Inside the Middle East
December 30, 2008
Posted: 1826 GMT


(CNN) - The former U.S. special envoy to the Middle East said Tuesday that President-elect Barack Obama should engage with Hamas under certain conditions, and sooner rather than later.

Retired Gen. Anthony Zinni said if Obama hopes to forge a peace deal, he needs to do it at the beginning of his administration.

"You make a commitment that no matter what happens, you'll stick with it," Zinni said on CNN's "American Morning." "We have enough agreements in principle that never worked out. I would say - start from the beginning, be determined, stick with it and don't repeat the mistakes of the past and the processes of the past that did not work."

In order for the new administration to engage with Hamas, Zinni said the militant group must be willing to end its rocket attacks and violence against Israel and commit to a peace process.

In the long term, Zinni said, the next administration will have to take a new approach in dealing with the problem.

"The old way of using envoys and summits and us putting plans on the table - that has never worked. I think we need a fresh start, more involved, a greater presence on the ground and a commitment to do it throughout the term of an administration," Zinni said.

What do you think? Make your views heard by adding a comment below.

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Filed under: Gaza •Hamas •Israel •Obama

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Saudi   December 30th, 2008 6:40 pm ET

Should Obama Engage Hamas?


The kind of change hoped for.

jose   December 30th, 2008 6:44 pm ET

dialogue is a good first step,but america is always on israel's side,so i don't think it'll happen with a white,black,red,blue or yellow president.

Debs   December 30th, 2008 6:47 pm ET

I think Yes, not to show empathy.

When you are trying to work on peace negotiations everybody has be included at the peace talks. T
That way no one can say "we were barred from any negotiations so we'll go back to bombing again until we are listened to.'

Its a difficult step but it needs to be done. For the sake of peace.

Salam and Shalom to all

Beny   December 30th, 2008 7:20 pm ET

Oh, if Obama knows a way to really stop Hamas's rockets, I would be glad for him to implement it.

So far everything we tried, from cease-fires (in which we ceased and they fired) to threats (which, of course, didn't work a bit, because what does Hamas care about the lives of Gazans?) to focused short operations (successful, but not enough), everything got shattered by the Kassams.

Maybe Obama can work this out, to the benefit of both Israel and Gazans (not Hamas, because the only thing they benefit from is Israelis killed).

I really hope so.

Karen   December 30th, 2008 7:22 pm ET

Obama is not the president yet. He can comment, but he cannot dig in there. We'll soon see what he does. So far it looks like he doesn't like what hamas is doing and is on the Israelis side.
He is a talker though and maybe in the future he will attempt to talk with hamas. I think he should try.

Outraged Jew   December 30th, 2008 7:24 pm ET

Yes, yes, yes he can, should and I hope, will!

The old way has not worked and here we are now.

We voted for change, let's see it in action NOW.

In my opinion, Obama cannot come into the presidency soon enough! I hope to God, Rahm Emmanuel will not be a blockade/wall. Emmanuel worries me–anyone know his stance on this??

Speak up America, no more of our taxes to Israel war machine!!

dan perman   December 30th, 2008 7:25 pm ET

"In order for the new administration to engage with Hamas, Zinni said the militant group must be willing to end its rocket attacks and violence against Israel and commit to a peace process."

fat chance, read the han\mas charter!!

