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Inside the Middle East
January 23, 2011
Posted: 719 GMT
The view of the concrete barrier separating Gaza and Israel from the Palestinian side of the Erez crossing.(CNN/Kevin Flower)
The view of the concrete barrier separating Gaza and Israel from the Palestinian side of the Erez crossing.(CNN/Kevin Flower)

It's an experience I had heard described dozens of times before; a frequent occurrence for Palestinians and an unwelcome rite of passage for some members of the international media covering the Middle East conflict.

But if I thought during my four-and-a-half years serving as CNN's Jerusalem bureau chief I had dodged this particular indignity, I was wrong.

"I need you to take off your sweater and your shirt," came the request from the man on the other side of the glass.

I was in a small fluorescent lit, concrete-walled room with a large picture window. The floor was comprised of a metal grating revealing another dank concrete room below.

Behind the glass sat a casually dressed man who appeared to be in his mid-twenties. He spoke to me through a microphone.

"Take your clothes off and put them in the container behind you," he told me in Hebrew-accented English.

I stood motionless in the bleak room in a state of shock.

I knew exactly what was happening, but it was still difficult to believe – I was being strip-searched.

Earlier that morning, a CNN cameraman and I had driven south from Jerusalem to the Israel – Gaza border to a location known as the Erez terminal. Erez is one of the few crossing points between Israel and the Palestinian territory of Gaza and it is the dedicated location for all non-Israelis, including Palestinians, to enter and leave the Gaza Strip.

We made our way into Gaza without incident and spent the next five hours conducting interviews for a story about disaffected Palestinian youth before we made our way back to the border crossing.

While traversing the long, fenced walkway that leads from the blighted Palestinian side of the border to the Israeli terminal building, my colleague took the opportunity to videotape our walk and the large concrete barrier wall in the distance that marks the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

After crossing through a series of gates, sliding metal doors, and concrete barriers reminiscent of a dystopian science-fiction film, we made our way inside the terminal building.

Inside, a Palestinian porter helped us empty our bags of equipment for scanning. Watching from a glass window two-stories above were a handful of Israeli security officials.

At this point in the crossing process we entered what I like to call "the maze" – a series of futuristic-looking glass and metal doors arranged in a labyrinth pattern which leads to a full body scanning machine.

Directing us at each step were the disembodied voices of Israeli security personnel speaking to us via intercom from their observation booth above.

After being asked to take multiple different poses within body scanning machine, we were then directed to another door which lead to a small waiting room.

I was then summoned to what I will forever call the concrete room of shame.

After recovering from my shock at the instruction to undress, I quickly became angry. I could feel the indignation spreading through my body.

Controlling my growing hostility, I stripped down to my boxers and asked disdainfully whether he needed to see everything. The man behind the glass said I could stand as is and then he opened a large metal door. He entered with a large bearded security official holding an automatic weapon at his side.

He proceeded to wand my body with handheld scanner, while guard looked on.

"You needed to bring this guy in to keep you safe?" I asked the inspector, in a weak effort to hide my embarrassment.

I am not normally shy nor modest, but the humiliation I felt at this moment was total. I was powerless and knew it. Nothing I could do or say was going to stop this search from happening and if I protested, things were only going to be worse.

In an instant I could empathize with everyone who had ever told me their tales of humiliation at being subjected to a strip search.

I put my clothes back on and waited while my cameraman was subjected to the same inspection.

They then searched our bags.

While that inspection was going on, I asked why we were strip searched. A security officer told me it was because they saw us filming in the walkway which was considered a sensitive area. I responded that we had videotaped there many times before and that if it were so sensitive wouldn't it make sense to put up signs warning people not to take photographs? He had no answer to that question and walked away.

Inexplicably they did not ask to see our video of the allegedly sensitive area.

Had all of this happened in a vacuum I think I would have chalked it up as an unfortunate event – one of those isolated incidents better forgotten.

