Israel / Palestine

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Bry

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This should probably be an entire forum and not a thread in the Iraq war forum. But I'm not god so I can't do things like that. :( Consider it suggested.

I suppose it is selfevident that this issue has important ramifications for US foreign policy. 3 billion US tax dollars a year goes to support a fundamentalist regime currently presided by a man convicted of war crimes and with a government which does not provide for equal rights for its citizens. Just curious about how that makes you feel and what that says about American foreign policy.

:ali:

(that should give you an idea of what directions my commentaries will take.)
 
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Bry

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Dude, that's so cool! What awesome might! What fearsome prowess!

:hail:
 
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janeeng

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Hey Jim, you create that I will get Carlos on here, he is half jewish half puerto rican - strange combo, but cool! I have to find out what kind of business he owns, something with computers
 
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janeeng

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You calling me a wise ass Jim - if he owns his own business stupid, I was going to refer you to him!
 

jimnyc

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Originally posted by janeeng
You calling me a wise ass Jim - if he owns his own business stupid, I was going to refer you to him!
My post was to Bry, you ignoramus! ;)
 
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Man of 1951

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Originally posted by NightTrain
Okay, Bry, I'll bite.

So, what's your beef with Israel, anyway?
I think these were his 'beef' with israel, along with many other issues, but lets stick with the ones here:

"3 billion US tax dollars a year goes to support a fundamentalist regime currently presided by a man convicted of war crimes and with a government which does not provide for equal rights for its citizens."
 
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Bry

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Originally posted by Man of 1951
I think these were his 'beef' with israel, along with many other issues, but lets stick with the ones here:

"3 billion US tax dollars a year goes to support a fundamentalist regime currently presided by a man convicted of war crimes and with a government which does not provide for equal rights for its citizens."
yeah, that's it, Man. Here's a slightly more detailed explanation for my wanting to discuss this issue. (why all the stunned silence? I thought this would be a hot topic for you cons!)

Well, to start with, US support for Israel (along with the US deposing of the Shah in Iran and their support for the Saudi royal family) is the main source of anti-US sentiment in the Arab community. We've been talking alot, obviously, about the war in Iraq. But what seems to get ignored consistently by both Right and Left leaners (at least on this message board) is the fact that Arabs in particular and Muslems in general have some very good reasons for being upset with us. bin Laden is NOT some crazy guy sitting out in the desert somewhere, slowly being consumed by his own irrational hatred of white people and Jews. (or at least that description does not sum him up entirely...) He has a very logical and reasoned argument for doing what he is doing, and I think that realization is important for coming to an understanding of our present situation, this farcical "war on terror".

One of his main beefs with the US, of course, is with the seemingly unconditional economic and political support the US gives to Israel, not just because he has an irrational hatred of Jews, but because the Zionists, in the creation of the Jewish state of Israel (supported by both the Soviet Union and the United States) removed over a hundreds of thousands (the exact number is disputed...) of Arabs from the homes where their families had been living in some cases over a thousand years, and sent them packing. Then, the subsequent occupation of the West Bank and Gaza strip in the PREEMPTIVE STRIKE known as the six day war in 1967. And the massacre of some 900 Palestinian refugees in the withdrawal from Lebanon in 1982 (under the jurisdiction of the same Ariel Sharon who is now president). Zionist policy has always been one of expansion (and by proxy genocide) and the illegal Jewish settlement in Palestenian territory of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is another symbol of this fundamentalist aggression. They believe that God gave them that land by right, and they will not be satisfied until they have fulfilled that prophecy by means of whatever trumped up pretext presents itself.

That give ya anything to have a go at, NT? I'm not sure Americans in general really know the history, as short as it is, of Israel. But it's important because US policy with regard to Israel has significantly shaped the greater conflict in which we find ourselves increasingly embroiled.
 
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eric

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The termites strike again! Now I have no particular love for Israel but the intentional targeting of civilians does bother me. I am a realist and do not put too much weight into history. While it puts situations in context it does nothing to solve the current problem. Israel is here to stay regardless of the past. So now shall we fight about the past or look to the future, and try and come up with a solution. I do not believe that suicide bombings will solve anything, except removing another piece of trash from this planet. This does not further their cause or earn them support. All it does is to show how uncivilized and barbaric these backward people are.
 