your wonderful policy   December 30th, 2008 7:55 pm ET

can see the jewish zionist “intellectuals” are trying to occupy and control the internet as usual…something they are good at-occupation. Eh, after you guys destroyed the beautiful country of Lebanon (again) ,were you exhausted?,I mean it takes a lot of effort occupying and killing the Palestinians at the same time. It is also so inspiring that you can send so many noble professors to teach around the globe and “educate” us other people.
It must be hard controlling the extreme water pressure when you fill your swimming pools. Just relax, go have a coffee and pizza , oh I forgot again, silly unsensitive me……you may have a big fire cracker zoom overhead or have a suicide bomber blow himself up on his own land. These people are so cowardly eh!…better fire up your New York Jet Fighters and big bulldozers, you poor guys…and then there is Iran, wow, thank God you have nukes eh…Those people, boy oh boy…better bomb their infastructure back into the stone age soon like Bush did to the Iraq. And Syria, those people, boy oh boy, you are surrounded by hostile sick people with funny cultures. These people, do they have brains and do they have women and children too?? Wow, how do you do it surrounded by all this also, how did you become such a respectable people over the last 60 years since your glorious becoming… your such victims. Sorry to take up a few moments of your time, I realize how much constant daily effort it takes to control these rebelious Palestinians. We have prisoners misbehave in our prisons in Canada also from time to time, at least you give your 1.5 million open air sometimes. Your so thoughtful. You wonder how stupid everybody is and barbaric, boy, they are all animals, don’t they realize they should not keep their integrity and dignity or maybe some family members?, or thell get killed! …… being the sophisticated society that you are…the pillar of democracy…the pillar of humanity, you would think that everybody would learn by now. Better kill some more to teach them a lesson to show them you should not resist such a great people who have not changed for the last sixty years..
My Wife and I would like to give our respect and sympathy to the Palestinian people who have suffered beyond measure the last 60 years and counting. We are sorry that our Harper conservative prime minister(natural right wing neo conservative republican ideology) has sanctioned the Palestinians on behalf of sleeping Canadians for the first time in Canadian history. But 80 percent of the people did not vote, did not show up and vote for was a major record low, he is a minority. On the other hand we can only hope that Obama will stop being so naive and such a good talker at the same time,. We respect Obama. In fact, we were so so excited, feeling there will actually be change. Darfur, Africa in general etc. needs USA, and Palestine is long overdue. Pakistan should stop being secretly bombed left and right and China has more class and taken more shit then you politics care to admit. Vietnam should be given major compensation for agent orange, no matter what some judge says..we can go on and on…your soldiers should not be thrown in disrespectful wars, like Iraq and the Afgha….help them instead by getting soldiers to build schools instead of breaking down doors and home invasions(good soldiers follow orders but do not like to do shit that isn’t right)…stop sanctioning the Cuban people also(over 60 years)
It will take a noble strong man to do the right thing and bring peace and justice to the world…..I am afraid Obama may be all talk, there are early indications of powerful lobby zionist ignorance persuading and lying to him full time(especially by some of the choices he has picked and by Biden who is a good man but not a good humanitarian). Its such a shame and disappointment to all humanitarians and silent majority around the world.. Obama is such a smart decent man who should know better. But lets hope together and hope the American people will get their country back, they deserve it and so do all the decent silent Jewish people who are afraid to speak because of the stereo types imposed on them ….because of the mentality and actions of many of their own people. They are afraid and persecuted also by these majority zionists…. calling decent Jewish people self hating Jews…sure , and they think USA is United States of Israel.

dewey kinderwelt   December 30th, 2008 8:08 pm ET

The first question you have to ask anyone when taking up the issue of Israel's security is "Where did you celebrate the 9//11?"

Elyse   December 30th, 2008 8:22 pm ET

I agree with everything you said above. WHY does no one care about the genocide and killing of all the Palestinian people who were pushed of THEIR land. That is the problem. Hamas was created because Palestinian people had NO where to turn. People need to wake up.

Karen   December 30th, 2008 9:14 pm ET

Your wonderful policy;
You talk too much. Take a deep breath and shorten your comments. I think you have something to say but it's too long man.

Penniton   December 30th, 2008 9:28 pm ET

I am so sick of the bullies like Hamas throwing stones and then running to the world crying. It seems they are always up to picking a fight with Israel but then when Israel strikesback it's like Hamas and the rest of their supporters cry boo hoo they are killing us and our children are dying. This was the same group who laughed and danced in their streets when our planes were used as misslies into buildings by the hands of their partners in crime against humanity destroying innocent lives. By the way there were children on those AA flights. Mr. Pres-Elect Obama will unforunately have to have some form of business with these legions(Hamas) and there are many!

ironmen1987   December 30th, 2008 9:36 pm ET

Your wonderful policy: always love to hear from all the blow hards about how the US and Israel are the blame for all that is wrong with the world. Maybe we have a few missles left over from Iraq that we can send up North for a late Christmas gift....

aarennels   December 30th, 2008 10:15 pm ET

Anybody, including President Elect Obama, can engage or talk to Hamas – President Bush will not do anything and even if he does his words are meaningless since his credibility is worth zero. Obama should engage -as a U.S. citizen – not as the President (yet). Until Hamas stops throwing rockets at Israel, Israel cannot stop!!!!!!!!!!

Ground troops are probably ultimately necessary to go into Gaza and "get" the Hamas – put them in prison or whatever terrorists should go.

Count LF MdeWReB W Chudzikiewicz herb. Chodkiewicz   December 30th, 2008 10:52 pm ET


Nadeem   December 30th, 2008 11:22 pm ET

Saying that there is no-one to blame in this conflict is just not true and usually such claim is made by "apologetic" observers who are misguided that whenever they accuse Israel of anything they should always follow it with accusations made to the Palestinian side.

In this conflict, there is one party to be blamed and that is the occupier.
Seumas Milne explains this well:
"Like the West Bank, the Gaza Strip has been – and continues to be – illegally occupied by Israel since 1967. Despite the withdrawal of troops and settlements three years ago, Israel maintains complete control of the territory by sea, air and land. And since Hamas won the Palestinian elections in 2006, Israel has punished its 1.5 million people with an inhuman blockade of essential supplies, backed by the US and the European Union."

Relating to the Obama position in all of this Seumas Milne ends with this:
"What is now taking place in the Palestinian territories is a futile crime in which the US and its allies are deeply complicit – and unless Obama is prepared to change course, it is likely to have bitter consequences that will touch us all."

Nadeem, Lebanon

Arooj Syed   December 30th, 2008 11:51 pm ET

Finally a sane voice! Yes, absolutely. Obama should engage Hamas like right now.

