Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs

Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs

2005, History  -   84 Comments
Ratings: 7.98/10 from 45 users.

Elusive Peace: Israel and the ArabsA three part documentary series examines the last years of the Arab-Israeli peace process from the point of view of presidents and prime ministers, their generals and ministers and those behind the suicide bombs and assassinations. The series reveals what happened behind closed doors as the peace process failed and the violence of the intifada exploded.

Israel's former Prime Minister Ehud Barak persuaded US President Bill Clinton to devote his last 18 months in office to helping make peace with Yasser Arafat. But after tense negotiations the deal was never made. Then Ariel Sharon made a controversial visit to the al-Aqsa mosque compound in East Jerusalem, a site which is also holy to Jews.

The former US Secretary of State, Colin Powell attempted to make peace between Israel and the Palestinians. However, his efforts were derailed by his own hard-line colleagues. And the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat himself.

President Bush was determined to stay out of Middle East peace-making. But the war in Iraq forced him to court Arab allies. He needed to push Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon back towards peace. But Ariel Sharon moved the goal posts.

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84 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Tan

    israeli army looks no different than terrorist .....

  2. Adam Klein

    Israeli prime minister Ehud Barack's words are being completely & wrongfully distorted in the subtitles. Subtitles should be written by a translator, not a lobbyst with a hidden agenda.
    This movie is a disgrace to documentaries.

  3. awful_truth

    This was a very informative documentary, not because of the information contained therein, but the true nature of the power players is well exposed. For the record, Arafat did not die of a blood disease as according to the documentary, but from radiation poisoning from polonium #210. This was proven after they exhumed his body. (Apparently they had put it in his cigars which he got from Israel)
    All I know is assassinating a quadriplegic (Hamas leader) is an act of cowardice of the highest order. Ariel Sharon's political posturing and incitement of the Palestinians when they were so close to an actual solution, was almost as tragic as the way he conducted himself in his prior military involvement. Either way, it is very clear that 'certain Israeli people' have not learned the correct message from the suffering of those who preceded them in the 2nd world war.
    Note: Obama, and Netanyahu criticizing Russian involvement in the Crimea is also meaningless since they and their predecessors (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc) have destroyed their own credibility regarding adherence to international law, and the Geneva convention. ( white phosphorus, depleted uranium, attack drones, torture, no habeas corpus, etc, etc, etc) This is not a defense of Putin's actions in the Ukraine, only that he hasn't killed a million, and displaced another 4 million in the process, and probably has more justification than they did in Iraq.(they had none, which is not hard to beat)
    One thing for certain; insanity is running the world, and if they have their way, we will all go to hell in a hand basket. (misery loves company!) Question: if a person can disown their family and dissolve their citizenship, can they disown humanity? (a spiritual question)

    1. Batman

      Excellent thought process you have there. Thanks.

  4. jaberwokky

    Outstanding insight into the long lasting tensions between the 3 key players. I learned a few new things in regards to Arafat. A saint the man was not.

  5. Richard Neva

    Do any of you realize that Israel gets multi trillions of dollars from the USA for their war machine against the Arabs and America? This is all free money for them to do as they please and we know how they can make war on us and the Arabs!

    1. jaberwokky

      3.1 billion per year is what Israel gets. It equates to just above 1% of the Israeli GDP and it has been like that since 1978. 1% of Israeli GDP is 2.54 billion. In 1997 Netanyahu stood in front of congress and proclaimed that Israel was ready to disengage from american economic aid. Since then that 'economic aid' has been redirected to military aid.

      I agree with you in general, as long as you're not being racist.

      Edit: Or anti semite, which is a lot lower on the pole ...

    2. a_no_n

      I think it's worth noting that the vast majority of that money comes straight out the wallets of Evangelical Christians, who believe that kick starting armageddon by financing this bitter pointless war is going to get them a seat in heaven next to their bloodthirster God.

  6. John August Gronau

    You know, Jews & Muslims, Israel & its enemies take up way, way too much room in the public consciousness. Neither matter a mote.

  7. lambo gini

    all of u guys are all wrong wrong wrong, i am not with muslims or with jews but my eyes are clear and the fog is over for me, i no longer try to push the dust away to see what has happend this is it: although hitler is a bad ****** **** head he realized that most jews only bring corruption to the world thats y he got into a killing streak but he said that he still left some jews alive so the world can see how sick, and bad they are and about the sufisticated weapons and all of that **** i dont give a **** but i know that the pile of dung is thrown on an arab country so no other country can smell the bad infested **** and am not saying that arabs are good but there rights are being taken away by the way the media wants u to believe what they want u believe u can never find the truth however u dig thanks for listening

    1. Kyle Guanell

      Yeah those sure sounded like some clear thoughts there.. You sir, need to learn how to spell before you can state everyone else is wrong.Stay in School kids

  8. PLsmscientist

    The cancer of the world is there.
    If anyone had doubts that evil exists then this documentary proves that the so called state of Israel is run by a bunch of military subhumans psychopats. In fact I cannot even imagine these guys are from this planet. Some aliens must have dumped them on earth a few thousands years ago.
    The documentary is well made but the felling is fairly clear to me that Israel has no interest in achieving peace for a simple reason which we see in this documentary. Any chance to negotiate has been disturbed by an israeli provokation. The more damage they could do, and there more Israelis citizens would die in a suicide bomb attack and the more strenght they had in negotiation. Always wanting more, never happy enough. This is moreorless the policies Zionism has been using since a long time still milking from countries like Germany for unproven war damages (just check the so called holohoax). I feel sorry for the palestinians people but I’m sure one day they will win even if this means that the only way to assure safety to humanity is a designer weapon to get rid for once and all of these beasts.

  9. Michael Danger Gee

    They should just settle this once and for all with a game of rock, paper, scissors!

  10. Cathryn Odom

    this video does not show that from 1978-2006 pro-israeli political action comm have contributed $43,724,035 to candidateswho vote in congress according to AIPAC'S recommendations americas pro-israel lobbyAIPAC{american israel public affairs committee] has a multi million dollar budget. In 2003 U.S. government approved $10 billion in aid to israelthis money is u.s.tax $ so that israelis can expropriate land deport civilians imprison over 9000 childre destroy homes prevent civil from working do to non freedom of movement restrict road usage put up militarized checkpoints that detain civilian for hours preventing acces to medical attention of any kind ,school, worship, or jobs that few still have , removal from homes repeadedly for no reason physical abuse at will to the civilian population, people are being forced into camps where there is no running water electricity homes, decent f food.are we in favor of this treqatment to any human being? WE are supporting the israelis and their actions and we are being kept from the truth once again. israel has 2-300 nuk warheads they have 3930 tanks palis have 0 they have 362 f-16jets palis have 0 they have the largest f-16 jets fleet in any country in the world behind u.s. does it sound like they are being tormented by any one to you i think not. people need to start looking into matters on their own because we can not trust our own media nor can we trust our leaders . post that!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Guest

      @Cathryn Odom,

      I seen the video where these USA subsidees are published.
      A USA law force the USA Gov. to publish those datas.

      And I bet that most, close to all USA citizens are aware that Israel use the USA subsidees to rub, steel, torture the Palestinians.

      You'd need to assess the USA nation behavior during the Vietnam war.


  11. bbga

    Great documentary. I wish my fellow Americans would all watch this. I sincerely believe that Obama wants the Palestinians to have their own country. Now that he has insisted the pre-1967 border must be used for negotiating, it will be interesting to see how the process plays out.

    1. Guest

      Sorry BBGA but it it is so obvious that you're 100% wrong!
      It didn't been decades, generations, centuries that it been so, it's been millenium. And the killing continue.
      Just as if either side just can't live without ordeals.
      What would there be left to do if it stops?

      With a macbine gun in one's hands, there're no laws no regulation no nothing. The one who hold the machine is the one who manage justice. If you'd be or are an American, you shoud know that.

      Have you seen the doc. where a US teen girl go visit her teen girlfriend penpal in over there?
      Just happen that the US girl was plainly badlucky because after a week with the palestinian family, the Israeli army knocked on the door on that palestinian family to give them an eviction order since the land on which that family had its house was declared Israelilian property.

      Being at that age, she was not in a condition to realise facts of life and that even though that house belong to that family for centuries, the USA citizens decided that selling weapons to the Israeli government was a mean to promote peace!

      Not realizing that cost her, her life.
      Her parents in the USA midwest never ever had the opporunity to be heard by the USA congress who has the concern to protect their citizens.

