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. DaveNYUSA

    The absolute stupidity of Obama, and his total lack of understanding foreign policy is going to take years to repair.

    May 21, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Shane

      Our foreign policy should be to mind our own business and take care of Americans — not to waste trillions of our tax dollars on oil sheiks and camel jockeys.

      May 21, 2011 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
    • malek

      Obama is the best president this country has had, no matter what stupid americans like you guys say, he is trying to establish world peace and fix this country which is now hated by everyone else in the world, so when you and the lady that commented on your post have 5% on his intelligence you can talk about your masters

      May 21, 2011 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  2. Christian Rizk

    For peace to effectively work in this conflict both Palestinians and Israelis should ask themselves what would they want to give rather than what would they want to take. Altruistic rather than selfish approach would certainly work if they is genuine desire for peace.

    May 21, 2011 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Thinker23

      Israelis already gave a lot and are willing to give more for peace. What the Palestinians are willing to give?

      May 21, 2011 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  3. Shane

    Why is everyone so obsessed with this armpit of the world? If I were told this was the holy land that God promised me, I'd think it was a pretty crappy offer, and find someplace else to live.

    May 21, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Thinker23

      This is, probably, the reason YOU live elsewhere, Shane... and if YOU were not obsesses with this armpit of the world you wold POST elsewhere as well.

      May 21, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • malek

      This was just another excuse to kick millions of palestinians out of their land, Moses said do not kill and if you count palestinian babies, Israelis have killed tens of thousands so has nothing to do with religion, its all about zionist hatred and establishing an evil and racist state that suits them

      May 21, 2011 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ian

    I'm not about to wade into this debate - to many uninformed or partially formed thoughts. A word to CNN – the map image is misleading. The Sinai Penninsula was returned to Egypt in the Peace Accords establishing peaceful relations between the countries. To those that know less about the issues on the table, it suggests that Israel has that territory to bargain with per the key's coloring making it equal to the West Bank and Gaza. The map should be edited to reflect today's issues for today's debates.

    May 21, 2011 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
    • David

      This is CNN – fair and balanced... What a joke! These stations actually believe they are reporting the news?

      May 22, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. milo tamez

    Obama is trying to help his personal friend PLO Abbas, when Obama won the Presidency he immediately called PLO Abbas to say he won. Obama is trying to help PLO, these same people have a doctrine to destroy Israel from the face of this planet. Their God is Alla and Israel God is Christ and they have different beliefs. Jews have a different meaning of Christ. The only person to settle this is God himself when he come in the last days. For now there will be wars due to people beliefs.

    May 21, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  6. John

    Obama is the anti-christ!!! :O

    May 21, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Projusticenproscience

      It is more important to know if Obama is anti-fairness and anti-science–be it the issue of middle-east or human evolution.
      Blind (robotic) faith is not good for our society or our country or the world.

      May 21, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. malek

    Isreal is an illegal state, the fact that more than half of what used to be palestine before 1948 was stolen by zionist mafias from european background is palestinians giving up more than they should, but doubt the jews of a terrorist state like Isreal would ever really want peace, Right or Left they have all commited massacres

    May 21, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Ryan in Michigan

      Guess what, Malek – Palestine is also an illegal state. Many years before Palestine existed, the land was under Byzantine rule. Maybe we should give it back to them. Oh wait, before that it was Roman, so the Italians should have it. Hang on, before that it was part of Alexander the Great's empire, so the Greeks should have it. But before the Greeks had it, Persia owned it, so the Iranians really do have the right to Israel. But before the Persians owned it, it was under Babylonian rule, so the Iraqis should have it. And here's the clincher – before it was Babylonian, Israel belonged to the Israelites. Therefore, they do have legal right to it. But wait, there's more! Before the Israelites, it belonged to the Canaanites, who no longer exist, so we can't give it to them. Thus, Israel is the legal owner.

      May 21, 2011 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • donwad

      Give me a break!! Israel was created by the a UN charter in 1948, That made it a legal state of Israel. Then the arabs attacked them and they had to defend themselves. They beat the S####t of them and would have destroyed them if the USA, RUSSIA, AND FRANCE hadn't stuck their noses into it like the USA is doing now. If you are going to make statements here at least get your history right.

      May 21, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ryan in Michigan

    To further expand upon that, there is another option. Before the Israelites occupied Israel, when they were called Hebrews, and before they were slaves in Egypt, they were in the center of Mesopotamia, which is now Iraq, which became Babylon after the Hebrews left and the Babylonians came in. Therefore, using the logic of many on this blog, we can give Israel to the Palestinians, but we'd have to give Iraq to the Israelis as compensation.

    May 21, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • malek

      Ryan none of those occupiers cleansed the land of its people nearly close to what zionists did in Israel, and basically with your comparison you make my point that the state of Israel is a ruthless occupiers just like those empires from the middle ages

      May 21, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  9. Joey

    What would be sweetly "just" regarding Palestine is not the point.
    That land will be Israel as long as they can hold it militarily.
    We won the USA by conquest. That's how we'll keep it as long as we do.
    If Palestinians and their allies can conquer Israel and its allies, we'll see Palestine again.
    The USA was very instrumental in putting Israel where it is. ("Not God," to quote James Agee again.)
    The USA is forced to be very instrumental in what happens now. ("Twin towers," to quote a comment above.)

