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Feb-03-2011 01:47printcommentsVideo

The Shooting of Tom Hurndall

"...I want to look up to myself and when I die, I want to smile because of the things I have done, not cry for the things I haven't done." —Tom Hurndall

Thomas Hurndall after being shot in Rafah, Gaza
Thomas Hurndall after being shot in Rafah, Gaza

(SALEM, Ore.) - 'Moving'; the first thought I am left with after watching The Shooting of Tom Hurndall on Hulu last night.

Tom Hurndall -IfAmericansKnew

I am familiar with his story, as I am with Rachel Corrie's; both were humanitarian activists killed by Israeli military forces while rallying to the aid of Palestinian people.

In the case of Tom Hurndall, I understand this tragedy much more clearly now thanks to Simon Block who wrote the film, and also to the gracious family who made sure Tom's story was told.

Tom was from England, he was 23-years old. His story is tragic as any could be and like many brave people before him, Tom died fulfilling the role of a hero in the most genuine, unarguable way; rescuing young children under fire from a sniper in a guard tower who claimed he was being fired at, when it would later be proven that he was only shooting civilians.

On 11 April 2003, Tom Hurndall was shot in the head in the Gaza Strip by an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) sniper, Taysir Hayb.

This is life in Gaza.

In the occupied zones Israel views the period following the second Intifada as a war that has never ended. They shoot people nearly every day.

Almost all Palestinians have laid down their arms, and it has done them little good. Of course the horror for many is that Americans support these acts that stand in stark violation of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, with their tax dollars that are routinely shipped to Israel.

Sincere appreciation to: farhaaan - 'The Murder of Tom Hurndall'

Tom Hurndall's parents did not completely understand his drive to aid people by putting himself at risk. Tom was in Jordan at first trying to get aid to Iraqi refugees whose lives were destroyed by the war that was taking place all around them.

This is when Tom when he first met the team from ISM - the International Solidarity Movement, a group that has been mentioned and covered many times here. In my view they are some of the finest, most selfless people in the world.

Along with groups like Christian Peacemaker Teams, and people like our writer Ken O'Keefe, who is currently in Gaza, ISM volunteers place themselves in harm's way in order to protect Palestinians and others who are oppressed and suffering.

They photograph and document what is taking place and as this story implies, they sometimes pay the full price.

Their commitment to humanity is nearly unparalleled in my opinion, because they receive no acclaim or fanfare from their home countries except for through and an assortment of pro-humanitarian blogs.

They simply do this work because it is the right thing to do and they want people to live.

Yet almost any article or online video about these humanitarian activists who were killed while rescuing children from an Israeli gunman, or in Rachel's case trying to prevent Palestinian homes from being bulldozed and annexed by the Israeli government- will be met with bitter and cruel comments from Israelis and their supporters.

They either can't or don't discern that there is a serious problem with their soldiers' tactics. These are human beings who truly have no remorse or sorrow for Palestinian people; their cause, their friends and families. Their attitudes reflect cruelty and indifference.

One person at the Hulu site, Arie Pelta, said:

"The moral of the story is: if you go to an active war zone you may be shot. Especially if you volunteer to be a human shield.

There is no morality or justice in war. War is an immoral act which has rules for some and not for others. Look at war in Iraq, thousands of civilians have been killed even by the USA, but we do not see any films about it, because ........?"

Well, without going to any effort, I can think of several US movies that meet that description:


Redacted, which recounts the rape and murder
of a young girl in Iraq by American soldiers.

An increasing number of movies and documentaries are extremely critical of the US-led war in Iraq

The Situation, a gut wrenching look at the Iraq War through the eyes of a journalist that's anything but flattering of the US policy.

War Made Easy, which "reaches into the
Orwellian memory hole to expose a 50-year
pattern of government deception"

Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers, a film that examines the role of US corporate contractors in the war like Halliburton, and;

Green Zone that is centered around the faulty information the US used to wage a war on
innocent people.

The list goes on, people in the US aren't happy with the war in Iraq; they aren't jumping up and down about it, I know they were, but not every American. It seems fair that each story should have its own place in this world.

