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Gaza Conflict: 1039 Palestinians, 43 Israelis Dead; Israel Bombs Another Hospital [UPDATED]

7:04 pm in Uncategorized by fairleft

851 Palestinians (844 in Gaza, 7 in the West Bank) and 38 Israelis have died in the Gaza conflict. 80% or about 680 of the Palestinians and three of the Israelis (one of whom is a resident and not a citizen) were civilians. [UPDATE: at the time of the Saturday morning truce, the number of dead had risen to 890 Palestinians and 40 Israelis.] [UPDATE 2: After a grueling day of digging up bodies from the rubble, the Palestinian death toll is now 1039 (1032 in Gaza and 7 in the West Bank. More Israeli soldiers had died before the truce, so the Israeli total increased to 43.] As noted in the casualty figures, Israel has expanded its killing to the West Bank: Israeli troops kill Palestinian teens in W.Bank protests. And Israel continues to target and bomb schools (see UN school shelled leaving 15 dead) and hospitals. The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) reported Friday night from Beit Hanoun Hospital:

“It’s now chaos, the military is shelling directly at us. There are two patients on the second floor and we think they’re okay, but we can’t move them easily as they’re bed-bound. I’m bleeding from a head wound and there’s another person injured. People are very frightened,” stated Fred Ekblad, Swedish ISM activist.

At 19:00, Beit Hanoun Hospital was first hit by an Israeli tank shell and the shooting and shelling has continually increased.

This afternoon, Israeli forces destroyed an ambulance in Beit Hanoun, killing one paramedic and critically injuring another.

The ISM medical team statement added:

This is the third Israeli attack on Gazan medical facilities and personnel in the last 24 hours. The first resulted in the destruction of Al Durrah Children’s Hospital in Gaza City last night. A two year-old child in the Intensive Care Unit was killed, and 30 others injured.

Since Israel began its attack on Gaza, 13 ambulances have been completely destroyed and two paramedics have been killed. Throughout the massacre, medical staff and facilities have been repeatedly targeted.

In other, possibly good news, Israel has agreed to a 12-hour humanitarian ceasefire to begin at 8:00 am Saturday morning in Israel, with the condition that Israel not stop searching out and destroying the tunnels that in a very limited way have broken Israel and Egypt’s illegal siege. According to Israeli news reports, Hamas has also agreed to the short ceasefire. Looking at that condition, should they?

In any case my sympathies to the Palestinians who somehow have to figure out a way to resist the overwhelming force of Israeli arms, the constant death from the air even when Hamas has stopped firing rockets, and the siege (‘Unless Israel lifts its blockade of Gaza, no ceasefire can work‘), which is killing people as effectively as bombs do. The Angry Arab sums up:

Brief history of Palestinian resistance
They did nothing and they ignored them. They resorted to armed struggle and then they called them terrorists. They throw rocks at Israelis and they called told them that they should stick to civil disobedience and just bang pots and pans. Then (some) resorted to suicide bombings and then they told them: see, you are losing support. They were told that armed struggle is when they only attack soldiers. And then they sat quietly. And then they resisted Israeli war crimes and were told that Israeli soldiers’ families are really sad and upset and that they should not operate from “population centers” and that they should move to a field in Belgium if they really want to attack Israeli soldiers.

It is very good to see both that the ‘suicide bomber’ era is long in the past and that the Palestinian resistance is obviously targeting the Israeli military and not civilians. The numbers don’t lie, and they say that only one side, the Israelis, are the blood-soaked barbarians. On this matter, one more note from the Angry Arab:

Hamas targets
Today, for example, Arabic media reported that Qassam announced targeting a nuclear weapon site outside of Tel Aviv. Tomorrow, all US media will ignore the announcement and will say that Hamas announced targeting “Israeli population centers”.

Finally, Jon Snow of Britain’s Channel 4 has written a remarkably sad, humane piece on a reporter’s personal experiences inside Gaza during the bombing, and the telling contrasts when he crosses into Israel:

… I know not their story, nor how, alone seemingly, they were the only Palestinians, in that brief half-hour of Israeli aerial ceasefire, to have been allowed across.

