Friday, July 19

Bruins for Israel campaign seeks to educate students on Zionism

Bruins for Israel recently launched a campaign called “We, the Zionists” to combat negative connotations surrounding Zionism and to teach students about the origins of the movement.

Zionism is a national movement advocating for Jewish people’s right to a homeland, said Omer Hit, a third-year neuroscience student and incoming president of Bruins for Israel.

For the campaign, Bruins for Israel will take photos of students and ask them how they define Zionism, Hit said. They will also talk with students about how Zionism may be relevant in the context of their personal lives, he added.

Hit said he thinks the negative connotations surrounding Zionism can stem from a lack of understanding and knowledge of the history of the movement.

Some people have used the word Zionism to refer to the Jewish people as an oppressive force, Hit said. He added that some use the term “zio” from Zionism as a derogatory, racial slur for someone who defends an apartheid state.

Eytan Davidovits, a fourth-year economics student and current president of Bruins for Israel, said he thinks some people immediately associate the word “Zionism” with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“It is false to believe that self-determination for a Jewish homeland means denying the self-determination of the Palestinian people,” Davidovits said.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a regional dispute over the occupation of the West Bank by the Israeli military and the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, among other issues.

Many people have criticized Israel for its policies and actions in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The conflict has also been a heated topic on campus over the years. In November, the Undergraduate Students Association Council passed a resolution recommending the University of California divest from American companies that some say profit from human rights violations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Bruins for Israel has been facilitating talks among campus organizations, such as the Olive Tree Initiative, on the topic of Zionism, Hit said.

Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller, executive director of Hillel at UCLA, said there are many forms of Zionism, including socialist, political, cultural, religious and bi-nationalist Zionism.

Seidler-Feller said the fragmentation of Zionism into different branches resulted from modern influences and ideas.

“People drew on different political (and) philosophical movements to reflect their values onto their own definitions of Zionism,” Seidler-Feller said.

Hit said he thinks people should combat the negativity surrounding Zionism by educating others on what it is and help individuals see it as relevant to their own lives.

Hit said he thinks that because Zionism came before the existence of Israel, it is crucial for people to understand the origins of the idea before looking just at the ongoing conflict in the region.

Hit said he thinks the discussion on campus has polarized views and politicized identities, preventing people from understanding the different narratives that are out there.

Omar Zahzah, a graduate student in comparative literature and president of Students for Justice in Palestine, said he thinks it is important to talk about criticisms of Israel when discussing the conflict.

“Any discussion (about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict) is incomplete if there is no mentioning of the oppression and discrimination of the Palestinian people,” Zahzah said.

Bruins for Israel plans to upload the campaign photos on Facebook and put them up in Bruin Plaza on Thursday for the celebration of Israel’s Independence Day, Hit said.

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  • Adam OnWeb

    “Any discussion (about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict) is incomplete if there is no mentioning of the oppression and discrimination of the Palestinian people,” Zahzah said.

    Here, in an article discussing Zionism, Omar Zahzah – given only one line to say something that might suggest an attempt for understanding – instead chose to use his one and only comment to try and demonize and delegitimize Israel and the Jewish people.

    Eytan Davidovits, on the other hand, given pretty much the entire article to say whatever he chose – and could have easily put in at least one line to demonize and delegitimize the Palestinian people – instead chose not to take a single swipe at them at all.

    Eytan Davidovits, could have said something like, “Any discussion about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is incomplete if there is no mention that the Hamas Charter openly calls for the genocide of every Jew on earth” – but Davidovits didn’t do that.

    Here we have the Israel-Palestine conflict in a microcosm. Eytan – representing Israel – has this entire article to decimate his opponent, but instead he chooses a more conciliatory tone. Zahzah, given only one opportunity in this article to say something, chooses to use that one shot to demonize Israel and Jews.

    And there in is your difference.

    • Brownstudent

      No one should be surprised that Bruins for Israel holds the moral and intellectual high ground over Students for Just Us in Palestine. That’s how it has always been and probably always will be.

      • Adam OnWeb

        Actually, I’m amazed how often it goes unnoticed.

        It seems that every time the two sides are about to have an intelligent discussion or an exchange of ideas about the issue, the Palestinian side wastes no time in trying to demonize Israel and Jews.

