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Virginians divided over battle in Gaza as violence escalates

RICHMOND, Va. — Palestinian supporters hoping to call attention to violence overseas gathered outside Richmond City Hall Sunday as Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to go to Egypt Monday to push for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip where several hundred people have died in a nearly three-week long conflict.

Richmonders on both sides of issue fear for the safety of their loved ones.

Kawthar Amin was one of a number of Palestinians who gathered on the steps of city hall to draw attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Those protestors said that each name attached to the balloons, illustrates the horror of war.

Amin’s family lives in Gaza where more than 80 Palestinians died Sunday.

“They’re worried for their life. They’re worried for what is going on,” Amin said.

What upsets these Richmonders is what they call the US-Israel bias — believing American support is killing loved ones.

“All lives are equal,” Amin said. “Why are we funding a country that is in turning around and killing civilians and especially children?”

But at Richmond’s Jewish Community Center, there is a much different take on the uptick in violence.

Fifteen-year-old Elena Rogers is worried for Israelis and her friends travelling in the region.

Rogers said the fear of rockets has her friends on edge.  Sunday 13 Israeli soldiers were killed. CNN reported that an Israeli soldier has been captured.

“I’ve heard a lot that the Israelis are going to have to go into the bomb shelters like underground and the warnings keep on going off,” Rogers said.

As for why both sides are fighting this time, experts blame the murder of three Israeli students and the subsequent Israeli capture of Palestinians.

16 comments

  • mojorisin73

    Here’s a thought, let Israel take care of its business with Gaza and stop trying to stick our nose into something that’s none of our business. The same with Russia and the Ukraine, stop sticking our noses into that as well. We need to worry about securing our own border and solve our own problems here. We need to get back to what our founders intended for our country and bring our troops home to secure our own border.

    • Sam

      None of this has anything to do with what our Founding Fathers intended for our country. The Founding Fathers were not isolationist. You say that none of this is our business, wow. Have you ever heard of WWI and WWII? Do you have a concept of being allies? I could go on, but it’d be a waste of time and energy.

      • mojorisin73

        They intended for us to have secure borders before we go and get involved in other countries affairs. They didn’t intend on leaving our borders wide open while we waste our tax dollars securing the borders of foreign countries.As far as WWI and WWII goes, I could go on about the Rothschilds funding both sides of both world wars but that’s for another time. “Beware of foreign entanglements”—–George Washington

  • Y

    Is this more continued Double Talk/Double Crossings that leads to Derailing the Public Trust?
    The Administration says it backs Israel that has been attacked. Yet the Administration’s Media Forces are running Propaganda Campaigns highlighting Palestinians.
    Seems to be a wide spread Administration problem.
    Administration says one thing about our borders and then flies them and knowingly allows their bombardments at the borders. Then they inflict them on our communities. Then they “act” the
    hard line with a meeting of the offending “leaders”. Mexico, the Entry Orifice, not included in the “talks”/strategy meeting.
    Obama immediately Blames his opponent, Russia, for exactly what Obama did in Syria.
    He furnished them the weapons. They are now in the hands of Humas, Al Qaeda, and ISIS.

  • manalishi

    “Virginians divided over battle in Gaza as violence escalates” Divided indeed. On one side you have the Israeli Jewish state. On the other side, you have the anti-semitic Jew hating Islamic extremist state that want all Jews dead, It’s not complicated.

  • Lisa

    seems pretty simple to me. Hamas keeps shooting rockets into Israel trying to hit civilians. Israel defends herself.

    Hamas trys to kill civilians while Israel trys to miss them. Hamas trys to induce civilian casualties by putting military assets among the people.

  • mannysiddiqui

    It is obvious that hate and islamophobism blinds people and takes away their rational and logical thinking abilities turning them into zombies.

    Yes, I am referring to supporters of Israel that don’t know the history of the land-grab and genocide; their support for Israel is either based on religious affiliation or their Islamophobism; they are only slightly different than brain-washed Taliban and ISIS savages!

    Comments like the following speak volume about the entire conflict and Israeli politicians’ (aka Zionists) ultimate goal of “Greater Israel” or the “Promised Land”. There will never be peace, take my word for it. Why? Because religion and the goal of taking the Promised Land is behind all this; Palestinians are the victims.

    @AmbDermer (Israel’s ambassador to the US) says “When Jews come 2 Israel, they’re coming home. Hope 1 day, Palestinian refugees will have a home of their own next 2 Israel”

    Daniella Weiss, the lead of the Israeli Settler Movement that worked in 1970s with Ariel Sharon (then Minister of Agriculture) on “planning Israeli settlements so no Palestinian state could emerge”, says, and I quote:

    “We came to a land where other people were living. But this land was promised to the Jewish nation by God. All the other people who live here will accept Jewish sovereignty in the Promised Land.”

    “Peace will never happen”.

    “My many talks with Ariel Sharon and my work with Ariel Sharon there was a clear understanding, a very clear planning of spreading the communities, the Jewish communities in a way that there can be no option for Palestinian state in Judaic area”

    Her following response to a question about Palestinian children’s hope for an independent state says it all.

    “This land was promised to the Jews by the God; and all of it! It is true that in history Arabs came to this area from all over but the promise of God is more important than the changes in history and the political changes. That is why you have to put it deep deep into your mind that you don’t have any chance, whatsoever, at any point in history, neither you nor any of your offspring to ever have any independent state of your own here.”

    Now you tell me. Is it fair? Can there ever be peace if Israel has such plans? If anything, Israel is pushing Palestinians so that they voluntarily leave their land.

