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Peter Lemkin
12-27-2008, 09:33 PM
200 and counting dead; many hundred injured.....arial bombing, and more to come. What ever happened to the concept of Peace and only fighting defensive wars and only when all else [they call it diplomacy and negotiation, by the way] has failed. When the Palistinians RESPOND, to defend and survive, they will be called the aggressor by Israel and the US [likely UK, as well]....nice game they play. I have an idea. I suggest the leaders of the USA, UK, Russia, and Israel be send to the international space station - one way tickets. Anyone else who tries similar offensive actions are welcome to join them. This obviously has the wink and nod of W and Co. who have a number of things on their list to do before they depart in a month. And don't forget the Palastinians have no country, no land, no nation, no security - all that was forceably taken away from them and continues to be. Uppity Palastinians - but then the Native Americans were as well....and many others who've been invaded and moved off their land and lives.....without justice or compensation; and with force. A land without people for a people without land? Hardly.

Magda Hassan
12-28-2008, 05:57 AM
The silence is deafening in the MSM and by western 'leaders'. Certainly it seems it is not more important than the cricketing tips to Shane Warne by the Prime Minister which has the prime spot. In my local broadsheet it barely passes a mention considering the totally over the top murderous barage of the IDF. Mortality and casualty figures mentioned in the paper are considerably lower than eyewitness statements. I hope there is a UN resolution brought against Israel, with teeth, and also get a serious boycott happening. The Arab world is also so piss weak when it comes to really supporting its Palestinian brothers and sisters. But Israel is never held to account for their actions.

Peter Lemkin
12-28-2008, 09:29 AM
350 dead and threatened ground invasion......well-chosen timing between two major holidays to ensure minimum reaction and 'awareness' in the (sic)Christian [large C only] world.

Dawn Meredith
12-28-2008, 09:54 AM
Here it's being reported that Isreal is the victim...but I don't watch war news so only heard it in passing...same old same old...

Mark Stapleton
12-28-2008, 04:08 PM
Ah yes, the Israelis reply to home made rocket attacks (until the recent death of an Israeli citizen there had not been a single Israeli casualty from the previous 200 rocket attacks) with F-16's and all the latest American weapons technology.

That's real courage from these stinking murderers, yes? Bomb them to death while they huddle starving in their sealed off concentration camp. Bravo.

This wouldn't be about the upcoming elections in Israel by any chance, would it? That's a new twist--the cost of Israeli elections should now be measured in US dollars and Palestinian civilians.

Hamas was right all along not to recognise this nation ruled by sick psychopaths.

Incidentally, I now refer to Israel as Rothschildistan:

http://sydwalker.info/blog/2008/12/28/rothschildistan-murdering-again/

Myra Bronstein
12-28-2008, 07:46 PM
...
http://sydwalker.info/blog/2008/12/28/rothschildistan-murdering-again/

Thanks for posting the URL Mark.

Just reminding everyone of this thread too:
http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=254

Keith Millea
12-29-2008, 05:21 PM
That well chosen timing,JUST before Bush the enabler is finally gone.HMMM.and also the total collapse of our economy.A coincedence for sure.HA..........

Keith

Peter Lemkin
12-29-2008, 05:26 PM
Listen here, or better watch - to see what is REALLY happening in Gaza. 350 dead and counting.....1,500 wounded and counting - Israel about to enter with tanks and troops on US say so - or wink and nod [no difference]. As a Jew; as an American; and foremost as a human - I condemn the Israeli government, but acknowledge there are overt 50% of Israelis who want Peace and a two Nation solution and oppose the War Cabinet - much as in the USA, controlled by the Corporate Fascist Deep State. They are not even letting in blood for the wounded - nor the wounded out to hospitals in Egypt - the Gaza hospitals are unable to cope; and they are using US made bunker-buster bombs. At least 300 dead are civilians - oh, excuse me - 'collateral damage'..
http://www.democracynow.org/2008/12/29/israeli_attacks_kill_over_310_in
Sadly, the very same malignancy that is in D.C. is in Tel Aviv at the moment. Neither is controlling the other [overall], IMO - but are symbiotic. Obama's silence is deafening.....and a very bad omen!

Myra Bronstein
12-30-2008, 04:33 AM
Kucinich criticizes Israel; wants U.N. probe
By Ian Swanson
Posted: 12/29/08 01:48 PM [ET]
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) is calling for a United Nations investigation into Israel’s attacks on Gaza, criticizing Israel for a disproportionate response to Hamas rocket attacks.
...
"All this was, and is, disproportionate, indiscriminate mass violence in violation of international law," Kucinich said in a statement. "Israel is not exempt from international law and must be held accountable."
...
Kucinich said the perpetrators of attacks against Israel should be brought to justice, but that Israel "cannot create a war against an entire people in order to attempt to bring to justice the few who are responsible."
...
Kucinich said in his statement that he had sent a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon requesting an independent inquiry. He said the attacks on civilians represented collective punishment, which he said was a violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Mark Stapleton
12-30-2008, 06:01 AM
"Israel is not exempt from international law and must be held accountable."





Admirable sentiments from Dennis Kucinich, but he's wrong of course.

Israel is above international law and is not accountable, as history is showing us.

David Guyatt
12-30-2008, 09:20 AM
That is to say so long as the US protects its Middle Eastern "divide and conqueor" client, then Israel will continue to remain above international law.

The more I get to know about Kucinich the more I admire him.

Myra Bronstein
12-30-2008, 03:26 PM
That is to say so long as the US protects its Middle Eastern "divide and conqueor" client, then Israel will continue to remain above international law.

The more I get to know about Kucinich the more I admire him.

Kucinich is the soul of US congress. He's just a perfect person, a perfect leader, a real man. He should be/would be president in a sane country.

I don't know where he gets the wherewithal to keep tilting at the windmill, but he does it year after year, and he never seems to get hard and jaded or burnt out. TPTB are so afraid of him they wouldn't even let him participate in most of the recent Democratic debates.

If you're interested in him, read about his childhood--poor and homeless along with his family--and stint as Mayor of Cleveland, where he was targeted for assassination for refusing to privatize the city-owned power system.

As far as I'm concerned he's my congressional Rep regardless of geography.

Myra Bronstein
12-30-2008, 03:43 PM
http://antiwar.com/justin/justin122908.php

"December 29, 2008
The Politics of the Gaza Massacre
Forget Hamas - it's all about the home front
by Justin Raimondo

If you're looking for the cause of the most recent Israeli aggression against the Palestinians – over 300 killed so far, and many more wounded – forget Hamas. The real casus belli is politics, in Israel and America.

On the Israeli front, elections loom large. The current Israeli government is enormously unpopular, and – with polls showing a massive swing to the right – this latest "incursion" is its last attempt to shore up their sagging power base. The rightist surge in Israel has been building for a long time, with the settler movement gaining momentum and the Likud Party likely the chief beneficiary – in which case there will be no chance of a peaceful settlement of the Palestinian question, no matter how evenhanded President Barack Obama turns out to be.

Speaking of Obama, the real focal point of the Israeli assault isn't Gaza – it's Washington, D.C. The whole point of this exercise in futility – which will not create a single iota of security for Israel, will not topple Hamas, and will not prove any more successful than the second Lebanese war – is to set the terms by which the Israelis will deal with the incoming U.S. president. Before he even gets a chance to appoint his Middle East team, his special envoys and advisers, the Israelis will have sabotaged the peace effort they can clearly see coming – and put the Americans on notice that whatever "change" is in the air will have to be to Israel's advantage. In short, the Gaza massacre is a preemptive strike against the prospect of American intervention on the Palestinians' behalf, or, at least, a more evenhanded policy framework...."

Mark Stapleton
12-31-2008, 04:30 AM
Speaking of Obama, the real focal point of the Israeli assault isn't Gaza – it's Washington, D.C. The whole point of this exercise in futility – which will not create a single iota of security for Israel, will not topple Hamas, and will not prove any more successful than the second Lebanese war – is to set the terms by which the Israelis will deal with the incoming U.S. president. Before he even gets a chance to appoint his Middle East team, his special envoys and advisers, the Israelis will have sabotaged the peace effort they can clearly see coming – and put the Americans on notice that whatever "change" is in the air will have to be to Israel's advantage. In short, the Gaza massacre is a preemptive strike against the prospect of American intervention on the Palestinians' behalf, or, at least, a more evenhanded policy framework...."

I think Raimondo is right. It's about both Israeli and American politics.

As far as the US is concerned, I think a political intifada against Israel cannot be far away. The number of former US diplomats and politicians speaking out against Israel and the damage it is doing to America's reputation is growing all the time:


http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=ynWjYHP91gA&NR=1


Of course the one's presently sitting in Congress are rigidly obedient to their Israeli masters.


It's political suicide to criticise those who own the MSM.

Myra Bronstein
12-31-2008, 08:02 PM
In international waters.
(That is significant, right?)

Brave Cynthia McKinney, who had her house seat stolen from her in 2002 election fraud, was interviewed by CNN and she did a damn fine job:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZeNdIGI8os&eurl=http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=385x254098

For those unfamiliar with the incident, the Dignity was attempting to deliver medical supplies to victims in Gaza.

On edit: More good footage here with a passenger explaining how the intentional ramming occurred (claimed to be an "accident" by Israel) and confirming it was in international waters.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=385x254167
More of McKinney at the end of the piece.

Clearly the boat was supposed to sink, and damn near did.

Mark Stapleton
12-31-2008, 11:25 PM
Thanks for those vids, Myra.

Israel can't spin their way out of this incident. They've also put Obama in a very difficult situation. A farewell gift from the Bush regime, no doubt.

Magda Hassan
01-01-2009, 02:54 PM
Gaza War Less a Threat to Israel Economy Than Lebanon (Update2)

(?Subject=Bloomberg%20news:%20%20Gaza%20War%20Less %20a%20Threat%20to%20Israel%20Economy%20Than%20Leb anon%20%28Update2%29%20&body=%20Gaza%20War%20Less%20a%20Threat%20to%20Isra el%20Economy%20Than%20Lebanon%20%28Update2%29%20%0 D%0A%0D%0A%20http%3A//www.bloomberg.com/apps/news%3Fpid%3Demail_en%26refer=home%26sid%3Day_FnEg mUx7M)[/URL]


By David Rosenberg
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/data?pid=avimage&iid=iMWYXVB3ISyU

Dec. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Israel’s assault on Hamas in the Gaza Strip may be less of a threat to its economy than the war against Lebanon’s Hezbollah two years ago -- and might even give it a boost.
Hamas lacks the arsenal of rockets that Hezbollah possessed during that conflict, when a 34-day barrage shut down much of northern Israel, said [URL="http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=Jonathan+Katz&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1"]Jonathan Katz (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aovDSlEYiuCs&refer=home#), a Jerusalem-based economist at HSBC Holdings Plc. The idling of factories then caused gross domestic product to shrink.
This time around, an increase in defense spending may help shore up the economy, which the Bank of Israel warns could be engulfed by the global recession. Governor Stanley Fischer (http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=Stanley+Fischer&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1) lowered the benchmark interest rate (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/quote?ticker=ISBRATE%3AIND) for the fifth time yesterday to a record 1.75 percent and has foreshadowed further cuts.
“If government expenses grow more than planned, that gives a boost to the economy and eases some of the impact of the slowdown,” said Ori Greenfeld (http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=Ori+Greenfeld&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1), chief economist at Clal Finance Investment Management Ltd., Israel’s largest non-bank financial institution.
At the start of the 2006 Lebanon war, Israel’s economy was growing at more than a 5 percent annual pace and Fischer raised rates to stem inflation. Following the conflict, gross domestic product contracted 0.3 percent in the third quarter of that year.
Desert Area
The area of Israel that was pounded by rockets during the Lebanon war is home to Haifa, the third-largest city and biggest port, and is a major tourism destination. The territory adjacent to Hamas-run Gaza is mainly desert. Most of the rockets have hit empty areas, with only a handful reaching the cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod.
The government’s Israel Export Institute estimated the total value of exports from the area within rocket range from Gaza was $2.1 billion last year, or about 4 percent of the national total.
The military has approved the reopening of factories near Gaza as long as they have adequate protection against attacks, the Manufacturers Association trade group said in an e-mailed statement today. Ten percent of Ashkelon’s factory workers, or 600 people, failed to report to their jobs yesterday, it said.
“The concentration of missiles is smaller and limited to an area that isn’t a major economic center for Israel,” Katz said. “The economy is developed and broad enough to weather this.”
Casualty Toll
Four Israelis have been killed, compared with about 360 Palestinians since the air force began its campaign on Dec. 27. By comparison, about 170 Israelis were killed in the Lebanon conflict and 1,200 Lebanese.
The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s benchmark TA-25 Index (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/quote?ticker=TA-25%3AIND) rose as much as 1.2 percent today while the shekel strengthened as much as 2.5 percent against the dollar, its biggest gain in two weeks. It was trading at 3.7702 at 2:51 p.m. local time.
Even if fighting grows worse, the economy demonstrated its resilience in the wake of the Lebanon war, Benjamin Netanyahu (http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=Benjamin+Netanyahu&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1), the opposition leader and former finance minister, said in an interview with Bloomberg News today.
“We built a very powerful economic engine in the years preceding the Lebanon war,” said Netanyahu, who is contending for the prime minister’s post in the elections. “We liberalized the economy, we dropped taxes, we opened the economy to competition.”
While the economy shrank after the fighting, it rebounded and growth for the year was 5.2 percent, about the same pace as the previous year and in the following 12 months.
The Finance Ministry has already drawn up measures to revive the economy, though their implementation has been delayed by political squabbling in advance of Feb. 10 elections. The Bank of Israel said yesterday that growth this quarter had come to a “standstill” and may have even contracted.
Government Spending
The government plans to increase spending on programs that aid small and medium-size businesses, while also pouring more money into bridges and roads that will triple the budget deficit to 4.5 percent of gross domestic product.
“Next year the deficit will be exceptionally large both because of lower tax revenue as the economy slows and because of higher expenses from the fighting,” said Avinoam Nahum (http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=Avinoam+Nahum&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1), chief executive officer of Tel Aviv-based investment house Pele Global Holdings Ltd. He estimated that increased defense expenditure may boost the fiscal shortfall to 5 percent.
The risk to the economy will increase if the conflict widens or the militants begin firing large numbers of rockets that have longer ranges which may threaten key economic targets, such as the Intel Corp. plant in Kiryat Gat, the Israel Electric Corp. power plant in Ashkelon and the Ashdod port, Katz said.
The Bank of Israel, in a statement accompanying the rate cut, said it was concerned about the “geopolitical uncertainty” created by the fighting and said it had “the potential to impact negatively” on the economy.
To contact the reporter on this story: David Rosenberg (http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=David+Rosenberg&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1) in Jerusalem at drosenberg1@bloomberg.net;
Last Updated: December 30, 2008 08:33 EST

David Healy
01-01-2009, 05:56 PM
A thought... the old testament, when GOD'S chosen people made their way to the promise land (out of Egypt) it was not unusual (at the hand of the Jews when they made it to that promise land) for entire cities to be massacred read: every man woman and child put to the sword. NO exceptions. This at GODS direction - he certainly can be a tough old guy!

If the Jew's lost a battle during those initial promise land days it was used as a learning experience to correct battlefield tactics, then re-attack that city AGAIN until conquered. Then onward to the NEXT city in the vicinity. By my reckoning this happened in over 30 places.... it seems wondering in the desert for for all those years focuses ones attention. And staunch reliance and dependence on THINGS and FORCES *unseen* seem to help, too.

As history shows, the tribes of Israel, some many generations later, were then scattered to the four winds (as described in that same old testament AND after the arrival of the "Messiah") with the promise of a national re-birthing AND a retaking of Jerusalem (and a few, from the near-recent historical standpoint, dark, dark DAYS presided over by Hitler and his boys) quite a few generations later.

The Jews have returned to that very place they once called home, under I might add, another long road through the 'desert' and, under the direction of their GOD (as HE promised they would).

Considering the Jews historical past (in the geographical area), and up to this point in time, some feel they've showed considerable restraint. Negotiations even! I suspect those (negotiations and restraint) are coming to a close.

No wringing of hands, prayers, politics, negotiations, wishing and a hoping are going to change the road the Jews are on, not even reduced support of the good old USA will effect their path.

Dennis Kucinich knows this. I suspect Dennis Kucinich has read the old testament (and the NEW). Not he, nor Obama (despite Obama's growing mythical status) will stem the inevitable conclusion to the human dilemma... the same human dilemma playing itself out in each individual and our collective mind and has since the beginning of man...

Ya want an answer to this mess, it wont be found in Israel, Gaza, Washington, Dennis Kucinichs' address book or any earthly place for that matter. Perhaps, just perhaps we got an answer or at least a clue to the answer a thousand or two years ago.

Agnostics and Atheists alike seem to be in the dark closet of the mind when it comes to this topic.

Just a thought...

David Guyatt
01-01-2009, 06:05 PM
David, please further elucidate your possible Bibical answer to the stated enigma?

Sorry but I'm sometimes dumber than Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne...

David Healy
01-01-2009, 07:12 PM
David, please further elucidate your possible Bibical answer to the stated enigma?

Sorry but I'm sometimes dumber than Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne...

sometimes, and I hate to use a quaint, in this case Arabic term, KISMET. Israelii KISMET, *fate*.

Perhaps being GOD'S chosen people is a very tough way to go, eh?

Time memorial we've seen the middle east and Jerusalem in particular the focus of our attention, the focus of the human dilemma. That being the why's and wherefore of WHY we are inhabiting the planet Earth and of course, WHO runs the show.

Perhaps the philosopher in each and every one of us should revisit the very elusive term LOVE, and in different light. Apparently it has meanings we're not quite willing to look at much let alone accept...

To answer directly your question, Dave: we're simply finite, collectively dependent on each other, and ALL dependent on a "GOOD" unseen force. Given instruction how to deal with that "GOOD" unseen force, how to conduct our lives (post old testament). There are 'other' unseen forces marshaling against *all* humankind. (the religious: we've solid direction)

I suspect, if one believes as advertised, an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient power calling a specific people, "HIS chosen people" (the Jews) that unseen GOOD force has a very specific plan dealing with 'other' *unseen* forces (possibly manifesting itself lately in Gaza, eh?)... perhaps being that HIS "chosen" people does not necessarily mean overtly specially loved people, the Jews have paid the price for their GODS affection sort of speak.

Our attention has been refocused, AGAIN on the everlasting human dilemma, that being finding a power greater than ourselves that will restore us to some level of human sanity.... no political faction will get us there.

KISMET -- this time for ALL mankind (I believe, by instinct, we know it, yet our egos {individually and collective} deny it). Hence our living problems.

As declared in that righteous old bible. Which I might add, is still the most popular book printed, sold or given away. Many here in this country believe the Jews are fighting the final battle for all mankind, thus their undying (sic) support... Given the state of current world events and failure to resolve middle-east questions, one would be hard pressed to say differently, with authority of course.

Anyone with another reasonable answer, for the mess in the middle east spreading worldwide, I'm all ears. Frankly, the MSM is staying away from this because of the "religious" implications and we're on a one-way street fraught with religious implications. In the final analysis who do you want to fight that battle? I'll take the JEWS and their GOD, after all, HE'S the DADDY of all gods...

We're out of human reasoning, some would say, FINALLY.... and possibly TIME!

Now THAT would be a Washington secret worthy of being kept, SECRET.

Just another old fart pondering... ;)

Magda Hassan
01-02-2009, 12:51 AM
But God is an Englishman, surely.

Peter Lemkin
01-02-2009, 07:52 AM
But God is an Englishman, surely.

...who speaks in received English.

The MSM has stopped telling the approx. number of dead - it being too obscene [in their opinion]. I believe it is well over 5-600 now and counting. The world seems powerless or unconcerned to really try to pressure Israel to stop this slaughter of mostly innocents - let alone the longterm occupation. That Israel had a long-term and strong [parts secret] relationship with aparteid South Africa should come as no surprise, as the systems are similar.

David Healy
01-02-2009, 05:40 PM
...who speaks in received English.

The MSM has stopped telling the approx. number of dead - it being too obscene [in their opinion]. I believe it is well over 5-600 now and counting. The world seems powerless or unconcerned to really try to pressure Israel to stop this slaughter of mostly innocents - let alone the longterm occupation. That Israel had a long-term and strong [parts secret] relationship with aparteid South Africa should come as no surprise, as the systems are similar.

the US signed Nuclear Proliferation Treaties with the Soviet Union does that mean the US endorsed Russias Gulags and the slaughter of millions of innocents (by Stalin) in Siberia? I doubt that....

Palestine will eventually come to the negotiating table, if they don't, they've spent to much time listening middle east agendas with other than peace priorities. I suspect Israel will go to the wall and won't back down, any more than the US would under the same circumstances.

If the Palestinians choose to take on those with a bigger stick (not to mention one of their benefactors), so be it. I suspect Israel could give one shit about what the world thinks when it comes to how they defend their borders and citizens. Despite what they say for the MSM (and they're master manipulators of the world media).

For those of us (believers and non-believers alike) on the sidelines, let's ponder: which of the two belligerents has the biggest and most powerful GOD, Israel or Palestine? Sounds like something out of the old testament doesn't it? It appears the Jews got soft during their time away from their homeland, they're soft no longer....and the conflict winner is:

None of us, certainly! (I pick the gods)

The gods create an illusion of victory every time, sigh... while both sides either dig graves or burn the dead... all the while Palestinians oil rich middle-east cousins wring their hands, profess solidarity, then hide their checkbook. By this time Gaza should be a Mega resort, ala Las Vegas style.... oops that's that new place in Dubai, I forgot -- forgive me!

In closing, Hamass is leading the Palestinans right over the cliff, some god they have!

David Healy
01-02-2009, 05:45 PM
But God is an Englishman, surely.

ONLY if enacted by the Irish Parliament :rolleyes:

Myra Bronstein
01-03-2009, 07:41 PM
Israeli ground forces enter Gaza in escalation
IBRAHIM BARZAK and JASON KEYSER | January 3, 2009 02:27 PM EST | AP

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli tanks and infantry entered Gaza after nightfall Saturday, launching a ground offensive that the military said would be a "lengthy operation" in a widening war on Gaza's Hamas rulers.

Heavy gun battles were reported as Israeli tanks and infantry soldiers entered Gaza after dark. The forces stayed close to the border area, witnesses said. Heavy artillery fire hit east of Gaza City in areas where Hamas fighters were deployed.

"We have many, many targets," Israeli military spokeswoman Maj. Avital Leibovich told CNN, adding that Hamas has been digging smuggling tunnels and other facilities. "To my estimation, it will be a lengthy operation," she said....
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/03/israel-blasts-hamas-targe_n_154942.html

David Guyatt
01-03-2009, 09:19 PM
David, much thanks for the requested elucidation.

Just quickly to respond to Magda, God naturally is an Englishman. It's sort of weird anyone would even doubt this.

Tea and cucumber sandwiches are, after all, manna from Heaven.

I have a slightly different take on the current times we face, which is Jung's concept of the Collective Shadow. The general outline gets a bit scary.

So instead I usually stick to tea and cucumber sandwiches... far easier for us all to digest while we slide down the slippery slope towards oblivion don't you know.

Dawn Meredith
01-04-2009, 03:24 PM
I love cucumber sandwiches. Try 'em with tomato slices. Must be a British/Canadian thing :)

Dawn

Damien Lloyd
01-04-2009, 03:59 PM
I turned on the TV at about 1:30pm and was shocked to see footage of what appeared to be Israeli's using White Phosphorus in Gaza. I stayed tuned to BBC News 24, at 3pm they had a more in depth report with one minor change... All of the footage previously shown of apparent chemical weapons was now omitted. So I went to the bbc website and found this:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7810270.stm
Watch the video, at 1:06 you can see one of the pieces of footage that I'd seen earlier showing what I think is white phosphorus. There was a lot more footage shown on the channel earlier. Compare this footage to the US attack on Fallujha or the Israeli attacks on Lebanon.
Also look at the 2nd picture here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_pictures/7810301.stm

And this video at 1:32:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7809476.stm

Damien Lloyd
01-04-2009, 04:36 PM
This is what White Phosphorus looks like so you can compare it to the links I provided above.

WARNING: This footage also shows the horrific effects of this chemical weapon on humans. Charred human remains do not make comfortable viewing, and I don't want to upset anyone. The images at the end of this footage are extremely graphic.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=fe4d4a70c1

David Healy
01-04-2009, 06:01 PM
I turned on the TV at about 1:30pm and was shocked to see footage of what appeared to be Israeli's using White Phosphorus in Gaza. I stayed tuned to BBC News 24, at 3pm they had a more in depth report with one minor change... All of the footage previously shown of apparent chemical weapons was now omitted. So I went to the bbc website and found this:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7810270.stm
Watch the video, at 1:06 you can see one of the pieces of footage that I'd seen earlier showing what I think is white phosphorus. There was a lot more footage shown on the channel earlier. Compare this footage to the US attack on Fallujha or the Israeli attacks on Lebanon.
Also look at the 2nd picture here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_pictures/7810301.stm

And this video at 1:32:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7809476.stm

either it's white phosphorus or isn't.... what's your take? A bit of your experience concerning your evaluation would be helpful, too!

Further that, can you imagine Hamass terrorist(s) having access to white phosphorus? Which by-the-way can be delivered by shoulder mounted weapons (RPG's).

Damien Lloyd
01-04-2009, 06:20 PM
My evaluation comes only from what I've seen previously. The footage that is all over the net from it's use in Lebanon, and Iraq. It sure looks similar. Again they have banned journalists from entering Gaza even though the Israeli supreme court ruled to allow them entry, but I'm still watching news 24 and expect that some of the bodies being taken to hospital will soon show the characteristic burns to human flesh that leave the clothes undamaged.
I emailed the BBC earlier asking them if they could comment or if their experts could confirm that the footage showed WP being used, I also gave them the 1st link above and told them the footage started at 01:06. That link now shows a different piece of footage, maybe coincidence.

Myra Bronstein
01-04-2009, 06:38 PM
According to Raw Story this is video of Gaza carnage: http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Leaked_graphic_video_shows_carnage_in_0104.html

David Healy
01-04-2009, 07:29 PM
My evaluation comes only from what I've seen previously. The footage that is all over the net from it's use in Lebanon, and Iraq. It sure looks similar. Again they have banned journalists from entering Gaza even though the Israeli supreme court ruled to allow them entry, but I'm still watching news 24 and expect that some of the bodies being taken to hospital will soon show the characteristic burns to human flesh that leave the clothes undamaged.
I emailed the BBC earlier asking them if they could comment or if their experts could confirm that the footage showed WP being used, I also gave them the 1st link above and told them the footage started at 01:06. That link now shows a different piece of footage, maybe coincidence.

can't bemoan main stream media (as is often done here) coverage (or lack thereof) and their biases, then depend upon that same press for factual data can we? (for the record, one can make a lit match appear as WP on video)

So I'll ask (again?): do you accept as FACT that WP can be delivered by RPG? If so, does the Israelii Army utilize RPG's in their arsenal?

David Healy
01-04-2009, 07:39 PM
According to Raw Story this is video of Gaza carnage: http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Leaked_graphic_video_shows_carnage_in_0104.html

from the above link direct from the posters blog

quote on
NOT SAFE FOR CHILDREN!

This video clip was taken with a mobile camera immediately after a terrorist Israeli air strike hit a busy market where kids with their mothers and fathers were searching for food to eat from one of the local markets early on Saturday 03, Jan 2009, Gaza.
quote off (emphasis mine)

the link and blog appears a bit biased Magda, yes? How do we know that wasn't an errant Hamass rocket falling to earth? Perhaps one Hamass previously hid in a Mosque. Seems they have a habit of doing things like that...

Myra Bronstein
01-04-2009, 08:04 PM
from the above link direct from the posters blog

quote on
NOT SAFE FOR CHILDREN!

This video clip was taken with a mobile camera immediately after a terrorist Israeli air strike hit a busy market where kids with their mothers and fathers were searching for food to eat from one of the local markets early on Saturday 03, Jan 2009, Gaza.
quote off (emphasis mine)

the link and blog appears a bit biased Magda, yes? How do we know that wasn't an errant Hamass rocket falling to earth? Perhaps one Hamass previously hid in a Mosque. Seems they have a habit of doing things like that...

Well I'm not Magda, but I'm the one who posted the link so I'll address it.
I used the term "According to Raw Story..." because we can't be sure what it is so it's not stated as a fact.

Terry Mauro
01-04-2009, 08:20 PM
Thanks for those vids, Myra.

Israel can't spin their way out of this incident. They've also put Obama in a very difficult situation. A farewell gift from the Bush regime, no doubt.

And, as I posted this over at The Swamp, in reply to your post, Mark. Of this I'm eternally accused of anti-semitism, and relegated to burn in the fires of hell.

But, here's the unequivocal proof that it is our taxpayer dollars with which this debacle is allowed to continue to be aided and abetted.

* Sorry for the length of this post, CD.
The Ber

"The US, while sometimes paying lip service to peace plans, continues to support Israel financially, militarily and diplomatically."

EXACTLY! Last I heard, back in 1994, it was to the tune of 11 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR.

Who knows what it's been jacked up to over the last 14 years? And, what have they done for us, lately? Nothing but aid and abet our sorry asses into another money pit of delusion and paranoia aimed at separating the U.S. taxpayers from more billions of our hard-earned and dwindling cash reserves. And, for what? In order to eminent domain more of the Islamic Middle East's oil fields?

I'm fed up with being a "Hebrew slave" just so Israel can allow itself to be coddled and coerced by the C.I.A. into one skirmish after another with every country in their vicinity. Their nuclear warheads should be pulled, along with capping the missile silos. What good is it for them to have WMD at their fingertips, anyway? Whose interests are they suppose to be protecting? Not mine. They should be able to confront each other on an equal and conventional style battle field. All I see is a weak little outpost, set up by the C.I.A. from which to conduct more of their dirty tricks and black-ops campaigns on the rest of the Middle East's countries, for the specific purpose of exploiting their oil and "poppy" reserves.

Bottom line is, there should be NO NUCLEAR or WMD's allowed in the Middle East. But, if one country is allowed to be armed with them, then the rest of them should be allowed to, as well. How can you blame Iran, or Syria, when the U.S. has already and intentionally stacked the deck against them?

We need to get the hell out of there and let the chips fall where they may. And, cut that damned umbilical cord of a hemorrhaging cash flow.

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Home > U.S. Aid to Israel

U.S. Financial Aid To Israel: Figures, Facts, and Impact
Summary

Benefits to Israel of U.S. Aid
Since 1949 (As of November 1, 1997)

Foreign Aid Grants and Loans
$74,157,600,000

Other U.S. Aid (12.2% of Foreign Aid)
$9,047,227,200

Interest to Israel from Advanced Payments
$1,650,000,000

Grand Total
$84,854,827,200

Total Benefits per Israeli
$14,630

Cost to U.S. Taxpayers of U.S.
Aid to Israel

Grand Total
$84,854,827,200

Interest Costs Borne by U.S.
$49,936,680,000

Total Cost to U.S. Taxpayers
$134,791,507,200

Total Taxpayer Cost per Israeli
$23,240

Special Reports:

* Congress Watch: A Conservative Total for U.S. Aid to Israel: $91 Billion—and Counting

* Congressional Research Report on Israel: US Foreign Assistance by Clyde Mark (213K pdf file)

* U.S. Aid To Israel: The Strategic Functions

* U.S. Aid to Israel: What U.S. Taxpayer Should Know

* U.S. Aid to Israel: Interpreting the 'Strategic Relationship'

* The Cost of Israel to U.S. Taxpayers: True Lies About U.S. Aid to Israel


THE STRATEGIC FUNCTIONS OF U.S. AID TO ISRAEL

By Stephen Zunes

Dr. Zunes is an assistant professor in the Department of Politics at the University of San Francisco

Since 1992, the U.S. has offered Israel an additional $2 billion annually in loan guarantees. Congressional researchers have disclosed that between 1974 and 1989, $16.4 billion in U.S. military loans were converted to grants and that this was the understanding from the beginning. Indeed, all past U.S. loans to Israel have eventually been forgiven by Congress, which has undoubtedly helped Israel's often-touted claim that they have never defaulted on a U.S. government loan. U.S. policy since 1984 has been that economic assistance to Israel must equal or exceed Israel's annual debt repayment to the United States. Unlike other countries, which receive aid in quarterly installments, aid to Israel since 1982 has been given in a lump sum at the beginning of the fiscal year, leaving the U.S. government to borrow from future revenues. Israel even lends some of this money back through U.S. treasury bills and collects the additional interest.

In addition, there is the more than $1.5 billion in private U.S. funds that go to Israel annually in the form of $1 billion in private tax-deductible donations and $500 million in Israeli bonds. The ability of Americans to make what amounts to tax-deductible contributions to a foreign government, made possible through a number of Jewish charities, does not exist with any other country. Nor do these figures include short- and long-term commercial loans from U.S. banks, which have been as high as $1 billion annually in recent years.

Total U.S. aid to Israel is approximately one-third of the American foreign-aid budget, even though Israel comprises just .001 percent of the world's population and already has one of the world's higher per capita incomes. Indeed, Israel's GNP is higher than the combined GNP of Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza. With a per capita income of about $14,000, Israel ranks as the sixteenth wealthiest country in the world; Israelis enjoy a higher per capita income than oil-rich Saudi Arabia and are only slightly less well-off than most Western European countries.

AID does not term economic aid to Israel as development assistance, but instead uses the term "economic support funding." Given Israel's relative prosperity, U.S. aid to Israel is becoming increasingly controversial. In 1994, Yossi Beilen, deputy foreign minister of Israel and a Knesset member, told the Women's International Zionist organization, "If our economic situation is better than in many of your countries, how can we go on asking for your charity?"

U.S. Aid to Israel: What U.S. Taxpayer Should Know

by Tom Malthaner

This morning as I was walking down Shuhada Street in Hebron, I saw graffiti marking the newly painted storefronts and awnings. Although three months past schedule and 100 percent over budget, the renovation of Shuhada Street was finally completed this week. The project manager said the reason for the delay and cost overruns was the sabotage of the project by the Israeli settlers of the Beit Hadassah settlement complex in Hebron. They broke the street lights, stoned project workers, shot out the windows of bulldozers and other heavy equipment with pellet guns, broke paving stones before they were laid and now have defaced again the homes and shops of Palestinians with graffiti. The settlers did not want Shuhada St. opened to Palestinian traffic as was agreed to under Oslo 2. This renovation project is paid for by USAID funds and it makes me angry that my tax dollars have paid for improvements that have been destroyed by the settlers.

