Gaza - the untold story

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Gaza Special ** NEW ** (FEBRUARY 2009)

(11 minutes)

"Disproportionate!" we kept hearing and, in this short chat, we ask why? We also find out more about those illegal tunnels and ponder more on Hamas, the future of the region and what Obama might do.

Challenging conversation featuring renowned Bible teacher and social commentator, Tony Pearce.

Listen now | Download

Comments :

What if Gazans were Christian?

May ask the people on this site whether they would take the positions they do, if the people suffering in Gaza and Palestine were overwhelmingly Christian and not Muslim?

in reply to what if the Gazans were christians

Hi ,

Some of the palestinians are christians , the christian minority have faced persecution there such as killings at a christian bookshop . The problem is Islamic terrorism , Hamas are no freedom fighters - it would be less complicated if they were .

The majority of Palestinians

The majority of Palestinians are Muslim. The Christian minority have also been part of the PLO and Fatah and have taken part in military attacks against the occupation, as well as having exiled from their homeland.

My question remains - would you take the same position if the majority of Palestinians were Christian?

they will keep rolling it but will never answer the question

they will never answer the question cause you are asking a vital question, they can only answer silly question, once you ask the REAL question, the question which really matters then they will keep answering it with some silly questions or some lies wrapped as (facts)
to put a long story short, the answer would be (no) they will have a good biased coverage if gazans were christians, and lets not forget the biased coverage of east timor.

Hi , your question is really

Hi , your question is really difficult . If as you say 'christians' have been part of attacks , I'd have to question if they are really christians . The situation in Gaza is no where near as bad as that which many christians have faced during persecutions over the centuries (see Foxe's book of martyrs) . As far as I'm aware the problem really began with the 1948 war when Jews who were expelled from arab countries were absorbed into Israel , but the arabs (modern palestinians) who left their homes as the arab armies advanced were not taken in as refugees . The fact that they are muslims is not the issue , the germans in the 1930'3-40s were n't muslims - but because of the evil of the nazi's something had to be done . Of course this situation is differerent . One other thing : When christians turn to viloence they are disobeying Jesus , but when muslims use violence they are not disobeying Muhammed , who himself was violent .

responding to 'Hi, your question is really..'

Good for you. Unfortunately the name 'Christian' is an umbrella used by many who are not true followers of Jesus Christ, and I hope that perhaps with the aid of the book being published by Saffron Planet that we will begin to see more clearly how many have been misled by inadequate teaching of the Gospels within a 'liberal' and lazy church which has emerged over the years. Discernment is needed, not blanket accusation and counter accusation - that gets us nowhere. Nor is it up to any of us to pass judgement on one another but to seek to wear the armour of God, not the armour of military conflict, and to walk in the sandals of peace. God Bless. Enid

The historical narrative you

The historical narrative you have outlined is incorrect, and leads me to think that had the Palestinians been Christian, their treatment by the west would have been very different, likewise your understanding of the conflict would be very different.

Currently Israel illegally occupies the remnants of the Palestinian homeland and has done for forty years. Palestinians are subject to an apartied like set of laws, their land is routinely stolen and crops destroyed. All the while Israeli forces act like the Roman empire - would you tolerate this if it was a Christian population who was suffering?

Why are so many people

Why are so many people obsessed with the jews ? Would I tolerate christian suffering ? - yes , I would and do . I have no physical influence to sort out the Gaza situation involving muslims , nor Sudan , N.Korea , Orissa state in India , Burma , Indonesia where many christians have been killed and suffer . I pray for troubled areas , and I send some money to help but as an individual I have to tolerate things I don't like as you do . Israel is not the Palestinian homeland . It was a part of the Ottoman Empire and it's inhabitants were both arab and jew - both groups going under the name of 'Palestine' until recent times . It was also only sparsely populated until Israel made it more habitable . Yasser Arafat the former palestinian leader was ironically an egyptian , and many arabs settled in the area after 1948 .

I'm obsessed with a sixty

I'm obsessed with a sixty year long injustice that has been inflicted on the Palestinian people because of the crimes of Europe.

Israel is the homeland of the Palestinians, there are records to prove it.
Palestinans have lived in the region for centuries. Where exactly do you think the people of Gaza and the West Bank come from?

The immigrants into the area are now Jewish, they speak with American, Russian and European accents, and often look more European.

Even now land is still being stolen in the Westbank by the state of Israel. I'm sure Texas is sparsley populated, I don't suppose you would favour giving it away to the Kurds do you?

