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Front Page: Optimism Rises Ceasefire Plan in Gaza

  • Hope for a diplomatic resolution to the conflict in Gaza has increased with the news that Israel has agreed "on the principles" of a ceasefire proposal. Hamas said there were "positive signs but no agreement yet." — BBC
  • Lawmakers are pushing Barack Obama to embrace deficit-reduction goals while he promotes a spending and tax-cutting plan. Yesterday, Obama said he would "bring a long-overdue sense of responsibility and accountability to Washington" and called the need for budget reform "an absolute necessity." — AP
  • Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White says he's being unfairly blamed by members of the Senate for not seating Roland Burris. — Chicago Tribune
  • Barack Obama will announce his pick for "chief performance officer," a newly created position that will work on the federal budget and to reform government. — CNN
  • Pakistani leaders say India's suggestions that official agencies may have been involved in training November's Mumbai terrorists are pushing the region to war. — United Press International
  • HBO has landed the rights to the inaugural ceremony and will kick off coverage of Inauguration week with an exclusive telecast of a star-studded opening ceremony on Sunday, Jan. 18. It will offer the event free to cable and satellite subscribers. — Hollywood Reporter

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stephley stephley 8 years
I've always heard that Israel has a strong peace movement, but it's awfully hard to overcome the noise of people who are in some way benefitting, especially financially, from constant turmoil.
lildorothyparker lildorothyparker 8 years
Agreed again Martini. Eya, I think both Palestinians and Israelis have the right to defend themselves, but I think it's also important to distinguish between Israelis, Palestinians, and the governments that represent the people. The "defending" is perpetuated by political groups rather than the civilians, but the civilians are the one who continue to suffer. I'd like to actually see Israel talk with Hamas. I know this won't happen because of the terrorism label associated with Hamas, but if the government could just get past that I think peace might actually become a viable option. This is one of the reasons why I support Obama. Critics disagree with his willingness to meet with, say Raul Castro, but if we continue to ignore these "leaders", progress won't happen.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
Eya, I don't think that anyone on here ever said anything about only Israel having the right to defend itself....I think we are all saying that BOTH sides bear some responsibility for this never-ending cycle of violence and that BOTH the Palestinian and Israeli people lose if it continues. Not to speak for anyone else, but at least that's how I feel.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
"history have shown that the sooner governments intervene, the sooner the economy get itself going again." It worked well for Mother Russia.
Eya Eya 8 years
Why do you give Israel the right to defend itself and not for Palestinians? they also have the right to defend themselves!! 60 years of war in which they lost everything;lands, homes, families and freedom I think that Israel is trying to give excuses for its crimes. yet, they couldn't prove that Hamas militants were hiding in the school, 'cuzz those who died are women and children..
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
"history have shown that the sooner governments intervene, the sooner the economy get itself going again." Can't argue with that.
Myst Myst 8 years
beautiful post Martini, I've lost faith from both sides. People on both sides are dying and people rather put politics over the lives of their people. When I'm watching this invasion the first thing I ask. What's the objective. Yes I heard Livni, Mansour, and Barak's that it's to weaken Hamas, but even they know that not going to work and will never work. All Hamas needs to do is to have a few members survive and they'll declare a victory just like Hezbolla did. Which begets another question. What's was their objective into going to Lebenon and start that attack. It didn't work. It's time for every to move beyond the violence and start real talks that has a real objective and offer real solutions into solving this 60 year old conflict that will benefit both Israel and the Palestinian people.
lildorothyparker lildorothyparker 8 years
Oh I 100% agree with you Martini, particularly your last point. I think that I'm just letting myself be naive enough to wish that one side would be the bigger person, so to speak.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Beautifully put, Martini!