      Thinking 'bout so many other things like this one all over the world, can you imagine how lucky I feel for not being an US citizen and not being considered as part of a sub-human specie?

      And everyday, the paper boy brings more.

  12. Guest

    1st & above all, this "Problem" began even before WWII.
    That is before 1939.
    You just can't imagine what the Brit' endured under the "Normands" reign.
    Way, way before Cesar took over the atrocities.
    Maybe you heard of "Attilla"?
    May I state that I sure did viewed all WWII docs?
    Plus a few antisemite ones including the one on this site.

    I watch them all. You know what?
    Whatever can be said about this, that or any nation, I had to realize that Jews, Japaneses, USA using napalm in Vietnam, Chineses, Mogols when they carried their razzias in N-China, the Portugese & Spain in S-America...
    All have the exact typical behavior of the beast known under the term "Homosapien"! What's the most dangerous beast on planet earth?...
    A vicious, perverted sadistic beast.
    I don't know to what extent, what % of those beasts on planet earth but it seems as that % didn't change a bit a million years.
    Just raffined the abusals, tortures and means of plundering.

    Ok! Just take an example which is not semitique or anitisemitic...
    You must have heard that the Irish nation always been ideal settlers all over the world? Australia, N-Zeland, USA & Canada?
    Also known that wherever they "Migrated",they remained pretty proud of their origin. I like it 'coze of the parties! & The beer!...

    What if the Irish Gov. would announce all over the world the following:=>
    Come back living in Ireland, we'll grant you immediate citizenship, sponsor some ~ approx. $50,000 if you buy a house.
    We have the land, we intent to take over some uncoppied territory within Scotland and England that were always considered as being ours!
    And you can keep your former nationality!
    Hum! No the best "Non-Antisemite" example since the Queen of England is a Scott? But anyhow, just pretend that it ain't the case...
    Still, I really think Israel should always have had a home in the middle east.
    Historical matters...

    But bottom line, I now realise that the Jewish nation is nothing more than one nation of homosapiens among all the other ones if you see what I mean?
    Obviously, the Jewish nation teached the whole world the most important lesson we could ever dream of!
    Soon after what they went through in WWII, they forgot, up to a point where they teach their youngs the very same hate insanities we seen in the 40's. (I seen the documentary) and are now committing the very same atrocities over whatever other homosapiens they stumble on.
    -The definition of what is the homosapien, left aside a few others.

    It began by terrorism a little before WWII.
    That is fully documented albeit their propanda ignore, and denies facts like massacres. They sure learned their lesson!

    BTW: My deceased uncle was there in Germany giving care to freed concentration camp survivors.
    One of my neighbor is one of those. Pretty old...
    No pride into the abusal going on in Palestine.
    Rather disgusted. He sure knows what all this is about.

    Taking away what one man own for centuries, denying the existance of a nation, Palestine, coze he knowns atrocity has no nationality, no religion, no language, no good will.

    Once you disarmed a nation, keep expulsions going as it was done before 1948, what do you expect homosapiens do?
    Go back to the doghouse or the tents provided by the UN?
    Bound to be doomed, late or soon.

  13. Rami Kozolin

    So what you saying is if Hamas choose suicide to blow a bus with citizens then Israelis should do the exact same thing in order to be proportionate?
    How would you set the proper response for the killing of your family or friends ?
    Or you would like for Israeli soldiers to leave the Planes, Tanks or any other means to protect their lives and go die, for you to be cool with the proportion? Maybe we should bomb their Buses and Infiltrate their settling at night and butcher entire families with knifes ? Wouldn't you agree this is the proportion you are looking for ?

  14. israeli

    Israel does not aim at civilians. it uses those very sophisticated weapons because they allow a direct hit in the target with as little civilian casualties as possible.
    the Israeli army uses those weapons in 2 cases: 1. to prevent an attack on Israel based on good and accurate intelligence.
    2. to shoot back to the sources of the fire.
    that's it, if you check the real statistics you'll see that we hit Hamas or Jihad people alone in about 90% of the time.
    civilians are there, civilians die on both sides, i'm not saying it's ok but it's inevitable when terrorist are shooting from a civilian area. that's the real truth and not your "facts" the facts are meaningless without the story.
    that's like saying:"you killed the man? you are guilty" you see the connection? no asking weather its self defense, or if it was intentional. i don't think you would like that process of thinking in everyday life situations, so why are you simplifying it like your audience is a bunch of 4 year olds? i don't know about you but i believe that most people are smarter than that and can see through this claim.
    there are many legitimate claims against Israel with a complicated answer, like the settlements, which i can understand why people are criticizing Israel about.
    the problem with the propaganda machine that got a steady grip all around the world is that there is no legitimate or illegitimate claim, everything you say against Israel is true and everything the Israelis say in return is ignored.

    1. Dean Edgington

      Both sides have their hands dirty with the blood of the innocent and the guilty. Both sides have ruined many opportunities to achieve peace, both sides have been asked to make hugely difficult decisions but have ultimately failed their own people in the process.
      The kind of childish (but dangerous) blame game you are engaged in only contributes to the bloody stalemate - although I'm glad you concede about the settlements. The blame game moves everyone away from a peaceful resolution not towards it. Think about that and think about Northern Ireland or South Africa and the concessions both sides had to make to end the deadlock.
      Firstly: Israel needs to pull out of the occupied territories and the Arabs need to stop killing Jews. In fact, it’s my belief that if Israel returned Palestinian land we would see a huge reduction in terrorist activity in the region. This would be an important first step and would reveal to Israel and the world which Palestinian and Arab factions are serious about negotiation, compromise and peace.
      Secondly: The Temple Mount. Phew...Anyone?

    2. Guest


      You ought to view PBS's "Israel Next War".

      You'll see that as a nation is riddled with extremists, any extremists as some at the core of the israli one, there is a core indeed that radiate its concepts which are in fact, sort of a psychotic mania.

      It hits many isolated (Remote) nation and I thank God for protecting mine. Who ever God that may be coze I dunno, but I don't like to be surronded by psychotic maniacs or paranoiacs.

      Others do enjoy this since it is the drive to weapon's market.


    3. Revolut Ionary

      ^ this dude is an israeli thug. You should go look at a map, pre-1948

  15. Maitreyi

    Will you admit that Israel uses these weapons?
    Will you then concede the fact that Palestine has no army or defence..no jets, no ships..
    If you agree to these two points, which are clear fact, then you must also agree that the the force Israel uses to 'Defend' itself is disproportionate

  16. israeli

    if we use "sophisticated weapons" as you say all the time does that make us evil?
    they are using "unsophisticated weapons" to kill us so i guess it is ok by your theory.. as long as it's not "sophisticated" it's ok to kill innocent people!
    and if we are trying to get rid of them we're doing a lousy job considering our "sophisticated weapons". have you seen the numbers? it's like half a day of typical African tribe war and they are using Machetes for gods sake.
    children lined up? stop watching Palestinian propaganda films.
    this discussion is over, you are brainwashed as hell. at least i can admit of some wrongdoings or mistakes on our side, you just keep on going without thinking clearly for one second.
    i never understood the looking at one side approach, i was raised differently. i'll never have such formed opinion on a place and people I've never seen and know so little about.

    1. Guest


      Obviously, you are under the propaganda of the Israeli sadists.

      The number of high ranking sedition leaders on the palestinian side, killed by your so-called "Sophicated Arms" is nothing else but a drop into the ocean compared to the number of palestinians killed by your sadistic thugs.

      As a devoted endoctrined weirdo, it is also obvious that the propaganda do not not allow you to view the movie where a native central USA teenage girl got shot by an israeli soldier as she objected the demolition of her international girlfriend family home by the israeli army's bulldozer?
      And since you support this NAZI type of propaganda, I add that she was only one among so many others killed who also protested on other family houses demolitions by the israeli army bulldozers.
      2 were from UK...

      I wonder if as it was the case in Germany a few decades ago, we'll find fanatic like you to see with their eyes that they intentionnally and deliberately ignored and pick up the waste.

      You sure are not jewish because jews are of the human kind and you don't qualify to this, rather a waste just like so many we seen in humankind history.

