Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.

World_Map-cute

Countries of Asia

This is my next look at a country in Asia from my list of countries in Asia.

Israel is in the news for all the wrong/right reasons depending on which side of the fence you sit.

However, did you know these 21 must-know facts about Israel?

1. Israel is just 20,700 square kilometers. This is about the same size as New Jersey or Vermont. It’s also comparable in size to Slovenia or Ecuador. (corrected)

2. Though the same size as New Jersey, Israel has about 2 million less of people. – 7,000,000ish. And, more than 12 times the population of Vermont. (corrected)

3.  About two in three Israeli Jews were born in Israel. Three/fourths of the country are Jews. One in five immigrated there from Europe or the Americas. The rest came from other parts of Asia and Africa.

4. One in six Israelis is Muslim.

5. Israel has two official languages – Hebrew and Arabic. Most Israelis can communicate in English, too.

6. Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, is at or near the heart of three worldwide religions – Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Three out of four Israelis are Jews, one in six are Muslim and less than 2% are Christian.

7. Israel has won just seven Olympic gold medals, but representatives from the country have won 100 Para-Olympic gold medals.

8. Israel’s neighbors (boundaries) are Egypt (266 km), Gaza Strip (51 km), Jordan (238 km), Lebanon (79 km), Syria (76 km), West Bank (307 km). There is 273km of coastline (1.62km – 1 mile).

9. Israel naturally fears sandstorms during spring and summer, droughts and from time to time – earthquakes. They don’t seem to fear much else.

10. Israel hurts for natural fresh water and suffers from desertification, air and ground water pollution.

11. The average age in Israel is 28.9 years. More than one in four are 14-years old or younger. Israeli females have a life expectancy of 82.79 years.

12. Israel spends 6.9% of its GDP on education and 7.3% on its military. Hmm…

13. Israel’s Independence Day was May 14, 1948.

14. You can contact Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. at

Ambassador Salai MERIDOR
chancery: 3514 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 364-5500
FAX: [1] (202) 364-5607

15. Israel’s unemployment rate is 7.3%.

16. Israel’s best export partners – U.S. 35%, Belgium 7.5%, Hong Kong 5.8%

17. Israels’ best import partners – US 13.9%, Belgium 7.9%, Germany 6.2%, China 6.1%, Switzerland 5.1%, UK 4.7%, Italy 4.1%

18. Almost one in three Israelis are online.

19. Israel’s economy depends on

  • Industry: high-technology projects
  • Agriculture: citrus, vegetables, cotton; beef
  • Exports: machinery and equipment, software, cut diamonds

20. All single women in Israel must serve 2 years in the military.

21. Israel has about 598,000 armed forces personnel. Compare that to 3.8 million armed forces personnel for the combined nearby countries –

  • Iraq -1million
  • Iran – 900K
  • Syria – 700K
  • Egypt – 700K
  • Saudi Arabia – 160K
  • Jordan – 140K
  • Lebanon – 68K
  • Palestine – 40K

22. Israel has been hated, rightfully or wrongfully for a long long time and it’s not about to change anytime soon. Call it a family problem, if you will.

While you are here, Sign My Israel Guestbook.

And if you feel so inclined, please Subscribe to PanAsianBiz and join me on my fact finding in Asia.

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You might also be interested in:

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Bill Belew

Bill Belew

Daddy and Christian.

55 Comments

  • Miki says:

    correction: unemployment rate is about 6.2 or so, but it’s going to go up due the economic crises world wide.

  • Luay says:

