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Marc Benioff joins Valley notables backing Gaza’s first coding academy (techcrunch.com)
124 points by dianacbiggs 313 days ago | hide | past | web | 137 comments | favorite

Having volunteered with Gaza Sky Geeks (GSG) and been on the ground all I can say is that this is a big positive in the region and for the people living in Gaza.

You would not believe how welcoming and hard working Palestinians are. There is a generalization because of the conflict but at the end of the day these are people like you and me trying to achieve their goals in a positive way.

There is a political situation around it and it cannot be ignored from the moment you arrive but I strongly believe that Mercy Corps and GSG and initiatives like the coding academy help a population that lives in harsh conditions without access of what we give for granted in the US.

Here are some of the things that blew me away: - About 50% of the founders in the GSG were women. - There are a lot of very young and talented engineers. - Walking through Gaza as a western looking guy I feared people would not be super happy, it was quite the opposite, endless invitations to have coffee, eat watermelon, say hello and welcome. - Hardware startups solving issues that could be applied to underdeveloped countries, one of my favorites was a USB charger that you power by slipping into your shoe and walking.

There is no reason to not celebrate and join the people backing these initiatives, they have a direct impact on good people and even if you have concerns about the politics in the region, I think these programs help alleviate the tension and let people focus on living their lives and not be frustrated with the laundry list of day to day hurdles they encounter.

I volunteered there as well (with jbermudez5), and have never been so deeply impressed by a group of people as I was by Gaza Sky Geeks. I've spent my professional career conducting tech research in developing countries in SE Asia and the Middle East, and have never seen such challenging circumstances for developing a company as I did in Gaza - and yet everyone there continues to aspire to greatness.

The opportunities for economic growth in the region are incredibly limited (40%+ unemployment; 40% below the poverty line; 80% dependent on some kind of foreign aid; ~50% dependent on UN food aid alone; extreme barriers to importing or exporting physical goods), and yet they enjoy relatively high levels of infrastructure and education (97% literacy; 20% population with a college degree - higher than in the West Bank; female/male near-equality w/r/t education levels; decent internet). All of this combines to make tech investments especially appealing.

I got the feeling in Gaza - relative to many other countries lacking these resources that have garnered a great deal of attention from the tech community in recent years, such as India, Brazil, and more - that the development of tech companies (especially tech, due to minimal infrastructure needs) there can make a significant contribution to the regional economy. The group's additional devotion to including women in the accelerator is especially laudable, and has contributed to an incredibly rich workspace.

There's a lot more info on the crowdfunding website too: http://www.powerupgazageeks.com/

I'm also a volunteer mentor - at the hackathon I was at, they achieved 83% female participation! Everyone was so fun and welcoming, as it say. They continue to inspire me.

Good on you for donating your time like that. How did you get involved with GSG? How long will you be there for? Cheers.

Came across a post on social media and applied to help out as a mentor. There was an interview processes and then some paperwork for entry permits.

I spent one week in Gaza and another week between Ramallah and parts of Israel.

After the time there I still have contact with the friends I made there and try to contribute with any initiative they put together.

It also pushed me to look for local initiatives here in the US .

I applied to be a mentor on their website after reading about the accelerator.

You can also donate to their current campaign to help create the coding academy, which I've also done, after seeing it in person I can personally say it's fantastic and students there told me how much it's changing their lives, making them more confident and hopeful about opportunities for their future.

Link is here: http://www.powerupgazageeks.com/

I mentored as well (not with jbermudez) and agree with the above. Also, given the high level of internet infrastructure, high levels of education, and tech savvy, building a startup industry there is one of the best ways to provide future economic opportunity and sense of global participation.

As a network engineer I am immensely curious what the internet in Gaza looks like at OSI layers 1-3: what are the upstream routes in and out, who are the commercial ISPs, what IP space do they have, what are their BGP adjacencies, etc?

Not that this answers your question but it might shed some light: when I went last year, I ran tracert to google.com. The only interesting thing I remember is everything went through the West Bank.

Great question though - I'm curious too.

Also not an answer to the question, but Israel laid cable there prior to exiting, and so the infrastructure didn't emerge in isolation. You should ask one of the Gaza geeks to send you a tracert!

Seems like Israeli companies are also trying to help out -- http://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-palestinians-mellan...

I have second hand experience from friends working there. Lots of good cooperation is happening between Israelis and Palestinians. If only our governments didn't suck :)

The Palestinian workers in Mellanox are well liked and respected from what I saw and the company enjoys having them.

Thanks for this — always good to hear from people on the ground, so to speak, away from all the prepolarised babble.

Few of them lived side by side before all of the ugliness of conflict started.

From VentureBeat Article... http://venturebeat.com/2017/01/09/marc-benioff-eric-ries-dav...

Here’s a list of the supporters matching donations: Skoll Foundation, Salesforce’s Marc Benioff, Techstars’ Brad Feld, Y Combinator’s Paul Graham, author Eric Ries, 500 Startups’ Dave McClure, Aramex cofounder Fadi Ghandour, Crescent Enterprises CEO Badr Jafar, Leap Ventures’ Hala Fadel, Tech.eu cofounder Jon Bradford, Kapor Capital partner Freada Kapor Klein and Mitch Kapor, National Beverage Company — Coca-Cola Palestine Chairman and CEO Zahi Khouri, Jabbar chairman Samih Toukan, Google principal scientist Blaise Aguera y Arcas, Uber’s Amsterdam head of engineering Mustafa Sezgin, 500 Startups’ Khailee Ng, Techstars COO Jenny Lawton, and Techstars cofounder David Cohen.

Having read many of the posts in this thread, I feel compelled to contribute.

The complexity of the politics of the region are beyond my grasp. I am not a political scientist, nor have I spent much time in the region. However, as an entrepreneur who has volunteered with Gaza Sky Geeks and who has traveled to Gaza to mentor at their co-working space, I feel compelled to say that (1) the organization is unquestionably using its resources effectively to foster startups there and (2) the entrepreneurs who are part of the accelerator and the wider community who attends their events are some of the most intelligent, hardest working, and good-hearted people I have ever encountered. That sounds hyperbolic, but it's true.

Most importantly, the entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs are young and have had no part in the decades of political and military conflicts that have created the regrettable tension in the region. They have been implicated in the large mess solely by virtue of where they happened to have been born. Regardless on which side of the issue you fall, it is undeniable that the problems have been created by members of the older generations. It seems reasonable to place the bet that, if a more peaceful future is possible, it will happen by creating productive pathways for the rising generation.

In the most challenging political context on the planet, Gaza Sky Geeks does an excellent job of rendering its work apolitical. I have seen this first hand. The organization is there to help Gazans create for themselves new opportunities and more hopeful futures. And, again, the Gazans who participate in their programs are of the best character and are only seeking to put their energy to create value for consumers, regardless of race or creed, via their startups.

I am not nor have I ever been an employee of Gaza Sky Geeks and have nothing to gain by writing any of this. I have no dog in this fight. But for whatever the words of an internet commenter are worth, I would urge skeptics to consider giving the organization the benefit of the doubt. I cannot say enough positive things about this organization's mission and their effective execution of it.

As a mentor at the very first Startup Weekend Gaza, I was very impressed both at the energy that young Gazans put into their ideas and their optimism that they can build a better, more peaceful world with technology. I mentored one young female entrepreneur who built an Uber-like platform for Gaza using SMS. We spent all of our time discussing the possibilities for market expansion to places where she wouldn't compete directly with Uber, and none of it discussing politics. She was very driven to take her idea to the next level and to travel abroad despite the concerns of her more conservative family.