Hunk   December 31st, 2008 12:06 am ET

The dealing with Hamas will be decided by the Palestinian themselves and politics is the poltics of the possible, meaning , if Hamas wins the elections again and Abbas loses ground because of his corruption, then who will be in the arena? if not Hamas then who?
The war and the bullets are shifting the opinion of the Palestinian society and if elections is held any time now, Hamas will have an easy victory and president OBama will wight the options and might deal with them.
Arafat was rejected and termed as terrorist and then he entered the peace and enetred the white house.

Karen   December 31st, 2008 12:31 am ET

Hunk; Yeah, Arafat entered the White House but he was definitely two faced. He was also a terrorist.
If not hamas, who? A prominent Palestinian who can stand as a hero to the Palestinians. That is a person who would stand with Obama.
Hamas and Obama? I don't think so. Who would gain by that?
Even as the Palestinians voted hamas in, by now they must see they made a mistake. Do you really think they would vote for hamas again?!

Hunk   December 31st, 2008 12:53 am ET

The This person have to have the Palestinians behind him in order to steer the "the peace process" which is very important in bringing peace and ending the bloodbath.
Back to your question, I think they will and that precisely what i meant..
Hezbollah is more powerful now and they are demanding a greater rule in the Lebanese cabinet, the reason is war again.

Outraged Jew   December 31st, 2008 12:54 am ET

Karen, I respectfully disagree.

Right now, the Palestinians are being bombarded by Israel, so the Hamas unpopularity that was there maybe 2 weeks ago, has dissipated. Points for Hamas the more the bombs fall.

Whoever the Palestinians choose, Israel won't like them.

This has happened before and is happening again today.

It is not up to Israel to choose for the Palestinians. It IS important to talk to the Palestinian choice, no matter how much Israel abhors the choice.

Palestinians chose Hamas and see what is happening now.

Need to understand more of what led up to present events. I heard on news today that Israel violated some of the ceasefire agreement. I want to hear more on this–a BALANCED report from BOTH sides!!– before making a judgement...

Karen   December 31st, 2008 1:25 am ET

Well we definitely don't get information. You are right, cannot make a judgement. I heard it was hamas that fired the first shot. You always have to wonder. The BBC is more factual. Has anyone heard from them on this?
I agree with both of you. Hamas will rule. Israel will have to deal with it. Deal with it they must and soon. I read on CNN that there was a cease fire possible. I hope this will happen and everyone will chill.

I am afraid hezbollah will expand and want more and more rule. They go way back. I was shocked when they had such success in Lebanon. Israel is now surrounded with terrorist entities. They must make their own way without the US. whoever does the steering cannot be Israeli or US.

Hunk   December 31st, 2008 1:37 am ET

i am a middle-Eastern , Arab and a Muslim living at the longest border with Israel and from a stone throw distance of the border, do you think i am a terrorist ? i mean what you said is" Israel is now surrounded with terrorist entities" i think i am a victim who has a larger stack in pushing the peace forward and ending the hostilities.
If this is what you think, i really would love to hear your honest opinion?

Karen   December 31st, 2008 1:50 am ET

Yes, Hunk, you do have a stake in driving peace forward. I can see that. What I meant by terrorist entities which you may or may not believe in, but I was brought up to believe that hezbolla is a terrorist organization and so is hamas, and Israel is surrounded by them. I did not mean you or people like you.
So like it or not that is my honest opinion. You are trapped, but in a way you have the ability to see both sides and that is a great thing.
All blessed luck in the world to you and yours.
We all must learn to think differently in these times. It seems like you have.
I know I am older and I come from an era where things were black and white. I was shocked by 9/11. Compacency is no longer a luxury I or anyone can have. It does not really matter where we live.

Hunk   December 31st, 2008 2:06 am ET

Now back to the last question you asked me about the police forces, I left my comments and the clarification to you and Outraged and here what i tried to clear "The police was trained by countries like, Jordan, Egypt, the EU member states, United Arab Emirates and other countries, as a mean of helping the Palestinian establish their first self government on the road to peace. What do you think then? You must be thinking that they are Hamas forces, No they are under Palestinian authority headed by Abbas.
What will happen when the smoke of war is cleared as cease is reached, who you think will patrol the street tomorrow? will anybody accept to enroll? no one and this will make things worse for the Gazans and will fertile more suicide bombers in the absence of hope and a solution to end this.
My main point is that occupation is the main source by returning the land Israel have occupied in return for peace and a normal life with its surrounding, without that, the things will always reach to the bowling point..
Peace and god blessing to you and all yours mam.

Outraged Jew   December 31st, 2008 5:29 am ET

Hi Hunk and Karen,
I just got home so am now responding.

What you say Hunk is very important. There needs to be understanding of "who is Hamas"?

News and other sources have said there are 2 parts to Hamas, the security force and the militant wing. Hamas is not a blanket terrorist group as Israel claims.

It is so easy to just lump Arabs in one blanket group of 'extremist', 'Muslim terrorist', Islamic Fundamentalist', etc. This is what has been done to peoples throughout history, including Jews.

Who assassinated Rabin? A fundamentalist Jew.

