January 2nd, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 1/2/09

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

Tonight on 360°
Airstrikes continue in Gaza as Israel amasses troops and artillery at the border.

A ground assault could begin at any moment. We'll have a live report from Nic Robertson in Israel.

And tragedy strikes John Travolta and his family. His sixteen year old son dies while the family is on vacation.

We’re blogging throughout the hour, and we hope you will join us.

Just follow our rules. Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book)
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (we don't like screaming)
3) Use your real name

Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (422 Responses)
  1. Rafael Cubas


    Indeed, Obama is an extraordinary man. Although, he is only a man and in dispite of all of his power and influence, he cannot change the world on his own.

    Let's see what is coming up in the next couple of years.



    January 2, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  2. Nurse

    My heart goes out to the Travolta family.

    I am a nurse and all too familiar with how everyday chemicals and toxins effect children as well as adults. Jett had health issues early on in his life which may have triggered his ongoing health issues.

    I also wonder if Jett was ever tested for Porphyria which has some similar symptoms of Kawasaki and seen in some children with Autism. Porphyria can also cause seizures as well as cardiac disorders and is often triggered by medications and chemicals.

    Porphyria is said to be "rare" but I see more and more of it with people who are Chemically Sensitive, what is rare is a doctor who will think to run tests for it.

    I would like to see Dr. Gupta address Porphyria.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  3. dave green

    I am amazed at the lack of common sense being exhibited here. The Palestinians are firing rockets weekly into Israel. This is the bottom line. During a time of peace, Palestinian's fire rockets aimlessly into Isreal and they expect the US and the world to side with them after the Israeli Government has decided enough is enough, they need to protect their country, their people deserve that. Lets see someone stand up and state this on TV. The people who state that this is not true, are the individuals who should not be involved or allowed to ask for peace. They are enabling and supporting the Palestinian's who are firing these rockets and take no responsibility for this action. I want to see a Palestinian state that yes, we do fire rockets at Israel and it is wrong. Thats the individual who wants peace in Palestine and should be listened to for finally stating the truth.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  4. Aysha Omar

    I love how brainwashed everyone is with their support for Israel to "defend" themselves. It makes a lot of sense when there is over 400 palestinians killed to one Israeli, so tell me again what exactly Israel is defending themselves against. In response to Hamaas, they were elected by the people to represent them, and they too are defending themselves against illegal occupation and atrocious humanitarian conditions in Gaza. They are the political representation of the people so Israel needs to recognize them as such and start using diplomacy instead of their free US rockets!

    January 2, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  5. Deni NS

    They say the way things sit on new years eve is a good indication as to how the year will go, I wonder.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  6. al

    Please explain to me regarding the Israel/Gaza, why am Ionly hearing what Obama has to say. Why am I not hearing more from President Bush or C.Rice . What about the United Naiton. Forget Obama his time has not yet arrived (Jan/20)

    January 2, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  7. Rakesh

    Israel's attack is unjustified because israel was always bombing and interfering in Gaza since july. Also if Israel is not providing day to day needs then normal citizen will outrage in the reason of protecting their loved ones.
    If Israel continues to hit Hamas and palestinians then hamas will no longer will be a group of militia. but it will become a principle and faith of the palestinians. Once it happens you can never remove that from minds of palestinian.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  8. John Nercessian

    I am at a loss, for 60 years Israel has been using the same policy,
    of occupation, bombardements and apartheid, it has neither brought peace nor security to Israel, maybe Israel needs to accept the fact that until it retunrs to the 67 borders, peace will never be achieved and unfortunately for us who live away from this area Islamic terrorism will only increase.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  9. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    Erica, Look at it this way it can only get better from here. . . hopefully.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  10. Salim H

    Israel gave the Palestinians in Gaza only one option prior to the current bombing campaign and that was a slow and painful death through the blockade. The Palestinians did not accept this offer and so now they have given them an alternative and that is a quick death through bombing...

    How can anyone expect Gazans or Hamas, for that matter, accept these circumstances?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  11. Brandy griffin

    I don't understand why people are protesting Israel finally doing something about Hamas. We can't expect Israel to roll over and keep allowing Hamas to terrorize Israel! The United States or any other country would not stand for rocket attacks on its own land!

    January 2, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  12. Hassan H


    Remember when former US president Jimmy Carter met with Hamas leader few months ago? He was working on the cease-fire then, etc. Is there any solution to the Mideast issue that does not involve Hamas? After all they were elected by the people years back in a fair elections. How do you think Obama will face this issue?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  13. phani marella

    Through Anderson i am begging...Mr.President elect Obama. Please do something to stop the war in Middle east. Stop innocent people dieing on both sides. Thanks Anderson.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  14. Brad Stueber

    My deepfelt sympathies and sincere prayers go to the Travolta's in their tragedy over his son's death.

