Why land for peace is dead
November 15th, 2012
06:29 PM ET

Why land for peace is dead

By Michael Rubin, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School. The views expressed are his own.

On September 18, 1978, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin signed the so-called Camp David Accords, cementing the notion that land for peace would become the basis for a resolution of the Arab-Israel conflict. Their agreement led to a peace treaty the following year between Israel and Egypt. However the current fighting between Israel and Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip ends, one thing is certain: the era of land-for-peace is over.

At first, Jimmy Carter’s land-for-peace formula looked promising. One in three Arabs lived in Egypt. Within the White House and at Foggy Bottom, presidents and diplomats believed that where Egypt went, so would go the Arab world. Hence, the precedent of trading the Sinai for peace became a source of hope.

It was this example that Bill Clinton sought to capitalize upon in the 1993 Oslo Accords. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed to recognize Israel and work toward peace in exchange for land in historical Palestine. I was in Bahrain in 1994 when PLO chairman Yasser Arafat entered the Gaza Strip to establish the Palestinian Authority. Enthusiasm was palpable across the region. Within weeks, Jordan had signed its own peace accord with Israel, and Persian Gulf emirates, Tunisia, and Morocco looked like they might follow suit.

The logic of land for peace became the basis for Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May 2000. The formula of trading land for peace had already begun to unravel. Israel expected if not peace, then quiet. They had removed the last remaining dispute between Israel and Lebanon. Alas, Israel’s withdrawal foreshadowed greater conflict. Even though the United Nations certified Israel’s withdrawal as complete, Hezbollah laid claim not only to the Shebaa Farms – an Israeli occupied area which historically is part of Syria – but also seven villages in the Galilee, a region well within Israel’s recognized borders.

More from GPS: what the Israel/Gaza violence means

Peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority was also rapidly deteriorating. Certainly, when it comes to the Arab-Israel conflict, there are always mutual recriminations. What is clear, however, is that Arafat had voided his pledge to resolve future conflict with Israel at the negotiating table. Many commentators mark the beginning of the “Second Intifada” as Likud leader Ariel Sharon’s September 28, 2000 visit to the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif. But this is dishonest. On August 24, 2000, several weeks before Sharon’s visit, Palestinian Justice Minister Freih Abu Middein threatened, “Violence is near, and the Palestinian people are willing to sacrifice even 5,000 casualties.” Communications Minister Imad al-Faluji reportedly admitted to Palestinian radio that “Arafat ordered preparations for the current intifada immediately after the Camp David summit, as part of the negotiating process with Israel.” The Oslo Process and the land-for-peace formula that underlay it had begun to breakdown.

Many warriors transform themselves into peacemakers in the twilight of their lives, and Sharon was no different. In 2005, Israel undertook a unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Palestinians and Israelis might argue about Jerusalem, right of return, and other final status issues, but there were no longer land disputes in Gaza. What followed was a disaster: Whereas southern Israel was once free of violence, suddenly towns like Sderot became targets for hundreds of rockets and missiles. Southern Lebanon, too, became a forward staging base for ever more advanced weaponry, as Hezbollah would demonstrate in 2006. The more land Israel ceded, the more insecure it became and the more violence her citizenry suffered. Sharon did not gamble that Gaza would become the launching ground from which Israel’s enemies could strike Tel Aviv for the first time since Saddam Hussein’s Scud missile attacks in 1991.

More from CNN: 'All options on the table' for Israel

The current violence will be the last straw for land-for-peace. Egypt’s withdrawal of its envoy convinces even Israeli doves that Arab countries see treaties as little more than truces. That the new Egyptian government appears complicit in smuggling weaponry to Hamas in violation of its commitment to police territory returned to it underlines this conclusion.

Palestinians hope for an independent state with the bulk if not the entirety of the West Bank as its core. But Israelis know that their country is less than 10 miles wide at its narrowest point. Forget heat-seeking missiles; withdrawal from the West Bank would put planes landing at Ben Gurion Airport within a terrorist’s rifle range. Most Israelis view their experience of land-for-peace in the same fashion that Native Americans consider their experience with the concept.

Diplomats may scramble for a ceasefire, but any quiet will be deceptive. Hamas’ decision to turn Gaza into a forward missile base rather than the engine for an independent Palestine condemns 35 years of peacemaking to history’s garbage bin and sets the stage for a conflict far more disruptive than anyone in the region has seen in a half century.

soundoff (419 Responses)
  1. Quigley

    The biggest mistake the Israelis ever made was to return the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt back in 1982. When the Israelis had it, they were building Kibutzes on it linked by newly built roads and thus making the desert bloom. After the Egyptians took it back, these farms were abandonned and were idle ever since due to the poor leadership of both Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak!

    November 15, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Reply
    • @llloydcata

      // the poor leadership of both Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak! //

      Both paid by the US to maintain the Israeli/Palestinian status quo, ...so here we are. Of course, there are "profits in chaos";
      "The Agenda of Inevitable Armageddon -vs- the Promise of Personal Paradise”, ...sponsored by the US Government", and paid for with the assets of the American people.

      November 15, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Reply
      • j. von hettlingen

        It looks as if the author bemoaned Israel's withdrawal from occupied land. It wasn't a mistake on Israel's side to trade land for peace. Yet the Palestinians saw it as evitable that Israel returned the land. This conflict has been going on for decades and will see no end, as long as both parties are stubborn and intransigent. It's the civilians who suffer most.

        November 16, 2012 at 5:57 am |
      • kortee

        Israel is a stand alone killing machine when cornered and unwilling to tolerate excuses any longer. Considering Israel's military hardware, and the quality of troops ,training and motivation, the only question is how many casulities do they want to inflict on their enemies. Is might right?

        November 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
      • ??

        Kortee: Is might = right? A good question. I thought the author's last comparison involving Native Americans and land grabbing/treaty dishonoring was spot-on but with the Isrealies as the invading white man in ever-increasing numbers. Both sides have broken treaty agreements and both sides are fatally stubborn. In the end, I see Israel grabbing land back and taking whatever it wants with might and not right.

        November 18, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
      • texastea2000

        I do not know what meds you are taking but you missed a dose or took a LITTLE to much.America's fault again Screw that.

        November 18, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • gliese42

      They have been doing this for centuries. The West never learn but now their trojan horse in Egypt. Watch Europe break like Yugoslavia did

      November 15, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Reply
      • gliese42

        Grammar error. The trojan horse is in Europe

        November 16, 2012 at 12:01 am |
      • Mickey 1313

        America helped europe break yugoslavia because it was a thriving socialist nation and stood In the way of the formation of the eu.

        November 17, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
      • texastea2000


        November 18, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Thinker23

      Returning Sinai to Egypt in accordance with the NEGOTIATED AND RATIFIED PEACE AGREEMENT was NOT a "mistake" but the ONLY possible way to go. The alternative would be violation of the agreement Israel signed, a PROOF that Israel is not interested in peace, a subsequent isolation of the Jewish State from its former allies and, finally, the end of Israel as a sovereign state... Exactly what the enemies of Israel are dreaming about.

      On the other hand, "LAND FOR PEACE" could not, did not and will not work because it was both UNREASONABLE AND UNFAIR. "Land for peace" was UNFAIR because it assumed that only one side in the conflict (in this case, Israel) was interested in peace and that this peace-loving side was supposed to purchase peace from the other, violent, side and pay for it by land while the violent side would get BOTH land and peace for free. In addition, "Land for peace" was UNREASONABLE because it assumed that after getting land AND peace in return for terrorism and thus proving that terrorism WORKS the terrorists would somehow become peaceful.

      November 16, 2012 at 11:12 am | Reply
      • truthordare7

        Land for peace deals with Muslims is a stupid idea to begin with and i am glad the Israelis are realizing that. Instead of developing and helping his people along to a better future, Arafat, the terrorist that he was, went on to using that deal to launch more land grabs. The same with Lebanon. They will always find an excuse to threaten Israel and this conflict will continue for decades to come. Lesson of the century, don't trust the muslims to keep a treaty.

        November 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
      • Fred Phred

        Right on. At the time everyone knew that this was simply a way for the PLO to grab land and then re-negotiate a better deal later.

        It seems like they are no longer satisfied with their original deal, now they are trying it all over again.

        Why not? They have nothing to lose, except their reputation.. But since when has that meant anything to the PLO.

        November 17, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
      • Esaias

        Hey dope (Thinker23), the reason why land for peace didn't work is because Arab MUSLIMS are stubborn, violent donkeys whose lives are worthless if they are not trying to f&ck up someone's else's.

        November 18, 2012 at 12:09 am |
      • yuval

        Dear Thinker. You miss the main point which is that Muslims do not sign treaties. They sign Hudna-s which means a temporary truce. The Muslim is obliged to disregard the Hudna if he has reason to believe he can get away with it and gain an advantage in the war to subdue his opponent. The treaty is a sham because it rests on a basic misunderstanding of the West of what that signature means. Nazism took a cue from Islam, thus Chmberlain returns with Peace, and reaps war.

