Overheard on CNN.com: Land for peace?
May 20th, 2011
06:18 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Land for peace?

Comments of the Day:

“Obama is merely picking up the same plan that Israeli war hero Rabin championed to his death. I say this respectfully, because it is not an easy path, but the only one that can resolve it. I was in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem three months ago. At least half the Israelis agree with Obama's position.”– futureshock9

“You would think that the current Arab push for freedom would diminish the groups like Hamas who seek violent means to the ends. It should be clear after decades of pointless violence that peace can only be brought about through good-faith negotiation. Unfortunately, the Arabs have reneged and attacked Israel at every opportunity, rather than seeking to build their own nation. If I were a Jew, I would be very wary. The Arabs will have to put a lot on the table.” - celtic61

Obama calls for Israel's return to pre-1967 borders

In his speech to the State Department, President Obama called for Israel to return to its 1967 borders, "with mutually agreed swaps," so a secure peace could be established. This story elicited more than 11,000 comments, many of them arguing the history of the Middle East conflict from the Israeli or Palestinian viewpoint. While there were accusations that Obama had "thrown Israel under the bus", many like waggendog, said, "Well yea, Obama is just publicly saying what every president has been privately saying for decades."

“As an American Jew who has worked in Israel and has friends and family there, I believe what Israel is doing is not in their own interest. A friend tells you when you are doing something wrong. Obama is doing the right thing.” - ScottNH

Many CNN.com readers hailed Obama's remarks and called for compromise. kirikintha said, "I think that President Obama has the courage to point out the painful truth : The only way to a lasting peace is to move forward. There are no winners in Middle East peace, only general levels of hell. What do you do when everyone feels disenfranchised? What do you do when both sides are hell-bent on killing each other?”

humtake, who identified as a Republican, said, "I'm not a fan of Obama, but sometimes he does what is right. And in this situation, America needs to see that something has to be done by both sides or nothing is going to change. Allies don't have to always agree. My grandparents have been married for 63 years and don't agree on everything. But both sides need to work on fixing their problems together."

apeinclothes said, "There isn't another option if Israel wants to remain a Jewish-majority state. There are too many Palestinians to keep them in limbo indefinitely; neighboring Arab countries aren't going to absorb them, and the longer this goes on the more demographics favor the Palestinians. Israel either has to give up enough land to allow for a viable Palestinian state or choose between being Jewish-majority or being a democracy."

Is Obama about to break the law?

The deadline for congressional approval of U.S. military intervention in Libya is here. Without approval, the mission must stop within 30 days. But the issue has not been discussed or approved in Congress. Is President Obama "shredding the Constitution," as Rep. Brad Sherman, D-California, describes it?

Slapdeezel said, "U.S. law doesn't apply to a NATO-led operation." dec12887 replied, "Cite the law that gives exception to NATO-led operations. There isn't one, so stop lying to yourself." JERBOA said, " It does not matter if it's a NATO operation. If the president sends troops to an armed conflict he needs the consent of Congress."

RyanHicks said, "The 60-day grace period ends today, yes. If Congress does not give approval by close of business today, then the president has 30 days to recall our forces before he has done something illegal. He still is in compliance for another month."

falcon615 said, "I am a liberal Democrat and voted for Obama in the primary. I support most of his policies and believe we are doing the right thing in Libya. Even though our action is intermittent, however, it should still be done legally. Obama should go to Congress, and they should authorize him to continue."

Gupta: Cell phones, brain tumors and a wired earpiece

CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta almost always uses a wired earpiece while talking on the cellphone. Data shows, he writes, that people who used a cell phone 10 years or more doubled the risk of developing a brain tumor. Eileen said, "I am curious. He specifies that he uses a wired earpiece. I wonder if that is significant or just coincidental. I have a Bluetooth wireless earpiece. Is it less safe than a wired one?" crcroce replied, "Bluetooth is the same as having your cell phone up against your head. Either wear a wired set or don't bother. And not all cell phones are created equal. Some have twice as much radiation as others."

But other readers disagreed. David, who said he worked for a major cell phone manufacturer and in the Mobile phone industry for 16 years said, "Please use a Bluetooth headset, not a wired one. Radio Frequency (RF) radiation travels up a wired headset and is like an amplifier! Keep your phone away from your body and use a Bluetooth, which emits very low radiation compared to phone. There is a reason manufacturers hire an army of lawyers to cover their liability. My father was on his crackberry for hours per day and died of a brain tumor located over the ear where he always had his phone. Don't become a statistic."

