70 Quotes About Israel

Israel is a mysterious country. The many layers of its history and culture are so rich and diverse that it’s hard to know where to begin. And yet, it’s a place that captures the attention of people all over the world. Whether you want to find out more about your heritage, or just have a few ideas for your next trip, these Israel quotes will inspire you to take the time to go and discover the country for yourself.

Goldstone has done terrible damage to the cause of truth and justice and the rule of law. He has poisoned Jewish-Palestinian relations, undermined the courageous work of Israeli dissenters and–most unforgivably–increased the risk of another merciless IDF assault. Norman G. Finkelstein
They found grace out in the desert, these people who survived the killing. Israel, out looking for a place to rest, met God out looking for them! " God told them, "I've never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love! And so now I'll start over with you and build you up again, dear virgin Israel.You'll resume your singing, grabbing tambourines and joining the dance. You'll go back to your old work of planting vineyards on the Samaritan hillsides, And sit back and enjoy the fruit– oh, how you'll enjoy those harvests! The time's coming when watchmen will call out from the hilltops of Ephraim:'On your feet! Let's go to Zion, go to meet our God!. Anonymous
Peace for Israel, ” he said.“ Is that possible?” I drew closer.“ Yes, if we have peace with God first. Rachelle Ayala
All questions of right to one side, I have never been able to banish the queasy inner suspicion that Israel just did not look, or feel, either permanent or sustainable. I felt this when sitting in the old Ottoman courtyards of Jerusalem, and I felt it even more when I saw the hideous 'Fort Condo' settlements that had been thrown up around the city in order to give the opposite impression. If the statelet was only based on a narrow strip of the Mediterranean littoral (god having apparently ordered Moses to lead the Jews to one of the very few parts of the region with absolutely no oil at all), that would be bad enough. But in addition, it involved roosting on top of an ever-growing population that did not welcome the newcomers. . Christopher Hitchens
So whom does God wrong in commanding the destruction of the Canaanites? Not the Canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgment. Not the children, for they inherit eternal life. So who is wronged? Ironically, I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli soldiers themselves. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? The brutalising effect on these Israeli soldiers is disturbing. . William Lane Craig
Some people like the Jews, and some do not. But no thoughtful man can deny the fact that they are, beyond any question, the most formidable and most remarkable race which has appeared in the world.– Winston S. Churchill Ellen Brazer
In the time that we're here today, more women and children will die violently in the Darfur region than in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Israel or Lebanon. So, after September 30, you won't need the UN - you will simply need men with shovels and bleached white linen and headstones. George Clooney
I always have believed that we should not call it an Arab-Israeli issue or a Palestinian-Arab dispute or a peace negotiation. I think we should call it what it is: an occupation of Palestine, full stop. This is not a popular position in mixed company. Talal AbuGhazaleh
Actually–and this was where I began to feel seriously uncomfortable–some such divine claim underlay not just 'the occupation' but the whole idea of a separate state for Jews in Palestine. Take away the divine warrant for the Holy Land and where were you, and what were you? Just another land-thief like the Turks or the British, except that in this case you wanted the land without the people. And the original Zionist slogan–'a land without a people for a people without a land'–disclosed its own negation when I saw the densely populated Arab towns dwelling sullenly under Jewish tutelage. You want irony? How about Jews becoming colonizers at just the moment when other Europeans had given up on the idea?. Christopher Hitchens
I am not one of those who believes–as Obama is said to believe–that a solution to the Palestinian statehood question would bring an end to Muslim resentment against the United States. (Incidentally, if he really does believe this, his lethargy and impotence in the face of Netanyahu's consistent double-dealing is even more culpable.) The Islamist fanatics have their own agenda, and, as in the case of Hamas and its Iranian backers, they have already demonstrated that nothing but the destruction of Israel and the removal of American influence from the region will possibly satisfy them. No, it is more the case that justice–and a homeland for the Palestinians–is a good and necessary cause in its own right. It is also a special legal and moral responsibility of the United States, which has several times declared a dual-statehood outcome to be its objective. . Christopher Hitchens