    Fact… Israel is a nation that was born with the collaboration of Europe and the United States. Palestine, under the British mandate was given to the Jews (Balfour Declaration-1917) as thank you for their help and suffering. There is nothing the nation of Israel is not capable off, from Killing, forced immigration, assassination, economic sanction, educational depravation of the local inhabitants of Palestine. Israel’s claim to the land is as true as the British can claim the Falkland Islands. But in today’s world, power rules and if anyone speaks, kill them. Ask for proof, look at what is happening in Gaza. You FACTS are not facts they are lies and history attests to it. Jerusalem was never your capital
    Israel is in the news for all the wrong/right reasons depending on which side of the fence you sit.
    However, did you know these 21 must-know facts about Israel?
    1. Israel Occupied Palestine is just 20,700 square kilometers. This is about two times the size of Hawaii or Massachusetts or the size of New Jersey, Delaware, District of Columbia, Rhode Island and Connecticut combined. It’s also comparable in size to Slovenia or Ecuador.
    2. Though twice the land mass of Massachusetts, Israel Occupied Palestine has about the same number of people – 7,000,000ish
    3. About two in three Israeli Jews were born in Israel. Three/fourths of the country are Jews. One in five immigrated there from Europe or the Americas. The rest came from other parts of Asia and Africa. A little over inflated figures. All Jews in Palestine immigrated from Europe (thrown out), the US, Russia (forced out) and the Middle East (thrown out). Your statement is true only if you speak about the current population
    4. One in six Israelis is Muslim. (In1948 Occupied Palestine) and it’s more like 2 out six.
    5. Israel has two official languages – Hebrew and Arabic. Most Israelis can communicate in English, too.
    6. Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, is at the heart of three world-wide religions – Jews, Christians and Muslims. Three out of four Israelis are Jews, one in six is Muslim and less than 2% are Christian. Only in the minds of dreamer Jews.
    7. Israel has won just seven Olympic gold medals, but representatives from the country have won 100 Paralympics gold medals. (Good)
    8. Israel’s neighbors (boundaries) are: Egypt (266 km), Gaza Strip (51 km), Jordan (238 km), Lebanon (79 km), Syria (76 km), West Bank (307 km). There is 273km of coast line. (1.62km – 1 mile)
    9. Israel naturally fears sandstorms during spring and summer, droughts and from time to time – earthquakes. They don’t seem to fear much else.( FEAR ) hmmmm
    10. Israel hurts for natural fresh water, and suffers from desertification, air and ground water pollution. (That’s why you’re stealing it from the Arab Farmers and neighboring Arab countries)
    11. The average age in Israel is 28.9 years. More than one in four is 14-years old or younger. Israeli females have a life expectancy of 82.79 years.
    12. Israel spends 6.9% of its GDP on education and 7.3% on its military. Hmm… (Compliments of US tax payers. That is a FACT that is worth mentioning.
    13. Israel’s Independence Day was May 14, 1948. (FACT, where was the state of Israel before

  • ____(______ says:

    this is very helpful, I think I got a better idea of why they just cant get along

  • MrStrider says:

    Israel is just 20,700 square kilometers. ==>
    Israel has been hated, rightfully or wrongfully for a long long time ==.

    i’m sure the latest gaza attacks can really change both these faces, the first will be much bigger than just 20k and the second will be HATED for sure

  • ja says:

    Generally good information; #6 is debatable.
    Jerusalem is not “at the heart” of Islam. Mecca and Medina are.
    Jerusalem is not mentioned even once by name in the entire Quran. It is mentioned, once. not by name, as a distant “third shrine”.
    By contrast, Jerusalem has been central to Judaism and Christianity for over 2000 years. It is spoken hundreds or thousands of times in the Bible, the Psalms, all prayerbook liturgy, all the commentaries and all the sacred texts [of which there are many] in Judaism and Christianity. For about 2000 years Jews have prayed, at the holidays, that they will celebrate “next year in Jerusalem”. It is the one and only place on the globe treated this way in Judaism and Christianity.
    It would not be overly cynical to state that Jerusalem suddenly and conveniently became “sacred” to Muslims in recent times–in 1967–when control of it passed into Jewish hands, during the Arafat era.

  • Eitan Levy says:

    Just a quick correction: Israel has not one 7 gold medals. It may have won 7 medals total, about which I’m not sure, but I am sure that we have only won 1 GOLD medal. Chazak u’baruch!

  • ritzbill says:

    luay- you are one of millions who are so blind. reasoning and common sense just cannot even begin to permeate your soul. God bless. Belew, thank you for the facts.

  • ben says:

    the capital city of Israel isnt Jerusalem u mong its Tel aviv

  • Buddylee says:

    Luay seems to forget one last piece of history that completely bombs just about every claim he makes. Who won the six day war? Who signed peace treaties so they wouldn’t get their arses kicked? Oh yeah. No mention.

  • J says:

    You should probably clarify that all Israeli citizens are required to serve in the military for two years after their 18th birthday… Not just single women.

  • William says:

    I agree.. Luay is an idiot.

    But, people that keep getting their butts kicked time and time again, usually are.

    Israel wouldn’t mess with the Arabs if they left them alone. They’re always talking about wiping Israel off the face of the map, or their destruction.

    Maybe if the Arabs quit acting like little children, and went out and got jobs instead of marching in the streets with homemade signs all the time, they could improve their lives.

  • Stuart says:

    I don’t think the protection of Israel, or any other country is the job of the US military. It is an extreme abuse of their oath to defend our country.

  • Jeet says:

    Excellent points 🙂

    You should note that Israel has a lot of religion based tourism and they also have dead sea (lowest point on earth?). A brief mention about Tel-Aviv would be good.

