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« Exchange Between Bill Moyers and Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League | Main | Michael Winship: Walking Down to Washington »

Bill Moyers Responds to Viewer Feedback

Bill Moyers responds to viewer feedback to last week's essay on the violence in Gaza.

PLEASE NOTE: This essay contains images of casualties from the conflict in Gaza. Some viewers may find the images disturbing, but they are in context and germane to the subject matter.
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What, exactly, is the definition of Zionism that you are using?

Seems to me that it has come to mean very different things to different people. So, when we refer to "Zionists" we should clarify whom we are talking about, what ideas, ideals, and values and goals we are talking about.

I applaud Mr. Moyers' efforts to analyze Middle East issues in spite of the vitriol and hateful remarks he has endured. It is very sad to see that no one in the U.S. can speak up against the hatefulness of Zionism without being vilified. One can more easily speak up in Israel itself than here, I understand. This means, of course, how important Mr. Moyers' work here actually is.

I am sad to observe the truth of the saying that we become like those we hate--sadly too many in Israel have become Nazi-like themselves and perhaps even more of the Zionists here are.

I applaud you Mr. Moyers. In light of your candor, I will watch you weekly instead of just a few times a year. I will also send in regular donations - I have not done so in over 10 years. You have renewed my faith in PBS!

Dear Mr. Moyers, I salute you for your honesty in voicing the truth concerning the Palestinian crisis. That "Israel must protect itself" however, no longer has a place in intelligent discussion.
"Why does Israel need 6 million dollar satellites? To better see the little Palestinian boy throw rocks at Israeli tanks." I shudder to think where Israel and its colony the US will turn their rapacious eyes next...Sincerely, B.LoFaro

How in all good conscience can anyone say that the Israeli have not shown a total disregard for the lives of innocent Palestinian men, women, and children as well as UN workers. The proof is overwhelming and well recognized. Your callous skewed views personify your prejudices and support of the despicable acts the Jews have perpetrated.

Your distortion of Foxman's charge of your anti-Semitism is curious. He was questioning your bringing ancient "blood" accusations into the mix, now modernized as, in your word, "genetic", to accuse a country which is defending itself of being by blood, deficient morally. Foxman didn't criticize you for "lamenting" Palestinian deaths. That is a grotesque distortion. When confronted, narcissists feel sorry for themselves and lie about what they said or did. Given the unexamined formula of your thinking, you, like the Palestinians, are a victim. Comically, inadvertently, you mimic the Palestinian mindset. Shoot and whine about being a victim, taken aback that there are consequences.
You say you were, "not sufficiently precise"? Southern bigots used to talk about "law and order" with a similar self-righteous cynicism -- laughing and winking all the way. You were speaking of "humanity itself"? Who are you kidding? Only Jimmy Carter, who is currently claiming Hamas is not a terrorist organization (to provoke reaction and greedy, grandiose fellow that he is, sell his book), would accept such Orwellian double-talk. ( Ask Carter who his major contributors are. Think it might be Arab money? See if you can get an answer. Maybe Mearsheimer and Walt, obsessed with influence, can look into it? Think they will? Think you will?)

There is something craven in your deflected "response" Bill. You used the same tactics of distorting the truth as you had originally. Israel doesn't target civilians Bill -- it is your beloved Palestinians who do that. Palestinians are firing into the crowd Bill. Israel has long been cited as one of the most conscientious armies in history in its efforts to avoid civilian casualties.
On the BBC, Colonel Richard Kemp: “I don’t think there has ever been a time in the history of warfare when any army has made more efforts to reduce civilian casualties and deaths of innocent people than the IDF is doing today in Gaza.”

To blah blah,

I am well-aware of, and sensitive to, the psychic trauma the on-going conflict has on all parties and children of all parties. In fact, I have been to presentations by, and supported presentations by Muslim and Jewish psychiatrists and other therapists from the regions impacted.

I also do not dispute that experiences of the Israeli military play a role in shaping the the dear psyches of Gazan children (and adults). Unlike you seem to do, I also, however, hold members and promoters of the Hamas movement responsible for ill effects on these childrens' (and adults') lives and minds. It is well-documented that Hamas educational policies and practices teach Gazan children to fear and hate not only the Israeli military and all Israelis (aka Zionists), but also all Jews. (If you need citeations I will try to provide.) Witness, for example, the Hamas "educational" televisions version of Mickey Mouse. Also, what do you think is the impact on these children of Hamas' totalitarian style of government that tortures and murders those who speak up against it -- Palestinian parents, brothers, sisters, teachers, doctors of these children -- and who force their parents to allow fring of weapons from their homes or suffer violent consequences (and don't say this does not happen; I have first-hand accounts of such)? And what is the impact on their psyches of the imposed severe sexism of the Hamas party? (Even a very anti-Israel, anti-zionist Arab friend breathed a sigh of relief when she stepped out of Gaza and could walk around without fear of being attacked forshowing a little skin in the hot weather.) And what is the impact on young psyches of the preaching of hate-filled violence form masjids (as reported from another Muslim, Gazan reporter) or of the refusal to acknowledge Israeli or Jews as full human beings and of their right to a life of dginity and peace in what is also their homeland? (Here, too, I know numbers of Jews who have lived in Jerusalem/Al Quds for at least 700 years, and in the old city (read: East Jerusalem) until they were violently forced out during the siege in 1948-49. And other Jewish families who have been in/on the land for thousands of years -- and have the family trees and keys to homes etc. to prove it).)

Please know, my brother/sister, that I do not say this with anger, but with pain, as you, too, have expressed.

I do think that Palestinians need and deserve a safe and happy and good-quality life of dignity in a state they can freely call their own. I do not think, however, that they can do so while also being set on the destruction of another state and/or its people. I also do not think that, at this point, a "one-state" solution would work, for that would, by default, deny the Jewish Israelis the very same self-determination that we agree is the right and need of all in the region.

But, perhaps I digress.

In terms of your question about aiming at 1 "A" but shooting 1000 "B"s (actually, if one subtracts the number of Hamas combatants, approx. 635 "B"s were killed. While still a horrifc number, it is important to not overblow it), I am not sure. I think you probably would have committed a crime (actually, even negligent homicide is a crime, but it's not the same as murder). But what if you made serious attempts to avoid all hitting "B"s, even redirecting the shots when you could? Perhaps even then it would be negligent homicide, but does the honest attempt to avoid such hits count for anything?

I kind of think this back and forth won't get us anywhere. Basically, what happened was horrific. And for children trauma is trauma, whether by Hamas missile or Israeli missile.

Too often though, Israelis and Israel are completely condemned with narey a mention of care about what they or their children go through, and too little belief that their calls and cries for peace are real and good-willed. This is not and should not be a competition of suffering. All have sufferred too much, and many in power -- on all sides -- bare responsibility both for the ill that has occurred, the lost chances for goodness, and for making the future better for all. Can we agree on this? And can we agree that all need to learn forgiveness, even as they take responsibility for and appropriately punish their own wrong-do-ers? And, even then, return to forgiveness, and move on.

Jays friend,
thankyou for explaining your thoughts, and its nice to see we agree on so many points. However I dont get the point of your post.
We are talking here about Israels policies not its citizens or individual soldiers. I know that there are great number of Israelis that protested the war, however were totally shut down by the media, and that get labeled as anti-Israel for protesting. There are all kinds of people everywhere.

Back on the whole shooting analogy, I will get tried as a criminal if I shoot 1000's of B's(innocents) to get to 1 A. Wont I?

The gist of this whole thing is that people everywhere deserve to live a life of dignity. You agree that the Gazans were caged in a small strip with nowhere to go. Their children deserve to live a life where they have access to good schools, jobs, freedom to get to places they need to get to on a daily basis. It will be in Israels interest to have a self-sufficient neighbour.

You talk of counseling, can you imagine the psyche of children that grow up admist all this? Some have not seen a single day of peace ih their life, they see entire families getting killed, they suffer long term injuries that constantly remind them of all this, bulldozers razing their homes down, their parents and families humiliated at the hands of the Israeli soldiers. Do you expect them to grow with love in thier hearts for their Israeli neighbours?

For some more thought,
http://www.arabpsynet.com/Archives/OP/OPj2.Qouta.PTSD.pdf


One last comment to Miki Haas: Just because one is employed by the UN or rides in a UN vehicle does not mean one is not culpable of partisan violence or of supporting, in various ways, war crimes. Witness what has happened and is continuing to happen to hundreds of thousands of women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where, among other things, at least 19 UN "peacekeepers" (who wear the uniform of and drive vehicles of and serve out of the buildings of the UN) raped and/or gang-raped innocent, non-combatant women and girls. As I said before, there are good and bad eggs in all groups. Being a UN employee does not, de facto, mean one is behaving as a non-combatant. See www.raisehopeforcongo.org or v-day.org for more information.

To blah blah and similar others:

I did not mean to defend any actual war crimes, nor to deny them if they are proven to have occurred. There are ethicla and unethical individuals among all national and ethnic, religious, etc. groups. That fact no one can deny -- not only ethical, not only unethical -- whether Palestinian, Israeli, Flemish, French-speaking, British, Irish, Hindi-speking or Urdu-speaking (same language, different ethnic culture), etc.

I will assert, however, that when it comes to prosecuting a crime, intention does, in fact matter. Mr./Ms. blah, blah, to answer your question, if you shoot someone in the face and s/he dies, it does matter whether or not you intended to kill the person. Let's say you were aiming at person A, who just shot a round at you, and, just as you press the trigger, person B runs across your line of fire and is shot in the face and B died. Surely, you shot the bullet that hit and killed B, but did you intend to hit B? Did you know that B was about to run in the line of fire? Did you have the means to stop the bullet once the trigger was pulled? You may have killed, but you may not have committed murder. Similarly, if forgot that your gun was loaded, set about cleanng it, and shot yourself in the face, did you commit suicide or did you kill yourself by accident (or careless stupidity, in this case)? Should your wife get the life insurance money or not? What about the 7-year old kid who plays with his parent's gun, a shot goes off, shooting his 6 year-old friend in the face and killing her? Did the 7 year-old commit murder? Did his parents? Did the parents of the 6 year-old?

I am not comparing what happened in Gaza to the accidental killing or dying cited in the examples. I am, however, pointing out that, when it comes to crime, intentions do matter. Homicide may be homicide, but there are dramatic differences, for all involved (save, perhaps, the one who dies) between accidental homicide, negligent homicide, murder. And having counseled indivuals who have lost family members to murder, negligent homicide, suicide, war crimes, casualty of war, hate crimes, accidental death, life-threatening illness, and "natural" death, I do not make these claims lightly nor ignorantly.

What happened to the innocents in Gaza is horrendous, not least because, despite Israeli calls and fliers alerting them to flee, they had nowhere to go, nowhere to flee to where they could have reasonable assurance of safety. I don't think resaonable people dispute that. But the outcome, however devistating, does not mean that each and every soldier was aware or had the means to be aware of the presence of non-combatants inside targetted buildings and other similar situations of which they are accused. Large numbers of my extended family were murdered in World War II, some having previously and loyally served in the German military, even being awarded honors therein. Still, I do not hold each and every WWII German/Axis soldier responsible for what happened, just as I do not hold all Germans responsible; and I and others in my family have forgiven even, a few I have met who knew what was happening, tried, in ways we would otherwise never know, to resist, but failed.

Similarly, like you, I don't blame the Palestinians who allowed their homes or workplaces to be commandeered by Hamas combatants, and I don't think those non-comabtants, non-Hamas individuals deserved the suffering imposed on them -- by all sides. For your own sake and the sake of others, I hope in time you will be able to simultaneously complicate and simplify your understading of and feelings toward Israeli soldiers and Israeli civilians.

Israel became a nation about 1300 BCE, two thousand years before the rise of Islam. The people of modern day Israel share the same language and culture shaped by the Jewish heritage and religion passed through generations starting with the founding father Abraham. Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 BCE, the Jews have had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.

Bill,
Thanks for having the courage to bring a fair and balanced piece on this controversial subject.

Atrocity and crime against humanity; it is absolutely against American value...

Gaza girl's grief (01:45) Report Jan. 22, 2009
http://uk.reuters.com/news/video?videoId=97479&videoChannel=2603

This excerpt is from a discussion between Noam Chomsky with Alan Dershowitz in Nov 29, 2005 from the website

http://www.chomsky.info

The topic is "Israel and Palestine After Disengagement."


NOAM CHOMSKY: "Mr. Mandell will confirm, there was an explicit condition for this debate. That is, that neither participant try to evade the issue by deceitful allegations about the other. So, I, therefore, congratulate Mr. Dershowitz on having made a true statement. I was a counselor at Massad. About the rest, there happens to be an ample record in print, or if you like, you can ask a question, but I'll keep to the topic and the rules.

The topic is: Where do we go from here? The answer to that is largely up to us. Evidently, it requires some understanding of how we got here. The question of where we're going now has a clear answer. It's given accurately by the leading academic specialist on the occupation, Harvard's Sara Roy, as she writes that under the terms of disengagement, Gazans are virtually sealed within the Strip, while West Bankers, their lands dismembered by relentless Israeli settlement, will continue to be penned into fragmented geographic spaces, isolated behind and between walls and barriers.

Her judgment is affirmed by Israel's leading specialist on the West Bank, Meron Benvenisti, who writes that 'the separation walls snaking through the West Bank will create three Bantustans (his words): north, central and south, all virtually separated from East Jerusalem, the center of Palestinian commercial, cultural and political life. And he adds that this, what he calls the soft transfer from Jerusalem, that is an unavoidable result of the separation wall, might achieve its goal. Quoting still, 'the goal of disintegration of the Palestinian community, after many earlier attempts, have failed.' 'The human disaster being planned,' he continues, 'will turn hundreds of thousands of people into a sullen community, hostile, and nurturing a desire for revenge.' So, another example of the sacrifice of security through expansion that's been going on for a long time.

A European Union report concludes that U.S.-backed Israeli programs will virtually end the prospects for a viable Palestinian state by the cantonization and by breaking the organic links between East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Human Rights Watch, in a recent statement, concurs.

There was no effort to conceal the fact that Gaza disengagement was in reality West Bank expansion. The official plan for disengagement stated that Israel will permanently take over major population centers, cities, towns and villages, security areas and other places of special interest to Israel in the West Bank. That was endorsed by the U.S. ambassador, as it had been by the President, breaking sharply with U.S. policy.

Along with the disengagement plan, Israel announced investment of tens of millions of dollars in West Bank settlements. Prime Minister Sharon immediately approved new housing units in the town of Maale Adumim--that's to the east of Jerusalem--the core of the salient that divides the southern from the central Bantustan, to use Benvenisti's term, and also announced other expansion plans.

There is near unanimity that all of this violates international law. The consensus was expressed by U.S. Judge Buergenthal in his separate declaration attached to the World Court judgment, ruling that the separation wall is illegal. In Buergenthal's words, "The Fourth Geneva Convention and International Human Rights Law are applicable to the occupied Palestinian territory and must therefore be fully complied with by Israel. Accordingly, the segments of the wall being built by Israel to protect the settlements are ipso facto in violation of international humanitarian law," which happens to mean about 80% of the wall.

Two months later, Israel's high court rejected that judgment, ruling that the separation wall, quoting, "must take into account the need to provide security for Israelis living in the West Bank, including their property rights." This is consistent with Chief Justice's Barak's doctrine that Israeli law supersedes international law, particularly in East Jerusalem, annexed in violation of Security Council orders. And practically speaking, he is correct, as long as the United States continues to provide the required economic, military and diplomatic support, as it has been doing for 30 years, in violation of the international consensus on a two-state settlement.

You can find detailed documentation about all of this in work of mine and others who have supported the international consensus for 30 years in print, explicitly. In Israeli literature, like Benny Morris's histories, you can find ample evidence about the nature of the occupation. In Morris's words, "founded on brute force, repression and fear, collaboration and treachery, beatings and torture chambers and daily intimidation, humiliation and manipulation, along with stealing of valuable land and resources." Like other Israeli political and legal commentators, Morris reserves special criticism for the Supreme Court, whose record, he writes, "will surely go down as a dark day in the annals of Israel's judicial system."

Keeping to the diplomatic record, the first -- both sides, of course, rejected 242. The first important step forward was in 1971, when president Sadat of Egypt offered a full peace treaty to Israel in return for Israeli withdrawal from the Occupied Territories. That would have ended the international conflict. Israel rejected the offer, choosing expansion over security. In this case, expansion into the Egyptian Sinai, where General Sharon's forces had driven thousands of farmers into the desert to clear the land for the all-Jewish city of Yamit. The U.S. backed Israel's stand.

Those decisions led to the 1973 war, a near disaster for Israel. The U.S. and Israel then recognized that Egypt could not be dismissed and finally accepted Sadat's 1971 offer at Camp David in 1979. But by then, the agreement included the demand for a Palestinian state, which had reached the international agenda.

In 1976, the major Arab states introduced a resolution to the U.N. Security Council calling for a peace settlement on the international border, based on U.N. 242, but now adding a Palestinian state in the Occupied Territories. That's Syria, Egypt, Jordan and every other relevant state. The U.S. vetoed the resolution again in 1980. The General Assembly passed similar resolutions year after year with the United States and Israel opposed.

The matter reached a head in 1988, when the PLO moved from tacit approval to formal acceptance of the two-state consensus. Israel responded with a declaration that there can be no, as they put it, "additional Palestinian state between Jordan and the sea," Jordan already being a Palestinian state -- that's Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Shamir -- and also that the status of the territories must be settled according to Israeli guidelines. The U.S. endorsed Israel's stand. I can only add what I wrote at the time: "It's as if someone were to argue the Jews don't need a second homeland in Israel, because they already have New York."

In May 1997, for the first time, Peres's Labour Party agreed not to rule out the establishment of a Palestinian state with limited sovereignty in areas excluding major Jewish settlement blocks, that is, the three cantons that were being constructed with U.S. support. The highest rate of post-Oslo settlement was in 2000, the final year of Clinton's term and Prime Minister Barak's.

Maps of the U.S.-Israel proposals at Camp David show a salient, east of Jerusalem, bisecting the West Bank, and a northern salient virtually dividing the northern from the central canton. I have the maps if you want them. The current map considerably extends these salients and the isolation of East Jerusalem. My maps are from the leading Israeli scholars, Ron Pundak, the Director of the Shimon Peres Center. The crucial issue at Camp David was territorial, not the refugee issue, for which Arafat agreed to a pragmatic solution, as Pundak, the leading scholar, reveals. No Palestinian could accept the cantonization, including the U.S. favorite, Mahmoud Abbas.

Clinton -- we don't have to debate it, because Clinton recognized that Palestinian objections had validity, and in December 2000 proposed his parameters, which went some way toward satisfying Palestinian rights. In Clinton's words, "Barak and Arafat had both accepted these parameters as the basis for further efforts. Both have expressed some reservations."

The reservations were addressed at a high level meeting in Taba, which made considerable progress and might have led to a settlement, but Israel called them off. That one week at Taba is the only break in 30 years of U.S.-Israeli rejectionism. High-level informal negotiations continued, leading to the Geneva Accord of December of 2002, welcomed by virtually the entire world, rejected by Israel, dismissed by Washington. That could have been the basis for a just peace. It still can. By then, however, Bush-Sharon bulldozers were demolishing any basis for it.

Every sane Israeli hawk understood that it was absurd for Israel to leave 8,000 settlers in Gaza, protected by a large part of the army, while taking over scarce water resources and arable land. The same conclusion was to withdraw from Gaza while expanding through the West Bank, and that will continue as long as Washington insists on marching on the road to catastrophe by rejecting minimal Palestinian rights. I'm quoting the warning of the four former heads of Israel's Shin Bet Security Service. "There are clear alternatives, and if that march to catastrophe continues, we will have only ourselves to blame."

