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Wednesday 9 July 2014

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren't telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory

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[INDENT=3]OK, so by this afternoon, the exchange rate of death in two days was 40-0 in favour of Israel. But now for the Gaza story you won't be hearing from anyone else in the next few hours.
[INDENT=3]It's about land. The Israelis of Sederot are coming under rocket fire from the Palestinians of Gaza and now the Palestinians are getting their comeuppance. Sure. But wait, how come all those Palestinians all 1.5 million are crammed into Gaza in the first place? Well, their families once lived, didn't they, in what is now called Israel? And got chucked out or fled for their lives when the Israeli state was created.
And a drawing in of breath is now perhaps required the people who lived in Sederot in early 1948 were not Israelis, but Palestinian Arabs. Their village was called Huj. Nor were they enemies of Israel. Two years earlier, these same Arabs had actually hidden Jewish Haganah fighters from the British Army. But when the Israeli army turned up at Huj on 31 May 1948, they expelled all the Arab villagers to the Gaza Strip! Refugees, they became. David Ben Gurion (Israel's first Prime Minister) called it an "unjust and unjustified action". Too bad. The Palestinians of Huj were never allowed back.
And today, well over 6,000 descendants of the Palestinians from Huj now Sederot live in the squalor of Gaza, among the "terrorists" Israel is claiming to destroy and who are shooting at what was Huj. Interesting story.
And same again for Israel's right to self-defence. We heard it again today. What if the people of London were being rocketed like the people of Israel? Wouldn't they strike back? Well yes, but we Brits don't have more than a million former inhabitants of the UK cooped up in refugee camps over a few square miles around Hastings.
In pictures: Israel launches further air strikes on Gaza
The last time this specious argument was used was in 2008, when Israel invaded Gaza and killed at least 1,100 Palestinians (exchange rate: 1,100 to 13). What if Dublin was under rocket attack, the Israeli ambassador asked then? But the UK town of Crossmaglen in Northern Ireland was under rocket attack from the Irish Republic in the 1970s yet the RAF didn't bomb Dublin in retaliation, killing Irish women and children. In Canada in 2008, Israel's supporters were making the same fraudulent point. What if the people of Vancouver or Toronto or Montreal were being rocket-attacked from the suburbs of their own cities? How would they feel? But the Canadians haven't pushed the original inhabitants of Canadian territory into refugee camps.
And now let's cross to the West Bank. First of all, Benjamin Netanyahu said he couldn't talk to Palestinian "President" Mahmoud Abbas because he didn't also represent Hamas. Then when Abbas formed a unity government, Netanyahu said he couldn't talk to Abbas because he had unified himself with the "terrorist" Hamas. Now he says he can only talk to him if he breaks with Hamas even though he won't then represent Hamas.
Meanwhile, that great leftist Israeli philosopher Uri Avnery 90 years old and still, thankfully, going strong has picked up on his country's latest obsession: the danger that Isis will storm west from its Iraqi/Syrian "caliphate" and arrive on the east bank of the Jordan river.
"And Netanyahu said," according to Avnery, "if they are not stopped by the permanent Israeli garrison there (on the Jordan river), they will appear at the gates of Tel Aviv." The truth, of course, is that the Israeli air force would have crushed Isis the moment it dared to cross the Jordanian border from Iraq or Syria.
The importance of this, however, is that if Israel keeps its army on the Jordan (to protect Israel from Isis), a future "Palestine" state will have no borders and will be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory.
"Much like the South African Bantustans," says Avnery. In other words, no "viable" state of Palestine will ever exist. After all, aren't Isis just the same as Hamas? Of course not.
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Getty Images)
But that's not what we heard from Mark Regev, Netanyahu's spokesman. No, what he told Al Jazeera was that Hamas was "an extremist terrorist organisation not very different from Isis in Iraq, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Boko Haram…" Tosh. Hezbollah is a Shia militia now fighting to the death inside Syria against the Sunni Muslims of Isis. And Boko Haram thousands of kilometres from Israel is not a threat to Tel Aviv.
But you get the point. The Palestinians of Gaza and please forget, forever, the 6,000 Palestinians whose families come from the land of Sederot are allied to the tens of thousands of Islamists threatening Maliki of Baghdad, Assad of Damascus or President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja. Even more to the point, if Isis is heading towards the edge of the West Bank, why is the Israeli government still building colonies there illegally, and on Arab land for Israeli civilians?
This is not just about the foul murder of three Israelis in the occupied West Bank or the foul murder of a Palestinian in occupied East Jerusalem. Nor about the arrest of many Hamas militants and politicians in the West Bank. Nor about rockets. As usual, it's about land
Israel has no intention of negotiating in good faith. Nor do they want an independent Palestinian state. The Palestinians will never rest until they have their state. I think a one state solution is the best thing for both parties in the long run but this is not what Israel is offering here.
Magda Hassan Wrote:Israel has no intention of negotiating in good faith. Nor do they want an independent Palestinian state. The Palestinians will never rest until they have their state. I think a one state solution is the best thing for both parties in the long run but this is not what Israel is offering here.