Being articulate is no guarantee of intelligence, ” Zoe said. “I’m not doubting the value of education. I’m doubting its reach. Highly educated politicians still do stupid things. Anthony Weiner was educated; Mugabi was educated; Assad was educated; Mussolini was educated. For all their education, look at them. Michael Benzehabe
Long before it was known to me as a place where my ancestry was even remotely involved, the idea of a state for Jews (or a Jewish state; not quite the same thing, as I failed at first to see) had been 'sold' to me as an essentially secular and democratic one. The idea was a haven for the persecuted and the survivors, a democracy in a region where the idea was poorly understood, and a place where–as Philip Roth had put it in a one-handed novel that I read when I was about nineteen–even the traffic cops and soldiers were Jews. This, like the other emphases of that novel, I could grasp. Indeed, my first visit was sponsored by a group in London called the Friends of Israel. They offered to pay my expenses, that is, if on my return I would come and speak to one of their mee . Christopher Hitchens
1. Bangladesh.. In 1971 .. Kissinger overrode all advice in order to support the Pakistani generals in both their civilian massacre policy in East Bengal and their armed attack on India from West Pakistan.. This led to a moral and political catastrophe the effects of which are still sorely felt. Kissinger’s undisclosed reason for the ‘tilt’ was the supposed but never materialised ‘brokerage’ offered by the dictator Yahya Khan in the course of secret diplomacy between Nixon and China.. Of the new state of Bangladesh, Kissinger remarked coldly that it was ‘a basket case’ before turning his unsolicited expertise elsewhere.2. Chile.. Kissinger had direct personal knowledge of the CIA’s plan to kidnap and murder General René Schneider, the head of the Chilean Armed Forces .. who refused to countenance military intervention in politics. In his hatred for the Allende Government, Kissinger even outdid Richard Helms .. who warned him that a coup in such a stable democracy would be hard to procure. The murder of Schneider nonetheless went ahead, at Kissinger’s urging and with American financing, just between Allende’s election and his confirmation.. This was one of the relatively few times that Mr Kissinger (his success in getting people to call him ‘Doctor’ is greater than that of most PhDs) involved himself in the assassination of a single named individual rather than the slaughter of anonymous thousands. His jocular remark on this occasion–‘ I don’t see why we have to let a country go Marxist just because its people are irresponsible’–suggests he may have been having the best of times..3. Cyprus.. Kissinger approved of the preparations by Greek Cypriot fascists for the murder of President Makarios, and sanctioned the coup which tried to extend the rule of the Athens junta (a favoured client of his) to the island. When despite great waste of life this coup failed in its objective, which was also Kissinger’s, of enforced partition, Kissinger promiscuously switched sides to support an even bloodier intervention by Turkey. Thomas Boyatt .. went to Kissinger in advance of the anti- Makarios putsch and warned him that it could lead to a civil war. ‘Spare me the civics lecture, ’ replied Kissinger, who as you can readily see had an aphorism for all occa . Christopher Hitchens
So here we have found a means of a) alienating even the most flexible and patient Palestinians; while b) frustrating the efforts of the more principled and compromising Israelis; while c) empowering and financing some of the creepiest forces in American and Israeli society; and d) heaping ordure on our own secular founding documents. When will the Justice Department and the Congress and the Supreme Court become aware of this huge and rank offense, which is designed to bring us ever nearer to holy war? . Christopher Hitchens
But not all Gaza residents were committed to the war. A reporter asked one of the Arabs what he most wanted. He was a taxi driver, father of ten. All he wanted was 'to eat and to work.' What did he think of Nasser? 'Nasser is good, Israel is good, America is good, Britain is good, Canada is good, India is good, Anything is good. Robert John Donovan
That's the thing about war: it's never enough to disable the buildings, to blow holes into their middles; instead, they're hit over and over again, as if to pound them to dust, to disintegrate them, to remove them from the earth, to deny that families ever lived in them. But people did live there. And they needed to return, even though there was nothing left to return to except forbidding piles of broken concrete and cable wires sticking out of the heaps like markers of malevolence. Izzeldin Abuelaish
We came to save the sacred writings. - Essenes to...