        • Brownstudent

          I’m not. That’s why “the Palestinian side” exists.

          • Andy Okuneff

            I wish the article had delved into the reclamation of the word Zionist as the Zionist Union demonstrates a powerful voice (possibly the next PM) speaking out against Likud excesses in ‘Operation Protective Edge’. Isaac Herzog & Tzipi Livni embody the best of Zionism.

            It is good to see jews take moral high ground & sad to see Likud lie to Israelis, serving as a stain on global zionism.

          • Adam OnWeb

            What Likud excesses are your referring to in ‘Operation Protective Edge’?

          • Andy Okuneff

            Operation Protective Edge was initiated shortly after the US agreed to recognize a unity Hamas (Gaza) and Fatah (West Bank) government. In it, the UN estimates that approximately 475000 Palestinians wound up homeless and it resulted in more Arab casualties than in any year since 1967.

            Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu really wanted to redraw Gaza’s borders..

          • Adam OnWeb

            I’m still not sure what Lukid excesses you are referring to? From what you’ve written, I think you are saying that Israel’s entire response was excessive. If that’s what you are referring to, I couldn’t disagree with you more.

            More than 2/3rds of the country was under imminent threat of rocket attack. Every day, thousands of people were given less than 30 seconds to get to a shelter. No country on earth would stand for that. No country would allow their citizens to live like that. The Israeli government had a moral, ethical and legal obligation to use whatever force it deemed necessary to stop those missiles as soon as possible.

            I’ve heard people argue that Israel should have shown more restraint because the rockets weren’t accurate and Israel had “Iron-dome”. I can’t understand this position at all. Frankly, such a position dehumanizes Israelis and stinks of antisemitism.

            Just imagine a country where everyone has to wake up in the morning, put a single bullet in a pistol, hold the pistol to their head and play Russian Roulette.

            If you lived in such a country, knowing all your family and friends had to live like that, how long would you tolerate it?

          • Andy Okuneff

            I don’t know how anyone in the region tolerates 450,000 homeless (UN) in Gaza.. Bibi, who should get 0 votes, blatantly started the conflict immediately after US agreed to recognize unity hamas fatah govt.

            Beyond that I don’t know how Bibi still gets away with doing things like forging support from Kahlon, leader of Kulanu, whom he needs in order to form a coalition.

            I support Israel. Jews did what they had to in the 40s and the 60s, but Bibi is a liar who wants Gaza’s borders redrawn when most Israelis just want peace.

            and no, it’s not anti semitic to be impressed David’s Sling limited Israeli Casualties in 2014 to 72.

          • Andy Okuneff

            June 2, 2014 Palestinians form new unity government that includes Hamas

            June 14, 2014 ” ‘Bring Back Our Boys’ campaign inspires hope”

            July – August 2014: Tzuk Eitan (2,200 palestinians killed, 450,000 deliberately displaced)

            amazing that #bringbackourboys (3 young men missing) got 2800 tweets per hour, but you’ve never heard of Mohammed Abu Khdeir ..

          • Adam OnWeb

            I’m sympathetic to the Palestinians, too, but I just don’t see how Bibi, Lukid or Israel has the lion’s share of responsibility over what happens to the Palestinian people. Why blame Israel for extremely bad Palestinian leadership? 20% of Israel’s citizenry are Palestinian Arabs. Compared to most Arabs in every other country in the middle east, Israeli Arabs live far better lives with far more rights.

            Meanwhile, in Gaza, the population of Jews equals exactly zero. It is illegal for a Jew to live in Gaza. The penalty for a Jew to even try to live in Gaza is death.

            During Operation Protective Edge, I saw the leader of Hamas interviewed on Charlie Rose and he openly admitted that he can’t live next to a Jewish State. As far as Hamas is concerned, the fight must go on as long as Israel exists – no matter where the borders are drawn. How is this Bibi, Lukid or Israel’s fault?

            I don’t blame Bibi for doing anything he has to do to protect and secure Israel from a neighbor like that. Really, screw them! Does Israel need to help the Arabs make another antisemitic state? Isn’t Israel surrounded by enough antisemitic states?

            There are about 500 million Muslims occupying over 99.875% of all the land in the middle east. There are about 7 million Jews in a country 1/800th the size of Arab controlled land. Honestly, what are the Arabs making such a big deal over? Let the Jews have their state and let them run it the way they want. There are 24 Arab countries that do exactly the same thing.