  17. Maitreyi

    The incursion & bombardment of Gaza, is not about destroying Hamas, it is not about stopping rocket fire into Israel, it is not about achieving peace.
    The desicion by Israel to rain death & destruction on Gaza, to use lethal & sophisticated weapons of the modern battlefield on a largley defenceless civillian population is the final phase in the decades long campaign to ethnically cleanse Palestinians.
    The assault on Gaza is about creating squalid, lawless, & impoverished ghettos in the West Bank & Gaza, where life for Palestinians will be barely sustainable. It is about building a series of ringed Palestinian enclaves, where the Israeli military will have the ability to instantly shut off food, movement, medicine & goods to perpetuate the misery.
    Privilege & power, especially military power is a dangerous narcotic, violence destroys those who bear the brunt of it's force, but also those who try to use it to become Gods.
    Israel uses sophisticated attack jets & Naval vessels to bomb densley crowded refugee camps, schools, apartment blocks, Mosques & slums, to attack a population that has no Air Force, no Air Defence, no Navy, no heavy weapons, no artillery units, no mechanised armour, no command & control, no Army, & Israel calls it a War. It is not a War, it is Murder.
    Images of dead Palestinian children, lined up as if asleep, on the floor of the main hospital in Gaza, are a metaphor for the future. Isreal will from now on speak to the Palestinians in the language of death. Those who orchestrate such sieges, do not grasp the terrible rage borne of long humiliation, indiscriminate violence & abuse. A Father or a Mother, who's child dies due to lack of Vaccines, or proper medical care, does not forget. A boy whos ill Grandmother dies while being detained at an Israeli Checkpoint, does not forget. Families who carry the broken bodies of their children to hospitals, do not forget.
    All who endure humiliation, abuse & the murder of those they love, will never forget. This rage becomes a virus within those who eventually stumble out into the daylight. Is it any wonder that 71% of children interviewed in a school in Gaza recently, said they wanted to be a Martyr. The refusal by our political leaders, from Barack Obama, to all but five members of Congress, to the major media, to speak out in defence of the rule of law & the fundemental Human Rights, exposes our cowardice & our hypocrisy. The public debate about the Gaza attack, engages in the absurd pretence that it is Israel, not the Palestinians, whose security & dignity is being threatened. This blind defence of Israel is really brutality towards the Palestinians, is a betrayal of the memory of all those kikilled in other Genocides in other times the lesson of the Holocaust is not that Jews are special, it is not that Jews are unique, it is not that Jews are the eternal victim, the lesson of the Holocaust is that when you have the capacity to halt Genocide & you do not, no matter who carries out that Genocide, or whom it is directed against, you are culpable & we are very culpable. The F16 Fighter Jets, the Apache Attack Helicopters, the 250LB Smart GBU 39 Bombs, the White Phosphorous, are all part of the 3 Billion Dollars in Military aid we give to Israel. Palestinians are being killed, tonight, with American made weapons, but perhaps our callous indifference to human suffering is to be expected, we afterall kill women & children on an even vaster scale in Iraq & Afghanistan

  18. israeli

    @ lemekid
    my best guess is that you claim to know how many Jews were killed during the second world war..
    anyways thats not the point. whether it was 6 million or 3 million, the Jews were being exterminated in death camps.
    in my grandparents's families they are the only ones left alive from their entire family (4-5 people) so if i would have guessed an uneducated guess like yourself i would say there were maybe 8-9 million Jews that were killed.
    every fact i say comes from some basic knowledge. whether its 100% true? nothing is 100% true, we talk about history and there is more than one version and each person takes what seems the most accurate to his opinion.
    i don't think you know anything about this conflict but these documentaries. i'm not saying that they are all false, but they are definitely subjected to the opinion of the ones that created them (and the funding of the Palestinian people's supporters).

  19. lemekid

    @ israeli

    You need to quickly review your history and do a fresh research about the history of the formation of the State of Israel. Just google around or look around youtube and you may find other suppressed documentaries that debunks a lot of your "facts". For example, one documentary showed that the plaque that was made in Germany to tell that 6 million Jews were killed have been silently removed and replaced with just a memorial stone. The reason for its removal was that not 6 million Jews were killed during the second world war.

  20. kevin_405

    The Europeans dont want the jews thats why hitler was used as a reason to either kill of move then off the continent. Even today Europeans like the fact that the jews have moved out to Israel and are not interested in any resolution lest the jews come back to make claims on europe for all the autocracies they had to face.

    Imagine if USA and Europe really wanted to solve the problem relocating 7million ppl would be pretty easy..

    The Arab countries hate each other for different historic and religious reason. The Israel Palestine conflict is a manifestation of this problem. Imagine if there is no israel then all these arab countries would be fighting each other, so the Palestine conflict is kept alive to keep peace on their own lands.

    If Jordan,Egypt,Syria, UAE, SA wanted peace it would be easy for them to relocate the population to any of these countries. But i dont think any of them want to solve the problem.

    Israel is 1/10 the size of the smallest of these countries so this whole problem is fabricated for sure..

    Israel is committing genocide by keeping the Palestinians like prisoners and thats another story, but again when survival is at stake anything sells. For Palestine it is suicide bombers and for israel it is isolating the Palestinians.

    The Arab Israel has no solution..If u are not directly affected by the conflict best not to have any views because having a view itself would be very judgmental on the other side.

  21. israeli

    i can write a whole book as a comment to your comment (not necessarily a negative one) but i'll steak to the more interesting spots.
    start at the end- the most confusing subject- Israeli-Arabs.
    we, as Jewish Israelis, have a dream: that when an Arab person living in Israel will be asked for his identity he'll say "i am an Israeli". a small minority of them says that and when we hear that we wanna hug him. reality is that most of the Arabs defined themselves as palestinians. so does about 70% of the Jordanians.
    which brings us to the question: what is a Palestinian?
    the word "Palestinian" did not exist in the form of "a Palestinian people" or language or culture or even a coin.
    when yaaser arafat and his gang sat in Jordan and thought of a way to unite the Arab nation with the common goal of destroying Israel they (i must say brilliantly)named their people Palestinians in order to prove themselves worthy of the land of former Palestine (a name given to the land by foreign empires that was not referring to an Arab people).

    the fact is that the Jews in Israel were from day 1 until today ready to make peace and live with the Arabs. the problem is that the Arabs have hate for the Jews in their veins. it's a mixture of religious beliefs, propaganda, envy, victims of the wars they swear to revenge their blood by all means, refugees being band (by the Palestinian authority, Hamas, Lebanon and Syria) from living their refugee camp and live with the rest of the population, and i swear to god i once heard of someone who blamed Israel for the luck of rain in the west bank.
    few interesting facts: thousands of marriages between Israeli-Arabs to Palestinians or other Arabs every year. all of them move to Israel for the good life, zero moves to "a better life without the evil Jewish rule".
    the PLO still has "armed struggle against israel" in it's constitution. the Hamas does more than that, it says Israel doesn't have the right to exist and that there could never be peace with Israel (without any conditions).
    the Hamas won the last (and only) fair elections.
    since the West Bank barrier was built there were almost no terrorist acts against Israel, and growth rate of the GDP in the west bank was the highest in the Arab world accept oil countries.
    in the last 5 years, the Arab municipal authorities in Israel got more money per capita from the government than the Jewish ones, and that is to try and balance these corrupt authorities, unable to collect taxes from their own people.
    the israeli arabs live longer, they have more degrees per capita, more freedom, the possibility to be gay, the right to demonstrate, the right to vote, the right to drink alcohol, to have sex with whoever they choose, social security, the right to be elected to the congress, the ability to watch t.v. stations and internet websites hostile to Israel.
    on the other hand, you'll say, the Palestinians are denied from these rights. but ask yourself this:
    The people of Gaza strip- before israel took over, after it took over and untill the first intifada, or since they started the armed struggle against israel. when was the life of the average Palestinian better?
    the answer you can here in the most common quote:" i miss the days i used to go out every morning to work in Tel-Aviv and come back in the evening to my family."
    the truth is, that every time the Arabs or Palestinians cooperated with Israel, they ended up having the best conditions possible for success. if they had played their cards right, they would have been the most prosperous Arab nation and would have their happy country living next to us. and we would have been the exact copies of Sweden or Norway except the blonde hair.

  22. tiggyt

    Hi israeli,

    I am using the standard, dictionary definition of the word Palestinians: the native inhabitants of Palestine / an Arabic-speaking Mediterranean people with family origins in Palestine.

    When you say Palestinians includes people from the general area of Israel, West Bank Gaza and (part of) Jordan, well yes historically these areas were all ancient Palestine. In my opinion, ancient history with its tit-for-tat of wars, conquests and fluctuating borders over thousands of years always takes up too much time in these debates. The concern is with living history, with the people whose families lived in modern-day Israel and Palestine consistently for centuries and who can trace their lineage and ties to the land back for generations, who were forcibly removed to make way for the state of Israel. They are who we're all talking about.