From: Rowan Joffe on The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall - The Telegraph

Another Hulu comment from a person named Lethe Taylor. This individual removes humanity (typical) by referring to Tom Hundall as "it" at one point:

"All I can say is if they call what you do 'human shield,' you can expect to be taking on fire. That's what a shield is for, it takes the blows so the person or thing shielded doesn't. No one can say he didn't know what he was in for if that was the title of what he was doing."

So the moral of the story to that person, is to ignore the murder of innocent civilians; to play with the devil, and blame the hero for trying to save a little girl.

This triumphant film is not without an air of victory. Through their diligence, the Hurndall family was finally able to see a real investigation launched by the IDF - Israeli Defence Forces.

The soldier ended up receiving the longest sentence ever handed down to a member of the IDF for the murder of a Palestinian civilian - eight years behind bars.

The Israeli investigators who eventually prosecute the case push for what we perceive to be justice, but then we are confronted with the part of the story that is agonizing.

IDF sniper Taysir Hayb killed Tom Hurndall

Israel has plenty of Arab citizens, whereas a small number of Israeli citizens reside in Palestine.

Jocelyn and Anthony Hurndall Courtesy: Life

I assume the only Jewish people you would meet in any part of Palestine would be either a soldier or a peace activist, probably little in between.

Because a large number of Arab citizens of Israel are poverty stricken, and they also because they live under an apartheid legal system with clearly different laws for Jews and non-Jews, one option they sometimes take is to join the IDF.

The decision to be part of an occupying army that oppresses their fellow Arabs has to be a hard decision to reach.

Nonetheless, the Bedouin Brigade that Tom Hurndall's sniper killer Taysir Hayb belonged to, is indeed an Arab Bedouin Brigade of the IDF.

The obvious question centers around whether or not Israel finally chose to prosecute this soldier only because he was Arab and not Jewish.

Trailer for The Shooting Of Thomas Hurndall - Full movie below.

It is a system designed to fail because all human beings are created equal and to think otherwise, as Israel does, is wrong.

The world's most self-entitled philosophy is indeed Zionism; the notion that Jews are God's chosen people.

While all people have a right to exist, many Israelis believe it is perfectly fine to kill Palestinians because they view them as dogs.

In return there are similar feelings toward Israeli citizens and the hatred just goes on and on.

Even the IDF sniper sergeant Hayb immediately drew the race card, according to the film. I don't have any trouble believing that happened or understanding why it happened.

As much of a thug a Hayb is, he very likely became part of an intense investigation mostly because he is not a Jew.

All we can do is speculate, and I personally conclude that, as in all situations of this nature, there were people with good motivations among those who did not have them.

I think Hayb is a sick man who took lives out of boredom and personal anger. And this Arab who chose to make a living as a soldier shooting his fellow Arabs and others, was quick to pull the race card himself when the heat was turned up and his statements were questioned.

The obvious question is whether or not Israel finally chose to prosecute this soldier and give him a record sentence simply because he was Arab and not Jewish.

I'd like to think it meant more; that the eventual investigation and prosecution of the soldier was the product of the accountability of Israel's military and 'democracy'. But they have apartheid laws and I can only see justice as part of the reasoning and the movie makes clear that the military investigation was opened only because of Tom's father's investigation.

Both parents worked relentlessly to ensure that their son's death was not brushed under the rug.

It is a system designed to fail because all human beings are created equal and to think otherwise, as Israel does, is wrong.

The world's most self-entitled philosophy is indeed Zionism; the notion that Jews are God's chosen people. At face value in some American church on Sunday the whole idea sounds great. Jews return to the homeland, cool.

But it wasn't a 'return' - it was a mass exodus of refugees from Europe, of course connected to the Holocaust. But the Palestinians did not sponsor the Holocaust nor take a single Jewish life during that period, yet they pay and pay.