While many of the entrepreneurs I spoke to were hesitant to voice their political opinions because of the climate in which they live, it was clear that they simply want peace and a chance to be creative with their ideas and lives just like young people everywhere. They did not create the political situation they are in but very much want to change it. They do not engage with the rhetoric of the victim or the aggressor -- which are two sides of one coin-- but simply were focused on the possibilities of expanding their horizons and making something that could advance humanity bit by bit.

I was also impressed by the number of women present, as others have mentioned, as it exceeded the percentages I had seen throughout the rest of the Arab World. That alone is a significant achievement. These women were very motivated to create a better life. And I felt nothing but gratitude and a desire for upward movement and transcendence of conflict from everyone we worked with.

I hope those reading this thread will consider focusing on the future and supporting this initiative to support a positive future in Gaza, with hope for peace.

I volunteered for them back in May of 2016 and wrote about it here on HN. Can't say enough good things about the experience and the people.

Please help their cause. I can personally vouch that the money will go to good people who are hungry to learn and eager to make a difference. I ran two workshops when I went and we had great turnout in each session. People were asking great questions and wanted to stay after to continue learning.

I think the best way to see what's going on there is to watch the videos. Have you all seen the ones about Gaza's startup founders and developers? Here are a few:

Women founders + developers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nAkx4n0yUU&feature=youtu.be

The crowdfunding campaign video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEJtZekhROE

There are some personal interviews too on that channel, but my favorite is this bloopers video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_f_w1aoJgO8

Another video that shows Gaza on the ground (no relation to the geeks there) is Gangam Style Gaza. Love this! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYMh09vPwdM

I applied to mentor and got accepted last Summer. I visited Gaza last December and it was unforgettable.

The Gaza Sky Geeks (mostly geekettes!) are the most resilient and inspired group I've met in my life.

Proud to support this effort. Would love to go back.

The energy crisis that sparked this crowdfunding campaign (to get a generator + fuel for Gaza's startups and developers) is now front page news...

For those of you who have been conflating all Gazans with Hamas, read this:


Gaza electricity crisis: Hamas breaks up protest

Meanwhile, comedian Adel al-Mashwakhi was arrested hours after posting a video criticising Hamas, the Associated Press news agency reports. "There is no work, no crossings, no food, no water to drink and also there is no electricity," he said in the one-minute video, which has been watched more than 250,000 times. "Enough Hamas. Enough, enough, enough. We want electricity, we want electricity, we want electricity." Hamas has not commented.

I've been to Israel many times including during the time of the first Gaza conflict (Cast Lead).

There were elections in 2006 and Hamas was elected over Fatah. Hamas does not recognize Israel and is declared a terrorist state by the US, EU as well as Israel.

There were supposed to be elections in 2010 but Hamas will not allow them.

Hamas has spent large sums of money shooting missiles into Israel and using concrete meant for building homes and schools for and hiring labor for building tunnels into Israel. So serious was the missile problem that Israel created the Iron Dome missile system (see youtube or CBS 60 minutes) to protect its population. That technology is now being co-produced with a US arms manufacturer for sale to other countries. The Israelis have also had to develop tunnel locating technology.

While Israel has a program of encouraging venture capital and startups, it is truly a pity that the Palestinians did not elect Fatah over Hamas.

Normal people in Gaza have little choice with current fascist "government" which eliminates opposition in a literal way. So "elected" is a strong word for it.

In 2006 there was a supervised election where Hamas was legitimately elected over Fatah. The Palestinians gave a mandate of a terrorist organization to lead them.

Do you trust a "supervised election" in a fascist regime? I don't really. But let's say you are right, and majority actually supports it. It means quite something morbid about such society.

The supervised elections were by US, UN or similar groups, not by Palestinian government.

The Palestinians were given the chance to self-govern Gaza when Israel pulled out in 2005 and show the world community that they are capable of self-government. Instead Hamas was elected and Hamas shot many thousands of missiles into Israel.

> The supervised elections were by US, UN or similar groups, not by Palestinian government.

How exactly does such supervision help? I.e. let's say someone votes (under supervision) today against, and then, killed tomorrow for being in opposition. You get the idea. Supervision has zero value when fascists control everything.

Estimating by Egypt situation, around half of the population supports fascist groups, and half is against. Hamas is a projection of Egyptian fascists, so the picture can be similar.

Hamas is part of Muslim Brotherhood, the group that assassinated Egyptian President Sadat.

They are terrorists who target among other things family restaurants (e.g., Sbarro in Jerusalem [1]) and teens dancing at Dolphinarium Discotheque. [2]

Incidentally, there were in fact Palestinians dancing in the streets during 9/11. (I was in Upper West Side of Manhattan when it happened).


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sbarro_restaurant_suicide_bomb...

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolphinarium_discotheque_massa...

Exactly. And Muslim Brotherhood are fascists.

> There were elections in 2006 and Hamas was elected over Fatah.

If the people of the land don't elect the party we prefer (by cross-checking with our terrorist list) we have no choice but to support their seige, occupation and Apartheid.

The US, Israeli, and Polish governments don't represent significant chunks of their population (in the US, 50% of the population didn't vote for Trump). A government being elected does NOT equal a reason to ostracize all the people living there.

In Gaza people who protest against Hamas get killed. During the 2014 conflict, 70 people in Gaza were hung for being collaborators with Israel, with no trial, proof, etc.

Gazans who are not in favor of their government are between a rock and a hard place: ostracized by the international community for a government they didn't choose, and suffering due to the local politics that they don't approve of. Wouldn't you at least want to support the people whose perspectives you align with?

The Palestinians elected a terrorist organization that shot missiles into Israel killing civilians that also refuses to recognize Israel.

Egypt has closed off their border and flooded illegal tunnels to Gaza as well.

I was a few miles away from the World Trade Center in Upper West Side Manhattan on 9/11. I don't feel kindly toward people that elect terrorist organizations to be their government. Sorry if that bothers you.


See also the UN OCHA report that records the 2,220 victims (67% of them civilians) of Israel's summer 2014 massacre in Gaza. 71 Israelis were killed during the same period (9% of them civilians).

So is the IDF a terrorist organization in your personal opinion?

> I was a few miles away from the World Trade Center in Upper West Side Manhattan on 9/11. I don't feel kindly toward people that elect terrorist organizations to be their government. Sorry if that bothers you.

Classic - equating Hamas with Al Qaeda and hence justifying prejudice against millions of Palestenians, victims of Apartheid, seige and civilian massacres by IDF in one smooth sentence.

So Khalid Sheikh Mohammed killing civilians is a justification for IDF killing the same number or more civilians.

Once again, is the IDF a terrorist organization in your personal opinion?

There is no reason to whitewash Hamas. They are point blank fascists. If you claim they are "elected", then you claim that majority there supports fascist regime.

My point is that much of Gaza's population did NOT vote for Hamas. Why wouldn't you want to support THOSE people?

David, the founders and team members that are impacted by GSG are very young, a new generation that have not been part in the decades of conflict.

As another volunteer mentioned in the thread, GSG is helping a younger generation look at the future with a different outlook, that is a big reason I love the program so much, it has a real impact on Gaza and a new generation of people.