But holding [their] girl baby connected me again to the wardfuls of small children so brutally smashed by this odious war. Connected me too to the ever-present reality that the average age in Gaza is 17 and that a quarter of a million are children are, like the babe in my arms, small children.

… Gaza’s agony … deepened with the UN school attack as I was crossing. I feel guilty in leaving, and for the first time in my reporting life, scarred, deeply scarred by what I have seen, some of it too terrible to put on the screen.

It is accentuated by suddenly being within sumptuously appointed Israel. Accentuated by the absolute absence of anything that indicates that this bloody war rages a few miles away. A war that the UN stated yesterday has reduced 55 per cent of Gaza’s diminutive land to a no-go area.

723 Palestinians, 35 Israelis* Killed in Gaza Conflict; Israel Reservists Refuse to Serve

8:06 pm in Uncategorized by fairleft

703 Palestinians [Update 7 a.m. ET: 723 Palestinians] (around 560 civilians), 35 Israelis* (three civilians, *including one Thai resident) have now died in the Gaza conflict, and from various directions pressure is building on Israel. The most important word in the following lead sentence, I think, is the one I’ve emphasized:

Israel faced new political and economic pressures Wednesday to negotiate a halt to the Gaza war, with its rising toll of death and destruction, as cease-fire talks ground forward and the Israeli tourism industry was upended as major foreign airlines extended their suspension of flights over fears of Palestinian rocket fire.

Even the mainstream media now recognizes that Hamas has transformed the conflict from just another collective punishment orgy against Gaza into a war over the brutal siege, obviously ‘illegal’ under what is called ‘international law’, that Israel has punished Gaza with for voting Hamas into office in 2006. Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal:

Let’s agree first on the demands and on implementing them and then we can agree on the zero hour for a ceasefire … We will not accept any proposal that does not lift the blockade … We do not desire war and we do not want it to continue but we will not be broken by it.

Meanwhile, growing numbers of Israeli reservists are refusing to serve in the Gaza war (whenever Israel launches one of its frequent wars, it calls up thousands of reserves). Read the petition at
We are Israeli reservists. We refuse to serve.
The introduction, written by journalist and former Israeli soldier Yael Even Or, is actually more to the point than the petition itself:

We are more than 50 Israelis who were once soldiers and now declare our refusal to be part of the reserves. We oppose the Israeli Army and the conscription law. Partly, that’s because we revile the current military operation. But most of the signers below are women and would not have fought in combat. For us, the army is flawed for reasons far broader than “Operation Protective Edge,” or even the occupation. We rue the militarization of Israel and the army’s discriminatory policies. One example is the way women are often relegated to low-ranking secretarial positions. Another is the screening system that discriminates against Mizrachi (Jews whose families originate in Arab countries) by keeping them from being fairly represented inside the army’s most prestigious units. In Israeli society, one’s unit and position determines much of one’s professional path in the civilian afterlife.

To us, the current military operation and the way militarization affects Israeli society are inseparable. In Israel, war is not merely politics by other means — it replaces politics. Israel is no longer able to think about a solution to a political conflict except in terms of physical might; no wonder it is prone to never-ending cycles of mortal violence. And when the cannons fire, no criticism may be heard.

This petition, long in the making, has a special urgency because of the brutal military operation now taking place in our name. …

P.S. – One reason, in my humble opinion, that the war is falling apart for the Israeli leadership, and is ‘getting away’ from its simple apparent purpose, ‘do something about those missiles’, is that you can’t do anything (just) about the missiles. Israel has three realistic (which doesn’t mean civilized) choices: 1) destroy Gaza and kill or deport all its Palestinians, 2) do nothing and accept the missiles in the way people accept traffic accidents (which kill far more people in Israel than missiles from Gaza do), or 3) negotiate a long-term peace agreement with Hamas (notes: not with the PLO; Egypt is the worst possible intermediary). Instead of choosing one of those three, Israel has chosen something else, and the backfiring sound can be heard all around the world.

496 Palestinians, 20 Israelis Die in Gaza Conflict; Why the Shujaiyah Massacre?

6:33 am in Uncategorized by fairleft

A donkey

In one article, a Washington Post writer seems more concerned with livestock than human lives.

