Laura Bickle

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Israel/Palestine conflict, call to pre-1967 boarders

The right seems to be parroting the phrase "Obama threw Israel under the bus" with out a solid explanation of why Israel has the right to the territory they seized in the six days war. What is your position on the "Right of Return?" Or the right of the displaced Palestinians to return to their settlements.

What is the position of those who think Obama "threw Israel under the bus?"

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    Jun 1 2011: I agree whole-heartedly with the feedback given to TED regarding this conversation. In my view, all comments have been respectful, thoughtful, constructive, and on topic.

    Jim Moonan
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        May 27 2011: I think we all need to see the other side of the picture here. Let me try once more to make my point.

        Our point Richard, is that the reality of life in Palestine at this moment from first hand (eyes on the ground) is very different than the media or western governments reveal and far different than what Israel allows the tourists to see.

        Someone close to me has worked in the world of diplomacy for sometime and this is the one country of the world he refuses to return to because of the human rights violations against the Palestinians. He is sick to his shoes at what he has seen and because the western governments are locked into agreements they are choosing blindness over justice.

        The Arab nations were literally ridiing camels 50 years ago. They are finding it hard to adjust their eyes to the light of this modern era. They are clinging more tightly to outmoded ways of thought to cope with the rapid change. I hate their stance on women's rights, slavery, and a variety of other issues especially involving human rights but we will not change them as long as we are flaunting the treatment of the Palestinians in their faces and indicating to them that it is OK to do this to people.

        This Palestinian issue is as damaging as Abu Grhaib or Guantanimo TO US.
        It has gone on too long with our backing and it needs to stop.They have the moral high ground on this one and we will pay for the next few generations for our stance if this is not fixed.

        We might not agree with the teachings of Islam in some of its literal and I do say dangerous teachings but if you are demonstrating to such a people that you are willing to be barbarous with them they are just as likely to use bits of information and your own barbarisim to justify and defend their own choices and actions. It is a vicious cycle that needs to end. The only reason it hasn't ended is that is has been covered and condoned by a filthy dressing to keep it out of sight of the people of the world.
        • May 27 2011: agreed, it is a vicious circle from which the western left believe the resort is by conceiding land and political equal rights to a mob that hardly hides his murderous intentions
          the Gazza case is clear
          Israel had evacuated hard working jewish people who built wonderful agriculiure where nothing grew before, have you ever heard the expression ' the green line'? it was refered to the pre-67 borders,
          that is the Israeli line is green with vegetation
          the borders were always defined by wars, mostly started by Arab countries mass
          threat on the tiny Jewish state
          you will not hear it now since the advent of the truly blindinding expensive Palestinian prpoganda.
          following the evacuation Hamas (the word, let me tell you, means murderous looting...)
          with it's total denial of the Israel right of existance, won the election which was followed by a slaughter of Fatah leaders.
          since then there were hundreds of missiles targeted at israeli civilian Kibbutzim and cities
          Gazza is a terrorist state and so will be any Palestinian authority once given leave
          the issue is sadly not complicated at all, sorry to raise hornets
          please get some facts right
          many young western nowadays are induced because the the primitive is a real alternative to western emptiness and divorce from nature
          and so are many in Israel too, somewhat torn by the same Palestinian activity
          I do believe it is a war and a general mis understanding and bias toward the " underdog"' Arab mass and finance is a result of the same policy, cleverly done
          Now the Palestinian suffering is real enough but consider the corruption imbedded in
          the Palestinian organizations, Yassar Arrafat amassed Billoins of Dollars of aid
          but that thread is unpopular
          please read Tony Blair's recent speech about the internanational misrepresentation of the Israel realities
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          May 27 2011: Joe: The fact is that Israel is a state which has existed for over 60 years and still has not defined it's borders. How long can that situation continue? What do you see as the way to move forward? Please don't say it's up to the Arabs to accept Israel unconditionally.
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          May 29 2011: joe do you have a cite for the Blair speech ( I will google of course and paste here but would be nice to have as part of your comment above)
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        May 27 2011: Richard, how can you be so sure that Israeli Arabs are treated well? Government policy isn't always the factual reality in the streets. I have read and heard consistently from accurate sources that Arabs living in Israel are heavily discriminated against. Although Joe's obvious hatred for Arabs may be in the minority, many Israelis agree with him and they are the ones that drive animosity, war, and prevent peace. This is were the discrimination and intimidation comes from- the hatred of Arabs.

        I am curious what the deleted reply was about. And who it was from.

        Your argument that we should trust in Netanyahu's words just doesn't hold water.
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          May 27 2011: Don't you just love it when the truth comes out! Thanks Laura for investigating and bringing back the truth.
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          May 29 2011: Tim thank you for that link..I really identify with him..I am as Heartsick about mt own countries history in other nations as he is, as a Muslim, about the Jihad.

          His words:

          " As a matter of honesty, Israel is the only light of democracy, civilization, and human rights in the whole Middle East .

          We kicked out the Jews with no compensation or mercy from most of the Arab countries to make them "Jews-Free countries" while Israel accepted more than a million Arabs to live there, have its nationality, and enjoy their rights as human beings. In Israel , women can not be beaten legally by men, and any person can change his/her belief system with no fear of being killed by the Islamic law of 'Apostasy,' while in our Islamic world people do not enjoy any of these rights. I agree that the 'Palestinians' suffer, but they suffer because of their corrupt leaders and not because of Israel. "
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          May 27 2011: You know this is how every human rights violation in history gets away with it. People demand unequivocal proof before they will admit it 'might' exist allowing perpetrators to do it again and again.

          I do not want to to feel that you are being mobbed but I do want you to admit this could be happening- why- because lives are at stake!

          Here is an excerpt from the article I mentioned:

          The rightist Netanyahu government, apparently emboldened by such a broad bipartisan defense of its actions from Washington, has only increased its repression of Israeli citizens in the year since the House passed its resolution. This has included surveillance and intimidation of Israeli peace and human rights groups, with the detention for days without charge of scores of Israeli Jews attending or simply en route to peaceful protests. On December 27, for example, an Israeli court sentenced Jonathan Pollack, a leading young human rights activist, to three months in prison for being part of an "illegal assembly" -- a bicycle protest against the war on Gaza.

          Other Israelis speaking out have been imprisoned or otherwise censored as well. The Knesset stripped member Haneen Zoabi of her parliamentary benefits and her diplomatic passport for taking part in last summer's humanitarian aid mission to Gaza. The government has detained Israeli community activist Ameer Makhoul -- whom Amnesty International has called "a key human rights defender" and "a prisoner of conscience" -- on "espionage" charges, though they have refused to make the charges public. And the government charged Israeli whistle-blower Anat Kamm, who documented illegal assassinations of Palestinian opponents by the Israeli military, with espionage and banned the Israeli press from reporting on her detention.

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          May 28 2011: Richard, surely you realize that we cannot put the enitre article or all that we know in a posting. I try to put something in that would seem to suggest that 'hey, maybe there just could be a problem.' We can barely cope with working on one problem- the Palestinian issue in Israel let alone all of the abuses of the Arab world.

          I am no apologist for Islam. Where do you want me to begin? Women's rights? The fact that Muhammad married a 6 year old? The fact that one of my sons had a roommate at university in Canada who was from Saudi and who had been given a slave for his 16th birthday? I do see the problem there.

          I am simply looking for as Leonard Cohen says- there are cracks in everything- that's how the light gets in. I am saying let's stand up for what is right in Palestine and take back the moral high ground for we will need it when it comes to facing down a radical religion with a radical agenda. We cannot win hearts and minds by crushing hearts and minds.

          And so unless I am sorely tempted I think I have fought the good fight on this one and I am done.
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        May 27 2011: Richard, I can get you equally convincing and damning excerpts from people who have left any religion.
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          May 27 2011: This site even touts itself as "An expose of the religion of Islam from a Christian point of view."

          In other words, a site heavily biased by Christianity. No wonder it was deleted. Should be again. Let's try to be objective here. Sheesh
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        May 27 2011: Richard: I think it is an interesting fact that both Tawfik Hamid and Tashbih Sayyed have been supported by the right wing think tank Hudson Institute.

        Although they both have interesting things to say, I really question their motivation. I can see where there could be a significant financial benefit for a reformed Muslim scholar to come to the US, get sponsorship from right-wing organizations and speak against Islam.

        Can you see where this might be a bias?
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          May 27 2011: EDIT!!!-- Sorry Richard, I didn't put the usual paragraph between the two sentences. They weren't meant to be related.

          They aren't paid for what they say, but it's still a biased site. In other words, they have a very unrepresentative sample- it's biased.

          I left Christianity because of the infanticide, incest, terrible violence, slavery, rape, etc...

          Actually I was illustrating a point. I, too, left Christianity because I preferred something real- science.

          "It can be argued that infanticide, incest, terrible violence, slavery, rape, etc are not taught by Christianity." It can also be argued that Jihadism is not taught by Islam- it's the radical sect that uses the book to justify their terrible actions. You should watch "Jesus Camp" and see what some of the more radical sects of Christianity are teaching our children... they are answering the call of Jihad and training their children to be soldiers. Terrible things happen in the Quran, terrible things happen in the Bible.
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      May 27 2011: Let me offer an article to back up your points Jaffia:
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        May 29 2011: A good article Debra, thanks..and who can argue with its facts or his interpretation of them.

        .The article points to something tha thas bothered me for a long time which is why the U.S. has not spoken against aggression, it's emargo aginst Gaza,the construction of the wall, it's attempts to suppress information .I ahve to it because Isreal is our (U.S.) military base in the middle East.We )the U.S. spend a huge anmount of our taxpayer dollars every year arming Israel

        .We have been speaking here as if this were entirely a matter between two countries. As Zunes point s out in the article Debra shared, the U.S. has used its veto power many mnay times to protect Isreal ( not being a historian I can't say from my own knowledge but here I am assuming Zunes is coirrect).

        The U.S.and the U.K. are definitely right in the middle of this and not on humanitarian issues.I am hoping that the real meaning of Prseident Obamas speech is "no more" "no more"..That the U.S. is stepping back and will speak out against all agressions, oppressions and expolitaions wherever they ocurr and not make exceptions for military allies like Israel

        .I hope that Palestine will renounce its determinatiin to eradicate Isarel, affirm its comitment to peace, and will be acknowledged as a State by the UN and that the US will not use its veto power

        .I wish Jimmy Carter had spoken to that a bit more in his op ed. Wsa he saying It;s time?
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      May 31 2011: Jafia..thank you for this list of links and for summaruzing each one..I had seen somewhere else both that Britain original partittioning of the area created aknowing and intentional disparity of water access and in another source that irael's greening has nit been and is not sustainable. I did not know that this was part of the Oslo accord..

      I started this convesration knowing very little about the history and background.of the Israel-Palestine conflict and wat I have learned is how much ther was to dificult it is to really asess.

      I guess where I am landing is in a very simple place:

      (1) the world cannot afford to have in its midst any nation whose national policy includes elemination of either people within its borders or a neighboring nation

      (2)religious freedom does not include any protection for murderous or terrorist acts; the protections of religious freedom to not extend to using places of worship to incite violence or to preach violence as a religious duty

      (3) the world should unequivcally iand swiftly intervene when any nation violates the borders of another nation;

      (4) our earth is too fragile and too much in need of care to nuture or allow ancient battles to cause continual unrest and uncertainty

      In short having used the opportunity of this discussion ti learn a bit more about the Palestine Israeli conflict I am impatoent with both of them and very disappointed that my own country has not acted more wisely and with more justice.

      I think it is right now for the world to say they have to work it out and to lay down, with threat of enfocement, (not necessarily military) the terms of enforcement.
      • May 31 2011: the Israel/Palestine conflict is mixed with religion and can not be talked without religion.
        without knowing religious views of both side of conflict we can not understand the conflict.
        but if we say any thing from religion, some say oh this is religion/this is scripture.

        truth is truth. not important a religious or non-religious say it.

        *** take the pearl even if it was in the mouth of dog***
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          May 31 2011: Theancient history between Palestine and Isreal has to be put to rest now.

          The world, all of us, will not adjuidicate on the basis of religious values nor will we tolerate any advocacy and indoctrination to violence

          Israel exists as a nation and is recognized as a nation by he wolrd community.. That isn't up for debate

          Religion ( except a guarantee of freedom of religion and freedom from persecution) is not at issue. it has no place in this conversation. It will have no place in the world's judgment on what Palestine and Israel do with the World's diirective to settle this settle it now.and forever.

          .I have said elsewhere, and will say now again..religious freedom does not protect or condone advocacy or indoctrination to hate and violence.That violates the sensibility of the world community. I hope the world community will show its absolute intolerance for this in much much stronger terms.

          This might even begin with very municiplaity in the world withdrawing religious/non-profit status to any church or mosque or temple or place of worship anywhere in the wolrd that allows itself to be used to indocrinate to violence and hatred and the training or terrorists

          .The world cannot tolerate or accomodate the continual unrest and opression arising from ancient religious and cultural disputes. It is simply not something we will tolerate in a global community. These issues have to be put to bed once and for all.Period.

          In essence that is what the President has said to Isreal and Palestine. End it now and forever. Wut your land swap from the '67 borders and affirm peace with one another

          .I wish he ad added..if you don't you can't imagine how tough the rest of the wollrd will make it for you..
      • May 31 2011: Dear Newland Bowker,
        your speech ((1) to (4)) was too beautiful.
        but world is hearing such beautiful speeches about Palestine for more than 50 years.
        do not you think such speeches are not workable about this conflict?
        I prefer such activities more:
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      May 29 2011: What an incredibly constructive and sobering perspective Richard. This is TED spirit in real action.

      Edit: fascinating in the ratio. What do you think that means? Lack of access? lack of resources? A worry about bias?
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      May 29 2011: Richard: How do you generate a list of Palestinian members?
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        May 29 2011: Tim, where is that video you posted last night. I only got half way through it and now I can't find it. I felt that it was making it clear that everybody is headed to the September UN vote. That way everybody says that they held the line with their own right wingers and save face, while still having a solution imposed by the world's will. Is that what you were getting out of it?
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      May 29 2011: tu richard but even without those stats we as a community agree to stay on topic and not go diving off onto these off topic non productive exchanges

      ( I'll admit that once in a blue moon an of topic thread acually gets to theheart of the question. but here this divserions really undermined whta had been a very discerning and poductive conversation.)
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    May 25 2011: Who among us could hope to work and make a life in the polka dotted country that is being offered by Israel to the Palestinians?
    The Palestinians were forced from their homes to accomodate a people who had been dispersed iinto the entire world and because of heinous human rights abuses in Europe they were chosen to surrender their homes to the Jewish settlers.
    Let's put ourselves in their shoes for once. Why would it be so much to expect the current Jews in the West Bank to vacate - which is what the world expected of the Palestinians- who had no part in the original reason for the influx of the Jews- when the Palestinians had nowhere at all to go. The Jewish settlers can join their countrymen a few miles away.
    It is time someone gave the Palestinians a home of their own and started seeing them as people and not just opposite of Jewish/ American interests.
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      May 25 2011: Debra...........Hoorah for you
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      May 25 2011: That isn't correct I don't think Debra. Netanyahu was adamantly opposed to the prseident suggesting that land swap negotioans should begin with the 1967 borders but has now agreed to do that..which is qqquite a concession.

      1967 border as the start anticpates a land swap... that's the whole point of using that as a reference..that it forces a negotiated land swap to achieve contiguous states. for each of adequate size to accomodate growth.
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        May 26 2011: My comment started from the map of the 1967 proposal and I was focusing on the ongoing Jewish settlements. You are right, the new proposal does suggest a continous possession of land which is ot interupted. Even so, unless Israel is ready to abandon all those settlements and give Palestine complete soverengty of its own lands and complete self determination, I do not beleive that anyone could live that way. Did you get a chance to see the short video clip that I posted? It gives a balanced perspective of what is happening there (as far as I (or anyone) have the objectivity to determine balanced).
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          May 26 2011: Israel has always been willing to do that..that's what the Oslo accord was.. a specific agreement on that.

          Tthe issue has always been that the Arab neighbors form the very beginning have considered the creation of the state of Israel an error that must be corrected through eradication.. They sated that in 1948..they have never lert go of that. They still say that.

          That is not a place from which negotiations are easy. The Oslo accod was a miracle. and had it not been for Rabins assassination would be a done deal..two states living side by side in peace.

          As Jafia correctly noted, Netanyahu did not like the terms Rabin agreed to and that slowed the peace process so he is to blame in part for not striking while the iron was hot in 1995 when he took office. He felt very firmly then that Isreal should not have to give up any part of what had always been jewish homeland, jewish settlements.

          .It now seems he has come around to the Oslo Accord..and I am thinking that is what is on the table.

          But first..Israel's right to exist must be recognized in convincing way by the Palestinians. Alinement with Hamas is not very convincing..Cintinuing todeclare asa ntaional purpose th eeradication of Israel is not a good thing. The wolrd cannot afford to have any nation formed on a principal iof detroying another nation.
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        May 26 2011: If he is truly serious ? then that would be great. Given his previous attitudes and actions I fear to trust that man.
        • May 27 2011: Dear Lindsay I think while ascerting common enough opinions you are both mislead and misleading
          The late Rabin's concessions were directly followed by horrendous increase in Arab nationalism and brought about much more violence
          in fact the so called Peace process had truly ignited the Middle East
          and a phenonena which was largely trivial became a bigger catastrphy for the Palestinian then it ever was
          western thinkers must realise that,
          cospiracy prone, nothing in the east seems like it really is
          If you realy wish a compassionate attitude, look at the Jewish side's suffering as well
          more then two thousand civillians were killed by recent Palestinian terrorism
          si ce that faithfull accord mostly by "heroic" suicide bombs on city buses
          the slogans of "kill the jews" is sound often enugh in palestinian habitants
          even inside Israel, often not so surprisingly any mre, mulled by Israel's own public news media.
          hatred is a constant brain wash in Palestinian kindergardens for many years now

          uncharacteristically you will have to see that there is no costructive solution
          "War is peace" is a realist assesment here, the latter part a possible affirmation,
          and certainly, for all's sake, better be adopted now then the hypocrite idealistic
          reality of "peace is war" we induce ourselves into...
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          May 27 2011: Joe: Just a point of fact to add to your observations.

          The suicide bombings in Israel (outside of the West Bank) only started after the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre:

          in which Baruch Goldstein, an Israeli settler opened fire on unarmed Muslims at prayer.

          He was killed in the act (a suicide act I would say) and his grave has become a shrine.
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          May 27 2011: And thanks to Joe and Richard for providing balance.

          There is no single right or wrong. There are many sides with many perspectives.
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          May 29 2011: Joe what all did exactly go on between the oslo accotds and Rabins assasination

          Mu comments were a reply to someone else (Jafia???) who had pointed out that Netanyhau had never agreed with Rabin and was very dritcicalof the accord befor ehe became prime minsiters after Rabins assassination.. That is fact.

          That's all I was acknolwdging.

          But what are you reefrring to?..what did happen//sounds like the Oslo accord hardened zionist positions in Isreael ( with which Netnayahu was then alined) and also incited a hardened Muslin call for the elimination of Israel.

          By the way..I am not at all influenced ever by popular opinion. I do my own homework and I am pretty thorough. I come to my views and sense of what is happening through my own reserach, my own intellect and it is almost never that my views are een vaguley close to public opinion.
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          May 29 2011: Thnaks for that post Tim..I had forgotten that event and Rabin's comment on it at the time:

          "Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin condemned the attack, describing Goldstein as a "degenerate murderer", "a shame on Zionism and an embarrassment to Judaism"
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          May 29 2011: @ Tim "The suicide bombings in Israel (outside of the West Bank) only started after the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre" (February 25, 1994)

          This gives the impression that the Palestinians were Gandhi-like before this and had it not been for this massacre all would have been peace and quiet. This is far from the truth.

          In fact Arab violence against the Jews started in April 4–7, 1920 with the Nabi Musa riots in Jerusalem which coincided with attacks on outlying Jewish settlements in Galilee.

          Five Jews were killed and hundreds wounded.

          "The British military administration's erratic response failed to contain the rioting, which continued for four days. As a result of the events, trust between the British, Jews, and Arabs eroded. One consequence was that the Jewish community increased moves towards an autonomous infrastructure and security apparatus parallel to that of the British administration."

          Here is a list of terror attacks in Israel since 1970
          May 8 1970: Avivim school bus attacks by Palestinian PLO members, killing nine children and three adults and crippling 19 children.
          May 30 1972: Lod Airport Massacre by the Japanese Red Army terrorists, killing 26 and injuring 78.
          September 5 1972: Black September kidnaps and kills eleven Israeli Olympic athletes and one German policeman in the Munich Massacre.
          April 11 1974: Kiryat Shmona massacre at an apartment building by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine members, killing 18 people, nine of whom were children.
          May 15 1974: Ma'alot massacre at the Ma'alot High School in Northern Israel by Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine members: 26 of the hostages were killed, 66 wounded.
          March 5 1975: In the Savoy Operation, Palestine Liberation Organization gunmen from Lebanon take dozens of hostages at the Tel Aviv Savoy Hotel, eventually killing eight hostages and three IDF soldiers, and wounding eleven hostages.
          1978 Members of the Arab Revolutionary Council poison Israeli oranges with mercury.
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          May 29 2011: March 11 1978: Coastal Road massacre: Fatah gunmen killed several tourists and hijack a bus near Haifa; 37 Israelis on the bus are killed.
          The list goes on till the present day

          PS Re: The cave of the Patriach's massacre Benjamin Netanyahu, then head of the Likud party declared, "This was a despicable crime. I express my unequivocal condemnation."
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        May 26 2011: And yet they kept on building in the West Bank. What is that about? I do not suppose that they thought that their situation would go on indefinately, could they have? If they knew that they would face the peace talks sooner or later did it not give them a heck of a lot more to trade that was not their own to start with?
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          May 29 2011: Well ,no question as Jimmy Carter emphasizes in his NY Times Op Ed, above, the State of Israel must withdraw from occupied territories and must agree to honor whatever the final land allocations are in what we hope will be a final agreement.
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        May 26 2011: I promise you that few people could go toe to toe with you on any aspect of the ancient history of the Jewish nation as I could having emersed myself in it for many years. Since 587 bce the Jewish nation was ruled by no less than 10 separate foreign empires. You seem to constantly suggest that once a territory is conquored it no longer is the property of the orignal owners and that seems to apply to everyone but Israel. After the exile in 70 ad the Jews fled to North Africa and Europe. The rights of the Arabs in Palestine were granted as early at 1879 and never respected or honoured. A legal analysis performed by the International court of Justice noted that the Covenant of the League of Nations had provisionally recognised the communities of Palestine as independent nations. The Arab leadership repeatedly pressed the British to grant them national and political rights, such as representative government, over Jewish national and political rights in the remaining 23% of the Mandate of Palestine which the British had set aside for a Jewish homeland. President Wilson's Fourteen Points and British promises during the First World War also made promises which were not kept. The British however made acceptance of the terms of their mandate a precondition for any change in the constitutional position of the Arabs. The history you cite is not as cut and dried as you make it out to be.
        This is diverging from the originally stated question though and I think I instigated this diversion.

        My point is simply that we can no longer simply listen to one side of the debate and champion our own horse in the race without regard to the fact that we are talking about human beings on both sides not just one people who suffered but another as well who are suffering because the world tried to make one set of heinous actions right.

        And before you suggest that I am an antiSemite, think again. My last significant other was a Jewish judge.
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        May 26 2011: Richard: Why do you think the Arab countries have not absorbed the Palestinians as citizens and have kept them in camps?
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        May 26 2011: Tashbih Sayyed appears to be a very insightful writer. Another quote:

        "He said that Arab dictators, the PLO and radical Islamist movements have used the media, mosques and universities to present Jews as unholy intruders, occupiers, murderers, and enemies of Islam. "To create a Palestinian state before this mindset is changed can only ensure that the new state will be yet another terrorist sponsor.""
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    May 24 2011: The idea of 1967 borders is a good one. After all it created the state of Israel and gave them a homeland.
    The Jews agreed to the borders and then against their agreement initiated the Six Day War and have continued to encroach on Palestinian property. I understand that the US supports Israel with billions of dollars each year. So what do we get out of it.........a warring, agressive country. How is that productive ??
    They call themselves
    god's chosen people according to the Old Testament and I just finished reading it in a study and I just cannot believe that God would tell them to do what is written in there !! Tsk Tsk
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      May 24 2011: I agree Helen. In addition Israel has been allowed to flaunt international law on many occasions because powerful countries had their backs and would not support their sancture. With the rise of rebellions in the Middle East average people are saying that they want some fairness. It is time for fairness in whatever measure we can find.

      As to your latter point- my eldest son once said to me that a mere human being could not know better or be better than God. He said anyone who could order mankind to kill entire villages of women, children, and all the livestock with the directions that nothing was to be left alive just because they thought differently could not be a God he would recognize.
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        May 25 2011: Debra.................I had not realized what was inthe OT until last week. No way could I validate a god who could require things like that.
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          May 25 2011: I think that there are many people who have no idea for themselves what their Holy books say and endorse. I am sorry for the shock you must be going through. I know that disillusionment is hard.
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        May 25 2011: Debra........You are mistaken about my going thru schock..A long time ago I rejected the idea of God asking Abe to sacrifice his son. So further information was really disturbing but not shocking.Also I would call myself a progressive Christian. I do believe that Jesus is the definitive revelation of God but I do not believe in atonement. I believe in at-one-ment which I strive for (to be like God). If you have not read "The Art of Loving" by Erich Fromm then that is a must read. (:>)
        After the class ended (about 30) people there were some who said "I wonder what he has in store for us now." Can you believe ?
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          May 25 2011: I am always glad to be wrong for a good cause!!

          I was once in a group where someone decided that sin must be like contageous disease so obviously they had to be slaughtered and took the killilng of the animals as 'proof' that you could not allow a reservoir of disease to be harboured" YIKES!
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      Jun 5 2011: Thanks Tony...

      Someone needs to get very serious with withholding aid. emabrgoing, snaction everyone over there iwho is not contributing to Peace.

      Breaching borders???? what were the syrians thunking.. Peaceful protests dont breach borders.. So a bad on them too. None of it helps.
      • Jun 6 2011: sanction?!
        sanction is in hand of UN.
        and UN is in hand of US (by VETO and pressing UN by not paying monies of UN in hand of US) and who is under sanction is Iran and Syria:
        no bank in world accept any money transaction from/to Iran/Syria,.... do you know what effect has this in economy and import/export of a country?
        if some one want to send money for his child educating in a foreign country no bank accept it.
        companies are banned to sell products to Iran.
        sanctions of Iran are two type:
        one is by UN
        and other are by US pressing companies and countries to not do business with Iran out of UN rules.
        even websites does not allow their software be downloaded in Iran. for example for Google desktop: does Google desktop has any relation to nuclear?
        this is UN
        and still UN and world has no evidence that Iran is making nuclear nuke. only propaganda.
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    Jun 3 2011: I think the world has been ready for a Palestinian state for ages but that the United States has been standing in the way for a very long time. That Obama made the speech he made gives me hope that some things have changed at the decision level. However, I am constantly reminded of how blindly faithful the American people are to Israel when I see members of my American family blurt out utter nonsense like "don't fuck with the Jews" and "Obama is going to lose his Jewish electorate". Americans of that ilk need to realize two things:

    1. It's not a question of Israel vs. Palestine, it's not a question of supporting one or the other exclusively. When (and if) the borders of Palestine are formed, the state of Israel will still exist and, if anything, it will probably become less contested throughout the world.

    2. The pre-1967 borders was always the suggested borders, it was always in the works. All Obama is doing is reminding people, especially the capricious Prime Minister Netanyahu, that this was always what we were aiming for.

    The only reason Mr. Netanyahu complains is that he doesn't want to see this happen even though he says he wants to see a resolution in the conflict. If he wanted to see a conflict resolution happen so badly, he certainly wouldn't be building settlements in the West Bank. He knows as long as the US is on his side, he can do whatever is convenient to Israel only with impunity. Each time the world tries to condemn Israel, the Us veto the sanctions. In a way we could say that has made the state of Israel a spoiled brat. That Obama is attempting to give Netanyahu a reality-check is the best of news. Although probably not nearly enough to change the American way of thinking of the conflict.

    By the way I use the word "American" lightly, I know not all Americans are enamored by Israel's "cause", whatever that may be...
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      Jun 3 2011: Thank you nice to have your voice here and your cogent framing of issues

      .What specific actions do you think the persident should take to get out of the way?

      Was it enough to just say go back to the '67 borders and work it out when after that he has siad he will back israel on its occupatin of the west bank and block any un considerationof a Palestinian State?

      .And what about renouncing our governments insistence on a palestinaian regime chnage?..Don't we have to make some sort o commitment to the right of the plasetinian people to choose their own leadershipt?
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        Jun 3 2011: In terms of Palestinian regime change, I think the recent alliance between the Fatah and Hamas shows a willingness to let the new Palestinian state (if it comes to see the day) and its Palestinians decide what kind of government they want. So that's covered as far as I'm concerned, no other country should have a say in this, only Palestinians.

        I have never heard Obama openly support the occupation of the West Bank. If you can send some article or something relating to that, I'd much appreciate it. As for the UN declaration of a Palestinian state, I think that's a great initiative that'll put pressure on Israel if they decide not to budge. It's regrettable that the US will indeed probably veto it. The motive this time might be that Obama wants to avoid the creation of Palestine being done in an underhanded way. The problem is that negotiations as Obama would like them have failed for decades. There's no reason they'll work now.
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          Jun 3 2011: Hi Matthieu,

          I had missed them too..from Democarcy Now

          Wasn't this date ( May 23rd) after the President's Mideast Speech and also after Netanyahu's? Speech before Congress??
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          Jun 3 2011: I think the recent alliance between the Fatah and Hamas shows that Fatah was getting nowhere on their own. They were making every possible compromise with Israel and still the settlements were increasing.
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          Jun 3 2011: "In terms of Palestinian regime change, I think the recent alliance between the Fatah and Hamas shows a willingness to let the new Palestinian state (if it comes to see the day) and its Palestinians decide what kind of government they want."

          How does an alliance between two rival Palestinian parties who have been killing each other in the past show a willingness by others to "to let ..Palestinians decide what kind of government they want?"

          What would stop the Palestinian state from shelling /rocketing / carrying out terror attacks on Israel? If Hamas today promises peace is its word to be trusted?
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        Jun 6 2011: Yes Tim, that's probably right.

        I never mentioned others. I think the recent alliance between the Fatah and Hamas shows a willingness on the part of the Fatah and Hamas to let the Palestinians decide what kind of government they want rather than either imposing themselves.

        Many fight for the right to a country, by creating a Palestinian state, there is less incentive for violence against Israel, the Palestinians deserve a state, you can't forever deny it to them on account of the violent acts they carry out against Israel. I don't condemn those acts of violence, but I understand them. How do you think it feels not having a proper country of your own for so many decades? Don't fool yourself either, just because the violence Israel carries out on its neighbours is done in the framework of a government, doesn't make it any more legitimate.

        It's pretty obvious most people are looking at it the wrong way. We never think of the WWII French resistance as terrorists do we? Because we can empathise with their necessary acts of violence. But maybe the Palestinians are too foreign for some of us? Some people need to read up on the history of the conflict and put themselves in the shoes of the Palestinians.
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          Jun 6 2011: Matthieu, I am impressed with your writing here. How did you become so knowledgable about these issues? Can you share more?
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        Jun 6 2011: The whole history of the Israelo-Palestinian conflict was extensively covered in my high school history lessons and I've been following its unfolding out of interest ever since. It's also a source a heated debate within my family.

        There's also a really good show on Channel 4 (UK) called 'The Promise' that looks at the really early days of the conflict (it's fiction, but on a historically accurate backdrop).
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      Jun 6 2011: Thanks for your perspective Matthieu.
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    May 31 2011: recent development in the conversation:


    sure, it is truth! it is *written in the book*!


    where is the *evidence*?
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    • +1
    May 31 2011: Dear Community Members,

    While we welcome differing opinions, we ask you to engage in constructive and respectful conversations. Comments violating our Terms of Use ( ) will be removed. Please keep your discussions focused on the topic of the talk and refrain from making off topic and inflammatory comments.

    Thank you for your contribution,

    TED Conversations Admin
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      May 31 2011: Dear TED Conversations Admin,

      I wonder if you realise how disappointing it is when you remove someones well thought out post, how disjointed the conversation seems without it, and how one sided it could become if you remove one side of an argument?

      In your Terms of Use you state "Please keep in mind that, as your host, TED asks that you maintain the same standards of civility and respect required at TED conferences. Behavior which would be unacceptable at a TED conference is also unacceptable on"

      That is a two way street. As commentators we also expect that you show us the same standards of civility and respect that you show to speakers at TED conferences. Speakers do not expect you to switch off their mikes if they crack a joke or display some humour in their talk or give an animated speech. That would be as disrespectful as deleting a comment which is not abusive.


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        May 31 2011: Yes TED Conversations Admin.

        Remember Chris Anderson's insight:

        "You need clear, open visibility of what the best people in that crowd are capable of, because that is how you will learn how you will be empowered to participate."
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        Jun 1 2011: FYI..Richard Tim and others.....

        My own comment asking you guys to get back on tarck was removed long before any of the other comments were.

        .people who are not party to conversations can alo give thumbs up and issue red flags

        Ted admin has its own patrols and obviously its own clear standards..they don't remove just vecause of red flag sit would be nice to have a little more guidance on what is "off topic"
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      Jun 1 2011: Dear TED Conversations Admin,

      Tim has raised a very valid point. Your deletions and censorship are going against the very idea and spirit of TED expressed by Chris Anderson:

      ".. at TED, we've become a little obsessed with this idea of openness...

      To understand even something as important to us as happiness, you kind of have to branch off in all these different directions, and there's nowhere that I've discovered, other than TED where you can ask that many questions, in that many different directions.

      To understand anything, you just need to understand the little bits. A little bit about everything that surrounds it. And so, gradually over these three days, you start off kind of trying to figure out, why am I listening to all this irrelevant stuff? And at the end of the four days, your brain is humming and you feel energized, alive and excited, and it's because all these different bits have been put together. It's the total brain experience, we're going to -- it's the mental equivalent of the full body massage. (Laughter) Every mental organ addressed. It really is."

      You sent me a message "Your conversation has been removed according to the Terms of Use it is off-topic to the conversation. Full text below."

      This was an explanation of Mr S.R. Ahmadi's comment along with a Hadith from the Bukhari collection.

      This Hadith "The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews." is part of the Charter of Hamas, the political party ruling Gaza.

      By deleting this comment you have not only gone against one of the main aims of TED as stated by Chris Anderson but have used your powers to delete in a manner which passes a judgement on the views expressed.

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      Jun 1 2011: The topic of the conversation, is the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, call to 1967 borders.

      Thus anything relevant to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is relevant to the converstaion.

      This includes the history of the conflict, the opinions of the parties concerned, which in a large part is formed by the religious beliefs of the commentators, the political beliefs of the commentators and the religious and political leanings of people concerned in this conflict.

      The views that are expressed on the topic the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, call to 1967 borders are the beliefs of the commentators. These maybe founded on facts or religious beliefs or erronoeus facts.

