Sunday, July 20, 2014

Standing With Eddie Vedder and the Real Possibility of Peace

Palestinian / Israeli Separation Wall
Thank you Eddie Vedder for speaking up for peace in our world. Eddie has gotten some criticism over comments he made about the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis. That situation has been messed up for so long, it is no wonder that even mentioning it is toxic. Let’s face it, the relationship between the Palestinians and the Israelis is a disaster! I don’t know how many times I have heard the same explanations and excuses and it matters not, there is a continuing catastrophe between those two peoples.

Our world is connected as never before. People from all corners of the planet share culture and commerce at the click of a mouse. In contrast to this great convergence of humanity, Israel is building tall concrete walls while Palestinians fire rockets over them. There's a shared recent history between these people, and I think there could be a shared future that's more in tune with what's going on with our ever-connected universe.

Hamas' policy of not recognizing Israel is a dead end. All our lives are a result of the course of history. In other words, one thing leads to another, and our circumstances bring us to where we are. Israel has been a state for over 50 years, and has grown to seven million citizens. Furthermore, Israel is an inclusive democracy with universal human rights. In fact, Arab Israelis, like all its citizens, can vote for parties who hold seats in the Knesset, the national legislature.

However, if there is to be recognition of the course of history, we cannot forget the demographic changes the idea of Israel has created over 50 years. The influx of people into Israel--mostly Europeans--has displaced some four million Palestinians. You can give any anecdote you want about how small Israel is in comparison to the rest of the Middle East but the sentiment is still there--Palestinians feel that their land was taken away.

The region is host to the convergence of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. It's where these religions started, and the region's extensive history draws from all three of these Abrahamic faiths. Radicals hold eschatological beliefs that, if manifested, could set off a major religious conflict in the region and world. You have to credit Israel for keeping a lid on this dynamic while at the same time granting religious freedom.

As we've seen with other conflicts, things do and can change. The "troubles" in Northern Ireland were a result of events a century ago, and after a proactive effort, peace has taken hold. Yugoslavia was another 19th-century idea that when put into practice caused much controversy and conflict. Today we find the south Slavs working to come together in the European Union. In both these cases, a resolution of the conflict was buttressed by the promise of the stability needed for prosperity to happen.

The people of Palestine and Israel deserve peace and prosperity. It is time to stop repeating the same old arguments, dogma and hate speech. It is the knuckleheads on both sides that should be criticized and not the singer from a rock band. In addition, both sides need to make hard decisions about finding a settlement to the catastrophe that is Israel/ Palestine.

Thanks Eddie for sharing your feelings. I stand with you my friend!!!

"They are all our enemies and their blood should be on our hands. This also applies to the mothers of the dead terrorists.” Israeli Lawmaker Ayelet Shaked of the Jewish Home Party advocating genocidal policies.

Palestinian (Fatah) Cleric: Islam demands Israel's destruction

John & Yoko, "Give Peace A Chance!!"

A version of the post appeared in the March 2, 2009 Seattle Weekly


  1. Replies
    1. We can try, we need to try until we suceed, I can understand your frustration Mark.

    2. Oh God .. Thats my daughters PIC with a hurt finger .. She is actually a (Bold) First Amendment speech Activist ... no offence intended Mark.


  2. This is not Israel's fault. They are not knuckleheads. The false religion of Islam and it's terrorist are the knuckleheads

    1. Palestinians are not all Muslims. Palestinians have been traditionally secular. Hamas is a pretty recent phenomenon. probably the lack of possibilities and hope has radicalized many. Egypt has been a way more fundamentalist country, yet now many Israeli go there to enjoy vacations on the Red Sea. I am sick of hearing the same old arguments

    2. That's just it, there's no arguing with religion period. It's not a human being. They just die in the name of it. Is it possible that just maybe it's our own inability or unwillingness to separate both religious belief systems as well as financial systems and human beings who have fundamental human rights? That's something we all could use to do

    3. Your Right Mark ... That is true

    4. Very well put Stefano. Thank you. (Giving me hope in the programmed humans of my home country). - E

  3. Oh, and thank you, it was a good nonbiased assessment of the situation.

  4. Thank you Krist for speaking up in the correct way. although I have nothing against Vedders beliefs - the way it was done was heart breaking (mainly because we are trying our hardest to bring them to Israel)
    Please read this open letter I wrote - you might think it's worth something and pass it along.
    thanks again

  5. It is sad to realize that up to now from the Old Testament we read the will of the authority of Israel to expand their territory, this is reality, and it is the reason why the state of Israel has continued to grow in size over the years. Those of Israel are wars of conquest masquerading as self-defense

    1. And what make you think Israel want to extend her territory?
      do you know history or just cnn?

    2. It's sad but read the Old testament or watch the map on this link:


    4. Wow
      You found some links and made up your mind.

  6. Hi Krist,
    I'm one of Eddie's Israeli fans who go so disappointed by what he said.
    Although I'm sure all he wanted was to express his frustration about this conflict, it felt too much one sided, as if the Israelis are the ones to blame.
    A very small minority of Israelis want this war with Hamas, which Hamas practically forced us into - the rest just want to live peacefully, like any western democratic country.
    I don't think any country would allows terrorists to use missiles against its citizens. I live over 60 miles away from the Gaza strip, and yet my kids need to go into a shelter almost every day.

    On a personal note, I really appreciate your unbiased analysis of the situation.
    You actually made me feel better.
    Oh, and I LOVE your music too!!!

    1. The thing, Israel IS mostly the one to blame. I'm in no way condoning the violent actions of the radical factions among Palestinians, which, although inexcusable, are ultimately understandable. But anyone who has read up the slightest on the issue would know that the current situation is all Israel's doing. It has been slowly and steadfastly expanding its territory and wiping out the Palestinians though shameless ethnic cleansing. Its arrival and settlements in 1947 were illegal, the western powers back then didn't listen to what the Palestinians wanted just like they're not listening now (and it's all based on political strategy and money). Throughout the years it's gained more and territory while painting the Palestinians as terrorists (incidentally creating terrorists) simply so it can "respond" in "self-defense".

      People tend to not research facts. They say Hamas was elected by Gaza so they deserve it, but it's not that simple. Looking it up will tell you that it's much more complicated than that.