There are extremists in ALL religions, but all religions are NOT made up of extremists.

For every two Jews, there are three opinions. This goes for all other cultures and faiths in the world, too. For every faith, there are more than just fundamentalist branches, ie, in Judaism, there's Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and more.

All faiths have Atheists. There are a LOT in Israel. Jews, yes. Belief in God, well...

It is important to educate ourselves and each other before jumping to conclusions about the 'other.'

Half truths and myths and hearsay creates too much conflict and misunderstanding, in my opinion.

Saudi   December 31st, 2008 6:15 am ET

Mr. President,

• Palestine and Iraq are two enduring ugly war zones, made deliberately or against the US will both considered the US policy dismal failure in the Middle East.

• Both wars considered the US policy dismal failure in the Middle East and expanding to other parts of the world.

• The world holds the US responsible and accountable for being part of both.

• The fundamental question is

To bring the two situations under control what are the promised changes you can make and live up to Mr. President?

How in the world great USA with great minds and vast recourses stay helpless and not able to bring about successful productive achievements and end the disastrous chaos???

Mr. President, you need to operate on Israel and make it bleed controllably, all necessary life saving operations on people are not clean and they bleed some blood, but they are life saviors.

miriam   December 31st, 2008 6:43 am ET

ywp, I'm sure from the safety and security of Canada it's easy to sit down in front of cbc or ctv and glean all your information from the TV screen. However if Ottawa or Kingston was continually bombarded with rockets from a terrorist run Montreal, I believe your attitude would change.

Michael from Costa Rica   December 31st, 2008 7:02 am ET

Obama should warn Israel to chill out. President-elect Obama should state that future US policy will be fluid and based upon a pragmatic, not ideoligical, basis. Energy, and economic policy will dominate the news agenda. The US now owns Iraq and has a global military presence. Israel has not only become irrelevent to US security and economic interests but is now a liabilty to future reconciliation with the muslim world. The US has a lot of bridge building to do to regain it´s position in the world.

Michael from Costa Rica   December 31st, 2008 7:28 am ET

Hey Miriam, being safe in Canada has been a long and hard fought battle. Trying to differentiate ourselves from gringos is a daily challenge. Sometimes we even work up a sweat, but most of the time our nature leads us away from conflict. We invented peace-keeping, our soldiers have bled in more countries in the name of peace than any other nation. Morality guides our use of force, and our voice is louder for this guiding principle. Why is the general perserption of gringos very negative and of Canadians the opposite? Wake up and read history and try debate and not water-boarding.

M Ariely   December 31st, 2008 7:45 am ET

Doctors know that diagnosing a disease by treating the symptoms(terror) is wrong
They are looking for the rout cause (doctrines) and later treat it ending the disease and the symptoms

Hopfully ms Obama, the CHANGE presidend will find the way to united countries and Muslim people willing to resist the terror groups and supporting countries to act openly and non stop against them untill they will be defeated

Example of rout cause (doctrine):

Muslim Brotherhood Website: Jihad Against Non-Muslims Is Obligatory October 17, 2008

Muslim Brotherhood website posted articles by Dr. Ahmad 'Abd Al-Khaleq about Al-Walaa Wa'l-Baraa, an Islamic doctrine which stipulates absolute allegiance to the community of Muslims and
total rejection of non-Muslims and of Muslims who have strayed from the path of Islam.

a Muslim can come closer to Allah by hating all non-Muslims – Christians, Jews, atheists, or polytheists – and by waging jihad against them in every possible manner.

Example of symptone(terror)
Hamas Leader Khaled Mash'al: Our Proposal for Tahdiah ("Calm") Is Tactical
interview aired on Al-Jazeera TV on April 25, 2008

In 2003, we began a tahdiah, and later renewed the operations. The same thing happened following 2005

Hamas and the will use the tahdiah to grow stronger, both in terms of weapons and training, and that the people will recover and prepare for the next round, because we are talking about a tactical tahdiah

ben   December 31st, 2008 9:51 am ET







Saudi   December 31st, 2008 10:22 am ET


The win win fair solution is what we want to see for stopping stop the war and killings, Not the way you desire to continue with the satanic madness and never ending cycle of violence, terror, fear and killings.

It takes courageous US leadership to bring about the changes that will make the deference; President Obama is seen as last hop for the good things that America can give to the region and to the world.

Other wise, no change, no deference.

Saudi   December 31st, 2008 10:29 am ET

Sorry ben,

not yurs,!


i am struggeling with my english.

Tony Larue   December 31st, 2008 10:13 pm ET

Yes, Yes, Yes. They were elected. Tell THEM TO DESTROY ALL THEIR MISSILES but also tell them if they fire their missiles into Israel again they are doomed.


mahmoud jboor   January 1st, 2009 12:52 am ET

thanks to (out raged jew) obama must engage with hamas .......US and the world needs badly the change that obama promised....if you are after a solution you have to contact with people outside WDC and absolutely free from Lobbyiest effect !!! we dont want more than just and fare and equal rights for all !!!