      Mr S.R. Ahmadi’s belief that the Holocaust was a big lie or that “democracy is the most corrupted form of government” or that Palestinians “have no pencil for their children or drinking water or home to sleep. Thy only have their life and blood to perhaps some human hear their voice. Even reporters are banned to go there” is a genuine opinion based on his beliefs.

      His beliefs are valid to the topic and thus should not be subject to censorship or deletion. They are also the beliefs held by the rulers of Iran, by Hamas, by Hezbollah and many other people.

      If you remove these comments you are removing the opinions of a large section of humanity which are very important to the Arab Israeli conflict and it would be very wrong to do so.

      If you delete these comments because of your own opinions or any other reason, you not only remove opinions held by a large section of humanity but you also deprive us of the opportunity of challenging these beliefs with facts and logic.

      As in science truth prevails after fair and open debate in which ideas and opinions are challenged and not by censorship.

      I therefore earnestly request you to restore all the comments deleted by you.



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        Jun 1 2011: at ideas for Ted I just posted an urgent appeal for them toprovide aplace where we can vist together as a community what we mean by "on topic"..

        e have lost pabitra..jaime

        we have strained amomgst each other all trying to bring what we can in earnest to each onverstaion

        we clearly need a better forum to wok this all out

        we have o forum anongts ourselves to do it

        I so agree with you Richard we need to visit this an dhve more clarity

        I so agree withyou that the side paths often lead us to the important truths..and it i not always eays to figur eout at the outset what will be fruitful and what will just obfuscate an dundermine

        I am not even sure ther are word sor guidekines

        I think you have raised some very importnat issues in yoyr protest here.. I think we need a forum to visit these issues.

        Is it here/???

        maybe so

        I resect so much the deoth and throighness yu bring to every all the comments that have been all the comments I have red flagged.. it i allimportnt and and we do need to have the full picture.

        we as a cmunity have shown our commitment to thi process of engagement..

        I think we need a more transoarent and tsraightforward way to wokr through with eachver and with Ted we do this

        what does it mean to to be "off topic"

        I am not syaing I ma right just vevause Ted Adim seems to agree..

        I am not thoing yiu ir us or this whle process under the bus

        It's the only the only game in town worth playing..
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          Jun 1 2011: Thank you for supporting me
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          Jun 1 2011: This is why I love this forum.
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          Jun 3 2011: Having said that Lindsay can I very respectfully ask you to be a little more tolerant about comments which you feel should be removed ? How would you like it if I started flagging your posts for for violation of terms?

          What you feel is off topic or wrong may not be.

          And Laura as the author of this conversation I thank you also for voicing your disappointment at the deletions and even at the removal of your own posts.

          If Admin could reply to our opinions on this here, we would be grateful
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        Jun 1 2011: I am wondering what draws the Admin's attention and I am starting to think it might be flagging from within the conversation. I am just guessing but perhaps we should ask the Admin not to delete on the basis of flagging unless it is flagged by mulitple participants.
        I am in full agreement that a distinct viewpoint must not be censored and it is really unhealthy for all of us to only be able to discuss world issues with people who hold the same views as we do. I have had 5 separate entries deleted in this topic and it was weird. They stood for quite a while and then as more and more entries by others were deleted. It was as though the incognito flagger got more and more emboldened as the teacher's pet.
        My comments which were deleted were of no consequence but I am upset when I see a person's VIEWPOINTS or world view deleted. I am not dismayed when they delete rudeness. Flagging in my mind should be reserved obvious attacks that we observe on others. I do not think we should flag thing done against ourselves because we do not have the objectivity and our peers should be counted upon to speak up or flag on our behalf.
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          Jun 1 2011: Debra ask admin

          they are very clear when they send a message about why a comment was deleted and everyone is invited to resubmit with the offending part removed.

          As I reminded us all above, persons not in the conversation who observe (and i believe a conversation like this has many many more obervers than participants)..can also give thumbs ups and red flagsand write emials expressing concersn to Ted Admin.

          These are all tools provided to all membbers of our ocmmunity to keep us all faifthful to what we have agreed to.

          we who particpate don't own the exists for the benfit of the entire community

          .my sense of what is off topic seems to jibe 100% with admin..but we are a community and thi s is obviously a very tender issue that has cost us two members..This is the third or fourth conversation I have been in ( with the same participants involved each time) where this extensive deleting has been doneby admin.

          I haven't seen it all in the vast majority of other conversations I have invested in This more open style of considering anything that pop up as on topic iif it is in any way related to the question asked seems to be preferred by a very few and that prefrence is what has led to all these deletions in the very few conversation I have been in where these folk are .

          . I have written more or less the same to admin and asked them to clarify for all of us what their guidelines for off topic are

          .It is a shame to have all this woundedness ocurring over and over again when all have worked hard to build the conversation.

          For me personally, until that clarification is made I will just choose to avoid conversations that include those who have that habit of wandering way way off track.
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        Jun 17 2011: Your determined belief that I caused or lobbied for the edits here is offensive and completely mistaken. My comments throughout this conversation have been respectful, civil, well informed, well reserached, on topic and directed at building a hgood conversation on the topic we were invited here to consider.

        As I told you above, but you seem to porefer adhering to and arguing form your own beliefs evven when you are completely completely absouutely WRONG, my own comment urtging you to get back on trcak was also removed.

        This issue is entirely between you and TED admin. It has nothing to do with me or any appeals or actions I made.

        I urge you to refrain absolutely from any further characterizations about me or charges against me.

        Work your problems out with TED's their rules that are at issue it is them not me calling you on non compliance..take it up with them

        and keep me out of it..because I am and have been out of it.
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      Jun 1 2011: I fully support all decsions the Ted Admin has made.. I have the same sense as they on what is "on topic"..This question was darwn in a very specific wasn'tt about revisiting all the issues behind the conflict that has brought this attempt to encourage a solution between these two nations.When a spin off interest emerges..start a new convesrsation..that option is open to you.By the way I never use the anonymous flags without also speaking up in the conversation. I do that out of respect to the fact that we are community and we have committed to civil dialog that is on topic.As it stands now the entire converstaion is "on tpoic" and I think much more accessible to and of general interest to the Ted community than what was there before.Can you see any way in which what removed has suppressed information that is essntial to understanding whether Obama's speech threw israel under the bus?
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        Jun 1 2011: @Lindsay “I fully support all decsions the Ted Admin has made.. I have the same sense as they on what is "on topic"” –

        That only reveals the limitations in your sense and understanding and not the spirit of TED as expressed by Chris Anderson “.. at TED, we've become a little obsessed with this idea of openness...”

        The corollary to the Terms of Use “.. you maintain the same standards of civility and respect required at TED conferences. Behavior which would be unacceptable at a TED conference is also unacceptable on" is that such behaviour would be unacceptable on TED conversations by everyone including Admin.

        And this is what happens at a TED conference in the words of Chris Anderson “To understand anything, you just need to understand the little bits. A little bit about everything that surrounds it. And so, gradually over these three days, you start off kind of trying to figure out, WHY AM I LISTENING TO ALL THIS IRRELEVANT STUFF? And at the end of the four days, your brain is humming and you feel energized, alive and excited, and it's because all these different bits have been put together.”

        So at a conference also speakers seem to be speaking a lot of “irrelevant stuff”, yet Admin and Staff maintains civility and respect by not cutting them off, which is being done here.

        Lindsay with respect, you are wanting to impose your limitations and feelings on others. For example you admit to knowing nothing about Iran and imperiously shout out in caps to an Iranian lady “[because] I for one know othing ( or next to nothing) about Iran and how it play sito ll this.. [therefore kindly] [stick to those things] about Iran..only if it is CLEARLY AND SOECIFICALLY N TOPIC”, [only those things I am knowledgeable about]

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          Jun 17 2011: Once again.I am not imposing anything on anyone

          ..I am not intolerant and it is rude and unacceptable for you to make such a characterization

          .This was initiated by TED Admin or perhaps the actions of others..I can only speak for myself.

          Your issues are between you and TED...they are about you..about your words and actions..not about mine..

          Try and find out what they mean when they delete..they will work with is your own recurring behavior that brings you recurringly under scruitny and subject to deletions

          .Don't blame and disparage others for what is really something you are bringing about all by yourself.

          It has nothing to do with me.

          .you don't own the converstaion.

          you don't own the threads

          your investment in a converstaion is not the only one that is important

          your interrest in pursuing a long side topic doesn't justify its inclusion .or continuance. (That apparently is the basis of TED intervention)

          I have a right as a member of this community in which we agree to remain on topic and be civil to suggest gently as I did once or twice that we are getting off topic without being subjected to all of the charges and characterizations you have falsely made against me and enlisted others in.

          Inexcusable behavior on your part...and those who joined you in this.what you all subjected me to as a mass personal attack for a totally farbricated, totally falseidea arising form your brain...
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        Jun 1 2011: @ Lindsay “When a spin off interest emerges..start a new convesrsation..that option is open to you”

        They are not a “spin off interests” they are relevant to the topic. The religious beliefs of Hamas, Hezbollah and Ahmedijad, of the Palestinaians and Jews, their histories for example are relevant to the topic. Why must we limit ourselves to your understanding of what is relevant or not?

        As Chris Anderson puts it “To understand anything, you just need to understand the little bits. A little bit about everything that surrounds it.”

        @ Lindsay “Can you see any way in which what removed has suppressed information that is essntial to understanding whether Obama's speech threw israel under the bus?”

        Can you see what was removed? What is your understanding of throwing Israel under the bus?

        @ Lindsay “By the way I never use the anonymous flags without also speaking up in the conversation. I do that out of respect to the fact that we are community and we have committed to civil dialog that is on topic”

        So it is you who are using the anonymous flags? With respect that is not showing respect. That has nothing to do with maintaining civil dialogue and it only shows your limitations in understanding what is on topic and displays a desire to be the boss and impose your will on the conversation.

        Unless you use the flags for verbal abuse or threats that is an abuse of the use of the anonymous flags

        With respect you are not the Master of Ceremonies. I would have no objection if you were provided you were a little more understanding.

        I again very respectfully request Admin to reinstate all the posts deleted.

        Thank you

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      Jun 1 2011: I join Richard to 'request Admin to reinstate all the posts deleted'.
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      Jun 2 2011: I honestly think Ted admin should reconsider this new fervour of deleting people's comment. Just take a screw on this page . . . A debate is only interesting when there are two or multiple views. . If the thing behind the switch is a human mind – he/she must have a view on most issues. I am led to the easy conclusion that this human mind will help his side of the issue.

      I would not like to be in a place where I am curbed – I understand the fact that abuses can be deleted but this talk about ‘staying on topic’ is , am afraid against the definition of debate itself.. .

      In addition, i am yet to come across any case of abuses on Ted

      So Ted Admin . . . please give us some freedom.
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      Jun 17 2011: All this because of one guy? It's not like TED Conversations is sprawling with racists, antisemites and other loons. So there's a few bad apples in the basket, that's life. The only comments that should be deleted are unwarranted personal attacks against a fellow TEDster. I'm guessing S.R. isn't trying to be deliberately offensive, he genuinely believes the historical innacuracies he peddles.
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          May 29 2011: The "word" quote was tongue in cheek.
          What I meant to say was things like Do not kill;..Do not be angry .. Forgive your oppressor .. non- resistance .. do unto others what you would have them do unto you.. are moral lessons allegedly given by Christ. It does not matter whether Christ existed or not ..they are not set in stone but they are there for people to adopt if they think they make sense and they think they are valuable.

          "The Golden Rule is arguably the most essential basis for the modern concept of human rights, in which each individual has a right to just treatment, and a reciprocal responsibility to ensure justice for others"

          PS It can also be the basis for resolving the conflict - fair play. But as you said there are no moral absolutes. We cant have fair play from only one side. Concessions leading to the destruction of the other side.
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          Jun 3 2011: Well said Biridia, these are the most universal principles that all human beings are thriving for. Words are not important, even though that debate especially in this conflict are not used to reach understanding and finally peace but to continue war with verbal means. As long as every side is trying to score against the other instead of understanding we are far from any solution and Obama's words are useless.
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          May 29 2011: No teaching people that they are sinners from the moment they are born is the worst teaching one can perpetuate.

          I agree there are no moral absolutes. Can you give an example of a moral lesson you have learnt say in the last week from your everyday life?
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        May 29 2011: Apparently you didn't read my post stating that my statement "I left because infanticide, incest, terrible violence, slavery, rape, etc" was to illustrate a point. I left because it didn't ring true in my heart, I felt like I was being brainwashed, and I preferred the reality of science.

        As enlightened as you may be regarding Christianity and (as you believe) Islam, many people call themselves Christians and use the bible to justify terrible things... slavery, pedophilia, homophobia... Upon marriage many women swear to obey and be subservient to their husband because he is the head of the household just like god is head of the church. So do what he says.

        How many Muslims have you met? I've met 12 (9 males, 3 women). I lived with a Muslim girl for a year; she was studying Chemical Engineering. They were all good, intelligent, kind people. Their traditions and customs were different, but to be celebrated. I've been to 4 Ramadan celebrations, one of which was hosted in the house I was living in with my Muslim friend.

        The previous paragraph isn't an argument, it's just the reason I have a hard time believing your words to be accurate. My interest is waning... It's likely this is my last post to you in this thread.
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          May 29 2011: But Richard you have to admit that even Christ said:

          Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. If I tell you the truth until heaven and earth disappear not the smallest letter , not the least pen stroke of a pen will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

          Matt 5:18

          It takes some mental gymnastics or 'modern' interpretations to then dismiss any of the words of the OT (directed slaughter, stonings, killing of rape victims if they don't cry out properly in the city). This brings me back to my assertion that it is the actual word on the pages in conjunction with literal interpretations that many people cling to that makes holy books dangerous.
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          Jun 3 2011: Richard, you said i should provide evidence that Tony Bliar justified Iraq war with religion - i have done more. I have provided evidence of that and Bush also.
          George Bush: 'God told me to end the tyranny in Iraq'

          Tony Blair

          Your version on Slavery is so biased that i cannot bring myself to debate that with you.

          You said:
          “Slavery was abolished mainly through the efforts of Christians in England (Wilberforce, Clarkson) and America (the Abolitionists, primarily Protestant)”

          “Slavery is permitted in Islam however. Muhammad was a slave owner and trader and captured and enslaved people during his wars”
          You started reading your history of Christianity when they abolished Slave trade but that of Muslims went back in the era of Mohammed.
          You also said “In the 2100 years of Christianity, slavery existed for a few hundred years. Slaves sold to the west was by Arab slave traders or local African slave traders mostly Muslim”.
          I cannot respond to that because you have a preconceived knowledge on this issue so all you did was look for evidence to match your imagination.
          Between 1450 and the end of the nineteenth century, slaves were obtained from along the west coast of Africa with the full and active intimidation and later co-operation of African kings - latter, merchants. There were occasional campaigns organized by Europeans to capture slaves, especially by the Portuguese and British.
          I know this particularly because I am from a traditional-ruling family. . My forefathers were rulers of my kingdom and they were bullied by the British.
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          Jun 3 2011: Hugh Clapperton is a joke, just like John Locke who sailed to Africa and said “they are people without heads having their mouths and eyes in their breasts”. If your account of slave trade is drawn from Hugh Clapperton then what you have is fiction
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          Jun 4 2011: Ehis You have shown no sources except quoting from personal family history which could give an unbalanced view of history. Everything I wrote was sourced.

          "Between 1450 and the end of the nineteenth century, slaves were obtained from along the west coast of Africa with the full and active intimidation and later co-operation of African kings - latter, merchants. There were occasional campaigns organized by Europeans to capture slaves, especially by the Portuguese and British."

          Britain banned importation of Slaves in 1804 and slavery was abolished in the British Empire in 1833. The French colonies 15 years later. The entire US 1865. Spain 1542

          How does this contradict “In the 2100 years of Christianity, slavery existed for a few hundred years. Slaves sold to the west was by Arab slave traders or local African slave traders mostly Muslim”.

          I have shown you (sourced) that slavery in the Sudan is continuing till today.

          I quoted from Wikipedia. Hugh Clapperton was only one of their sources. Please read the links.

          From Wikipedia "Hamoud bin Mohammed, Sultan of Zanzibar from 1896 to 1902...complied with British demands that slavery be banned in Zanzibar and that all the slaves be freed."

          "In early Islamic states of the western Sudan, including Ghana (750–1076), Mali (1235–1645), Segou (1712–1861), and Songhai (1275–1591), about a third of the population were enslaved. In Senegambia, between 1300 and 1900, close to one-third of the population was enslaved. In Sierra Leone in the 19th century about half of the population consisted of enslaved people. In the 19th century at least half the population was enslaved among the Duala of the Cameroon, the Igbo and other peoples of the lower Niger, the Kongo, and the Kasanje kingdom and Chokwe of Angola. "
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          Jun 4 2011: "Among the Ashanti and Yoruba a third of the population consisted of enslaved people.[81] The population of the Kanem (1600–1800) was about a third-enslaved. It was perhaps 40% in Bornu (1580–1890). Between 1750 and 1900 from one- to two-thirds of the entire population of the Fulani jihad states consisted of slaves.[81] The population of the Sokoto caliphate formed by Hausas in the northern Nigeria and Cameroon was half-slave in the 19th century. Between 65% to 90% population of Arab-Swahili Zanzibar was enslaved. Roughly half the population of Madagascar was enslaved.[81][82] According to the Encyclopedia of African History, "It is estimated that by the 1890s the largest slave population of the world, about 2 million people, was concentrated in the territories of the Sokoto Caliphate. The use of slave labor was extensive, especially in agriculture."[83][84] The Anti-Slavery Society estimated there were 2 million slaves in Ethiopia in the early 1930s out of an estimated population of between 8 and 16 million.[85]

          Hugh Clapperton in 1824 believed that half the population of Kano were enslaved people.[86] According to W. A. Veenhoven, "The German doctor, Gustav Nachtigal, an eye-witness, believed that for every slave who arrived at a market three or four died on the way... Keltie (The Partition of Africa, London, 1920) believes that for every slave the Arabs brought to the coast at least six died on the way or during the slavers' raid. Livingstone puts the figure as high as ten to one."[87

          One of the most famous slave traders on the East African coast was Tippu Tip, who was himself the grandson of an enslaved African. The prazeros slave traders, descendants of Portuguese and Africans, operated along the Zambezi. North of the Zambezi, the waYao and Makua people played a similar role as professional slave raiders and traders. The Nyamwezi slave traders operated further north under the leadership of Msiri and Mirambo.[88]"

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          Jun 6 2011: I am sorry Richard but you are highly misinformed - you quote from wiki without verifying the source - if that’s all you know about slavery then you are not properly equipped to debate on this front.

          I have read the Humphrey Fisher's book you quoted from and his focus was on the Islamic part of slavery. It is a problem when you read with one eye closed to source for evidence that proves only your theory . That’s half-truth.

          The Christian Portuguese (missionaries) were the first to start this atrocity in my region . . . the Portuguese were particularly keen to explore Africa for wealth and material gain; at the same time they had started up colonies in the Americas, and needed labour to work on plantations there. In the 1440's Africans were “captured” and taken to Portugal.

          Fifty two years later in 1492 the Italian adventurer Christopher Columbus made the first of his visits to the Caribbean, arriving somewhere near the Bahamas. His aim was to gain wealth for himself and his patrons, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain. In 1518 the first slaves were dispatched across the Atlantic. They were Christians . . .

          Soon Britain (Christians), the Netherlands (Christians), and France (Christians), were competing with Spain and Portugal for a share of the profits of slavery. This new transatlantic slave trade was very different from the kind of slavery that had existed before.

          To somehow sideline the Christians as good eggs is just ridiculous.
          What about the segregation years in your country – something that existed only 40 years ago .Not to mention that “Christian conservatives” were the real segregators.

          I recommend 'European Christianity and the Atlantic Slave Trade: A Black Hermeneutical Study' By Robinson A. Milwood - - - and 'Critiques of Christianity in African literature:'
          By Jesse Ndwiga Kanyua Mugambi
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        May 29 2011: Richard you seem to be in denial to assert that Christians do not use faith to justify killings. Tony Blair in 2003 used the christien faith to justify Iraq war which has led to One million innocent lives most of whom are women and children. . Christians today in the United States often used faith to blindly support Israel and deny the Palestine a decent life – Palestine are not humans to them . . . .faith is the only reason for gay discrimination in the United States.

        The truth is that there are folks from both religion (Christian and Islam) who use faith to justify discrimination and killings. . . As a Christian, I find people who claim to be followers of Christ- and yet discriminating others be it gays or Muslims- I find them misinterpreting Jesus’s message. To be a Christian you have to be ready to love unconditionally. The only message of Jesus Christ was “Love your neighbour as yourself”.

        This message was designed so Christians can love those who are not in a lovable position and yet so-called Christians often fall into the easy temptation of criticising what they do not understand instead of showing love and praying for those who they find hard to love.

        And if you are talking about doctrine Richard, there are controversial doctrines in the bible just like the Koran . . . any fool can jump into that and do whatever he or she likes . .
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          May 30 2011: Hi Ehis I am not anti-Palestinian. They have a raw deal, they need fair play. The way to peace is forgiveness, acceptance, loving your neighbour as yourself, for them (Israelis and Palestinians) to become one people united in common humanity.

          I don’t see that happening primarily because of the hate spewing out of their mosques, (reinforced by the indignities and unfairness forced upon them everyday). The hate spewed primarily because of the Islamic ideology, loving your neighbour is not part of it.

          I also see the suspicion on the behalf of Israelis reinforced by the rhetoric and actions of the terrorists and extremists, the need for their security. Thus unfortunately I do not see peace happening.

          I am convinced that if Palestinians stopped killing Israelis, stopped their violent rhetoric, genuinely wanted to live in peace with Jews, there would be peace. I am convinced because I do not see Jews killing Muslims inside Israel.

          In fact if the Palestinians did this they would have universal world support and Israel would have to give in to their just demands. But there is little reciprocity by the Palestinians. It’s the militant rhetoric, the rocket and mortar attacks, the terrorist attacks, their declared intention to wipe Israel off the map that keeps sympathy for them divided.

          I am not in denial about anything. I would change my mind if you provide me evidence. You may know about Christianity but you are ignorant of the Islamic doctrine and psyche.

          You say “Tony Blair in 2003 used the christien faith to justify Iraq war” can you provide evidence for this?
          You say “which has led to One million innocent lives most of whom are women and children.” – What is the evidence for this? It is easy to make exaggerated claims. The 1 million claim rests with a newspaper report by the Associated Press. Reports vary from 100,000 Wikileaks to 1 Million AP.

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          May 30 2011: There is a difference between Bush or Blair ordering the Iraq war to say Bin Laden’s attack in 9/11.

          Bin Laden wanted to kill as many infidels as possible. That was his primary aim. And his motivation was driven by his religious beliefs.

          The prime motivation of Bush and Blair was to get rid of “evil” Saddam Hussein, who admittedly committed a lot of atrocities. Their motivation was not to kill Muslims. And their motivation was not driven by their religious beliefs.

          Am I wrong in thinking thus? If so what is your evidence?
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          May 30 2011: Yes, Richard there is a difference.

          One is a rogue action by a subset of a people who acted out of religious extremism that killed 3000 people (from around the world). The other is a decision made by a head of state (or Two overtly practicing Christian heads of state ) and a nation(s) to retaliate against people who did not even do the crime so that 5000 more American soldiers and many more from other countries die along with 104,924 recorded iraqi deaths, including 92,003 (or 66,081) civilian deaths. And before any of us says "that's war" I have to point out the ratio 3000: 110,000 - human LIVES.

          Vengence is mine sayeth the Lord.
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          May 30 2011: Respectfully SR, I understand that most situations invite conspiracy theories and it is very tempting to adopt them when it feels like it is people like you who are being targeted. Right now though, the facts and the horrors of this situation are enough to speak to the horror of this.

          This much blood, this much loss of life, this much pointless and horrible suffering is horror enough to hold people's attention. We need to keep saying it, together as people with different beliefs. We need to keep saying the numbers LOUDER and LOUDER in unison. We need to keep saying despite our differences - because no difference over comes or trumps the commonality we share in our HORROR of this many lives of all kinds including children lost.

          Conspiracy theories allow those who do not want to see or admit this to say "they are just a bunch of nuts' but numbers chanted over and over tell the whole story 3,000 to 110,000 LIVES lost- every one a hope for the future- every one a dream- everyone nursed at a mother's breast- every one who smiled- everyone who should have been loved to old age!

          SR whether Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Athiest -EVERYONE should have lived their lives not ended with their blood crying out for this to STOP!
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          May 31 2011: @Richard- above to Ehis:
          I truly wish that this debate could start over with the current understanding that we have all arrived at. In the later part of the debate you expressed your real position in much more approachable terms and helped us to understand what it was that you were fightig for - instead of against. I think being forced to articulate our positions did that for all of us. At least we have all heard the danger that you are pointing to.

          So- can in light of how far the dialogue has progressed, you go back to the original question and answer whether or not it appears to you that Obama threw Israel under the bus and whether the 1967 borders are a good place to start?
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        May 30 2011: But Richard, there are 1.57 billion Muslims in the world -if they were all taught to ‘hate’ i can only imagine how the world would look like. Its a small minority of extrimist/terrorist but America's policy in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan has actually inspired people to defend their territory. . something the western media would equate with terrorism . . If you come to my country and destroy it , i will hunt you down.

        I have read the Koran and I must confess there are harsh and controversial verses – but so is the bible as I cite below:

        (1) “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel.” (1 Peter 2:18),

        (2)“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:22)

        (3)“In the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.” (Romans 1:27)

        (4) “Do not allow a sorceress to live.” (Exodus 22:18)

        (5) “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” (1 Timothy 2:12)

        Passages in the Bible have historically been used by both pro-slavery advocates and slavery abolitionists to support their respective views. I am African and i understand how missionaries started slavery in my country- - those who should be spreading the gospel. .

        So, Richard you have to take it easy on Islam . .

        For the record Tony bliar explicitly used faith to justify Iraq war . . .
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          Jun 1 2011: Ehis wouldlike tosee yiur cite for Tony Blair "explicity using religion to justifythe Iraq war"


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          Jun 2 2011: have twice asserted and twice been asked to provide documentation for your staeement that Tony Blair used religion to justify the Iraq war. Where is that cite so we xcan all see what Tony Blair actually said and understand your remarks in context?????

          Here is a credible summary f a recnt official inquiry of Tony Blairs reasons for entering the Irq mention at all..nor have I ever seen one that offers any quote from Blair that supports your assertion.

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          Jun 2 2011: "But Richard, there are 1.57 billion Muslims in the world -if they were all taught to ‘hate’ i can only imagine how the world would look like."

          Answer - worse than it is, when many are being taught to hate on the basis of their religion. The world with all its other problems is bad enough as it is with the number that are being taught to.

          "For the record Tony bliar explicitly used faith to justify Iraq war"

          Can you show me the record where he has said so?

          "I am African and i understand how missionaries started slavery in my country- - those who should be spreading the gospel."

          Please inform yourself better. In the 2100 years of Christianity, slavery existed for a few hundred years. Slaves sold to the west was by Arab slave traders or local African slave traders mostly Muslim.

          Slavery was abolished mainly through the efforts of Christians in England (Wilberforce, Clarkson) and America (the Abolitionists, primarily Protestant).

          Slavery is permitted in Islam however. Muhammad was a slave owner and trader and captured and enslaved people during his wars. Millions of Christians were captured and ensalved during the many centuries of Jihad against the West. So pervasive were the incursions by the Turks into Eastern Europe, that the English word for slave is based on Slav. Muslim slave raiders even operated as far north as England.

          "It was a pitiful sight to see them exposed in the market…Women were separated from their husbands and the children from their fathers…on one side a husband was sold; on the other his wife; and her daughter was torn from her arms without the hope that they’d ever see each other again." (from the book, White Gold, which also details the story of English slave, Thomas Pellow, who was beaten, starved and tortured into embracing Islam).

          At least 17 million slaves (mostly black women and children) were brought out of Africa by Islamic traders - far more than the 11 million that were taken by the Europeans.
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          Jun 2 2011: However, these were only the survivors. As many as 85 million other Africans were thought to have died en route.

          "Hugh Clapperton in 1824 believed that half the population of Kano were enslaved people..According to W. A. Veenhoven, "The German doctor, Gustav Nachtigal, an eye-witness, believed that for every slave who arrived at a market three or four died on the way.."

          Muslims were enslaving black Africans long before any slave ships sailed for the New World. Muslims were taking and making slaves all over the lands they had conquered.

          Slavery is still practiced in the Sudan, Niger, Mauritania and a few other corners of the Muslim world.

          Francis Bok, former Sudanese slave. It is estimated that as many as 200,000 people had been enslaved during the Second Sudanese Civil War. The slaves are mostly Dinka people.[137][138]

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        May 30 2011: Look Debra, the recorded death you referred to are those who died directly from the conflict - what about those who lost their lives indirectly. Consider one who decided to suicide boomb because of the occupation, or those who died of what was perceived as natural cause but through the effect of Uranium/radioactive Weapons.

        For your information, since the US occupation, Iraqi women have been delivering babies with two heads and fish tails. . A good percentage of them – Click my links to see for yourself. The Western media cover-up is the reason for ignorance.

        One Million is a charitable number - the real effect of the war cannot be expressed in a written form.
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          May 31 2011: Ehis, I prefer to stick to numbers that there is documented and accepted verification for. That way, we do not get side tracked into a debate about their validity but can let the impact of our loss hit home;

          110,000 more dead people -lost lives of people who aspired to see the sun and the rain and love somebody- did not bring back or avenge the original 3000.

          That is simple enough and powerful enough to anyone with a heart in their chest or a conscience in their being.
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      May 29 2011: Isn't his discussion supposed to be about the 1967 borders and the prseent prospects for peace. Not just thhis exchange but several sections of this conversation have gone way off track and taken away from its value.Do you think someone new to this discussion coming into this on this comment would want to engage here?In this case you are the moderator...the one setting the tone..facilittaing the flowDo you think anyone seriously interested as a global citizen in the Israel Palestine border would think on the basis of this comment ..which is presently the entry to this conversation, that this is a place to discuss the issue? It undermines the good work that has been done here to go off on these tangents.It's a big investment to stay with a Ted Conversation beginning to end...a good deal of thought and work goes into building a conversation.. I am always very disappointed to see that all thrown away on off point diversion.
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        May 29 2011: I agree... but I request that these exchanges be not deleted. It was started off by Laura's post so let them stand. I'm not going to add anymore.

        PS - Religion is very much an issue in the matter because it provides some of the background of how the parties involved come to their opinions on the matter. But now this is going way offtrack
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          May 31 2011: Hi Richard,..yes..ancient cultural and religious conflicts are at the very center of the Israeli-Palestinian coinflict and are right at the center of the possibilities right now..this moment in 2011 for these two these two nations to make a lasting peace between themselves

          ..I think President Obama and the world community could have said and done much more to bring that about. If I were a speech writer for the Presiudent I would have put in there that freedom of religion does not protect violent acts of any kind for any reason

          ..I would have put in there that ancient cultural and religious conflicts cannot belallowed to operate in our modern world in a way that violates the soverignty of any nation or abrdidges the fundamental human rights of anyone..

          I think we need these "global values'..I think we need to begin to speak to about what they are and apply them

          .Maybe we could do that here instead of circling round and round and round on this religious debate. We do not govern from religion..We do not govern to serve religion.

          I think where I have come to on this are the two points I would have put in the President's speechesi
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          May 31 2011: "If I were a speech writer for the Presiudent I would have put in there that freedom of religion does not protect violent acts of any kind for any reason.."

          Lindsay, you would have written those words knowing full well that your nation just authorized $30 billion dollars more military equipment to the Israelis over the next ten years. Can you see what a difficult position Obama is in on the world stage?
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          May 31 2011: Well ,If the two things i would like to have seen in the Presidents speech were, in fact, national policy, ( and it seems pretty clear it's not) military budgets can be used for defense and agression

          .I don't agree with the US contiuing its policy of aid through military funding, even for defense, if that's our excuse in Israel. I would like to have had the U.S. say to Isreal.. don't assume this kind of support will be there for you in the future if you don't solve your problems with Palestine..and soon,,and if..if you use them in any way at all for will cost you more than you can imagine.

          The UN also needs needs to say these things.. All free nations need to say that .Our national policy should be clear that as a nation in a global world we have zero tolerance for ancient religious and cultural wars that continually cause nrest and the world that lead to war that lead to oppression, persecution or exploitation of any group based on their race, creed, religion of national origin. he didn't do that. The U.N. hasn't done that ( as far as I know).... .

          I am only guessing but I am leaning towards the idea that the reason none of this was said is because our entire military undustrial complex would come unwound all at more Hallinutro, no more Ratheon, no more Bechtel, mo more any of it amd we would have to turn our froeign policy inside out around the world.
        • May 31 2011: Dear Newland Bowker,
          you assume president has such power.
          he started by the slogan of change. how much change you see?
          you think who makes President's speeches?

          Dear all,
          why you think 1967 borders are legal? can you explain?

          Dear debra,
          can you explain what is meaning of "Human World Heritage Site that belongs to the whole planet "?
          please note that you are deciding about other peoples home without their permit.
          do you like some one make your home Human World Heritage Site that belongs to the whole planet without your permit?

          also in such condition do you know how many times UN tried to stop occupiers of Palestine and could not? UN is their friend and easily they can change the Human World Heritage Site that belongs to the whole planet to their own land step by step.
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          May 31 2011: That was well argued Lindsay. All free nations need to say that! Your final argument should be the next ammendment to the UN Charter. Human rights to life needs to be enshrined above the courtesy of 'right to religion'.
          We are in agreement that it is time that citizens of all countries should be pushing for this thing to be resolved fairly. I think Richard did us a favour in illuminating that our adherence to freedom of religion should be maintained only insofar as it does not condone or encourage any human rights violations.
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          May 31 2011: Just is that Richard illumintaed that?? I don't see that in anything he said or was leading to....but no matter

          the important thing is that there are big chunks of policy missing from the UN, from the United States,and until those things are in fact policy..unwaverable policy,Iwe will continue to see old religious and cultural battles surfacing again and again all over the world

          .I will add that to my values statement. at the moderator right now and the whole Ted Community can have a say on that. .
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          May 31 2011: Dear SR,

          When a conflict threatens the wellbeing of millions of people and ultimately the world and those involved cannot compromise cooler heads of good will have to prevail. When a conflict goes on for generations and the will to solve it is not forthcoming, the world's people who wish to live in peace have to do something so that the craziness does not consume us all.

          The story of King Soloman says that when the king offered to divide the disputed baby thereby killing it the real mother was ready to give it up rather than see it die. The faiths that claim to love Jerusalem are not willing to give it up to the point that they would rather see it destroyed than see it in the hands of others so I think the only solution is to take it into the hands of the world as a holy world heritage site. Any person of peace would still have visiting rights.

          Do you live in Jerusalem? Israel, Palestine?
          And yes, I think that any country of this world, including mine should have a responsibilty of peace and a duty to protect the well being of their inhabitants or submit to the arbitration of the whole world. That is what the UN is trying to do with its Duty to Protect.
        • Jun 2 2011: Dear Debra Smith,
          you compare a land with a baby?
          are they comparable?

