Why the BBC is right not to run the Gaza appeal

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article5586716.ece

77 thoughts on “Why the BBC is right not to run the Gaza appeal

  1. “collective punishment illegal under international humanitarian law yet tolerated by the international community”.Right. And when such things are done by the Chinese (in Tibet) or a South-American dictator or whoever, and such people are criticized, nobody screams "bias" or "racism" or other BS words. "I don't do anything worse than what many others do/have done" is the lamest excuse in creation!

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  2. So what exactly are you saying, Ulla? Are you comparing Israel's actions in self-defence with the actions of those dictators who oppress minorities just for the heck of it?

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  3. Everybody claims to act in self-defense. That's how violence is justified and perpetuated. It has never in known history solved any problems except on a very short-term basis. It creates fear, hatred, and more violence. Whoever does it and whyever it is (said to be) done.

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  4. So what would you do if you were in our shoes? We have an enemy who has declared clearly they want to obliterate us, and are doing all they can towards that purpose – not interested in co-existence (I'm talking about Hamas, who are ruling in Gaza, voted in democratically…) – they're chucking missiles at our towns. What are we supposed to do? Sit back and let them?

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  5. Actually no, not everyone does. Hamas are not claiming to act in self-defence. Revenge is a factor for them, and so is the desire to get us out of what they claim to be their land. But not self-defence.

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  6. I'm not a politician and in the national (and several other) sense not a part of a "we". I'm a human, a citizen of planet Earth, and an individual. What I would do if I happened to hold an Israeli passport is not, I think, relevant here, it being a purely personal choice.

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  7. I didn't mean what you would personally do if you were an Israeli citizen. I meant: what do you think we should do? (and I say "we" here in the sense of the State of Israel as that is my country and I am part of it. as well as being an individual and a member of a family and of a church fellowship and a whole load of other things – for the purpose of what we are talking about here, what is relevant is that I'm an Israeli citizen.)

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  8. it seems israel is the only country that is questioned for defending itself against attack. even the united states had a great deal of support around the world at the tail end of 2001 and beginning of 2002. sure, it's waned since then, but we did have it for a time. israel just doesn't seem to get the same kind of support.

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  9. I don't think you CAN do what you "should" do, and neither can your enemies. There's too much mutual hate and fear. It's only as individuals we can free ourselves of such emotions.

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  10. i think "killing them with kindness" works better than killing them with missiles. some time around the beginning of this latest war between the US and Iraq there was an article (i think in the Atlantic Monthly) about interrogation. (the article must have come out just after the pictures of abu graib. … i'm sure i spelled that wrong but you know where i mean.) the article was about one of the best interrogators during world war II. he was able to get more secrets out of the prisoners than any other interrogator at the time. but he didn't torture them. instead, if they were hurt or sick, he made sure they had good medical treatment. he asked about their families and themselves. he made sure they had food to eat and enough to drink and that they were as comfortable as could be expected in their cells. in other words, he befriended them. and to a friend, they were willing to open up. in the book of proverbs (and later echoed in the book of romans – chapter twelve) the following advice is given: "If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you." (25:21-22)even jk rowling teaches along similar lines as she speaks through her character, dumbledore, in saying that love, an "old magic", is more powerful than all the evil and hatred of voldemort. his advice wasn't for harry to fight back with hatred or revenge but to fight back with love. (… she didn't really carry that through in the books, though, did she? love seems more defensive than offensive in HP, whereas in the old and new testaments love is a powerful weapon in both defense and offense.)

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  11. trouble issomeone has to make decisions, and take action, to protect citizens on the border towns of Israel, who want to live in peace without rockets continually being fired into their towns, and rockets [given to Hamas from Iran] that are growing in range and capability so they can hit bigger and bigger towns..yes, I am glad it is me that doesn't have to make those decisions, or ensure action suceeds, but someone has to, in Israeli government…what I find so silly is the talk that Israel is deliberately targetting women and childrenoh yeah, they feel the world loves them too much, so they needed to make themselves more unpopular

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  12. trouble issomeone [in secular government] has to make decisions, and take action, to protect citizens on the border towns of Israel, who want to live in peace without rockets continually being fired into their towns, and rockets [given to Hamas from Iran] that are growing in range and capability so they can hit bigger and bigger towns..yes, I am glad it is me that doesn't have to make those decisions, or ensure action suceeds, but someone has to, in Israeli government…what I find so silly is the talk that Israel is deliberately targetting women and childrenoh yeah, they feel the world loves them too much, so they needed to make themselves more unpopular