            All the anger should be squarely focused on the Palestinian and Arab leadership. The Arabs have squandered a fortune funding outfits like Hamas, Hezbolla and Islamic Jihad. Just Imagine what the state of Palestine would be today if the Arabs accepted Israel and the 2 state solution of 1948. Just imagine the kind of country the Palestinians would be living in if the money to fund Hamas, Hezbolla and other terrorist groups went into developing a true Palestinian State?

            I’m sorry. I feel for the Palestinian people. I really do. But I can’t see how Israel, Lukid or anyone is more responsible for where the Palestinians find themselves than the Arab and Palestinian leadership.

          • Andy Okuneff

            “I’m sympathetic to the Palestinians” if that’s remotely true please follow my timeline below and think about how much palestinian devastation compared to a barely damaged israel ensued (casualties: 2200 palestinians, 72 Israelis. now homeless: 450,000 palestinians, 0 israelis)

            “It is illegal for a Jew to live in Gaza. The penalty for a Jew to even try to live in Gaza is death”
            interesting bit of propaganda you ate right there.. i don’t imagine gaza residents love israeli jews, but i don’t blame them for that..

            “I don’t blame Bibi for doing anything he has to do to protect and secure Israel” objectively, did bringbackourboys inflame tensions or reduce them?

            from wikipedia:
            The Israel Defense Forces initiated Operation Brother’s Keeper in search of the three teenagers.[10] As part of the operation, in the following 11 days Israel arrested around 350 Palestinians,[11][12][13] including nearly all of Hamas’ West Bank leaders.[14]

          • Adam OnWeb

            You wrote…

            ” if that’s remotely true please follow my timeline (previous post) and
            think about how much palestinian devastation compared to a barely
            damaged israel ensued (casualties: 2200 palestinians, 72 Israelis. now
            homeless: 450,000 palestinians, 0 israelis)”

            It’s lines like this that make it so hard to have a discussion with someone like yourself. “if that’s even remotely true…”. Did I accuse you of being heartless? I say, “I see the suffering”. I say, “Let’s talk about who is responsible?” And right away, you attempt to dehumanize me, to claim that I’m either dishonest about how I feel towards their suffering, or worse, that I might be some kind of heartless monster who doesn’t feel anything.

            Frankly, it is a tactic that I’ve seen all too often. Do you think your statistic are more horrific than mine? The Jews have been fighting for the survival of their entire ethnicity since the early 1930′s. Would you like me to present some of their statistics about devastation, causalities and homelessness for the past 85 years? Do you think after that, I couldn’t equally label you as some kind of unsympathetic monster, too?

            There is plenty of suffering going on in this conflict and it has gone on too long.

            Do you want to have an intelligent conversation about who is responsible for the suffering, and what should be done to stop it, or do you just want to engage in demonizing one another. Personally, I have no interest in the later.

            Now, you keep focusing on bringourboysback. I don’t focus on it. I focus on Hamas. Long before any boys went missing, Hamas was spending valuable resources on digging attack tunnels into Israel. If took them years to dig those tunnels – and by the way – plenty of Palestinian kids died in construction process. Hamas used all the concrete – concrete that Israel actually supplied for building roads and schools – concrete that could have been used towards actually building a Palestinian state.

            But Hamas didn’t do that. Long before any boys went missing, Hamas focused on destroying Israel and that’s the issue. They admit it. You should acknowledge it. Hamas devotes everything they can towards this end and they publicly admit that the current generation of Palestinians need to suffer to achieve this end. How is this Israel’s fault? Should Israel be blamed simply because they exist? Is that fair?

            You say I’ve written propaganda. You accuse me of being dishonest. Again, did I do that to you? We have a difference of opinion. I don’t think that makes you a liar or a monster. I do think you are being very selective about what facts you choose to accept.

            I know a great deal about this conflict. What I said about Jews living in Gaza is not propaganda. Haleel Al-Haya, Hamas leadership, has said that the only Jews allowed to live in Gaza are those who have lived there before ww1. That currently means any Jew over 101 years old. Here’s a link to an article when he declared it in 2010.