          "That is what the UN is trying to do with its Duty to Protect."
          what about VETO.
          do you know how many times did VETO in favor of Israel in UN?
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          Jun 2 2011: Dear SR,
          Somewhere in this conversation I posted an article that outlined how often Israel has defied and ignored UN sanctons and resolutions. You do not have to convince me that Israel has not been following international law. That fact does not negate the fact the Arab nations do not seem willing or able to end this dispute.

          Yes, as a mother I equate Jerusalem to a baby. It is obviously loved by multiplied groups of people as a piece of their own heart just as I love my children. If I were making the decision- Jerusalem should live and not die because of the insane hatred and bloodlust of the adults around it.

          The only sensible solution for me is to take the 'child' (or if you prefer the city that represents all the patriarchs of the religions) into safe hands and acknowledge that it is a holy place for many people giving all access to all who come in peace.
        • Jun 2 2011: Dear Debra,
          your solution seems reasonable.
          I am not sure but I think Palestinians can accept this but if their right of life be respected.
          do you think who kills children and destroys home of peoples understand such things?
          I think this is not possible. because such similar plans has tried many times during last decades. Israel has power in US/UN/Europe/media ,... and will do what likes without care to what world says. they only change their decisions when they are under pressure and have no other way.
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          Jun 2 2011: Dear SR,
          I think this is the only time in history where there is hope that truth can prevail. The fact that people from Iran, and China, and the US and Canada and many other nations can talk here at TED is an amazing thing. We are all bringing in facts and saying to the world and to our governments - the lies are not working on all of us any more! And I thank God for Wikileaks too so that we can say 'here are your own words!"

          I hope you know that many people around the world look at your people without seeing you as people and only believing the propaganda. We all have to look at our worlds and deliberately seek out how our views have been tainted and shaped. We will need to be able to see people not just a label of a name of a country to decide what their hearts are like. I hope we will all be strong enough to challenge ourselves, our views and stop the killing.
        • Jun 3 2011: Dear Debra,
          thank for your nice views.
          yes TED is amazing but problem is that only some jobless people come to ted. and the majority learn from media.
          ted has long and boring topics and truth is lost in jungle of comments and only few people have time to read such jungles.
          I think the ratio of people learn truth from media to people learn truth from talk and research and ted is:
          today people do not think and media think for them.
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          Jun 3 2011: Dear SR,

          I have an optimist's heart which notices when things are good even if they are small. An apple starts from one of a thousand tiny blossoms on a tree. So peace may start in ways you consider to be small. A Canadian song writer said 'there are cracks in everything- that is how the light gets in'. We start with a bit of light in one place and the funny thing is that light likes to spread itself around.

          If you wish for peace, it is not a good idea to diminish or alienate the people who also want the vision of peace. TED may not be perfect, in your estimation, and the people who participate may not be your idea of a perfect demographic (although I am not sure why) but it is a miracle being born into the world- place where people can learn truth.

          All great fires start with a spark and the right spark in the right situation with the right fuel can lead to a mighty confligration. Who should say - its just a spark- it is worth nothing?
        • Jun 4 2011: Dear Debra,
          I hope TED make a spark.
          "it is worth nothing?"
          it is valuable. also you.

          I found an interesting fact about your solution about Jurshalim.
          actually Jurshalim is already under special international protection, administered by the United Nations.

          a resolution adopted on 29 November 1947 by the General Assembly of the United Nations noted Britain's planned termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and recommended the partition of Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab, with the Jerusalem-Bethlehem area being under special international protection, administered by the United Nations.

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          Jun 4 2011: President Obama has accomplished much change in his short tenure against some pretty stiff opposition, too.
          The changes you are looking for from him on the international front cannot come from him alone. It's got to come from all sides, including me and you. But make no mistake about it - I am convinced that Obama is the right person to bring change.
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          Jun 4 2011: Dear Jim: To quote an old phrase:

          From your lips (or fingertips in this case) to God's ears.

          I sure hope that Obama will live up to the promise we all believed he embodied and that he will make the difference.
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          Jun 4 2011: Me too. Lots to do. But for the first time in our history we have a leader who doesn't think "unilaterally". He is a consensus builder and believes in compromise. And most important, I think he is a visionary and understands the world as it is, not just from an American perspective. But he is the American president, so he must find a way to convince Americans that what is best for the world is also best for America.

          That reminds me to get a conversation going sometime about the value of patriotism What it is, and what its not.

          Don't you wish we could live long enough to see One World?
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          Jun 4 2011: There are two ways of having "one world".

          One is world slavery controlled by a handful, the other is unity toward a global awakening. I'm pretty sure the established powers are leading us to the first one.

          Whoever (or whatever) did 'put' Obama in office didn't chose him for being a visionary. Look at the main backers for his campaign, it will either open your eyes or waste your time.

          After doing the exact opposite of what he promised he would do, how can Americans not see the joke is on them?
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          Jun 4 2011: My "One World" comment implies the second way you proposed it could happen - and not me nor my children or their children will see that world.... But I do dream of it and believe that we are evolving slowly towards it. 200 years, maybe. 500 years more likely - or more.

          I disagree with your Obama assessment. I do agree that politics is dirty business the world over.I do know that there are lots of backroom deals cut and money thrown around, but I don't think you are very well tuned to the way American politics is played.

          The changes Obama is attempting to make, that he alluded to in his campaign leading up to his election, require an incredible amount of persistence, strategy, compromise, patience and HELP from the very people who said they want the changes. Yet here we are 2.5 years into it and people are complaining that he hasn't waved a magic wand and fulfilled his promises. It takes TIME!!! We gave Bush 8 years to do what he did.... Come on Tony - you sound like a conspiracy theorist!!

          Politics is dirty business, but from time to time, leaders emerge and create change. They play the game, but they have a plan.

          Can you explain what you mean by "After doing the exact opposite of what he promised he would do, how can Americans not see the joke is on them?"
          Do you realize that there is a very very very VERY conservative republican opposition party that has thrown everything but the kitchen sink at him to thwart his efforts to make the changes you say he had no intention of making in the first place because he has been "bought" by big money? You do know that they hounded him RELENTLESSLY to provide proof of being born an American???

          Here in the USA we are smack in the middle of a major crossroads in our political landscape and Obama is on the right road - stop throwing obstacles in the road!!!!!!!!!!!
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          Jun 8 2011: @ Jim Moonan

          First of all, sorry for the late reply, I've just seen your post. It's getting a little hard to follow.

          I see that you're throwing the "Conspiracy Theorist" card at me. To me it's quiet obvious you are a devoted American, who loves his country, believes in his 'leaders' (at least in this case), and has, I'm sure, a genuine concern for a change and a better world.

          Since I probably not only disagree with most of your quiet simplified argument, but have strong convictions about the fraud you call a government, I will just skip the obsolete tennis game of ideologies, not out of disrespect to you, it is just way off topic(or maybe not so much). I will only say that what you refer to as "big money", is in fact what runs your country, and mines.

          Now regarding the whole "birth certificate" spoof. Well, I guess I'll put it this way:

          A magician always drives the audience's attention to his right hand before pulling a flower from his left one.
      • Comment deleted

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          May 31 2011: I agree Birdia. It's also about culture and history.

          The Middle East is where civilization began, in the fertile crescent. The place has been taken over, populations enslaved, murdered, divided up, integrated, segregated, taken over again, divided up by the UN, messed with by the US etc. throughout human history, resulting in a desperate need to hold on to some cultural aspect that separate you and yours from "they." Culture is what unites when there is constant unrest and division.

          Perhaps Western culture is more enlightened, especially regarding women and the role of religion in government. I don't think it is a direct result of the religion. Religion is just a tool, a means to an end. I think the situation is due to many factors- like turbulence, fear and division, intervention by Western powers who are obviously trying to protect their oil interests, and by chance.

          I'm disappointed my post on the distinction between "assume" and "trust" was deleted, oh well at least the one about that Christian site being biased is still up.
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          Jun 4 2011: "Perhaps Western culture is more enlightened, especially regarding women and the role of religion in government."

          It's a matter of opinion. Many politicians in the states have promoted the teaching of creationism.
          As for regarding women, Turkey granted suffrage to women before France, Spain, Italy and Portugal. And to my knowledge, the number of domestic violence towards women in the US is astonishingly high.

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          Jun 7 2011: It is not a matter of opinion, violence against women is not as prevalent in the US as it is in many places around the world. It's lower than Turkey. It's lower than most of Asia and Central/South America and lower than all of Africa and the Middle East.

          Creationism is not taught in American schools; it is against the law here. Very few (not many) politicians are ignorant of science and are brainwashed by religion, but so far their efforts have been futile.

          "Whoever (or whatever) did 'put' Obama in office didn't chose him for being a visionary. Look at the main backers for his campaign, it will either open your eyes or waste your time.
          After doing the exact opposite of what he promised he would do, how can Americans not see the joke is on them?"

          Wow, you don't like America much, do you? I voted for Obama. I choose him because he was a visionary, and still is. I'm confident he has done our country much more good than bad, and I know he's much better than GW Bush and far better than the McCain/Palin would have been.

          Also, women's right to vote was first granted in the Nordic countries, then after WWI it spread to many others, including the US in 1920. Spain granted a women's right to vote in 1931. Turkey in 1934.
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          Jun 8 2011: I've already replied. If this is SPAM then let the administrator delete the post and you could look for it yourself scrolling down(with the mouse).

          ""@ My Dear Richard Dawson

          I see you're a wikipedia man so I had to search within your sources.

          I have failed in clearing some facts, out of context. Spain had granted suffrage to women in 1931. Spain, believe it or not, was a fascist nation. From 1947 until 1977, women had no right to vote (no rights at all for that matter). Therefore claiming that Spain granted Universal Suffrage in 1931, is incorrect or at least incomplete.

          Portugal on the other hand, granted the right to vote for women with secondary education from 1931. This is where you probably went: "HA!, got you lier!". Well, giving the right to vote to women with secondary education in Portugal in 1931, comes to grant the same right today in, let's say the US, only to women with a Phd(read about portuguese history of that period, then post back if you think a secondary education level was a common thing for women to have in that time). Portuguese women had to wait until 1971 for the Universal Suffrage.""
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    May 28 2011: The problem with Israel and Palestine is the United States blind support for the former. American Christians believe they owe an immense debt to Israel for their spiritual inheritance, hence the duty to help Israel in earthly matters. They do not quite see the Palestine from the same footing.

    What Obama said about the pre-1967 borders was the right thing - but he got so much criticism that he has to address AIPAC and alter his original pronouncement. Netanyahu openly rejects Obama Proposal on Pre-1967 Borders.

    There can never be peace as long as the two parties are not equally treated in the International community. Folks fighting for freedom are called terrorist by western media - - -
  • Jun 18 2011: Michael Archer: Q&A with Alice Walker
    June 15, 2011
    The Pulitzer Prize-winning author on her impending trip to Gaza, “SlutWalk,” and The Chicken Chronicles.

    Brendan O'Neill
    Brendan O'Neill is the editor of spiked, an independent online phenomenon dedicated to raising the horizons of humanity by waging a culture war of words against misanthropy, priggishness, prejudice, luddism, illiberalism and irrationalism in all their ancient and modern forms.
    How Palestinians became the baby seals of the Western human rights lobby
  • Jun 16 2011: These short bio’s were written by the passengers. They give a sense of the breadth of experience and interests of the people who will be making this journey.
  • Jun 16 2011: Dear Israel: It is you who is the provocateur, not us
    Regarding statements of government officials in Israel (echoed by officials in other countries) about diplomatic initiatives to impede the “Freedom Flotilla II- Stay Human” mission to Gaza, Palestine, we say:

    Proper diplomacy does not exclude humanitarian action; Instead of seeking to prevent an international community of concerned citizens from taking nonviolent action in defense of liberty and human rights, diplomacy must pursue such actions and encourage them.

    It is, therefore, a provocation to label the humanitarian action taken by movements supporting human rights to sail to Gaza a “provocation.”

    It is a provocation that powerful states and international organizations, such as the US, Israel, the EU and the UN, are asking people to be silent and not react to violations of law and the disdain for universal values.

    It is a provocation that international diplomacy is demanding that solidarity action from "people to people" be stopped.

    It is a provocation that this international peaceful action is threatened with violence, and the powerful of the earth “wash their hands” of the consequences if Israel attacks us.

    It is a provocation that these powerful entities justify, a priori, the murders, wounding, arrests and torture of unarmed human rights activists that took place one year ago on board all six ships of Freedom Flotilla 1.

    We are determined to sail to Gaza, and we will. Our cause is just and our means are transparent. International diplomacy must do what it has refused to do for years, to undertake initiatives that it has turned away from for decades. Instead of condoning threats of repeated violence against unarmed civilians sailing in international waters, the global community must legally sanction the perpetrators of such crimes.
  • Jun 16 2011: Statement from the Freedom Flotilla II –Stay Human Steering Committee to the UN Human Rights Council
  • Comment deleted

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      Jun 10 2011: Well EA, I tried to give you a thumbs up and apparently you've been brilliant this week because I'm fresh out so- KUDOS and thanks for that interesting post.
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    Jun 9 2011: Anyone agree with Richard Dawson's viewpoint that we must defeat Islam before it defeats us?
    • Comment deleted

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        Jun 10 2011: " It is the dogma and prejudice I am against. Women will never be free otherwise."

        "Otherwise" meaning NOT defeating Islam? So you imply women's freedom depends, entirely of partially, from the "defeat" of Islam?
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        Jun 10 2011: So Birdia. Are you ready to join the Judeo/Christian crusade of forgiveness to defeat the Muslims and free their women?
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      Jun 9 2011: I believe Islam can become as moderate as Christianity. But Islam as it is practiced in many countries is absolutely revolting and we'd be better off without it. I for one am happy that in France the Burqa has been banned.

      So I kind of agree to some more limited extent.
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        Jun 10 2011: Logic plus pragmatism. That I can deal with.
      • Jun 11 2011: Dear Matthieu Miossec,
        only to know:
        Burqa (covering face) is not necessary in Islam law. but some women like to wear it. it is cultural in some regains rather than Islamic law.
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          Jun 11 2011: S.R Ahmadi: Ok, here I have to say that I highly doubt any woman actually "likes" to be covered from head to toe. If it was indoctrinated to her from birth, therefore she does not know of any other way to be, is a different thing.

          Matthieu: So was I. If covering your face in public, outside of carnivals and such, is illegal, the burqa simply HAD to be banned. I also remember the controversy of the chador in public schools. I ignore if the law is truly enforced, but I must say there is a big difference between the chador and the burqa.
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      Jun 10 2011: " Anyone agree with Richard Dawson's viewpoint that we must defeat Islam before it defeats us?"

      If this kind of statement(Richard Dawson's) would have been made against Judaism, in Europe at least, it would have been called "anti-Semitic" and punishable by law. I hope my comment won't be considered offensive by anyone.
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        Jun 10 2011: I see Tim Colgan and others have been taking my name in vain. Have ye not heard - Thou shalt not take the Lord's name in vain? That maybe punishable by divine law.

        If I may step into a controversy about a statement allegedly made by me.

        @ Tony Sanchez "If this kind of statement(Richard Dawson's) would have been made against Judaism, in Europe at least, it would have been called "anti-Semitic" and punishable by law. I hope my comment won't be considered offensive by anyone."

        1. As a matter of fact this statement was not made by me
        2. Even if it had been made or made about Judaism, it would not have been called "anti-Semitic". "Antisemitism is "hatred toward Jews—individually and as a group—that can be attributed to the Jewish religion and/or ethnicity."
        3. It would have expressed no hatred towards Jews any more than your statement "it is obvious that the state of Israel alongside those with close tights with the Hebrew state and the zionist doctrine have used the "holocaust card" one too many times to justify the unjustifiable" does.
        4. I have never at anytime expressed any hatred towards Muslims or indeed even against an ideology or religion. I may have other feelings but I do not hate - period.
        5. I have expressed my opinions against Islam. Islam is an ideology - both a political system and a religion. It decrees governance, Earthly laws as well as religious beliefs. One could criticise Nazism but one would be wrong to hate Germans.
        6. I have expressed my opinions at other places against its Supremacism - Its avowed intention to establish a World Islamic state under Islamic laws, Restriction of Criticism - against itself or its founder, Discrimination - against people of other beliefs, women, Homosexuals, Its verses calling for violence and hatred against members of other groups, Jews, Christians, Idolaters etc

        If you disagree with 5 or 6, I could show you where you were wrong in some other forum.
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          Jun 10 2011: Hey! I'm showing you respect. I just volunteered you to teach the American Democrats how to debate in another post.
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          Jun 13 2011: Richard: Take your name in vain? Quite the contrary. I find your argumentation quite stimulating.

          If I misquoted your intention, I was sure you would correct me (as here you have).

          But a thread to focus on the topic - are we at war with Islam? - I think is essential to this conversation.
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        Jun 11 2011: Can you persuade them to make me their President also? I would do a better job than Obama. All I need for them to do is arrange a birth certificate. :)
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          Jun 11 2011: Would you want kiwis for breakfast in the White House too?
          They might not be ready for you Richard, they already had Cheney.
  • Jun 8 2011: I feel that if any legitimate progress is going to be made between the two sides, there is going to have to be forgiveness on both ends. Both sides have committed atrocities, both sides have been hurt, and both sides have justifications for their feelings. Not all claims are substantiated, but neither side is completely in the right or in the wrong here.

    I feel that this conflict can learn a lot from the ideologies of Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. From all that I have seen I believe that until there is a willingness to forgive one another, there is no hope at a compromise. I do not think this will be easy as the conflict goes thousands of years further back than 1947, but I cannot imagine a solution that does not involve forgiveness; I don't see an artificial line drawn in the sand providing the solution that is necessary here.
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      Jun 8 2011: Ross, your point about forgiveness is a good one. I hope you will express you feelings on another debate thread about the issue of forgiveness- 'Is learning to forgive the PhD of being human?'.
      Bring it to the level of nations and warring factions will expand and enrich our understanding there too.
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      Jun 8 2011: It is clear, as hard as it might be for some to hear, that for any progress to be made there will indeed be need for forgiveness, for without forgiveness there can't be compromise. I think the Palestinian people have shown more willingness in that respect though.
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      Jun 8 2011: I think that viewpoint is not only naive, but counterproductive.

      The only way for progress is for both sides to see peace as their self-interest.

      If the Israeli's see peace as sacrificing land that they could otherwise possess...

      or the Palestinians see peace as leading to further settlement ...

      then there won't be peace.
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        Jun 8 2011: What could the Hegelian Dialectic be in this conflict Tim?

        What would be the Thesis? I guess this would be a great start.
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          Jun 9 2011: Starting point is arbitrary. How about with the Amalekites?
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        Jun 9 2011: Well, that's a reference from the bible. It wouldn't be objective and even less constructive to give it any credit. If the bible can be taken so literally as to invade a country (which is exactly what happened) in modern times, what else could be justified? An invasion of "Eden"? Are we simply living another chapter of the crusade's book?

        My question was focused on current events. Should WW2 be considered the thesis, or the invasion of Palestine? This is an interesting start, as far as I'm concern, because on either ones the Palestinian are victims. They were not involved in WW2. So why would they pay someone else's bill? I don't believe that without WW2 and the holocaust such an occupation could have been justified, not that it is or ever was, but the world must have had more consideration for Jews than for the Arabs. Or perhaps the Jews had better lobbyists?
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          Jun 9 2011: Why not start at the first genocide - the Amelekites? Come on Tony, entriamo il laberinto. Where every room has either two entrances and one exit, or one entrance and two exits.

          You know in italian the word for history is storia. Which of course is root of the english word for both story and history. Fact and fiction merge at some point.

          Are you a fan of Borges?
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        Jun 10 2011: Why not start at the first genocide - the Amelekites? Come on Tony, entriamo il laberinto. Where every room has either two entrances and one exit, or one entrance and two exits.

        Si, e vero che cuesto e un labirinto. Therefore I will correct my Hegelian Dialectic reference and replace it with the Monty Hall problem (two entrances and one exit, or one entrance and two exits). You will probably smile as the "trinity", in a sense, is still present. Can we ever get rid of it?

        Borges: I'm not sure if "Fan" is the right term in my case. But I do indeed look up to those who were constantly being kept off Nobel prizes. Almost like not being granted the "privilege" is a sign of true, or purer, integrity and objectivity, at least literally speaking. I just don't share the same will to pass away at the Hôtel des Beaux Arts, even thus it seems many influential people(to me) 'chose' hotels, so impersonal yet full of personality, to take their last breaths.
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          Jun 10 2011: Tony: The Monty Hall problem is a new one for me. Very interesting. Thanks.

          The true value of the dialectic comes from it's iterative application.

          Amelelites + Israelis
          Israelis + Babylonians
          Babylonian Jews + Zoroastrians
          Returned Israelis + Romans
          Roman Jews + Christians
          European Jews + Nazis (with Zarathustrian influences)
          Returned Jews + Palestinians

          Always two stories merging into one. And being early people of the book they have experience guiding the narrative.

          But tell me. Does the Monty Hall problem have some additional application here? Has one door been opened?
  • Jun 8 2011: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Tel Aviv will never withdraw to the 1967 borders as a step towards peace with Palestinians.
  • Jun 6 2011: here's a link to Tony Blair's speech
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    Jun 6 2011: @Linsay

    in response to
    "tim..what do YOU see as the Isareli goal? And do you think what they are pursuing may reaally be the U.S. goal?

    With all that has come tto light here in this conversation..who is leading who in Israel?"


    I think the Zionists wish to have a place where they can defend themselves. The holocaust was a cultural shock that will take time to heal.

    There are times when Israeli interests overlap with American interests. But I think more and more, Israel is a liability. It is a shame to have to say that. I wish it were different. I would like to see Israel survive and become the "beacon of democracy" which they have often been portrayed as. But it gets harder and harder to see it that way.
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      Jun 6 2011: Who are the "beacons of democracy" in the middle east?

      Or do you think of democracy in the same way as our friend SR does:

      "Dear Jim Moonan,
      "You've expressed a very low opinion of the American democratic process."
      yes democracy is the most corrupted form of government.
      Please read the opinions of aristotle about kinds of government."
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        Jun 6 2011: Richard: I'm not sure what your point is.

        My point was that Israel has been the main democracy in the area for the last 60 years and was always touted as the example that was going to lead the way for the region. Yet there don't seem to have been many followers. Just makes me wonder how much of a factor the US support for friendly dictatorships (i.e. - those which won't threaten Israel) is in the equation.
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          Jun 8 2011: You cannot seem to grasp any points from the evidence. Your claim seems to be the dictatorships are a product of American support rather than a product of Islam. That democracy would flourish there were it not for the US despite the fact that there none. Dictatorships like Saddam Hussein, Libya, Iran, Syria or Sudan were not too friendly.
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          Jun 9 2011: Iran isn't a dictatorship.
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          Jun 9 2011: It is not a democracy. It is a theocracy with most of the power residing in the "Supreme Leader" Ayatollah Ali Khameni, then the President and a 12 member guardian council who sees that everything is in line with Islam.
        • Jun 9 2011: Dear Richard Dawson,
          I love Khomeini and please take care what you say about him. he or mr. Khamenei can not be considered dictator. please compare their life with Mubarak or Saudi family:

          which dictator is poet and has very simple life and make food in home? and wash his own cloths?
          please look:

          and please click on each of these links:

          he is dictator?
          he was a real close friend of Allah.

        • sha b

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          Jun 9 2011: :))
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          Jun 9 2011: Do you agree sha b that your system of Government is good for Iran? What is your opinion on the demonstrations against the regime, the crackdowns against them? Are you satisfied with the freedoms you have?

          SR I simply said it is not a democracy. Will you agree with that?

          PS doesn't he have a washing machine?
        • sha b

          • +3
          Jun 9 2011: Richard,
          He is right Khomeini, Khamenei and co are all close friends of God, he gave them Oil money and guns and ordered them to full the prisons and graves with my comrades.
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          Jun 10 2011: Sha b words cannot express what I feel for you and your comrades. But most of all I feel anger at the West who remained silent while they were gunned down in the streets. For those who voice support for the Mullahocracy of Iran and claim it is something akin to democracy. Who belittle our own freedoms, that our forefathers fought so hard to obtain, and the achievements of our free people.

          Here is the voice of one of your countrymen:

          "For the past 31-years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been denying and violating a long-suffering people of all its human rights. The regime is guilty of beating, torturing, raping, and killing prisoners of conscience—political, religious, intellectuals, artists and others.

          Women, chronically oppressed and denied their basic human and family rights, have been the ones most viciously abused by the Islamic system and its hired plain clothes and Basij members. To maintain its suffocating rule, the regime metes out punishments reminiscent of the worst governments in the annals of human history. Amputation of hands and feet, blinding of eyes, hanging, and stoning victims after perfunctory trials in kangaroo courts without legal representation is common-place under the terror rule of the Islamists.

          The regime has violated all norms of international human rights including issuing-very harsh penalties for even "victimless crimes" like fornication, expressing dissenting views in public places, homosexuality, apostasy, and for women who do not wear the hejab in accordance with the dictates of regime's morality police."

          Shame on us for remaining silent while you protested these atrocities. For voicing support to the supporters of your regime even now.
        • Jun 10 2011: Dear Richard,
          I mean this:
          "Dictatorships like Saddam Hussein, Libya, Iran, "
          this means Iran leader is dictator.
          about democracy I agree Iran has not democracy. but some democracy is mixed into it. because president and parliament members are selected by votes of people. but not only by vote. the candidates need to be verified before. but democracy has not verification.

          "PS doesn't he have a washing machine? "
          about Khomeini I am sure he had not. about Khamenei i do not know. but I think has.

          also human rights of UN has some conflicts with Islamic laws.
          why we should obey human rights of UN (that is controlled by US) while they have strict conflict by Koran?
          (this not mean I am a fan of all behaviors of Iran government. Iran government is not prefect and has mistake behaviors. but this mistakes are not related to Koran)
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          Jun 10 2011: "It is not a democracy. It is a theocracy with most of the power residing in the "Supreme Leader"

          Just like the US is an illusion of democracy.

        • sha b

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          Jun 10 2011: Richard Dawson,
          Shame on who exactly? You know how you don't trust Iran's regime to have Palestinians interest in their heart when they interface in Palestine's affairs? I don't believe your authorities are concerned about our well being either. When we have seen what people who are from our own country had done do to their compatriots, Then why should we trust foreign governments with our well beings?

          Mullah are something like clerics, Just like any other human beings, They can choose to be compassionate, and conscientious(I could name Montazeri, and others who could have used the opportunity who was given to them but they choose to be on the people's side and be punished for it)or deceiving and extortioner.

          I'd like to talk to you more, But right now I don't have much time.

          PS Please cut Mr Ahmadi some slack,
          1. He can't talk as freely as let's say me,( because I am anonymous.)
          2. He is making an effort to converse, its not like all things that Iran's authorities have done is his fault.
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          Jun 10 2011: Sha B!
          Man I admire you!
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          Jun 10 2011: Thank you Richard for taking care to correct us alll.

          Man, comma, Sha B- I was fully aware of her gender even if my expressions are dated.
        • Jun 11 2011: Dear sha b,
          how much you know Montazeri?

          "Please cut Mr Ahmadi some slack, "
          what means this? I did not understand.

          "1. He can't talk as freely as let's say me,( because I am anonymous.)"
          if I had any problem in talking free I could become anonymous like you or made another anonymous username.

          "He is making an effort to converse"
          what means? you mean I am trying to talk? if yes TED is for talk.

          "its not like all things that Iran's authorities have done is his fault."
          please be clear. I do not understand what you mean.
          I disagree with my authority in some policies and some economic and cultural and other aspects. but fundamentally I agree with Iran revolution and I hope it can solve its problems. I am fan of Imam Khomeini and revolution. but not fan of any behavior of my government.
          people in Iran are tree main category:
          1-fundamentally hate Islam/God/Koran and so hate Islamic revolution and Khomeini and so on
          2- fundamentally love true Islam/God/Koran but hate abusing Islam and power gained in the name of Islam by love of people to true Islam and killing people in wars and using the power for the worldly greed's of governors.
          3- some ignorant people that blindly follow anything government feed them through media.

          I clearly announce I am in category 2 and I am NOT necessarily fan of any government in earth. but I am fan of TRUE Islam/Koran/Allah.

          maybe the similarity between Islam and Iran make sense that I am necessarily fan of Iran government. I am its fan until it follow the beautiful laws of TRUE Islam.

          Dear sha b I ask you do not prejudice about me before you know me. many people talk Islam but few of them know and obey Allah.
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          Jun 11 2011: Dear SR if I may interject about the explanation of English. To cut someone some slack is to go easy on. Not be so hard or critical of. So it is a good thing.

          I'll cut you some slack as Sha b has asked, you cut her some slack and maybe we should all cut each other some slack.

          Also SR has it occurred to you there maybe more than just the 3 categories you have listed?

          For example category 1- "fundamentally hate Islam/God/Koran and so hate Islamic revolution and Khomeini and so on" is very black and white like your beliefs and your beliefs about truth and science.

          There could be people who do not "hate Islam/God/Koran" and yet do not like the Islamic revolution and Khomeini and so on.

          There could be people who do not "hate Islam/God/Koran", but simply do not believe in Islam and the Koran, yet believe in God

          There could be people who do not "hate Islam/God/Koran", but simply do not believe in any of them.

          The second part of your sentence also does not necessarily follow from the first, though I concede it is very likely.

          There is not just love and hate, there are other feelings also. There is indifference, there is amusement, there is incredulity.

          But people who love Islam/God/Koran, hate those who dont and thus presume that the same feelings are generated towards them from those who do not "love" Islam/God/Koran.
        • Jun 11 2011: Dear Richard Dawson,
          I agree you.
          if we want to go more detail there are many more categories.
          I said them about Iran. not other countries.
          in situation in Iran force people to automatically fall in one of above main category. approximately there is no space for other category. political parties and government and conservatives immediately react on any political activity and that activity will be forces to clear his category. there is no way to some one have a Cinerama color. mostly colors are black or white. the categories you mentioned are minority or does not expose themselves. because lack of power. please note that 95-98% of people in Iran are Muslims that near 85-90% of them are Shia (not all believer conservatives but Muslim any way.)
          the categories I said were general without minority categories. also it is my opinion. perhaps my opinion is not prefect and needs more research ans statistics.
        • sha b

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          Jun 11 2011: Richard,

          Before this Mr Ahmadi said something that I thought is because he can't *talk freely*, And wondered why I haven't considered that, and felt bad for him and...You know the rest .

          You are so spot op about the categories, For example there are "plenty of"people in Iran who do not "hate Islam/God/Koran" and yet do not like/ or better said hate the Islamic revolution and Khomeini. But admitting that wouldn't work to propaganda making machines benefit, So they just ignore it. According to them anyone who doesn't love or obey Khamenei is agent of CIA and Mosad who also wants to fight Islam and is of a minority who isn't worth mentioning. You can't talk about it, then that mean it's only you who is thinking about it.
          >In reality this never worked, I may not be able to count the exact number of people like that, But I can talk with random people who are sitting beside me in a bus or waiting in line. People feel like they should curse the regime on a daily basis, Just like how other country's people talk about the weather, we curse them in our random conversations, everywhere. I hear it's even more usual in Tehran. (Maybe not around you Mr. Ahmadi, no offense but going by the looks, You could be mistaken for a pro-governor).

          This is getting too off topic.
        • Jun 12 2011: Dear sha b,
          I disagree some of your views are not real in Iran or at least more than minority specially about Khomeini. it is impossible some one love Koan and hate Khomeini. can you show one deed of of Khomeini conflicting Koran? Khomeini was a copy of Koran. it is only possible when some one do not know Khomeini or Koran or both.
          people mostly curse for economic problems like inflation and job not Khomeini or revolution. and if some say revolution their meaning is economy in revolution out of religion or Khomeini.
          do you see who are around me from Internet? I am more than 11 years in universities of Tehran as student or teacher and I know different kind of people and the least people around me are conservatives.
          if you want to continue this off topic please continue in other topic.
        • sha b

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          Jun 12 2011:

          Everyone knows Tehran and Politechnic universities are the heart of every thing radical in Tehran.
          I can't figure out how come you are acting like I said people in Iran are aliens?

          I won't argue, I know you are even named after Khomeini, It's most likely you'd just feel offended, Just consider this : It's not 95%, I can't make up a number out of blue, But really sure it hardly is 50% who are a fan of Khomeini, Let alone Khamenei...we both know very well even people who are pro-Khomeini are not all pro-Khamenei. Remember the link Mr. Yeganeh posted and the comments? If you could have read people's mind when they are passing by you in the streets, It would have been something like that, Khomeini died years before, You think non-Iranians are still loosing sleep over a guy that died 30 years ago in another country? If anything they think Khomeini is cool cause he caused a revolution, The people who are still holding a grudge are Iranians who had lost something because of him, Not the average American who had just found out there is a country in middle east called Iran.

          No, I most certainly don't want this, didn't want it from the start to be honest. I felt obligate to. Sorry if I came out offensive anywhere in the past conversations. It's not against "you", it's this system we are against. Let's not argue over it. Times are changing. Maybe someday we all get to know more about things that were kept from us.
        • Jun 13 2011: Dear sha b,
          yes Khomeini ordered killing many people. but please say the whole story not only showing some pics. also I doubt all of them are related to Khomeini specially about Kordestan.
          about fans of Khomeini I nearly agree estimate is about 50-60%. but people are very different. fans of Khomeini has no fear and is ready to be killed. like the Iran-Iraq war that near one million Iranian was killed because want of Khomeini. they have no fear of death. –Iraq_War
          I know what people say. most of their problem has root in economy and welfare and job and justice . not mainly religion. if people protest its not really for religion. people are satisfied with Islam and do not want communism or democracy (east and west). but need job/welfare and so on.

          "Khomeini died years before, You think non-Iranians are still loosing sleep over a guy that died 30 years ago in another country?"
          yes Iran is an important player in Palestine conflict and Iran revolution has root in Khomeini. I am wonder you even do not know when Khomeini died. he died 30 years ago?! "Not the average American who had just found out there is a country in middle east called Iran." OK so we help them know Iran better

          "It's not against "you","
          also I am not against you. I feel responsibility for blood of those one million who were killed for Iran in war. they did not fought only for Khomeini. they also fought for your land. please note that in all authorities before revolution all kings of Iran lost some lands of Iran in wars. but after revolution even one meter of Iran was not lost. please note Khorramshahr: which country has such soldiers?
          Liberation of Khorramshahr was a miracle by that balance of military powers.

          "Let's not argue over it." so please you not argue to I not reply your argue.
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          Jun 13 2011: "Khomeini, the founder of the Iranian Islamic state, for one, made extensive use of the fatwa. Widely-known in the west is Khomeini’s fatwa condemning Selman Rushdie to death for his book. A less known fatwa of Khomeini during the last Iran-Iraq war led to the slaughter of thousands of Iranian children. Children, nearly all under 15 years of age, were given plastic keys to paradise as they were commanded by the fatwa of the imam to rush forward to clear minefields for the tanks to follow. The Islamic murderers, in obedience to the fatwa of a bloodthirsty man of Allah, had no problem in deceiving the clueless lads clinching made-in-China plastic keys to paradise."