'The Shooting Of
Thomas Hurndall'
Cast of Actors

Bader Alami ................................... Anis

Ziad Backry ..........................Sgt. Taysir

Mark Bazeley .......Tom Fitzalan-Howard

Emma Choy ...........Australian Reporter

Stephen Dillane .........Anthony Hurndall

Kerry Fox ....................Jocelyn Hurndall

Denise Gough ..........................Michelle

Gus Lewis .................................Freddy

Doraid Liddawi ....................IDF Soldier

Kika Markham .............................Alison

Tom McKay ...............................Rueben

Matthew McNulty .............Tom Hurndall

Jonathan Miller ..................Taysir's C.O

Marry Nazzal ..............................Laura

Along with Christian and Muslims, Jewish people always lived in Palestine in small numbers and there were never problems in the early years.

Zionism, the 'return to the homeland' movement, was launched in the late 1800's by Theodor Herzl who had earlier belonged to an anti-Semitic group in Germany: the nationalist student fraternity Albia.

This man of shifting ideologies is the father of modern-day Israel. From the early years, Arabs have been branded a terrorists when they fight Israeli forces. There has been a terrible amount of death over the years and many wars.

But along the way Israel became super fat with military hardware; super precise weaponry and aircraft. This over abundance of military hardware along with illegal tools of war like depleted uranium and white phosphorous, have led to countless war crime allegations, investigations and formal UN reports.

While all people have a right to exist, many Israelis believe it is perfectly fine to kill Palestinians because they view them as dogs.

In return there are similar feelings toward Israeli citizens and the hatred just goes on and on. Israel, like Afghanistan, is a nation state wrapped around a religion. Zionists believe they can steal Arab and because, as it is often stated: "God gave this land to me".

But God didn't grant any man the power to steal, in fact the teachings of God are quite the opposite.

Stealing land over perceived religious doctrine; that isn't how life works in a civilized world, it only happens when religious fanatics are in charge of government and it doesn't matter what religion or country.

In this event it is Israel and the fact that the man who killed Tom is Arab and Muslim proves once again that this isn't about religion from the human activist's side of the fence, it is about life and death, right and wrong, a parent's love for their son. That is what it is about.

All news writers who criticize Israel for any reason run the risk of finding themselves under attack with people claiming that they are anti-Semitic. Our Jewish friends who work for peace quickly find themselves branded as 'self-hating Jews'. We all laugh and joke at the ridiculous desperation of Israelis but it really isn't funny.

Please visit the: Tom Hurndall Foundation

Even the IDF sniper sergeant Hayb immediately drew the race card, according to the film. I don't have any trouble believing that happened, or understanding why it happened.

As much of a thug a Hayb is, he very likely became part of an intense investigation mostly because he is not a Jew.

All we can do is speculate, and I personally conclude that, as in all situations of this nature, there were people with good motivations among those who did not have them.

I think Hayb is a sick man and a product of Israel's mentality which again, suggests that Arabs are less important as human beings and always a threat. It is a coward's philosophy[hy to think you should kill a man because he won't relent to an illegal military occupation.

All considerations aside, how on earth could anyone become so reckless that they shoot at children?

In the film you learn that there are Gaza residents in Rafah whose homes are full of hundreds of bullet holes from Israeli soldiers' rifles.

I know they are part of war, but snipers are people who don't confront their 'enemies'. They just blast their lives to hell through a scope attached in this case, almost certainly to a weapon provided by US taxpayer revenue.

It has merit when there are Nazi's at the other end of the barrel, but not little children.

I have seen reporters simply standing near the sniper towers come under dangerous rifle fire.

Israel's military has a thuggish and barbaric history of overusing force on people who are for the most part defenseless. It apparently doesn't bother them to shoot children, it is terrible programming.

Sophie Hurndall

In the movie, Anthony Hurndall meets a man who lives in this exact situation. Israelis killed his small daughter as she was taking a drink of water.

The next day an Israeli sniper shot his nephew.

Indeed the western governments have been up to some bad tricks funding this type of barbaric occupational warfare on an imprisoned society.

The US guarantees Israel's right to state sponsored terrorism through UN veto power and all of the related tension has only escalated in recent years.

The Internet has been a valuable tool in communicating these stories to the public and even if they pulled the plug tomorrow, they could never stop the spirit.

