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+972's Story of the Year: Gaza

Most of us have become so accustomed to Gaza’s suffering that we can hardly imagine a world without it. But imagine we must. During the fighting this summer, and in its aftermath, many believed the war would be a game-changer, that something would have to give — it hasn’t. Activists, intellectuals and diplomats continue to advocate, but what about the Gazans themselves? Beyond violence, what is their role in ending the siege and attaining freedom? Samer Badawi tackles the questions — and the answers — left buried in the rubble.

By Samer Badawi

This is the first time that +972 is highlighting a story instead of a person of the year — a story chosen by our bloggers and editors. We asked Samer Badawi, who spent most of the war reporting for +972 from inside the Strip, to write the story of the year: Gaza.

A destroyed quarter in Shujaiyeh neighborhood in the east of Gaza City, during a ceasefire, July 27, 2014. (Photo by Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

A destroyed quarter in Shujaiyeh neighborhood in the east of Gaza City, during a ceasefire, July 27, 2014. (Photo by Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

If “Operation Protective Edge” had its battles, their outcome was measured not in ground gained but in Palestinian lives lost. In Jabaliya, Gaza’s largest refugee camp, I met a young man, Alaa Balata, who had lost all 11 members of his immediate family in a single shelling. In Gaza City, the al-Batch family lost 18 in one F-16 strike. And on and on. Just like that.

For those who survived, the trauma this time seemed to defy comparison. A World Bank executive visiting just after the war said she had “come across many war zones, but none compare to this.” A visiting American psychologist dubbed Gaza “a PTSD nation.” And the Columbia Journalism Review said the war had “pushed reporters to their mental and physical limits.”

That much I knew. In a Ramallah café just after I had left Gaza, I met a fellow American journalist who, like me, had spent some of the fiercest days under Israeli bombardment. By then, the adrenaline had subsided and I’d had a few nights of sleep uninterrupted by drones, F-16s, tank fire or battleship shelling.

I was one of the lucky ones. I had gotten out.

My colleague asked how I was doing. I told him how an Israeli film crew had asked me to describe the sounds of war in Gaza. I couldn’t. Instead, I thought of Muhammad, whose charred one-year-old body I had seen a week earlier at Gaza City’s al-Shifa Hospital.

I couldn’t answer the question, I told him. I just cried.

It’s true: a writer writes; he cannot right wrongs. But something about the sheer weight of Gaza’s suffering — in wartime and under siege — stunts language, too. I’m supposed to be a writer. But I have not written a word about Gaza in more than 100 days. I couldn’t.

Nader Obu Odeh, age 6, gathers wood from destroyed houses to make a fire, Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip. The Abu Odeh family, 33 people including 21 children, live in a three-story building that has six apartments. They were forced to flee their house, along with the residents of Beit Hanoun, due to the Israeli attack. They took shelter in the Jabalya Secondary School for boys, in Jabalya Refugee Camp, but returned to their bombed home because of harsh conditions in the school. Since then, they are living in the remains of their damaged house without electricity and gas.

Nader Obu Odeh, age 6, gathers wood from destroyed houses to make a fire, Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip. The Abu Odeh family, 33 people including 21 children, live in a three-story building that has six apartments. They were forced to flee their house, along with the residents of Beit Hanoun, due to the Israeli attack. (Photo by Activestills.org)

Why? I think it’s because when it comes to Gaza there are no easy answers. On one level, nothing matters beyond the face of a child, so shell-shocked that it seems singed of expression. But on an analytical level, there are — simply — no new ideas.

I blame this on a growing gap between Gazans’ perceptions of their reality and those of outside observers. Most people I met in Gaza view their struggle as part of a larger Palestinian resistance, forcing Israelis and the rest of the world to reckon with the realities of a brutal military occupation. That its brutality is more extreme in Gaza — after all, no Israeli commander could order the strafing of Jerusalem or of settlement-bound Ramallah — is a source of pride. It is pained, to be sure, but not at all defeatist. No, there is a palpable sense of defiance in Gaza, despite the killing, despite the siege.

But this is hardly the narrative the rest of the world hears or propagates. No matter your take on Hamas, chances are you view the people of Gaza as hapless, powerless victims: at best, they are hostage to “ruthless” militants; at worst, they are militants themselves, hell-bent on lobbing rockets at Israel — and for seemingly no reason at all. Either view is cynical, for it denies agency to the very people at the heart of Gaza’s story.