    Israel does not initiate these aggressions. And they can not be expected ever to sit back and just allow Hamas or anyone else bomb and destroy their people and their land. They have every right to be on this land. They have given the Palestinians the Gaza.

    I do pray for the peace of Jerusalem and for the Israeli and the "good" Palestinian people who want peace, also.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  15. Amira

    Hey Anderson. I love your show. How could anyone blame Hamas? The people of gaza are living in a roofless prison. Maybe when Israel removes the blockade they'll live in peace.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  16. Modiby

    People need to realize that this place (Gaza) has been a cesspool of death and violence ever since humanity has begun. This battle is just another episode in the never-ending religious struggle between people that hate each other. There will never be peace, there will never be diplomatic relations, and people should stop kidding themselves. The sooner we let this war unwind, the less severe the consequences of this inevitable fate in the middle east.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  17. Bridget

    I disagree with those who say PE Obama should address the war in Israel/Gaza first. His first big test is the economy, he should take care of home first. The war between Israel/Gaza has gone on for years, why are people expecting PE Obama to solve a problem that has been going on since the beginning of time?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  18. Marian

    Not all of the "rest of the world" supports what Israel is doing concerning Gaza. Many Europeans do not give unconditional support for Israel and do care about the casualties in Gaza. Israel has been consistently losing support because of their occupation of Gaza. Their violence will never bring about peace as long as Gaza is occupied. Also as long as there is not a Palestinian State there will never be an end to the strife in the Middle East..

    January 2, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  19. John Karp

    Regardless who broke the cease fire agreement; the Israel response is proportionally outrageous. I am not a mathematician but if killing for 5 Israelis demands killing of 450 Palestinians then killing of 450 Palestinians demands killing of 4050 Israelis. Just simple math by Israeli standard.


    January 2, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  20. Eitan

    Amy you are completely right the blame has been put way to much on Israel. The media fails to mention the constant fear that Israelis live in, just today my family has gone into the bomb shelter 5 times. Hamas needs to be stopped.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  21. Anthony

    This conflict has been going on before many of us were alive. If u believe in the bible, it clearly states that there will never be peace in the middleast until christ comes back to put a halt to it. We all need to pray for all the leaders of the world.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  22. Nadir Orozco

    God bless Israel and protect them

    January 2, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  23. jamil

    Hammas was elected by the palestinian people, but we refuse to recognize even though we talk about free world. America is looking very bad arround the world.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  24. Verna Williams

    Shame, shame, on Israel for killing all those Palestinian women, children and men. Also, shame on this administration for encouraging Israel in their evil acts. When are the American people going to wake up to what really is happening to these Palestinians.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  25. Kathi Fullerton Calif.

    I guess Biden was not kidding after all when he said Obama will face whatever he said he will face.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  26. Terry King

    Hamas rockets have a range of 15 miles or so. What is the range if the Israeli Air Force Jet? What is the damage of a half ton bomb?

    Hamas was elected by the people so the are legit. As legit as Bush's first election.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  27. stacy lloyd scranton,pa

    Good Evening Anderson and bloogers Happy New Year
    I am off to finish my third tour of duty in Iraq. I hope this issue between Israel and Hamas gets solved. I am heartily sick of war.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  28. Jansette Anz

    This is so ridiculous that the most power and only neuclear country in the Middle East is acting like a victim while they have killed over 430 Palestinians, at least 74 children and 36 women and the death toll is climbing. This is in comparison to three civilian deaths on the Israeli side. This is collective punishment that any sane person would understand is not conducive to peace and is not indicative of a country that wants peace. Are Palestinians supposed to be imprisoned and starved to death without a word? somehow Hamas wanted the world to know about what the siege has been doing to them and sent these rockets so people would ask. Israel has broken the truce many times over the past six months, but it’s always the Palestinian side that gets the blame whatever their reaction maybe. Most of the world and the world street are appalled by this tragedy and how the blame is only being laid on Hamas while Israel continues to violate close many many UN Resolutions. The US foreign policy, the media coverage is shameful. I’m for brining international troops in, but Israel had always been against that many times before, they even limit the access of reporters so they do what this wish and tell the world they story they create. The sickest and most pathetic is that the Israeli emabassador is now linking this to Bin Laden somehow!

    January 2, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  29. David, Indiana

    Hi Anderson, Erica? everyone. I want to send my thoughts and prayers to John Travolta and his family.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  30. Shawn Hughes

    President Elect-and the Middle East

    This man is not president yet "Officially" so he can not do anything officially and I think it is wrong for Hamas to denounce him for supporting comments on the India-terriorist activity. The difference is Americans died in that event. This denouncement is not fair to our new president elect.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  31. Ashley - Hamlin NY

    I want to know why Meshaal is directiing his speeches at PE Obama instead of President Bush. Apparently even Hamas recognizes that Bush is a lame duck.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  32. Larry C Wilson

    The best way to solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem is to let them keep fighting and killing each other until they tire of it or until one or the other side is eliminated.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  33. Ben Kyber

    Hamas is a horrible, awful terrorist organization. We know that much. Any group whose core values consist of wiping out an entire country and its people cannot be viewed as anything but.