Weird how some supporter of the palestinian cause here almost regret that some people in Gaza choose to find a way to live "normaly" and create themselves some kind of future, rather than go and try to kill other people.

And here am i, naively thinking that everything that helps people turn away from violence was a step toward peace...

is doing something like this considered a political statement against israel?

Not in the slightest. This kind of activity (economic activity) is probably the best way possible to deescalate the conflict.

Israel has no interest in Gaza, they just want them to stop trying to attack, so if anything this program is for Israel, not against it.

If you need evidence for that, then note that even during the worst conflicts Israel kept full communication (Cell and Internet) active in Gaza, which is opposite of what is normally done (cutting communication of the opponent). And it's not for wiretapping since easy encryption makes that infeasible in bulk, plus the people you would want to tap are not the ordinary everyday Internet users.

As additional evidence, increasing economic activity in the West Bank has been the backbone of Israel's attempt to keep things calm.

The more countries depend on each other for trade the less conflict there is - this is a pattern worldwide.

>[...] they just want them to stop trying to attack, so if anything this program is for Israel, not against it.

I hate to bring politics in this, but any sort of aid given to the Gaza people can be construed by others as being political. In fact, people arguing for the Two-State Solution or the end of the expansion of settlements on the West Bank make the argument that such a development would be the best for Israel, and not against it. Since others (ie., the current right-wing gov't of Israel and its supporters) would interpret that as being against Israel, I can't imagine the same people would see economic aid to Gaza as being beneficial to them.

I would suspect one reason is because fewer attacks from Gaza would mean less global sympathy for the cause which that group of right-wing Israelis support (a larger, rather than smaller, state of Israel).

> Israel has no interest in Gaza

The two bombardments by Israel over the last few years and the fact that Gaza is still a prison city (in the 21st century!) makes me think otherwise.

> they just want them to stop trying to attack

And the best way to do that is to carpet bomb the city every few years and deny it aid after doing so. I'm certain that the many children who lost their entire families will love Israel forever.

> If you need evidence for that, then note that even during the worst conflicts Israel kept full communication (Cell and Internet) active in Gaza, which is opposite of what is normally done (cutting communication of the opponent).

What a generous gesture!

Gaza has chosen a confrontational attitude with their neighbors Egypt and Israel. When Israel withdrew from Gaza they proceeded to promptly demolish the greenhouses that Israel left (and I believed donors actually purchased for them). Next was lynching their fellow Palestinians who happened to support Fatah rather than Hamas. Tunneling under the borders. Rocket attacks ...

For sure there are two sides to the story and many Palestinians who think differently but Hamas in Gaza does not wish to lead a peaceful life side by side with its neighbors and that has consequences.

And the solution is to indiscriminately bomb Gaza and then prevent it from rebuilding once the bombing is over? What did the children ever do to deserve watching their parents or friends or teachers die before their very eyes?

Do you even realize how difficult it would be for a child to live life normally after their school is destroyed? How do you think such actions will affect young children? If you were one of the children who witnessed the horrors during aerial bombardment, would you ever forget?

I don't have a solution. There's plenty of trauma on both sides. I don't want to start dredging up all the horrible acts of violence experienced by Israelis. This sort of thinking is not productive. It's more useful to think given where we are right now what can be done...

Part of the issue with rebuilding is that the raw materials get confiscated to support the war effort.

The bombing is at least partly related to the reduction of other options. Israel used to have the option of driving tanks in to get at some particular problem but now Gaza is so heavily mined and full of anti-tank weapons that this can't be done. It also has a significant tunnel network which makes infantry less of an option. So if someone fires a rocket at you from Gaza you have fewer options. This is just a pure strategic calculation, not really political. Part of that calculation is also the moral side, the impact on the population and the public opinion side of bombing, hence the "knock on roof" protocols and various pre-warning to allow people to evict buildings that are targets to a bomb. But surely a lot of innocent people still do get hurt, this tends to happen in war...

At any rate, this is very much not black and white. I think these days in Israel there is a lot less interest in peace mostly because getting burned with previous attempts has left deep scars in the general population. Anything that can be done to try and normalize things is welcome...

It is indeed not black and white. But when you are surrounded on all sides by a wall, when living conditions never improve, when hospitals lack even the most basic equipment, and when there is no improvement in sight, doesn't armed resistance make sense?

Hamas sometimes takes it a bit too far, I'll definitely admit that, but I think resistance is a valid approach to their conundrum. When you are outgunned and outnumbered, does that mean you just give up?

Don't take it personally but it sounds you're not really familiar with the details and the history of the conflict.

Gaza is not surrounded on all sides by a wall. They have a long border with Egypt that's been relatively porous until fairly recently when Egypt has begun to construct obstacles, they have the sea (under naval blockade but they're allowed to fish) and even the border with Israel is not 100% walled. You might be confusing Gaza with the wall that was erected between Israel and parts of the West Bank. It's true they are isolated which again is what happens when you piss off your neighbors. There are border crossings and people and goods do cross.

Their living conditions do improve, but slowly, and tend to regress when a conflict flares out. Again, partly by their choice of what to invest in.

Resistance is the cause of their (well Hamas or a portion thereof) conundrum and it's going to get them nowhere. What are they resisting? They're resisting the existence of the state of Israel.

As long as they continue "resisting" in the form of tunneling under the border, investing all their resources in arming themselves to the teeth, building and using an arsenal of rockets, supporting the ISIS contingency in Sinai, indiscriminately attacking civilians, inciting hate and racism, etc. they are going to find themselves in a bad spot. The answer to your question for most people is yes, if you're outgunned and outnumbered by many of orders of magnitude you "give up" or at least try and avoid outright war. They could get an agreement tomorrow if all they cared about was living peacefully in Gaza and improving their condition but they want to get territorial ownership of the entirety of Israel which they claim to be the rightful owners of from before 1948 when Israel was created. That's is closer to (but still not the complete, it's more complicated) root of the conflict.

If they stuck to peaceful forms of protest they'd have some chance of having their voice heard while at the same time improving their conditions vastly. If they seek a peaceful solution they must convince Israelis that peace is possible in some form. It seems they are thinking about taking Israel by force eventually and are willing to wait it out as long as it takes (at least the leaders, not necessarily the man on the street who has no say).

> doesn't armed resistance make sense

Not when stopping likely means your enemy is willing to help.

As far as I know, the walls came up as security measures because of the second Intifada. Before that, people lived in Gaza and worked in Israel and people travelled between for shopping, etc. (This isolation gave serious economic problems in Israel too.)

So the isolation and security came up because of violence, the terror against civilian Israelis is not an original reaction to the wall.

But I suspect you know this.

So when a population misbehaves, you setup a ghetto to isolate it? We're talking about upwards of a million people here by the way. Is that really the right way to handle things?

Looking at the whole picture, I maintain that resistance is justified.

When they are actively trying to murder people, yes. It's not right, but neither is sending in suicide bombers.

I doubt any of THESE people are actively trying to kill people:



You don't contradict that you were aware of my points..?

If e.g. Finland or Estonia started to shoot rocket artilleri towards St Petersburg, the reaction would certainly be much worse than Israel's at Gaza...

(And because of Karelia etc for Finland and generations of slavery for Estonians, they have as good reasons as the Gazans.)

The situation is:

Side A attack side B's civilians. You only complain about side B's quite moderate defense against A's attacks. (Again, installed to stop the attacks.) Then you motivate that further attacks from A are understandable, because of B's defense.