      They say Hamas didn't accept the cease-fire. Well, the cease-fire and its conditions were determined by Egypt without consulting Hamas, and the offer for it came after hundreds of Palestinians deaths, homes destroyed and members of Hamas arrested. Why would Hamas accept the cease-fire when nothing has progressed from the previous status quo to make things better for the Palestinians, but on the contrary gotten worse?

      This attack on Gaza won't lead to any good for both sides. Many civilians will die, homes will be destroyed and what's worse is that it's making Palestinians more prone to supporting radical groups and making Hamas even more radical than it already is. And the funny thing is that Hamas was making progress in showing signs of tending towards more a moderate stance. It reconciled with Fatah in April 2014 and joined the newly formed government in June 2014, just before this whole thing got started. Coincidence? I don't think so. Israel doesn't want a moderate Hamas, it doesn't want a reasonable Palestine, because then it couldn't justify the ethnic cleansing it's committing.

      So yes, while it's true that no country would allow terrorists to use missiles against its citizens, the situation is much more complicated than that. Israel is occupying Palestinian land, expanding its settlements more and more, while life in the Palestinian territories is akin to living in a squalid open prison. The Palestinians have the choice of either leaving (but where?) or fighting back, so they're fighting back.

      Hamas didn't force Israel into this war. Israel forced the Palestinians into this situation and the result of it is Hamas.

      I could go on and on, about the ridiculous unfair conditions offered for a 2 state solution at Camp David, or the military chief of intelligence of Israel said that Israel would be happy if Hamas took over Gaza as it could then treat Gaza as a hostile state. But I can't believe how much I've already written, I'm getting carried away.

      I'm sorry your family is affected by this situation and I hope nothing ever happens to them. This is not intended as an attack, but I wanted to make some things clear, although I don't pretend to be an expert and my analysis may be flawed - but this is what I gathered from reading up on the subject.

    2. "Israel doesn't want a moderate Hamas, it doesn't want a reasonable Palestine, because then it couldn't justify the ethnic cleansing it's committing."

      Excellent analysis. And @Elad, I also do not wish harm upon your family or anyone's.

    3. @Alan wow, I believe I agree with you about one thing, you did write a lot.
      Apart from studying this conflict in high school, and taking a full college course about it, I don't presume to be an expert either.
      I'm just an ordinary guy living this conflict day to day. Not reading about it in biased press. Living it.

      I don't support the current government. In fact, it's been a while since the last time I really felt represented by an Israeli government.
      I believe Israel has made, and is still making, many mistakes over the years, the settlements would probably make it to my top 5 list.

      There is one thing, though, that I just cannot grasp, and that's the way Israel is presented in global media. You seem like an educated person, and your knowledge about this conflict is beyond average Joe.

      But I believe that at least some of the concepts that lead your feelings about this issue are caused by biased misinformation. A few facts:

      1. Most Israelis want peace with our Arab neighbors. Most Israelis do not believe in occupying territories for expansion purposes. Most Israelis would give back territory taken in return for peace. Yes, also in the cost of evacuating settlements like we did in Gaza in return for NOTHING. And no, most Israelis are not happy to see children (or for that matter civilians) die. Not in Gaza, not in the west bank, not in Syria and not in Africa. Your use of the term ethnic cleansing is pure ignorance.
      2. You say people tend not to research facts, but you should also get your facts straight. In 1947 there was no such thing called Palestinian people. There were Arabs living here side by side with Jews under the British occupation. A large majority of the Jewish population has been living there for generations over generations, next to the Arabs. The rest were WWII refugees. Up until 1967, after 2 and a half wars started by Arab countries surrounding Israel, Israel did not occupy any territory other than what was given to it by the UN. Oh, and the UN resolution also gave the Arabs a state, an offer they chose to decline. You may argue that this aforementioned resolution was made because the world wanted to give Jews a country following what happened in WWII, and by that it discriminated the Arabs. Could be. But you can't argue with facts. Back in 1947, Arabs would not accept a Jewish state of any size, and wanted to "throw all Jews into the mediterranian sea". Some still do.
      3. In 1948, even though Arab countries immediately declared war on the new country, there was no ethnic cleansing, nor was there a massive deportation. Sure, local Arabs got affected by this war, but most of the Arabs who left their homes were encouraged by the surrounding Arab countries to do so right before the 1948 war started. Check your history books.
      4. Moving to current situtation, what you call status quo in Gaza strip included several missiles a month shot at cities surrounding Gaza for the last couple of years. That's something NO other country in the world would not accept. The US would have wiped Gaza clean by now if every once in a while a missile would be shot at its' citizens.
      5. Do you also believe the so called progress Hamas was making joining the Fatah government justifies the brutal murder 3 innocent Israeli teenagers? You do know Hamas did that several days after forming the new government, right?

      When you justify terror of any kind, you're nothing but an anarchist. I wonder how you felt about September 11, and if you find that "understandable" too. Because I can find a million reasons for what the US has done to "deserve" such an attack by muslims.

      Oh, and one last thing, and that includes you @Paul. If what Israel is doing is ethnic clenasing, I would love to hear your opinions about what's happening in Syria these days. No wait, I know I know, Israel is to blame...

    4. Hey @Elad, thanks for your reply.

      I agree with most of what you said actually. I'm Lebanese so I'm not far from the issue, geographically and politically.

      1. I do believe most Israelis want peace, as do most Israelis I've met abroad, which is why I hope they will oppose the government's policies. But I know it's hard to tell your government not to use violence when you feel threatened and worry about your security, so it's not that simple.