This excerpt is from a discussion between Noam Chomsky with Alan Dershowitz in Nov 29, 2005 from the website

http://www.chomsky.info/debates/20051129.htm

The topic is "Israel and Palestine After Disengagement."


NOAM CHOMSKY: "Mr. Mandell will confirm, there was an explicit condition for this debate. That is, that neither participant try to evade the issue by deceitful allegations about the other. So, I, therefore, congratulate Mr. Dershowitz on having made a true statement. I was a counselor at Massad. About the rest, there happens to be an ample record in print, or if you like, you can ask a question, but I'll keep to the topic and the rules.

The topic is: Where do we go from here? The answer to that is largely up to us. Evidently, it requires some understanding of how we got here. The question of where we're going now has a clear answer. It's given accurately by the leading academic specialist on the occupation, Harvard's Sara Roy, as she writes that under the terms of disengagement, Gazans are virtually sealed within the Strip, while West Bankers, their lands dismembered by relentless Israeli settlement, will continue to be penned into fragmented geographic spaces, isolated behind and between walls and barriers.

Her judgment is affirmed by Israel's leading specialist on the West Bank, Meron Benvenisti, who writes that 'the separation walls snaking through the West Bank will create three Bantustans (his words): north, central and south, all virtually separated from East Jerusalem, the center of Palestinian commercial, cultural and political life. And he adds that this, what he calls the soft transfer from Jerusalem, that is an unavoidable result of the separation wall, might achieve its goal. Quoting still, 'the goal of disintegration of the Palestinian community, after many earlier attempts, have failed.' 'The human disaster being planned,' he continues, 'will turn hundreds of thousands of people into a sullen community, hostile, and nurturing a desire for revenge.' So, another example of the sacrifice of security through expansion that's been going on for a long time.

A European Union report concludes that U.S.-backed Israeli programs will virtually end the prospects for a viable Palestinian state by the cantonization and by breaking the organic links between East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Human Rights Watch, in a recent statement, concurs.

There was no effort to conceal the fact that Gaza disengagement was in reality West Bank expansion. The official plan for disengagement stated that Israel will permanently take over major population centers, cities, towns and villages, security areas and other places of special interest to Israel in the West Bank. That was endorsed by the U.S. ambassador, as it had been by the President, breaking sharply with U.S. policy.

Along with the disengagement plan, Israel announced investment of tens of millions of dollars in West Bank settlements. Prime Minister Sharon immediately approved new housing units in the town of Maale Adumim--that's to the east of Jerusalem--the core of the salient that divides the southern from the central Bantustan, to use Benvenisti's term, and also announced other expansion plans.

There is near unanimity that all of this violates international law. The consensus was expressed by U.S. Judge Buergenthal in his separate declaration attached to the World Court judgment, ruling that the separation wall is illegal. In Buergenthal's words, "The Fourth Geneva Convention and International Human Rights Law are applicable to the occupied Palestinian territory and must therefore be fully complied with by Israel. Accordingly, the segments of the wall being built by Israel to protect the settlements are ipso facto in violation of international humanitarian law," which happens to mean about 80% of the wall.

Two months later, Israel's high court rejected that judgment, ruling that the separation wall, quoting, "must take into account the need to provide security for Israelis living in the West Bank, including their property rights." This is consistent with Chief Justice's Barak's doctrine that Israeli law supersedes international law, particularly in East Jerusalem, annexed in violation of Security Council orders. And practically speaking, he is correct, as long as the United States continues to provide the required economic, military and diplomatic support, as it has been doing for 30 years, in violation of the international consensus on a two-state settlement.

You can find detailed documentation about all of this in work of mine and others who have supported the international consensus for 30 years in print, explicitly. In Israeli literature, like Benny Morris's histories, you can find ample evidence about the nature of the occupation. In Morris's words, "founded on brute force, repression and fear, collaboration and treachery, beatings and torture chambers and daily intimidation, humiliation and manipulation, along with stealing of valuable land and resources." Like other Israeli political and legal commentators, Morris reserves special criticism for the Supreme Court, whose record, he writes, "will surely go down as a dark day in the annals of Israel's judicial system."

Keeping to the diplomatic record, the first -- both sides, of course, rejected 242. The first important step forward was in 1971, when president Sadat of Egypt offered a full peace treaty to Israel in return for Israeli withdrawal from the Occupied Territories. That would have ended the international conflict. Israel rejected the offer, choosing expansion over security. In this case, expansion into the Egyptian Sinai, where General Sharon's forces had driven thousands of farmers into the desert to clear the land for the all-Jewish city of Yamit. The U.S. backed Israel's stand.

Those decisions led to the 1973 war, a near disaster for Israel. The U.S. and Israel then recognized that Egypt could not be dismissed and finally accepted Sadat's 1971 offer at Camp David in 1979. But by then, the agreement included the demand for a Palestinian state, which had reached the international agenda.

In 1976, the major Arab states introduced a resolution to the U.N. Security Council calling for a peace settlement on the international border, based on U.N. 242, but now adding a Palestinian state in the Occupied Territories. That's Syria, Egypt, Jordan and every other relevant state. The U.S. vetoed the resolution again in 1980. The General Assembly passed similar resolutions year after year with the United States and Israel opposed.

The matter reached a head in 1988, when the PLO moved from tacit approval to formal acceptance of the two-state consensus. Israel responded with a declaration that there can be no, as they put it, "additional Palestinian state between Jordan and the sea," Jordan already being a Palestinian state -- that's Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Shamir -- and also that the status of the territories must be settled according to Israeli guidelines. The U.S. endorsed Israel's stand. I can only add what I wrote at the time: "It's as if someone were to argue the Jews don't need a second homeland in Israel, because they already have New York."

In May 1997, for the first time, Peres's Labour Party agreed not to rule out the establishment of a Palestinian state with limited sovereignty in areas excluding major Jewish settlement blocks, that is, the three cantons that were being constructed with U.S. support. The highest rate of post-Oslo settlement was in 2000, the final year of Clinton's term and Prime Minister Barak's.

Maps of the U.S.-Israel proposals at Camp David show a salient, east of Jerusalem, bisecting the West Bank, and a northern salient virtually dividing the northern from the central canton. I have the maps if you want them. The current map considerably extends these salients and the isolation of East Jerusalem. My maps are from the leading Israeli scholars, Ron Pundak, the Director of the Shimon Peres Center. The crucial issue at Camp David was territorial, not the refugee issue, for which Arafat agreed to a pragmatic solution, as Pundak, the leading scholar, reveals. No Palestinian could accept the cantonization, including the U.S. favorite, Mahmoud Abbas.

Clinton -- we don't have to debate it, because Clinton recognized that Palestinian objections had validity, and in December 2000 proposed his parameters, which went some way toward satisfying Palestinian rights. In Clinton's words, "Barak and Arafat had both accepted these parameters as the basis for further efforts. Both have expressed some reservations."

The reservations were addressed at a high level meeting in Taba, which made considerable progress and might have led to a settlement, but Israel called them off. That one week at Taba is the only break in 30 years of U.S.-Israeli rejectionism. High-level informal negotiations continued, leading to the Geneva Accord of December of 2002, welcomed by virtually the entire world, rejected by Israel, dismissed by Washington. That could have been the basis for a just peace. It still can. By then, however, Bush-Sharon bulldozers were demolishing any basis for it.

Every sane Israeli hawk understood that it was absurd for Israel to leave 8,000 settlers in Gaza, protected by a large part of the army, while taking over scarce water resources and arable land. The same conclusion was to withdraw from Gaza while expanding through the West Bank, and that will continue as long as Washington insists on marching on the road to catastrophe by rejecting minimal Palestinian rights. I'm quoting the warning of the four former heads of Israel's Shin Bet Security Service. "There are clear alternatives, and if that march to catastrophe continues, we will have only ourselves to blame."

Israel and Palestine both these two countries should be finished off. Instead there should be one secular country called Jerusalem (all involved can probably live this name) . This in not medieval ages for establishing religious religious (Jewish. Islamic or Christian) state.
A great injustice was done to Palestinians when to appease one wronged community another one was wronged.
One state is the only solution. Israel should embrace it, while it can or else it’s just a matter of time when the tides will turn, America will not or cannot be able support her, and they get wiped off like they like to say.

Bill...

Re: The David Sirota-Thomas Frank Discussion

There's no need for either Paulson or a financial czar - let "We The People..." take care of the situation directly! No, not a lynching of the Wall Street Cabal - just get Congress to call a convention under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, and put REAL people in charge - direct charge. All they need to do is propose some very effective amendments and I'm certain justice will be served. And, Congress' ratings will miraculously jump from 9% to 99% as they scramble to become public servants once again. Who knows, maybe the criminals in some corporations will have to hold a bake sale to pay their taxes afterward since the super-highway to greed-driven profits will be closed.

P.S.: Why not explore the Article V Convention issue?

I'm going off subject but first I'd like to say Bill, please don't change your PST airtime to 9PM.

Gwen Ifill on Guantanamo to Close Within a Year Friday, January 23, 2009.

No policy in place?!

Guantanamo detainees complicated?!

Now that everyone has lined their pockets with blood money, all of a sudden no one has any more ideas.

The Guantanamo detainees were captured in countries that that PoS g. w. bush claims to have democratized (Afghanistan and Iraq) so have the two host nations house the Guantanamo detainees.

The torture they may receive in Afghanistan or Iraq can't be any worse than the torture they've already received while in U.S. custody.

Please don't retire Bill, we need you for another 30 years.

Dear Mr. Moyers:

From the comments i have read, i look forward to seeing the re-broadcast of your show on sunday night. very few journalists have the courage to speak out for the human suffering of the Palestinians.

Thank you.

JBS

"Jays friend"
"Because the Israeli military attacks killed children and other non-combatants does not mean that they or the Israeli government *intended* to kill civilians." Personally, I think accounts of the Israeli army corralling women, children, and men in a farmhouse and killing them by shooting them point blank dispels your contentious statement. To support such actions is inconceivable. Not to mention Israeli bombing of UN buildings and killing UN workers driving UN vehicles. To turn your back on the truth is extreme prejudice. To defend such actions is criminal.

Everyone should explore this link.

http://ifamericansonlyknew.org/


Sally, this link is for you. Good luck with understanding the reality of the situation.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/patrick-cockburn-in-israel-detachment-from-reality-is-now-the-norm-1488583.html

Becca

"Jays friend"
"Because the Israeli military attacks killed children and other non-combatants does not mean that they or the Israeli government *intended* to kill civilians."

Ofcourse you mean to say that Hamas 'intended' to kill Israeli civilians. Who gives a damn about the "intentions", see the results. If I murder somebody by shooting them in the face, and then say sorry I didnt "intend" to then what do you think I wont get tried by law?

Let’s get rid of the tunnels that are providing Hamas with bombs to kill Israelis. The tunnels lead to Arab nations who deny its collaboration with terrorists as part of massive criminal propaganda. There was no a cease fire on the part of Hamas. They continued for days to send rockets into Israel although Israel patiently desisted from counterattacking. Since Hamas will not stop sending rockets in Israel, Israel’s oases builders are being murdered and previous land, fields and forests along with the fauna are being destroyed. Israel should be allowed to defend a peaceful and beautiful nation. Israel does not have much public or financial support. The shamelessness of a 24-7 destructive Hamas force that will not stop sending rockets into Israel and then scream that they are victimized is outrageous. Israelis are being murdered while the camera is showing plainclothes Hamas terrorists claiming that no one is in a school, no one is in a Palestinian home. Hamas has wired many of the Palestinian schools so that they will blow up. This is very disturbing.

Hamas has a substantial cash flow to promote the propaganda machinery. Their platform is seductive, where the heroic and righteous fighter and defender of Hamas who post these incredible imagoes of vital soldieries uphold the principles of so called courage and community responsibility. The truth is that Hamas soldiers hide behind infants, pregnant women and little children. They are neither brave nor do they wear their uniforms proudly. They dress in civilian clothes; arrange to be housed in homes of their choosing. Those who do not assist Hamas are killed or ostracized. The numbers of civilian Palestinian causalities you cited is false. Specific terrorists who are Hamas terrorists were targeted and Palestinians who harbored these heinous cowards do not reveal the true nature of Israel’s achievement: to rid the Palestinian’s of threats internally as well as threats to Israeli civilians. The Hamas “vanguard” are plain clothed, who will think of nothing of deploying Palestinian children and women while the vanguard remains unseen. At one point Hamas terrorists were taking over the food supply and Israel tried to launch an attack the terrorists. When Israel realized that they could compromise the well being of a substantial Palestinian community, they stopped bombing so as not to deplete the entire amount of food. There is a likelihood the food would have been confiscated by Hamas, specifically for Hamas terrorists had Israel not launched an attack against those killing innocent Israeli citizens and Hamas directing Palestinians who are forced to become Hamas collaborators.

Israel has tried several times to send to the Palestinians outside of Israel medical aid and food and Hamas keeps killing the Israeli drivers, blowing up the Israeli medical aid buses. Israel sends fliers before it bombs so that Palestinians who are known to harbor Hamas and other terrorist groups will leave the area. Israel gives at least 24 hours notification. Hamas is killing Israelis daily without notification. Despite Israel’s promise of a truce, Hamas continued to send rockets into Israel, bombing Israel and trying to hurt Israelis.

Hamas will never be able to destroy a civilization that has created a moral, ethical and spiritual oasis because Israel is in the hearts and minds of the peaceful nation of Israel. I attended a rally a week ago in San Francisco. The Hamas PLO played taped music that blasted over their microphones and loudspeakers. The Israelis had no such equipment; rather, they sang songs in different languages focused on beauty, peace and altruism.

A hysterical pro Palestinian was screaming very racist phrases about Israelis. The Palestinians promoted the image of the brave courageous soldier wearing the headband with the Hams insignia. The irony is that Hamas plain clothed murderers force entry in homes, insisting that children even pose as suicide bombers. When I tried to share with the Palestinians wonderful education afforded to every citizen of Israel, Muslims, Christians and Jews, by just saying only a few words, the pro Hamas, Palestinian continued to scream and swear at me over and over again, “you f’g nazi…” Their swearing and denial is part of the rhetorical machinery that is spoon fed to Palestinian children who watched and listened and learned how to hate. I believe that that the Palestinians should be held accountable for libelous rhetoric in an international court of law.

Israel believes that Muslims, Christians and Jews have a right to live in harmony in Israel, sharing and celebrating together, enlivening the future and happiness of its generations to come. Israel’s expressions of peace resonate throughout the world. Join Israel in building a world where leadership is built on altruism, honesty, trust and courage on this day of international peace. With kind regards, Sally

Once again I am reminded of how ignorant the human race is. The blame for this conflict lies at the feet of both countries. For centuries Israelites and Muslims have been in conflict; both have used God as an excuse to continue there fighting. There is no innocent party here. Innocence was lost when it comes to this conflict many, many, years ago. Until both are able to come to the table with a true desire to live in peace and respect one another dispite there differences; there will be no peace! This is just the way it is. All the "finger pointing" in the world and the laying on of blame will not accomplish anything. Those actions are for children and not for adults; and it is certainly not acceptable for any country to act in such a way. I only pray that one day we will wake up and face the on-coming dawn of a new age with the intellect and understanding that we have achieved in our millennia of evolution. Until then, history is bound to repeat itself; and I only fear that this historic battle of two faiths will continue until they destroy what little humanity they have left.

As a Mexican, not claiming neither a Jewish nor an Arab background, I think it's fairly easy to see that Israel has been the spoiled child turned into a bully. Israel needs to be told "No" a few times so that they can stop invading territory which does not belong to them, and mistreating people as if they were inferior or unwanted. It is that simple, and the arrogant blindness of the people of Israel happens to be more irritating and visibly unfair than the religious naiveness and zeal of the Palestinians.

Stop the rhetoric and come out with the plain honest truth. The reason that America is supporting Israel is because of Hamas rockets and Israels right to defend themselves is BS. This is the not the first time that America has supported Israel. They have supported Israeli aggression against Palestinians even when there was no aggression from the Palestinian side. They have thwarted all hopes of peace between the two sides by their vetoes which have made the Israeli side realize that they have an open field to kill as they please. And made the Palestinians angry, frustrated and resort to violence.
Everybody knows why America is giving unconditional support to the Israelis. It is in the special interest of the Senators and the powerful lobbyists. But the Americans need to ask themselves is it in their and Americas special interest in the long run?

David Ben Gurion - 1st Israeli PM - The Jewish Paradox Pg 121
"If I were an Arab Leader I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal: we have taken their country. It is true that God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our god is not theirs. There has been Anti- Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was their (palestinians) fault ? They see one thing: we have come and stolen their country.WEhy should they accept that?


ARRESTS & HARASSMENTS

DESTROYING HOMES & LIVELIHOODS

G

Israeli sympathizer's have turned a blind eye to the fact that Israeli's are occupiers and Palestinians have every right to fight for their rights. The whole world except the religious fundamentalists know that the Palestinians are being oppressed and humiliated in their own land. It is outrageous that the democracies of the world are overlooking human rights violations and aggression against civilians by other so called secular democracies like Israel and India. What message are they sending to the rest of the world that it is alright to massacre civilians as long as you are a democracy. Bill Moyers is right human beings have a genetic disposition towards violence. From time immemorial strong have killed and suppressed the weak. Christians, Muslims, Jewish, Hindus have massacred each other and it is still going on. The difference these days is that one group is intellectually sophisticated and knows how to disguise violence and wrap it in the venerable flag of democracy. They are strong, powerful and have another strong force working for them or toe the line to their agenda, which is the media. They are doing a great job of turning the other side into a demon.

One commenter asks why not a single secular state instead of a Jewish state and a Palestinian (primarily Muslim) state. Different people may have different perspectives on this, but, for me, the primary reason is that the level of violence and disorder would be far greater in such a cobbled-together country. I know the concept of a single secular-based state works in the United States and Canada, for example, but there are many other places in the world where it does not work so well. Examples would include Lebanon, Cyprus and Sri Lanka. This does not mean that, as peace takes hold and the people of the different communities learn to live with each other, that they cannot eventually draw together into a federation or even a bi-national state. But not now and not in the near future. Peace proposals need to have a realistic prospect of success to be credible. A two-state solution, in which the warring parties are separated by national boundaries could work. I don't believe that the alternative of a single secular state will work, at least not now.

If all the religious people here are men of God why is there so much hate in your words ? You are the ones who perpetuate the problems you wish to eliminate. Your words are hollow.

- Gone are the days of establishing religious state. This is not the 10th century but 21st. The only proper humane thing to do is to have one big happy secular country where everybody lives. I know this not acceptable to you guys.
Can you guys give me a reason why this is not acceptable to you? Don’t give me the shameless pathetic answer that it will destroy the Jewish character of the country.

- Time in not Israel’s side. It’s just a matter of maybe a decade or so when overstretched USA will be forced to withdraw its blind support and then the Israeli dream will slowly but surely perish. A lot of it will be its own doing. All the seeds of animosity and hatred that it is sowing will primarily be the cause its demise.

To "blah blah":

Because the Israeli military attacks killed children and other non-combatants does not mean that they or the Israeli government *intended* to kill civilians.