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Bry

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Originally posted by eric
The termites strike again! Now I have no particular love for Israel but the intentional targeting of civilians does bother me. I am a realist and do not put too much weight into history. While it puts situations in context it does nothing to solve the current problem. Israel is here to stay regardless of the past. So now shall we fight about the past or look to the future, and try and come up with a solution. I do not believe that suicide bombings will solve anything, except removing another piece of trash from this planet. This does not further their cause or earn them support. All it does is to show how uncivilized and barbaric these backward people are.
First of all, historians are realists because they are frequently the most able to interpret the signs offered by the present. Second, we're not talking about ancient history here, we're talking about fifty years ago. There are plenty of people still alive to tell the story and remember their homes. Third, try to imagine yourself in a situation similar to that of the palestenians. They face a well funded and well trained military, and they themselves have little more than rocks. If you got pushed out of your home and stuck in a no man's land, how would you react? If your people had repeatedly been victims of attacks on your "civilians" how would you respond? Have you noticed the refusal of 29 Irsraeli pilots to fly the missions they were being ordered on? Why? Because they didn't think it ethical to drop incendiary bombs from a jet onto targets in densely populated areas. Applaud the pilots, yes, but the palestenians are still justified.

And your use of the words "uncivilized" and "barbaric" is absurd. If civilization is having the technology to fire missiles from hundreds of miles a way without ever facing your enemy, then it is synonomous with coward.
 
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eric

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Bry, my point is that Israel is not going anywhere so fighting about the past, which is not so clear-cut when we do look at ancient history, serves no purpose. As I said would it not be better to plan a future? I understand they are facing a well-funded army, but if they would stop with the violence maybe we would see their situation in a different light. Israel would look undoubtedly like the aggressor and many people would sympathize with the Palestinians.

Just look at the roadmap for peace. It looked like Israel was starting to give back control to the PA and started ceasing hostilities. What happens next? Suicide bombings. This makes it hard for me to have sympathy for these people. Polls show that over 70% approve of this. So it is not just a small fraction messing it up for the whole.

Finally, when I used the term uncivilized I was not referring to technology, you know well what I meant, but spun it into what served your purpose. Dressing up 5 year olds in suicide bomber getup and sticking guns in their hands is not civilized in my book. Just a small example.
 

NightTrain

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Stunned silence? LOL... I've been pretty busy lately. A thousand pardons for my tardiness.

3 billion US tax dollars a year goes to support a fundamentalist regime currently presided by a man convicted of war crimes and with a government which does not provide for equal rights for its citizens.
Yep, we do indeed give aid to Israel. We also give money and aid to many other countries, including those who preach against both Israel and the USA. We give more money and aid away than anyone else in the world. So what?

Israel is a fundamentalist regime? Are you sure? How so?

Convicted of War Crimes? You're obviously referring to to that comedy in Belgium. You know, the one that the USA doesn't recognize? They can convict away, it's not internationally recognized & therefore doesn't hold water.

Belgium rules Sharon can be tried for war crimes
by BBC NEWS Wednesday February 12, 2003 at 12:32 PM

Belgium's highest appeals court has ruled that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon could face war crimes charges, but only after he leaves office. The court was responding to an appeal by a group of 23 Palestinian survivors of a massacre in Lebanon more than 20 years ago, when Mr Sharon was Israel's defence chief.

Wednesday, 12 February, 2003, 19:57 GMT

Belgium's highest appeals court has ruled that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon could face war crimes charges, but only after he leaves office.
The court was responding to an appeal by a group of 23 Palestinian survivors of a massacre in Lebanon more than 20 years ago, when Mr Sharon was Israel's defence chief.

The killings in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps were carried out by Lebanese Christian militia allied to Israel, which then occupied southern Lebanon.

Israel withdrew its ambassador to Belgium "for consultations" in response to the court ruling.

The suit was brought under Belgium's 1993 "universal jurisdiction" law, which allows for the prosecution of alleged war crimes no matter where they took place.

Last summer a lower court ruled that Mr Sharon could not be tried under the law because he was not in Belgium, but the government has since moved to amend the legislation.

The change, which allows for prosecution even if the defendant is not in the country, is expected to be passed this spring.

Indirect responsibility

Mr Sharon was Israel's defence minister at the time of the killings at Sabra and Shatila in 1982.

An Israeli investigation found Mr Sharon indirectly responsible for failing to prevent the killings of between 800 and 2,000 refugees.

Mr Sharon was forced to resign from government but never faced charges over the incident.

In the run-up to the 2001 Israeli elections, he expressed regret about the "terrible tragedy" at the refugee camps - but rejected any responsibility.

Besides Mr Sharon, war crimes proceedings have been brought in Belgium against a number of world figures.

These include Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Cuban President Fidel Castro, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo.

But those trials were suspended in June, after the Brussels appeals court ruling.