  • Luay says:

    Oi Ve, You mean to tell me that power is the resolution to international matters. Noone remeains on top my friend and if your’re think I ma blind then your a blind fool. All empires that have risen to power with power have collapsed in shame. your turn is coming, not for the sake of the palestinian people, but for the sake the innocent that die from bith sides. Lets see if Obama decides to cut aid to Israel in half. Shalom

  • David Strong says:

    Israel brought the world the Cell phone and voice mail. This tiny nation hated by so many has made our world a much better place and I am proud to be part Jewish I am an adult adoptee my birth mother’s name from what i have learned her maiden name was Hillderbran

  • ben says:

    look im not say what israel did was right but u bunch of antisemits have to flippin realise that hamas called off the cease fire so they could fire rockets in to israel causing psychological fear, Israel warned egypt America and many other countries that they would attack if they didnt stop no countries cared enough to do anything. so they did what they had to Hamas has a trained army not a great one but there is one and they use gorilla war fare gorilla war fare means innocent civilians will die. So please stop being ignorant, and dont spew hate without knowing the facts. not to mention be it right r wrong that israel exists it was rightfully thers till the romans threw them out, there are countless islamic countries, and just one jewish one, everywhere jews have been through out civilisation they have been tortured and thrown out so please, especially when u dont know anything about it please dont just talk about how much you hate jews and israel.

  • luay says:

    go to link and view true facts about Israel…

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=bca_1183384284

  • Debbie says:

    If the Palestinians put down their guns, there would be peace. If the Israeli’s put down their guns, they would be massacred by the Palestinians.

    Israel must retaliate. Why doesn’t the world care when Palestinians send rockets? They want war. They put their children in the line of fire. They are warned that Israel will attack with plenty of time to get out.

    There are few radicals and they run all of Islam. The moderates have to handle this. I know they are afraid, but they have the numbers to ban together and unseat radical Islam.

    Luay, you are an anti-semite. You have no grasp of the facts. I believe if the facts hit you in the face you wouldn’t be open to receiving them.

  • Mark says:

    If you want the truth about Palestinians go to this link or type ‘children of hamas’ into YouTube.
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=eTGbP55HGi8

  • Luay says:

    To Darling Debbie, the one who called Anti-Semite..
    I am more semite than you. How can I be anti-myself. Its you who dn’t know what a semite is. its you who think the world revolves around them. Its you who created this nation of hate, even amongst semites. ( semites from the east and semites from the west). Dear, Fix your home first and everthing will be alright, fix your mind an your heart, stop running people from their land, stop dictating your gread and selfish beleifs unto other. Stop and listen for a minute and be fair. FACT.. Treat other like you want to be treated. (The only democracy in the middle east) what a JOKE.
    until you write again. Think before you write.

  • Hobie says:

    I think it’s important that the world, not just the different governments but everyone that keeps having an opinion on what’s going on in the middle-east, everybody that posted here etc. realise that no side is better than the other. Palestine has been ill-treated, without doubt. Jews have been ill-treated, without doubt. One can argue back and forth about what right jews have got to claim Israel. But the UN gave them that land, maybe it was a bad idea, maybe not. Maybe Israel is the USA tradepost in the Middle-East. But first and foremost: Cease fire. History has made one thing clear: Not once has war or violence been helpful. Try not to fight for your side to win, try to fight for the greater good.

  • jonathan says:

    Israel was created 60 years ago bu occupying Palestine, the terrorist Israeli Zionists killed Palestinians day in and day out and are still killing them with the support of the Unites States. Currently, they are bombing Gaza strip with F16 jets tanks and missiles, killing more than 950 people in 15 days mostly children and women, and injuring more than 5000 most of which are in serious condition. Israel is blocking aid into Gaza, and has even been bombing UN schools killing all children therein. Israel has been also been bombing ambulances and killing health aid workers
    Israel has been sieging Gaza for a whole year, blocking electricity aid and food from going into Gaza, and lastly killing people there as if they were animals. Hamas is a noble resistance movement, defending Gaza with rifles and symbolatic rockets against the 4th force of the world. This might be the worst massacre in history, but the media owned by the Zionists is hiding the truth in the west in general.

    WAKE UP WORLD

  • armouti says:

    You mean 21 Must-Know lies about Israel

  • Alasdair says:

    Emm..Officially (Well according to the Isrealis) Jerusalem IS the capital.

    The government sits in Tel Aviv because Jerusalem would be up in flames if they were there. As East Jerusalem was to be the capital of the Palestinian state.

  • Alasdair says:

    @ ja.

    “It would not be overly cynical to state that Jerusalem suddenly and conveniently became “sacred” to Muslims in recent times–in 1967–when control of it passed into Jewish hands, during the Arafat era.”