Yesterday was the most deadly day in the Gaza conflict, and 496 Palestinians (80% of them civilians) and 20 Israelis (2 of them civilians) have now died. What made the numbers skyrocket was mainly Israel’s massive and indiscriminate shelling of the Gaza’s Shujaiyah neighborhood. The photos are grueling (some of the most heartrending and stark are here), as are written descriptions of the chaos and death:

An ambulance sat on shot-out tyres, shrapnel punched through its sides. A charred car lay flattened as if by a giant hand. Smoke rose from one end of the street in a dark billowing curtain.

Fallen trees, tangled electricity cables and drifts of rubble covered the road, smashed, chopped and torn apart by Israeli shells and bombs that slammed into this Gaza City district at a rate of one every five seconds on Saturday night and the early hours of Sunday.

A body was carried out of a ruined house, then a second and a third – seven in total from buildings within a hundred metres of each other during a brief agreed lull in the fighting to evacuate the dead and wounded. A little further along, bodies lay in the street where they had fallen, mostly scorched figures – one still in a yellow dressing gown – others missing limbs.

Inside the shelled neighborhoods, scores of people lay dead, others were wounded with scenes of entire buildings destroyed. Houses were still ablaze from the IDF onslaught, with corpses burnt almost beyond recognition, with the dead numbering both young and old, including small children. …

The injured from Shejaia were rushed to Gaza City’s central Shifa Hospital. Chaos reigned inside the hospital as wounded children were brought to the overflowing emergency room, forcing the medical staff to treat the wounded in a hallway.

Why did Israel let loose this hell on a residential neighborhood? One plausible theory (translated from the Arabic by the Angry Arab) is that its military was reacting angrily to the deaths of a surprising number of Israeli soldiers late Saturday and early Sunday:

Let us talk coldly and without agitation: by the admission of Israeli sources themselves–and they lie to the extreme to the extent that lying can be effective–the Golani Brigade lost more than 18 soldiers between yesterday and today, and most of them in the battle of Shuja`iyyah. The sources did not reveal the number of injured but they are in the tens, and may exceed a hundred. The horrible massacre against the people of Shuja`iyyah was a manifestation of Israel frenzy after the attack. …

The Gaza government called the Shujaiyah attack a “heinous massacre” and the Arab League described it as a war crime, but as for our West, “condemnation from international leaders was muted. Amid floundering efforts to start meaningful ceasefire talks, there was little sign of real pressure on Israel to lessen or halt the killing of civilians.”

Meanwhile, in propaganda watch:

The Washington Post is very outraged about the coverage of Gaza; the wrong victims are getting too much attention

‘The death of almost this entire herd went largely unreported in Israel and abroad, even though those who cared for the animals said they were traumatized by the sight of so much blood and carnage.’

Yeah, don’t you just love Angry Arab? And hate the Washington Post?

Angry Arab also links to an analysis that rings true on how most Arabs must be feeling right now, by Saudi Arabian writer Khaled Almaeena:

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Israel Invades Gaza, 264 Gazans and 2 Israelis Dead, But U.S. Media Has Moved On

7:58 pm in Uncategorized by fairleft

Israel invades Gaza, the number of dead soars (UPDATED) (UPDATE 2: Gaza deaths soar to 264 on day 11 of Israel assault), but the media has moved on. The Malaysian passenger jet tragedy is huge news, but does Israel’s invasion really not warrant even a mention on the Yahoo! News U.S. home page?

Photobucket
That’s so odd that I start to question my own reality. Did Israeli missiles really kill four boys yesterday while they were playing soccer or hide-and-seek on a Gaza beach? Or was that just an ‘anti-Israel’ nightmare? Erase Gaza from your minds my fellow Americans, there’s a Malaysian Airlines tragedy to ponder! But then, go to the UK’s Yahoo! News and the Israeli invasion of Gaza is back on, it’s real again. All very strange, how our U.S. media masters treat us. Like guinea pigs in a carefully controlled disinformation experiment.

Much Gaza news disappeared today, but while it was ‘hot’ half a day ago, we had this from famous American ‘liberal’ Bill Maher: “Dealing w/ Hamas is like dealing w/ a crazy woman who’s trying to kill u – u can only hold her wrists so long before you have to slap her.” Yeah, say it loud misogynist man! And then there was the case of the man who reported too well and had to be removed immediately from your television. (Ayman Mohyeldin “was instrumental, both in social media and on the air, in conveying to the world the visceral horror of the attack” on the four boys.)

