This morning, I was greeted with the following message from the Asterisk-BIZ mailing list:

I have seen there are so many PalestineĀ children have been killed in the Irasel-Palestine
collide from the news, I am so sad about this, how do you think of this war created by
Irasel army, I hate war, hate butcher, why UN discard this war, why Arabia countries do
not union to oppose Irasel invasion. Who has been making the mistake in this war, Irasel?
or Palestine?
But children have no any mistake.
Could you please kindly your comments?

In general, this kind of message that is not related to the mailing would have simply been discarded by the participants, however, some of the people decided to comment. While most people commented with: “SPAM!” or “This is an Asterisk list, not a political list” – some commented with some interesting remarks.

Before I go into these, I must say the following: While I’m considered a left winged man who truly believes in the need and possibility of peace and harmony between Israelis and Arabs – I also have family living in Sderot, Ashkelon and other locations – currently being targeted by the Hamas.

Mr. Savinovich (amazing proximity to my last name – isn’t it) commented:
1) Israelites don't know what Obama's doctrine will be, but their best bet is that he is
really muslim friendly, so  they are better off clearing up as much as possible before
Jan 20.  The rocket's thing, is an excuse.
2) Having said that, the Palestinians really do throw lots and lots of rockets to innocent
civilians in Israel, and they really got to be stopped for good.  Then again, I am not the
one living in poverty in gaza with 2 million people in 150 square km."

Well, in regards to 1, the rockets can be deemed an excuse – I admit to that. However, imagine that the US or the UK would have had a portion of their border, constantly being targeted day and night. 250,000 people are under constant threat (in US numbers that would be around 5 million people). In the terror attack of 9/11, the US basically sent thousands of soldiers to Afghanistan, and later on, send thousands of soldiers to Iraq – all the name of “Protecting the world from terror”. True, the attacks from the Gaza strip pose a threat to the southarn parts of Israel (currently expanding to the center of Israel) – however, it is still a threat. I totally disagree with both sides in terms of the way they approach the problems, however, I can’t say that I don’t understand both parts of the equation.

Mr. Argov of Tikal Networks, and Israeli Asterisk integration company commented:

"Because Hamas terrorist are firing rockets on Israeli children from schools and civilian

Well, the tactic of using civilians as human shields is a well know tactic in Guerrilla warfare. The difference here is this, Hamas is firing rockets directly into civiliant oriented areas, in the hope to hit something and show themselves as heroes. Hamas stores their weapons and ammunition within the civilian population of the Gaza strip, knowing for fact that they are putting their people in harms way.

One of the people on the list I truly admire is Rehan Allah Wala, who commented:

hi Andy
I am sorry that people are making fun of you on this mailing list,
The reason being that it is not happening in their own back yard
However the problem is caused due to many reasons i guess, and to Isreali's it is war
and they are taking the killing of childrens as part of the war.
Do remember that war is when 2 parties can fight, where as in this case it is one sided
Remember that Isreal says that Hamas sends rockets to Isreal, however do remember that
all water, electricity, grain, food, comes from Isreal to Gaza, and it is probabbly like
a Future war movie from Hollywood how they are attacking on Isreal out of desperation,
when for weeks power is cut on them.
I am very sure both sides are to blame, and it however should be solved by the Big Boys
asap , including US and China, I hope Mr Obama will take this issue very very seriously
and try to finally bring peace and harmony to the human kind, as if it can not be done
in this hugely connected world, it probabbly can never be done.
Some Facts on Gaza on gaza SHOULD be read by all, as I think in today's connected world
we all are responsible to end this conflict between the 2 parties.

I totally agree with the fact that both parties carry the blame, however, claiming that the fighting is one sided is untrue. It is true that Israel has a tactical advantage, after all, it does have a modern army. However, in the ground, when troops are going into the strip, Hamas has the upper hand – knowing the terrain and knowing the weak spots and strong spots of each location. The Israeli army is doing what it was trained to do, fight the battle, trying to suffer as low as possible casualties as possible on all sides.

It is true that Israel provides most (if not all) of the Palestinian authority’s infrastructure, be it power, water, telephony and more. The desperation is on both sides of the conflict, Israel is tired, fed up, angry and disappointed that almost any type of action it takes to bring peace to the area fails each time – every time due to the other side’s inability to live up to their part of the agreement. On the other side, the people from the Gaza strip are equally desperate. I don’t know exactly what is the nature of desperation, but I can only imagine. At the end of the day, what does a man want? to wake up in the morning, go to work, earn a decent salary, come back home and enjoy life with his family. Currently, neither sides is able to do so.

I honestly believe that peace in the ME is a possibility, more than a possiblity, it’s a MUST! We are all paying the costs here, Israeli families who had lost their sons and fathers over the year, Palestinian families who had lost the same, families who were teared to shreads by differences in political views and god know what.

I hope this conflict will end soon, it’s not serving any value to any side at this point.