Hamas and its military^ explicitly state and re-state, *and enact*, their direct intention to target and kill civilian Israelis and, specifically, Jewish civilians. To quote directly from the Hamas Charter and guiding principles:

“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” - Hamas Charter, Preamble

“The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: "O Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.’” - Hamas Charter, Article 7

"Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims." - Hamas Charter, Article 28

"...More steps need to be taken by the Arab and Islamic peoples and Islamic associations throughout the Arab and Islamic world in order to make possible the next round with the Jews....” - Hamas Charter

There is absolutely nothing in the laws or principles of Israel or of the Jewish people that calls for the destruction of Palestinians, Arabs, or Muslims. Furthermore, unlike the Hamas regime, Israel's laws and government allow public dissent; indeed, many Israelis vocally excerise this right in denouncing illegitimate and/or inhumane actions their leaders and/or military may have taken against Arabs of any faith. Again, the same cannot be said of Hamas and its allies and supporters -- people who openly support and advocate what, if they have their way, would be, in effect, nothing short of genocide -- the *intentional* .

^-Note: You may dispute that Hamas' combatants constitue a military, albeit one less equipped than the Israeli one, but what else can one reasonably call a large and highly organized and highly trained force equipped with AK-47s, ground-to-ground missiles, RPGs, anti-tank missiles and other explosives and military equipment, and is backed by a "democraticly elected" political body/movement?

"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it." (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).

"The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. "

"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."

"The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews." (related by al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Moshe,
so based on your intelligent analogy, Israel= the policeman, and the innocent Palestinians the Hostages? So Israel is actually trying to SAVE the Palestinians from the villians Hamas? How heroic!!

By the way, a policeman cannot indiscriminately shoot at the bank robbers at the cost of killing all the hostages. If they did they would be tried by law, and thank God for that!!
C'mon come up with some better rhetoric to defend Israels actions. All I hear over and over here is that "Hamas makes Israel kill the innocent civilians". The truth is Israel kills because it can. Period. No questions asked, with full US support in spirit and kind.

Mr. Moyers:

While you do a fine job of critiquing the Israeli government's/military's onslaught of Gaza, you fail us all by not also applying your considerable intelligence and rhetorical skill (I mean this as a sincere compliment; in the Aristotelian sense of rhetoric) to coming up with a suggestion for Israel regarding how it could and should effectively protect its citizens from potentially (and actually) lethal attack from the likes of Hamas. Unlike some of the people commenting on this site, you have stated your ethical support of Israel's right to exist (presumably as a mostly-Jewish state) and its right and need to defend its borders, people, and society. What is your informed opinion/advice about how Israel (or any other democratic nation-state) can effectively *and* ethically prevent and, when necessary, stop ongoing, physically violent and destructive attacks by people who make no bones about being bent on its obliteration as an political or socio-cultural entity? I ask this question sincerely, respectfully, and not as a challenge to your claims, but as a request for sincere and reasonable suggestions.

Finally, your analogy of the Israel-Gaza conflict with those of the U.S.-Vietnam and/or U.S.-Iraq conflicts, while understandable in some ways, is problematic and deeply flawed in other, important ways. Unlike Israel, the U.S., its citizenry, and its very existence were/are not directly threatened by those in control of either Vietnam not Iraq (G.W. Bush's claims notwithstanding). Neither Vietnam nor Iraq directly border the United States, the people and/or leaders of those nations did not seek to lay claim to U.S. land, economy, or polity. They did not, openly or otherwise, express the wish to impose their religion or style of governing on the U.S. As far as we know, the people of neither nation sought or succeeded in breaching our borders in any way, and certainly not with missiles or armed combatants, and not on countless occassions. while it is true that, like Hamas, the regimes the U.S. fought against in Vietnam and Iraq may have treated their own people in sometimes inhumane ways, as far as we know, neither regime capitalized on their people's sense of injustice by sending its young adults into our population centers with highly lethal bombs strapped to their bodies in order, and in effect, to murder not only our young and old, but also their own. While the North Vietnamese army and Iraqi "insurgents" may have hid themselves and their weapons among their own civilians, thereby violating international human rights laws by further endangering those civilians; and while they may have attempted to massacre U.S. soldiers and mercineries, they were fighting and targeting uniformed soldiers and combatants. And, again, they were not on, or anywhere near, our soil or our civilian population. Those are significant and consequential differences. And although you did note some of Hamas' faults, you would have better served viewers, and the validity of your argument, if you had taken the time to point out the limitations of the analogy you presented. I hope you will make such considerations in the future.

When a bank robber uses a hostage to protect himself & while firing into the crowd a policeman kills the hostage while trying to kill the bank robber, the bank robber is guilty for the death of the hostage, not the policeman who actually fired the bullet. So too Hamas is guilty not only for the death of innocent Israeli civilians but also for the deaths of its own children. I, as all Jews, was brought up to love all human beings. Arabs are indoctrinated as children to hate Jews! There can not be peace until Arabs WILL LOVE THEIR OWN CHILDREN MORE than they hate the Jews! The only way that will happen is when the silent moderate Arabs around the world will start to voice their opinion and challenge the extremists, and start a revolution from within. Till that time, Israel, like that policeman, has an obligation to kill its sworn enemy whose avowed purpose is to murder every Jew it can! Jewish law demands that if someone is trying to kill you, you are to arise & kill him first BEFORE HE KILLS YOU!

Lee,
"but Israel is only targeting Hamas combatants"..wow, looks like I missed something!

I get it, I guess Hamas is an army of little children, thats why they were killed by Israel?
Enjoy the pictures of some these terrorists that were killed by your righhteous country:
http://desertpeace.wordpress.com/2009/01/06/phopto-gallery-of-gazas-martyred-children/

Bill, you get it wrong again. Hamas IS waging war against an entire population, but Israel is only targeting Hamas combatants. Big difference!

James,
sounds like you know the whole situation with Palestine so well. Do you live there? How does it feel like living without basic amenities, being surrounded by walls, caged, having to go through checkpoints every day to go about business and be humiliated by 19yr old soldiers?
Some audacity these Paelstinians have that they dont accept shutting up and accepting their life as it is?? Right??
Sure, it is easy making your statements sitting in the comfort of big brothers protection.

You on the other hand are a good Israeli cybersoldier, keep up the good work. Israel wouldnt survive without the propaganda war from the likes of you.

V.P.
Did you say : " they have nothing to destroy Israel with. They didn't even have the power to put up any resistance"?

Actions speak much louder than words. If Israel is serious about peace then let them act peacefully.

Most here are not defending Hamas...only pointing out that they have nothing to destroy Israel with. They didn't even have the power to put up any resistance. So, their charter is pretty much useless. And, not to mention this dispute has gone on long before Hamas entered the picture... so, to blame them is not realistic given the truths involved.

Why can't Israel go back to the '67 borders and set the Palestinian's free? Why build settlements on their land if you have any recognition that what you are doing is going to cause problems?

Israel has broken the truce...several times, yet..blames Hamas.. of course they aren't angelic..yet, neither does it seem that Israel is infested with "heavenly" leaders.

Perhaps if everyone could switch seats for even a day or two.. then, maybe there would be peace.

When people are looking for food, electricity, shelter, and to bury the dead..I'm sure they don't have time to be "thoughtful" about other people as they are fighting the elements for their lives. There should be a sense of understanding from Israel, but it seems to be lacking.

I watch the life being snuffed out of the Palestinian people I have to say.. I wouldn't treat animals in such a manner for a day, much less year after year after year.

I've known many wonderful Jewish people...yet, when the subject of fairness to the Palestinian people becomes the subject....many can't see the forest for the trees. You can't suppress a people for as many years as the Palestinian people have been suppressed and come out looking like there is any sense of compassion...for your fellow humans.

In the US...our politicians jump however high the Isreal lobby wants them to....
we're tired of the same old replay.. free the palestinian people and learn to get along with others in the world.

It is true for the US as well, if we go around being the earth "bully"...we don't make many friends...it's the same for Isreal and I don't believe it has anything to do with being American or Jewish...it is how people feel about those that are pushing them around.

Hamas (as bad as they "may" be and many say they are) suggested a 20 year truce.. They were elected...why does Israel and the US need to control the rest of the world?
They don't! I believe our new President understands but, will likely give in to Israel if only because they seem to have to have their way on everything or they will bomb, bomb, bomb their way to their own private hell.

V.P.


Mr. Moyers,

While people close to me, and others on this site, feel that your response to viewer feedback is lacking, I found it principled and well-articulated. Although I do think you imply, erroneously, that Israelis intended to "wage war against an entire population," - an intention that Hamas and its supporters actually openly admit to - in general, once again you have proven yourself a man of good-will, reason, and gentle honor. I'm so glad you're still active in broadcasting.

In 2005 the Palestinians are given Gaza, free of any Jews. Do they begin building the state they say they want, constructing schools and roads and hospitals? No. They launch rockets at civilians and dig a 300-yard tunnel under the border to attack Israeli soldiers and bring back a hostage.
Why are they neglecting their own people in order to carry out this neverending warfare against Israelis?

Charles Krauthammer points out.

Before the eyes of the whole world, Israel left Gaza. Every Jew, every soldier, every military installation, every remnant of Israeli occupation was uprooted and taken away. How do the Palestinians respond? What have they done with Gaza, the first Palestinian territory in history to be independent, something neither the Ottomans nor the British nor the Egyptians nor the Jordanians, all of whom ruled Palestinians before the Israelis, ever permitted? On the very day of Israel's final pullout, the Palestinians began firing rockets out of Gaza into Israeli towns on the other side of the border. And remember: those are attacks not on settlers but on civilians in Israel proper, the pre-1967 Israel that the international community recognizes as legitimately part of sovereign Israel, a member state of the U.N. A thousand rockets have fallen since.
Remember this is what the Palestinians have claimed they wanted - control of their own territory and Israeli withdrawl. No Israeli settlers to complain about and their own government. They could have used that opportunity to have governed themselves and proven how they could help their own people.

Hamas is sworn to Israel's destruction. Its charter is nakedly and aggressively anti-Semitic; no fig leaf of "anti-Zionism" there. The closest it has ever come to terms with the Jewish state is the offer of a long-term hudna, on the model of the Prophet's 10-year truce with the tribes of seventh century Arabia. "Anyone who thinks Hamas will change is wrong," said supreme leader Khaled Mashal in 2006. Could he be any clearer?

Two more points:

1) It is important, both in terms of having appropriate sympathy for the plight of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, and in terms of accurately representing Israeli law and society, to understand that Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza are NOT Israeli citizens. As such, it can be said that Israel should not attempt to exert control over them. It also, however, means that it is not reasonable or rational to denounce the fact that they do not have equal rights in, or to, Israel -- they are not Israeli. The people who left Israel for Palestine and want to live in a Palestinian nation-state should be allowed to do so. But they cannot, in all fairness, simultaneously call for unrestricted access to Israel -- whether they mean Israeli land or Israeli politics. (And, it should be noted, since most Palestinians don't seem amenable to Jews or Israelis living in the West Bank or Gaza -- why don't good-hearted folks speak out about Palestinian prejudice and discrimination?)

2) Another comment poster asserted that, for Jews, observing Jewish Israelis physically removing fellow Jews from settlements in the territories stirs up feelings akin to those caused by the Holocaust is completely hyperbolic and untrue. Perhaps that indivdual and a relatively small number of other Jews felt this way, this was not the case for most Jews, and it is wrong and potentially dangerous of that person to claim otherwise. (In fact, quite a number of Jews and Israelis, Jewish and not Jewish, were actually relieved that the Israeli governement was serious enough about withdrawl and peace-making that they were willing, if necessary, to commit troops and police to get those people to do the right thing and move out. If anything, it was wrong of the settlers to have put their fellow Jews in the position of having to endanger themselves and others in order to effect the legitimate policy (of withdrawl) of their democratically-elected, proportionately-representative government.)

Mr.Moyers, I heard your response and I disagree. You are against war, and yet with Hamas there is no alternative to oppose them with force, which is the only way to a future peace. Israel did not target civilians, as shown by the relatively low casualty rate. In fact the statistics from Hamas are probably inflated just as they did in Jenin. Many Hamas fighters wore civilian uniforms, hid among civilians. Hamas is torturing and killing Fatah supporters in Gaza, as they did when they took control of Gaza. Hamas is terrorism and lawlessness, which negates any peaces agreement.

To Mr. Moyers, Journal producers, and posters who doubt Hamas' intentions (kindly persist to the end of this post for an important suggestion): Please read the Hamas Charter (you can find it translated on a Yale University Law School website) that not only aims to literally annihilate "Zionists" (aka Israeli Jews and perhaps also non-Jewish Israelis), but also, specifically, all Jewish people. How can you legitimize a political movement whose overtly stated mission is the total irradication of an entire people? (And to say that Israel seeks the same is not only a complete lie, it is complete falsehood; there is absolutely nothing in Israel's declaration of independence, Basic Laws, civil or crimal laws, or even the most extreme political parties that advocate or state a goal of killing all Palestinians (or any others).

Also, please realize that while some Arab Israelis self-identify as Palestinian, not all do. There are quite a number of Arab Israelis who are proud to call themselves so and do not want to live under Palestinian (secular or Muslim) rule.

And it is a misunderstanding of the facts to think that because Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza have suffered since '48 or '67, that Israeli citizens who happen to be Arab have been denied equal rights under Israeli law. While many Israeli Arabs have encountered social and economic disadvantage, often as a result of discrimination, the same still may be said of many ethnic and religious groups in the U.S., but that does not totally negate the fact that the U.S. is a functional democracy whose laws grant (or seek to grant) equal rights to all its adult citizens, and the majority of whose people believe in and strive for granting such equal standing to their fellow citizens. Same is, in fact, true of Israel and the majority of Israelis.

This is not an apologia for what happens in war or for actual wrong-doing by the Israeli government or some individual Israelis (Jewish and otherwise). It is, however, a statement of fact.

Finally, if you still feel compelled to decry Israel's continued existence as a state guided, in part, by better aspects of Jewish custom and as a refuge for Jewish people (beyond the central religious significance for Jews), then at least have the integrity to speak out and act with at least equal vigor to prevent and stop anti-semitism and Judeophobia. Bill Moyers' disappointing and dangerous assertion that there is something about violence that is genetically encoded for Jews or that the Jewish people pursue/perpetrate genetically-based aggression is this very type of anti-semitic/Judeophobic behavior, whether it was inadvertant or not. I am relieved that he issued some sort of correction, but think he, and we, should name his words for what they were and for their impact: Judeophobic, inflamatory, and false. And any self-respecting and ethical Moyers' fan (and the man himself) should be able to own-up to this and do more than just "explain" it away (i.e., perhaps have a show that addresses and counters the increasing, and increasingly dangerous, incidence of anti-semitic acts and Judeophobic attitudes in Europe, Arabia, parts of East-Asia, etc.). Then, perhaps, we can all move on to more reasonably address wrongs and rights in Western Asia.

The last post"Nobody Is Suffering More ..." was NOT posted by me.

James,
If you check my posts, I did Refer to Israel dealing with terrorists.
Just like we did in Iraq;
The Israelis did not delineate between local civilians and terrorists. Fighting terrorism needs to be just like local police action. You have to fight terrorism just like fighting crime; not destroying whole populations including innocent people.
I feel bad for the Jewish population in Israel but For their own good they need to establish a Palestinian territory and state so that they can live in peace with their neighbors.
I have been to Israel and it was my impression that the palestinians were treated badly and did all of Israel's sub servant jobs.
There needs to be equity and justice throughout the Middle East. A third world war as described in revelations will be a disaster for all nations.

Dear Bill, To agree or disagree with your POV, that's everyone's right. To engage in ad hominem attack (and, boy, have you been personally savaged) is a cheap and illegitimate substitute for engagement and debate. You're a public asset and treasure - and, obviously people are certainly moved by your words, language, and point of view. Keep up your incredibly important work!

I wrote you last week much disturbed by your comments on Gaza-Israeli conflict and the biblically tinted language used, as I saw it, to brand Jews as the perpetrator of genetic violence. Your disavowal of meaning what you said sounds ingenuous.
Where is your journalistic savvy? Your political views are valid, as are the Israelis. As a Jew, I was sickened by the violence as I have been by what we have created in Iraq. Nonetheless, your words were inflammatory, not what we need to bring sanity to an insane world. Nor do I see an apology for using anti-semitic rhetoric. As someone who has been a fan of yours since Newsday, I am deeply disappointed. I think you need a good editor.
Karen Schulte

It seems a little vacuous, sitting here fat, dumb, and happy, and I should add, in relative safety, as we try to determine moral equivalence.

All I can come up with is that everyone thinks he is in the right.

When I think proudly of our rule of law and tend to get a little too smug, I pull the rug out from under myself by remembering the story by Bret Harte, "Princess Bob and Her Friends."

Then I try to look only ahead.

I'm totally sickened by many of the pro-Israel responses here. Violence begets violence..that is the theme which Israel should take heed.

Israel seems to blame their problems on anyone within their sphere...perhaps they should look in the mirror..if they could stand the view. Murder is murder....truth is truth.... all humans are created equally....and, should be treated with respect.

The world has been watching, lies and bribes should no longer hide the truth.

The ways of the Bush regime are now history and are not acceptable anywhere. Let Israel find in the "heart" understanding for Palestinian wish for freedom..that they seek for themselves.

Let them imagine themselves in the throws of the Palestinian's plight. Let them imagine reversing the roles and sitting on cinder blocks homeless mourning their dead instead of inside their homes.
Yet, apparently "they" can't...they liken running to their bomb shelters equal to being blown to smithereens..

Can they imagine starving for food, for their freedom? No, I think not!

Can they imagine being a prisoner.....where they have to beg for supplies to exist?
I doubt it...

It should be obvious to those that claim they're fighting because Hamas doesn't want Israel to exist... Hamas doesn't have any fire power to carry out such a threat...did any pro-Israel supporter notice that?

Does Israel want support from around the world or not? Why snub your nose at and give the finger to the UN by bombing their facilities? Why use dangerous bombs made for human destruction supreme?

You're losing support in the world...it shouldn't take long for governments to follow the voice of their people.. As our mother use to say....when you point the finger at someone....there are 4 pointed back at YOU...

If you want peace, then give the Palestinian's their freedom...treat them like you'd like to be treated. Certainly, we in the US learned that the blood on our hands in Iraq gave us a bad name and gives rise to even more terrorism. This latest invasion of Gaza has promoted what Israel claims to hate...as in any dispute everyone should look at their own behavior..as it was not in any fashion displaying the desire for peace.

Thanks to Bill Moyers for getting part of the truth out about this conflict to us "sheltered" from the truth Americans.

It's a new era..Israel will need to find its way back into the civililized world. As we American's have done, finally electing a moral and sane President. I hope for Israel the same...if not, I pray that we discontinue support for their war and murder. Everyone's life is precious..

V.P.





Because of their faith, Hamas foot soldiers believe Allah will welcome them to Paradise if they are killed by Israel in what they see as their defense of Islam. The Hamas terrorists' extremism goes much further. It would be one thing if they were willing to sacrifice their own lives for their beliefs, but they also are prepared to jeopardize the lives of others as well. That is why they have no reticence about using their fellow Palestinians as shields. If Israel is dissuaded from attacking for fear of killing innocents, Hamas can continue to terrorize Israelis with impunity. If Israel does attack, Hamas will use the death of any noncombatants for propaganda purposes and to rally support.

America and Americans please wake up for posterity. Americans would not want to be reviled as Israels poodle all around the globe. This nation has been built on the principles of freedom, free speech and liberty. Let us help the humankind to achieve these lofty goals by becoming just and setting aside petty interests and religious affiliations. American people have the power to usher in change and a new era by standing up to the principles of freedom and liberty. They have the power to let there elected representatives know that they are in office because of them and for them not for vested interest groups. It is imperative to understand that America can only be secure safe and its citizens can enjoy prosperity only if it becomes a harbinger of just and fair leadership in the world.