Debs   January 1st, 2009 7:49 am ET


robert rice   January 1st, 2009 10:24 am ET

Mr Obama should not comment at the present time as he is not yet the President.

When he does comment, I hope that he will realise that one of the biggest problems is the Israeli Blockade of Gaza which for months had been denying the Palestinians their right to make a living. For the Gaza economy to function it must import raw materials, process them, and export them to the world. As long as this murderous collective punishment is imposed by Israel on the Palestinian refugees from Israel, one must expect that the Palestinians must be very angry and even somewhat mentally disturbed. Can you imagine how you were feel if you were kicked out of your own country (Israel-Palestine) unjustly, not allowed to even work in your own country, and then banned from making a living in your refugee camp, how you would feel? Many more Palestinians have died from the blockage than Israelis have been killed by missiles from Gaza. I am certain if even some of the rights of the Palestinians are restored, the missles will quickly stop. Let us all work to restoring at least some of the Palestinian rights, firstly lifting the blockade, and then have the ceasefire leading to a long-term agreement with justice for all.

Robert Rice

Keira   January 1st, 2009 12:28 pm ET

Why is it that when people are attacked, on their own land, and they fight back...they are considered "Terrorists"? So, the Native Americans were the first American terrorists??? Why are we, as Americans, always sticking our noses into everyone's business? For the betterment of others? To 'help' them? NOT...this country does nothing without an agenda. Believe it or not, not every country around the world embraces our 'freedom' and don't wish our 'way of life' forced on them. We need to worry about the problems inside our own country before we go trying to 'fix' everyone else s. If through humanitarian help, we choose to assist those in need...Thank God. Other than that, keep your political noses out of other people's problems!!!

miriam   January 2nd, 2009 8:04 am ET

Robert, the blockade was the result of repeated rocket attacks into Israel and the violent take-over of Gaza by Hamas. Egypt closed their border completely, and the EU monitors ran away.

Tony Adenuga   January 2nd, 2009 1:11 pm ET

Why dont we leave Obama out of this.This guy is having enough up his sleeve as regards US economy to contend with. Why is everybody hiding thier face behind fingers. Hamas is the culprit on this mattar.Why should Hamas and the so called concerned world parties ,decided to feel it is ok while Hamas continued thier rocket launching to Israel.No one cautioned them. Now.... when Israel decided to protect his people...Every where became noisy....Let Hamas continue thier rocket and let Israel continue thier campaign on all sides and manner....and lets see how it goes.

Tony Larue   January 2nd, 2009 6:02 pm ET

Yes, Yes, and soon. There are always two sides to a coin. Anything to start the process in order to save lives on both sides.

David Arndt   January 2nd, 2009 9:22 pm ET

Yes, he should engage them. We should get right in there with Israel and put a stop to the killing of innocent people. Hamas is just a tool of people trying to put a end to Israel. And Gaza is the staging area.

Art Marshall   January 3rd, 2009 3:42 am ET

i was very chagrined a few years ago to learn that the US had appointed a Jew to go to the Middle
East to negotiate peace between Palentinians and Jews. The says a lot, negatively, about the integrity of the apparent US-Israel connection. In America. we do not send a Commanche to negotiate peace between Commanches and their enemy of the moment.

Saudi   January 3rd, 2009 6:09 am ET

The WHITE HOUSE way of life = confront terrorism with terrorism.
The WHITE HOUSE values = confront violence with violence.
The WHITE HOUSE Justice = confront weakness with power.
The WHITE HOUSE solution = confront Plestinians with Israelis.

Lori E.- California   January 3rd, 2009 9:44 am ET

YES! Absolutely YES, Obama should deal with the elected government Hamas. Let's stop the political rhetoric that if we like them they are defending themselves and if we don't like them they are terrorists. The distinction is not so clear now. WE ELECTED OBAMA FOR CHANGE! NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE PEACE!

Al   January 3rd, 2009 4:53 pm ET

I think the U.S. should just stay out of the conflict. Ever since Bush took office in 2001 there has not been peace. Its a shame that Hamas is identified as a terrorist organization. Why? Is it because they are against Israel? Israel is the real terrorists in this war, their the ones killing innocent people, children. I think Obama should just leave the conflict alone. The United States has enough problems as is.

Lori E.- California   January 3rd, 2009 7:39 pm ET

Al makes a good point and perhaps a U.N. commission or other mediator should take this on, however I think the US State Dept should be involved to encourage Isreal to come to the negotiation table.

dan perman   January 3rd, 2009 8:14 pm ET


encourage israel to come to the negotiating table?

negotiating what? read the hamas charter and then come back to me and explain what israel should negotiate, please

Tony Larue   January 3rd, 2009 10:26 pm ET

Again, brother Barack please meet with Hamas and lay the gauntlet down. God will understand your good will for peace. At the same time or there very soon after meet with Israel and lay the gauntlet down once and for all also.

May God bless you and keep you safe brother Barack

ZIZZO   January 4th, 2009 1:30 am ET

dan perman...

israel is an occupying force killing innocent civilians, demolishing homes, mosque, starving 1.5 million people....