        November 18, 2012 at 4:50 am |
      • Susie

        It's amazing how so many Americans are misinformed by America's pro-Israel media that the same lies and misinformation keeps being repeated by so many as facts.
        It is so unacceptable to speak of the Arabs and/or Muslims as people who have are dishonest or liars or treaty breakers....etc.
        The Palestinian Israeli conflict is simply portrayed and presented as one sided in the USA. The Israeli side. How else do we explain that the only occupied people in the world are still imprisoned, killed, starved and deprived of all their basic human rights but yet the American psyche is "OK" with it? It's because the pro-Israeli, pro-Jewish and mostly Jewish owned and controlled media in the US has already brainwashed us over all these years to see Israel as the dove and the victim but the Palestinians who are the true victims of Israel are seen as the aggressors and the terrorists.
        The Palestinians have been wronged all these years by the US first as the US created Israel and continues to support the aggressive and criminal and state sponsored terrorism of the state of Israel. The western world who has been sympathetic to the Jewish blight under Nazi Germany has had to openly support Israel so they are not accused of being anti Jewsh. This all helped make the indigonous people of Palestine have to live under this I humane and criminal occupation with little support from the world.
        Shame on the United States for the blind support of the Terrorist State of Israel and shame on the western powers and the United Nations for allowing the terrorist criminal state of Israel to continue to kill, torture, starve and deprive a large population of their basic human rights. God bless and help the weak and occupied people of Palestine.

        November 18, 2012 at 9:46 am |
      • Opizze

        A) If you want peace stop firing rockets into Israel. Hamas obviously doesn't want peace, even if they have a legitimate greivance against Israel, because they continue to perpetrate acts of war against Israel.
        B) Israel may have, and almost certainly has, performed morally wrong acts in pursuit of it's own interests. What country hasn't, including our own?
        C) The article DOES make good points. Israel did cede control of conquered territory after consistently defeating Arab aggression against them. For making that step they were attacked by an opposing force that espouses peace. Really?

        Israel made legitimate attempts at peace, and have succeeded in some few ways, but if Palestinians are not willing to let go of the past than this fight will never end. Similarly Israel must be willing to let go of past, but they will absolutely have to now judge the past and guarantee their own security in any future attempts at peave. This conflict will not be resolved otherwise unless, ofcourse, we remove the leash from the IDF and let them make another statement to every enemy of Israel by systematically and irrevocably destroying their opposition. Power in all its' forms makes peace (while humanity remains in its' current state of consciousness, at least).

        November 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
      • Skeptic007

        Susie is so correct. This situation explains why Iran needs nuclear weapons. This is the only thing that will oppose Israel Terrorism from spreading across the Mid East. Why can Israel have hundreds of nuclear weapons and no one else can have even one? We are the ones paying $100,000 for each rocket Israel fires at incoming missiles. So we borrow money from China and increase our debt to keep our Terrorists in weapons. Very Smart, America.

        November 19, 2012 at 7:57 am |
      • joe800

        @ Susie – – the people who call themselves Palestinian are in fact, Lebanese, Syrians, Egyptians and Jordanians. Those same countries bear the responsibility of closing their border to these people. Israel grants these people greater access and provides more services than these other countries. Israel has never acted as the aggressor. Never attacked its neighbors. Firing on rocket launching sites is not an attack. Pushing Egypt back and occupying the land won in battle is not an attack. I hope Israel ends this by breaking the backs of Hamas and all the other muslim terrorists and driving them into the sea. Israel should have learned by now the racism of the world will always be brought to bear on them regardless of the truth, so they should crystallize the desert around them and be done with it.

        November 19, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Amir

      Wow! What a twisted logic this is!!!!!!! If Mexico invades the deserts of Arizona & New Mexico and build cities, streets and farms, you mean they should keep it because they are cultivating it?!!!!!! You have to be kidding. The nature of land is irrelevant to if it should be occupied or not. The conflict did not start in 1967, it started in 1948. Unless all Palestinian refugees go back to their homes and villages, peace will never occur there.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Reply
      • guest

        Then there will never be peace until every Arab has been pushed out of the area.

        Dealing with Arabs is like petting rattle snakes.

        November 16, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
      • Gayle G.


        Jews calling Israeli government evil and comitting genicide against Palestinians.

        November 16, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
      • momzna

        Don't you know that it was the other way around?

        November 17, 2012 at 10:43 am |
      • Chumash

        You are trying to twist the TRUTH! The fact that the country/area was called PALESTINE has no connection to any people called PALESTINIANS ARABS as we know them today. In fact you know darn well there is really no such ARAB people called Palestinians until ARAFAT created that rouse in the 1960's. The truth is "Palestinians" as well as Arafat weren't even from Palestine. They are from Jordan. The way they ended up in the West Bank desert is when Jordanian King Hussein killed them and they RAN for their LIVES out of his country when they tried to over throw him. For a history lesson look up on the web what exactly "BLACK SEPTEMBER" is all about. In fact the country who should be sreaming for the West Bank to be returned should be JORDAN. Part of it is actually JORDAN. Why aren't they asking for it back? The TRUTH is the Jordanians have pushed the millions of Palestinians on to the backs of the Israelis and the world has bought the line that somehow Palestinians are pushed and thrown out of ISRAEL. THE PALESTINIANS SHOULD HAVE A RIGHT TO RETURN TO THEIR HOMES...IT's JORDAN! But Jordan, as well as EVERY other ARAB country has turned their backs on the so called Palestinian refugees. THAT IS THE TRUTH!

        November 17, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
      • Susie

        You are a wonderful liar Chumash! But a loyal Israeli are'nt you? You are great at falsifying the facts and making things up which is a great trait that many Israelis perfect because it is taught in the schools of Israel.
        You want to convince us that Israel is such a wonderful democracy for the Palestinians! What a joke. That Israel offers them a better life than under any other Arab country! What a lie!
        The crimes and state terrorism Israel inflicts daily on the Palestinians is beyond describing and you know it. But tell me why do you and you likes lie to the American people and twist the right wrong and the wrong right? Do you have even a twinge of guilt when you constantly lie and lie and lie even more? I know it's in the Israeli psyche and culture but I don't know how you all live with yourselves knowing you are a bunch of liars!

        November 18, 2012 at 10:39 am |
      • RICH


        November 19, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • adam

      Land for peace is dead because is never existed in the first place. israelis are interested in free land, never in peace.

      November 16, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Reply
      • Esaias

        Hey dope (adam), the reason why land for peace didn't work is because Arab MUSLIMS are stubborn, violent donkeys whose lives are worthless if they are not trying to f&ck up someone's else's. Israel gave them land for possible peace, not the other way around.

        November 18, 2012 at 12:11 am |
      • professionalism, please

        Esaias, please zip it up: your hate is showing. Stick to the issues and leave the personal attacks behind.

        November 18, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • ajinla

      Land for peace you say? the only land for peace deal that will work out, is for Israel to either give back all the land it stiole from the Palestinians. Since we live in the real worl that ain't gonna take place, so the next option is for the palestinians and the Arabs to declare a nonstop war on the zionist state, and that will be the end of the Israel of today. You see as the old saying goes: nothing is more dangerous than a bleeding enemy that refuses to die. The palestinians are bleeding but they are refusing to die, once again I say, this the downfall of Israel. Shalom

      November 16, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Reply
      • MaidenMN

        Quite the contrary. Until the Jews returned to their historical homeland (and it was never completely abandoned by them), there was NOT ONE Arab on that land. They came around the turn of the 20th century for jobs that the Jews had for them in the fields and orchards and olive groves. The so-called "Palestinians" (never a real people because there was never a country called Palestine–that was a nickname the Romans gave to the Jewish land of Judea and Israel during the Roman occupation–also a time there were never any Arabs present). The Arabs have done nothing but steal land that wasn't theirs in the first place, yet cry all the time about being kicked out of the homes they stole from others.

        November 17, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
      • yuval

        The Pallies refuse to die in the same way that an actor in a film gets shot a thousand times and refuses to die. Because he is an actor. The Pallies are actors' acting out a part dictated by the Qur'an, which considers non-muslims non people. However, they never reckoned on the Jewish People to throw off Dhimmitude and take back their land promised them by the Lord, 2000 years before muhammad was invented to justify the Muslim blood-thristy empire. The Pallies will do themselves a favor by invading other places, such as France, Germany, the US, and whoever is stupid enough to take Muslims in

        November 18, 2012 at 5:32 am |
      • t

        Israel has the capability to launch about 60 nuclear armed, cruise missiles from submarine based platforms. They have close to 400 additional nuclear weapons. There is absolutely nothing all the states in the middle east could do to stop them from striking back. If pushed, Israel would erase Palestine from the map forever and kill 90% of the Muslims living in the middle east.