We came to save the sacred writings. - Essenes to Eleazar, on collecting the Dead Sea Scrolls from the burning Temple. Jerusalem, 70 CE. Joseph Shellim
Palestinian and Israeli leaders finally recover the Road Map to Peace, only to discover that, while they were looking for it, the Lug Nuts of Mutual Interest came off the Front Left Wheel of Accommodation, causing the Sport Utility Vehicle of Progress to crash into the Ditch of Despair. Dave Barry
Israel's demonstration of its military prowess in 1967 confirmed its status as a 'strategic asset, ' as did its moves to prevent Syrian intervention in Jordan in 1970 in support of the PLO. Under the Nixon doctrine, Israel and Iran were to be 'the guardians of the Gulf, ' and after the fall of the Shah, Israel's perceived role was enhanced. Meanwhile, Israel has provided subsidiary services elsewhere, including Latin America, where direct US support for the most murderous regimes has been impeded by Congress. While there has been internal debate and some fluctuation in US policy, much exaggerated in discussion here, it has been generally true that US support for Israel's militarization and expansion reflected the estimate of its power in the region. The effect has been to turn Israel into a militarized state completely dependent on US aid, willing to undertake tasks that few can endure, such as participation in Guatemalan genocide. For Israel, this is a moral disaster and will eventually become a physical disaster as well. For the Palestinians and many others, it has been a catastrophe, as it may sooner or later be for the entire world, with the growing danger of superpower confrontation. . Noam Chomsky
The little boats cannot make much difference to the welfare of Gaza either way, since the materials being shipped are in such negligible quantity. The chief significance of the enterprise is therefore symbolic. And the symbolism, when examined even cursorily, doesn't seem too adorable. The intended beneficiary of the stunt is a ruling group with close ties to two of the most retrograde dictatorships in the Middle East, each of which has recently been up to its elbows in the blood of its own civilians. The same group also manages to maintain warm relations with, or at the very least to make cordial remarks about, both Hezbollah and al- Qaida. Meanwhile, a document that was once accurately described as a 'warrant for genocide' forms part of the declared political platform of the aforesaid group. There is something about this that fails to pass a smell test. . Christopher Hitchens
There's a certain amount of ambiguity in my background, what with intermarriages and conversions, but under various readings of three codes which I don’t much respect (Mosaic Law, the Nuremberg Laws, and the Israeli Law of Return) I do qualify as a member of the tribe, and any denial of that in my family has ceased with me. But I would not remove myself to Israel if it meant the continuing expropriation of another people, and if anti- Jewish fascism comes again to the Christian world–or more probably comes at us via the Muslim world– I already consider it an obligation to resist it wherever I live. I would detest myself if I fled from it in any direction. Leo Strauss was right. The Jews will not be 'saved' or 'redeemed.' (Cheer up: neither will anyone else.) They/we will always be in exile whether they are in the greater Jerusalem area or not, and this in some ways is as it should be. They are, or we are, as a friend of Victor Klemperer's once put it to him in a very dark time, condemned and privileged to be 'a seismic people.' A critical register of the general health of civilization is the status of 'the Jewish question.' No insurance policy has ever been devised that can or will cover this risk. Christopher Hitchens
And thus to my final and most melancholy point: a great number of Stalin's enforcers and henchmen in Eastern Europe were Jews. And not just a great number, but a great proportion. The proportion was especially high in the secret police and 'security' departments, where no doubt revenge played its own part, as did the ideological attachment to Communism that was so strong among internationally minded Jews at that period: Jews like David Szmulevski. There were reasonably strong indigenous Communist forces in Czechoslovakia and East Germany, but in Hungary and Poland the Communists were a small minority and knew it, were dependent on the Red Army and aware of the fact, and were disproportionately Jewish and widely detested for that reason. Many of the penal labor camps constructed by the Nazis were later used as holding pens for German deportees by the Communists, and some of those who ran these grim places were Jewish. Nobody from Israel or the diaspora who goes to the East of Europe on a family-history fishing-trip should be unaware of the chance that they will find out both much less and much more than the package-tour had promised them. It's easy to say, with Albert Camus, 'neither victims nor executioners.' But real history is more pitiless even than you had been told it was. . Christopher Hitchens
To Alef, the letterthat begins the alphabetsof both Arabic and Hebrew-two Semitic languages, sisters for centuries. May we find the languagethat takes usto the only home there is - one another's hearts.... Alef knows That a thread Of a story Stitches together A wound. Ibtisam Barakat