But unfortunately, strip searches of journalists seem to becoming common. At a New Year reception hosted for the international press by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, several journalists were strip-searched as they entered the David Citadel Hotel, and according to the Tel Aviv based Foreign Press Association forced to remove their underwear, while waiting as long as 20 minutes for security to check their documents.

"Others, including the bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal were strip-searched and forced to take off their pants" read a statement of protest released by the Foreign Press Association after the event.

"While we appreciate the need for security, it is not remotely acceptable to invite people for cocktails at a five-star hotel and make them undress at the door" the statement went on.

The new head of the Government Press Office in Israel, Oren Helman, expressed “regret that journalists left the GPO annual cocktail reception feeling that they were treated in an unbecoming way manner by security”

The government agency charged with providing security for the prime minister, the Shin Bet, said in a statement that everyone invited to the event was checked “in keeping with the accepted security procedures for such an event”

The incident touched a nerve in the journalistic community and also prompted a debate within Israel about how and when strip searches are used and raised discomforting questions about who is subjected to them the most.

Glenys Sugarman, the executive secretary of the Foreign Press Association said the organization has seen a recent increase in the number of journalists reporting that they have been strip searched and that it was a worrying trend.

It is of course easy for journalists to sometimes become sanctimonious about the way we are treated by the authorities, but it is not unrealistic to expect that the use of such an invasive and humiliating procedure should be used sparingly and judiciously – no matter who is being searched.

While I made clear at the time my unhappiness about my own strip search at the border crossing, I have not yet filed a formal complaint. I was strip searched just once. Humiliating enough, but for many crossing the border, it is a routine fact of life.

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Filed under: CNN Coverage •Gaza •Israel •Palestinians


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walt kovacs   January 23rd, 2011 8:45 am ET

boo frackin hoo

everyday, at airports throughout america, thousands are humiliated by walking through scanners that look right through their clothes...and if they refuse, are subject to pat down checks....their crime? wanting to fly to see grandma

you are in a war zone, you tard

go...file a formal complaint...see who cares

and then after...take a tour of rehab centers that work with victims of arab terrorists

you have no business being a reporter....resign

Kmansfield   January 23rd, 2011 8:58 am ET

You really should to file an official complaint or it doesn't count in the aggregate. When the abuse escalates and they are checking people internally someone will wish you had. No one listens to Palestinians. If you don't take the responsibility (or opportunity) our own government can continue to pretend it doesn't happen or it's just a one time event. Everyone knows the US is the only one who could do anything. As anyone who has suffered abuse, you should think about the next person too.

Ben Zen   January 23rd, 2011 11:53 am ET

Walt, I really don't think you can compare western airport scanners in the states with the strip searching at an Israeli check point.
It's a shame, there's always an angry stupid American posting some hate comment everywhere I look on the net. If I didn't actually have some lovely American friends, I would think the country was full of uneducated red necks who haven't travelled further a field than the next town but have a negative opinion of the world outside America.

Flippant   January 23rd, 2011 12:59 pm ET

I want to be sympathetic but I've had the same done whilst vising family in prison. I mean, what did you expect? I pretty much figured a search, even a strip search, was inevitable.

I do think the foreign press incident is rather appalling and to invite people to a function only to be searched like that is a different matter altogether. I would in that case definately make a formal complaint. I'm surprised this is the first I've heard of it, they clearly did not make it public knowledge.

Anyway, as any good journo would do, I'm sure you'll just 'suck it up' and get on with the job.

Realistic   January 23rd, 2011 1:13 pm ET

Seriously? Complaining about being strip searched? Maybe if you bothered to think about the countless suicide bombers that have infiltrated Israel over the years you might be able to understand why you were strip searched? Do you think terrorists wear a sign on their head? They have posed as Red Cross, and UN before, just because you're a "reporter" doesn't exempt you from being searched.

Maybe when you grow up a little you'll realize that there are some things in life that are unpleasant, but they are there for a reason – to save lives. Tell me – does the same level of scruitny happen at the border with Jordan or Egypt? Now why do you think that is? Maybe because Israel is dealing with neighbors whose governments are a bit more civilized – the Palestinians in Gaza chose Hamas as their government – they made their bed.