It is such a sad case of hypocritical and hateful circular logic I get vertigo. :-(

I did not respond because you are oversimplifying the issue. The history of the Israel-Palestine conflict is long and bloody. Claiming in such a confident and final manner that the building of the wall was because Gaza started is very narrow-sighted.

Your analogy is incorrect.

When a sovereign nation attacks another, war ensues. That is very clear. But when resistance elements arise within a city that is supposedly part of a sovereign nation, you don't build a wall around the city. That's how you would handle it in the Middle Ages.

But the issue is even more complex than that, since the resistance aims to gain independence from the state. So I would say that the Gaza situation is somewhat similar to that of the IRA and the UK.

I don't recall the UK building a wall around Ireland and carpet bombing it every few years?

Woah woah woah man... quite moderate? The destruction of a third of Gaza and the death of thousands of people is quite moderate?

I give up. This discussion is going nowhere :(

Do you truly believe that Israel carpet bombs Gaza, or is it just a figure of speech (to make an impression on a reader who doesn't know better)?

This is carpet bombing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phzRY0DdRXk

This is a typical Israeli strike: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAT1uBNcOHU

And while we're at it, this is indiscriminate bombing of an Israeli town of Sderot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRz3nHwgjHY

My bad. Let's call it "indiscriminate bombing" instead then.


The "knock on the door" technique employed by the IDF seems very considerate by the way.


What makes you think bombing in that video was indiscriminate? On the opposite, I see single buildings being destroyed, while the neighbouring buildings stay intact. That's a very precise strike by any standard. Furthermore, there is nothing to convince me these buildings were not occupied by Hamas terrorists (which are known to hide behind civilian population).





And yes, I agree with you that knocking on the roof is a very considerate "last warning". Which other country goes to such lengths to minimize civilian loss of life? There are early warnings, too, though: by phone, text and leaflets. That's why you don't see any people running out of that house: it is already empty.

If Hamas recognizes the right of Israel to exist, the walls will be broken and the major part of the settlements moved. Israel has shown several times that they can exchange land for peace, even within right wing governments.

No one can believe that. That's one of the big lies of the Israeli government. Settlements will never be given back and the mission is to get all the land. That was the idea from the beginning and they think they have their god on their side.

So the basic problem is that the Jews and/or the democratic country are evil? Sigh... :-(

Arafat got at least two offers for a Palestinian state (at Camp David and once later), with about 91% of the West Bank iirc.

The later offer was when Barak needed Arafat's support of a peace agreement before an election (so the Palestinian side had a good negotiating position).

Arafat didn't accept either -- which was one thing. But there was no counter offer like "Give us XX and YY and customs advantages ZZ and ...". Instead Arafat started a terror campaign.

But there is no blame for all that refusal to even give a counter proposal; it is all a big Israeli conspiracy.

(Seriously, I feel a bit sick when I chat with hateful people.)

I was only saying that Israel government lies , i have not said that jews are evil. So stop lying and putting words i have not said. I have not even said that Palestinian government is good. I feel sorry for people like you , so brainwashed that can not even see reality.

Saying that the Israel government lies when every government lies doesn't add anything to the discussion. The difference is that Israel in his very short history has shown that they can exchange land for peace in an extent no other country recently did after winning wars from the weaker side.

The lies you are talking about are just part of a long term negotiation until Hamas recognizes the right of Israel to exist and live in peace. Once this milestone is achieved, Israel will not have any excuse to move forward with the peace process because the Israelis, and the jewish people will not tolerate more excuses.

See, this is a reasonable presentation of ideas, not accusing me of being hateful, thanks for being polite and stating your points. Maybe i don't agree with you, i still don't believe that Israel wants to give back anything when they are building more every year. So the exchanges of land they are so proud is returning land they have stolen before so nothing to be proud of. Apart from that i still think that Hamas is stupid not trying to reach a real peace, it would be good for all, cause having a neighbor like Israel could help to accelerate the development of a Palestinian state. IMHO the problem is that both sides think they can win and the other side lose and that makes real efforts for peace look they are in vain.

What I've read, is that the border to Gaza was open enough for commuting and shopping trips -- until the systematic attacks on civilians.

You had no problem with that description in your previous comment.

But good references to non partisan sources would be interesting?

(AGAIN: If the ones controlling an area -- including doing elections, defense, police and taxes -- put all their economy into rocket artillery against another country's civilians, the reaction will not be mild... And Gaza is not part of a city, it was a free area.)

Tell this to the children of Sderot in Israel, who have been repeatedly under attack by the Islamist Hamas regime in Gaza.

The murder of Jews is regularly lauded by official Hamas spokesmen, and such murders are routinely celebrated by the Palestinian masses (http://www.dailywire.com/news/6451/palestinians-murder-israe...).

The solution is for Hamas to give up its dream of the liquidation of Israel and its replacement with an Islamist regime in which Jews are second-class citizens, in accord with the Islamist interpretation of Koranic verses which call for the subjugation of Jews by means such as the jizyah tax and so on.

picture I have of greenhouses (if wrong please correct and provide links)

- at time of withdrawal settlers were required to depart

- settlers wanted more money to leave greenhouses behind

- didn't get it from Israeli government, started demolishing

- Western philanthropists purchased remaining greenhouses and donated

- When Israelis withdrew, some greenhouses were looted

- some remained in operation, until inability to export produce through checkpoint to Israeli made them unviable



The headline of that NBC story is: "Palestinians looted dozens of greenhouses on Tuesday, walking off with irrigation hoses, water pumps and plastic sheeting in a blow to fledgling efforts to reconstruct the Gaza Strip. ".

Which is not the same as "some greenhouses were looted". My image and recollection is more like everything got looted. I mean if only very little were looted it wouldn't be a "blow to efforts"?

Also see this story about the guy who paid for most it: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/18/nyregion/how-old-friends-o...

I'm sure those greenhouses could have been used for export or for local consumption if the Palestinians plotted a different course after Israel withdrew. There wouldn't be a blockage on Gaza either. The whole point wrt/ to Gaza is that once Israel left their next actions were looting of greenhouses (all or some, doesn't matter) followed by an endless stream of attacks against Israel (and the excuses don't really matter either, "they started" isn't a good enough reason for shelling Sderot e.g. unless you're a 3 year old).

> The two bombardments by Israel over the last few years

You have got to be a troll, or did you forget that Hamas attacked Israel? I assume you think Israel should have just ignored that?

> in the 21st century

If the residents of Gaza actually joined the 21 century (for example in programs like what this submission is about) things might be quite different.

> And the best way to do that

You suggest something then.... What would you do with a population that just wants to kill you? Let them do it?

> will love Israel forever.

As if their hate has anything to do with Israel's actions. Seriously, do you not know even the slightest thing about the history of the area?

> What a generous gesture!

What other country leaves the communication of the opponent wide open during a war? Disrupting communication is like class 101 during warfare.

> As if their hate has anything to do with Israel's actions

not sure if this is a serious statement or not. your tone suggests serious but your words are not serious.

Perhaps you don't know that Muslim attacks on Jews long predate the modern state of Israel.

Additionally hate for Jews is common in Arab counties that are very far away from, and don't interact with, Israel at all.

There is nothing at all Israel can do to change this. Look at Egypt for example - very long and successful peace treaty. But the populace still hates Jews.

If it's not possible to make an ordinary Egyptian not hate Jews, what makes you think there is any chance for a Palestinian not to?

