Quotes About "Palestine"

Remember: Israel is bad! Its existence keeps reminding Muslims what a bunch of losers they are.
"There will be no peace until they will love their children more than they hate us."

-Golda Meir-
'If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more ‎violence. If the Jews put ‎down their weapons ‎today, there would be no ‎more Israel'‎

~Benjamin Netanyahu~
"Peace for us means the destruction of Israel. We are preparing for an all out war, a war which will last for generations.

~Yasser Arafat~
"The Palestinian people have no national identity. I, Yasser Arafat, man of destiny, will give them that identity through conflict with Israel."

~ Yasser Arafat ~
"The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel. For our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of Palestinian people, since Arab national interest demand that we posit the existence of a distinct 'Palestinian people' to oppose Zionism".

~ Zahir Muhse'in ~

Friday, December 11, 2009

What went wrong in Gaza?

Nahum Barnea discusses two key lessons of Operation Cast Lead’s grim aftermath

Of all the IDF’s operations and wars, why did Operation Cast Lead prompt so much trouble for Israel on the international stage? This painful question has several answers. Two of them pertain to very sensitive issues in the Israeli experience; these issues should be part of our public discourse.

Size does matter, says Prime Minister Netanyahu. Had the operation ended after a few days, rather than after 22 days, it would not have provoked such wave of hatred. As the operation dragged on, the people who watched it on their television screens became increasingly brainwashed. An Israeli military move has to be short: Otherwise, we’ll pay a heavy price for it.

However, some ministers in the Olmert government point to Defense Minister Barak’s and Army Chief Ashkenazi’s fears. These ministers say that the length of the operation changed nothing, because the backing provided by President George W. Bush allowed Israel to continue fighting. The root of all evil, in their view, is the placement of IDF casualties above any other consideration.

When zero casualties becomes the most important thing, we end up delaying the operation as much as possible and embark on it in winter, we bomb Gaza from the air instead of sending in ground forces, we respond with exaggerated fire to any threat, and from the moment the operation begins we keep on seeking a ceasefire in one way or another.

The truth is that there was no real combat in Gaza. The difference in casualty figures attests to that: The IDF lost 10 soldiers, including four killed by friendly fire. The Palestinians sustained 1,100 to 1,400 casualties. Many of them were unarmed civilians.

What Israeli public opinion perceived as victory, was perceived in other countries as a modern and well-protected military assaulting a helpless civilian population.

To me it appears that the lesson identified by Netanyahu makes sense: Extended military campaigns come with a heavy price. Even if the pressure is not exerted during the military move, it follows in its wake.

Values distorted

However, former Prime Minister Olmert’s argument also makes sense: Something around here has become distorted in respect to our values: The safety of soldiers has become more important than the safety of the civilians they are supposed to safeguard. What started with certain naiveté through the “Four Mothers” campaign to pull out of Lebanon has become the dominant spirit here; the sense accompanying officers on the ground.

Israel’s wars are now measured using the same criteria used for road accidents: The achievements or results don’t count, but rather, the statistics do – the number of casualties among our troops.

On several occasions in the past, Israel found itself facing a wave of condemnations on the intentional stage. Every time we were able to overcome it, thanks to the American veto and thanks to the fact that the whole world is not against us.

The entanglement this time is a little tougher, especially because of the immense influence of the new media – Arab satellite networks and websites – on public opinion, and because of the massive presence of human right groups and their ability to stimulate legal processes, boycotts, and Western government decisions.

There is almost no doubt that had there been a diplomatic process going on at this time, the pressure would have been lighter. Yet it would be naïve to think that a diplomatic process would have prevented the pressure altogether. The Palestinians would not miss the opportunity to condemn Israel in the international arena: It’s their most effect weapon.

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More Quotes About "Palestine"

"There is no such country as Palestine. 'Palestine' is a term the Zionists invented. There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria. 'Palestine' is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it".

- Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, Syrian Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937 -

"There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not".

- Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian, 1946 -

"It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria".

- Representant of Saudi Arabia at the United Nations, 1956 -

Concerning the Holy Land, the chairman of the Syrian Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in February 1919 stated:
"The only Arab domination since the Conquest in 635 c.e. hardly lasted, as such, 22 years".

"There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent (valley of Jezreel, Galilea); not for thirty miles in either direction... One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings. For the sort of solitude to make one dreary, come to Galilee... Nazareth is forlorn... Jericho lies a mouldering ruin... Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and humiliation... untenanted by any living creature... A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds... a silent, mournful expanse... a desolation... We never saw a human being on the whole route... Hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil had almost deserted the country... Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes... desolate and unlovely...".

- Mark Twain, "The Innocents Abroad", 1867 -

"In 1590 a 'simple English visitor' to Jerusalem wrote: 'Nothing there is to bescene but a little of the old walls, which is yet remayning and all the rest is grasse, mosse and weedes much like to a piece of rank or moist grounde'.".

- Gunner Edward Webbe, Palestine Exploration Fund,
Quarterly Statement, p. 86; de Haas, History, p. 338 -

"The land in Palestine is lacking in people to till its fertile soil".

- British archaeologist Thomas Shaw, mid-1700s -

"Palestine is a ruined and desolate land".

- Count Constantine François Volney, XVIII century French author and historian -

"The Arabs themselves cannot be considered but temporary residents. They pitched their tents in its grazing fields or built their places of refuge in its ruined cities. They created nothing in it. Since they were strangers to the land, they never became its masters. The desert wind that brought them hither could one day carry them away without their leaving behind them any sign of their passage through it".

- Comments by Christians concerning the Arabs in Palestine in the 1800s -

"Then we entered the hill district, and our path lay through the clattering bed of an ancient stream, whose brawling waters have rolled away into the past, along with the fierce and turbulent race who once inhabited these savage hills. There may have been cultivation here two thousand years ago. The mountains, or huge stony mounds environing this rough path, have level ridges all the way up to their summits; on these parallel ledges there is still some verdure and soil: when water flowed here, and the country was thronged with that extraordinary population, which, according to the Sacred Histories, was crowded into the region, these mountain steps may have been gardens and vineyards, such as we see now thriving along the hills of the Rhine. Now the district is quite deserted, and you ride among what seem to be so many petrified waterfalls. We saw no animals moving among the stony brakes; scarcely even a dozen little birds in the whole course of the ride".

- William Thackeray in "From Jaffa To Jerusalem", 1844 -

"The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is of a body of population".

- James Finn, British Consul in 1857 -

"The area was underpopulated and remained economically stagnant until the arrival of the first Zionist pioneers in the 1880's, who came to rebuild the Jewish land. The country had remained "The Holy Land" in the religious and historic consciousness of mankind, which associated it with the Bible and the history of the Jewish people. Jewish development of the country also attracted large numbers of other immigrants - both Jewish and Arab. The road leading from Gaza to the north was only a summer track suitable for transport by camels and carts... Houses were all of mud. No windows were anywhere to be seen... The plows used were of wood... The yields were very poor... The sanitary conditions in the village [Yabna] were horrible... Schools did not exist... The rate of infant mortality was very high... The western part, toward the sea, was almost a desert... The villages in this area were few and thinly populated. Many ruins of villages were scattered over the area, as owing to the prevalence of malaria, many villages were deserted by their inhabitants".

- The report of the British Royal Commission, 1913 -

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