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TOPIC: Israel Palestinian conflict
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The charge of the Light Brigade. General Allenby flying over Jerusalem. Real news.

This topic is as intelligent as a pancake made with nylon stockings.

Treasure Is FL
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Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) begins in the evening of Wednesday, April 18, 2012, and ends in the evening of Thursday, April 19, 2012. It is the day to remember the six million lives lost while the world looked away. It's the day to remember how Jews were being hunted down simply because they were Jewish, imprisoned, placed in camps, tortured, experimented on, and killed. To forget, is to allow history to repeat itself.

Rumson NJ
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You call them this, but consider yourself better, and more humane. And you THICK, SELFISH, PIG-HEADED ppl want the world to see it your way. I wish I could sell weapons to both sides. You all love to keep this shit going. What else would you complain about? Oh, shit.. You'd find something, I am sure.

Milwaukee WI
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I'll tell you, I sleep well at night knowing that these subhumans are starving!

Rumson NJ
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RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) -- Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel launched a hunger strike on Tuesday, officials said, protesting their conditions and demanding an end to detentions without trial as the Palestinians marked their annual day of solidarity with the inmates.

Some 3,500 prisoners refused meals on "Prisoners' Day," and 1,200 of them said they would continue with an open-ended hunger strike, according to Israeli prison service spokeswoman Sivan Weizman.

The hunger strike is one of the largest on record, said Sahar Francis of Addameer, a prisoner rights group.

Although it remained unclear how many will continue with the protest, they join 10 other Palestinian prisoners already on hunger strike, including two who have been hospitalized after refusing food for more than 40 days, she said.

The days' activities, which included protests throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip, coincided with the scheduled release of the longest hunger striker in Palestinian history.

Khader Adnan, who didn't eat for 66 days, was set to be freed later Tuesday as part of a deal reached with Israel.

Adnan, a spokesman of the violent Islamic Jihad group, called his strike to protest Israel's policy of "administrative detention," in which Palestinians can be sentenced to months or years behind bars by military courts without being charged. In February, Israel agreed to release him at the end of his detention in exchange for ending the hunger strike.

"He began the first step for the rest of the prisoners," said his wife, Randa, referring to Tuesday's hunger strike.

In his West Bank hometown of Arrabeh, well-wishers decked posters of Adnan on the streets, and the family prepared to slaughter a sheep in his honor.

The fate of the prisoners held by Israel is one of the most emotional issues in Palestinian society. Their crimes range from throwing stones to deadly militant attacks. They are generally seen as heroes -- even when their crimes have involved killing Israeli civilians.

In demonstrations in the Palestinian areas, hundreds of people held framed pictures of their loved ones in prison and waved the flags of different Palestinian political factions.

At a military prison near Jerusalem, Palestinian youths hurled rocks at Israeli forces, who fired back rounds of tear gas and pellets. No injuries were reported.

There are some 4,000 Palestinians currently in Israeli jails, said Francis, including some 300 in administrative detention. The striking prisoners are demanding an end to such detentions, solitary confinement and to allow Gaza families to visit prisoners held in Israel.

The largest Palestinian prisoner strike was in 2004, when some 10,000 prisoners refused food, many of them for 17 days, Francis said.

Rumson NJ
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This just in,

Rocks were thrown in, near, and/or about the west bank and gaza strips today. Consecutive days of rock throwing and/or sling-shot is nearing 4,200 years. A streak that will never be broken.

Milwaukee WI
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The King has frequently gone out of his way to assert that "Jordan is Jordan" and "Palestine is Palestine." He has also encouraged Hamas to dispel the possibility of Jordan serving as a substitute homeland.

Although Abdullah adamantly rejects the notion of Jordan becoming a new "Palestine," he might entertain the possibility of confederation with an independent Palestinian state. However, Abdullah and other Jordanian officials have not yet publicly stated that confederation could occur -- but only after -- and not before an independent Palestinian state is established.

There are signs Palestinians may also support this initiative. During an interview with Mohammed Dajani Daoudi, professor at al-Quds University and founder of Wasatia (moderation), a nonviolent Islamist movement which seeks peaceful coexistence with Israel, he said this process could consist of three stages: "As a first step, a State of Palestine with Arab Jerusalem as its capital should rise; while the second step would be the formation of a confederacy with Jordan." In the third and final stage, which reveals his idealism and optimism, he said: "Eventually, this confederacy may include Israel -- should Israel opt for that."

This scenario provides certain positive benefits for all parties involved. For Jordanians, linkage with the West Bank would help unite families and tribes which had been interconnected until 1967. For Palestinians, confederation with a stable, moderate monarchy would greatly help overcome the power sharing deadlock between rival factions Hamas and Fatah, who currently show no indication of reconciliation. For Israelis, security guarantees could be negotiated more smoothly by Jordanian officials who already maintain diplomatic relations with the Jewish state, thereby reducing the uncertainties a future Palestine would present. For the U.S. and its allies, Jordanian-Palestinian confederation could represent a source of stability and security in the region and would no doubt receive substantial Western assistance as long as overall military and diplomatic responsibilities reside with the authorities in Amman

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In the past decade, the Jordanian government has initiated a controversial policy of rescinding the citizenship of thousands of Palestinians. On April 12, Jordan announced it will also invalidate the passports of Palestinians affiliated with the Palestinian Authority and Palestine Liberation Organization. This harsh action has had little public outcry or opposition. There has been little if any threatening reaction from Palestinians and these reports have gone largely unnoticed in Western media.