    May 21, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Projusticenproscience

      Gosh, Joey, being too honest and too direct may or may not be helpful. My only comment is whether Obama is enough of a man among all the USA presidents, irrespective of whether he wins or loses the 2012, to be adequately bold to bring a justful solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict of 63 years. Must we continue to misuse our veto power for political and irrational Biblical reasons (what happened to our motto of separation of church and sate?) to remain on the wrong side: USA vs rest of the world in the UN security council? What will happen to Israel if someday the rest of the world is more powerful than us? Israelis are better off embracing fairness NOW to maintain its permanet presence as a nation as we all want. BTW, I'm neither against Arabs nor the Israelis–I'm just pro-justice as a Universalist!

      May 21, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Projusticenproscience – that is the point. Whether it is 2000 years ago, 200 hundred years ago or 40 years ago, no one would turn over the land. Why do we have a superior claim than the Mexicans or Indians to California or Texas? What are we doing in Puerto Rico. We only took over that country in 1900. And we did that by winning a war. And what are we going to do when China eventually takes over Taiwan? Go to the U.N. and complain? The fact is that Israel has been attacked on no less than 4 occasions by the Arab world and that doesn't include all the skirmishes in Lebanon or Gaza. Israel would be like to be left in peace, but there fellow Arab neighbors just don't have that view. And those of you who believe that giving back the land will create peace, should be out buying real estate tomorrow on the bet that the economy has hit bottom.

      May 22, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. pg

    Abbas, Netanyahu, and Obama need to sit down for a week and work something out

    May 21, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Projusticenproscience

      The tone has been civilized, although I think Malek could do a little better. With regards to the UN Charter, it was dominated by "us"- the Western countries; neither the Arabs nor the Asians had much input in the decision of creating Israel. I wonder what will be your reaction if someone wants to occupy your house and property on the basis that your house belonged to "someone" in that someone's race two thousand years ago. That's a perfect analogy for creating Israel on Arab land. The irony is that it is the Romans, and not the Arabs, who kicked the Jews out from that land. I wonder if any one of us would want to hand over our current "American land" to the Native Indians on the basis of the land belonging to the Native Indians not two thousand years ago, but two hundred years ago.

      May 21, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      PG- And how would you suggest doing that? The Palestinians say one thing in English and then just the opposite to their people in Arabic. Moreover, while Israel shows kids shows to their toddlers, the Palestinians are shown how to kill Jews and that Jews are really pigs and monkeys in disguise. Yes, there needs to be a starting point, but it might help if the Palestinian leaders show something other than the hatred they have in their hearts for the Jewish people.

      May 22, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Peace

    I support the president Obama on his statement about going back to 1967 borders between Israel and Palestine. That is the only "fair" path to reach peace between the two sides even though Palestine will still be giving a lot of land away, but its not a bad price for stooping the killing of innocent people every day on both sides

    May 21, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • peter

      You are idiot. You dive pal... finger they ask for hand. You naive and think like my dog.

      May 21, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Peter- At least your knowledge of history is no less than that of our President. How naive. The Palestinians through Hamas and Fatah intentionally attack civilians. On the other hand when the Israelis come after them, Hamas and Fatah use their own people as human shields. Get real.

      May 22, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. peter

    Obama naive and so stupid. He lost my support and vote in 2012.

    May 21, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Thinker23

    Malek: if you believe that the Zionist "cleansed the land of it's people" you'll have little trouble to explain WHO ARE THE 5 MILLION IMPOSTORS who call themselves "Palestinians"???

    May 21, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joey

    @ Projusticenproscience:
    Thank you for reading my comment.
    I'm not arrogant enough to assume that I can help any worldwide argument this Byzantine, especially when deities are involved.
    I do think that, every now and then, the discussion should briefly revisit the reality of power.

    May 22, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. David

    How ignorant some of the comments are. To make an analogy between a couple grandparents who have been married many years to and don't always agree to the Israeli Palestinian situation is nothing less than pure stupidity. Does either Grandma or Grandpa want to wipe the other off the face of the earth (or map as Obama said when he didn't follow the tele-prompter)? At least two parties on the Palestinian side have still refused to accept the right of Israel to exist. What help have the Palestinian Arab countries given them? Nothing but arms to fuel the flames. Jordan was suppose to be Palestine when Israel was created; but that fact has been forgotten. Israel offered to give up the Gaza to Egypt after the 73 war and Egypt didn't want it. I agree that there has to be a peace accord, but despite the U.S. promises, can they really be depended upon? Hasn't Obama virtually turned his back on every ally other than France and Italy which put us into another war in Libya? Our so called President has hoof and mouth disease. Virtually every time he defends the Muslims, which he is partial to (just watch the walk), he spend days cleaning up his mess.

    May 22, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
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