From now on I will turn off PBS whenever Moyers comes on.

Posted by: Robert


Wow, if you were to observe anything over the last 8 years, it should've been about the silent majority not speaking out against human rights abuses all across the middle east committed by our congress and executive administration all the while preventing free speech in an almost Nazi fashion.

If you can't stand Moyers there's still one channel you can get your rhetoric from it's called Fox News.

From now on I will turn off PBS whenever Moyers comes on.

From now on I will turn off PBS whenever Moyers comes on.



Israel and Hamas: No Moral Equivalency
By Kfir Orgad
Israel and Hamas have been engaged in a war for the past three weeks. While the news and other media outlets consistently refer to this as a “cycle of violence”, no moral equivalency exists between the actions of Hamas and those of Israel.

Hamas is an organization that is deeply committed to the removal of the state of Israel. It’s charter states that its ultimate goal is the driving of the Jewish people from the land. In Israel, on the other hand, even the most right wing of all politicians such as Benjamin Netanyahu have called for a two-state solution and recognized the peoples right to exist. Even in rhetoric, Hamas members will often refer to Israelis as “Zionists” so as to not give any legitimacy to the state of Israel while even hard-line Israelis always refer to Palestinians as a people. Historically, there has never been a Palestinian state so Israelis would be more justified in calling the inhabitants of the west bank and the gaza strip “Egyptians” or “Jordanians” but they afford them decency that is never returned to them. On the Palestinian side, you have a society that glorifies suicide bombers and encourages kids to follow suit. Streets are named after them and images of them cloud the streets of the Palestinian side. On the Israeli side, you have children idolizing great military leaders that eventually gave them peace and hope such as Menachem Begin that signed a peace accord with Egypt and Yitzchak Rabin that brought the Oslo process into full force. In Israel, you have Arab members of Parliament that actually voice support for the end of the state in the Israeli parliament unlike in any Arab society where Jews are not given any voice or any legitimacy. In Israel, you have human rights groups like B’Tselem and Shalom Achshav (Peace Now) that fight to assure that the Palestinian people are treated with respect while on the Palestinian side, people are hung for display for even showing the Jews any kind of sympathy. It truly is a tale of two societies. One wants to live in peace, while the other worships militarism, colonial advancement, and pride.

As the situation exists, the Gaza strip was completely void of an Israeli presence until this recent incursion. Israel unilaterally left Gaza in 2005 to see if the Palestinians can actually move towards a peaceful society that wants peace. The Israeli government had to go into the settlements and forcibly remove the Jewish citizens that lived there. The images of Jews being removed from their homes, by other Jews nonetheless, is the most horrific thought for the Jewish psyche to grasp and is on par with images of the Holocaust. Israel did this for peace. They were in turn met with an election of an organization committed to their destruction. They were met with weapons smuggling. They were met with kidnappings. They were met with nearly 8600 rockets flying into Israel on a daily basis completely destroying any sense of normalcy for nearly 1 million resident of the Israeli southern region. Even with the military operation to stop these rockets, Hamas is still throwing out heavy rhetoric that it will not stop the firing of rockets and will continue their campaign of terror.

Israel is a small nation and has lots of enemies. Like any government, it has to be tough in the eyes of terror. Giving Hamas any sense of a psychological victory will bring about a world of hell to the Israeli society more than has been suffered until this point just as the withdrawal by Israeli forces from Lebanon in 2000 encouraged Hezbollah to become more bold. Israel can not let its citizens live in a blanket of fear where rockets could fall on them at any point during the day. This is simply a matter of uncompromising terrorists fighting a nation of compromising counter-terrorists. Israel wants peace, but Hamas has made its position very clear and that position is that they will never want peace. This situation has no moral equivalency and is not a “cycle of violence”. It is simple right and wrong. Israel is right. Hamas is wrong.

Regarding the comment of David Eddy:

It is clear that you have not lived in any of the towns in Israel that had been under siege until the completion of the current battles, like Sderot. Israeli residential construction requires the presence of a bomb shelter for each apartment and commercial structure. For two year (or eight years, depending upon how you count) people had to be within 15 seconds of a bomb shelter, whether at work or being wakened from sleep at night. Parents begged for help from the government. They could not allow their children to play alone outside.

Why is it, David Eddy, that we do not hear the words "war crime" from you with regard to the actions of Hamas. Targeting civilians is a war crime, you know. If Hamas was call "A" and Israel "B", no reasonable court in the world would fail to prosecute and convict "A" for capital war crimes. Hamas, not so much!

""by killing indiscriminately the elderly, kids, entire families, by destroying schools and hospitals" Israel "spilled the blood that turns the wheel of retribution."


I am truly surprised that the holy humanitarian Moyers accepts Hamas' understanding of life and its value. Why has Mr. Moyers not suggested that the Palestinian victims of Israel begin face-to-face support groups to comfort each other? Why has he not suggested that the well-heeled who lost relatives start memorial funds to help others? Why has he not suggested the compilation of victims in a memorial publication to explain the particular value of each of the victims or the accomplishments parents were hoping to see? Most important, why has he not asked Hamas to re-evaluate the positions it openly holds as stated in its charter and the pronouncements of its leaders - the death of Israel and its Jews?

I know why! He accepts the Western understanding of Hamas. The man is petrified with fear that he will receive not letters of protest, carefully reasoned, but daintily decorated packages of explosives. He too views Hamas as not very advanced in terms of catholic values regarding the sanctity of life. And with good reason now that the press is reporting the vengeance Hamas is taking of Fatah men who may have actually fought along side of them. He criticizes Israel because there is little downside to it. He steers clear of Hamas, because those in that organization believe what they say and act upon it in their primitive search for vengeance and justification.

to Dave,
No innocent Palestinians would be in any danger if the Palestinian Authority took steps to stop terrorism or if the international community, especially the Arab world, had pressured Hamas to stop attacking Israel.

No innocent Palestinians would be in danger if Hamas terrorists did not deliberately hide among them. If the peace-seeking Palestinians prevented the terrorists from living in their midst, Israel would have no reason to come to their neighborhoods.

It is a tragedy whenever innocent lives are lost, and Israelis have consistently expressed their sadness over Arab casualties. By contrast, when innocent Israelis are murdered by terrorists, Hamas holds rallies to celebrate the murders

Mr Moyers

i admire your courage for speaking against the massacre of innocent civilians and children, all in the name of self defense and liberty.

I believe it is important for America and Americans to introspect and re-evaluate their unconditional support to Israel, which is responsible for dehumanization and immense suffering of millions of people in the middle east and beyond..

It is immoral that America "The city on the hill" beacon of democracy, justice, and liberty to be actively backing the aggressor.
For the sake of America and global peace,I would request you to stay the course and continue to raise uncomfortable questions.
We owe it to our children and to the idea called America.


For shame James,
Why would you support such an obvious overkill by Israel? Killing innocent woman and children did nothing to solve their problem. All they accomplished was to create more hate and discontent.
It seems to me that the ten commandments were meant for the Jews. They are in direct opposition to the will of God.
May God have mercy on their hardened souls.
Dave

Funny, isn’t it, that Moyers would say that about the Jews not the other side of the Gaza conflict who routinely kill Journalists, film makers and other superior beings.It is amazing that Jews still donate to PBS (Palestinian Broadcasting System).

Mr. Moyers,

Thank you for speaking the truth. It has been an act of valor from your end to speak against Israeli aggression. We are all aware how biased and partial the US media has become and only journalist with the highest ethics can come up with equitable solutions and fair arguments. I think you have done a great service to this country by trying to start a dialogue about this perilous conflict and make Americans consider how unconditional support to Israel is against US interests. It is absurd how a certain group has become so powerful and arrogant in this country that it does not tolerate criticism against human rights violations. Is it not an infringement of the first amendment.

It is time Mr. Moyers was deconstructed. As that fool Jew Freud noted, there are no slips of the tongue without meaning. If Mr. Moyers was taken aback by the virulence of the objections to his violent Jewish DNA comment and the need to recant, he truly needs some time on the couch. Let us speculate for a moment for the benefit of Mr. Moyers so that he can look deep within himself.

1) Perhaps he is afraid of the violence that is so easily expressed by Israel's Muslim opponents. He may wish to deflect it from himself.

2) He may have left within him a pinch of unconscious memory of hearing the Jews blamed for the death of Jesus.

3) He may have taken literally the analogy of "different lenses" thus negating the need to reason and weigh one proposition against another.

4) He may be aging and becoming irritable in general and thus in need of hunting for a reason, a target, for his internal upset.

5) He may have taken the limited principle of "always root for the underdog" seriously and needs a means of thus expressing that deeply held view when discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conundrum.

6) He may not be able to hold two conflicting ideas in his head to compare them. This is particularly evident in his statement that "Israel has a right to defend itself," but needs condemnation for its attempts "when innocent civilians die." Good faith efforts on the part of Israel to do just that aside, how does Mr. Moyers suggest that Israel defend itself other than the manner in which it did so? He suggests nothing but moral disgust. Thank God he is not responsible for the consequences of his pronouncements.

Article 51 of the United Nations Charter reserves to every nation the right to engage in self-defense against armed attacks. As Professor Alan Dershowitz has also noted, "The claim that Israel has violated the principle of proportionality -- by killing more Hamas terrorists than the number of Israeli civilians killed by Hamas rockets -- is absurd. First, there is no legal equivalence between the deliberate killing of innocent civilians and the deliberate killings of Hamas combatants. Under the laws of war, any number of combatants can be killed to prevent the killing of even one innocent civilian. Second, proportionality is not measured by the number of civilians actually killed, but rather by the risk posed. What would the USA do if terrorists fired thousands of rockets targeting U.S. cities? After 9/11, we saw that America took the same type of action as Israel by launching military strikes against the terrorists.

Bill your assertions are outrageous. Israel has not “waged war on the entire population” of the Gaza Strip of 1.5 million people; it has waged war on Hamas and its terrorist infrastructure.
In fact, Israel has sought to avoid harming civilians in its efforts to bring an end to Hamas’ rocket attacks against Israel. It has dropped leaflets, made phone calls and sent text messages to hundreds of thousands of people living near military targets in the Gaza Strip, while Hamas has launched mortars in close proximity to school yards and in one instance booby-trapped a school with explosives (placing the detonator in a nearby zoo) in blatant disregard of its own potential civilian casualties.
Hamas has also placed many of its weapons and ammunition stores in civilian installations, including mosques, which when attacked, generate secondary explosions that kill people nearby. Under international law, the presence of civilians near a legitimate military target does not render the target immune from attacks.

to Lynn.
30,000 Palestinian casualties....where did you get the #s from? AlJazeera?

Hello Mr. Moyers,
I truly believe that you touched upon a subject that will NEVER do justice to either side. You are like the husband who complains to his friend about his wife. If the friend sides with the husbands and agrees that the wife is a piece of sh.t, well, should the couple get back together, you will be left as the bad guy, and will loose your friendship with both husband and the wife.
Learn from the moral of this story and the best thing you could do for yourself is to stay away from conflicts that will make you the looser.

Israeli's are worse than Nazi's. And American jews that back them as documented Jan. 10th by Max Blumenthal on Alternet, show a truly sadistic and disgusting mindset of the American zio-nazi backers who call for the genocide of all Palestinians. I keep hearing how Hamas is the one who threatens all jews but during tse past 3 weeks, I have heard dozens of rabbi's call for "wiping out all of Gaza and the Palestinians" , not Hamas.

And with the other tired and false excuse about the road flares that Israeli's call "rocket attacks"....Only 8 Israeli's have died from "rocket attacks" since 2001. During the same period there have been 30,000 Palestinian casualties. Now add another 1400 and counting. More than half of them women and children.

The bottom line is that jews have set up dozens of political action committees in the US, thanks to the 6 billion the US gives Israel annually, to blackmail all of congress. Jews own all of the media so we do not get the truth about the genocide that is happening.
See www.ifAmericansOnlyKnew.org for the truth.

Hi Bill,
I think that it might be a good time for your show to explore the Israeli-Palestinian problem in depth; perhaps a discussion with Robert Fisk, Noam Chomsky, or Rashid Khalidi on the one side and Norman Podheretz, Dennis Ross or Alan Dershowitz on the other. The subject of AIPAC's influence on US foreign policy, media & government might also be a great program; possible guests could include Dershowitz, Norman Finklestein, & Tony Judt.

Bill Moyers is fool.
I will never again watch his show.

thank you, for your honest reporting.

Well I am a young person (21) who may not understand the background of this issue but protecting your people is one thing and overkill no pun intended is another. Israel's right to defend is fine but only 13 of their people have died since the rocket-fire began,yet the Palestinian death toll is 1200 mostly women and children. Whats right is right whats wrong is wrong

Thanks Bill, You truly are the BEST!!! Please don't let the pro-Israel propagandists bother you, they don't understand your helping them also in the long run.

Well, Moyers nailed it again. You can tell what lens people are looking at the truth with by some of the comments they use to attack the messenger with.

Mr. Moyers: Your words give great comfort to those who hate Israel and expect of Israel to absorb attacks with little retribution in a manner that no other country on earth ever was asked to act. You support Israel only if it its week. You like the Jews as victims. But Israel will prevail and it will make tough and responsible sacrifices for real peace. The encoding with violence DNA assertion is a blatant anti-semitic comment which did nothing to add to your argument other than to inflame and incite. Pathetic indeed.

Bill -

Once again, congratulations for a thoughtful and studied approach to Journalism.

Your response to the feedback from Readers on the Gaza story only reinforced that.

I also suffer the problem of being rational and not polarized on these topics. Suffering the wrath of my peers who have chosen to ignore at least half of the problem for the sake of simplicity or the comfort of resolution.

I can be against Hamas' attacks and threats to "wipe Israel off the face of the map" and still be against the way that Israel treats the Palestinians and most acutely, the innocents in Gaza.

Stay the course, many of us depend on you for giving voice to a much more thoughtful approach to such deeply difficult problems as these.

This is ridiculous the amounts of pro-Israeli vitriol on this website. After watching Israel commit war crimes for the past 8 years of the 2nd intifada, I suspect all the pro-zionazi comments are caused by Israel's new Odigo-type messenger service, Megaphone, that sends texts and emails lists of websites where any US media outlet is providing an honest assessment of what is really happening in Gaza. It is Israel that is banning all international media. It is Israel that has been caught in dozens of lies. It is Israel that spends billions of dollars on dozens of jewish organizations in the USA whose sole purpose is propaganda. And to tell you the truth, Mr. Moyers report was way too tame. It's completely ridiculous that it would illicit so many hate-filled comments.

And to the people commenting that 'Bill Moyers doesn't know what he's talking about'... I beg to differ. It was Bill Moyers that was the press secretary during Lyndon Johnson's administration and the Israeli attack on the defenseless US Navy ship, the USS Liberty. The Liberty was an intelligence ship equipped with radar, not weapons. The Israeli's viciously attacked the ship for 90 minutes from both sea and air. They even machine gunned the lifeboats when US sailors were trying to exit the ship. So the idea that Moyer's isn't intimately knowledgeable to the Israeli atrocities and policies is complete hogwash.
Here we are, 42 years later, and the most neglected of all U.S. war heroes in history are still trying to get the truth out and be recognized. Why don't you, Mr. Moyers, interview the remaining survivors and give us a first hand account of what Johnson told you to say about covering it up back in 1967? Do it quick because the USS Liberty captain just died last year. He was one of dozens of survivors that still attended annual meetings to honor the 200 casualties that withstood 2 hours of non-stop machine gunning and torpedoes. Then no one can argue with you and give you their twisted and dishonest excuses for this current Gaza holocaust that exactly resembles the Warsaw Ghetto and the way nazis treated jews. My god, 1 million have died and 5 million are displaced! Not to mention this has lasted 10 times longer than the nazi's persecution.

In 8 years, only 7 Israeli's have been killed. This is the truth. Go to ifAmericansOnlyKnewDOTorg and see for yourselves.

As for the Israeli's and the neo-con zionists honesty? You could do an hour show on just the lies they told during this Gaza siege and the 2006 Lebanon War.

There's a story I want you to read that destroys the excuse Israeli's use to "defend" against these road flares they call rockets.

"Nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people," -Barack Obama March 2007. Well fortunately that was the last time he said anything like that and now he is the President. It sure would have been a lot easier if he had not mistakenly uttered those words. I look forward to the day when there is no "100% unconditional support for Israel" test for the Presidency. The mere mention of anything resembling fair treatment of the Palestinians or objective analysis of the situation in the Middle East by a US figure or organization is an act that historically will end or cripple the messenger. Thank you Bill for both your courage to deliver this point of view and to stand by it when attacked and called names. Only the most diversely respected organizations or persons can go out on this limb. National Geographic a few years ago received a record number of letters protesting their article on the history of the area, fortunately they too stood by their work. 60 Minutes ONCE questioned the actions of Israel etc... The ADL now labels Bill Moyers an anti-Semite, a euphemism in America for those questioning the white racist 'democratic' state of Israel. Let's be clear, America was a democracy 100 years ago, but only for whites, just like Israel today. There is no ethical, moral or historical justification for the US to unconditionally support this VERY un-America like country. Let's hope this new President can deprecate the racist ADL/AIPAC/Hillary block and force a fair and equitable solution for all the people of Israel and Palestine, indeed for all the people of the world.

Dear Bill Moyers,

In televised interviews with Palestinians captured during this war they described how Hamas militia (out of uniform) would fire a few rounds at a patrol or a mortar or rocket into Israel from population centers, UNWRA schools and hospitals. They would then immediately flee the scene, in the full knowledge that Israel would attack the source of fire and injure innocent civilians. As the wags say: For Hamas, the only thing better than a dead Israeli Soldier is two dead Palestinian children.

Contrast that with Israel's declared intent to attack only Hamas and not the Palestinian people, and to focus the attack upon Hamas' means of weapons production and supply.

Israel went to enormous lengths during the war to avoid civilian casualties, deflecting guided munitions when terrorists sought sanctuary amongst civilians, and using phone-calls to warn inhabitants of buildings before they were bombed to destroy subterranean factories and weapon stores.

The innocent deaths are deplorable, especially the dead children, may they rest in peace. However, every Palestinian who appears to be under the age of 18 is declared to be a "child, murdered indiscriminately by vicious Israeli soldiers", irrespective of whether he was firing weapons at Israelis when he was shot!

The fabricated stories of deliberate mass murder should be exposed for what they are - lies, just like Muhammad Al Dura, just like Jenin, just like Kfar Kana. Please be a little more discerning than Charles Enderlin when you report lies as fact.

Aside from provoking anger, hostility and despair on both sides (Palestinian, Israeli and others) what has Bill Moyers accomplished?

Are you, Bill Moyers, capable of coming up with positive and constructive suggestions for resolving these issues intelligently and peacefully? And why didn't you?+

When you look at the pictures of a father holding his dead child, and and a man sobbing at all the corpses in his family, or a son holding his dying mother, look into their eyes: their whole being has been ripped with excruciating pain, their souls are filled with screams that only they could hear, there is anguish flowing like hot lava in their veins. They are the most anguished walking dead you will ever see. Why does it then surprise you that these vessels of agony can be used by radicals to blow themselves up in a vain attempt at ignorant vengeance. And we are responsible for creating them when we condone Israel for doing this to them. Offer a healthy happy man with loving kids and family, 720 virgins if he blows himself up..you fill find no takers. Its not heaven these people seek, it is escape from hell that we have created for them. We must dare to look at ourselves and have the courage to find our responsibility in this. Mr. Bill Moyers is right.."Sometimes a candid critic is a country's best friend". Thank you Mr. Moyers. You symbolize the integrity and patriotism of our country! And my special thanks to Lorna Bosnos.You bring honor to your religion and may God bless you for it.