The bottom line is this: Peace will come to Israel and the Middle East only when the Israeli government is willing to comply with international law, with the Roadmap for Peace, with official American policy, with the wishes of a majority of its own citizens--and honor its own previous commitments--by accepting its legal borders. All Arab neighbors must pledge to honor Israel's right to live in peace under these conditions. The United States is squandering international prestige and goodwill and intensifying global anti- American terrorism by unofficially condoning or abetting the Israeli confiscation and colonization of Palestinian territories. Jimmy Carter
Sarucha (age 8): "Look, down there, I recognize it, ciudad de Jerusalén (the city of Jerusalem)! Jerusalén! , Jerusalén! " she exclaimed. Sipporah Joseph
Light has a voice?” Sarucha inquired, amazed. Sipporah Joseph
People always say that in England we lead shallow lives. Our lives must be shallow because we live in a country where nobody believes in anything any more. My whole life, I've been told: 'Western civilization? An old bitch gone in the teeth, ' And so people say, go to Israel. Because in Israel at least people are fighting. In Israel, they're fighting for something they believe in. David Hare
Anyone who is portraying Israel as a friend is a servant of Israel.I warn some sides against turning enemies into friends and friends into enemies. Some in the Arab world try to present "Israel" as a friend and Iran as a foe. Yet such conspiracies will fail. "Israel" has not been helping because of its hostile and aggressive nature. The Arab world is realising day after day that Iran is a friend, which was highlighted in Iran's support to Gaza and Lebanon. Hassan Nasrallah
But, as in the rest of Galilee, the profits firm this increase in the means of production disproportionately benefited the large landowners and moneylenders who resided outside Capernaum: the wealthy priests in Judea and new urban elite in Sepphoris and Tiberias. The majority of Capernaum's residents had been left behind by the new Galilean economy. It would be these people whom Jesus would specifically target - those who found themselves cast to the fingers of society, whose lives had been disrupted by the rapid social and economic shifts taking place throughout Galilee. Reza Aslan
When it comes to the heart and soul of the Jewish faith - the law of Moses - Jesus was adamant that his mission was not to abolish the law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). That law made a clear distinction between relations among Jews and relations between Jews and foreigners. The oft-repeated commandment "love your neighbor as yourself" was originally given strictly in the context of internal relations within Israel. The verse in question reads: "You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people , but shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Leviticus 19:18). To the Israelites, as well to Jesus's community in first-century Palestine, "neighbor" meant one's fellow Jews. With regard to the treatment of foreigners and outsiders, oppressors and occupiers, however, the Torah could not be clearer: "You shall drive them out before you. You shall make no covenant with them and their gods. They shall not live in your land" (Exodus 23:31-33) . Reza Aslan
One example is the familiar parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), which in some ways might be better called the parable of the elder brother. For the point of the parable as a whole - a point frequently overlooked by Christian interpreters, in their eagerness to stress the uniqueness and particularity of the church as the prodigal younger son who has been restored to the father's favor - is in the closing words of the father to the elder brother, who stands for the people of Israel: 'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.' The historic covenant between God and Israel was permanent, and it was into this covenant that other peoples too, were now being introduced. This parable of Jesus affirmed both the tradition of God's continuing relation with Israel and the innovation of God's new relation with the church - a twofold covenant. . Jaroslav Pelikan
I want to see a flowering of Arab and Jewish cultures in a country without racism or anti- Semitism, without rich or poor or spat-upon: everyone beneath the vine and fig tree living in peace and unafraid. A homeland for each and every one of us between the mountains and the sea. A multilingual, multireligious, many-colored and -peopled land where the orange tree blooms for all. I will not surrender this vision for any lesser compromise. . Aurora Levins Morales