        November 18, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
      • JJ

        Never was a nation called 'palestine" ...so how can any land be stolen? "palestinians" are refugees from the surrounding arab states...not even the arab countries want them..the west bank belonged to Jordan who now has a peace tgreaty with ISrael, so the west bank (Judea) does beliong to Israel....."palastinians" were only named that after 1967 by te aids riddled arafat to be a thorn in Israel's side since the arab countries failed to beat them in war and take land, ....only people who think that "palestinian" land was stolen is a weak minded fool or a mus lim....Jerusalem has only been the capitol of one nation in all of history, and that is Israel...not sure where people are getting that this was one a nation called "palestine"......also, to you ignoramuses, gaza is not part of Israel, they have their own terrorist government and there is not ONE Israelis soldier there, Israel does not need to let them vote or have to take care of them at all, yet Israel provides them with water and electtricity....if the "palestinians" voted in hamas then why isnt hamas providing the essentials? Because they are spending the peoples money on rockets.......Israel is here to stay, no one will change that, and there is nothing any of the mus lims can do....

        November 19, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • franksol

      I guess you have heard of Sharm el Sheikh, right?... its a touristic are on the Red Sea, in the Sinai peninsula, and do you know that under the "peace agreement", not even the Egyptian employees are allowed to settle the area?... they must go back to mainland Egypt once in a while to visit their family, they can only come to their work during work days and that's it.
      Egypt is not allowed to build any town in the whole peninsula. And if it wants to increase even the police force for security, they still need an authorization from Israel.

      November 16, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Reply
    • reader

      so true..looks like deals based on trust and respect are long gone. Give the terrosist a finger and he'll grab your whole body.

      November 17, 2012 at 4:23 am | Reply
    • Franz Kafka

      The author implies that "Land for peace is dead." Perhaps it is, but what is to replace this policy? May I suggest the one state solution. Combine all of Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza into a modern multi-ethnic state. There is much to be disliked from all parties to this solution. Israel no longer claims to be a special "Jewish" state, the Palestinians have to accept that the Jews are here to stay, the future government of this land would have to find some sort of legal accommodation to redress the Palestinians that had lost their property when the current state of Israel was established, and a host of other legal and social problems will remain to be solved. But at least the emphasis will be on civilized mechanisms to create a functioning society. The alternatives? Continually reliving the tribal and ethnic violence and barbarous behavior, that currently bedevils the modern inhabitants of the former British Mandate of Palestine.

      November 17, 2012 at 11:00 am | Reply
      • jimm

        The palestinians will never accept that. Their charter includes the destruction of Israel.

        November 19, 2012 at 11:09 am |
      • gmouser777

        Of course the Palestinians would accept that. Once the state is formed, however, good luck living in this "multi-ethnic" state if you're Jewish.

        November 19, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Oursystemisbroken

      I love how people when referring to Obama write the articles as if they are future recommendations to up coming events. They do this to protect him, as if he is not doing anything right now because his job hasn't started. IT HAS STARTED AND HE IS FAILING AS USUAL.

      November 17, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Reply
      • Mickey 1313

        Putting this on obama is insaine.

        November 17, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • EgoForth

      It seems the complaint about Israel is that they are efficiently targeting terrorists in self-defense instead of just randomly lobbing thousands of missiles into civilian areas of Gaza like Hamas . Since Egypt is now breaching its treaty with Israel the Sinai legally reverts back to Israel and Gaza has forfeited any right to independence (status quo ante).

      November 17, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Reply
    • Elbonian

      The main idea behind giving the Sinai back is to allow Egypt to border Gaza because the Israelis didn't want to have to take the Gaza residents in as part of Israel. Ditto for the Sinai residents. Israel is walking a fine demographic line with even the few Palestinians (and their descendants) they made Israeli citizens after the 1947-48 wars. Adding any more Arab/Muslim citizens would be a disaster for the "essentially Jewish" character of Israel.

      However, current developments do seem to show that this was the wrong choice in the long run, and Israel should have developed a different class of citizenship for the Arabs and taken over the schooling of Arab children to teach them peace. If they had done that back in 1967, there would already be peace in "Greater Israel."

      November 18, 2012 at 12:16 am | Reply
    • 0hmama

      simple. Iran nuke the zionist thugs

      November 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Reply
    • Thugvon

      The biggest mistake was UN putting a bunch of Europeans in the Middle East, who had never lived there before, because some fairy tale book told them that it is their land. Germany iced them, so the solution should have been cutting of a piece of Germany and giving it to the European Jewry.

      November 19, 2012 at 1:24 am | Reply
      • jimm

        Except that the Jews were there thousands of years ago.

        November 19, 2012 at 11:11 am |
      • JJ

        Jews were there looong before islam even existed...so what are you talking about? And P.s, there were Jews there throught history, Jerusalem was founded by a Jew, the majority of the other Jews came from the surrounding arab states after being kicked out.....and then of course Israel took in Jews from Europe...why wouldnt they? So please, learn some history and get an education, stupid people who just spout garbage and lies and dont even know the real history of the area....

        November 19, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • jason

      Fareed zakaria doesnt know jack....Fareed should have stayed in India working on a 7/11 .....comparing the American indians who had their land stolen to the Israelis instead of the palestinians basically shows me how uneducated fareed really is about Israel/palestine..It was the Palestinians who were terrorized out of their land in 1947, and thannnnnn Israel was created you idiot!!!
      And than to say that Israel is the victim, just shows me that the only way you got on CNN was letting wolf blitzer bend you over

      November 19, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Reply
    • jason

      the Mistake that Israel has made, is terrorizing the palestinians, dont worry what comes around goes around and Israel will have their of turmoil just like the palestinians

      November 19, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  2. Karla Lindquist

    "Most Israelis view their experience of land-for-peace in the same fashion that Native Americans consider their experience with the concept."

    I don't remotely find the situation between the Israeli's and the Native Americans comparable. More like the Palestinians represent the Native Americans in this story.

    November 15, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Reply
    • John

      i thought the same thing. What a poor analogy on Rubin's part.

      November 15, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Reply
    • a genetic expert

      i wouldn't gamble on that. jews of many ethnic devisions carry more J2 (canaano-pheonician) haplogroups than most levantine arabs,with exception of lebanese maronites.

      November 16, 2012 at 6:50 am | Reply
      • Thinker23

        This is as correct as it is irrelevant. The genetic differences between Jews and Arabs are not the reason the Arabs claim "ownership" to the land of Palestine... nad pleas don't ask me what IS the reason the Arabs claim it. Ask THEM and good luck.

        November 16, 2012 at 11:20 am |
      • JJ

        The only claim musli ms have to Israel is that their pedo prophet had a dream he was there once.......Jerusalem is mentioned in the koran ONCE, in the Jewish scriptures, thousands of times....

        November 19, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Chris

      I think he was referring to the specific situation of negotiating land deals. The muslims breach the agreed-upon contracts just like the Americans did with the natives.

      November 16, 2012 at 11:19 am | Reply
      • darren

        i see so building in the west bank is not breaching isreal's agreed on land deals? interesting

        November 16, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • MIke

      Superficially, yes. But historically, no. Remember these biblical lands are, historically, Jewish lands. There were cultures in the region before the Jews too, of course, but very little of them remains. Whether the claims are valid or not depends on your perspective. Just how far back can "historical claims" be taken? Italy could have a claim, since they took it in Roman times.

      Palestine wasn't self governing when Israel was created after the second world war. They'd already been colonized, and there was already an established Jewish population in the area at the time.

      Remember, the Native Americans where the ones (effectively) -giving- land for peace, and getting non in return. Which is what Israel has done here. The Palestinians are the ones -getting- the land, then flinging rockets at the people who gave it to them.

      Seriously. There is no easy solution. Maybe Donald Trump can buy the center of Jerusalem and bulldoze the all the "Holy sites" to make way for a new mall or something. As long as people are fighting over what amounts to religious differences, there will never be a solution.

      November 16, 2012 at 11:25 am | Reply
      • Chris

        The argument that Palestine consists of biblical lands, is idiotic. In that case, the Turks could claim half of Europe, since Suleiman the Magnificent conquered those lands around 1500. The reason for the conflict is the Balfour Declaration that in 1917 or 1918 promised both Arabs – who had lived there since about hundreads of years – and Jewish settlers – who had come over beginning in the last third of the 19th century – the same land. Also, the Israelis have since their independence systematically expropriated Arab land owners in Israel, especially those with water on their land.
        Obviously the Palestinians are not guiltless in this matter, and neither are the Arab countries. However, as Yitzchak Rabin admitted in his memoirs, Arabs were driven off their lands deliberately in 1948.
        So, Israel, if it comes finally clean, the country will have to work on some history with the Arabs, and find some way of co-existence. What I find interesting is that this article declares that the peace for land policy failed, but does not offer any alternative solution.

