 'wiped off the map', by electing representatives from an organization that has actively sought the destruction of Israel, primarily through the use of terrorism.

At a press conference this morning, President Bush stated that the US will not deal with HAMAS, which is officially recognized by the US government as a terrorist organization. Makes perfect sense to me.

It'll be very interesting to see how all of this plays out, but I believe that this is a huge step backward in terms of the 'road map to peace.'


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Old 01-26-2006, 02:42 PM   #2
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Well it's not like Israel ever did anything to help the so called "Road map to peace".

I still hate the **** out of HAMAS though.

While I dislike HAMAS and their being elected, I can understand why it happened.


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Old 01-26-2006, 03:02 PM   #3
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This is definitely bad news for Israel, and I believe, for the entire Middle East.
And for the US. It's an interesting policy dilemma: the US wants to foster democracy by recognizing legitimate elections, but at the same time does not want to work with organizations that use terror.

One question is, are the Palestinians prepared for the consequences of their decision?


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Old 01-26-2006, 03:10 PM   #4
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So this is the result of democracy, eh?
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Old 01-26-2006, 03:17 PM   #5
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I'm not so sure. As an israeli general said: "you don't negotiate with your allies, you negotiate with your enemies".

As long as the feeling that Hamas represents was widespread among the palestinian population it woudln't matter who was in power, as negotiations with them wouldn't address that feeling. Having Hamas in power at least puts them in a more central role where their issues have to be addressed head on, rather than ignored while you hope they go away.

Its like the northern ireland peace process... much as everyone on the british side would have liked to ignore sin fein and negotiate only with the moderate republicans, this would have been pointless. Any agreement would have been worthless is the people still supported sin fein and their viewpoint. The UK government realised this and decided they had to include sin fein in the process, no matter how unpalletable, and hoped that being in the process would cause sin fein to slowly moderate its attitude.

Its all very well exporting democracy, but you can't complain when people in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Palestine decide to vote for parties you don't like. That is democracy for you.

Its worth pointing out that in palestine Hamas is seen as a benevolent defender, not an eveil terrorist organisation. So this isn't really the palestinians saying "they don't want peace".

2/3rd of palestinians live on under $2 a day.. and hamas provides much of the schooling, orphanages, hospitals and other facilities that these people need. It is also very disciplined and has almost no corruption, which might cause a lot of palestinians to put it above fata when voting (as fata is seen as widely corrupt).

Hopefully the realities of government will in time cause Hamas to realise that negotiation is inevitable.

Since most aid to palestine comes from europe, the EU will be able to exert a reasonable amount of presure on Hamas to moderate it's langage. Though whether the EU will be willing to entirely withdraw all aid from such poor people is another matter.

Not wanting to sound even more anti US than i have been accused of being, but the real problem is for the US. They have stated they won't negotiate with Hamas... which leaves them very little pressure or influence to bring to bear.

The real danger is that Israel overreacts and elects a hardline government too... then the rhetoric will ramp up and the peace process really will be in trouble. However a recent poll shows that most israelis believe negotiation with Hamas will have to happen eventually.. so hopefully that won't happen.
As long as that doesn't happen, and people keep talking, i think this is good for the peace process in the long run... but the short term might be rocky.



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Old 01-27-2006, 10:26 AM   #6
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A few points of information:
1. The US officially designates Hamas as a terrorist organization because their members kill civillians to affect political change.
2. Hamas has as one of its core platform values the destruction of Israel.
3. The US has plenty of leverage in the form of aid to the Palestinians which can be turned on and off as needed.

The conventional (and I believe naively hopeful) interpretation of the election is that this is not a vote for terror, but a vote against the existing Palestinian leadership, an attempt to try something else. And why not?

But it's naive to believe that the vote for Hamas was made in ignorance of point 2 above. Perhaps one can hope the Palestinians really didn't 'mean it' when they voted for a party that wishes to exterminate another country.

The real problem is not the US. The US is sovereign to determine wether or not to negotiate with terrorists. All countries have that right by law. A Hamas government is going to have to decide wether or not to reounce terror. I doubt it will. Reouncing their platform is the last thing they need to do. Why should they when they just got a strong vote from the Palestinians that they love their platform?

The very real problem will be : what will the Palestinians do if the aid runs dry?


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Old 01-27-2006, 01:22 PM   #7
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I didn't say the problem WAS the US. Merely that it was a problem FOR the US. The EU gives much more in aid, and has many more contacts with Hamas than the US. By making blanket statements the US has effectlvely ruled itself out of any influence for a while... though personally i wouldn't be surprised if talks DO go on in secret.