But at least Israel can rest comfortably today, the paralyzed, bed-ridden terrorists of El Wafa Hospital*** will threaten it no longer: Israel destroys el-Wafa hospital as staff evacuates all patients. Even better, Alan Dershowitz tweets, today’s a great beach day in Tel Aviv. And to make your beach day even better:

‘Tel Aviv municipality to install giant screens to watch IDF offensive …’ (See the ‘screenshot’ of the Times of Israel frontpage here) [Parody Alert!]

(Steven Salaita writes: “Many think@bouno479′s parody of Israelis watching the bombing on a big screen is real. Think about that for a sec.”)

***’The Israelis … have destroyed the only rehab clinic in the West Bank and Gaza. They are not solving the issues; they are creating more suicide bombers. You cannot solve issues like this at all. They are the ones creating suicide bombings, not us.’ – El Wafa Hospital Director Basman Alashi

4 Boys Killed Playing on a Beach; 223 Palestinians, 1 Israeli Killed in Gaza Conflict

4:24 pm in Uncategorized by fairleft

Israeli naval shelling [correction: air strikes] has killed four children on a Gaza beach. The deaths were witnessed by many international journalists, among them the UK Guardian‘s Peter Beaumont:

The first projectile hit the sea wall of Gaza City’s little harbour just after four o’clock. As the smoke from the explosion thinned, four figures could be seen running, ragged silhouettes, legs pumping furiously along the wall. Even from a distance of 200 metres, it was obvious that three of them were children.

Jumping off the harbour wall, they turned on to the beach, attempting to cross the short distance to the safety of the Al-Deira hotel, base for many of the journalists covering the Gaza conflict. They waved and shouted at the watching journalists as they passed a little collection of brightly coloured beach tents, used by bathers in peacetime.

It was there that the second shell hit the beach, those firing apparently adjusting their fire to target the fleeing survivors. As it exploded, journalists standing by the terrace wall shouted: ‘They are only children.’

In the space of 40 seconds, four boys who had been playing hide and seek among fishermen’s shacks on the wall were dead. They were aged between seven and 11; two were named Mohammad, one Zakaria and the youngest Ahed. All were members of the extended Bakr family.

The number of Palestinian dead is now at least 223. Israel and Hamas have agreed to a temporary, five-hour ceasefire requested by the UN on humanitarian grounds.

Maybe just maybe being direct eyewitnesses to a sample of Israel’s ‘carefully targeted’ killings will make a few more Western journalists courageous enough to tell the real Gaza story. The phrase ‘collective punishment’ might even be inserted occasionally into mainstream news or punditry, who knows? The tragedy has directly inspired Western headlines such as these:

And there are other hopeful signs of a break in the pro-Israel propaganda storm. For example, in a counter to the main ‘news’ (“Humanitarian Israel is telling Gazans to get out of the way!”) propaganda of the hours before the deaths of the four Gaza boys, the Dallas Morning-News presents this reality: Gaza civilians urged to evacuate often have nowhere to go.

More from Peter Beaumont on the Palestinian boys:

As relatives gathered not far from the Al-Deira hotel to bury the four dead boys, barely 90 minutes after the attack on the beach, the boys’ uncle, Abdel Kareem Baker, 41, said: ‘It’s a cold-blooded massacre. It’s a shame they didn’t identify them as kids with all of the advanced technology they claim they’re using.’

Meanwhile in Israel:

A well-known Israeli politician and parliament member has branded Palestinians as terrorists, saying mothers of all Palestinians should also be killed during the ongoing Israeli assault on the besieged Gaza Strip.

Ayelet Shaked of the ultra-nationalist Jewish Home party called for the slaughter of Palestinian mothers who give birth to ‘little snakes.’

‘They have to die and their houses should be demolished so that they cannot bear any more terrorists,’ Shaked said, adding, ‘They are all our enemies and their blood should be on our hands. This also applies to the mothers of the dead terrorists.’