Why is this relevant? The stability and territorial integrity of Jordan is also a priority for the United States, a key ally. In the 1950s and 60s, the United States supported Jordan's moderate views as a bulwark against Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser's radical Arab nationalist philosophy and supported Jordan's pro-Western orientation to counter the spread of Communism in the Middle East. Today, the U.S. continues to provide aid to the Hashemite Kingdom as a reward for establishing diplomatic relations with Israel in 1994. Tensions between Israel and Jordan have been reduced, and economic cooperation has increased.

Consequently, since 2004, Jordan has been working behind the scenes in promoting the King's moderate and tolerant vision of Islam known as the Amman Message which seeks to reduce the threat of radicalism and extremism. Moreover, with a small GDP and few natural resources, Jordan has nonetheless played an important role in accepting thousands of Iraqi and Syrian refugees.

As I have previously noted, King Abdullah's anxiety will not abate as long as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict persists. In this diplomatic deadlock and in the absence of a resolution resembling a two-state solution, Abdullah will continue taking extreme measures to distinguish Jordanian and Palestinian identities and prevent the implantation by some who advocate "al-watan al-badil" (the alternative homeland).

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But, above all, Israel is a wondrous "adventure." I feel privileged daily to see the fulfillment of the prayers of generations longing for a return to Zion from forced exile.

Witnessing Soviet Jews arriving in Israel as Saddam Hussein's Scud missiles came raining down, while Israel did not miss a beat in welcoming the newcomers, reveals the country's character.

So, too, being in Rambam Hospital in Haifa during the Hezbollah missile attacks. One minute, a siren would sound and everyone would calmly go, or be moved, to the bomb shelters. The next minute, after the all-clear signal, the scientists would return to their labs to continue cutting-edge research in cancer, diabetes, and stem cell therapy.

Or being in Barzilay Hospital in Ashkelon, where victims of Hamas' strikes against Israel were taken for medical care, and seeing Palestinian patients from Gaza in rooms adjoining the Jewish wounded.

Or getting to know Save a Child's Heart, an Israeli program that provides life-saving pediatric heart surgery. Many of the children come from Arab countries that deny Israel's very existence.

Or seeing the scrawling on a Tel Aviv wall shortly after 21 young Israelis were killed at a discotheque -- "They won't stop us from dancing."

Or watching an Israeli Arab Supreme Court justice -- who, incidentally, refuses to sing Israel's national anthem -- sit on a panel that upheld the conviction of an Israeli ex-president on charges of rape.

No, this Israel may not feature prominently in the media, I'm sorry to say, but it is the Israel that pulsates daily with a love of life, of freedom, and of the land. It is the Israel I know and cherish.

Happy 64th Birthday, Israel!

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How can it be, Israel's adversaries ask, that these "sons of monkeys and pigs," as radical Muslim preachers openly refer to the Jews, manage to stand tall, strong, and, yes, optimistic?

How can it be, its adversaries ask, that this nation of just under eight million, grown from only 650,000 at its birth in 1948, repeatedly defeats far more populous Arab foes that have been arrayed against it?

How can it be, its adversaries ask, that these Jews, seemingly led to slaughter like sheep by the Third Reich, suddenly learned how to defend themselves and vanquish larger Arab armies, within three years of V-E Day?

And how can it be, its adversaries ask, that Israel, with no natural resources to speak of until recent natural gas findings (yet to be exploited), could achieve a first-world economy, catapulting it into the OECD; double-digit winners of Nobel Prizes; and a top-three ranking in new NASDAQ listings?

Too often, Israel's adversaries have come up with misguided, if self-satisfying, answers, usually elaborate conspiracy theories inspired by anti-Semitic tropes.

In reality, though, the answer is much simpler. It derives from an age-old connection among a land, a faith, and a people. Many have tried to sever the link. All have failed.

Consider the words of Ezekiel, expressed some 2,700 years ago:

Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all sides, and bring them to their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, upon the mountains of Israel... And the desolate land shall be tilled... And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the Garden of Eden.

Or, to fast forward from the ancient prophet Ezekiel to the prophetic Winston Churchill:

The coming into being of a Jewish State in Palestine is an event in world history to be viewed in the perspective not of a generation or a century, but in the perspective of a thousand, two thousand or even three thousand years.

Churchill added that the state's establishment was "one of the most hopeful and encouraging adventures of the 20th century."

Indeed, it continues to be in the 21st century.

To be sure, Israel, like all democratic societies, is a permanent work in progress. Much remains to be done.

From grappling with a less-than-ideal electoral system to dealing with religious zealots who invoke a "higher authority" than the state, from addressing a yawning gap between rich and poor to balancing the Jewish and democratic nature of the country, from the decades-long pursuit of peace to the defense of the country in a turbulent region, Israel has no shortage of challenges.

Rumson NJ
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TOPIC: Israel Palestinian conflict