Most Americans are not aware how much of their tax revenue our government sends to Israel. For the fiscal year ending in September 30, 1997, the U.S. has given Israel $6.72 billion: $6.194 billion falls under Israel's foreign aid allotment and $526 million comes from agencies such as the Department of Commerce, the U.S. Information Agency and the Pentagon. The $6.72 billion figure does not include loan guarantees and annual compound interest totalling $3.122 billion the U.S. pays on money borrowed to give to Israel. It does not include the cost to U.S. taxpayers of IRS tax exemptions that donors can claim when they donate money to Israeli charities. (Donors claim approximately $1 billion in Federal tax deductions annually. This ultimately costs other U.S. tax payers $280 million to $390 million.)

When grant, loans, interest and tax deductions are added together for the fiscal year ending in September 30, 1997, our special relationship with Israel cost U.S. taxpayers over $10 billion.

Since 1949 the U.S. has given Israel a total of $83.205 billion. The interest costs borne by U.S. tax payers on behalf of Israel are $49.937 billion, thus making the total amount of aid given to Israel since 1949 $133.132 billion. This may mean that U.S. government has given more federal aid to the average Israeli citizen in a given year than it has given to the average American citizen.

I am angry when I see Israeli settlers from Hebron destroy improvements made to Shuhada Street with my tax money. Also, it angers me that my government is giving over $10 billion to a country that is more prosperous than most of the other countries in the world and uses much of its money for strengthening its military and the oppression of the Palestinian people.

U.S. Aid to Israel: Interpreting the 'Strategic Relationship

by Stephen Zunes

"The U.S. aid relationship with Israel is unlike any other in the world," said Stephen Zunes during a January 26 CPAP presentation. "In sheer volume, the amount is the most generous foreign aid program ever between any two countries," added Zunes, associate professor of Politics and chair of the Peace and Justice Studies Program at the University of San Francisco.

He explored the strategic reasoning behind the aid, asserting that it parallels the "needs of American arms exporters" and the role "Israel could play in advancing U.S. strategic interests in the region."

Although Israel is an "advanced, industrialized, technologically sophisticated country," it "receives more U.S. aid per capita annually than the total annual [Gross Domestic Product] per capita of several Arab states." Approximately a third of the entire U.S. foreign aid budget goes to Israel, "even though Israel comprises just…one-thousandth of the world's total population, and already has one of the world's higher per capita incomes."

U.S. government officials argue that this money is necessary for "moral" reasons-some even say that Israel is a "democracy battling for its very survival." If that were the real reason, however, aid should have been highest during Israel's early years, and would have declined as Israel grew stronger. Yet "the pattern…has been just the opposite." According to Zunes, "99 percent of all U.S. aid to Israel took place after the June 1967 war, when Israel found itself more powerful than any combination of Arab armies…."

The U.S. supports Israel's dominance so it can serve as "a surrogate for American interests in this vital strategic region." "Israel has helped defeat radical nationalist movements" and has been a "testing ground for U.S. made weaponry." Moreover, the intelligence agencies of both countries have "collaborated," and "Israel has funneled U.S. arms to third countries that the U.S. [could] not send arms to directly,…Iike South Africa, like the Contras, Guatemala under the military junta, [and] Iran." Zunes cited an Israeli analyst who said: "'It's like Israel has just become another federal agency when it's convenient to use and you want something done quietly."' Although the strategic relationship between the United States and the Gulf Arab states in the region has been strengthening in recent years, these states "do not have the political stability, the technological sophistication, [or] the number of higher-trained armed forces personnel" as does Israel.

Matti Peled, former Israeli major general and Knesset member, told Zunes that he and most Israeli generals believe this aid is "little more than an American subsidy to U.S. arms manufacturers," considering that the majority of military aid to Israel is used to buy weapons from the U.S. Moreover, arms to Israel create more demand for weaponry in Arab states. According to Zunes, "the Israelis announced back in 1991 that they supported the idea of a freeze in Middle East arms transfers, yet it was the United States that rejected it."

In the fall of 1993-when many had high hopes for peace-78 senators wrote to former President Bill Clinton insisting that aid to Israel remain "at current levels." Their "only reason" was the "massive procurement of sophisticated arms by Arab states." The letter neglected to mention that 80 percent of those arms to Arab countries came from the U.S. "I'm not denying for a moment the power of AIPAC [the American Israel Public Affairs Committee], the pro-Israel lobby," and other similar groups, Zunes said. Yet the "Aerospace Industry Association which promotes these massive arms shipments…is even more influential." This association has given two times more money to campaigns than all of the pro-Israel groups combined. Its "force on Capitol Hill, in terms of lobbying, surpasses that of even AIPAC." Zunes asserted that the "general thrust of U.S. policy would be pretty much the same even if AIPAC didn't exist. We didn't need a pro-Indonesia lobby to support Indonesia in its savage repression of East Timor all these years." This is a complex issue, and Zunes said that he did not want to be "conspiratorial," but he asked the audience to imagine what "Palestinian industriousness, Israeli technology, and Arabian oil money…would do to transform the Middle East…. [W]hat would that mean to American arms manufacturers? Oil companies? Pentagon planners?"

"An increasing number of Israelis are pointing out" that these funds are not in Israel's best interest. Quoting Peled, Zunes said, "this aid pushes Israel 'toward a posture of callous intransigence' in terms of the peace process." Moreover, for every dollar the U.S. sends in arms aid, Israel must spend two to three dollars to train people to use the weaponry, to buy parts, and in other ways make use of the aid. Even "main-stream Israeli economists are saying is very harmful to the country's future."

The Israeli paper Yediot Aharonot described Israel as "'the godfather's messenger' since [Israel] undertake[s] the 'dirty work' of a godfather who 'always tries to appear to be the owner of some large, respectable business."' Israeli satirist B. Michael refers to U.S. aid this way: "'My master gives me food to eat and I bite those whom he tells me to bite. It's called strategic cooperation." 'To challenge this strategic relationship, one cannot focus solely on the Israeli lobby but must also examine these "broader forces as well." "Until we tackle this issue head-on," it will be "very difficult to win" in other areas relating to Palestine.

"The results" of the short-term thinking behind U.S. policy "are tragic," not just for the "immediate victims" but "eventually [for] Israel itself" and "American interests in the region." The U.S. is sending enormous amounts of aid to the Middle East, and yet "we are less secure than ever"-both in terms of U.S. interests abroad and for individual Americans. Zunes referred to a "growing and increasing hostility [of] the average Arab toward the United States." In the long term, said Zunes, "peace and stability and cooperation with the vast Arab world is far more important for U.S. interests than this alliance with Israel."

This is not only an issue for those who are working for Palestinian rights, but it also "jeopardizes the entire agenda of those of us concerned about human rights, concerned about arms control, concerned about international law." Zunes sees significant potential in "building a broad-based movement around it."

[I]The above text is based on remarks, delivered on. 26 January, 2001 by Stephen Zunes - Associate Professor of Politics and Chair of the Peace and Justice Studies Program at San Francisco University.


The Cost of Israel to U.S. Taxpayers: True Lies About U.S. Aid to Israel

By Richard H. Curtiss

For many years the American media said that "Israel receives $1.8 billion in military aid" or that "Israel receives $1.2 billion in economic aid." Both statements were true, but since they were never combined to give us the complete total of annual U.S. aid to Israel, they also were lies—true lies.

Recently Americans have begun to read and hear that "Israel receives $3 billion in annual U.S. foreign aid." That's true. But it's still a lie. The problem is that in fiscal 1997 alone, Israel received from a variety of other U.S. federal budgets at least $525.8 million above and beyond its $3 billion from the foreign aid budget, and yet another $2 billion in federal loan guarantees. So the complete total of U.S. grants and loan guarantees to Israel for fiscal 1997 was $5,525,800,000.

One can truthfully blame the mainstream media for never digging out these figures for themselves, because none ever have. They were compiled by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. But the mainstream media certainly are not alone. Although Congress authorizes America's foreign aid total, the fact that more than a third of it goes to a country smaller in both area and population than Hong Kong probably never has been mentioned on the floor of the Senate or House. Yet it's been going on for more than a generation.

Probably the only members of Congress who even suspect the full total of U.S. funds received by Israel each year are the privileged few committee members who actually mark it up. And almost all members of the concerned committees are Jewish, have taken huge campaign donations orchestrated by Israel's Washington, DC lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), or both. These congressional committee members are paid to act, not talk. So they do and they don't.

The same applies to the president, the secretary of state, and the foreign aid administrator. They all submit a budget that includes aid for Israel, which Congress approves, or increases, but never cuts. But no one in the executive branch mentions that of the few remaining U.S. aid recipients worldwide, all of the others are developing nations which either make their military bases available to the U.S., are key members of international alliances in which the U.S. participates, or have suffered some crippling blow of nature to their abilities to feed their people such as earthquakes, floods or droughts.

Israel, whose troubles arise solely from its unwillingness to give back land it seized in the 1967 war in return for peace with its neighbors, does not fit those criteria. In fact, Israel's 1995 per capita gross domestic product was $15,800. That put it below Britain at $19,500 and Italy at $18,700 and just above Ireland at $15,400 and Spain at $14,300.

All four of those European countries have contributed a very large share of immigrants to the U.S., yet none has organized an ethnic group to lobby for U.S. foreign aid. Instead, all four send funds and volunteers to do economic development and emergency relief work in other less fortunate parts of the world.

The lobby that Israel and its supporters have built in the United States to make all this aid happen, and to ban discussion of it from the national dialogue, goes far beyond AIPAC, with its $15 million budget, its 150 employees, and its five or six registered lobbyists who manage to visit every member of Congress individually once or twice a year.

AIPAC, in turn, can draw upon the resources of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, a roof group set up solely to coordinate the efforts of some 52 national Jewish organizations on behalf of Israel.

Among them are Hadassah, the Zionist women's organization, which organizes a steady stream of American Jewish visitors to Israel; the American Jewish Congress, which mobilizes support for Israel among members of the traditionally left-of-center Jewish mainstream; and the American Jewish Committee, which plays the same role within the growing middle-of-the-road and right-of-center Jewish community. The American Jewish Committee also publishes Commentary,one of the Israel lobby's principal national publications.

Perhaps the most controversial of these groups is B'nai B'rith's Anti-Defamation League. Its original highly commendable purpose was to protect the civil rights of American Jews. Over the past generation, however, the ADL has regressed into a conspiratorial and, with a $45 million budget, extremely well-funded hate group.

In the 1980s, during the tenure of chairman Seymour Reich, who went on to become chairman of the Conference of Presidents, ADL was found to have circulated two annual fund-raising letters warning Jewish parents against allegedly negative influences on their children arising from the increasing Arab presence on American university campuses.

More recently, FBI raids on ADL's Los Angeles and San Francisco offices revealed that an ADL operative had purchased files stolen from the San Francisco police department that a court had ordered destroyed because they violated the civil rights of the individuals on whom they had been compiled. ADL, it was shown, had added the illegally prepared and illegally obtained material to its own secret files, compiled by planting informants among Arab-American, African-American, anti-Apartheid and peace and justice groups.

The ADL infiltrators took notes of the names and remarks of speakers and members of audiences at programs organized by such groups. ADL agents even recorded the license plates of persons attending such programs and then suborned corrupt motor vehicles department employees or renegade police officers to identify the owners.

Although one of the principal offenders fled the United States to escape prosecution, no significant penalties were assessed. ADL's Northern California office was ordered to comply with requests by persons upon whom dossiers had been prepared to see their own files, but no one went to jail and as yet no one has paid fines.

Not surprisingly, a defecting employee revealed in an article he published in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs that AIPAC, too, has such "enemies" files. They are compiled for use by pro-Israel journalists like Steven Emerson and other so-called "terrorism experts," and also by professional, academic or journalistic rivals of the persons described for use in black-listing, defaming, or denouncing them. What is never revealed is that AIPAC's "opposition research" department, under the supervision of Michael Lewis, son of famed Princeton University Orientalist Bernard Lewis, is the source of this defamatory material.

But this is not AIPAC's most controversial activity. In the 1970s, when Congress put a cap on the amount its members could earn from speakers' fees and book royalties over and above their salaries, it halted AIPAC's most effective ways of paying off members for voting according to AIPAC recommendations. Members of AIPAC's national board of directors solved the problem by returning to their home states and creating political action committees (PACs).

Most special interests have PACs, as do many major corporations, labor unions, trade associations and public-interest groups. But the pro-Israel groups went wild. To date some 126 pro-Israel PACs have been registered, and no fewer than 50 have been active in every national election over the past generation.

An individual voter can give up to $2,000 to a candidate in an election cycle, and a PAC can give a candidate up to $10,000. However, a single special interest with 50 PACs can give a candidate who is facing a tough opponent, and who has voted according to its recommendations, up to half a million dollars. That's enough to buy all the television time needed to get elected in most parts of the country.

Even candidates who don't need this kind of money certainly don't want it to become available to a rival from their own party in a primary election, or to an opponent from the opposing party in a general election. As a result, all but a handful of the 535 members of the Senate and House vote as AIPAC instructs when it comes to aid to Israel, or other aspects of U.S. Middle East policy.

There is something else very special about AIPAC's network of political action committees. Nearly all have deceptive names. Who could possibly know that the Delaware Valley Good Government Association in Philadelphia, San Franciscans for Good Government in California, Cactus PAC in Arizona, Beaver PAC in Wisconsin, and even Icepac in New York are really pro-Israel PACs under deep cover?

Hiding AIPAC's Tracks

In fact, the congress members know it when they list the contributions they receive on the campaign statements they have to prepare for the Federal Election Commission. But their constituents don't know this when they read these statements. So just as no other special interest can put so much "hard money" into any candidate's election campaign as can the Israel lobby, no other special interest has gone to such elaborate lengths to hide its tracks.

Although AIPAC, Washington's most feared special-interest lobby, can hide how it uses both carrots and sticks to bribe or intimidate members of Congress, it can't hide all of the results.

Anyone can ask one of their representatives in Congress for a chart prepared by the Congressional Research Service, a branch of the Library of Congress, that shows Israel received $62.5 billion in foreign aid from fiscal year 1949 through fiscal year 1996. People in the national capital area also can visit the library of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Rosslyn, Virginia, and obtain the same information, plus charts showing how much foreign aid the U.S. has given other countries as well.

Visitors will learn that in precisely the same 1949-1996 time frame, the total of U.S. foreign aid to all of the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean combined was $62,497,800,000--almost exactly the amount given to tiny Israel.

According to the Population Reference Bureau of Washington, DC, in mid-1995 the sub-Saharan countries had a combined population of 568 million. The $24,415,700,000 in foreign aid they had received by then amounted to $42.99 per sub-Saharan African.

Similarly, with a combined population of 486 million, all of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean together had received $38,254,400,000. This amounted to $79 per person.

The per capita U.S. foreign aid to Israel's 5.8 million people during the same period was $10,775.48. This meant that for every dollar the U.S. spent on an African, it spent $250.65 on an Israeli, and for every dollar it spent on someone from the Western Hemisphere outside the United States, it spent $214 on an Israeli.

Shocking Comparisons

These comparisons already seem shocking, but they are far from the whole truth. Using reports compiled by Clyde Mark of the Congressional Research Service and other sources, freelance writer Frank Collins tallied for theWashington Report all of the extra items for Israel buried in the budgets of the Pentagon and other federal agencies in fiscal year 1993.Washington Report news editor Shawn Twing did the same thing for fiscal years 1996 and 1997.

They uncovered $1.271 billion in extras in FY 1993, $355.3 million in FY 1996 and $525.8 million in FY 1997. These represent an average increase of 12.2 percent over the officially recorded foreign aid totals for the same fiscal years, and they probably are not complete. It's reasonable to assume, therefore, that a similar 12.2 percent hidden increase has prevailed over all of the years Israel has received aid.

As of Oct. 31, 1997 Israel will have received $3.05 billion in U.S. foreign aid for fiscal year 1997 and $3.08 billion in foreign aid for fiscal year 1998. Adding the 1997 and 1998 totals to those of previous years since 1949 yields a total of $74,157,600,000 in foreign aid grants and loans. Assuming that the actual totals from other budgets average 12.2 percent of that amount, that brings the grand total to $83,204,827,200.

But that's not quite all. Receiving its annual foreign aid appropriation during the first month of the fiscal year, instead of in quarterly installments as do other recipients, is just another special privilege Congress has voted for Israel. It enables Israel to invest the money in U.S. Treasury notes. That means that the U.S., which has to borrow the money it gives to Israel, pays interest on the money it has granted to Israel in advance, while at the same time Israel is collecting interest on the money. That interest to Israel from advance payments adds another $1.650 billion to the total, making it $84,854,827,200.That's the number you should write down for total aid to Israel. And that's $14,346 each for each man, woman and child in Israel.

It's worth noting that that figure does not include U.S. government loan guarantees to Israel, of which Israel has drawn $9.8 billion to date. They greatly reduce the interest rate the Israeli government pays on commercial loans, and they place additional burdens on U.S. taxpayers, especially if the Israeli government should default on any of them. But since neither the savings to Israel nor the costs to U.S. taxpayers can be accurately quantified, they are excluded from consideration here.

Further, friends of Israel never tire of saying that Israel has never defaulted on repayment of a U.S. government loan. It would be equally accurate to say Israel has never been required to repay a U.S. government loan. The truth of the matter is complex, and designed to be so by those who seek to conceal it from the U.S. taxpayer.

Most U.S. loans to Israel are forgiven, and many were made with the explicit understanding that they would be forgiven before Israel was required to repay them. By disguising as loans what in fact were grants, cooperating members of Congress exempted Israel from the U.S. oversight that would have accompanied grants. On other loans, Israel was expected to pay the interest and eventually to begin repaying the principal. But the so-called Cranston Amendment, which has been attached by Congress to every foreign aid appropriation since 1983, provides that economic aid to Israel will never dip below the amount Israel is required to pay on its outstanding loans. In short, whether U.S. aid is extended as grants or loans to Israel, it never returns to the Treasury.

Israel enjoys other privileges. While most countries receiving U.S. military aid funds are expected to use them for U.S. arms, ammunition and training, Israel can spend part of these funds on weapons made by Israeli manufacturers. Also, when it spends its U.S. military aid money on U.S. products, Israel frequently requires the U.S. vendor to buy components or materials from Israeli manufacturers. Thus, though Israeli politicians say that their own manufacturers and exporters are making them progressively less dependent upon U.S. aid, in fact those Israeli manufacturers and exporters are heavily subsidized by U.S. aid.

Although it's beyond the parameters of this study, it's worth mentioning that Israel also receives foreign aid from some other countries. After the United States, the principal donor of both economic and military aid to Israel is Germany.

By far the largest component of German aid has been in the form of restitution payments to victims of Nazi attrocities. But there also has been extensive German military assistance to Israel during and since the Gulf war, and a variety of German educational and research grants go to Israeli institutions. The total of German assistance in all of these categories to the Israeli government, Israeli individuals and Israeli private institutions has been some $31 billion or $5,345 per capita, bringing the per capita total of U.S. and German assistance combined to almost $20,000 per Israeli. Since very little public money is spent on the more than 20 percent of Israeli citizens who are Muslim or Christian, the actual per capita benefits received by Israel's Jewish citizens would be considerably higher.

True Cost to U.S. Taxpayers

Generous as it is, what Israelis actually got in U.S. aid is considerably less than what it has cost U.S. taxpayers to provide it. The principal difference is that so long as the U.S. runs an annual budget deficit, every dollar of aid the U.S. gives Israel has to be raised through U.S. government borrowing.

In an article in the Washington Report for December 1991/January 1992, Frank Collins estimated the costs of this interest, based upon prevailing interest rates for every year since 1949. I have updated this by applying a very conservative 5 percent interest rate for subsequent years, and confined the amount upon which the interest is calculated to grants, not loans or loan guarantees.

On this basis the $84.8 billion in grants, loans and commodities Israel has received from the U.S. since 1949 cost the U.S. an additional $49,936,880,000 in interest.

There are many other costs of Israel to U.S. taxpayers, such as most or all of the $45.6 billion in U.S. foreign aid to Egypt since Egypt made peace with Israel in 1979 (compared to $4.2 billion in U.S. aid to Egypt for the preceding 26 years). U.S. foreign aid to Egypt, which is pegged at two-thirds of U.S. foreign aid to Israel, averages $2.2 billion per year.

There also have been immense political and military costs to the U.S. for its consistent support of Israel during Israel's half-century of disputes with the Palestinians and all of its Arab neighbors. In addition, there have been the approximately $10 billion in U.S. loan guarantees and perhaps $20 billion in tax-exempt contributions made to Israel by American Jews in the nearly half-century since Israel was created.

Even excluding all of these extra costs, America's $84.8 billion in aid to Israel from fiscal years 1949 through 1998, and the interest the U.S. paid to borrow this money, has cost U.S. taxpayers $134.8 billion, not adjusted for inflation. Or, put another way, the nearly $14,630 every one of 5.8 million Israelis received from the U.S. government by Oct. 31, 1997 has cost American taxpayers $23,240 per Israeli.

It would be interesting to know how many of those American taxpayers believe they and their families have received as much from the U.S. Treasury as has everyone who has chosen to become a citizen of Israel. But it's a question that will never occur to the American public because, so long as America's mainstream media, Congress and president maintain their pact of silence, few Americans will ever know the true cost of Israel to U.S. taxpayers.

Richard Curtiss, a retired U.S. foreign service officer, is the executive editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

Home > U.S. Aid to Israel

David Healy
01-05-2009, 12:38 AM
"We need to get the hell out of there and let the chips fall where they may. And, cut that damned umbilical cord of a hemorrhaging cash flow."

Sorry Terry, that'll never happen... we nor anyone else in the christian world can afford that move. Better use of a "chips fall where they may" effort would be finding more of those $50billion + Wall Street ponsey scam artists. You know what they say, where there's one, others do lurk...

What is the current *official* US total debt load? 10-15 trillion (probably much more)? Israel is a yearly drop in the bucket.....

David Healy
01-05-2009, 12:40 AM
Well I'm not Magda, but I'm the one who posted the link so I'll address it.
I used the term "According to Raw Story..." because we can't be sure what it is so it's not stated as a fact.

Sorry Myra....

Mark Stapleton
01-05-2009, 12:44 AM
Indeed, Terry.

And the saddest thing is that so many Americans won't accept the truth.

Israel has bled America dry. Even the Jewish millionaire investors in Bernie Madoff's company will be subsidised by the US taxpayer.

And look at what it has created.

David Healy
01-05-2009, 12:54 AM
Indeed, Terry.

And the saddest thing is that so many Americans won't accept the truth.

Israel has bled America dry. Even the Jewish millionaire investors in Bernie Madoff's company will be subsidised by the US taxpayer.

And look at what it has created.

truth according to who, Mark?

Myra Bronstein
01-05-2009, 12:57 AM
Sorry Myra....

NP David.

Myra Bronstein
01-05-2009, 01:00 AM
...
Israel has bled America dry. Even the Jewish millionaire investors in Bernie Madoff's company will be subsidised by the US taxpayer.
...

What do Madoff's scams in the US have to do with Israel's crimes in Gaza Mark?

Mark Stapleton
01-05-2009, 01:02 AM
In closing, Hamass is leading the Palestinans right over the cliff, some god they have!


You must be joking.

Israel is the occupying force, and as cruel and brutal as one can get.

Hamas is a fully justified resistance movement, who show great courage against a foe with much more firepower.

Hamas will emerge the winner out of this invasion. Except for Ismerica's talking heads in the media, the whole world is on the side of Hamas.

Mark Stapleton
01-05-2009, 01:14 AM
What do Madoff's scams in the US have to do with Israel's crimes in Gaza Mark?

Third attempt, after being inexplicably dumped off the site twice now.

The Madoff case reinforces the fact that wealthy Jewish investors can always be reimbursed by the US taxpayer. And they would support to a man the current mass murder in Gaza, imo. There's no proof that Madoff was a fraudster, btw--the records have been destroyed.

Myra Bronstein
01-05-2009, 01:25 AM
Third attempt, after being inexplicably dumped off the site twice now.
...

I had trouble logging in about half an hour ago, and we're getting database errors. FYI.

Mark Stapleton
01-05-2009, 01:36 AM
I had trouble logging in about half an hour ago, and we're getting database errors. FYI.

I got dumped whilst typing a reply. One minute I'm looking at the text, next minute I'm looking at my screensaver.

Myra Bronstein
01-05-2009, 01:41 AM
I got dumped whilst typing a reply. One minute I'm looking at the text, next minute I'm looking at my screensaver.

Has that ever happened before here? I'm trying to decide if I should investigate.

The database hiccuped shortly after 6pm and has been a bit flaky since.

Mark Stapleton
01-05-2009, 05:36 AM
Has that ever happened before here? I'm trying to decide if I should investigate.

The database hiccuped shortly after 6pm and has been a bit flaky since.

Myra,

It's never happened to me while I've been typing a post, although I've had other problems before.

I think they're onto us.

Peter Lemkin
01-05-2009, 06:37 AM
This site keeps up with the latest...500 dead and counting....the 'civilized' world hardly yawns, and in the USA - even less than that.

http://electronicintifada.net/

Mark Stapleton
01-05-2009, 07:37 AM
This site keeps up with the latest...500 dead and counting....the 'civilized' world hardly yawns, and in the USA - even less than that.

http://electronicintifada.net/

We are all Palestinians.

Magda Hassan
01-05-2009, 07:55 AM
It is like watching someone shooting fish in a barrel. I don't, unfortunately, find the actions of the IDF surprising but I do find it outrageously surprising that there has not been more repulsion from the other countries particularly other Middle Eastern neighbours and the 'civilised' West. There are no 'leaders' with any cojones to do the right thing. One can only presume they have been well bought off or threatened. It needs to be remembered or publicised that this offensive has been a long time in the planning and is not a knee jerk response to Hamas rockets. This can never be solved with bombs and guns (even smart ones). It is ultimately futile. All Palestinians have to do to win is survive and they will and their very existence in the world will be a reminder of what Israel tried to do to them and failed.

Magda Hassan
01-05-2009, 07:58 AM
The Invasion of Gaza: "Operation Cast Lead", Part of a Broader Israeli Military-Intelligence Agenda

By Michel Chossudovsky

URL of this article: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11606 (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001PRmOMfOY8HQUzvTkbZBrqax86WgNFiPc80j1T0 LJkZDUlbCvU2h6FMLQ_JfpVu17sHYvnszzBmZLaMWj3faTTAQX-OeXDY3GDL6Bt_R2t5bFvgj_JfBPJsZxFX46Lr7IcMRaR3jpltq dwunAcWaPgB-eHnIJjJk9Trt_dX08yKw=)

Global Research (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001PRmOMfOY8HSYJcsOtR9nvYWzDDl9Qa3mQPjY4H SOVF_dGynF8vnsgkWW8rmnkLOV--KXa5Ysmg1FjLF-zk9BLWY8R7ae_xuLRZ5x2lIUjdfCqio1WW5r_g==), January 4, 2009

The aerial bombings and the ongoing ground invasion of Gaza by Israeli ground forces must be analysed in a historical context. Operation "Cast Lead" is a carefully planned undertaking, which is part of a broader military-intelligence agenda first formulated by the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2001:

"Sources in the defense establishment said Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed the Israel Defense Forces to prepare for the operation over six months ago, even as Israel was beginning to negotiate a ceasefire agreement with Hamas."(Barak Ravid, Operation "Cast Lead": Israeli Air Force strike followed months of planning, (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001PRmOMfOY8HQGXjRzny2Obi4YJhPqSklhwJYmuw 2dWtJ_ZCa1OQfYD_GWP2Hvoo32x6qGV6Lgt5FxNBQqO7SvJ35H yNMGXa3-wSRLz1PqzQSAmrr3Yx0-mmoQQGESazoYNf8HFvC7HjamlWxYl3aOsnZboiN-YFm3VJP57rQ7YpU=) Haaretz, December 27, 2008)
It was Israel which broke the truce on the day of the US presidential elections, November 4:

"Israel used this distraction to break the ceasefire between itself and Hamas by bombing the Gaza strip. Israel claimed this violation of the ceasefire was to prevent Hamas from digging tunnels into Israeli territory.

The very next day, Israel launched a terrorizing siege of Gaza, cutting off food, fuel, medical supplies and other necessities in an attempt to “subdue” the Palestinians while at the same time engaging in armed incursions.
In response, Hamas and others in Gaza again resorted to firing crude, homemade, and mainly inaccurate rockets into Israel. During the past seven years, these rockets have been responsible for the deaths of 17 Israelis. Over the same time span, Israeli Blitzkrieg assaults have killed thousands of Palestinians, drawing worldwide protest but falling on deaf ears at the UN." (Shamus Cooke, The Massacre in Palestine and the Threat of a Wider War, Global Research, December 2008)
Planned Humanitarian Disaster

On December 8, US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte was in Tel Aviv for discussions with his Israeli counterparts including the director of Mossad, Meir Dagan.
"Operation Cast Lead" was initiated two days day after Christmas. It was coupled with a carefully designed international Public Relations campaign under the auspices of Israel's Foreign Ministry.
Hamas' military targets are not the main objective. Operation "Cast Lead" is intended, quite deliberately, to trigger civilian casualities.
What we are dealing with is a "planned humanitarian disaster" in Gaza in a densly populated urban area. (See map below)

http://www.globalresearch.ca/articlePictures/GazaMap.gif


The longer term objective of this plan, as formulated by Israeli policy makers, is the expulsion of Palestinians from Palestinian lands:

"Terrorize the civilian population, assuring maximal destruction of property and cultural resources... [T]he daily life of the Palestinians must be rendered unbearable: They should be locked up in cities and towns, prevented from exercising normal economic life, cut off from workplaces, schools and hospitals, This will encourage emigration and weaken the resistance to future expulsions" Ur Shlonsky, quoted by Ghali Hassan, Gaza: The World’s Largest Prison (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001PRmOMfOY8HRSEEI9k1zesUgbtQyMyglL8w_b8-uAX9l8GP_pe7ed4WBO83Vg91MZ-WYTLDU4jZsYck1-HUbgubEKeuNPeLgRvGTtVgSbYjW137buKjHZfzK4arFGL0i5Iw 5uVSKxPSeClKJIdmaR1R0IDjjAjDP_rmXsix8_F9tVrxUO5-U8fIAjNbQib4XvKUEy57f1eru3QWV5EMmbrQ==), Global Research, 2005)
"Operation Justified Vengeance"
A turning point has been reached. Operation "Cast Lead" is part of the broader military-intelligence operation initiated at the outset the Ariel Sharon government in 2001. It was under Sharon's "Operation Justified Vengeance" that F-16 fighter planes were initially used to bomb Palestinian cities.
"Operation Justified Vengeance" was presented in July 2001 to the Israeli government of Ariel Sharon by IDF chief of staff Shaul Mofaz, under the title "The Destruction of the Palestinian Authority and Disarmament of All Armed Forces".

"A contingency plan, codenamed Operation Justified Vengeance, was drawn up last June [2001] to reoccupy all of the West Bank and possibly the Gaza Strip at a likely cost of "hundreds" of Israeli casualties." (Washington Times, 19 March 2002).
According to Jane's 'Foreign Report' (July 12, 2001) the Israeli army under Sharon had updated its plans for an "all-out assault to smash the Palestinian authority, force out leader Yasser Arafat and kill or detain its army".
"Bloodshed Justification"
The "Bloodshed Justification" was an essential component of the military-intelligence agenda. The killing of Palestinian civilians was justified on "humanitarian grounds." Israeli military operations were carefully timed to coincide with the suicide attacks:

The assault would be launched, at the government's discretion, after a big suicide bomb attack in Israel, causing widespread deaths and injuries, citing the bloodshed as justification. (Tanya Reinhart, Evil Unleashed, Israel's move to destroy the Palestinian Authority is a calculated plan, long in the making (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001PRmOMfOY8HSKIh3EkOkcSBNgykuDyeh3brTuUA FMDxTlcaaU0YNHG9Amce16Bgg-OAU-quOeEcu3e8GpPg4vhmOX5JX2jUrlNAr-zl1UAkdabUdGq52PXaTYgrG4WyNea9iyLjL0KQkz1RToRVYhVQ ==), Global Research, December 2001, emphasis added)
The Dagan Plan
"Operation Justified Vengeance" was also referred to as the "Dagan Plan", named after General (ret.) Meir Dagan, who currently heads Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency.
Reserve General Meir Dagan was Sharon's national security adviser during the 2000 election campaign. The plan was apparently drawn up prior to Sharon’s election as Prime Minister in February 2001. "According to Alex Fishman writing in Yediot Aharonot, the Dagan Plan consisted in destroying the Palestinian authority and putting Yasser Arafat 'out of the game'." (Ellis Shulman, "Operation Justified Vengeance": a Secret Plan to Destroy the Palestinian Authority (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001PRmOMfOY8HTYONOMdzkJqsyoOLaGIhwP-xYZ4UQeZsmPuD3KRyhhr3JR8nzkoUfW2HXHH5NyGSNjQXBOKpD vIqwmYzOdSGa5IPUY7IXW-aiQcgKQ6n5IfeLscc_4CmAt3Ii8wkrr7c13n3irGbXCNKSqYQ5 E92WmFr8gk9x1g5Y=), March 2001):

"As reported in the Foreign Report [Jane] and disclosed locally by Maariv, Israel's invasion plan — reportedly dubbed Justified Vengeance — would be launched immediately following the next high-casualty suicide bombing, would last about a month and is expected to result in the death of hundreds of Israelis and thousands of Palestinians. (Ibid, emphasis added)
The "Dagan Plan" envisaged the so-called "cantonization" of the Palestinian territories whereby the West Bank and Gaza would be totally cut off from one other, with separate "governments" in each of the territories. Under this scenario, already envisaged in 2001, Israel would:

"negotiate separately with Palestinian forces that are dominant in each territory-Palestinian forces responsible for security, intelligence, and even for the Tanzim (Fatah)." The plan thus closely resembles the idea of "cantonization" of Palestinian territories, put forth by a number of ministers." Sylvain Cypel, The infamous 'Dagan Plan' Sharon's plan for getting rid of Arafat (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001PRmOMfOY8HTVFYe2fvKPpDaLU1WcF_OdGakM21 e9X7mgs7ccoTwQaQ1Ls-1OxoBlzaY2wMWwZefFrJPx0Z2NGsAd5XfhD2sS5IDgNwOusfgF w-clLbNHZp0XPdGFBQjz_lAhyItKovMfCCjrBZqfaA==), Le Monde, December 17, 2001)
http://www.globalresearch.ca/articlePictures/dagan_sharon_halevy.gif
From Left to Right: Dagan, Sharon, Halevy

The Dagan Plan has established continuity in the military-intelligence agenda. In the wake of the 2000 elections, Meir Dagan was assigned a key role. "He became Sharon’s "go-between" in security issues with President’s Bush’s special envoys Zinni and Mitchell." He was subsequently appointed Director of the Mossad by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in August 2002. In the post-Sharon period, he remained head of Mossad. He was reconfirmed in his position as Director of Israeli Intelligence by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in June 2008.
Meir Dagan, in coordination with his US counterparts, has been in charge of various military-intelligence operations. It is worth noting that Meir Dagan as a young Colonel had worked closely with defense minister Ariel Sharon in the raids on Palestinian settlements in Beirut in 1982. The 2009 ground invasion of Gaza, in many regards, bear a canny resemblance to the 1982 military operation led by Sharon and Dagan.