Hello Bill,
Do not worry about Israel's apologists.
They are desperate. They tried with Jimmy Carter, Richard Falk, Norman Finkelstein,
Georges Soros, Pat Buchanan, Desmond Tutu and even Wolfowitz was booed a few years ago.

Adam

We all thought the issue of environmentally acquired traits had been settled. Then Bill mentioned combatants "genetically coded for God-soaked violence." He later explained that he believes all humanity is burdened with a propensity for violence. I disagree with that assumption, having been convinced by an anthropological education that humanity has a greater natural propensity for co-operation. Religion is only one excuse for the violence imposed upon us in a capitalist nightmare of scarcity and terror. The need for social control by a hoarding minority necessitates the cruelest deterrence (as in 1730s slave majority South Carolina). (These statements alone could initiate several lengthy blogs, but let me further complicate the premise.)

People do inherit propensities and susceptibilities from their genetic ancestors. The traits may not be reflected in the genes but in a memory of protein synthesis or some other projection or mechanism still not fully understood. (This was discussed several months back in a PBS program on public health.)Longitudinal studies have now been conducted upon succeeding generations that show grandparents' material conditions have an impact on the health of offspring, especially grandchildren. For instance, if grandparents experienced starvation as children, their grandchildren might inherit a tendency to obesity. The human body and mind are so wondrously complex and plastic that we never know what we may discover. Therefore, it is doubly unfortunate when writers mix metaphors of medical science with history or religion, never thinking how close or far they may be from a parallel truth.

Not all the people in Israel are Holocaust survivors and descendants, and I would hesitate making any statement about the hidden effects of persecution upon the present day policies of Israel. What I can say without doubt is that we exist in a violence permeated world that I do not see as a normal hospitable habitat for any human being. Out own country, the USA, bristles with unnecessary violence inside and out and sets global violence parity through channels as diverse as our military and our media. Even if the majority of the population in the Middle East oppose it, the policies of the US elite impose violence on them as assuredly as crack was imposed on our suffering American inner cities in the 1980s. The people haven't chosen these policies any more than they are able to choose a better health care delivery system. The majority are materially and mentally captive to the interests of wealth extractors, people and corporations without rational limits, powers holding the purse strings and controlling access to the basics of life. Democratic government is a useless veneer if it cannot moderate the material reality. Our President Obama is about to realize this at the late age of 47. (He bought his colonized mind at Big Columbia Superstore and Harvard-Mart.) The societal pyramid, the hierarchy, has been impervious up until now. Let's hope it is not a natural phenomenon the mass of humanity can't abandon and overcome.

Let me congratulate all minority and oppressed people who embrace peace and non-violence. You have transcended your experience (genetic and otherwise). You have demonstrated another possibility. It is the obligation of the rest of us to follow you and share your burdens. That is why a faint and silly day of service on MLK Day, resonates as partial truth. We Shall Overcome, and it has to be soon, considering what has befallen us.

So, we Jews are “genetically coded” since the days of Moses to commit acts of “God soaked violence”? Mr. Moyers, you have it all backwards. Especially, since you favor a literal interpretation of the Bible in the same way that fundamentalist Christians read the Bible. But, you really don’t know Jews or their ‘judeo-encephalon’ and that is too bad because your literal reading made you say things on January 9 that are evidence of this lack of understanding. When my grandfather was a boy in Poland in the 1890s, he was regularly beaten up, cursed, had stones thrown at him, and accused of being a Christ-killer. He later emigrated to the U.S. and raised a family. He would often say: “Why don’t they just leave us alone?” So, do you really want to know what comprises our psychical genetic code: the wish to just be left alone. Of course, that did not happen for at least the 1500 years of Christian civilization prior to Vatican II. Even now, “gentically coded” antisemitism is deeply embedded in the psychical DNA of many Christians who, every Easter, read the Gospel account of the Crucifixion. But, lets get back to the “genetically coded God-soaked violence” that you found in the Bible. Unlike many Muslims, who could not care less that civilians might be killed during a war against Jews, infidels, or Crusaders, most Israelis would have wished that civilians in Gaza did not become victims. So, then, where were the neighboring Arab countries with offers to evacuate women, children, and the elderly? Where was the U.N. or the Red Cross? Why didn’t Egypt open up the border for such an evacuation? Israel is not entirely blameless but when it is dealing with an enemy that fires rockets and mortars within the midst of the civilian population, then it is dealing with an enemy that doesn’t care about its own families. That is what happens when you believe in Paradise. Everyone should be willing to be martyred even though the children and mothers of Gaza didn’t really have a chance to vote on their martyrdom. Just like my granfather, Israel just wanted to be left alone. But, that won’t happen in a world that believes that the only people eligible for victimhood are Muslims and that the Jews have carried out a policy of “state terrorism” and perpetrated a Holocaust and, therefore, are no better than the Nazis.

THANK YOU Mr. Moyers for debuting Keith Carradine's amazing song, "Born Again American" on your show. It is one of those "anthemic", sure to be iconic songs I have heard, only to sit back & wish I could have written it myself. How fantastic for Mr. Lear's "Declare Yourself" organization to have such a songwriter lend voice to their efforts. I was so inspired by the song, I went to the "Declare Yourself" website. It's a wonderful place where citizens like myself can proactively participate in the political process. I also found something very interesting I think your viewers might enjoy. A link (you have to really look for it. For some reason they don't make it easily accessible.) to Keith Carradine, signing his original version of the song, "Born Again American." I say "original" because there is a very important lyrical difference in his version that does not appear in the "Declare Yourself" video. Mr. Carradine sings, "My Bible is The Bill of Rights." Which is far more inclusive than the line used in the "Declare Yourself" video, "My Bible AND The Bill of Rights". As a Muslim American, my "Bible" is the Koran. Not a Bible at all. That said, I was so thrilled with the message that I let this one little bug-abo go. I would, if I may, like to encourage your readers to check out Mr. Carradine's "Born Again American" in it's initial form.
www.remixamerica.org/videos/born-again-american-keith-s-version

I found this interesting link:
www.rys2sense.com.
Is this true?

THANKS!THANK U Mr. Moyers!

Although it took 60 years, the people have come to understand the truthg, the true reason of this violance in middle east

When it comes time for Israel to indiscriminately kill women and children it is time to stop war. After 60 years, and countless deaths on both "sides", it's clear this approach does not work. I withdraw my support for Israel.

The below expresses my own feelings; I couldn't have said it any better.

I have been a long time fan of Bill Moyers and an admirer of your work in many areas
-- including the Genesis series in which my wife participated. For this very reason, I was deeply dismayed to read an excerpt of the transcript of your comments on the Gaza war on the Friday night Journal program. I believe that you made a serious moral misjudgment on the invasion and then compounded your error with two applications that are beyond the pale -- even more so for someone of your stature and judgment.

1. You acknowledge Israel's right to defend its people but then allege that Israel's decision to invade Gaza constitutes "waging war on an entire population." You allege that "by killing indiscriminately the elderly, kids, entire families, by destroying schools and hospitals" Israel "spilled the blood that turns the wheel of retribution." You ignore that Israel has bombed only Hamas military posts, command headquarters and points of origin of Hamas fire -- and does so with pinpoint accuracy. You ignore that the UN school shelling was a return of enemy fire from that school or a shell that went astray in an exchange of fire with Hamas shooters stationed nearby. Israel has not fired on hospitals or schools deliberately -- though Hamas locates headquarters, war supplies and rocket launchers in such places. You ignore the New York Times report (1/11/09) that Hamas tells civilian Palestinians to go up on the roofs of homes where their fighters are located because it knows
Israel will not fire when its soldiers or planes see civilians. By leaving out these facts, you shore up the false equation which underlies your whole text: Israel striking back with military force as a last resort at a group pledged to its destruction -- and which has backed up that pledge by years of terror attacks, suicide bombers, and rocket showers -- is equivalent to Israel consciously targeting civilians and casually initiating these attacks, which is then morally equated to Hamas' deliberate terrorism, targeting civilians primarily. Hamas' strategy for destroying Israel incorporates the expectation that inevitable misjudgments and accidents in the course of fighting will evoke the kind of one sided outbursts such as yours which undermine Israel's world standing. I, too, feel great pain and sympathy at the enormous suffering and losses of innocent Palestinians, but it is Hamas that has
deliberately put them in harm's way, not Israel as your words imply.

2. Equally distressing is your use of the phrase '[Israel] spilled the blood that turns the wheel of retribution". Had you used the word revenge, you would have made your point that Israel's attacks inflame Hamas and others, a cause of grave concern to Israelis and to all who seek and love peace. But the word 'retribution' really means this: justified punishment for bad behavior. That tone of justification -- terror [justifiably] evokes terror -- is all over your next paragraph which subtly suggests that assaults on Jews in Europe are the to-be-expected outgrowth of Israel's attacks and not the excuse used by anti-Semites to continue attacks they have been carrying on for years.

3. Most disturbing of all: You describe Gaza "as the latest battle in the oldest family quarrel on record" -- as if modern day Israel was motivated not by self-defense but by the Biblical account of Isaac conflicting with Ishmael; as if Israelis are following the ancient Israelite' "leaders [who] urged violence against its inhabitants;" as if Israelis are following Deuteronomy's instruction to wipe out idolatry. Does Israel smash the religious places of the Palestinians? There is not a political figure in
Israel -- not even a marginalized extremist -- who invokes Deuteronomy as a
motivation or justification for behavior toward Palestinians. You ignore that more than two millennia have passed since Judaism, in its rabbinic development, declared that these Deuteronomic laws applied only to idol worshippers in those previous millennia; that Islam has been treated with great respect by Judaism and specifically honored as a monotheistic religion, never equated with idolatry; that in the Talmud it is ruled that the seven nations referred to in Deuteronomy's injunction to "wipe out their name from that place" no longer exist, and that these instructions may not be applied to
any other nation. In short, perhaps out of ignorance, you besmirch Judaism as a blood thirsty religion -- using selected texts that have long been nullified. With your words, you strengthen the hands of contemporary haters who seek to portray Judaism and Jews as blood thirsty murderers -- this, in order to legitimate their unspeakable desire to actually wipe Israel and Jews off the face of the earth.

4. This brings me to your climactic disturbing comment. You follow the Deuteronomy quote with the following statement. "So God-soaked violence became genetically coded." What that means in plain language is: that Jews are genetically coded to be violent and totally wipe out their opponents. Do you believe that?; that [all] Jews are genetically coded to violence, to assault civilian populations? I cannot believe that you believe that. Then you are all the more guilty, out of anger, of willfully degrading a whole people and lending your eloquent voice and stature for the cruel mission of those who seek the destruction of my people. You may try to claim that your next sentence states: "A radical stream of Islam now seeks to obliterate Israel from the face of the earth" to argue that you were not speaking just about Jews. But in the context of the previous and ensuing paragraphs which are all about Israel's violence, you tear off that fig leaf. It comes out all Israel, all the time. You have made a shocking departure from the minimum standards of responsibility in your words -- and all in the name of speaking up for victims. I plead with you to rescue your moral standing and your record of working to improve the world . Reflect on your loss of balance. Restore your credibility. As part of your reparation, you certainly should apologize for labeling Jews as genetically encoded for violence. Yours truly, Irving Greenberg >>

Dear Mr. Moyers,
I am writing to applaud you for your stand on the recent conflict in Gaza. To see and call the Israeli actions as they should be called – aggression and state terrorism. While the rest of the US corporate media including some of your colleagues on PBS were lining up to be part of the Israeli propaganda machine and to allow the Israeli agents to regurgitate the taking points, you as always had the courage to stand up for fairness and justice.
Many American apologists for the state of Israel would tell you that the Israeli actions were in response to Hamas firing rockets at Israel. What they would not mention is the blockade and siege that has turned Gaza into the largest prison in the world. One could also argue that the Hamas actions were in response to the blockade and siege of Gaza by Israel. They blame the victim for his her misery. During the last six months of truce between Hamas and Israel, not a single rocket was fired at Israel while the state of Israel conducted numerous incursions inside Gaza during the truce that resulted in the killing of 57 people. The fact of the matter is that the state of Israel under the protection of the United States feels and acts as if it is above the law.
There is no doubt in my mind that it is not the madras’s in Pakistan that is producing terrorist ready to kill American citizens. It is time and time again the indiscriminate killing of women and children by the state of Israel with our baking that is earning us more enemies. We provide the state of Israel billions of dollars of aid, the latest military hardware, unlimited use of our veto power in the Security Council, and what do we get in return for our generality and so called friendship – more terrorists. Every time an American flag is burned alongside an Israeli flag, it is not for actions of the United States of America, but for the state of Israel.
It is high time for all peace loving people including Jews to stand up and say that the hateful ideology of Hamas is unacceptable and so is the naked aggression and murder of the apartheid state of ISRAEL.
Kindest Regards,

Michael Rizzo

It is sad to see how a respected journalist of Mr. Moyers' caliber get slandered because he dares to speak his mind. I don't necessarily agree with everything Mr. Moyers has said; but it is important that his viewpoint is heard.

Those who are trying to silence him by name-calling and intimidation are not doing a service to their course. Just as the Israeli government did not enhance its credibility by prohibiting international journalists from getting into Gaza during the conflict. Why would they do that if they have nothing to hide?

Criticism of Israel is not Anti-Semitism.

Jewish people should reject the racist ideology of Zionism, and embrace the idea that all human beings deserve to live in freedom and dignity.

Israel will never become safe by killing children by the thousands and making life intolerable for millions. Just in 23 days Israel has killed over 400 innocent Gazan children. How many Israeli children dead? None. Not a single one.

Bill Moyers is an honorable and courageous person. I commend him for standing up against the racist bullies of the pro-Israel propagandists.

You have abandoned any shred of objectivity in your blind anti-Israeli and anti-semitic comments. No wonder you are increasingly irrelevant and your show is destined to dust and obscurity. Unfortunately, you are dragging PBS right down the abyss with you. I hope Hamas can fill the gap in contributions since you are now their spokesperson.

Dear Mr. Moyers,

You decry Israel's actions vis-a-vis Hamas but you propose no long-term solutions. What should the Israelis do? Should they submit to Hamas rockets with an air of submission and self-flagellation? Should they disband the state of Israel and submit to Palestinian rule? Should all of the Jews there convert to Islam as the Qur'an demands?

Israel and the PLO began a peace process more than ten years ago. Hamas and Hezbollah turned their backs on it and vowed to continue fighting to destroy Israel. Do you have a proposal for getting that peace process back on track?

Please tell us what you think the Israelis should do?

Thank you, Bill Moyers, for your courageous, thoughtful and humane comments on the Gaza invasion. Your moral integrity and intellectual clarity are always refreshing, but never more evident than when regarding controversial topics such as this. Please follow up with a report on the results of allegations of Israeli war crimes. I'm afraid no one else in US media has the courage to touch it.

The comment below was written in anger and probably too hastily posted. Upon reviewing what I wrote, I realized it sounds more harsh than I intended.

Bill probably doesn't realize the bigotry of what he has said, which makes it all the more dangerous. Because bigotry, like war, is in fact not "genetically coded" I hope Bill will come to realize his error just as I hope for a resolution in the Middle East.

Hey Bill,

What is your religion genetically encoded for? 500 years of racism and bigotry?

Hopefully not, and all of it can then just die with you.

Best,
Dan

It appears the Jewish Nation, is not a Humanitarian Nation.
Tom Blank

To Tom Nehrer who posted his comment January 19, 2008 at 2:46 p.m.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

And all of that is why I love my family of four legged creatures - no power struggles, no egos, no retribution -- just love, love, love.

Considering the Israeli-Palestinian problem in conventional terms averts the deeply seeded issues at the root of the age-old problem. As I look at your essay and the many energetic comments it has elicited, I see only regard for surface issues, never the deeper, penetrating look at the underlying mentality that creates, ongoing, the conflict and struggle that taint all relations in the troubled Middle East.

As individuals, we each engage a world of events and relationships that unfolds for us daily. But our interpretation of what's happening – and what causes it – is based on a set of internal definitions and beliefs, principally absorbed during childhood. Our hopes and fears are based on cultural values and traditional notions we were indoctrinated into, each in an early, naïve portion of our lifetimes.

At the root of Middle East problems is the propensity of the mind to interpret life’s encounters through its belief structure: beliefs and definitions, whatever they may be, if held as true, seem to be valid.

In that patch of real estate, fought over for millennia by Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Phoenicians, Parthians, Romans, Greeks, and on and on, evolving into other divisions in modern times, untold generations of people have grown up immersed in rabid belief systems. Individuals who learn from early childhood archaic notions of a mythical god (who is great, wonderful and exclusively accessible by one’s own people via ancient ritual and conformation to specialized dogma) invariably perceive that god to be real. They entertain fear, calculate rational actions and generally conduct their lives based on their convictions of that god, with whatever defined characteristics, plans, dictates, requirements, etc.

That situation would be bad enough: that god, whatever his name, whatever his attributed power and agenda, doesn’t exist. Thousands of gods have been concocted by mankind over the ages, all of which existed only in the primitive mindset of people that believed in them. People suffer great misery trying to appease a god’s desires (as stated typically by a priesthood that benefits eternally from their status as divine interpreters) and follow hallowed dictates as stated in cryptic, typically ancient texts. Innate to that process and their fallacious ideas, they reproduce ever again impotence over their own destiny by having projected creative power out onto a concept – a non-existent power source, that conceptualized god.

But the problem intensifies when one’s neighbor’s god is named differently and regarded with a different set of archaic rituals. They then, those infidel/heathen neighbors – even with virtually identical genetic strains – become inherent blasphemers, unable to be tolerated by beliefs and definitions that prejudge the others as inherently, unavoidably bad.

There will never be peace in the Middle East until humans there outgrow their archaic religions. The world can debate who the aggressor is, negotiate boundaries, point fingers at violence mongers, echo eternal catch phrases and fund supplies of ever more deadly weapons, but there will be no peace among people whose mindset is laced with internal conflict as embodied in a world view that features a conceptualized god. Because really peaceful people who are born there either die or get out, and because most people there are indelibly indoctrinated to their primitive religion, there will never be peace there until the warring, tribal-minded occupants of the region kill each other off.

My point is that the operative functional government of a region reflects the mindset of its people – their fears and hatred, their self-doubt and powerlessness as well as hope and aspiration. Until inner fear, hopelessness and self-deprecation are eliminated, they will be woven into the attitudes of the people and intrinsically reflected in their interaction.

If you want to establish peace in the Middle East, get rid of religion. To fantasize that there could ever be a peaceful, lasting arrangement between parties that maintain inherently conflictual mindsets is to hope that a lemon will be a peach if only negotiation can be completed.

Let us not forget, Christianity created anti-semitism. They massacred Jews wellinto the middle of the20th century.Let us lot forget who is the underdog. A tiny nation whose crime it is to exist in the midst of the muslim world that hates Jews, and wouls love to slaughter every man , woman, and child in Israel...while the europeans and goody two shoes anti-semites like Carter and Moyers applaud. They think they are so moral.

Maybe if I were Palestinian or Israeli, I would have a better understanding of the ongoing violence and destruction. Maybe if I lived in Gaza City, or near the Gaza border in Isreal. But I don't. I hope (and pray) for peace everywhere. Especially in the middle east, and for Isreal and Gaza. What will it take for peace to happen? The Isrealis and Palestinians (and Hamas) must sit down, and have protracted talks to continue (however long it takes) until a universally acceptable set of compromises is reached that all parties can live with. Until that happens, there will be no long-lasting peace between them. Do I have any suggestions? Not really...I think the only possible suggestions which may have a chance of working must come from the affected parties. Period. I just hope that peace comes sooner, rather than later.