If you want to change this, first see if you have any success in Egypt.

You are overgeneralizing.

Morocco and Tunisia (my home country) have some of the oldest Jewish populations in the world. As a Tunisian, I am extremely proud to have Jewish brothers and sisters who share my culture. My grandparents (from both sides) had very close friends who happened to be Jewish.

Yes, they have decreased in number over the years, but I think Tunisia has done a good job protecting them. For example, right after the 2011 revolution, the interim government immediately reassured the Jewish community of Djerba that they would be protected.

Also, El Ghriba synagogue in Djerba is one of the oldest in the world AFAIK. I haven't visited it yet though!

> You are overgeneralizing.

A bit, I know. But Morocco and Tunisia have some of the best relationships to Jews among the Arab countries. You have to be aware that they are the exception, not the rule.

> I am extremely proud to have Jewish brothers and sisters who share my culture. My grandparents (from both sides) had very close friends who happened to be Jewish.

And it's people like you and your grandparents that give me hope for peace in the world. May there be more like you, and may you have much success in both your personal life, and in influencing others!

That maybe true. But nearly 99% of the Jews did leave Tunisia, according to the Wikipedia article. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_exodus_from_Arab_and_Mu....

In 1948, there were 105,000 Jews in Tunisia. Now there are 1,500.

How do you explain that?

With the creation of an affluent Jewish state that grants them automatic citizenship?

You can't get 99% of a population to leave their homes where they grew up without hard push factors.

Especially since their assets were confiscated...

That was a dark time and was fueled by politics rather than the respect of the local population. A large percentage of the Jewish population left for France and Israel - I believe it was an almost 50/50 split between the two.

More notably, this was a move by the Tunisian government, in "solidarity" with Palestine and in agreement with the rest of the Muslim world. This does not mean it was right of course. From my conversations with my paternal grandfather (b. 1927), Jews were treated like regular Tunisians.

So, on one side you have the Nakba in a burning civil war when populations were thrown out (both Jews and Palestinians). Civil wars are horrible.

The other side is when the Jews were thrown out of the Muslim countries and their property stolen. Not in a civil war, but just from racism -- because they had the same religion as in some other country.

Note here that more Jews fled from the Muslim world than Palestinians in the Nakba. And in the fleeing Jews' stolen property there were more land than multiple times the size of Israel.

Contrast this with that not every Palestinian fled from Israel. They are still a large part of the population today -- the Israeli Palestinians were NOT thrown out as a reaction to when the Muslims threw out their Jews.

And you are really, really upset about Israel -- but dismiss the worse things happening in e.g. your home country Tunisia...

I have to stop here -- any further comment on your opinions, moral and intellectual integrity can't be polite. Let me just say that as a Westerner, I think you should judge yourself harder than you judge others.

This is a generalization. I'm from Algeria.. Saying Jews are "hated" is simplistic. In other countries? Maybe, I don't know.. Here? There's only a seeming anti-Jewish sentiment, but there's way more to it than that: it's akin to estranged brothers than anything else.

You can notice it in traditions, in food, in music (have a look at התזמורת האנדלוסית הישראלית). Many Muslim musicians here used to go to the Synagogue because their friends playing in the same band were Jewish. And that's not that long ago, these people are still alive.

A bit back in time, Jews found a place to live here after being thrown out of Spain in 1492 because of the Catholic reform. To this day, there are towns with strong Jewish heritage. The "hate" you're talking about is only superficial, and only from the people who'd behave that way no matter where they are in the world.. Clothes have prêt-à-porter, thoughts have prêt-à-penser. Not all people can afford bespoke clothes and it's even more true with beliefs. They pick what's available, the easiest to wear, something not too challenging, not too far beyond the Overton window.

It's amazingly easy to talk with them and completely shatter that "hate" in 5 minutes. I've done it so many times that the pattern is clear. If it were hate, what I said would be so much against their beliefs that I would be attacked. Hate is not something you can shatter in 5 minutes, so this must be something else..

It's mainly lack of contact and communication that makes it easy to think that, somehow, Jews are a "different" specie. Once someone thinks they're a different specie, there's a feature void to fill, which people fill with their fears. I've been learning Hebrew and have corresponded a couple of times in it. I'm learning because of the culture but to tap into all which doesn't make the news: stuff regular folks do. There isn't a single one person I have told who hasn't been curious and intrigued about it and wanted to know more, or encouraged me.

Generalizations and simplifications are tempting because they work sometimes but this is exactly what I'm talking about. You don't like them because you think they don't like you, and they don't like you because they think you don't like them.

Everyday, conversations are taking place that address these issues and people are taking all kinds of perceptual positions. Hard questions that get talked about in groups of people who don't let you take the easy way out. People aren't dumb, despite what the media makes them look like.

And on that note, Happy Yennayer 2967. Today's the new year of my ethnic group.

this is noxious. Christians also have an extremely long history of anti-semitism and yet you're not coming in here saying "how can any Christians ever be trusted, given their history?"

Easy for you to say when you're not the one being attacked and hated.

"Just trust them and wait them out, they don't all hate you. Let them kill a few and hopefully they'll stop someday."

Right now, today, Muslim hate of Jews in nearly universal. In the past Christians were anti-semitic, sure, but right now today, it's relatively rare.

Tell me something, is there any city on the planet that you know with 100% certainty that if you stepped foot in it virtually the entire populace would try to kill you? And I don't mean the criminals, I mean the ordinary people who live there.

Because when a Jew travels near Palestinians areas simply getting lost is fatal, unless the army rescues them. And you want them to trust?

I'm a Jewish American with holocaust survivors in my extended family. I have not personally experienced that kind of hate but certainly it is known to my family.

You, I think, need some perspective. There's nothing more to be gained from this conversation.

It's when you see pictures of Israelis being lynched with nothing more than bare hands of Palestinian crowd: https://goo.gl/hmKwJi

... you know that there can be no peace. Peace is made with people, not with governments. And Palestinians are overwhelmingly against peace with Israel on any terms other than submission.

Hate for jews is over the world, i think that in USA or in Europe you will encounter quite a number of people that hate them and blame them for every kind of conspiracy. And it comes from the middle ages when they were blame for a lot of things just to get their money and influence. The hate problem is not only in arab countries.


> IDF (Israeli Military) was established by Israeli Terrorist groups.

Hamas is only a terrorist group, in the present day.

If this matters to you, why does it only apply in one direction?

"The bombs were timed to detonate several hours after closing time."

I believe that is called subversion, not terrorism. Terrorism generally involves an attempt to murder innocents.


> During the 2007 trial the lawyers representing the foundation said that the Justice Department fabricated quotes and modified transcripts.[17] Critics faulted much of the evidence given during the trial. For example, over defense objection, the government called two anonymous witnesses: an Israeli Security Agency employee who was known to the jurors and the defense as "Avi" and an Israeli Defense Forces officer who was known to the jurors and the defense as "Major Lior." Even the defense lawyers were not permitted to know the names of these witnesses.[18] The government did not allege that HLF paid directly for suicide bombings, but instead that the foundation supported terrorism by sending more than $12 million to charitable groups, known as zakat committees, which build hospitals and feed the poor. The prosecution said the committees were controlled by Hamas, and contributed to terrorism by helping Hamas spread its ideology and recruit supporters.[19] Some of these charitable committees were still receiving US funding through the USAID programme as late as 2006. None of the zakat committees was included on the Treasury Department list of designated terrorist organizations. Edward Abington, Jr., former U.S. consul general in Jerusalem, acted as a defence witness and testified that during his daily CIA briefings he had never been informed that Hamas controlled the Palestinian charity groups mentioned.