If God's love encompasses the whole world and if everyone who does not believe in him will perish, then surely this question needs to be asked: When, after two thousand years, does God's plan kick in for the billion people he 'so loves' in China? Or for the 840 million in India? Or the millions in Japan, Afghanistan, Siberia, Egypt, Burma ·. and on and on? Why would a God who 'so loved the world' reveal his message only to a tiny minority of the people on earth, leaving the majority in ignorance? Is it possible to believe that the Father of all Mankind would select as his Chosen People a small Middle Eastern nation, Israel, reveal His will exclusively to them, fight alongside them in their battles to survive, and only after their failure to reach out to any other group, update His plan for the world's salvation by sending His 'only begotten son, ' not to the world but, once again, exclusively to Israel? . Charles Templeton
I am a physician, and as a consequence I see things most clearly in medical terms. I am arguing that we need an immunization program, one that injects people with respect, dignity, and equality. One that inoculates them against hatred. Izzeldin Abuelaish
All Abraham's sons were taught that God would progressively reveal Himself. God's wholeness has yet to be realized. There will always be gaps in our understanding. Why should we fill those gaps with suspicion, bigotry and accusations? Men do it to women; Jews do it to Christians; Christians do it to Muslims. Yet, all these have an implied duty to Abraham.pg 54 Michael Ben Zehabe
First, if you are a homosexual or feel that inclination, keep yourself pure. If you are unmarried, you should practice abstinence from all sexual activity. I know this is difficult, but really what God is asking you to do is pretty much the same thing that he requires of all single people. That means not only keeping your body pure, but especially your mind. Just as heterosexual men should avoid pornography and fantasizing, you, too, need to keep your thought-life clean. Resist the temptation to rationalize sin by saying, “God made me this way.” God has made it very clear that He does not want you to indulge your desires, but to honor Him by keeping your mind and body pure. Finally, seek professional Christian counseling. With time and effort, you can come to enjoy normal, heterosexual relations with your spouse. There is hope. William Lane Craig
To begin with, there is an almost compulsive promiscuity associated with homosexual behavior. 75% of homosexual men have more than 100 sexual partners during their lifetime. More than half of these partners are strangers. Only 8% of homosexual men and 7% of homosexual women ever have relationships lasting more than three years. Nobody knows the reason for this strange, obsessive promiscuity. It may be that homosexuals are trying to satisfy a deep psychological need by sexual encounters, and it just is not fulfilling. Male homosexuals average over 20 partners a year. According to Dr. Schmidt, The number of homosexual men who experience anything like lifelong fidelity becomes, statistically speaking, almost meaningless. Promiscuity among homosexual men is not a mere stereotype, and it is not merely the majority experience–it is virtually the only experience. Lifelong faithfulness is almost non-existent in the homosexual experience. Associated with this compulsive promiscuity is widespread drug use by homosexuals to heighten their sexual experiences. Homosexuals in general are three times as likely to be problem drinkers as the general population. Studies show that 47% of male homosexuals have a history of alcohol abuse and 51% have a history of drug abuse. There is a direct correlation between the number of partners and the amount of drugs consumed. Moreover, according to Schmidt, “There is overwhelming evidence that certain mental disorders occur with much higher frequency among homosexuals.” For example, 40% of homosexual men have a history of major depression. That compares with only 3% for men in general. Similarly 37% of female homosexuals have a history of depression. This leads in turn to heightened suicide rates. Homosexuals are three times as likely to contemplate suicide as the general population. In fact homosexual men have an attempted suicide rate six times that of heterosexual men, and homosexual women attempt suicide twice as often as heterosexual women. Nor are depression and suicide the only problems. Studies show that homosexuals are much more likely to be pedophiles than heterosexual men. Whatever the causes of these disorders, the fact remains that anyone contemplating a homosexual lifestyle should have no illusions about what he is getting into. Another well-kept secret is how physically dangerous homosexual behavior is. . William Lane Craig
So, once more, the question is: Does the Bible forbid homosexual behavior? Well, I’ve already said that it does. The Bible is so realistic! You might not expect it to mention a topic like homosexual behavior, but in fact there are six places in the Bible–three in the Old Testament and three in the New Testament–where this issue is directly addressed–not to mention all the passages dealing with marriage and sexuality which have implications for this issue. In all six of these passages homosexual acts are unequivocally condemned. In Leviticus 18.22 it says that it is an abomination for a man to lie with another man as with a woman. In Lev. 20.13 the death penalty is prescribed in Israel for such an act, along with adultery, incest, and bestiality. Now sometimes homosexual advocates make light of these prohibitions by comparing them to prohibitions in the Old Testament against