Re 2: Apparently they didn't really mention the destruction of Israel as part of their election platform, and concentrated much more on cleaning out corruption etc.. I heard they even referenced getting a deal based on the 67 lines.. which implicitly imples the existance of an israel.
Though of course all those omissions and implicit implications don't actually add up to anything remotely concrete.

But its quite likely that a lot of palestinians voted on issues of corruption and their daily lives... rather than the destruction of israel. Though of course being anti Israel can't exactly hurt you in that kind of election.
But if I was a poor guy living in palestine i'd be voting for the party i thought was going to get me food and a job and that ran the local hospital and school and that wasn't as corrupt as the current lot.. rather than voting on the issue of attacking israel.

But the basic point remains... whether Hamas was in power or not their views (and the views of all the people who support them) would have to be included in the peace process. Having them in power probably makes that easier in the long run.

In the short term Hamas will probably have its hands full trying to get the economy and government running.. and the practicalities of that have a tendancy to remove a few of the sharp extremities from people's views. Bear in mind that Sin Fein and the PLO were both on terrorist lists at one point.



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Old 01-27-2006, 07:10 PM   #8
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If the West totally shuts out the Palestinian Authority out of any communication at this point over this, it certainly isn't going to help maintain stability in the region.

If Hamas feels totally isolated and shut out they could react explosively, seeing nothing to lose.


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Old 01-27-2006, 07:52 PM   #9
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...the practicalities of that have a tendancy to remove a few of the sharp extremities from people's views.
One can only hope. Although there are other parties who came to power through election and never abandonded their fascistic ideologies: NAZIs in Germany. Both Hamas and NAZIs used clinics and services to demonstrate governmental competence to the people as an election strategy (pretty standard stuff). Both parties claim to be able to restore a downtrodden nation to greatness. Both claimed that foreign influence undermined their countries. Both advocated the violent distruction of Jews. There are probably more differences than similarties between the organizations and the times, places and situations, but it gives me pause.

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If Hamas feels totally isolated and shut out they could react explosively, seeing nothing to lose.
That's really no worse than the historic pattern of Hamas behavior. They already kill civillian innocents for political gain.


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Old 01-27-2006, 09:02 PM   #10
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True,.. but why give them an additional reason to do so by a sudden cessation of all political and diplomatic communications, which will surely be viewed as an insult to a group that can rightfully claim to be elected by the people.


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Old 01-28-2006, 12:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
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One can only hope. Although there are other parties who came to power through election and never abandonded their fascistic ideologies: NAZIs in Germany. Both Hamas and NAZIs used clinics and services to demonstrate governmental competence to the people as an election strategy (pretty standard stuff). Both parties claim to be able to restore a downtrodden nation to greatness. Both claimed that foreign influence undermined their countries. Both advocated the violent distruction of Jews. There are probably more differences than similarties between the organizations and the times, places and situations, but it gives me pause.
Of course, pulling out the nazi card...

The situations in the middle-east and in Germany during the 30's are very different as you've said.
So yeah...

It may be a terrorist organization, but the simple fact that they've accepted to participate in a democratic process is a really big step.
In fact, I'm going to say it's a big step towards peace, if everyone is willing to negotiate and talk with each other.

Oh, and I'd like to note that it's a democratically elected government. Nobody can do anything about it.
When Bush said that he won't negotiate with the Hamas, I told myself:"So he wants to bring democracy to the world, but once a government he doesn't like is elected, then he refuses to deal with them. Hmmm..."

Yeah, they all love democracy...when the people elect a government they like...


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Old 01-29-2006, 12:17 PM   #12
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Well, until Hamas decides to stop supporting/participating in terrorism, there is no reason President Bush should negotiate with them.

Of course, things are a bit different now for Hamas: if they keep up their suicide bombings, it'll technically be government-sponsored, which makes it an entirely different ball game.


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Old 01-29-2006, 02:37 PM   #13
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They've even said that they want to turn their armed wing into a part of the official Palestinian military. :/
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Old 01-29-2006, 03:09 PM   #14
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They'll have to do better than that if they're trying to outshine the United States in having terrorists elected to public office.


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Old 01-29-2006, 04:33 PM   #15
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Since Fatah have been storming government buildings with automatic weapons I'm not sure there is as big a difference between Hamas and Fatah/PLO as some people like to think. It should be remembered that pretty much all the major political factions in that area have extremist links/past and blood on their hands in some form or other.

As i understand it the president may actually havehis hands tied.. it would be illegal for the US to give money to Hamas while they are on the Terrorist organisations list. So the 40 million a year that the US gives may have to stop no matter what.