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  13. Meg, I do understand what you're saying, and part of me would love it to be true… I know very well that in one-to-one situations this often works. Though not always – some people are so hurt and twisted inside that no amount of human love can get through to them.But with the Hamas situation – I'm afraid there is more to it, there are powers that want the situation to continue and are manipulating people towards their ends. We can shower those people with love and still those who are controlling them will find a way of making us out to be evil.Israel does actually do a lot more on that front than most people are aware. You don't hear in the news about kids from Gaza being treated in Israeli hospitals, for instance.

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  14. You know, Meg, I don't know how much of our sad and sorry history you know, but when we first started to return to the land, we did befriend the local Arabs (who at that time weren't calling themselves Palestinians or regarding themselves as a specific nation…) – there were those, however, who later decided to stir things up and turned everything very ugly.

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  15. have you read three cups of tea? it offers some ideas on what works and what doesn't — things that are coming from a larger organization or governmental level rather than an individual level. it's the same principal but on a larger scale.

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  16. and with some, in that mindset [which many of us Westerners with the foundations of Christianity in our societies, even if we do not adhere to that faith], feel that kind of thinking and acting is weak, and they mock it.I have read that from militant Islamic writers[by that I do not mean all Muslims]and I believe that many Palestinian citizens, themselves, would love to be free of Hamas, but cannot speak up

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  17. to be honest, i don't know much at all. but i do know that many arabs were forcefully displaced. and i know that non-jews still face discrimination in israel. i'm not saying such behavior is unique to israel (there's plenty of discrimination in the US as well) and i'm not saying the jewish people shouldn't have their own country (i think after the pogroms and holocaust, it's a necessity in many ways), but israel coming in, no matter how it was done, was bound to cause problems. rather than a war (then or now), i think a more lasting peace would be achieved through peaceful means.

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  18. I do know that very few arabs were forcefully displaced by us.and I also know that Arabs who are Israeli citizens face very little discrimination – in the eyes of the law they are equal, they even have Members of Knesset – some of whom deny the right of the State of Israel to exist but are still allowed to be in the Knesset.I am not pretending the situation is perfect – I went out with an Arab guy for two years back home so I know a bit about what their lives are like – but it is far from the kind of treatment that, for example, Christians get from Hamas in Gaza.

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  19. meirav, maybe you can offer a brief history of the formation of the nation of israel, starting with the british occupation of the land we now call israel and palestine.

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  20. I would love that to be true. But I know the history and I know the characters in this play, and humanly I believe it is impossible. Peace will come when the Messiah returns and brings peace to the world – I don't believe our country will have peace before that. It's a battle driven by spiritual forces.

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  21. well, you would have a better shot of making it brief than i would.it might help people to know britain's part in allotting land to jews after world war ii and how they worked to avoid palestinian settlements and how the natives of palestine did not even attempt to claim the land as their own until after the jewish people started moving in.

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  22. there's a lot that people need to know.that we came back to a land that was deserted and neglected, and started to make it flourish, and the Arabs then said, God is blessing the land because of them!that the British stirred up hatred between us and the Arabs, and encouraged the Arab mob to massacre Jews in Hebron, in Jerusalem, where they had been living side by side in good neighbourly terms…

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  23. like i said, i don't really know all that much. but i do do some work for a guy that lives in jerusalem that has been there for a decade or more now and has seen christians leaving israel in droves because of discrimination issues in terms of education, housing and job placement. http://www.christianfoundationholyland.org/i have also read several articles on the subject. (jerusalem is a popular topic for magazines around christmas time and every year for the past several (with the exception of this year. i didn't see one this year.) there's been an article about the holy land and how fewer and fewer followers of christ are living in the land where christ was born.)

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  24. well, yes. that's true. but as followers of the one who will bring peace, i believe we should take a peaceful stance. then again, that's the position deitrich bonhoeffer took before he finally decided that killing hitler had more merit.

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  25. that's not what my friend who is living there says. *shrug* like i said, i don't know. all i know is what i hear and i hear eye-witness reports from a man living in old jerusalem that the conflict is predominantly from jews not arabs.

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  26. Israel is not made up of followers of Jesus, there is a small – but growing – minority of us there.Messianic Believers do make efforts in this area, and there are some really good relationships between Believers on both sides.But the country on the whole is a mainly secular country.