            I’m not a monster and I’m not here to spread propaganda. If you want to accuse me of stuff like that, than we don’t have anything to talk about. But if you want to focus on the issue of who is responsible for all this suffering, than maybe we could talk and even teach each other something.

            Now it is up to you.

          • Andy Okuneff

            I genuinely believe that you are accidentally spreading propaganda and do not realize that operation protective edge (450,000 homeless arabs, 0 homeless jews) was about redrawing Gaza’s borders.

            “i don’t focus on bringbackourboys” directly contradicts “let’s talk about who is responsible”. Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu was responsible for the 2014 conflict. Arresting the entire Hamas West Bank leadership under the pretense of searching for 3 boys is Unacceptable. As jews, we must evaluate Israel objectively.

   also bibi has lied so many times about kulanu support it’s disgusting.. Without Kulanu support, Herzog will be the next PM and that is good for Israel.

            I’d genuinely like to have a phone convo with you cause it’s a silly back & forth when you admit to ignoring bringbackourboys and then don’t understand why Palestinians are more mad than Israelis.. 3474088953

            hamas leaders like Haleel Al-Haya are typically assasinated before they can wield any real power whereas Bibi (& Bennett), with 30% Israeli support, is somehow still the acting PM.

          • Adam OnWeb

            I appreciate you reaching out for a phone call but I think it is a good thing to us to document our discussion and let others read it. If the two of us can discuss it reasonably, perhaps more will do the same.

            First, let me respond to what you’ve said about propaganda. What I’ve said is that Jews are not allowed to live in Gaza. This is not propaganda. Hamas controls Gaza. They’ve past a law that does not allow Jews or homosexuals to live in Gaza. This is common knowledge. Once more the PA plans the same thing for the West Bank.

            Here is a quote to an article in the Guardian.


            When asked, since Palestinian Arabs are citizens in Israel, would he consider allowing settlers to remain under Palestinian Authority, Abbas answered, “If we want an independent state, I will not accept any single Israeli in our territories.”

            To me, this isn’t propaganda. In fact, this strikes at the very heart of the issue. Jews are prepared to have Palestinians live among them. Like I said, over 1.5 million Palestinians are Israeli citizens. The Palestinian leadership; on the other hand, are not willing to allow Jews to live in the region at all.

            It is important to note my distinction. I blame the Palestinian and Arab leadership. I don’t feel the Palestinians have ever truly had a government that represented their best interests. Egypt and Jordan illegally occupied them for 19 years and did nothing but pull them into war. Clearly, they never had any intention of forming a Palestinian state. The PA was horribly corrupt and Hamas has a radical agenda. There was one election held in the mid 1980′s. After that, Hamas illegally seized control of Gaza and neither Hamas or the PA have held an election since. These are the people making decisions and they get their funding other from Arab leaders who want to see Israel gone. Sorry, but in my mind, I can’t see how you don’t put the lion’s share of responsibility on the Arab leaders.

            Now, regarding some of the things you asked me to address…

            You said…

            ” Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu was responsible for the 2014 conflict.
            Arresting the entire Hamas West Bank leadership under the pretense of
            searching for 3 boys is Unacceptable. As jews, we must evaluate Israel

            First, like I mentioned above, Hamas is dedicated to destroying Israel. This is a fact you have to acknowledge. Hamas themselves admit this. Israel and Hamas are at war and unless Hamas changes it’s position, it is a war to the death.

            The event with the 3 boys was simply the ‘starting gun’ to a round of violence that Hamas had planned for more than a year. Hamas dug tunnels that crossed into Israeli territory. This makes Hamas the undeniable aggressor. These tunnels weren’t defensive. Just consider the amount of time, money and energy that Hamas devoted to this plan. I can’t see how you can focus on the 3 boys or Israel’s response when you know that Hamas was spending their year digging tunnels specifically to attack and kill Jews. In my mind, this fact trumps everything else. It is clear what Hamas wants and it is clear that they are dedicated to carrying it out.

            You say, arresting all of the Hamas leadership in the West Bank is unacceptable. I say, I can’t find much sympathy for a group that openly calls for genocide of every Jew on earth in their charter. I can’t find much sympathy for a group that brings so much suffering on the Palestinian people. I can’t find much sympathy for a group that hangs homosexuals from cranes in the street. I have no more sympathy for Hamas than I do for the KKK or the Neo-Nazi party. If they want to commit genocide, I sincerely feel the world would be a better place without them.