Obsessed with 60 years ? Yes

Obsessed with 60 years ? Yes about sixty years since the arabs attacked Israel and lost . 60 years since the U.N gave the land which was a sparsely populated area of the Ottoman Empire . Originally there was a plan to make seperate homelands for both Jew and arab with much more land . Sadly they were squashed into a tiny Israeli state - not the fault of the jews or the arabs . Anyway what are you going to do about it ? SIX MILLION MURDERED IN THE HOLOCAUST ! think about it ... and just 3 years after , they were attacked again . If the 1948 war had n't happened there would n't be this mess , and who started that war ? One more thought , what would have happened if the Israelis had lost in 1948 ?

Your view of history is very

Your view of history is very lopsided. In 1948 the land of one people, was given away to a second people by a third people.

I'll ask my question again. I'm sure Texas is sparsley populated, do favour giving it away to the Kurds?

Of course I would n't give

Of course I would n't give Texas to the Kurds , the Kurds have no historical connection there ! I agree whole heartedly though , that the 'Palestinians' should be treated with respect and something needs to be sorted out as soon as possible .


This sounds like a comedy spoof: a series of totally ignorant people displaying their ignorance by discussing what they've seen on the news.

Have any of them gone away and read about the situation? Where did you get this set of idiots from? What good does it do anyone to hear them talking to each other rather than to somebody with some real information?

I'm not a Christian myself, but I have a great many Christian friends who are capable of careful and informed thought on the world. Do you not allow people like this to talk here?

This site is just scary!

Jo Tomalin,
University lecturer.

It was unbelievable ignorance

Well said Jo. I listened to ten seconds of this ignorance... it was really astounding they actually believe hook line and sinker all the rubbish fed to them by the Israelis... that the Palestinians enjoy killing civilians, that the Palestinians deliberately "hide" amongst civilians and in UN buildings, that the Plestinians are responsible for their own internment. What ignorant bigoted people and they call themselves Christians?
These people need to ask themselves what would they do if they were under occupation and placed in a concentration camp and denied life's basic necessaities and they were regularly bombed, not by primitive ineffective rockets, but by sophisticated weaponary. These people forget that only rocket attacks against Israel are reported and not the many many more deaths caused by Israels more sophisticated US made weapons. Their tax dollars are responsible for the deaths of innocent Palestinians (Muslim and CHRISTIAN).

Perhaps you should listen to

Perhaps you should listen to more than 10 seconds ....

A person cannot be ignorant if they have spent a lot of time studying the subject and visiting the area , which Tony Pearce on the podcast has . He has a view and you disagree . Thats fine , but why bother to throw insults - there is such a thing as freedom of speech . As for your last point , all lives are of equal value no matter their religion , so what are you suggesting ?

Informed ? Scary site ?

Hi Jo ,

By informed do you mean we all have to be Guardian readers !

Welcome to the site , and don't be so easily scared .

"Challenging Social Commentator"?

Clueless and not worthy of anyone's time. I suggest that before you make a podcast about a subject, you actually try and do some research rather than rambling on the basis of things you have half-observed in the news that don't put the issue into any historical context.

Try using the search terms Israel, international law and occupation and you might learn something. You don't have to take one side or other - Israeli or Palestinian - to understand the basics. You just have learn who is in violation of international law, which side occupies the other, which side has three quarter of a million refugees (many of whom have never been allowed to return to their homes since being driven out in 1948). These are the cold hard facts that anyone from either side has to contemplate if a realistic peace deal is to be a achieved.

It never ceases to amaze me how some so-called Christians are small-minded and hateful, rather peace-loving and understanding.

Your comments are very rude

Your comments are very rude and judgmental . Were they driven out or did they leave as the arab armies advanced ? Remember , people thought the arabs would win and in that scenario the arabs who had left would have returned and I wonder how they would have treated the Jews ? At the time many Jews were expelled from arab lands but Israel absorbed them , the arab nations did not absorb refugees . Yes it's an utter mess , but perhaps if the arab attacks of 1948 , 1967 and 1973 had n't happened , something might have been sorted out by now . International Law is not a strong argument , bearing in mind some of the human rights abusing nations that sit on the security council and other bodies . Why do people concentrate so much hatred on jews , calling them a pariah state etc ? Its nonsensical when you consider we have nations like North Korea , Burma & Sudan which are absolutely appalling in their abuses .