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          Jun 13 2011: Richard, are you sitting down? I'm sure it will be a huge shock to your system to be told that I am out of thumbs up for you for the week. So Kudos for facts re: Khomeini.
        • Jun 14 2011: Dear Richard Dawson,
          about about Roshdi you are correct. in Islamic laws who insult the prophet of Allah should be killed.
          but about Khomeini and child you are false.
          Khomeini did not force any child to go war.
          childs themselves manipulated their birth certificate because love of war for Allah and Khomeini. child went to war voluntary even without permit of their parents. if you heard such it was the propaganda of Iraq for mental war in media against Iran.

          Dear Richard Dawson,
          do you believe anything from any one or any website without searching if it is true or lie? and simply distribute it?
          do you even agree there exist some liar websites?
        • Jun 14 2011: The use of Iranian children to clear minefields for tanks is common knowledge, S.R. Ahmadi. I would say that it is almost as widely known as the Holocaust, but you are not so sure of that one either, are you?

          "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject."--Sir Winston Churchill. Did you ever meet him, by chance, before he said this quote?
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          Jun 14 2011: Debra I rarely sit down and only when I'm typing, but I am a little surprised, to put it mildly. Floored maybe. :) (I pace the floor- does that indicate something?) But thank you. Its feels good to be appreciated
        • Jun 15 2011: "use of Iranian children to clear minefields for tanks is common knowledge, "
          in all my life this is first time I hear such thing.
          can you show some evidence for it?

          I know some children before age of 18 VOLUNTIARY went to iran iraq war. but this is first time I hear they are used for clear minefields. I am 100% sure this is propaganda.
          even if such thing happened I am sure 100% it has been also VOLUNTIARY and not with any force. those childs fighting in war were not 5 years child. for example they were 15-17 and mostly they were helping in back or war not in front of war.
          please show some evidence.
          about holocaust many well known historians and has noticeable critics.
          can you show some valid references for iran children used for clearing minefields?
          I am sure it is propaganda against Iran.
          please show your valid evidence. not from CNN or BBC or media backed with Israel or Imperialism saying lie news with no evidence.

          "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject."
          this is also my saying about people do not want to change their mind about true Islam.

      • Jun 8 2011: Dear Richard,
        "democracy is the most corrupted form of government."
        democracy= vote

        also in democracy for president there is no verification or terms needed. for example a shepherd with enough money for advertise can become president in democracy.

        then assume some one with much money wants to control a country with democracy.
        can he? or can not?

        vote is not best choice when think of people can be easily changed with advertise and media. the majority if vote is always in benefit of who has more money and spend it to change the result of vote.

        democracy has conflict with Islam.
        in Islam The decision is only for Allah and Legislation is not but for Allah.
        • Jun 8 2011: S.R. in an effort to understand your equivalences can you please explain how votes are equivalent to advertisements which are equivalent to the media which is equivalent to money?

          I do not see any of those following logically.
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          Jun 8 2011: Having the choice between Coca-Cola or Pepsi Cola isn't democracy if I can't have a glass of water.
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          Jun 8 2011: It is not true that it is those with the most money that always win. You're assuming a country's population at large is stupid. Also, the fact that democracy has conflicts with Islam is something to be deplored rather than celebrated (although I doubt it's true).
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          Jun 8 2011: "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others that have been tried."

          Winston Churchill
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          Jun 8 2011: "although I doubt it's true" That is a typical reaction of a westerner. He declares the truth about Islam which he knows nothing about and not studied, while denying what followers of that religion who have devoted their life to its study are saying.

          Islamic law is absolutely incompatible with democracy. It is a theocratic system with Allah alone at its head. Allah's law is interpreted by a ruling body of clerics. There is no room for a secular political system

          @ Tony "Having the choice between Coca-Cola or Pepsi Cola isn't democracy if I can't have a glass of water."

          How dramatic and pathetic. This truly describes western democracies where people cant have a glass of water, while justifying theocracies and dictatorships where their citizens have plenty of water and food. Their Govts ensure them their food and water while heroically staving off Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola.
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          Jun 8 2011: @Richard

          When lacking arguments, simply refrain from posting non-sense.
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          Jun 9 2011: @ Tony - "Having the choice between Coca-Cola or Pepsi Cola isn't democracy if I can't have a glass of water"

          When lacking anything meaningful to add to the conversation, simply refrain from interjecting with trite platitudes apropos nothing.
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          Jun 9 2011: Well Richard, if you say Islam is incompatible with democracy, I'm willing to believe you. But you've got to admit that not much of what S.R. Ahmadi says is of any value, thus why I was sceptical.
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          Jun 9 2011: Matthieu,
          You know that I have valued your input but I have to share that I also value SR's input. I did not always.
          I have learned over time that he is like us, just tryiing to understand the world better and that he is unfailingly polite and represents a world view. It is a world view we need to hear. It is a world view we need to try to understand.
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          Jun 9 2011: Good point Debra! Most of us here don't really understand Islam because it is so foreign to us. Even my exposure to Muslim co-workers and my Muslim house-mate didn't help me understand their culture in any way. I learned about their culture a bit, but I still view it from an "outsider's" perspective. Even the Arabic language is foreign enough that we can't truly understand the meanings of words- not just "translation," but meaning.

          I can't remember where I heard this, but if we were to translate an Arabic phrase into English, it would have one specific meaning in it's English form. But the original Arabic phrase contains several meanings. Hmmmm... SR do you know what I'm talking about?
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          Jun 9 2011: Matthieu "But you've got to admit that not much of what S.R. Ahmadi says is of any value, thus why I was sceptical."

          Not much of what he says about science is of much value. But he knows his Quran and Islam all right. To assume that if a person is wrong about a few things he will be wrong about everything is a fallacy.

          And he knows his feelings. Are you going to deny him that too? and say those are false because, say, he does not know the difference between a shark and a whale?
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          Jun 9 2011: Well I expressed doubt not certainty. Given that he's interpreted a lot of passages in the Koran as predictions of modern science, isn't it fair to have some reserves about what he might interpret as anti-democratic passages?
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          Jun 10 2011: Lol Matthieu that made me laugh. Cant fault your logic. Yes he certainly could have, but here is why he is correct in this case:

          1. It is necessary for Muslims to reinterpret the Quran to fit in with contemporary scientific knowledge because the ordinary reading of it contradicts even the most basic knowledge. For example every passage in the Quran on the shape of the Earth describes it as flat, with the sun as a small object that moves around the Earth and sets in a muddy spring at night, only to rise in the morning at the command of Allah. Though this impressed the Arabs of that time, it doesnt sit very well with the Quran being without error the words of God. So suddenly all those translations are wrong, Arabic is a very mysterious language not subject to translation (except where it tells you you will go to hell unless you do certain things etc)

          2. It is not necessary to reinterpret the Quran so far as its commandments go. Those are correct even if we mortals might think they are wrong. Allah is much greater than collective human intelligence.

          3. There are no passages in the Quran or the Hadiths that support democracy. As SR correctly puts it "in Islam The decision is only for Allah and Legislation is not but for Allah"
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          Jun 10 2011: fair enough.
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          Jun 13 2011: @ SR "Dear Richard, "democracy is the most corrupted form of government.""

          [ Then SR gives his reasons and why the Govt decreed by Allah such as Iran is so very much better]

          But here: New Zealand, my country and a democracy, is ranked as the least corrupt nation on Earth.

          The first 22 least corrupt nations are all democracies. 23rd is UAE then 24-31 all democracies followed by 32 Oman.

          The Islamic Republic of Iran ruled by the laws of Allah comes 119th and the most corrupt nations on Earth: the Islamic republics of Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.

      • Jun 9 2011: Dear Ross Kleiman,

        "I do not see any of those following logically. "
        in democracy decisions are made by votes. OK?
        vote can by influenced by media, advertise, film, Hollywood, CNN, propaganda, bin laden, fearing people of aliens, artificial conversiations,….
        And for large scale advertise across a country in all media channels (internet, TV, newspaper, cinema,..) money is needed. Got it?

        Dear Matthieu Miossec,
        "You're assuming a country's population at large is stupid."
        people are not stupid but when people are working all time to pay loans and costs and have no time to think they can be influenced by media/cinema/… and actually media think for people. This is kind of stupidity.
        Agree? Do American people really think? For example what they know about bin laden unless from media? Voting is like this.
        Do you disagree an shepherd with no qualification with enough money for buying media/Hollywood/TV/newspapers,… can become president?

        "Laura Bickle"
        "SR do you know what I'm talking about? "
        Yes. Arabic is the most compact language for meaning. Even a letter can have much meaning or even the pronunciation of a letter changes meaning vastly.
        There is hundreds of words for different camels or sward in Arabic. How many in English?
        Arabic is mp100 (like mp3) and I think Arabic is impossible to translate.
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          Jun 10 2011: SR:
          "people are not stupid but when people are working all time to pay loans and costs and have no time to think they can be influenced by media/cinema/… and actually media think for people. This is kind of stupidity.
          Agree? Do American people really think? For example what they know about bin laden unless from media? Voting is like this.
          Do you disagree an shepherd with no qualification with enough money for buying media/Hollywood/TV/newspapers… can become president?"

          You sound like you've been feasting on "media" when it comes to your view of the USA and it’s people.

          I am personally offended that you dismiss our people as non-thinking, brain-washed, propagandists who follow like sheep a wolf in sheep's clothing. There have been numerous opportunities during this discussion and others for you to broaden your understanding of the USA and the world in general, but that is apparently not why you’re involved in this discussion.

          Someone earlier in this conversation alluded to the fact that you seem not at all interested in being engaged in idea-sharing. I personally have yet to hear you express anything but Islamic dogma and simplistic observations about everything else. Your arguments about your beliefs are circular and block out any honest discussion with people who might differ in their world view.

          As for our country and its people and its leadership, there were two short video clips posted in another discussion that provide a more accurate reflection of who we are as a people and what we are thinking. I’m reposting them here, but anticipate you will only see in them what fits your fixed agenda.

          From Birdia Tak Wai Chan
          President Obama Addresses American 'Arrogance,' European 'Anti-Americanism'

          From Tim Colgan:
          I found this section of his "town hall meeting":

          I doubt there are many here who commit to sharing their ideas in TED conversations and lis
      • Jun 10 2011: Dear Richard,
        "Here is the voice of one of your countrymen: "
        I do not disagree it 100% but it is overstate.
        Iran has Islamic laws and in a Islamic government all people should respect to Islam laws for public. But in private people are free.
        Any country has its rules.

        About shark and whale I do not know how many times I should repeat this.
        I saw a movie about amazing animals and some minutes was about a special animal (not in normal size and shape) that I do not remember it was shark or whale. It is for remembering, Not for understanding.

        About earth I am sorry. I explained for you many times. Koran has many sayings about earth and most of them show earth is round. Only one seems to say earth is flat. That I explained it you. I think you will repeat it untill end of your life even with many explains. You find a mistake translate and insist on it as a evidence and do not accept others.
        Not all translates are wrong. You seem like to only use and insist on errors in translations and neglecting correct translations. There are tons of translations and information and books about Koran and some people find some errors in translations and stick to them until they die. The is a saying:
        "some people are like housefly they leave flowers and only sit on smelly things"
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          Jun 11 2011: Dear SR please do not be prejudiced against the humble housefly. It is also one of Allah's creatures :)

          Re: Shark and Whale - you did not know that the Shark was a fish whereas the Whale was a mammal. You now know and you acknowledged my telling you this. But since you now know I apologise for bringing this up - we were not born knowing things, we acquire knowledge as we go along. So no more mention of Shark and Whale from me.

          Re: The Earth being described as flat in the Quran, it is not only 1 verse but every verse and I had quoted these to you. But please let us agree to disagree on this. We agree on many things for example you say:

          1. "Islam covers all aspects of life. even how to go toilet. how to eat. how to walk. you can not say any aspect oh human life that Islam has no Instruction for it." I agree
          2. "also governance is part of Islam. prophet itself was President. please read history of Islam can you find any governor (president of state/country) unless prophet in history of prophet?" I agree

          Now can you confirm for the sake of the people here does Islam not command a World Islamic State under Islamic Sharia law?
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        Jun 10 2011: SR:
        "which dictator is poet and has very simple life and make food in home? and wash his own cloths?"

        Hitler was an artist.

        Tony: "Having the choice between Coca-Cola or Pepsi Cola isn't democracy if I can't have a glass of water"

        You want a glass of water? Here ya go - $2 please. Want some lemonade? Want some iced tea? How about a beer? Let's vote on it.

        You are forming you views on our democracy based on our advertising???? A firm pat on the back to the american advertising moguls for not only selling us refreshments, but selling you a "bill of goods". Joke's on you.

        Although I am a democratic-minded person with hopelessly optimistic tendencies, I do understand the short-comings of democracy well enough now (thanks in part to these conversations and Aristotle - Thanks Richard) to know it is far from perfect... but built into the very fabric of democracy is the mechanism for making it "more perfect". Will it always have an element of curruption? I don't know. All I know is that it offers me hope and a real opportunity to have a voice in what I believe and the freedom to express it - and a nice glass of Coca Cola when I'm thirsty (please don't drink Pepsi. It's the enemy).
        • Jun 11 2011: Dear Jim Moonan,
          I agree you I have a small Image of American people and I thank you for informing this me. I hope I can know them more. also please accept few people in TED can not be necessarily same as majority of people in US voting. if all Americans were like people in TED world would be much better. specially your presidents. specially past presidents.
          also i do not remember the name exact but one of writers of said American people does not think. and I was saying based on it. please correct me about this website if it is not valid.

          "Hitler was an artist."
          Thank. Which was poet?
          Poems of Imam Khomeini is comparable with Hafez.

          Dear Richard Dawson,
          Thanks for leaving Shark/Whale.

          About earth its off-topic here. Please :

          "Now can you confirm for the sake of the people here does Islam not command a World Islamic State under Islamic Sharia law?"
          Islam seeks a World Islamic State under Islamic Sharia law:
          This is clear in Koran. It is insisted clearly many times in Koran in similar verses:

          it is promise of Allah and Koran and step by step will be reached.

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          Jun 11 2011: "You are forming you views on our democracy based on our advertising???? A firm pat on the back to the american advertising moguls for not only selling us refreshments, but selling you a "bill of goods". Joke's on you."

          It wasn't a reference to the USA but to the "democratic" world. There is no 'our' democracy, but there is "our" illusion of it. As long as you will believe the USA are the center of this world, you will miss the point. As for the Joke(what joke?) being on me, well... Time will tell ;).
          I have spent enough time(and tax money) in 'your' nation to base my judgement on slightly more than advertisement. I'm not sure this goes likewise.
      • Jun 13 2011: Dear Richard,
        About your ranking it depends on the criteria of ranking and its validity.
        But I do not disagree it.
        I said many times Islam is different of Muslim. And Muslims has many evil behaviors. But it is not related to Islam and Koran.
        Also please note that Iranian revolution was near 33 years ago and there was a 8 year war and also Iran has been under economic and business sanction for many years. And actually development process of Iran has not started yet. Iran has not still finished repair of war destroys and Iran is full of problems including corruption in governmental offices. But still it is not from Islam.
        How many years before the development process of New Zealand started?
        When was the last war of New Zealand? How many years New Zealand is under sanction? How many of the top mangers and leaders and top scientists of New Zealand are terrored every year?
        Do you know how huge number of top Iranian leaders were terrored? Also recently two Iranian nuclear scientist were terroerd when the left their home to work.
        Most western countries have at least 100 years of development and at all can not be compared with Iran. Lets see Iran 100 years later after 100 years of development.
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      Jun 8 2011: Thnaks Tim..I think Israel has to "straightn up and fly right" and that the U.S. Congress, U.N. U.K. should be making that very clear..which they are not. Until the u.S. changes it's policy..Isreal won't chnage theirs...I'm thinkin'
    • Jun 14 2011: Dear Richard,
      also about democracy.
      please note I said democracy is the most corrupted kind of Government.
      it means each type can have good examples and bad examples.
      the type is different of a case.
      when you want to compare government types you should compare two similar country in any aspect only different in government type. then your result will be real.
      democracy has good cases and bad cases but this is not necessarily related to type of government.
      also about Islamic government. although I personally believe no good case of Islamic government has happened in history. (only perhaps in life of prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in city of Medina in Arabia for a short time)
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    Jun 5 2011: Richard Dawson:

    So what is your general opinion on how the world should be dealing with Israel? Should their treatment of the Palestinians be accepted? Should the US be sending them $3B a year in military aid? Should the UN quit objecting to the expansion of settlements?
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    Jun 5 2011: S.R. Ahmadi:

    "find a workable solution to the conflict."
    "The solution is a referendum in Palestine and asking what all people want."

    In what region (what borders) would you hold such a referendum?

    Would you be open to a similar referendum over the region of greater Kurdistan?
    • Jun 6 2011: Dear Tim,
      "In what region (what borders) would you hold such a referendum?"
      Palestine has some main problems:
      1. not having a unit and independent government.
      2. Near 7,000,000 Palestinians (of total 10,000,000 ) ie 70% of them are homeless and immigrant and are waiting to back to their home.
      3. Israel call Palestinians animals walking on two leg and believe Palestine land is for Jew and Palestinians are no worthy to have Palestine land.

      The problem 1 is for that the two main political wing of Palestine (Hamas, Fath) have conflict in political doctrine. Hamas says fighting against Israel is the solution, but Fath says talking until peace is solution. but history showed the solution of Fath is not workable. This disunity has been the main obstacle against unite Palestinians policy. recently Hamas and Fath agreed on unit policy.
      Referendum is the solution for problem 1. and all people born in Palestine including native Muslim Palestinians, native Christian Palestinians and native Jew Palestinians should can vote and boundary is not important for vote.
      About Kurdistan any government does not accept one of its states want to become a independent country.
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    Jun 5 2011: Debra, thank you for getting us way froma debate on creationism and back to the topic with this really great find(see link in Debra's comment below) that is right to the heart o things here. This quote is the heart of the article:

    "As James Fallows of The Atlantic put it so accurately, Netanyahu is the "Dick Cheney of Israel," characterizing the former vice president as someone who, "mistook short-term intransigence for long-term strategic wisdom, seemed blind and tone-deaf to the 'moral' and 'soft power' components of influence, profited from a polarized and fearful political climate, and attempted to command rather than earn support from allies and potential adversaries." In giving Netanyahu more standing ovations than their own president, Congressional Democrats have joined Republicans in effectively endorsing a Dick Cheney approach to the Middle East."

    So If Zunes analysis is correct, and it makes perfect sense to me, it may bepossible the President is tryuing to draw Congress away from their long held militaristics views and doesn't have much support even among the democratic leadership. So perhaps those of us who want this settled need to send a strong clear message to Debbie Wasserman Schuktz ( the new democratic leader) and to our own local Congressmen that we want a different stratgey in the middle east
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    Jun 5 2011: Tony - are you referring to the USA when you say, "Many politicians in the states have promoted the teaching of creationism."?
    The fact of the matter is that creationism and intelligent design has not made any significant headway in becoming a part of our public school curriculum. We teach the theory of evolution in all of our public school systems.

    Please be careful when throwing out statements like the one above, and this one: "And to my knowledge, the number of domestic violence towards women in the US is astonishingly high." I do not, in fact, know for certain that the US has higher numbers per capita than other countries, but I doubt it. I'll follow up and get some better data than what you linked.

    I get the sense you are not a big fan of the USA....
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      Jun 5 2011: Whether he is a fan or not, nobody should be allowed to get away stating lies as truth.

      @ Tony Sanchez [in reply to "Perhaps Western culture is more enlightened, especially regarding women and the role of religion in government"] "It's a matter of opinion. Many politicians in the states have promoted the teaching of creationism.
      As for regarding women, Turkey granted suffrage to women before France, Spain, Italy and Portugal. And to my knowledge, the number of domestic violence towards women in the US is astonishingly high."

      1. Turkey did not grant universal suffrage to women before Spain or Portugal. Both of them granted it in 1931, whereas Turkey did in 1934 (for local elections in 1930), Italy in 1946 the year it became a Republic. (New Zealand in 1893, Australia 1902, Canada in 1917, The UK in 1918 and the US in 1920)
      2. The modernisation of Turkey was forced upon it by Kemal Ataturk and did not come about by democratic consensus.
      3. Many Turks consider themselves as part of the West and in any case they are not a typical example of a Muslim country, one fast sliding back to theocratic influences.
      4. That Turkey granted universal suffrage before France and Italy does not refute that Western culture is more enlightened, especially regarding women and the role of religion in government [unstated than Muslim countries]
      5. United Arab Emirates granted Universal Suffrage only in 2006, Kuwait in 2005, Oman in 2003, Qatar in 1997 and Saudi Arabia does not allow women to vote at all.
      6. Women's rights are a sum of many things, not only universal suffrage
      7. That domestic violence is "astonishingly high" in the US, says nothing of the comparison of domestic violence with Muslim countries, specially where the concepts differ and statistics on this are poor or absent.
      8. In every Muslim country, except Bangladesh and Turkey, the religious Sharia law has some legal force in the constitution. In many it trumps civil law.

      Thus the statement is backed by evidence.
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        Jun 5 2011: What lies? In reference to whose comment? ( Sometimes I can't keep track of conversations - Though I'm sure that, if your talking about politics and power, lies are always involved.)
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        Jun 5 2011: @ Jim Moonan and Birdia Tak Wai Chan

        "Many politicians in the states have promoted the teaching of creationism."

        In no way have I mentioned that it was indeed taught, or was ever going to be taught in public schools.

        "And to my knowledge, the number of domestic violence towards women in the US is astonishingly high."

        Again, in no way have I mentioned the United States having higher or lower rates of domestic violence towards women "per capita than other countries". I was pointing at the fact that the West is not qualified to give lessons. And the word "enlightenment" holds a religious connotation that unmistakably leads to a comparison between Judeo-Christianism and Islam. Perhaps I should have posted a comment about France to avoid disturbing the peace. As for your comment on being a "fan of the US", I'm not really sure what it meant so I will leave it there.

        @ My Dear Richard Dawson

        I see you're a wikipedia man so I had to search within your sources.

        I have failed in clearing some facts, out of context. Spain had granted suffrage to women in 1931. Spain, believe it or not, was a fascist nation. From 1947 until 1977, women had no right to vote (no rights at all for that matter). Therefore claiming that Spain granted Universal Suffrage in 1931, is incorrect or at least incomplete.

        Portugal on the other hand, granted the right to vote for women with secondary education from 1931. This is where you probably went: "HA!, got you lier!". Well, giving the right to vote to woman with secondary education in Portugal in 1931, comes to grant the same right today in, let's say the US, only to women with a Phd(read about portuguese history of that period, then post back if you think a secondary education level was a common thing for women to have in that time). Portuguese women had to wait until 1971 for the Universal Suffrage.

        PS: I hope the fact that this is an ES(Spanish) 'Wiki' won't discredit its content ;)
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          Jun 6 2011: Hi Tony, I grant that Spain having granted universal suffrage in 1931, withdrew it from 1947 to 1977 and Portugal only partially gave women the right to vote from 1931. I apologise for using the word lie. Erroneous statements would have been a better word.

          But my contentions remain true.

          1. The west indisputably has separated Religion from Government, whereas Muslim countries have not. Not only that but many Muslim immigrants to western nations have started demanding the implementation of Sharia Law in western nations and some countries like Britain, have given into this demand, which is a very disturbing trend.

          2. Your argument implying that women do not have more equality in the west compared to Muslim countries on the basis that Turkey gave universal franchise to women before Spain, Portugal, France and Italy is fallacious and misleading. Turkey is only about 4.5% of the total Muslim population of the world and was modernised by force by Kemal Ataturk. 23 European and American Nations gave universal Franchise before Turkey (from your Spanish Wikipedia link), including mine (the first).

          3. Belief in Creationism / disbelief in Evolution is far higher in Muslim countries than western nations.

          Thus my contention that your trying to cast doubt on Jim's statement is misleading and erroneous remains true.

          (Granted the word "enlightened" should not have used - too vague. He should have simply stated that women have more equality in the west and religion is mixed with government in Muslim countries with all its attendant ills, unlike the west.)
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        Jun 8 2011: @ Richard Daswon (yawning)

        "Hi Tony, I grant that Spain having granted universal suffrage in 1931, withdrew it from 1947 to 1977 and Portugal only partially gave women the right to vote from 1931. I apologise for using the word lie. Erroneous statements would have been a better word"

        Neither of the words 'Lie' or 'Erroneous' apply to my comment (not statement). Text comprehension is indeed taught in public school I believe. So I suggest you re-read my comment, carefully, or simply refrain from playing a pointless back and forth game.

        "Thus my contention that your trying to cast doubt on Jim's statement is misleading and erroneous remains true."

        Grammar is, and this I know for a fact, taught(to some extend) in public schools. Re-read your own sentence, if you really must, and please 'enlighten' me on the sense you were trying to make.

        I replied to the comment both Jim and Birdia made, and clarified my point. Case closed.
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      Jun 5 2011: PS Re: Creationism - Public support for creationism is far higher in Turkey than in any other western country, which in turn is probably far higher than any other Muslim country, where most believe that humans were created as Adam and Eve by Allah anyway.

      And the link for support to my earlier statements:'s_suffrage#Table_of_international_women.27s_suffrage

      (The last link doesnt work - copy and paste)

      Correction: Dates above are the first date women were allowed to participate (by voting) in elections, not the date that women were granted universal suffrage without restrictions (though it does apply to New Zealand etc).

      (Restrictions exist in UAE and Kuwait and whereas women are allowed to vote in UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Libya etc. since there have been no democratic elections, that permission is a bit of a farce).
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        Jun 5 2011: No, Bush went to only the most exclusive private schools and attended Yale University, where he was not a good student, drank and partied too much, and generally lived the priveledged life of the rich. It wasn't until he was 40 years old that he found his religious ferver and was "born again" - I believe at the urging/insistance of his wife, Laura. The rest is history....

        Private schools are free to develop their own curriculua and are not bound to the same rules that schools that recieve taxpayer funding.

        Because I think that open dialog and discussion leads to understanding, I think creationism/intelligent design theory should be offered as a philosophy in college.

        I also think that no religion should be taught in elementary schools in any way, shape or form. I can't think of anything more crucial to the survival of modern societies than separation of church and state. I can live peacefully with anyone who abides by that.

        But the US public schools are not teaching intelligent design as far as I know. (Although many attempts have been made by far right born-again republican conservatives to force it into the system) To date, we continue to be successful at whacking them down every time they pop their heads up.

        As an educator, I think there is no bigger battle to be fought and won than the battle to protect our educational system from being infiltrated by those who would force their own personal religious beliefs on our children, our future leaders. I'm not one of those that wants to wipe religion off the face of the earth. Just one who wants religion to be a framework for living a good life for anyone who wants to use it as such.

        Attention TED Police: So, what I'm saying is that the problems that Israel and the future Palestine face are rooted in education. That's why I believe no peace accord will be complete unless it includes an educational component to "clear the field of weeds".
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          Jun 5 2011: Jim I agree that the problems that Israel and the future Palestine face are rooted in education.

          And that is the heart of the matter.

          Re my post in reply to yours was in reply to Tony Sanchez's reply to yours. I pointed out the inaccuracies in his statement.

          Birdia you would know if their curriculum was different to public schools then. Did they teach creationism?
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          Jun 5 2011: Ok let's not hijack the topic. This isn't about public vs. private schools.

          And I doubt this is the question in the minds of Palestinians right now.
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          Jun 6 2011: Tony would you agree that education and the quality of education is of crucial importance to resolving the Palestine-Israel problem? Would you admit that teaching of hatred to Palestine children on the basis of religion will only worsen and perpetuate the problem?
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          Jun 6 2011: I would absolutely agree that teaching Palestinian children that other religious people hate them enough to imprision them in their communities, bomb them and deny them medical care and protection is teaching them hatred. That will certainly perpetuate the problem. The most profound education comes from outside the classroom.
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          Jun 6 2011: Outside the classroom? Is it on that basis you awarded me the 'OH TOSH' award on science? I note your formal (inside the classroom) education does not include science and technology.
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          Jun 6 2011: Unless you want to consider my education in neuroscience as a branch science.

          I directly addressed this statement: Would you admit that teaching of hatred to Palestine children on the basis of religion will only worsen and perpetuate the problem?

          Perhaps this is why King David was denied the right to build the temple- warriors do not know how to build consensus.
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          Jun 8 2011: @ Birdia

          "Hello Tony. What IS in the minds of the Palestinians, do you happen to know?"

          Please, I've read your comments, we might not agree on everything but I'm sure you know better. Do not ask me a rhetorical question of this kind.

          @ Richard

          "Tony would you agree that education and the quality of education is of crucial importance to resolving the Palestine-Israel problem? Would you admit that teaching of hatred to Palestine children on the basis of religion will only worsen and perpetuate the problem?"

          I agree that a higher system of education is required WORLDWIDE.
          I also agree that a certain grudge is indeed present in the education, not in schools(for those lucky enough to have schools) of many Palestinians. As much as I agree that the same hostility and hatred is also present in the education of young Israeli and Jewish schools around the globe.

          I think we can all agree that absolutely no point has been made by this 'enlightened' statement ;)

          EDIT: Yawning was offensive to some users. I respectfully withdraw it from my comment.
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        Jun 5 2011: Yes, that was my thought, too. The overwhelming majority of our leaders received private school educations. It's not all black and white, though. Private schools are generally regarded as being superior in terms of educational standards (afterall, they did produce you, Birdia!). Religious schools are included under the umbrella of "private schools' and that's where things get sketchy...

        I went to private schools early on, until my family imploded and I was shipped off to public schools. I feel most of my formal education was uninspiring to say the least - until I reached college. Then, mostly because of one professor, the lid to my brain came off and I haven't found it since!!
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    Jun 4 2011: This excerpt from a T.S. Eliot poem I think describes well the journey we all take when we engage in this particular discussion:

    "Let us go then, you and I,
    When the evening is spread out against the sky
    Like a patient etherised upon a table;
    Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
    The muttering retreats
    Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
    And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
    Streets that follow like a tedious argument
    Of insidious intent
    To lead you to an overwhelming question
    Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
    Let us go and make our visit."

    My final thoughts on the subject before moving on to tend my own garden:

    My nation is the immigrant nation… The compassionate nation… The liberal-minded nation of ideas and possibilities… The nation that leads the fight against racism, bigotry… That champions individual freedoms… Where is that nation now?

    Bring anything to my attention and I will give it my attention. Global geo-politics be damned. Global geo-politics be damned. Power struggles between nations be damned. Religions that don't stand up and condemn violence and hatred be damned. Those who would turn deserts into malls and malls into wastelands be damned.

    Give me trust! Give me understanding through compassion! Give me compromise! Start over!
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    Jun 4 2011: Last nightI did my homework and took a look at the large amount of documentation Debora, Richard, Tim, Lindsay, et. al. have been putting on the table…. So everything I’ve said up to this point in this debate flies in the face of the linguist Noam Chomsky’s view of the US and its world domination? I don’t know if I can trust a linguist to shoot straight! (I’ve known about Chomsky and his views – he resides in the "social republic of Cambridge, MA" as the political conservatives in the state call it. Nice city. Home of Harvard and MIT. I hope to own a small condo there someday).

    I’m still lost. And how does the US respond to the claims and accusations of Chomsky? They let him speak. (It reminds me of the lines in the T.S. Eliot poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock : “That is not it at all/That is not what I meant, at all.”)

    My head is swimming in coffee and confusion. Chomsky deals in the global power struggles that have marked our civilizations throughout the ages. He’s a historian philosopher; very articulate and knowledgeable as hell. So what does he do with his knowledge? He paints pictures. Stand far enough away and it looks like he's on to something; but get closer............ Those who don’t like his “art” will “paint” their own pictures. It does nothing to help the cause to keep pushing each other’s faces into the whole mess.

    If there is one piece of logic that always deflates me, it is this: One person’s freedom fighter is another person’s terrorist.

    Could this be true: Sometimes history should be forgotten. Sometimes the only thing to do is start over. For example, take the computer you are looking at to read my comments. Sometimes things just go horribly, inexplicably wrong with it and no amount of “Troubleshooting” or “Help” makes any difference. There’s just no way out but to turn the dam thing off and start over. Reboot. Erase. Start anew. That’s the overwhelming feeling I get every time I wade into this issue. Forget the history. Start over.
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      Jun 17 2011: Just for the record Jim, my comments are based on my own knowledge, my own reserach, my own evalutaion and have not relied to any significant extent at all a minor side reference for me.

      .so, please, count me out on this little collective characterization,thanks

      .I do agree with you bottom line though..and said that a couple of times above..we should have zero tolerance in a complex moder n wolrd with so many pressing global issues for allowing a recurring revisitation of ancient ethnic and religious battles to cause so much unrest and instability to command so much of the worlds energy and resources

      .That's when I checked out of this conversation...becuse it continued on with all this ancient history.and wasn't focusing on what it takes to bring about a two nation solution. The U.S. is and the U.N. basicallyhave to say that as a matter of policy..( I said that above as well)
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    Jun 4 2011: @Richard

    Israel illegally owns Nuclear heads. If they claim their purpose is the defense of their state, why couldn't Iran own nuclear weapons for their own defense? I am against all Nuclear power for defense/military purposes. But for argument sake. What makes Israel so special in this world? And btw, this is rhetorical, please don't say "because they're the chosen ones".
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    Jun 2 2011: Religion apart, it's even shocking that this topic would even call for debate. I guess you can only genuinely talk about a conflict resolution that would call for pre-1948 borders. Anything post 1948 comes to this: I take over your 4 bedroom house, and throw you on the street. Then years later I ask you to choose between the shed or the garage.

    If you think about the subject, whoever and whatever you are, it is insane. Media and entertainment devotion had people drifting away from their ability to reason.
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      Jun 4 2011: Tony, I think you're right and wrong.
      Right that things have gone horribly wrong in that region for (at least) 64 years.
      Wrong that you think debate by us here at TED doesn't make a difference. My opinions are being developed and changed by this conversation. Don't I count?
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        Jun 4 2011: Wow Jim, thanks for that good thought!
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        Jun 8 2011: "Tony, I think you're right and wrong.
        Right that things have gone horribly wrong in that region for (at least) 64 years.
        Wrong that you think debate by us here at TED doesn't make a difference. My opinions are being developed and changed by this conversation. Don't I count?"

        "Wow Jim, thanks for that good thought!"

        I was referring to a wider box. But quiet honestly, no; you're right. I do not think your opinion, Debra's enthusiasm to a good thought(?), or TED(I would not consider the "us here at TED" to be appropriate since this is a public conversation, not TED), my own opinion or anyone else's here in this forum, doesn't make one single bit of difference to the Palestinian/Israel conflict.

        The debates and conversations here can be important to some of us as individual. Learn from others, discuss and exchange ideas and thoughts. This might not be the lightest of topics, and yet this is where I chose to introduce myself to you(plural). But using words such as "right" and "wrong" to judge my position, thoughts, believes or any other personal opinion I might express shows that, beyond cultural arrogance, you have very little regards toward anyone who doesn't think like you. So Jim. Don't I count?
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          Jun 10 2011: How does society change for the better? It starts from the individual.