Thats going to be a blow to hamas... but if it causes the palestinians to suffer even more then it might be along term problem.. as the more downtrodden a people the more desperate and extreme they get. Maybe the arab countries will kick in to support them.. but that could lead to a whole load of other problems.

I'm not sure that hitler/hamas comparisons are in order... simply due to the fact that hamas has no goals outside it's own lands.

I gotta say i think everyone is overreacting and should give hamas at least a short amount of time to reveal their intentions before predicting doom.



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Old 01-30-2006, 05:04 PM   #16
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I'm torn as far as monetary support to the Palestinians - on the one hand, I'm against supporting Hamas in any way, but on the other hand, withdrawing all support may drive even more Palestinians into the Hamas camp...but on the other hand, giving support to the Palestinians would now essentially constitute giving support to Hamas...
Like I said, I'm torn.

And as far as Hitler/Hamas comparisons, they don't really hold up in the Hitlerian 'take over the world' sense, but when it comes to the extermination of the Jews, they definitely stand up to scrutiny (though Hamas has never been as systematic about it as Hitler was).


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Old 01-30-2006, 05:07 PM   #17
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I say don't give aid to HAMAS, because it supports terrorism. During this so-called "War on Terror" we shouldn't be giving aid to terrorists.
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Old 01-31-2006, 07:59 AM   #18
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But if you are giving aid to Hamas, that they spend on hospitals or schools... are you supporting terrorism? Tricky question.

Even the extermination of the jews comparisson is flakey.. they want the extermination of Israel (as a state) and even that is mainly an issue of war and land. Hitler wanted to exterminate the jews as a race, no matter where they are. Hamas wnats to drive them from israel. From where i stand there is a marked differnce between hating someone you are at war with and wanting to wipe out an entire race of people who have done nothing to you.
Give them tanks and bombers and i'm sure they'd attack israel.. but i doubt they'd start putting people in gas chambers.



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Old 01-31-2006, 01:02 PM   #19
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But if you are giving aid to Hamas and they spend most of the money on hospitals or schools, and spend some of the money for dynamite that is then strapped to someone and used to blow up a bus or a cafe, is it still okay because most of the money went to a good cause?

This really is the crux of the problem - with all of the aid that the US gives to the Palistinians (I think I heard that it's around $40 million per year), Hamas could buy an arsenal of weapons and bring its hopes of eradicating Israel that much closer...of course, if they did, the aid would be gone faster than you could say "suicide bomber", but I don't know what kind of oversight the US government has on how aid money is spent, and whether Hamas could use that aid to slowly build up such an arsenal...of course, I could just be coming up with conspiracy theories, but I don't think it's all that far-fetched.

The leader of Hamas came out the other day and said that they want to create a new Palestinian army , to "defend our people against aggression." My question is, how long is it going to take before some Hamas suicide bomber blows up another bus or cafe, and then the Palestinian government reads the resulting retaliatory strike by Israel as an act of war?

I guess I'm just not as optimistic as some about the restraint of a known terrorist group.


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Old 01-31-2006, 03:38 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rccar328
But if you are giving aid to Hamas and they spend most of the money on hospitals or schools, and spend some of the money for dynamite that is then strapped to someone and used to blow up a bus or a cafe, is it still okay because most of the money went to a good cause?
No. If any money goes on terrorist activities then it isn't ok at all. I'm with you on that.

But, hypothetically, if there are two bank accounts
1 - Palestinian government bank account
2 - Hamas private bank account
and we pay money into account 1, which is then spent entirely on aid and other good stuff, does it matter that the guys administrating both accounts are terrorists? And might be using account 2 to fund such activities?

If i lend money to a terrorist to buy his mum a birthday present, does that mean i'm supporting terrorism? Assuming i give it on the understanding it will be spent entirely on the present? Hmm... interesting..

I think the $40m may be gone anyway, as it will be illegal for the US to keep giving it (unless they find a legal loophole).

But I very much doubt Hamas would be daft enough to provoke israel into a full scale "war". They'd get slaughtered.. no way any "defence force" could stand up to the might of israel's army. They might support individual suicide bombers, but i can't see them commiting suicide withthe whole country.

Mind you, nest time the israeli army launches a helicopter rocket attack on a crowded appartment building, i'd have no problem with the palestinians shooting it down.

But i think ALL their aid will dry up pretty rapidly if they start spending it on armies rather than food/economy/healthcare that is badly needed.