            Regarding your comparison of dead Palestinians to dead Israelis. Frankly, I don’t think such statistics reveal the true moral issues involved. Far more Nazis died in ww2 than Americans. Does this change the morality of Nazis? Now I’m not placing the Palestinian people in the same category as Nazis (although I do consider Hamas in that category). My point is, because far more Palestinians died than Israelis, that doesn’t change the fact that Hamas was the aggressor. In fact, it reveals that Hamas behaved with incredible immorality.

            Israel spent billions defending its citizens. Hamas planned an aggressive campaign for a year and did not spend a dime to defend the people of Gaza. Once you know this fact, it becomes very clear that Hamas is responsible for such a lop-sided casualty count. Hamas is immoral. How could they spend a year preparing an aggressive campaign and not build a single bomb shelter for Palestinian civilians?

            As people who believe in civil rights, shouldn’t we be condemning the government who intentionally planned for war and did nothing to protect their own people? Would you want to live under a government that treats its people like that?

            About Bibi not being honest, I read your article and I see your side of it. But Bibi is not a dictator. He is a politician in a vibrant democracy and he can’t call all the shots. I firmly believe that as long as Hamas dedicates itself to destroying Israel, than the Israeli people will continue to lean towards leaders like Bibi and Bennet.

            Ultimately, I see very little Israel could do. It doesn’t matter if Bibi is in charge. It wouldn’t make a difference if a saint was in charge of the Israeli military. As long as Hamas and the Arab leadership remain dedicated to destroying Israel, the fighting will continue.

            How could it not?

          • Andy Okuneff

            dude, Bibi displaced 25% of Gaza’s population in a month and a half last year. whether or not Palestinian leaders are homophobic or perhaps mad at all jews for what Bibi does, is irrelevant if you can’t start there considering that just happened.

            #bringbackourboys led to operation brother’s keeper, which led to the detainment of genuinely clueless arabs. Every jew should really look at what #neveragain or #niewieder means to them when examining the devastasion of Tzuk Eitan aka Operation Protective Edge.

            oseh shalom bimromav hu ya ase shalom aleinu v al kol yisrael v im ru amen

            may we learn from the mistakes of faith placed in instigators like binyamin netanyahu.

          • Adam OnWeb

            You’ve already told me that Bidi displaced all these people. I don’t agree with you. Bibi did not displaced 25% of Gaza. The fighting – the on going war – displaced those people.

            Who is responsible for this war?

            Is Bibi responsible for seeking to defend his civilian population from missile attacks, or is Hamas responsible for seeking to commit genocide against all Jews?

            Please, if you right me back again, answer that question.

            Hamas did everything in their power to wage this campaign. Hamas began this campaign more than a year before #bringbackourboys, or “brother’s keeper” or “protective edge” or any of the issues you are raising. Hamas was digging tunnels into Israel for more than a year before any of the things you are talking about happened.

            Do you honestly believe that Hamas was even thinking of pursuing peace while they dug those tunnels? Do you think there was any chance that they weren’t going to use them?

            You need to acknowledge the truth. Hamas is trying to kill every Jew they can and they really don’t care if they burn Gaza down to the ground while they do it. They truly believe that it is better to sacrifice all the Palestinians than to allow a Jewish state to exist.

            I really can’t understand why you refuse to acknowledge this. Do you feel you are being fair to the Palestinians by having Israel or BIbi take the blame? Are you locked into some political ideology? Are you just being stubborn? Whatever it is, you aren’t doing the Palestinians or the Israelis any favor by blaming it on Bibi or Bennet or anyone other than Hamas and the Arab Leaders.

            Consider Egypt and Jordan. When those Arab leaders decided not to attack Israel anymore, the fighting between their countries stopped – on a dime. That was all it took – the Arab Leadership to decide that they weren’t going to wage war against Israel anymore – and the fighting between them stopped. Think about it.

          • Andy Okuneff

            I honestly believe that Hamas’ Khaled Mashal’s calling for an end to the blockade on Gaza is a more reasonable request than Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu has ever made of Palestinians.