          Until we can truly understand these issues for ourselves, we cannot know the truth of the situation. We cannot affect positive change unless we understand these issues. If every individual strives for this understanding, change is inevitable.

          Ignorance is bliss!
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          Jun 10 2011: Wow Laura!
          How profound was that! You really triggered a thought:

          Ignorance IS bliss- for us- it can sure be hell for the others that we are ignorant about and lend our unintentional dead weight against.
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          Jun 10 2011: Tony:
          "But using words such as "right" and "wrong" to judge my position, thoughts, believes or any other personal opinion I might express shows that, beyond cultural arrogance, you have very little regards toward anyone who doesn't think like you. So Jim. Don't I count?"

          The short answer is “yes”. You absolutely do count. I would not bother to respond to you if that weren’t the case. I think you are a powerful thinker with some intriguing perspectives very different from my own. These TED conversations certainly won’t change the world, but they can change minds. And who knows what that will lead to???

          I'll avoid using the word "wrong" in the future if it makes you feel better. Please do point out to me, however, when you think I'm wrong. It helps me to re-assess my thoughts. That's what these debates are so useful for - not to solve the Palestinian problem (I never thought that's what we were doing here) but to gain insight into how other's see things and perhaps in the process have my own views changed.

          But you say I'm culturally arrogant and that I have very little regard for those who don't think like me. I think your baiting me, to be honest.
          You've made a number of comments that clearly show your distaste (understatement) for the American culture and I've responded in defense of it. It's my opinion that the views you've expressed about the USA are not accurate and I'd love to have the opportunity to express why. But if your response to my attempts is that I'm arrogant and exclusive, then where would that get me??

          Trying to communicate in writing about issues as sensitive as we are discussing is sometimes like trying to walk through a minefield. You never know if your next step is going to explode in your face. Going forward, I hope we avoid stepping on any more verbal “mines” because I respect your opinion more than I think you give me credit for.
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          Jun 10 2011: @ Laura it starst from the individual..a thousand white roses to well by one one on one..we will get there

          meet you at the finish line
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        Jun 11 2011: Hey Jim

        First of all: Likewise. if I reply to your comments is because, to this day, I read everyone of your posts in the conversations I take part in. Sometimes I agree, entirely or partially, sometimes I don't, to the same extend.

        I am as much of a passionate for culture, and extensively North American culture, that I am against its government's philosophy. I try not no mix the people with their leaders, and that for all nations.

        After reading your response, it did strike me that "cultural arrogance" wasn't only an erroneous statement from my part but it could also have been offensive. For that, I apologize.
        I was referring to the mention you made earlier of me sounding like a conspiracy theorist, which is what I believe to be the strongest card for whom the bubble of living in the greatest of nations should never be popped. We both have strong convictions, and neither one of us is going to change the other's.
        I agree in focusing on the positive exchanges and on what we can learn from others.

        PS: Galileo was also a conspiracy theorist ;)
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          Jun 11 2011: Good!
          I'm glad we took the time to re-set.

          And glad you made the distinction between american culture and government. I'm passionate about the former and learning more and more about the latter that I don't like. But I DO like Obama (you have to understand that I am a survivor of the "W" years and having Obama come along was like being woken up from a bad - very bad - dream. So I'm good with him.

          I do disagree with you, though, on the fact that because we might have strong convictions we will never change each other’s views. Stranger things have happened… Seriously, I don't think we will ever merge as thinkers, but we most definitely will learn from each other. That's good enough for me.

          Interesting about Galileo.... Did you know that Alexander the Great was an alcoholic?
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    Jun 2 2011: Continued building on the West Bank and human rights violations.

    It is illegal to arm any nation that is a consistent violator of human rights:

    Finkelstein faces down the justification of Israel's actions by the holocaust card:


    The Goldstone report and Gaza invasion:
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      Jun 2 2011: and your commentary?

      all good links..and certainly it is very very hard to reconcile our (U.S.) no caveat renewal of $30 billion to israel for arms,. our continued military support, all our vetoes f UN rsolytions when all this has gone on

      . Until U.S. policy really chnages and relaly lines up with some concept of universal jusitce we are part of the poblem and not part of the solution.

      Did Obama throw Israel under the bus?


      But he didn't do much either in his turn at the helm to right the ship or make a real course correction.

      If that is your point I am with you.

      No question in my heart, in my mind now that the US is part of the problem and not really doing what it needs to do to finally become part of the solution

      let's drat a letter to the president that reflects all we have leanerd here post ithere send it out around the world through our combined networks?

      Needs to be short, sweet. clear, really at the core of long tangents and twists and turns.
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        Jun 2 2011: HI Lindsay,

        I was supporting points that I had made in previous posts and I was posting information that I stumbled upon after following someone's link. I am not even sure whose it was because I feel that my mind has been in major expansion mode from the great stuff that people have been sharing here on TED. What an awesome community!Funny you should suggest drafting a letter to the President, I was just thinking of writing one to my Prime Minister who has been a total supporter of Israel!

        I guess where I am stymied though is why is the world ignoring this? Why is Israel so powerful?
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          Jun 2 2011: It takes what we do here every fday here at Ted Conversations to get there..that's why I am such a hawk about sticking to the topic..building a good sound record..not bringing over here any habits from facebook, blogging etc.

          I 'veleaned more in two weeks (????) here than I ever knew. Whe I tke on issues myself that I want to know the truth about it's a very difficulkt, very time consuimg process.. This wonderful place that i long as we use it wisely and us opportunities that exist no where else to get right to the heart of it.

          I feel I have.

          I am definitely going to do a piece for my posterous blog and I may actually send a letter.

          Would love to see your letter..Please share it with me if you wowuld, via Ted Email.
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      Jun 2 2011: Thanks for the link Debra. I like Dr. Norman Finkelstein a lot. Why does Jews feel the need to play the holocaust card so often? It is despicable to justify Palestine's pain on the excuse of holocaust. It is a crime in Europe to deny the holocaust – you can openly declare support for NAZI – you can deny anything but denying the holocaust is a crime. .
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        Jun 2 2011: hey..I think you missed thepoint

        By the way i am still waiting for your supprt of the Blair staement you made twice here..that blair used religion to justify the Iraq war.. I see nothing close to that anywhere..where dod you get such an idea???
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        Jun 2 2011: Hi Ehis, I think that things that happen to people like us become a larger than life warning that plays over and over in people's minds. Just as the blacks should never forget slavery, the Jews should never forget the Holocaust and none of us should ever forget man's inhumanity to man.
        But what is the whole point of remembering if we do not generalize the lessons so that we NEVER do the same thing to another person?
        My point in posting Finkelsteins rebuttal of that young woman at a Canadian university is that - I loved his final line to the effect that anyone with a heart in their chest should be crying for ongoing injustices today.
        Now is our time to fight injustice. Now is the time our integrity and our hearts are being tested. Will we pass or fail when future generations judge us?
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          Jun 3 2011: I like you Debra - the lesson from the holocaust is to prevent injustice not to excuse it for more injustice.
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        Jun 3 2011: Thank you Ehis..very similar to Bush..never overtly stated as part of policy but there underneath. Thank you so much for bringing those links here

        I guess knowing that there is always a hidden agenda emerging from the personal values and beliefs o national leaders we just have to keep an even closer eye on whether what they say makes sense and stands up to scrutiny..have to really do what we can to discern the truth and bring the truth to light.

        I think the problem is most of us who think we are diligent and discerning just don't know how much we don't know.
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        Jun 3 2011: Ehis: They play the holocaust card because it works.

        Israel is and always has been in basic survival mode. The Jews, particularly after the holocaust, wanted a place to call their own. They established a place, Israel, and have been doing everything they can to hold on to it.

        That aspect is understandable, isn't it?
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      Jun 2 2011: The "holocaust card" would deserve an entire conversation I would gladly take part of...
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        Jun 2 2011: Post it Tony and we'll participate. Its easy to post a question or debate.
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        Jun 3 2011: I agree but it has to be framed very carefully and carefully moderated

        Visiting this issue does take us unavoidably back to the very beginning of creating a jewish the fact that both Britain and the US did not want jewish refugees..we even interred them here in the US takes us back before that to the conditions which allowed the holocaust to emerge in the firta the internationally popular eugenics movement.

        .anti semitism persisted very strongly in post-war america..arthur miller did a movie on that..the holocaust card is a multi national cross cultural dark shadow on many nations..a shadow still present...still shaping so much

        .I think it would take a core group of discerning commenters to keep it on track and explore it but we certainly need to visit together and Ted Conversation allows us to do that in way that is not possible anywhere else.
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    Jun 2 2011: I would appreciate anyone's feedback on the following youtube video on Wikileaks, Israel and Palestine:
    • Jun 3 2011: Dear Debra,
      I watched this movie. I could understand Clinton but I did not understand Noam well (for my language).
      but I do not believe mis. Clinton. she is biased to Israel and they easily say lie to collect votes.
      also about wikileaks I do not trust it 100%. I think it is a mix of truth information for gaining attention and also fake information for supporting propaganda and and policies of US in middle-east.
      do you believe FBI and pentagon are sitting and watching wiki leaks revealing their secrets and they do not take any action?
      totally I did not understand the sayings of Chomsky. so better to not have any feedback. appreciate is you add some brief to your video links or refer a text link with your videos containing the content of video.
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      Jun 3 2011: I don't see how anyone can disagree with Chomsky's arguments. They are always well founded by facts.

      If anyone disagrees please address specific points.

      His main point - US talks democracy. But it's actions speak otherwise.
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    Jun 1 2011: In the spirit of getting this important conversation back on track, I offer the following:

    The Jews deserve a state.
    The Palestinians deserve a state.
    Just as the Jews were given territory in 1947, the Palestinians deserve the same recognition.


    1. Independent states of Israel and Palestine based on the pre-1967 agreement with mutually agreed swaps.

    2. A Palestinian constitution that includes specific language that supports Israel's right to exist and to live within their own state.

    3. An amendment to the Israeli constitution that specifically says the same regarding Palestine.

    4. Governments that condemn religious extremism and establish laws to prosecute those who practice or preach it.

    5. A UN sponsored peacekeeping force to patrol common borders

    6. A UN sponsored educational program for children that teaches tolerance of diversity
    • Comment deleted

      • Jun 2 2011: Hi All,
        I do not know this is on-topic or off topic. but I (and I think almost all Muslims) disagree this assumptions:
        "The Jews deserve a state"
        "the UN can help Palestinians"
        are you sure Palestinians recognize territory in 1947?
        if you want to talk by this assumptions OK, continue. but I recommend starting other topic about realty of such assumptions.
        then land was given by Imperialistic British in a un-humanitarian process that Palestinians do not recognize it.
        the UN many many times wanted to stop Israel but always US VETO stopped UN.
        actually Israel could not survive without VETO of US.
        it is clear that UN has clear support of Israel always by vetoes in favor Israel.
        I think the vetoes of US in favor of Israel and not recognizing Palestinian rights is near 80 times (not sure exact).
        do you know the last year report of UN about humanity in Palestine?
        even if all countries in UN want to support Palestinian people the VETO comes and cancel it.
        educational program for children and so on are only show off.
        UN can not do any thing against Israel.
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          Jun 3 2011: Your response reveals some interesting things.

          First and foremost, you don't seem to like playing by the rules. You will say the rules are not fair, etc. etc. etc. and that there is a world conspiracy against Palestinians, etc. etc. etc. but the fact of the matter is, you don't wan t to play by the rules. You can dispute the rules and seek changes in them through appropriate channels and garner support for the change to take place, but instead you refuse to join the world as it wrestles with it's problems and issues and instead by default become the problem.

          As Bob Dylan sang: "The times they are a-changin'". Change is constant. To stand still is to slip backwards.

          Secondly, and even more concerning given the fact that my life's work is in the field of education, is your response, "educational program for children and so on are only show off."
          For me, that says you are not interested in the single most powerful tool for change in this world: education. For you to pass this suggestion off as deception only deepens my concern that your mind is closed to change. I wish you would give this serious thought and re-consider.
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          Jun 3 2011: Totally agree with S.R. Ahmadi's evaluation in the previous comment.

          US has consistently vetoed UN resolutions against Israel.
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          Jun 3 2011: This might be one of the rare occasions when I agree with something S.R. Ahmadi says. He's been paying close attention.
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          Jun 5 2011: Agree with Matthieu what he told about my friend S.R. Ahmadi. Here I for the first time possibly agree with his (S.R's) observation.

          @ Jim I agree what you said about power of education but I really doubt about UN capability of executing anything without US interference. I know it by heart from the history of my country, my nation & US+ UN stance against it. UN is just B team of US.

          We need peace defintely , but keeping religion on top of the agenda?

          Don't see any hope in near future , don't know which way the Midlle East will evolve and how again it will be influenced by Big Bosses depends much on that.
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          Jun 5 2011: Salim "I really doubt about UN capability of executing anything without US interference. I know it by heart from the history of my country, my nation & US+ UN stance against it. UN is just B team of US."

          UN being just a B team of the US maybe a bit harsh, but I have just been reading about the Bangladesh Liberation War. Fascinating.

          Though "During the war there were widespread killings and other atrocities – including the displacement of civilians in Bangladesh (East Pakistan at the time) and widespread violations of human rights – carried out by the Pakistan Army with support from political and religious militias", the US supported Pakistan with weapons and encouraged China to supply weapons also and sent its Aircraft carrier to try and bully the Indians.

          The USSR tried to counter this.

          "Though the United Nations condemned the human rights violations, it failed to defuse the situation politically before the start of the war."

          I think the lesson is we need to make the UN more effective if we are to stop wars and have peace.
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          Jun 7 2011: @ SR "I think almost all Muslims disagree this assumptions:"The Jews deserve a state""

          In other words most Muslims disagree that Israel deserves to exist.

          I agree with SR on that (what most Muslims think). Though I do not agree with that thought.

          @ SR "land was given by Imperialistic British in a un-humanitarian process that Palestinians do not recognize it."

          That is not true. The land was bought off Palestinians by the Jews. There was plenty of land in Palestine for both the Jews and Palestinians but the Arabs then as now did not accept the Jews. The Jews asked the Arabs to stay in Israel but the Arab armies invaded the day after their declaration of independence and they lost.

          The Jewish people have a right to that land because they:

          1. Settled and developed the land
          2. The international community granted political sovereignty in Palestine to the Jewish people and
          3 The territory was captured in defensive wars

          That Muslim people do not accept Israel's right to exist is a religious based reason that they want to be the bosses and rulers of the world. It is a supremacist notion. Religious and Supremacist ideologies have no place in modern society. There can be no peace till they are around.

          SR You said that justice should be to all people. The Jewish people were in Mecca and Medina. There were many Jewish tribes in Medina - they should have the right to return there. The Cypriots should also be allowed and the Armenians and the Southern Sudanese and the Africans of Darfur.
          You talk about 1,000 Palestinian deaths during the Gaza war, over a million people died in Sudan. I dont hear you or Muslims or Muslim countries wanting to condemn that. Why is that?
      • Jun 3 2011: "you don't seem to like playing by the rules"
        you are right I not want to play in your game.
        because this is not game.
        childs in palestine are not killed by toy guns.
        they are killed by war guns and war ballets:

        and homes are not destroyed by toy bulldozers.
        they are destroyed by CAT bulldozers:

        the real change is in people of U.S.

        about show off I mean programs in Palestine by international organization.
        but generally I believe education. I myself am university teacher and understand you.

        thanks for your teach. and I am open to change and develop. I appreciate.
        TED developed me.
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          Jun 3 2011: SR

          So that you understand my position:
          I am only basically informed of the history of the conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis and think, in some respects, it gives me the freedom to look at the situation with more objectivity.
          I believe both should have a place to call home. What I would love to see happen is that they both shared the same land. Afterall, they both seem to claim the same land and both seem to share some of the same history and experiences.... Right?

          (I know this will not be the solution - It's just the vision of someone (me) who thinks that when people get a chance to know each other they generally get along and appreciate each other's personal struggles better)

          Question: Do you believe Israel should have land they can call their own?

          The links you've referenced all seem to be pro-Palestinian/anti-Israeli and yet they also appear to be based and operating and disemminating their information from the US.

          Question: If a pro-Israeli organization started by Iranian nationals where to set up shop in Iran and begin to elicit the support of the Iranian people for the plight of the Israeli's, what would happen to that organization?

          Your view of education and my view of education seem to differ. I believe the opportunities for education take place from the moment of birth and in every situation - in the home, in elementary schools, in the community in which people live, etc. In fact, the education I'm referring to that needs to take place takes place well before the university level.

          Yes, the fact that you are using TED to communicate your ideas is good!!!!
          You are clearly well-educated and have a very well-developed view of the world. But I would respectfully add that in our exchanges you don't give me a sense that you are truly informed of the incredible positives of modern societies. I would suggest you can hold onto your religious beliefs AND live a fuller, more meaningful life. Tolerance is a virtue!
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          Jun 3 2011: As is clear by your links, this is not a game.

          The rules are not a part of a game being played.
          They are the rules established by a multi-national organization specifically for the purpose of managing complex problems. If you don't like the rules, then follow the rules to change the rules. Don't walk away from them as if it WERE a game!!! Be a part of the solution!!!!!!
        • Jun 5 2011: Israeli children are the direct target of Palestinian terrorists acts for many years now
          and in general attacking civilians is propagated openly in your world as a holy war and
          is tottally appreciated and cheered by the mobs
          it is well known that kindergarden education and up in the Palestinian authority is extremely hateful
          your statements as most pf your leftist friends are one sided and extremely hypocratical

          so dear friend
          we intend to live and we truly think youtr policies are meant squarely and directly against that simple fact
      • Jun 4 2011: after ottoman empire collapsed its countries remained without owner. so world powers (wolfs) used (or established) UN to divide Ottoman empire dead body among themselves. and Palestine became for British.
        the league of nations (later UN) said British should consult to Palestine to can grow (British Mandate for Palestine). but British abused this mandate and occupied Palestine by help of Zionism barbarity.
        actually the real reason of this decision of British was to control the Arab nations to not get unity against British. actually it was a trade between Zionism and British. Zionism gets land and pay the price of land by killing and controlling Arab nations against British empire.
        do you know how Ottoman empire collapsed? British said to Arab nations if you help us and make war against Ottoman empire we help you to become independent of Ottoman empire. and stupid Arab Kings (some things like today Mubarak) started war against Ottoman empire. but after collapse of Ottoman Arab Kings received Israel as the reward of helping British to destroy Ottoman empire. then British both destroyed Ottoman and also controlled Arabs from getting power by settling Israel near Arabs.
      • Jun 4 2011: Dear Jim Moonan,
        "follow the rules to change the rules. "
        what are those rules to change the rules?
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          Jun 4 2011: Dear SR,
          That is a really good and valid question. How does anyone change the rules when only the US and Israel are making them right now?
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          Jun 5 2011: I know, it's an uphill battle to say the least...
          Let's call the UN what it really is: A vehicle to promote the survival of modern western societies.

          Maybe the rules you want to change need to be changed by creating your own UN that promotes what you believe needs to be protected. Then the two could come up with rules of engagement with each other... Just trying to think imaginatively!!!!

          The UN is not the vehicle for peace in the case of the Israeli/Paliestinian conflict. They've shown that time and time again. The hope for peace lies in the two sides garnering enough trust in each other to make bold decisions forget history and start anew.
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          Jun 5 2011: Jim thank youy for that..I agree ..the U.N. is not a global agency for Peace and of no use here at all unless the US promises not to veto plaetsinian recognition.

          Tose of uswho are An,erican can say that to our president and to our Secretay of State...and should
      • Jun 4 2011: in the history of UN only one resolution was revoked.

        List of United Nations resolutions concerning Israel:
        and VETO

        jimmy carter said: i prefer political suicide to leave supporting Israel.

        the US and UN and EU do whatever Israel wants them to do.
      • Jun 4 2011: Dear Jim,
        "Question: Do you believe Israel should have land they can call their own?"
        yes they can have land.
        actually the real problem is not land.
        the real problem is Zionism ideologies. mainly:
        1- racism (we are the selected nation by God and God loves only us and non-Jew are worthless and equal to animals)

        2- Palestine is promised land by God to Jew. Jew all should be collected in this land and should be clean of any non-jew.. ( they claim because near 3000 years ago two of us (David and Solomon (peace on them) lived in this land for a short time so this land is for us for ever. the land was for Arabs in 3000 years without Jew leaving in Palestine).

        3- destructive war and killing all non-Jew including animals childs women because deviated teaches of old testimonial. today torah is deviated and writed by humans many years after Moses (peace on him). interesting: the story of 30 days howl for death of Moses (peace on him) is reported detail in torah. prophet himself report howl of himself?

        other deviated teaches of torah:
        immigration to Israel land (aliyah) is necessary.
        Yahveh (God) is especial for Jew and does not want other people.
        only jew go to heaven and other to hell.
        Israwli is higher than angel.
        who hit a jew should be killed
        all benefits of people are for jew including their money and land and jew can get the money of non-jew by usury.
        without jew no life existed
        all creatures are made for use of jew and so jew can get the life of other
        killing jew is crime and killing non-jew has reward by god
        a jew should not save a non-jew even if fallen in a hole should put a stone on hole.
        sex with non-jew has no pinish because they are animal and animal needs no marrage.
        jew should treate non-jew as animals.

        God sent 39 book to Moses (peace on him)?!
        Researchers say all versions of old testimonial are written at least near 2500 years after death of moses (peace on him)
        • Jun 5 2011: Dear Ahmedi I would like to say " friend" but you are certaily nt one
          yor letters are abusing and I'll try to get some facts right: responding to yor numerals:

          1) Israel as a state does not support or represents these opinions - while elected leaders in the Palestinian authorities certainly do, in accordance with the very wide spread fundamentalist Islam movements.

          2 ) this was recoded in the Bible , Historically there was a Jewish kingdom for many hundreds of years in the land f Israel, and a continus settelment at all times
          infact many Palestiniabn arabs are cnverted descendents of the old Jewish settelments.
          since most jews were deprted from the Land of Israel by the Romans
          abutr 500 years before the Muhammad and the Islam.
          every jew often repeats " nest year in Jerusalem" for the last two thousand years/

          3) insulting the scriptures is a low matter, if you are really intressted there actually is an answer in the Jewish tradition/
          inthe Talmud, Baba Batra (the last gate) the question about how the passing away of Moses peace be on him, is described if the Torah was indeed written by him , two assumptions are given, one is that Jshua Bin -Noon, his predecessr wrote these specific lines, the other is that they were written by moses peace beon him himsellf, dictated gtfo him as all the Trah , by divine inspiratin, the page wet by his tears/
          there is NO mention in the Jewish scriptures of yor fabrication that a jew will be rewarded if killing a non-Jew,, par consequence, there lies exactly the source f the Muslim distinction between those living inther " huse of swrd Bei El Harb, that is, us, the infidels
          and those living in the " house of Peace Beit- El SALAM, whch are you Muslims,
          (Iguess all you humanist champions f the Palestinian cause cn jump up now and
          prove that this is racism, smehw , miraculously, as you often do, against the Arabs?t

          more immediately
        • Jun 5 2011: One of the pinciples of Judaism is " light onto the nations" and the numbers of Noble prize laureates ( abut 20 %, in medicine 40 %) may serve.
          on the whole, your letter is overtly antisemitic,
          but this is no surprise, as this is truly the intrest of many of Israel's categorists

          Zionsm has become aa poweful as it is after the holocaust,
          if the Jews had a state of their own most would have been saved
          but this, I suspect, to your great sorrow, again.
      • Jun 4 2011: ADDED:
        Please note Zionism is different of Jew.
        there are many Zionist not Jew and many Jew not Zionist like:

        Dear Jim,
        "Question: If a pro-Israeli organization started by Iranian nationals where to set up shop in Iran and begin to elicit the support of the Iranian people for the plight of the Israeli's, what would happen to that organization?"

        after Iran revolution Imam Khomeini said:
        US is great Satan and Israel is small Saran. and said Israel is a cancer tumor for world and should be wiped off from map.
        Iran absolutely has no relation to US and Israel and import if any Israel made product into Iran is banned and any support of Israel is banned in Iran.
        in scenario you said it will be closed immediately like US embassy in Iran.

        "you can hold onto your religious beliefs AND live"
        you have a dark Image of religion.
        you do not know what means religions in other side of world.
        "our religion is the selfsame as our politics and our politics is selfsame as our religion"
        Hassan Modarres (Iranian religious leader and politician and a leader in revolution that banished and terrorized by Shah, the friend of US in middle east)
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          Jun 4 2011: Again: toleration is the key. I'm not you and your not me. You believe religion and politics are the same and I don't. You can live in my country and practice your religion, I can't live in your country and speak freely without punishment.
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          Jun 5 2011: Dr. Stephen Zunes has a brand new article on Netanyahu and the peace process published June 4, 2011. The article indicates that Obama may be fighting a losing battle with congress backiing Netanyahu rather than their own president.

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          Jun 5 2011: Interesting analysis, thanks for that Debra....

          Obama is doing a tightrope walk. He is a master at this, but when it comes to international politics and affairs, it takes more than a master tightrope walker. It takes cooperation on all sides. It takes compromise on all sides. This is not a "war" where there can be a legitimate winner and loser. There must be a win/win solution or it will not end.

          I have nothing but distain for our US congress. They are the main obstacle in the way of lots of crucial changes that Obama is trying valiantly to make happen.
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          Jun 5 2011: SR - "Render unto Ceasar the things that are Ceasar's and to God the things that are God's" -Jesus of Nazareth

          In my view, unless there is separation of church/mosque/temple, etc. and state, there will always be human atrocities commited in the name of God. It's a matter of growing/changing evolving religious beliefs in response to the natural evolution of humanity.
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          Jun 5 2011: Jim another important statement with which I agree completely..our own Congress is an obstacle to peace between Plaestine and Israele.

          we who are American can and should say that to the head of each party and to our own Congressional reps.
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      Jun 1 2011: Jim, I like what you have proposed.


      I have to add though that I think Palestine needs a clear and safe access to a port without interference to sustain itself and not be constantly embargoed.
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        Jun 1 2011: A nice point on 'port without interference'

        Jim - the Jews have a state it is the Palestinians that deserve a state. Obama's call for pre-1967 borders seem to be the best way out – it is important to note that Israel prime minister refused pre-1967 agreement because of, in his words “ demographic changes” . I do not know what you think about that but it makes no sense to any neutral onlooker. I cannot imagine Israel proposing the pre-1967 agreement while the Palestinians disagree because of ‘demographic changes’.

        That tells you the two sides are not equal on international front - Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed US congress and he said this.

        When you have two unequal partners in a negotiation it usually produces a bad result.

        The only solution is for Prime Minister Netanyahu to be ready to listen to Obama, wikileaks documents actually revealed that the delay for peace has been from Israel even when Palestine negotiators were ready to sacrifice more than the people could imagine.
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          Jun 1 2011: Interesting points.

          My hope is that Netanyahu is posturing and will be ready to compromise when and if it gets to a point of serious negotiations. I have great respect for Obama as a visionary and leader. It remains to bne seen if he is a leader of leaders...

          The key thing in my view is not about territory, I think they can get the teritorial desputes settled. It's about trust about the right to exist. To my knowledge, Israel does not deny that Palestinians have a right to exist but the same is not true with the Palestinians.
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          Jun 1 2011: Hi Ehis, can you bring that Wikileaks information you cited here? It might be helpful.
        • Jun 2 2011: Dear Ehis Odijie,
          how you an explain contradictions between what Obama say to his people and what says to Israel?

          obama is seeking for support for advertise to have votes.
          no diffrence between obama or bush. all presidents have other president.
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          Jun 3 2011: S.R. Ahmadi:

          Obama is a politician. He is working the power structures with the means at his disposal.
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          Jun 3 2011: I agree. What is needed is cooperation and a willingness to overcome every obstacle in the name of peace.
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          Jun 3 2011: Prof Ahmahdi

          .The AIPAC piece you cited ( the only one I have read so far) doesn't conflict with the prseidents' Mideast Speech..if any thing it gives some hard realities which I have referred to throughout my commnetray here..that the U.S. is being squeezed out of the middle East..that Israel can't stand alone..that we haven't much to stand is the moment to work it out.Nothing inconistent there.

          Not truthul though, either I'd say.

          And still very clearly hardly neutral..cleraly anti Palisinean

          In fact when you put it all together it is sort o like saying

          ok you guys are all uniited againt the U.S. and against Istael.. we are not abandoning Isreal..our interests and theirs are one.

          Not even clear to me what excatly theu think tey have going that would chnage in nay way the clear balance against both the US and Israel

          Ok you're winning..let's settle thtis right now???
        • Jun 4 2011: "Lindsay Newland Bowker"
          please know AIPAC better. it is president of all US presidents.

          "Ok you're winning..let's settle thtis right now??? "
          sorry, you mean settle what?
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          Jun 9 2011: @ Ahmadi what did I mean by "Ok You'r winning let;s's lsettle this right now..that was part of my characterization of the U.S. Israeli position on settling the border dispute...
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        Jun 3 2011: Yes, good catch!
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      Jun 1 2011: well the original question was did Obama throw Israeel under the which I cannow say with a considerable background ..thanks to all of you and my own reserach and thinking inspired by you..

      no he didn't

      but he could have said more to put more pressure onboth parties to resolve this now and forever.
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      Jun 2 2011: Jim, the real issue is about territory not right to exist. What is right to exist? Let me build on that. The Palestinians believe Israel is lodging on their land, how can you one identifies another who seats on his land as the landlord? So, the right to exist issue is part of a bigger problem which is the occupation of Israel.

      President Obama is the only one in my opinion that can solve this; the main problem is that Israel keeps receiving a blank check from US and UN.

      The question of if ' Obama threw Israel under the bus' is completely irrelevant, it makes no sense. This is a problem between two sides and the best Obama can do is pretend to be neutral. I wonder if folks would ever ask if Obama threw Palestine under the bus . .
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        Jun 2 2011: Palestine has not just been thrown under the bus. It has just been road kill for some time in international affairs. I think your point in turning the tables is a good one. I was pretty dismayed in reading the articles from Al Jezera and Wikileaks that the concessions made by the Palestinians were diminished and ridiculed as 'demonstrating their weakness' rather than hailed as a pound of flesh given up in order to gain peace.
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        Jun 3 2011: Ehis:

        You could be right - and if you are, things aren't as bad as I thought!!!

        When one group of people (Palestinian Hamas) refuses to recognise that another group of people have a right to exist as a nation state, then you have a much bigger problem. To take the two groups and put them side by side in their own territories is like pitting two gladiators against each other.

        The harder issue to solve in my view is trust and respect for each other.

        I sometimes wish all the power brokers and military and politicians and religious leaders would just all take a long vacation and leave the people alone to live together.

        "You may say I'm a dreamer
        But I'm not the only one
        I hope some day you'll join us
        And the world will live as one."

        -John Lennon "Imagine"
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          Jun 3 2011: Noam Chomsky addresses the idea of Palestine and the Arab states not acknowledging Israel's right to exist. He basically calls it a 'red herring'. It is not required in international law. I will try to see if I can find something where Chomsky of Finkelstein address this issue.

          Jim have you had a chance to view any of the videos I posted which talk about the inequities in the reality of life in Palestine?
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          Jun 3 2011: Yeh, the whole idea about "acknowledging Israel's right to exist" is total bullshit. When was Canada ever forced to acknowledge the US's right to exist? Or vice versa? Or any country required to acknowledge another country's right to exist? Or Israel required to acknowledge Palestine's right to exist?

          Hamas with their insistence on Israel's destruction emerged out of a power vacuum where Palestinian compromise only resulted in increasing Israeli settlements. When the Palestinians see a path towards progress they will take it.

          Look at Fatah right now. They are compromising in every way possible with Israel. Is it halting the settlements? No. Hamas' intransigence is necessary until Israel makes positive steps to meaningful compromise.
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          Jun 3 2011: Tim. I hope your asessment o Obama is right.

          The alternative is almost too painful to bear
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          Jun 3 2011: @debra..additional cite..and what if that was really the U.S. pursuing a regime chnage? What if Isreal waa doing our what we asked.

          Waht is it wasn't isareal initating it and us saying nothing?
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          Jun 4 2011: I think this is a youtube video that addresses your question somewhat. I think it should also have a reference to 'Israel's right to exist'

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        Jun 3 2011: You know after spending quite a bit of time at Democracy now on this issue ( from links provided at the separate conversation on Iran--tu Debra) I now see this whole qurestion differently.
        The theme I see at Democracy Now's covereage is that the US has not only not restrained but encouraged , supported and lied about the siege on Gaza in efforts to bring about a regime topple Hamas.

        Hamas is portrayed there ( and by Palestinian Christians ege Sabeel) as a people's government and contrasted with the fomer corrupt PLO whom Democracy now says we the US want to re instate. ( I'll try to bring those cite's here via edit)

        .So back to the original question, if the story as told at Democracy Now is true. the US is part o the problem and must get out of the regime change business..
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          Jun 3 2011: Its interesting that I found that source as I followed other links. It confirms and supports what I have been told by people close to me who have no preconcieved 'side' in the issue but who have been there and seen it first hand.
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          Jun 3 2011: Now maybe you'll start listening to what S.R.Ahmadi has to say. He has a valid viewpoint.

          But although Obama has to operate under the prevailing power structures he does have the desire to find a workable solution to the conflict. And the insight to realize that there are two valid viewpoints.
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          Jun 3 2011: Richard Falk is Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University and Visiting Distinguished Professor in Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has authored and edited numerous publications spanning a period of five decades, most recently editing the volume International Law and the Third World: Reshaping Justice (Routledge, 2008).He is currently serving his third year of a six year term as a United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights.

          "Since that shocking incident of a year ago, the Arab Spring has changed the regional atmosphere, but it has not ended the unlawful blockade of Gaza, or the suffering inflicted on the Gazan population over the four-year period of coerced confinement. Such imprisonment of an occupied people has been punctuated by periodic violence, including the sustained all-out Israeli attack for three weeks at the end of 2008, during which even women, children, and the disabled were not allowed to leave the deadly killing fields of Gaza.

          It is an extraordinary narrative of Israeli cruelty and deafening international silence. The silence was broken only by the brave civil society initiatives in recent years that brought both the symbolic relief of empathy and human solidarity, as well as the token amounts of substantive assistance in the form of much needed food and medicine. It is true that the new Egypt has opened the Rafah crossing a few days ago, allowing several hundred Gazans to leave or return to Gaza on a daily basis, but Rafah is not currently equipped to handle goods, and is available only to people, and so the blockade of imports and exports continues in force, and may even be intensified as Israel vents its anger over the Fatah/Hamas unity agreement. "

          Richard requested that I provide another voice beside Finkelstein and Chomsky. I think this is a good one.

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          Jun 4 2011: This news item doesnt seem to gel with your provision of "an extraordinary narrative of Israeli cruelty and deafening international silence."

          "Tales of torture, slavery in Sinai"

          "Two women from Eritrea - whose identities are hidden - came separately to Israel seeking a better future.