A relative of a child killed earlier in a playground in al-Shati refugee camp mourns at a cemetery, Gaza City, July 28, 2014. Reports indicated that 10 people, mostly children, were killed and 40 injured during the attack which took place on the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid. (Photo by Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

A relative of a child killed earlier in a playground in al-Shati refugee camp mourns at a cemetery, Gaza City, July 28, 2014. Reports indicated that 10 people, mostly children, were killed and 40 injured during the attack which took place on the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid. (Photo by Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

Gazan Journalists like Mohammed Suliman shattered that default by live-tweeting what they saw and heard. In one of Suliman’s most poignant posts, he sounds, at once, resigned to his fate — “I look forward to surviving” — and determined to define his own legacy:

“If I don’t [survive], remember that I wasn’t Hamas or a militant, nor was I used as a human shield. I was at home.”

The post was re-tweeted more than 12,000 times, and Vox called Suliman’s Twitter feed “harrowing.”

But to meet Suliman — or to read his full account of the attacks — is to come away with a different impression. Yes, the reality he described is deeply distressing. But to those enduring the bombs, there is a larger point. Palestinians, Suliman wrote in an August 1 tweet, “are defending themselves [emphasis added] against Israel’s brutal occupation and siege of Gaza and its racist settler colonialism in West Bank.”

That, perhaps, is why every Palestinian I met in Gaza, even those most steeped in its horrors — a missing relative or limb, a tent pitched atop the ruins of what had been home — referred to this story-of-the-year as a war.

Palestinian women retrieve what belongings they can carry from their homes in Beit Hanoun, North Gaza, August 4, 2014. They had returned to their homes to quickly salvage what they could during a short ceasefire. Most Beit Hanoun residents had fled the heavily bombed areas and have been staying in UNRWA schools or with relatives. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

Palestinian women retrieve what belongings they can carry from their homes in Beit Hanoun, North Gaza, August 4, 2014. They had returned to their homes to quickly salvage what they could during a short ceasefire. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

Wars, after all, can be conjured in the abstract. Writ large, “World War II” was a cataclysm of history, not an indictment of humanity itself. We study the forest because we dread the trees — the gassing at Treblinka, the fire bombing of Dresden.

In Gaza, this was the third war in six years. For its victims, still under fire, there is no sense in seeing its component parts: four children killed on a beach, seven more at a playground swing, more than a thousand orphaned, and all — to a child — forever changed.

Others, though, are too keen to remember. Barely a week after my exit from Gaza, where I had been with friends and fellow journalists at the height of Israel’s assault, I was berated by a fellow Palestinian for referring to the 51-day spectacle of violence as a “war.”

“This wasn’t a war,” he insisted. “This was a massacre.”

A relative kisses the body of a family member from the Gaza City neighborhood of Shejaiya at Al Shifa Hospital, July 20, 2014. Spokesman of the Palestinian ministry of health Ashraf al-Qidra said rescue teams evacuated more than 80 dead bodies from destroyed houses in Shejaiya including 17 children, 14 women and 4 elderly people. More than 200 injured people were taken to al-Shifa Hospital. Death toll in the Gaza Strip accedes 392 with over 2650 wounded since the beginning of the Israeli offensive. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

A relative kisses the body of a family member from the Gaza City neighborhood of Shejaiya at Al Shifa Hospital, July 20, 2014. Spokesman of the Palestinian ministry of health Ashraf al-Qidra said rescue teams evacuated more than 80 dead bodies from destroyed houses in Shejaiya including 17 children, 14 women and 4 elderly people. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

In his voice, I recognized the rage, the helplessness we all feel when we witness human suffering from afar. Survivor’s guilt strikes a particularly shrill note of righteous anger.

I didn’t ask when he had last been to Gaza. I didn’t need to. For one thing, I knew all too well how difficult it was to find a way into the besieged territory. Two years ago, after months of wrangling with Egypt’s’s embassy in Washington, I made the long trek through the Sinai only to be delayed a day by the Egyptian authorities at Rafah (they had closed the crossing, as is their custom, on a whim). And this summer, the Israelis finally let me in after I personally appeared at the Government Press Office in Jerusalem, only to be grilled by its director, who asked with a smirk: “You realize this is a war, right?” Just to be sure, his office made me sign a waiver declaring: “I am aware that armed hostilities are currently taking place in and around Gaza.”