Continuity: From Sharon to Olmert

http://www.globalresearch.ca/articlePictures/sharonolmert.jpg
Olmert and Sharon

It is important to focus on a number of key events which have led up to the killings in Gaza under "Operation Cast Lead":
1. The assassination in November 2004 of Yaser Arafat. This assassination had been on the drawing board since 1996 under "Operation Fields of Thorns". According to an October 2000 document "prepared by the security services, at the request of then Prime Minister Ehud Barak, stated that 'Arafat, the person, is a severe threat to the security of the state [of Israel] and the damage which will result from his disappearance is less than the damage caused by his existence'". (Tanya Reinhart, Evil Unleashed, Israel's move to destroy the Palestinian Authority is a calculated plan, long in the making (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001PRmOMfOY8HSKIh3EkOkcSBNgykuDyeh3brTuUA FMDxTlcaaU0YNHG9Amce16Bgg-OAU-quOeEcu3e8GpPg4vhmOX5JX2jUrlNAr-zl1UAkdabUdGq52PXaTYgrG4WyNea9iyLjL0KQkz1RToRVYhVQ ==), Global Research, December 2001. Details of the document were published in Ma'ariv, July 6, 2001.).
Arafat's assassination was ordered in 2003 by the Israeli cabinet. It was approved by the US which vetoed a United Nations Security Resolution condemning the 2003 Israeli Cabinet decision. Reacting to increased Palestinian attacks, in August 2003, Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz declared "all out war" on the militants whom he vowed "marked for death."

"In mid September, Israel's government passed a law to get rid of Arafat. Israel's cabinet for political security affairs declared it "a decision to remove Arafat as an obstacle to peace." Mofaz threatened; "we will choose the right way and the right time to kill Arafat." Palestinian Minister Saeb Erekat told CNN he thought Arafat was the next target. CNN asked Sharon spokesman Ra'anan Gissan if the vote meant expulsion of Arafat. Gissan clarified; "It doesn't mean that. The Cabinet has today resolved to remove this obstacle. The time, the method, the ways by which this will take place will be decided separately, and the security services will monitor the situation and make the recommendation about proper action." (See Trish Shuh, Road Map for a Decease Plan, www.mehrnews.com November 9 2005

http://www.globalresearch.ca/articlePictures/OlmertAbbas.jpg

The assassination of Arafat was part of the 2001 Dagan Plan. In all likelihood, it was carried out by Israeli Intelligence. It was intended to destroy the Palestinian Authority, foment divisions within Fatah as well as between Fatah and Hamas. Mahmoud Abbas is a Palestinian quisling. He was installed as leader of Fatah, with the approval of Israel and the US, which finance the Palestinian Authority's paramilitary and security forces.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/articlePictures/abbas_bush.jpg

2. The removal, under the orders of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2005, of all Jewish settlements in Gaza. A Jewish population of over 7,000 was relocated.

"It is my intention [Sharon] to carry out an evacuation – sorry, a relocation – of settlements that cause us problems and of places that we will not hold onto anyway in a final settlement, like the Gaza settlements.... I am working on the assumption that in the future there will be no Jews in Gaza," Sharon said." (CBC, March 2004 (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001PRmOMfOY8HSmFfUNweQSPJKSkU6kCDbc3NHe17 pldq5Ao8hKfuUumc1ulHDfk0505YrApvhW0WGpXwDmuT5T-KfPrKHd6L9yBh2KZ_19-hQitADjE5jQ22iw1OCFS6reAGI9voqgfbaphqZUZSWPFOr5Lf0 Abt8vW_cYx7DzwfvVEFGWyJ8pBrTM2slEp-oO))
The issue of the settlements in Gaza was presented as part of Washington's "road map to peace". Celebrated by the Palestinians as a "victory", this measure was not directed against the Jewish settlers. Quite the opposite: It was part of the overall covert operation, which consisted in transforming Gaza into a concentration camp. As long as Jewish settlers were living inside Gaza, the objective of sustaining a large barricaded prison territory could not be achieved. The Implementation of "Operation Cast Lead" required "no Jews in Gaza".
3. The building of the infamous Apartheid Wall was decided upon at the beginning of the Sharon government.
4. The next phase was the Hamas election victory in January 2006. Without Arafat, the Israeli military-intelligence architects knew that Fatah under Mahmoud Abbas would loose the elections. This was part of the scenario, which had been envisaged and analyzed well in advance.

With Hamas in charge of the Palestinian authority, using the pretext that Hamas is a terrorist organization, Israel would carry out the process of "cantonization" as formulated under the Dagan plan. Fatah under Mahmoud Abbas would remain formally in charge of the West Bank. The duly elected Hamas government would be confined to the Gaza strip.
Ground Attack
On January 3, Israeli tanks and infantry entered Gaza in an all out ground offensive:

"The ground operation was preceded by several hours of heavy artillery fire after dark, igniting targets in flames that burst into the night sky. Machine gun fire rattled as bright tracer rounds flashed through the darkness and the crash of hundreds of shells sent up streaks of fire. (AP, January 3, 2009)
Israeli sources have pointed to a lengthy drawn out military operation. It "won't be easy and it won't be short," said Defense Minister Ehud Barak in a TV address.
Israel is not seeking to oblige Hamas "to cooperate". What we are dealing with is the implementation of the "Dagan Plan" as initially formulated in 2001, which called for:

"an invasion of Palestinian-controlled territory by some 30,000 Israeli soldiers, with the clearly defined mission of destroying the infrastructure of the Palestinian leadership and collecting weaponry currently possessed by the various Palestinian forces, and expelling or killing its military leadership. (Ellis Shulman, op cit, emphasis added)
The broader question is whether Israel in consultation with Washington is intent upon triggering a wider war.

Mass expulsion could occur at some later stage of the ground invasion, were the Israelis to open up Gaza's borders to allow for an exodus of population. Expulsion was referred to by Ariel Sharon as the "a 1948 style solution". For Sharon "it is only necessary to find another state for the Palestinians. -'Jordan is Palestine' - was the phrase that Sharon coined." (Tanya Reinhart, op cit)

Magda Hassan
01-05-2009, 08:02 AM
The nephew of Benjamin Netanyau and Conscientious Objector denounces the Israeli invasion of Gaza. It will be because of people like this and the refusniks who will not fight an illegal war or support an illegal regime that there will be a solution to this blood bath.

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=wYKOFD9UVMY
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=vGHB8BHQxiM&feature=related

David Guyatt
01-05-2009, 01:44 PM
That the actual targets are predominantly civilian is abundantly clear from the use of White Phosphorous as pointed out by Damien yesterday.

Today's London Times has a front page picture that clearly shows WP was used. The IDF claim WP is used to create a smokescreen to protect its advancing troops because outright use of WP against civilians is a war crime under the Geneva Convention.

http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh169/Shoestring99/Gazanew_459761h.jpg

Dawn Meredith
01-05-2009, 06:41 PM
Isreal seems intent on starting world war three. With 100% US backing of course.

It's all over the media here but I will not -(cannot ) -watch - it's too devestating, not to mention terrifying.

And for the record I am a Christian so I am not deaf to the cause of Isreal, nor the rockets falling on their citizens. (Just warding off an attack by David Healy here :)

The carnage is horrifying, especially the WP.

Dawn

Myra Bronstein
01-05-2009, 07:15 PM
Isreal seems intent on starting world war three. With 100% US backing of course.

It's all over the media here but I will not -(cannot ) -watch - it's too devestating, not to mention terrifying.

And for the record I am a Christian so I am not deaf to the cause of Isreal, nor the rockets falling on their citizens. (Just warding off an attack by David Healy here :)

The carnage is horrifying, especially the WP.

Dawn

Dawn I really don't think this situation has anything to do with religion. I think the Israeli powers that be are sociopaths with business and economic agendas, not religious agendas.

David Healy
01-05-2009, 07:46 PM
That the actual targets are predominantly civilian is abundantly clear from the use of White Phosphorous as pointed out by Damien yesterday.

Today's London Times has a front page picture that clearly shows WP was used. The IDF claim WP is used to create a smokescreen to protect its advancing troops because outright use of WP against civilians is a war crime under the Geneva Convention.

http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh169/Shoestring99/Gazanew_459761h.jpg

thank you for the London Times WP clarification, David.

Now, "actual targets are predominately civilian..." Civilian, civilians, civilian areas hiding/protecting terrorists (operating out of), missiles and or other weapons/caches?

I have no access to the London Times website

David Healy
01-05-2009, 07:58 PM
Dawn I really don't think this situation has anything to do with religion. I think the Israeli powers that be are sociopaths with business and economic agendas, not religious agendas.

Perhaps, perhaps it has everything to do with religion...

There is not ONE Biblical/Revelations scholar out there that could NOT put a religious spin (read: end of ALL times) re current events in Israel, West Bank and Gaza.

When it comes to business and economic agendas one need look no further than NYC and London -- more than enough sociopaths, liars and scam artists to go around...

Magda Hassan
01-05-2009, 10:56 PM
I hope they pour concrete all over it bury all the bloody 'sacred' sites and turn it into a car park. Stop worshiping false idols all of them. IF there was ever anything sacred about the area it has long been drowned out in all the bloodshed. All it is at the moment is a biblical theme park by the Mediterranean.

Myra Bronstein
01-06-2009, 12:05 AM
Perhaps, perhaps it has everything to do with religion...

There is not ONE Biblical/Revelations scholar out there that could NOT put a religious spin (read: end of ALL times) re current events in Israel, West Bank and Gaza.

When it comes to business and economic agendas one need look no further than NYC and London -- more than enough sociopaths, liars and scam artists to go around...

Yes, but as you said David that's spin. Rapture spin.

The cold hard bloody reality beneath the spin is that it's just business. Disaster capitalism business.

Myra Bronstein
01-06-2009, 12:05 AM
I hope they pour concrete all over it bury all the bloody 'sacred' sites and turn it into a car park. Stop worshiping false idols all of them. IF there was ever anything sacred about the area it has long been drowned out in all the bloodshed. All it is at the moment is a biblical theme park by the Mediterranean.

A-fuckin'-MEN.

David Healy
01-06-2009, 12:17 AM
I hope they pour concrete all over it bury all the bloody 'sacred' sites and turn it into a car park. Stop worshiping false idols all of them. IF there was ever anything sacred about the area it has long been drowned out in all the bloodshed. All it is at the moment is a biblical theme park by the Mediterranean.

Here all along I thought India had the most sacred sites, gods and idols -- oops!

Magda Hassan
01-06-2009, 12:45 AM
Here all along I thought India had the most sacred sites, gods and idols -- oops! Krishna, Kali and Co don't count. Heathen gods. Only Abraham's god seems to be the cause of so much trouble amongst his family. But being a Pastafarian I know the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the one and only true living god. http://www.venganza.org/

Mark Stapleton
01-06-2009, 03:35 AM
Indeed he is, Magda.

His Noodliness was recently spotted in Germany:


http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=vL7FcvEydqg

Magda Hassan
01-06-2009, 04:34 AM
Thank you for that Mark. I am touched by his noodley apendages. I also note that our god has bigger cojones than other gods.

David Guyatt
01-06-2009, 09:17 AM
BBC News footage this morning show continued high overhead shell explosions of WP during the hours of darkness. Indeed, the only way this could be clearly seen was because illumination rounds were burning high overhead at the same time.

By all means call me old-fashioned or even slow-witted, but I find it hard to believe that you use WH at night to create a smokescreen for your advancing troops, but then lob illumination shells high above the target area to illuminate everything under the sun. It is evident (to me anyway) that the Israeli's are indiscriminately using WH against civilians.

Obviously, Hamas lob rockets into Israel that also indiscriminately target civilians too.

Meanwhile Israel have now forbidden any journalists from the war zone....

Magda Hassan
01-06-2009, 09:27 AM
I understood that there is an Israeli court order permitting journalists entry to Gaza but it is the IDF that is illegally blocking them. But of course who is going to enforce the court order?

Magda Hassan
01-06-2009, 11:35 AM
Has this man no shame? Why does he not do the respectable thing and turn himself into the authorities at the Hague? Hasn't he caused enough damage and death in the world? Why doesn't he just fuck off and die? Or at least shut up? Tragedy into farce.





Gaza solution is possible - Blair


http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/45349000/jpg/_45349100_006677635-1.jpg Tony Blair says an immediate ceasefire is possible

The conflict between Israel and Hamas can be resolved, former UK prime minister Tony Blair has insisted.
Mr Blair, now a Middle East envoy, said there was a "basis" for an immediate ceasefire if the supply of arms into Gaza from Egypt was halted.
But Mr Blair warned of a "more protracted campaign" if firm action was not taken and said the people of Gaza were living through "hell".
Israeli forces have continued to widen their ground attacks in Gaza.
'Clear action'
According to Palestinian medical officials, at least 110 people have died since the ground offensive began while Israel says it has killed 130 Hamas fighters.
About 560 Palestinians have been killed since Israel moved to end rocket attacks from Gaza 11 days ago, Palestinian officials say.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gif http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/start_quote_rb.gif I think there are circumstances where we can get an immediate ceasefire and that is what people want to see http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/end_quote_rb.gif


Tony Blair

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/inline_dashed_line.gif

Israel 'expands Gaza offensive' (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7812979.stm)

Mr Blair, who represents the UN, EU, US and Russia in the Middle East, said he believed discussions between Egypt and Hamas about halting the supply of arms and money to militants in Gaza were critical to securing a ceasefire.
There needed to be "clear, definitive" action to bring this about, Mr Blair said, adding that he thought all sides were willing to discuss this.
"I think there are circumstances where we can get an immediate ceasefire and that is what people want to see," he told the BBC.
Israel has insisted circumstances are not right for a ceasefire while rocket attacks continue to strike Israel.
Mr Blair, who has met Israeli leaders and senior Palestinian officials in recent days, called on Hamas to work towards a ceasefire to end the "appalling suffering" in Gaza.
Principles
"If they truly do care about about people in Gaza, there is a possible way that would have an immediate cessation of hostilities and that is obviously what any responsible person should try and achieve.
"For anyone living in Gaza, it is hell. It is bound to be. You are have got a situation where you are in an effective war zone."
Only a "credible" political solution towards a Palestinian state could bring peace to the region, Mr Blair said, stressing that "real change" in conditions for people in Gaza was necessary to achieve this.
Discussions between the international community and Hamas were feasible, he said, but only if there were "some common principles of agreement", namely Hamas' willingness to give up violence.
He urged the new US administration of President-elect Barack Obama to focus on the Middle East peace process, saying the issue was "absolutely central" to global security.
"If we want to resolve this, we can," he said.
"We have to grip it and sort it. If we do that with requisite dedication energy and commitment, we can resolve it."
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David Guyatt
01-06-2009, 03:14 PM
I have no access to the London Times website

I meant to post the London Times link earlier David, but then got otherwise occupied.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/

Terry Mauro
01-06-2009, 04:05 PM
"We need to get the hell out of there and let the chips fall where they may. And, cut that damned umbilical cord of a hemorrhaging cash flow."

Sorry Terry, that'll never happen... we nor anyone else in the christian world can afford that move. Better use of a "chips fall where they may" effort would be finding more of those $50 billion + Wall Street ponsey scam artists. You know what they say, where there's one, others do lurk...

What is the current *official* US total debt load? 10-15 trillion (probably much more)? Israel is a yearly drop in the bucket.....

***********************************

"Sorry Terry, that'll never happen... we nor anyone else in the christian world can afford that move."

Well, it's too damned bad that we still, after 200 and some odd years, cannot separate "church and state" from the political vernacular, now can we?

Wasn't that an intended purpose of the so-called "founding fathers" of this place? Oh, wait a minute, I forgot, they were all hypocrites to begin with, starting with The Declaration Of Independence stating that "all men are created equal..." except for my indentured servants and black slaves, that is.

Not to mention the slaughter of the existing inhabitants of the territory, aka native americans, erroneously dubbed as "Indians," by that original founding barbarian, Columbus, and his band of merry, pox and lice-infested, men.

But, without any further ado or conscious intention of hi-jacking this thread, I suppose I'll just have to swallow my angst and assume the prostrated position of joining the rest of this christian-judeo "Manifest Destiny" charge on their "Highway To Hell," seeing as no one in the christian world can afford that move.

"Better use of a "chips fall where they may" effort would be finding more of those $50 billion + Wall Street ponsey scam artists. You know what they say, where there's one, others do lurk..."

This is true, David, and where there's smoke, there's always fire[power], WMD's, and the cobblestone road back to the NYC and the London Stock Exchanges.

Damien Lloyd
01-06-2009, 11:00 PM
I got dumped whilst typing a reply. One minute I'm looking at the text, next minute I'm looking at my screensaver.

I knew it, first I email the beeb about their footage, then they trace my IP find out I'm typing a post here, hack the site, trace you guys, hack my mobile causing my bills to be a lot higher than they should, and leave me wearing a tin foil hat. Think I'll grow my beard and head into the mountains, or maybe the wooded area of a local golf course.

Terry Mauro
01-07-2009, 07:06 PM
As Prices Rise, Some See $2 Gas

by Clifford Krauss
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
provided by
http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/fi/16/53/76.gif (http://www.nytimes.com/)
The five-month slide in gasoline prices has come to an abrupt halt, with gasoline rising by several cents in recent days amid indicators that the national average could jump to $2 a gallon or higher this spring.

A broad shift in the psychology of the oil market seems to be under way. Oil prices are up more than 40 percent since they bottomed out just below $33 a barrel on Dec. 19. The reversal, after months of declines, suggests that production cuts by the OPEC cartel may be having an effect, along with growing tensions in the Middle East and the sentiment by traders that the precipitous drop in prices went too far.

(http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/06/technology/companies/06apple.html?partner=yahoo)
For six days in a row, drivers have been paying a few more cents a gallon than they did before Christmas. The change has been almost imperceptible for drivers who remember prices soaring above $4 a gallon last summer.

But if the price of gasoline continues rising, it may become another headache for consumers worried about their jobs and the dropping value of their homes and investments.

Oil prices are up about 25 percent in the last week alone, in part because of the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. [Well, will you look at what lengths these robber barons will resort to, just to make another fast buck! My emphasis. TM] Rising oil prices have helped push the wholesale price of gasoline up by 40 percent since Dec. 24, leading to predictions by energy experts that retail gasoline prices will spike by as much as 25 percent in coming weeks.
"A lot of people are talking about dollar-a-gallon gasoline, when the wholesale market seems to be pointing to $2 a gallon," said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service. As of Monday, regular gasoline was selling for $1.67 a gallon, on average, up from a recent low of $1.62 on Dec. 30.

The decline in gasoline prices has offered badly needed relief to consumers. A driver buying 50 gallons of gasoline a month has been saving $2 a day compared to a year ago, and $4 a day compared to the price peak in July. For the national economy as a whole, the savings came to around $1 billion a day, according to the Oil Price Information Service.
Among the big winners have been businesses like shipping companies with large transportation costs, commuters who drive long distances to work and consumers with moderate incomes who spend a relatively high percentage of their paychecks on fuel.

The summer's high prices prompted Americans to cut their driving, and the drastic downturn of the economy this Fall led to the huge decline in oil prices. But with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries cutting production, and with refineries trimming their output of gasoline, supply and demand may be coming back into balance.

Refineries have cut the number of barrels of crude oil they processed weekly to 14.5 million during December, from 15.4 million, according to the Energy Department. The tighter supplies are putting pressure on retail prices.

Analysts say the decline in gasoline use may have bottomed out, barring a further big downturn in the economy. MasterCard's SpendingPulse data service, which measures both cash and credit card sales of gasoline, had shown volume declines as sharp as 9 percent during some weeks in the fall. But that number has narrowed considerably as prices have fallen, and one recent week even showed a slight increase in gasoline sales compared to the same week the year before.

"There will be a real spike in gasoline prices coming in the next four to six weeks," predicted Chris Ruppel, an energy analyst at Execution, a brokerage and research firm. "We are witnessing a sea change in energy market sentiment as Americans appear to be returning to some of their old driving habits just as geopolitical risk is once again a factor in crude prices." [Why are Americans such dumbasses? My emphasis. TM]


Oil prices jumped more than 5 percent on Monday alone to close at $48.81 in New York trading, as fighting continued in the Gaza Strip and Iran's OPEC representative said the cartel would hold a special meeting in February. [Am I the only one anticipating a return to $5.00 a gallon, AGAIN? LISTEN UP, AMEROISRAEL!!! We don't need, nor do we care, to witness your indiscriminate, senseless slaughter of Palestinian women and children, just so you can palm off an excuse to raise the price of oil at Western Civilization's gas pumps! This ACT of yours only serves to confirm the egregiousness of your inherent mendacity, and deceitfully flawed, characteristic behavior.
My emphasis. TM] The cartel decided last month to cut output by 2.2 million barrels, on top of earlier cutbacks.

The AAA auto club reported that the average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline on Monday was $1.67, up nearly a penny and a half from the day before. That still compares favorably to the national average of $3.10 a gallon a year ago and the record high national average price of $4.11 last July 17.

In contrast to gasoline, diesel prices have not yet bottomed out. A gallon cost $2.40 on Monday, down a fraction of a penny from the day before.
Mr. Kloza said he thought gasoline prices probably hit a bottom last month. He said gasoline prices in California, which frequently leads the rest of the nation in gasoline price swings, bottomed the first week of December and had been rising since.

While gasoline prices felt like a great weight to many consumers on the way up, they have not been an economic cure-all on the way down.
"In comparison with between roughly a 40 percent drop in the stock market and a 20 percent drop in home values, the drop in gasoline prices is just a drop in the bucket," said Adam J. Robinson, director of commodities at Armored Wolf L.L.C., a hedge fund.

Mr. Robinson said he was unconvinced that oil and gasoline prices would go back up for long. "I think it is too soon to call a bottom in oil or gasoline because demand is falling faster than OPEC is cutting," he said.

Myra Bronstein
01-08-2009, 02:15 AM
Once again the great Dennis Kucinich has the courage to speak out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Faf_nV8nE8U

Terry Mauro
01-08-2009, 05:18 AM
He seems like the lone voice crying out in the wilderness.

Why are so many gutless wonders allowed to remain in their deafening silence while this carnage continues in Gaza?

Kucinich is the only one with the balls to get up in their faces, yet they continue as if nothing at all has been said.

I am shocked and dismayed, as the U.S. gov. continues to masquerade in its blatant ignorance, all the while casting a blind eye and a deaf ear in the direction of Israel.

I am at a loss for words to express the utter contempt and disgust I have for what appears to be their banal nonchalance.

Remind me to stay far away from D.C., except if I'm looking to get arrested.

Peter Lemkin
01-08-2009, 07:17 AM
850 dead and counting.....amazing how the MSM and governments of US and Israel 'discount' the lives of Palastinians to be all but worthless. The recent shelling of a school where hundreds were huddled to avoid the shelling was real 'class' on the part of Israel.....My uncle Raphael is surely turning in his grave. After fleeing Warsaw when the Nazis came in, he spent the rest of his life fighiting against Genocide [he coined the term] and lobbying for the passage of the Genocide Convention [which he wrote]. The USA was the first to sign and the last to ratify it. Raphael died in 1958. He'd not believe what is going on in Israel now - nor all the genocide at the hands of his adopted home, America. By his definition of the word, what is going on in Gaza is genocide. Period. [Iraq as well]

Magda Hassan
01-08-2009, 08:11 AM
I heard that woman who wants to be the next Israeli president say that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Which I supposed in their warped view of things is true. Palestinians are not human therefore there can be no humanitarian crisis.

David Healy
01-08-2009, 08:38 AM
I heard that woman who wants to be the next Israeli president say that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Which I supposed in their warped view of things is true. Palestinians are not human therefore there can be no humanitarian crisis.

What bullshit.....

For the hand-wringers a few facts and MYTHS

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/myths2/gazawar.html

Magda Hassan
01-08-2009, 11:59 AM
Why, thank you for that fair and balanced source David. I have always found the editor of the weekly AIPAC newsletter to be a valuable source of reliable and disinterested knowledge on Israeli/Palestinain affairs.

:puke:

David Guyatt
01-08-2009, 02:27 PM
Below is some interesting footage of Ron Paul on Israeli’s attack on Gaza.

I only disagree with him on one point and that is concerning his comment that “we [USA] have nothing to gain” in it.

The war party gains. That’s the whole point. War without end. Today they are de facto “the USA” by the sheer fact of their complete control of the institutions of the state.

But I have to admit that I also am a bit of a “hand-wringer”. But my wringing comes not so much from a perspective that Israel is solely to blame. Conflict requires at least two parties to succeed.

My perspective is rather more boring because the underlying demand is that it asks a lot more than most of us are ever willing to give. I see it yet another example of a conflict manifesting outwardly because we collectively lack the courage to engage the conflict within ourselves and meet our own “shadow” face-to-face.

Or as Charlie Sheen reflected in a letter to his grandmother about the US war in Vietnam, that he voiced at the end of the movie “Platoon” on the terror and bloodshed he had just witnessed:

“...sometimes Grandma, I think we were fighting ourselves.”

A-fooking-Men :evil:

***

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=08gTWqWrI4M

David Healy
01-08-2009, 06:10 PM
Why, thank you for that fair and balanced source David. I have always found the editor of the weekly AIPAC newsletter to be a valuable source of reliable and disinterested knowledge on Israeli/Palestinain affairs.

:puke:

and the local GAZA press (evidently the ONLY press in there at the moment) reliable-valuable disinterested resource?

Some threads just need a bit perspective (this case, the bashed side of the conflict speaks out...)

:boring:

Magda Hassan
01-09-2009, 12:22 AM
and the local GAZA press (evidently the ONLY press in there at the moment) reliable-valuable disinterested resource?

Some threads just need a bit perspective (this case, the bashed side of the conflict speaks out...)What perspective is that? The Israeli government party line is being spread all over the MSM. It's not like they haven't got an outlet for their propaganda. I don't feel inclined to give them any more space here especially given their relationship to the truth is debatable and can only be maintained through sophistry and much sommersaulting mentally and ethically.

Well, its the Israeli military keeping out the media. If they want a different perspective they better let others in there to observe what has been happening. They cannot complain about the coverage if they are not letting in any one to cover the crimes. They wont even let the Red Cross in. As for the Gaza press they are at least there (well they can't even leave) and are eye witnesses to the horror.

Even with out the media coverage it is clear the actions of the IDF amount to genocide. The people of Gaza are being starved, terrorised, ghettoised, economically impoverished and blockaded, imprisoned, threatened with extermination, denied medical treatment.

Hamas is not my idea of a representative government either but that is who the Palestinians chose to represent them in fair and open elections in 2006 observed by outsiders and they do at least put food on the tables of Palestinians. Hamas are also a creation of the Israeli secret services. They were used to create divisions in PLO/Fatah to weaken and split the Palestinian political leadership. Successfully. Israel reaps what it sowed both what it wanted and the unintended outcomes. The realitiy is that Hamas and the Palestinians can and will live with Israelis and Jews as people but they cannot be denied their own future to determine in their own homeland. The Palestinians have been continuously resident in this area for several thousand years and aren't going anywhere. Israel just has to deal that that tiny fact.

Myra Bronstein
01-09-2009, 04:24 AM
What perspective is that? The Israeli government party line is being spread all over the MSM. It's not like they haven't got an outlet for their propaganda. I don't feel inclined to give them any more space here especially given their relationship to the truth is debatable and can only be maintained through sophistry and much sommersaulting mentally and ethically.

Well, its the Israeli military keeping out the media. If they want a different perspective they better let others in there to observe what has been happening. They cannot complain about the coverage if they are not letting in any one to cover the crimes. ...

Perfectly said Maggie.

David Guyatt
01-09-2009, 01:42 PM
The London Times is as MSM as it gets, so I think the following report from the ICRC on page 3 today is relevant (btw, I don't read the Times normally but coincidence has intervened). Having once worked for the ICRC in an unpaid consultancy role, I have the great respect for their modern work -- a long way from the days of WWII.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article5478395.ece

From The Times
January 9, 2009
Red Cross accuses Israel of 'unacceptable' conduct in Gaza
Martin Fletcher and Azmi Keshawi
For four days Red Cross officials pressed the Israeli military for access to bomb-shattered homes in the Zaytun neighbourhood of Gaza City. Finally Israel promised safe passage with the help of a Red Cross rescue team and four ambulances from the Palestine Red Crescent Society. What they found exceeded their worst fears.

In one house they discovered four small children - alive but terrified, emaciated and too weak to stand – lying on mattresses next to 12 corpses including those of their mothers. In a second house they found three dead bodies. In a third they found 15 survivors of the Israeli bombardment, several of them wounded.

“I never expected to see such a horrifying scene. I never saw anything like it in my life,” Abed el-Aziz Abu Aisha, 22, told The Times. “It was like a very ugly scene from a horror movie.”

They had to drag the injured to the ambulances in a cart because barriers erected by the Israeli army made it impossible to bring the vehicles close enough. The rescuers evacuated 18 of the wounded and 12 others who were suffering from exhaustion. They took away two corpses and planned to return later to fetch 13 others.

The International Committee of the Red Cross did not mince its words. In an unusually blunt public statement yesterday it accused the Israeli military of “unacceptable” conduct and of breaching international humanitarian law. It demanded immediate access to the area to search for more wounded survivors sheltering in ruined houses.

“This is a shocking incident,” said Pierre Wettach, the ICRC’s head of delegation. “The Israeli military must have been aware of the situation but did not assist the wounded. Neither did they make it possible for us or the Palestine Red Crescent to assist the wounded.”

Mr Aisha, the Palestinian Red Crescent worker, said the area was so devastated by the Israeli bombardment that he did not recognise it. He said the eight-man rescue team was taunted and threatened by Israeli soldiers as it brought out the survivors.

The wounds of the injured – some of them children – were putrefying, and the survivors were starving, parched and hysterical. “The scenes will be imprinted on my memory for ever,” Mr Aisha said.

In response the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) claimed that it was combating a terrorist organisation – Hamas – that was using civilians as human shields, and insisted that it was working closely with international aid organisations. “Any serious allegations made against the IDF’s conduct will need to be investigated properly, once such a complaint is received formally, within the constraints of the current military operation,” it stated.

Hours after the ICRC’s statement, Israel’s international standing suffered a second blow when the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) suspended its operations in Gaza because of the dangers posed by the Israeli offensive. The announcement came after a Palestinian employee was killed and two others were injured when a UNflagged convoy was hit by Israeli tank shells near the Erez crossing on Gaza’s northern border. The UN insisted that the Israelis had been told of the convoy’s movements. The IDF would not comment last night.

Earlier this week the Israeli military struck a UNrun school it claimed was used by Hamas fighters, killing more than 40 Palestinians. “Operations will remain suspended until Israeli authorities can guarantee the safety and security of our staff,” Christopher Gun-ness, an UNRWA spokesman, said.

UNRWA delivers relief supplies to 750,000 Gazans, and the suspension will deepen what international aid organisations describe as a humanitarian catastrophe in the territory.

**

The mounting death toll:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00461/Gaza_slideshow__04_461910a.jpg

Magda Hassan
01-09-2009, 02:25 PM
Truely sickening. I have never heard the Red Cross speak in such a strong and pointed manner publicly before.

Now the Israeli government spokesperson is admitting that there were no Hamas rockets being fired from the UN school but they deliberately targetted it. It was actually three schools and the locals had been leafletted by the IDF to flee their homes where they then seek refuge in the school then it was bombed by the IDF. What conclusion can be drawn except that they intended to massacre civillians?

http://leninology.blogspot.com/2009/01/unrwa-spokesperson-statement-on-israeli.html
************************************************** ************

Let's be clear about this. On 6 January, three (http://www.nowlebanon.com/NewsArticleDetails.aspx?ID=73907) UN-run schools in Gaza were attacked by Israeli forces, not just one. What is more, the previous day an Israeli bombing of a UN school had killed three members of the same family (http://reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/EGUA-7N2N56?OpenDocument&rc=3&cc=pse). This sort of killing can usually be dealt with in a perfunctory fashion ('we regret all loss of innocent life, but the responsibility belongs to those who use terror and hide among civilians...'). However, the massacre of 43 people in a UN school bearing flags and insignia and housing some 350 refugees from the fighting (many of whom had fled on orders from IDF leaflets dropped on the towns and cities), demanded a more considered explanation and justification. I just want to take a quick look at the explanations offered by Israeli spokespeople and its military.

The IDF's initial justification for the attack on the Al-Fakhura school was that Hamas had used the building to fire mortars from, and its tanks had responded. Implicit in this was an admission that they had targeted the school on purpose. The tank shells, presumably shot from quite nearby, were fired by soldiers operating under orders from command centres equipped with detailed targeting intelligence. As is now known, the Israeli military had the GPS coordinates not only of this UN school but of the other UN schools that it attacked. We also know that the UN told Israeli forces that the schools were being used as refuges for those driven out of their houses by Israel. And the first thing the IDF let us know is that it was done on purpose. Their excuse was barbaric, of course. The idea that an invading force may attack a building filled with hundreds of terrorised civilians just in order to kill two of those resisting the invasion is nothing short of grotesque. But the fact that it was barbaric was part of the point: rather than bluntly condemning a war crime, you were invited to focus on whether Hamas would be so evil as to attack Israel's brave boys from within a civilian building. Because it is so frequently repeated you might be predisposed to assume that Hamas did indeed position its 'infrastructure of terror' among unsuspecting citizens but, whether you are so predisposed or not, you are already drawn into the macabre calculus of the murderer if you even get involved in that argument. You have tacitly accepted the logic in which war crimes are not merely acceptable, but actually appropriate, if the enemy really is as evil as Israel says. The usual suspects, of course, immediately embraced Israel's excuse: Israel's killing, they expostulated, merely demonstrates the ruthless, diabolical genius of Hamas. If anything, they added, the IDF was admirably restrained in its action. But it is doubtful that many others were taken in.

The second thing that the IDF claimed was that there were Hamas troops hiding inside the building, nestling among the refugees, thereby forcing the Israelis to slaughter the innocent. This is quite a different claim, and the first thing that would occur to any reasonable observer would be that the sudden embellishment reflected some sort of dishonesty ('the elaborations of a bad liar', as Hannibal Lecter would put it). Or perhaps there had been a failure by everyone to get their stories straight and stick to them. At any rate, the logic of the astounding claim that Israel acted in self-defense remained as tortuous as it had been. But Israel claimed to have identified the bodies of Hamas members, and even fed two names to the media, (so once again you were invited to get bogged down in the merits of Israel's claim rather than decide on an appropriate response to the slaughter).