          "I thought things would be much different from Africa," say one of the women. "I got information from people who already arrived before me in Israel that the lifestyle is much better than Eritrea."

          What they didn't know was that the men they paid $2,500 to bring them to the Israeli border would repeatedly beat, rape and starve them during their long journey.

          "When I left my country I was optimistic and I thought I would reach my final destination, but at the point where I was with the Bedouin in the Sinai, I just gave up everything and said this is the end."

          Theirs are not isolated stories. In 2010 alone more than 14,000 African migrants crossed Israel's southern border with Egypt - nearly a 170 percent rise from the year before, according to government figures. And migrant aid organizations say with that surge has come an increase in horrific first-hand accounts of systematic torture, rape, and slavery, across the border, in the Sinai Peninsula."

          I wonder why they are fleeing the free, Arab spring paradise of Egypt and coming to that repressive cruel state of Israel?

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          Jun 4 2011: Richard what would be evidence that would convince you? You are poking sticks at the words of an American Law prof from Princeton who is on UN counsel of human rights. Whose word would convince you?
          If there are atrocities happening, would you want them to stop?
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          Jun 4 2011: I am not poking sticks at anyone. I am offering evidence. If the evidence contradicts world renowned professors, is that not allowed?

          What I am offering is evidence. What you are offering is opinions. There is a difference.
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        Jun 3 2011: Ehis, I agree that Obama has the skills/ability to make things happen.

        Tim, I can't argue with your pro-Palestinian statements because I am not well-versed enough and I respect and agree your take on things in almost every instance; but when you say, "When was Canada ever forced to acknowledge the US's right to exist? Or vice versa? Or any country required to acknowledge another country's right to exist?" I think you've got an apples and oranges thing going on. They're just not the same thing. Am I not understanding something?

        It's my understanding that both Israelis and Palestinians claim the rights to the same land, right? Israel currently occupies it, I know, But it was the result of the 1947 agreement that gave Israel the rights to the land. They didn't take it - it was given to them. (Minus the territory gained after the 1967 war).

        I can imagine it must be painful for the Palestinians to see the land that they feel is theirs occupied by someone else, but the opportunity is here for them to re-claim a significant part of it and to re-establish a formal world identity. Putting what's happened aside and instead thinking "future" is what both parties should be concentrating on - and What Obama's team should be positioning them to do (and others who are genuinely interested in the future of Palestine and Israel).

        Yes, the UN has not been an effective conduit for peace in that region. I still think if the right "buttons" are pushed they can play a role in the process. Obama may be the right person to push the right buttons (I'm a dreamer).

        And there are other organizations that could help to bring what's needed to the table in order for the two sides to agree. Just don't let the past prevent them from moving into the future.
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          Jun 3 2011: Jim, You really aren't understanding something. Palestine has been grovelling for peace and the US and Israel are not allowing it to happen. Two major scholars- both American are fighting to get the facts out there to a media and a country that will not hear it. Please take a look at some of what I have posted by Chomsky and Finkelstein (who is the child of holocaust survivors) or read the Goldstone report which I have also posted here which was done by a respected Israeli judge commissioned by the UN who charges Israel with war crimes and human rights violations.

          These people are living in worse than the Warsaw ghetto and enduring torture that has gone unreported by even Amnesty International because their funding was threatened.It not fair for someone to argue strongly for one side without taking the time to find out the truth.

          ****Correction: I stated above that Goldstone was Israeli- that is wrong. He is Jewish but from South Africa.
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          Jun 3 2011: I suppose no ones opinions count other than Chomsky’s and Finkelstein's?

          Re:the Golstone Report into war crimes committed during the Gaza war.

          Operation Cast Lead was launched in response to repeated rocket attacks on Israeli territory by militants in Gaza.

          The following are some facts:

          1. It was initiated by the 57 member nations of the Organisation of Islamic Conference
          Al Jazeera

          2. The Palestinian Authority asked for the council's vote on the report to be delayed.

          3. The study's author Goldstone RETRACTED his conclusions on the basis of knowledge not given to him given to him during the time of compiling his report.
          He said "civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy" [by the Israelis] and "If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document."

          4. Goldstone REAFFIRMED his assessment THAT WAR CRIMES WERE COMMITTED BY HAMAS AS A MATTER OF POLICY DURING THE CONFLICT, as ‘its rockets were purposefully and indiscriminately aimed at civilian targets’.

          5. However, he explains that such allegations against Israel were based on lack of evidence, rather than substantiated proof:

          ‘The allegations of intentionality by Israel were based on the deaths of and injuries to civilians in situations where our fact-finding mission had no evidence on which to draw any other reasonable conclusion…

          ‘I regret that our fact-finding mission did not have such evidence explaining the circumstances in which we said civilians in Gaza were targeted, because it probably would have influenced our findings about intentionality and war crimes.’

          6. It is on the basis of this report that many countries want to condemn Israel for war crimes.
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          Jun 3 2011: Richard, I promise you that I will look at and read the articles you post (as I usually do) if you agree to read or watch some of those that i have posted. At least you are talking with me again and that must be a positive step.

          Every year the whole world lines up to sanction Israel and it is only Israel and the USA on the other side (never even your country or mine to join them).
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          Jun 3 2011: I am there with you Debra..

          It is so much more comfortable isn't it in our former littel cococcoons.

          This is tough stuff being put here trying to see and understand the whole pricture

          asking for th truth to speak.

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          Jun 3 2011: Richard,
          I feel that the first two links you supplied are making my case. Who else would initiate and investigation into human rights abuses but the country upon which they were perpetrated?

          Quote from your article:
          Will the council's adoption of the Goldstone report impact the way Israelis conduct war after hundreds of Palestinian civilians were killed during the war on Gaza?

          The Israelis already understood the importance of the impact of this report and that is why you find them leading a very strong campaign to impede the Goldstone report.

          You visited Gaza in March 2009 and the OIC pledged $100mn for reconstruction in the wake of the war. What has happened to that money, has it been channelled to Gaza?

          The OIC has ensured that 37 per cent of that has been delivered through NGOs, not only in the Muslim world, but from Europe as well. We are really happy to have European NGOs cooperating with us.
          A major NGO from Norway donated $21mn worth of medical equipment and facilities.

          No, reconstruction is not happening in Gaza because Israel does not allow any reconstruction material to be introduced into the Gaza Strip. So, this is true. We cannot do this, no one can do this. Unless the UN or UNRWA find a way to do this.
          Please supply evidence for the veracity of your statements 3 and 5 .

          As to point 4 - what the heck are the Palestinians' fighting with -stones? The embargo is absolute. They can bearly get essentials in past the Israelis.
          AS to the so called 'retraction' of the Goldstone report I offer this:

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          Jun 3 2011: 4 the record:

          According to Goldstone, the McGowan Davis report findings indicate that Israel did not have an explicit policy of causing intentional harm to civilians. This is the "retraction" everyone is rejoicing over.

          However, reading the final UN report reveals that the committee didn't come anywhere near that conclusion. On the contrary. The committee states repeatedly that according to the information presented to it, "Israel does not appear to have conducted a general review of doctrine regarding military targets" (i.e. Israel did not discuss at all on which targets it is legitimate to open fire and on which it is not ).

          Goldstone's op-ed seems to imply that the committee of experts, as opposed to his commission, was afforded the cooperation of the Israeli authorities. It turns out this is untrue. The American judge was not treated any differently by Israel and she even complains of this in the report. She notes that because of this she had to rely solely on public government reports, which relied on human rights organizations.

          She also stresses that the committee did not succeed in ascertaining whether Israel has indeed investigated all 36 of the incidents discussed in the Goldstone report. This, she says, exemplifies the vagueness of the information put at her disposal. And as if this were not enough, the report also points to flaws in a series of investigations concerning civilian deaths, among them women and children.

          In the best case, those who are rejoicing over Goldstone's op-ed have not bothered to read the UN reports. In the worst case, they have read the reports and have chosen to keep them out of the public eye. Both UN reports state that despite 36 Israel Defense Forces investigations of the grave incidents mentioned in the Goldstone report, only one indictment has been filed. Moreover, both reports reach the conclusion that "given the seriousness of the allegations, the military investigations thus far appear to have produced very little.
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          Jun 3 2011: "I feel that the first two links you supplied are making my case." - What is your case?

          My points are

          * Operation Cast Lead was launched in response to repeated rocket attacks on Israeli territory by militants in Gaza.

          * "civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy" [by the Israelis]

          * They were intentionally targeted by Hamas

          "point 4 - what the heck are the Palestinians' fighting with -stones?

          Not very politely asked.

          Besides rifles, automatic weapons, explosives and Anti-Tank Missiles, they have Multiple Rocket Launchers, Short Range Artillery Rockets and Mortars which they were bombarding the Israelis with.

          "The embargo is absolute. They can bearly get essentials in past the Israelis." It is my understanding (I have read) that Israelis were restricting only certain items that could be used for weapons against them. Seeing that they are constantly bombarded - not an unreasonable endeavor.

          I never said that Palestinians dont have a raw deal but the fault for that ALSO lies with those of them bent on trying to harm and destroy Israel.

          Here is another view of Gaza

          Compare those lush markets with the pictures from Darfur and Southern Sudan. Is the OIC sending any aid or protesting about those?

          This is my last exchange with you on this.
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          Jun 4 2011: That is absolutely no surprise. I don't respect Israel's tactics either

          I offer you evidence of world recognized professors and you offer me what?. Who the heck is Tom Gross?

          You really have to stretch your own capacity to close your eyes to facts when you offer me evidence of home made weapons of the Palestinians when I have posted the current evidence that American tax payers are giving $30 billion in weapons to Israel in the next 10 years on top of the billions already provided.

          If you and your kids had to face the weapons would you stand in Palestine or in Israel, would you rather dodge Irsael' heat seeking projectiles or the puny hand made rockets of the Palestinians.

          Neither are good but to equate them is more than ridiculous!
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          Jun 4 2011: "I offer you evidence of world recognized professors and you offer me what?. Who the heck is Tom Gross? "

          You are offering the opinions of of world recognized professors.

          Does it matter who Tom Gross is? Does it matter who posts the pictures?

          Did you have a look at the pictures of Gaza? I'm not saying that poverty is not there like anywhere else, but this is not Darfur or Southern Sudan.

          "If you and your kids had to face the weapons would you stand in Palestine or in Israel, would you rather dodge Irsael' heat seeking projectiles or the puny hand made rockets of the Palestinians."

          What is your purpose in giving those two choices?

          Those "puny hand made rockets of the Palestinians" though not accurate kill people where they land. Those "puny hand made rockets of the Palestinians" were being constantly fired into Israel, with the objective to cause maximum civilian damage.

          "Between 2001 and January 2009, over 8,600 rockets had been launched, leading to 28 deaths and several hundred injuries, as well as widespread psychological trauma and disruption of daily life"

          "The attacks, widely condemned for targeting civilians, have been described as terrorism by United Nations, European Union and Israeli officials, and are defined as war crimes by human rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch."

          There were no corresponding terrorism rockets from Israel.
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          Jun 4 2011: The source of information does matter. That photo (yes I did pay you the courtesy of viewing your information) has no way for me to validate it. It could be anywhere. It could be right where you say it is but built as an Iraeli mall as most of the building in occupiled territories do not belong to Palestine. Therefore, I can't know how much weight to put on what I have seen. I am sorry- it does not rise to credible or reliable informtion at this time.

          The death toll on both sides is indefensible - that is why it has to stop.

          My point in giving you the two choices was to shake you out of what I perceive to be too narrow a focus. Would we make the same bold stand if our own children had to face the choices we appear happy to allow the people effected by this discussion to face? I do not think so. At least - I would want someone to shout "FouL" if my kids were facing it.

          You give me stats or how many rocket attacks- I challenge you to take a look at how many have died on each side. It is despicable and telling and more than that- it amounts to serious human rights violations that keep happening because we are content to wallow in intellectual positions rather that elevate ourselves to care about human lives.

          Palestine is in the right in the International courts. PERIOD. Israel has illegally occupied those lands and terrorized that popluation long enough. If someone occupied New Zealand or Canada I am pretty sure that we would be calling ourselves freedom fighters.
        • Jun 4 2011: Dear Tim,
          "find a workable solution to the conflict."
          The solution is a referendum in Palestine and asking what all people want.

          Dear Richard,
          Do you know who is the stack holder of Aljazeera?
          if you want to make a misslie with tools amiable in your kitchen then how much is the accuracy of that missile?
          if a Palestinian make a rocket do you know what is the result?
          At night when he sleep is worry to become one of these:

          Or if be clever and Israeli soldiers can not find him then:

          Israeli fighter jets fired several rockets at two Palestinians early on Wednesday as they were riding a motorcycle on the road from Khan Younis to Rafah. One person was killed and another sustained injuries in the aerial attack, Reuters cited a statement released by the Islamic Jihad resistance movement.
          The development comes as Israeli warplanes have repeatedly targeted the coastal strip during the recent days.

          US Apache helicopters are flying above the Palestinians.
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      Jun 3 2011: If the UN would have been successful, to any extend, at "peacekeeping" since it was formed, it would have spared many genocides and the lives of millions.
      It didn't seem to have much influence over the US when they ran, heads down, to punish the "terrorists" all over the Middle-East after September 11.
      I'm sure we all remember the Grand-guignolesque speech, at the UN, about WMDs in Irak.
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        Jun 3 2011: Right..everything I have learned through this conversation supports Chomsky's premise of Manufactured Consent..(see Debar's link below)

        I am almost ashamed to realize that I have been carrying a rosy totally uniformed idea about the U.N. around since I was a child. Four months ago I would have dismissed what you say out of hand ..and now I see it very differently.

        In this matter, the U.N has though spoken and voted many times against Israel , with good cause, and the U.S. has used its veto power and even where the u.S. hasn;t used it's veto power we have just gone on supporting Isreal in whatever supports the interests the U.S. is pursuing..which don't coincide with what the interests of "We the People" might be...

        We the people(that would be me..startring with me) can start paying more attention to how the U.S. uses its veto and in this matter "we the people" can let the President & Hillary we are not happy with the US regime strange foreign policy stratgey. We can let Obama know we want Plaestine recognized as a nation..that we want them to choose their own continue with Hamas i that us what they choose
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          Jun 3 2011: It takes courage for any of us to reverse our position and it is an admirable act when one does. Lindsay I would give you a thumbs up but I just got another 'bink' when I tried. So kudos for courage and integrity!
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        Jun 3 2011: Since 1915 we have had the following Genocides:

        1. The Armenian Genocide, Turks massacred 1 million Christian Armenians, many more raped and injured
        2. The Assyrian Genocide, Turks massacred 40,000 Christian Assysrians
        3. The Greek genocide, Christian Greeks formed over 18% of the population of Turkey, now virtually none
        4. The Dersim genocide, Turks massacred about 70,000 non-Turkish people after Turks were resettled in their area to make it more "Turkish"
        5. Stalin - about 500,000 Don Cossacks, the Katyn massacre of over 20,000 Polish officers, many others
        6. The holocaust - 6 million Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals, Mentally Handicapped, Poles, Russians murdered by the Nazis,
        7. Croatia Ustazi (including Muslim Bosnaiks) under the Nazis killed about 300,000 Serbs, Jews and Romani
        8. The Indian Partition - about 1 million Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims killed
        After WW2
        9. 1,585,000 Germans were killed in Poland and 197,000 were killed in Czechoslovakia in interment camps
        10. African slave revolt in Zanzibar 2,000–4,000 Arabs killed
        11. Guatemala 1968-1996 - 200,000 people died
        12. Bangladesh War of 1971 - 1 - 3 million civilians killed by Pakistan Army
        13. Burundi 1972 and 1993
        14. Rwanda 1994 - 800,000 people killed
        15. Equatorial Guinea - Out of a population of 300,000, an estimated 80,000 killed
        16. Cambodia - approximately 1.7 million Cambodians killed between 1975–1979
        17. East Timor - upto 200,000 Christians killed by the Indonesian army
        18. Sabra-Shatila, Lebanon Christians massacred Palestinians - 700-3500
        19. Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Iraq (Kurds, Shias by S Hussain)
        20, Srebrenica Serbs massacred 8,372 Muslims
        21. Darfur, Sudan -
        22. Southern Sudan - Racist and religious massacres Over a million killed, raped enslaved. President of Sudan is indicted
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          Jun 3 2011: This is a sad but important set of facts Richard. Can you tell me what you are pointing to please? I sincerely want to understand and consider your point.
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        Jun 4 2011: "If the UN would have been successful, to any extend, at "peacekeeping" since it was formed, it would have spared many genocides and the lives of millions."
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          Jun 4 2011: I think you are right but it is pretty tough to be successful when one nation chooses to veto justice.
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      Jun 3 2011: Another interesting video of Noam Chomsky in an interview about the Palestine/Israel situation:
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      Jun 3 2011: I had missed these two further statements by Obama on what U.S. policy is"

      (1) That the US backs and will support Israel in it soccupation of the west bank
      (2) that the U.S. will veto any vote to have the U.N. acknolwedge Palestine as a state.

      More proof that our government has actively supported Isreaels transgressions and is not at all seeking separet but equal status for Palastine and is not neutral as to where the borders should be.

      Maybe we need to ammend our list to inckude a series of things ou rown givernmnet must do to get out of the way of peace between Palestine and Israel.
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      Jun 3 2011: Here is the direct response to Obamas speach with critique by Norman Finkelstein where he speaks directly to the 1967 borders:
    • Jun 6 2011: Dear Jim,
      "SR - "Render unto Ceasar the things that are Ceasar's and to God the things that are God's" -Jesus of Nazareth"
      Nice saying.
      Sayings or prophets are like drugs in a pharmacy. Each drug is for a sick. If you use incorrect drug for a sick possibly die.
      Assume a powerful emperor only think to his own benefit and does not serve people end even kill them and people fear to be killed or do not know truth. Then a clever man like you know the truth and wants to help people and make change but does not have any power or soldier. So if he start to protest again emperor then what happens? Simply killed like a mosquito under the foot of a elephant and finish! So the clever man says:
      " "Render unto Ceasar the things that are Ceasar's and to God the things that are God's" -Jesus of Nazareth" and waits for a suitable opportunity.

      But when the clever man has min. required power to make change then the "Render unto Ceasar the things that are Ceasar's and to God the things that are God's" -Jesus of Nazareth" is not workable and other drug is suitable.
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        Jun 7 2011: I disagree that "Render unto Ceasar the things that are Ceasar's and to God the things that are God's" is just "a nice saying" and analogous to a drug. Are the wise words of Muhammad analogous to drugs as well?
        It is wisdom that the world thirsts for... Let's not confuse it with modern medicine.
        • Jun 7 2011: you consider the case of Ceasar same as the case of today?
          does that saying apply to today problem?
          "Are the wise words of Muhammad analogous to drugs as well?"
          yes, we should first should know a saying is applicable to what condition/time/place then use that application. although most sayings are universal and applicable in any time/place. but not all.
          "It is wisdom that the world thirsts for"
          it is not the only wise saying. there are other wise sayings seem more wise for today context.
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        Jun 7 2011: To me, "Render unto Ceasar the things that are Ceasar's and to God the things that are God's" means that there needs to be a separation between church and state. You've said before that Islam does not recognize that separation but instead merges the two.

        With respect, I suggest you try harder to see that this is an important concept towards living peacefully together. Is there a better idea for humankind???
        • Jun 8 2011: Dear Jim Moonan,
          politics is built inside the Islam and is mixed withing Islam. its like the stomach in the human body.
          lets say a Persian poem (concept):
          some one wanted to make tattoo of a lion picture on his back and some one started with ink and needle to make the lion and the man had pain and fear and said:
          man: what are you doing?
          painter: I am painting the tail of lion.
          man: leave the tail. pain the rest.
          painter: OK.
          and started the rest of body of lion.
          man: what are yo doing?
          painter: I am painting the head of lion.
          man: leave the head. do the rest.
          painter: OK.
          man: what are you doing?
          painter: I am painting mane of lion.
          man: leave it.
          painter: who has seen a lion without the tail and head and mane ?!!

          what you say will not be Islam. it is American Islam and also called "light Islam"
          Islam is Islam when it is complete.

          there are many many detailed instructions about how to war, how to treat with captives how to walk in war, how to look, and every details of war is defined in Islam.

          also please know Islam is based on peace. and if humans be real humans Islam never starts the war.
          from near 30 years ago that Islamic revolution started and people kicked out the Shah Iran had only one war and it was imposed to Iran and supported by more than 50 country of world. and I am sure Islamic Iran will never start any war. only defend.
          you do not have a correct Image of Islam and see Islam as:

          Islam is religion of peace. lets distinguish disbeliever emperors made wars in the name of Islam. please distinguish between Islam and Muslim.

          war and peace is independent of religion.
          what makes war is greed and love of more and more world and material (money, land, power,.. and immediately death) more than need.
          please do relate wars to religion.
          I hope you have a real Image of Israel Palestine land is not enough for Zionists. they want all the world. even more.
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        Jun 7 2011: SR - I don't want to miss this opportunity to seize upon your analogy that religion is a drug.... Where should I begin.... Let's start here: What drug do you need to take so that you can see the atrocity of the Jewish holocaust?

        No, lets start here: "God is a concept by which we measure our pain" -John Lennon
        • Jun 8 2011: Dear Jim,
          "Let's start here: What drug do you need to take so that you can see the atrocity of the Jewish holocaust?"
          no need to drug. I already see it. then what you want to say?

          "No, lets start here: "God is a concept by which we measure our pain" -John Lennon "
          I do not know what kind of God he means.

          I know human=body+soul and death is not finish of life an we should a new life after death and satisfying Allah is more important than satisfying people.

          can you prove there is nothing after death?
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        Jun 8 2011: Where's the logic?

        ME: "Let's start here: What drug do you need to take so that you can see the atrocity of the Jewish holocaust?"
        YOU: "no need to drug. I already see it. then what you want to say?"

        ME:You've said repeatedly that you have not made your mind up about the magnitude of the holocaust and in fact if it ever happened the way history books say. Please complete your homework on this all-important subject and get back to the world on your findings. No drugs required - just an open mind.

        ME: "No, lets start here: "God is a concept by which we measure our pain" -John Lennon "
        YOU: "I do not know what kind of God he means"

        ME: Are you saying there is more than one God?

        I actually believe that life is eternal - just not going to heaven or hell.
        • Jun 8 2011: Dear Jim Moonan,
          sorry I had some misunderstanding.
          I thought you mean about atrocity happening in Palestine.
          but no much difference. both atrocity happening in Palestine and also in holocaust (I do not know it happened or not or if happened in what scale? some say the gas chambers were for cleaning the cloths of workers. it is not easy to find truth about it.

          "Please complete your homework on this all-important subject and get back to the world on your findings. No drugs required - just an open mind. "
          it needs much research and lets assume it happened bu in small scale.)
          I am not historical researcher but I do not believe any thing I hear about holocaust. lets assume it happened but in small scale. then?

          "ME: Are you saying there is more than one God? "
          no. only one.

          "I actually believe that life is eternal - just not going to heaven or hell. "
          is there any other place after Judgement day?
          show at least one valid religions evidence from any of Abraham religions.
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        Jun 8 2011: YOU: "Politics is built inside the Islam and is mixed withing Islam. its like the stomach in the human body."

        ME: The stomach? There are good ideas and there are bad ideas. My opinion is this is a very bad idea!!!! First of all, you've substituted the word "politics" for "state". When I say separation of church/mosque/temple/etc. and state, I mean governance - not "politics". Let politics be soaked in religion for all I care - just be sure that our laws and constitution don't allow any religion to determine what is and is not just for all humans - not just Muslims, christians, jews, etc.

        YOU: "What you say will not be Islam. it is American Islam and also called "light Islam"
        Islam is Islam when it is complete"

        ME: Not "light" Islam - "Enlightened" Islam in my opinion.
        Humankind is always advancing, always evolving always learning - Respectfully, I think you really need to consider how to re-interpret your religious beliefs so that they reflect that.
        • Jun 8 2011: Dear Jim,
          "First of all, you've substituted the word "politics" for "state""
          sorry, its my misunderstanding.
          also governance is part of Islam. prophet itself was President. please read history of Islam can you find any governor (president of state/country) unless prophet in history of prophet?
          Islam has many many detailed instructions for how to govern a country. tons sayings.
          please spend some time and read the "'Ali's Instructions to Malik al-Ashtar "
          for a sample this is governance in Islam. I strongly recommend to read 'Ali's Instructions to Malik al-Ashtar. if not read it you lose a high valuable knowledge about governance.
          'Ali's Instructions to Malik al-Ashtar. they are some instructions

          this is governance in Shia.

          Islam covers all aspects of life. even how to go toilet. how to eat. how to walk. you can not say any aspect oh human life that Islam has no Instruction for it.

          "just be sure that our laws and constitution don't allow any religion to determine what is and is not just for all humans - not just Muslims, christians, jews, etc. "
          sorry please explain. by "our rules" you mean US laws?

          "Humankind is always advancing, always evolving always learning - Respectfully, I think you really need to consider how to re-interpret your religious beliefs "
          completely right.
          but please note God has absolute knowledge and is not advancing. but humankind is advancing and God sends new updated religion according to advance of human during history.
          we always use most updated religion.
          God did not send any religion newer than Islam. so this means Islam is the most complete religion and does not need to be more developed.
          also Islam has two part: some fixed principals (like formulas) and two some flexible parts that are every day updated according to develops and new needs. (fatwa).
          if you can prove Islam has does not cover any need in of human today and needs re-interpret I accept you. show only one case that needing re-interpret
        • Jun 8 2011: "consider how to re-interpret your religious beliefs so that they reflect that."

          "This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion. "
          please show only one case that Islam needs re-interpret.
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          Jun 9 2011: "Not "light" Islam - "Enlightened" Islam in my opinion.
          Humankind is always advancing, always evolving always learning - Respectfully, I think you really need to consider how to re-interpret your religious beliefs so that they reflect that."

          Regardless of your beliefs, you should refrain from making such comments. Followers of Judaism are far from being "advancing, always evolving always learning". Must you be reminded who's occupying who's land solely based on what their bible says?
    • Jun 6 2011: Dear joe anonmus,
      First I clear Jew is different of Zionist.
      "Israeli children are the direct target of Palestinian terrorists acts for many years now"
      Palestine is under siege . They can not have medicine, pencil,… how they can have gun and missile? They have no way but making some thing by aviable tools themselves. So their home made missles are not presise and unintentionally kill some childs.
      What is your define of terrotrist? Israel is terrorist:
      I consider attacks of Palestinians kind of defend.

      "Israel as a state does not support or represents these opinions "
      Yes. Not officially. But seen in their behaviors also seen in deviated Torah and old testimonials.

      "this was recoded in the Bible , Historically there was a Jewish kingdom for many hundreds of years in the land f Israel"
      Please show your evidence. As I know Jew was not in Palestine land to near 3000 years ago. Only for short time David and Solomon (peace on them) lived there for some decades. God said Jew go to Jurshalim. But did not say that land is yours for ever.

      "there is NO mention in the Jewish scriptures of yor fabrication"
      "Jeremiah 12- 3: pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter"

      "Jeremiah -51- 20.21.22 Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms;

      And with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider

      With thee also will I break in pieces man and woman; and with thee will I break in pieces old and young; and with thee will I break in pieces the young man and the maid"

      "Jeremiah – 49 – 28 Arise ye, go up to Kedar, and spoil the men of the east"
      And so on.

      If they are false please explain me.

      Also they are observable in their manners.
    • Jun 6 2011: Dear joe anonmus,
      "(Iguess all you humanist champions f the Palestinian cause cn jump up now and
      prove that this is racism, smehw , miraculously, as you often do, against the Arabs?t"
      Please explain this.

      "One of the pinciples of Judaism is " light onto the nations" "I respect original Jews. As I said before Zionism is different of Judaism.

      "if the Jews had a state of their own most would have been saved"I disagree. the problem is not land. Problem is ideology of Zionism. about Noble prize I agree Jews are most clever people. but I hope it they use their ingenuity to benefit people of world.

      Dear Richard,
      " Belief in Creationism / disbelief in Evolution is far higher in Muslim countries than western nations."
      Evidence? Muslim believe in creation but accept revolution with some corrections needed. Not disbelieve in evolution. Evolution has no conflict with Islam and Muslims accept it and even some say evolution is mentioned in Koran but Muslims believe current generation of human leads to Adam and Eve (near 7000 years ago) and before them some other humans lived and extincted.

      also you said Muhammad (peace on him) traded slave. please do not say what you do not know about prophets. Muhammad (peace on him) bought many slave but never sold them and made them free. he educated them and gave them food better than his food and use them as help in his works same as himself worked. and many of them did not leave prophet after being free for loving prophet. can you show me one case prophet sold a slave? those slaves educated by prophet became leaders in other countries and scientists and hero ,...
    • Jun 8 2011: Dear Richard,
      "That is not true. The land was bought off Palestinians by the Jews."
      How much land they bought? How? Fair or by threat or terror and killing?
      This is a sample threat:
      When people see such they fear and sell or leave their home.

      Please distinguish between Jew and Zionist.

      "The Jews asked the Arabs to stay in Israel "
      What you mean?

      "but the Arab armies invaded the day after their declaration of independence and they lost.?
      Why Arabs invaded?

      "1. Settled and developed the land "
      This is not accepted. If I settle and develop your land then it is mine? First you should own a land then settle and develop it.

      "3 The territory was captured in defensive wars"
      defensive war is for defending your own land. How a defending war leads to capturing war? You call it defending?

      "That Muslim people do not accept Israel's right to exist is a religious based"
      Muslims say killing people and making 70% of people of a country homeless and immigrant is not accepted. I think this is also humanitarian. The Israel itself is not problem. The ideology of Zionism is problem:

      "they want to be the bosses and rulers of the world."
      I think most nations think so specially US.

      "The Jewish people were in Mecca and Medina. There were many Jewish tribes in Medina "
      yes. I do not know about Saudi Arabia but Iran has the 3rth largest population of Jews in world:
      Jews has rights like other humans. But do not have right to occupy or kill childs and make people homeless by force and Muslims have the right to defend.

      "people died in Sudan. I dont hear you or Muslims or Muslim countries wanting to condemn that. Why is that?"
      Are you sure? If you do not hear means not exist? Do you check Muslim medias?
      Please check:
      Do you know what is happening in Bahrain?
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    May 31 2011: Back to the original topic:

    Is there any hope that the Palestinians and Israelis can come to agreement on a two-state solution based on the original 1967 borders with mutually agreed upon land swaps?
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      May 31 2011: I second this motion!
    • May 31 2011: No!
      because 1967 borders were illegal and a was due to a cheat of imperialistic England on Arab nations.

      actually it was a trade between illegal Jew government established in Swiss and England. and Palestine was a victim among traitor Arab nations.

      and Palestinian people never recognize the illegal 1967 borders.

      Palestine was the land of Arabs for thousands of years.
      only for a short time prophet David (peace on him) settled there and then they all left that land.
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        May 31 2011: well that's a real problem Mr. Ahmadi. The wolrd community has given that land to Israel. That is a fact. As with all decsions government makes we can agree or disagree .

        We are talking here about the fact of Israel's internatuonally recognized territory as of 1967. the wolrd is not invituing and this conversation is not inviting a requestioning of whether Israel is a wolrd recognized nation. That simply isn't up for debate nore is relocating irrael. So if that is all you are bringing to this conversation that is "off topic" We are not entertaining or inviting any discussion of that.
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          May 31 2011: Lindsay: S.R.Ahmadi is expressing a viewpoint. Why do you want to silence him with "off topic"?
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          Jun 3 2011: Lindsay: If five of my friends and I take you car to give it to a seventh friend of ours, would you call that stealing even though the six of us clearly agreed on the action to be taken?
          That governments, for obvious common goals, decided to support the invasion and settling of Palestine as a Jewish nation doesn't make it legit.
          Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis. We tend to only remember the thesis I guess, and disregard the rest of the process.
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        May 31 2011: S.R.Ahmadi:

        The fact is that the Jews have established a viable state in the land. They have fled from many other Arab countries where they were unwelcome. And they are going to fight to stay there.

        Why not work a compromise where everyone can live and thrive?
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        Jun 2 2011: I don't think the solution is going to be a matter of justice or rights or love of neighbor. The solution is in the self-interest of both parties. If the Israelis and the Palestinians both see it in their self-interest to make peace with the other, then there will be peace.
        • Jun 3 2011: your definition of peace is different of theirs.
          peace is a toy and a beautiful word for getting aids from US and then killing childs.
          there is not real peace.
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        Jun 3 2011: S.R. Ahmadi:

        What do you see as the Israeli goal?
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          Jun 3 2011: tim..what do YOU see as the Isareli goal? And do you think what they are pursuing may reaally be the U.S. goal?

          With all that has come tto light here in this conversation..who is leading who in Israel?
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        Jun 3 2011: @ Tony doesn't make it legit

        .Thanks Tony ..your math skills are very impressive..

        what you say is true..what happened and how it was done ..even why is worthy of inquiry. But its doeesn't change the reality that Isreal it exists. ( I would love to visit that as a separate conversation.

        But here. my point was, it would be more productive and more furitful to stick with what is and what might happen from here and now forward. Several very relevant new things have emerged about what Obama is really about that seem much more importnat and muchmore productive than revisiting here whether Istrael should exist at all.
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          Jun 4 2011: First of all, nothing new has emerged about Obama that could eclipse the Palestinian/Israel conflict. If you though he was Hope and Change, well...
          The US agenda towards to middle east hasn't changed in 70 years. It never mattered who the president was, and it never will .

          It is relevant to question the legitimacy of the state of Israel if you expect Palestinians to "negotiate" something that was taken from them. In the US for instance, it is so hard for people to comprehend why Palestinians just don't forget about the whole thing and get over it, which is kind of ironic if you think about it.

          The Arab world, as a whole, has been persecuted and deprived from the tools required for their own "pursuit of happiness".
          Palestinians are living in the biggest open air concentration camp to date. The "moving forward" and "positive thinking" and "peace and marshmallow" concepts are easy to throw on the table from a comfortable lifestyle in North America. But the reality check the people of Palestine have to face everyday is a whole different game.
          Understanding why it might be a little hard for them to think about forgiveness right now is key. Not what Obama feels, says, does, or chews on...
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        Jun 17 2011: For the record

        ..I was not silencing Prof Ahmadi

        ..I was pointin out that as a matter of actual practical real world political reality..revisiting whether Israel deserved that land is not on the table

        ...A valid point which should stand without your evaluatoin or charctaerization of it

        .Or pehaps you think that the U.N., the U.S. the Eu are thinking of revisiting whether it was a mistake in the first place to create a state for israel on Plaestinian lands? I certainly have seen anything to suggest that.

        That's all I was saying.
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      Jun 4 2011: Yes I believe their is a 40% chance of accomplishing peace between Israel and Palestine awith each having their own territory between now and Fall of 2012.
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          May 30 2011: @ Jafia "The Jews believe that's their promised land ..."