        November 16, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
      • Some Random Guy

        Chris, the problem is that in 1948 Arab leaders made open calls for Arabs to get out of the way to make the planned genocide of Jews in Israel easier. The whole bit about Israel driving Arabs out in 1948 really doesn't match historical reality since Arabs of that time were very clear that it wasn't Israel that did it. They only started making that claim after they lost the war and began to realize Israel wasn't going anywhere.

        And frankly people who lost their land because they were trying to assist in a genocide don't deserve any sympathy.

        November 16, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Chris

      Please don't side with the muslims. It makes you look so naive. The muslim leadership is so awful, and the situation is comical in determining who is causing the problem. Please educate yourselves on the WHOLE truth, not just the points you WANT to hear.

      November 16, 2012 at 11:27 am | Reply
      • Chris

        Darren, please visit an islamic country and attend one of the many lovely madrassas. See what they teach their children about jews. And please don't mention how muslim leadership aims missle attacks at israeli children. And definitely don't talk about that muslims are the only people on the planet who CHEER the murder of innocent civilians. Just focus on Israelis building a few houses.

        November 16, 2012 at 11:33 am |
      • jay

        so chris please educate us with your version of truth the one that those zionist who occupied Arab lands since 1940s and immigrated from Europe and later from Mid.Eastern/N.african countries,somehow had the deed for the land from thier forefathers from centuries B.C.Oh wait a second they are bibles chosen people so they do no wrong.I bet you work as Aipac lobbyist for congress you stupid moron.

        November 17, 2012 at 11:35 am |
      • Opizze

        Well jay it starts with the fact that the lands Israel is "occupying" were won in wars with Arab countries who, in their religious zealoutry, commenced wars of aggression against Israel. Israel subsequently defeated them, hence, they took some of their lands. They didn't take these lands only as spoils of war, but for the purpose of securing their own land against future Arab aggression. Now they've left themselves open to missile attacks because of the few concessions they've given the opposing side. Given those FACTS do you really think they are so cruel and unjust? Mind you the missile attacks perpetrated by Hamas are specifically aimed without care for where they land, besides the general intention of hitting Israeli territory. Israel most certainly does take into consideration the location of their strikes as they pertain to civilian populations. If they didn't you would be seeing even more civilian deaths.

        November 19, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • JonfromLI

      That's a moronic statement if there ever was one. Unlike the Native Americans in the U.S., THE JEWS WERE IN ISRAEL BEFORE THE ARABS.

      November 16, 2012 at 11:54 am | Reply
      • Cocopuf

        That is absolutely true. In fact, God Himself made a number of covenants with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ... then Moses, and finally, Jesus Christ Himself in the flesh, made it quite clear.

        November 16, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
      • biblical perspective

        Actually, Ismael was born before Isaac, so the Arabs were there first.

        November 16, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
      • Read history

        There were semitic people in that region before Abraham and his flock migrated around 2100 BC. They never had a kingdom until 1000 BC, and then only intermittently (due to Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian empires) until the Hellenistic and Roman Empires. From 2100BC until 1948, there may have been at most 300-400 years of Jewish sovereignty over a 3000 year span. And 99% of the world vies this as Palestine and Jerusalem as multi-religious. Jerusalem was Christian and Islamic much longer than Jewish. We are all equal and now one is chosen over anyone else – sorry to state the obvious.

        November 17, 2012 at 11:14 am |
      • Mickey 1313

        Um no they were not. Both races were there and had been there for a long time.

        November 17, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
      • 0hmama

        The f. jews should swim back to europe or they should wait for their end forever.

        November 18, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
      • JJ

        Hey @Readhistory, Judaism was around for thousands of years before islam was even created, so how could there have been muslims there before Jews? Do you see how being uneducated makes things worse? Go learn some history and get an education then come back with some smarter comments.....pathetic....

        November 19, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Areyoucrazy

      Is there a small chance you are missing some brain cells, Karla? The Palestinians are barbaric and even after they were given land, which they never even owned in the first place, they still used terror to cause hell and havoc for Israeli citizens. i.e, when Israel give them full control and ownership of Gaza, what happened? Pull your head out of the sand!!

      November 16, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Reply
      • texastea2000

        I hear ya.I know what I would do if I were Israel and when I was done I bet you wouldn't hear so many stupid Arabs saying they love death.Happy to oblige ya say hello to Allah.

        November 18, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • john117

      Except the Native Americans tried peace at first (You know; Pocahontas, Pilgrims and the origin of Thanksgiving?) the same way the Israelis did. I'm not saying that the Israelis are completely innocent here, but what the Palestinians do (and so often) is so damning that its almost hypocritical to criticize the Israelis.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Reply
      • 1968billsfan

        Uh, you don't know your history. The Jamestown colony was founded in some swamp land that the local Indian kings didn't occupy. The Indians massacured most of the English and fought wars against them, when they tried to expand.......The Pilgrams landed at the site of an Indian tribe that had just been 98% wiped out by an Europeon disease. The few remainders did welcome the Pilgrams as allies in order to keep neighboring tribes from expanding onto their lands since they couldn't defend them. There is no friendly, peace-loving native culture involved.

        November 17, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
      • Opizze

        And to continue with your summarization of history: The country that later became America, and the people who later became American, neither were guiltless in their treatment of Native Americans. The entirety of North America, if you are using reasonable and objective standards of judgement (like historical residency), technically belongs to the Native American people. The United States of America later conquered those areas, subdued Native American populations and forced to live in areas the country could easily control and had no real value. If the areas were later found to have value, we subsequently forced relocation of those Native American people and took the lands we had given them by treaty.

        In other words: we resolved our own "best example" relative to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict by naked force. We should be glad there were no cost-efficient rockets that could be smuggled into and fired from "Indian" territory during those days, or we would possibly be dealing with this issue ourselves to this day. Perhaps the Israelis should consider geographical isolation of Palestinians away from borders with other countries, so they could legitimately monitor and secure all borders with other countries and possibly stop or curtail the smuggling of these weapons into the country. I am sure they have argued this point before, but maybe it's time to take up THAT issue again.

        November 19, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Ken Fradkin

      The arabs are not interested in peace only a temporary truce until they are strong enough for jihad . Don't fool yourselves, any Israeli jews finding themselves in a country run by Hamas or the Palestinian Authority for that matter, would not live very long.

      November 16, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Reply
    • Trevor Bryant of Flagstaff, AZ

      Are the Jews tha Native Americans, or are the Palestinians..? Hmm, well, since Palestinians are a made up people, who only date back 100-150 years ago, it seems a false choice. It seems more like: Israelis, who originally occupied the land and were cast about as slaves, reoccupied, then cast about again (all before Jesus was even born), speaks to the fact that it is THEIR land. Not Palestine, but ARABS invaded and occupied it and for a time it was theirs (and they may have kept it). Except, arabs took the wrong side in world war and lost. Then, they failed to maintain what they did have, and lost even "mandated palestine" under british and french authority. The jews deserve their land, the Arabs have lots of places to go in the area. The subtle racism is: Even Arabs hate Palestinians, let them be the Jews problem and we will subtly coerce the world into hating the Jews as we MUSLIMS do. Muslims are the real problem here. Palestinians are just a proxy for the cowardly Muslims, as Syria is a proxy for COWARDLY Shia. Muslims (and the terrorists that represent them) are cowards. Death to the cowards.

      November 17, 2012 at 11:28 am | Reply
      • professionalism, please

        "Give us your poor, tired, hungry masses" is imprinted at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island immigration station. Trevor, are you a U.S. citizen or have you divorced yourself from the idea of welcome? You are also filled with hate and it is hate that keeps the conflict going.

        November 18, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
  3. Mohammed

    Are you kidding me Mr. Fareed Zakaria?
    Why didn't you even mention the illegal settlement activity of Israel in the West Bank?

    November 15, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Reply
    • deep blue

      this article is by Mr. Rubin, not Dr. Zakaria.

      November 15, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Reply
      • steviethek

        Hey, don't stop him – he's on a roll

        November 16, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • ani

      Why should israel stop the settelments in the west bank? before 67 the arabs wanted to destroy of israel and wanted a war, after 67 the situation stayed the same. Israel left south lebanon an got missiles on the north, israel left gaza and got missiles on the south, should I guess what will happen if israel will leave the west bank?

      November 16, 2012 at 8:42 am | Reply
    • Thinker23

      "Illegal" means "in violation of the law". There is no law forbidding the Jews to live in the West Bank but allowing Arabs to live there. Any such law would be DISCRIMINATION between people based on their ethnicity which is RACISM by definition.