One can only hope that they will stop feeling sorry for themselves and look to Tunisia as an example of what can be achieved – Hamas is only compounding the Palestinian's problems, and the sooner they realize this and actually do something about it, the sooner poor reporters like you won't have to go through experiences like this

Moe   January 23rd, 2011 1:49 pm ET

"Hebrew-accented English"
-I thought they only hire Cockney-accented security guards.

"concrete barriers reminiscent of a dystopian science-fiction film"
I guess all those rocket attacks on Israel and the border crossing were --fiction? or is it just Kevin Flower?

"Humiliating enough, but for many crossing the border, it is a routine fact of life."
-Is it also humiliating to be blown up to bits in a bus?

stingran   January 23rd, 2011 2:45 pm ET

are you a real reporter???!
how about giving your readers a summary of how many civilian were killed and injured after a terrorist came through these borders, under the claim of "working permit"???

how about explaining your readers that the "Erez" crossing was initially built to hold factories and business to give work to the "poor" Palestinians, and once your "human" Hamas took control, they BOMBED the factories and the crossing???!

how about telling your readers that before the building of the "concrete room of shame" there was a un-human, cage like border crossing that gave both the passengers and the soldiers hell??
and about the bombing in 2006 in the border crossing, killing 2 soldiers while they were helping Palestinians getting to their jobs in Israel????

it's about time "reporters" like you be fired.
at least we now know to take EVERY report by CNN as biased, since it is written by people as biased as you are.

stop thinking your readers are blind and ignorant. we know the truth despite all the lies you try to impose.

dbm1994d   January 23rd, 2011 3:09 pm ET

I read the news everyday. I lived in Israel for 6 years and in Peru for the rest of my lifetime. I know what goes around. I think it is amazing how the terrorists and arabs (the ones who hate jews and israelis) brainwash the rest of the world to go against a nation that was built from immigrants around the world that were killed, robed, hated, judged by their religions. Israelis have all the rights to live where they are currently living and they will defend their country because it is all they got. The arabs have a big number of countries all around asia, the middle east and africa, big countries. Israel, a tiny country with small population and still the arabs want to take it away from the jews, the jews that have a history there that goes back from bible times (2000+ years ago) and to prove that they have a wall that is THE ONLY thing that they have left from their religion, BUT no the arabs want that too. People talk about GREED they call jews greedy? I laugh at that hypocrisy. The jews are anything but greedy they are happy with a tiny piece of land that belongs to THEM not to palestinians. There was a vote before making this country and it succeded. Now after more than 60 years countries pretend to take a stable, rich country? That I believe is chaos, is hatred. Want to compare the jews and the arabs? let me ask you this, when you hear terrorism? when you hear of nuclear threat? when you hear of killings? when you hear of slaughtered people? when you see woman getting stoned and burned with acid? you think arab or jew? I ask the world to think about all these factors, I ask the world to come to reasoning! The jews deserve israel because it is all they got, that small piece of land is all they got and they will defend it with all the power they got. I am against war, and hate, but with all the threats that israel has to DAILY deal with, I believe they have all the rights to do the necessary to keep their small population prospering. Do not try to fool me or others by saying that israelis are land thieves, because they are nothing but survivors.

zatarandspinach   January 23rd, 2011 3:11 pm ET

Many times, Israel's policies at the borders and in the airport have very little to do with security and quite a bit to do with the efforts to make the experience so intimidating and humiliating those being searched won't come back.

What you experienced happens to activists all time, as well as ordinary Palestinian Americans traveling home to Palestine for a visit. One young woman I know, a 20-year-old college student was at the Tel Aviv airport to catch her flight BACK HOME to the United States, when she was asked to remove her pants. She refused. For four hours she and the Israeli security officer went back and forth until it was time for her flight to depart. The young woman won. She ended up not having to remove her clothing.

And after that humiliating experience, she and her family told the guard in no uncertain terms, "We are coming back."