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  27. “collective punishment illegal under international humanitarian law yet tolerated by the international community”.Suicide bombing is the ultimate in collective punishment, as are these rockets sent into Israel from Gaza. Is anyone going to prosecute those behind these attacks!!!!

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  28. britain did not intend israel to be an independent nation. they still had dibs on palestine at the time that israel called for independence and wanted to keep it that way. simplified version, of course. i'm sure there are a lot of nuances, most of which i do not know.

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  29. I don't think the brits wanted the land for themselves. But they saw the arabs as allies and therefore their rule over the land was not very even-handed, to put it mildly.

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  30. another thing that many forget is that they could have had a Palestinian state in 1947 if they had only accepted the UN resolution! Instead they chose to wage war against us, because their fellow Arabs told them they could quickly wipe us off the face of the earth and have the whole of the land to themselves – why share when you can have it all. (This is well documented.)

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  31. So true.Unfortunately Israel was born of an international fit of guilt. America and England turned away refugees who ended up in the camps and the possibility of creating a country was too tempting (even if Britain didn't want to give up its hold on the area). No-one stopped to think about the Palestinians who wer once considered the most cultured of all the Arabs! Worse…none of the Arab states lifted a finger to help the Palestinians when Israel (mistakenly IMO) throw many of them out.What the Arab states did do was encourage the idea that they would 'drive the Jews into the sea within 6 weeks'. They did little or nothing to help the refugees (and most of them were unwelcome) except forment trouble. The PLO (that's Yasser Arafat ) invented modern terrorism by hijacking planes and bombing bus loads of school children and the likes of Saudi Arabia finance him (his widow has a fat bank account in Switzerland from what he creamed off from international aid…and Hamas leaders are doing the same; only they use it for rockets to launch into playgroups and old people's homes.Hamas hides behind its own civilian population and attack its neighbours.

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  32. The Brits did want it Meirav – they still thought they had some god-goien right to carve up any bit of the world they felt they should be in control of…the Empire was slipping away so they had to try to take hold elsewhere.The British 'mandate' was autoproclaimed…and because of the British attitude the likes of Begin were 'terrorists'!I love history….

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  33. even messianic jews are under fire from the israeli government. it is not a christian friendly nation. there is almost 2000 years worth of resentment built up there. israel is not a nation governed by God, yet their survival and thriving is a testament to God's hand working behind the scenes, much like in the book of Esther. though not mentioned by name, He is there. many will not want to see it, but He is there.for many secular jews, modern israel is not based on religion but on survival. it is a nation formed by a group of people who were oppressed and discriminated against for centuries in the name of religion. and they continue to be under fire in the name of religion. they could offer the biggest, most beautiful olive branch known to man and they would still not receive peace in return.

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  34. yes, that is truei would read pure Christian writings about this, from Christians out there…not the cultual 'Christian' stuff that is politicised and conveyed by 'Christian Aid.'

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  35. many people mistake love for something it is not. peace and harmony and pass the s'mores – this is not love. even Jesus showed anger when he saw people being taken advantage of for selfish gain and forcefully removed those oppressive people from God's temple. do you think they would have left if he said "pretty please with cream and sugar on top"?

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  36. A short aside here: Today is the day the Caliph Ali was murdered in the year 611. This split Islam into Shi'a and Sunni. The two factions are still murdering each other in Transjordan and Persia. And Israel has only been in existence for what–a half century and change?I suspect that much of the ceaseless violence is due to the money and arms being supplied to Hamas by other authoritarian Arab governments. I also suspect this "aid" is not being provided in sympathy for the Palestinian cause. Rather, it is self interest for Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and others.What self interest? If the arab peoples were not kept in a state of continual turmoil over the "Jews," they might start seeing what a good life the Israelis have in a republic and start wanting the same for themselves. It is not the people of Judea that the Arab rulers fear, but the form of the Israeli self-government.And by the way, Egyptians are largely Islamic but they are not arab. The roots of their language is African. Same with the Iranians–they're Persian. And all the "–stan" peoples are Asian.Anyway, that's my two-bit view from the smokey pool room.

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  37. Too right – tell an Iranian or an Egyptian that s/he is an Arab is like telling an Irish(wo)man that s/he is 'anglo saxon'Footnote to Cadlin: has anyone else noticed that the 'younger' the religion the more murderous? Islam is roucghly 1650 years old; at the same stage in its history Christianity was killing those who didn't believe (from progrom to colonisation) and engaging in a frateral war all over Eeurop while Catholics and Protestants fought over who was 'right'!