208 Palestinians, 1 Israeli Killed in Gaza Conflict; Brits Blast Biased BBC Reporting

6:51 am in Uncategorized by fairleft

 

Brian Eno at a microphone

Musician Brian Eno & other UK residents are protesting not just Israel’s attack on Gaza, but the BBC’s biased reporting.

208 Palestinians have now died in Gaza, 80% of them civilians, and one Israeli civilian has died, but in limited good news many in Britain are protesting not just Israel’s air strikes but also the Western media’s biased, pro-Israel reporting. London protesters rallied outside the headquarters of the publicly funded BBC, saying its reporting disappears the “context or background” of Israel’s previous Gaza occupation and its never-ending air strikes on Gaza since 2006. The UK Independent quotes an open letter from the Stop the War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and other groups to the BBC Director General:

We would like to remind you that Gaza has no army, air force, or navy, while Israel possess one of the strongest militaries in the world. …

When you portray the occupier as the victim, and the occupied as the aggressor, we would like to remind you that resistance to occupation is a right under international law.

The Stop the War Coalition plans more demonstrations in the next several days against BBC’s Gaza reporting and Israel’s war on Gaza, in Birmingham, London, Glasgow, and Worcester.

The UK Guardian‘s Owen Jones had his own eyes on BBC bias a week ago in “‘Israel under renewed Hamas attack’, says the BBC. More balance is needed:”

‘Israel under renewed Hamas attack:’ this was last night’s BBC headline on the escalating bloodshed in Gaza. It is as perverse as Mike Tyson punching a toddler, followed by a headline claiming that the child spat at him. As Elizabeth Tsurkov, a Tel Aviv-based Israeli human rights activist, tweeted: ‘We are targeted by mostly shitty rockets. Gazans are being shelled with heavy bombs. We have shelters, sirens, Iron Dome. They have 0.’

There is no defence for Hamas firing rockets into civilian areas, and as sirens wail in Israel, the fear among ordinary Israelis should not be ignored or belittled. But the media coverage hardly reflects the reality: a military superpower armed with F-15 fighter jets, AH-64 Apache helicopters, Delilah missiles, IAI Heron-1 drones and Jericho II missiles (and nuclear bombs, for that matter), versus what David Cameron describes as a ‘prison camp‘ firing almost entirely ineffective missiles. …

The macabre truth is that Israeli life is deemed by the western media to be worth more than a Palestinian life: here is the ‘hierarchy of death‘ at work. According to the Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem, 565 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces since January 2009, while 28 Israeli civilians and 10 Israeli security personnel have been killed. The asymmetry of this so-called conflict is reflected in the death toll, but it is not reflected in the coverage.

Musician Brian Eno joined the BBC protests early, focusing on its biased reporting on the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers:

The most recent incident concerns the killing of three Israeli teenagers in Hebron. This admittedly disgusting crime has received an entirely disproportionate treatment: listening to the BBC one would be left with the impression that killing children had never happened in [the West Bank] before. But it has. And it happens with monotonous regularity. Not, by and large, to Israeli children, but to Palestinians. And not only killing, but imprisonment and torture and day-to-day harassment and brutality. This goes on all the time – and I see little reaction to it from the international media. Unfortunately, that increasingly includes the BBC, which now, like many others, seems to regard Palestinian lives as less valuable, less newsworthy.

The British protesters are inspirational, aren’t they? Just saying, but why don’t we here in the U.S. protest the horrible, racist coverage by U.S. news organizations of the Israel-Gaza conflict? They’re far worse than the BBC.

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90 Palestinians, 0 Israelis Die, But Obama Fights UN Condemnation of Israel’s Air War (Updated)

7:44 am in Uncategorized by fairleft

A photo of the U.N. Security Council chambers.

Will the U.N. Security Council condemn Israel’s air offensive on Gaza?

Should the headline be “76 Gaza Dead But _U.S._ Fights UN Condemnation“? (Updated to 90 at 7:45 p.m. ET, see comment 12). No, I don’t think so, the buck stops at President Obama’s desk. Here’s the news about maneuvering against possible UN condemnation of the bombing (whose victims are 80% civilians):

Jerusalem and Washington are trying to prevent the UN Security Council from condemning Israel’s air offensive in the Gaza Strip, in which dozens of Palestinian civilians have been killed, Israeli diplomats said Thursday. The Security Council is due to meet at 10 A.M. New York time to discuss the fighting between Israel and Hamas.