      2. I'm aware of the British mandate over Palestine. And I've read up on what happened back then, how the Arabs didn't accept to give some of their land to the growing Jewish population, which is admittedly not nice. But I've also read about how the Jewish lobbies pressured the western powers and especially the US to vote for the creation of Israel and how the UN eventually accepted it despite the complaints of the Palestinian people, who still were the majority, but nobody listened to them. The British actually didn't even accept the UN recomendation (for fear of the Arabs' reprisal) and simply tried to withdraw from Palestine, leaving the Palestinian and the Jews to fight. The Jews saw the UN vote as a legitimization of Israel and thanks to their growing numbers but also their strategies, the conscription and their weapons (which were bought thanks to Jewish organizations taking advantage of sympathy for Jews in the US and raising money there), they actually won. A lot of Arabs were forced to leave, many also fled (mostly the upper classes), especially when a massacre occurred in a village (not claiming the Palestinians didn't commit atrocities too, they did). Anyway, I think you know all this. My point is the acquisition of their territory wasn't done in a very nice way, unless you consider the corrupted Western powers' acknowledgement (the Jewish lobbies actually pressured the US to pressure other countries, like Libya and others) to be legitimate enough. The Palestinians didn't accept to divide their land, but you have to note also that the division wasn't fair, the division actually gave more land to Israel, and besides from the Negev desert, the Israelis had more fertile land. Also, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians needed to be displaced. So yeah, the Palestinians weren't "nice" about the Jews (like Woody Allen just said) but I understand them. Since then, the Palestinians have grown to accept that Israel will exist and their position have become much more moderate, with the exception of radicals of course, but just like you Israelis don't agree with your government, not all Palestinians agree with the radicals.

      3. Of course there was no ethnic cleansing at the beginning. The Jews had just arrived. Israel wasn't in a position to proceed with ethnic cleansing. But now they are, and that's what they're doing.

      4. Yes, the status quo includes missiles being shot, but the status quo also includes Palestinians living in horrible conditions, hence the missiles. That was one of my points earlier. In any case, that status is not acceptable, both because of the missiles being shot and the occupation of Palestinian lands by the Isarelis.

      5. Didn't Hamas deny being involved in the kidnapping of the 3 boys? Unless they're lying but that wouldn't make sense... In any case, radical factions still exist within Palestine, no denying, but attacking the whole of Gaza, killing civilians and destroying homes in the process won't help things to get better, unless "better" means no Palestinians at all, which is what Israel seems to be aiming for.

      (continued later)

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    7. cont.

      I don't know if I would find sept 11 understandable. Because it was a premeditated attack, a "revenge" act in a way, thousands of miles from the Arab world, it is just evil. In the Palestinian case, the oppression is more immediate, and it's happening right where they live, so it's quite different. Still, I don't condone any of the violence.

      The difference with Syria is that the government is attacking its people, it's quite difficult because there's no one to deal with, no side to support (what with the rebellion including Islamic fundamentalists). It's really complex. In the case of Israel it's a state that is attacking another (well, that's if you consider Palestine a state, but you get my point). It's pretty simple to deal with. If western powers pressure Israel to stop, I'm guessing it will have to. Not the same with Syria.

      Something I want to add is that the Jews exploited the sympathies and the sense of guilt the West felt after the Holocaust and it's something they do to this day, as well as brandishing their "anti-semitism" card against any criticism of Israel. It's despicable, really. It's actually exactly because of the Jews' suffering that they should know better than to treat the Palestinians in that way, as Norman Finkelstein says. I bet you that if Jews had missiles in ghettos they would have used them against Nazis. Saying all this does not makes me an anti-semitic, and like any decent human being, the Holocaust generates in me immense sorrow. But I find despicable and deplorable the way Israel uses it as a pretext for committing atrocities itself.

      Wrote a lot again. But this issue deserves it. Although I do think Israel is mostly to blame, there's a lot of history and context to take into account.

      It's good to debate this in a civil manner and with someone who is knowledgeable with the issue, in contrast with the blind-sided mass media-relying ignorant, so thanks for that. Stay safe!

    8. @Alan, I'm enjoying the debate as well, and while 95% of what you say makes sense and could be thought of as another way of looking at things, the use of the words ethnic cleansing is simply infuriating.

      I admit, we do tend to bring up the Holocaust a lot. Almost every family in Israel has relatives that either got massacred or survived the Holocaust - my dad's parents both survived, but their entire family got wiped out.

      But unlike what you're suggesting, Israel is not using the Holocaust as an excuse to kill Arabs. It's the other way around. It's because of the Holocaust that we're not capable and never will be able to conduct ethnic cleansing. Ethnic cleansing means both a will and an action. While action is there, since obviously way too many Palestinians are getting killed, the will is simply not there. It is wrong. You are getting this wrong. Israelis would overthrow a government that did that. This is against everything we believe in, everything that we're fighting for. We, and by we I mean most Israelis, feel sorrow for every innocent Palestinian man, woman or child who gets killed. We really do. This feeling which is wide spread in Israeli population cannot be interpreted as a will to slaughter all Muslims. We are not built that way.

      My wife works at a hospital in Israel's center. Did you know that even while we speak there are numerous Palestinians from Gaza being hospitalized in her hospital. No, not necessarily the ones we injured. I'm talking about ones that got scheduled medical treatment for their illness. An illness that cannot be taken care of in Palestinian hospitals. Could this indicate ethnic cleansing??? And you what what the funny part is? When the alarm goes off, these Palestinians join the Israelis in the shelter. I know it is not just you who believes Israeli, or Israeli government for that matter, are evil. I invite you to visit and see for yourself. I on the other hand, cannot visit your country, Lebanon. Most chances I would either get massacred, or taken captive. The worst that could happen to you on the other hand, is to get delayed because of your nationality. Or maybe sent on the next flight back.

      Your reasoning for not protesting against whats happening in Syria is an insult to the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS Syrians who got killed. You're saying, I cannot support any of the sides, so I'm not protesting. Wow. That's one hell of a reason. You know, during the entire existence of Israel, not even a fraction of Palestinians died compared to Syria's civil war. The world can do something about it you know, only if people would protest half as much as they're protesting against Israel. That's the definition of hypocrisy. I'm not trying to divert the subject, I'm just pointing out the discrimination.

      And one last point. Did it occur to you that maybe it is because we get blamed no matter what we do that we get pushed into a corner and make mistakes? Perhaps if people like you and countries had a more balanced approach about this conflict, it would be already over? Maybe, just maybe, if the Palestinians did feel for one second that they're not backed no matter what they do, but actually get criticized for some of their poor choices like electing Hamas, they would actually make a bigger effort into reaching an agreement? As I stated earlier, Israel is far from being perfect, but we REALLY want to live in peace, and we do want to see Palestinians prosper.

    9. Hi Alan,

      I have some thoughts about the points you've raised here:

      1) Regarding the anti antisemitism card: I agree with you that criticism of Israel is valid, and hiding behind the excuse of antisemitism is useless. But there is a fine line between attacking Israel & attaching Judaism. When the criticism of Israel questions whether Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state, that can easily be seen as antisemitism.