          But since I know the Quran maybe even better than dear SR here, according to the Quran also Allah gave the land of what is Palestine to the Jews
          Quran 17:104
          Another translation of which reads "And We said thereafter to the Children of Israel, "Dwell securely in the land of promise""
          And the Quran says that the Promised Land is the permanent inheritance of the Jews given by Allah Quran 26:59 "Thus it was, but we made the Children of Israel inheritors of such things (the Promised Land)"
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        • May 31 2011: Dear Richard,
          "Allah gave the land of what is Palestine to the Jews"
          This is for when? For always or for a special time?

          "Dwell securely in the land of promise"
          OK, so what? For example your father tells you: dwell to Canada. Then Canada is yours until thousands of years?

          Dear Richard,
          "Promised Land is the permanent inheritance "
          Can you show me the "permanent" in the text of Koran?

          The only time Jews were settled in Palestine land was at time of prophet David (peace on him) thousands years ago (the David star on their flag is for that) and then they left that land to Egypt. An until our time they were not settled in that land and that land always was for ancestors of current Muslims of Palestine that were not Jew.
          If prophet David (peace on him) settled there for a while in long past history then that land is for them? What a logic? May be I can find a fossil of my ancestors in your land. Then your land is mine? Scientists say human and ape have common ancestors . So it is enough I find a fossil of an ape or some thing like that in your land.
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          May 30 2011: I don't hear your voice at all in this conversation. You are offering little else but an advertisement for the religious beliefs you hold.This is a forum where we share our own personal insights, thoughts and ideas about issues.

          The question I am again asking you to answer WITHOUT referencing or linking is this: What do YOU think of the current situation between Israel and the Palestinian people? How would YOU interpret Obama's call for negotiations to re-start based on the pre-1967 boarders?
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          May 31 2011: Hey Richard,
          I am not sure where you believe that I told you that your understanding of Islam was wrong. That was never an issue that I was discussing with you. You have clearly demonstrated a very deep understanding of the Islamic holy writings. My point was then and remains dealing with the issue of Palestine in light of today- that includes but is not limited to the understanding of the religious motivations of all parties hence my point of having to declare these biases up front. Don't you think that if you believe your beliefs say that should wipe someone off the map it should be understood where you stand before you have a any say at the Peace talks table?? This issue at hand is the peace talks. Most of us are arguing against your apparent assertion that the problems are all on one side. It is not a valid conclusion so we are arguing at cross purposes. Just because one relgion has clear edicts that appear to shape their behaviour does not make the other lily white.
          My points remain: 1) that the situation in Palestine is unlivable and inhumane. 2)That the interference of other nations created this mess in the first place. 3) Any solution must consider the people of both nations and must not result in an untenable position for either (insomuch as that is even possible with how estranged and violent both sides are willing to be).

          I do not believe that either side in this conflict can find a solution. I do know that there is no moral highground in supporting the manner in which the Palestinians are living. No politician on either side has the political capital or the guts to do what is best or fair because any movement toward compromise would get them turfed out of office of killed (Rabin) as soon as they got home. They will not fix it.

          Thus I think the only possible answer is for the world to declare Jerusalem some sort of Human World Heritage Site that belongs to the whole planet and impose a viable solution. I don't hold out much hope for that either.
      • May 30 2011: Dear Jáfia Câmara,
        "I am assuming you are not a fan of Israel, is that right?"

        "Why not?"
        "I looked at the links that you posted and they don't answer my questions."
        honestly this is religious? This is scriptures ? this is not enough for not being fan?

        "The Jews believe that's their promised land"
        this is only a lie claim.
        If I believe your home is my land then its mine?! if yes so please tomorrow transfer your home to me!

        "They will do whatever they have to do, to keep it, "
        And we should only sit and watch like cinema? And Palestinian Childs be killed?
        "it was given to them by God"

        "Do you see why religion can't be used to justify people's actions?"
        sorry, what is meaning?

        Dear Richard,
        Taqqiya is only allowed in special war situation. for example your enemy capture you and push you say the position of your friends to they send a missile and kill them all. they what you say to enemy? the exact position?

        lie is big sin. and religion allowed lie only in 3 special situation.
        1- when 2 friend or family are wrathful and have cut relation and you want to connect them you can say lie about other part to other.
        2- in war situation when captured and fearing your friends be killed.(Taqqiya )
        3- when speaking to your wife only in order to increase your love relation to her.

        those 3 are they only exceptions of lie and any form of lie is great sin.
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          May 30 2011: Maybe other Muslims do not know this because they feel they can lie and deceive infidels all the time. Maybe they think they are at war with us.

          As for those links the death of anyone is regrettable. Its not a numbers game. But briefly I had a look at how the figures were calculated. The Palestinian children killed are mostly around 17.

          For example the first one "Muhammad Ashraf Abed-Rabo Ghaban, 17, of Beit Lahiya, Gaza, killed by an IDF shell while trying to bomb the Gaza perimeter fence."

          Talk later
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          May 31 2011: Mr. Ahmadi.

          The world community judged and agreed that Israel should have the 1948 borders as it's homeland. It's a matter of law in which religious and cultural arguements have no sway..have no meaning outside the culture and religion who hold these beliefs.

          Religious freedom is considered by many including me to be auniversal right but it does not include protection or tolerance for incting or pursuing violence of any does not include using places of worship to indoctrinate te faithful to violence and hatred.. The world is right to have zero tolerance that

          The mesage of violence in radical islam has no place in our world and our world is united in opposing and eradicating it. The faithful of Islam need to be more active and vocal in curbing that rehtroic, curbing the use of Mosques to promote violence and hatered.

          All of us here at Ted have listened politely and attentitively to what you have to say..Not ince have you made it clear that you personally abhorr the preaching of hatred and violence by fundamental islam; that you honor and respect the rights of all non-muslims, that you want all peoples of the wolrd to have relgious freedom .

          Those are the values I hold as a global citizen..those are the values I hinor and respect in others. Those are the values that will bring peace between Isreal and Palestine.
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          May 31 2011: Yes! Good! We need YOUR words and thoughts, not links. Thank you for beginning to open up more about what you think and sharing it here

          Your comments about the Holocaust are disturbing to say the least. I do not consider what happened to the Jews during WW2 in Nazi Germany to be a matter of opinion.Again, I am not well-versed in the history of this region, but it is accepted by the entire world that the Holocaust happened. The reason why Israel was given a place to call home was primarily because of their near extinction at the hands of Nazi's, am I not correct???

          You've expressed a very low opinion of the American democratic process. I believe most of your views about our country are naive at best and at worst grossly skewed to fit your agenda. Obama is doing what he can to create some traction for getting the Palestinians and Israelis to live peacefully side by side, each with their own soverign land. Israel is actively pursuing a resolution to the conflict. Time for the Palestinians to contribute to solving the conflict.

          Your thoughts?
      • May 31 2011: Dear Jáfia,
        "Thank you for sharing your views. "
        Thank God , not me. Because God loves you and is sending you the truth. And you give the reward from God for my sharing truth.
        I should thank you.

        "Why you do not believe in the Holocaust? "
        Because it is a big lie.

        "I have never heard anyone say that before."
        now you heard. at least near All Iranians believe it is lie. I am not sure about other countries. But many people in many countries believe it is lie. And I know many university professors are under pressure and even they are fired and their salary is cut for research on Holocaust in Europe Canada,...

        "Is that what you were taught in school? "
        we never have such things in our schools. Who has enough money to buy large medias has enough money to change school books.

        "Ahamadi, If Israel went back to the pre-1967 borders, would that be enough?"
        the Palestine occupier regime should completely leave the land of Palestine.
        They have absolutely no right there. Even one square centimeter of land.
        Even few land bought by them is bought by pressure and threat.

        Dear Jim Moonan,
        I was lost in jungle of comments. So I reply here.

        "it is accepted by the entire world that the Holocaust happened."
        I have a question. Consider one thing false in fact but all people of world think it is true. Then it really becomes true?
        All are not always thinking true. Think of people is controlled by media.

        "The reason why Israel was given a place to call home was primarily because of their near extinction at the hands of Nazi's, am I not correct??? "
        given by who. Who given the land himself was stolen the land.

        Palestinians should be extinct because some people not have land?
        also not having land is not equal to extincinction.
        They had home but scattered in many countries. Their greed of land made them such cruel deeds.
        Who has no land should kill others?
        • sha b

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          May 31 2011: "at least near All Iranians believe it is lie"

          If you ever ran out of evidence,data,facts,logic, proof : Don't worry count "near all Iranians" on your side of argument and you'll win the argument ...or at least you won't seem so lonely on *that* side of argument anymore. (might be from Ahmadinejhad's handbook)
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          May 31 2011: @Sha B..Iarnians etc.

          I for one know othing ( or next to nothing) about Iran and how it play sito ll this.. about Iran..only if it is CLEARLY AND SOECIFICALLY N TOPIC, could you explian what bearing the views in Iran have on the isue immedately and soecifically before us....encouraging Plaestine and Isreael to settle this now..once and for all..permamnently starting at the 1967 borders.
        • sha b

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          Jun 1 2011: @Lindsay
          Things are that not cut clear, Iran's government is gaining credibility from "defending Muslims in Palestine". So I don't see them agreeing on settling things between Palestine and Israel under any conditions. Believe it or not their ultimate goal is making a Muslim nation under the leadership of Khamenei and co. and making the world ready for the time Imam Zaman, Muslim's Savior,comes.

          Many Iranians like myself sympathize with Palestinians (because they are the weaker one), And about sending supplying Hezbollah I for one don't see why is that when our own people are struggling with poverty our tax money and Oil money should be spend on arming Palestinians and buying credibility for Ahmadinejhad? And even if they do help them, Why they only help Hezbollah? , Why not help secular ones too?
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          Jun 1 2011: shab @iran

          Yes I agree we all need to understand Iran in the same way we have struggled to understand whether Obama threw israel under th ebus and what he meant by the sgarting at the 1967 borders.

          I for one would be very very very grateful if you could frame a question here at Ted that would give us all a chnace to learn more about Itan. Of course I ma most interestedin how the US has attempted in the past to interfere.
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          Jun 1 2011: Sha b, I would really like to second Lindsay's point above. I would very much like to learn from you what life in Iran is like, what your hopes and dreams are and why you feel and believe as you do.
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          Jun 1 2011: Thanks, That is fantastic. Will join you there!
      • May 31 2011: Dear Jim Moonan,
        "You've expressed a very low opinion of the American democratic process."
        yes democracy is the most corrupted form of government.
        Please read the opinions of aristotle about kinds of government.
        The worst kind of government became the best kind buy deviation in politics.

        "I believe most of your views about our country are naive at best and at worst grossly skewed to fit your agenda"
        you are free to believe any thing but I hope you have enough evidences for them.

        "Obama is doing what he can to create some traction for getting the Palestinians and Israelis to live peacefully side by side, each with their own soverign land."
        yes I see:
        Please look these numbers. It is not long to read.

        "Israel is actively pursuing a resolution to the conflict."
        by abducting Palestinians actively?

        "Time for the Palestinians to contribute to solving the conflict. "
        How? They even have no pencil for their children or drinking water or home for sleep. Thy only have their life and blood to perhaps some human hear their voice. Even reporters are banned to go there.
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          Jun 1 2011: Did you have to bring Aristotle into this?
      • Jun 2 2011: Dear Jáfia,
        "That answer is not good enough. Elaborate, please. "
        Some of them are no.1 in world in their files (history,...)
        This is off-tioic. More talk, new topic.

        "try not to post so many ''.org'' "
        What about .com?
        Please do not judge by domain.
        *** know truth, will know its inhabitant ***
        Trust is by truth not by name of speaker or by domain.
        People think famous people are true.

        "Ahmadi, that's not gonna happen."
        Not be sure.

        "It makes no sense to kick people out of the land where they were born in because the land"
        when wanted to have my new baby do you let me to my baby be born in your home? Then he/she will have a free home! Thank for your offer.

        "Do you think that it was right that Palestinians were kicked out of their homes so that the Jews could build their country? "

        "And how doing the same to the Jews would make the world a better place?"
        they back to their previous home before coming to this land. Or Germany pay the price of holocaust and give them land.

        "I think that it is now their country. "
        Why?( If this is off-topic here please open new topic)

        "and that they work on treating the Palestinians more equally"
        This will never happen. This like you say a cow to fly.

        "That's how it works with religion, isn't it? "
        Yes about almost today religions. Expect true Islam.

        Hitler is not equal to holocaust.

        "That the media made Hitler and his men kill about 6 million Jews, about 15-17 million people died total, just so Israel would have an excuse to have their state created? "

        "What exactly do you mean by that?"
        I mean who controls your media made holocaust in your brain.
        Hollywood, cnn,.. are for who?

        "How did that happen?"
        By showing the censored researches of researchers and many movies about what really is holocaust. In Iran critiquing holocaust is free. What about your country?
      • Jun 2 2011: Dear sha b,
        I have no exact stat of near all. this is my perception. if you have any evidence,data,facts,logic, proof you can show.

        evidence,data,facts,logic, proof
        "might be from Ahmadinejhad's handbook"
        Not only in Ahmadinejhad's handbook but also:
        (this not mean I validate all sayings of Ahmadinejad.)
        holocaust is off topic here. Please do not continue here. More talks need new topic.

        "And about sending supplying Hezbollah"
        People voluntary help Palestine. This is not all from Oil. I am not sure what portion is from Oil. But I am sure a high portion is from people voluntary.
        Also Hezbollah is a guard for Iran against Israel. If no Hezbollah Iran was destroyed by Israel. Israel fears from Hezbollah. Hezbollah is by Iran and is next to Israel. Support of Iran is both humanitarian and for guard of Hezbollah. Hezbollah is arm of Iran.

        Dear sha b,
        Bush said in his memorabilia we to times wanted to start military attack on Iran after Iraq and it was very near to we decide it.
        do you know what is the secret that Iran is not occupied like Palestine/Iraq/Afghanistan/Bahrain?
        one main reason is Hezbollah
        would you like Iran was now occupied like Iraq or Palestine? every day killing.every day killing like:

        *** two gifts are unknown, health and security ***
        prophet Muhammad (peace on him)

        "Why not help secular ones too?"
        Who you mean?
      • Jun 2 2011: Dear Jáfia, Please do not prejudice about some one. It is not fair. Are you sure what iI say is only brainwash and is not by research?
        They all are neo-nazis and neo-facists. Do you know this:? he is neo-nazis and neo-facists?
        How many of them are neo-nazis and neo-facists?
        You can say any thing about me and brainwashing but this not cause holocaust become true. This is off topic. I not want removing comments. If more talk please open new topic.

        Who said god's son died ? God has no son. about prophet I am sure you do not know any thing or brainwashed.

        "after 9 years of caring for the child, kick him out at will." Not kick. Migrating to their own home respectfully like they migrated to Palestine land by their childs grown in other land.

        "I didn't grow up watching CNN or any of the American media." you mean you not see CNN or Hollywood movies (500 movie per year)?
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      May 30 2011: Mr. Amahdi..this will be out of sequence I am afarid..I am replying to your post which added several new links on th eplight and gistory of the Plaestinians. I thnak yiu for these. I ahven't read them all but they certainly seem restrained and credible and responsble and we in the west know so plittle baout the Plaestinian peole and their own horrific struggles over many ages.

      Beacuse of the way google sercahes are highly personalized and customized to re enforce our past pattersn of seraching we might not have found thee sources on our won. Thank you for bringing them to us.
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    May 29 2011: Part of the reason forr there being no will to fix things?

    According to Dr. Stephen Zunes a prof at U San Fransico -The American tax payer is funding a deal worth $30 BILLION dollars for arms for Israel in the next ten years. $30 Billion- how far would that go toward fixing other problems in the country? Seems like America has sure picked its horse in this race.The following is an excerpt from the article listed below:New Arms Deal to Israel Stokes Militarism10 November 2010The recently announced deal for the United States to provide Israel with 20 new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets marks yet another blow for arms control advocates and those who had hoped the Obama administration would resist continuing with the Bush administration’s policy of further militarizing the Middle East. Once again rejecting calls from the peace and human rights community to link arms transfers to adherence to human rights and international law, the $2.75 billion deal is one of the largest arms procurements by the state of Israel. This is the first part of a series of US taxpayer-funded arms transfers to Israel that is expected to total more than $30 billion over the next decade.

    The link to the whole article is currently broken and I have emailed Dr. Zunes to see if he can rectify that.

    Here is the new working link:
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    May 29 2011: Jimmy Carter with a recap of some important history and some observatiins on the current prspects for peace..I had missed this op ed in the NY Times

    I trust Carter..he's a straight shooter.. Here he is emphaszing that Isrealmust give up the occupied lands and that 150 votes at the UN will support recognition of Palestine as a State.

    (BTW I am not engaged with or an associate of Sabeel..whose website this article happens to appear at)
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      May 29 2011: Good article Lindsay. I trust him too. Did you see the video that Tim posted last night?
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    May 28 2011: Sigh. Politics and all those 'certainties'. Palestinians and Jews are all people like us. Offer them a chance. They have both been stigmatized for decades. Most Jews just want to have a life and not being criticized by the entire world for living. Palestinians want a life too - and we know the Arabs used them as pawns to fit with an agenda. No one is too sacred to be wrong as much as they are perhaps right in another way. In fact I hate these questions because they always invoke all kinds of know-it-all opinions on behalf of people they never met face to face.
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    May 27 2011: It appears to me that the whole Obama/Netanyahu sequence of events was heavily choreographed:

    May 19, 2011 - Remarks by the President on the Middle East and North Africa

    "We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their full potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state." Obama


    May 20, 2011 - Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel After Bilateral Meeting

    "Remember that, before 1967, Israel was all of nine miles wide. It was half the width of the Washington Beltway. And these were not the boundaries of peace; they were the boundaries of repeated wars, because the attack on Israel was so attractive.

    So we can't go back to those indefensible lines, and we're going to have to have a long-term military presence along the Jordan. I discussed this with the President and I think that we understand that Israel has certain security requirements that will have to come into place in any deal that we make." Netanyahu


    May 22, 2011 - Remarks by the President at the AIPAC Policy Conference 2011

    "And since my position has been misrepresented several times, let me reaffirm what 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps means. ...

    By definition, it means that the parties themselves - Israelis and Palestinians - will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967. (Applause.) Thats what mutually agreed-upon swaps means." Obama


    Anyone else feel the same (that this was all choreographed beforehand)? And where is the Palestinian representation in all this?
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      May 27 2011: I guess I am confused by what you mean by choreographed... do you think they met previously and discussed this?
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        May 28 2011: My original thought was that the White House had laid out the plan:
        1) Make comment on 1967 borders
        2) Meet with Netanyahu and get him to squirm a bit
        3) Make presentation to AIPAC to explain what a good idea it is.

        Initially I thought that maybe Netanyahu was in on the arrangement, but I'm doubting that now.

        An interesting discussion on the whole sequence:

        If anyone has the time to view it, please comment. It would be interesting to discuss.
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          May 31 2011: HI Tim,
          In the end what I got out of listening to these two gentlemen was that this situation is untenable for any politician within the countries. No politician can back away from the position that their right wing citizens hold and keep their office but for the sake of the international community they have to make a few consiliatory noises.

          Thus, I think it has to come down to a UN directive and they are all looking to the September vote.
          What did you get out of it?
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        May 31 2011: Debra: The most interesting part to me was the belief of Gershom Gorenberg (the Israeli journalist) that Obama has the ability to influence the Israeli public to put pressure on Netanyahu to push for a sensible two-state solution.

        My understanding (anyone - please correct me if you think I am wrong) is that the majority of both Israeli Jews and Palestinians would favor a compromise two-state solution and that it is extremists on both sides that are preventing it from happening.
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          May 31 2011: I did notice that but after reading Dr. Zunes' take on the political aliances in the States and their recent actions and how they are willing to undermine Obama on behalf of Israel's postion, I guess I did not take it very seriously. Gorenberg seemed very knowledgable about the events in Israel and the politics surrounding these events but the American journalist seemed pretty skeptical about Gorenberg's sense of Obama's power base. Even though I stated above that the politicians are making consiliatory noises, I do think that some of the trends in the middle east (Egypt's revolution etc.) are changing the landscape and the Israelis's must realize that they have to show some good faith.
          As to the populations themselves- they have to be weary of all of this generational conflict. Can you imagine living in it? I can't.
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          Jun 1 2011: Tim: I agree with you that the majority of Jews and Palestinians would favor a two-state solution and that it is extremists on both sides that are so far preventing it from happening.
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      May 28 2011: Noone knows who or what to believe in nay of this but I am satified it was definitely not choreographed and in fact shocked Netanyahu.. Obamas folk had assured Netanyahu that Obamas adress would only be about Libya & Egypt and the upsrisings in the moddle east and would not refeence the Plaestine/Israel borders..

      Last minute and on the way to the speeech Hillary and Obama were writing it and by the time the limosine arrived Netanyahu had been told and was begging them not to say that ( This is all a patch work from many source..Andrea Mitchell, Richard Engelmoment sbefore the speech and relaible foregin journalists right after.

      I think Hillary & Obama madea a good choice..and it immeduatelygot a very different voice from Netanhayu and concessions he swore he woud never make.
  • May 27 2011: Dear Tim
    just to make the case clear ,
    Goldstein wae indeed insame and was alone.
    the Palestinian terror is a massive effort
    and is unseparated from the fundamentalist movement
    El Quaida etc.
    actually terror is not so much the weapon of the weak but rather of the truly violent
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      May 27 2011: Joe: With (at least) four Palestinians dying for each Israeli in the conflict, I don't think you can say the Palestinian terror is any more massive then the Israeli terror.

      Moreover, the movement into the West Bank is obviously spear-headed by a Jewish fundamentalist movement. True or not?
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      May 27 2011: Joe: Goldstein may have acted alone, but it seems that his actions were supported by many since his grave became a shrine:
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    May 26 2011: Thank you all for this fascinating exchange! Learning a lot!
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    May 26 2011: Who is wrong: Israel or Palestine? A little common sense.
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      May 26 2011: I would be more impressed with his talk if seemed to know a little bit more about the history here.
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    May 25 2011: here is a very good background piece which might help as reference for this discussion..It ite official U.S. State Department account of events and agreements since 1948.

    What I haven't found yet is the story of creation of the State of Israel out of Bwhat had been British controlled Palestine. Throigh freinds who are advicates for Christian Palestinians I have seen and heard refernces to a very cruel treatment by the british of the Palestinians in clearing a place for Israel. My recollection of these accounts is that people were just ordered out if their payment, no relocation assistance nothing..does anyone have any documentation on that or know any of the deatils on how the people alreday living in what is now Israel were treated by the Brits?
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      May 25 2011: Hi Jafia..I did follow through..see my reply above. I have forgotten, or perhaps never knew, the hostroy you cite ofNetanyau resenting the Rabin and resenting the Oslo accords. Do youhave naything on that?( I will look of course)

      The Oslo accord was a brilliant solution.
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    May 25 2011: Good thoughts Lindsay..............I think he (Netanyahu) has taken a step in the right direction... Now it's Palestine's turn to gesture. I do think Israel's demands are reasonable. Palestine, on the other hand, appears to have a lot of work to do. But it feels within reach...

    I am not well informed as to the history of this conflict, so take my thoughts with a grain of salt! But still, I think that regardless of the politics and the history, the solution will require trust. That has to enter into the language they are talking. My feeling is as soon as they can trust each other to be sincere in reaching a negotiated agreement, things will fall into place (with some hard work!).
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    May 25 2011: Simple fact is Israel is a Transplanted country in world map. Medically speaking whatever cross matching is done Translanted organ gets rejection from body itself where it was transplanted so needs regular support of immuno-suppresant.

    Same thing happening here naturally & here no cross matching was done ever......... no immunosuppresant was there ever but plenty stimulants arround.
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      May 25 2011: Salim: What do you think of the argument that 100 years ago there were many Jews living throughout the Arab world and that many have migrated to Israel as a place where they feel more at home and protected? And that in a way, it is not so much that they have gained land, but merely exchanged the land they had in places where they felt unwelcome for land where they could have a place?
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        May 25 2011: Tim, as principle I am not in support of any religious based country. On the other hand I see migration as a natural process of any species since the animal kingdom flourished with species of better mobility. So naturally were species could feel better it used to settle. Birds still migrates country to country, geography to geography on seasonal basis. So from that perspective your argument is valid.

        But by establishing the concept ownership of land, then creating states , countries we halted that natural migration process of humankind. Besides in case of Israel it was not only home for jews , it was home for at large Arabians from different religion. Jerusalem is holy city to Jews, Christians & Muslims , only bad politics meddled it up and created a chronic threat in whole Middle East. It's again British policy that created in 20s artifically 2 countries Jordan, Palestaine on the basis of religion (if my history knowledge & memory is correct) , since then history started evolving in a non peaceful way.

        British did same with while dividing indian sub continent creating countries on the basis of religion in August 1947 to give birth Pakistan & India , while Pakistan was purely religion based.

        Result ? It didnot survive more than 24 years and happeneing of one of the biggest genocide in 1971 in the name of saving Islam and finally birth of my Country Bangladesh through heroic fight of our people.

        So my limitation is I am to an extent allergic to the concept of religion based country.
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          May 25 2011: Salim.."I am not in favor of religious based country"So interesting Salim..once you hear it said..makes perfect sense. But I guess the holocaust and a history of persecution made for an exception in this case.But I endorse your principal..As president Obama said in his speech before the British Parliament today, it i s our diversity that is our strength.
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        May 26 2011: Hi Lindsay
        Yes I agree with what President Obama said to some extent "it is our diversity that is our strength"
        That just one side of the coin. To complete the coin need the other side , which is Incusion. Unless inclusion happens to great extent the strength of Diversity can be counter productive.

        Success depend on how much we could include diversified members in our collective decision making process.
        Thanks for your thoughts.
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          May 26 2011: No disagreement.Salim.. of course diversity and inclusion is what makes us vibrant as a is essential. Countries that have both diversity and inclusion are better poised to become the global nation-citizens Obama envisioned in his speech before the British Parliament.History right now needs a two state solution agreed to and affected by both parties.

          I am nit reviisting that.

          I am though still chewing over the point Julian made about nation states based on religion not being a good idea.

          The truth of that just won't go away for me..not just for religion but for ethniicity or any other trait that separates one group f people from another. It just feels to me in my gut, that that is not a an acceptable basis for "nation" and a whole separate talk ..with mnay tredas an dthemes emerging from this talk..well then what is nation? Not just historically but what does "nation" mean in the global vision Obama want sto lead us all into?.
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        May 25 2011: Richard.........................Agreed Israel is a Jewish State

        For once this is true.......................
        by the way, are you aware of what the Jews did to Canaanites ? Please defend that. (:>)
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        May 25 2011: The transplant analogy is pretty good, actually.

        If the immune system (religion/culture) is not compatible with the new organ (group of people), the body will reject the organ. The organ will make it's own enzymes (people). So you usually have to find a organ with similar immune markers to make the transplant (integration) successful. If not, the body will form a hard encasing around the new organ (group of people) and often times literally push the organ out.

        Some people are universal donors- blood type O. Their organs (groups of people) go out all over the world and are universally accepted. This is because they carry no immune markers (religion) at all- the body they invaded doesn't even notice it's there because there is nothing to identify it as "the enemy." Some are universal acceptors (type AB) because they accept both A's immune markers, and B's immune markers, and once again O just doesn't rock the boat. But if you have type A blood and try to transplant a type B organ- just don't even try it.

        That's what I think... it should never have been tried. They should have settled somewhere else. But what has been decided cannot be changed.

        I just wish we were all type O or type AB... not just A's a B's.
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          May 26 2011: Hi LauraGreat analogy of universal donor and acceptor.But that's at a very macro level e.g. blood transfusion (though current medical practice also want to match beyod that "O" or "AB" antigen because there are other agents which can cause problem even to unversal donor or acceptor concept)

          For transplantation , more micro level matching is needed though 100% match is never possible so stem cell research are going on to make artificial organs which will 100% match hopefully !!!

          My frustration is that in this case even a small care for matching was not taken care of....result we have chronic threat to peace....... May be someone is profiting out of it that's why it will remain chronic for sometime more......

          Keeping fingers crossed that sometime ends soon and we have peace everywhere. All become "Universal Donor & Acceptor" as you said
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        May 26 2011: Richard , not being a biologists, by dint of your power of logic you are right :) (Biology have the logy of logic ha ha ha ). My feeling is that nobody needs to be any logist if s/he applies some common sense (Debra's comment below)

        And common sense is sense which is rarely common I guess.

        Well that's my observation about any immigrants to any other soil and culture to different extent. We humankind created lot of artificial barriers (though in nature also with in physiology there are immune barrier due to difference in bio-chemical markers) those put forward the challenge to us in our process of adaptation to new culture and country. May be that's the way Social Selection goes in parallel to "Natural Selection" of Darwin only those survives who adapts better.

        Yes I agree the surrounding countries of Israel are also ruled by archaic thoughts those are acting as stimulant but transplanted organ needs immunosupressants.

        I am not in support of any country based on any religion.
        Richard my friend I am a bit doubtful to brand Israel to be secular..... just referring @ Jafia's post see how present leadership there changed it's stand just due to political reason. Their real intension I don't know.....

        Tim's point was about establishment of ownership of land being through feeling at home, that was the natural process once, used to happen when humankind didn't create other barriers.

        Richard , I know you have deeper knowledge of history , you know since humankind moved to agriculture based society ownership of land was established purely by force.... and that's the history of lot of blood shed.... ..

        I would love to see what you told in your last line..."you do not have Muslim or Jew and all that is left are humans"
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        May 26 2011: Mr. Dawson..................I don't exactly know what you mean by "radical empathy". I certainly do not empathize with Bin Laden. And why did you bring him into the conversation ? My point was that Zionists consider themselves chosen people and I am not sure just what they may have in mind given that they have committed genocide and still continue to be so aggressive. Why pick Palestine for a homeland ? Were no other places comfortable ?
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          May 26 2011: Hi Helen. Richard is referrring to Sam Richard's TED talk called Radical Empathy.
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      May 26 2011: Hi Salim!

      Your body analogy sounds terrible to me, first, because I think it is inaccurate, and second because it can have horrible consequences.
      Many dictatorships (at least in Latin America) used the exact same rhetoric, their enemies where cancer, threatening to harm/kill the body, and they needed to be extirpated (killed/expelled).
      The state was the head (the head/brain knows what is good for the body) and the citizens where the body expected to behave accordingly (obey).

      I know you don’t mean it this way, but, pls consider that this type of analogy has worked to argument and justify atrocities.

      Some crazy consequences of that logic applied here:
      If Israel is the transplanted organ and Palestinians are the white cells attacking the new organ, what the doctor would suggest is that you “suppress” those white cells…
      If Israel is the implanted organ, what does the body look like?
      Implanted organs have a porpoise, what is Israel’s?
      Who should be catalogued as a disease?
      Who as an un functional body part?
      Who as a parasite?

      Who makes all this desitions?

      I completely disagree with this type of rhetoric, people are people, countries are countries, we are NOT a body, we are a species, we don’t have parts, we are individuals and cultures, etc.



      PS group selection in the way you imply it was being obsolete for decades now.
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        May 26 2011: Hi Julian
        Good point !
        Yes anything can be used in good or bad sense as our knowledge of neuclear science, depends on who, why, when & how using it.

        I used that with a positive notion to mean if sufficient compatibility measures were taken in place since the begin we wouldn't have this sword ( again symbolizing to mean overall situation, not pointing finger to any party) still hanging on our head.

        "I completely disagree with this type of rhetoric" I don't disagree to have your disagreement as it shows me another perspective.

        "people are people" "we are a species"would love to see that as you said nicely.
        With others I am a bit discomfortable , as those brings the necessity of compatibility , henece that symbolisation I used my friend.
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        May 26 2011: Analogies are helpful tools we use to explore subjects from a different perspective. I find parallels and associations everywhere I go... just like any fractal, nature abounds with similar processes happening in different systems and at different levels. It is useful to compare them so we can determine what is similar and what is different, and perhaps apply knowledge from other systems or other levels to achieve an end.

        In my personal opinion, there is both value in treating individuals as individuals, countries as countries, etc. AND reaching other conjectures by comparing them to something else. It facilitates creativity and divergent thinking, it allows for the formation of new ideas and concepts, and it make things easier to explain things to small children.

        The analogy (even the one of the organ transplant) isn't inherently evil. When psychopaths use analogy to achieve their goals, it isn't analogy we should blame, it is the psychopath's misuse of analogy. Re-read this sentence and replace "science & technology" and "religion" in place of "analogy." Are the resulting sentences true? How do the sentences differ, and how are they analogous? Why?

        I think analogies have tremendous power to help us grasp things on a different level, sometimes allowing us to catch wisps of insight we may not otherwise see.

        I understand these same analogies had been ill-used by evil men, but analogies are extremely valuable and a fun task in abstract thinking.
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          May 26 2011: A psychologist could not have made the point better. Anything that gets out routine and stale thinking to take a new path in the brain is a good thing. If it is put to evil purposes that is another thing all together.
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    May 25 2011: You can debate endlessly the justice or injustice of the events leading up to the present, however, the current situation is:
    1) Israel exists and will continue to exist (how long nobody knows).
    2) Israel has not defined it's own borders.
    3) Lots of Palestinians live in Israel / West Bank / Gaza.
    4) If Israel absorbs the West Bank and Gaza then demographics (growth of the Palestinian population) mean that the Jewish state of Israel will not exist for long.
    5) Nobody wants to give up Jerusalem.

    It seems like two viable states could be created by dividing the land into two parts - North and South. Then each country would have a contiguous state and access to the Mediterranean. But nobody wants to give up Jerusalem. It's a religious thing.
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      May 26 2011: well..what is to stop both parties from doing a King Solomon thing here and placing Jerusalem under UN oversite as a global shrine as was originally proposed ( I just learned thanks to Julian....) They have that choice. Perhaps they will have that wisdom. And wouldn't that be just amazing???(See debra's wrinkle above..her beautiful vision that our headquarters for global peace would also be located in Jerusalem tiny problem..not a square inch left to build anything anywhere but a beautiful vision. Maybe it could be a symbolic room or place that doens't take up a lot of space.( forgive my many typos..mozilla is a nightname and I have numbness in my fingers from chemo)
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        May 26 2011: If that architect can come up with the seed cathedral maybe he can come up with the a Unity Dome on stilts!
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        May 26 2011: Solar powered and conducting sunlight along its outer walls so that the city below got the light from above.
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      May 25 2011: Tremendous speech given by Netanyahu... Thanks to Obama's catalytic speech last week we may have some traction here!!!!!What do you say, Future Palestine?
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        May 25 2011: I agree Jim & Richard.. an excellent and persuasive speech by Netnahayu..thanks Richard for that excerpt which is really the heart of it.

        I agree with the Presidents position that Palestine & Israel have to work it out starting back a tthe 1967 borders ( ie envisioning a land swap) and I was impressed that Netnayahu is willing to create a larger Palestinian state to accomodate their growth .Notably he is even willing to give up settlements that for 4,000 years have been a jewish he noted..there was a continuously inhabited jewish homeland long befo e there was Israel

        Unless I heard wrong Netanyahu, is even willing to include these lands as Palestinian

        .I agree that Palestine should have no status or support at the UN until they have a national charter and national agenda that is in line with world country should be honored or supported that has a national goal the destruction of another country.