            “A Likud-headed government will not allow thousands, certainly not millions, of Palestinian refugees to enter Israel. Israel will not take any moral responsibility for those refugees”

            Given the remarkable similarities between the Hamas Charter and Likud Constitution, they become like 2 sides of the same coin. The fact that hamas has never managed the devastation of likud is more than offset in your head because you were raised to respect the Israeli PM and hate this group called “hamas”. We all were. But we must objectively evaluate what happened last year and not make such disgusting statements as “I have no more sympathy for Hamas than I do for the KKK or the Neo-Nazi party”..

            “Hamas” has come to embody all of gaza and most of the west bank, which makes sense given that 1/4 of Gazans became homeless due to “Israel” (but really it was just Likud) aggression over a 1.5 month period last year. Fortunately, Likud only got 23% of the Israeli vote a month ago and are struggling to convince Kahlon to enter a coalition with Shas.

            As disgusting as suicide bombers were in the past and as stupid as the guy is who decided to launch missiles into Israel, “Hamas did everything in their power to wage this campaign” is simply not true. Not a matter of opinion. It is untrue. They did everything in their power to [get arrested unjustifiably, which is what happened during operation brothers keeper].

            For the benefit of Israel, Herzog, not Netanyahu, should be forming the next coalition.

          • Adam OnWeb

            Well, you and I certainly disagree on the nature of Hamas.

            You make a comparison between Lukid and Hamas. I don’t understand this at all. Lukid is a political party in a vibrant democracy that has to answer to the citizens. Lukid (as well as the rest of the government) is balanced against Israel’s independent judiciary – a judiciary so well respected that even critics of Israel don’t deny its effectiveness. This is a judiciary with a remarkable reputation for ruling against the Israeli government and military. Lukid, other parties and the military respect the judiciary – the rule of law – and they obey it. And no matter what you may think of Lukid – unlike Hamas – no where in the Lukid charter does it call for the genocide of an entire ethnicity all over the world.

            Hamas, on the other hand; was elected to serve as part of a coalition government. With no respect for their country’s judiciary, they illegally seized total control and proceeded to throw political rivals off roof tops. They haven’t held an election since they illegally took control. The Palestinian people have no voice except for what Hamas allows.

            You strike me as someone deeply concerned about civil rights and the rights of the individual. How do you reconcile supporting Hamas when they illegally seized control and haven’t held an election in nearly 20 years? Is this fair to the Palestinian people?

            Hamas rules through thuggery. They drag people into the streets and publicly execute them without trial – just on suspicion of conspiring with Israel – and it is very telling that a member of Hamas is never executed in such a fashion. They do not believe people have any civil rights beyond what the Islamic fundamentalism allows. They execute homosexuals for simply being homosexuals. Their charter – now a legitimate political document – has openly called for the genocide of all Jews on earth since 1986. They show no desire to change it. In many interviews, their leadership continues to confirm this position.

            You say that comparing Hamas to the KKK and Neo-Nazis is “disgusting”. Try making an honest comparison between the KKK and Hamas. The KKK is a nationalist and theological movement, and so is Hamas. The KKK claims their country is overrun with a racial and ethnic groups that don’t belong, and so does Hamas. The KKK seeks to commit genocide and drive these groups completely out of their country, and so does Hamas. The KKK wears masks to hide their appearance so their members can not be easily recognized and held accountable by the rule of law, so did Hamas. (Hamas doesn’t need to do this anymore because they have seized control). The KKK advocates violence (terrorism) as an acceptable means of achieving a political objective, and so does Hamas. Honestly, do you really not see all these similarities between them? They’re virtually twins.

            And you really see no difference between Lukid and Hamas?

            I notice you didn’t answer my question. I’ll ask it again:

            Who is responsible for this war?

            Is Bibi responsible for seeking to defend his civilian population from missile attacks, or is Hamas responsible for seeking to commit genocide against all Jews?

            Please answer that. I would very much like to get your opinion on such a question. I think it is at the heart of what you and I see differently. I suspect you will try to tell me that Lukid is no different than Hamas, but I’ve already pointed out some specifics as to how they differ. I don’t understand how you don’t see this. To me, the differences between Hamas and Lukid are stark and striking, but that isn’t the primary point. The main thing is that Hamas is clearly a detriment to peace and they hold significant responsibility for the violence. You don’t seem to want to hold them responsible for their role in this conflict, and I can’t understand that at all.