      Also. regarding the "if the Jews had missiles in the ghetto", this reminds me of an interesting research we've studied in history classes in high school. The researcher claimed that the majority of the Jews preferred not to fight and actually disagrees with the few who actually did, since most hoped that by cooperating they have a greater chance of surviving, especially towards the end of the war when they've realized that the Nazis were losing. Many of them viewed surviving even one day after the Nazis were beaten as victory over them. This does raise the question whether surviving & staying alive against all odds is as worthwhile as engaging in war?

      2) While we may disagree on the historical reasons behind creating a Jewish state in Israel / Palestine, the fact is that the state of Israel already exists in its current location, and this is the reality we need to deal with when proposing a solution of the problem.

      I assume we both agree that the only possible long term solution which would guarantee peace & safety to both Israelis & Palestinians is a peace agreement. The problem is that an actual peace agreement that would give us that is more than just a piece of paper that the UN / US would force both sides to sign.

      I'm sure that the Palestinians have many issues against Israel which need to be resolved in order to build their trust in any such peace agreement. I believe that the main issue here is trust: both sides don't trust the other one after so many years of war. I can tell you that the fact that Hamas is unwilling to allow Israel to exist doesn't motivate us to trust them... So the road to peace will be long & complicated, and it can't be brought about by just convincing Western countries to force Israeli into the move.

      3) Regarding the differences between Syria and the Israeli / Palestinian conflict: innocent people are innocent people, whether they are Syrians, Americans,. Israeli or Palestinians. Therefore the people pf Syria needs help as much as the Palestinians do, even if it is their own leader who attacks them.

      And I think that what puts many Israelis on the defense is that often when criticism is given - it is given only to Israel, and not to anyone else. True, Israel has more power than the Palestinian Authority, and its attack causes a lot more damage. But that doesn't mean that Palestinians, the Syrians and many other spots around the globe should not be criticized until Israel solves all its problems...

    10. @Elad,

      “While action is there, since obviously way too many Palestinians are getting killed, the will is simply not there.
      “ well it kind of has the same results doesn’t it? And while Israelis like you don’t wish for that, it seems like the people in power do. I’m sorry the term ethnic cleansing infuriates you, and I get that it does, but I think it applies and I do think the government’s wiping out of Palestinians is premeditated. And even if wasn’t, we could call it something else, but the consequences are the same.

      Believe me if I could cause change things in Syria in any way I would. My mother is Syrian and her whole family has had to flee Syria and move to Lebanon and other countries. We have around 1 million refugees living in Lebanon last time I checked. It’s a very tricky situation because even in Lebanon you have factions that are anti-regime and some that are pro-Assad, and both have protests, and often they clash. I’m actually living in Berlin at the moment, so it’s not as easy for me to be involved. But mostly and I stand by this, it’s not as easy to change things in Syria as it is in Israel. International pressure doesn’t seem to deter Bashar. And as I said, it’s hard to find a side to support, and that actually matters if you're looking at solutions for the issue. Although it saddens me just as much, the conflict in Syria is terribly difficult to solve. In comparison, while the Israeli-Palestinian is also difficult to solve, the terrible violence that it’s witnessing now and that comes mostly from Israel CAN be easily stopped. The Western powers are in a close relationship with Israel, unlike Syria. In any case, I find it ridiculous that saying “well look at Syria, why aren’t you saying anything about it” is an argument often used with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It has absolutely zero bearing on the situation. It only serves to attack the person criticizing Israel. I’m more interested in whether these criticisms are valid. You can’t accuse me of discrimination if I’m choosing which tragedies to give my energy to (and god knows there are more than any one can handle) based on the impact I think I can make. I feel awful when I think of what’s happening in Mosul for example, or Ukraine, but the way to help seems pretty difficult for now.

      I know that mistakes on both sides come from a lack of understanding and trust on both sides. But you can’t do evil and then say “why do you always blame me?” I really believe I have a balanced approach about this conflict. I’m willing to give Israel the benefit of the doubt, but not now, not while it’s doing what it’s doing now. If it stops the violence and shows signs of good will, I would. As someone else commented here, it seems every time a side starts to be reasonable, the other gets more radical. It’s terrible. Lastly, I don’t think that Israel is always blamed and I don’t think the Palestinians are backed no matter what they do. I don’t know where you get that feeling, but from what I see it feels the balance is tipped towards Israel, when it actually should tip towards the Palestinians. That’s noticeable in mainstream media, in the statements of the Western powers, everywhere.

      You’ll forgive me if my post is focused on our disagreements, as I think that’s the way the discussion progresses. But know that reading some parts of your post, the ones about your wife and the hospital, your protestations to “ethnic cleansing” and your wishes for peace, do make me happy and believe that things might get better. Shalom :)

    11. @Adi

      1) But even when the criticism against Israel is about its policies or anything else, even when it’s not about its right to exist (which I agree with), the anti-Semitism card is used.

      I was actually hoping/thinking someone would provide research about my missiles in ghetto claim. It’s actually astonishing that Jews chose to cooperate, but then there are a lot of reasons. They believed they would be sent to labor camps and not to their deaths. When the Jews of Warsaw ghetto found about the extermination, they held an uprising. And when weapons were smuggled into ghettos or able to be homemade, some Jews made the decision to resist. But yes, others cooperated. In that case was it wrong to cooperate with the Nazis? Rumkowski and other heads of Jewish Councils are often criticized for their that. It’s a tricky deal. Should they have fought back? Should they have resorted to violence? Is answering with violence wrong even in situations such as these? I guess when there’s no other way, it might be justified. I don’t know. In any case, I don’t agree with the use of violence by Palestinians, I’m simply trying to understand why they’re resorting to it.

      There’s also the fact that unlike the Holocaust, the Palestinians have been suffering for decades. So there’s that too. They’ve had time to organize a resistance, they have some countries’ support, they’ve lost hope in a non-violent solutions, etc.

      2) True, we have to deal with the current reality, but I think history is important. After all, it’s often brandished as an argument by both sides. It’s interesting to see what actually happened, what are the events that lead to this situation we’re in. Still, I get your point.