    By the way Hamas didn’t start this particular conflict rather some other lone group killed those three Jew teenagers. Shouldn’t thorough investigation have been performed before starting “collective punishment”?

    This guy puts it as it is “What happened in America on 09/11, happens in Palestine 24×7″ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQ4CTt9wTRQ

    • manalishi

      Islamaphobia? It doesn’t really appear as if Israel is afraid of islam. Israel built an iron dome t defend it’s people. Islam uses it’s children to defend it’s rockets. Sell your amway in gaza, we don’t buy that s**t here.

      • mannysiddiqui

        Manalishi, did you even read my comment before posting yours? My comment referred to people like you, not Israel. You are so enraged in hate and Islamophobism that it has taken away your logical and rational thinking abilities! You are writing before even thinking.

        Can you truly defend Israel’s actions considering the facts I posted below? Especially the comments that Daniella Weiss made! Zionism is the root of all evil. For your kind information, Muslims consider Jews brothers; if somebody hates Zionists does not mean one hates Jews.

        Unless you can support your statements with valid points and statistics, you seem to write a lot but nothing to say (as some other poster on the wtvr.com said about you).

        Please show me you are worth my time on this page else this would be my last word on this post.

  • mannysiddiqui

    *** Our role in the conflict ***

    As for our role in this conflict, we are harming ourselves when we:

    a) Favor and support genocide and land-grab in Palestine http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/rania-khalek/us-state-department-blames-hamas-israels-murder-gaza-children

    b) Send $3-4 Billion every year in military “aid” to Israel which helps Israel kill as many innocent people as possible.

    c) Our politicians can’t dare to talk truth https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovugclIWMEk

    We gave Israel $3.1 Billion in 2013! We got to get our priorities straight. Why send money overseas when our own cities are going bankrupt?

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153047863723868&set=a.10151488704213868.585115.45413563867&type=1&theater

    Even after all of our support to Israel, American Jews are treated like this in Israel just because they happen to support Palestine; goes out to show the worth of American Passport in Israel.
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152159559776135

    I am afraid that the chickens will definitely come home to roost one day and we will be dragged into 3rd World War because of Israel.

  • mannysiddiqui

    *** History ***

    If you are rational then educate yourself on the conflict first so that you could differentiate between right and wrong. Following links might help; of course only if you are willing to take time to truly understand the issues involved and Israel’s quest for grabbing the “Promised Land”. You don’t have to be Muslim to tell right from wrong in this conflict, you just need to have heart and use logic.

    I would have titled this video “History of Land-grab and genocide in Palestine for Dummies”
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=1421080298153295

    Perhaps these infographics will help understand the injustice, land-grab and genocide.
    http://trendygraphic.com/palestine-israel-conflict-an-infographics/

    This picture puts it in perspective the blockade Israel has put in place for years; no wonder people call it “Open air jail”. Can you live like that?

    Segregated roads! Palestinians can’t even drive on their own roads! Just imagine showing your passport or ID card before getting on to I-95; you may be denied because of your identity or where you live in the US!
    http://visualizingpalestine.org/infographic/segregated-roads-west-bank

    John Stewart explains it in simple “idiot-proof” way how misbalanced and one-sided this conflict has been. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqKu5rSTyP8

  • mannysiddiqui

    *** Zionists’ Plans for the Middle East ***

    Israel isn’t protecting itself, rather it is committing genocide and executing well thought out plan of frustrating and killing as many Palestinians as possible so that they voluntarily leave the Promised Land leaving it all for Israel to enjoy.

    With Israeli ambitions like this, there can never be peace.

    Watch this Australian documentary that explains what is going on in Palestine; I have listed below the sections of the video that deserve special attention and thought!

    7:51 – 8:30
    The lead of the Israeli Settler Movement says “We came to a land where other people were living. But this land was promised to the Jewish nation by God. All the other people who live here will accept Jewish sovereignty in the Promised Land.”

    8:38 – 8:55
    Shows the positions of illegal settlements! No one in right mind can’t say that these settlements are legal!

    15:07 – 17:08
    Plights and cries of a 5 year old as it was picked up by Israeli soldiers. Is it justice? 15:52 should tear your heart and bring tears in your eyes if you have any humanity left in you! What is that kid supposed to do except picking up arms against Israel?

    39:30 – 40:18
    “My many talks with Ariel Sharon and my work with Ariel Sharon there was a clear understanding, a very clear planning of spreading the communities, the Jewish communities in a way that there can be no option for Palestinian state in Judaic area”

    40:23 – 41:16
    “This land was promised to the Jews by the God; and all of it! It is true that in history Arabs came to this area from all over but the promise of God is more important than the changes in history and the political changes. That is why you have to put it deep deep into your mind that you don’t have any chance, whatsoever, at any point in history, neither you nor any of your offspring to ever have any independent state of your own here.”

    Zionists plan for Middle East
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/greater-israel-the-zionist-plan-for-the-middle-east/5324815

    Map of Greater Israel
    http://nevercastleadagain.wordpress.com/2010/12/19/map-of-greater-israel-published-by-radical-settler-movement/

  • Johnnie G

    Security is one thing, killing children is another.
    The fact that the Prime Minister of Israel escalates the conflict in order to appease to far right of his coalition shows that this is less about security. In addtion the killilng of civilains exp women and children does nothing to help security. It in fact makes Israel less secure, all of those victims have family members who in turn will embrace terrorism to combat what they see as an evil done to them. It is clear that Hamas are terrorists, the folks there have no viable government, Fata is useless. Every picture or news cast of civilian vicitms is used to further hate towards Israel. Would be better to not have that, somehow

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