    Thanks for the racist and unhelpful remarks.
    Ever heard of the Dome of the Rock? No?
    Only been around for 1300 years so I don’t see why you’d ever have gotten around to hearing about it. Oh and ye know, no Muslims think Muhammed is sacred at all. and the point where they believe he ascended into heaven? Nah no practising Muslim would ever see that as anything special.

    Welcome to the internet. it’s full of information. Read some of it before you open your mouth and spew hateful crap.

  • Mark says:

    To Jonathan,
    Hamas are a terrorist organisation, the WORLD says so. And if you want Israel to stop bombing gaza it’s easy. Get the terrorists to stop firing missiles into Israel or blowing up Israeli children on buses. If you want less children killed in Gaza stop Hamas from using them as human shields, (see the link I gave above). I’m not Jewish or Israeli but I have been to Israel several times and it annoys me when I see people commenting who have no idea about what is going on there apart from the pro-palestinian propaganda spewed out by the media. Remember who broke the sease fire – Hamas, NOT Israel. Israel is there to stay, live with it.

  • Jonathan says:

    To Mark,

    Hamas is a noble resistance movement struggling for justice, hamas has never used children as human shields, and the video you have posted doesn’t prove that they are using them as human shields,,,rather it says that Hamas is training Gaza children ( children of Hamas) on how to resist and defend their land in the future and to stand for their rights against an enemy that knows only the language of killing….however you should be aware that Israel is the master of human shield war game, see the link i am posting here which shows clearly how Israel had, actually, used Palestinian children as human shields

    http://i41.tinypic.com/ege3uu.jpg

    Also, visiting Israel does not mean you are entitled to say that you really know the situation there, i am sure you had a great time in Israel, its better you go and live in the region to reach better conclusions, Hamas fire rockets and not missiles and these rockets are symbolatic, they had no effect what so ever, and you have to research better on who broke the ceasefire, you cannot escape the fact that israel had violated the truce 183 times whereas Hamas had committed itself thereof.

    and no, Israel is an artificial entity that was created by blood, therefore it wont stay for long, never had an occupation lasted forever in human history.

  • Alasdair says:

    Just because the world says it’s a terrorist organisation doesn’t mean it is one. I mean the world said the Nazi’s were okay and that we could trust them. (Yes I know Godwin’s Law ><)

    Maybe there are terrorists in Gaza. But are they all terrorists? Does every single Gazan go out and send rockets into Israel? No? Then Israel is punishing the many for the crimes of the few. Which is against the Geneva convention. it’s called collective punishment and it’s illegal.

    And there is probably just as much pro-Israel bias in the media as there is pro-Palestinian. And the cease-fire was broken (in Hamas’ opinion) because the agreed lifting of the Gaza blockade by Israeli forces never happened. So Hamas responded in the only way they can. They can’t do diplomatically because the US will block every more. Since the US sends billions of dollars of aid and military aid to Israel. They can’t do it militarily because every time they even try to build a road it’ll be bombed into rubble the next time the Israeli’s fly over in retaliation for the only way they can think of that’ll give them some sort of leverage or influence in the peace talks. I don’t nor ever will condone the rocket attacks. But it’s done out of desperation rather than any kind of hate or revenge against Israel (Although that probably comes into it). And remember Hamas’ supporters were and still are mostly secular. They are a political party not mainly terrorist party. They won the elections in 2006 fairly. Fatah was seen as being weak and not doing enough to help them.

  • acroman says:

    all I see in this comments are lies and hate.
    its nice to read the newspaper and assume you know the truth, why dont you come to sderot city and see for yourself? only then you can know the truth.
    saying the hammas is a noble resistance movement struggling for justice ?!?
    murders that kill their own people and using their children as an human shield, killing anyone that doesnt agree with them ?
    yea, real noble.
    Israel let 18 trucks with food enter gaza and the hammas robbed that trucks.

    watch this video submitted by an ARAB, explaining what is the hammas :
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9i57PrvlCWo&NR=1

    also, this blog from someone from israel:
    livefromisrael.wordpress.com

  • Mark says:

    Alasdair says,
    “There is probably just as much pro-Israel bias in the media as there is pro-Palestinian.”

    No, if you read all the media reports in the papers or online the Israelis get much worse press than the Palestinians. If the Palestinians kill 10 Israeli kids with a suicide bomber it merits a tiny inch column in the papers. If Israel kill a terrorist in Gaza it gets half a page and makes the Israelis look the bad guys.