What a load of rubbish

Illegal tunnels? They are used principally to smuggle food and medicines because of a land sea and air blockade Israel impoded on the people of Gaza when they supposedly ended the "occupation" in 2005 turning it into the world's biggest prison camp which since has began to look more and more like the Warsaw ghetto and that was before Hamas came to power. The Palestinians have 2 options either smuggle supplies through the tunnels or starve to death, which would you choose. Aren't you aware that Gaza has been continually been invaded and bombed by Israel for over 40 years by the Israelis. Why is it Palestinians are not allowed to use violence against Israelis and when they do it is always "terrorism" but Israelis can use as much violence as they like to Palestinians and even when they deliberately attack civilians it is never
called terrorism but "collateral damage". Isn't the bombing of schools, hospitals, mosques, farms, factories terrorism. What about shelling a UN school killing 40 children were they terroristsd? What about bombing a power station in 2006 causing electricity black outs. Also Israel broke the ceasefire in November read article in Washington Post by Jimmy Carter. Hamas would agree to stop rocket attacks if Israel stops the blockade is that such an unreasonable request, this is according to Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery check out his sources.
Are you aware far more Israelis have been killed in car accidents than by rockets? Have you ever bothered to tally up how Palestinians have been killed in the same period for every Isreli who has been killed over 100 Palestinians have been killed. Does that mean one Israeli life is more important than a hundred Palestinian lives. Is this suppose to be a Christian website it is a joke. Didn't Christ say that violence is not the way to turn the other cheek?


thank god for u saying that!! if it were up to be you would be getting the Nobel Prize for ur very true statement!! And lets not forget Resolution 242.. that after 6 days of waring on a counrty u must ceacefire and stop waring!! ISRAEL IS GUILTY OF WAR CRIMES PLAN AND SIMPLE!! GOD BLESS MY FRIENDS IN GAZA AND LEBANON..


Part of Muslim jihad in "Palestine" is propaganda. They are very good at it and have fooled the media into distorted (to say the least) reporting.

Here is one example reported in the web site of the organization called "Honest Reporting" see

"One of the most serious and damaging episodes for Israel during the Gaza conflict centred around charges, amplified by UN spokespeople, that Israel had deliberately targeted a UN school compound, killing 43 civilians sheltering there.
HonestReporting highlighted the Canadian Globe and Mail's investigation that concluded that the school itself was not shelled.
Following the publicity generated by the Globe and Mail report, the UN has been forced to admit that its initial claims were false. According to Ha'aretz:
It seems that the UN has been under pressure to put the record straight after doubts arose that the school had actually been targeted. Maxwell Gaylord, the UN humanitarian coordinator in Jerusalem, said Monday that the IDF mortar shells fell in the street near the compound, and not on the compound itself.

Gaylord said that the UN "would like to clarify that the shelling and all of the fatalities took place outside and not inside the school."

There are a lot more examples where this is.

Most in the West do not really understand Arab culture. Westerners hold truth in high esteem, but for the Arab, "saving face" is held in higher esteem than truth. This statement seems offensive, but I do not intend to be offensive, it is just that Arabs think differently to us.


Perhaps you could look at the murderous treatment of Hamas' political opponents to get an idea of their true nature . The palestians have received large amounts of aid - who is stopping it reaching the people ? Why was Israel attacked in 1948 (3 years after the gas chambers) , 1967 , 1973 ? Why was the land given so small , when originally there were plans for an Israeli state next to an arab one ? Why do left wingers hate Israel and ignore atrocities elsewhere ? None of this is to excuse any wrong actions by Israel , but as a U.K believer , I wonder how many Iraqi & Afgan citizens have been caught up by the actions of the British Army ?

- Graham

Gaza - tunnels, etc

Well said! Most of the world - except one-eyed bigots - have had enough of Israel's bullying, truculence and disregard for international law. What right has Israel to stop a ship from Lebanon carry food and medical aid to Gaza? Do they have the right to police the whole of the Mediterranean?
Why don't members of the EU (we know the US would not!) load some ships with aid, take it to Gaza and to Hell with the Israeli Navy. Is the world just to stand by and watch Gazans starve or die for want of medical attention? It's time someone put Israel in its place and forced it to toe the line. Israel has got away with far too much for far too long.

In my lifetime millions have

In my lifetime millions have died through malnutrition or the related effects . What is the figure of deaths through starvation in Gaza ? Its interesting that all the posts taking a strong anti-Israel view are full of hatred , something anyone glancing through them can see . I hope you are sending substantial sums of money to help the people of Gaza and are not all talk .

Is it wrong to hate

Is it wrong to hate injustice, to hate suffering, to hate theft, to hate murder, to hate oppersion?

In my experience once people start to learn about the conflict, they have their own Damascus moment once they realise how badly the Palestinians have been treated, and how this treatment goes on under our noses while our politicans and newscasters twist and turn the truth inside out.

Illegal tunnels? How about

Illegal tunnels? How about the forty year long illegal occupation of Palestine?

It is arguably the moral duty of a goverment to break any seige that places it's population in a humanitarian crisis.