That is what was at stake for this family – and countless other Palestinians in the Diaspora – Israeli security personnel treat them in such a way in order to discourage them from returning to Palestine – even if only for a visit.

They are a stalwart people, the Palestinians.

little muchamad   January 23rd, 2011 3:16 pm ET

You forgot to mention that this wall was built after hundreds of suicide bomber went through the border and killed hundreds of israelis

israel has the right to build a wall allong the border like USA did

creamcheese   January 23rd, 2011 3:16 pm ET

This article's title is unwittingly hilarious.

Does it mean My (Gaza strip) search

or

My Gaza (strip search)?

Danny   January 23rd, 2011 4:05 pm ET

If – as you imply- the strip searches are targeted at journalists, then that's wrong and should be stopped.

But for someone who's been the CNN bureau chief in Jerusalem for 4.5 years, you sound naive and over sensitive.

Israel has both the right and obligation to take serious security measures at her borders, especially the one with Gaza. Maybe Israel should make it the routine for everyone. Then you wouldn't have grounds for complaint. Do you somehow think you are immune to these procedures as a journalist?

While I agree a strip search isn't the most pleasant thing, what makes it humiliating? Are you saying that by definition it's an abusive act? Sorry, I don't agree. You weren't actually fully stripped, or touched in any inappropriate manner. So get over yourself and the arrogant idea you seem to have that somehow YOU should have been exempted from the procedure. Grow up.

commenter   January 23rd, 2011 4:30 pm ET

Sounds quite Horrible. Can be any logic in these circumstances?

The Normal Palestinian, I guess, doesn't prefer dying as a Shahid upon feeding his family. And so, in some cases, he finds his opportunities on the Israeli side, and has to suffer from humiliations described above (on top of other difficulties in life, resulting this conflict) . That's one side.
On the other hand, from the same Gaza strip there was a Qassam rocket shot towards civilian areas in Israel, only 6 days ago (as far as I'm up to date). And that's quite a part of routine also.
So you have a country paradoxically employing it's enemy's citizens (If "enemies" is OK for those who target civilians meanwhile with Qassam rockets, constantly declare their wishes of Israels complete destruction, and holds an Hijacked Soldier for a few years now) .
That's fine, you say. Here's a rare act of peace promotion- finally. but why humiliate the innocent?!
I guess it has a vague connection to the fact that in Jan.2004 there was a young Palestinian woman that claimed the alarms of the Israeli metal detectors were because she had Platinum inside her leg. she was let in, and exploded herself- taking 4 Israelis with her.
so she blew it up for the Israelis & her Palestinian hardworking fellas. As a result, These are the unfortunate conditions in which the Palestinians who will, enter Israel. I'm sorry to hear you suffered from them too.

miriam   January 23rd, 2011 5:36 pm ET

Kevin,

Has CNN never bought your air tickets to the US in the Middle East?
If they had, this would not have been your first "strip search".
Or perhaps US citizenship has saved you the trauma.

Tickets issued in the ME including Israel have had 'SSSS' printed on them requiring passengers aged 0 years upwards to have to go through humiliating searches.

It is unfortunate that you have chosen a career which includes others who have abused the freedoms granted to journalists in order to commit terrorist and criminal acts. Maybe you should direct your criticisms towards those who abuse such privileges rather than at those for whom security is an existential necessity.

Garrigues   January 23rd, 2011 5:42 pm ET

Great blog! I agree that you should file a complaint ASAP. It's a shame that these sort of incidents are not more widely publicized in the US, but we all know the reason. Keep up your great reporting and have courage!

merachefet   January 23rd, 2011 6:21 pm ET

let's say america had a border with a country ruled by al-qaeda (the equivalent of hamas-ruled gaza to israel, i.e. categorically aimed at its destruction). how exactly would you propose people to be searched upon returning from al-qaedistan to the U.S.? with a nice series of sentimental questions? why not write an article on the misery experienced by children who run into bomb shelters when hamas fires its rockets? (and where do you think the materials from rockets come from exactly...the sky?)