    “And the cease-fire was broken (in Hamas’ opinion) because…”

    Exactly, “in Hamas’ opinion”. They were the ones who started firing rockets first, hardly the actions of a political party and they broke the ceasefire, not Israel. Which brings me onto my next point…

    “Hamas’ supporters were and still are mostly secular. They are a political party not mainly terrorist party”

    Hamas are terrorists. They fire rockets into Israel for the sole purpose of causing death and injury thus resulting in TERROR. They got elected by killing lots of Fatah members and supporters and terrorising Palestinians into voting for Hamas. This was widely reported on, how could you even suggest Hamas was democratically elected. They got elected through TERRORISM against their own people. Saying they won it “fairly” means you know nothing about what occurred. I suggest you go and talk to the famalies of all the dead Fatah members and the Fatah supporters FORCED to vote for Hamas or FORCED to stay at home and not vote for Fatah.

    “Since the US sends billions of dollars of aid and military aid to Israel.”

    Don’t forget all the billions of dollars getting funneled into the Gaza by western countries meaning well. Just like in Africa the poor people see very little of this money. This money most likely helps fund Hamas’ arms, (although some subsidies were cut because of Hamas being a terrorist organisation). Oh and lets not forget all the money they get from Iran and Syria to fund their terrorism.

    I can’t work out from your missleading comments if you really don’t have a full picture of what is going on and what has happened in the past or if you are in denial. I’m sorry, I really don’t wish to offend you.

    Okay, lets throw this out there. What if the Palestinians had never resorted to terrorism. Don’t you think the rest of the world would have intervened and pushed for a Palestinian state. The problem is how could the world give it’s backing to a people who commit terrorist acts such as suicide bombings on school buses etc.

  • Ali says:

    “No, if you read all the media reports in the papers or online the Israelis get much worse press than the Palestinians.”

    Physically I can’t. I’ve never read a newspaper from Africa or Russia. I’d assume for every ‘liberal’ or leftist paper that’s pro-Palestinian in the US there’s a Conservative Right-wing paper that’s pro-Israel. Otherwise why would Israel have such great support in the US? I stick by my suggestion that it’s a 50/50 split. Obviously Israel supporters will mention all the pro-Palestinian stories and the Palestine supporters will mention all the support Israel gets.

    “Exactly, “in Hamas’ opinion”. They were the ones who started firing rockets first, hardly the actions of a political party and they broke the ceasefire, not Israel. Which brings me onto my next point…”

    And in Israel’s opinion it was Hamas’ who broke it… And I don’t doubt that Hamas started firing first again. but it was for the reason that they perceived that Israel never held up their side of the deal which was to lift the blockade of Gaza. Not really the act of a political party but more the act of a desperate people.

    “Hamas are terrorists. They fire rockets into Israel for the sole purpose of causing death and injury thus resulting in TERROR.”

    And Israel bomb and destroy Palestinian houses and schools and hospitals for the same reason. of course they say it’s to get the Hamas ‘terrorists’. There’s also the other reason of trying to convince the Palestinian people that if they support Hamas then they’ll be killed and injured. That’s terryfying. israel knows what it’s doing. They’ve received training in Psychological Warfare from the US. Who are very good at it. Israel has special forces. they have Mossad. They have spies and intelligence gatherers. They can’t use these people to get to Hamas? They need to use Artillery and Missiles which cause collateral damage.

    “After polls closed, officials and observers called the vote “peaceful”; Edward McMillan-Scott, the British Conservative head of the European Parliament’s monitoring team described the polls as “extremely professional, in line with international standards, free, transparent and without violence”. His colleague, Italian Communist MEP Luisa Morgantini said there was “a very professional attitude, competence and respect for the rules.” [12] All polling stations closed on time (7 p.m.) except for East Jerusalem, where voting was extended by the permitted two extra hours. Hamas protested this extension, claiming it only served Fatah; the Central Elections Committee stated that voting hours were “extended upon the approval of the Israeli authorities due to lengthy queues as a result of obstructions by post office workers.”

    Yup. That sounds like a corrupt election there. Of course the EU supports terrorism.

    in fact here’s the NDI report.

    http://www.accessdemocracy.org/files/2068_ps_elect_012506.pdf

    You’d might like to read about the free elections.

    Most of the aid that goes to Gaza isn’t money. It’s food and supplies. Why send money to a place that doesn’t have banks because it has no infrastructure. Aid in Africa doesn’t get to the poor because the Warlords take the food. the Aid doesn’t get to Gaza because Israel keep a lockdown whenever they feel like it.

    And Iran and Syria? Israel wouldn’t let any Aid from there get with in miles of Palestine.
    In fact Iran only started giving money in 2006. Other Arab nations, like the West have stopped giving aid to Palestine.