…Israeli diplomats say the United States is working with the council’s members, particularly Jordan, to ensure that the panel does not condemn Israel. Jordan represents the Arab countries in the Security Council.

Note that the UN deliberations are happening more or less now, as I write this. More news on the civilian killing:

Medical officials in Hamas-dominated Gaza said at least 60 civilians, including a four-year-old girl and boy, aged 5 who were killed on Thursday, were among the 76 Palestinians who have died in Israeli attacks since Tuesday.

…’The Jews say they are fighting Hamas and fighting gunmen while all the bodies we have seen on television are those of women and children,’ said Khaled Ali, 45, a Gaza taxi driver.

Rocket salvoes on Israel – the military said 442 projectiles have been fired since Tuesday, including nearly 100 on Thursday alone – have caused no fatalities or serious injuries.

Why Is It Happening?

Of course we don’t know, but a UK Guardian analyst has this well-informed take: IDF’s Gaza assault is to control Palestinian gas, avert Israeli energy crisis. The article’s subheading: “Israel’s defence minister has confirmed that military plans to ‘uproot Hamas’ are about dominating Gaza’s gas reserves.” This is the kind of sensible, evidence-rich, ‘follow the money’ analysis that generally works for me…

Of course, the war can also be seen as normal national politics in Israel. Netanyahu has been pressured from the far right, after the killing of three Israeli teenagers in occupied Palestine, to kill Arabs. So, he is doing so. That’s the kind of country Israel is. Of course, the entire very well-publicized “search for three kidnapped teenagers” story was artificial in the extreme, and apparently employed precisely to whip up the ‘kill Arabs’ frenzy that then ostensibly pressed Netanyahu to do just that. So, I don’t buy the ‘he was pressured from the far right’ reasoning.

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53 Palestinians, 0 Israelis Die in Air and Missile Strikes …

5:54 am in Uncategorized by fairleft

Smoke rises from Palestinian buildings after air strikes.

Is the US media biased in its reports on Israeli airstrikes?

And yet still we get obscene propaganda from the mainstream ‘news’ masquerading as a headline:

Gaza rockets land deep in Israel as it bombards Palestinian enclave

The Reuters article above, with its propaganda headline, reports that 37 53 (see comment 39) Palestinians have died so far, but differing data on the dead and injured is provided in a more balanced article in the Guardian:

The air assault continued throughout Wednesday morning bringing the Palestinian death toll to 32 in two days, including several senior Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants. More than 150 people have been injured. There have been about 440 air strikes since the beginning of the week.

Palestinian medics in Gaza City said two women and four children had been killed in strikes in the north and east of the city near the border with Israel on Wednesday morning.

‘Four Palestinians were killed in air strikes, including two brothers who are 12 and 13 years old in Shejaiya, while a four-year-old boy and a woman were killed in a raid on Zeitun,’ emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told Agence France-Presse.

The Guardian reports that the U.S., which means Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama, supports without reservation the air war on a largely defenseless population:

The White House condemned the rocket attacks against Israel. ‘No country can accept rocket fire aimed at civilians and we support Israel’s right to defend itself against these vicious attacks,’ said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

Oh of course, the Gazans are vicious for killing no one, but ‘no comment’ on the Israeli air strikes that have killed 29 civilians according to Reuters.

I bet most Americans oppose Israel’s deadly civilian-killing response to being attacked by so far harmless unguided missiles. They would oppose Israel’s actions even more strongly if they were allowed to read and listen to unbiased/balanced news reports in/on the mainstream media. The thing is, I wish it weren’t an issue of whether the U.S. ‘supports’ or ‘doesn’t support’ Israel’s actions. My question is, why are we giving Israel so much money every year? Can’t we find more deserving nations for our charity?

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On Gaza, Key Israelis Speak of Ethnic Cleansing and Mass Killing

8:11 am in Uncategorized by fairleft

Women at a free Palestine protest in hijabs, one holding sign: Stop the Genocide of Palestine

Recent statements lay bare the lust for Palestinian blood.