But we Palestinians, my compatriot reminded me, weren’t supposed to use the word “war.” How could we? Hundreds of children had been killed, entire villages had been reduced to rubble, and a quarter of Gaza’s population had been displaced — some of them refugees twice over. It didn’t matter that Gaza’s Palestinians had used the word themselves.

This is a dangerous epistemic gap, a gap between what Gaza wills and what “outsiders” (a word that bears little nuance given the siege) seem unwilling to accept. Why dangerous? Because this gap has, I believe, kept Gaza in a perpetual cycle of suffering. The sad truth is that we have all become addicted to this tragedy. All of us — Palestinians and Israelis, activists, policymakers — need Gaza to suffer.

That may sound jarring. But ask yourself: What else can upend the status quo? What, if not another tragedy in Gaza, can so command the attention of the world’s media, its actors and musicians, its diplomats and doyens? What else can draw hundreds of thousands to the streets of the world’s capitals, prompting speeches, social media “trends,” and suddenly iconic photos of civilians slaughtered or mothers wailing?

Yet despite the best intentions of activists or journalists, the Gazans I met do not think of themselves as victims. Let’s be clear about this: The “massacres” — all very real, to be sure — serve a purpose for the rest of us. They are our rallying cry.

Some 10,000 demonstrators march on the White House in Washington, D.C., to protest Israel's offensive in Gaza, August 2, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Some 10,000 demonstrators march on the White House in Washington, D.C., to protest Israel’s offensive in Gaza, August 2, 2014. (Activestills.org)

But what exactly are we rallying behind? There isn’t a single actionable proposal for lifting the siege that does not include Hamas. Yet I, for one, have yet to see a protest banner or placard with the word Hamas on it, at least among protesters siding with Palestinians. And the most articulate of Palestine advocates still can’t answer the question: do you think Hamas rockets are a legitimate form of resistance?

Most probably don’t. But if those same activists, diplomats, politicians and doyens are going to claim to work in the interests of Gaza’s Palestinians, they must at least engage the question. If we disagree with Hamas, what alternative do we propose? And most important, if we have no alternative, can the rallies and righteous anger — which materialize precisely because of the massacres that so repulse us — be anything but irresponsible?

There is nothing wrong with drawing energy and determination from Gaza’s steadfastness (sumoud in Arabic), but we must be wide-eyed in our understanding of two things.

First, although the Gazans I spoke to are proud to inspire solidarity and resistance, that mantle is heavy and no one would carry it for its weight alone. The point is freedom, not suffering.

During a temporary ceasefire residents of Khuza'a return to find their homes destroyed and retrieve the bodies of those killed. The temporary ceasefire later fell apart and fighting in the area was renewed, August 1, 2014 (photo: Activestills)

During a temporary ceasefire residents of Khuza’a return to find their homes destroyed and retrieve the bodies of those killed. The temporary ceasefire later fell apart and fighting in the area was renewed, August 1, 2014 (photo: Activestills)

Second, if sumoud is this war’s lasting mark on the Palestinian movement, it must — as all successful liberation movements have — ultimately find effective ways to convert steadfastness into liberation. In other words, those of us who are activists must work our way out of a “job.”

This is not so easy, especially in the West Bank. On my way there from Gaza, I spent a day with a local activist from the Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, where Israeli police had sealed all but one entrance and regularly deployed so-called “skunk trucks” to intimidate local protestors. I asked my companion why he thought Jerusalem erupted during the war while the West Bank — with one notable exception — remained largely quiet. “Easy,” he said. “We don’t have a Palestinian Authority to stop us.”

Those Palestinians living under the “Authority” — a creation of Israel and the United States — knew it. Still, activists there found creative ways to catalyze popular outrage over Israel’s assaults. If they couldn’t take to the streets without risking bloody confrontation with fellow Palestinians, they also didn’t remain quiet.

In markets from Tulkarem, where I had gone to visit family just after the war, to Ramallah and its neighboring villages, activists stepped up efforts to grow support for the burgeoning international boycott movement. In village markets and larger grocery stores, window stickers urged shoppers to forego Israeli products. In one Ramallah market, I overheard a father telling his daughter to put back a pack of chips because it was Israeli-made. And in the village of Bil’in, where I also spent a few days with a friend after the war, the Friday sermon ended with a reminder that “buying local” was itself a form of resistance.