    How are my comments misleading? I made my comments using the best research that I have and also using my experience is a History Student. The poitns of my post are not to condone Hamas’ use of violence, but mainly to make people see that there are always two sides. What someone sees as indiscriminate terrorism, the other sees as a a necessary evil of a desperate people. And also to stop the blanket useage of ‘terrorist’ that’s came around recently thanks in no small part to a certain US President.

    And if Palestinians and Arabs hadn’t resorted to ‘Terrorism’ and violence then that part for the middle East would be part of Turkey or the continued Ottoman Empire. Dunno about today, depends on the reaction by Israel. What would they do after the Six day war? Would they keep settling the West bank and Gaza to secure their territories? Revenge against the Arab states? Worst case scenario: Official apartheid in greater Israel. Best case: Apartheid is just mostly unofficial. But that’s juse my pessimistic self talking.

  • Shai says:

    Dude!
    1) Jerusalem IS the capital of Israel. Every country has a right to make a choice of any city within it’s borders to serve as it’s capital. While some (extremist) voices through out the world claim that Jerusalem shouldn’t belong to the Jews, the fact is that right now it does… Moreover, most of the major governmental institutes (the Knesset, the supreme court, the national bank and most of the embassies) are located in Jerusalem. Crossing Jerusalem out is just a sign of ignorance, which is a shame because you seem to make an effort to keep your opinion neutral and that kinda ruins it for you.
    2) Israel has only one language, and it’s Hebrew. There isn’t a single word in Arabic on any of the Shekel Bills, or in any official document (other then forms and such, that are translated to other languages too).
    Fact: There are more Russian speakers then Arab speakers in Israel.

    Yours, A dude who actually lives in Israel and not just reading about it in Wikipedia or (biased) CNN

  • Shai says:

    J:
    To be more accurate, Single women have to serve for two years and males for three years.
    But they aren’t obliged for Military service.
    There are all kinds of options, such as police or civilian service (which varies a lot, anything from aiding and tutoring kids from poverty stricken neighborhoods to help digging out earthquake victims).
    Military service is the most common alternative, people tend to choose it because it has the most career prospects.

  • Ali says:

    “And in Israel’s opinion it was Hamas’ who broke it… And I don’t doubt that Hamas started firing first again. but it was for the reason that they perceived that Israel never held up their side of the deal which was to lift the blockade of Gaza. Not really the act of a political party but more the act of a desperate people.”

    Bullcrap. The borders were put there in the first place because of the bombings. And there wasn’t a single week during the truce, not a SINGLE week, when a missile didn’t hit Israel.

    “And Israel bomb and destroy Palestinian houses and schools and hospitals for the same reason. of course they say it’s to get the Hamas ‘terrorists’. There’s also the other reason of trying to convince the Palestinian people that if they support Hamas then they’ll be killed and injured. That’s terryfying. israel knows what it’s doing. They’ve received training in Psychological Warfare from the US. Who are very good at it. Israel has special forces. they have Mossad. They have spies and intelligence gatherers. They can’t use these people to get to Hamas? They need to use Artillery and Missiles which cause collateral damage.”

    Oh my, some more bullcrap.
    1) Israel doesn’t threaten to kill people for their Ideology, they are warned that if they harbour arsenal and ACTIVISTS (from the word active, they aren’t been persecuted for THIKING bad thoughts but for following them through) they might get injured.
    2) Israel doesn’t traget hospitals and schools. Yeah, there was an incident with an UNRWA school that activists decided to SHOT MORTAR BOMBS from. The attack on Gaza is as precise as possible, being 100% sterile is impossible in these terms. If Israel wanted to target civilians the death toll would be in the tenths of thousands by now.

    “And Iran and Syria? Israel wouldn’t let any Aid from there get with in miles of Palestine.
    In fact Iran only started giving money in 2006. Other Arab nations, like the West have stopped giving aid to Palestine.”

    Iran and Syria won’t let Israeli forces examine their goods and search for weapons. Israel allows truckloads of support each day, it has it’s right to demend that support would enter through land and not through sea, Iran keeps sending ships for some reason. What is that reason? mainly because it knows that the sealine is tightly locked, it’s more concerned about having the world see that the Israelis won’t let their aid through then actually getting it through. Israel has also sent tons of aid on it’s own accord and budget.