Linda Jansen   January 23rd, 2011 6:30 pm ET

Yes, please please file a formal complaint. If others do also, we could get accurate information on how often this is happening.

Thank you for this report. The arrogance portrayed by the Israeli govt "security" is reckless when you consider they are now in the midst of a multi-million dollar PR campaign to improve their image after the Gaza massacre and the flotilla murders.

Dhilrukshan   January 24th, 2011 3:55 am ET

It can't be helped that people are strip searched in such situations. It is well known that terrorist have even pretended to be news reporters to gain access to civilian and military targets in order to carry out terrorists attacks.

Hope   January 24th, 2011 6:10 am ET

Locking, secluding, and harming an indigenous people is clearly wrong...strip searching journalists is sickening! Cant believe what I just read. It's as if Israel has some mental disorder that needs serious intervention.

Hope you do file a complaint...You make our life's seem trivial!

miriam   January 24th, 2011 9:23 am ET

Hope,

Firing rockets at Israeli civilan population centres, attempting to send suicide bombers into Israel, inciting to annihilate the Jewish people and lying to the world is against international law.

A sovereign state defending its citizens from such activities is required under international law.
That means taking actions, all legal under international law, to achieve such objectives.

Sometimes doing what is right and necesary might be surprising but it is not some sickness that you frequently claim is inherent in Jews/Israelis.

The more you complain about Israel's actions the clearer international law becomes and more rediculous are the lies of Israeli's detractors.
If you fail to recognize that, then your lives really are trivial.

Hope   January 24th, 2011 3:50 pm ET

Well..on the bright side, if they do stripe you again...stay cool, "do the Old Time Rock'n Roll" Tom Cruise's dance– watch their reaction!!!

John   January 24th, 2011 6:21 pm ET

Any one that wants to go sympathize with Gazan terrorists that killed their own Palestinian brothers to take over controll illegally deserves to be stripped searched.
There is a reason Israel had no major attacks in the last few years unlike america Russi,and England. And thats because that disgusting wall they have up and their intuition of WHO has to be strip searched.

proud zionist   January 24th, 2011 6:25 pm ET

Hope less

did not take your medicine this morning? It shows

Mike   January 24th, 2011 8:07 pm ET

I've experienced being questioned by Israeli officials on a number of occasions entering the West Bank. On one occasion I was interrogated for 8 hours, for no clear reason.

The Israeli's at the checkpoints are trained to make it as unpleasant as possible for anyone entering Palestinian territories. They don't exactly want you to come back. As citizens of free countries outside Palestine and outside of Israeli military occupation, it is our duty to return as often as possible to expose what is happening to the Palestinian people at the hands of the Israeli regime and it's illegal occupation of Palestine. So, all I will be thinking about the next time that I'm interrogated at length for no reason, and humiliated, is of the thousands of Palestinians who are put in the same, and much worse, situations every day of their lives while living under occupation. And I will go back.

Darren JD   January 24th, 2011 8:48 pm ET

I hate CNN for its pathetic and biased reporting, and this epitomises it. I think it is time for Israel to close its border with Gaza and kick out all the international media.

You, Mr. Flower, have NO RIGHT to be there. You are not an Israeli citizen and are simply there by the gracious invitation of the Israeli government. You also have NO RIGHT to enter Gaza using an Israeli border.

You act indignant to further your own (and CNN's) transparent political agenda. When your family gets blown up by a suicide bomber, then, and only then, may you even consider having a leg to stand on when reporting.

It is time for Israel to act more like its neighbours when it comes to foreign press. Take their passports, find out where their families live, and then allow them to report, at their own peril.

Pathetic, Mr. Flower, you are truly pathetic.

miriam   January 25th, 2011 9:34 am ET

Mike,

It is clear that Israeli authorities had good reason to interrogate you if those are your attitudes and distorted opinions.
You obviously associate with dishonest troublemakers who have brainwashed you with disinformation.

Israel   January 25th, 2011 8:52 pm ET

In the Moscow airport you would not have such a problem. Perhaps you should visit there more often?