having contact with unclean animals like pigs. Just as Christians today don’t obey all of the Old Testament ceremonial laws, so, they say, we don’t have to obey the prohibitions of homosexual actions. But the problem with this argument is that the New Testament reaffirms the validity of the Old Testament prohibitions of homosexual behavior, as we’ll see below. This shows they were not just part of the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament, which were done away with, but were part of God’s everlasting moral law. Homosexual behavior is in God’s sight a serious sin. The third place where homosexual acts are mentioned in the Old Testament is the horrifying story in Genesis 19 of the attempted gang rape of Lot’s visitors by the men of Sodom, from which our word sodomy derives. God destroyed the city of Sodom because of their wickedness. Now if this weren’t enough, the New Testament also forbids homosexual behavior. William Lane Craig
In addition to these physical problems, sexually transmitted diseases are rampant among the homosexual population. 75% of homosexual men carry one or more sexually transmitted diseases, wholly apart from AIDS. These include all sorts of non-viral infections like gonorrhea, syphilis, bacterial infections, and parasites. Also common among homosexuals are viral infections like herpes and hepatitis B (which afflicts 65% of homosexual men), both of which are incurable, as well as hepatitis A and anal warts, which afflict 40% of homosexual men. And I haven’t even included AIDS. Perhaps the most shocking and frightening statistic is that, leaving aside those who die from AIDS, the life expectancy for a homosexual male is about 45 years of age. That compares to a life expectancy of around 70 for men in general. If you include those who die of AIDS, which now infects 30% of homosexual men, the life expectancy drops to 39 years of age. So I think a very good case can be made out on the basis of generally accepted moral principles that homosexual behavior is wrong. It is horribly self-destructive and injurious to another person. Thus, wholly apart from the Bible’s prohibition, there are sound, sensible reasons to regard homosexual activity as wrong. William Lane Craig
Falsehoods, rob the good in the hood, of the good wood. The good wood, that the good in the hood are descended from, is their birthright. Unknown
Bible is a window into the life and practices of the people who lived in Israel and bordering nations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, and Judea. Sudhir Ahluwalia
Religion is the most powerful entity on earth. A phenomenon that has conscripted millions to give or sacrifice their lives without so much as a minuscule query about their chosen beliefs or particular ideology. And today thousands of years on despite the huge advent, discovery and the advance of science forensic or otherwise, millions are still prepared and equipped to fall or kill in the name of their God, their Holy Scriptures, their messengers, their prophets and their faith’. Cal Sarwar
He (her son) is just like his father, doesn't listen to a word I say! Logan Crowe
Death moved in the night, in search for blood, and when it found Life, it passed on by, like a cloud that moves by the face of the moon. When he found those dead without the red, he took the life before them born first, and the mourning emptied itself till the morning. Anthony Liccione
My identity as Jewish cannot be reduced to a religious affiliation. Professor Said quoted Gramsci, an author that I’m familiar with, that, and I quote, ‘to know thyself is to understand that we are a product of the historical process to date which has deposited an infinity of traces, without leaving an inventory’. Let’s apply this pithy observation to Jewish identity. While it is tempting to equate Judaism with Jewishness, I submit to you that my identity as someone who is Jewish is far more complex than my religious affiliation. The collective inventory of the Jewish people rests on my shoulders. This inventory shapes and defines my understanding of what it means to be Jewish. The narrative of my people is a story of extraordinary achievement as well as unimaginable horror. For millennia, the Jewish people have left their fate in the hands of others. Our history is filled with extraordinary achievements as well as unimaginable violence. Our centuries-long Diaspora defined our existential identity in ways that cannot be reduced to simple labels. It was the portability of our religion that bound us together as a people, but it was our struggle to fit in; to be accepted that identified us as unique. Despite the fact that we excelled academically, professionally, industrially, we were never looked upon as anything other than Jewish. Professor Said in his book, Orientalism, examined how Europe looked upon the Orient as a dehumanized sea of amorphous otherness. If we accept this point of view, then my question is: How do you explain Western attitudes towards the Jews? We have always been a convenient object of hatred and violent retribution whenever it became convenient. If Europe reduced the Orient to an essentialist other, to borrow Professor Said’s eloquent language, then how do we explain the dehumanizing treatment