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
I am not arguing that Israel is right, I was just saying that I thought that was the reason they were blaming Hamas for the school bombing. I don't pretend to know what thought went into the Israeli decision to bomb the school. Mistake? Heat of the battle? Something else?? I do think it is sad that Hamas would hide in a school where women and children were being sheltered, if that is what the truth turns out to be, but I don't know that we will ever know the truth behind this incident. :? I guess I don't have faith in any of the parties involved to come clean about anything after this whole thing is over. And I have very little hope that this cycle of repeated violence will come to an end in the near future. It is sad for everyone on both sides.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I have a hard time believing anything the UN says. They are more corrupt than Chicago politics.
lildorothyparker lildorothyparker 8 years
I understand what you're saying Martini, but that seems to be Israel's response to everything. It's a very juvenile "they started it" attitude that is clearly going nowhere fast. More than anything, this particular bombing irks me because a school was targeted. Yes, Hamas were hiding there, but are a few Hamas members more important than the lives of 42 Palestinian civilians? I also don't like the attitude my government is adopting. There's a line in the article that I referenced that says "While adding that Ottawa did not yet know much about the incident..." Thus far, Canadian politicians have remained fairly neutral with respect to the Israel/Palestine conflict, but Kent chose to make a loaded statement about something the government knows little about...?
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
Israel says one thing, the UN rep says another. Part of me thinks that of course Israel would say that rather than admit they screwed up and bombed a school by mistake. Then the other part of me thinks that of course the UN would deny Israel's story, even if it were true, rather than have everyone know that Hamas was holed up in one of their schools. Which story am I supposed to believe? The thing that drives me crazy is that we can't verify either story...
Myst Myst 8 years
MartiniLush, the UN denied those claims. They said that there weren't any fires coming from the school. I'm not so much anti-Israel as am I anti-their actions, especially in this case. I agree with you and I've said it many times, they absolutely have the right to defend themselves but on a scale like this? It's unnecessary. Israel must be in agreement of a two-state system. They along with the US has repeatedly vetoed a two-party system each and every time that the UN has had it brought up for a vote.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
lildorthyparker - I think they are blaming Hamas because Israel says that it's forces were coming under fire from Hamas militants who were hiding in the school and that is why they fired on the school in the first place. :?
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
I have mostly tried to stay away from these threads, because the tone of the comments is so anti-Israel, but I just have to point out something. I have family and friends in Israel and I have to tell you that many in Israel are just as tired of this violence and are just as sick of what is going on in Gaza as the rest of the world. While Israelis are sick of Hamas shooting rockets that kill Israeli civilians, they are now starting to question the scope of their government's response. Unfortunately, the voices of those questioning this action are not widely reported on. While I 100% support Israel's right to defend itself, I cannot condone such wide-scale slaughter. It seems to me that it has moved beyond defense and into "revenge". Jude, I think you are right, BOTH sides need to turn their efforts to stopping the cycle of violence. Unfortunately, I don't think Hamas is interested in that, much to the detriment of the Palestinians! :-(
stephley stephley 8 years
It would help if the U.S. took the side of stopping the violence too. We spend way too much time and effort trying to tilt things.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I think that if both sides turned their efforts towards stopping the cycle of mindless violence and hatred, it would do more for peace than all the bombings in the world.
lildorothyparker lildorothyparker 8 years
No worries :) And you're right, blame doesn't seem to be helping so far.
Eya Eya 8 years
Thanks for sharin'-Lildorothy and I apologies for the previous comment. I think that blaming wouldn't help in this situation...
lildorothyparker lildorothyparker 8 years
Here's the article I was reading: thestar.com/News/World/article/562825 Quote from the article: "Canada blamed Hamas yesterday for endangering civilians in the Gaza Strip after at least 42 Palestinians – including children – were killed by Israeli tank fire while taking shelter in a UN-operated school. Hamas bears a terrible responsibility for this and for the wider deepening humanitarian tragedy," Peter Kent, the new minister of state for foreign affairs, told Reuters in response to the attack." The Canadian government is usually pretty quiet about commenting on Israeli/Palestinian relations, but apparently it has decided to jump on the "blame the Palestinian" bandwagon.
lildorothyparker lildorothyparker 8 years
Thanks tia! I was definitely being sarcastic with the "super" comment.
Eya Eya 8 years
Thanks -Tiabia- it was a misunderstanding and I apologies for that =S
Eya Eya 8 years
Yes Jude!killing whole villages and innocent babies in every religious day is unacceptable because it's disrespectful for our religion
tiabia tiabia 8 years
Eya, lildororthyparker was NOT saying that bombing a Palestinian school is super. She was being sarcastic in regards to her Canadian governments blinded backing of the Israels, and her Canadian government blaming Hamas for causing Israel to bomb the school. I hope this makes sense.
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