So far, the only people tried under Belgium's controversial war crimes law are four Rwandans sentenced in 2001 for their role in the 1994 genocide of the country's Tutsi ethnic minority.

***Continued in next post ***
 

NightTrain

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I think you have your facts mixed up just a tad about the 1967 Six Day War :

The 1967 Six-Day War
by Mitchell Bard

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Israel consistently expressed a desire to negotiate with its neighbors. In an address to the UN General Assembly on October 10, 1960, Foreign Minister Golda Meir challenged Arab leaders to meet with Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion to negotiate a peace settlement. Nasser answered on October 15, saying that Israel was trying to deceive world opinion, and reiterating that his country would never recognize the Jewish State.(1)

The Arabs were equally adamant in their refusal to negotiate a separate settlement for the refugees. As Nasser told the United Arab Republic National Assembly March 26, 1964:

Israel and the imperialism around us, which confront us, are two separate things. There have been attempts to separate them, in order to break up the problems and present them in an imaginary light as if the problem of Israel is the problem of the refugees, by the solution of which the problem of Palestine will also be solved and no residue of the problem will remain. The danger of Israel lies in the very existence of Israel as it is in the present and in what she represents.(2)

Meanwhile, Syria used the Golan Heights, which tower 3,000 feet above the Galilee, to shell Israeli farms and villages. Syria's attacks grew more frequent in 1965 and 1966, while Nasser's rhetoric became increasingly bellicose: "We shall not enter Palestine with its soil covered in sand," he said on March 8, 1965. "We shall enter it with its soil saturated in blood."(3)



Again, a few months later, Nasser expressed the Arabs' aspiration: "...the full restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people. In other words, we aim at the destruction of the State of Israel. The immediate aim: perfection of Arab military might. The national aim: the eradication of Israel."(4)

Provocation
While Nasser continued to make speeches threatening war, Arab terrorist attacks grew more frequent. In 1965, 35 raids were conducted against Israel. In 1966, the number increased to 41. In just the first four months of 1967, 37 attacks were launched.(5)

Meanwhile, Syria's attacks on Israeli kibbutzim from the Golan Heights provoked a retaliatory strike on April 7, 1967, during which Israeli planes shot down six Syrian MiGs. Shortly thereafter, the Soviet Union-which had been providing military and economic aid to both Syria and Egypt-gave Damascus information alleging a massive Israeli military buildup in preparation for an attack. Despite Israeli denials, Syria decided to invoke its defense treaty with Egypt.

On May 15, Israel's Independence Day, Egyptian troops began moving into the Sinai and massing near the Israeli border. By May 18, Syrian troops were prepared for battle along the Golan Heights.

Nasser ordered the UN Emergency Force, stationed in the Sinai since 1956, to withdraw on May 16. Without bringing the matter to the attention of the General Assembly, as his predecessor had promised, Secretary-General U Thant complied with the demand. After the withdrawal of the UNEF, the Voice of the Arabs proclaimed (May 18, 1967):

As of today, there no longer exists an international emergency force to protect Israel. We shall exercise patience no more. We shall not complain any more to the UN about Israel. The sole method we shall apply against Israel is total war, which will result in the extermination of Zionist existence.(6)

An enthusiastic echo was heard May 20 from Syrian Defense Minister Hafez Assad:

Our forces are now entirely ready not only to repulse the aggression, but to initiate the act of liberation itself, and to explode the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland. The Syrian army, with its finger on the trigger, is united....I, as a military man, believe that the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation.(7)

The Blockade
On May 22, Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to all Israeli shipping and all ships bound for Eilat. This blockade cut off Israel's only supply route with Asia and stopped the flow of oil from its main supplier, Iran.

In 1956, the United States gave Israel assurances that it recognized the Jewish State's right of access to the Straits of Tiran. In 1957, at the UN, 17 maritime powers declared that Israel had a right to transit the Strait. Moreover, the blockade violated the Convention on the Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone, which was adopted by the UN Conference on the Law of the Sea on April 27, 1958.(8)

President Johnson expressed the belief that the blockade was illegal and unsuccessfully tried to organize an international flotilla to test it. After the war, he acknowledged the closure of the Strait of Tiran was the casus belli (June 19, 1967):

If a single act of folly was more responsible for this explosion than any other it was the arbitrary and dangerous announced decision that the Strait of Tiran would be closed. The right of innocent maritime passage must be preserved for all nations.(9)

Escalation
Nasser was fully aware of the pressure he was exerting to force Israel's hand. The day after the blockade was set up, he said defiantly: "The Jews threaten to make war. I reply: Welcome! We are ready for war."(10)