      Otherwise I agree with everything you said about the peace agreement and the issue of trust. Except that though the road to peace may not, the end to the current wave of violence COULD be brought about by pressure from the Western powers. And that’s the first step. Then the issue of the occupation can be tackled.

      3) I answered that in the previous post to @Elad, but of course, innocent people are not innocent people, and I don’t like comparing evils.

      To be honest I don’t think Israel is getting criticized enough for what it’s doing. I wish it were so it would stop. As I mentioned in the previous post, the balance in favor in Israel is noticeable in mainstream media and the stances of Western powers. I also addressed the issue of Syria earlier, but in this conflict, the Israeli-Palestinian one, Israel is actually the main oppressor, now, in its attack on Gaza, and for the past decades, in its illegal occupation and settlements. While criticism should be given to anyone who does wrong, Israel shouldn’t be surprised if it gets the bulk of it (if only!) when it’s causing the bulk of the evil.

    12. Shit, innocent people ARE* innocent people, obviously. And plenty of other typos. Sorry, typing quickly.

    13. @Alan,

      "And even if wasn’t, we could call it something else, but the consequences are the same"
      No they're not. If one of the sides really believed in ethnic cleansing, this would be a dead end, like in Syria, or Kosovo. We all wish this would be the last war where people get killed from both sides. Our leaders too. And if we'll believe our leaders think otherwise, they will be replaced.

      Bringing up Syria is not an excuse for hiding what we're doing wrong. In my eyes, seeing no one in Europe demonstrate to stop the Syrian blood shed, and all the anti-Israeli demonstrations on the other hand represents this hypocrisy we're experiencing.

      Let me explain by an analogy:
      Assume I have 2 kids, Danny and Joey. Both are very wild, but Danny is a good boy while Joey couldn't care less.

      Danny breaks a window - I'm very mad at him and punish him. Danny knows what he did was wrong and knows he's not going to do that again.

      Joey throws a remote at the TV and breaks it. I punish Joey, but he couldn't care less.

      Danny leaves the fridge open. I'm so mad at what my kids are doing and punish him badly. Danny doesn't understand why he gets punished so badly, but knows why I'm mad at him.

      Joey injures our dog on purpose. I don't know what to do with this kid anymore. Knowing he really doesn't care, I just send him to his room.

      Danny forgets to cleanup the table after lunch, and I need to cleanup after him. Again, he knows he did something wrong, and he knows he'll get punished, which he does. But now he's mad because he's the only one getting punished.

      How do you think the story ends?
      I believe Joey is on the right track of becoming a bad person, but will Danny stay a good boy? Or will he care less, because he knows he's the only one getting punished anyway?

      Just to be clear, I'm not comparing breaking a window to killing innocent kids.
      I'm saying that while knowing that the tragedy we're causing Palestinian people is a bad thing, just like Danny knows it, we're really trying our best to be good kids. To avoid the loss of innocent lives. But every time we see the disproportion of protests against us, while things happening in places like Syria get 0 attention, we become more and more immune to criticism. It doesn't make us want to kill more Palestinians. It does make us care less about what the world has to say about it.

      Of course you are free to criticize any tragedy you choose, but it does feel like the world chooses to focus on ours.

    14. So Israel is the good kid at heart who couldn't stay good because it's the only one punished for its actions? Let's assume that's true. Does that means you concede that Israel is bad? Or at least, is doing bad things? Then why don't you oppose its policies?

      It's horrible enough to read about radical zionists and bloodthirsty Israelis, but it's even scarier to see that even someone like you, good-hearted, well-intentioned, and with a wish for peace and an end to violence, even you, who seems to think Israel is doing wrong, don't want to oppose your government's policies.

    15. @Alan, the holocaust may have been limited to only a few years, but it was only the result of many centuries of antisemitism. The Jews were actually persecuted in the Spanish & Portuguese Inquisition back in the 15th & 16th century, and were forced to convert (and be under investigation for the rest of their lives in case they practiced Judaism secretly) or were forced to evacuate their homes? And the antisemitism didn't end when the holocaust did - many eastern European Jews who had returned to their homes in Poland, etc. were not welcomed, and in certain cases were killed by the local population.

      This of course does not justify violence against others, but it does highlight why Israelis are so suspicious of antisemitism...

      You may be right that the Israeli / Palestinian conflict is a rather easy one to resolve. as both Elad & I admitted, some of your criticism of Israeli policies is correct and we both agree with it. It is legitimate for any person to take the time to concentrate on a specific humanitarian cause and not not all of them. And I'm sure that you and the vast majority of the other individuals who choose to be involved in humanitarian causes do so because they are kind & caring people. But I feel that if everyone chose something that is close to their hearts - some would choose the Israeli / Palestinian conflict, while others would choose the Syrian conflict, others the conflict in Ukraine, etc. But at least from my point of view, it seems that Israel is somehow a very "popular" target, while very few people seem to be interested in the fate of the Syrian population, even though Asad used chemical weapons against them, which is considered an unconventional weapon, which is morally considered even worse than "conventional" ones (and yes, I agree that using bombs on civilian population is horrific).

      This makes many people suspicious of some sort of agenda that creates such a "buzz" & interest around Israel specifically. Some of it may have something to do with your reasoning that there is an impression that it is a relatively easy conflict to resolve, which can vastly improve the lives of the Palestinians. But we in Israel feel that there is also an anti - Israeli sentiment going on - not intentionally by people like you, but perhaps by the media or whoever is controlling it.

      Take for instance the UN's human rights council. An proportionally part of it's debates & decisions are against Israel. But it is not proportional because they are "making stuff up" against Israel, but rather because other countries are being under represented. Wouldn't you expect the UN at last to be impartial and care about all countries around the lobe? Why do you think that there is such a relative lack of effort in bringing up other violations of human rights?

      And regarding the specific nature of criticism against Israel: many Israelis actually see Krist as very pro Israeli even though he criticized Israel pretty heavily. But he did raise some criticism of Palestinians. And eventually, if we want to have actual & meaningful peace - both sides need to improve themselves & learn to compromise.I agree that Israel has a long way to go, but without the Palestinians also learning to accept Israel's existence as a Jewish state there is no chance for peace.

