Peace with Realism

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Notable Quotes

"Irrespective of one's opinion of the [Israeli] settlers, they were civilians; they had been taking possession of land, not killing people; and as Israel had demonstrated in 1981, settlements can be dismantled. Dead civilians cannot be resurrected....

"Outsiders routinely view the religious extremists on both sides with distaste, and with a 'plague on both their houses' mentality they write off the entire conflict as the irrational antics of religious fanatics. Yet this seemingly rational and enlightened perspective totally disregards the fact that murderous violence against civilians is the hallmark of the Palestinian extremists; the hallmark of the settlers is the creation of settlements. Even a child, you would think, could see the moral difference."

- Yaacov Lozowick (Right to Exist: A Moral Defense of Israel's Wars, New York: Doubleday, 2003, pp. 174, 179).

"You rarely read in Europe that Israel is after all the country about whose extermination the dispute is. Israel isnít saying that the Arabs should disappear. The Israelis are sometimes, often, clumsy and not necessarily long-range statesmen. But this fundamental fact, that you have one side that wants to do away with the other, is not sufficiently recognized in Europe and there is undoubtedly now a worrisome anti-Semitic trend."

- Henry Kissinger (Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg, "Henry Kissinger at Large, Part Two," PBS, February 5, 2004).

"Zionism is nothing more than a belief that Israel has a right to exist as a homeland for Jews. Those who are anti-Zionist assert that Israel, regardless of its leaders or policies, has no right to exist. To say that Jews alone of all the peoples on the planet don't have a right to self-determination in a part of their historic homeland is clearly anti-Semitic.

"This is not merely a matter of semantics. Throughout the Arab world and elsewhere, Israel is regularly demonized and the Jews dehumanized. Jews have been attacked as stand-ins for Israelis on the streets of London and Paris, and Jewish institutions have been torched, most recently in Montreal, in supposed retaliation for Israel's actions. If that is not anti-Semitism, what is?"

- Harold Tanner, President, American Jewish Committee (Letter to the New York Times, April 14, 2004).

On house demolitions:

"The world should understand that we don't have any other choice. We destroy houses that are used by terrorists... One picture out of context can change public opinion. They do not show what they have done to the bodies of our soldiers. They played soccer with the head of one of our soldiers."

- Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, "It Was Unintentional," Interview with Lally Weymouth, Newsweek, May 31, 2004.

"You love life and we love death, which gives an example of what the Prophet Muhammad said."

- Transcript of videotaped message claiming Al Qaeda was responsible for the bombings in Madrid (March 14, 2004).

"We tell them, in as much as you love life, the Muslim loves death and martyrdom. There is a great difference between he who loves the hereafter and he who loves this world. The Muslim loves death and martyrdom."

- Palestinian Authority cleric Mufti Sheikh Ikrimeh Sabri. Quoted in Robert Spencer, "Sharon's Stroke," Jihad Watch, December 19, 2005.

"We have discovered how to hit the Jews where they are the most vulnerable. The Jews love life, so that is what we shall take away from them. We are going to win because they love life and we love death."

- Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah. Quoted in Jonathan Chait, "Israel's Justifiable Use of Force, The New Republic Online, July 24, 2006; reprinted from Jonathan Chait, "Who Says War Has to Be Proportional?" Los Angeles Times, July 23, 2006.

"If they [the Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide."

- Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, in a speech to a graduation ceremony. Badih Chayban, "Nasrallah alleges 'Christian Zionist' plot, Lebanon Daily Star, October 23, 2002.

"Whatever the hideous shambles of the past few days, it is still true, in principle, that when Israeli rockets kill civilians, they have missed their targets, and that when Hizbollah rockets kill civilians, they have scored a deliberate hit. That is a moral difference that needs to be dinned into the skull of every saloon-bar strategist currently denouncing Israel."

- British Member of Parliament Boris Johnson, "Unlike Hizbollah, Mel, Israel Is Not Trying to Kill Civilians,, August 3, 2006.

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict:
Peace with Realism