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Front Page: Israel Pushes Into Southern Gaza on Day 12 of Fire

  • Israeli troops moved to the southern Gaza Strip today, ignoring an effort by European envoys to broker a cease-fire. Palestinian officials said the death toll in Gaza has risen to about 560 since Israel began airstrikes on Dec. 27. At least nine Israelis have been killed. — Washington Post
  • President-elect Barack Obama told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi he favors a grand total of $775 billion for the US economic stimulus plan. — Bloomberg
  • Consumers are reeling from a recession, job uncertainty, tighter credit, and falling stock portfolios, and it shows. Wal-Mart Stores could be one of the only retailers to post a rise in December sales, as US retail sales continue to fall. — Reuters
  • Barack Obama's pick for head of CIA, Leon Panetta, is churning a mixed reaction from CIA officials. He has been described as a "fabulous choice" to lead the agency and conversely "inexperienced" with intelligence manners. — ABC News
  • Despite support against his appointment to the US Senate, Roland Burris told the The Early Show he plans to take his seat as Illinois's junior senator. Burris, who was selected to take Barack Obama's Senate seat, brushed off his critics, saying his appointment by the scandal-plagued governor, Rod Blagojevich, is legal and valid — CBS News


Join The Conversation
thejenster14 thejenster14 8 years
Israel in 2005, left Gaza with 7 universities, hospitals, schools, greenhouses, and enough economic prosperity to start a state of its own. Hamas ransacked all of the infrastructure, the green houses, temples left over from the settlements, and force their own people to live in poverty, when they had been supported and held to a higher standard of living under Israeli occupation. It is strictly Hamas' fault and Hamas wants the Palestinians to live this way, so that they can use the hatred, the resentment, and the anger to gain more jihadists to their cause. Hamas chose, immediately after the disengagement, to send rockets into Sderot. Israel did nothing for years, waiting on the technology that would intercede the missiles. 6,300 rockets in total in four years have been launched into Israel. Finally, Israel agreed to a ceasefire with Hamas brokered by Egypt. Hamas spent the six months cease fire gaining missiles from Iran, longer range missiles that can now hit huge populations such as Ashdod, with a population of 200,000 and now Be'er Sheba, the largest city in the Negev. Just yesterday, a rocket was able to reach 20 miles outside Tel Aviv, the capital. Hamas launched 600 rockets after the ceasefire. Israel did nothing for 6 weeks. Now, they have chosen to act. The ground offensive is to severely weaken Hamas. It's terrible that the Palestinians have to suffer, but they have elected Hamas. In fact, after Hamas refused to extend the cease fire, Fatah leader and Palestinian Authority President Abu Mazen Mahmoud Abbas said they were provoking Israel and that they were stupid not to extend the cease fire. This is the real situation. Not the situation you're describing which leaves out the chronology and the numbers that explain exactly what happened. It is awful that civilians are being killed. It is awful that this is what it has come to. But to say disproportionate force is merely to reiterate rhetoric and talking points from Hussein the Hamas PR guy. When you define disproportionate force, you are stating that proportionate force would be one life for another. That's not realistic, nor does it define guidelines for warfare. The fact of the matter is Israel's use of force is a lot more restrained than it could be. Israel could wipe out Hamas, but the morality of Israel and Jewish Ethics is against this. Targeting militants and a ground offensive has much less room for error in killing civilians. However, Hamas uses human shields, as you already know, raising civilian casualties.
Myst Myst 8 years
Pequena, I did see that movie and I love Marianne's story. It really shows one of the best way to deal with people like these. You have to engage in serious talks, from both ends. Israel can't demand that Hamas honor their demands, and yet refuse to even acknowledge that they are an elected group. Just like Hamas can't continue on doing what they are doing without seeing that they are further hurting the Palestinians. And Steph you're welcome. I love hearing your input too :D
stephley stephley 8 years
I will check the site out Myst. I tend to believe that all war is wrong and especially in this case, it has all gone on too long. What I can't figure out is why: who has benefitted all this time? Arms sales obviously are very good, but good enough to keep the U.S. shoveling money to Israel and ignoring the needs of the Palestians? When Yitzhak Rabin was murdered, it seemed briefly as if peace might get a little traction but that didn't last. Anyway, I find your comments very helpful.
pequeña pequeña 8 years
I don't know if you've seen "A Mighty Heart" Myst, the film with Angelina Jolie. I'm normally not a big fan of hers, but I was very touched by that movie. The way Marianne Pearl dealt with her husband's death is truly inspiring. I just was so moved that after what happened to her husband she could see things coldly and see that terrorism exsists because of poverty and misery and the way to end with it is to promote comunication between the different parts.