        I agree that Palestine must be an unarmed state.

        I agree that Israel needs an armed presence along the Jordan to enforce the border.

        I love what Netnayahu said about the growth and prosperity in Palestine.."If they have done all this in conflict imagine what prosperity could be there's in peace

        "The ball is clearly in Plaestine's court..We now need to make our positionclear with Egypt,

        The majority of Egyptians have always opposed the Camp David Accords ( which as Netnyahu pointed put are no longer adequate..more is needed) very clear..they are all fired up to get rid of the US and the accords. The US& EU must take a very string, very clear position with Egypt not just on Israel but on Egypts place as a responsble peace keeping peace seeking soverignty in a global wolrld. Egypots military is funded almost 100% by $US keep the peace..
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      May 25 2011: Here is a map of Israel's "generous offer":

      Basically a state of bantustans crisscrossed with Jewish settlements. That is what Arafat rejected.
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        May 25 2011: are you saying this is what Netanhayu has ofered now?
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          May 25 2011: I sure hope not. But that is what he was labeling the past "generous offer".
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      May 25 2011: An interesting sidenote to the issue of Hamas:

      Israel initially supported Hamas (an Islamic organization) as a counterweight to Fatah (a secular organization). Sounds really similar to the US's early support of the Taliban. Both political manipulations backfired.
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        May 25 2011: Lesser of two evils or distinct differences? ( between Fatah & Hamas).I never connected wth Arafat and the PLO and lal that so I have huge gaps in myhistory that make it hard to really get a grasp on how that history plays into the prresent moment. Didn't Arafat have some sort of awakening after his plance crash..wasn't there a brief shining moment there?
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        May 26 2011: Tim that's it. Lots of politics as well as economics (economics of war) around at the end human sufferings.

        Transplantation of a country on the basis of religion in the midst of host of coutries around which were based an religion & were historically antagonistic to each other (I wonder why they are when there are lot more similarity in their rituals between Islam & Judaism).

        Why Europe couldn't find a space for Jews with in Europe (as holocust held their) to create a religion based country there , can any one help me to get this answer.

        Some background in the link below
        • May 27 2011: nw thats a constructive day dreaming
          but can it be the civilised face of the old monster?
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        May 27 2011: European Jew State you mean to be "day dreaming" ?
        May be you are right. Even night dreaming of powerless people never come true , forget about day dreaming. Because we are still in the era of "Might is Right".

        Don't want to judge who is more or less civilized but you are right it's a "Monster".

        It seems it better fits in that place that's why it was created there once by Mighty Lords of the planet earth and nourished it to become a Monster.
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      May 25 2011: Richard, thank you for the historical information, it is very helpful. I was not aware of some of the rhetoric coming from the Palestinian leaders- it makes the situation seem much more hopeless...

      Traditionally these peace-talks come to nothing. It's as if the region is playing some sort of sick game with us... maybe we should figure the game out before we try the same old tactics.

      I recall reading somewhere that masking intentions is a cultural idea in that part of the world. I think it was a National Geographic talking about the necessity to keep a smiling face and be extra courteous to someone who may threaten you in some way. There was a term for it I can't remember what it was.
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        May 27 2011: masking intentions is daily pracrtice right here at home Laura..Our claim of humaitarian intervention in Libya is just that based on my reserach and daily monitoring ( I write about it and Egypt at my blog). It is standard practice not just "that part of the world"
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      May 25 2011: AS to Netanyahu's address- since when did we start swallowing politician's promises hook, line and sinker?

      As to being a cooperative nation let's look at the facts: (This study was done in the USA by Prof. Steven Zunes from San Fransisco University)

      Israel leads the list of nations that violate or ignore UN resolutions.
      Since 1968, Israel has violated 32 resolutions that included condemnation or criticism of the governments' policies and actions. Turkey is in second place, with 24 violations since 1974, and Morocco is third with 17 resolutions it ignored.
      Zunes specifically avoided counting resolutions that are vague or unclear so that governments could claim different interpretations to the meaning of the resolutions. Thus, the famous UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 are not included in his study. He also did not count resolutions that only included condemnations. Instead, he focused on those that included specific calls for changes in the subject governments' policies.

      On the eve of a possible U.S.-British assault on Iraq, Zunes decided to examine in depth one of the main arguments used by the Bush administration to justify changing the Baghdad regime - Iraq's deliberate refusal to implement UN Security Council resolutions. He systematically went through all the states given instructions by the security council to find out how common a phenomenon it was. His results were somewhat surprising: "Some of the countries are considered and are known to be friendly to the U.S.," "In the vast majority of cases I examined, the governments violating UN Security Council resolutions are countries that receive significant military, diplomatic and financial aid from the U.S."
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        May 25 2011: That's an interesting share Debra, thanks. Interesting stat there that the big violators of U.N. resolutions are U.S. supported countries. Did it give any specifics that would help us understand the severity of non-compliance ( I haven't followed closely enough over theyears to have a sense of what kind of serious violations there may have been by Israel)
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          May 26 2011: I do not have the reference to that actual paper, Lindsay I am sorry - just my own notes but here is the contact information for Dr. Zunes and his publications at U San Fransico. I think it should be easy to find (I hope).

          Edit: I have added that actual link below.
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          May 26 2011: When people discuss things it is evident who have been trained as debaters and who has been trained as communicators. It is a flawed tactic to equate two things that are not equivalent.

          There has been a lot of crazy talk in the middle east and no one group is exempt from having members that are nuts. If you look at Netanyahu's track record, he like you is a warrior born and bred. Did you even look at the information I provided on who was the violator of UN resolutions?. As a debater - another tactic is to just ignore the evidence you do not like. In real life that is called CONFIRMATIONAL BIAS.

          I refuse to believe that those average Palstinians should be living the way that they are- as a captive civilian untechnologially advanced population under the thumb of a vastly superior oppressor. How do you pick the 'side' that you fight for? For me it usually boils down to human rights. The Palestinians are the equivalent of the Blacks fighting apartheid, the Blacks fighting for civil rights in America and the Indians fighting for freedom from an exploitive Britian - they just have not found their Mandella, their ML King or their Ghandi.

          Another really unattractive technique of debaters is ridicule and snide remarks. It is an approach that the far right often uses and gets away with these days. I call it what it is -unproductive and rude.
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          May 26 2011: Hey Debra..I'm intrerested in your you have a cite for those stats..?
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          May 27 2011: Hi Richard I know you are aware about Middle East & Iran situation.I condemn what Ahmadinejad said as this attitude is major barrier for peace. It's against humanity.

          My friend just look a bit deep ,you will find that's another political gimmick. He is facing internal protest that he tried to crash brutally , out side US is on his Head , moreover all the neighbouring countries like Saudi, Iraq (US presence there) , UAE , Egypt etc are Sunni dominated who don't tolerate Shia (enemity no lesser than that of towards Jews)

          My feeling is that he is saying that to gain a bit of space by branding him Leader of Muslim world against Israel.What's your thoughts about this?
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          May 29 2011: @Debra Zunes link & List of UN Resolutions Directed to Israel

          Thanks Debra..for me not being as deeply immersed and versed in the history of the isarel/palestine conflict it is little hard to take in the context of the list but impossible not to miss the point of the list which is even the US went along on all of those sanctions/security council resolutions.,

          I am using this discussion as I used the one on the IMF to try and learn a little more and be more informed .
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          May 27 2011: Richard: I keep hearing this rhetoric about how the Arabs have equal rights in Israel, then I read things like this:

          Or that Israel Arab citizens are denied the ability to buy condos or rent in developments in the West Bank that were constructed with government subsidies.

          What is your take on that?
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          May 27 2011: Here is one place I do owe you an apology. Richard.

          This is framed as a debate- and I forgot that so I was wrong in asserting that debating tactics (which I clearly believe to be obstructive in most conversatios) are quite permissible

          .You have every right, given the category to use them and I apologize for critisizing you on that.
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          May 27 2011: fascinating.I think Israel gets excellent marks of the corruption index as well..about the same as the US

          It is good you are bringing so many actual facts and stats to this discussion..I am glad of that

          Often around Ted folk seem to think that their opinion has the same weight as a fact disproving that opinion... ( not just around Ted but always a surprise and disappointment to see it here at Ted)
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          May 27 2011: Lindsay, I have called Dr. Zunes and left a message on at his office and on his cell. As soon as I have that reference I will post it here.

          He called back and directed me to a treasure trove of articles, I'll start with this:

      • May 27 2011: The U.N.resolutions ?
        you mean the body whose security council is made up of enlightened states such as
        Iran, N.Corea, Syria and other good examples of the lie world you take for granted?
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          May 27 2011: Man, it is time someone started to fight this stuff with information.
          Please take a look at this Joe and see what you think:

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          May 27 2011: Debra isn't this the same link I provided at the beginning of our talk on regime change?

          Wrong link? Waht are you pointng us to here?

          By the way, in answer to your I never did track down your stats on Israel's many UN resolution violations. Did you ever find that?
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          May 27 2011: Yes I did. I posted it where you asked for it.

          Lindsay, your scepticism helped me to step up my game.

          What I am pointing to was in response to joe anonmus' pointing to other states of the world being 'unenlightened'. I don't think any has caused the sort of destruction to other countries as is indicated in the link you provided. You still stand behind it, don't you?
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          May 28 2011: I don'tt playy games at Ted Conversations..I try to get to the truth and I try to speak what truth I know

          .I provided the Wikipedia link you in your other conversation on overthrow of democracies. I don't stand by the content, as I said very clearly there..but as I said there. I thougt it was a useful list to get that convesrtion goingWhy did you post it here? that I still don't get...a hugely long piece..where exactly were you pointing us..?I don;t see it I don't get it.

          Read Zunes piece at Hugffington..thnak for posting.. a bit of a ramble..not very cogent or clear to me
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          May 27 2011: Richard: Yes, I agree that the US still has a long way to go with regard to racial discrimination. And if people were being denied housing here because of their ethnicity or religion, I would be opposed to that. Is that accepted in your country?

          The fact is that large settlements are constantly being established both in Israel and the West Bank where Arabs have no opportunity of living. That is not equal protection under the law.
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    May 25 2011: Hi Laura!

    Let me pls fuel the debate here.
    The situation is very complex, so I don’t intend on giving a clear or definitive answer on what should happen, just argue two points that I think are key here:

    First: as far as I understand after Israeli and Palestinian limits where defined, Israel formed a state, “Palestine” did not agree and went to war with the support off all neighbors, they lost and by losing the war, they lost territory.
    So, if you don’t take the deal, and go to war, and loose, then you can’t ask to get the original deal again (or you can ask but it will be hard for you to get it).
    Chile won territory against Peru and Bolivia on a very similar way, Europe’s borders have changed a lot in the last 300 years, Italy and Germany where not there before the Napoleonic wars, etc.
    Why are Israel and Palestine different?

    Second: my understanding is that Jerusalem should be controlled directly by the UN, it is so sensitive to so many people around the globe that giving control of the old city to a third party will probably be a good thing.


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          May 25 2011: Richard I am so grateful for your recapping of the Arab-Israeli War and the specific events and issues. Glad too to have everyone reminded as to Egyots key rile in all this.I am ashameed to say I was not engaged intellectually or as witness at the time. I had put it on my list to review what actually went on. Thankyou for giving me a headstart on that and for reminding all of us that this has deep roots.
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          May 26 2011: Richard the State of Palestine was mandated to Britain after World War 1. Prior to this Palestine was within the Ottoman Empire. Britain declared that under its mandate it would create a state for the Jewish people. There was a great deal of trouble resulting from this decision with Arab states. In the end Britain passed this problem to the UN who determined that the Jewish people would be allocated with 48% of the land of Palestine. In November 1947 the UN voted in favor of a partition of Palestine, all of the Arab states voted against this plan. In May 1948 the Jewish people living within the partition declared a state of independence.

          The newly Independent State of Israel was subject to attacks from neighboring Arab countries in all of these conflicts Israel gained more land from Arab states.

          Since its inception the State of Israel has had a hard time from its neighbors, as a result attitudes harden on all sides. I personally feel that the discussion over borders needs to be just that, a discussion. I am less certain who should be party to this discussion, I do not think it is the U.S. who should be leading the talks.

          At the end of the day Israel and the surrounding Arab States need to come to a sensible proposal that they could put in front of the U.N. for endorsement. Getting to this point is clearly a challenge.
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        May 25 2011: Hi Jafia!

        Thanks for your answer 

        I state at the beginning that I don’t claim to have an answer, and that I find this to be a very complex problem.

        Let me answer your comments one by one:
        On your first and second paragraph, the story I know is the one I said earlier, your comments contradicts my comment, I would love to read your version if you can refer me to an unbiased (if that’s possible) site.

        Regarding your third paragraph, first I didn’t say that “force should be allowed” my comment was aimed at the fact that borders are often created by force and that if we start on a revision trend, that can also be applied on many other places (if not all). I don’t think that your argument on relying on somebody else’s force is necessarily valid, In many situations many countries rely on others and that doesn’t mean they should not exist.

        Regarding your fourth paragraph, yes, I’m Argentinean, and I don’t like many things that happened to/in my country.
        I didn’t say I like how the world works, I would prefer a really strong UN that get’s actions to be lawful and is equal for all parties.



        PS Brasil is a great country! (as a disclaimer I only know SP, Rio, Porto Alegre and Bahia)
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          May 25 2011: Julian/Jafia/ I may be wrong but I believe Ijust read in that State Departmnet history on Israel, (see above somewhere) that all the agressions wer by arabs aginst Isarel and that in 1949 after assukat by Egypt, Lebanon & others..Isarel gained 50% more territory than had estabkished the original state.

          In by book territory taken in response to yours forever.

          So if my recollection of the State Department histiry is correct, Israel by 1949wa alreday twice as big as the territory given by the Brits ( who "owned" Palestine at the time.
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          May 25 2011: And thanks again Richard for this history

          we have come full circle

          this is exactly how the situation the middle east.stands now

          these same nations are allied exactly as before no change

          they view the creation of the state of israel as an historical error that must be corrected

          that is anintolerable and unaccptable view. they must give that up. negotiating. they must give that up.

          we all needed your reminder on these historic events

          thank you
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        May 25 2011: The hard problem to resolve is not territorial, it's existential - The right to exist.Palistine must recognize Israel's right to peacefully exist and Israel must recognize and respect Palestine's right to peacefully exist.
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          May 25 2011: well, Jim, as Netanyahu correctly stated in his address yesterday, all 6 Israeli prime ministers have agreed to a two nation solution.Iit has always been the Palestinians who simply refuse to allow the existence of anIsraeli nation. That i still so..I agree with the international and US position..that they have to work it out..the catual geography and terms of it..and Nteanyahu does as well..he said "Peace has to be cannot be imposed".. Netanyahu said as I reclall that tPlaestine has to update its cositution to mbrace a more peaceful place in the world and that it cannot be an armed state (I am not clear on the partoculars of that assumed nuclear?) that Abbas has to go before his people and say Israeel has a right to exist ..we have an obligation not to challenge that..even as Netanyahu has said to his people..Palestine has a right to exist and we are going to have to give up ancient lands to which we are very attached to do that.

          Jim, Richard..What was your take on that..Has Nenyahu put all out that is necessary to a peace? Are his demands of the palestinians reasonable and should the wolrd community support those demands.
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          May 25 2011: Jafia..thnak you..I had lost or perhaps not ever possessed those important historical facts..they ring a bell and I agree that background is very significant.

          I gather you are suggesting that Netanyahu's background..this paricylar pbackground is impedment to trust in what he says now?

          Later I want to read this whole conversation start to finsih with paricuar attention to what you have beensaying, obviously froma place of deep knowldege of the history and background and obviously a near neighbor now.

          So valuable to have you here ..thnaks so much
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          May 25 2011: @Jafia netanyahu undermined Rabin

          Your link was to the Oslo Accord..which of cousre everyone alove remembers..what was agreed there is still exactly what is needed.

          I though you were pinting to a link on how Netanyahu had opposed and uncermined Rabin. Do you have anything on that? My emory needs refre
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          May 26 2011: Jafia To your mistrust of Netanyahu, I have been researching the history. You are correct that Netanyahu was adamantly opposed the Oslo Accord because he did not believe that Israel should give up any part of its original homeland as Rabin had planned to create the Palestinian state.

          It appears that Natenyahu has softened that view over these 18 years and is now willing to to do that to achieve a lasting peace. Perhaps the swap her referred to inhis congressional speech is excatly the swap Rabin, the peacemaker, had agreed to.

          As PLO leader Arafat had also agreed to that..perhaps the palestinians will accept that now.I can't help but wonder if the netire history would have been different if England had handled te parition more sensitiviely in the first place instead of by decrees and force. .
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      May 25 2011: Knowing absolutely nothing about what would mean but knowing it is a holy place for many differenr religions..muslim, jewish and christian, I like the idea of creating a sort of Holy Land, like Vatican City , or even like our own Washington DC which is not a state..and not part of any state. That was actually part of the original proposal I see from the State Department history, above somewhere...that Jerusalem being of inportance to so many wolrd religions remain separate and under UN oversight. Wonder why that got snagged. Anyone know?
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        May 25 2011: Lindsay, I think it should be an international city- frst city of the world - or something and that the UN should move there and keep the peace!!
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          May 25 2011: wow!!! I love that idea..that Jersualem would be the home of a wolrd governmnet dedicated to peace ( not throigh militray solutions ..what a wonderful vision..a global center of peace.. I just love thatI

          I don't, however, consider the UN to be anywhere near instrument of peace

          but if we had an entity that was such thing it would be so perfect.

          .What a beautiful, beautiful vision you had Debra

          ..I will hold that vision with you.
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          May 26 2011: Hi Debra, Lyndsay!

          I’m sorry to disagree with you… while I think Jerusalem should be run by the UN, I would never establish a world government there… the city is home to 3 mayor religions and many smaller versions, and is the ground of entrenched religious feelings and hate, a world government should be based on science and reason, not faith… it also does not represent Asia…


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          May 26 2011: Fear Not Julian..just a vision of wolrd peace..not an actual proposal.

          Do you know why that proposal, originally considered, (To have Jerusalem under the UN) was rejected? I agree with you ( Except I do not give the UN high marks these dats as a peace maker)
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        May 26 2011: Julian, Hi there,
        I was only trying to dump the problem in the lap of the UN and move them out of the USA so that they could have more influence and see things first hand.
        I had NO intention of suggesting a world government and THAT would be the guarentee of never getting peace in the middle east because the fundamentalist Christians would swim the Atalntic and Meditereanean to block that plan.
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        May 26 2011: Lindsay- you are a brave woman to mention world government in connection with Jerusalem! Duck!
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      May 26 2011: Julian, If I go back to the top of this thread to your original premise that the Palestinians picked a side, lost and too bad so sad- I have to shake my head to clear what seems to be a very logical conclusion.

      However, let's recast your straight forward argument this way. A unilateral decision was made to remove the simple and poor Palestinians out of their land and homes to accomodate political thinking of countries half way around the world who had their own agendas (like oil and transferring the problem of European human rights horrors out of the neighbourhood where the rich folks lived). When the people who were losing everything after generations of work spoke up and said- 'Hey- that's not fair!' no one gave a damn. When they picked up their rocks and sticks against the might of the world to protect their homes, they were unable to change the outcome against a militarized and determined set of people who armed their enemies to the teeth.

      So as the world we are just supposed to look at this pattern of events and say - they didn't do as we said so they deserve generation after generation of oppression and denial of human rights. I do not think that the Palestians today are enjoying the Universal Code of Human Rights under the occupation that they are experiencing.

      This situation is not fair in any respect. It was injust for the Palestinians from the outset. It continues to be injust because we don't care if its fair for the people we just want everyone to play nice, be polite and shut up. I do not know about you- but under these circumstances you would have to kill me to get me to shut up when there was no hope for a better life for my kids.

      Palestine simply deserves a homeland. Nothing that has happened so far has been even just let alone practical so I do not say 'they lost too bad so sad' when I see the machinations that serve others well and have never served the Palestinians even the smallest modicum of justice.
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    May 24 2011: I think a well-constructed treaty would protect Israel (and Palistine) in the event of any collapse.

    I may be niave, but I think progress of this magnitude always requires mutual trust. Yes, every precaution needs to be taken to minimize the likelihood of collapse, but still, trust needs to enter into the solution.

    I think Obama knows this and is asking each to display that trust. Without it, nothing happens.
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      May 25 2011: ya i agree with this, obama was just doing what everyone else has been saying. but the truth is not obama, any other president, or anyone else is going to convince these two groups of people to compermise, only them selves. there just not ready.
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      May 26 2011: and they have a great model to work with..the Oslo Accord of 1993
  • May 24 2011: There is a great doubt in my mind abut the real Arab commitment to a real peace situatin et al
    accirding to Dr. Uri Milstein.
    Historically, Islam has never supprted any peace treaty .since it's conception
    this is it's political stance, based on the discriminating idea that the Muslims live in a " house of peace" while all other
    in "a house of sword"

    Muslims will fight , lose and try again forever, if they can gain by negtiation and patience, they will,
    once no more gains are possible, they will resort to war again.

    this is n peace process, but truly a Jihad, the holy war agaist the infidels.
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      May 24 2011: It's kinda hard to be peaceful when people take over the land you and your ancestors have occupied for hundreds of years. Put yourself in the shoes of a Palestinian. Zionist Jews were legally given land in Palestine, displacing families from their homes which have perhaps been their homes for generations. Have you ever been forced from the land that you inhabit? Imagine what that would feel like. Especially if it were a different race and religion than you, and they say you are wrong and believe an inferior religion, and discriminated against you and your children, and they are going to build a state within your country that excludes you and your countrymen.

      Then, imagine this other group began purchasing land that they would only sell to other members of their group, effectively expanding their land and encroaching on yours. Then they wage a war and take over all of the land you and your countrymen were displaced to. Now where do you go? What do you do?

      I want you to seriously think about this scenario as if it were happening to you. Would you fight back? I would.

      Palestinians aren't interested in peace? I think they are interested in peace, just not on Netanyahu's unfair terms. What are they interested in? Fair treatment and some of their conquered land back.
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      May 24 2011: Hi Joe, I believe this to be a serious misconception. There was a huge and cooperative period of history in Spain called Andelucia when the Moors- the Muslims were in control. It was a period of huge and progressive enlightenment where every relgion was permitted and supported. In fact, When Islam was ejected so were the Jews and this was done in the name of Christ.

      Most of the literature of the world was rescued by the Muslims in their love of learning and peace after Europe has its melt down in the middle ages. They absorbed and saw value in the wisdom of all people - The ancient Greeks and Romans were certainly not of Islam. Eventualy that knowledge was redispersed from that source after Europe had found tis way to Enlightenment. Who are the barbarians in history when we look at why and how the Muslms were thrown out of Spain?
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          May 26 2011: Richard, I thank you for this information. I will investigate and consider revamping my opinions if there is not counterbalancing data.
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          May 26 2011: Whenever I hear about extended periods of peace I've learned to be skeptical.

          Every civilization has periods when they are relatively open and inclusive and other periods when they are oppressive of minorities. The Catholic church is a prototypical example. There are times when popes protected Jewish communities and other times when they burned Torahs.
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          May 26 2011: ...or turned a blind eye to the Nazis.Tim, that is good input too. I thought I had studied the period and maybe I assimulated the vision presented and which felt good to my heart. I will review and also review my optimistic tendencies (which seem to survive despite strong battering).Thanks to you both.
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          May 26 2011: Actually that is a fallacy that they were not focused on the Nazis. Especially not with so many priests in concentration camps.


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          May 26 2011: Please don't ever stop challenging my misconceptions. I need it and appreciate it!
          Thanks to all who help me learn!
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          May 27 2011: You do the same Debra. That's where the fun is.
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      May 24 2011: Joe: Would you say that is what a majority of Israelis believe?
      • May 27 2011: Nope, most Israelies want peace and the constant policy of reaching for it is not truly a "real politik"
        not a ground level necesity but highly idealistic
        if the Israeli attitude was as extreme as it is portrayed by the Left I actually believe it would be better accomdated by Arab leaders and countries
        and this can be easily detected if you look arund the Middle east
        my opinin at the matter , I guess, could be branded extremist but I believe it is to be a disillusioned one
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          May 27 2011: I think you are being disingenuous listing "world peace" as something you are "passionate about."
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    May 24 2011: Looking at a casualty list, 2009 was one of the worst years since 1987. 2010 was one of the more peaceful years. Does anyone know why that is?
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      May 24 2011: 1987 was the First Intifada. 2009 was the invasion of Gaza. 2010 was a time to recover.
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    May 24 2011: I think that everyone who has an opinion on the borders of Israel should have to declare their religious biases. If their opinion is formed and based on ancient writings or a belief in what God or Allah mandated they should have that bias out on the table.
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      May 24 2011: I bring this up because of a facebook conversation I started. My brother is a facebook friend and I expect him to reply tonight when he gets off work, however I anticipate his answer will be heavily biased by his Christian views and I wanted a less biased perspective. His current profile picture is of the Star of David, so I think he probably feels pretty strongly in favor of the Jewish state... huh? Well, as opposed to the heathen Muslim Palestinian "terrorists" I'm sure he does.
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        May 24 2011: Laura: Are you aware the role that Israel plays in the world view of many fundamentalist Christians with regard to Armageddon?

        "Almost one out of four Americans believes that 9/11 was predicted in the Bible, and nearly one in five believes that he or she will live long enough to see the end of the world. Even more significant for this study, over one-third of those Americans who support Israel report that they do so because they believe the Bible teaches that the Jews must possess their own country in the Holy Land before Jesus can return."


        Seems like they've really found their common ground.
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          May 24 2011: Oh yeah, that does ring a bell now that you mention it. I'm sure that is what he believes, he is about and fundamental as it gets.
          I don't even want to read his reply now...
          *sigh :'(
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          May 24 2011: This, Tim is precisely why I believe that every person involved at the peace talk tables should have to declare their biases and their religious commitments. Even Warren Buffet expects his employees to declare conflicts of interest in advance (well almost 100% of the time anyway.)
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          May 25 2011: oh dear..those are all valid stats, Tim???
          oh dear
          oh dear
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          May 25 2011: @Jafia re: Richard Dawson reminds us below in his recap, was a major anti-Israel force from the "git-go"..Sadat's agreement on Camp David was parctically a mircale and never had popular support in Egypt. Mubarak took over and was supported by the US until toppled. The Egyotian people never gave yp their hatred of Israel..never supported the Camp David it was a correct redaing that toppling Mubarak was bad for Israel and basically leftthe US with not much to hold on to as a broker of pecae, Jordan is an important part of the accord of course too but Egypt was critical. Anti -Israel cries ring now throughout Egypt..their messageis get out of Gaza and the West Bnak or we'll come in with our troups and forcibly remove you.'
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          May 26 2011: debra @ declaration of relgious values dont really get what you're after there but in terms of the State of Isreale..that has been very clear from the very beginning from 1948. Afain ..the arab nations consider the creatuo of isreal a mistake and want to eradicate it. Isnt that a pretty clear decalaration?
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          May 26 2011: Good question Lindsay,

          My point is in wanting everyone to declare their preconceived conclusions and lay them on the table. If you are a dyed in the wool person who is going to make every decision at the peace table based on literature that predicts that the world will end in Armagedon if we let one piece of Israel move over to a 'heathen' I think we should know that from the outset. If your fundamental belief system says that all Israelis are less than dirt and should be eliminated from the land I think we should know that too.

          If you are not able to make decisions in the here and now based on the evidence and the situation before us and if you believe that the peace we are working toward is utterly against the will of God upon whom you have based your whole existance how likely is it that you can find any compromise acceptable?
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          May 26 2011: well, Debra, that exactly is the situation and has been since that one brief shining moment in Oslo in 1993 when we beleived we had it in the bag

          ... actually, not for here, not for now, but I strongly disgaree with you about "declaring biases" we aren't aware that what we beleive is is only through interaction with those who don't share our views that we finally are free of our biases..naming them is unimportant..being free of them is the
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          May 26 2011: You make a strong point about being aware of our individual biases. I was trying to put myself in the shoes of the mediators. I would really like to know who was operating from the perspective that the decisions to be made were against God's will and any move that I percieved to be constructive and accomodating of the other's position would likely be thwarted and undermined by that person.
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        May 24 2011: Sorry. Didn't mean to get you depressed about it.

        But you know, we deal with people on many different planes. The intellectual level is really a superficial one. With your brother, your relationship should be more on an emotional level.

        There are many people in my family who are religious to different extents. But I love them no less for it. They have been there for me and I just hope I can be there for them.
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          May 24 2011: Just got a 'bink' telling me I had maxed out on you for thumbs up so KUDOS instead for this kind and balanced addition.
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          May 24 2011: Hi Tim,

          I know depressing me was not your intention. When you reminded me of Israel's role according to the Bible I knew immediately my brother's position and reasoning for supporting Israel. It hit me like a wave for some reason, but it's all good now. I've known for several years his beliefs are rooted firmly in religious doctrine.

          We can talk about some things- which I am thankful for, but the things I really care about, and that he really cares about, are simply taboo. We are too too different!

          Double Bink Debra, you are also maxed out for this week ; )
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          May 25 2011: So, my brother supports Israel based on the Book of Revelations because he yearns for God's return. Knowing his strict conservatism, I approached the subject from the fact the US taxpayers spend 3 billion dollars annually for military and economic aid to Israel. He hasn't had a chance to reply yet, but he is very generous with money when it comes to God.

          My last reply I decided to share.. it is the most we've discussed about our views in many years... I hope he is okay. I for one am glad to be talking about these things with him; I hope I'm not treading on dangerous ground. I admit, I haven't told him I'm atheist/agnostic... But I don't think I did any outright lying?

          In my world view, the Bible was written by men, not God. I do not favor a literal interpretation. In my opinion, those men were using metaphors to describe things they cannot know. I was just reading the book of Revelation and all the stars in the heavens fell upon the Earth several times over. I don't know who kept putting them back, but I don't expect that to ever happen. Perhaps Israel is the land of the chosen people and a Jewish state is the key to God's return- but I don't think that justifies letting Israel do whatever it wants like taking over lands and displacing people. For now we must abide and respect the freedom of all people, of all faiths, and be generous with our love.

          "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" Matthew 5:43
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          May 25 2011: "We must judge something purely on the basis of religion" is putting words in Debra's mouth. We must judge this situation purely on the basis on facts, reason and compassion for both parties. Debra's point, as I understand it, is that anyone using religious texts or doctrine to support either Israel or Palestine should openly admit their bias.

          While I think it's a good idea of course, in many cases they reveal themselves eventually as religious crusaders. If they don't reveal themselves, they don't carry water (i.e. they can't make a good fact-based argument) and their ideas aren't accepted, hopefully, by the wider secular community.

          I'm thinking of the Scopes Monkey Trial... but here I'm backtracking again because the onslaught of the Tea Party movement was accompanied by a renewal of interest in teaching creationism... It will be sad indeed if any succeed.
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          May 25 2011: Laura has captured my intent well.

          Later in the dialogue Richard, I ammended my thought to say people who are at the table for the peace talks and that it constituted a form conflict of interest that should be clearly declared.

          I want it not to be judged solely on the basis of religion. I do not think the world can be held hostage to anyone's Holy book when it comes to setting the ground work for 'Armagedon'.

          Richard, As you are a warrior rather than a peacemaker, I decline to hand you weapons.
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      May 25 2011: I am with the Prsedent on opinions on the border don't matter..that is up to Palestine and Israel to work out.
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    May 24 2011: The exact phrasing was:

    "We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their full potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state."

    I'm not sure how a contiguous state is envisioned. Anyone have any idea?
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      May 24 2011: Does he mean an independently recognized Israel and an independently recognized Palestine? Or an Israeli state within the country of Palestine?
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        May 24 2011: Well, the question is how do you join Gaza and the West Bank (making Palestine contiguous) without making Israel dis-contiguous?
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          May 24 2011: Wouldn't it be great if we could get William Ury (TED speaker on getting from NO to YES) and our fellow TED conversations member Robert Jaffe who are both mediators to go to President Obama and coach him (like the concept of an Amicus court brief) . Maybe TED logic and informaton can help figure this out and bring the world's heart to bear on this matter once and for all.

          If Northern Ireland can be brought to peace, if America can have a black president in my lifetime- good things can happen- we just have to find the path

          Edit and I think we should send all the students who ever played John Hunter's Peace Game too!
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          May 25 2011: Wasn't the point of saying begin negotiations from the 1967 borders saying work out your own landswap to make two cntiguous states out of that entire area. I am pretty sure that was the point.. No one envioned the final arrangement being a nin contiguous palestinian state.
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        May 29 2011: Laura, The two state solution is what everyone is wokrking toward..that was the Oslo accord,that has been recurrent..two indpendent nations.

        As I just said elsewhere I am beginning to think that the best thing that could happen is for Palestine to be recognized as a state by the UN as 150 coountries support, provided it commit to peace and renounce its national goal of eradicating israel and formally acknowledge the UN negotiated borders as of Oslo,as of Arafats Presidency (which emerged from the chain of events following Oslo) and that would make any nations violations of those borders a matter of global concern.
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        May 29 2011: Laura Palestine as created as state with specific borders following the oslo had elections.(I think) and Arafat was eleted PresidentIn 1993, in the Oslo Accords, Israel acknowledged the PLO negotiating team as "representing the Palestinian people", in return for the PLO recognizing Israel's right to exist in peace, acceptance of UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, and its rejection of "violence and terrorism".[16] While Israel currently occupies the Palestinian territories,[iii] as a result of the Oslo Accords it allowed the PLO to establish an interim administrative body: the Palestinian National Authority (PNA or PA), that exercises some governmental functions in parts of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.[17] The PNA was made accountable to the PLO Executive Committee, and the PLO is the ultimate authority of the PNA. No reference is made in the Accords to the 1988 declaration of the State of Palestine."

        from the wikipedia

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      May 25 2011: Neranyahu's speech guaranteed Palestine a contiguous stae and a much larger territory. he didn't namewhat kind of land swap he had in mind but I got the impression he was pretty clear both nations needed contiguity and Palestine needed more land.

      With the right international startgey ( no Un intervention)..clear statement of what will be tolerated..Palestine and Israel should be able to work it out..if Plaestine agrees to a few simple agreeing that Israel has a right to exist.
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      May 26 2011: we will know soon if we get as far as actual negotiations. It is absoultely clear that the vision Obama asks them to work to and the vision Netanyahu has agreed to is that Palestne will have alarger and contiguous stae. Netanyahu in hisspeech said that the swap would require that Isreal give up "the part of israel that wa sits original homeland..before there was an isreal"

      anyway it was on of those memes that that Netanyahu is proposing a polka dot dis contiguous state.

      so can we get on ???
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    May 24 2011: Wongmo r . . . I live in the US and I can't figure it out! One thing I would ask, is the placement of the border important to keep terrorist missles from landing on Jewish homes? Just asking.
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        May 25 2011: My understanding is that the missles into Israel are indiscriminate (that is how they are classified as terrorist) and that the firing on homes of Palestinians is discriminate - going after those that are terrorists.

        I'm sure it is more complicated that what I've said but this is my understanding. I have listened to news reports through the years though not studied the situation.