I recall using the U.N. as justification for all sorts of actions taken by the U.S..
So where is the justification for using our tax dollars to aid any nation whose actions have been condemned by that same organization?

I had been a regular fan of your programs, but I have been disillusioned by your comments. You are very naive and may not be aware of the facts. I suggest that you take a look at this video made by a Palestinian, it may give you a better understanding.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_OGhj43GAE

Mr. Moyers,

Thank you for your objectiveness, insight and courage in reporting and commenting on the Israeli attack on the people in Gaza (under the lame excuse that Israel is threatened by Hamas' military power). Israel, with the help of the US (I am an American), has become an extremely destabilizing force in the world. The US needs to shut off aid and weapons sales to Israel immediately.

Dear Mr. Moyers:
I have been a huge fan of yours for many years and your TV
show is one of very few I make a special effort to watch. Your reporting, your guests, the quality of the topics you choose and the information imparted is exceptional
EXCEPT
when the topic is Israel. It is difficult to understand that a man of your intelligence can equate events in Vietnam with those in Israel and Gaza. I don't remember Vietnam shelling the U.S.or threatening to shove us off the planet. I too sympathize with the Gazans who are purposely put int harms way and who are mere pawns of Iran and Syria in their endeavors to foment unrest in the Middle East at the expense of the Palestinians...and you fall right into their trap.
To think that Jews take pleasure in continuous warfare is a huge misunderstanding of the culture and I ask only that you look deep into your heart and your background to understand why you are so clear on other subjects but so muddled on topics concerning Israel and the jews. You owe it to us and to yourself.
Many thanks,
Doris Weisberg

To follow your reasoning, had Israel existed in the 1930’s and 1940’s it would have been reprehensible for them to bomb the millions of “innocent” Germans, with the deeply held belief and desire to destroy all Jews. Yet, that is precisely what the Allies did.

In your criticism of Israel you select the wars in Viet Nam and Iraq to defend your view regarding the killing of “innocents” or attacking a whole people, with deeply held beliefs. Interestingly you chose not to reference WW II, Afghanistan or the likely response by America to a nuclear attack. We had no problem killing innocents in Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki or attacking a whole people, with deeply held beliefs. We, the British (Dresden – 35,000 dead civilians) and the Soviets killed tens of thousands of German civilians. If attacked by N. Korea, Iran or in the past the Soviets, we would have had no problem responding with far more powerful nuclear weapons, with the resulting deaths of not hundreds as have died in Gaza, but millions.

Instead you chose wars you oppose and that have scarred and clouded your vision. You even neglected to include Afghanistan as that war, with casualties on American soil, was initiated by the Taliban and Al Qaeda, based in that country.

If you are attacked by a whole people, particularly those with a deeply held belief towards your destruction, a government has the moral responsibility to hold all those responsible. We held all Germans and Japanese responsible. Why can Israel not hold all Gazans responsible for the actions of Hamas, which was freely elected and is widely supported?

Perhaps in your selection of wars and criticism of Israel lies a deeper held belief. For the safety of the Moyers’ family anything goes, but for the safety of the Israeli family, you get to decide the limits. Would you have supported an outsider imposing “tough love” on America and stop WW II or call a time out? Or would you have told them to mind their own business. If you don’t suffer the consequences of your views then you must allow the Israelis the same rights and privileges of deciding their future as you would demand for your own rights and privileges.

GOLDA MEYER ONCE SAID, WHEN ARABS LOVE THEIR CHILDREN MORE THEN THEY HATE JEWS, THEN THERE WILL BE PEACE & THEY WILL NOT BE SACRIFICED. THOSE POOR ARABS IN GAZA STOLE IT FROM EGYPT. THEY ALSO STOLE THE WEST BANK FROM ISRAEL. THEY ARE SQUATERS. THROWN OUT OF JORDAN, SAUDIA ARABIA & LEBANON. WHY DOESN'T THESE COUNTRIES TAKE THEM BACK. THE ANSWER IS, THEY ARE TROUBLE MAKERS. I GUESS YOU CAN KILL JEWS BUT YOU BETTER NOT KILL 1 ARAB. THE U.S. GIVES MORE MONEY TO ARABIC COUNTRIES THEN IT GIVES TO ISRAEL. AT LEAST ISRAEL SPENDS IT IN THE U.S. ANTISEMITES PRETEND TO BELIEVE IN JESUS, I WONDER WHETHER JESUS THE JEW WILL SAVE THEM. ARABS,INVENTED TERRORISM. SINCE THEY BOW TO MECA, WE SHOULD BOW TO THEM OR TO THEIR OIL WELLS. LETS NOT TURN OUR BACK ON OUR ENEMIES.

Mr. Moyers, you seem to have attracted some abusive posters. Is it possibly time to consider having a method to report and delete abusive posts and posters?

Bill,
Whatever small bit of wisdom you once possesed has gone by the boards in your extended dotage.

You have become Jimmy Carter in thought and word. Just another racist bigot in world full of foul people. Another apologist/propagandist for the murderers who would love nothing more than to remove your head on video tape.

Peace.

Mr. Moyers,
I thank you for being one of the few reporters that has told the truth about the plight of the people in Gaza.

I'm ashamed that our representatives in DC allow unconditional support for Israel no matter what their actions. We should remove all US financial and war equipment for Israel until such a time that they've shown their willingness to allow the Palistinian people to have their freedom.

We in the US wonder why "terrorists" target our country, but it isn't surprising considering how we've lacked the ability to see any side of this situation except for Israel's... Their warring actions will only cause more 9-11's.. Perhaps it might be good for us to look in the mirror and ask why. Why can we be mostly silent about the slaughter of innocents in Gaza. Why were we mostly silent about the slaughter of innocents in Iraq.

Sadly, only when we review our foreign policy and take into consideration human reaction to wholesale slaughter..will we finally see that killing and agreeing to people being killed provokes more killing.
That reasoning never will resolve the problems of the US or the world.

Strangely, so many in the US and elsewhere either forgot or didn't learn the "golden rule."

Do unto others....what you would have them do unto you.

I pray Bill Moyers will continue to speak up and report the truth. Even many "liberal" sources fail to report accurately on this crisis.

Shame on the blood we have on our hands and those that have put it there. This isn't about being anti anything except anti-foolish. As warmongering goes...people can always find reasons to war. Can they also find reasons to commit peace?

Becca

It makes me very sad to see that by pushing its own citizens into the way of death and destructions the Palestinians can control the American media into failing to present an objective picture or the overall 100+ year long arc of this Middle Eastern crisis, and it's radical Islamic sources.

Since before WWII and before Israel existed minority groups needed refuge from radical Islamic abuse and intolerance. We do not hear about the Armenian genocide. We do not hear about the Jews expelled from Muslims lands before WWII of the loyalties of these countries during WWII. We are not given the big picture when confronted with Palestinians civilians pushed into the way of Israeli defense. We are not given news, we are not given the whole story.

Since 1970 there have been airline hijacking, the 1972 Olympic athlete's murders, widening global terrorist acts, almost all by Islamic extremists backing an Islamic vision that it is impossible for the West to coexist with if they understood it fully.

We cannot allow this most important of global issues to be depicted in a way that does not lead to some rational and fact based interpretation of history that helps people understand the world and solve the problem. Enabling the cycle of violence to continue by not presenting the whole picture is hurtful to all sides of this issue.

Mr Moyers,

I agree with your conclusions and I am so happy we have both you and PBS to deliver honesty journalism.

Thank you again,
Michael

Inside Hoops,
What is wrong with Anti-Semitic if they are killing innocent people that have nothing to do with missiles. The Israelis are dealing with terrorists not general population. We made the same mistake. Why repeat it?
Dave

Has Moyers forgotten how the US responded to end WWII in Japan? What's wrong with eliminating a repitious threat to one's homeland in a decisive manner...

It is because of honest journalism such as yours, Mr Moyers, that my husband and I support PBS and are members/send in contributions.

Thank you for being one of the few brave journalists in America who have dared to touch upon a subject that has been declared off limits in this country....which is a real tragedy given that the recent slaughter in Palestine has taken place with American money and diplomatic support (3 billion dollars a year for 10 years to Israel, at a time the US can ill afford this). And, for what? To further radicalize Muslim populations and make the US unsafe when such populations, whose children and parents have been slaughtered, make it their life's mission to hate the US and take revenge on it.

Thank you for the rare bit of honesty regarding the war crimes committed by Israel in Gaza against the Palestinian citizens. How Israel reminds me of Nazi Germany. Torturing Palestinians is a blood sport. Those that support Israel's policies do so with the torture and displacement and/or extermination (whichever occurs first)of Palestinans as the end goal. The land. It's all about the land. Interesting that those in support of Israel are so, so much like Hitler himself in their thinking and goals. Palestinians are, after all, according to many Jews, only animals compared to those with money and nuclear weapons. Israel is now, in my opinion, a Nazi regime, and should be treated accordingly.

Thank you, Bill Moyers, for being one of the few US journalists who has had the courage to even begin to look honestly at the situation in the middle east. And, predictably, you've got slammed for doing so. This shameful censorship by the Israel lobby that is leading the US into more and more danger has to end.

The question is not: "what would we do if Canada shot missiles over the border at us...would we not attack them and defend our families?" No, the question is: "what would we do if Canada took our land and homes, wiped out any historical evidence that they exisited and forced us to live in a ghetto cut off to the outside world...would we sit meekly by and have our destiny dictated to us by Canada?"

Exactly.

What else could Israel do? Simple. Allow the Palestinians to bring to the conference table the fact that the Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war have the right to return to Israel, the fact that the Israeli settlements in the West Band are illegal, the fact that the wall being built by Israel on West Bank land is illegal, the fact that the Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem are illegal, and the fact that the collective punishment of 1.5 million Palestinian Gazans by Israel is illegal. All these issues have already been decided upon by the World Court in the Hague. Common human decency requires that Israel acknowledge these facts at the negotiating table. Instead, Israel, backed by the US, has required negotiations without acknowledgement of these facts – effectively spitting in the face of the Palestinians and expelling itself from the world civilized community. The U.S. should set the format of the negotiations, so that these and all other pertinent facts be recognized in the negotiations. Why is this the solution? Because doing so would provide the Palestinians with a very important alternative to violence. Very simple indeed.

Your response video posted on this page was good and reasonable. Though, none of Israel's critics seem to be able to offer an actual answer to the question as to what Israel should do, other than military action, as thousands of rockets fly into their country.

I can without bias see the relevant truths in Bill's commentary. I don't have religion. I do not watch the propaganda that passes for news.

My criticism would be that instead of focusing on mythological issues which only fan the flame of irrationality; instead, you should focus on the death of language and lack of real news.

Jews conflate their race, their religion, and a nation in many ways... some intentionally and some from ignorance (Ignorance is only shameful if you want it.)

From gay civil unions being confused with marriage to criticism of the Iraq war being confused with the troops by illustrating the common thread between these different issues will possibly educate viewers trapped in any of those issues.

A single word sabotage fruitful discussion because its so easily underestimated. "The devil is in the details" so to speak.

I loved 'The Power of Myth' and wish that you would do something similar on the power language. Introducing people to the concepts behind so much rhetoric without getting academic on the philosophy 101 logic. Perhaps framed around the concepts presented by Orwell as opposed to using current issues has the foundation (instead current issues are given as an example.)

Hey Bill, it's untrue, absurd, and anti-semitic to claim that Jews are "genetically coded for violence." If you can't see that, you should retire.

I applaud the courage of Bill Moyers to speak out against acts of violence that result in the loss of human life. From the different arguments i have read on the blog, the message is the same: the only solution against the aggressor is death and destruction, and the unfortunate sacrifice of the innocent.
When well informed and educated individuals assert "the right to defend oneself" do they mean at all costs? And is it true that violence is the only defense of oneself? If the goal is to put a stop to Hamas aggression, can we find an example of Israel / Middle East violent conflicts that resulted in peace?
If individuals here on the blog argue that Israel is a "beacon of hope" or a country that offers safe haven to refuges, or have implemented "humanitarian methods" to prevent civilian casualties, shouldn't we hold people of good conscience to a higher standard?
To support the war against Gaza is to set aside pity and outrage for the death of a child or a parent or a sibling, whether on the west or east border of the Gaza wall. The children of Israel and the children of Palestine, are children. Are more dead children a resolution?
As the bloggers chastise Mr. Moyers and assert that "it is simple..." the simplicity is in the sayings violence begets violence. The complexity is as Bill Moyers has pointed out, the myriad of lenses in which we see the world creates a kaleidoscope of perspectives and challenges our acceptance to the possibility and hope of a non-violent resolution.

Immigration: There is legal immigration and there is illegal immigration. Your sentiment concerning this issue reveals that you may have overlooked this clear distinction. If you honor the law, any law, you must consider and include the laws of immigration as well. People who break the law are not to be rewarded, but to be disciplined, yes? They are not to be allowed to bring more with them and to continue to break a law, yes? Why isn't this clear to you and to others in politics? If a law is broken, there are consequences to pay. Allowing people to come here to the US is not the problem; it's how they come to the US. Legal aliens vs illegal aliens. In fairness to all people, we must apply the immigration laws to all people. In protecting the great number of illegal alien Mexicans who cross our borders without being processed legally sends a mixed message to others who would consider relocating here. We are not supporting law-abiding behavior when we allow illegal immigration to happen before our eyes, and do nothing about it.
there is nothing paranoid about this position, rather this position makes the point that there is a distinct difference between what is legal and what is illegal, and it is as simple as that.
I love your show and your guests are very engaging and intelligent. I am a fan, and yet you really caught me off guard on this one! I am surprised that you are not more clear thinking about this situation.

Bill,

Thank you for your show on the violence in the Gaza. I am so very upset at Israel use of force in response to Hama's missle attacks and their disregard of the UN Security decision to halt attack. How has two wrongs ever made it right!! Our world has become a place where illogical behavor is accepted as the norm!! Please add my voice to others to demand a stop to the killing of innocent people!

Poor Norman Lear, the idea of a "born again American" sounds creepy, some sort of slimy pseudo-religion. Keith Carradine's song is even worse. How trite and boring this deprecating country ballad sounds to musically educated ears. Folk music, the Blues and Jazz are our linca franca, not the synthesized tripe of the corporate machine.

I recall Carradine's one hit, "I'm Easy" from the movie "Nashville." This Altman film belittled the crudy celebrity hit factory and the shallow lives it produced. Carradine's character teased his sexual conquests as narcissistically obsessed. "I'm easy, I'm easy. Call my name and I'll come running, all set to play your game, 'cause i'm easy." Henry Gibson's character reprises the lyrics in an even more debauched manner.

Carradine's anthem for Lear's wrongheaded campaign echoes the same selfish motive portrayed in Altman's Nashville. We've been down this road before, and we got lost in the woods. Lear has to realize that each citizen has their own political GPS these days and does not need his well-worn service station folding map of social progress. (It may also indicate that Moyers' tires are getting pretty slick.) The grassroots elected Obama, and they are poised to reject him if he compromises too much.

Mr Moyers: Guess what country in the Middle East is being overwhelmed by people seeking political asylum and safety from current genocidal attacks? (Hadassah Magazine, January 2009.) Israel! Are you surprised? Darfurians,
Eritreans, and Ethiopians are crossing the desert on foot and desperately escaping confinement in Egypt (where Sudanese officials have been allowed to torture their fleeing citizens.) These people are Christians and Muslims. But they know where to go if their lives are in danger. Despite Israel being the target of Islamofascist rockets, and European calumny, it still is seen as a haven from racial and religious prejudice and a beacon of hope. It is still the only democracy in the region, and a country that values saving human lives above all. Thus, the IDF warns Gazan civilians via cell phone calls and leafleting to flee targeted areas. Israel, unlike Hamas, does not target civilians. This operation was a long time coming and the people of Sderot have withstood daily rocket attacks throughout the so-called "ceasefire". In a real ceasefire, both sides cease.

Bill, I agree with the reader who posted that you have not offered a solution; only a criticism. What is Israel to do? What are Palestians to do? The issues are highly complex, yet your solution seems inadequately simplistic. Your solution does not seem to properly consider all of the issues: (1) religiously based ideology, (2) wealth and property, (3) ego, politics and posturing, (4) ethnicity and prejudice, (5) historical depth and complexity....it goes on. We cannot simply blame Israel or the Palestinians. We are all to blame, because in my mind, the entire international community is feckless for not placing the West Bank and Gaza under some type of "real" government, more than international law, whatever that means. Haven't the Palestinians lost the opportunity to govern in the region because of their failure to recognize Israel? Seems to me the Palestinians have been given ample opportunity and ample time to adjust their attitude. And certainly Israel has no right to claim control in the region. It is time to consider other options, here is one possible solution, thinking outside the box: Create a new country governed by new law, not Israeli, not Lebanese, but laws that represents all of the people in these territories. I know it will be hard, but can it be any harder than the past 60 years of the status quo? It happened in other regions, why not there? The powers that exist have failed to reach a workable solution. There are surely smarter people than me out there working on this problem, let's get some new ideas out there, not just criticism. Let's get on with it.

man-made religion up in smoke:

HOWBEIT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME,
TEACHING FOR DOCTRINES
THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN. Mark 7:7

www.Familyradio.com

http://pablo33319.home.comcast.net

Biblical Calendar of the History of the world as related to God's Salvation Plan

11,013BC -2011 AD

Bill, I agree with the reader who posted that you have not offered a solution; only a criticism. What is Israel to do? What are Palestians to do? The issues are highly complex, including (1) religiously based ideology, (2) wealth and property, (3) ego, politics and posturing, (4) ethnicity and prejudice, (5) historical depth and complexity....it goes on. We cannot simply blame Israel or the Palestinians. We are all to blame, because in my mind, the entire international community is feckless for not placing the West Bank and Gaza under some type of "real" government, more than international law, whatever that means. Haven't the Palestinians lost the opportunity to govern in the region because of their failure to recognize Israel? Seems to me the Palestinians have been given ample opportunity and ample time to adjust their attitude. And certainly Israel has no right to claim control in the region. It is time to consider other options, here is one possible solution, thinking outside the box: Create a new country governed by new law, not Israeli, not Lebanese, but laws that represents all of the people in these territories. I know it will be hard, but can it be any harder than the past 60 years of the status quo? It happened in other regions, why not there? The powers that exist have failed to reach a workable solution. There are surely smarter people than me out there working on this problem, let's get some new ideas out there. Let's get on with it.

Israel draws comfort from Barack Obama's words, "If rockets were falling where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything in order to stop that." Would his calculation be any different if he thought that the places where little Israeli girls sleep today were once slept in by little Palestinian girls--until they and their fathers and mothers and brothers were told to get out of their homes in Sderot, Ashkelon and Beersheva or they would be killed by the new occupants.

I find your followup to your video essay somewhat reassuring, although you were disingenuous when quoting from Goldberg's article,leaving out his very next sentence. So I would still like to respond to your earlier comments.

As a psychologist, I find the polarization of opinion on some subjects to be quite fascinating; As a human being, it is all I can do not to despair. In your original essay you went so far as to tell viewers not only what they should read, but that they should ignore "the pundits." This comes perilously close to advocating obscurantism in the name of one's beliefs. I don't have to point out the irony of this under the circumstances. Nor is it really like you given your practice of interviewing those with viewpoints different from your own.