            As far as Herzog forming the next coalition, that’s OK with me. I really don’t think it will make that much of a difference. The people who run the Israeli military are well educated in combat and most of the time, they’re going to respond to an attack the same way, no matter who is in charge. They are the experts and typically, the person in charge will follow their recommendation. Perhaps Herzog will have a breakthrough in peace talks, but I sincerely doubt it because I don’t believe Hamas wants peace at all. They say they want to destroy Israel and I take them at their word on this. Why don’t you?

            As long as Hamas and the Arab leaders who fund them continue to try and destroy Israel, I imagine the military response from Israel will always
            be similar no matter who is in charge.

          • Ronald J Riley

            Most certainly Jews have a legitimate historical claim to both the West Bank and Gaza.

          • Adam OnWeb

            No doubt about that.

          • Ronald J Riley

            We should also be talking about how large numbers of Jews living in the Middle East had their property stolen.

          • Adam OnWeb

            You’re right. I often bring this up. I think it is a real crime that people aren’t even aware that hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees – nearly equal to the number of Palestinian refugees – were forcibly driven out of multiple Arab states after the start of the 48 war.

            No one talks about Jewish refugees because Israel – in less than 1/800th of the land held by Arabs – managed to absorb all the Jewish refugees into the Israeli population in a matter of a few years.

            Meanwhile, Egypt and Jordan illegally occupied the Palestinians between 1948 and 1967. No one cared. After the 67 war, the Arabs kept the Palestinians in refugee camps. The Arab leadership has been using the Palestinian people as pawns in their endless fight against Israel and it is disgraceful.

            Good point. Thanks for bringing it up.

          • Ronald J Riley

            You need to follow the timeline from the mid 1800′s, then it will be clear that Palestinian problems are self inflicted. The people collectively bringing Hamas to power makes all of them collectively responsible for all Hamas acts.

          • Ronald J Riley

            The only way Israelis are going to get piece if to help much larger numbers Palestinians to a permanent peace.

          • Ronald J Riley

            “Likud excesses”??

            If someone insists on waging war, then the only response to to cause enough loss of life and property that the party attacking cries uncle. Clearly, Israel has not done enough to make Palestinians want piece.

          • Andy Okuneff

            Bombing 450,000 people from their homes is not peaceful.

            imagine every single person affiliated with ucla waking up with nowhere to rest their heads. No worldly possessions you couldn’t carry on your back, nowhere safe to go.

            Now imagine that happened to the entire PAC 12 over the course of about a month..

            This is what Netanyahu did to Palestinians 1 month after Obama agreed to recognize the elected officials in Gaza (population 1.8M) as a part of Abbas’ government.

          • Ronald J Riley

            “Bombing 450,000 people from their homes is excessive”

            If those people are not yet ready to cease their aggression then it not excessive. Again, the essence of war is to make things so difficult that the opponent begs for peace.

          • Andy Okuneff

            your “essence of war” is inhumane.

            your inability to consider palestinian pov is sad.

          • Justice Delivered

            War is inhumane, so the Palestinians should stop waging war.

            When they do will be the time to consider rather or not they deserve any consideration.

          • Andy Okuneff

            Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu wages war. Khaled Mashal wants an end to the ruinous military blockade.

            Bibi waged this offensive immediately after the formation of a new government. He “arrested” nearly all of the new government’s leaders. How can they form government given Likud’s national security platform? How can they be ‘waging war’ when their elected leaders are jailed for being too democratically elected?

  • Ronald J Riley

    Everyone, take time to study the Middle East and Jews presence from a bit past the mid 1800′s to present. What you will find is that Palestinian’s problems are in large part self inflicted.

    Then take a look at Jews contributions to science, medicine, invention, the arts and so on, what you will find is that they have played a staggering role in advancing humanity.

    As the founder of the Professional Inventors Alliance I have had the pleasure of knowing many Jews who have made staggering contributions to humanity.

    Now look at Palestinian’s and for that matter the whole Middle East. After discovering that they make few contributions ask yourself why their neighbors kicked them out and want nothing to do with absorbing them.

    If Israel neighbors stopped their petty and futile feud with Israel and instead road their economic coattails, in a generation or two they would be prosperous, and if they succeeded in destroying Israel, they would wallow in poverty to the end of time.