You want peace you must give justice....

They killed Jesus once and now they are killing him againa and again...
Jesus is turning in his grave for the autrocities that are committed

ZIZZO   January 4th, 2009 1:43 am ET

israel is an occupying force killing innocent civilians, demolishing homes, mosque, starving 1.5 million people….

You want peace you must give justice….

They killed Jesus once and now they are killing him againa and again…
Jesus is turning in his grave for the autrocities that are committed

richard berube   January 4th, 2009 3:38 am ET

Obama should let Israel down forcing those jews to behave like civilised people for once. they are very courageous with the palestinian who are not armed they were less some decades ago. bring them with the same forces equilibrium and you will see them running for a peace agreement as equal not as a power against people who are powerless

richard berube   January 4th, 2009 3:58 am ET

what do you expect from Israel they even killed their savior....

rolf   January 4th, 2009 4:59 am ET

I would like to know if Israel is using DIME bombs(Dense Inert Metal Explosives)?.These are new Us developed explosives designed for urban warfare.

Tom   January 4th, 2009 5:15 am ET

It looks like another bailout will be necessary in the middle east. The new President will need several billion for this one. Win, lose, or draw, there is no way the US taxpayer should finance such stupidity. It is time to stop and think, Let the arabs and the jews pay for their own crazy war.

Obama should stop all military aid to Israel on January 20. That would be a change to believe in.

My bet is it will be same old, same old.

ahmad   January 4th, 2009 5:29 am ET

the whole war in gaza is going on not for ending the hamas rocket launching into israel but it is a matter of ethnic cleansing. israel wants to get rid of all palestinians!

Haia   January 4th, 2009 5:32 am ET

I say that the Israel people and soldiers to stop their shooting in Gaza and hamas the Gaza people have no food or clothing nor electricity for a month. what did the children do this is just horrible to see and hear about.


Keith Yakouboff   January 4th, 2009 5:35 am ET

This will stop when the WORLD - including all those misguided demonstrators - stop making moral equivalence between Hamas/Hezbollah and Israel. It will stop when the Arabs get miffed when Hamas deliberately launches rockets at Israeli civlians and not only when Israel fires back in response.

Israel retreats, gives land to these people and, as many had warned them, this was nothing more than appeasement. That served as nothing more than a rallying cry for Hamas/Hezbollah. Instead of using that to make a better life for Joe Blow Palestinian, they used it as a base to fire more attacks at an enemy they see as losing its resolve.

rolf   January 4th, 2009 5:38 am ET


hoping.for.peace   January 4th, 2009 5:39 am ET

This conflict is disgusting. The world is watching these poor Palestinians being slaughtered in their own homes, which has been systemically degraded into the world's largest open air prison.

America is sending 3 billion dollars a year to Israel, which goes to military expenditure mostly. American tax dollars are facilitating the death and destruction of Palestinian children and civilians. We should feel remorse over this fact.

Israel keeps trying to divide the Palestinian people against Hamas, but don't forget that they were democratically elected by the Palestinians. Therefore this has nothing to do with Hamas but is instead a clear War Crime against HUMAN BEINGS!!

David Cradle   January 4th, 2009 5:43 am ET

These battles that have been taking place in the Middle East are not new. They have been raging for maybe 5000 years or better. The decendants of Abraham, or his sons to be more specific, will continue to rage on until the end. We are fortunate to be in a country that knows that by supporting Israel we ourselves well be blessed, also. As soon as we turn away from Gods chosen people as a nation we ourselves will be condemned.

Terry Seymour   January 4th, 2009 5:46 am ET

The missles and rockets shot into Isreal is no different than Hitler shooting V-1s and V-2s into England and Holland during world war2...


These people want the Israelis dead and all westerners...
Including, byt not limited to, Americans, Britians, French, Sapnish, and Itilians... As eviidenced by 9-11, 4-11, the British subway attacks
and all those attacks that have been thwarted that we know nothing

Just think of all the money Hamas has spent on rockets and missles... Could have brought in food, what a novel idea that is...

They could have devoped the coast of the beautiful Mediterranean Sea with resorts and condos for vacation destinations...Last time i checked, this was very lucrative...

I guess Leisure and a good life are not as good as death to these people...

F Ansari   January 4th, 2009 5:49 am ET

It is shame that world most advanced weapon has been used against REFUGEE CAMP of Gaza. GAZA is not a planned city. This is annihilation by Israel. Propaganada has been unleashed against Palestinian civilian population. Civilian are targeteed and cicvilian infrastructure has been destroyed systematically by Israel. Why mosques are destroyed? Is this not planning to destroy Masjid Aqsa?
Israel and US is resposible for the modern day holocast. Which is much bigger. Stop killing children.

hala   January 4th, 2009 5:58 am ET

It's just absurd to look at the situation in Gaza outside its historic frame. The fact is, Israel DOES NOT have the right to defend itself because it is simply OCCUPYING the land that it is on. Palestinians know that, Israelis know that, but for the rest of the world it is just what the media is feeding them... Certainly saying "the right to defend itself" won't help project the truth. Palestinians will NEVER give up sacrificing their lives, block Israelis' bullets with their chests, and object to the brutal inhumane aggression of Israelis by being buried under the ruins of their own houses.
So, stop the BULL (as you claim) and state the facts as they are, maybe the UN site will give you a brief history of how Israel came to be. It doesn't matter which country admits Israel as a state, it's not their land anyway to be the judge. It's Palestine's SAY, no matter who agrees or objects!!!
Would love to see a small ethnic group occupying a state in the US and claiming it's their own! Truly, "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely!!!"