The blood of innocent Palestinians is indeed crying out. Trying to offer a reasoned case about any sort of justification can only seeem glib in the face of all that death and all that blood, but the alternative, not to have reasoned conversation on the matter, is even worse.

I have often heard you speak of the mideast conflict as being religious in nature. Currently, at least, this is all too true on the Arab side (it certainly didn't use to be so), but it distorts the internal situation in Israel. The religious community there is quite a bit more diverse than in the Moslem world, or perhaps it looks that way because there is much more opportunity to safely speak up with dissenting views. Much of the religious community is non-Zionist, and in some cases is even anti-Zionist. The segment of the Orthodox community that promotes the settler movement is significant, and as you know, the majority of Israelis don't support them. But when it comes to the overall struggle in the Mideast, religion has very little to do with it for most Israelis. The bulk of the politicians there are probably less religious than those in the US. They are hardly fundamentalists. To represent Israel as a whole as taking the Bible as their deed to the land is simply untrue, unfair, and counterproductive to dealing with the problems.

While it is true that Israel is (in the main, at least) interested in targeting militants and not civilians, while Hamas is very much interested in targeting civilians, this defense is hollow in the face of the discrepancy in the number of civilian casualties. Thus, although the percentage of civilians killed is less than has happened in Iraq or many other places, the large numbers in such a short time take on greater importance.

But it is completely unrealistic (even if morally valid--and I think that question is more complicated than you seem to) to expect Israel to do much different than they do. Hamas and others generally want (as you note) to sabotage peace and to create radicals on the other side. Thus, for instance, the Palestinians, following the assassination of Rabin, began a terror campaign that they knew would undermine Perez, and bring the Likud back into power. Israelis, being made up of real people, have the real-people dynamic of contagion of rage (cycle of violence); being a democracy, this means that Hamas' actions will tend to cause voters to move to the extreme (just as many of Israel's actions do with the Palestinians). If the government did not respond in the way they have, then Likud would most likely be elected (they of course still may be), and surely you recognize that a response by them would if anything be more violent and destructive.

If we grant for the sake of argument that Israel is morally completely in the wrong, I would still point out that the onus most logically still has to rest on the Gazans for the simple fact that they are less powerful (NB: if there is one major flaw in liberalism, it is the automatic tendency to favor the side with less power over that with greater--this is not a reliable way of determining right and wrong, though the heuristic is still very helpful). In the name of righteousness, a weaker side will put themselves in harm's way. I understand suicidality if one feels total despair: Thus the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. But the tragedy is that the Palestinian situation is not hopeless. Had Arafat been able to accept Oslo, imagine how vastly different the life of the Gazans would be. I am not requiring that one believe Oslo was fair or just if one doesn't believe that. But how much harm do people do to themselves by insisting on an ideal of justice that is not realizable (not least of all because good people cannot even agree on what ideal justice is)?

For all the mistakes and even wrongs commited by Israel, they have always had a much larger component of compromise and coexistence than the Arabs have. Arabs have not been told by mainstream Israelis that their states are illegitimate and should be eradicated. Even if the Hamas point-of-view (that Israel should eventually be eliminated) were morally correct, it leads to unpragmatic policies and much much suffering.

Imagine the impact were a Palestinian Ghandi or MLK to arise. That, by the way, is one of the greatest (if rarely spoken aloud because of it seeming so unlikely) fears of the Israeli right

I often complain bitterly about Israel's own self-destructive tactics. But it is precisely because the damage they suffer is less than the Palestinians that the Israeli motive for breaking the cycle of violence is less. That is human psychology.

Goldberg is right about not being able to negotiate with Hamas. There are those on the right in Israel who believe all the Palestinians are like that. A horrible irony is that Kadima, in not believing this, wants to peel away Palestian support from Hamas (or at least Palestian Hamas from Damascan Hams). The belief you and almost all those criticizing Israel have is that Israel's military actions will only lead to the reverse, i.e. to further radicalizing the Palestinians. I am very much afraid you are right. But I am not sure you are right, for psychosociological reasons I won't get into here. This letter is already far too long, but in my frustration and sadness, I only have words. Please keep conversation going.

Mr. Moyers,if you are ever in Columbus, OH, I would very much enjoy having you as a dinner guest for exactly that purpose.

--Marc G. Schramm, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist

I have read all these blogs with great interest and, having read some other web blog sites, the most revealing and contrasting thing about these is what they reflect about Bill Moyers. With no exceptions the comments are all very respectful and with only a few exceptions they are all well thought out and indicative of being well informed people.
The Bill Moyers audience, in terms of sophistication and mental balance is way above what other blogs indicate other audiences are. All to your credit, Bill, and keep up the good work.

Mr. Moyers,

Have you ever interviewed Arundhati Roy?

Here is a film using her words juxtaposed with images and music. It is called, appropriately "We":

http://www.weroy.org/watch.shtml

We is a fast-paced 64 minute documentary that covers the world politics of power, war, corporations, deception and exploitation.

It visualizes the words of Arundhati Roy, specifically her famous Come September speech, where she spoke on such things as the war on terror, corporate globalization, justice and the growing civil unrest.

It's witty, moving, alarming and quite a lesson in modern history.

Mr. Moyers, are you familiar with the King James Bible where the Old Testament reveals David (he became King David)and his troubles with king Saul? Are you familiar with God sending his chosen people to battle a much larger army & they were victorious; later to undertake a war "they" decided was right and they lost?

What happens to God's chosen people when they disobey? If they give away that which God gave them, they will pay a heavy price.

What is your advice to God's chosen people?

The question is not: "what would we do if Canada shot missiles over the border at us...would we not attack them and defend our families?" No, the question is: "what would we do if Canada took our land and homes, wiped out any historical evidence that they exisited and forced us to live in a ghetto cut off to the outside world...would we sit meekly by and have our destiny dictated to us by Canada?"
I think the Israeli Professor Ilan Pappe (Exeter University) offers us useful history in order to understand the conflict: Part I:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2378048083114640496&ei=LJhlSanAEJyyrQL6_ozhDg&hl=en

Part II:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1045070103971656266&hl=en

Part III:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9069594734659501057&hl=en

Part IV:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3343805094273077232&hl=en

When you have time, the acclaimed movie (winner of many awards including
Best Documentary): Occupation 101:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2451908450811690589&ei=waxlSb7SHI6cqALgzqndBw&q=occupation+101&hl=en&dur=3

This dispute has no sollution. It is exactly the same as two dogs fighting over one bone. What irritates me is that the United States continualy gets itself embroiled in this war. Some of my jewish aquaintences act as though Isreal were the 51st state. To me Isreal and Palestine are no more important than Luxenburg, or Sri Lanka. They are other countries, and we should not be so tied up in their dispute. Our defense of Isreal in all things has caused the United States much pain. George Washinton in his farewell address warned against such entanglements.

The Blitz of London in 1940 did not break-the-will of the British people, nor did the bombing of Dresden, Hamburg, Berlin or Tokyo for that matter.

The results of this type of total-war and around-the-clock bombing during WWII were far more ambiguous then many realized at the time.

Some historians say the real purpose was to provoke the Luftwaffe to come up and engage in a war of attrition over the skies of Germany, (so there was no effectively no Luftwaffe remaining to oppose the D-Day landings). Whether this was the recognized by the Allies from the beginning (of the bombing campaign) may still be a subject of debate.

But I digress…

All sides are (and will) pay a heavy price for what appear to be crude home-made amateur rockets launched from Gaza.

Violence begets violence.

In the case of Gaza their may be an actual military response by Israel to Gaza rockets that no one is discussing that minimizes civilian casualties, while giving all side time for solutions.

I invite everyone to step away from their entrenched views and understand WLS on these links:

Here is how (all) these systems basically work:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZxQ-RJu_DU


Modern surface to air missiles systems that can (intercept these crude, high trajectory rockets) combined with weapon locator system that can automatically locate rockets launch points (in seconds) and automatically issue fire missions to counter-battery artillery units using low-yield or no-yield shells.

The IDF claims to have this capability (see link) since 2006.

Source (Elta EL/M-2084 Multi-Mission Radar):
http://www.defense-update.com/events/2007/summary/parisairshow07ad.htm

Dear Bill Moyers. I admire you for the strength of your character, your sense of fairness and your patriotism in such a perplexing and dehumanising time as this is.
Roger Imes

My advice to steve schreiber below is to quit reading the Washington Post online or in print.

They've become cheerleaders for the failed WH polices in the Middle East including Iraq and the Gaza strip.

They rush to print unobjective accounts culled from White House press briefings without checking factual content for accuracy.

In fact, most of the MSM have become this way, competing against the Internet in a greedy quest to enhance the bottom line for the sake of their shareholders.

Only the truth shall free people from destructive tyranny.

Peace,
Cosmic

It's great that mr. moyers and viewers show a greater awareness of reality and the facts than most other commentators and citizens, but there's the issue of 'hamas' desire for destruction of israel,' which is used to justify israeli violence. if one looks at the earliest zionist internal documents and read the writings and thoughts of ben-gurion and yitzak shamir, you find that the zionists see the palestine as little more than dogs in human form, an inferior race to bve conquered and thrown out. this forum does a lot to see both sides, but this fac tthat i just mentioned is still one that is missing from many of the more informed discussions of the gaza crisis. a term commonly used in the IDF is "arabushim," hebrew for "nigger."

After so many centuries of conflict, is it possible to even hope for peace in Israel/Palestine? Yes, but we will need to think beyond weapons, walls, and politics. And we must recognize that it is not a local problem. The problem lives in the minds of people all over the world who have a connection with one side or the other. Imagine a group of Jews and Palestinians meeting in a living room. They pair off and engage in a dialogue structured to encourage deep listening. One person goes first and tells not his opinions or political views but his life story. The other listens deeply, not jumping in. A timer goes off and the listener has a few minutes to ask for details. Then they change roles. What happens? People are truly heard. People recognize a common bond of grief accumulated through generations of suffering. People begin to find common ground as fellow human beings. The alternative to destroying each other is entering into relationship together. It takes time and it takes lots of us. It is already happening. One effort is the Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue Group in San Mateo, CA, started by Len and Libby Traubman. It would be hope-inspiring to have a program on the Journal about this and other grass-roots efforts to create lasting peace in Israel/Palestine.

Dear Mr. Moyers, I appreciate your courage to stand against the tide of conventional media coverage and to highlight the real issue in the Palestinian-Israeli struggle, the human toll... a disproportionate one at that. Anyone who has followed your programming knows how hard you work to present ALL SIDES OF AN ISSUE while making sure that the underdog, the underrepresented have a voice. The vitriolic tone of some of the responses above is not warranted. I applaud the poignant position you have taken in regard to Gaza. Keep on caring!

Dear Mr. Moyer,

I find it truly remarkable that no one wants to talk about the Israeli government's state sponsored assassinations against Palestinians and their supporters throughout the Middle East. Why is the Israeli confiscation of Palestinian land to build illegal settlements never talked about? Why is there not discussion when the Israelis deny the Palestinians access to water? Why is there no discussion when the Israeli government willfully seeks to destroy the Palestinian banking system? Why is there no outcry when Israeli settlers and soldiers murder innocent Palestinian citizens while they work in their fields or the intentional destruction of Palestinian farmland? Why is there no outcry when Palestinian-Israeli citizens who reside in Israel, are denied equal rights?

Why does the United have a double standard when it comes to this conflict? Why does the United States continue to support Israel when it sends spies to this country to steal our secrets?

Why do the Jewish people have a right to seek compensation for their losses in Europe, yet the Palestinians don't have a right to fight for the land the English stole from them to give to the Jews? People are naive to think there will be peace when land is stolen.


Thank you for honestly speaking out about the Israeli attack on Gaza and the role the US plays in supporting that attack. Whether peace is possible, I do not know. What I do know, is that the current course will not bring peace. Saying such things does not make one anti-semetic. However, their fear of such a charge (or the dreaded moral equivalence charge) clearly is reflected in the Congress and media. For example, for the last several days the washington Post has focused their coverage on the truce negotiations, barely mentioning the UN attack or the fact that Gazians are still dying. And, today, the Post offers that an agreement with the US re monitoring the Gaza Egypt border was a principal goal of their military operation. Similarly, the newshour in reporting on the UN attack, showed Olmert blamming Hammas fighters but not the UN's denial. I share your views on what is true. I only wish the views of each side on the truth of this struggle were shared with the American public.

Bravo, Mr. Moyers for adhering to your convictions and opinion about the tragedy of the Israeli-Hamas conflict. Many of the comments in response to your Friday, January 9th essay implied that it is justifiable to kill innocents in the Israeli effort to root out and destroy Hamas. Let's pretend. Let's pretend there is a sniper in an apartment building randomly shooting innocent people in the neighborhood. The people are afraid and angry. They call in the police. The police level the building killing all, including the sniper. Problem solved. That would be an outrage. Would it not?

I used to think it would have been better if FDR had lived longer, and he could have implemented his plan for Jewish refugees to move to Arizona. Now I have my doubts. They would probably have the Pueblans, Navajos, Hispanics and Caucasian Christians in reservation camps and be bombing them because of "gang" activity. They might be building a giant concrete wall along the Mexican border to keep out their unneeded wage slaves and to deny southward flowing water. (My Arizona Zionists are beginning to sound very American, aren't they?) But at least the Palestinians of all sorts and the native Jews would still be living in peace in their part of the world.

There is such a thing as proportionality; furthermore, HAMAS did not break the cease fire!
Thousands of Israelis are protesting their barbarous leadership; of course, they are never mentioned. Just as in the states, the mainstream media, the sane side is rarely heard from.
Thank you, Mr. Moyers. The world needs your voice!

I just want to post this, for those not so informed to read.
LONDON - 15 January 2008 - 1,240 words

From the archives: A Question of Justice

In 2001 we published the following article. We are republishing it again below, in response to hundreds of requests over the past ten days.

LONDON - 19 January 2001 - 1,150 words

Jewish editor sacked for publishing article

This article was sent to Debbie Ducro, a American-Jewish journalist with the Kansas City Jewish Chronicle. She published it, and was fired the next day.

Quest for justice

By Judith Stone

I am a Jew. I was a participant in the Rally for the Right of Return to Palestine. It was the right thing to do.

I've heard about the European holocaust against the Jews since I was a small child. I've visited the memorials in Washington, DC and Jerusalem dedicated to Jewish lives lost and I've cried at the recognition to what level of atrocity mankind is capable of sinking.

Where are the Jews of conscience? No righteous malice can be held against the survivors of Hitler's holocaust. These fragments of humanity were in no position to make choices beyond that of personal survival. We must not forget that being a survivor or a co-religionist of the victims of the European Holocaust does not grant dispensation from abiding by the rules of humanity.

"Never again" as a motto, rings hollow when it means "never again to us alone." My generation was raised being led to believe that the biblical land was a vast desert inhabited by a handful of impoverished Palestinians living with their camels and eking out a living in the sand. The arrival of the Jews was touted as a tremendous benefit to these desert dwellers. Golda Meir even assured us that there "is no Palestinian problem".

We know now this picture wasn't as it was painted. Palestine was a land filled with people who called it home. There were thriving towns and villages, schools and hospitals. There were Jews, Christians and Muslims.

In fact, prior to the occupation, Jews represented a mere seven per cent of the population and owned three per cent of the land.

Taking the blinders off for a moment, I see a second atrocity perpetuated by the very people who should be exquisitely sensitive to the suffering of others. These people knew what it felt like to be ordered out of your home at gun point and forced to march into the night to unknown destinations or face execution on the spot. The people who displaced the Palestinians knew first hand what it means to watch your home in flames, to surrender everything dear to your heart at a moment's notice. Bulldozers levelled hundreds of villages, along with the remains of the village inhabitants, the old and the young. This was nothing new to the world.

Poland is a vast graveyard of the Jews of Europe. Israel is the final resting place of the massacred Palestinian people. A short distance from the memorial to the Jewish children lost to the holocaust in Europe there is a levelled parking lot. Under this parking lot is what's left of a once flourishing village and the bodies of men, women and children whose only crime was taking up needed space and not leaving graciously. This particular burial marker reads: "Public Parking".

I've talked with Palestinians. I have yet to meet a Palestinian who hasn't lost a member of their family to the Israeli Shoah, nor a Palestinian who cannot name a relative or friend languishing under inhumane conditions in an Israeli prison. Time and time again, Israel is cited for human rights violations to no avail. On a recent trip to Israel, I visited the refugee camps inhabited by a people who have waited 52 years in these 'temporary' camps to go home. Every Palestinian grandparent can tell you the name of their village, their street, and where the olive trees were planted. Their grandchildren may never have been home, but they can tell you where their great-grandfather lies buried and where the village well stood. The press has fostered the portrait of the Palestinian terrorist. But the victims who rose up against human indignity in the Warsaw Ghetto are called heroes. Those who lost their lives are called martyrs. The Palestinian who tosses a rock in desperation is a terrorist.

Two years ago I drove through Palestine and watched intricate sprinkler systems watering lush green lawns of Zionist settlers in their new condominium complexes, surrounded by armed guards and barbed wire in the midst of a Palestinian community where there was not adequate water to drink and the surrounding fields were sandy and dry. University professor Moshe Zimmerman reported in the Jerusalem Post (30 April, 1995), "The [Jewish] children of Hebron are just like Hitler's youth."

We Jews are suing for restitution, lost wages, compensation for homes, land, slave labour and back wages in Europe. Am I a traitor of a Jew for supporting the right of return of the Palestinian refugees to their birthplace and compensation for what was taken that cannot be returned?

The Jewish dead cannot be brought back to life and neither can the Palestinian massacred be resurrected. David Ben Gurion said, "Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves...politically, we are the aggressors and they defend themselves...The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country...".

Palestine is a land that has been occupied and emptied of its people. Its cultural and physical landmarks have been obliterated and replaced by tidy Hebrew signs. The history of a people was the first thing eradicated by the occupiers. The history of the indigenous people has been all but eradicated as though they never existed. And all this has been hailed by the world as a miraculous act of God. We must recognise that Israel's existence is not even a question of legality so much as it is an illegal fait accompli realised through the use of force while supported by the Western powers. The UN missions directed at Israel in attempting to correct its violations of have thus far been futile.

In Hertzl's 'The Jewish State' the father of Zionism said: "We must investigate and take possession of the new Jewish country by means of every modern expedient." I guess I agree with Ehud Barak (3 June 1998) when he said: "If I were a Palestinian, I'd also join a terror group." I'd go a step further perhaps. Rather than throwing little stones in desperation, I'd hurtle a boulder.

Hopefully, somewhere deep inside, every Jew of conscience knows that this was no war; that this was not G-d's restitution of the holy land to it's rightful owners. We know that a human atrocity was and continues to be perpetuated against an innocent people who couldn't come up with the arms and money to defend themselves against the western powers bent upon their demise as a people.

We cannot continue to say: "But what were we to do?" Zionism is not synonymous with Judaism. I wholly support the rally of the right of return of the Palestinian people here.

© Independent Catholic News 2008


Contact Independent Catholic News .

Mr. Moyers:
I consider your views on the current slaughter in Gaza fair and enlightening.
I do not believe in tit for tat; however, the fact is that Israel broke the cease fire, not HAMAS.
Of course, HAMAS is a terrorist organization; now, along with the Bush Crime Family, Israel has shown the world that their leadership is no better than those they seek to destroy.
There is such a thing as perportionality! Over 1,000 Palestinians have been killed, hundreds of them under the age of 16! Watching the BBC the other night I saw a 5 year old Palistian girl; witnesses said she had been shot in the back by and Israeli soldier! This adorable child could still smile; not knowing that she will never walk again. Is this justice?!
In Tel Aviv and Jerusalem thousands of Israelis are protesting the barbarity of their government; and, just as our protests in the states have been ignored by the mainstream media, a curtain has fallen over the good and just people of Israel.
Sincerely,
Emma Goldman
Montgomery, AL

I think the way to peace between these two nations is clear. When we stop subsidising Israel and enableing them to attach site where women and children are hiding and insist they support themselves, they will make an effort to come to terms with their problems.