Shelly Kalnitsky said both options were bad. "I am the editor of the cell phone radiation news bureau. I receive reports of brain tumors every month from cell and cordless phones. Wired headsets conduct up to three times more radiation into your ear than just placing the phone there. Bluetooth is equally as bad as the signal from the phone carries radiation directly into your ear."

Vadi said, "I work for a cell phone company and had to use a cell phone daily for a continuous period of time. I was diagnosed with Accoustic Neuroma and underwent a surgery. I believe that tumor was caused by the cell phone. Mark said, "As somebody who had a brain tumor removed, I always use a wired headpiece when using my cell phone now."

Diane Raymond said, "My husband is a long term survivor of a glioblastoma multiforme IV brain tumor. He used the Motorola "brick" cell phone 18 years ago for a lot for business calls and regular use. I know others who have lost loved ones to this type of cancer and used the "brick.” I believe that there is a correlation."

Ann asked, "What about the cordless phones many of us use in our homes? Do they have the same effect on our brains?” dan asked, "What about the oxygen machine for sleep apnea? It has a modem and has to be near your head every night."

Do your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below, or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (206 Responses)
  1. Chistine

    Until US media journalists and the Palestine Historic facts since end of WW1, are not allowed to be public, it'll be no understanding about it in the American public. Do not forget if Allies won War against the Ottoman Empire it was thanks to British Lawrence of Arabia, he united the Arabs to fight the Turks in the Desert, were no Western soldiers could be able to do. It would have been Impossible for the British. They let in revisionist Zionist who where trained in Europe with then in Russian Zeev Jabotinsky's Fascism. Creating the Jewish terrorism that was Nazi ethnic cleansing and massacres. thy looted al of Palestinian properties and Rel Estates, 5.000 Palestinian in the bank accounts 1ooooo acres of land at the lowest for free. Holocaust victims were given back all of what the Nazi stole.

    May 20, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • lola

      You don't know history so please stop writing BS

      May 20, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rami

      Woow, someone knows the true history of Phalestine. Thanks Chistine

      May 20, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rami

      Lola, you dont know history so, stop talking and go to sleep.

      May 20, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hi lo

      I take the opposite opinion of anyone named Lola, even if I'm agreeing with a girl named after the psycho car in a Stephen King book.

      May 20, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJones

      Complete and utter fiction. You need to get a job working for Hamas, oh wait, you probably already do.

      May 20, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rapture

    The best solution is to set off a nuclear weapon and destroy the whole area. That way both the Palestinians and Isrealis are unhappy and homeless.

    May 20, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jacob

      NO! All Israelis will then come over to us with a free pass and start believing US as their promised land..

      May 20, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kenny

      @Rapture- Seriously. do you think killing thousands of innocent people will solve that problem? That is a cruel and gruesome idea. How would you feel if someone said they should nuke your homeland so you are homeless and unhappy? That is not an option.

      May 20, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rami

      Yes, and Kansas will be the new promise Land.

      May 20, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed Sr

      Thank you Rupture...............

      May 20, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. whoya gonna call?

    Quick get the ghostbusters: ole gatekeeper Obama inaddition to keeping the culture of death open he is now trying to open the gates of Hell against israeli borders...Your true colors are showing and it isn't the pretty red, white or blue. I can't see divine providence letting this slide...

    May 20, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ted

    Land concessions by Israel will not bring peace.The muslims will not except anything less than the destruction of Israel. They have stated this many many times.They are the ones who will NEVER negotiate good faith.Israel has made concessions already and the arabs have paid them back with suicide and rocket attacks.Israel anex more land.

    May 20, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lulu

      When will we ever learn? Americans are not permitted (lobby is too strong) to know the truth.. Palestinians are treated unfairly and USA does nothing about it. We USA needs to stand up and do the right thing..unfortunately, In USA, if you do that...you can't get elected for some reason??..oh, that's right the lobbyists are to powerful and go after any politician that dares to speek what so many of us are thinking...Hope Obama gets a backbone ..though he will not be re-elected if he does stand up for EVEN-HANDED treatment (Isrealis call that unfair and anti-Israeli???why?)..so sad for us and the poor people in occupied territories, God help them and us. This is so upsetting to watch.

      May 20, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Atif

      You are just saying one side of the story. Yes, there have be horrible suicide bombing against Israel, but Israel isn't innocent by any means. One of the more famous incidents was when a bunch of innocent kids (5-8 years old) were in a refugee camp and were making fun of the soldiers, who were actually harassing these kids. What did these soldiers do? Threw grenades into the refugee camp and killed these innocent kids and many others. Or we can talk about another incident where these Israel soldiers went into Palestine burning innocent peoples crops and homes. These are just some of the many things Israel has done. Please, don't just look at one aspect of the situation.