Palestinians inspect damage to a destroyed ambulance in Shujaiyeh, a neighborhood in eastern Gaza City that was the site of some of the war’s heaviest fighting, July 27, 2014. (Photo by Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

Palestinians inspect damage to a destroyed ambulance in Shujaiyeh, a neighborhood in eastern Gaza City that was the site of some of the war’s heaviest fighting, July 27, 2014. (Photo by Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

While I was in Bil’in, I spent an evening not far from the scene of the village’s weekly protests against Israel’s illegal wall, which has swallowed up ever more of the West Bank’s land in the past decade. The scene was made famous by the Oscar-nominated film “5 Broken Cameras,” its narrative arc formed from more than 700 hours of raw protest footage shot by Bil’in’s native son, Emad Burnat. When I asked Burnat whether the Gaza war had any impact on the resistance here, he told me that what mattered most — in Bil’in as in Jerusalem — was stamina. “Some weeks, we’ve had fewer activists than usual at the protests,” he said, “but the point is, there is a protest.”

“Every week, no matter what, there is always protest.”

Meanwhile, outside my hotel room in Ramallah, a giant screen flashed advertisements for luxury cars and laundry detergent. In between were images of crying children amid scenes of destruction. “Donate today,” the screen urged. “Send a text message now to help our people in Gaza.”

When I checked in via video chat with my friend and fellow journalist in Gaza, Jehad Saftawi, he asked what the mood was in the Palestinian Authority’s de facto capital. I turned my laptop’s camera toward the massive screen outside. “That’s nice,” Jehad said. “It looks like Hong Kong.”

And there you have it. The people of Gaza have been sealed off from the world for so long that Ramallah might as well be China. To be sure, for many in the West Bank and beyond, Gaza is just as foreign. But there are real people in Gaza — people like one-year-old Muhammad — who seem destined to continue their sacrifice so that those who protest and rage and mourn may have their reasons to continue, too.

They shouldn’t have to wait till the next massacre, though. And neither should the people of Gaza.

A Palestinian family sits in their destroyed home in the at-Tuffah district of Gaza City, which was heavily attacked during summer’s Israeli offensive, September 21, 2014. An estimated 18,000 housing units were destroyed or severely damaged, leaving more than 108,000 people homeless. (Photo by Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

A Palestinian family sits in their destroyed home in the at-Tuffah district of Gaza City, which was heavily attacked during summer’s Israeli offensive, September 21, 2014. An estimated 18,000 housing units were destroyed or severely damaged, leaving more than 108,000 people homeless. (Photo by Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

When I last spoke with Jehad, he had finally emerged from weeks of depression, during which he insisted that he would find a way to leave Gaza, to enjoy—as his wife and photojournalist Lara Aburamadan once wrote —“the simple textures of a day spent outside, of a sky that beckons but does not bellow.”

But Jehad had changed his mind. “I’ve decided to stay, Samer,” he told me. “We have work to do.”

After 100 days of struggling for answers, I finally had mine. All of us — journalists, activists and, most of all, Palestinians themselves — have become so accustomed to Gaza’s suffering that we can hardly imagine a world without it. But imagine we must. For Gaza is more than its casualty counts, and wars are not just rallying cries.

Read also:
+972’s Editor’s Picks of 2014
The 25 most-read posts of 2014
+972’s Person of the Year 2013: Edward Snowden
+972’s Person of the Year 2012: The Settler
+972’s Person of the Year 2011: Woman activist of the Arab world
+972’s Person of the Year: Abdullah Abu Rahmah

For additional original analysis and breaking news, visit +972 Magazine's Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Our newsletter features a comprehensive round-up of the week's events. Sign up here.

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    1. Pedro X

      Samer Badawi is a Palestinian propagandist and not a Palestinian pragmatist. He spouts ideological propaganda about defiance and steadfastness in Gaza and Palestinian resistance. Yet unlike Samer who was a short time guest in Gaza and fled as soon as he could, other Palestinian journalists living in Gaza are talking about the breakdown of Palestinian society. Gaza is a Palestinian self created disaster zone and Palestinians know it.

      A December 9, 2014 PSR poll of 1270 Palestinians shows that only 10% of Palestinians think conditions in Gaza are good. 43% of Gazans would leave if they could. This is not steadfastness but the Palestinian flight complex.

      Palestine journalist Asmaa al-Ghoul who lives in the Gaza strip in an article entitled “Greed, family breakdowns afflict Gaza society” talks about the breakdown of Palestinian society at its base root, the family.