Nasser challenged Israel to fight almost daily. "Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight," he said on May 27.(11) The following day, he added: "We will not accept any...coexistence with Israel...Today the issue is not the establishment of peace between the Arab states and Israel....The war with Israel is in effect since 1948."(12)

King Hussein of Jordan signed a defense pact with Egypt on May 30. Nasser then announced:

The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are poised on the borders of Israel...to face the challenge, while standing behind us are the armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation. This act will astound the world. Today they will know that the Arabs are arranged for battle, the critical hour has arrived. We have reached the stage of serious action and not declarations.(13)

President Abdur Rahman Aref of Iraq joined in the war of words: "The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified. This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948. Our goal is clear -- to wipe Israel off the map."(14) On June 4, Iraq joined the military alliance with Egypt, Jordan and Syria.



The Arab rhetoric was matched by the mobilization of Arab forces. Approximately 250,000 troops (nearly half in Sinai), more than 2,000 tanks and 700 aircraft ringed Israel.(15)

By this time, Israeli forces had been on alert for three weeks. The country could not remain fully mobilized indefinitely, nor could it allow its sea lane through the Gulf of Aqaba to be interdicted. Israel had no choice but preemptive action. To do this successfully, Israel needed the element of surprise. Had it waited for an Arab invasion, Israel would have been at a potentially catastrophic disadvantage. On June 5, the order was given to attack Egypt.

The U.S. Position
The United States tried to prevent the war through negotiations, but it was not able to persuade Nasser or the other Arab states to cease their belligerent statements and actions. Still, right before the war, Johnson warned: "Israel will not be alone unless it decides to go alone."(16) Then, when the war began, the State Department announced: "Our position is neutral in thought, word and deed."(17)

Moreover, while the Arabs were falsely accusing the United States of airlifting supplies to Israel, Johnson imposed an arms embargo on the region (France, Israel's other main arms supplier also embargoed arms to Israel).

By contrast, the Soviets were supplying massive amounts of arms to the Arabs. Simultaneously, the armies of Kuwait, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Iraq were contributing troops and arms to the Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian fronts.(18)

Jerusalem Is Attacked
Prime Minister Levi Eshkol sent a message to King Hussein saying Israel would not attack Jordan unless he initiated hostilities. When Jordanian radar picked up a cluster of planes flying from Egypt to Israel, and the Egyptians convinced Hussein the planes were theirs, he then ordered the shelling of West Jerusalem. It turned out the planes were Israel's, and were returning from destroying the Egyptian air force on the ground.

After Jordan launched its attack on June 5, approximately 325,000 Palestinians living in the West Bank fled.(19) These were Jordanian citizens who moved from one part of what they considered their country to another, primarily to avoid being caught in the cross fire of a war.



A Palestinian refugee who was an administrator in a UNRWA camp in Jericho said Arab politicians had spread rumors in the camp. "They said all the young people would be killed. People heard on the radio that this is not the end, only the beginning, so they think maybe it will be a long war and they want to be in Jordan."(20)

Some Palestinians who left preferred to live in an Arab state rather than under Israeli military rule. Members of various PLO factions fled to avoid capture by the Israelis. Nils-Göran Gussing, the person appointed by the UN Secretary-General to investigate the situation, found that many Arabs also feared they would no longer be able to receive money from family members working abroad.(21)

Israeli forces ordered a handful of Palestinians to move for "strategic and security reasons." In some cases, they were allowed to return in a few days, in others; Israel offered to help them resettle elsewhere.(22)

The Stunning Victory
After just six days of fighting, Israeli forces broke through the enemy lines and were in a position to march on Cairo, Damascus and Amman. A cease_fire was invoked on June 10.

The victory came at a very high cost. In storming the Golan Heights, Israel suffered 115 dead-roughly the number of Americans killed during Operation Desert Storm. Altogether, Israel lost twice as many men — 777 dead and 2,586 wounded-in proportion to her total population as the U.S. lost in eight years of fighting in Vietnam.(23) Also, despite the incredible success of the air campaign, the Israeli Air Force lost 46 of its 200 fighters.(24)



By the end of the war, Israel had conquered enough territory to more than triple the size of the area it controlled, from 8,000 to 26,000 square miles. The victory enabled Israel to unify Jerusalem. Israeli forces had also captured the Sinai, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip and West Bank.

Israel now ruled more than three-quarters of a million Palestinians — most of whom were hostile to the government. Nevertheless, more than 9,000 Palestinian families were reunited in 1967. Ultimately, more than 60,000 Palestinians were allowed to return.(25)

In November 1967, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 242, which established a formula for Arab-Israeli peace whereby Israel would withdraw from territories occupied in the war in exchange for peace with its neighbors. This resolution has served as the basis for peace negotiations from that time on.