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Old 01-31-2006, 04:07 PM   #21
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Perhaps, though, if we don't give them aid and they can't afford to run schools and hospitals, they'll realize that they need to become more moderate so they can get the aid money flowing in.
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Old 01-31-2006, 06:09 PM   #22
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Perhaps, though, if we don't give them aid and they can't afford to run schools and hospitals, they'll realize that they need to become more moderate so they can get the aid money flowing in.
Or they just get hungry, get easily manipulated by extremists and they'll get more extreme.
It's not as easy as you seem to think.


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Old 01-31-2006, 06:17 PM   #23
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Or they just get hungry, get easily manipulated by extremists and they'll get more extreme.
It's not as easy as you seem to think.
Yes, I see that as another possibility. I still believe though that we shouldn't be giving aid to a hostile country (like North Korea, for example). And the Palestinians clearly don't appreciate the billions of dollars we've sent to them.
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Old 01-31-2006, 06:31 PM   #24
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And the Palestinians clearly don't appreciate the billions of dollars we've sent to them.
Says who? The majority of Palestinians who surely do appreciate any help or the few extremists?


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Old 01-31-2006, 06:57 PM   #25
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I don't know. I've just never heard of any Palestinian having a positive attitude about the U.S. All we ever see of Palestinians are them burning the American flag and chanting "down with America." Maybe just no one ever shows the good appreciative Palestinians? *Shrug*
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Old 01-31-2006, 07:18 PM   #26
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Yes, I see that as another possibility. I still believe though that we shouldn't be giving aid to a hostile country. And the Palestinians clearly don't appreciate the billions of dollars we've sent to them.
...The ****?

Not really a single bit of that made sense.


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Old 01-31-2006, 07:31 PM   #27
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Well, for starters, I highly doubt that the Arab media is much into reporting much of anything positive about America...

And this really is the problem with the whole question of giving aid - if we continue giving aid, we're now basically supporting terrorism; if we stop giving aid, very likely more will become terrorists; but if we keep giving aid because of that, we likely won't be helping, just choosing the lesser of two evils: anti-American Palestinians, or anti-American Palestinian terrorists.

And Toms, I think you're right about it being illegal now to give aid to the Palestinians, but there are Democrats in Congress who have been pushing for the President to negotiate with the new Palestinian government...and if aid isn't given, I doubt it'll take long for the 'US imposed suffering of the Palestinians' to become a hot political issue.

I'm now definitely in favor of stopping aid, however, in light of the news that Hamas wants Shari'a law to be part of the Palestinian legal code, and they want to "overhaul the Palestinian education system to separate boys and girls and introduce a more Islamic curriculum."


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Old 01-31-2006, 08:34 PM   #28
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Aid to terrorism hasn't stopped our support of Israel, however. So I see it as hypocrisy should we cut aid to Palestine.


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Old 01-31-2006, 08:36 PM   #29
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...The ****?

Not really a single bit of that made sense.
I say don't give money to hostile countries.

Another problem though is that Bush's cronies always come out and say "we don't negotiate with terrorists." Which is extremely problematic, because it gives the U.S. no room to negotiate. After all, you don't negotiate with you allies, you negotiate with your enemies. So in this case it's either give the aid or don't.

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Aid to terrorism hasn't stopped our support of Israel, however. So I see it as hypocrisy should we cut aid to Palestine.
I say also stop supporting Israel. Don't help any of them until they both get their acts together.
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Old 02-01-2006, 08:39 AM   #30
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I don't know. I've just never heard of any Palestinian having a positive attitude about the U.S. All we ever see of Palestinians are them burning the American flag and chanting "down with America." Maybe just no one ever shows the good appreciative Palestinians? *Shrug*
Probably because the US gives 3 billion a year to Israel... plus most of their weapons. If a guy gave $100 and a bat to a guy to hit you, and then paid $5 towards your medical care afterwards I doubt you'd be that chuffed either.

Still, in recent years the US has started to get a bit tougher on israel, which is good.
Though Israel has a lot of well organised allies in the washington lobbying/funding circus, whereas the palestinians aren't as unified or organised.



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Last edited by toms; 02-02-2006 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 02-01-2006, 04:07 PM   #31
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Probably because the US gives 3 billion a year to Israel... plus most of their weapons. If a guy gave $100 and a bat to a guy to hit you, and then paid $5 towards your medical care afterwards I doubt you'd be that chuffed either.
Which is why we should stop supporting Israel as well.
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Old 02-01-2006, 07:17 PM   #32
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I don't see how that shows indesputable evidence that Israel should be left alone. We aren't giving money to HAMAS, at least not on purpose. And those are the ones who want to wipe out Israel. I really fail to see your logic.