      In regards to Elad's "good boy vs. bad boy" analogy, I can only ask you what would you think is the right thing to do in order to stop the Hamas missile attacks on Israeli population centers. While we agree peace is the preferable solution in the long run, a peace process may take years to negotiate, while we need an immediate solution in order to be able to lead normal lives. So how do you suggest guaranteeing the safety f the Israeli population?

    16. @Alan
      I don't believe Israel is doing wrong. I do believe way too many innocent Palestinians get hurt by Israel's actions. And I do believe Hamas is to blame.

      Sure, Israel is making mistakes. Sure, some of of the deaths could have been prevented. Those 3 kids who got killed on the beach due to human error a week ago are a tragedy. I assure you the pilot who made the mistake doesn't sleep well at night.

      The fact that Hamas chooses to fight and fire missiles from within its own population is the root cause for most of the horrors happening in Gaza these days.

      Now aside from Hamas, I believe Israel, as well as the Palestinian Authority have partial responsibility for what's been happening. This is because they can't seem to find a formula to break this conflict. It is the fault of leaders FROM BOTH SIDES. Like @Adi mentioned above, criticism has more influence when it's balanced. This is why I also agree that Krist's criticisms of Israel's actions is more acceptable for me as well.

      Blaming Israel alone would get the opposite effect of what you (and we) want to achieve. A, because Israelis like myself would care less and less about what the world has to say because we'll feel they're only blaming us. And B, Palestinian Authority gets an incentive while still being equally guilty for the lack of progress. Put pressure ON BOTH SIDES, then we'll see something moving.

      Peace out.

    17. I don't know why you're hung up on Israel being the focus of criticism when the only thing you should be worried about is the content and validity of the criticism. (Also, I meant that the Holocaust, not anti-semitism, didn't last as long, and especially not in ONE area, so densely populated, hence the inability to build proper resistance, but whatever.)

      So you want an immediate solution in order to lead normal lives, and your immediate solution is to annihilate Palestinians who don't get that same chance to lead normal lives.

      My suggestion is to end the violence immediately, end the illegal settlements and occupation and give Palestinian their fair share of the land.

      @Elad, if you only took the time to look into the victims and targets of the attack so far. I find it hard to believe Israel is not targeting civilians. And assuming it's not and these are mistakes, the mistakes are monumental. The collateral damage is way too high. This can't be the solution.

      "The fact that Hamas chooses to fight and fire missiles from within its own population is the root cause for most of the horrors happening in Gaza these days."
      But why did they start firing missiles in the first place?
      The root cause it the illegal occupation, the siege and horrible living conditions of Palestinians.

      People say "a nation has the right to defend itself". Well that's true BOTH ways. Palestine has a right to defend itself against the oppression of Israel. Which is why the root cause is so important and why I spent so much going over history. And the root cause is the illegal occupation, expansion, settlements and siege. If you can't agree that that's the root cause, or at least agree that these are wrong, then we're simply not going to agree on everything else.

      Balanced criticism... How can the criticism be balanced when the conflict and the violence isn't balanced?

      To me, Krist's "criticism" isn't even one. When there's an oppressor and an oppressed, giving both equal footing is standing with the oppressor. Especially when one of them is an actual state when the other is a militia. Maybe Israel should've wiped out my family too just because it was at war with Hezbollah, who don't represent all Lebanese.

      Oh well. This is not going anywhere. Good luck solving things with violence. Wish you both and everyone else safety and peace

    18. @Alan
      Israel has already taken steps to end occupation, settlements were in my opinion a mistake, a mistake hard to fix (but we'll have to), most Israelis I know oppose expansion and the siege is unavoidable until Hamas's disarmament.

      We have no reason to keep Gaza's people in a cage if they don't want to kill us. In normal days Palestinians from Gaza and from the west bank come to work in Israel. With less terror, this collaboration should increase, for the benefit of both sides.

      So we agree about most causes and solutions. Now we need people from outside like yourself to pressure the Palestinian Authority to find solution. We'll do the work on Israeli government from the inside.

      Let there be peace, inshallah!

    19. It gets harder to convince Palestinians to be moderate with each attack by Israel, and harder to convince Israelis to be reasonable when Palestinian answers these attacks with more radicalism and violence. It's a vicious cycle, with mistrust growing on both sides. Even if one believes both sides are equally wrong, I really do believe Israel, as a state, as the more powerful army, as the safer and more comfortable side, as the initial oppressor, is morally, mentally and pragmatically in a better position to initiate an end to this violence and let there be peace indeed

    20. @Alan - I completely agree with your last comment. If the majority of the people involved in this conflict agreed that this cycle has to end both the good of everyone involved, we may have some hope for peace.

  7. Isn't the raise of Hamas the product of years of frustration and suppression? Moderate Palestinian leaders have not been given real possibilities. Over the years the Palestinian territories in the West Bank have shrunk. Looking at the various maps I can not help but think Palestinians will have a state that will look like a patchwork of the native American reservations. Gaza turned into an overpopulated ghetto. Why is such an issue to let Palestinians have the Arab areas of Jerusalem as their capital. Europe has many cities that lie on a border or are divided by a border. Basel/Saint Louis/Weil Am Rhein, Gorizia/Nova Gorica/Municipality of Šempeter–Vrtojba. Former enemies share borders and administration of border zones. Israel has a right to not live in fear of missiles, but at the same time Israelis could vote and elect leaders that do not act like soldiers in war but statesmen wanting a real long term peaceful solution that respects all sides.

    1. Hi Stefano,

      As an Israeli, I agree with your assumption that frustration is what allowed the Hamas into power. Unfortunately, while Israeli governments during the 1990's were pro peace & moderate, many Israelis were frustrated by the fact that while we were willing to make many compromises for peace, the Palestinians did not accept them, and that some extremists were still sending suicide bombers to Israel. This frustration actually led Israelis to vote for parties which were more "pro security" rather than "pro peace".

      Hopefully, one day people both sides will understand that extremists will never provide peace, and when both sides are grown up enough to understand compromise is good, we'll finally have some peace.

    2. That's sadly true. Everytime a side gets closer to a moderate stance, the other side responds with extremism which in turn breeds extremism in the previously moderate camp. So sad.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. "Both sides" rhetoric conveniently eliminates power dynamics from the conversation. I have to believe you know this, Krist.