Israel's leaders fully expected to negotiate a peace agreement with their neighbors that would involve some territorial compromise. Therefore, instead of annexing the West Bank, a military administration was created. No occupation is pleasant for the inhabitants, but the Israeli authorities did try to minimize the impact on the population. Don Peretz, a frequent writer on the situation of Arabs in Israel and a sharp critic of the Israeli government, visited the West Bank shortly after the Israeli troops had taken over. He found they were trying to restore normal life and prevent any incidents that might encourage the Arabs to leave their homes.(26)

Except for the requirement that school texts in the territories be purged of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic language, the authorities tried not to interfere with the inhabitants. They did provide economic assistance; for example, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were moved from camps to new homes. This stimulated protests from Egypt, which had done nothing for the refugees when it controlled the area.

Arabs were given freedom of movement. They were allowed to travel to and from Jordan. In 1972, elections were held in the West Bank. Women and non-landowners, unable to participate under Jordanian rule, were now permitted to vote.

East Jerusalem Arabs were given the option of retaining Jordanian citizenship or acquiring Israeli citizenship. They were recognized as residents of united Jerusalem and given the right to vote and run for the city council. Also, Islamic holy places were put in the care of a Muslim Council. Despite the Temple Mount's significance in Jewish history, Jews were barred from conducting prayers there.

Notes
(1)Encyclopedia Americana Annual 1961, (NY: Americana Corporation, 1961), p. 387.

(2)Yehoshafat Harkabi, Arab Attitudes To Israel, (Jerusalem: Keter Publishing House, 1972), p. 27.

(3)Howard Sachar, A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time, (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1979), p. 616.

(4)Samuel Katz, Battleground-Fact and Fantasy in Palestine, (NY: Bantam Books, 1985), pp. 10-11, 185.

(5)Netanel Lorch, One Long War, (Jerusalem: Keter, 1976), p. 110.

(6) Isi Leibler, The Case For Israel, (Australia: The Globe Press, 1972), p. 60.

(7)Ibid.

(8)United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, (Geneva: UN Publications 1958), pp. 132-134.

(9)Yehuda Lukacs, Documents on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict 1967-1983, (NY: Cambridge University Press, 1984), pp. 17-18; Abba Eban, Abba Eban, (NY: Random House, 1977), p. 358

(10)Eban, p. 330.

(11)Leibler, p. 60.

(12)Leibler, p. 18.

(13)Leibler, p. 60.

(14)Leibler, p. 18.

(15)Chaim Herzog, The Arab-Israeli Wars, (NY: Random House, 1982), p. 149.

(16)Lyndon B. Johnson, The Vantage Point: Perspectives of the Presidency 1963-1969, (NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971), p. 293.

(17)AP, (June 5, 1967).

(18)Sachar, p. 629.

(19)Encyclopedia American Annual 1968, p. 366.

(20)George Gruen, "The Refugees of Arab-Israeli Conflict," (NY: American Jewish Committee, March 1969), p. 5.

(21)Gruen, p. 5.

(22)Gruen, p. 4.

(23)Katz, p. 3.

(24)Jerusalem Post, (4/23/99).

(25)Encyclopedia American Annual 1968, p. 366.

(26)Don Peretz, "Israel's New Dilemma," Middle East Journal, (Winter 1968), pp. 45-46..

*** Continued in next post ***
 

NightTrain

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*** Continued ***

That give ya anything to have a go at, NT? I'm not sure Americans in general really know the history, as short as it is, of Israel.
It sure did, thanks! I enjoy history, and am always up to learn more about it.

The problem here is that after the holocaust during WWII it was decided to set up a Jewish homeland. Where should that be? Probably where they came from, orginally.

I think you should research a bit about how the Middle East was set up by the British and French in the early 1900s. Lawrence of Arabia was there at the time. Borders were drawn up by Europeans, not by the Arabs.

You're correct in that some Arabs were displaced to make way for the Jews; however the Jews had been there as well for thousands of years. Who was there first? Does it really matter today?
 
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conserv_man

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Israel needs to KILL AFAFAT TONIGHT. Then they need to launch a massive search and destroy throughout PAL infested areas and keep on doing it until the last terrorist is dead!

Pal's don't deserve to live on the face of the earth, they are uncivilized and need to be taught a lesson. I don’t feel a bit sorry for them and all the Liberals that plead their cause. The demonstrate they are nothing but DUNG!
:mad:
 
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