This movie is extremely well produced, I suspect that had a whole lot to do with Tom's parents, Anthony and Jocelyn Hurndall, who are, along with his siblings, among the film's main characters.

After Tom Hurndall was shot in the head in Gaza, his parents Anthony and Jocelyn eventually were able to bring him home, but Tom only lasted nine months after the shooting.

The parents expected sympathy and co-operation from the Israeli authorities, but were only provided an official explanation that could not be corroborated by any eye-witness accounts.

For two months the only reply from Israel's military was a wall of silence. Then, two months after arriving in Tel Aviv, the day the family is set to bring their son home, the IDF agrees to see them.

It was just one more example of the extreme lack of consideration that this military organization had for the accountability of its own.

Only after Anthony Hurndall painstakingly recreated the shooting event, as a skilled lawyer, did Israel move to finally convict Hayb.

Billy Hurndall

And then as if right on cue, the Israeli government announced that it was cutting the killer's sentence short. This is something that the family found highly offensive.

But this is the pattern in Israel, and we are talking about the most stringent punishment one of their soldiers ever received for Murder.

It doesn't give a person a lot of comfort.

I pray for this family and for all of the brave activists who do what they do to make sure the world eventually stops what is taking place in Gaza.

Tom's mother Jocelyn Hurndall has written a biography of him called Defy the Stars: The Life and Tragic Death of Tom Hurndall, published in April 2007 and reprinted in May 2008 with the alternative title My Son Tom: The Life and Tragic Death of Tom Hurndall.

His sister, Sophie, works for Medical Aid for Palestinians. His brother Billy is also involved in aiding Palestine.

Tom's youngest brother is Freddy.

I can't imagine how hard this was for all of them, I appreciate the family's ability in turning the event into an education and inspiration that others should follow. Your son was a great person.

Tim King: Editor and Writer

Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Serving the community in very real terms, is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website.


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AP February 5, 2011 6:13 pm (Pacific time)

A brief chronology of the latest saga of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is crucial to a proper appreciation of the issues involved in the current war. In August 2005, after five years of fighting in the Second Intifada with no resolution in sight, Israel unilaterally withdrew all of its soldiers and citizens from the Gaza strip in hopes of fostering a lasting peace.

 Tim King: Oh really?  I have studied this and ultimately have different findings.  For example, you fail to mention the settlers who had to be taken out by force, and the fact that Israel didn't leave Gaza; Israel built a perimeter fence and wall to turn the 1.5 million residents of Gaza, 800k+ children among the population, into prisoners.  Israel sealed the people in and therefore egregiously violated the The Universal Declaration of Human Rights - on several levels.  I even suspect that Sharon's illness was induced by Israel.  After all, several rabbis placed a curse on him, or had you overlooked that part of history also? 

Since the Israeli withdrawal, however, Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist organization funded by Iran, has fired over 6,000 deadly rockets from Gaza targeting Israeli civilians. It is against these war crimes, the indiscriminate targeting of innocent civilians, that the Israeli military has been forced to respond.

Tim King:: I'm sorry but that is just pure bullshit.  A TOTAL of 28 Israeli citizens have died because of the Hamas 'rocket attacks' and why on earth do you fail to mention that Hamas not only ceased this activity, but also is trying to reign in others outside of Hamas?  Hamas was elected fairly and legally and the racist Zionist government of Israel and its little puppet the USA ensure that fairness was not met.  The Israels have killed several times the number of Palestinians that Hamas has killed Israelis.  Warmongers are seriously in control of Israel and always have been.  They have no respect for humanity, only Jewish people.  While Jewish people are as valuable as any human, they are not 'better' or deserving more than any other person alive, regardless of their religion.  Israel CONSTANTLY targets civilians and  as far as Hamas goes, this is where those reading this will receive an honest education: If HAMAS is a Terrorist Organization, What Does That Make Israel? - Political Perspective by Tim King  And by all means readers should catch this story on our front page at the time of this writing: Don't Gobble the Zionist Poison Against Hamas - Nahida Izzat

As President-elect Obama asserted in a campaign visit to Israel in July 2008, "If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I would do everything to stop that, and would expect Israel to do the same thing." After years of restraint and after exhausting all diplomatic avenues, it is this very principle of defending its civilians, one of the foundational tenets of a democratic nation, which has driven Israel to take up arms against Hamas.