    3) To conclude, you’re trying to show that this this conflict has two sides – that’s also inaccurate. It has three sides.
    – Israel, who has been very patient and peace mongering. And have been making gestures WHILE BEING BOMBED THROUGHOUT A TRUCE.
    – Hamas, who denies Israel’s right to exist, and openly declared that the shootings WILL RESUME as long as Israel exists. And has also referred to an international guard force (inteded to keep them from building up arsenal) as a “conquering force”.
    – The Palestinian civilians, who shan’t be put in the same front with Hamas, who are forced to live in inhumane terms and be used as human shields. Have their mutilated bodies exhibitioned to the world in order to “show the world” how horrible Israel is. Some of them are Pro-Hamas, a lot of them are against (I don’t have any statistics so I’ll assume they split evenly). You don’t need to ask yourself who is to blame for their suffering, that’s a deep and meaningful question, but right now what’s more importent is who is making the most effort to prevent them from any more suffering. Is it te Hamas who keeps shooting rockets from trenches while being bombed to make a point, or is it Israel, who could have easily flattened entire Gaza city and kill much more – but chose to spend enormous amounts of time and effort in order to bring civilian casualty toll to a bare minimum?

    I’m not preaching and you are welcome to form any opinion you see fit. I just see that there are a lot of inaccuracies on your approach and factual data. Please take all that has been said into consideration and try to act as an observer for now, for it’s really hard for an outsider to really understand how the situation really is.

  • Mark says:

    Ali,
    I agree that there is two sides to the story but I don’t agree with a lot of your points. I could make a long list again explaining why. Like “Iran only started giving money to Gaza in 2006”. Iran have been supplying money and arms for god knows how long. Yes, not officially but everyone knew it was happening. The elections is another point. Regardless of what politions said anyone following what was happening on the ground could see that Fatah were being ousted by force.
    Your argument about the media is very weak. So many papers from all over the world publish online now. I read them so why can’t you? I can see you are not trying to promote terrorism or Hamas but you are picking your points very carefully and wording them even more carefully. Such as the argument that Hamas broke the truce. You say Hamas believe Israel didn’t keep up to it’s side of the bargain. That still makes Hamas wrong for firing rockets into Israel which is terrorism. I could go on and on. Whether you mean to or not your argument is weighted on the side of Gaza which is why I felt inclined to answer some of your points. Your argument that Hamas were democratically elected concerns me the most since there were plenty of videos and news reports showing Palestinians saying they had been forced/threated to vote for Hamas. Perhaps one of the biggest problem with this conflict is that people don’t bother to get their hands dirty and look for facts from both parties, Israel and the Palestinians, and end up making comments they believe to be fact but are not. Quoting politicians as you do is never a good way to prove a point. Politicians release statements and twist facts to suit their own ends. And that’s polititians from every country.

  • John Reuschlein says:

    I am first a historian second a Christian and third an American. That means reality comes first. A few points of correction are in order:
    Roman emporer Hadrian changed the name of the nation Israel to Palestine out of spite. The other people living inthat land were Philistines. By the 1850’s the land in question lied abandoned except a few Palestinian traders. The Islamics circa 1920’s were in Favor of an Isreali state. 1940’s Hitler called Yasser Arafat’s uncle the grand Mufti of Jerusalem the Fuhrer of the Middle east. Same uncle lived in Berlin as Hitlers guest during WWII. Is is any wonder why things are currently?

    Going further back into history according to Genesis there is more than ample basis for a long standing family feud between the Descendants of Abraham between the Ishmael and Isaac branches of the family. The Ishmaelites became part of the Arab community which was later to form Islam.

    I enjoy two things that factor into this entry a love of truth and a love of history.

    Now as for my theological choice lest it becomes a bone of contention. twenty plus years ago God entervened in my life when I came to a dead end and saw no way out. God introduced himself personally forever changing the course of my life. See my web site if you care to know more.

  • Luay Shaheen says:

    I ‘ve yet to see the truth coming from Israel’s side.

  • Uriah Sky says:

    If the Bible didn’t say that God gave the Jews the land of Israel would this war be going on? Why don’t we give/sell them Arizona? We don’t need it. What have we ever got from Arizona? It is the same environment, hot,dry desert. We would get a lot of smart people and they wouldn’t have to spend money on a military. If it wasn’t for the underlying, dogmatic stubborn belief system of everyone involved we might be able to work these problems out. But nobody listens to me…..

  • Arjun says:

    [Israel has been hated, rightfully or wrongfully for a long long time and it’s not about to change any time soon. Call it a family problem, if you will.]

    Israel has been hated WRONGFULLY, always wrongfully, ignorantly . . .

    Its not a problem, Israel is blessed . . .

  • Sami David says:

    My words are to Ja who knows little about Islam, or maybe knows yet tries to put things in a way that makes us belive him. Int the Holly Quran Surat Israa(17) Vs 1 It talks about the trip the Propher Mohamad (Peace be upon him) made from the holly mosque in Mecca refered to in the verse as the Masjid AL Harram to the Masjid Al Aqsa. Which was before the original place used by Muslims to pray. Al Masjid Al Aqsa is Muslims second holly place and not third holly place as it comes directly after Mecca.