of Jews who lived in the heart of Europe? We did not live in a distant, exotic land where the West had discursive power over us. We thought of ourselves as assimilated. We studied Western philosophy, literature, music, and internalized the same culture as our dominant Christian brethren. Despite our contribution to every conceivable field of human endeavor, we were never fully accepted as equals. On the contrary, we were always the first to be blamed for the ills of Western Europe. Two hundred thousand Jews were forcibly removed from Spain in 1492 and thousands more were forcibly converted to Christianity in Portugal four years later. By the time we get to the Holocaust, our worst fears were realized. Jewish history and consciousness will be dominated by the traumatic memories of this unspeakable event. No people in history have undergone an experience of such violence and depth. Israel’s obsession with physical security; the sharp Jewish reaction to movements of discrimination and prejudice; an intoxicated awareness of life, not as something to be taken for granted but as a treasure to be fostered and nourished with eager vitality, a residual distrust of what lies beyond the Jewish wall, a mystical belief in the undying forces of Jewish history, which ensure survival when all appears lost; all these, together with the intimacy of more personal pains and agonies, are the legacy which the Holocaust transmits to the generation of Jews who have grown up under its shadow. -Fictional debate between Edward Said and Abba Eban. . R.F. Georgy
Israeli occupation exposes us very young to the extremes of our emotions, until we cannot feel except in the extreme. Susan Abulhawa
Well, I myself am a 100% atheist. And I am increasingly worried that the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, which dominates our entire life, is assuming a more and more religious character. Uri Avnery
It doesn't matter if justice is on your side. You have to depict your position as just. Benjamin Netanyahu
Half the published articles on Gaza contain a standard reference to its resemblance to a vast open-air prison (and when I last saw it under Israeli occupation it certainly did deserve this metaphor). The problem is that, given its ideology and its allies, Hamas qualifies rather too well in the capacity of guard and warder. Christopher Hitchens
You cannot criticize Israel in this country (USA) and survive Helen Thomas
In America access is always about architecture and never about human beings. Among Israelis and Palestinians, access was rarely about anything but people. While in the U.S. a wheelchair stands out as an explicitly separate experience from the mainstream, in the Israel and Arab worlds it is just another thing that can go wrong in a place where things go wrong all the time. John Hockenberry
It is America (or Israel) at war, not just any war, that disturbs the Left. That is why there have been few demonstrations, and none of any size, against the mass murder of Sudan’s blacks; the genocides in Rwanda, Cambodia, or Congo; China’s crushing of Tibet; or Saddam Hussein’s wars against Iran, Kuwait, and Iraq’s own Kurds. Though there are always admirable individual exceptions, the Left has not been nearly as vocal about these large scale atrocities as it is about America’s wars. One additional reason is that, in general, atrocities committed by non-whites rarely interest the Left–and therefore ‘world opinion, ’ which is essentially the same thing as Leftist opinion. . Dennis Prager
Nothing could have prepared me for the reality of the situation here. You just can’t imagine it unless you see it. And even then your experience is not at all the reality: what with the difficulties the Israeli army would face if they shot an unarmed US citizen, the fact that I have money to buy water when the army destroys wells, and of course, the fact that I have the option to leave. I am allowed to see the ocean. . Rachel Corrie
All governments lie, as I.F. Stone pointed out, including Israel and Hamas. But Israel engages in the kinds of jaw-dropping lies that characterize despotic and totalitarian regimes. It does not deform the truth; it inverts it. It routinely paints a picture for the outside world that is diametrically opposed to reality. And all of us reporters who have covered the occupied territories have run into Israel’s Alice-in-Wonderland narratives, which we dutifully insert into our stories–required under the rules of American journalism–although we know they are untrue. Chris Hedges
Hamas is regularly described as 'Iranian-backed Hamas, which is dedicated to the destruction of Israel.' One will be hard put to find something like 'democratically elected Hamas, which has long been calling for a two-state settlement in accord with the international consensus'–blocked for over 30 years by the US and Israel. All true, but not a useful contribution to the Party Line, hence dispensable. Noam Chomsky
The paradox of anti- Semitism is that it is invariably up to the Jews to explain away the charges. The anti- Semite simply has to make them. Jack Bruce