Myst Myst 8 years
it's no problem Steph. If you listen to the they have a lot of commentaries about it or even check out their Youtube account and also check out Haartz, it's an Israeli newspaper that's completely in English online and they give very detailed information about what's going on and also the BBC. I listen to them because they give out the most unbiased information with perspectives from both sides. One thing that's really bothered me is the fact that US is slowly blaming Hamas. Attacking them is not going to weaken them. Even if they wipe every Hamas on the face of the earth, another group will come and replace them, and then another after that. Israel has seen this in it's 70 year of existent and yet it continues to engage is this sort of tactic in engaging with groups like these. "I always believed that to end with terrorism we need to see where it comes from, the reasons for it, and start working from there. Violence will never be a solution." Pequena you are so right on that. When you look at the situation and see why "terrorists" acts are made, you have to see where it comes from. Over 80 percent of Palestinians in the Gaza and in the West bank are living below the poverty line. When there's poverty and suffering, there's an increase in violence and radical behavior.
stephley stephley 8 years
Myst & Tulipe, I've really appreciated your comments on Gaza this week - I keep checking in to see if you've added to them. Pequena, I agree, Sarkozy seems to be making a real effort.
pequeña pequeña 8 years
"Terrorists aren't born they're made." Your father is so right Myst, I always believed that to end with terrorism we need to see where it comes from, the reasons for it, and start working from there. Violence will never be a solution. I have to say that I'm impressed with Sarkozy's effords to reach a pact for a cease-fire. I don't always like his politics but he seems to be a very active and capable politician. I hope Europe can at least reach a pact so the humanitarian help can enter Gaza and the frontier with Egypt can be opened. A cease-fire won't be reached unless the US stops to boycott every try for a resolution from the United Nations. Hamas needs to join the talks too - they need to be a part of the pact if both parts really want peace. From those 560 dead Palestinians (there are probably more, but information is slow and the hospitals are collapsed), a 100 were children. Today Israel just bombed a school run by the UN where refugees were hidden and killed more than 40 civilians. It breaks my heart to think how so many people think that those deaths are just the consecuence of Israel fighting "for peace and to end with terrorism".
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
Poor Guy. He did nothing wrong. This is why they should have let the investigation go on until the seat was actually sold. Now you just have assumptions, and no legality behind not letting Burris take the seat. Me thinks IL may have a lawsuit on their hands. But darn it, they were afraid too many democrats would be tainted by this scandal, so they had to end it early... hmm
Myst Myst 8 years
Tulipe, I don't read the NYT or Washington Post much. Mainly because NYT is overwhelming bias for Israel and because they won't point out the facts of the UN violations that Israel has done in the past. Also I went to visit Gaza with my best friend's who's mom is a Moroccan-born Palestinian and the situation there and how people are living there is ridiculously sad. I keep hearing people who's strictly pro-Israel talk about how they left the region in '05 and that there's plenty for the Palestinians to do, yet they won't mention the fact that there is a blockade, Israel is occupying the West Bank and surrounding area, and that the Palestinians want a two state solutions. Hamas is wrong but like my dad always says, terrorists aren't born they're made.
Tulipe Tulipe 8 years
Myst, thank you for the heads up ! I gotta say, I sort of lost interest in CNN a long time ago. I prefer making my own shopping online, with mostly newspaper (Washington Post, New York Times and also English/French newspapers) but you're talking about Zbigniew Brzezinski (do you know that it is pronounced "Zbigniaff"?), so I'll validate it. ;-) Oh, and I have a Palestinian friend who's currently in Gaza. That helps too for the "other side of the story"... :-) The situation in the media still worries me because I think a lot of people won't try and find another point of view. Just look at the reactions when Obama said that he would re initiate dialog with Iran and North Korea ! Dialog is perceived as a sign of weakness. Yet EVERYBODY in the Middle East and especially those primarily concerned knows that with such a conflict will never get solved with military measures and violence. The only solution will be political.
Myst Myst 8 years
Tulipe, if you watch Rick Sanchez, last week he had Zbigniew Brzezinski on last week, and also Cooper had Palestinian people who are in Gaza right now talking about what's going on. Also Wolffe Blitz had Queen Noor on last Sunday talking about it basically saying Israel's response is disproportional and that there must be a cease-fire now, at least to allow more humanitarian aid come in the Gaza strip. And good for Jon Stewart for saying that. There are two sides to the story and I'm sick of people in the media, especially in the news media only giving in one side of it.
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
So Burris wasn't allowed to be seated today. Great. More drama from the Illinios/Blago/Burris/Congress ring. I somehow feel that $775 billion stimulus package is going to turn into a $X trillion stimulus package... just like the one we have now.
Tulipe Tulipe 8 years
Myst, the only minute of fairness that I've seen so far was... on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night. He said that he did not excuse what Hamas did but that retaliation up to that level was inexcusable and that they were both sides to the story etc. And yes, by the way, Jon Stewart is jewish. So it's possible to have a clear view on the conflict when you're jewish (or Palestinian or Arab, for that matter). Do you hear that, EVERYONE ElSE ?
stephley stephley 8 years
If you believe Bush, he was failed by the experienced intelligence community in the run up to the Iraq War. If you believe the experienced intelligence community, they were ignored by neo-cons who set up their own intelligence shop to give them the information they wanted. So maybe Panetta, with experience as a Congressman, WH chief of staff and head of OMB, would be a good person to handle the politics while experienced intelligence vets rebuild the CIA.
Myst Myst 8 years
I wonder how long the media's bias towards the Israel-Palestinian conflict will go on? I've only seen one station so far actually put people from both sides to talk about it so I'll give CNN props for that. Burris that man is a idiot, no one else would take that seat from Blago. I guess even at 71 he still haven't developed common sense.
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