Tim King: All Obama has done is change position.  He also said in Cairo, " Salaam Alaikum   there must be a sustained effort to listen to each other, to learn from one another,  to respect one another and to seek common ground. "

And he said: "The Holy Qur'an tells us, 'Be conscious of God and speak always the truth '   and "The Holy Qur'an teaches, 'Whoever kills an innocent, it is as if they killed all mankind."  So I guess that undermines your point.  Israel desires to take land that does not belong to Israel.  Your colonializing settlers use government rule to force people out of homes they have owned for generations; sometimes hundreds of years.  Israel has taken great steps to erase the historical towns and cities of the Palestinians.  But WORST of all, the MOST disturbing on an environmental level, are the eradication of classic Palestinian olive trees and groves that have existed since ancient times.  There is NO excuse.  Israel's message to Palestinians as one person in my life says, is "Leave or die".  The 'democracy' of Israel is clearly conveyed in this article.  The use of the word 'restraint' in regard to Israel is so false that it is embarrassing.  

There is no question that the loss of Palestinian life in Gaza is terribly tragic and that every effort should be made to avoid civilian casualties and to provide medical aid and supplies to those suffering.

 Tim King: Oh, like more than 1400 murdered civilians in Gaza during 'Operation Cast Lead'?  Have you ever looked at those words carefully?  Do you even have the ability to grasp the audacity of  operation CAST LEAD?  Sorry, but I don't know if you are some type of doctor/propagandists or if you actually believe what you are writing.  As far as medical aid goes, your IOF thugs made sure that didn't happen, taking care to shoot ambulance drivers as they tried to reach the wounded.  This is disgusting to even know that you would hail from the medical community and support this rampant well-planned murder of so many people.  I am only taking the time to fully indulge your disparaging comments toward an entire culture for the memory and respect of  Tom Hurndall, since this article is about him though I see you didn't take the time to so much as mention his name.  Surely you could have. 

And since your are all doctors or medical students or presumably something along those lines, you should read this excerpt from the article:   White Phosphorus Bombs, a Legacy of Suffering - By Yousef Al-Helou for

"We had a happy home, I lived in this house in security with my husband and children. I was the happiest person in the world, but all of that changed when on January 4th the Israeli army entered our village and fired 2 phosphorus shells (that) penetrated our roof and brunt us while we were having our lunch, the fire was like lava, my family were burnt and their bodies turned to crisps." Sabah said.

The mournful mother who is still unable to walk or talk properly since her house was completely engulfed in flames, believes she is lucky to have found a photo of her youngest daughter, Shahed, who was only 15 months old. I asked her to comment on this writing which was left on the wall of her bedroom that reads "from the Israeli defense force, we are sorry!"

"I demand the whole world and international human rights organizations to sue the killers of my family, they killed so many innocent people who tried to rescue us, what was the guilt of my children and my baby Shahad? Their 'sorry' will not bring back my family. I'm still physiologically and mentally in pain. I can't even pick up a cup of tea now; my life will never be the same", Sabah answered with tears in her eyes.

While no party is blameless for the tragic Palestinian death toll, the stark contrast between Israel's and Hamas' treatment of the people in Gaza must be unequivocally asserted. Israel's defense of its own citizens has gone hand in hand with extraordinary efforts to protect the civilians of Gaza.