This book is dedicated to Israel's constructive and nuanced critics, whose rational voices are too often drowned out by the exaggerations, demonizations, and hate-filled lies put forth by Israel's enemies. Criticism is the lifeblood of democracy and a sure sign of admiration for an imperfect democracy seeking to improve itself. Alan Dershowitz
...British appeasement of the Palestinian Arabs led directly to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Jews [in the Holocaust] who might otherwise have found refuge in Palestine. Sol Stern
There, in the Levantine crossroads between Europe, Africa, and Asia, the sovereign nation of Israel would exemplify what right looks like. Unknown
Question: Which Mediterranean government shares all of Ronald Reagan's views on international terrorism, the present danger of Soviet advance, the hypocrisy of the United Nations, the unreliability of Europe, the perfidy of the Third World and the need for nuclear defense policy? Question: Which Mediterranean government is Ronald Reagan trying, with the help of George Shultz and Caspar Weinberger, to replace with a government led by a party which professes socialism and which contains extreme leftists? If you answered 'the government of Israel' to both of the above, you know more about political and international irony than the President does. Christopher Hitchens
Of course all such conclusions about appropriate actions against the rich and powerful are based on a fundamental flaw: This is us, and that is them. This crucial principle, deeply embedded in Western culture, suffices to undermine even the most precise analogy and the most impeccable reasoning. Noam Chomsky
We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attacks on the twin towers and the pentagon and the American struggle in Iraq. These events swung American public opinion in our favor Benjamin Netanyahu
We will consider every hand who will try to take our weapons, as an Israeli hand. Hassan Nasrallah
The city was a puzzle box built of symbols, a confusion of old and new, armored cars and donkeys in the streets, Bedouins and bankers. The Turks and Haredim, the showy Greek and Russian processions -- everyone seemed to be in costume, reenacting the miraculous past. Stewart Onan
One of the biggest obstacles on the path of peace, or even peaceful coexistence, between Israelis and Palestinians was placed by the international community and media when it redefined Hamas as an "organization." One result is that outsiders try to reach a solution based on the assumption that Hamas has structure and leaders. It does not. It has no "political wing" or "militant wing." Hamas is a loosely-knit band of terrorists. Its leaders are whoever has weapons, plans, and influence. Hamas is thuggish and cowardly. Those who fly the green flag are not military combatants. Nor do they represent, or care a whit, for the Palestinian people, as evidenced by their strategy of hiding in and fighting from schools, clinics, hospitals, and people's homes. After what passed for an election some Hamas terrorists were further redefined as politicians and diplomats, though they were neither politic nor diplomatic, evidenced by the fact that many "govern" from Israeli prisons. Prior to the Second Intifada, which began in 2000, Hamas had been emasculated and nearly eradicated by Yassir Arafat, who rounded up, disarmed, and imprisoned the terrorist "leaders, " leaving its remaining members to return to their homes. Arafat ensured that members of Hamas had no place to hide among the Palestinian people. And that is the only way the terrorist cancer in Gaza will be excised today. In the absence of Arafat, the task falls by default to Israel, which would do better to enable the citizens of Gaza to purge themselves of Hamas and reward them for doing so than try to get rid of the bad apples by blowing up the barrel, if you'll excuse the mixed metaphor. Ron Brackin
Both incest and the Holocaust have been subject to furious denial by perpetrators and other individuals and by highly organised groups such as the False Memory Syndrome Foundation and the Committee for Historical Review. Incest and the Holocaust are vulnerable to this kind of concerted denial because of their unfathomability, the unjustifiability, and the threat they pose to the politics of patriarchy and anti- Semitism respectively. Over and over, survivors of the Holocaust attest that they were warned of what was happening in Poland but could not believe it at the time, could not believe it later as it was happening to them, and still to this day cannot believe what they, at the same time, know to have occurred. For Holocaust deniers this is a felicitous twist, for their arguments denying the Holocaust and therefore the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state capitalize on the discrepancies of faded memory. In the case of incest, although post-traumatic stress disorder, amnesia, and dissociation represent some of the mind's strategies for comprehending the incomprehensible, incest deniers have taken advantage of inconsistencies to discredit survivor testimony. Janet Walker
You can't have occupation and human rights. Christopher Hitchens
There is no Zionism except the rescue of Jews. Golda Meir
The new crimes that the US and Israel were committing in Gaza as 2009 opened do not fit easily into any standard category–except for the category of familiarity. Noam Chomsky