      Al-Ghoul quotes Psychologist Akram Nafeh to confirm that Gaza’s society is in a state of distress and general frustration following the harsh war and its unexpected repercussions. Nafeh states:

      “We receive in our clinics, on a daily basis, dozens of cases suffering from social problems and personal conflicts as a result of the destruction of their houses, and from fear resulting from the war,”

      Psychiatrist Fadel Ashour stated:

      “The war was an existential shock to Gaza’s community. As a result, people stopped rationalizing and tended to look after their selfish individual interests instead of collective benefits. They lost their empathy. This is not to mention the hidden consequences of war, including social ruptures such as marital disputes, deviant sexual behavior, and lack of trust, self-esteem and confidence. This suggests that people have shallow faith and their political affiliations are much stronger than their religious faith.”

      Ashour warns against politicians and propagandists like Samer.

      “I want to warn against the fact that some people would go overboard in their behavior, such as treason or deviance. This is especially true despite politicians saying that the people remain steadfast and ready to sacrifice. They fail to see the accumulating problems and tragedies in Gaza’s society.”

      Ashour also shows what Gaza needs is not more resistance and steadfastness, but the adoption of liberal political mechanisms in place of the ideological mechanisms which have led to three wars with Israel in six years. He also acknowledges that Gazans had chosen the ideological rule.

      “Society is in need of a state with liberal political mechanisms, instead of an ideological rule, even if the latter was the people’s choice at a certain time. Nevertheless, people have rejected the ideological style of life, since Gaza — as any other society — is not a mere dogmatic and ideological system, as many faction leaders perceive it. It is rather a human community.”

      The question is why Samer and Palestinian politicians are not advocating what Palestinians most need, a civilized political system which denounces resistance in favor of cooperation with Israel in reaching a peace. Instead he adheres to a dogmatic ideology of resistance despite its harm to Palestinians over 67 years.

      Make no mistake if Palestinians cling to their belief that violent resistance is the best root to achieve their desires, the Palestinians will continue to endure more tragedies like Gaza War III.

      Reply to Comment
      • andrew r

        The question though is what Palestinians can reasonably expect cooperating with the Zionist state. History tells us they can expect fewer of them getting killed on the way to losing all their land. So Zionism is a step up from Nazism in that it won’t kill the Palestinians if only they vacate.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Pedro X: “The question is why Samer and Palestinian politicians are not advocating what Palestinians most need, a civilized political system which denounces resistance in favor of cooperation with Israel in reaching a peace.” Absolutely. It’s worked for the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, it can work for Gaza. (Insert icon with ironic smile signifying sarcasm.)

      Reply to Comment
      • Richard

        Yeah, because its not like Palestinians in the West Bank responded to autonomy and statehood on a platter with suicide terrorism or anything like that (insert memory of second intifada that has slipped out of Larry’s mind somehow).

        Reply to Comment
        • Ginger Eis

          Yet another evidence that Mr. Larry Derfner is truly a buffoon. The Palestinians could turn Gaza into “the Singapore of the Mediterranean” in a bit, if they want(ed) to. They chose- and still choose Jihad instead of “the Singapore of the Mediterranean founded on the Rule Of Law”! As we speak, the Islamic lunatics ruling Gaza are calling for the “liberation” of J’lem, Haifa, Ashkelon, Jaffa, etc. That’s all they care about. They are not interested in turning Gaza into “the Singapore of the Mediterranean”, while those who should be speaking up against this Palestinian self-destruction like Samer Badawi and Larry Derfner are busy blaming Israel for all evil, supporting Jihad/“resistance” and feeling important in their empty shells. With men like YOU, Larry Derfner, innocent and hard working Gazans, who want to engage in the Pursuit Of Happiness like all other men and women, need no enemies. Shame on you!

          Reply to Comment
          • Bill Inaz

            Exactly. The commercial value of 25 miles of Mediterranean coastline is beyond measure. With intelligent leadership this area could actually be self supporting. The inability or refusal to see this is indicative of willful defective thought processes.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            I admire your satiric prowls and sense of humor, Mr. Inaz, but you doth engage in an exercise in futility – for the following reasons: (a) The total area of Gaza is 360 sq km (not extremely smaller than Tel Aviv!); (b) Gaze does not even belong to top 50 of the densest place on earth; (c) Gaza has direct access to the sea; (d) cities denser than Gaza and without access to the sea and regional industrialized, economic powers like Israel are in fact thriving in all aspects of life – doing far better than Gaza! Gaza thus could become the Singapore of the Mediterranean – if the Palestinians want(ed) to. All they need to do is this: (e) make a resolve that such is in fact what they want, (f) put a comprehensive economic plan on the table and (g) demilitarize Gaza and establish an academically qualified- and 100% independent Judiciary. Money won’t be the problem!