I agree Maggie. But the Zionists want all the land to themselves. It's "theirs", in their eyes. What a mess. And the media slants it in favor of Israel.
Dawn Meredith Wrote:
Magda Hassan Wrote:Israel has no intention of negotiating in good faith. Nor do they want an independent Palestinian state. The Palestinians will never rest until they have their state. I think a one state solution is the best thing for both parties in the long run but this is not what Israel is offering here.

I agree Maggie. But the Zionists want all the land to themselves. It's "theirs", in their eyes. What a mess. And the media slants it in favor of Israel.

Media coverage in the MSM is appalling in it's coverage of the conflict. Totally partisan.
It's so tiresome hearing "IT'S HAMAS, STUPID!" from the same old mockingbirds in the if there was no occupation pre-Hamas.
The parallel 'model' for what has been going on since 1948, and before, in Palestine is what went on in South Africa. It is no accident of history that Apartheid S.A. had strong support from Israel...and from the USA and its lapdogs - and that they now [though NOT S.A.!] back Israel over Palestine, despite the weakest of lip service towards a 'diplomatic solution' - which is moribund. The USA has never threatened Israel with a cut-off of support, weapons, or anything else to force them to even negotiate - let alone settle the situation fairly. These are War Crimes and Genocide, Collective Punishment of a displaced People held in large open-air concentration camps. To see a large number of Jewish People doing something along the lines of what was done to them hurts me no end - as I am Jewish, if a secular one [and certainly anti-Zionist]. I fully back the Palestinian's right to their land/homes/dignity being returned, and equal status in their homeland. Justice will ONLY be when all Peoples can live together there in harmony/equality - without an apartheid-like system of 'bantustans', and the constant killing of innocents, and with the ceaseless oppression of the Rights of the Palestinian People. Israel is, and has been, the 'terrorists' since 1948. In this endeavor, they have had backing from other powerful countries too. Shame on all of them. However, not all in Israel believe the propaganda and in such an Apartheid system. As one example, look at the writing of Gideon Levy in Ha'aretz! (sometimes called the most hated man in Israel)
Danny Jarman Wrote:It's so tiresome hearing "IT'S HAMAS, STUPID!" from the same old mockingbirds in the if there was no occupation pre-Hamas.

Indeed Danny. The Hasbara brigade is out doing their thing too helping the mockingbirds sing their old and tired song. Not only is it NOT Hamas, which conveniently ignores more than 65 years of occupation, theft and oppression but totally ignores the hand of Israel in the creation of Hamas to create a division in the secular Palestinian Liberation Organisation. Keep the Arabs and Palestinians fighting amongst them selves on religious and political grounds and it makes your adversary distracted and weaker and gives Israel a free hand to control things.

Blood for gas: Why Bibi is punishing Gaza

[Image:] Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT and TomDispatch, and a frequent contributor to websites and radio shows ranging from the US to East Asia.

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Published time: July 14, 2014 08:50

[Image:]Smoke billowing from buildings following an Israeli air strike as a projectile falls in the background in Gaza City.

So Bibi's got his brand new war. Operation Protective Edge, the current slow motion ethnic cleansing super production conducted in Gaza by the Israeli Attack, sorry, Defense Forces (IDF), is Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's wet dream.
A quick recap is essential. US Secretary of State John "Bullhorn" Kerry was conducting a sham exercise known as "peace talks" between Israel and Palestine. As expected, it failed miserably. Hamas and the PLO in Palestine then formed a technocratic unity government. Bibi was, predictably, furious.
Then two Palestinians not Hamas kidnapped three Israeli teenager settlers hitchhiking at night near Hebron. One of the hitchhikers somehow managed to call an Israeli police emergency number on his mobile. The kidnappers freaked out and shot the hitchhikers on the spot, dumping their bodies.
Then all of Israel freaked out. For three weeks, tens of thousands of soldiers were involved in search parties. The media went berserk immolating Palestinians in a racist funeral pyre.
There's wild speculation all across the Arab street this has been an Israeli false flag. Evidence, though, seems to point to the 10,000-strong Qawasmeh tribe in the Hebron region which is known historically to openly antagonize Hamas and attack Israeli settlers. There's also the possibility the kidnappers wanted to use the hitchhikers for an exchange with Palestinian prisoners.
Bibi and Shin Bet military intelligence knew from the start the three settlers were dead and who was responsible. But Bibi simply could not pass up the opportunity to use the incident during the frenzied three-week search as a build-up to go after Hamas in both West Bank and Gaza, an operation planned way in advance.
This past Tuesday, the Israeli military spelled it all out: "We have been instructed by the political echelon to hit Hamas hard." And in perfect Newspeak, the operation was branded a "just war." (A detailed background to the conflict can be seen here.)