    • Andy Okuneff

      Likud is a version of Hamas that actually has resources to annihilate homes and displace people on a regular basis (ie July-Aug 2014). That its constitution calls for removal of Arabs is factual. Whether you can evaluate them objectively is up to you, but I think it’s sad when all of Israel is blamed for what Likud officials do behind most of its citizens’ backs.

      Blaming Hamas for *Netanyahu aggression in 2014* is like blaming Russia for violating the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact in 1941 or blaming Israel for the 1973 yom kippur war. Your opinion is factually incorrect if you don’t blame Bibi for triggering operation protective edge

      I agree Israel has been a “vibrant democracy” and that the supreme court of Israel is arguably better than the USA supreme court.

      It is disgusting that Bibi is undermining Israeli democracy with tons of media lies: & even wishes to undermine its supreme court:

      • Adam OnWeb

        You seem totally locked in to one side of the conflict. You keep talking about 400,000 people displaced from an exchange of fire between Israel and Hamas, but you say almost nothing about the planned attacks from Hamas that lead to Israel’s response. Hamas fired over 8000 missiles into Israeli cities. I think you acknowledged that once. Hamas spent over 40 million dollars digging tunnels into Israel. It took them over a year to do it, and they started digging more than a year before Bringourboysback; Operation Protective Edge, etc. You don’t acknowledge any of this. The digging of the tunnels for more than a year before the Protective Edge certainly proves that Hamas intended to attack Israel. You don’t acknowledge this at all. Hamas openly calls for the genocide of every Jew on earth. They publish this position in their charter. You have yet to acknowledge this fact.

        Anyone can place blame indiscriminately. Anyone can ignore facts and shove the blame any place they want. But when numerous facts are presented to you, you refuse to even acknowledge their existence, and you keep harping on your point as if it exists in some kind of vacuum, well, I don’t know what to tell you after that.

        I trust anyone reading our discussion will reach their own conclusion as to which of us is right. All the same, I think you for the discussion and I genuinely wish you the best of luck in helping to establish a fair peace for both sides.

        • Andy Okuneff

          Gents I believe I am delving into topics the Daily Bruin in association with Disqus does not feel comfortable discussing.

          I have posted the unapproved comments on my twitter @ferlettuce (full disclosure: @naftalieichmann is also me) and definitely do not agree with my posts’ deletion. I would like to continue this conversation via twitter or perhaps a different public media like tinychat or meerkat where our faces can be recorded/logged.

          oseh shalom bimromav hu ya se shalom aleinu v al kol yisrael vimru amen

          ~with respect

      • Ronald J Riley

        If I was an Israeli and had been putting up with the kind of crap Palestinians have been pulling, my response would be to carpet bomb with fuel air bombs, one bomb for every rocket and one bomb for every Israeli maimed or killed. What I find hard to understand is why Israel is not conducting much more agressive campaigns then they have to date.

        • Andy Okuneff

          “if i was an Israeli” what if you were a Palestinian & had felt Real Devastation?

          • Ronald J Riley

            Say on the order of the Holocaust? Palestinians do not understand real devastation yet.

          • Andy Okuneff

            you have fundamentally failed to put yourself in palestinians’ shoes. I’m not talking about the ’40s, when color tvs were a novelty, I am asking how you would feel if you and 33% of your neighbors were forced to leave your homes and never come back Last Year?

            these aren’t hamas militants, these are families who have lived in Gaza for over a century.


          • Justice Delivered

            You keep glossing over the why, staggering stupidity.

            What kind of people have large numbers of children to politically overrun an area knowing full well that those children will live largely useless unproductive lives? What kind of people routinely put their children in harms way for political reasons?

            Palestinians have been in Gaza a whole century, wow. And how long were Jews and their and their ancestors there? How about thousands of years.

            How did Palestinians come to suffer a collective psychosis?

            So, explain why I or anyone else should feel sorry for Palestinians.

          • Andy Okuneff

            Because Likud had all of the Hamas leaders arrested under false pretenses and then bombed 1/3 of the people’s houses after years of a military blockade.

            ps can we at least agree Israeli Supreme Court > Benjamin “Israel Hayom” Netanyahu?