 Tim King: Hamas protects the people of Gaza, Israel kills the people of Gaza.  Yes, there is an overbearing sense with Hamas; they are no-nonsense and they go too far sometimes trying to control people in Gaza, but look at the situation Israel has placed them in.  In the end Hamas is Gaza and Israel is an oppressive occupying force and there is not a time in history that a proud culture relents easily to such barbaric treatment as inflicted by the Israelis. You try to represent Hamas as something they are not.  This recent report shows them on a day observing Israel's deadly cast lead attacks: Report from Gaza: Two Years After Operation Cast Lead - Ken O'Keefe 

And let's not let anyone forget that you represent one thing and one thing only; religious fanatics.  Wait, dangerous, deadly religious fanatics.  I have not the faculties to absorb the notion that God's 'Chose People' had reference had anything to do with walling in the Palestinian population and weaving them through an endless series of checkpoints where they are delayed and disrespected, at minimum.  Israel maintains an apartheid government with separate laws and rules for Jews and non-Jews.  Even among the Jewish people there are many problems and those who side with peace; our friends are branded by Zionists as 'self-hating Jews' which is hogwash.  I believe the American Jews I have always known are the real representatives of the faith.  Even if they are confused at times by such overwhelming false information continually peddled by hasbara, they are able to listen and examine the facts and often quickly agree that Israel's hard right politicians with an endless military agenda are dead wrong on almost every level. 

Israel distributes leaflets, sends voicemails and text messages, and uses radio and TV announcements to warn Gazan civilians to clear areas of imminent attacks. Israel seeks to minimize civilian casualties through surgical strikes on military objectives, and frequently aborts key missions due to concerns for civilian casualties. Moreover, since the beginning of the war, Israel has transported thousands of pounds of food and medical supplies to ease the Gazans’ plight.

Tim King: Leaflets?  OMG, it is harrowing to read this bag of lies.  I am now concluding that you are medical students at most.  Israel has the most precise targeting hardware of any military group, thanks to the evil actions of my sad government.  They dropped leaflets, told people to seek refuge IN AN OPEN AIR PRISON, are you guys really alive?  There is no excuse and that is why another Zionist Jew, the Honorable Richard Goldstone, wrote the Goldstone report that explained in great detail how Israel violated many international laws during cast lead and should be investigated for violations of war crimes.  Speaking of that, here is a link to a story that contains personal information about two hundred or so Israeli Defence Force war crime suspects, photos and all: Israeli Military War Crime Suspects Revealed - 

Unfortunately, Israel's efforts to minimize harm to the civilians of Gaza have been confounded by Hamas which consistently places civilians in the line of fire. Hamas, in clear violation of international law, gathers women and children around military targets to use them as human shields.

 Tim King:No, completely false propaganda charge - 100%  fabricated in Israel.  I have never seen a single shred of evidence to support this claim, it is as if Israel were placing civilians in the line of fire for the highly ineffective 'Hamas rocket attacks'.  Do they do that?  Didn't think so, neither does Hamas.

This terrorist regime endangers the people of Gaza by using civilian homes, schools, mosques and hospitals as launching grounds for rockets fired at Israeli civilians and prides itself on the number of its own people martyred to the destruction of Israel. It preys on the moral conscience of the democratic world, which places a premium on innocent lives, knowing that Israel seeks to avoid killing the very same Palestinian civilians whom Hamas militants hide behind and deem dispensable. It is these abominable tactics of Hamas that leads to the "disproportionate" number of Palestinian civilian casualties and which should evoke international condemnation and outrage.

Tim King: Man, I wish this droning of propaganda was over already.   Hamas are people, Palestinians are people.  They lived in peace with Christians and Jewish people in historic Palestine until Hertzl decided that he did like Jews and decided to switch from anti-Semitism to Zionism.  Anyone reading this can quickly and easily verify everything I am saying.  Hertzl kicked Zionism into gear, WWI came around and the Arabs were told that if they helped the British free Jerusalem from the Turks, that the Arab world would be left alone.  The Arabs helped defeat the Turks, but instead of being left alone as promised by Sir Lawrence, came the Balfour Declaration -a disgrace and shameful violation of Great Britain's big promise to the Arabs.  And then came the increased number of Jewish people moving to Palestine, and with it came the groups we would come to know like the Irgun began mobilizing to steal the Palestinian land.  Then after the Holocaust, a stream of Jewish refugees moved to Palestine and began slaughtering Arab people in order to take their land.  Guess what?  It is still taking place..  One of the worst of Israel's terrorists as we revealed last week in an article long since struck from the main channels, that of Emanuel's dad, who specialized in blowing up buses transporting Palestinian people.   Rahm Emanuel's Father Specialized in Bus Bombings in Palestine - Wayne Madsen Special to

We recognize the hardships and painful losses incurred by both sides of this conflict, but we also know that simplistic solutions based on distorted facts are not the answer.