    However, I feel like theres a side of the story we're so often missing when we talk about this situation. Clearly, the Palestinian people in Gaza are not simply an inherently violent people. There are obvious socio-political reasons why Hamas has been able to gain power in Palestine. The people of Gaza are clearly a desperate and downtrodden people who have been, in many ways, oppressed by Israel. I'm quite convinced that many citizens who support Hamas could care less about Hamas's extremist views or their "Islamism." They simply feel as if they have nowhere else to turn.

    Its easy for us to sit here in the United States and paint Palestinians with a broad brush as Islamists and anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic individuals while forgetting that for most Palestinians, its a matter of desperation. They put a terrorist group in power that has promised to protect them and protect their families, to provide necessary utilities, and to improve their daily lives because they feel as if they have nowhere else to turn.

    OF COURSE Hamas must be stopped, but Israel must also stop punishing innocent civilians. It seems to me, however, that what we have to do is stop pointing the finger and step in to give the Palestinian people a clear alternative to Hamas which has their best interests at heart.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  34. ericacnn

    hi, everyone. as some of you have stated, this is a tough start to 2009...

    January 2, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  35. stevie

    The leader of Hamaas, Meshaal where is he? Hiding out in Syria!

    January 2, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  36. grace

    When is the US going to stop blindly supporting Israel?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  37. Mounir

    Anderson, If Israel goes into gaza on the ground, do you think there will there be a response from hezbollah in the north.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  38. John Bergquist Newtown, CT

    Peace will never be realized in the Middle East until they come to terms with the underlying causes of these conflicts. Arabs must realize that the Jewish people have come back to Palestine and they are there to stay. At the same time, Israel needs to show that they respect the Palestinians claim to the region as well. After all, they inhabited the region for centuries before the creation of modern Israel.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  39. Norma Susan Smith

    You know the story about the little guy who taunts his bigger brother....come on....hit me....go on....hit me. MUM! He hit me!!!!

    Ham Ass deserves whatever they get.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  40. Jason

    America needs to have a serious discussion on what it wants to spend money, time, and effort on: a foreign nation of transplant colonists that refuses to play nice with its neighbors, or healthcare, homes, and food for our own neighbors?

    What kind of an ally, what kind of friend brings you nothing but grief and trouble from the entire world for 60 years? What kind of an ally takes $3billion/year from you, takes your respect, and puts you in the corner the way Israel has done to us for its entire existence?

    What, precisely, do we gain by supporting this nation with our money and arms, our reputation and standing? Promoting some form of democracy? I think not.

    It is time we spend money on ourselves, here in this country, instead of on bankers and foreigners fighting wars.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  41. frank

    I got a idea, for every rocket that Hammas shoot ,Israel will shoot one back. No phone calls, No GPS rockets, No regard for were it lands. Will that make the lap dogs for Hammas happy?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  42. Anil

    AC, as energetic as always. In my opinion Israel will never be able to close this issue like India-kashmir issue. Solution i foresee win people in Gaza & influence them to keep HAMAS out of Gaza..

    January 2, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  43. Megan Dresslar- Shoreline, WA

    Thanks Brandi!!!!!
    Thanks for information about seizures.... it is easy to understand how he have it.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  44. Mary H. St. Louis, MO

    Happy New Year AC, Erica, 360 staff, and bloggers...

    Hate to hear that a ground assault is imminent. How did this all start again? I've been on vacation and just saw bits and pieces. I need to catch up with what has been going on.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  45. Dan

    Please explain why Hamas has been firing rockets into Israel. I'd appreciate perspective on why this is ok but Israeli retaliation for these attacks is not.

    Thank you.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  46. David

    Did I understand correctly that Isreal is calling Hamas leaders prior to bombings and letting them know where they are going to bomb?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  47. Marco

    until we a honest peace broker, Israel wil continue to ignore international law, and Hamas will continue to react. the only loser is the civilians on both sides.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  48. Bartolomeo Tie

    As an avid scholar of "all things Gaza," this truly comes as no surprise.

    Most unfortunate that they are on the heels of a ground assault, and it's certainly a shame to hear about young Mr. Travolta.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  49. mamello, canada

    i don't think the israel cares wether there are 1.5million people live in Gaza or not. If they think it serves thier purpose they will go in and do whatever they want regardless of palestinian life or international law.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  50. Jonathan Zufi

    How many rockets could Canada fire at New York before the US responded? How many rockets would you allow to fall in your neighbourhood before you would expect your government to respond?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
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