    Surely it is nonsense to say that these people didn't define themselves as Palestinians til the late 1950s or 1960s - who were they and what did they call themselves when they asked for national independence in 1921? Perhaps there is some other non-literal meaning you're trying to convey which I'm not aware of, if so please do enlighten me.

    You say "that if they defined themselves as Palestinians that’s what they are." But if you acknowledge that’s what they are, then why do you insist on calling them something else? Their key facet of national identity is the place where they come from and that has been eroded, so why deny them one of the few identifiers they have left?

    You then say "the Palestinian people’s characteristics are exactly the same as the other Arabs in terms of language and culture. my point is that talking about them as Arabs or Palestinians is confusing in about the same level."

    Yes they share elements of language and culture but that doesn’t make them the same, as I tried to express in the previous comment. You are aware that Palestinians are not uninvolved foreign Arabs but ones who have intimate connections and claims to your homeland - denying them their name strips them further of their dignity and identity.

    But wait ... the more I think about it, perhaps the complexity lies in the fact that about 20% of the population of Israel itself, who have Israeli citizenship and are considered part of the nation proper, are Arabs. That puts things in a new light for me. From a purely external and linguistic perspective, there are definite negative connotations to denying the name of the Gazans/WestBankers/refugees and calling them Arabs instead of Palestinians. But Arab citizens of your country are referred to as Israeli Arabs and the relevant question is: do you think of them as Israelis or Palestinians? As an outsider I’m not sure what they identify themselves as, nor am I sure what Israeli Jews identify them as. But I think I'm now seeing that you call Palestinians Arabs because you see them as the same as your Arab fellow-citizens, which implies you don't really see Arab Israelis as Israelis - is that it?

  23. israeli

    the definition of the term "Palestinians" is not so clear.
    it's a people of a general area that includes Israel, the west bank, Gaza and Jordan. and the Israeli or Jordanian Palestinians are not (anymore) a part of the conflict.
    further more, those people didn't define themselves as Palestinians until the late 1950's or 1960's, they all defined themselves as a part of "the great Arab nation" which they thought would come back after world war 1, and than thought again after Israel's promised defeat.
    they didn't get their great Arab nation, so they reinvented themselves as "Palestinians".
    i'm not one of those people that talk about "transfer" i think that if they defined themselves as Palestinians that's what they are, eventually every people is defined not by others but by itself. nevertheless, the Palestinian people's characteristics are exactly the same as the other Arabs in terms of language and culture.
    my point is that talking about them as Arabs or Palestinians is confusing in about the same level.

  24. tiggyt

    (NB apologies that was a point toward the general debate, not just Arcticfox & israeli. i did have loads of points for them but i got carried away with that one! Will save them for another debate, i don't want to hog this whole page :)

  25. tiggyt

    Anyway, that underhanded racism whereby all Arabic nations are interchangeable equally works the opposite way, where certain factions in different Arab countries lump all rich, progressive nations into "decadent Westerners." The whole thing feeds into a mindset that pits East against West, an Us and Them mentality. It deepens cultural chasms and sets the stage for a deliberate clash of civilisations instead of aiming for any kind of stability or harmony. It's really unhelpful from either side. In this instance, why not afford those poor people the dignity of their own name instead of sweeping them away in a generalisation. Just calling them Arabs disrespects them and feeds into the radicalisation so desired by vested interests on either side. Call them Palestinians. Is it so much to ask?

  26. tiggyt

    How refreshing that this thread was rescued from the descent into vitriol and insults - usually once people sink to that level, it is impossible for the debate to rise up again, so kudos @Arcticfox & @israeli for their maturity in continuing the conversation civilly. The following points are addressed mainly to aspects of their debate.

    I am neutral, in so far as I have no religious or cultural affiliations with either side. Certain things jump out at me, though.

    The constant reference to the Palestinians as "the Arabs" just stands out a mile, in so far as it attempts to make them interchangeable with people from other countries in the Middle East. I can understand the imperative to disenfranchise the Palestinians but i think it really is one of the most disturbing elements of the debate, like calling all black people "the blacks" no matter what country they come from. I don't mean to be incendiary but it seems there is definitely an element of racism inherent in the convenient decision to lump them in with all other peoples of Arabic descent. Just because they all have brown skin, a shared language and shared cultural elements does not make them the same culturally or the same in terms of identity. For example, just because they are largely white and speak English and are all western nations, you could not say that since they are all "Whiteys", an Australian is the same as a British person or the same as an American. One certainly couldn’t contend that taking over Australia was justifiable, because the Australians could always just move to America or Britain, where there would be people of a similar culture, speaking the same language. The discourse here is of a high enough standard that such a conjecture is not quite in question, but there are undertones of it. Certainly in other peoples' pro-Israeli arguments there is often the "simple solution" of lumping Palestinians in with other Arab nations, no matter that they have no ties to those countries. It makes me shudder.

  27. Arcticfox


    It is balanced, as it recounts what politicians said and did during the clinton era onwards, and quite well.

  28. bert

    i would like to watch this but am put off by the fact an israeli says its a balanced doc, normally that means its heavily bias in isreals favor, is it so?

  29. israeli

    i didn't see Occupation 101, i admit, but believe me i know that there are a lot of wrong things that come with the Occupation, by letting 18 year olds control over civilian population you get a lot of inevitable bad outcomes.
    i also think the Occupation must end, but, it must end with a peace treaty. we can't just back down not knowing what might replace us in there as happened in Gaza. the people of israel wanted this backing down from the west bank (and chose sharon as prime minister for that reason) but then when we saw what happened in Gaza there was a mind shift.
    the Occupation, i believe, did not start in order to have more land but to get more security, as we were attacked from the west bank through all our wars and in 1973 we got the conformation that the west bank in our hands means we cannot be defeated.
    of course land for a small country is like a gold mine for another and it's hard to give it away. that's why there are more selfish opinions in israel as i mentioned, but that's a minority, the vast majority is willing to pay the price, although there are some limits, in case they insist on the right to return to israel there will never be peace...this is the only consensus in israeli society.. because it means that no israeli would stay to live inside a country of this nature including myself.
    as you sad, our government lies, like all of them. i think we're no exception from other democracies in that matter.
    i thank you very much for an honest and objective conversation!
    i am not objective of course, never claimed to be, i'm representing israel's interest and justification of actions and i also believe the truth is in the middle. i wish all objective people think like you. take care.

  30. ArcticFox

    I can see your brightness shining though here now while I got you with me. We are on the same page now I hope.

    As you can probably guess I watched pretty much 70 percent of these docs on here.

    Now Occupation 101 describes it well. There are many demolitions going on. The blockade stops building materials from entering Palestine. Lots of bombings. These things would make it seem that they do have an inability to build.

    They may not be as productive as other nations perhaps you're right. but we can't test that when they are occupied and subject to the conditions above.

    Please, I know your intentions, most Israeli's want peace. All deserve the right to be safe and have a right to live a happy life. You can't deny a few bottoms lines though.

    Israel experiences rocket attacks. 4000 rockets over about a year can about 40 citizens.

    Devastating indiscriminate suicide bombs. -Why?- If you ask why you learn that it isn't 95 percent their fault.

    These civilian attacks have to stop but...


    Israel is in violation of 3 major U.N protocols.

    They are occupying the occupied territories. Which were not part of the deal. Creating a miserable prison life for Palestinians. Then with their backs against the wall, like a cornered animal they attack. Oppression creates violence.

    Your Government lies constantly to you, like the rest of the world's do. However they act in your name, in Palestine a veritable war zone and oppressed land, so there is a greater need to speak up and stand up, or seek the truth. As I mentioned before find your humanity.

    What do you think of this motive? Why would they carry on despite the U.N resolutions. *with Americas veto power*

    As you showed me from some of your listed Government officials.

    Perhaps, powerful groups in and behind government wouldn't mind squeezing the Palestinians more, and keep it up until they give up and leave the country to make more room for Israeli expansion. At which point Israel would attain all of it's biblical lands.

    Also I want to ask if you actually watch these documentaries about the occupation from start to end. At least watch Occupation 101, at least you can see the other side.

    And as you sit in starbucks at least you can't hide behind ignorance. There you will sit and have to deal with your own moral conscious.