James   January 26th, 2011 4:07 am ET

Darren JD, Which of Israel's neighbors "Take their passports, find out where their families live, and then allow them to report, at their own peril"?

Its pretty easy to make wild accusations with no evidence or examples.

What I can say with evidence is that Israel has taken passports of visitors from friendly countries such as Australia and Ireland, and stolen those peoples identities.

Deborah   January 26th, 2011 5:14 am ET

Some of these comments are moronic beyond belief. They are just exercises in the hysteria over Israel that characterizes some strains of the American public that is so poorly educated on anything off the sofa in front of the t.v., let alone the rest of the world, let alone the Middle East. No wonder the US is doing so poorly in relationship to science vis a vis the rest of the world. You can see the illogical pro-Israeli extremism as in "you have NO RIGHT to be there." Uh, excuse me, but the U.S. has agreements with Israel that indeed allow Mr. Flower to be there, and yelling YOU HAVE NO RIGHT like King Kong doesn't change that. Yes, let's just kill everybody who criticizes Israel. Let's "hate" CNN, and thump our chests like Neanderthals. Yep. That's the way to show our intelligence!

miriam   January 26th, 2011 12:44 pm ET

James,

You, in fact, have no evidence apart from the stories of Gen Tamim.

BTW, there are reports on the treatment of journalists from all Israel's neighbours. Many local journalists practise self-censorship due to threats of imprisonment and detention under various press and publication laws.
Foreign journalists have reported having memory cards erased, ID cars confiscated, questioning by authorities and reporting restrictions.
It is well known that foreign journalists will not report openly about their treatment out of fear of future repurcussions.

Rebecca   January 26th, 2011 3:58 pm ET

These Arabs are not as stupid as they seem. They know that reporters cross the borders between Gaza and Israel often, when the Arabs have less opportunity.
So they ask the reporters, who are that stupid, to carry things over for them. It might be as blatant as bomb parts, or just information, or, like the UN personal tried, Arabs.
And if Israel does not want you to return – gee I wonder why.
If Mike wants to report on Gaza why is he not stationed there? Or in Egypt. Why is he stationed in Jerusalem? Because it's safer.
I also wonder where the reporter who was kidnapped and held in Gaza is today, and why he's not still reporting.

John A   January 27th, 2011 4:30 pm ET

All this blog does is prove beyond doubt how totally stupid Americans are.

So you think if a Palestinian wanted to be a suicide bomber, he would pretend to be a journalist and in response all journalist need to be strip searched?

Do you get striped searched at the airport? No bombs on aircraft, except the Detroit bomber who was suspiciously escorted onto the aircraft by an American official. You do know that the former head of home land security used that incident to promote body scanners. You do know that the same person now runs the body scanner business. Its called corruption!!

As so many American presidents have been assassinated. Why not strip search all Americans before the president makes a public appearance.

American retards, George Bush may have been stupid but it appears he actually was a leader by your brain dead standards.

proud zionist   January 28th, 2011 8:53 am ET

Mike

Palestine??? Where is that? I cannot find it on the map. it has no seat in the UN. Where is it? in your mind, apparently?

John A   January 29th, 2011 6:15 pm ET

The majority of comments on this blog prove Americans are nothing more than burger eating retards.

The west created Israel by displacing millions of people to make space for its chosen Jewish immigrants. This in itself was an act of war against Arabic people. Israel started terrorism in the middle east. America backs the majority of dictators in the middle east.

Most of the world including Europeans will be happy to see you idiot Americans choke on your hamburgers and drown in the debt of your greed and stupidity.

The truth behind the middle east troubles lay in Americas quest to control oil supplies and maintain the imposition of a Jewish state in a non Jewish region.

Thankfully America and its scam client state Israel will soon be little more than a foot note in history.

proud zionist   January 30th, 2011 7:12 am ET

John antisemitic liar A

your silly posts show that you do not care about facts or the truth, you just care to see your name on this blog.

but you will soon be nothing than a sorry episode on this blog. Thankfully you and your masters in Gaza will soon be little more than a foot note on this blog.