    Both sides do not occupy and colonize each other's land. Both sides do not bulldoze each other's homes. Both sides to not control each other's borders, food and water supply as well as electricity.

    Peace is certainly the endgame, but peace without justice is merely silenced oppression. To put equal blame upon the colonizer and the colonized will get us nowhere.

    Free Palestine.

    P.S. "In Utero" is my favorite album too

    1. Paul,
      Just for your knowledge:
      1)We do bulldoze the houses of those convicted in taking part in a terror act against Israel (whether it is right or not, is for a different conversation).
      2) It is Israel that controls it's own part of the border, and Egypt controlling other parts. it is done so to prevent smuggling weapons used later on against us. There must be a responsible adult.
      3) We do not control their water and electricity, we SUPPLY THEM with water and electricity... without it, they wouldn't have any, Egypt wouldn't bother and they don't utilize their resources in building a power plant.

      Get your facts right.

    2. Elinor:

      1. Israel has bulldozed the houses of my friends. I can personally guarantee you they do not engage in terror acts. Unless you consider being Palestinian in Palestine a terror act.

      2. When entering West Bank through Jordan, one must pass through Israeli border security. Also the 600+ Israeli-manned checkpoints throughout West Bank. None of which are controlled by Egypt or the PA. All of which are in Palestine

      3. I suppose 'controlling' and 'supplying' depend on where your perspective is coming from. Why does a foreign country need to 'supply' another with resources needed to survive? Could it be because they control them?

      I hope I was able to clear that up for you.

      P.S. "Very Ape" is my favorite song from the album

    3. Paul
      The war is in Gazza. Not the west Bank.
      The west bank didn't fire one rocket at Israel....never..
      just Suicide bombers years ago.

      Some of them even busy working in Israel now

      now with Abu Mazen and the Palestinians forces rules there there is hope.
      A middle East hope.

      At the bottom line God in both sides mind.
      Only when they will kill God they will free their mind and the civilians from both sides.

      Don't forget that the coin always has 2 sides

    4. Zofo:

      I'm a little confused by your comments, but I'll do my best to address.

      I spoke about West Bank because what's happening in Gaza must be talked about in context of the Israeli occupation of Palestine since 1967. Without history or context, it is very hard to understand why Palestinians are resisting against the occupation.

      I do recognize that there are two sides. My original point was to address Krist's lack of acknowledgement of the immense power-imbalance between those two sides. The two sides are a colonial power and a population being colonized.

      I choose to stand in solidarity with colonized peoples: just as with indigenous peoples in North America, Ireland, South Africa, you name it.

      P.S. My second favorite song on the album is probably "Tourettes"

    5. Paul, just a short question: up until 1967 the west bank was actually under Jordanian rule, and the Gaza strip was under Egyptian rule. While questioning what Israel is doing to promote peace is reasonable, why is it that when given the chance Egypt & Jordan didn't persue this opportunity?

    6. Paul
      Again. there is no connection between Gazza and West Bank.
      The palastiens in the west bank would be happy for peace beacus they choose Abu Mazen to lead negotiation.
      Abu Mazen problem is the Hamas that want to bring him down from leader ship in the west bank because they want war. Islamic War.

      The palastiens in Gazza choosed Hamas to lead as they know he will use billions of dollars in 10 years to by weapon and build terror tunnel to israel to kill. This is Gazza people chois. Simple as that.

      You can go and check fact if you like about Hamas leadership and their life style while they are starving their own civilians and used them fro radical islam propoganda.

      That is why israel never attacked Gazza with no reason. but when the UN point missiles in schools and hospitals no ones care....

      Do you know what happens before 1967?
      Do you know what happens in black September in Jordan?

      Please....Do not use the word history,,,its goes 5000 years back

    7. Sorry for the spelling errors...

    8. FREE PALESTINE... Well said, my friend

  10. Fuck USA and Fuck Israel too !!!
    Two biggest imperialist killers in the world of modern times.

    1. Your ccomment does have merit, but we can educate each other and change...

    2. mmmm...
      China, Russia, France, England...DO I NEED TO CONTINUE?
      please don't spend time to learn before comment..

  11. krist your love of brother man reminds of the song

    "He Aint Heavy , He's My Brother"

  12. Krist Novoselic
    Gazza have no wall around the border with israel.
    Gazza has liberty for 10 years now...
    in Gazza there is only radical Islam regime.

    so when artist protest and suddenly hundreds of racist comments appear with now knowledge of what going on than the result is that Mr Eddie Vedder and Mr waters just inflaming Racism.

    I leave in israel with Arab neighbors and my children are in mixed kinder-garden with Arab children. dont talk with us about fighting war.
    We fight here against racism and occupation day by day.

    While Artist like Vedder and Waters fighting along racism with their symbols and speeches.

    Hypocrisy is what most of you suffers.

  13. God gave the entire country of Israel to the Hebrews after delivering them out of Egypt. He told them to wipe out everyone in the land. They disobeyed God and have never claimed all the land that is rightfully theirs.

    1. Yeah, and Santa comes down my chimney every Christmas and leaves candy at the end of my bed.

    2. Crazy. 2014 and some people try to justify their opinions based on books that talk about religion...

  14. "...both sides need to make hard decisions about finding a settlement to the catastrophe."

    They already have. It's the solution that's supported by the whole of the international community, including Hamas, and that is rejected by Israel and the U.S - the U.S using it's veto power at the U.N to block it.

    The United Nations General Assembly annually votes on a resolution titled, “Peaceful Settlement of the Question of Palestine.” This resolution uniformly includes these tenets for “achieving a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine”: (1) “Affirming the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war”; (2) “Affirming also the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the territory occupied since 1967 and of Israeli actions aimed at changing the status of Jerusalem”; (3) “Stresses the need for: (a) The realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination; (b) The withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967”; (4) “Also stresses the need for resolving the problem of the Palestine refugees in conformity with its resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948.”


    Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine - A/RES/68/15
    Vote: 165 Yes, 6 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States) with 6 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, South Sudan, Tonga)

    So we have 165 countries on one side calling for a peaceful settlement of the conflict under the terms of U.N Resolution 242, and 6 countries - including Israel and the U.S - on the other; the U.S using it's power of automatic veto at the U.N Security council to block the settlement.