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  38. a huge difference is that the violence done in the name of christianity did/does NOT follow the teachings of their leader, including all violence done to the jewish people, whereas much of the violence done in the name of islam DOES follow the teachings of their leader, epecially that done to the jewish and christian people. those followers seeking to truly follow their master will do so, with true followers of christ being more compassionate and true followers of mohammed seeking to destroy all infidels.

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  39. No it doesn't – if you actually read the Koran, Mahomet does not advocate killing Christians and Jews 'the people of the book'….but Islamists (subtle difference) do.However, Mohammed did advocate conversion by the sword….just like the Christian church in its past. In France in the middle ages during the Cathar rebellion…when the beseiged city of Beziers was invaded by the soldiers fighting for the 'true and qpostolic church' they asked who they should kill and who they should save. the Bishop replied. "kill them all, God will know his own"…so they did, every man woman and child!And every Crusader wore a cross on his uniform to remind him why he was massacring the inhabitants of Jerusalem."Jesus" was Jewish so he wouldn't preach against his own people….but as you rightly point out – his followers didn't always do things according to his teachings – but they did think they were doing it in his name. And of course some of them have perverted his teachings to suit their own agendas.

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  40. a form of cultural institutional human religion wasnot true Christianity…check it out…Jesus did not tell anyone to murder, but to die to selfMohammed did allow murder, and conquer through murdercheck it outdetail is so important

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  41. "Detail is so important"Detail: In human history man has needed a structure to explain his place on earth. Early man worshipped the sun (and/or moon) and that gave rise to animist cults. Some civilisations put names and identiteis to concepts – the Egyptian Greek Roman and Norse and Hindi gods for example. Others went towards a philisophical reasoning with a prophet or teacher…Buddha, Zoastra,ConfuciusOthers brought things downto one god (Monotheism) Judaism for example.Monotheism splintered into the followers of 2 prophets – Jesus and Mahomet.that's what I meant. If you didn't understand I'll try again:the christian church IN THE PAST converted by the sword. Read a little history instead of the Bible; you could start with the conquest of 'heathen' Europe or go to the Conquistadores in Latin America – try the Inquisition or even Savanarola and of course the Crusades.That it has grown out of that and allows others to follow their faiths in peace only dates to about 350 years ago (tiddly squat in terms of the billions of years of the earth's history)All religion is a way of helping mankind to find a way through life…none of them are RIGHT and none of them are WRONG.I have 'good and accurate knowledge' too – years of study of religious history!

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  42. Though there are many contradictions between the Quran and the Scriptures of Jews and Christians, Mohammad believed that he was teaching a continuation of what he considered one religion. His earlier teachings in regard to Christians and Jews were to "respect" the "people of the book", but after later conflicts with Jews who rejected him as a prophet, Mohammad equated those Jews with Arab pagans, even in the Quran. His teachings regarding Christians and Jews were not consistent but changed with the times, especially by the way he was received. While Mohammad did not advocate the killing of Christians and Jews for following their respective religions, he did, as you mentioned, advocate the killing of those who were not friends of Allah. This did include Christians and Jews who rejected him as a prophet sent from God, for they were, in his eyes, rejecting Allah's divine revelation.provencepuss said"Jesus" was Jewish so he wouldn't preach against his own people….but as you rightly point out – his followers didn't always do things according to his teachings – but they did think they were doing it in his name. Yes, Jesus was Jewish, and those who claim that he gave a different way than God gave to the Jews really do not follow his teachings. And all that you mentioned of the church was the antithesis of all that he taught about compassion and grace. I do not consider anyone who killed another in the name of Jesus to be a true follower of his and should not be called one, even those who claim they are.

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  43. no, they didn't…but all I can do is refer you to my earlier postsand suggest that you read the N.T. for the actual true definition of what the Church is.Thanks.

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  44. provencepuss saidthe christian church IN THE PAST converted by the sword. Read a little history instead of the Bible; If you read a little of the Bible, you would know that what has happened in history in the name of christ goes against his actual teaching. Many in western churches have repented of the church's history because true followers realize this is not how the church should have acted according to the teachings of their religion. Because the leader of muslims did advocate the slaying of unbelievers and did equate Jews with unbelievers in the Quran, I seriously doubt we would see the same repentance from his followers. Why repent if they are truly following his lead?