    I think I will stop these corespondents. But I just want to say that there is no bad blood, I am not antisemitic, I can't prove some kind of Zionist conspiracy, nor do I want to.

    Please take my opinions as someone who has heard the same story from both sides, and Israel seems to be the one with great power and therefore a great responsibility. If not to the Palestinians at least for the security of it's own people, end the occupation.

  31. israeli

    also true..
    but it's not my fault.
    they were like this when we found them (:
    don't get the wrong impression, i feel sorry for the way they live just as i feel sorry for the way the people in other arab countries live, i think everybody in our region deserves a better life, but it's in most countries case 100% their fault and in Gaza and the west bank only 95% their fault, thats the only difference. it's their inability to build an educated society in which there could be a larger economic growth. the only rich arab countries are the oil countries and when that runs out i guess they would join the rest.

  32. ArcticFox

    As you write sipping a latte in your local starbucks typing away on your expensive laptop.

  33. israeli

    "there is now a major humanitarian crisis in the region".
    we finally got to the greatest accomplishment of the Hamas rule in Gaza- to present Gaza strip as a hunger struck area.

    it's true, their conditions of living are the lowest in the middle east, and perhaps in the world as far as GDP per capita goes (in Gaza strip- not in the west bank).
    but there is no hunger, and there never was. the siege doesn't include any basic goods and there's always food. our interest (and also the PLO's) by initiating this siege was to bring down Hamas government in Gaza strip by creating a pressure for better life by the population on Hamas. the outcome is that Hamas maneuvered this to- Israel is creating a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. i don't know the exact definition of humanitarian crisis but i guess that if they have enough food to eat it doesn't exactly fits the description.

    needless to say that the Hamas continues until this very day to target civilian targets from Gaza strip, may i remind you, there are no settlements in Gaza strip anymore, we pulled them all out 4 years ago ,the Hamas seized power and enhanced the shooting, therefore there was 2 options for us, siege or continues war in Gaza (the Hamas doesn't want to negotiate with Israel unless it is on prisoner exchange).

    the Hamas knows that there will no longer be a siege if they make a deal, give us back the kidnapped soldier and get their prisoners in return (the price keeps on going up for no reason) and stop firing rockets. it's that simple for Hamas, but even they don't seem to put their population's interest first, so why should we?

  34. ArcticFox

    "those people were just displaced, it’s no big deal, i wouldn’t care if my grandparents would have been displaced and wouldn’t hate anybody for that,"

    Ok, well here is where most of the world disagrees with Israel there is now a major humanitarian crisis in the region. Their lives are disgustingly impoverished. Unlike your country who fought them, most of us just can't accept this, and Israel with the power has the responsibility. Hence the outrage.

  35. israeli

    about your last comment-
    i didn't say we're innocent in everything we did in the past.
    but the times were different, this was the first war those people experienced after many wars in Europe in witch many were slaughtered and displaced. they didn't know any other way and eventually do to my knowledge of human nature i'm both surprised and proud that they did not slaughter the Arabs and did let them escape\leave even though they were enemies.

    i sincerely don't believe that if it was the other way around we would have been treated the same way, based on what they did when they had the opportunity. but this is just me, everybody is entitled to have an opinion in those things, luckily we'll never know. those people were just displaced, it's no big deal, i wouldn't care if my grandparents would have been displaced and wouldn't hate anybody for that, hell the Germans massacred them and i don't have any problem with todays Germans and i don't ask to return to my lost homes in Poland and Romania. the only reason their life isn't in a higher level is their mindset. Israel is far from being a problem. they could benefit from normalized relations with Israel much more then from fighting it.

  36. Kevin

    The documentary was very good, told from a neutral view point.
    If you want to know the origins of the conflict in the last century I recommend that you watch "Occupation 101" its on this site as well.

  37. israeli

    ok, i really think we're making progress here..
    about the settlements i think it's crucial to say that it is a great debate inside israel, and therefore hard to really point down on any one motive of a certain group..
    for a greater point of view let me describe the current israeli parliament as elected in 2009 and the political views of the parties.
    (the total is 120 members)

    kadima (28)-there should be a palestinian state. as a part of peace process, we should give away most settlements including east Jerusalem, refugees will have the right of return to the west bank and Gaza, plus compensation.

    likud (27)- there should be a palestinian state. as a part of peace process, we should give away some settlements not including east Jerusalem, refugees will have the right of return to the west bank and Gaza, plus compensation. security issues comes first before other issues.

    israel beitenu (15)- we will never have peace. there will be peace when the arabs accept our being here and it will never happen.

    avoda (13)- there should be a palestinian state. as a part of peace process, we should give away most settlements including east Jerusalem, refugees will have the right of return to the west bank and Gaza, plus compensation.

    shas (11)- there should be a palestinian state. as a part of peace process, we should give away some settlements not including east Jerusalem, refugees will have the right of return to the west bank and Gaza, plus compensation.

    yehadut hatorah (5)- unclear, most chances- a palestinian state but not to remove settlements.

    ihud leumi (4)- biblical israel- the whole thing is ours and we should settle it.

    raam taal (4)- arab party, israel should back down from all settlements and allow the refugees to return to their original villages.

    hadash (4)- Jews and arabs, israel should back down from all settlements and allow the refugees to choose between returning (unclear if to the west bank or everywhere) to getting compensation.

    meretz (3)- there should be a palestinian state. as a part of peace process, we should give away most settlements or all of them if necessary including east Jerusalem, refugees will have the right of return to the west bank and Gaza, plus compensation.

    bait yehudi (3)- biblical israel- the whole thing is ours and we should settle it.

    balad (3)- arab party, israel should back down from all settlements and allow the refugees to return to their original villages.

    the current government- likud, israel beitenu, avoda, shas, bait yehudi, yehadut hatorah.

    as you can see the picture isn't clear. it's to many opinions and the citizens also get confused as they all seem to change them every now and then.
    my opinion is kadima\avoda, i also think we shouldn't build anymore in those settlements (and we should have stopped a long time ago when it started to be clear that the palestinians are in the course of having their own country)
    but governments change, and public opinion changes.
    at first (after 1967) all governments thought those territories will be a part of israel because no other country showed any interest in getting them back back (Jordan or Egypt), it was only in the late 1980's that it has become a possibility that the palestinians have their own state (do to the intifada) and after those years the politics in israel sort of divided itself between the ones that didn't change their minds about israel's control of those territories, the ones that changed it completely and the ones in the middle. that's where we are until this day.
    as for the palestinians of course i have a lot to say on their peculiar politics but it will be considered as "israeli propaganda" here, although it's just common knowledge in israel and you would probably think the same if you try to look at things from an israeli point of view. really, there's nothing driving an 18 years old israeli to kill innocent people,or take their land. the only thing he cares about is to make this place safe for others and defend himself, all the rest is up to politics. and suicide bombers doesn't help anyone it only gets israelis anxious about what would happen when we don't have control over their territories. and give the power to yisrael beitenu to say "we told you so".

  38. ArcticFox

    Israel did buy tracts of land but as you said, every case was different, as you also stated. Some bought, others confiscated from terrorized refugees, or those who didn't want to live under Jewish rule, and the others who were probably killed. There was nothing clean or remotely legal about many cases as with most colonizing.

  39. ArcticFox

    Just wanna say, thanks for such a clear reply and I respect being able to address the issues, and your refrain from making anything personal.

    What about those settlements. You said they can build anywhere, then why there? Do you not think it is a deliberate attempt to eat away at a future Palestinian state?

    Opinion aside there is a really big problem there.

    Article 46 I believe of the Hague prohibits confiscation of occupied territory. The west bank settlements are clearly on occupied territory. Occupied territory that Israelis said they needed to create a buffer zone, and we all kinda accepted that in the west as logical in defense. But now these settlements belong to Israel? Talk about underhanded use of power.

    So, unlike you, I do believe the settlements to be a major roadblock to peace. Just as Jerusalem. Palestinians lost their homes in the initial outbreak of war and now it continues. It is bound to incite violence. Or like you said give them an excuse to attack further. Given this knowledge, why NOT build somewhere else, as you said?

    My thesis tries to explain this as a Government that seeks an even greater state of Israel views these Palestinian lands as an obstacle. But they are trapped in a quagmire given popular opinion of the west and their key backer.

    So to accomplish this grander vision MORALLY they purposely incite violence, whilst claiming defense, however steadily advancing on the offense.

    What do you think, from what you see in your country does that seem plausible?