      May 20, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. saywhat

    Without a just and equitable resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict a stable, pro-America Middle East cannot be visualized.
    An American President has finally shown the moral courage to defeat vested interests and lobbies working against American interests on our soil who do not want this festering issue to be resolved. The nation has to rally around President Obama to push for peace in tha face of far right agenda and opposition both here and in Israel.
    Peace loving Jews everywhere have been clamoring to be heard over current apartheid regime in Israel and we Americans need to hear these voices. Rabbis for Just Peace for Israel, Gush Shalom, Bat Shalom and many others in Israel.
    JStreet, Jewish Voice for Peace, Rabbis of North America for Peace and many others in US.
    We must grab this historic moment to stand on the right side of history for the sake of America & Americans. America's interests take precedence over the interests of any other country.
    A lasting peace in the Middle East is in our vital strategic and economic interests and a lasting peace can only be achieved with the resolution of Israel-Palestine conflict. President Obama is on the right path.

    May 20, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Travis

    We tried this with the Israelis and the Egyptians over 30 years ago. President Jimmy Carter brokered a deal that would grant the Israeli-controlled Sinai Peninsula back to Egypt (which they had taken back in 1967), and in return, Egypt recognized Israel's right to exist, effectively securing a peace treaty between the two historic enemies. And then what happened? Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, who had signed the treaty, was killed by hard-liners in his own country. Afterward, Hosni Mubarak came to power and upheld the treaty with an iron fist and was only recently overthrown. Dictator though he may have been, at least he was willing to play nice with Israel. Now no one knows what Israeli-Egyptian relations will be like. Combine these facts with the current instability in Syria, and it's no wonder Israel doesn't want to tip the balance any more than it already is. The bottom line is this: when two groups of people claim that a certain piece of land was granted to them by God (whether they actually believe it or if they just use that belief for political gain), and you have an untenable problem that won't be resolved without serious bloodshed. The United States has been embroiled in this conflict for far too long. It is one of the main reasons that so many people in the Muslim world hate us. Common sense dictates that we cut our losses and remove ourselves from the situation altogether.

    May 20, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. peaceInTheMiddleEast

    The method of negotiation over the last half century has yielded nothing. It's time to give up the old style mediation dependent on unattainable preconditions. These preconditions were merely delay tactics intended to derail the peace process before it had a change to take hold. President Obama's direct approach is the only means to reach peace. I hope Palestinians and Israelis who truly wish for peace, freedom and security will demand support of Obama's vision from their governments. This is their chance finally with support from an American President willing to take the tough, yet fair, stand for both parties.

    May 20, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jacob

    Israel needs to stop whining. They got the country for free to begin with, and now they want more. People just won't learn from their mistakes..

    @Rapture – please no. Israelis will then all come here and start claiming US as their promised land!

    May 20, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Pima

    Pay mexico 100 B for Baja California. Give it to the Israel; anyone who doesn't move can just deal with the middle east on their own. Arabs then have nothing to whine about. Any trouble from them and nuke them back to the 7th century, where they seem to want to be anyway. Mexico, Israel, US, and Middle East all get something. A win win all around.

    May 20, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  10. saywhat

    We have been presented with a rare moment in the tumultous history of Middle East to push for a just and lasting peace.
    If we do not tilt towards sanity now and continue bending down to the lobbies and mouth pieces of the far right , apartheid regime in Israel we would condemn both Jews and Arabs to decades more of violence and blood shed.
    President Obama's honest and bold vision has to be applauded and supported by all thinking Americans and the international community.

    May 20, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ellis from Panama

    A boyfriend is 4EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 20, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rami

    The destruction of the illegal state is a must. Israel is the cancer of the Mideast. It must be dismantled as the world did in South Africa. One state solution is the only way for peace.

    May 20, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed Sr

      I agree with peace.............a piece of Iraq....a piece of Iran.....a piece of Syria........a piece of Palestine.........a piece of Africa.............and then take all of the pieces and throw them into the ocean.............

      May 20, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Captain

    In case anyone at CNN.com is reading this; this article of opinions is interesting to read, but if you're going to officially restate them as 'you're' content you might consider doing a bit more research and debunking false information. Not everyone is going to spend the time, and your site should be focused on presenting the truth. It's actually a really unique opportunity for you to engage the public discourse, something that you might consider building on.