    And by the way, three of those countries which voted against the Resolution are destined to disappear under the sea in the near future as a result of global warming, so the U.S and Israel will have even fewer allies in their opposition to a peaceful settlement of the conflict.

  15. Krist I'm just using this platform for music...
    and wanted you to hear this sensational grunge band that comes from Israel:

    cheers, we love you..

  16. The Islamic trilogy (Koran, Hadith, Sira) contains more Jew hatred (9%) than Mein Kampf (7%). Jew hatred is as canonical for faithful Muslims as "love thy neighbour" is for Christians. Thus there will never be peace with Muslims. The prophet Mohammed was a barbaric Jew-hating warlord, and faithful Muslims continue to hold him up as the perfect role model, for all Muslims, for all time. There will never be peace with Muslims. Get over it. Move on. Islam has been this way for 1400 years. It is unreformable. It is barbaric. Read the biography of Mohammed,

    Dr. Bill Warner - A Taste of Islam

    "In the first two centuries of Islamic history, sīra was more commonly known as maghāzī (literally, stories of military expeditions)"


      If it wasn't for Islam and especially during the Islamic Golden Age, there wont probably be any Jews left in the world today. Where would they go when Christian Europe were burning the Jews left and right ?

  17. Where can I go to get a total crash course in this situation? I know very little to nothing about the situation between Israel and Palestine. Where would somebody like me go to get accurate information? I am talking about information that is not tainted by someone's sympathy towards one side or the other. Just the facts.

    1. What would you like to know?
      Just small info..the picture above is in the west bank..
      Gazza is in the south and has border with Egypt. and has no walls and no israel troops inside.

      I can tell you this....Dont look up for history facts because it never ends and some of them are mistake.
      In the west bank there is a process of negotiate but its slow..

      At the end radicals religious from both sides still controls this area and from there its just trouble.

      I am israeli. My children has in Mixed Arab jews kinder garden and a grew up all my life around arabs in peace. and still am.

      Israel has Jews, Arabs, Russians, Africans, northern Africans, Christians Ethiopians, and many more variety of people.

      All that in 60 years so it still a mess...

    2. Bellas Shelf, the critical fact that makes this conflict different from other territorial battles is this:

      The Islamic holy books (Koran, Hadith, Sira) contain more Jew hatred (9%) than Mein Kampf (7%). Jew hatred is as canonical for faithful Muslims as "love thy neighbour" is for Christians. That is why the Hamas consitution's explicit goal is to destroy the whole of Israel (regardless of what concessions they make).

      Watch this video by a physics professor would did a statistical analysis of Islamic doctrine. It is the holy books of Islam which are the root cause of Jew hatred. And that is why, so long as the Islamic religion persists, there will always be a hardcore group of faithful Muslims who follow the Jew-hating example of the prophet Mohammed.

      "In Medina, Mohammed sat all day long beside his 12-year-old wife while they watched as the heads of 800 Jews were removed by sword. Their heads were cut off because they had said that Mohammed was not the prophet of Allah."

      Dr. Bill Warner - A Taste of Islam

      This is a 1400 year battle, not a recent territorial dispute. There will never be peace with Muslims. Mohammed ordered his followers to "fight the unbelievers wherever you find them" and promised them paradise in heaven for those who "fight in the way of Allah". Islamic jihad is one of the most powerful and persistent memes in all of human history. Likewise, that is why Iran wants to nuke Israel off the planet.

      But alas the Western world is blinded by delusional political correctness which views Islam as a religion of peace. It is the mother-of-all inconvenient truths.

    3. O children of Israel, indeed we delivered you from your enemy and made a covenant with you on the right side of the mountain, and we sent down for you manna and quails. (20:80)

  18. Support this!

    not hypocrites Like Eddie Vedder

  19. Eddie Vedder does not Support peace..
    Eddie Vedder is a politican like his friend Roger Waters.

    If Eddie Vedder was a supporter for peace he would not stand beside the Boycott but come here to stand against Racism and occupation with all good Israelis. Jews and arabs.

    When you Boycott an entire country than you are nothing but politicain how care about your image than your truth.

    USA, Europe, Russia, China are all imperialist that kills children every day in war business and Diamonds.
    I didn't saw Waters and Vedder Boycott them .

    Don't sell us some crappy stories about people how are nothing but good sellers and Excellent Artist.

  20. Thank you Krist for speaking out. So many excuses from even people on here who have posted. Thank you Eddie Vedder for speaking out against people who are looking for reason to kill. Including back when you spoke out against your own country for invading Iraq. You have always been the biggest and loudest voice of our generation for peace and change to make the world a better place. Not just for peace in the world from wars, but you have written so many songs on different topics in life......all for the side of goodness. Thanks.

  21. kill a million ....heal a millionnnnnn....

  22. the dream of world peace can be attained only when all musicians unite for a common goal of ...NO WAR anywhere in world. there is only one weapon against WAR that is Music. take me seriosuly ...only one way. Rockers UNITED !!

  23. So it's true, Vedder was talking about the Israel-Hamas conflict. There are people who can be so dumb and in denial. Not so for the 40k plus fans who liked DJ Ben Red's fb page & who felt slandered by the "erudite", pseudo intellectual and drunken speech by Eddie Vedder. Vedder should teach magician David Copperfield the trick of making a stadium full of (Israeli-Jewish) fans disappear from the PJ fanbase in just one night. Oh, I forgot, David Copperfield is also Jewish. Maybe Vedder would make him disappear, too. Bravo, Vedder as*hole.

  24. History talks for itself. Arabs and Muslims have always stand for Jews. Every time Europeans tried to destroy Jews, they were under the protection of Arabs.

    Israel was basically created to serve Britain, Europe and United States. Having an eye in the Middle East allows the western world to control more easily the natural resources close to Israel. By giving those lands to Jewish from Europe, we forgot that Arabs were living in those lands for thousandS of years. We stole their lands. How can we accept that?

    For decades, we have promised Palestinians to give them the right to have their country. We destroyed any hope they had by making false promises. We destroyed their dignity by accepting the wall of shame that Israel created. We are closing our eyes by accepting an embargo that controls every calorie that Palestinians can ingest.

    The conflict in that region is probably the biggest moral debate in our modern times. Things will only change when people will stand together for REAL justice.

  25. Learn how Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder could conceivably prevent the next 9/11.