John A   January 30th, 2011 12:54 pm ET

proud zionist January 28th, 2011 8:53 am ET

Mike

Palestine??? Where is that? I cannot find it on the map. it has no seat in the UN. Where is it? in your mind, apparently?
---------------------------–

Proud Zionist, Hitler didn't recognize the Jews as people either. You and he would have got along just fine.

miriam   January 30th, 2011 6:50 pm ET

John A,

The fact that Israel is the realization, after 2000 years of denial, of the Jewish people's right to self-determination in their religious, historical and cultural homeland is sufficient to disprove your incessant claims that the Jewish state is some kind of fake Western invention.

Although you have frequently denied Jewish history, western and eastern nations did not share your fabricated claims in 1920 when they passed a legally binding resolution to re-establish the Jewish state in its homeland. By the way, the US was not involved.

Between 1920 and 1948, there was massive Arab immigration into the proposed Jewish state as well as Jewish immigration. Arabs were attacking Jews before Jews were even allowed to defend themselves rather being forced to depend on British protection, the same British who often cooperated with the Arabs in the attacks.

It was the Arabs who decided to reject the creation of another Arab state alongside Israel and it was their decision to attack the Jewish state during which Jewish and Arab populations were both displaced.

John A   January 31st, 2011 11:37 am ET

Miriam your BS became laughable after you wrote, "after 2000 years of denial". That was your first sentence hahahaha

This is 2011 not 11AD. Try to keep up with the times.

But why not give the Jews what they had 2000 years ago? This would be a cave and a few stick houses. Trouble is they dont want that, the Jews actually want a vast land that has been built by non Jews.

By the way the Pharaohs have been denied leadership of Egypt for "2000 years". By your logic they should be returned to their rightful position.

miriam   January 31st, 2011 12:53 pm ET

John A,

There is absolutely no relation between the debatable history of the Palestinians as a people and the dehumanization of the Jewish people.

Have you never noticed the similarities between Hadith Bukhari vol.4 54: 524 and The Eternal Jew? Both must be familiar to you.

Brian Gray   February 1st, 2011 12:05 am ET

It is appalling that, even though you are readily identifiable as a news reporter with credentials, when you report on something that may show Israel's hypocrisy toward others, they decide to make an example of you at the border. It is obvious that Israel has forgotten why they were eager for the re-establishment of their homeland, i.e., the atrocities and indignities that were forced on them in Germany during Hitler's times. Israel should be ashamed, because it is one thing to defend the country against those who wish it harm, but it is another to lose its honor and reason to exist in the process.
Your article was well written. Thank you for your great contribution to exposing Israel's descent into becoming what it hated in Germany.

miriam   February 1st, 2011 4:09 pm ET

John A,

We have long been aware of your contempt for history.
The Jews have been denied their history because of people like you who ignore and discredit facts and think they can fool the uninformed.

I am not aware of many Egyptians within Egypt or in the diaspora who have spent the last 2000 years yearning to return their country to its historic Pharoah dynasties despite the fact that it is Arab as a consequence of invasion and conquest. Perhaps that has to do with the absence of exile and expulsion as well as the weakness of their national identity and their willingness to assimilate into the invading culture.

The same cannot be said for the Jewish people whose historic connection to their land is evident in archaeology, culture and religion.

miriam   February 1st, 2011 4:25 pm ET

Brian,

You should be ashamed if you actually believe that Israel was re-established as a result of the Holocaust or as a result of any of the numerous other inquisitions, massacres and expulsions that were forced on the Jewish people.

You seemingly lack an understanding of what security is about and the advantages terrorists and their supporters take in order to acheive their objectives.
Unfortunately, in a dangerous world, journalists cannot expect the immunity and the respect that their often self-righteous and arrogant minds demand.

proud zionist   February 1st, 2011 4:54 pm ET

John antisemitic liar A

Now you show your true colors

you and Hitler, bosombuddies

Verrecke Englisches Schwein

John A   February 2nd, 2011 10:45 am ET

Proud Zionist,

I said, if the Jews claim Israel because some lived there 2000 years ago, then why not give the Jews what they had 2000 years ago? This would be a cave and a few stick houses.