  40. israeli

    "Meanwhile you overlook your own Government who pounds victim mentality into your heads "
    i don't feel like a victim, i don't think anyone owes us anything. the only thing i feel is fear, when i hear a bus exploded and call my friends and relatives to check on them, have you ever had this experience? accept that i won't change a thing in the situation. oh and the rockets too..
    the government does not control the media, of course there is a power struggle in trying to control it but our government changes every 2-3 years so even if they would it wouldn't last long. it's quite funny to hear you talk about the israeli media while you don't even know hebrew or anything about it...

    "The SITUATION HAS ALREADY CHANGED. With the U.S backing, Israel is a super power" correct, i fail to feel guilty of defending myself while being a super power. it is legal isn't it? to defend yourself even though you are the stronger side? or else why should we do the effort to become strong in the first place? anyway it doesn't stop those terrorists from attacking us.

    the Likud VS. Kadima and Avoda.
    you have just described accurately the 2 major opinions and political slogans in the israeli elections, congratulations!

    "The British...They were trying to Make good for both parties using one party’s land and failed it’s that simple"
    and here is what i sad: "...and tried to be objective.."
    thats the same to my opinion.

    "And now your country has your 'barbarian gangs'" that's a claim for why they wouldn't do peace on any terms, and they were like gangs or Hamulas or whatever you may call this form of social existence and they weren't so hospitable to us. maybe the term barbarians was to harsh, sorry for that.

    "STOP TALKING ABOUT THEIR NAME, that has little importance compared to the matter of fact they were Arabs who owned the land. "
    we bought the land from them, until 1949 there was no "land grab" and after they fled\were fled we took the lands they left here. anyway after that they were inside israel and being inside a country means that you don't have as much land as you want and they claimed land 10 miles from their village to be their back yards. about the settlements, as i sad it is a matter of negotiation terms or pure land grab depends on which side of politics your on, anyways i believe it got us more harm than good, and given the palestinians a great excuse for everything.

    "use your voting power and move on to a party who isn’t a slave to the settlement building companies"
    you are brainwashed by the anti iraq war propaganda machine maybe.. in israel it's not like that. those companies could build anywhere else they don't need those settlements and they don't have political power, it's not them.

    any reasonable person realizes that the settlements are not the real issue, the negotiations never got stuck over them and the israelis would be more than happy to give them away for peace. however it is a very good claim for the palestinians to not negotiate.

  41. ArcticFox


    So you refute these documentaries. Especially the one entitled birth of Israel. A fairly unbiased documentary. With your rhetoric supplied to you by your government>? This is the problem... again pot, kettle, black.

    You speak so little of the Arabs...saying they are tainted and brainwashed to hate. Meanwhile you overlook your own Government who pounds victim mentality into your heads from an early age coupled with a blank check, so you can change this situation. You are bread to FIGHT and hate anyone who might have some criticism. NEWS TO ISRAELI you are not victims anymore. The SITUATION HAS ALREADY CHANGED. With the U.S backing, Israel is a super power. Stop crying and talking about being driven into the ocean. Not everyone is an anti-Semite ok? The world isn't a cold dark place for Jews anymore. We all grew up reading Ann Frank in schools ok? You own everything. The more your government pushes this rhetoric the more hate it digs up from the past. DEFENSE DEFENSE DEFENSE, how about PEACE PEACE PEACE?

    Every nation has been through it before. Its called colonialism, its your basic subjugation and land theft. You would make my ancestors proud in your justification, and COMPLETE DENIAL.

    British and French did it to Africa, Canada, and America.
    Spain and Portugal to South America
    Rome did it to the damn near world. etc etc

    Rome had their Barbarians
    Americas had their Savages.
    And now your country has your "barbarian gangs"

    Do you see, your nations propaganda machines worked as well as the Palestinians' worked at demonizing the enemy.

    BTW The British did allow Jews into Israel. They however went against the NUMBER that the U.S was proposing. Such and influx and you get what you have now.
    They were trying to Make good for both parties using one party's land and failed it's that simple. In any good documentary or article.

    The Haganah were a terrorist group at that time because they sought founding their land over everything else. Heck they weren't even a nation so you can't call this ARMED group an army. So they would bomb the British using TERRORIST tactics. Again and underground Haganah. Terror tactics., on the documentaries...which? MOST OF THEM. A surprise? No. It is in the colonizing rule book.

    Look man just stop crying and twisting the facts. Israel was founded on terrorist tactics, and violence there is no conspiracy, like our text books here however the Government doesn't like to highlight it. You are demonizing the enemy. They were people who owned the land AND STOP TALKING ABOUT THEIR NAME, that has little importance compared to the matter of fact they were Arabs who owned the land. SIMPLE.

    Let's run a little scenario.

    There are 5 blue smurfs outside smurf village. They confront 2 white smurfs. The blue smurfs demand that the one white smurf hand over the delicious little lolly pop that is in his hand. Why? well they have a good reason, one of the blue smurfs is tremendously hungry.

    The white smurfs say. " I understand you're hungry but can't you get a lolly somewhere else?" "This one is mine."

    The blue smurfs say. "Well that's true but the store is all sold out."

    White smurfs of course reply " Well that's too bad that you are really hungry maybe you can go ask someone else for one."

    Suddenly the hungry blue smurf just reaches and takes it. *before the U.N scheduled date*

    *you see where I am going*

    Now you just expect the weaker group of smurfs to just allow that? They didn't exactly agree to it. But had no choice in light of the stronger more numerous smurfs.

    Needless to say there is an epilogue: those 2 smurfs are still waging their resistance to what transpired, until this very day. (I don't condone this violence that they perpetrate, but it is easy to see why they feel they have to fight)

    The blue smurfs? Well they are still really powerful and continue to take what is not theirs. inch by inch that is.

    Side note: I do appreciate Israels attempt to sometimes minimize casualties, or only go after combatants when they are defending land they have no right to be in, in the first place.

    And lastly "the media brings down Governments?" Yea as a tool in the hands of another political player. WAKE UP MAN. Find your humanity.

    And if you are really keen on being a moral type person, use your voting power and move on to a party who isn't a slave to the settlement building companies. You can twist the facts of the past, and none of us were really there but what we can actually touch and change for the better is the present. So if you really live in Israel go on and do me this one favor. Maybe a little lobbying too, you know to stop the bulldozing and settlements. With results in more rockets and suicide bombs in retaliation.

    OOPS if forgot why would you want peace with barbarian gangs. I hear they even eat children.

  42. israeli

    what i meant was that before 1967 they never called themselves palestinians and that name was not given buy the people of the region but buy the roman empire.
    before 1967 there was no difference between them and the way arab population defined itself in neighbor countries.
    i don't know what khalifa are you talking about, it might be somewhere around this area but your khalifa didn't seem to like the jews so much cause he is the one responsible for their final uprooting from this area.
    "The British was on the side of Jews during the mandate period and even allowed them to have their own army (hagana) and heavy weapons used against the poor unarmed Palestinians (they started realizing that, and fought back after loosing the trust in the British mandate)"
    the historical facts are against you...
    during the mandate period the british did not let jews inside israel and did not let jews build homes. that was because they didn't want to upset the arabs (White Paper of 1939) and tried to be objective, they also didn't vote on UN resolution to the partition of historical palestine between the jews and the arabs.
    as for the Haganah (Wikipedia)- "After the 1920 Arab riots and 1921 Jaffa riots, the Jewish leadership in Palestine believed that the British, to whom the League of Nations had given a mandate over Palestine in 1920, had no desire to confront local Arab gangs which frequently attacked Palestinian Jews. Believing that they could not rely on the British administration for protection from these gangs, the Jewish leadership created the Haganah to protect Jewish farms and kibbutzim. In addition to guarding Jewish communities, the role of the Haganah was to warn the residents of and repel attacks by Palestinian Arabs. In the period between 1920–1929, the Haganah lacked a strong central authority or coordination. Haganah "units" were very localized and poorly armed: they consisted mainly of Jewish farmers who took turns guarding their farms or their kibbutzim.
    Following the 1929 Palestine riots, the Haganah's role changed dramatically. It became a much larger organization encompassing nearly all the youth and adults in the Jewish settlements, as well as thousands of members from the cities. It also acquired foreign arms and began to develop workshops to create hand grenades and simple military equipment, transforming from an untrained militia to a capable underground army."
    i don't sea any poor palestinians but barbarian gangs. that was the real origin of the palestinian people weather you like it or not. the Haganah was needed to defend the jews not to attack anybody.