Mr Anonymous   January 4th, 2009 6:03 am ET

While organisations such as Hamas and Hezbollah support fascist ideologies and are the machine to carry out their beliefs all that has happened in the past with regards to ceasefires are that during those periods they continue to construct and strengthen the machine and then to try to fulfil the ideology when they please.

Although I do not agree with violence or innocent lives on either side being lost, I cannot believe that international community’s call for a ceasefire and allow this to happen. This conflict has continued for decades due to the repetitive nature of these calls and this does not offer a permanent resolution to the issue.

Every man woman and child deserves to live in peace however while one force believes in the eradication of the other how can fire cease? This is evident throughout the history of the conflict therefore this issue will never be resolved if it continues to carry on in the same cycle and terror organisations with such belief will always initiate or violence and break the cease fire as their ideologies cannot otherwise be fulfilled.

Such organisations need to be dismantled and in place need to be asserted governments who concentrate on providing a positive influence in a world that is suffering enough from threats of global, warming, nuclear war, famine and disease.

Nobody wants to see the Palestinian people suffer however they will continue to do so while they are under the reign of blood thirsty fascists who wish to construct the ability to bring nothing but death to the Jewish people and others beyond that.

This is only comparable to ideologies such as Adolf Hitler’s although it is unique in its own right and all that seems to be happening is that the machine is being given opportunities to strengthen.

This is not sugar coated or being presented in ribbons the truth is being laid out and the removal of such organisations is necessary as the Jewish people wish to live in peace with their neighbours but are unable to do so due to the belief they should not exist. Again fire cannot “cease” in this scenario as there will always be provocative measures being taken to eradicate them.

The laws of God have been broken on this holy land for far too long and blood is still being shed on the land when it should not be. To my disbelief it seems as if the international community’s seem to make this situation accumulate to what it is due to its lack of assertiveness and willingness to correct the situation.

This may not make me the most popular person regardless of that what is laid out is perhaps one of the only ways there will be peace on that land unless organisations such as Hamas recognises Israel which is contradictive of everything it stands for.

Peace out! :)

Summer   January 4th, 2009 6:09 am ET

The Palestinian issue has been the hot potato issue for Israelis, all Arab Leaders & countries, and the West. After 60 years of occupation, Palestinians have been scarified along the way by all parties. Palestinians children deserve to live in peace, have their basic needs met, and most importantly have hope for the future. Unfortunately, the occupation and the continuous conflict has resulted in most of them facing death in the family, poverty, and desperation. This has led to extremism as it does in every situation when hope is taken away. Both Israelis and Palestinians want the same dreams Americans dream of. At the human level, we are children of God (both Jews and Arabs) and we all deserve to be safe, free, and to live in dignity. It's time for the US, Palestinians and Israel to consider a real peaceful and equitable solution. The continued violence will only produce another generation of Israelis and Palestinians full of hatred and animosity. As a Christian Arab born in Israel, I have lived with Jews, Moslems, and Christians and I know we can be good neighbors if we chose to.

Sir Wycliff   January 4th, 2009 6:18 am ET

Hala (I hope not the same as the CNN correspondent), Jews have been in the Palestinian region for centuries. Their so-called occupation was actually, at one time, a comparatively peaceful co-existence between the Arabs and the Jews. Exactly how are the Jews "occupying" anything? And you seem to forget that they gave Hamas a chance to make something of that territory when they told their own Jewish citizens to pack up and LEAVE. That was quite a concession no one seems to want to give Israel credit for. And how did Hamas respond? By building infrastructure? By encouraging economic development along a beautiful Mediterranean coastline? By creating a public transportation system and inviting foreign investment?


But by initiating TWO dramatic military confrontations SINCE. You defend an organization that does not fight for territorial integrity, but for a principal item in their charter, namely, the complete destruction of the Jewish state. This is nothing more than pure anti-Jew racism.

What I don't get is, people condemn Israel for killing civilians when they're making a concerted effort to strike military targets, but they NEVER utter a bloody peep when Hamas or Hezbollah HIDE behind those same women and children or DELIBERATELY target Israeli civilians. Not a word is ever heard.

I'd LOVE to see a Palestine and an Israel living side by side, as trading partners and maybe even allies in a military cooperation treaty. But as long as one side has as its officially declared goal the complete, Nazi-like elimination of the other, spec., Hamas against Israel, then there will never be a peace and unreasoning folks will continue to come out of the woodwork to defend Hamas when they'd do the same frickin' thing Israel has done if in their shoes.