 Tim King: Then why are you distorting facts in rapid succession on our pages?

Blind calls for an “immediate cessation of hostilities” outside the context of a viable and sustainable security are short-sighted. While this may seem to be an attractive and “humanitarian” solution in the short term, it will not alleviate the plight of Palestinians who suffer under the policies of the Hamas regime nor bring safety to the civilians of Israel who currently live in terror of Hamas rockets.

Tim King: The fact that you place the word humanitarian in italics says all we need to know about you and your cause.  Hamas is not the problem, they simply stand against Israel's illegal occupation and so does almost every other country on this earth.  Nobody is blind by the way, this has been a consistent call.  

Every person should rightly be pained by the death and suffering of innocent people wherever they may be. Nonetheless, espousing moral indignation in the face of a skewed and one-sided picture of an immensely complex situation simply delays finding appropriate solutions. How can a letter that calls for humanitarianism and civilian protection point to Israel’s “brutal attacks” while ignoring the countless Israeli efforts to protect Gazan civilians?

 Tim King: Exactly 28 people, remember?  You attempt to somehow inflate and enlarge a small number in people's.minds.   The majority of all Palestinians have been peacefully protesting in recent years, not fighting.  Their reward is being arrested in the middle of the night by your gestapo police or being drug away from a peaceful protest and tortured or even sexually abused.  We have published many stories about the abuse of Palestinian children by IDF.  There isn't even a small justification for any of these actions.  Israel is completely wrong and locked in a deadly pattern of oppressive militancy.  Only a small obscure number of people in Gaza fire these rockets that are often referred to as 'glorified fireworks'.  They are not guided, whereas Israel's illegal weapons that destroyed 56 schools and over 200 medical facilities during cast lead were all precisely directed on their targets, making Israel a military that kills babies.... baby killers.

 Human Rights Watch researchers found spent shells, canister liners, and dozens of burnt felt wedges containing white phosphorus on city streets, apartment roofs, residential courtyards, and at a United Nations school in Gaza immediately after hostilities ended in January.

"Militaries officially use white phosphorus to obscure their operations on the ground by creating thick smoke. It has also been used as an incendiary weapon, though such use constitutes a war crime.

“In Gaza, the Israeli military didn’t just use white phosphorus in open areas as a screen for its troops," said Fred Abrahams, senior emergencies researcher at Human Rights Watch and co-author of the report. "It fired white phosphorus repeatedly over densely populated areas, even when its troops weren't in the area and safer smoke shells were available. As a result, civilians needlessly suffered and died." This article has details: WikiLeaks and Gaza Links - Eileen Fleming

Why was it deemed irrelevant to mention the significant role of Hamas in the number of Palestinian civilian deaths? It pains us that some would attempt to value the lives and security of one people over the lives and security of another, and to express solidarity with some innocents while ignoring others. As medical students committed to the sanctity and preservation of human life, we too express our grave concern for the protection of innocents and hope for a speedy but viable resolution so that both Palestinians and Israelis can live in peace and safety.

Tim King: Right, but you didn't have the decency to mention Tom Hunrdall's name.  You didn't even reference it.  I think again that Hamas is far from perfect but not for killing people in Gaza, you are totally blowing smoke.  There are problems with Hamas cracking down on young groups like the Gaza Youth; we have published their manifesto for change.  We aren't missing the point, but problems within Gaza are a flea on the dog and a completely separate matter from Israel's continued illegal deadly occupation of Palestine.  I hope you guys realize that you have blood streaming from your hands, surely you are being paid to write this, and I think if Albert Einstein were alive today he would be disgusted by Netanyahu and this list of fabrications.     

Rebecca Braunstein, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, MSI

David Faleck, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, MSI

David Stern, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, MSII

533 Med student Signatures, 180 MD's (as of 8:47 a.m. EST 1/16/09) 1055 in total

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