You apologists for Israel's murderous rampage sicken me.
If you think that Moyers' commentary is biased against Israel, it's only because it was only SLIGHTLY more balanced than the usual servile corporate American media, which (thanks to Mossad/ADF/AIPAC) is always "pro-Israel right or wrong." Thank God for the internet, so we here in the US can finally see the reality of Israel's craven butchery.
Does the Israeli regime earn its precious "right to exist" by the murder of hundreds and hundreds of women, children and infants?

SHAME on you for defending the slaughter of civilians...

Bill Moyers refers to the IDF by the positive term "troops", but reserves for Hamas, the snarl word "terrorists". Even though the IDF causes orders of magnitude more civilian casualties.

Bill, haven't you got it backwards?

He asserts that Israel has a "'right' to defend itself"; making no mention of any such "right" for the Palestinians.

States do not have "rights".

Individuals, (such as those being killed in Gaza) are entitled to rights

States have powers, subordinate to the rights of individuals.


That it is the Palestinians, the side doing the most dying, who are really defending themselves (and have been, since 1947)does not occur to him.

Israel's supporters have no reason to complain about Bill Moyers.


If you condemn Israel now, you are nothing more than anti-Semitic.

Possibly anti-America too. For after all, Bin Laden was the disciple of both Hamas and the Arafat who spawned Islamic terrorism against civilians that culminated in 9/11 and Mumbai.

Israel is targeting terror. Hamas, Hezbollah, and Al Qaeda target women and children. Any questions?

Moyers has become a propagandist for Hamas. It is as simple as that.

Where was Moyers when Sderot was subjected to three years of nonstop rocket bombardments; the kidnapping and torture of Gilad Shalit, or countless Hamas violations of Human Rights? Oh, becoming a moral equivalence maven ala Howie Dean, that other sanctimonious hypocrite; or a slightly younger version of Jimmy Carter.

Just compare Israel to Hamas, Moyers. My, that's courageous and hard hitting journalism - NOT.

"We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us."
GOLDA MEIR

The root cause of the conflict in Gaza is the West Bank.
Stopping Israeli settlement on this would be like stopping US westward expansion in the 19th century. A solution could be "trading equiv. value of land in the Negev & Sinai (yes, that wd. require purchase of desert from Egypt)".With natural gas from Saudi Arabia & distillation of sea water from the Med., the desert could be made fertile.There is enough land there for a Palestinian homeland.Good borders make good neighbours.The cost wd. be less than the continual wars.

Dear Mr. Moyers,

For a long time I considered your program to be the only hour of "required viewing" on the air each week. Now though, that I have been subjected to your incredibly disappointing essay on the situation in Gaza, I have lost faith in any kind of fairness in your work. I guess it is time to toss out the TV and look for objective analysis elsewhere. PBS has lost a viewer and a contributer.


R. Goldfield

Thank you Mr. Moyers for your commitment to ethics and human decency. Fanatical patriotism has always clouded the harm done to innocents of warfare. Keep up the good work!

Dear Bill Moyers;

I love your show, except when you discuss Israel/Palestine. I'm sorry I missed last week's show, so I cannot judge it fairly.

I'm not a supporter of Hamas, however, I believe it's entirely unfair of you to quote Jeff Goldberg, former member of the Israeli defense forces and decidedly an enemy of Hamas and Palestinian national rights on what Hamas's attitude is, rather than what Hamas itself says. From what I've read, different Hamas leaders have different attitudes towards peace with Israelis including full accomodation, but almost all, even the most anti-Israel welcome Jews and Israelis who visit the Palestinian territories in the spirit of peace and justice. It doesn't matter, Israel kills and assassinates them simply for opposing Israel's expulsion of the Palestinians in 1948 - a large number of Hamas are refugees from the mass terror of that war.

My personal attitude is that the Jewish waqf that Israel is is no better than the Muslim waqf that Hamas encourages. Worse, because Israel established former Palestine as Jewish religious ground by mass murder, terror and the exclusion of native people from their homes because they weren't Jews. We see a continuation of this today in Gaza.

I understand many Christians' support for Israel is rooted in the view that the land is Jewish religious territory. The view is a deeply held religious myth, but it is false. Most of the Jewish people of 2000 years ago converted to Christianity or Islam long ago, along with the many other peoples who lived there, and their descendants are Palestinians. I don't understand the attitude that says that because people converted to another religion they should not be allowed to live in their native land, but that's Israeli policy, enforced with bombs and white phospherous against people made helpless, surrounded and entrapped.

Sincerely, Katherine MacQueen

Mr. Moyers I think that you should be saying how Hamas is hiding behind womens aprons and children that has brought this price onto the Palistinans. If these men wer realy intrested in the lives of their family they would not be launching rocket from schools, churches, masques, and hospitals. So much for their Musslum faith.
If only the people of the middle east could work together, selibrate there differant cultures there would then be true progress.

Hamas has to go. The Arabs in Gaza elected Hamas to be their government and that government has waged relentless combat against Israel. The Arabs in Gaza and Hamas are the same--unfortunately. Hamas has to go. Egypt allows Hamas to receive rockets used to attack the people of Israel.

Get rid of the attacks, open to being a good neighbor. That is the only way for the Arabs in Gaza to exist in a second state.

The UN and international relieft groups are supporting terrorists. They all need to leave Gaza and let the Hamas terrroists to fail and leave.

I like to thank Mr. Bill Moyers for being so courageous, honest and open minded in reporting on a topic which most media sources are biased about: means always take the side of Israel. I must also thank PBS for bringing bias free programming at the time of war where most pro-Israel such as some on this blog have tried to muzzle Bill Moyers commentary by calling his presented facts in-correct.
Good news, majority of peace and justice loving people have positively commented in favor of such journalism and I am one of them. It is not hidden anymore that United States’ blind and one sided support of Israel must end and the United States must become an honest broker between two parties to put forth a peace plan which is not violated by either side. It is the Israel, who on going bases, systematically and indiscriminately kills Palestinian children, women and men on regular bases, demolishes their houses and deprives them from very basic needs. This oppression must end and Israel must go back to it 67 borders if it is truly serious about the long lasting peace.

Dear Mr.Moyers
I watch all your shows regularly and I salute you for speaking out on this issue when most of America has chosen to be silent.
When a state acts exactly like terrorists by killing innocent lives to get attention to their 'cause', i think it is justified to call that state a terrorist state. Democratically elected governments should not stoop down to the level of terrorists. Thanks for the real journalism.

Israel has every right to exist, but its inhumane behavior based on the excuse & “politics” that it has every right to defend itself has hardened my heart. The death/destruction of Palestinians/homes is outrageously incomparable to that of the Israeli. Oppression only breeds hate & sets the stage for a new generation to continue this on-going war. I will never understand…How can a people who’ve suffered at the hands of Hitler justify similar anguish to another???

Hello Bill,

You requested we tell you what our vision for the USA's future. I am a bit younger than you, 66, yet in my lifetime the population of the Earth has roughly tripled. My vision is an either or. Either the planet Earth is going to shed itself of it's worst parasite, us, or we will realize that it is paramount that we reduce the Earth's human population drastically and quickly or the Earth will. My prediction we will not act appropriately and the tough time we are now experiencing will soon seem like the "good old days".

Good job Bill Moyers on having an unbiased broadcast not unlike other journalists on pbs such as Charlie Rose and Jim Lehrer.Again from one East Texas man to another I say "good job."

On a side note Isreal vs. Hamas goes back to Isaac and Ishmael in effect it is a God soaked war. In fact I would also point out most wars are justified through God even without a historical presidence. Have you ever heard of for God, glory, and gold or is that just a ridiculous fallacy as well.

Perhaps I am just biased toward unbiased reporting, but that is were I stand.

Thank you Bill Moyer

Listening to Bill Moyers speak with such bravery and candor about the massacre in Gaza last week, I was moved to tears. It was the first time during this nightmare that I have heard any truth-telling about this situation on television (though admittedly I do not have cable). As a person of faith, a liberal, and a New Yorker, I have found myself in a state of crisis since the relentless slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza began. Speaking out against the policies and actions of the state of Israel, by no stretch of the imagination, should be equated with anti-semitism. As a pacifist and peacemaker, I have grown weary of that tired old claim that is aimed at silencing any reasonable debate. Israel’s ongoing indiscriminate murderous campaign has dwarfed the despicable violence, extremism, and intolerance of Hamas. Thank you Mr. Moyers for your relentless reporting of the truth as you find it.

Listening to Bill Moyers speak with such bravery and candor about the massacre in Gaza last week, I was moved to tears. It was the first time during this nightmare that I have heard any truth-telling about this situation on television (though admittedly I do not have cable). As a person of faith, a liberal, and a New Yorker, I have found myself in a state of crisis since the relentless slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza began. Speaking out against the policies and actions of the state of Israel, by no stretch of the imagination, should be equated with anti-semitism. As a pacifist and peacemaker, I have grown weary of that tired old claim that is aimed at silencing any reasonable debate. Israel’s ongoing indiscriminate murderous campaign has dwarfed the despicable violence, extremism, and intolerance of Hamas. Thank you Mr. Moyers for your relentless reporting of the truth as you find it.

Its in times like these that the words of Rev. Wright make some sense.

As we watch the Israelis destroy the Palestinians after having taken their land and herding them into the Gaza and now killing them - like shooting fish in a barrel. How proud we must be for helping the Israelis.

Its not hard to see why people could say - its not God Bless America, its God Damn America.

Mr. Moyers has swallowed all the simplistic reporting that Israel has laid waste to Gaza. The fact is that the Israeli Army has taken great care in seeking to avoid civilian casualties or buildings without connections to terror. It is the Hamas, who have chosen to hide behind civilians, their own people, who carry the blood of the innocent. No country in the world would allow 7000 unanswered rockets and mortars to be fired onto its soil. Mr. Moyers, go learn the truth for yourself.

Those who excoriate you for allegedly being 'anti-Israel' fail to address a few very important facts:
1. Israel had Gaza under a complete blockade for 18 months prior to its 12/27 assault. So first it starves the people, then it violently attacks them when they're down.
2. Israel, not Hamas, was the first to violate the ceasefire when it entered Gaza on Nov. ___ [I forget exact date] and killed six Palestinians.
3. Hamas's rocket fire into southern Israel did (and does) not take place out of the blue. Israel has been attacking Gaza with much more fire power over the same period of time... and killing many more civilians than Hamas ever has.

I'm not a fan of Hamas, but I like the whole truth to be told.

Israel has been breaking international laws for decades vis-a-vis its illegal occupation of Palestinian territories. And it continues to steal more and more of their land. Its ghastly wall -- which cuts deep into the West Bank -- its roadblocks and vast and numerous Jewish-only settlements (veritable cities) in the West Bank, its demolition of Palestinian homes, its stealing of Palestinians' water sources... I could go on and on. When Israel starts treating the Palestinians like human beings, maybe they will stop hating Israel!

Mr. Moyers,

First thank you for at the least an intelligent discussion of this subject... I see the range of attitudes and opinions I have danced with all my life expressed here. I am a retired USAF Missile Combat Crew Member (Titan 2c Launch Crew). I have seen how the Middle East has danced us to the edge of reality and has facinated the dark soul of humanity. I have listened to my brothers (and sisters) in arms talk about nuking away the Middle East and ending the problem, as if the world needs a bigger problem (Us). A part of me agrees and a part of me is upset with the whole idea.

I see the Holy Land as no longer Holy, the 10,000 years of blood shed have cured it of that virus.

I see us all playing our part as Macbeth's wife wiping the blood from our hands and suffering with our place in all of this... So human it hurts... Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain...

Contending in Vain...

As a Jew who strongly believes that it is the responsibility of all people to do good upon this earth and make it a better place for all, I applaud Mr Moyers' efforts to bring out truth without fear of the insipid, repetitive and reactionary accusations of anti-semitism by those of my kin who believe that Israel can do no wrong, no matter what the evidence is. As one who has observed the bloody carnage of military actions from El Salvador through the Middle East, I can say that there is nothing in
Jewish ethics or belief that legitimizes , murder or states that it a responsibility of the Jewish people to support any government that kills others in order to extend its political power. Jews are not beholden to immoral political entities, whether controlled by other Jews or not, and crimes are crimes, whether a mugging on the street, a ponzi scheme, an act of torture, a terrorist bombing, or the invasion and occupation of a country.
Moyers, keep doing such mitzvot as you have through your brave reporting!

Will you comment on what Israel should do ?

As an Israeli ex-patriot I welcome Mr. Moyers fair & brave comments.Its time Israel is judged like any nation.Ratio of 100 to 1 of Gazans/Israeli deaths is horrific.Its time the US stands up and save Israel from itself.

I am absolutely appalled by those who cannot see beyond their own prejudices and biases. How in all good conscience can you condone the slaughter of innocent women and children. How ludicrous to say that Hamas is hiding behind women and children to justify their slaughter. There is no place for the innocent to go in an area much smaller than Rhode Island. I imagine you support the bombing of UN sites and killing of UN workers as well. Your cold, callous words speak volumes.

You know you are RIGHT when you get the critics not talking about what exactly you said but attack your character. I think you should talk about the racist policies INSIDE Israel like not letting the arab Israeli's run for government, having Israeli only roads on Palestinian land, building colonies in the west bank, bulldozing homes, starving, trapping, de-electrifying if that's a word..those people called the Palestinians. It is a joke to act like Israel is the poor little boy getting picked on surrounded by bullies. The Germans and Europeans killed the Jews not the Palestinians. Israel has nuclear weapons when they aren't supposed to. on and to ROBERT KAPLAN anti-semitic DOES NOT EQUAL ANTI ISRAEL. GET OVER YOURSELF.

It is amusing people here avidly defend genocide. I guess if Israel does it its OK.

Bill Moyers - no integrity, no moral fiber, no accuracy,no objectivity no knowledge of what the Jewish state is all about. Totally biased, clearly hates the Jews and is pathetic - in every sense of the word. Will never contribute to PBS as long as he is a part of it.

Mr Moyers,

I hear what you are saying - the death of innocent people in this war against cowardice terrorists is terrible.

But, you offer no alternative.

QUESTION: What should the Israelis do?

They gave back 100% of the Gaza Strip, displaced their own citizens and lost huge amounts of invested infrastructure. And, what did they get in return? What options do they have with a totally radical and intolerant beligerent neighbor?

No wonder Bill Moyers is so incorrect in his position on the current situation between Israel and Hamas/Gaza, his understanding of what the bible says about Abraham is totally incorrect.

Abraham's son Ishmael was not an Arab. He may have been half Egyptian, by virtue of his mother Hagar being Egyptian, but the Egyptians of that day were not Arabs. Some anthropology lessons would help Mr. Moyers on this point.

In addition, it was only from a tale told by Josephus some 2,000 years later (and by Mohammed 600 years after that) that we get the notion that the Arab people were descended from Ishmael. Modern bibles, as used by Mr. Moyers to misquote biblical history, have carelessly substituted words and names that allow the mistaken argument that the friction between Jews and Palestinians is the oldest family feud to be made. The Philistines, after which the Roman geographical designation “Palestine” is named, were not Arabs, and certainly the Philistines never claimed to be descendants of either the Arab people or Ishmael (whom they probably never heard of, except through Hebrew storytelling).

Similarly, Mr. Moyers talks about the Canaanites, as if they were Arabs. There’s no clear understanding of what the Canaanites were, mostly because there was no single group of people called Canaanites. What existed was a collection of disparate people that have contemporarily been mislabeled as Canaanites.

Mr. Moyers suggests that people should open their bible to learn of the thousands of years of antipathy between Jew and Arab. I suggest that he get himself a real bible that was not infected by Jesus Christ propaganda or King James-style revisions to learn the truth (at least to the degree that religious history can be truthful or helpful in determining factual history).

So with this defective foundation of information as his basis for explaining why Israel is as guilty (if not more so) as Hamas, et al, for terrorism, Bill Moyers makes himself and your organization a joke, although it’s a sad, tearful joke.

There’s so much wrong in Mr. Moyer’s anti-Israel diatribe that it would take a dozen or more pages to point out all the egregious errors. But one easy example is his assertion that Israel intentionally humiliates Arabs by setting up check-points and conducting body searches. Israel has been forced to create this environment because of Arab proclivity to suicide bombing of civilian buses, shops, and schools. If the Arabs are humiliated by this, then they should actually do something to change the behavior of their people.

When I have to go through checkpoints and searches at airports and public buildings I may be annoyed, but I’m not humiliated. I know there’s a reason for it, and I appreciate feeling at least reasonably safe that my plane will take off and land without my body parts being scattered over three states.

Lastly, it is not by divine sanction (as Mr. Moyers describes it) that Israel has the right to exist, and exist in peace; it is by international law and agreement. The same international law and agreements that created and respect the sovereign rights of Pakistan, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, a dozen or more African nations, Poland, the Czech Republic, Bosnia and all of the newly defined post-Soviet controlled countries.

There’s nothing difficult to understand here; this is truly not rocket science or brain surgery. If Bill Moyers is not morally deficient, he is clearly intellectually deficient.

Marc J. Rauch
Sacramento, CA

I saw the Moyers' program on Israel's self-defense against Hamas rockets and mortars. His comments were false, misleading, biased, and loaded with aggressive comments about the soldiers, their tactics, and the goals of this operation. Fairness, accuracy...???!!!

Bill Moyers in particular and PBS in general terms are the only journalistic and editorial resources available on TV today that produce programs of integrity and moral fiber. They are the only resources that don't insult the intelligence of critical thinking people who demand clarity and objectivity in reporting, and who demand clarity and moral substance in an editorial context. Bill Moyers' courage and integrity aren't for sale, and I respect and applaud him, and I respect and applaud PBS for continuing to provide programming that strives to achieve excellence in an age of mediocre broadcasting.

the biggest difference I see is the Hamas talks about wiping out Israel and refusing to recognise it, but Israel is bent on wiping out not just Hamas, but Palestinian nationalism-and nationals as well. In any other country they call that "genocide."

Your use of Jews/Israelis who might agree with your point of view reminds me of the old saw "some of my best friends are..."hogwash.
You must be a pacifist and being one you should so state. If you aren't, why do you apply standards differently to the Israelis and Hamas? Where is your program segment and outrage at the indiscriminate targeting of Israeli citizens with Hamas rockets? Where is your disgust at the Hamas destruction of the productive hydroponic growing equipment Israel left behind when it vacated Gaza? Why didn't you cry foul at the smuggling tunnels dug from Gaza to Egypt? They were not importing staples, but weapons. Weapons that were unnecessary if they would simply use their energies to develop economically and politically.
The pictures you showed in your comments in defense of your show. Dead infants in one and an Israeli flag covered casket in the other. Surely those scenes are not the only ones you could use to give the balance you claimed.
I feel it is clear that you have no interest in presenting a coherent, well documented program. You are a propagandist for the Hamas killers. You think because they do "some good" it is a redeeming quality.
Your program is one of many that convinces me that I have been correct to withhold contributions to PBS and NPR. Being a government supported media you have an obligation to present a balanced view of the conflict. Just because you get anti-Israeli and anti-semitic Jews to be interviewed on your program doesn't present a balance.

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