Len Bruno   January 4th, 2009 6:32 am ET

Israel was established in 1949, but before that there was no Jewish State, and they had no allegiance to any country. They were generally independent, only religion and family bound them together. Now they have a country and are forced to deal with policy and neighbors. This is very difficult for a people who have never been required to have neighbors.
There is a philosophy of independence which Israel has, that says I will live my life and you live yours; if I don’t want to talk to you I don’t have too; I don’t care about your problem and if you want to drop dead its fine with me; just do your job, pay your bills, and shut up. I believe Israel has this mind set, and this philosophy is not working, and sadly Israel doesn’t have the experience to know how to change it. They go back to the only source they have which is the Old Testament in the bible which of course say ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ Well it’s not working! They must try something different, like compassion and understanding. You must always do this with the people who are in your sphere. Sometimes it’s hard to do, but if not you will always have a fight

Mr Anonymous   January 4th, 2009 7:10 am ET

As you say they go back to the Old Testament from where they have wondered the land of Israel for Thousand of years unfortunately back then there was no piece of paper printed through a system which recognised it as a state.

Back then the word of God was enough and valid, unfortunately that message has been distorted since then and in its place war and fascism brought in, carried out in his name.

Had only legal systems been as advanced as what was documented in the Torah perhaps the document would not be plagiarised and the world would not be in this situation.

But the law which protected its copyright had not been recognised which lays within the document. Only now are our legal systems nearly as advanced as in a modern day you cannot write a spin off to Harry Potter.

It is sad that something as insignificant as a book of fiction is protected more than something which has fundamentally shaped the world. I suppose Israel and the Jewish people are responsible and to blame for that?

It is sad that Gods laws of peace and good will have somehow been distorted and turned into a message of death and violence and to destroy what he wished to exist for the Jewish people.

Perhaps this is where the imbalance lies, where the word of men take preference over the message of God do we need to write out his Laws?

You cannot pick up the argument at a date convenient to justify your argument you must look at the root causes of it as no cure to a situation can ever be established unless you find what fuel fires it.

Where you say you must try something different unless you will always have a fight, that is quite contradictive of itself. Why is the owness on Israel? Surely it takes two hands to clap..... Why is it ok for the other side to initiate the fight, you are not looking at this from an non biass perspective which is why what you are saying will never bring peace.

It is sad, people are people they should not be made to suffer regardless of their race, religion etc (referring to the Palestinians)..... Neither should a bone be picked with a people who have done really nothing and do not initiate violence (The innocent Jewish people targeted because a fascist regime felt it had built up enough strength to break cease fire)

It is obvious what they are doing and politics are being used as a tool to achieve their goals. Egypt what problem, what rockets and weapon smuggling? Hmmmm

Sharon Penland-Mace   January 4th, 2009 9:16 am ET

I am totally stunned by the way the protesters in support of the Palestinians are reluctant and even refuse to even acknowledge the fact of the rocket attacks on Israel that have, according to reports, been ongoing for years and had reached such intensity recently that Israel was forced to take action. The Palestine spokespeople blithly dismiss any questions about these rocket attacks. Those who blindly attack Israel's actions, while ignoring the fact of aggression against Israel seem to be averring that Palestinian lives are more valuable than Israeli lives. I do not understand this. Even as this conflict continues, the rockets from Hamas are still being directed at Israel, threatening their women and children and other civilians. I don't think anyone who is aware of the policies and actions of the USA could honestly say that if this country were attacked in a manner similar to what has happened to Israel, this country would be unloosing military might with such fury as to make Israel's response seem mild in comparison. One has only to remember history: What happened to Japan after the Pearl Harbor attack? What happened after 9/11?
I wonder how the people who are protesting Israel's defensive actions would feel if it were their homes and their children and their cities and their country that were being bombarded by rocket missiles. I am sure they would be outraged if their leaders did not take defensive actions to protect them.

Sharon   January 4th, 2009 9:36 am ET

Does Israel have a right to exist? Does the United States? We took this territory from 500 Nations of native Americans. Europe and any continent you look at, check the long-term history. Land has "belonged" to many different "tribes" of people over centuries, including the Middle Eastern territories. Get over it. Israel exists as a fact of life. As long as the Arab world insists on threatening to anniliate Israel (shades of Hitler), there can never be any peace. Any cease fire will just be a temporary cessation of hostilities.

Richard Kelland   January 5th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

Why does CNN not present a map of the world, and particularly the middle east, with an intelligence presentation on pro-Hamas states and organisations vs moderate states more aligned with western thinking, illuminating perhaps the alignment of Shi’ite and other radical Islam sects against the rest. Discussion around current conflict areas and their linkages as part of an overall strategy of destabiliation would allow insight into the problems we are facing, highlighting the fact that the Israeli/Hamas conflict has its roots deeply imbedded in the broader context. Simply focussing on snapshots and footage of the conflict and victims, and knee-jerk responses from around the world, is not illuminating the reasons for the conflict.

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