The next part of the story is the most interesting. In order to get around the absurd idea that Hamas military operatives had sneaked into the building and launched mortars without anyone in the school noticing, Israel's spokespeople claimed that Hamas gunmen had taken over the UN building, taken the civilians hostage and used the base to fire mortars at Israeli soldiers. Mark Regev said it was a "very extreme example of how Hamas operates". Such a claim was obviously checkable in a matter of minutes. Any UN personnel present in the school at the time could easily say whether in fact they had all been suffering under Hamas captivity until Israel 'liberated' the building. The UN produced an emphatic denial (http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1870087,00.html), based on its own investigations, that there was ever any Hamas fighter in the building. By now, the fact that Israel has never provided any real evidence for its claims, which continue to shapeshift, comes into sharp focus. Moreover, since Israeli troops didn't visit the building or have access to the records of the deceased, it would be highly improbable that they would be able to not only name two of the dead, but also gather intelligence that proved they were members of Hamas' military wing, within such a short space of time.

So, the Israeli government topped that brazenness with a stroke of effrontery that is somehow not adequately captured by the word 'chutzpah'. Israel announced that as it was lodging a complaint with the UN for allowing the building to be secretly used by Hamas (http://news.antiwar.com/2009/01/06/israel-mulls-complaining-to-un-after-killings/). Now it appears that Israeli diplomats admit (http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/249400,extra-un-israel-admits-rocket-fire-was-not-from-within-school.html) that no rockets were fired from the school. They are now briefing that there was some mortar fire, but that it came from outside the school. Now, there is no evidence that there was any mortar fire at all, but perhaps you aren't really supposed to believe it. Actually, you were never supposed to believe any of it. There was no way that you were ever expected to be taken in by this pitiful subterfuge. They didn't even present a very convincing lie, or a very good case. What they did was tell you up front that they attacked a clearly marked UN school building filled with civilians on purpose, and then follow it up with a flimsy cover-story followed by an even more flimsy revised cover story and an outlandish allegation against the UN that they have dropped in a matter of hours in such a way as to undermine their previous cover-stories. This is obviously contemptuous, but it isn't just a sensational flip-off to 'world opinion'. They are saying they killed civilians on purpose, that nowhere in Gaza is safe, and that they reserve their right to do it again and offer the same risible mitigations and alibis as before.

David Healy
01-09-2009, 06:39 PM
Magda:

from your source blog....

"An extremist minority who should be ostracised. posted by lenin

Here's something to chew over. If you have participated in a public demonstration supporting Israel's operation in Gaza (such as this one or this one), you are a moral idiot... "

posted by a lenin? LMFAO!

Frankly, I'd prefer the following from a latter-day lenin: should we expect a latter-day Jane Fonda type to make her way to GAZA? Maybe carry the message of Hamas terrorists to the world, that being (Hey, its just a few hundred rockets we're lobbing into Israelii cities, what's the problem)? Have same latter-day Fonda type have a photo (or two) taken with Hamas terrorists? Pose having a cup of coffee by a missile or rocket launcher...

You know in the late 60's and early 70's here in the USofA protesters had a way of demonstrating for effect. It worked, on US streets and universities!

Quoting 'biased', not to mention moronic blogger's (with the name lenin no less) seems a bit, er, empty at the moment.

David Healy
01-09-2009, 08:41 PM
further.... the below works for me

The War Prayer
by Mark Twain

It was a time of great exulting and excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and sputtering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest depths of their hearts, and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles, beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener. It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast doubt upon its righteousness straight way got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety's sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.

Sunday morning came – next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their young faces alight with martial dreams – visions of the stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender! – then home from the war, bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag, or failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation:

"God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest, Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!"

Then came the "long" prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was, that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the hour of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory.

An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher's side and stood there, waiting.

With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal,

"Bless our arms, grant us victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!"

The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside – which the startled minister did – and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:

"I come from the Throne – bearing a message from Almighty God!"

The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention.

"He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if such be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import – that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of – except he pause and think.

"God's servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two – one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him Who heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this – keep it in mind. If you would beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor's crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.

"You have heard your servant's prayer – the uttered part of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other part of it – that part which the pastor – and also you in your hearts – fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so!

You heard these words: 'Grant us victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. The whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory – must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God the Father fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle – be Thou near them! With them – in spirit – we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with hurricanes of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it – for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen."

[After a pause.] "Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits."

not bad for the author of Huck Finn, huh?

Might someone pass this on to the bloggster: lenin

Mark Stapleton
01-10-2009, 01:26 AM
You know in the late 60's and early 70's here in the USofA protesters had a way of demonstrating for effect. It worked, on US streets and universities!




Americans in the 60's and 70's weren't starving and imprisoned like present day Gazans, you ignorant knucklehead.

Made bold by The Moderators to indicate the sort of language that in most instances -- including this post -- has no redeeming value. In the future, please choose eloquence over malevolence.

-- CD

Richard Welser
01-10-2009, 02:49 AM
Not only is the analogy inaccurate but the general flavor is wrong. Palestinians have suffered, at the very least, ethnic cleansing for 60 years. Twain, I imagine, was thinking of the War Between the States. Further, 60’s demonstrators, as noted above, were not particularly deprived. I know. I was one at Kent State.
But Gaza, in spite of the debatable issue of Hamas, clearly has the moral high ground here. In spite of the obvious bias of MSM. Of course, when isn’t it biased?
I’ve always liked that passage from Twain. But the Weltanschaunng in which he existed is not the one we experience.
It’s kind a strange, you know, looking at this portion of our ‘New World’ being formed before our eyes.…. (and its essence expressed in front of our eyes). Of course, because I relate the right wing controllers in Israel to the Likud sympathizers here … and see that small whole as part of a larger whole … with which I do not sympathize, I cannot wish well towards Israel. A lot of good people in Israel. But neither do I wish well towards the American Empire. A lotta good people here too.….

But not enough. There are never enough.

Magda Hassan
01-10-2009, 03:04 AM
"An extremist minority who should be ostracised. posted by lenin

Here's something to chew over. If you have participated in a public demonstration supporting Israel's operation in Gaza (such as this one or this one), you are a moral idiot... "

posted by a lenin? LMFAO!
David, this is not what I posted. If you want to know the context of this though the poster is referring to some group who claim to be for peace but are out there supporting Israel government actions (which are military and not peaceful) S/He seems to be saying they have not thought their actions through and doesn't want to be associated with them. But this is just differences of opinion between some left factions and is not of interest to me and I don't know why it is of interest to you.


Frankly, I'd prefer the following from a latter-day lenin: should we expect a latter-day Jane Fonda type to make her way to GAZA? Maybe carry the message of Hamas terrorists to the world, that being (Hey, its just a few hundred rockets we're lobbing into Israelii cities, what's the problem)? Have same latter-day Fonda type have a photo (or two) taken with Hamas terrorists? Pose having a cup of coffee by a missile or rocket launcher...

You know in the late 60's and early 70's here in the USofA protesters had a way of demonstrating for effect. It worked, on US streets and universities!


I have NO idea what you are trying to say here. Are you saying that protesting is good as it works so there should be a Jane Fonda type to go and pose with tanks and protest? What exactly are you protesting for or against? Hamas or Israel? Or Palestinians or Jews? Or war in general? Jane Fonda? Sorry David. I just have no idea what you are trying to say here. Or even if it is a joke.


Quoting 'biased', not to mention moronic blogger's (with the name lenin no less) seems a bit, er, empty at the moment.

Don't allow yourself to be distracted by shiny things David. Who cares what a blogger calls him or her self. Look at the book not the cover. Did you read what they said? Did you check out the links in the article?

In case you didn't here is the link where the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (the part of the UN that look after the worlds refugees and who ran the school that the Israeli military bombed) speaks officially of how Israel has retracted their statement that there were hamas rockets fired from the school. http://leninology.blogspot.com/2009/01/unrwa-spokesperson-statement-on-israeli.html

Here is the link where it says that 3 UN run schools were hit on Tuesday. Well, to paraphrase Oscar Wilde to lose one school is a misfortune but to lose two looks like carelessness. What does that make three? Looks like deliberate targeting to me.

http://www.nowlebanon.com/NewsArticleDetails.aspx?ID=73907

A strike near the Al-Fakhura school in Jabaliya in northern Gaza, where at least 40 people were killed, according to medics, was Israel’s third deadly attack near United Nations-run schools on Tuesday.

Here is the link from the UN about the family killed at the school a designated refuge centre:
http://reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/EGUA-7N2N56?OpenDocument&rc=3&cc=pse

Three members of the same Palestinian family were killed last night whilst taking shelter in an UNRWA school designated as a temporary refuge from the violence. Well before the current fighting, the UN had given to the Israeli authorities the GPS co-ordinates of all its installations in Gaza, including the UNRWA school which was struck. In addition yesterday, an entire family of five children and their parents were killed when the Israeli army shelled their home. These deaths highlight the tragic reality of the situation in Gaza that for civilians, neither homes nor UN shelters are safe. Nearly one and a half million civilians are dangerously exposed to the fighting around them. There are no safe places to flee. We call on all parties to uphold international humanitarian law and protect civilians.


Here is the link from the UN stating that there were no Hamas in the school either refugees or casualties: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1870087,00.html

United Nations investigators say they have uncovered no evidence to support a claim by the Israeli military that Hamas fighters (http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1869807,00.html) were holed up in a Gaza school, prompting a deadly attack by Israeli forces that killed 40 civilians, many of them children....
But Israeli military officials insist that the mortars were fired from within the crowded schoolyard and that Hamas is using civilians as human shields. The IDF gave the names of two Hamas combatants it says were killed inside the school — Imad and Hassan Abu Askar — who allegedly fired the mortars. But the IDF did not explain how it was able to identify them among the many casualties. Troops did not visit the school after the attack, nor did the IDF have access to a casualty list from Gaza's hospitals.


Here is the link showing Israeli arrogance (and displacement activity) in wanting to charge the UN with harboring Hamas in it buildings. It also shows that Israel’s ability to discern friendly and hostile targets seems to be in considerable doubt as they shot up a building containing their own military. Very professional.
http://news.antiwar.com/2009/01/06/israel-mulls-complaining-to-un-after-killings/

And just to make sure here is another link that shows that Israel is admitting that there were no rockets fired from the school by Hamas or any one else. http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/249400,extra-un-israel-admits-rocket-fire-was-not-from-within-school.html

Now, I know that links above are only from the MSM and eyewitnesses to the events and not from or approved by the AIPAC newsletter editor and are there fore biased but I think Lenin or Fifi or Mambo No5 or what ever s/he likes to call themselves has put a respectable bit of work together. Try reading it. Then comment.

David Healy
01-10-2009, 09:20 AM
Americans in the 60's and 70's weren't starving and imprisoned like present day Gazans, you ignorant knucklehead.

now Mark, just because Hamas is getting its ass kicked in GAZA there's no sense in you getting riled up -- they're the enemy....

Gazans imprisoned? To bad all those Arab nations in the vicinity can't (better yet: WON'T) open their checkbooks. Gaza should be an oasis what with all that A-RAB oil money floating around. Perhaps you can take up donations.... then the Israelis can put their checkbook away....

So, wake up ignorant dufus... your hand-wringing is noted.... you ever serve, Mark? Or did you come by your bravado out of a box?


Made bold by The Moderators to indicate the sort of language that in most instances -- including this post -- has no redeeming value. In the future, please choose eloquence over malevolence.

-- CD

David Healy
01-10-2009, 09:34 AM
Top Post...

Ya know Magda, for years I worked in the media (not as a writer as I'm sure you English majors can tell) doing network news, all kinds of nasty stuff..... and frankly the experience has taught me: no one sitting on the sidelines has a fucking clue as to what goes on in the war zone and worse yet -- NO ONE in the middle of it has a clue either....

Who or what blog you deem media (and the internet is media) credible is of course, your business. Based on my reading, its Jew bashing... but that's MY unbiased opinion...

Stories, articles, video footage hits the air. Stories, articles, video footage retracted, corrected or found to be outright lies and yes some staged photo & video clips...

What I see in a few threads here, is serious Jew bashing, from the sidelines yet.

Where's the deep politics? Does that come when the bashing is over?

Shiny things? You mean bullets, RPG's, Rockets, Missiles, those kind of things? Yeah hon, they distract me, as a Vietnam Veteran they've ALWAYS distracted me. :bebored:


David, this is not what I posted. If you want to know the context of this though the poster is referring to some group who claim to be for peace but are out there supporting Israel government actions (which are military and not peaceful) S/He seems to be saying they have not thought their actions through and doesn't want to be associated with them. But this is just differences of opinion between some left factions and is not of interest to me and I don't know why it is of interest to you.



I have NO idea what you are trying to say here. Are you saying that protesting is good as it works so there should be a Jane Fonda type to go and pose with tanks and protest? What exactly are you protesting for or against? Hamas or Israel? Or Palestinians or Jews? Or war in general? Jane Fonda? Sorry David. I just have no idea what you are trying to say here. Or even if it is a joke.



Don't allow yourself to be distracted by shiny things David. Who cares what a blogger calls him or her self. Look at the book not the cover. Did you read what they said? Did you check out the links in the article?

In case you didn't here is the link where the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (the part of the UN that look after the worlds refugees and who ran the school that the Israeli military bombed) speaks officially of how Israel has retracted their statement that there were hamas rockets fired from the school. http://leninology.blogspot.com/2009/01/unrwa-spokesperson-statement-on-israeli.html

Here is the link where it says that 3 UN run schools were hit on Tuesday. Well, to paraphrase Oscar Wilde to lose one school is a misfortune but to lose two looks like carelessness. What does that make three? Looks like deliberate targeting to me.

http://www.nowlebanon.com/NewsArticleDetails.aspx?ID=73907


Here is the link from the UN about the family killed at the school a designated refuge centre:
http://reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/EGUA-7N2N56?OpenDocument&rc=3&cc=pse


Here is the link from the UN stating that there were no Hamas in the school either refugees or casualties: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1870087,00.html


Here is the link showing Israeli arrogance (and displacement activity) in wanting to charge the UN with harboring Hamas in it buildings. It also shows that Israel’s ability to discern friendly and hostile targets seems to be in considerable doubt as they shot up a building containing their own military. Very professional.
http://news.antiwar.com/2009/01/06/israel-mulls-complaining-to-un-after-killings/

And just to make sure here is another link that shows that Israel is admitting that there were no rockets fired from the school by Hamas or any one else. http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/249400,extra-un-israel-admits-rocket-fire-was-not-from-within-school.html

Now, I know that links above are only from the MSM and eyewitnesses to the events and not from or approved by the AIPAC newsletter editor and are there fore biased but I think Lenin or Fifi or Mambo No5 or what ever s/he likes to call themselves has put a respectable bit of work together. Try reading it. Then comment.

Magda Hassan
01-10-2009, 11:13 AM
David,
I am a 4 x 2
If you are looking for deep politics you wont find it in an AIPAC white wash which is what you showed me in one of your posts some back. Well, actually you might if you want to see it. If I or others criticise the criminal and inhuman actions of the Israeli military and government it does not amount to 'Jew bashing' as you call it. No group is beyond question no matter their ethnic or religious affiliation. Every other Jew I know is horrified and revolted by what is happening and marching to protest it and in solidarity with the Palestinian people. But you wont know that unless you read and watch more widely than AIPAC approved media outlets and can recognise hasbara for what it is. I know the situation is a bit different in Israel where there is more support for the war but even the people I know there are involved with the peace movement and against the war. Are they all Jew bashers as well? Just because they don't bow down to the government and authority figures. This wholesale slaughter happening in Gaza makes a complete mockery of every Jew that died under the Nazis. Their criminal actions endangers every Jew around this planet because it is bringing out every right wing looney who are saying that "Hitler should have finished them all off" I cannot to go synagogue or Jewish clubs etc because I am afraid I will get blown up or something because of some demented rascist loon or revengeful arab or a CIA/Mossad job to put the blame on the 'terrorists'. Within Israel it will make things more dangerous not safer. They have just created 1,000's more people with nothing left to lose.

Speaking of staged photos and videos do you know that the video that the IDF used to 'prove' that Hamas was firing from the UN school was actually footage from 2007? http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1054009.html


Shiny things? You mean bullets, RPG's, Rockets, Missiles, those kind of things? Yeah hon, they distract me, as a Vietnam Veteran they've ALWAYS distracted me.Well, they distracted me when I was in the military too. That's why I left and got a life.

Peter Lemkin
01-10-2009, 12:26 PM
UN: One-third of Gaza dead, injured are children

By JOHN HEILPRIN – 1 day ago

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Palestinian children are dying at a heavy rate in the Israeli-Hamas fighting — about one of every three persons killed, according to Gaza statistics.

As of Thursday, 257 children were among the approximately 760 reported dead in Gaza. There were another 1,080 children among the 3,100 injured in the conflict, according to statistics from Gaza's health ministry.

The U.N.'s top humanitarian official, John Holmes, described the numbers as "credible" and deeply disturbing. U.N officials say about half of the casualties were civilians.

Holmes and John Ging, head of Gaza operations for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, both expressed anger and regret at their decision Thursday to temporarily suspend aid shipments in the Gaza Strip because it was too risky for their aid workers.

"It's particularly distressing and horrifying that the current casualties seem to be increasingly civilian casualties, with an increasing incidence of whole families being buried in houses which have been hit," Holmes said.

Ann Veneman, executive director of the U.N. children's agency, UNICEF, warned the suspension of aid would put children even more in harm's way.

"This can only deepen an already critical humanitarian situation and put children at even greater risk of death or permanent damage. The distribution of food, water, fuel and medicine should not be impeded," she said.

The Israeli military said in a statement that it cooperates closely with foreign aid groups to help civilians, and said Hamas uses civilians as human shields.

The decision to suspend aid deliveries in Gaza came after Israeli strikes killed two drivers for UNRWA and injured a third in marked vehicles, U.N. officials say.

In all, four of UNRWA's Gaza staff have been killed since Israel launched a major attack on Hamas 13 days ago, according to the U.N. UNRWA said its deliveries of food have served as a "lifeline" for 750,000 Palestinian refugees in Gaza.

Holmes cited another incident in which a U.N. convoy of two armored vehicles and an ambulance were "targeted by small-arms fire during its passage" Thursday, even though its movement was "agreed in advance" by the Israeli authorities.

The World Health Organization said Gaza's health services were "on the point of collapse" — the hospitals overwhelmed, health care workers exhausted. It said the dead included 21 medical personnel, 30 more were injured and 11 ambulances have been struck by attacks.

The Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross, or ICRC, accused Israel Thursday of "unacceptable" delays in letting rescue workers reach three Gaza City homes hit by shelling where they found 15 dead and 18 wounded.

The wounded included young children too weak to stand, but the ICRC said the Israeli army refused to give permission for rescuers to reach the site in the Zeitoun neighborhood for four days and ambulances could not reach the neighborhood because the Israeli army erected large earthen barriers that blocked access.

Israel blamed the delay on fighting in the area.

David Guyatt
01-10-2009, 02:38 PM
David, you and I should meet up sometime, have a beer or two and discuss these sorts of matters. I am a big fan of Mark Twain and his "War Prayer" is more than insightful and works for me also.

It is the mote in thy brother's eye that causes all this conflict - plus (and I believe it is a most important plus) the deep political machinations of the "war party" who govern iron-shod over the so called civilized western nations, partly in order to control their own populace, partly to deflect attention from domestic happening, but always for profit.

The sad fact is that the global manipulators can always trust the resident mote in the brothers eye to ensure war, and are always skilled in using it to best possible effect for their benefit.

It is also a known psychological fact that a ravaged and damaged psyche (both individually and collectively) can be counted on - in most but thankfully not all cases - to reach for the sword rather than reaching for compromise and peace.

David





further.... the below works for me

The War Prayer
by Mark Twain

It was a time of great exulting and excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and sputtering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest depths of their hearts, and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles, beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener. It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast doubt upon its righteousness straight way got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety's sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.

Sunday morning came – next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their young faces alight with martial dreams – visions of the stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender! – then home from the war, bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag, or failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation:

"God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest, Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!"

Then came the "long" prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was, that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the hour of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory.

An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher's side and stood there, waiting.

With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal,

"Bless our arms, grant us victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!"

The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside – which the startled minister did – and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:

"I come from the Throne – bearing a message from Almighty God!"

The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention.

"He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if such be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import – that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of – except he pause and think.

"God's servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two – one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him Who heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this – keep it in mind. If you would beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor's crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.

"You have heard your servant's prayer – the uttered part of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other part of it – that part which the pastor – and also you in your hearts – fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so!

You heard these words: 'Grant us victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. The whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory – must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God the Father fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle – be Thou near them! With them – in spirit – we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with hurricanes of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it – for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen."

[After a pause.] "Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits."

not bad for the author of Huck Finn, huh?

Might someone pass this on to the bloggster: lenin

Charles Drago
01-10-2009, 06:17 PM
What I see in a few threads here, is serious Jew bashing, from the sidelines yet.

Where's the deep politics? Does that come when the bashing is over?


David,

In the past we've found much on which to agree. In addition, I'm certain you'll recall the many heartfelt kind words I've sent your way over the years.

So while I'm not offended by your charge of "Jew bashing" on this forum, I must stand to correct you in the strongest possible terms.

If referencing war crimes being committed by the State of Israel is "Jew bashing," then referencing war crimes being committed by George W. Bush's America is "Gentile bashing."

Israel is a criminal nation. So is America. That is to say, many of the respective official national policies of these countries violate international law and stand as crimes against humanity.

Period.

The religious affiliations of the criminals are not relevant to my judgements herein offered.

Respectfully,

Charles

David Healy
01-10-2009, 06:59 PM
David,

In the past we've found much on which to agree. In addition, I'm certain you'll recall the many heartfelt kind words I've sent your way over the years.

So while I'm not offended by your charge of "Jew bashing" on this forum, I must stand to correct you in the strongest possible terms.

If referencing war crimes being committed by the State of Israel is "Jew bashing," then referencing war crimes being committed by George W. Bush's America is "Gentile bashing."

Israel is a criminal nation. So is America. That is to say, many of the respective official national policies of these countries violate international law and stand as crimes against humanity.

Period.

The religious affiliations of the criminals are not relevant to my judgements herein offered.

Respectfully,

Charles

Charles, as always, I respect your position and opinion... I'll end my participation in all Israel/Gaza threads with this... you say:

"Israel is a criminal nation"

I say (with full thought and knowledge we'll NEVER know the specifics, only the assumed):

When a sovereign state undergoes missile attack(s) and constant, threatened extinction by ANY other sovereign state(s) -- I suspect, if Israel did NOT respond with full force and might, THEN and only then, would Israel become a criminal nation. A state that will not or can not protect its people, is not a state.... Hamas can not protect its people, hence their missile attacks is fools folly...

So, we're down to whose the first blame, and for that we need to go back 5000 or so years. For whatever it's worth, we have that record.... and for most its clear as mud. Unless that is you have a tendency to believe in ONE GOD... :hmmmm2:

As ever,
David Healy

David Healy
01-10-2009, 07:12 PM
David, you and I should meet up sometime, have a beer or two and discuss these sorts of matters. I am a big fan of Mark Twain and his "War Prayer" is more than insightful and works for me also.

...

David

Love to do that David. Whenever you'e going to be in the Las Vegas or the Reno-Tahoe area, drop me an email....

Mark Twain once worked for a Virginia City, Nevada newspaper. Old Nevada mining town.... Hop, skip and a jump from here.... We could share libations in the Bucket of Blood Saloon....

DH

Myra Bronstein
01-10-2009, 08:06 PM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jan/10/naomi-klein-boycott-israel

Enough. It's time for a boycott

The best way to end the bloody occupation is to target Israel with the kind of movement that ended apartheid in South Africa

Naomi Klein
The Guardian, Saturday 10 January 2009

It's time. Long past time. The best strategy to end the increasingly bloody occupation is for Israel to become the target of the kind of global movement that put an end to apartheid in South Africa. In July 2005 a huge coalition of Palestinian groups laid out plans to do just that. They called on "people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era". The campaign Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions was born.

Every day that Israel pounds Gaza brings more converts to the BDS cause - even among Israeli Jews. In the midst of the assault roughly 500 Israelis, dozens of them well-known artists and scholars, sent a letter to foreign ambassadors in Israel. It calls for "the adoption of immediate restrictive measures and sanctions" and draws a clear parallel with the anti-apartheid struggle. "The boycott on South Africa was effective, but Israel is handled with kid gloves ... This international backing must stop."

Yet even in the face of these clear calls, many of us still can't go there. The reasons are complex, emotional and understandable. But they simply aren't good enough. Economic sanctions are the most effective tool in the non-violent arsenal: surrendering them verges on active complicity. Here are the top four objections to the BDS strategy, followed by counter-arguments.

Punitive measures will alienate rather than persuade Israelis.

The world has tried what used to be called "constructive engagement". It has failed utterly. Since 2006 Israel has been steadily escalating its criminality: expanding settlements, launching an outrageous war against Lebanon, and imposing collective punishment on Gaza through the brutal blockade. Despite this escalation, Israel has not faced punitive measures - quite the opposite. The weapons and $3bn in annual aid the US sends Israel are only the beginning. Throughout this key period, Israel has enjoyed a dramatic improvement in its diplomatic, cultural and trade relations with a variety of other allies. For instance, in 2007 Israel became the first country outside Latin America to sign a free-trade deal with the Mercosur bloc. In the first nine months of 2008, Israeli exports to Canada went up 45%. A new deal with the EU is set to double Israel's exports of processed food. And in December European ministers "upgraded" the EU-Israel association agreement, a reward long sought by Jerusalem.

It is in this context that Israeli leaders started their latest war: confident they would face no meaningful costs. It is remarkable that over seven days of wartime trading, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange's flagship index actually went up 10.7%. When carrots don't work, sticks are needed.

Israel is not South Africa.

Of course it isn't. The relevance of the South African model is that it proves BDS tactics can be effective when weaker measures (protests, petitions, backroom lobbying) fail. And there are deeply distressing echoes of apartheid in the occupied territories: the colour-coded IDs and travel permits, the bulldozed homes and forced displacement, the settler-only roads. Ronnie Kasrils, a prominent South African politician, said the architecture of segregation he saw in the West Bank and Gaza was "infinitely worse than apartheid". That was in 2007, before Israel began its full-scale war against the open-air prison that is Gaza.

Why single out Israel when the US, Britain and other western countries do the same things in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Boycott is not a dogma; it is a tactic. The reason the strategy should be tried is practical: in a country so small and trade-dependent, it could actually work.

Boycotts sever communication; we need more dialogue, not less.

This one I'll answer with a personal story. For eight years, my books have been published in Israel by a commercial house called Babel. But when I published The Shock Doctrine, I wanted to respect the boycott. On the advice of BDS activists, including the wonderful writer John Berger, I contacted a small publisher called Andalus. Andalus is an activist press, deeply involved in the anti-occupation movement and the only Israeli publisher devoted exclusively to translating Arabic writing into Hebrew. We drafted a contract that guarantees that all proceeds go to Andalus's work, and none to me. I am boycotting the Israeli economy but not Israelis.

Our modest publishing plan required dozens of phone calls, emails and instant messages, stretching between Tel Aviv, Ramallah, Paris, Toronto and Gaza City. My point is this: as soon as you start a boycott strategy, dialogue grows dramatically. The argument that boycotts will cut us off from one another is particularly specious given the array of cheap information technologies at our fingertips. We are drowning in ways to rant at each other across national boundaries. No boycott can stop us.

Just about now, many a proud Zionist is gearing up for major point-scoring: don't I know that many of these very hi-tech toys come from Israeli research parks, world leaders in infotech? True enough, but not all of them. Several days into Israel's Gaza assault, Richard Ramsey, managing director of a British telecom specialising in voice-over-internet services, sent an email to the Israeli tech firm MobileMax: "As a result of the Israeli government action in the last few days we will no longer be in a position to consider doing business with yourself or any other Israeli company."

Ramsey says his decision wasn't political; he just didn't want to lose customers. "We can't afford to lose any of our clients," he explains, "so it was purely commercially defensive."

It was this kind of cold business calculation that led many companies to pull out of South Africa two decades ago. And it's precisely the kind of calculation that is our most realistic hope of bringing justice, so long denied, to Palestine.

Myra Bronstein
01-10-2009, 09:29 PM
Is this part of Israel's strategy? Have they intentionally gone so far beyond the pale that Hamas has no choice but to reject negotiations?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28573204

Hamas chief says no chance of deal with Isreal
Hamas says attacks end negotiations; Abbas urges sides to accept truce
Image: Members of the Israeli military ride on their armored personnel carrier (APC) January 10, 2009 along the Israel-Gaza border in Israel

Members of the Israeli military ride on their armored personnel carrier on Saturday along the Israel-Gaza border in Israel. Despite calls for a cease fire, heavy fighting continues between Israel and Hamas militants.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - A top Hamas leader said Saturday that the Gaza war has killed the last chance for settlement and negotiations with Israel.

Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal gave a fiery speech on the Arabic news channel Al-Jazeera condemning Israel's attack on the Gaza Strip, describing it as a "holocaust."
...

Charles Drago
01-11-2009, 12:57 AM
Is this part of Israel's strategy? Have they intentionally gone so far beyond the pale that Hamas has no choice but to reject negotiations?...

Precisely.

Magda Hassan
01-11-2009, 02:50 AM
It was the same with the Ramboulet treaty that Milosevic was asked to sign. If you read it it shows that Yugoslavia would virtually be handed over to NATO and that they would pay for NATO to occupy them. This was totally unacceptable for Milosevic as it would be for any leader so he could not sign it. This was the intention so they can have their war. They win either way.

David Guyatt
01-11-2009, 11:21 AM
Myra, I have a mild form of dyslexia and it is not unusual for me to read an article and miss the key points, as has happened on this occasion it seems. for I cannot see in the linked article "Hamas chief says no chance to deal with Israel"?

Of course there is another possibility to my dyslexia being responsible. As often is the case these days, online reporting changes with the hour in what sometimes seems to me to be a "now you see it - now you don't" form of MSM self-imposed editing.

For this reason I try mostly to post the full article, the pictures (which also seem to be subject to random change), the headlines, the date, the time stamp etc.

Eric A Blair would be proud of me...



Is this part of Israel's strategy? Have they intentionally gone so far beyond the pale that Hamas has no choice but to reject negotiations?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28573204

Hamas chief says no chance of deal with Isreal
Hamas says attacks end negotiations; Abbas urges sides to accept truce
Image: Members of the Israeli military ride on their armored personnel carrier (APC) January 10, 2009 along the Israel-Gaza border in Israel

Members of the Israeli military ride on their armored personnel carrier on Saturday along the Israel-Gaza border in Israel. Despite calls for a cease fire, heavy fighting continues between Israel and Hamas militants.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - A top Hamas leader said Saturday that the Gaza war has killed the last chance for settlement and negotiations with Israel.

Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal gave a fiery speech on the Arabic news channel Al-Jazeera condemning Israel's attack on the Gaza Strip, describing it as a "holocaust."
...

David Guyatt
01-11-2009, 02:32 PM
We could share libations in the Bucket of Blood Saloon....

DH

I couldn't possibly refuse sharing a beverage in such a remarkably named establishment...:cheers:

Mark Stapleton
01-11-2009, 06:35 PM
Just about now, many a proud Zionist is gearing up for major point-scoring: don't I know that many of these very hi-tech toys come from Israeli research parks, world leaders in infotech? True enough, but not all of them. Several days into Israel's Gaza assault, Richard Ramsey, managing director of a British telecom specialising in voice-over-internet services, sent an email to the Israeli tech firm MobileMax: "As a result of the Israeli government action in the last few days we will no longer be in a position to consider doing business with yourself or any other Israeli company."

Ramsey says his decision wasn't political; he just didn't want to lose customers. "We can't afford to lose any of our clients," he explains, "so it was purely commercially defensive."

It was this kind of cold business calculation that led many companies to pull out of South Africa two decades ago. And it's precisely the kind of calculation that is our most realistic hope of bringing justice, so long denied, to Palestine.

That's interesting Myra, but I don't know if that would work without a critical mass of support within the business leadership.

Moreover, South Africa's apartheid was officially condemned by western Governments around the world, with the notable exception of Israel, I think. It was also condemned in the mainstream media around the world. Will that happen in this case? Business would be happier with a little support from national institutions, imo.

It's a shame our governments and media have no morals but it was a good idea.

I can think of one measure which would make Israel sit up and take notice: America could cut off aid to Israel completely. A shame the US Congress is without morals but I think it also could have been a good idea.

Magda Hassan
01-12-2009, 12:14 AM
The US will not cut off aid to Israel not because of their love for Israel but because of their love for their arms industry. They are the ultimate beneficiary.

Mark Stapleton
01-12-2009, 12:58 AM
The US will not cut off aid to Israel not because of their love for Israel but because of their love for their arms industry. They are the ultimate beneficiary.


Equally immoral.

Terry Mauro
01-12-2009, 01:34 AM
The US will not cut off aid to Israel not because of their love for Israel but because of their love for their arms industry. They are the ultimate beneficiary.


Equally immoral.

*******************************

"The US will not cut off aid to Israel not because of their love for Israel but because of their love for their arms industry. They are the ultimate beneficiary."

Divest them of their nuclear warheads, and level the playing field.

Charles Drago
01-12-2009, 02:12 AM
The following doggerel is offered, with apologies to Blake, as a meditation on the America that supports Israel.


Paper tiger, burning bright
On the desert's bloody rite,
What immoral hand or eye
Could prompt thy fearful sympathy?

In what distant cave of spies
Rose the fire of thy lies?
On what dreams did they conspire?
What the lips dare spread the fire?

And what profit and what lust
Could raise you from tri-colored dust?
And when thy flag began to wave,
Spare the fool, damn the brave.

What the lyric? What the rhyme?
In whose voice the anthem's time?
What the paper? What harsh pledge,
From the bottom slime we dredge?

When the star threw down its sign,
To guide to Earth a life divine,
Did He dream that as a flood,
Into His wake would come the blood?

Paper tiger, burning bright
On the desert's bloody rite,
What immoral hand or eye,
Dare prompt thy fearful sympathy?

David Healy
01-12-2009, 04:49 AM
We could share libations in the Bucket of Blood Saloon....

DH

I couldn't possibly refuse sharing a beverage in such a remarkably named establishment...:cheers:

One suspects Mark Twain tipped a few here.... :beer:

The joint burned down in 1875, rebuilt in 1876 (the ostrich races out back were added a bit later. If you like, I might be able to arrange a ride)

http://www.territorial-enterprise.com/bb_saln.htm

Peter Lemkin
01-12-2009, 07:08 AM
Glad you're better Adele. I too have done the ape-walk due to back problems and the roll out of bed onto the floor to crawl routine...luckily, in the past. :driver:

Thought this article was apt.