  43. Emad

    It is not true that Palestinians did not exist before 1967. Is this a kind of a joke?!!
    Since the first days of Islamic rule over the middle east (7th century) as a whole, this area had its name PALESTINE and even had its own governor as a subordinate to the Khalifa. Jews, Christians, and Muslims were living together since then in that area (aside from the turbulence periods like the crusades) under the Islamic state (Khilafa). The planning for a home for the Jews started in the 1800's with three possible choices. One of the three was Palestine. After that, the British helped them to achieve that using series of conspiracies against the Ottomans and the Arabs. After the fall of the Ottoman Khilafa, Britain invaded Palestine and started working on delivering their promise to Jews (Balfour promise of the early 1900's). The British was on the side of Jews during the mandate period and even allowed them to have their own army (hagana) and heavy weapons used against the poor unarmed Palestinians (they started realizing that, and fought back after loosing the trust in the British mandate). The Birth of Israel documentart has the rest of the story in details about that period until the birth of Israel.

  44. israeli

    "Because your founding fathers LET them stay in Israel? or is it because they ASKED them very nicely to leave the home, farms and livelihoods of their ancestors?"
    that's up to debate, and the reason is not the same for all refugees, don't act as if it is a fact. the only fact in this matter is that israel accepted the UN partition resolution and not even one arab was kicked out before the arabs started the war on israel, and that's all that matters. if we had lost the war they wouldn't have kicked us out they would massacre us, they are lucky we were more human then them, even if they were kicked out it shows that we were not animals like they were those times (and some of them are until this day- we get a reminder every time a few israeli travelers get lost and and up lynched in ramallah).
    don't give me the "israeli propaganda" speech, israeli's may not know the entire truth but they would never be full of hate and brainwashed like the arabs, and that is the reason for terrorism, it doesn't have anything to do with israel's actions.
    propaganda is effective when the government controls the media, in israel the media brings down governments. that might answer your pathetic little argument.

  45. Arctic Fox

    "and by hands turn i mean that after the arabs CONQUERED ISRAEL AND KICKED OUT THE JEWS we came here, conquered back, and let them live peacefully in our country, the problem is that the arabs would rather die by their swords than admitting the true failure they are as a civilization."

    Sorry couldn't let this slide "let them live peacefully in our country"? more propaganda.

    Why are there 4 million displaced Arabs? Because your founding fathers LET them stay in Israel? or is it because they ASKED them very nicely to leave the home, farms and livelihoods of their ancestors? *cough* DIR YASSIN *ahem*

    If you want them to live peacefully under Israeli rule in your wonderful democracy why are your snake politicians so hell bent on keeping out any returning refugees?

    I love being an outsider and seeing one side say to the other..ohh your brainwashed, your a product of propaganda.

    Here with have Sharon one the biggest terrorist of them all. Deciding with his snakes who should live and die with no trial what so ever. In a building with a bunch of civilians....ahhh what the heck bomb it anyway!

    Pot, black, tea kettle, done.

  46. JibJab

    "you can also try and watch FOX for some truth"


  47. Griffy

    Hmm.. Watching the documentary, I'm getting the picture that the conflict is all about the possession on of the "holy places" at least from Arafat's perspective. (and seems to be like that from more general israeli and palestinian perspective too)

    I find it ironic that these "holy places" are the cause of so much death and suffering..

  48. israel

    i don't think the number of victims is an argument, but in this case i think it's critical just to write it down:
    holocaust: 6 million Jews, 0 Germans (or a few) killed by Jews.
    israeli palestinian conflict: 10-20 thousand palestinians, few thousand israelis.
    if we are trying to massacre them i think we're doing a pretty lousy job, considering the fact that we have all the equipment to finish them of in a day or two..
    as far as taking their land goes i can write a whole book about it, in the end it's a matter off who you believe, but i suggest you read the israeli "propaganda" books (Benjamin Netanyahu and Alan Dershowitz) as well as the palestinian propaganda books you might have read already (science fiction mostly but some truth sometimes finds its way in there too) and decide for yourself without the BBC or CNN telling you what to think (you can also try and watch FOX for some truth).
    hands always turn? yes, we turned them, by our own blood, and thanks to that i live now in a democracy where everybody does what they want and a Jew doesn't feel ashame or hunted down. if the hands didn't turn we were swimming in the Mediterranean right now, and the arabs would continue to kill themselves without a common enemy to blame for all their problems.
    and by hands turn i mean that after the arabs CONQUERED ISRAEL AND KICKED OUT THE JEWS we came here, conquered back, and let them live peacefully in our country, the problem is that the arabs would rather die by their swords than admitting the true failure they are as a civilization.
    You can learn a lot from history my friend..

  49. Kuw-eighty


    As time passes, the Victims have become the Terrorists. Israel is committing a massacre that is no less than the holocaust to the Palestinian people. Not only did they take their land, but their killing them one, by one, by one. You can learn a lot from history, hands always turn

  50. sufihasan


    oh wel i nevr disrespected him or called norman finkelstein a a-hole. i only said that i like his view then peoples comments hare.

    i m sory if u got afended by my comment. i dont use any bad languge. if i m disagree i simply say sory i dont support that or i m in opposition.

  51. israel

    @ sufihasan
    the only smart thing in your comment is the suggestion that norman finkelstein is an a-hole.

  52. sufihasan

    lol u guys and ur comments. r u guys on drug or something else.
    norman finkelstein is better then ur comments guys. sory puting u all in ur place.
    now i should move to the doc,
    comment should be like this, exmp,
    i like the doc, it has the view of its maker, other then that 7 out of 10.

  53. Hardy

    As said, I'm not getting into this debate again.

  54. israeli

    you need to realize it's very hard for me and any israeli to hear those things, think about it, if you would hear somebody accusing you of crimes you haven't done, would you be so calm and intelligent about it?
    the guy just called me a nazi, i would still rather choke him to death than explaining him the complexity of the situation.
    both my grandparents's families died in misery in deathcamps, on the contrary, we are talking on a war with to sides. no matter what side are you on or which side you support there's no pure evil or racism, just interests.
    the thing that oppsets me is that you people look at the palestinian interest and call it "their right" and then look at the israeli interst and call it "crimes".
    if you were having criticism on both sides we wouldn't have been having this conversation, you for some reason represent the palestinian side, so i had to do the balance.

  55. Hardy

    That is the first intelligent thing I have heard out of your virtual mouth, israeli. Thumbs up.

  56. israeli

    look, it's a really complicated situation in here, both sides are using different facts and both are right to some extent.
    but to say like a magic answer that israel has the blame for everything like there aren't any suicide bombers in the name of jihad everywere and the entire arab and muslim world would be in peace and harmony if israel didn't exist,is either to be childish, hipocritical, prejudice or all together.

  57. Hardy

    @Dale gervais

    My suggestion to you: do not start a debate with our friend 'israeli' here. It leads to nowhere, believe me, I have been through it myself.

  58. israeli

    dale gervais,
    first of all let me ignore your basic hatefull tone, don't worry you will definitely get whats coming for you later.
    there is no connection between the philistines and the palestinians, not the same people, calture, language or anything but simmilarity in the name.
    the palestinians started existing on 1967, before that year they were just arabs like the rest of the countries in the region.
    the jews did come from judah, that's the origin of the name, nevertheless there were 11 more tribes that lived in israel and belived in the same god and there for that was the state of israel about 2000+ years ago.
    the muslims and christians came and those people turned to islam and christianity, but it's the same people and there is no reason for them to change their name to palestinans.
    the reason for that change is to try and fight israel's legitimacy over this land, before 1967 there were no palestinians, they were jordenians and egyptians.
    we offered to give them back those territories but they didn't want them.
    as for israel it was noman's land (you can see qoute's from mark twain's book- "Pleasure Excursion to the Holy Land") dated to the second half of the 19'th century.
    after that there was a mass immigration from the rest of the arab countries to israels territories.
    considering our 25% presence in this land as you sad earlier, i think we're intitled to this land no less than they are, and therefore this land was divided between us.
    the arab countries did not like the idea of civilised jews ruining their dream of the great arab nation so they started a war that infact did not end untill this day.
    you might have noticed that i'm not saying a single word about the bible, because im not religious and our rights for this land do not come from the bible. it's just another way of trying to mess up our reputation as "religious madmen", if you want to find them i suggest you look at our neighbor countries.
    "but when the torah states their in exile and should never strive for a israeli state,its ignored"
    that quotation of you shows how pathetic you are.
    the jews like most religions have more than one united group, what you say hear is one group's commentary, which is the most extreme group of jews that count for maybe 0.1% of the total.
    to khadijah- i assume that you are an arab by your name, i want to ask you if you think the iraqi people were better if sadam was still there, and if you think that the people in your arab countries have more rights then the iraqi people today or the israeli arabs, or even the palestinians?
    the answer is no, it doesn't metter what you say we both know the truth so don't try to misslead those who don't.
    to sum up, i really don't know what motivates you guys to have so much hate towards israel, i guess it shows that the arab hate machine is working perfectly, but what you say (dale) is something that even those creepy people don't belive in.
    i guess by your tone that you have a miserable life, and that's enough revenge for me for one day, but i assure you that if you say this to an israeli in his face you will breathe threw a straw for the rest of your pathetic life.
    if you want to compare someone with the nazis compare yourself and your lies, the correlation will be perfect.