      November 16, 2012 at 11:23 am | Reply
      • Dave

        discrimination based on ethnicity is not racism. Its bigotry. Arabs and Jews are both semetic peoples so they are from the same "race" and hence its not racism. It may be discrimination and bigotry, but neither is illegal...and exactly what law governs? Israeli law, Palestinian Law (im assuming they have law), Sharia? Hebraic law (assuming thats a word)? International law doesnt exist, ask anyone who has a law degree....as in me. International law is a gentlemans agreement to agree. The closest we come to firm international law is the convention on the law of the seas...and even that gets fuzzy.

        November 16, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
      • Bill

        UN Security council resolution. Geneva Conventions.

        International law DOES mark the settlements as illegal as the law does not allow ANY land to be annexed militarily. End of discussion.

        November 16, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
      • Canada

        oh yea, the United Abominations... yaaa , they've helped the world progress. might as well just leave the work to NATO and the EU. Maybe China will get on bored one day.

        November 16, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • BOB KAY


      November 16, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Reply
      • momzna

        What is Fareed's picture at the the top of the article doing then?

        November 17, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • JJ

      Because its not illegal, Israel can build anywhere they want on THEIR land........go home to Jordan and the other surrounding musli m states you came from....

      November 19, 2012 at 11:38 am | Reply
  4. sam sirriyeh


    November 15, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Reply
    • Thinker23

      On planet Earth it is PERFECTLY LEGAL to occupy enemy territory during a war, genius... On the other hand, can you NAME THE STATE that LEGALLY owns the lands Israel occupies?

      November 16, 2012 at 11:25 am | Reply
    • Areyoucrazy

      You arab supporters have to be the biggest waste of human intellect i've ever come across. These people you are supporting, stone women to death for having an affair!!!! They are still living in the dark ages and medieval times! The western and civilized world stands with Israel for a reason! If you don't like it, move to Syria and join Assad. He is of the same faith as these animals that Israel has to deal with on a daily basis!!

      November 16, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Reply
      • Canada

        they'll never understand they are the worlds cancer.

        November 16, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • TC

      Dude- Fareed didn't write the story. Before calling out someone's intelligence maybe take a look at what you're reading?

      November 16, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Reply
    • jay

      sam in arabic there is a word for the likes of fareed its called minafiqeen,those whose soul is sold to highest bidder,you can sugarcoat lies as much as you want but evey one in the world except those with tattoo of zionists in thier asses know the land belongs to Palastinians.It boggles my mind when they deny this fact but what you expect from those who signed pact with devil.

      November 17, 2012 at 11:19 am | Reply
      • JJ

        There never was a country called "palestine" who is feeding you this myth? Your imam? Better go back and tell him he lied to you...you are embarrassing yourselves thinking there was ever a nation called "palestine" Judaism was aroundfor thousands of years before islam even existed, the western educated nations stand with Israel for a reason...your cause is unjust and a myth....arafat named the refugees from the surrounding arab states "palestinians" after 1967 when Israel fought off the genocide from 5 arab countries.............no such place nor people as "palestine"

        November 19, 2012 at 11:41 am |
  5. Gee gee

    The Zionist are occupying land and oppressing the Palestinians. Fareed you are wrong. I guess you can't really say anything remotely honest considering the backlash you would get. Therefor you shouldn't speak on this.

    November 15, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Reply
    • Canada

      whiney little school girl. take it like a champ.

      November 16, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Reply
    • Canada

      muslims are occupying and holding the world hostage. but you dont see me complaining? they'll be dealt with in due time when the rest of the world decides it wants to move forwards instead of backwards.

      November 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Reply
    • steviethek

      "The Zionist are occupying land and oppressing the Palestinians. Fareed you are wrong. I guess you can't really say anything remotely honest considering the backlash you would get. Therefor you shouldn't speak on this."

      1. "Fareed" didn't write the article, so you're wrong about that.
      2. Who "occupied" the land prior to 1967? Do you recall? And where were the claims of a "Palestinian" state in that region from 1949-1967? Nowhere – there were none.

      I guess you can't say anything remotely honest (or even accurate, for that matter). Therefore you shouldn't speak on this.

      November 16, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Reply
      • JJ

        Correct, before 67 Jordan occupied Judea (west bank) and Egypt owned gaza, Israel now has peace treaties with both of those countries, there were no "palestinians" before 1967.....therefore, "palestinians" have no claim to any of the land....they are lucky they got gaza, which they will lose soon if they keep firing missiles and rockets at Israeli schools, daycares and old folks homes....

        November 19, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Old Sailor

      The looser of a war of agression – is always oppressed. the Arabs attacked, the arabs were defeated – the arabs lost – so be it. This is a lesson about attacking your neighbors.

      November 17, 2012 at 8:26 am | Reply
  6. deep blue

    This article is a textbook case of an "US vs. them" mentality. "Egypt’s withdrawal of its envoy convinces even Israeli doves that Arab countries see treaties as little more than truces. " Demonizing of an entire culture is an easy justification for war. Israel's foreign policy challenges are significant. I do not pretend to know if there is a path to peace, but I do know that blindly painting the world in black and white is the shortest path to war.

    November 15, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Reply
  7. JAL

    Both sides are getting duped into a school yard fight.

    November 15, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Reply
    • JAL

      When I was in 5th grade, somehow me and one of my friends were to fight after school. I dont know how it escalated nor did he, but everyone knew about it and they were egging us on. At the end of the day, he and I were so tired, we each said that we didnt want to fight and walked home, like we did everyday. Someone orchestrated the fight because they were so pathetically desperate for attention and relevance that they were willing to create chaos for its sake.

      November 16, 2012 at 7:40 am | Reply
    • michaelfury


      November 16, 2012 at 10:59 am | Reply
  8. deep blue

    In defense of the Gaza Strip, with little infrastructure and a blockade preventing efficient trade, there is little for them to turn to but war. This statement is not meant to be a condemnation of the blockade. Rockets being launched into Israel is obviously an unacceptable situation. I'm simply stating that the economic reality of the Gaza Strip will predictably cause violence. If you want to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, economics may be a good place to start.

    November 15, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Reply
    • deep blue

      voting out Prime Minister Netanyahu would be another place to start.

      November 15, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Reply
      • Jackson

        Netanyahu is a war hero, knows how to defend Israel...and will wil the next election again....if you want to see a left leaning prime minister then worry about Americas......until the muslim world stops trying to annihilate Israel, you will see it moving even more to the right...and I dont blame them...

        November 19, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • gb

      The siege came because rockets

      November 16, 2012 at 9:05 am | Reply
      • deep blue

        You seek to allocate blame rather than to solve problems. My point is, without economic opportunity, the people of the Gaza Strip have nothing to turn to but war. The threat of or use of violence will not solve this problem.

        November 16, 2012 at 9:49 am |
      • deep blue

        I guess, to me, instead of trying to avoid war, you seem to be trying to blame one side for it or justify it. It seems to me, when you have reached that point, you have already given up on peace.

        November 16, 2012 at 9:58 am |
      • Canada

        hey deep blue, you ever heard about picking the Lesser of two evils ? cause you're not .

        November 16, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Sammy

      You forget that Gaza has 2 borders. One with Israel and one with Egypt. You can't enforce a blockade just on one of them for it to be complete, so how come nobody asks Egypt to lift it's blockade?

      November 16, 2012 at 11:21 am | Reply
      • deep blue

        I'm not recommending anyone lift the blockade. Flow of weapons into Gaza to be used on Israel is obviously unacceptable. I'm just explaining what I view as part of the problem. I'm not proposing any solution to the problem. I'm making two claims. 1.) pretending Arabs are evil, untrustworthy, ect. and that Israel is a great force for good is counterproductive 2.) the economic conditions in the region are not conducive to peace.

        November 16, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Areyoucrazy

      deep blue...Please educate yourself before posting. Israel completely pulled out of Gaza in the hopes that it would bring peace. Not only did they relocate their own citizens, but in good faith, Israel left behind all of their infrastructure such as housing, greenhouses, factories, etc etc. What did Hamas and the arabs do with this opportunity?? They destroyed all of the infrastructure, and immediately started launching rockets at Israeli citizens (women and children) across the border! How can you blame Israel for the current situation in Gaza. These people had a perfect chance to build a modern society and have peace with Israel. Instead, they flushed it down the toilet and chose to fight. Why? Because their charter openly and clearly calls for the destruction of Israel. They don't want peace, they don't want land, they want the end of Israel. If you agree with that mentality, which you obviously do, then go live in Gaza and enjoy!!!

      November 16, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Reply
      • deep blue

        You, like many on this forum, try to allocate blame for current problems. It is a good excuse for hatred, after all.
        I am not making the claim that Israel is responsible for the economic conditions of Gaza. I am simply stating that if the underlying economic conditions do not change, we can predictably expect perpetual war. You can try to find someone to blame for that, but pointing fingers is just making excuses rather than finding solutions.