The Target is Iran: Israel's Latest Gamble May Backfire

by Muriel Mirak-Weissbach


Global Research, January 12, 2009

The aerial war against Gaza launched by Israel just after Christmas, and the ground offensive, with which it rang in the New Year, were shocking in their brutality, but should constitute no surprise, if viewed from the standpoint of long-term Israeli strategic aims. The Israelis have argued that the offensive was launched in response to eight years' of relentless attacks by Hamas rockets into Israel. But then, one asks: why now? Why should they wait eight years?

Perhaps the massive military onslaught, which has killed over 800 Palestinians and wounded thousands, has nothing to do with Kassam rockets. Perhaps it is not a tactical military operation by Israel, but a strategic decision on the part of Israel's Anglo-American backers, whose ultimate aim is war against Iran. Perhaps the military calculations in Tel Aviv are that continued massive pounding of Gaza by air and in house-to-house fighting, will take such a ghastly toll on the Palestinian civilian population, that Iran, touted as the backer of Hamas, will be forced to move into the conflict. Perhaps that is precisely the reaction Israel desires, in order to justify launching its war against the Islamic Republic, a war which has been on the drawing boards of the Israelis and their neocon sponsors for many years.

If that is the name of the game, it may well be that it will backfire totally. Not only will Iran not be drawn into the trap, but the continued genocidal campaign against the Palestinians may utterly discredit Israel politically and morally, and contribute to a shift in attitudes even in Europe and, most importantly, in the U.S. That, in turn, may open the way to redefining the conflict and therefore opening the way for real solutions.

The Clean Break Doctrine

What we have witnessed in Gaza since December 27 is the implementation of one crucial part of an Anglo-American strategic doctrine for redrawing the map of the Middle East (within a broader context), known as the "Clean Break." This doctrine had been cooked up by Dick Cheney's neocon task force in 1996 and served to then-aspiring PM Benjamin Netanyahu, on a silver platter. The policy had been fashioned by Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser and his wife Meyrav, among others, under the auspices of the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies in Jerusalem. The paper, which was one in a series of strategic policy papers from 1992 on, outlining how the Anglo-Americans could establish world hegemony in the post-Cold War world, derived its name from the idea that Israel must make a "clean break" with the historic 1993 Oslo Accords between it and the Palestinian Authority, and revert to "a peace process and strategy based on an entirely {new intellectual foundation} one that restores strategic initiative and provides the nation the room to engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism, the starting point of which must be economic reform". (http://www.iasps.org/strat1.htm).

This new approach involved Israeli initiatives to secure its northern borders: "Syria challenges Israel on Lebanese soil. An effective approach, and one with which America can sympathize, would be if Israel seized the strategic initiative along its northern borders by engaging Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents in Lebanon..." This did not exclude attacks by proxy Israeli forces on Syria from Lebanon, targetting Syrian sites in Lebanon as well as in Syria proper.

The doctrine went on to develop the idea that Israel, "in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan" could shape the strategic environment "by weakening, containing and even rolling back Syria." "This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq," the paper specified. As for the Palestinian question, "Clean Break" was equally explicit: "Israel has a chance to forge a new relationship between itself and the Palestinians. First and foremost, Israel's efforts to secure its streets may require hot pursuit into Palestinian controlled areas, a justifiable practice with which Americans can sympathize..."

This 1996 policy paper was enthusiastically endorsed by Benjamin Netanyahu, who presented its basic tenets in a speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress days later, as "his" policy. However, before it could move accordingly, Israel would have to wait until the neocon establishment which had prepared the doctrine, regained power in Washington. This occurred promptly, in the wake of the dubious results of the 2000 U.S. presidential elections, and the events of September 11, 2001. It was 9-11 which made it possible for the "Clean Break" strategic doctrine to become U.S. military policy.

After the neocons had succeeded in their 2003 war against Iraq to actually depose Saddam Hussein, they followed up with "regime change by other means" in Lebanon (with the Hariri murder laid at Damascus's door). The Israeli 2008 bombing of a site in Syria alleged to be a nuclear installation, was the ultimate humiliation to Damascus. What remained on the Clean Break agenda were Iran and those militant Islamist Arab forces said to be allied to Tehran, to wit, Hamas and Hezbollah in Lebanon. It was widely acknowledged in the press and political realm that, were the Cheney faction to endorse an Israeli bid to attack Iran -- whether by bombing its presumed nuclear installations, and/or fomenting subversive processes within the country, -- then those elements which could engage in an effective asymmetric response against forces allied to the aggressors, must be taken out first. That was the rationale behind the 2006 Israeli war against Hezbollah in Lebanon, a war which, however, did not proceed according to Tel Aviv's script. Hezbollah prevailed militarily and politically, much to the chagrin of the Cheneyacs in the US/UK and Israel.

The Target is Iran

Throughout 2007 and 2008, the debate raged among concerned parties, including on the www.globalresearch.ca website, as to whether the war party would or could mount a military attack against Iran, using the pretext that questions regarding its nuclear program remained open, etc. Statements attributed to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatening the existence of Israel, were hyped up, to justify a preemptive strike against Tehran. But certain military realities had to be taken into consideration, at least by those who knew something about warfare.

The concern raised by competent military professionals, including those inside the U.S., was that, were Iran to be attacked (by the U.S. and/or Israel), the asymmetric response on the part of pro-Iranian factors in the region would unleash regional conflict with an immediate potential to become global. This was the thinking which led U.S. officials to tell Israel point blank that they would not endorse a military attack on Iran. Now, further confirming this report, the New York Times has released a timely article detailing Israel's bid and Washington rejection of permission to bomb Iran's plant at Natanz.

(http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/11/washington/11iran.html?_r=1&th=&emc=th&pagew)

In the article by David E. Sanger, it is reported that it was following the late 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, which said Iran had no nuclear weapons program, that Israel asked the U.S. for bunker busters, permission to fly over Iraqi air space, and refueling equipment. President Bush, according to the article, "was convinced by top administration officials, led by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, that any overt attack on Iran would probably prove ineffective, lead to the expulsion of international inspectors and drive Iran's nuclear effort further out of view." Bush et al reportedly also "discussed the possibility that an airstrike could ignite a broad Middle East war" which would draw in U.S. forces in Iraq. The article further quotes a spokesman of Gates, saying the Defense Secretary stated a week earlier that he believed "a potential strike on the Iranian facilities is not something that we or anyone else should be pursuing at this time."

Among those factors catalogued as pro-Iran, which might be activated in the event of an attack against Iran, were Shi'ite communities as well as armed militias in Bahrein, Saudi Arabia, Kuweit etc., and of course Iraq. Hezbollah remained the leading danger in Lebanon. In addition, the Palestinian Hamas movement, though not Shi'ite, was considered a serious threat. Thus, if any serious Israeli move against Iran were to be considered, one would have to figure out how to deal with Hamas first; not because it were such a powerful military force, comparable, say to Hezbollah, but because its self-conceived role as leading opposition to belligerent Israeli intentions would ensure its immediate mobilization in case of an Israeli move, a mobilization which would not be generically political, but pointedly military, and aimed at any Israeli vulnerabilities.

Thus the move against Hamas. Contrary to Israeli and other propaganda, the onslaught against Hamas in late 2008 had {nothing} to do with that Palestinian faction's alleged violation of the ceasefire, since it was Israel's continuing blockade of Gaza which was in violation. Rather, the Israeli military assault constituted a repetition of the strategy tried in 2006 against Hezbollah: to wipe out a potential nuisance, while proceeding to target Iran. The outgoing U.S. administration's military had signalled its rejection of a new war against Iran, but would obviously not object to Israeli aggression against Hamas, if presented as a thing-in-itself.

The neocon faction, led by outgoing Vice President Cheney, is viewing the Gaza war as a preparation for aggression against Iran, and the spark that ignites regional conflict. John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., and one of the most outspoken among the neocon war party, announced on December 31, that the Gaza war was the first step towards an attack against Iran, which he deemed necessary. "I don't think there's anything at this point standing between Iran and nuclear weapons other than the possibility of the use of military force possibly by the United States, possibly by Israel," he was quoted by Fox News. "So while our focus obviously is on Gaza now," he went on, "this could turn out to be a much larger conflict. We're looking at potentially a multi-front war." And, as Daniel Luban summarized in a January 10 piece for http://www.antiwar.com, the general consensus among the neocons was that the Gaza war was a proxy war against Iran.

Israel chose the timing of its Gaza war most carefully, with these considerations in mind: the lame duck, lame-brained U.S. President could be counted on to assert publicly that Israel had every right to defend itself from Hamas's deadly rocket attacks. President-elect Barack Obama would not venture to denounce the Bush administration's policy as long as it were still officially in power. Any initiatives launched by the European Union would be rebuffed by Israel. Israeli Foreign Minister Livni and Prime Minister Olmert, in fact, ignored any and all calls for a cease-fire on grounds that Israel alone would decide if and when any such a cease-fire could be organized. Israel's demands have been that the international community (in whatever form -- UN peacekeeping troops or whatever) would have one and only one task: to ensure that Hamas could no longer fire rockets on Israel, and that no weapons could be delivered to Gaza through the Egyptian border. The power of the Israeli establishment to blackmail any European or other attempts at mediation, -- on utterly unspoken, totally implicit, but universally understood grounds that any criticism of Israeli policy can be misconstrued as anti-semitic, -- has been demonstrated. The attempt of the EU troika to plea for a ceasefire, like the moves by the Russians too, have been ineffective.

Israel may be seriously miscalculating the total situation. It is to be mooted that the Israelis thought, -- and perhaps still think -- that, if they continue with their inhumane aggression in Gaza, killing women and children and obliterating anything that has to do with civil life in Gaza, then the other side will give up. This will not occur. Anyone who knows how the militant Hamas leaders think, realizes that their resistance even with their relatively modest missiles, will continue to be launched, up to the last man. For militant Hamas members, there is no fear of dying in struggle; on the contrary, a fighter killed in the battle for liberation is a martyr.

By the same token, if the Israelis believe that their escalation of the war will provoke Hezbollah, but more importanly, Iran, to enter the fray, they may be as badly mistaken. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah delivered a major speech on December 30, denouncing the Israeli aggression and calling for the defense of Palestinians. Significantly, he explicitly compared the Gaza war to the Israeli war on Hezbollah (Lebanon) in 2006. "What is happening today in Gaza is not similar but identical to what happened in July of 2006" (http://www.presstv.ir/pop/print.aspx?id=79953). He charged that the same international forces, and certain Arab states, "are asking Israel to eliminate Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and the rest of the resistance factions...." The marching orders that Nasrallah issued were {not} that others should join the armed struggle. Rather, he called on Arabs to "take to the streets by the thousands, by the tens and hundreds of thousands, and demand from these [Arab] governments to act responsibly." This included emphatically the demand that Egypt open the Rafah border to Gaza, but, he added, "I am not calling for a coup in Egypt....". Days later, on January 7, Nasrallah warned Israel against expanding the hostilities to Lebanon, but that was it. The rocket reportedly fired from southern Lebanon against Israel, was not the work of Hezbollah, the group declared.

As for Iran, its leadership's response has been most cautious. Immediately after the aggression, demonstrations took place in Iran unhindered, but the leadership explicitly warned demonstrators not to attack or occupy diplomatic missions of foreign nations, for example, the British Embassy, which some protestors had targetted. When, on January 5, it was reported that 70,000 Iranian students had declared their readiness to go to Israel as suicide bombers, the regime responded unequivocably that that was {not} the answer. Supreme Leader of the Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted on January 10, saying, "I thank the pious and devoted youth who have asked to go to Gaza ... but it must be noted that our hands are tied in this arena." Iran criticized the inaction of Arab governments, but that was it. Iranian Speaker of the Parliament Ali Larijani had met in Damascus with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on January 7 to discuss the crisis.


Although some commentators have tried to cast these events in Iran as part of a domestic political faction fight between Ahmadinejad, seen as the militant, and Khamenei, seen as the elder statesman, the issue transcends any such internal political controversy. The issue is strategic, and the Iranians know it.

In short, it appears that both Hezbollah and the Iranian leadership have realized what kind of a trap was being laid for them, and have wisely refrained from taking any irrational step that might entrap them. It is to be expected that they will continue to lie low, and bide their time, in hopes that the Palestinians can hold out until the regime change in Washington is completed.

The Change in Washington

The leading political power which could effect a major shift in the crisis, force Israel to pull back from its genocidal war, and impose serious negotiations aimed at an end to the bloodletting and a just peace, is the United States. History has shown, from Eisenhower's intervention in the Suez crisis, to later U.S. moves for Middle East peace, by Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, et al, that, if the power of the U.S. presidency is brought to bear on the issue, something can be done. The hope is that incoming President Barack Obama will make good on his campaign promises to introduce a fundamental change in U.S. foreign policy, engage in dialogue with perceived adversaries (Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Syria), in the pursuit of viable solutions to the regional crises involved.

Although nothing will be certain until Obama delivers his inaugural speech on January 20, there are signs that he may make good on his campaign pledges. First, he has announced a number of encouraging appointments. His naming Leon Panetta as head of the CIA, was a courageous step; although Panetta has no intelligence experience, he has gone on record as principally opposed to any kind of torture, and can be expected to help implement Obama's pledge to shut down the infamous Guantanamo prison, and to reverse the Bush administration's anti-constitutional policy and practices. Obama's Vice President Joe Biden has been a relatively rational voice in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Several other appointees, from the economic policy team, to those in the justice area, like Dawn Johnsen, Elena Kagan and Tom Perelli, come from the Bill Clinton administration.

As for his foreign policy team involved in the Middle East directly, Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State is obviously central. Many in the region will recall that Mrs. Clinton made an unfortunate reverse conversion on the road to Damascus, some years back. Although she had made headlines, and friends, after having engaged politically and personally with Suha Arafat, the wife of Palestinian Authority president Yassir Arafat in 1999, she soon thereafter made a U-turn, in the course of her first campaign for a seat in the Senate from the state of New York, where the pro-Zionist vote is significant. That said, Mrs. Clinton is the wife of former President Bill Clinton, who strove to forge a just peace between Israel and the Palestinians, at Camp David, until his bid was sabotaged by Ehud Barak. During the presidential campaign, Mrs. Clinton uttered carelessly formulated statements on Iran, -- which she later rectified -- and of course stood by Israel and its "right to self-defense," etc., as is expected of any U.S. political figure. It is to be hoped that what she will represent in her new position, will more depend on what the general policy of the Obama presidency will be, than her personal views.

As for Obama, he repeatedly asserted in the campaign that he would meet with perceived adversaries, including the leaderships of Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, etc., on grounds that diplomatic progress can be made with enemies, not just with friends. He recently repeated this, saying he thought Iran constituted a threat, but should be dealt with through diplomacy. Since the outbreak of the Gaza war, reports have been leaked, and then perfunctorily denied, that the Obama tream would be willing to establish contacts with Hamas. The London Guardian reported on January 9 that three people close to the Obama camp had said, on conditions of confidentiality, that Obama would be open to low-level contacts with Hamas

(http://.www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/08/barack-obama-gaza-hamas).

Although this was denied, it sounds plausible.

Considerable attention has been given to the policy orientation of several of Obama's advisors and other appointees. It has been mooted that Richard Haas will be an important Mideast envoy. Haas was the co-author of a recent CFR study, "Restoring the Balance," (http://www.cfr.org/publication/17791/), with other individuals who might be Obama advisors, which argues that a "new U.S. strategy" in the Mideast is required, that "a comprehensive diplomatic initiative" towards Iran is on the agenda, that "Arab-Israeli peacemaking needs to become a priority" and so forth. Other members of the Obama team have been involved in the Iraq Study Group, which called for talks with Iraq's neighbors, including Iran, to solve the Iraq mess. Among them is Defense Secretary Gates, who is to stay on.


The intervention of former President Jimmy Carter, has also been most useful. Carter, who oversaw the Camp David peace agreement between Israel and Egypt, is the author of an insightful book, Peace not Apartheid. In the context of the raging Gaza war, Carter presented an OpEd in the Washington Post on January 8, entitled "An Unnecessary War," in which he argued, from the standpoint of his experience in the region, that "the devastating invasion of Gaza by Israel could easily have been avoided."

The Boomerang

As the war continues and Israel threatens a further escalation of the conflict, reports of atrocities multiply, and the response of international public opinion is affected. Thus far, we have been informed that a UN school, designated as a refuge for civilans, was bombed; that a UN convoy of humanitarian aid was attacked, killing a driver and injuring others; that a house in which Israeli military had told 110 Palestians to seek safety, was shortly thereafter bombed, and 30 killed; that a UN building outfitted for refugees, was bombed.

Although the Israelis have systematically either denied the facts or pleaded ignorance, there are enough eyewitnesses, especially among Red Cross and UN personnel, to set the record straight. What emerges from the overall picture, is that the Israelis are doing in Gaza what the Anglo-Americans did in Iraq, only in a much shorter time frame and with more devastating consequences. Compare events in Gaza to the drama of Iraq: between 1990, after the invasion of Kuweit, and 2003, when the U.S. declared victory in its war against Saddam Hussein, Iraq had been subjected to a genocidal embargo, which deprived its 18 million citizens of food, medicines and other vital goods. The embargo continued even after Desert Storm had totally destroyed the country's infrastructure (energy, water, tranportation, health, etc.), and in the interim period, the U.S. and U.K. air forces systematically bombarded Iraq's anti-aircraft defenses, under the rubric of the "no-fly-zones."

What the Israelis have done in Gaza, is remarkably similar: through their closure of Gaza, sealing the borders from Israel and Egypt, they put the Palestinian people in the situation of a "concentration camp," as Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino of the Vatican Justitia et Pax recently stated. The population has been cut off from normal imports of food, medicine and energy, and then subjected to aerial bombardments and artillery attacks by a vastly superior force. The only result can be genocidal.

After the Israeli war against Hezbollah in summer 2006, Israeli senior analyst Dr. Martin van Krefeld told a seminar in Germany, that in that event, the response of the Israelis had been that of "a mad dog!" He described the utterly disproportionate Israeli response as showing that the Israelis were "mad dogs." Certainly, his characterization would apply today to the Gaza war in spades. But instead of producing awe, such mad dog violence is provoking justified outrage.

Statements by Israeli leaders, featured in news reports in Europe, have contributed to the outrage. Fopreign Minister Livni, for example, stated early on in the war, that the great disparity in casulaties between Palestinians and Israelis, was inconsequential. If hundreds of Palestinians were killed by the air bombardments, as compared to less than ten, from Hamas-fired rockets, no matter; it's not the numbers, she said, but that fact that Hamas was targetting civilians. Israeli President Shimon Peres made an even more offensive statement. When asked about the high number of Palestinian children killed, he said, yes, that's true, there are many palestinain children and very few Israeli children casualtieies, but that is because "we take care of our children."

The psychological control exerted on large parts of the population in Western countries, in Europe and the U.S., as a result of the horrendous crimes perpetrated by the Nazis in World War II against the Jews, has been massive. But, now, in light of the atrocities committed against Palestinian civilians in Gaza, that control is being broken. Tens of thousands of Germans have taken to the streets since the New Year, to protest the war in Gaza, political figures have spoken out, and letters to the editors of leading German dailies have documented the fact that the psychological blackmail no longer works.

The most eloquent response in Germany to the ongoing Gaza catastrophe has been provided by musician and director Daniel Barenboim, who, prevented by the hostilities from performing as scheduled in Qatar, quickly reorganized his concert program, to bring his historic Arab-Israeli orchestra to Berlin on January 12, and then to Moscow, Milan and Vienna. Barenboim's commitment has been to define a completely new, higher level, from which standpoint this insane conflict, manipulated over decades by geopolitical forces, can be overcome. The fact that his concert was sold out in 24 hours, and a second concert in Berlin had to be added to accomodate the demand, testifies to the desire among many Germans, to seek solutions to conflict through the medium of the universal ideas of great music.

The author can be reached at mirak.weissbach@googlemail.com

Charles Drago
01-12-2009, 10:49 AM
We could share libations in the Bucket of Blood Saloon....

DH

I couldn't possibly refuse sharing a beverage in such a remarkably named establishment...:cheers:

One suspects Mark Twain tipped a few here.... :beer:

The joint burned down in 1875, rebuilt in 1876 (the ostrich races out back were added a bit later. If you like, I might be able to arrange a ride)

http://www.territorial-enterprise.com/bb_saln.htm

I prefer the Bash Your Head Inn.

Mark Stapleton
01-12-2009, 12:58 PM
Israeli President Shimon Peres made an even more offensive statement. When asked about the high number of Palestinian children killed, he said, yes, that's true, there are many palestinain children and very few Israeli children casualtieies, but that is because "we take care of our children."




The most disgusting comment yet from this pitiful excuse for a human being.

100% psychopath.

David Guyatt
01-12-2009, 02:24 PM
I am not alone in thinking that Shimon Peres was complicit in the assassination of Yitzak Rabin. But if you're prepared to do a "JFK" on your own leader to ensure war-war rather than jaw-jaw, then killing and maiming a few hundred kids don't amount to much of a stir at all I suppose.

But you're right Mark it was a thoroughly unpleasant and inhuman thing to say and in saying it Peres reveals himself for what he really is.

David Guyatt
01-12-2009, 02:40 PM
We could share libations in the Bucket of Blood Saloon....

DH

I couldn't possibly refuse sharing a beverage in such a remarkably named establishment...:cheers:

One suspects Mark Twain tipped a few here.... :beer:

The joint burned down in 1875, rebuilt in 1876 (the ostrich races out back were added a bit later. If you like, I might be able to arrange a ride)

http://www.territorial-enterprise.com/bb_saln.htm

I prefer the Bash Your Head Inn.

All three of us could do both establishments in turn but we should then visit the Cock Inn Dog, then make a brief detour to the Captain's Wife -- by-passing the Squat N Gobble on the way -- but we will most definitely finish off in the Brahms and List...

Charles Drago
01-12-2009, 02:50 PM
Let's not forget that wonderful public house catering to bolemics: The Fork and Bucket (the owners had planned to name it the Scarf and Barf; thank God that good taste prevailed).

David Guyatt
01-13-2009, 10:36 AM
All is explained. Condi's about face over the UN Security Council vote was a result of Israeli pressure. Makes you wonder who is pulling the string in Washingto at the moment doesn't it:

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/22/20090113/tpl-uk-palestinians-israel-olmert-rice-s-43a8d4f.html

Tuesday, January 13 08:46 am

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said a telephone call he made to U.S. President George W. Bush last week forced Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to abstain in a U.N. vote on the Gaza war, leaving her "shamed." Skip related content

Pouring on political bravado in a speech late Monday, Olmert said he demanded to talk to Bush with only 10 minutes to spare before a U.N. Security Council vote Thursday on a resolution opposed by Israel calling for an immediate cease-fire.

"When we saw that the secretary of state, for reasons we did not really understand, wanted to vote in favour of the U.N. resolution ... I looked for President Bush and they told me he was in Philadelphia making a speech," Olmert said.

"I said, 'I don't care. I have to talk to him now,'" Olmert said, describing Bush, who leaves office on January 20, as "an unparalleled friend" of Israel.

"They got him off the podium, brought him to another room and I spoke to him. I told him, 'You can't vote in favour of this resolution.' He said, 'Listen, I don't know about it, I didn't see it, I'm not familiar with the phrasing.'"

Olmert said he then told Bush: "'I'm familiar with it. You can't vote in favour.'

"He gave an order to the secretary of state and she did not vote in favour of it -- a resolution she cooked up, phrased, organised and manoeuvred for. She was left pretty shamed and abstained on a resolution she arranged," Olmert said.

Fourteen of the Security Council's 15 members supported the resolution, which has failed to halt Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip and Hamas's cross-border rocket fire.

Olmert, under police investigation over alleged corruption, resigned as prime minister in September but is serving in a caretaker capacity until a new government is formed after Israel's February 10 parliamentary election.

(Writing by Jeffrey Heller, Editing by Alistair Lyon)

Keith Millea
01-13-2009, 08:36 PM
American Indian Movement (AIM) leader Russell Means talks about the current state of affairs in GAZA,and how it relates to the strategy used against Native Americans.

http://www.counterpunch.org/norrell01122009.html


The charade is now coming to a close, as the ‘Patriot Act’ means that Posse Comitatus is dead and buried. Means said everyone has the responsibility to be free. “You are free to be responsible. That is the essence of freedom.” He said everyone should know their rights. Otherwise, they are guaranteed slavery.

Keith

Mark Stapleton
01-13-2009, 11:46 PM
All is explained. Condi's about face over the UN Security Council vote was a result of Israeli pressure. Makes you wonder who is pulling the string in Washingto at the moment doesn't it:

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/22/20090113/tpl-uk-palestinians-israel-olmert-rice-s-43a8d4f.html

Tuesday, January 13 08:46 am

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said a telephone call he made to U.S. President George W. Bush last week forced Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to abstain in a U.N. vote on the Gaza war, leaving her "shamed." Skip related content

Pouring on political bravado in a speech late Monday, Olmert said he demanded to talk to Bush with only 10 minutes to spare before a U.N. Security Council vote Thursday on a resolution opposed by Israel calling for an immediate cease-fire.

"When we saw that the secretary of state, for reasons we did not really understand, wanted to vote in favour of the U.N. resolution ... I looked for President Bush and they told me he was in Philadelphia making a speech," Olmert said.

"I said, 'I don't care. I have to talk to him now,'" Olmert said, describing Bush, who leaves office on January 20, as "an unparalleled friend" of Israel.

"They got him off the podium, brought him to another room and I spoke to him. I told him, 'You can't vote in favour of this resolution.' He said, 'Listen, I don't know about it, I didn't see it, I'm not familiar with the phrasing.'"

Olmert said he then told Bush: "'I'm familiar with it. You can't vote in favour.'

"He gave an order to the secretary of state and she did not vote in favour of it -- a resolution she cooked up, phrased, organised and manoeuvred for. She was left pretty shamed and abstained on a resolution she arranged," Olmert said.




Ah-ha. Proof positve. The tail wags the dog.

So much for the doubters.

David Guyatt
01-14-2009, 09:45 AM
I also wonder if there is a connection to the organized crime angle Mark:

http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=597

Peter Lemkin
01-14-2009, 04:09 PM
There are now 1000+ dead and 4,500 wounded. Many of the dead - in fact most - are civilians by any definition! For a very intelligent and calm analysis of what led up to this listen or watch here: http://www.democracynow.org/2009/1/14/leading_israeli_scholar_avi_shlaim_israel

These are really sad times. The people of Gaza a suffering horribly - they can hide nor go nowhere. They are trapped/caged 'rats' surrounded - much as was the Warsaw Ghetto. It pains my heart to think that my fellow Jews who suffered in that way, can now turn around and inflict this on others......

This is very level-headed and points the finger of blame where it need be!!!

AMY GOODMAN: The Israeli assault on Gaza is entering its nineteenth day, with no end in sight. Israeli warplanes are continuing their bombardment, launching over sixty air strikes overnight. Meanwhile, Israeli troops have edged closer to the heart of the densely populated Gaza City and are engaged in street fighting with militants.


Since Israel’s offensive began on December 27th, nearly 1,000 Palestinians have been killed. More than 4,400 have been injured, and an estimated 90,000 have fled their homes. Thirteen Israelis have died over the same period, ten of them soldiers, including four by so-called “friendly” fire.


As the war continues, humanitarian concerns are mounting. The chief UN aid official for Gaza, John Ging, has appealed to the international community to protect Gaza’s civilians, calling it a “test of our humanity”.


Meanwhile, a UN watch group has accused Israel of showing a “manifest disrespect” for the protection of children in Gaza. According to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, more than 40 percent of those killed in Gaza are women and children.


On Tuesday, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross visited Gaza and said what he saw was shocking. ICRC president Jakob Kellenberger said, “It is unacceptable to see so many wounded people. Their lives must be spared and the security of those who care for them guaranteed.”


Despite a UN Security Council ceasefire resolution last week, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the military operation will continue.


Our next guest is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading authorities on the Arab-Israel conflict. Avi Shlaim served in the Israeli army in the mid-1960s. He is now a professor of international relations at Oxford University. In an article in The Guardian newspaper of London, he says he has never questioned the legitimacy of the state of Israel within its pre-1967 borders. But he says its merciless assault on Gaza has led him to devastating conclusions. Professor Avi Shlaim is the author of a number of books, most notably The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World. His latest book is Lion of Jordan: King Hussein’s Life in War and Peace. Avi Shlaim joins us today from Oxford University in Britain.

We welcome you to Democracy Now!

AVI SHLAIM: Thank you. I’m happy to be on your program in these very sad times.

AMY GOODMAN: As you look at what’s happening in Gaza from your vantage point, well, many miles away in Britain, can you talk about the kind of trajectory your evaluation has taken, where you started in your thoughts about Israel and where you are now?

AVI SHLAIM: As you mentioned, I did national service in the Israeli army in the mid-1960s. And in those days, Israel was a small state surrounded by enemies, and the nation was united in face of the surrounding Arab states. We all felt total commitment to the state of Israel and to the defense of the state of Israel. The Israeli army is called the Israel Defense Forces, and it was true to its name.

But 1967, the war of June 1967, was a major turning point in the history of Israel and the history of the region. In the course of the war, Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria, the West Bank from Jordan and Sinai from Egypt. After the war, Israel started building civilian territories in the occupied territories in violation of international law. So Israel became a colonial power and an imperial power.

And I, for my part, have never questioned the legitimacy of the Zionist movement. I saw it as the national liberation movement of the Jewish people. Nor did I ever question the legitimacy of the state of Israel within its pre-1967 borders. What I reject, what I reject totally, absolutely and uncompromisingly, is the Zionist colonial project beyond the 1967 borders. So we have to distinguish very clearly between Israel proper, within its pre-1967 borders, and Greater Israel, which began to emerge in the aftermath of the June ’67 war and has completely derailed the Zionist project.

AMY GOODMAN: And then, specifically talk about Gaza, how it has developed and where it is today, right now under assault by the Israeli military.

AVI SHLAIM: In a long-term historical perspective, I would begin with the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. I wrote a book, which you mentioned in your introduction, called The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World. It is a history of the Arab-Israeli conflict since 1948. It’s a very long book, but I can summarize it for you in one sentence, that throughout its sixty years, Israel has been remarkably reluctant to engage in meaningful negotiations with its Arab opponents to resolve the dispute between them and only too ready to resort to military force in order to impose its will upon them. And the current vicious Israeli onslaught on the people of Gaza is the climax of this longstanding Israeli policy of shunning diplomacy and relying on brute military force.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to break and then come back to Professor Avi Shlaim. He is professor of international relations at Oxford University, served in the Israeli military. His latest book is called Lion of Jordan. He is one of the world’s leading scholars on the Arab-Israel conflict. Stay with us.

AMY GOODMAN: Our guest right now is Oxford University Professor Avi Shlaim. He teaches international relations at Oxford University. He’s speaking to us from Oxford right now, leading authority in the world on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

We’ve had a number of debates here on Democracy Now!, Professor Shlaim, over the past weeks about what’s happening in Gaza and those who support the Israeli military continually say that in 2005, three years ago, Israel pulled out of Gaza entirely. You have a different picture of what happened under Ariel Sharon in August of 2005. Explain how you see the withdrawal of Israeli military at that time.

AVI SHLAIM: President Bush described Ariel Sharon as a man of peace. I’ve done a great deal of archival research on the Arab-Israeli conflict, and I can honestly tell you that I have never come across a single scintilla of evidence to support the view of Ariel Sharon as a man of peace. He was a man of war, a champion of violent solutions, a man who rejected totally any Palestinian right to self-determination. He was a proponent of Greater Israel, and it is in this context that I see his decision to withdraw unilaterally from Gaza in August of 2005.

The withdrawal was officially called the unilateral Israeli disengagement from Gaza. I would like to underline the word “unilateral.” Ariel Sharon was the unilateralist par excellence. The reason he decided to withdraw from Gaza was not out of any concern for the welfare of the people of Gaza or any sympathy for the Palestinians or their national aspirations, but because of the pressure exerted by Hamas, by the Islamic resistance, to the Israeli occupation of Gaza. In the end, Israel couldn’t sustain the political, diplomatic and psychological costs of maintaining its occupation in Gaza.

And let me add in parentheses that Gaza was a classic example of exploitation, of colonial exploitation in the postcolonial era. Gaza is a tiny strip of land with about one-and-a-half million Arabs, most of them—half of them refugees. It’s the most crowded piece of land on God’s earth. There were 8,000 Israeli settlers in Gaza, yet the 8,000 settlers controlled 25 percent of the territory, 40 percent of the arable land, and the largest share of the desperately scarce water resources.

Ariel Sharon decided to withdraw from Gaza unilaterally, not as a contribution, as he claimed, to a two-state solution. The withdrawal from Gaza took place in the context of unilateral Israeli action in what was seen as Israeli national interest. There were no negotiations with the Palestinian Authority on an overall settlement. The withdrawal from Gaza was not a prelude to further withdrawals from the other occupied territories, but a prelude to further expansion, further consolidation of Israel’s control over the West Bank. In the year after the withdrawal from Gaza, 12,000 new settlers went to live on the West Bank. So I see the withdrawal from Gaza in the summer of 2005 as part of a unilateral Israeli attempt to redraw the borders of Greater Israel and to shun any negotiations and compromise with the Palestinian Authority.

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Avi Shlaim, Israel says the reason it has attacked Gaza is because of the rocket fire, the rockets that Hamas is firing into southern Israel.

AVI SHLAIM: This is Israeli propaganda, and it is a pack of lies. The important thing to remember is that there was a ceasefire brokered by Egypt in July of last year, and that ceasefire succeeded. So, if Israel wanted to protect its citizens—and it had every right to protect its citizens—the way to go about it was not by launching this vicious military offensive, but by observing the ceasefire.

Now, let me give you some figures, which I think are the most crucial figures in understanding this conflict. Before the ceasefire came into effect in July of 2008, the monthly number of rockets fired—Kassam rockets, homemade Kassam rockets, fired from the Gaza Strip on Israeli settlements and towns in southern Israel was 179. In the first four months of the ceasefire, the number dropped dramatically to three rockets a month, almost zero. I would like to repeat these figures for the benefit of your listeners. Pre-ceasefire, 179 rockets were fired on Israel; post-ceasefire, three rockets a month. This is point number one, and it’s crucial.

And my figures are beyond dispute, because they come from the website of the Israeli Foreign Ministry. But after initiating this war, this particular table, neat table, which showed the success of the ceasefire, was withdrawn and replaced with another table of statistics, which is much more obscure and confusing. Israel—the Foreign Ministry withdrew these figures, because it didn’t suit the new story.