> Israel has no interest in Gaza, they just want them to stop trying to attack

This is false and one-sided. Likud, the ruling party in Israel, has in its platform an explicit denial of the right for a Palestinian state to exist west of the Jordan river.[1] Everything you've heard about Palestinians/Hamas denying Israel the right to exist is actually true about Israel as well towards Palestine. (In fact Hamas has stated they would respect a two-state solution; not the case for Likud.)

There are atrocities back and forth, for example "A month before [the murders of Israeli boys that set off the attack], two Palestinian boys were shot dead in the West Bank city of Ramallah."[2] However the scale of Israel's atrocities in military operations is massively larger, and the conditions they maintain in Gaza through sanctions and violence are unconscionable. One could argue the conditions are calculated to foment discontent and keep the conflict on the military field, because politically the settlements and occupation have no standing, as regularly condemned by the whole world in U.N. resolutions.[3]

[1] http://www.juancole.com/2014/08/charter-destruction-palestin...

[2] http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/25343-noam-chomsky-%7C-ni...

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_UN_resolutions_con...

This comment fails to distinguish clearly the differing situations and attitudes in re West Bank vs Gaza. Israel (including Likud) is far along a path of disengagement from Gaza


The International Criminal Court still recognizes Israel as the occupying power in Gaza "based on the scope and degree of control that it has retained over the territory of Gaza following the 2005 disengagement."[1]

[1] https://www.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/otp/OTP-COM-Article_53(1)-Re...

No it doesn't.

The linked article which is not a court ruling, it's a report from the "Office of the Prosecutor", says:

"While Israel maintains that it is no longer occupying Gaza, the prevalent view within the international community is that Israel remains an occupying power under international law, based on the scope and degree of control that it has retained over the territory of Gaza following the 2005 disengagement. In accordance with the reasoning underlying this perspective, the Office has proceeded on the basis that the situation in Gaza can be considered within the framework of an international armed conflict in view of the continuing military occupation by Israel. The analysis conducted and the conclusions reached would generally not be affected and still be applicable, if the Office was of the view, alternatively, that the law applicable in the present context and in light of the Israel-Hamas conflict is the law of non-international armed conflict. Given the crimes of possible relevance to the present situation, which are substantially similar in the context of both international and non-international armed conflicts, it is not necessary at this stage to reach a conclusive view on the classification of the conflict. Additionally, as the protection accorded by the rules on international armed conflicts is broader than those relating to internal conflicts, it seems appropriate, for the limited purpose of a preliminary examination, in cases of doubt, to apply those governing international armed conflicts."

So they're basically just discussing the context for this (whether the situation meets some legal criteria to get to the next stage, by the way it didn't). They say it's not really necessary to reach a conclusive view (i.e. at least the prosecutor has no conclusive view, not to mention the court) because it doesn't affect the outcome of this legal analysis.

(from Wikipedia, Gaza Strip, military occupation)

In his statement on the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict, Richard Falk, United Nations Special Rapporteur wrote that international humanitarian law applied to Israel "in regard to the obligations of an Occupying Power and in the requirements of the laws of war."[41] Amnesty International, the World Health Organization, Oxfam, the International Committee of the Red Cross, The United Nations, the United Nations General Assembly, the UN Fact Finding Mission to Gaza, international human rights organizations, US government websites, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and a significant number of legal commentators (Geoffrey Aronson, Meron Benvenisti, Claude Bruderlein, Sari Bashi and Kenneth Mann, Shane Darcy and John Reynolds, Yoram Dinstein, John Dugard, Marc S. Kaliser, Mustafa Mari, Iain Scobbie, and Yuval Shany maintain that Israel's extensive direct external control over Gaza, and indirect control over the lives of its internal population mean that Gaza remained occupied.

My point was not to debate the legal status of Gaza in international law. I'm sure there are various opinions and various agendas. My point was the statement made in the comment was false and the ICC has not ruled on this topic and I didn't want that false statement to stand and then possibly be repeated.

The situation on the ground is clear. The Palestinians (Hamas) control the internal area of Gaza. Israel is imposing a naval blockade. Israel controls the Israeli side of the Gaza-Israeli border and restricts traffic of people and goods. Egypt controls (for the most part) the Egyptian side of the Gaza/Egypt border and restricts traffic of people and goods.

For humanitarian and I guess legal reasons Israel provides some services and goods to Gaza, unlike what we've seen in Syria where a total siege is routinely used in warfare. This article itself is evidence that Israel does not maintain absolute control over the lives of the internal population of Gaza.

I think that anyone looking at the facts of the matter should be able to see that once Israel withdrew from Gaza the Palestinians had enough control over their own destiny. They certainly had enough control to build thousands of rockets and shell Israel. Or is the claim that Israel shelled itself?

I can also see why the exact legal situation is complex. Gaza used to be under Egyptian control before 1967. It's not recognized as a state by any country. Israel withdrew unilaterally without any agreement covering the transition.

So there are some persons and organizations who believe that Gaza is occupied. Sorry, but that doesn't make it true in my view.

Richard Falk worked for UNHRC -- infamous for being shanghaied by dictators that don't criticize each others, but instead complain about democracies.

Israel has been literally criticized a hundred times more than e.g. Sudan with a million rapes and a million murders (more?).

See e.g.: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Human_Rights_Co...

(Also, Falk have been writing for Counterpunch and so on, you don't do that if you're not quite politically extreme.)

> In fact Hamas has stated they would respect a two-state solution

Sure, but will they agree to actual terms? Terms that Israel won't instantly reject?


The Charter identified Hamas as the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine and declares its members to be Muslims who "fear God and raise the banner of Jihad in the face of the oppressors." The charter states that "our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious" and calls for the eventual creation of an Islamic state in Palestine, in place of Israel and the Palestinian Territories,[2] and the obliteration or dissolution of Israel.[3][4] It emphasizes the importance of jihad, stating in article 13, "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."[5]"

Likud platform of 1999:

a. “The Jordan river will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel.”

b. “Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel. The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem”

c. “The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.”

d. "Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel... The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting."[1]

So both parties are rejectionist in principle. However in practice Hamas has indicated they would accept a two state solution. Likud has not.[2]

[1] http://www.juancole.com/2014/08/charter-destruction-palestin...

[2] http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.587047

The Likud is not the "ruling party" in Israel. Israel's government is a coalition of multiple parties. The platform of any individual party does not equate to the official position of the state of Israel. Israel had right wing and left wing governments and the path towards a solution giving Palestinians control over the the west bank and Gaza goes back to Menahem Begin who was a prime minister from the Likud who signed a peace agreement with Egypt that included the path forward to solving the Palestinian conflict and the return of the Sinai peninsula to Egypt.

During the many years of this conflict Israel had right wing and left wing governments with various different approaches. Ehud Barak has offered Yasser Arafat a two state agreement very close to what John Kerry has recently described and was rejected [1]. Earlier while Rabin and Arafat were attempting to make progress towards peace Hamas was busy blowing up buses and malls with suicide bombers which eventually lead to the rise of the right, the assassination of Rabin and the collapse of the process.

EDIT: Also worth mentioning that the withdrawal of Israel from the Gaza strip which included tearing down Israeli settlements and evicting them forcefully, was done by Arik Sharon, prime minister from the Likud.