        November 16, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
      • Canada

        bull. Economy is just a result of following radical religious leaders. dont you notice how most Islamic countires have crappy stone houses and crumbling infrastructure? this is all pretty black and white man,

        November 16, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
      • Canada

        and you can point fingers and blame when they say the same rederict that Hitler and the Nazis said. the modern world does not stand for that stuff. I like how your playing devil's advocate, I see that as a common tactic with Muslims in the west. but the true ideals are hidden and present in your heart.
        "Proud to be an Infadel! "

        November 16, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
      • Rick Shultz

        You're perfectly correct about who is to blame for the current situation, but you will never convince the people who are only interested in trashing the Israelis. It doesn't matter to them that the Palistinians created their own problems. They could have had a decent life by now, but just like the rest of the Muslims on this planet all they want is dominance, which they can never have. The ONLY reason they want all of the land is because Israel is in possession of it. They could care less about the land itself, they don't WANT to USE it. They just want to take it away from Israel.

        November 18, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Ben

      The Gulf countries are supporting the Gazzan militants with hundred of million of oil dollars. The economic fate of the palestinians is of their own making. Before Hamas took over in a bloody coup, dozen of thousands of Gazzans worked in Israel, and Gazza saw an unprecedented economic boom. Then the Hamas sheeled the crossing to ISrael to prevent the Gazzan workers from going there. Religious hatred trumps economics, Deep Blue.

      November 16, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  9. deep blue

    I guess my main point is, this article's listing of grievances in order to paint Israel's neighbors as untrustworthy and seeking violence is not meant to illustrate a path to peace. It is meant as a justification for war. Maybe I'm naive, but I still hope for peace, and even in war I don't not think that this type of black and white view of the world is useful.

    November 15, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Reply
    • Israeli

      You are naive, and I don't want my life placed on the alter of your pipe dreams.
      Jerusalem resident

      November 16, 2012 at 10:03 am | Reply
      • deep blue

        That's ok, but don't justify it by pretending that all Muslims are bad people, cannot be trusted, and deserve whatever comes to them. Sometimes there is no option but war. I understand that. Pretending that your country is in a battle of good vs. evil makes good propaganda, but it prevents opportunities for peace in the future.

        November 16, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
      • Canada

        lol, look at what this deep blue guy says. He's hypocritical of his own words of mouth!
        Good luck Israel, Canada stands with you, so does Australia! don't even pay attention to what this guy has to say, they've had their chance, and Pi$$ed it away, multiple times. He says Israel is hatred. oh my friend, you dont know what hatred is, because the developed world is moving forward, but you are a cancer. hatred is regretfully building up against you and your rederict and your propaganda. The option to avoid war has dissapeared with each Rocket from islam.

        November 16, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Chris

      I'm always on the side of righteousness, which is my only agenda. This is not a situation of two big babies not wanting to get along. Hamas knows it needs to perpetuate violence in order to maintain power. It's a big game to them. You can't just say things. You have to study the situation and make rational determinations. If the muslims wanted peace, there would be peace. Straight and simple.

      November 16, 2012 at 11:44 am | Reply
      • deep blue

        "If the Muslims wanted peace, there would be peace"
        People that are hungry and have no opportunity for future do not want peace. Look at the situation in Gaza. You have a country full of people with no opportunity for economic improvement. You have a lack of basic necessities. You have Israel with an ant meet boot mentality. Humans, when cornered, fight back. What I'm saying is that the people of the Gaza Strip have no good options, so we shouldn't be shocked when they choose war.

        November 16, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
      • Canada

        orrr... deep blue.... you could stop electing terrorists that create a charter of hatred.... you think the rest of us are so naive to forget the words from their mouths? the hate they spew? my country has peace with Israel....so does America, and GB, and countless other countries.... hmmmmm, notice their not countries with terrorist organizations ?

        November 16, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
      • deep blue

        No, I am not asking you to forget the terrorists. I'm asking you to be better than them.

        November 16, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Ben

      Facts are there to demonstrate a point, Deep Blue. Rubin gives you a history lesson for over 30 years with ample evidence that giving back land resulted in no better security for Israel. That is not demonization, that’s reality. I wonder if you'd be so gallant if it was your house under bombardment. You need 2 sides for peace, and in this case one side, recognized as a terrorist group by the US, does not want peace. Sometime, thing are straight forward even if they seem like black and white.

      November 16, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  10. John

    "Most Israelis view their experience of land-for-peace in the same fashion that Native Americans consider their experience with the concept." Rubin: what are you smoking? Do you mean most PALESTINIANS view heir experience of land-for-peace in the same fashion that Native Americans consider their experience?

    November 15, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Reply
    • Israeli

      We Jews have a 4,000 year presence here, I think the parallel is apt.

      November 16, 2012 at 10:03 am | Reply
      • zangu

        Oh yeah you Jews have 4000 year history and in that part of the world and Palestinian kicked you out right? and then you kicked Palestinian out? So if you can kick Palestinian out from their land just 60 years ago, why they can't and shouldn't kick you out now? If repeating 4000 years if history is justified then repeating 60 old years of history is even more justified. Also why don't you advice your "white" American counter parts to repeat 300 old history. Try and see what they tell you.

        Only someone mentally sick and a retard is going to compare Native Americans with Israeli Jews? Are Jews in Israel occupied or are they occupier? It is the Palestinians who have lost their land like native Indian lost their land. It is the Jews who stole and are continuing to steal Palestinian land like the white settlers were stealing land from Native Indians.

        November 16, 2012 at 11:20 am |
      • darren

        even in the writting of the orginal settlers of isreal there were people they displaced. maybe palestines have an equal right to exist as maybe they have been there as long? quit going back to the past if so i should own a large land mass in asia. Get over it and become an adult.

        November 16, 2012 at 11:20 am |
      • Ben

        You can certainly try and kick the Israelis out of Israel now, but then do not cry "help" “aggressors” “occupiers” when they kick your ass and turn your bunkers and rockets into dust! Jews never kicked out anyone, this is a myth perpetrated by Arabs. Five million Jews, in Israel, like the Native Americans were and are vastly outnumbered by the 1 billion Muslims, but unlike the Indians, they refuse to live on a reserve. Instead, they built a great country while Palestinians kept their refugee status and UNRA handouts for decades instead of assimilating into their brethren in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, where they came from originally. If the Palestinians did not start a war with the Jews in 1948, they would still have their homes today. There is a price to pay for fighting with a 4000 old nation. We in America support Israel, not terrorist. Let Israel deal with Gaza the way Assad is dealing with the Sunis in Syria, brother.

        November 16, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  11. bundalunda

    When those war-mongers in Israa-hell want a war for the sake of re-election or for whatever reason, they would throw amateur-type missiles and motor-fire into themselves and blame it to Palestinians. And there comes Phony Blair and the West in clear support of those Ashkenazim criminals.

    November 15, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Reply
    • Erik Goldhar

      That's the most ridiculous thing I have read. Arab mothers proudly give their suicide bombing children support for the almighty dollar that they receive as a result. You don't see Israeli parents giving that type of support do you now?

      November 16, 2012 at 11:03 am | Reply
    • EE33

      Haha. That is the stupidest thing I have ever read. Yeah, they are firing missles/rockets at themselves. bundalunda, you extremist, hate-filled moron, you are a sad excuse for a chimpanzee. There is no government in Gaza. If the Hamas leadership said "OK, stop firing rockets while we work this out", the rockets would still rain on Israel – they are not a government and have nopo control over their populace - stop the rockets and you stop the war - plain and simple. The poor people of Gaza are being lied to, taken advantage of and dragged into this mess by their own, terrible, evil leadership. Read a book and learn something you moronic chimpanzee.

      November 16, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Reply
  12. Ajay

    One should never expect 'peace agreement' with a poisonous snake to hold! Islam loves violence. Israel, Kashmir and badly made youtube videos are all mere excuses for their violent acts.

    November 15, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Reply
    • deep blue

      You claim that "Islam loves violence." You judge an entire religion and speak of them with hatred. These are hardly words from someone that does not love violence. Words of hatred and bigotry do not come from those who desire peace. Lovers of war paint in black and white. They believe they are good and their enemies are evil.

      November 16, 2012 at 1:52 am | Reply
      • Israeli

        So you are against generalization, right. So, according to your logic, one can't generalize that seat belts generally save lives, or the in WWII, Germany was generally murderous?

        November 16, 2012 at 10:05 am |
      • deep blue

        The fact that you compare humans to inanimate objects is telling. I believe that judging someone solely based on his or her religion is a bigoted worldview of a closed minded individual. All seat belts are more or less the same. All Muslims are not.