The new story said that Hamas broke the ceasefire. This is a lie. Hamas observed the ceasefire as best as it could and enforced it very effectively. The ceasefire was a stunning success for the first four months. It was broken not by Hamas, but by the IDF. It was broken by the IDF on the 4th of November, when it launched a raid into Gaza and killed six Hamas men.

And there is one other point that I would like to make about the ceasefire. Ever since the election of Hamas in January—I’m sorry, ever since Hamas captured power in Gaza in the summer of 2007, Israel had imposed a blockade of the Strip. Israel stopped food, fuel and medical supplies from reaching the Gaza Strip. One of the terms of the ceasefire was that Israel would lift the blockade of Gaza, yet Israel failed to lift the blockade, and that is one issue that is also overlooked or ignored by official Israeli spokesmen. So Israel was doubly guilty of sabotaging the ceasefire, A, by launching a military attack, and B, by maintaining its very cruel siege of the people of Gaza.

AMY GOODMAN: Israel calls Hamas “terrorist.” What is your definition of “terror”?

AVI SHLAIM: My definition of “terror” is the use of violence against civilians for political purposes. And by this definition, Hamas is a terrorist organization. But by the same token, Israel is practicing state terror, because it is using violence on a massive scale against Palestinian civilians for political purposes. I don’t hold a brief for Hamas. Hamas is not a paragon of virtue. Its leaders are not angels. They harm civilians indiscriminately. Killing civilians is wrong, period. That applies to Hamas, and it applies equally to the state of Israel.

But there are two points I would like to make about Hamas, and that is—the first point is that it was elected in a fair and free election in January 2006. It was an impeccable election, monitored by a number of international observers, including President Jimmy Carter. So it is not just a terrorist organization. It is a democratically elected government of the Palestinian people and the representative of the Palestinian people in Gaza, as well as the West Bank.

And the second point that I would like to make is that since coming to power, Gaza has moderated its political program. Its charter is extreme. Its charter denies the legitimacy of a Jewish state. The charter calls for an Islamic state over the whole of historic Palestine. The charter has not been revived, but since coming to power, the leadership of Hamas has been much more pragmatic and stated that it is willing to negotiate a long-term ceasefire with the state of Israel for twenty, thirty, forty, maybe even fifty years.

Thirdly, Hamas joined with Fatah, the rival group, the mainstream group, on the West Bank in a national unity government in the summer of 2007. That national unity government lasted only three months. Israel, with American support, helped to sabotage and to bring down that national unity government. Israel refused to deal with a Palestinian government which included Hamas within it. And shamefully, both the United States and the European Union joined in Israel in this refusal to recognize a Hamas-dominated government, and Israel withdrew tax revenues, and European Union withdrew foreign aid, in a shameful attempt to bring down a democratically elected government.

So, I do not defend Hamas, but I think that it hasn’t received a fair hearing from the international community, and Israel has done everything to sabotage it all along.

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Shlaim, you say it’s done everything to sabotage it, except at the beginning, when you say it supported Hamas to weaken Fatah, which it now supports.

AVI SHLAIM: Indeed. Israel has always played the game of divide and rule. This is a very good tactic in times of war, to divide your enemies and pick them off one by one. No one can complain about that. But divide and rule isn’t a good tactic in times of peace. If your aim is to achieve peace with the Arabs, then you should want unity among the Palestinians and unity in the Arab world. But Israel continued to play this game of divide and rule.

Hamas emerged in the course of the First Intifada in the late 1980s. It is the Islamic resistance movement. The mainstream movement, Fatah, was led by Yasser Arafat. And Israel gave tacit encouragement and support to the Islamic resistance in the hope of weakening the secular nationalists led by Yasser Arafat. It was a dangerous game to play, because the end result of this game was that Hamas emerged as the strongest Palestinian political party.

And Israel helped Hamas inadvertently in another way, because Fatah signed the Oslo Accord with Israel in 1993. It expected the Oslo Accord to lead to a two-state solution. And yet, Israel, after the election of Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996, reneged on the Israeli side of the deal. So, the Oslo Accord, the Oslo peace process wasn’t doomed to failure from the start. It failed because Israel, under the leadership of the Likud, reneged on its side of the deal. So that left the Palestinians with nothing but misery and poverty and frustration and ever-growing Israeli settlements on the land. And it was this context that led to the success of Hamas at the last elections. So Israel has a lot to explain in the rise to power of the Hamas movement.

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Avi Shlaim, we only have a minute, but I want to ask you where you see the solution at this point. Barack Obama will be president on Tuesday in just a few days. Hillary Clinton will be Secretary of State.

AVI SHLAIM: The solution—this is a political conflict, and there is no military conflict to—there is no military solution to this conflict. The only solution lies in negotiations between Israel and Hamas about all the issues involved. President-elect Obama is a very impressive man and a very intelligent man and a very fair-minded man. He hasn’t demonstrated any courage in the course of this crisis. He hasn’t taken any position. He hasn’t called for an immediate ceasefire. So the first step is an immediate ceasefire, and the next step would be negotiations between all the sides about restoring the ceasefire and then moving on to stage two, which is a political settlement to this tragic hundred-year-old conflict.

AMY GOODMAN: And Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, who said in her confirmation hearing yesterday she wouldn’t negotiate with Hamas?

AVI SHLAIM: Yes, but there are other signs from the Obama campaign that they would be willing to consider low-level, indirect contacts with Hamas. And one has to be grateful for small mercies, so small, minor, low-level contacts with Hamas could lead to a proper dialog in due course. So I remain optimistic that sanity and rationality would take over in American foreign policy after the dreadful last eight years.

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Avi Shlaim, thank you very much for being with us. Professor Avi Shlaim, professor of international relations at Oxford University, served in the Israeli military—among his books, Lion of Jordan: King Hussein’s Life in War and Peace—known as one of the leading authorities in the world on the Israel-Palestine conflict and Arab-Israel conflict. Among his other books, The Iron Wall.

David Guyatt
01-14-2009, 04:36 PM
This is a most important article Peter. A gangster state engaged in bloody and horrific terrorism and territorial robbery.

There will be a day of reckoning and the great danger is that it will take us all down when it arrives.

I am posting the piece in full for it will doubtlessly be removed from the Guardian website in due course.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/07/gaza-israel-palestine



How Israel brought Gaza to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe
Oxford professor of international relations Avi Shlaim served in the Israeli army and has never questioned the state's legitimacy. But its merciless assault on Gaza has led him to devastating conclusions
Avi Shlaim
The Guardian, Wednesday 7 January 2009

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2009/1/6/1231284415452/A-wounded-Palestinian-pol-003.jpg
A wounded Palestinian policeman gestures while lying on the ground outside Hamas police headquarters following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City. Photograph: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images

The only way to make sense of Israel's senseless war in Gaza is through understanding the historical context. Establishing the state of Israel in May 1948 involved a monumental injustice to the Palestinians. British officials bitterly resented American partisanship on behalf of the infant state. On 2 June 1948, Sir John Troutbeck wrote to the foreign secretary, Ernest Bevin, that the Americans were responsible for the creation of a gangster state headed by "an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders". I used to think that this judgment was too harsh but Israel's vicious assault on the people of Gaza, and the Bush administration's complicity in this assault, have reopened the question.

I write as someone who served loyally in the Israeli army in the mid-1960s and who has never questioned the legitimacy of the state of Israel within its pre-1967 borders. What I utterly reject is the Zionist colonial project beyond the Green Line. The Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of the June 1967 war had very little to do with security and everything to do with territorial expansionism. The aim was to establish Greater Israel through permanent political, economic and military control over the Palestinian territories. And the result has been one of the most prolonged and brutal military occupations of modern times.

Four decades of Israeli control did incalculable damage to the economy of the Gaza Strip. With a large population of 1948 refugees crammed into a tiny strip of land, with no infrastructure or natural resources, Gaza's prospects were never bright. Gaza, however, is not simply a case of economic under-development but a uniquely cruel case of deliberate de-development. To use the Biblical phrase, Israel turned the people of Gaza into the hewers of wood and the drawers of water, into a source of cheap labour and a captive market for Israeli goods. The development of local industry was actively impeded so as to make it impossible for the Palestinians to end their subordination to Israel and to establish the economic underpinnings essential for real political independence.

Gaza is a classic case of colonial exploitation in the post-colonial era. Jewish settlements in occupied territories are immoral, illegal and an insurmountable obstacle to peace. They are at once the instrument of exploitation and the symbol of the hated occupation. In Gaza, the Jewish settlers numbered only 8,000 in 2005 compared with 1.4 million local residents. Yet the settlers controlled 25% of the territory, 40% of the arable land and the lion's share of the scarce water resources. Cheek by jowl with these foreign intruders, the majority of the local population lived in abject poverty and unimaginable misery. Eighty per cent of them still subsist on less than $2 a day. The living conditions in the strip remain an affront to civilised values, a powerful precipitant to resistance and a fertile breeding ground for political extremism.

In August 2005 a Likud government headed by Ariel Sharon staged a unilateral Israeli pullout from Gaza, withdrawing all 8,000 settlers and destroying the houses and farms they had left behind. Hamas, the Islamic resistance movement, conducted an effective campaign to drive the Israelis out of Gaza. The withdrawal was a humiliation for the Israeli Defence Forces. To the world, Sharon presented the withdrawal from Gaza as a contribution to peace based on a two-state solution. But in the year after, another 12,000 Israelis settled on the West Bank, further reducing the scope for an independent Palestinian state. Land-grabbing and peace-making are simply incompatible. Israel had a choice and it chose land over peace.

The real purpose behind the move was to redraw unilaterally the borders of Greater Israel by incorporating the main settlement blocs on the West Bank to the state of Israel. Withdrawal from Gaza was thus not a prelude to a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority but a prelude to further Zionist expansion on the West Bank. It was a unilateral Israeli move undertaken in what was seen, mistakenly in my view, as an Israeli national interest. Anchored in a fundamental rejection of the Palestinian national identity, the withdrawal from Gaza was part of a long-term effort to deny the Palestinian people any independent political existence on their land.

Israel's settlers were withdrawn but Israeli soldiers continued to control all access to the Gaza Strip by land, sea and air. Gaza was converted overnight into an open-air prison. From this point on, the Israeli air force enjoyed unrestricted freedom to drop bombs, to make sonic booms by flying low and breaking the sound barrier, and to terrorise the hapless inhabitants of this prison.

Israel likes to portray itself as an island of democracy in a sea of authoritarianism. Yet Israel has never in its entire history done anything to promote democracy on the Arab side and has done a great deal to undermine it. Israel has a long history of secret collaboration with reactionary Arab regimes to suppress Palestinian nationalism. Despite all the handicaps, the Palestinian people succeeded in building the only genuine democracy in the Arab world with the possible exception of Lebanon. In January 2006, free and fair elections for the Legislative Council of the Palestinian Authority brought to power a Hamas-led government. Israel, however, refused to recognise the democratically elected government, claiming that Hamas is purely and simply a terrorist organisation.

America and the EU shamelessly joined Israel in ostracising and demonising the Hamas government and in trying to bring it down by withholding tax revenues and foreign aid. A surreal situation thus developed with a significant part of the international community imposing economic sanctions not against the occupier but against the occupied, not against the oppressor but against the oppressed.

As so often in the tragic history of Palestine, the victims were blamed for their own misfortunes. Israel's propaganda machine persistently purveyed the notion that the Palestinians are terrorists, that they reject coexistence with the Jewish state, that their nationalism is little more than antisemitism, that Hamas is just a bunch of religious fanatics and that Islam is incompatible with democracy. But the simple truth is that the Palestinian people are a normal people with normal aspirations. They are no better but they are no worse than any other national group. What they aspire to, above all, is a piece of land to call their own on which to live in freedom and dignity.

Like other radical movements, Hamas began to moderate its political programme following its rise to power. From the ideological rejectionism of its charter, it began to move towards pragmatic accommodation of a two-state solution. In March 2007, Hamas and Fatah formed a national unity government that was ready to negotiate a long-term ceasefire with Israel. Israel, however, refused to negotiate with a government that included Hamas.

It continued to play the old game of divide and rule between rival Palestinian factions. In the late 1980s, Israel had supported the nascent Hamas in order to weaken Fatah, the secular nationalist movement led by Yasser Arafat. Now Israel began to encourage the corrupt and pliant Fatah leaders to overthrow their religious political rivals and recapture power. Aggressive American neoconservatives participated in the sinister plot to instigate a Palestinian civil war. Their meddling was a major factor in the collapse of the national unity government and in driving Hamas to seize power in Gaza in June 2007 to pre-empt a Fatah coup.

The war unleashed by Israel on Gaza on 27 December was the culmination of a series of clashes and confrontations with the Hamas government. In a broader sense, however, it is a war between Israel and the Palestinian people, because the people had elected the party to power. The declared aim of the war is to weaken Hamas and to intensify the pressure until its leaders agree to a new ceasefire on Israel's terms. The undeclared aim is to ensure that the Palestinians in Gaza are seen by the world simply as a humanitarian problem and thus to derail their struggle for independence and statehood.

The timing of the war was determined by political expediency. A general election is scheduled for 10 February and, in the lead-up to the election, all the main contenders are looking for an opportunity to prove their toughness. The army top brass had been champing at the bit to deliver a crushing blow to Hamas in order to remove the stain left on their reputation by the failure of the war against Hezbollah in Lebanon in July 2006. Israel's cynical leaders could also count on apathy and impotence of the pro-western Arab regimes and on blind support from President Bush in the twilight of his term in the White House. Bush readily obliged by putting all the blame for the crisis on Hamas, vetoing proposals at the UN Security Council for an immediate ceasefire and issuing Israel with a free pass to mount a ground invasion of Gaza.

As always, mighty Israel claims to be the victim of Palestinian aggression but the sheer asymmetry of power between the two sides leaves little room for doubt as to who is the real victim. This is indeed a conflict between David and Goliath but the Biblical image has been inverted - a small and defenceless Palestinian David faces a heavily armed, merciless and overbearing Israeli Goliath. The resort to brute military force is accompanied, as always, by the shrill rhetoric of victimhood and a farrago of self-pity overlaid with self-righteousness. In Hebrew this is known as the syndrome of bokhim ve-yorim, "crying and shooting".

To be sure, Hamas is not an entirely innocent party in this conflict. Denied the fruit of its electoral victory and confronted with an unscrupulous adversary, it has resorted to the weapon of the weak - terror. Militants from Hamas and Islamic Jihad kept launching Qassam rocket attacks against Israeli settlements near the border with Gaza until Egypt brokered a six-month ceasefire last June. The damage caused by these primitive rockets is minimal but the psychological impact is immense, prompting the public to demand protection from its government. Under the circumstances, Israel had the right to act in self-defence but its response to the pinpricks of rocket attacks was totally disproportionate. The figures speak for themselves. In the three years after the withdrawal from Gaza, 11 Israelis were killed by rocket fire. On the other hand, in 2005-7 alone, the IDF killed 1,290 Palestinians in Gaza, including 222 children.

Whatever the numbers, killing civilians is wrong. This rule applies to Israel as much as it does to Hamas, but Israel's entire record is one of unbridled and unremitting brutality towards the inhabitants of Gaza. Israel also maintained the blockade of Gaza after the ceasefire came into force which, in the view of the Hamas leaders, amounted to a violation of the agreement. During the ceasefire, Israel prevented any exports from leaving the strip in clear violation of a 2005 accord, leading to a sharp drop in employment opportunities. Officially, 49.1% of the population is unemployed. At the same time, Israel restricted drastically the number of trucks carrying food, fuel, cooking-gas canisters, spare parts for water and sanitation plants, and medical supplies to Gaza. It is difficult to see how starving and freezing the civilians of Gaza could protect the people on the Israeli side of the border. But even if it did, it would still be immoral, a form of collective punishment that is strictly forbidden by international humanitarian law.

The brutality of Israel's soldiers is fully matched by the mendacity of its spokesmen. Eight months before launching the current war on Gaza, Israel established a National Information Directorate. The core messages of this directorate to the media are that Hamas broke the ceasefire agreements; that Israel's objective is the defence of its population; and that Israel's forces are taking the utmost care not to hurt innocent civilians. Israel's spin doctors have been remarkably successful in getting this message across. But, in essence, their propaganda is a pack of lies.

A wide gap separates the reality of Israel's actions from the rhetoric of its spokesmen. It was not Hamas but the IDF that broke the ceasefire. It di d so by a raid into Gaza on 4 November that killed six Hamas men. Israel's objective is not just the defence of its population but the eventual overthrow of the Hamas government in Gaza by turning the people against their rulers. And far from taking care to spare civilians, Israel is guilty of indiscriminate bombing and of a three-year-old blockade that has brought the inhabitants of Gaza, now 1.5 million, to the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe.

The Biblical injunction of an eye for an eye is savage enough. But Israel's insane offensive against Gaza seems to follow the logic of an eye for an eyelash. After eight days of bombing, with a death toll of more than 400 Palestinians and four Israelis, the gung-ho cabinet ordered a land invasion of Gaza the consequences of which are incalculable.

No amount of military escalation can buy Israel immunity from rocket attacks from the military wing of Hamas. Despite all the death and destruction that Israel has inflicted on them, they kept up their resistance and they kept firing their rockets. This is a movement that glorifies victimhood and martyrdom. There is simply no military solution to the conflict between the two communities. The problem with Israel's concept of security is that it denies even the most elementary security to the other community. The only way for Israel to achieve security is not through shooting but through talks with Hamas, which has repeatedly declared its readiness to negotiate a long-term ceasefire with the Jewish state within its pre-1967 borders for 20, 30, or even 50 years. Israel has rejected this offer for the same reason it spurned the Arab League peace plan of 2002, which is still on the table: it involves concessions and compromises.

This brief review of Israel's record over the past four decades makes it difficult to resist the conclusion that it has become a rogue state with "an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders". A rogue state habitually violates international law, possesses weapons of mass destruction and practises terrorism - the use of violence against civilians for political purposes. Israel fulfils all of these three criteria; the cap fits and it must wear it. Israel's real aim is not peaceful coexistence with its Palestinian neighbours but military domination. It keeps compounding the mistakes of the past with new and more disastrous ones. Politicians, like everyone else, are of course free to repeat the lies and mistakes of the past. But it is not mandatory to do so.

• Avi Shlaim is a professor of international relations at the University of Oxford and the author of The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World and of Lion of Jordan: King Hussein's Life in War and Peace.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2009

David Healy
01-14-2009, 06:22 PM
There are now 1000+ dead and 4,500 wounded. Many of the dead - in fact most - are civilians by any definition! For a very intelligent and calm analysis of what led up to this listen or watch here: http://www.democracynow.org/2009/1/14/leading_israeli_scholar_avi_shlaim_israel

These are really sad times. The people of Gaza a suffering horribly - they can hide nor go nowhere. They are trapped/caged 'rats' surrounded - much as was the Warsaw Ghetto. It pains my heart to think that my fellow Jews who suffered in that way, can now turn around and inflict this on others......

Peter,

"in fact most"... (civilians) make up the dead. Facts being what they are, you haven't a clue if that accusation is correct. Your outrage is noted!

Insofar as you've brought up "body count" here's a few simple facts concerning a race that we know for sure faced extermination, all while the world did nothing (not even wringing their collective hands), NOTHING and that "world" knew what was going on.... your (as you say) race, Peter.

Fact: between 1936-45, 5.6 and 6.2 million Jews were literally erased, their ashes rose over and now mixed with the very soil you stand upon, European soil (a scene, never before seen displaying mans inhumanity to his fellow man). That'll never happen again, to the JEWS anyway!

And their battle to survive has not ceased...

How many countries is it again, in that geographical neighborhood, that are on the record wanting Israeli extinction and annihilation? Having demonstrated, spewed hate speeches on their streets calling for same...

The lid is still on, for the moment... Hezbollah, what say you?

All the Arab, Hamas, Hezbollah and Muslim pissing and moaning about this operation belies a simple, *reported* fact..... Hamas was/is stunned at the ferocity of this operation, they've been rocked back on their collective feet...

So it's time to get Hamas leaders to the table, for every day their rockets fly over the border, I expect this will continue.

Hamas can't rely on a President Obama to get Israel to back off. Obama won't tacitly endorse Hamas foolishness... going against its only ally in the immediate area

For the record: considering internet blogsters re: Gaza operation, some if not most photos posted on the net, I question nearly every image I've seen. With the exception of city (wide shots) perimeter and mainline press photos, such as those showing WP over Gaza locals...

Most street 'wounded', hospital room photos that I've seen, shot by unknown or not well known sources... most appear staged. Therefore 'all' the sources photos are questioned (happened more than once)...

I'm sure war crime accusations are mounting, the world court will deal with it when the time comes. For me, I'm glad the Iraelis don't have a Vlad the Impaler in their roles. I suspect one could find a few radical Muslim types that would relish that role, though...

David Healy
01-14-2009, 06:35 PM
This is a most important article Peter. A gangster state engaged in bloody and horrific terrorism and territorial robbery.

There will be a day of reckoning and the great danger is that it will take us all down when it arrives.

I am posting the piece in full for it will doubtlessly be removed from the Guardian website in due course.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/07/gaza-israel-palestine


take a look at this articles tug-your-heart photo, all those (how many?) on the ground, a mortar round or bomb went off, droppping all those "wounded" or dead folks, eh?

When bombs and mortar rounds go off they're 360 degree inclusive

The building in the scene behind the alleged carnage should be riddled with shrapnel holes, windows broken, plants uprooted.

Come on..... I've seen better makeup on third rate B-movies...

Mark Stapleton
01-14-2009, 10:21 PM
[QUOTE=Peter Lemkin;2982]

Fact: between 1936-45, 5.6 and 6.2 million Jews were literally erased, their ashes rose over and now mixed with the very soil you stand upon, European soil (a scene, never before seen displaying mans inhumanity to his fellow man). That'll never happen again, to the JEWS anyway!

And their battle to survive has not ceased...



I thought you said in post #96 that you were ending your participation in the Israel/Gaza discussion, David.

With some misgivings about engaging in debate with you, I must point out the plain fact that while the Jews were victims of a massive genocide in Europe, it wasn't the Palestinians who were the perpetrators. I can't see the justice in the Palestinians paying the price for past injustices inflicted upon the Jews. I think this is what Peter was trying to say but I stand to be corrected.

Further, the current genocide in Gaza is hardly a battle for Israel's survival. As the regional superpower, and the only nation in the ME with nuclear capacity, I would think their survival is guaranteed. The current genocidal campaign in Gaza actually threatens Israel's long term security.

I don't expect you to see that. You seem to have the Zionist propaganda line wired into your head.

David Healy
01-14-2009, 11:23 PM
[QUOTE=Peter Lemkin;2982]

Fact: between 1936-45, 5.6 and 6.2 million Jews were literally erased, their ashes rose over and now mixed with the very soil you stand upon, European soil (a scene, never before seen displaying mans inhumanity to his fellow man). That'll never happen again, to the JEWS anyway!

And their battle to survive has not ceased...



I thought you said in post #96 that you were ending your participation in the Israel/Gaza discussion, David.

With some misgivings about engaging in debate with you, I must point out the plain fact that while the Jews were victims of a massive genocide in Europe, it wasn't the Palestinians who were the perpetrators. I can't see the justice in the Palestinians paying the price for past injustices inflicted upon the Jews. I think this is what Peter was trying to say but I stand to be corrected.

Further, the current genocide in Gaza is hardly a battle for Israel's survival. As the regional superpower, and the only nation in the ME with nuclear capacity, I would think their survival is guaranteed. The current genocidal campaign in Gaza actually threatens Israel's long term security.

I don't expect you to see that. You seem to have the Zionist propaganda line wired into your head.

Frankly Mark, what I agreed to was ending pissing matches with those that can't quite understand the difference between propaganda, disinformation and PR...

What you think and what the Israelis think as to their survival guarantees, are probably two different things.... At this point in time, I suspect the folks of Gaza would probably agree with me.... I damn sure know Hamas knows the difference (and right now, they're the ONLY ones that know that count)....

As an Irishman who supported the IRA, as well as a card carrying member of Vietnam Vets AGAINST the War, a member too in the NRA, called a Zionist, humfh! LMFAO!

But I do know biblical history, and pounded a street or two in the area.... You're a hoot!

Mark Stapleton
01-15-2009, 12:06 AM
I really don't know what rational argument you are trying to make here. The IRA, Vietnam, biblical history etc. None of it addresses the central point about Gazans being the victims of Israeli genocide.

I think you just like arguing for the sake of arguing.

Damien Lloyd
01-15-2009, 01:24 AM
I'm glad to see David has returned, he's like a dog with a bone. I now fear for him as I'm sure his government has special camps set up for supporters of terrorist groups.

Maybe David's view of the conflict is correct. Maybe instead of finally sitting down to talk to the Irish we should have engaged in similar operations in Northern Ireland. I wonder what David's stance would be if the British were bombing the Irish into the stonage in order to rid itself of a small minority of people who kept planting their little bombs. I think he would be on the side of the victims, the innocent people who after suffering years of persecution, and brutality now had to endure this horror. Luckily we'll never know, the British sat down with Sinn Fein and agreed a truce, a truce we honoured... Unlike the Isralei's who never honoured the ceasefire in the first place, leaving Hamas with little choice but to resume it's pathetic little rocket attacks hoping to get Israel to either come back to the table and renegotiate, or to actually do as they had promised the first time round.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=f4ZgJ1icu0s
Here is Karen Abuzayd UN relief and works agency commisioner general explaining (whilst trying not to blame Israel) how the truce broke down.

David Guyatt
01-15-2009, 12:03 PM
I have to say that I am sick to my heart at what is going on in Gaza.

I don't think I can stomach another Israeli spokesman being trotted on to the TV news to spin and lie as they have been daily doing. The latest news of 3 rounds of (Willy Pete?) falling into (being targeted at?) the UN compound just goes to show, in my modest opinion, that Israel is an out of control rogue state engaging in what Jews once themselves suffered at the hands of the Nazis. In fact I can't barely prize away the feeling that we are witnessing the exact same psychological attitude. It's awful. It's evil in full rampage.

I am also glad David is back. I feel that we need a viewpoint that forces us to be careful in our analysis. But that still does not, imo, detract from the fact of the wholesale butchery of the most cynical kind is taking place and because the outgoing Bush Administration tacitly supports, it's set to continue.

Mark Stapleton
01-15-2009, 12:55 PM
Israel seems to be remarkably indifferent to global opinion this time, despite the hapless talking heads they employ on the MSM. Could they be underestimating the power of the internet?

Myra Bronstein
01-15-2009, 01:18 PM
Israel seems to be remarkably indifferent to global opinion this time, despite the hapless talking heads they employ on the MSM. Could they be underestimating the power of the internet?

I believe they are underestimating the power of the internet as you say Mark. After all, good old fashioned MSM-powered propaganda, and selective reporting, served them well for decades.

However, I don't think they much care about global opinion as long as war is profitable for them. And prior to the Oslo accords the only reason they cared about public opinion was their belief that peace was profitable.

As Ike said...

Myra Bronstein
01-15-2009, 02:40 PM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/15/israel-shells-un-headquar_n_158078.html
quest is being processed...Israel Shells UN Headquarters In Gaza (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/15/israel-shells-un-headquar_n_158078.html)

Israel Shells UN Headquarters In Gaza

IAN DEITCH | January 15, 2009 09:24 AM EST |

JERUSALEM — A senior Israeli military officer says Israeli troops shelled the U.N. headquarters in Gaza after coming under fire from Palestinian militants.

The Israeli artillery attack Thursday set the compound on fire, destroyed tons of food and humanitarian supplies and forced hundreds of refugees to flee.

Israel says it does not target U.N. buildings or personnel. But the officer says troops opened fire after militants inside the compound shot anti-tank weapons and machine guns. He says the troops used 155 mm artillery shells. Throughout its 20-day offensive in Gaza, Israel has accused Hamas militants of hiding in civilian areas to stage attacks.

The officer spoke on condition of anonymity pending a formal announcement expected later Thursday.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) _ Israel shelled the United Nations headquarters in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, the U.N. and witnesses said, engulfing the compound and the main warehouse in fire and destroying thousands of pounds of food intended for Palestinian refugees. The U.N. chief, in Israel for the day, demanded a "full explanation."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is in the region to end the devastating offensive against Gaza's Hamas rulers, said the Israeli defense minister told him there had been a "grave mistake."

An Israeli spokesman said the bombardment, which left three people wounded, was under investigation.

"It was a very difficult combat situation in the immediate vicinity of the building. It could have been stray fire. It could have been Hamas fire. Israel does not target U.N. facilities or U.N. personnel," said the spokesman, Mark Regev.

Even as a top Israeli envoy went to Egypt to discuss a cease-fire proposal, the military pushed farther into Gaza in an apparent effort to step up pressure on Hamas. Ground forces thrust deep into a crowded neighborhood for the first time, sending terrified residents fleeing for cover. Shells also struck a hospital, five high-rise apartment buildings and a building housing media outlets in Gaza City, injuring several journalists.

Bullets also entered another building housing The Associated Press offices, entering a room where two staffers were working but wounding no one. The Foreign Press Association, representing journalists covering Israel and the Palestinian territories, demanded a halt to attacks on press buildings.

The army had collected the locations of media organizations at the outset of fighting to avoid such attacks.

Israel launched its war on Dec. 27 in an effort to stop militant rocket fire from Gaza that has terrorized hundreds of thousands of Israelis. Some 1,100 Palestinians have been killed, roughly half of them civilians, according to U.N. and Palestinian medical officials. Gaza health official Dr. Moaiya Hassanain said at least 50 people were killed throughout Gaza on Thursday.

Thirteen Israelis also have been killed since the campaign began. Israel says it will press ahead until Hamas halts the rocket fire and stops smuggling weapons into Gaza from neighboring Egypt.

Your request is being processed...Israel Shells UN Headquarters In Gaza (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/15/israel-shells-un-headquar_n_158078.html)

Myra Bronstein
01-15-2009, 03:03 PM
From Times Online
January 15, 2009
UN headquarters in Gaza hit by Israeli 'white phosphorus' shells
Sheera Frenkel, Jerusalem, and Philippe Naughton

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article5521925.ece?token=null&offset=12&page=2

The main UN compound in Gaza was in flames today after being struck by Israeli artillery fire, and a spokesman said that the building had been hit by shells containing the incendiary agent white phosphorus.

The attack on the headquarters of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) came as Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary-General, arrived in Israel on a peace mission and plunged Israel's relations with the world body to a new low.

Mr Ban told reporters in Tel Aviv that he had expressed "strong protest and outrage" to the Israeli Government over the shelling of the compound and was demanding an investigation. He said that Ehud Barak, the Israeli Defence Minister, had told him that it was "a grave mistake".
Related Links

UNWRA, which looks after around four million Palestinian refugees in the region, suspended its operations in Gaza after the attack, in which it said that three of its employees had been injured.

Chris Gunness, a UNRWA spokesman, said that the building had been used to shelter hundreds of people fleeing Israel’s 20-day offensive in Gaza. He said that pallets with supplies desperately needed by Palestinians in Gaza were on fire.

"What more stark symbolism do you need?" he said. "You can’t put out white phosphorus with traditional methods such as fire extinguishers. You need sand, we don’t have sand."

The Israeli military has denied using white phosphorus shells in the Gaza offensive, although an investigation by The Times has revealed that dozens of Palestinians in Gaza have sustained serious injuries from the substance, which burns at extremely high temperatures.

The Geneva Convention of 1980 proscribes the use of white phosphorus as a weapon of war in civilian areas, although it can be used to create a smokescreen. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said today that all weapons used in Gaza were "within the scope of international law".

The attack on the UN compound came as Israeli forces pushed deeper into Gaza City and unleashed their heaviest shelling on its crowded neighbourhoods in three weeks of war. At least 15 Palestinians were killed in the Israeli attacks, medical officials said, pushing the death toll up towards 1,100 — a level that Mr Ban described as "unbearable".

It was not clear whether the escalation signalled a new phase in the conflict. Israel has held back from all-out urban warfare in the narrow alleyways of Gaza's cities, where Hamas militants are more familiar with the lay of the land.

Black smoke billowed over Gaza City, terrifying civilians who said that they had "nowhere left to hide" from the relentless shelling.

"I am telling you that Gaza is on fire, everything is under attack. We cannot begin to answer all the calls for help, it is desperate. We cannot reach the people, everyone is trapped and we do not know how to help them," said Doctor Moussa El Haddad at Shifa Hospital.

Maha El-Sheiky, 36, said that she fled her home in the western suburbs of Gaza City two days ago, moving her family into a school in the centre of the city. "We thought it would be safer here. But now there is shelling everywhere. It is schools and mosques and hospitals. We don’t know what will be next," she said. "We are hiding, it is in God’s hands."

There were reports that the al-Quds hospital in the Tal El Hawa district, Gaza's second-largest, had been shelled, while more than 500 patients were being treated inside.

An explosion also blasted a tower block that houses the offices of Reuters and several other media organisations, injuring a journalist working for the Abu Dhabi television channel.

Reuters journalists working at the time said it appeared that the southern side of the 13th floor of the Al-Shurouq Tower in the city centre had been struck by an Israeli missile or shell. Reuters evacuated its bureau.

Several organisations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross and Human Rights Watch, said that they were "certain" that Israel was using white phosphorus shells in Gaza. Human rights workers said that the use of phosphorus in the densely populated Gaza City could constitute a war crime.

Israel launched the offensive on December 27 in an effort to stop militant rocket fire from Gaza that has terrorised hundreds of thousands of Israelis. It says that it will press ahead until it receives guarantees of a complete halt to rocket fire and an end to weapons smuggling into Gaza from neighbouring Egypt.

The attack on the UN compound prompted international protests.

Lord Malloch-Brown, the Foreign Office Minister, said that there was "absolutely no excuse" for the shelling, which, he said, reminded him of a similar attack on a UN observation post during the Israeli offensive into Lebanon in 2006.

He told peers: "With over 1,000 people now dead in Gaza, many of them civilians and children, the urgent need for a diplomatic solution is clear. A robust and immediate ceasefire is the only way the current situation in Gaza can be addressed."

William Hague, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, said: "The shelling of the UN Headquarters in Gaza is unacceptable. This undercuts efforts to bring relief to the people of Gaza and is against Israel’s own interests. The UNWRA provides food and aid to over a million Palestinian refugees in Gaza.

"The suspension of its operations will bring more misery to civilians. We desperately need a ceasefire by both sides, not further escalation. Both sides must meet their obligations to protect aid workers at all times."

The conflict was also discussed at talks between Gordon Brown and Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, in Berlin. Aides said that Mr Brown was expected to speak to Mr Ban later today.

Jan Klimkowski
01-15-2009, 06:43 PM
The UN should pull out and stop dishing out bread and band aids.

Then, ignoring the whining of Israeli spin doctors & Faux News liars, there'll be no argument about what's happening: the massacre of a people trapped inside a Gaza Ghetto.