I don't think there's any factual basis to a comparison between the Likud party and Hamas. I'll agree there are definitely opinions in the Israeli right who feel strongly that the Palestinians should not be given their own state for various reasons. Some practical (see Gaza) and some religious/ideological. However that is not the official position of Israel. No doubt there is various political maneuvering going on but the source of the trouble is the Palestinians refusal, or inability, to negotiate in good faith and compromise something they've had many opportunities to do and their insistence of using violence as means of addressing their grievances.

The majority of the world is not fully democratic[2] (well, it's a mess) and doesn't share our values so decisions made in the UN by the "whole world" aren't exactly a yard stick of humanity. The UN is systematically biased against Israel. Where are the condemnations of US, Russian, Turkish involvements in Syria?

MORE on Israel's official position, one of many instances of Israel's willingness to make progress:

April 2003: A Performance-Based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict[3]

May 2003: Israel accepts the roadmap[4]

You keep saying Hamas has accepted a two state solution but I haven't seen an official link. In fact Israel's insistence that the Palestinians accept its right to exist wouldn't be a problem if the Palestinians indeed accepted a two state solution.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000_Camp_David_Summit

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_Index

[3] http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/peace/guide/pages/a%...

[4] http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/PressRoom/2003/Pages/Goverment%20m...

The U.N. votes are nearly unanimous, like 150-2, and include all the democratic states (apart from Israel and the U.S.) It's pretty clear what the democratic world thinks of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians.

As for the claim that Israel has supported a two-state solution under Barak's leadership:

"the Camp David proposals divided the West Bank into virtually separated cantons, and could not possibly be accepted by any Palestinian leader... After the collapse of these negotiations, Clinton recognised that Arafat’s reservations made sense, as demonstrated by the famous 'parameters', which, though vague, went much further towards a possible settlement... After that, high-level Israeli-Palestinian negotiators proceeded to take the Clinton parameters as 'the basis for further efforts,' and addressed their 'reservations' at meetings in Taba through January. These produced a tentative agreement, meeting some of the Palestinian concerns... Problems remained, but the Taba agreements went much further towards a possible settlement than anything that had preceded. The negotiations were called off by [Israeli Prime Minister] Barak, so their possible outcome is unknown."[1]

So the initial offer (separated cantons) was a bad faith offer designed to be rejected, and then Israel dropped the negotiations when it got fairer.

[1] https://chomsky.info/20041118/

Clinton blamed Arafat [1] and Arafat didn't even speak for Hamas. Could you quote some direct sources rather than someone with a strong political agenda like Chomsky. Let's look at the raw facts, not opinions.

Generally the countries one would consider the "free world" have consistently supported Israel's right to defend itself, including against Palestinian terrorism. [2] is just one example but I can find many more. Please provide a source for your claim that UN decisions against Israel are nearly unanimous. I can't find any specific stats but I highly doubt your claim. While there's a lot of political deal making behind the scenes anti-Israeli decisions generally leverage the majority of the non-democracies of this world.

Hamas is an organization that does summary executions of people suspected of being spies and drags them through the streets tied behind cars (I'll spare you the link). Throwing their fellow Palestinians from Fatah off the roofs (again I'll spare you the link, you can find it yourself). Conducting campaigns of suicide bombings against Israeli civilians. Indiscriminate shelling of civilians and routinely using civilians as human shields. This organization is the source of suffering for both Israelis and Palestinians.

It's not that Israel is beyond reproach or always in the right but there's no comparison. How is "not getting a country with the lines that I want" justification for anything Hamas is doing anyways?

Please spend more time reading information from different sources about the facts and history of the conflict.

[1] https://www.clintonfoundation.org/main/news-and-media/statem...

[2] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/generalelectio...

EDIT: Donno what pushed my buttons to get into this discussion but the Gaza situation specifically seems to be pretty clear cut. The Palestinians got their own mini-state within a small geographic region and they made their choices to have conflict where they could have not had one. The history of the entire Arab-Israeli conflict is almost irrelevant. The scale and type of Israeli responses to the happenings in Gaza can be criticized but the fact stands that Israel withdrew and let the Palestinians manage their own business and it turned out to be a complete mess which means the likelihood of this being replicated in other Palestinian areas is just about zero. The Palestinians had a chance to prove something and they proved the exact opposite. They can't blame Israel for that.

EDIT2: Doing a little more research into UN resolutions. Ignoring the question of bias vs. other world affairs it seems the pattern is as follows:

- Those Israeli related resolutions are generally proposed by non-free nations

- The US automatically supports Israel. Canada typically supports Israel. Next up in support seems to be Australia in my limited sample.

- The "non-free-world" overwhelmingly supports those resolutions.

- If the resolution is not too strong and just expresses overall regret over violence etc. etc. the EU will typically vote for it.

- If the language is strong or the resolution appears overly biased the EU will generally abstain. I think a lot of those stronger resolutions that still pass would not pass without the non-free world support.

So I don't think the statement that it's always Israel+US vs. the rest of the world stands to scrutiny. Also most resolutions are non-binding. Let's also not fool ourselves that nations vote according to some moral conscience (those that even have that to start with).

Regarding the killed children -- wasn't the people doing a revenge murder of a Palestinian teenager sentenced to long jail sentences when they got caught?

The Palestinian terrorists are declared martyrs, mural paintings are done, their relatives get a pension from PLO -- while caught Israeli murderers are sent to jail..?

It do seem like equivalent sides, as you claim... :-)

> The Palestinian terrorists are declared martyrs, mural paintings are done, their relatives get a pension from PLO -- while caught Israeli murderers are sent to jail..?

Judging from the public reaction in Israel to the manslaughter conviction of Elor Azaria (polling suggests something like 67% want him pardoned), some segment of the Israeli public isn't above sticking up for its murderers.

Yes things are getting worse, the cinfkuct is wearing patience thin, and, as of today, he had not been pardoned. But there will be no streets named after him, he will be dishonourably discharged from the military, and he will not be generally celebrated as a hero. He is viewed as yet another victim, except by some extremists who get a lot of screen time.

Now can we get back to discussing supporting the coding academy in Gaza?

Wow, yes. Point taken.

I personally want him pardoned because of the context (recurring knife attacks on military and civilians), but he is certainly not an hero in my view.

Being discreetly discharged from the army for miscondcuct is probably what would have happened if not for the filming that triggered a PUBLIC trial.

After all, the state gave him a weapon, and indicts him when he uses it ? Part of the responsibility is on the state itself.

There are precedents to these kind of incidents:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Miller_(filmmaker): The army did say that the soldier would be disciplined for violating the rules of engagement and for changing his account of the incident.

You are not contradicting my point. He is still going to jail.

The sympathy for due process of terrorists will wear thin in most democracies. Afaik, most countries with continuous terror problems throw out the law book.

This is a quite logical result, since the point of terror is to get a fear and horror reaction from the civilian population to influence them. Scared voters make politicians hysterical, so everything is done to stop the situation. (Democracies seems to be even worse here, since voters are more important than non democracies.)

Afaik, this goes for USA, Germany, Israel, Britain, Spain, etc. (I saw claims from some English guy that they did it different regarding IRA, then some other GB guy contradicted and listed some English laws. Let's call that example uncertain.)

> You are not contradicting my point. He is still going to jail.