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Old 02-01-2006, 07:32 PM   #33
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I don't see how that shows indesputable evidence that Israel should be left alone. We aren't giving money to HAMAS, at least not on purpose. And those are the ones who want to wipe out Israel. I really fail to see your logic.
Mind telling us who you're talking to and which arguement you're addressing.


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Old 02-01-2006, 07:43 PM   #34
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Well, when I don't specify whom I'm talking to, in general I mean the poster above me... like right now...



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Old 02-01-2006, 07:55 PM   #35
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Well, when I don't specify whom I'm talking to, in general I mean the poster above me... like right now...
So then how do you fail to see the logic of it's hypocritical to support Israel all the while spouting off the crap we do as to why we may cut funding to Palestine.


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Old 02-01-2006, 10:38 PM   #36
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Let's see. The PLO is far from happy that Israel has returned to it's Biblical origins. The Arabs (including Palestine) have feuded with Israel. So, it makes sense to support the nation that is not trying to wipe another culture off the face of the Earth. After all, Israel isn't calling for a Jewish "Jihad".



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Old 02-01-2006, 10:49 PM   #37
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No but they are killing innocent Palestinians in their attacks that they want us to think are killing militants.

The Palestinians had THEIR holy land stolen right out from under them, so the Jews could have THEIR holy land. Now, the Palestinians haven't gone about retaking their land in the proper way, what with their murdering of innocent people and all. But when you haves two sides, both believing they have god on their side, who both want the same land they think is rightfully theirs by god, there is no real end to the violence until either the Israelis wipe out the Palestinians or the Israelis give the Palestinians their land back.
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Old 02-01-2006, 10:53 PM   #38
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Let's see. The PLO is far from happy that Israel has returned to it's Biblical origins. The Arabs (including Palestine) have feuded with Israel. So, it makes sense to support the nation that is not trying to wipe another culture off the face of the Earth. After all, Israel isn't calling for a Jewish "Jihad".
Zionists?



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Old 02-01-2006, 11:02 PM   #39
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No but they are killing innocent Palestinians in their attacks that they want us to think are killing militants.
And what proof do you have that they aren't militants? When last I looked, they are killing Israeli civilians.

Quote:
The Palestinians had THEIR holy land stolen right out from under them, so the Jews could have THEIR holy land.
I am aware of the conflict over Jerusalem.

Quote:
Now, the Palestinians haven't gone about retaking their land in the proper way, what with their murdering of innocent people and all. But when you haves two sides, both believing they have god on their side, who both want the same land they think is rightfully theirs by god, there is no real end to the violence until either the Israelis wipe out the Palestinians or the Israelis give the Palestinians their land back.
Indeed, there will be struggle. But until they stop their rampage on innocent civilians, I would rather help the people who aren't calling for, oh, say... the sack of Mecca? These rampaging Palestinians are terrorists. Not to us, and they haven't flown planes into buildings, but they are terrorizing the Israeli people, and for what? So they can have half of Jerusalem, seperated by a wall. This has cost many innocent lives. Many more are at risk. And it would be much less if the Palestinians acted like human beings. And THAT is why we shouldn't fund the PLO. THAT is why we should support Israel in its quest for peace. Because as far as I've seen, the PLO's quest is bloodshed.

EDIT:

Quote:
Zionists?
So there's a group of pro-Israelis. Your point is...?



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Old 02-01-2006, 11:53 PM   #40
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And what proof do you have that they aren't militants? When last I looked, they are killing Israeli civilians.
Do I have proof? How about you go ask all the Palestinian mothers who lost their children to an Israeli missile for proof that innocent Palestinians get killed as well as Israelis?

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Indeed, there will be struggle. But until they stop their rampage on innocent civilians, I would rather help the people who aren't calling for, oh, say... the sack of Mecca? These rampaging Palestinians are terrorists. Not to us, and they haven't flown planes into buildings, but they are terrorizing the Israeli people, and for what? So they can have half of Jerusalem, seperated by a wall. This has cost many innocent lives. Many more are at risk. And it would be much less if the Palestinians acted like human beings. And THAT is why we shouldn't fund the PLO. THAT is why we should support Israel in its quest for peace. Because as far as I've seen, the PLO's quest is bloodshed.
And perhaps the Israelis should stop their rampaging. They have cost many innocent lives as well.


Now, this is going to sound silly but just for argument's sake, how would you, as a christian (I don't know if you're catholic but this analogy should still work), feel if an athiest group marched into Vatican City and took it over, holding the Pope hostage, claiming that the Vatican has been deceiving the masses for centuries and must be stopped? They rename the territory "Darwinia" and establish it as an officially athiest state.

Surely you wouldn't approve of this, and yet it's essentially what the zionist movement did to Palestine.
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