Myra Bronstein
01-15-2009, 06:46 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyH5p3XdoOQ

Peter Lemkin
01-15-2009, 07:33 PM
http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/47544 by Michel Chossudovsky

On target - this analysis! My heart is really breaking over this War [slaughter of 'fish' in a barrel]; use of white phosphorus, callousness of the Israeli Govt (and many of its citizens), relative silence of the World community, complicity of the US, death of innocents, non-combattants, children [8,500 wounded - 1,100 dead and counting]. This is going to go 'ballistic' in the next days, as Israel fears [a little] Obama might ask them to 'tone it down' - so they hope to kill many or cause most to flee [where, they are trapped!] in the next 6 days...... How can a People who went through the Holocaust engage in another one [no matter if not on the same scale - on the same gutter level of anti-morality?!?!] It pains me greatly.

Psssst - Tell you a secret - it has to do with to natural gas resources to be developed off the coast of the Gaza Strip, as well as all the 'usual' 'reasons'. [all gone into in the talk]

Damien Lloyd
01-15-2009, 07:51 PM
http://www.democracynow.org/2009/1/15/headlines#5

Israeli Rights Groups Call for War Crimes Investigation

The latest attacks came after a coalition of nine Israeli human rights groups called for an investigation into whether Israel is committing war crimes. In a statement, the groups, including the Israeli sections of Amnesty International and Physicians for Human Rights, condemned what they call the “wanton use of lethal force” against Palestinian civilians. They continue, “This kind of fighting constitutes a blatant violation of the laws of warfare and raises the suspicion…of the commission of war crimes.” There are worldwide calls for prosecuting Israeli leaders. On Wednesday, hundreds gathered outside the International Criminal Court in the Hague. Sobhi Khansa of the International Coalition Against Impunity said Israeli leaders should be tried for crimes against humanity.

Sobhi Khansa: “The crimes of Israel against Gaza increase day after day. And now it’s terrorist crimes, you know? They are using terrorist weapons, murder, crimes against humanity, war crimes. So, for this, we came to the Hague to ICC Court. We want the court to go and start investigation about these crimes.”
The Guardian of London reported this week diplomats are considering asking the United Nations General Assembly to refer Israel’s actions in Gaza to the World Court. The UN’s special rapporteur to the Occupied Territories, Richard Falk, has said Israel’s attack on Gaza could be in violation of the UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions, international law and international humanitarian law.

Israeli Shelling Hits Media Building

A nearby Israeli shelling hit an office building housing several media organizations. A journalist for the Abu Dhabi television channel was injured. Reuters bureau chief Alastair Macdonald said the attack came despite contact with the Israeli military.

Alastair Macdonald: “We were, in fact, at that time in contact with the Israeli army, checking with them that they knew where our staff were and where they were working. We were assured that they were. Shortly after that, an explosion hit the floor just above us. Shrapnel entered the office. It also struck the offices of another media company two floors above ours. One person, at least, there was wounded, we understand. We have evacuated our office."

Thousands Flee Homes as Toll Passes 1,000

Thousands of Palestinians have fled their homes today, as Israel escalates its assault on densely populated residential areas. Gaza resident Nasser Mohammed said his family was forced to relocate twice after coming under Israeli attack.

Nasser Mohammed: “We were inside a house with the children, and then the Israeli army started to shoot at us with bullets, so we moved to another house with the children. Then the second house came down on top of us.”
The Palestinian death toll now stands at at least 1,045—at least half of them civilian. Another 4,860 have been injured. Thirteen Israelis have been killed, including four by friendly fire.

David Healy
01-16-2009, 09:02 AM
http://www.democracynow.org/2009/1/15/headlines#5

Israeli Rights Groups Call for War Crimes Investigation

The latest attacks came after a coalition of nine Israeli human rights groups called for an investigation into whether Israel is committing war crimes. In a statement, the groups, including the Israeli sections of Amnesty International and Physicians for Human Rights, condemned what they call the “wanton use of lethal force” against Palestinian civilians. They continue, “This kind of fighting constitutes a blatant violation of the laws of warfare and raises the suspicion…of the commission of war crimes.” There are worldwide calls for prosecuting Israeli leaders. On Wednesday, hundreds gathered outside the International Criminal Court in the Hague. Sobhi Khansa of the International Coalition Against Impunity said Israeli leaders should be tried for crimes against humanity.

Sobhi Khansa: “The crimes of Israel against Gaza increase day after day. And now it’s terrorist crimes, you know? They are using terrorist weapons, murder, crimes against humanity, war crimes. So, for this, we came to the Hague to ICC Court. We want the court to go and start investigation about these crimes.”
The Guardian of London reported this week diplomats are considering asking the United Nations General Assembly to refer Israel’s actions in Gaza to the World Court. The UN’s special rapporteur to the Occupied Territories, Richard Falk, has said Israel’s attack on Gaza could be in violation of the UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions, international law and international humanitarian law.

Israeli Shelling Hits Media Building

A nearby Israeli shelling hit an office building housing several media organizations. A journalist for the Abu Dhabi television channel was injured. Reuters bureau chief Alastair Macdonald said the attack came despite contact with the Israeli military.

Alastair Macdonald: “We were, in fact, at that time in contact with the Israeli army, checking with them that they knew where our staff were and where they were working. We were assured that they were. Shortly after that, an explosion hit the floor just above us. Shrapnel entered the office. It also struck the offices of another media company two floors above ours. One person, at least, there was wounded, we understand. We have evacuated our office."

Thousands Flee Homes as Toll Passes 1,000

Thousands of Palestinians have fled their homes today, as Israel escalates its assault on densely populated residential areas. Gaza resident Nasser Mohammed said his family was forced to relocate twice after coming under Israeli attack.

Nasser Mohammed: “We were inside a house with the children, and then the Israeli army started to shoot at us with bullets, so we moved to another house with the children. Then the second house came down on top of us.”
The Palestinian death toll now stands at at least 1,045—at least half of them civilian. Another 4,860 have been injured. Thirteen Israelis have been killed, including four by friendly fire.

Not a peep about Hamas leaving their non-terrorist citizens to die for them....while the cowards hide behind women and children, in mosques and schools... All while Hamas Capo's wine and dine while wringing their hands in Cairo -- WAR is indeed, HELL!

Hamas is neutered!

Here's the way this will play out (hopefully): if ya continually poke someone in the eye with a stick, well, don't be surprised if they eventually sneak up on ya with a baseball bat...

The aftermath: Israel will help rebuild Gaza, while the rest of the radical Muslim world (and their worldwide supporters) cry foul ad-nauseum. All while middle-east oil tankers wind their way in every direction...

Here's hoping Israel doesn't tire of this type of incursion. If they do, they've only one alternative, and that's a pisser...

(The above is USofA bible-belt [majority] mentality, and its spreading. Even a few left-wingers are getting on the band wagon...)

We're not going to think or intellectualize our way out of this one!

Peter Lemkin
01-16-2009, 09:12 AM
From yesterday's www.democracynow.org

JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, Israeli forces are continuing to pound Gaza City, hitting civilian targets, including a UN building, a hospital and a building housing several media organizations, in some of the heaviest shelling in nearly three weeks. Israeli troops, backed by helicopter gunships, tanks and heavy guns, have pushed deeply into densely populated neighborhoods. Thousands of Gaza City residents are fleeing their homes.

The Palestinian death toll now stands at at least 1,045, at least half of them civilians. Another 4,860 have been injured. Thirteen Israelis have been killed, including four by friendly fire.


AMY GOODMAN: We go now to Gaza to speak with Dr. Moussa El-Haddad, a retired physician. He lives in Gaza City.

Welcome to Democracy Now! Tell us where you are and what’s happening right now, Dr. El-Haddad.


DR. MOUSSA EL-HADDAD: Well, I am in Gaza City itself. What’s happening is a state that is almost impossible to describe. The Israeli army has escalated the attack on civilians since last night. I did not have a single minute of sleep for the last probably eighteen hours. There have been bombardment every day, every minute, all night long. My house was rocking all the time.


And this morning, when the sun rose, we could at least look from the window, and I could see, as you probably have seen on the TV, smoke coming out buildings, civilian buildings, apartment buildings. Actually, two hospitals were bombarded this morning, the Al-Quds and the Al-Wafa Hospital. Al-Wafa Hospital is a hospital for handicaps, by the way, and old people. A media apartment was also hit this morning not far from my house. That’s Abu Dhabi news agency.


So, wherever, it’s extremely unsafe now, even inside our homes, smoke everywhere. I could see cluster bombs being fired this morning, and the phosphorus bombs now are used freely on the civilians. I’m sure you have seen it on the TV.


AMY GOODMAN: Dr. El-Haddad, we heard that white phosphorus was dropped on the UN compound, that hundreds of people, families were there taking refuge. We discussed white phosphorus yesterday with Human Rights Watch. Can you talk, as a doctor, about the effects of the burning? For example, they say it can’t be put out, the fires that it creates, just by pouring water on it. In fact, that exacerbates it.


DR. MOUSSA EL-HADDAD: No, no, no. You cannot, actually. If you pour water on it, it gets worse, if you get this burn. Number one, those people who get exposed to white phosphorus get severe respiratory distress. They can hardly breathe, and then the exposed skin gets burned. If you put water on it, the burning increases, becomes worse. So you cannot really do much about it. And if the affected area was exposed too much for white phosphorus, it burns the skin, muscles and deep to the bones. So, eventually, a lot of these patients will lose some of their limbs.


AMY GOODMAN: Doctor El-Haddad, we’ve just been joined by Christopher Gunness. He’s the spokesperson for the UN Relief and Works Agency.

Can you tell us, Chris Gunness, what has happened to the UN compound in Gaza?


CHRISTOPHER GUNNESS: Well, this morning, there were three rounds of white phosphorus which landed in our compound in Gaza. That set ablaze the main warehouse and the big workshop we have there for vehicles. At the time, there were 700, also, people displaced from the fighting. There were full fuel tankers there. The Israeli army have been given all the coordinates of all our facilities, including this one. They also knew that there were fuel tankers laden with fuel in the compound, and they would have known that there were hundreds of people who had taken refuge.


The Israeli Defense Minister apologized to the Secretary-General for this, but, for us, we need deeds, not words. We have to get on with our humanitarian task. Amazingly, our operations are continuing today, and I have to pay tribute to the extraordinary bravery and commitment of our staff in Gaza. We’re continuing with our food distributions. We’re picking up humanitarian goods from the crossings, and we are doing healthcare as best we can.


JUAN GONZALEZ: And from this latest strike, were there any casualties in your compound?


CHRISTOPHER GUNNESS: There were at least three, and that’s when I was last able to talk to office, but it’s possible there are more. But for the moment, three people injured. And it, again, tragically illustrates that when you have this [inaudible] on and off, the military machine, when you have rockets flying out of Gaza, humanitarian workers and innocent civilians are going to get caught in the crossfire. Of course, we condemn the rockets that come out of Gaza.

But the world has been revulsed by the pictures that have come out of Gaza, which is why today we’ve, on the ground, utterly endorsed and backed the call of the world’s top diplomat, Ban Ki-moon. [inaudible] he’s the conscience of the world. He’s come here with a Security Council resolution, which says stop the fighting. And those parties on the ground who are continuing to fight are doing so in defiance and in isolation.


JUAN GONZALEZ: And this use of phosphorus munitions, your response to that?


CHRISTOPHER GUNNESS: Well, I’m not a military person, but a colleague of mine said to me in Gaza today, who, you know, has a military background and knows these things, it looks like white phosphorus, it smells like white phosphorus, and it burns like white phosphorus. We weren’t able, initially, to put the fighting out, because we had only conventional fire extinguishers. White phosphorus needs sand, and we didn’t have sand in quantities. But I’m pleased to say that the Red Cross fire services have managed to make [unintelligible] a compound and are now fighting the blaze.


AMY GOODMAN: Chris Gunness, in addition to the three people you say that were wounded there, what about the thousands of tons of supplies? Is that right? Food, medical supplies, other aid in this building?


CHRISTOPHER GUNNESS: Yes, I don’t have a handle on exact quantities, but there’s no doubt that aid was destroyed, aid paid for with your tax dollars and mine. It’s a tragic piece of symbolism that the very pallets that we deliver humanitarian assistance on are on fire in Gaza. You know, what more tragic symbolism could there be of the situation that we find ourselves in today?


AMY GOODMAN: Ehud Barak said this was a mistake, the attack on the UN compound. Your response?


CHRISTOPHER GUNNESS: Well, we want deeds and not words. Our workers and, indeed, the civilians in Gaza have come in harm’s way too many times. This on-off with the pause, so-called, is not good enough. It’s woefully inadequate, because, of course, we have to preposition our aid before the actual pause takes place, where—there’s heavy fighting where I am—the booms—anyway, which is slightly distracting. There are—you know, we have to preposition our aid at our food distribution centers. We have to get our medical supplies to hospitals, which we are doing our best to supply. We have got to get fuel to hospitals, because most of the hospitals in Gaza today are running twenty-four/seven on emergency generators, so babies on life support systems, patients, the dying, the elderly, the sick, who need electricity, are in a life-threatening situation.


So, we are continuing with our work, but we say, “Please, will the parties on the ground listen to the call of the world’s top diplomat today?” On his first day of his peace mission to Israel, he has, again, endorsed the call of the Security Council for an immediate ceasefire. And this terrible attack on the United Nations headquarters is another tragic illustration of what happens when you don’t have a ceasefire. There has to be a permanent ceasefire.


JUAN GONZALEZ: I’d like to ask Dr. Moussa El-Haddad, who is still on the line with us—


DR. MOUSSA EL-HADDAD: Yes.


JUAN GONZALEZ: —the Israelis say that they keep notifying the population to flee areas that they are attacking. What does this mean to you? Where could you possibly go to flee to safety?


DR. MOUSSA EL-HADDAD: Well, number one, let me tell you that I’ve heard from many people whose houses have been demolished, bombarded, that no warning has been given. Some people were given warnings through the Red Cross, but many people were not warned. So, those who leave their houses, they just go out to shelters, UNRWA shelters—you know, it’s not actually shelters; it’s schools and—or to their relatives.


But let me just add a comment to what Mr. Ehud Olmert said, that he apologized, that it was a mistake. If that was one mistake—and I tell you right now on the air—that they have committed hundreds of mistakes during the last three weeks. You know, what about all these apartment buildings that only civilians occupy? Children and families are trapped in elevators and under the stairs. Children and women bleeding in the streets, and the Israeli Army tanks are not allowing Red Cross or humanitarian aid to go and help them. The ambulances are not allowed to go in. They bleed for hours. And we can hear them on the radio asking for help and somebody to come and help them and take them. Dead bodies are in the streets down in our area in the southwest of Gaza. It’s—I’ll tell you, this is a disaster on humans. This is a human disaster in the twenty-first century. And everybody is looking.

I’m a—as a physician, I am telling you. You know, even now, you know, I just hope they stop this, whatever you want to call it, massacre or what. But I hope that they just stop it [inaudible]. And even if they do, there will be, years to come, people suffering psychologically, handicap people. You know, we already started seeing things like this. So, I don’t know how long we have to take until this thing stops. And I just hope that Mr. Bush is enjoying his time playing with his cat or dog right now.


AMY GOODMAN: Doctor Moussa El-Haddad, we’d like to ask you to stay on with us. We’re going to go to break. But Christopher Gunness, if you haven’t left us yet, spokesperson for UNRWA—


CHRISTOPHER GUNNESS: No, I’m here.


AMY GOODMAN: —just a comment on UNICEF. It’s rare that it speaks out. Ann Veneman is the head of UNICEF, used to be the head of Department of Agriculture here in the United States. But UNICEF has condemned the Gaza attack. In a rare statement, it urged an immediate ceasefire, calling the deaths of children tragic and unacceptable. Final comments, Christopher Gunness?


CHRISTOPHER GUNNESS: Well, it is entirely unacceptable. And, of course, we’re very gratified and welcome the statement by Ann Veneman. Too many innocent children, too many babies, too many women have been killed. And, of course, in Israel too, there have been rockets which we condemn. The pictures have revulsed the world, and Ban Ki-moon has come here as the conscience of the world. He’s expressing the revulsion of the world and is calling for the rockets to stop and for the fighting in Gaza to stop. Enough innocent civilians have been killed. It has to stop.


AMY GOODMAN: Christopher Gunness, thanks for being with us, spokesperson for UN Relief and Works Agency.


CHRISTOPHER GUNNESS: Thank you very much.


AMY GOODMAN: Dr. El-Haddad will stay with us. When we come back from break, we’re joined by Rabbi Michael Lerner, an open letter to Barack Obama. Rabbis have taken out a full-page ad in the New York Times to make a statement about Gaza. Stay with us.

[break]

JUAN GONZALEZ: A coalition of American rabbis and other religious, cultural and community leaders bought a full-page ad in the New York Times on Wednesday calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and for President-elect Barack Obama to convene an international Middle East peace conference. The initiative was led by Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun magazine. Lerner said the group had to buy ad space because the nation’s major newspapers are not giving room for this perspective.

AMY GOODMAN: Rabbi Michael Lerner joins us in San Francisco.

Welcome to Democracy Now! You’ve been listening as we spoke to Christopher Gunness, UN Relief and Works Agency, as well as Dr. El-Haddad, who is trapped in his house in Gaza, observing what is happening outside. Rabbi Lerner, talk about your message, who put out this ad and what it says.

RABBI MICHAEL LERNER: Well, it was put out by Tikkun magazine, and we are actually trying now to get other liberal and progressive people around the country to help us. Go to tikkun.org, so that we can reproduce this in the Washington Post and in other major media. Unfortunately, the media, except for Democracy Now! and Pacifica and a few other places, are obliterating the message that many, many American Jews and other religious leaders, spiritual leaders and just American citizens are outraged at the immorality of what is happening.

So we’re demanding an immediate ceasefire, but we’re also asking for President Obama to take an immediate leadership in convening an international conference, because the direction that was laid out by Senator Clinton yesterday, that she said Obama and she agreed on, which would call for—would say that there are no negotiations with Hamas until Hamas recognizes the state of Israel, which, of course, is not going to happen—Hamas is going to be agreeable to a ceasefire, and maybe a long-term ceasefire, twenty or thirty years, but it’s not going to recognize Israel, so this policy is a non-starter. It’s a stupid policy. And it’s exactly in reverse of what Obama said he would do during the elections, when he was saying he would negotiate with people, including Iran and Syria, despite the fact that he abhorred their policies.

Why, in Israel, do we have the one time when he won’t negotiate, won’t talk to Hamas? Well, of course, the answer is obvious. It’s that the Israel lobby, combining extremely right-wing Jews in this country with a powerful Christian Zionist movement, have blocked out of public discourse all of the moral sentiments of the American public, which would be outraged at what’s going on in Gaza at this moment and, more generally, understand that the best interests of Israel and Israeli security lies in reconciliation with the Palestinian people, not in trying to wipe them out.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Rabbi Lerner, in your open letter to Barack Obama, you raise your concern that, having met him several times in the past, that you saw a great hope in terms of the Middle East in his policies, but that you were concerned, starting with the election campaign last year, that you saw a change in his direction. Could you elaborate on that?

RABBI MICHAEL LERNER: Well, you know, in my conversations with Obama—Obama came to a Tikkun conference in 1996, and I spoke to him about these issues in 2006. And he was very much aligned with the Tikkun perspective, which is a perspective that says that the best interest of Israel lies in peace and reconciliation with the Palestinian people.

But the pressures that have been brought upon him during the campaign and now afterwards are immense. You cannot underestimate the amount of push that is going on all around him. And remember that last week the Senate voted overwhelmingly—that is, unanimously—to support the Israeli position, and the House voted—I think it was 405-to-five in support of the Israeli position.

There is nothing coming from the other direction. And that’s why those of us who really care about the security of the Palestinian people and the Israeli people need to stand up and speak very loudly at this time and to ask President Obama to intervene, to intervene directly, and to not listen to all those forces that are saying to him, “Forget about the Israel thing. Don’t risk your political capital on Israel-Palestine. Turn to other issues.” Now, this is happening—as you see and you beautifully demonstrated, this is happening, this moral outrage, this violation of human rights, is happening on a daily basis right now, and we need leadership right now.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to end with Dr. Moussa El-Haddad back in Gaza, retired physician living in Gaza City, as best he can right now. Dr. El-Haddad, why don’t you leave your home? How far are the Israeli troops from your home?

DR. MOUSSA EL-HADDAD: Why don’t I leave my home?

AMY GOODMAN: Yes.

DR. MOUSSA EL-HADDAD: Well, number one, there is nowhere to go. As you know, all the borders are closed. And if I leave, all the places are unsafe now. As we mentioned in the beginning, the civilians are trapped into this, between—this is a game being played between the politicians, and the civilians are paying the price. Number one, all the borders of Gaza Strip are closed. As you know, also the sea is closed. You cannot leave.

And as a human being, I would like to leave when I want and where I want. I don’t want to leave because Israel wants me to leave.

So the Israeli army now is pretty close to me, the tanks. Nobody is safe in this area. And as you know, more than 300 children have been killed so far, and some of them are as young as five months old. Can you believe it?

AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Moussa El-Haddad, the program is ending now. I want to thank you for being with us—

DR. MOUSSA EL-HADDAD: That’s my pleasure, dear.

AMY GOODMAN: —and wish you safety, a retired physician living in Gaza City. His daughter, Laila El-Haddad, is the journalist who we’ve interviewed who writes the popular blog “Raising Yousuf.” Yousuf is Dr. Moussa El-Haddad’s grandson.

David Guyatt
01-16-2009, 01:31 PM
I thought I would post from a different newspaper today, rather than the London Times (which incidentally is running much the same story).

Britain's best selling paper, the tabloid comic called The Sun (which cannot accurately be called a "newspaper" by any definition) devoted a staggering 61 words on the story - hidden deep inside obviously, and well behind the page 3 "Jugs", bingo and all the other informative and educational prose and pics.

[ PS, if Dennis Kucinich ever needs a new job could you send him over here to join our Parliament please? It would be good to have at least one lonely, honest voice that speaks out, rather than, say, indulge their time furiously hiding their expense vouchers from the Freedom of Information Act. Ta. ]

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/outrage-as-israel-bombs-un-1380407.html

January 16, 2009
Outrage as Israel bombs UN

Aid workers allege use of banned white phosphorus as Hamas security leader dies in bombing raid on house

http://www.independent.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00113/pg-22-israel-un-AP_113557t.jpg
United Nations workers and Palestinian firefighters try to put out fires and save bags of food aid at the UN headquarters after it was hit by Israeli bombardment in Gaza yesterday

Israeli tanks thrust deep inside Gaza City last night as ferocious fighting raged in dense residential areas with terrified families fleeing along streets echoing with gunfire, although many others were trapped in their homes.

Israeli shelling set fire to the UN headquarters, a hospital, a school and a building used by the media, leading to widespread international protests and renewed calls for a ceasefire in the conflict which has so far cost 1,073 Palestinian and 13 Israeli lives. A senior Hamas leader, the Interior Minister Said Seyyam who was responsible for thousands of security agents, was killed in an Israeli raid which flattened his brother's home.

Three members of UN staff were injured when three Israeli shells hit the headquarters, setting it on fire. Thousands of tonnes of desperately needed food and humanitarian supplies were destroyed and about 700 refugees given shelter in the building had to be evacuated. UN officials said the shells were white phosphorus, believed to have been responsible for burns suffered by some Palestinian civilians.

The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, on a peace mission to the region, said: "I conveyed my strong protest and outrage to the Defence Minister and Foreign Minister and demanded a full explanation."

The Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, apologised for the shelling but claimed Hamas fighters had opened fire from the centre. "It is absolutely true that we were attacked from that place, but the consequences are very sad and we apologise for it," he said. "I don't think it should have happened and I'm very sorry."

John Ging, the director of operations for the UN relief agency, UNRWA, in Gaza described the Israeli claim about a Hamas presence as "nonsense". He added: "It's a total disaster for us." Mr Ging said the UN had warned the Israelis the compound was in danger from shelling that had begun overnight, and provided them with GPS co-ordinates to prevent an attack.

The Al-Quds hospital was also hit by shellfire when Israeli tanks moved further into the city. A tower housing the Reuters agency and other media outlets was also hit. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said the damage caused to the Al Quds hospital is "completely and utterly unacceptable based on every known standard of international humanitarian law".

The hospital is in the Tal Hawa district, a packed residential area. Streams of people fled from the fighting, carrying what belongings they could on foot, by car, and, in some cases wheelbarrows after homes were demolished and set ablaze. Mahmud Tejan Hussein drove away with seven members of his family. "Bullets started hitting our house and I decided that we must get away from here. There are Israeli tanks in the area now and we might get blocked off if we wait. But I do not know where we are going to go. We wanted to go to the UN office, but that has been attacked. Wherever we go, the fighting will follow us."

Musah Mohammed, 36, who stayed at his home in an apartment block, said: "We cannot go out. There is shooting in the street. My mother is ill and she is old; we cannot leave her here. People are shouting to each other from balconies crying that they need help. We have no electricity and very little food and water. We are very afraid; we do not know what will happen next." It was unclear whether the escalation was a final push before a ceasefire, as peace talks continued yesterday in Cairo where Israel's chief negotiator Amos Gilad arrived to hear the Hamas response to an Egyptian initiative.

Mark Regev, the spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister, said a "momentum" was building up on the talks. "Ultimately, we want to see a long-term sustainable quiet in the south, a quiet that's going to be based on the total absence of all hostile fire from Gaza into Israel, and an internationally supported mechanism that will prevent Hamas from rearming," he said.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Mr Olmert by phone that Washington would sign an agreement on measures to stop Hamas from rearming after a ceasefire. The Egyptian proposals call for an immediate ceasefire, resumption of humanitarian aid, an Israeli pullout and the reopening of the border between Israel and Gaza under international supervision.

Peter Lemkin
01-16-2009, 07:02 PM
http://www.democracynow.org/2009/1/16/palestinian_father_in_us_recounts_how

One of THE most moving statements by a Palistinian I've heard..brought lots of tears to my eyes! Here is the transcript, but you really need to hear the pain and humanity in this man's voice and on his face - in his eyes!

AMY GOODMAN: As the Israeli assault on Gaza continues, the Palestinian death toll continues to mount. Over the last twenty-one days, more than 1,100 Palestinians have been killed, 5,200 wounded, at least 700 civilians among the dead, including more than 350 children. Today, we’re going to find out about one of those kids.

Suleiman Baraka is a Palestinian astrophysicist. He works here in the United States at Virginia Tech with NASA. On December 29th, Israeli war planes bombed the house where his wife and four children were staying. His eleven-year-old son Ibrahim was killed. His wife and three other children are now homeless in Gaza, along with seventeen members of his family. Suleiman Baraka has never before told his story in the United States. He joins us now from Norfolk, Virginia.

Welcome to Democracy Now!

SULEIMAN BARAKA: Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: It’s very good to have you with us. And our condolences on the loss of your son. Suleiman Baraka, can you tell us what happened to Ibrahim?

SULEIMAN BARAKA: Yes. Thank you, first, for giving me this chance to talk to a American public. I was in my office. I received a call that there was a bombing in my area, and then, after a while, the bombing was my house, and then I lost communication with the family for ten hours. It was really very hard, at the emotional, psychological level, because I had known that there something happened, and I cannot follow up. Ten hours later, I knew that my son Ibrahim was critically injured and my mom was moderately injured when they bombed my house with a one-ton bomb and destroyed the house, injuring my son and my mom.

I lived a very, very hard time as a father who is far, who has lack of information. I don’t see my son, who was—I am preparing for him, to bring him to the United States to live here, to value diversity, to go to school, to make new friends. I was, you know, preparing for them to bring him here. And then, once in a sudden, I understand that my son is in critical condition then.

The other day, I got the news that, because his condition was critical, he was moved to Egypt for medication. Then, automatically, I just went to Egypt to follow up my son. One day after I arrived, they said that the brain can come again and he can be awakened, because he was in deep coma. There was a shrapnel in his right hand, brain and leg and hand, and a cut in the back. I stand by him, and there is no need to describe what the feeling of a father who is looking as his child dying.

January 5th, midday, I received a call from the doctor that my child passed away. It was really very hard to break in and very sad moment. Also, the sadness is accumulated when I could not go back to Gaza for the funeral and the condolences of my son, because Gaza is closed. And it’s only open for bringing into Egypt wounded and sending back dead in coffins. So, as a father, it was really a very hard difficulty.

And I’m still remembering the last message five days before he was—you know, before the accident. Because I am diabetic and he was worried about my health, and he told me that how I am feeling and I should take care of myself. He is my son, talking to me like my father. And he said, “I bought a new bicycle, and I am happy with it.” So I still remember this message in my mind.

And last September, I was in Paris, and I was talking to French astrophysicists, the professors who are teaching in Paris universities, and I told them I built a new house, two-story house. I wanted to invite in a Jewish family to live with me, side-by-side, where my children play with their children. Now, they destroyed the house, and they killed my child. What is this?

JUAN GONZALEZ: Mr. Baraka, I just wanted to ask you, when your child was transferred from Gaza to Egypt, they did not allow any family members to come with him out of there? And what’s happened to the rest of your family?

SULEIMAN BARAKA: No, yeah, no, my son—no, they allowed my brother, who was accompanying. Every wounded person is accompanied by one family member. So my brother was with him. Yes, my brother was with him, and my brother went back with him with the coordination with Red Cross Egypt and Israel.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And what about the rest of your family?

SULEIMAN BARAKA: OK. Within one week, they destroyed my house, my old house, with three-story buildings with other two brothers, and they destroyed the houses of four brothers. So a total of twenty nephews and nieces are without shelter and probably without food now. A total of eight houses had been totally destroyed.

And the old house I had—I was worried about my library, who I collected in twenty years. And yesterday, my daughter called me, and she was crying because we lost our telescope. The building that killed my son, I used to take my children on the roof and show them Venus and Jupiter and the sky, because typically, if you ask any Palestinian children, a child, “If you look at the sky, what you see?” he will say, “I will see Apache and F-16 jet fighters.” So I wanted just to show them that there is something beautiful behind these stereotypes. I wanted to help not only my children, but the Palestinian children. And I did lots of public lectures on astronomy just to create a sort of hope and expanding the imagination of our children that there is something beautiful than this cocoon, what’s called Gaza, which had been closed for two years. And after two years, it had been bombed in this crazy war that is unjustified and a very excessive use of force.

My house is not a military base. Ibrahim is eleven years old. He doesn’t need F-16 jet fighters to kill him. My house roof was there for me and my children to use my telescope, not anti-aircraft missiles or rockets.

I have no language to express what I feel about this. Now, all our houses are destroyed. My family, I lost communication. I rarely have some, you know, with my family, because my daughter with my wife is at their grandpa’s. The other members of my family, I have no communication with. It’s really hard to break in, and I don’t know—sometimes I feel speechless. I cannot say, as a father, and when I look at the photo of my son, I cannot convince myself that I will never see him again. I lost my son, but I didn’t lose my inner peace. But how I can convince my son Daoud, who is five, who witnessed the bombardment of his house and the killing of his brother? Is that investment for hatred and violence and anti-violence?

I think Palestine and Gaza, especially, doesn’t need initiatives, talks, demonstrations. Palestine needs interference and a password to end all of this: end occupation. End occupation. End occupation. You eliminate the action, then there will never be reaction. Whatever is whatever the language describing the situation, the problem is in the occupation. When the occupation is ended, and it—there is legitimacy. There is United Nations resolutions. There is everything. It’s very easy. It needs a will, and it needs those people who are wisdom-guided, not power-guided. Civilization of power will not work forever. Power of civilization always bring in and bring about prosperity, peace, coexistence. It’s enough of everything for everybody.

AMY GOODMAN: Suleiman Baraka, we are also joined from Gaza by your brother, by Sayed Baraka, who was, what, fifty yards away from Ibrahim when he was hit by the Israeli bomb. Can you describe what happened, Sayed Baraka?

SAYED BARAKA: Sure. I would like to thank you all for giving my brother Suleiman and me a chance to talk about our sad story. And if Suleiman hears me, let me say, Suleiman, we all love you. We all pray for you. You just need to have patience. Beside your home, your six brothers’ homes and your mom’s were completely destroyed. Sixty-four houses of your neighbors were destroyed. Seventy of your neighbors were injured. Sixty-four of them had bones broken. Please pray for them.

About what happened to my beloved Ibrahim—Ibrahim is not only your son, Suleiman. Remember when he was one hour old? I gave him the first kiss, and you thanked me that time. But when we buried him, I couldn’t give him the last kiss, because all the town were saying bye to Ibrahim. They all went with us.

At that time, Monday the 29th, he went to help my mom, his grandma, to make the afternoon prayer just beside your new home. I was looking there, waiting for her, for my mom to finish her prayer and to come back to me with Ibrahim. Suddenly, I saw a very like white smoke going down at your home. Then, in a few—in just like no time, very loud noise disturbing everybody, with very dark smoke covered everything there. I went running. I was just beside your old home, maybe sixty meters or less than that. You know it. I saw my mom, her face covered down to the earth. I saw your son. He was covered by black smoke. I saw him like dead, because he couldn’t move anything. He was like—he was like sleeping. I couldn’t control myself. Then, some of the neighbors and the people around us, they came to help. I tried to carry my mom. I see, I hear, like I witnessed some kind of heat in her body, and I had the feeling that she is still alive. They left Ibrahim. And we brought—you know, as a Canadian citizenship, I can go with him there, but at the moment I arrived in the hospital with my mom. She was like crying. She was like dying. My brother was close [inaudible] Ibrahim. Then he left with him to Egypt.

AMY GOODMAN: I am so sorry to say that we’re coming to the end of our show, but, Suleiman Baraka, you are asking for your family to come to the US?

SULEIMAN BARAKA: Yes, yes. I don’t want to receive another bad news. It’s enough. I had enough. Now, I will work—

AMY GOODMAN: Your children are how old, your surviving children?

SULEIMAN BARAKA: Mohammed is thirteen. Irwad is my daughter, is ten. Daoud is five.

AMY GOODMAN: Suleiman Baraka, I want to thank you for being with us, astrophysicist, speaking to us. He teaches at Virginia Tech, speaking to us from Norfolk. We have twenty seconds. I want to end with our guest here in New York, Professor Rashid Khalidi.

RASHID KHALIDI: I mean, what can one say when one hears that kind of thing? There are 1,100 stories like that. 1,100 people have been killed, most of them civilians, 300 of them children—350 of them children. One can’t say anything. Nothing justifies the slaughter of children. Nothing. Nothing.


AMY GOODMAN: We will leave it there.