Israel undeniably has a better and more principled legal system than whatever the Palestinians have under the occupation. It's admirable that they found this guy guilty in the face of public opinion.

Insofar as your "mural paintings" statement spoke to the cultural differences, I think it's important (and unbelievably sad) to note that the difference when it comes to acceptance of bloody murder is just a matter of degree. All the parties involved have been degraded by this conflict.

Another poster wrote that this kind of argument takes away from the discussion of the good that's being done there, and I believe he's right, so... :)

"just a matter of degree"? OK, let's look at it then:

Side A is officially antisemitic in their founding document (Hamas) and TV programs (even for children!); they literally took inspirations from the 3rd Reich. They condone murders of civilians (even children) and pay pensions to the family of killed murderers. They have expelled all members of side B. They persecute members of side B everywhere on the planet where both groups live in the same society.

Side B have racism from individuals, which is officially condemned by a democratically elected government. They throw murderers of civilians in jail. 20% (?) of the population in side B are really part of side A, with no expulsions (except once in a bad civil war, when both sides did it, almost 70 years ago).

And so on, there are lots of examples.

You can dismiss this as "just a matter of degree". But then note that there is also "just a matter of degree" in Celsius between Antarctica and Hawaii.

When do "double standards for different sides" go over the limit to the definition of stronger terms?

(Edit: If you're going to argue that persecution and hatred of Jews are excusable because of X, note that more Jews were expelled from the Muslim world than Palestinians that fled from the Nakba. And multiple times more land was stolen from them than the total area of Israel.)

Why are we talking about Side A and Side B at all? Each of those is a vast overgeneralization. Israelis are diverse, as are Palestinians/Gazans. It's easy to make broad generalizations until you actually meet people on both sides and understand their human context.

Have you ever met a Gazan (outside of any military situation, if you're Israeli and had to serve)? If not, check this out since it may be the closest you can get... I don't think these people are ones you'd have any reason to dislike or want to punish:





For clarity: I'm downvoting some of your comments because of your rude, aggressive, tone. I'm not justin66.

> If you're going to argue that persecution and hatred of Jews are excusable because of X

If it seemed to you that anything I wrote intended to argue that persecution and hatred of anyone is "excusable because of X", this was rather a waste of time.

Which is of course a surprise, since discussion of the Palestinian conflict online is ordinarily so productive...

berntb 311 days ago [flagged]

That was just answering a common bad argument in advance.

I wrote it INSIDE "()", AS AN EDIT. since that was the only thing you could comment on, sad...

EDIT: I used a ":-)" three comments ago as a mark of irony. Well, justin66 have no serious answer, so I end it here.

Edit 2: Justin66 seems to downvote my comments in this old discussion now, with multiple accounts... 15+ downvotes on old and new comments in 20 minutes. That is what happens when people lack both a serious argument and maturity. (Easy to find for HN mods..)

Edit 3: detaro -- The karma is irrelevant. And I should be equally ashamed as justin66 for needling whai I hope is a teenager when he have dearly held wrong opinions. Enough.

The guidelines ask us not to complain about downvotes in the first place, but it's definitely not OK to attack and accuse other users like this here. Please stop.


> Easy to find for HN mods

Then write the mods an e-mail instead of hoping they read your comments.

Now that I know that not all of what you've written is meant to be taken seriously, I really have no idea what point you're trying to get across, aside from some vague pro-Israel, anti-Palestine thing. My mistake for responding to a message ending in ":-)" in the first place.


>And of course it is just a coincidence

You're getting downvotes, and flags, because you are being rude and aggressive.

I'll add a comment here so DanBC sees it.

You have a point, I am easily trolled when people lack arguments and start discussing person.

Regarding earlier comments... I got mainly upvotes, until an hour ago.

I have argued, a year or two ago, that this subject have to much emotional attachments and doesn't work on HN. It is twice as true today, it seems people now often have secondary accounts used for trolling when they lack answers about soemthing they find important.

I don't think what you're seeing is the action of secondary accounts. The tone of a number of your comments has been rude and aggressive, and the accusations of other users is also uncivil. You've been called out by a mod, and at least two other members have commented on your behavior. I've downvoted and flagged a number of your comments as well.

You may be right about the topic not being appropriate for HN. Regardless of the behavior of other members—even if you think they're trolling—it's important to be civil. Even more so when the topic is emotional. Otherwise it's just better to refrain from commenting.

OK, thanks. I understand that I over reacted.

I have found that I am easily trolled when I have the beginning of allergy troubles. It is better to not comment than to find out the hard way I need anti histamines.

Sorry for wasting people's time and energy.

I am absolutely not in the possession of two HN accounts. It strikes me as not completely inconceivable that someone else finds your posts on this topic, which seem to represent an internal dialogue as much as an attempt to communicate, irritating.


> The Gaza flotilla raid was a military operation by Israel against six civilian ships of the "Gaza Freedom Flotilla" on 31 May 2010 in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea. Nine activists were killed in the raid. The flotilla, organized by the Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (İHH), was carrying humanitarian aid and construction materials, with the intention of breaking the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Not sure what you're getting at, but here are the facts:

1) Background: Israel legitimately blockades Gaza due to acts of war by the local government (also known as the terrorist organization Hamas).

2) The Gaza flotilla was an attempt to breach the blockade by intruding into the zone controlled by Israeli naval forces in the area.

3) The Israeli forces intercepted the flotilla and boarded it; no weapons were used until provoked.

4) Immediately after boarding it, they were physically assaulted and returned fire: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaiMjAULWn0

We shouldn't normalize the idea that it's acceptable for Israel to control all communication and trade of another state.

Gaza is not a state, it has no stable government and peace treaty with its neighbors.

There's no simplistic 1-line solution here. Take a look around the other Middle Eastern states that have lost their governments recently.

During a war? I don't see why that's controversial.

Israel could have easily cut the lines and used a jammer.

They didn't.

I love how the parent comment phrased that as if Israel was doing Gaza an immense favor by not cutting communication.

why do you say that?

Because you can't do a favor to a population you've imprisoned against its will? Plus, the fact that you control the communication channel for said population in the first place makes cutting it off a weak move.

As an Israeli, I find it extremely frustrating that I can't help. I joined their "supporters" group and wanted to Mentor but it didn't really work out.

I totally get why they weren't really interested - but it's frustrating.

Most Israelis think this is a great opportunity and support these sort of initiatives. They've worked well with Jordan in the past.

Gaza has population of about 1.8 million with a high literacy rate, 97%. It is a densely populated enclave.

It might well be a political statement, but not necessarily a statement against Israel. I think its more like providing an economic life-line.

On the contrary, such programs can shift focus from daily hardships and provide some hope for the future, which usually has a pacifying effect. Less extremism in Gaza is better for Israel.

Only by those who are so polarized that they can't condone even mutually beneficial acts because "enemies".

Maybe he's just trying to lift the people up. I don't see anything anti-Israel about that.

why are you even asking that question? is anything that doesn't treat Palestinians like vermin somehow a "political statement against Israel?"

Good job, tech will makes us free. Besides, I'm pretty sure that if geeks were in charge of both Israel and Palestine, they would just solve their differences on a PvP server, end of story :)

Many terrorists have engineering backgrounds: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=engineers+terrorism

If anything, tech is quickly turning this world into a pile of poo with no space for real humans. Teaching people how to write code won't do shit to help them; this is all about making sure there's desperately cheap labor around to fix bugs tomorrow.

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