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  45. This is the difficulty here – you are both talking about "the church" but using different definitions.Provencepuss is talking about what the world generally calls "the church" whereas smudge is talking about "the church" in its biblical meaning – the body of true believers in Jesus.There are miles of difference between the two.

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  46. provencepuss saidI learned a damn sight more than many 'believers' do about their religion – because I was able to step back from what I heard. … we read and discussed the Quoran; the principles of Buddhism and we also started a group for transcendental meditation.If I have a different view from yours it is because I had a wide and open-minded 'religious' – I prefer the word spiritual' education from those intelligent women.So please don't give me lectures I don't need – I won't give you any either.I think you just did. Here, you might enjoy this …

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  47. yes, that's what I thought you meant – this is the way the world generally uses this term.but for those of us who are Bible-believing Christians, we use the term "the Church" to mean the body of believers in Jesus – a collective noun to include all those, and only those, who have put their faith in Jesus as their Saviour.Not to include those who go to church and say prayers and think that makes them Christians. If I sit in an aquarium that will not turn me into a fish. (Not my analogy)The Church in the sense that you are using the term – yes, it has an awful history and a lot to answer for.

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  48. good point.and another point missed by some is that "collective punishment" is not a term that is relevant to Israel's recent actions in Gaza. We didn't go in there to punish anyone – we went in there to destroy Hamas strongholds so that they would stop chucking missiles at our civilians. We weren't there to take revenge, we were there to defend ourselves.The sad fact – which Hamas admit to – is that they deliberately place their military equipment amongst civilians and make sure there are plenty of civilians around, in a horrible cynical ploy to get more world sympathy for the Palestinian cause and to make Israel look like the bad guy. So some civilians are bound to be killed as a result. It is sad and horrible, but what is the alternative?

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  49. as the actual original source of the knowledge about Church [i.e. the N.T.] defines it[outer denominational labels came later and are not original]sheesh :)it seems that members of it, from the inside, can't even define what it is now LOL[and that is nothing to do with thinking I have a monopoly on the truth *sigh* – it's what millions of Christians from the beginning of the Church have defined it to be]

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  50. true, what's with the anger from P.P.[surely that's the domain of us nasty intolerant Christians] ;)I guess someone read what I had said 'hearing me say it in a voice' that was not of my meaning. I was not lecturing. I was trying to explain something concisely.I realise that not all are used to basic debate.If I understand what the Church is [because of being inside it and knowing and understanding what it is experientially and from the original mention of it], why should that be taken as arrogance. It's just stating fact, without any feeling – it just 'is'Please just take my words and discuss them, don't attribute attitudes to me P.P.thanks

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  51. did you hear me 'saying that' in ''a voice''I assure you it was not written maliciously, but with the realisation that some are reading this in different ways…evidentlywhen I write in basic terms, without flowery explanation, it is for the sake of brevity..often some do get that and don't take offence, as they discuss like that toowe have had different experiences of online discussion thensome read more subjectively, some read more objectivelyto accuse me of 'having claws out' is an unwarranted wrong judgement[maybe it's reaping for my comment to you, many months ago, about a prickly pear sabra]but you are not here with me, nor is Provencepussyou do not know my mood, my feelings, and evidently not my meaning or intent.Unfortunately we have to depend on understanding, to a large extent, in online discussion where voice tone cannot be heard.all the best, then, but unless foundational understandings are actually explained [i.e. re. the Church], there are going to be unfair judgements about the Chuch, and in connection to Israel and Gaza too.

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  52. I'm not angry – who said I was apart from you, Smudge?However if you want me to get angry you only have to continue telling me what I think or feel or intend. That goes down a treat!hehehehe Meirav – my meaow is one heck of a lot worse than my scratch….and I don't scratch very often; but I yowl like mad if someone pulls my tail. (if you listen carefully you will hear a cat giggling) obviously some people can't keep civil…."and may your god go with you" (Dave Allen)

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  53. Smudge, I heard it how I heard it and I responded to it the way I heard it. If you meant no malice, then I apologise.Provencepuss – I'm afraid I read "obviously some people can't keep civil" in pretty much the same way I read Smudge's "not all are used to basic debate" – and I would really appreciate it if everyone was civil to one another on my site.Disagree with one another by all means, but no biting please!

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