    May 20, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. DLM

    There will be no peace no matter if Israel lets them have 90% of the country. Most arabs and muslims hate the Jews and that won't change. In the Bible (yes the Bible), God says that they will declare "peace, peace when their is no peace". Israel has been fighting for the right to survive for 3000 years and have been looking for peace that no muslim country is about to offer. After 3000 years, do you really think that it will change now??? Anyway, The land was promised to Israel by God Himself (Genesis 13), and he said in his Word that the land would belong to Israel forever (Genesis 28). God also said that "I would bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." (Genesis 12:3). The U.S. was founded on Godly principles, was prosperous, blessed and has always had Israel's back no matter what. Now since we want to be politically correct and bend to be so called peacemakers by giving land to someone it does not belong to, you wonder why the country is going in the direction it is in. As much as I didn't like Bush, at least he had enough common since to totally support Israel. Just because the U.S. government doesn't believe in the scriptures, doesn't mean that Israel doesn't have the right to their land. Thanks

    May 20, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheDuke123

      Very well put...We know the truth! Hey DLM, If America keeps forcing Israel to give up land that "god" himself has promise them..The JUDGEMENTS OF GOD WILL COME TO AMERICA IN UNIMAGINABLE HORRORS. (Job chapter 3). And I will judge all nations on account of my people...my heritage Israel! "whom they have scattered across the nations,(they who?) the gentile nations..and that includes "AMERICA". He enter into judgement with any nation that tries to divide up his land. Plain point! "God Say's" When you divide up my land or causes it to be divide up. I will bring Judgement on the nation that does this!

      God will take care of Israel....He wants Israel back! and the only way he can get them back is to make sure Israel know's that it was him that save them from total defeat, NOT AMERICA!

      God is in CONTROL!!! Lift up your heads our redemption draws nigh!

      Be blessed!!

      May 20, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Alex Shamson

    Folks, let's be honest! On the large scale nobody wants peace in the Middle East.

    Arabs don't want peace – they would have paid more attention to building their own states and solving their own problems if they were committed to peace. Instead, they try to fight Israel to their own detriment. Every time they start a fight; they get beaten back and come out worse off then when they started. Still, Israel is such a convenient "scape goat" for all their own problems, that they can't resist to pick a fight now and then. Lots of Arab countries who can't reach or can't afford to fight Israel turn against each other or better yet they turn on themselves. Perhaps it's the shorter commute. Going out to murder your own neighbors is just more convenient. No worries about logistics, delivery systems, etc. "Arab Spring" sounds so poetic! If one didn't know what it was about this euphemism would bring pastel colors and blossoms to mind.

    Israel doesn't want peace. Peace is inconvenient. The proposed borders would be too labyrinthine, politics too complicated, Jerusalem of the state divided, people unsatisfied. It seems that as long as IDF is strong, the country can afford to loose a few citizens each year and maintain the status quo, tense as it may be, but manageable. Without peace Israel can build new settlements, further solidifying control of territories and rounding out their defense lines. The security or whatever you want to call the wall makes it possible not to worry too much about those few miles at least. Let's face it: Eye-for-an-eye strategy works. Gazans lob a few qassams over the line – israelis fly over and nail a few guys or ride out and bulldoze a couple of shacks. What's it to them? No big deal. A couple of gangsters kill an israeli family – military hunts them or some other creeps down, and builds a 1500 new houses. Yes, it's horrible for that family, but the country as a whole can deal with it.

    Americans really couldn't care less about peace between Arabs and Israelis, as long as their Monday night football is uninterrupted. Americans have the power to go out and kick some butt wherever and whenever we want, but we are clueless when it comes to solving a conflict that dates back 5,000 years, to a time when Abraham knocked up one of his Egyptian household staffers. Why couldn't he keep his pants up? This is a conflict where both sides are right! Why not just let it roll? 2000 years ago there was a conflict with the Romans. Eventually that became resolved – Roman Empire disappeared. 300 – 400 years ago Jews and Arabs got along just fine. In another 200 or 300 years oil will have run out and Jews will have found another civilization to be friends and enemies with – maybe on another planet.

    May 20, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheDuke123

      If America keeps forcing Israel to give up land that "God" himself has promise them..The JUDGEMENTS OF GOD WILL COME TO AMERICA IN UNIMAGINABLE HORRORS. (Job chapter 3). "And, I will judge all nations on account of my people...my heritage Israel! "whom they have scattered across the nations,(they who?) the gentile nations..and that includes "AMERICA". He will enter into judgement with any nation that tries to divide up his land.

      Plain point!

      "God Say's" When you divide up my land or causes it to be divide up. I will bring Judgement on the nation that does this!

      God will take care of Israel....He wants Israel back! and the only way he can get them back is to make sure Israel know's that it was GOD himself that save them from total defeat, NOT AMERICA!

      God is in CONTROL!!!

      May 20, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
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