        November 16, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
      • Some Random Guy

        If you identify yourself as a Muslim you are stating your belief in and support for Islamic teachings. Which are most certainly violent and genocidal.

        November 16, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
      • Rick Shultz

        You need to get off your high horse and READ the Quran. If after you do that, you still say that Islam is NOT a violent religion there is NO hope for you. I did exactly that, and after the number of verses exhorting all good Muslims to kill the unbelievers passed 100, I gave up. That experience convinced me, and unless you have been completely brainwashed it will convince you too. These people want world domination. Nothing less. And they will do ANYTHING to achieve it.
        They don't really want that land back, they just want Israel GONE. And they'll play the victims as long as anybody believes them.

        November 18, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • zangu

      It was Islam who went and kicked Palestinian out from their land and made them refugee in their own land! Right. What have you been smoking lately dude!

      November 16, 2012 at 11:37 am | Reply
      • Some Random Guy

        The irony is that it was actually pretty close to that.

        Muslims leaders encouraged Muslims to leave Israel so when they conquered the place they could just kill everybody left. Their invasion didn't turn out like the planned, and their supporters were stuck outside Israel.

        November 16, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  13. No longer drinks Kool-Aid

    What a morally bankrupt individual you are Mr. Ruben.

    November 15, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Reply
    • Ben

      Yes, and you are so much more ethical and moral. Pity you can't even defend your own judgements..

      November 16, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  14. Micha

    I am tired of the blame game and all this bravo about who are the real victims or martyrs. Neither Muslims nor Jews have universal ownership of suffering and victimhood. It is an unhealthy and dangerous philosophy to live by. It same goes to the racist slurs about Arabs, Khazars, Askenazim etc. It is the hight of human foolishness. We need to seek common ground and to argue about the benefit of peace for both. And we have to calm down the heated emotions and our more primitive, violent and hateful tendensies, so we can think clearly and in a humane manner. Stop the drums of war!

    November 16, 2012 at 12:44 am | Reply
  15. Tommy

    Please get your facts straight.

    First of all, you neglected entirely the land of the westbank where settlements are popping up like mushrooms to confiscate palestinian land (so according to the peace-for-land logic, there should be a war by now).

    Second, the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon was not to a peace-for-land strategy but rather the realization that staying in lebanon did not give enough benifit compared to the losses of the Israeli army.

    Third, Shabaa farms may very well belong to Lebanon. They belong to Kafar Shuba which is Lebanese!

    Fourth, where the hell did you hear about Hizbolla claiming 7 villages in the galilee? I am from that area and I never heard about this!

    I can go on an on about all the false information that you are writing about.. but that would be just a waste of my time!
    So stop spreading false information.

    November 16, 2012 at 7:05 am | Reply
    • Let's be frank

      The writer seems to be of the opinion that there's no such thing as Palestinian.

      November 16, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  16. Aladdin

    Amazing. This piece of propaganda doesn't mention Israel is expanding its settlements. When it withdrew from the West Bank it stole more land from the Gaza strip. The wall, the racism, the children killed and arrested. No it's the Palestinians fault. haha

    November 16, 2012 at 7:31 am | Reply
    • Ben

      It is amazing. This piece of reality mentions the Hamas terrorizing children, old people and innocent civilians by shelling their homes. Help!! The terrorists are the victims!!

      November 16, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Reply
    • Jackson

      Hey Aladdin, the "wall" as you say is a security barrier which Israel was forced to build because you and your muslim murderous terrorist friends like to strap bombs to themselves and walk into schools, cafes, busses and restaurans...the security barrier has proven effective, as there have not been a suicide attacks in years....Im sorry Israel built the walls so now you and your murderous terrorist friends cant blow up babies and old ladies.....you musl ims are disappointed Im sure...

      November 19, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Reply
  17. Azmat Khan

    I always wonder...why did Hitler not gas the remaining Jews of the world during his time? We wouldn't have this abominable replacement in his place by the thuggish Israelis.

    November 16, 2012 at 8:39 am | Reply
    • ani

      I wonder why israel waited so many years with rockets for this operation and haven't done this before. I also wonder why israel don't ruin gaza and try not to hurt innocent people while if it was the opposite the muslim animals like you wouldn't hesitate. everywhere there are muslims there is bloodshading

      November 16, 2012 at 8:49 am | Reply
      • Azmat Khan

        Azmat Khan

        Surely you sound like another of those Zionist dimwits who doesn't even realize that its the Israelis who have occupied Palestinian land and not vice versa. What would you do if someone forcefully occupied your home and went around killing your family members? And push you into a ghetto? And the whole world supported your tormentor just because he lobbies better than you? Get a life...

        November 16, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • ani

      Israel occupied territory after the arabs wanted war with israel and "drop jews to the sea" was their goal. what happened in Egypt? why did israel occupied Sinay? it's called "Land for peace". Arabs like wars and blood and Israel has the answer – Israel will take your land and give it back if you give peace back. but arabs like wars and blood, like animals. If the palestinians would have promised peace and not terror, they would get their territory back. I suggest that you read some history of what happened before 67. I wonder what would muslim animal would do if he were attacked by rockets.

      November 16, 2012 at 9:07 am | Reply
      • Azmat Khan

        Man, get a life, really. Israel was created on Palestinian land. Period. That's why the Arabs waged war. And Israel survived because of the USA. I don't see anything wrong with Arabs wishing to eliminate Israel for usurping their land, killing their women and children (remember Sabra and Shatila), destroying their farms, bombarding civilians and even schools in retaliation for rocket attacks in what was once their land. Get out of the usurped land, and you will have your peace.

        November 16, 2012 at 9:28 am |
      • ani

        If you look back long before 1948 even, there is not such a thing "Palestinian people". If you wish to eliminate Israel, be aware that you can be eliminated yourself. Israel have never aimed citizens! Arabs aim citizens! If you don't even think about 67 limits as a ompromise, i.e. Hamas in Gaza, be aware of its consequences. If Israel would shoot without distinction, the arabs would lose many peaople and Israel would save many lives. It doesn't matter, if you are a muslim, killing is your hobby. look what is happening in syria, you crazy animal!

        November 16, 2012 at 10:30 am |
      • zangu

        But why did you even bother going there? They wanted to throw you in a sea because you went and occupied theri lands and villages? Or did they go and occupy your lands and villages in Germany, France and eastern Europe. just go back where you came from and Arabs will have no reason to throw you in the sea.

        If your claim is based on 4000 years old history then why don't you advice your benefactors in usa to repeat just 300 old history and see what they tell you.

        November 16, 2012 at 11:41 am |
      • darren

        Ani you are so wrong! look at pictures of the league of nations which predated the UN. there is a Palestine placard and a group sitting there! I cannot imagine anyone as uneducated as you commenting about this situation. Basic fact Isreal was created out of palestine...geeze

        November 16, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
      • Ben

        What a joke! A plestinain delegation to the Leauge of Nations! I want to smoke what you are smoking, man!! Until the Jews populated the empty land of Israel, there wasn't even a nation of Palestinians, just a crowd of nomads from Lebaon, SYria and Iraq that settled in 1/10 of the country where there was no swamp land.

        November 16, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
      • Canada

        man, I thought muslims would be the first to know the world and land there in it doesn't belong to any one group, It belongs to god. ohhh yea, i forgot, Allah detests the Jew. nvm, my bad....
        must only be a Christian sentiment.

        November 16, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • shai

      people like you and the rest of your jihadist friends are the reason there will not be peace between jews and muslims for many generations to come. Even after being presented with historical facts you seem to have a small seizure and revert back to your al quida talking points. Peace would be great, but we're at least half a century away from the muslim world having enough sense to confront their primitive notions of "the other"

      November 16, 2012 at 10:21 am | Reply
      • darren

        you have a point about what the problem is. It is the other concept. No getting around it.

        November 16, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Tamora

      The opinion of the writer has many speculations and twist of facts. It doesn't mount to a professional analysis. I wonder why the CNN publishes such a low quality essay.

      November 16, 2012 at 10:33 am | Reply
      • Ben

        Tamora, kudos! You lern to spell analysis!!

        November 16, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Tom

      Go back to reading Mein Kampf, Adolf.

      November 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Reply
    • Jackson

      hey assmat, never was a nation called "palestine" sorry...nothing was stolen from you, sorry......and the way you and your dirty murderous mus lim brothers are going, there never will be one......you low life....suffer......

      November 19, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  18. Azmat Khan

    Surely you sound like another of those Zionist dimwits who doesn't even realize that its the Israelis who have occupied Palestinian land and not vice versa. What would you do if someone forcefully occupied your home and went around killing your family members? And push you into a ghetto? And the whole world supported your tormentor just because he lobbies better than you? Get a life...

    November 16, 2012 at 8:54 am | Reply
    • Tom

      Go away, Nazi.