Found this remarkable comment by 46nd2 under a CNN article on the latest Israeli air strikes on Gaza, mostly on civilians and government officials. (At least 13 have died so far, all but two apparently civilians.)

Through the smoke and behind the mirrors…

- Israeli FM Avigdor Liberman: ‘Israel needs to conquer and thoroughly cleanse the Gaza Strip’

- Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai: ‘The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages, only then will Israel be calm for the next 40 years.’

- Michael Ben-Ari: ‘There are no innocents in Gaza, don’t let any diplomats who want to look good in the world endanger your lives — mow them down!’ (Gaza has 1.6m people half children under 17yo)

- Gilad Sharon (son of the former Israeli Prime minister Ariel Sharon): ‘We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza, Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima — the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too. There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing.’

Moments later 46nd2 adds another comment:

The UN’s special rapporteur on human rights warns the world that ‘Israel is slouching towards nothing less than a Palestinian Holocaust.’

These popular politicians’ obscenities reflect the new normal in Israel, which Israel-supportive media either ignore or categorize as outside the Israeli mainstream. But sometimes, as in Israeli reaction to the kidnapping and deaths of three Israeli 17-19 year-olds, the new normal is impossible to ignore:

Many users uploading photos were teenagers and currently serving in the IDF. Two girls took a picture as they held a sign saying, ‘Hating Arabs is not racism, it’s values.’ Others posted messages threatening Arab members of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament.

Tuesday night, hundreds of Israelis staged a street march through Jerusalem, chanting ‘death to Arabs’ …

The world needs to say no to the concentration camp that is Gaza, and to the killing of Gaza civilians. And why can’t even befuddled and propagandized Americans find the moral compass and courage to say no emphatically to the racists, ethnic cleansers and murderers eager to kill thousands of Arabs?

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WikiLeaks: Israel Plans Total War on Lebanon, Gaza

1:06 pm in Uncategorized by fairleft

In the interest of further squelching the shockingly disinformed contention that Wikileaks is somehow an Israeli cointelpro operation. From Juan Cole:

The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten has summarized an Israeli military briefing by Israeli Chief of Staff Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi of a US congressional delegation a little over a year ago and concludes that

The memo on the talks between Ashkenazi and [Congressman Ike] Skelton, as well as numerous other documents from the same period of time, to which Aftenposten has gained access, leave a clear message: The Israeli military is forging ahead at full speed with preparations for a new war in the Middle East.

Note: This war preparation is serious and specific, according to the paper, and clearly is not just a matter of vague contingency planning.

The paper says that US cables quote Ashkenazi telling the US congressmen, “I’m preparing the Israeli army for a major war, since it is easier to scale down to a smaller operation than to do the opposite.”

The general’s plans are driven by fear of growing stockpiles of rockets in Hamas-controlled Gaza and in Hizbullah-controlled Southern Lebanon, the likely theaters of the planned major new war. Ashkenazi does not seem capable of considering that, given a number of Israeli invasions and occupations of those regions, the rockets may be primarily defensive. …

Note that my post does not ‘voice support’ for Hezbollah, since (amazingly) that is now illegal under U.S. ‘law’. From Glenn Greenwald (emphasis in original):

Amazingly, Fran Townsend [formerly a Bush administration war criminal, now a CNN bigwig], on CNN, hailed the Supreme Court’s decision in Humanitarian Law — the Supreme Court ruling that upheld the DOJ’s view that one can be guilty of “material support for terrorism” simply by talking to or advocating for a Terrorist group — and enthusiastically agreed when Wolf Blitzer said, while interviewing her: “If you’re thinking about even voicing support for a terrorist group, don’t do it because the government can come down hard on you and the Supreme Court said the government has every right to do so.” Yet “voicing support for a terrorist group” is exactly what Townsend is now doing — and it makes her a criminal under the very Supreme Court ruling that she so gleefully praised.

Instead, just a reminder that the U.S. supports the outlaw Israeli state with at least $3 billion a year in U.S. tax dollars, and otherwise see my old essay, Singling Out Israel in Berkeley: 5 Reasons. Finally, don’t forget to support boycotting, divesting from, and sanctioning Israel! It’s what its rulers fear most.