    This is the text as it a pears in a translation and in the Quran:

    [17:2] سُبْحٰنَ الَّذِىْۤ اَسْرٰى بِعَبْدِهٖ لَيْلاً مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَـرَامِ اِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْاَقْصَا الَّذِىْ بٰرَكْنَا حَوْلَهٗ لِنُرِيَهٗ مِنْ اٰيٰتِنَا‌ؕ اِنَّهٗ هُوَ السَّمِيْعُ الْبَصِيْرُ‏
    [
    17:2] Glory be to Him Who carried His servant by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Distant Mosque, the environs of which We have blessed, that We might show him some of Our Signs. Surely, He alone is the Hearing, the Seeing.

  • Shai says:

    Mark – There have been some sort of confusion, which originated on my part.
    The last response which was published by Ali was actually published by me, I accidentally wrote “Ali” in the name as I intended to post it as a response to Ali.

  • ben says:

    Why do u people think Jerusalem is the capital!! its not

  • acroman says:

    @ben
    Jerusalem is the capital of israel.
    check wikipedia if you still think its not.

  • Ida says:

    Please read this article:
    The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict
    Published by Jews for Justice in the Middle East

    http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/origin.html

    p/s: Try to read a few more articles from the site while you are at it.

  • Bill says:

    Shai, I, Bill, wrote this. I am neither anti-semitic nor Jewish.

    I welcome you to guest blog at my site….perhaps you could write smth more factual/less biased.

  • manish says:

    Are the Palestinians not responsible for the rockets they have sent into Israel for years now? Is Israel wrong for defending itself against rocket attacks?

    Wouldn’t the Palestinians lose less people if they didn’t launch their rockets from schools and hospitals? When Muslims tell Europe that their 9/11 is coming, is that not terrorism?

    I don’t understand the terrorist thought process. Palestinians have repeatedly refused their own land because it doesn’t call for the complete death of Israel. Apparantly Muslims are responsible for nothing, which is obvious considering their failure to build anything; they can only destroy.

  • Shai says:

    Ida:
    This article, as detailed and well written as it may be, is biased and factually misleading.
    There’s a constant disinformation war on the web regarding most sensitive conflicts, including the Israeli-Palestine conflict.
    I suggest reading books (actual paperback preferred) written by bodies as neutral as possible.
    As far as you and I know, the writers of this website could be anti-semites imposing as Jews.

  • Shai says:

    Hi Bill, I didn’t say you were, that wasn’t the point.
    I was merely stating that the web is a very free media tool which makes it factually unreliable.

  • Shai says:

    Bill: I just noticed we are not talking about the same thing, I was talking about the article Ida has linked here.
    But if you do want to keep your blog factual and non-biased you should uncross Jerusalem being Israel’s capital, that’s just bad taste.

  • CathyMac says:

    Lets start with 90,000 phone calls to Palistinian homes to warn them of impending military action, What does that say?. Lets talk about Hamas as a police state Where as they treat the palestinians as pawns.If Isreal is sooooo terrible why are the Arab nation not coming to Palistinians aid? Lets talk about the Arab nations surrounding Palistine. Did you know when Saudi Arabia was in desprate need of workers
    they went to Korea to find the workers not to there brothers in Palestine who needed the work and money! Hamas is training children to be combattants at the tender age of 5 or 6. Hamas wants Palistine to be impovershed and angry to fulfill there need to crush Isreal. Evil florishes when good people do nothing! In all conflicts just like the Nazi’s in Germany there are 2% evil and Bad people that take control by force and make the balance of the population adhere to “thier” rules! May God bless both sides of this conflict and may the evil men/women be stopped from terrorising the population!

  • Ironman says:

    Well since I stumbled to this site, I’ll comment about the 21 things I didn’t need to know about Israel.
    1 to 11 = Who cares
    12 Well mostly with American aid
    13 to 19 who Cares
    20 Jew girls are hot
    21 Who Cares
    22 There is a reason

  • Daniel B says:

    This is where I stopped reading, you bloody moron

    9. Israel naturally fears sandstorms during spring and summer, droughts and from time to time – earthquakes. They don’t seem to fear much else.

    your bias sticks out like an elephant in a shopping center. You’r an arm-chair activist that continues to perpetuate the conflict through nonsensical bigotry.

    i dont need to defend any side over the other, but i can tell you that your binary perception just makes you look like a tool.

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