      November 16, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Reply
      • Susie

        It's always been Palestine. Israel stole the Palestinian land with support from the USA back in 1948 when Truman pushed a vote in the United Nations to create the State of Israel. Truman paid and bribed many smaller countries to vote for the creation of Israel. The ONLY country ever to be created by a vote of the UN is Israel. That alone arguably makes the state an illegitimate state.
        The Palestinians owned that land and legally belong to every inch of Palestine. The Jews came from all over the world to occupy Palestine and imprison and kill Palestinians. Shame on Israel. shame on the Jewish State.

        November 20, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
  19. Meir Weiss

    Reblogged this on Meir Weiss' Blog and commented:
    Add your thoughts here... (optional)

    November 16, 2012 at 8:55 am | Reply
  20. Scott Rankine

    Lets face it, the so-called 'Holy Land' is a holy mess and has been for ages. Sadly, this nonsense won't subside until both sides wake up one day and see mushroom clouds engulfing everything they hold dear. But even that won't be enough to end the cycle of hate and intolerance as there is no real tradition of moderation on either side, only tribalism with each claiming the moral high ground of uncompromising beliefs that defy reason and thus preclude any possibility of being 'reasonable'. Two scorpions in trapped a bottle stinging each other to death, that about sums it up...

    November 16, 2012 at 9:51 am | Reply
    • Truthbetold

      God is the only true path to peace and salvation. If it is HIS will that everyone – men, women, children – perish so be it. Those he favours will ascend while the rest will burn in hell for all eternity. What could be simpler than that? There is no middle path to heaven only hell.

      November 16, 2012 at 10:16 am | Reply
  21. Tamora

    The opinion of the writer has many speculations and twist of facts. It doesn't mount to a professional analysis. I wonder why the CNN publishes such a low quality essay.

    November 16, 2012 at 10:31 am | Reply
  22. Hate Wins

    Israel would most likely not be a topic if Hitler had been stopped. Also most important if as a group the Palestinians and their supporters had won the war in 1948. They out numbered and out gunned the Israelis. There was very little cross border trust in the Arab world in 1948 and still that way today. Learn to trust each other and maybe you can make a peace with Israel and children will stop dying. Your current leader does not want peace because it reduces their power and influence. The Arab fighter is as good fighter as any in the world. But have never shown the ability to unit across tribal boundaries your fragmented efforts will never achieve your goals. You have too many little Napoleons. The Israelis on the other hand fight with their backs against the wall and train accordingly as a united team no matter what their political leaning are. Make peace and share the land or your hate will continue this life of death and destruction.

    November 16, 2012 at 10:38 am | Reply
  23. N S

    Much BS, many "Palistinians" are actully Iraqi, immigrants or descendants.
    The Pal. Authority land is an apartheid country, only Arabs allowed to lve there. Israel is a democracy with Arab residents, including legislators, lawyers, physicians, and military
    Hamas and Hezbollah are Iranian puppets, Iran is trying to replace Saudi Arabia and Egypt as leader in the Middlle East
    Israel acually supports the Pal. A uthority by collecting payroll tax from Pa. workers, and turning it over to the Pal. Auth.
    Much of this has been stolen by Pal. leaders, s tarting with Arafat.

    November 16, 2012 at 10:42 am | Reply
    • Amir

      NS-Wow, your ignorance is ASTRONOMICALLY HIGH! NO, Palestinians are NOT Iraqi immigrants. Palestinians ARE PALESTINIANS, they lived in Palestine for HUNDREDS of years BEFORE 1948. They did not come from Iraq, Iraqis live in Iraq. What peace are you talking about when MILLIONS OF Palestinians, INCLUDING CHRISTIANS, are not allowed back to Palestine?!!!!!!!!!!!!! You try to give the conflict a picture of religious conflict between Jews vs. Muslims. Jewish terrorists in 1948 committed MASSACRES AGAINST PALESTINIANS CHRISTIANS, DEMOLISHED CHRISTIAN CHURCHES ALL OVER PALESTINE. Visit the village of Betset and see the demolished Catholic church. The Orthodox one was not demolished, as Shlomi "settlement" keep their sheep INSIDE THE CHURCH!!!!!!!!!!!Now do you really think God would choose Jews of this nature?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      November 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Reply
      • Jackson

        hey Amir, no, "palestinians" are not "palestinians" shows how much you know, these refugees from the surrounding arab states were only named that after 1967...learn some history......

        November 19, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  24. Peace Lover

    Frankly, I doubt the comments of the Palestinian leader who said 5,000 Palestinians are ready to lay down their lives. Have the terrorists of Hamas ever conducted a genuinely survey of their people and needs? Like a majority of Israelis who want peace, so to a majority of Palestinians want this war not to escalate any further. Will the Hamas leadership listen to The People. I doubt it....

    November 16, 2012 at 10:45 am | Reply
  25. Hate Wins

    Truthbetold: If that was Gods will he would not have had Noah build an Ark or sent his son for our salvation.

    November 16, 2012 at 10:47 am | Reply
  26. tutuvabene

    Try as I might, I can't sympathize with the Israelis. It's still a David vs Goliath battle with the Palestinians filling the role of David this time around. As for "land for peace", the Palestinians get a crumb of land (Gaza) on the coast and areas of the West Bank criss crossed with Israeli settlements and exclusion zones. Not much of deal for nation building. The writer states " Palestinians hope for an independent state with the bulk if not the entirety of the West Bank as its core. But Israelis know that their country is less than 10 miles wide at its narrowest point. Forget heat-seeking missiles; withdrawal from the West Bank would put planes landing at Ben Gurion Airport within a terrorist’s rifle range." How wide is Gaza at its narrowest point and how much of it is within Israeli rifle range? The Palestinians have a right to expect the same amount of security as the Israelis.

    November 16, 2012 at 10:48 am | Reply
    • Chris

      They have it, it's called Egypt. Oh yeah, the Egyptians won't take (their own people) in. My bad.

      November 16, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Reply
    • Rick Shaw

      When the Palestinians learn to love their children more than they hate the Israelis, then there shall be peace. When the Palestinians recognize Israel's right to exist, then there will be peace. Some Palestinians get this, unfortunately, most do not.

      November 16, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Reply
      • Amir

        TO RICK-Please, do not use a quote from Mrs. Gold MEIERSON-A BRITISH CITIZEN, originally FROM UKRAINE. Hating your enemy is a very acceptable thing, just like the French hated German nazis occupying France during WWII. The French loved their children, yet resisted German nazi occupation. The Palestinians love their children, yet resist German Jewish occupation of Palestine. Peace will not come back until ALL non-Palestinians go back to their countries. Palestine is for Palestinians ONLY, just like France is for French ONLY. What is wrong with that?

        November 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Canada

      funny you would quote biblical stories with this..... yea, except David didn't consistently throw rocks at Goliath.

      November 16, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Reply
  27. Rick Shaw

    Perhaps the United States should indeed give back all the land to the Native Americans it gained in conflict and every US citizen move back to the continents of their ancestral origin. Now wouldn't that be interesting? After all, fair is fair.

    November 16, 2012 at 10:55 am | Reply
    • Chris

      The jews are actually in their ancentrial birthplace. Did you really not know that?

      November 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Reply
      • Rick Shaw

        Yes they are Chris. My post was a tongue-in-cheek response to some of my fellow Americans (including Barack Obama) who believe that Israel must submit to their pre-1967 border and reprimand Israel for the "violent" acts they supposedly perpetrate, never mind the 2nd Intifada. Seems too many of my fellow Americans suffer from selective memory loss.

        November 16, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
      • Amir

        TO CHRIS-If you read the Bible, Jews AND NON-JEWS were there(Palestinians, Sumarians and Canaanites.) Further, white settlers into the USA did NOT kick out native Americans out of America. Why did Jews kick out Palestinians out of Palestine in 1948? why not all these Palestinians back to Palestine now?
        Second-Since when is God involved in real estate transactions of giving ANY land(Palestine, Israel, Judea..etc.) to ANY one? Do you think God is a real estate broker?!!!!!!!!!! The God of the Jews is JUST THAT-God OF THE JEWS, NOT of the non-Jews. The 1 billion Hindus do NOT regard the God of the Jews as God. Judaism is a HIGHLY questionable religion, IF IT IS A RELIGION IN THE FIRST PLACE.

        November 16, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  28. pet

    Israel you are doing the right thing to these so-called rats who only understand the language of bombs

    November 16, 2012 at 11:01 am | Reply

    CNN MANAGEMENT: As you know, the Precious One has planted his little spy mice all over the website streams to fish for info - if there is no worm on the hook, would they still bite? 🙂 The printouts must amuse you - wish I was there to read them 🙂 I'm re-reading "All the President's Men" now. Where is Bob Woodward?

    November 16, 2012 at 11:01 am | Reply
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