[Image: 15.jpg]Palestinians gather around the remains of a house which police said was destroyed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza City July 14, 2014.(Reuters / Mohammed Salem )

Israel wants it all

The numbers don't do justice to the appalling carnage. By Monday, over northern Gaza, after Israel warned residents to leave the area to avoid airstrikes, at least 167 people were killed the majority of them women, children and elderly civilians, 30 by Israeli rockets and over 1,000 injured. Two hundred houses, not military installations, were totally destroyed and over 1,500 houses partially damaged.
Compare it to zero deaths in Israel. An IDF spokesperson gruesomely boasted that Gaza a de facto slum/concentration camp was being bombed every 4 1/2 minutes.
Each homemade rocket fired by the Palestinians cost less than $1,000. Meanwhile, a single Israeli Iron Dome missile supposed to intercept them costs up to $100,000 (without including the launching and control systems). On top of this, since Thursday a ground invasion has been dubbed "imminent."
That Bibi is able to get away with this is all the Arab street and most of the Global South needs to know about America's battleship/aircraft carrier in the Middle East. What most people don't know about is those 1.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, worth at least $4 billion, discovered 14 years ago off the Gaza coast.
It's easy to forget that at the time of Israel's previous invasion of Gaza Operation Cast Lead gas fields in Palestine were outright confiscated by Israel. This "operation" was already an energy war, as Nafeez Ahmed analyzed here.
Then there is the Bigger Picture - the 122 trillion cubic feet of gas plus the potential 1.6 billion barrels of oil in the Levant Basin spread over the territorial waters of Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus and of course Gaza. These waters are as incandescently disputed as rocks and shoals in the South China Sea. Needless to say, Tel Aviv wants it all.
And to complement the picture, Israel faces an upcoming energy security nightmare, detailed here.
Even Tony Blair, the Phantom of the Opera, is involved. As the (failed) Quartet Middle East envoy, Blair came up with the brilliant plan of "developing" the Gaza gas fields via an agreement between British Gas and the Palestinian Authority, totally excluding Hamas and the people of Gaza.
The way Gaza is kept as a concentration camp, subjected to non-stop collective punishment, may be revolting enough. But then it must be added the key economic component: by all available means Gazans must be prevented from accessing the Marine-1 and Marine-2 gas fields. These will be gobbled up by Israel. From every angle, and for all practical purposes, Israel lords over all Palestinian natural resources land, water and energy.
So here's the "secret" of Operation Protect the Zionists, sorry, Protective Edge: without smashing Hamas, which controls Gaza, Israel cannot drill off the Gaza coast. For Bibi as well as the Knesset, the possibility that the Palestinians could have access to their own gas-generated wealth is an absolute red line.
And the EU may be on it as well. No one in Brussels will admit it, but it's easy to conceive "strategists" regarding this takeover of Palestinian gas fields opening the door in the future for the EU being less dependent on Gazprom, and a substantial importer of (stolen) Israeli gas.
Israel's Newspeak is old news; after all they are masters of fooling no one but themselves. Expanding on what Michael Klare has brilliantly detailed, the new, open-ended, collective punishment inflicted on Gaza is most of all a blood-for-gas energy war.
Israel will never settle on a one state solution if only for the fact that Israelis would be a minority and any "solution" that would not create a fair representation of both the Palestinians an Israelis citizens is never going to happen. Even if Israel started out in 1948 on the side of the angels, which I don't agree they did, they have committed so many atrocities over the years that they no longer have any right to claim the moral high ground. This is a disaster and if the citizens of Israel want peace then maybe they should stop electing the same circus of assholes as their prime ministers and presidents over and over again.
Hassane Zerrouky Global Research December 29, 2008

[The article below originally appeared in the French daily L'Humanité on December 14, 2001, translated to English by Global Outlook in 2002, and published by Global Research in March 2004. It shows how the so-called Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) was founded by Israel's Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks (Mossad) with the strategic purpose to prevent the creation of a Palestinian State.