Trouble is they don't want that, the Jews actually want to claim a vast land which has been built by non Jews.

As for your cheesy Hitler comments, come on get a new routine. Also
You might recall Hitler was only a few decades ago. Until Hitler there was never a nation called Israel. Israel arrive on a boat from Poland after world war 2.

Imagine if the Captains of the Jewish immigrant boats were bad navigators. They might have landed in Florida and claimed it as the promised land.

miriam   February 3rd, 2011 3:21 pm ET

John A,

Wow!

Your invention of history gets more rediculous with each post.

Just for the record, Jewish refugees would have been refused entry to Florida as they were to many other ports arouind the world.

Fortunately, the Holy Land had been recognized internationally, rightfully and legally, as the re-established historical, national homeland of the Jewish people.

John A   February 7th, 2011 2:20 pm ET

Miriam says Jews were refused entry to America. Does AIPAC know about this.

Miriam, have you recently arrived on earth?

I forget my manners. We always discuss events on my planet earth. Why don't we talk about your planet for a change. How many suns and moons does your have?

miriam   February 9th, 2011 4:04 pm ET

John A,

I'm sure AIPAC and anybody else who is aware of the history of US Jewry and the Holocaust know "about this".

They would be fully aware of the US Immigration Act in effect at the time, its origins and its consequences.

They will be aware of the USS St Louis.

They will be familiar with the statisics.

Obviously you are ignorant of the facts.

miriam   February 9th, 2011 8:41 pm ET

Sorry, should read MS St Louis!

BeineeNip   July 6th, 2011 12:03 pm ET

Nice Post. This record helped me in my college assignment. Thnaks Alot

Nuno   August 11th, 2011 4:51 am ET

That's a lot of opinions but you forget something that instead of spending on security and others on rockets maybe the people from either sides should raise their voices, elect the religious moderate ones and start spending on food, education, health, etc. You know, as they say, people is always right and the people are balanced in their thoughts it's violence that starts the mind changing i'm talking about Israels soldiers, Palestinians who see family members doing suicide blasts, and on...
Israel as so much power, their leaders, the ties with America, etc.
Arabs have their power too, with oil, and their ties with Europe, etc.
If we can do such great things in our world can't we put some hope on mutual understanding?
We cannot pin point the guilt, only maybe to God! For the believers!
But you can pin point a solution very easily, well as things had so much development over the years hate as become an ocean but they showed too that these way, things go nowhere, the most probable end is a big war! And no one wants that!
So it's time people should really well choose who they are voting on and who really stands for human life instead of money.
Of course that i'm dreaming here a bit! But as a poet once wrote, God wants, man dreams and things get done! (Again God!Sorry!)
We ear of spam everyday and as i read your posts makes me remember one thing, i can see a lot of hate and knowledge competition and like bring me the guilty one so i can throw him a dart at him! Instead of spending energy where it goes nowhere you could start spamming to the right places like, good spamming, like Israel government, Arab governments, American governments, Europe governments, politicians, rich persons, big companies, newspapers, network televisions and express your concerns, your hopes, your fears, your compassion and say i want things to change now, because i care for myself and the ones around me!
Even if it's just to throw it out there what you have stuck in your throat, it doesn't matter it's your point of view but at least it's going to the right places!
Well i hope this late post reaches someone, call me a dreamer!
I don't mind...but don't call me a unbeliever!

Nuno Fernandes
Portugal

Proviron   December 10th, 2011 6:48 am ET

Saludos para compartir la información con nosotros en insidethemiddleeast.blogs.cnn.com.

More Info   January 11th, 2013 5:14 pm ET

It's a pity you don't have a donate button! I'd definitely donate to this superb blog! I guess for now i'll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will talk about this site with my Facebook group. Talk soon!


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