  59. khadijah

    Iraq and Haiti are also currently under occupation - by the US.

    "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." -- David Ben Gurion, quoted on pp 91-2 of Chomsky's Fateful Triangle, which appears in Simha Flapan's "Zionism and the Palestinians pp 141-2 citing a 1938 speech.

  60. Dale gervais

    people keep insinuating they know the history and the person they're debating does'nt.This is because the history of this region is vast,a few points,the philistines came to the area in waves,3 to be exact the first was around 1100 bc.This is way too far back to hold any significance,the history that matters now starts with the romans,a gentleman named herotodus used the word palaestina in the 5th century bc.As we move forward we see many many conflicts mostly over jerusalem,in the last 1500 yrs the jews constituted at most 25% of the population,the arab influx coincides with the popularity of islam,jerusalem changes hands many times.Crusaders and saladin,in the beginning of the 16th century a.d the ottoman empire took control and kept it until the new roman empire took it back in the early20th century a.d.Also considering these so-called jews,say god gave them this land,this is sooooo hypocritical.First to be a true jew you should be from the tribe of judah,second their own bible states clearly the three oaths, we are not to take a homeland using force of arms.In jeremiah 29v7 jews who are still in exile until a saviour appears,are to pray for the nation and leader of the nation they are living in.It amazes me how on one hand the torah is the truth ,its our god given land,but when the torah states their in exile and should never strive for a israeli state,its ignored and those that mention this fact are anti-semites,the whole thing makes me physically ill,everything that comes from the zionist scumbags should be ignored and all zionists should be executed for their lies and crimes against humanity,if they can do it to the nazis we can do it to them.

  61. Michael

    Excellent documentary (I love this site) The use of interviews of everyone who was involved let's the material speak for itself and allows the viewer to form their own opinion w/o excessive analysis and bias from the narrator. I also like that fact that on youtube the comments section was blocked as it is such a hot topic and youtube comments are seldom insightful or anything more than name calling. I'm glad that on this site people's comments are limited to quality of doc and their 2 cents on the material.
    My 2 cents: I think it becomes clear from this doc that blame and retaliation only ever make things worse.

    This & Death of Yugoslavia, which was done in the same manner are arguably the best documentaries I've seen and I hope to see more like this.

    My only suggestion is viewers should be familiar w/ background of the history of Israel and view The Birth of Israel doc also on this site, which surprisingly isn't even listed above under "You might also like..."

  62. israeli

    the articles set the historical facts in the right order so it would be easier to build a theory upon. ofcourse you can base different theories on the same facts and both sides are trying to legitimize their actions based upon the same facts.
    israelis will tell you that israeli dominance in the west bank is essential to israel's security, quote (six-day war):"The long border between Jordan and Israel was tense since the beginning of Fatah's guerrilla operations in January 1965. While Syria was the main supporter of such operations, Israel viewed the state from which the raids were perpetrated as responsible." and "Israel's strategic depth grew to at least 300 kilometers in the south, 60 kilometers in the east and 20 kilometers of extremely rugged terrain in the north, a security asset that would prove useful in the Yom Kippur War six years later."
    it is 100% proven that before we had a control of the west bank it was less safe than after.
    on the other hand palestinians will tell you that it wasn't israeli territory in the partition plan and there for it shouldn't be under israeli control.
    you face an unfair question- what's more important? the israeli right for security or the palestinian right for self sovereignty?
    as an israeli, my first choice will be security, and then if possible within the security framework to have a peaceful co-existance- great, i have much more to benefit from peace then war. i think most israelis are willing to give any territory for a real peace (i'm talking about the territories we conquerd), but, the israelis political views are mostly defined by "the degree of belief in real peace". the right wing is saying- we don't have a partner that could promise anything because they are not in control of the situation themselves (the Hamas- Fatah rivalry) and the left wing says- lets give it our best shot, we can't live like this forever.
    as for the palestinian side i guess my opinion comes from the media mostly and therefore is as good as anybody else's. there is only one thing i can say about palestinian opinion, and that is that they are much more exposed to hatred propaganda. i'm not saying there isn't any propaganda in israel but the big difference is that it's not about hatred from our side, and you can see the outcome in the shape of suicide bombers from their part, and a security oriented army from our part (as i witnessed while doing my service).

  63. Epicurean_Logic

    Thanks i will do that. I assume that it deals with the historical aspect you mentioned?

    the thing is that i prefer to hear it from the 'man on the street' like yourself. when press and polititions tell me things its not the same if you know what i mean.

    i just saw the whole doc btw it was really factual and seemed unbiased as you said. My honest opinion is that both sides have made horrible decisions but when you put it in the historical context it is easy to see how difficult the situation is.

  64. israeli

    i could recommend some hebrew books i know in this subject but my best guess is that your hebrew is not so fluent..(:
    i didn't read any books on the subject in english but i think the best place to start with is wikipedia, the articles "Six-Day War" and "Israeli–Palestinian conflict" give a nice overview of things, you can find the basis of the claims brought up in here in those articles. if you want to dig deeper you can check their References and links.

  65. Epicurean_Logic

    when i said 'do you know of any good sources on your history?' i meant to say on that part of your history.

    so that we can get a better understanding of your point of view.

  66. Epicurean_Logic

    Seosamh>> & israeli

    do you anything more on 'the philistines came from greek islands.' as i heard this before somewhere.

    if Deuteronomy was the first book of the bible to be written, as i understand it about 600 bc then the Philistines could be classical Greeks but some Jewish sources claim it to be compiled from much earlier documents. Could they be the Minoans?

    Also you are right when you say 'it doesn’t do a review of the historical context' and its really important for context. do you know of any good sources on your history?

  67. israeli

    i liked the last comment (To Seosamh>>), it is 100% accurate.
    there were no palestinians back then. we took the land of the countries that tried to conquer ours, in a war that was forced upon us.
    i think the doc is unbiased and the interviews are really interesting, this is how you make a good documentary, based on interviews of both sides (and third) without back door onesided ideology.
    the only problem is that it doesn't do a review of the historical context so that people like Seosamh and dell could understand it better.

  68. To Seosamh>>

    @ Seosamh/ before 1967 there was never a palestinian people, if u refer to the philistines which lived thousands of years agao in the land of israel, but they are gone for a long time. and this people which call themself palestinians today has nothing in common whith them. the philistines came from greek islands.

    gaza belonged to egypt and westbank to jordan, there was never a talk about occupation under that time and never a palestinian people.but nowdays it has been normal to call the arabs palestinians. and also jordan is home to over 80% arabs from the palestine mandat, because the mandate was big. read the history and u will find out the truth.

    anyway. the jews were the ones that was being called palestinians before 1948, the arabs were just arabs and nothing else. they refused to be called palestinians.

    check out history before u write anything. it was roman empire who renamed it to palestine.

  69. Seosamh

    @Hardy '...there was no bias,...'

    How about the title, for starters? ...and the Arabs: refusal to call them Palestinians. This has been a long-standing tactic of the Zionists, ie to refuse to admit that Israel has been built on the land of Palestine and the natives of this land are Palestinians.

  70. dell

    great doc though! thanks for uploading :D

  71. dell

    how can you just take somebodies land? and then blame them for causing voilence?
    still got to see part 3, but to me Israel seem like the wrong do'ers and should give back occupied territory that is not rightfully theirs and maybe innocent people will stop having to suffer at the hands of occult zionists

  72. Hardy

    Well narrated and researched - a comprehensive history mainly about the politics that have happened in the last years. As far as I can see there was no bias, purely informative.

    Very good Doc.