Notice the striking similarity with the creation over 50 years ago by the British MI5, the CIA and the same Mossad of what is now known as the "global terror" (based on the real Arab terrorist groups founded earlier by the German Nazis). Trained, armed and funded by the Global Elite, the fabled enemies are used as a smokescreen to hide who all these wars are really against: wherever you live, these wars are against your freedom, they are against you. War Is Crime.]

Thanks to the Mossad, Israel's "Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks", the Hamas was allowed to reinforce its presence in the occupied territories. Meanwhile, Arafat's Fatah Movement for National Liberation as well as the Palestinian Left were subjected to the most brutal form of repression and intimidation.

Let us not forget that it was Israel, which in fact created Hamas. According to Zeev Sternell, historian at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, "Israel thought that it was a smart ploy to push the Islamists against the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO)".

Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader of the Islamist movement in Palestine, returning from Cairo in the seventies, established an Islamic charity association. Prime Minister Golda Meir, saw this as a an opportunity to counterbalance the rise of Arafat's Fatah movement.

According to the Israeli weekly Koteret Rashit (October 1987), "The Islamic associations as well as the university had been supported and encouraged by the Israeli military authority" in charge of the (civilian) administration of the West Bank and Gaza.

"They [the Islamic associations and the university] were authorized to receive money payments from abroad."
The Islamists set up orphanages and health clinics, as well as a network of schools, workshops which created employment for women as well as system of financial aid to the poor. And in 1978, they created an "Islamic University" in Gaza. "The military authority was convinced that these activities would weaken both the PLO and the leftist organizations in Gaza."

At the end of 1992, there were six hundred mosques in Gaza. Thanks to Israel's intelligence agency Mossad (Israel's Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks), the Islamists were allowed to reinforce their presence in the occupied territories. Meanwhile, the members of Fatah (Movement for the National Liberation of Palestine) and the Palestinian Left were subjected to the most brutal form of repression.

In 1984, Ahmed Yassin was arrested and condemned to twelve years in prison, after the discovery of a hidden arms cache. But one year later, he was set free and resumed his activities. And when the Intifada ("uprising") began, in October 1987, which took the Islamists by surprise, Sheik Yassin responded by creating the Hamas (The Islamic Resistance Movement): "God is our beginning, the prophet our model, the Koran our constitution", proclaims article 7 of the charter of the organization.

Ahmed Yassin was in prison when, the Oslo accords (Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government) were signed in September 1993. The Hamas had rejected Oslo outright. But at that time, 70% of Palestinians had condemned the attacks on Israeli civilians. Yassin did everything in his power to undermine the Oslo accords. Even prior to Prime Minister Rabin's death, he had the support of the Israeli government. The latter was very reluctant to implement the peace agreement.

The Hamas then launched a carefully timed campaign of attacks against civilians who were already poverty stricken and living in metal sheds, one day before the meeting between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators, regarding the formal recognition of Israel by the National Palestinian Council. These events were largely instrumental in the formation of a Right wing Israeli government following the May 1996 elections.

Quite unexpectedly, Prime Minister Netanyahu ordered Sheik Ahmed Yassin to be released from prison ("on humanitarian grounds") where he was serving a life sentence. Meanwhile, Netanyahu, together with President Bill Clinton, was putting pressure on Arafat to control the Hamas. In fact, Netanyahu knew that he could rely, once more, on the Islamists to sabotage the Oslo accords.

Worse still: after having expelled Yassin to Jordan, Prime Minister Netanyahu allowed him to return to Gaza, where he was welcomed triumphantly as a hero in October 1997.

Arafat was helpless in the face of these events. Moreover, because he had supported Saddam Hussein during the1991 Gulf war (while the Hamas had cautiously abstained from taking sides), the Gulf states decided to cut off their financing of the Palestinian Authority. Meanwhile, between February and April 1998, Sheik Ahmad Yassin was able to raise several hundred million dollars, from those same countries.

The budget of the Hamas was said to be greater than that of the Palestinian Authority. These new sources of funding enabled the Islamists to effectively pursue their various charitable activities. It is estimated that one Palestinian out of three is the recipient of financial aid from the Hamas. And in this regard, Israel has done nothing to curb the inflow of money into the occupied territories.

The Hamas had built its strength through its various acts of sabotage of the peace process, in a way which was compatible with the interests of the Israeli government. In turn, the latter sought in a number of ways, to prevent the application of the Oslo accords.

In other words, Hamas was fulfilling the functions for which it was originally created: to prevent the creation of a Palestinian State.

And in this regard, Hamas and Ariel Sharon, see eye to eye; they are exactly on the same wave length.