            (see among others: http://blog.camera.org/archives/2008/05/the_silver_lining_on_gazas_pop.html

            Reply to Comment
    3. Ox

      Pedro X you are evil. The conclusion of your rebuttal reads like the words of a sadist, a man who locks up women under his house and says if they don’t know how to behave properly or if they resist they will be to blame for the violence that I will bring to them.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Tomer

      It is time for the Aza Arabs to wake up from their genocidal daydreams. They will never succeed in destroying Israel.

      Their best solution is territorial association with Egypt, leading to their full integration into Egyptian society.

      Fakestinyanism just represents a futile dead end.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Hyman Rosen

      Regardless of which side is “right” and which side is “wrong”, if Palestinians choose to use violence against Israel then they will suffer these consequences every time. Given that this is the third time Gaza has been attacked this way, they surely know this. So the obvious conclusion is that the Palestinians are choosing this approach in the hope that the violence against them will generate sympathy which will allow them to prevail in some fashion (or perhaps more nihilistically, they feel that any amount of their own destruction is worth it if they can kill a single Israeli). Of course this won’t work, because Palestinian violence feeds directly into the Israeli prejudice that Palestinians are a bunch of vicious animals who periodically need to be culled.

      Ultimately, Palestinians will have to decide whether their “righteous” but hideously ineffective and self-destructive violence is worth the fleeting satisfaction it gives before the boot heel comes crashing down, or whether they should pursue a non-violent course of action.

      Reply to Comment
      • Brian

        What’s so interesting about that is that the guy who has clearly decided to pursue a non-violent course of action, Abu Mazen, gets treated with utter contempt by Netanyahu. Oh, I forgot, he’s guilty of “diplomatic terror.” LoL!

        Reply to Comment
        • Merav

          brYan / brIan: SAME canine with multiple identity raging everywhere fooling himself….found job yet bryan?

          Reply to Comment
          • Bryan

            Should be obvious to you now that we are simply two different individuals with similar names – the clear distinction (2 Corinthians, 11:19) is that Brian “gladly put up with fools since you are so wise!” while I am just a simple guy who hates stupidity.

            Reply to Comment
    6. Pedro X

      Where is Bruce with the BREAKING NEWS. The Palestinians shot themselves in the foot, again.

      The United Nations Security Council has voted down the Palestinian resolution to accept Palestine as a state based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. The United States did not even need to use its veto.

      Maybe now Palestinians will make a resolution to have Jordan named as the state of the Palestinians. They do make up a majority of the population there.

      Reply to Comment
    7. IronMan

      This is incredible!

      Reply to Comment
    8. Josh

      found pills yet meraslug?

      Reply to Comment
    9. Richard

      These wars seem to ebb and flow, they seem to expand and shrink but they don’t seem to end. In the first 3 months of this year there were more strong earthquakes of 5.0 or higher that were recorded than in any FULL year previous to this one.
      Prophecy speaks of a time where man kind has more knowledge than before and people travel around to various places. Just 150 years ago men still used sailing ships but today man can travel to the moon when they choose. This is the first time in history where man kind fits these prophecies exactly and it’s also the first time that the prophecy that Israel would be back as a nation. These are the end times the Bible speaks about. I wrote a small book about the end times and prophecy and the tribulation period. It’s just for your information and consideration and it’s free. I don’t even accept donations on my or anyone else’s behalf. It’s a short read of about 7 pages. I encourage you to take a look. http://www.booksie.com/religion_and_spirituality/book/richard_b_barnes/after-the-rapture-whats-next

      Reply to Comment
    10. phil

      7 pages = a book?

      Reply to Comment
    11. GoGrrrl

      You have completely missed the point about why Gazans do not call it a war. A war is between two states, or within a state – Palestine is not a state. A war implies legitimate armed hostilities between equals – the 2014 massacre, like those of 2012 and 2008-9, were ISRAELI OFFENSIVES against an occupied territory – something that is NOT LEGITIMATE. There is a huge difference between a ‘war’ and a people defending themselves against a massive military aggression perpetrated by their occupier, in violation of international law. Not just semantics, but important distinctions, the failure of which to appreciate results in the perpetuation of the Zionist narrative by a journalist we should have been able to expect better from.

      Reply to Comment