Magda Hassan
01-16-2009, 11:32 PM
The Israeli War on the Gaza Strip: "The Birth Pangs of a New Palestine/Middle East”

By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

URL of this article: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7928 (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001aWo8H1faIErbNXcUUTesTMLaEmE1J14Vti9vHP JCM438ga9FtiNdBM0DuET0-t1R6z-7ndqu07qwhvLz5rOdxUSBDWNw21pPBSew3u06jFTHcQ4ClszNP Dy2DcIBmgF6Zauo6TSG4MxZ1yqXFJKng_IyNsv7RCi4hDsDZDo B1fU=)

Global Research (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001aWo8H1faIErd3sl6OkM2FJWSWTWkl4W0LPjUXb TJ3zKAMVSmP-JATMwdKLfz8E3ttWbSPeuL0p7D66LSX4yB-9Bz51kGXyR9ppANlvafpiar-bSmKOnqZw==), January 15, 2009

To truly understand the specific you must understand the general and to master knowledge of the general you must understand the specific.

What is taking place in the Palestinian Territories is related to what is taking place across the Middle East and Central Asia, from Lebanon to Iraq and NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan, as part of a broader geo-strategic objective. All the events in the Middle East are part of a mammoth geo-political jigsaw puzzle; each piece only shows you one picture or a portion of the picture, but when you put all these pieces together you see the grand picture of things.

For these reasons at times more than one event must be discussed to gain greater understanding of another event, but this at times comes at a risk of diverging or extending one's focus in different directions.

The following text is based on several key sections of an earlier and broader text; this text is brief in form but comprehensive in its scope and more focused on the events in the Palestinian Territories and their role in the broader chain of regional events in the Mediterranean region and the Middle East.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/articlePictures/Iraqi%20President%20with%20Mahmoud%20Abbad%20and%2 0Ehud%20Barak.jpg
The photograph above: Mahmoud Abbas (PA and PLO head) introducing Jalal Talabani, the president of Iraq, to Ehud Barak, the defence minister of Israel.

Operation Cast Lead: The “Birth Pangs of a New Palestine”

The Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip against the Palestinians are part of a larger geo-strategic project. They are part of the “birth pangs of a new Palestine and Middle East” in the eyes of the U.S. and Israel. but this project will not proceed as envisaged by the U.S. and Israel. There is a wind of change and revolt throughout the Middle East and the Arab World. This process is unleashing a new wave of popular resistance directed against the U.S. and Israel, both within and beyond the Arab World.

“Operation Cast Lead” has been planned for almost a year. The “Shoah” (Hebrew word for holocaust) that Matan Vilnai, an Israeli official, promised the Palestinians has been exposed even though many media sources have attempted to whitewash it.

Israeli officials had warned that they would enter the Gaza Strip since the election of Hamas. The underlying rationale for a campaign against Gaza was that Fatah fighters (supported by the U.S. and Israel) had failed to oust the Hamas-led Palestinian government through a coup d'etat. The idea of a coup directed against Hamas was endorsed by the U.S., Britain, Israel, and several Arab dictatorships including Saudi Arabia, Jordon, and Egypt.

The publication NATO and Israel: Instruments of America's Wars in the Middle East clearly documents Tel Aviv's strategic objective to invade Gaza and overthrow the democratic political system of the Palestinians in favour of Palestinian clients.

The Israeli objective is also to "internationalize" the Gaza Strip on the model of South Lebanon, requiring the involvement of NATO and other foreign military forces as so-called peacekeepers.[1] This modus operandi is very similar to that of Anglo-American occupied Iraq and NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan. The former Yugoslavia is also a relevant example, where a political and economic restructuring process (including a privatization program) was implemented under the surveillance of U.S. and NATO troops. The difference with Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories is that political figures, such as Mahmoud Abbas, willing to implement these agendas are already in place.

From the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative to the Annapolis Conference

The events at issue start with the 2002 Arab Initiative that was proposed by Saudi Arabia in Beirut during an Arab League conference in Lebanon. Saudi Arabia's initiative was in effect handed over to Riyad by London and Washington in 2002 as part of an Anglo-American military-political roadmap for the Middle East and as part of the Project for the “New Middle East.”
The Hamas-Fatah split, the calculated deceit behind Saudi Arabia's role in the Mecca Accord, and the long-term objectives of America and its allies in the Middle East and the Mediterranean littoral have been in the backdrop of the fighting in the Palestinian Territories.

The struggle in Palestine, like in Iraq and Lebanon, does not solely pertain to sovereignty and "self-determination." What is at stake is the imposition of a global neo-liberal economic agenda through force. The latter constututes a modern form of debt-ridden slavery and privatization, imposed by military force in the Middle East and worldwide.

What is not always understood, is that the Palestinian struggle is being waged on behalf of people everywhere. The Palestinians are in the forefront in the battle against, speaking in a political and economic sense, the “New World Order.”

To understand where the path advertised at Annapolis is intended to lead the Palestinians and the entire Levant one must also understand what has been happening in Palestine since the onslaught of the “Global War on Terror” in 2001.

Act I: Dividing the Palestinians through a Hamas-Fatah Split

America and the E.U. have come to realize that Fatah does not represent the popular will of the Palestinian Nation and that representative power will eventually be taken away from Fatah.

This is a central issue for Israel, the E.U., and America, which require a corrupt proxy Fatah leadership to carry out their long-term objectives in the Palestinian Territories and the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as in the broader Middle East region.

In 2005, Washington and Tel Aviv started preparing for a Hamas victory in the Palestinian general elections. Thus, a strategy was created before the political victory of Hamas to neutralize not only Hamas but all legitimate forms of resistance to the foreign agendas that the Palestinians have been held hostages to since the “Nakba.”
Israel, America, and their allies, which includes the E.U., were well aware that Hamas would never be a party to what Washington foresaw for the Palestinians and the Middle East. Simply stated, Hamas would oppose the Project for the “New Middle East.” This geo-political restructuring of the Middle East required in the Levant, the concurrent implementation of the Mediterranean Union. All along, the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative was a gateway for the materialization of both the “New Middle East” and its implementation through the Mediterranean Union.
While the Saudis played their part in America's “New Middle East” venture, Fatah was manipulated into confronting and fighting Hamas. This was also done with the knowledge that Hamas' first reaction as the governing party in the Palestinian Territories would be to try to maintain the integrity of Palestinian unity. This is where Saudi Arabia comes into the picture again through its role in arranging the Mecca Accord. It is also worth noting that Saudi Arabia did not give Hamas any diplomatic recognition before the Mecca Accord.

Act II: Entrapping the Palestinians in Mecca and via a Gaza-West Bank Divide

The Mecca Accord was a setup and a means to entrap Hamas. The Hamas-Fatah truce and the subsequent Palestinian unity government that was established, was not meant to prevail. It was doomed from the outset, when Hamas was deceived into signing the agreement in Mecca. The Mecca Accord had set the next stage; it was meant to "legitimize" what would happen next: a Palestinian mini-civil war in Gaza.

It is after the signing of the Mecca Accord that elements within Fatah led by Mohammed Dahlan (supervised by U.S. Lieutenant-General Keith Dayton) were ordered to overthrow the Hamas-led Palestinian government by the U.S. and Israel. There probably existed two contingency plans, one for Fatah's possible success and the other contingency plan (and more probable of the two) made in the case of Fatah's failure. The latter plan was a preparation for two parallel Palestinian governments, one in Gaza led by Prime Minister Haniyah and Hamas and the other in the West Bank controlled by Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah.

The objective of Israel and the U.S. was to divide the Gaza Strip and the West Bank into two political entities under two very different administrations. With the ending of the Hamas-Fatah fighting in the Gaza Strip, the Israelis started talking about a “three nation solution.”

As a result of the Gaza-West Bank split, Mahmoud Abbas and his associates also called for the creation of a parallel Palestinian parliament in the West Bank, a rubber stamp all but in name. [2] Other plans for this so-called “three nation solution” included handing over the Gaza Strip to Egypt and dividing up the Israeli-occupied West Bank between Israel and Jordon.
Furthermore, the Mecca Accord effectively allowed Fatah to rule the West Bank in two strokes. Since a unity government was formed as a result of the Mecca Accord, a Fatah withdrawal from the government was used to depict the Hamas-led government as illegitimate by Fatah. This was while the renewed fighting in Gaza made new Palestinian elections unworkable.

Mahmoud Abbas was also put in a position where he could claim "legitimacy" in the process of forming his own administration in the West Bank, that would otherwise have been seen, by international public opinion, for what it really was: an illegitimate regime, without a parliamentary base. It is also no coincidence that the man picked to leed Mahmoud Abbas' government, Dr. Salam Fayyad, is a former World Bank official.

With Hamas effectively neutralized and cut off from power in the West Bank, the stage was set for two things; proposals for an international military force in the Palestinian Territories and the Annapolis Conference. [3]


Act III: The Israeli-Palestinian Agreement of Principles and the Annapolis Peace Conference
Prior to the Annapolis Conference, "agreements of principles" were drafted by Mahmoud Abbas and Israel which guaranteed that the Palestinians would not have a military force, if the West Bank were to be given some form of political self-determination.

The agreements also called for the integration of the economies of the Arab World with Israel and the positioning of an international force, similar to those stationed by NATO in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo, to supervise the enforcement of these agreements in the Palestinian Territories. The objective was to neutralize Hamas and legitimize Mahmoud Abbas.

The visit of the Secretary-General of NATO, Jakob (Jaap) de Hoop Scheffer to U.A.E. , shortly after the visits of George W. Bush Jr. and Nicholas Sarkozy, were conducive to the signing of military agreements between the U.A.E., and the U.S., as well as with France.

While in the U.A.E., Secretary-General de Hoop Scheffer stated, in substance that it is only a matter of time before NATO gets involved in the Arab-Israeli Conflict.[4] The Secretary-General of NATO also mentioned that this would happen once a viable Palestinian state was formed. What de Hoop Scheffer really meant was that NATO would become involved in the Palestinian Territories once a Palestinian proxy state under Mahmoud Abbas would be formed. He also mentioned that there would be no recognition of Hamas by NATO.

Hamas has outlived its usefulness to Israel and its partners. Fatah could also have been used to attack the Gaza Strip again. Fatah is also an Israeli partner in the campaign against the Gaza Strip. Israeli media had reported in September 2008 about the attacks on the Gaza Strip as being a joint Israeli-Fatah plan to militarily oust the Hamas-led Palestinian government.[5]

When the Annapolis Conference was hosted by the U.S. government, pundits and analysts worldwide termed the summit as without substance and as a move to undue everything that it owed to the Palestinians, including the right for Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands. The Annapolis Conference was only an extravagant do over of the carefully crafted 2002 Saudi-proposed Arab Peace Initiative tabled to the Arab League.


Act IV: Coming Full Circle, back to the Saudi Arabian 2002 Arab Peace Initiative

The people of the Middle East must open their eyes to what has been planned for their lands. The Agreement of Principles, the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, and the Annapolis Conference are all a means to the same end. All three, like Israel, have their roots in establishing economic hegemony in the Middle East.

This is where France and Germany converge with Anglo-American foreign policy. For years, even before the “Global War on Terror,” Paris had been calling for a troop contingent from either the E.U. or NATO to be deployed to Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories.

In February 2004, France's then Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin stated that once the Israelis left the Gaza Strip foreign troops could be sent there and an international conference could legitimize their presence as part of the second phase of the Israeli-Palestinian Roadmap and as part of an initiative for the Greater Middle East or the “New Middle East.” [6] This statment was made before Hamas came to the scene and before Mahmoud Abbas' Agreement of Principles. However, it did follow the 2002 Saudi-proposed Arab Initiative.

It is clear that the events unfolding in the Middle East are part of a military roadmap drawn before the “Global War on Terror.” Even the economic donor conferences held for Lebanon after the Israeli attacks in 2006 and the ones being talked about now for the Palestinians are linked to this restructuring agenda.

It is now time to study Nicolas Sarkozy's proposals for a Mediterranean Union. The economic integration of the Israeli economy with the economies of the Arab World will further the web of global relationships being tightened by the global agents of the Washington Consensus. The 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, the Agreement of Principles, and Annapolis are all phases for establishing the economic integration of the Arab World with Israel through the Project for the “New Middle East” and the integration of the entire Mediterranean with the European Union through the Mediterranean Union. The presence of troops from both NATO and E.U. members in Lebanon is also a part of this goal.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/articlePictures/Sommet%20pour%20le%20Mediteranee.jpg

Towards Establishing a Palestinian Dictatorship: More Plans to Oust Hamas underway?

The Israeli attacks against the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian people are an attack against democracy and freedom of choice. Israel, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and their allies have wasted no time in recognizing Mahmoud Abbas as the legitimate leader of the Palestinians even though his term of office has finished.

Despite claims of supporting democracy and self-determination throughout the Middle East, the foreign policies of the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, and the E.U. are opposed to any genuine self-determination or democracy in the Middle East because any freedom of choice for the populations of the Middle East would act as a barrier and spoiler to the economic interests of these powers. This is exactly why dictatorships are the ideal form of government in the Middle East in regards to Anglo-American and Franco-German foreign policy interests.

The Palestinian Territories are not an exception to this. The U.S., Israel, their allies, and the corrupt oligarchs of the upper circle of power within Fatah are set on establishing autocratic rule in the Palestinian Territories. To the satisfaction of planners in Israel and the U.S. the Hamas-Fatah split has helped push back the democratic path that the Palestinians were following through the election of their own leadership and has cleared the way for attempts to establish dictatorial Palestinian proxy administrations in the future. The process has already started in the West Bank.

By late-2008 Hamas had clarified that it intended to field its own candidate for the the post of Palestinian Authority president in the Palestinian election that was supposed to be held in January, 2009. This is a direct challenge to the power that Mahmoud Abbas and the leaders of Fatah hold through control of the office of Palestinian Authority president. Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah had rebuffed Hamas, before the Israeli attcks on the Gaza Strip, by declaring that such an election would not take place until Hamas surrenders its authority to Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian prime minister and government in the West Bank that Mahmoud Abbas has handpicked outside the democratic process.

In retalation the Hamas-led government in the Gaza Strip declared that it will refer to the Palestinian legal code. Palestinian law which stipulates that in such situations the role and post of president would be transfered to the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), the parliament of the Palestinians, for an interim period. Ahmed Bahar, a member of Hamas, is currently in the position of speaker of the PLC.

Crushing Palestinian Democracy: Middle Eastern Geo-Politics and Palestinian Governance

In link to this move to oust Hamas are the broader geo-political and strategic initiatives for encircling and confronting Syria and Iran. [7] Israel with the help of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, had been trying to negotiate a one-sided truce with the Hamas-led Palestinian government in the Gaza Strip for months. This move was launched simultanously with Israeli initiatives linked towards Hezbollah, Lebanon, and Syria.

These Israeli initiatives are a means to dismantle and dissolve the Resistance Bloc, a coalition of nation-states and non-state actors againts foreign control and occupation within the Middle East. This grouping includes, amongst others, the Arab resistance movements in Anglo-American occupied Iraq, the Palestinian Territories, and Lebanon. It has challenged the Washington Consensus and the economic reconfiguration of the Middle East that is being implemented through such actions as the Anglo-American invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Tel Aviv was going nowhere in its negotations with Hamas and now appears to favours the establishment of an autocratic Fatah administration in the Gaza Strip that will readily comply to Israeli edicts. This would also free Tel Aviv for any confrontations with Lebanon, Syria, or/and Iran.

The Final Act: The Power of the People: The Act yet to be Played Out

The breaches of the Rafah Crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip were a sign of the crumbling of tyranny, but there is still a long way to go. [8] The mass protests worldwide from Egypt and the Arab World to Europe and Asia are a sign that the “Second Superpower” — the power of the people — is rearing its head.

In the end it will be the people who will decide, against the interest of the politicians and their economic power brokers.

The people see beyond the issues of nationality, ethnic division and man-made boundaries. They believe in justice and equity for all and they feel a pain in their hearts when they see the suffering of others, no matter the differences.

Worldwide, those that are just and honorable are a nation to themselves — whether they are Israelis or Arabs or Americans — and it will be their choices that will decide the direction of the future.

The Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, which includes a diverse spectrum of groups from Hamas to Communists (e.g., the Marxist Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine) and Christians, have done what the military foces of Jordan, Egypt, Syria, and Iraq could not do.

The Israeli massacres in the Gaza Strip will prove to be a historic turning point and the catalyst behind change.

The political and strategic map of the Middle East and the Arab World will be changed, but not in favour of Israel, the House of Saud and the dictators of the Arab World.

Change is coming.


NOTES

[1] Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, NATO and Israel: Instruments of America's Wars in the Middle East, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), January 28, 2008.

[2] Khaled Abu Toameh, PLO to form separate W. Bank parliament, The Jerusalem Post, January 14, 2008 (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001aWo8H1faIEp0RacysthaoNFR8zdBGjlSHSeGKH GCq-Qq-wduNGWG5FujiVKBVzMwoJ31HNaKMG2G6n0maOvzJqImfuQ_1Xr dKYoRC-TMabGKrHEdoPNBEifXUN7p0fJcv9rkby4czRI091E1MssWoH2q eJ4veJqV9aM8OcTw4ATkPWXFvFe7oo_Rs6XzQgzksaX8w3Ja3C TtMrkCpjncdCum2tqyoW8KIJenBYh3Qth3gWHX26cX7A==).

[3] Emine Kart, Ankara cool towards Palestine troops, Today's Zaman, July 3, 2007 (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001aWo8H1faIEoA0zT6q66Hr6NZOEGgUyjz2hpe1I wu-uZLuMrfcntMjpn5NKn5AI2l4voEZW1L6Yv0iV5cz9U2S72Esnt m57sH039J7qGb4Jf9EE87v0MSnORxqZ1eyaBX1olv64LgPFgSw kvMEUX4E8r27Giwk94L6ShSQEpkmebMqQjaJ-Asmw==).

[4] Jamal Al-Majaida, NATO chief discusses alliance's role in Gulf, Khaleej Times, January 27, 2008 (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001aWo8H1faIEroJ-Qhx-mU44KTEBFil5Hxn6lAeLHXRdbARTD_Zu0pWTZ_CXKdWiL5WyiW M5l-gQKiVZOWx_ZoP_UoRVO3AuyZuqhNzrzAaRSEeDt_PzUONm_r0h W7j9J7IYrjQLz4S0TB9KuRW6J6DtOyKHVwY0d5blNk065ACSJw XD_vyBbN9CUY000W1ccbm4cCispfC1A1SJDfPJJvxH3eiSG3WN ZoVW3sbPS_5ki9qsQPJk-TX8DOQPbYN091pB-TSkq8wUc=).

[5] Avi Isaacharoff, PA chief of staff: We must be ready to use force against Hamas to tahe control of Gaza, Haaretz, September 22, 2008 (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001aWo8H1faIEoodNFoMWty6e2uWPE9ziG-F7sQVIaMbP7YOUEXrmAK9KmoFDUzrUdClmJD401gESEAwW3ouI gZzDwIuhUgYyYE5gX5DtyfM7P3VwzbODNch38bw1U2MhfRog3e 6aMoudqm3zfv1rRXWA==).

[6] Dominique René de Villepin, Déclarations de Dominique de Villepin ŕ propos du Grand Moyen-Orient, interview with Pierre Rousselin, Le Figaro, February 19, 2004 (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001aWo8H1faIEpIRbiQ9c6nerTlZ23PZTwMTjXTnT _SlPIBZgDbYCsRjngLjpUAQTbYW88hrxj02p3FP4uZc5nx8yqC Xoerif_kuG848c3CbRD1qCBkNI4cILCpjFficiQ_-z7315g80MQzFydYh9IZ5p4allQh7mdgq3dej2f-JB275P44YsTT1XCdKYkIpVyS).

[7] Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Beating the Drums of a Broader Middle East War, Centre for Reseach on Globalization (CRG), May 6, 2008 (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001aWo8H1faIEq27p0sQNtW7S2RaL3xshYrRMUcp6 P5fgJJ3pm9YXgshCF4u3UbzGOtvzQIOXR5y3O7AnJJuJI_OekJ X0oJnMvsA6DOqWsACClskFfsOulcnJhcyTGSrl1Lp24DUwj3fe 20DOocjk2oZuDf8BGPH7Az8OgDtvwFYlQ=).

[8] Days after the Rafah Crossing was opened to free movement Mahmoud Abbas, the Israel government, and the Egyptian government all pushed for Fatah to take armed control of the Rafah Crossing and close it the Palestinian people. Not only is this a sign that none of these players care about the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip it also illustrates that Mahmoud Abbas has no interest in the welfare of Palestinians. The Rafah Crossing also has an E.U. monitoring security force that implicates the E.U. as an accomplice in the oppression of the Palestinians.

Terry Mauro
01-17-2009, 10:46 PM
I am not alone in thinking that Shimon Peres was complicit in the assassination of Yitzak Rabin. But if you're prepared to do a "JFK" on your own leader to ensure war-war rather than jaw-jaw, then killing and maiming a few hundred kids don't amount to much of a stir at all I suppose.

But you're right Mark it was a thoroughly unpleasant and inhuman thing to say and in saying it Peres reveals himself for what he really is.

**************************************

"I am not alone in thinking that Shimon Peres was complicit in the assassination of Yitzak Rabin."

Damn real, Dav!

I liked Rabin, and thought there may have been hope for peace in the Middle East, had he been allowed to go ahead and implement the policies he had planned for Israel. It even appeared as if Israel, for once, might be able to stand on its own two feet, as a nation who'd be a willing, active participant and contributor to the health and well-being of ALL the inhabitants of the region.

Therefore, his assassination on November 4, 1995, was a bitter blow dealt to the territory, and seemed to smack of being an "inside" job, much the same as how I had remembered thinking about November 22, 1963.

I experienced that same acute feeling of loss that I did in 1963.

Myra Bronstein
01-18-2009, 05:21 AM
http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/47544 by Michel Chossudovsky...On target - this analysis! ...
Psssst - Tell you a secret - it has to do with to natural gas resources to be developed off the coast of the Gaza Strip, as well as all the 'usual' 'reasons'. [all gone into in the talk]

The gas off the coast of Gaza motive is also discussed here:
http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2784&highlight=gaza+gas#post2784

This radio program with Michel Chossudovsky reminds me that in addition to factoring gas/oil reserves into geopolitics, the location of existing or proposed pipelines should be taken into account too.

It's easy to find maps of oil reserves. Does anyone know of good world maps showing pipelines?

On edit: Free online maps I mean.

Magda Hassan
01-18-2009, 05:22 AM
Not off the top of my head by try 'From the Wilderness' links

Myra Bronstein
01-18-2009, 05:33 AM
Not off the top of my head by try 'From the Wilderness' links

Thanks, that's a good suggestion. I did a quickie search there and didn't find a pipeline map so far.

Magda Hassan
01-18-2009, 05:34 AM
Try this one.
http://www.rextagstrategies.com/downloads

I think it is only US though.

Magda Hassan
01-18-2009, 05:42 AM
These may be more useful:
http://www.mapsearch.com/index.html
http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/Russia/Oil_exports.html

And you can ask here:
http://en.allexperts.com/q/Energy-Industry-Oil-2441/

Magda Hassan
01-18-2009, 08:54 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuxQMvLOMCI&sdig=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QS29EpwJSJg&feature=related

David Guyatt
01-18-2009, 11:55 AM
It's easy to find maps of oil reserves. Does anyone know of good world maps showing pipelines?

On edit: Free online maps I mean.

Sadly no, but the following may be of some use:

http://www.wanttoknow.info/020318chicagotribune

Pipeline politics taint U.S. war
Chicago Tribune
Mar 18, 2002

Abstract:

Ahmed Rashid, who has reported on Afghan wars for more than 20 years as a correspondent for the Eastern Economic Review and the Daily Telegraph, carefully documents in his book how the U.S. and Pakistan helped install the Taliban in hopes of bringing stability to the war-ravaged region and making it safer for the pipeline project. Unocal pulled out of the deal after the 1998 terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were linked to terrorists based in Afghanistan.

Full Text:

An ongoing source of frustration and anger for many Americans is the lack of support the war on terrorism has received abroad. Other nations are considerably less enthusiastic about our use of “daisy cutter” and “thermobaric” bombs than we think they should be. Why is that?

One reason is their media. Stories alleging imperial and commercial motives for the war on terrorism are rife.

Outside this country, there is a widespread belief that U.S. military deployments in Central Asia mostly are about oil.

An article in the Guardian of London headlined, “A pro-western regime in Kabul should give the U.S. an Afghan route for Caspian oil,” foreshadowed the kind of skeptical coverage the U.S. war now receives in many countries.

“The invasion of Afghanistan is certainly a campaign against terrorism,” wrote author George Monbiot in the Oct. 22, 2001, piece, “but it may also be a late colonial adventure.”

He wrote that the U.S. oil company Unocal Corp. had been negotiating with the Taliban since 1995 to build “oil and gas pipelines from Turkmenistan, through Afghanistan and into Pakistani ports on the Arabian sea.” He cited Ahmed Rashid’s authoritative book “Taliban, Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia” as a source for this information.

Rashid, who has reported on Afghan wars for more than 20 years as a correspondent for the Eastern Economic Review and the Daily Telegraph, carefully documents in his book how the U.S. and Pakistan helped install the Taliban in hopes of bringing stability to the war- ravaged region and making it safer for the pipeline project. Unocal pulled out of the deal after the 1998 terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were linked to terrorists based in Afghanistan.

“The war against terrorism is a fraud,” exclaimed John Pilger in an Oct. 29 commentary in the British-based Mirror. Pilger, the publication’s former chief foreign correspondent, wrote, “Bush’s concealed agenda is to exploit the oil and gas reserves in the Caspian basin, the greatest source of untapped fossil fuel on earth.”

These harsh assessments are not just those of embittered ideologues. They are common fare. “Just as the Gulf War in 1991 was about oil, the new conflict in South and Central Asia is no less about access to the region’s abundant petroleum resources,” writes Ranjit Devraj in the Hong Kong-based Asia Times, a business- oriented publication.

A popular French book titled “Bin Laden, the Forbidden Truth,” which alleges that the Bush administration blocked investigations of Osama bin Laden while it bargained for him with the Taliban in exchange for political recognition and economic aid, is guiding much of the recent European coverage.

Written by Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, the book adds another plank to the argument that America’s major objective was to gain access to the region’s oil and gas reserves.

According to the book, the Bush administration began to negotiate with the Taliban immediately after coming into power. The parties talked for many months before reaching an impasse in August 2001.

The terrorist acts of Sept. 11, though tragic, provided the Bush administration a legitimate reason to invade Afghanistan, oust the recalcitrant Taliban and, coincidentally, smooth the way for the pipeline.

To make things even smoother, the U.S. engineered the rise to power of two former Unocal employees: Hamid Karzai, the new interim president of Afghanistan, and Zalmay Khalizad, the Bush administration’s Afghanistan envoy.

“Osama bin Laden did not comprehend that his actions serve American interests,” writes Uri Averny, in a Feb. 14 column in the daily Ma’ariv in Israel. Averny, a former member of the Israeli Knesset and a noted peace activist, added, “If I were a believer in conspiracy theory, I would think that bin Laden is an American agent. Not being one I can only wonder at the coincidence.”

Averny argues that the war on terrorism provides a perfect pretext for America’s imperial interests. “If one looks at the map of the big American bases created for the war, one is struck by the fact that they are completely identical to the route of the projected oil pipeline to the Indian Ocean.”

The Asia Times reported in January that the U.S. is developing “a network of multiple Caspian pipelines,” and that people close to the Bush administration stand to benefit.

For example, the proposed Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, linking Azerbaijan through Georgia to Turkey, is represented by the law firm Baker & Botts. The principal attorney is James Baker, former secretary of state and chief spokesman for the Bush campaign in the Florida vote controversy.

In 1997, the now disgraced Enron Corp. conducted the feasibility study for the $2.5 billion Trans-Caspian pipeline being built under a joint venture between Turkmenistan, Bechtel Corp. and General Electric, the article noted.

There are many other connections, too numerous to recount here. No wonder the rest of the world is a bit skeptical about our war on evildoers.

Jan Klimkowski
01-18-2009, 08:48 PM
MSM coverage from The Observer (Sunday version of The Guardian):



Israel accused of war crimes over 12-hour assault on Gaza village
White flags ignored and houses bulldozed with families inside, claim residents

* Fida Qishta in Khuza'a and Peter Beaumont in London
* The Observer, Sunday 18 January 2009
* larger | smaller
* Article history

Israel stands accused of perpetrating a series of war crimes during a sustained 12-hour assault on a village in southern Gaza last week in which 14 people died.

In testimony collected from residents of the village of Khuza'a by the Observer, it is claimed that Israeli soldiers entering the village:

• attempted to bulldoze houses with civilians inside;

• killed civilians trying to escape under the protection of white flags;

• opened fire on an ambulance attempting to reach the wounded;

• used indiscriminate force in a civilian area and fired white phosphorus shells.

If the allegations are upheld, all the incidents would constitute breaches of the Geneva conventions.

The denunciations over what happened in Khuza'a follow repeated claims of possible human rights violations from the Red Cross, the UN and human rights organisations.

The Israeli army announced yesterday that it was investigating "at the highest level" five other attacks against civilians in Gaza, involving two UN facilities and a hospital. It added that in all cases initial investigations suggested soldiers were responding to fire. "These claims of war crimes are not supported by the slightest piece of evidence," said Yigal Palmor, an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman.

Concern over what occurred in the village of Khuza'a in the early hours of Tuesday was first raised by the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem. Although an Israeli military spokesman said he had "no information that this alleged incident took place", witness statements collected by the Observer are consistent and match testimony gathered by B'Tselem.

There is also strong visible evidence that Khuza'a came under a sustained attack from tanks and bulldozers that smashed some buildings to pieces.

Pictures taken by photographer Bruno Stevens in the aftermath show heavy damage - and still burning phosphorus. "What I can tell you is that many, many houses were shelled and that they used white phosphorus," said Stevens yesterday, one of the first western journalists to get into Gaza. "It appears to have been indiscriminate." Stevens added that homes near the village that had not been hit by shell fire had been set on fire.

The village of Khuza'a is around 500 metres from the border with Israel. According to B'Tselem, its field researcher in Gaza was contacted last Tuesday by resident Munir Shafik al-Najar, who said that Israeli bulldozers had begun destroying homes at 2.30am.

When Rawhiya al-Najar, aged 50, stepped out of her house waving a white flag, so that the rest of the family could leave the house, she was allegedly shot by Israeli soldiers nearby.

The second alleged incident was on Tuesday afternoon, when Israeli troops ordered 30 residents to leave their homes and walk to a school in the village centre. After travelling 20 metres, troops fired on the group, allegedly killing three.

Further detailed accounts of what occurred were supplied in interviews given to a Palestinian researcher who has been working for the Observer, following the decision by Israel to ban foreign media from the Gaza Strip. Iman al-Najar, 29, said she watched as bulldozers started to destroy neighbours' homes and saw terrified villagers flee from their houses as masonry collapsed.

"By 6am the tanks and bulldozers had reached our house," Iman recalled. "We went on the roofs and tried to show we were civilians with white flags. Everyone was carrying a white flag. We told them we are civilians. We don't have any weapons. The soldiers started to destroy the houses even if the people were in them." Describing the death of Rawhiya, Iman says they were ordered by Israeli soldiers to move to the centre of the town. As they did, Israeli troops opened fire. Rawhiya was at the front of the group, says Iman.

Marwan Abu Raeda, 40, a paramedic working for the Nasser hospital in Khan Younis, said: "At 8am we received a phone call from Khuza'a. They told us about the injured woman. I went immediately. I was 60 or 70 metres away from the injured woman when the Israeli forces started to shoot at me." As he drove into another street, he came under fire again. Twelve hours later, when Rawhiya was finally reached, she was dead.

Iman said she ended up in an area of rubble where a large group of people had sought cover in a deep hole among the debris of demolished houses. It is then, she says, that bulldozers began to push the rubble from each side. "They wanted to bury us alive," she said.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/18/israel-war-crimes-gaza-conflict

Myra Bronstein
01-18-2009, 09:31 PM
Sadly no, but the following may be of some use:
http://www.wanttoknow.info/020318chicagotribune ...

Thanks David.

Peter Lemkin
01-21-2009, 08:50 PM
...then listen to this report of a man who lost his two brothers - one shot to death doing NOTHING and one who bled to death because the IDF refused to let an ambulance come save his life.........two of more than 1,300 dead and 7,000 wounded.

http://www.democracynow.org/2009/1/21/palestinian_us_college_grad_loses_2

Magda Hassan
01-22-2009, 11:37 AM
I really hope that soon there are war crimes trials to account for their (and Hamas) crimes.
************************************************** *********



Israel Admits Troops May Have Used White Phosphorus Shells
Posted by Tana Ganeva (http://www.alternet.org/bloggers/ganeva/), AlterNet (http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/121526/www.alternet.org) at 12:48 PM on January 21, 2009.


After weeks of denials, the IDF admits forces may have acted in contravention of international law.



After weeks of denying that they had used white phosphorus in heavily-populated areas of Gaza, the IDF has admitted that Israeli forces may have used the napalm-like chemical in violation of both international law and the Israeli military's own policy. The Guardian reports: (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/21/gaza-phosphorus-shells)

According to senior IDF officers, quoted today in the Ha'aretz newspaper, the Israeli military made use of two different types of phosphorus munitions.

The first, they insisted, was contained in 155mm artillery shells, and contained "almost no phosphorus" except for a trace to ignite the smoke screen.

The second munitions, at the centre of the inquiry by Col Alkalai, are standard phosphorus shells – both 88mm and 120mm – fired from mortars.

About 200 of these shells were fired during Israel's Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, and of these – say the IDF – 180 were fired on Hamas fighters and rocket launch crews in northern Gaza.

Alkalai is investigating the circumstances in which the remaining 20 shells were fired, amid compelling evidence on the ground that phosphorus munitions were involved in the attack on a UN warehouse and a UN school.
...

The use of phosphorus as an incendiary weapon as it now appears to have been used against Hamas fighters – as opposed to a smoke screen – is covered by the Convention of Certain Conventional Weapons to which Israel in not a signatory.

However, Israel also is obliged under the Geneva Conventions and customary international humanitarian law to give due care to protecting the civilian population when deciding on appropriate military targeting and response to hostile fire, particularly in heavily built up areas with a strict prohibition on the use of indiscriminate force.
Amnesty International, which issued a statement yesterday accusing Israel of war crimes, reports (http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/news/amnesty-international-team-talks-gaza-survivors-20090121) on the effects of white phosphorus on the human body:




The team ... visited the Shifa hospital, Gaza's main hospital, where they spoke to medical staff about the challenges of dealing with phosphorus burns and other injuries. The head of the burns unit told the team that at first, they had not known that they were dealing with injuries caused by white phosphorus. He described unusual orange burns which would become deeper with an offensive odour. After several hours smoke would start coming from the wound.
"We had a child of three years with a head injury. After three hours we changed the dressing and saw smoke coming out of the wound. We opened the wound and brought out this wedge. We had not seen it before. Later on, some colleagues, doctors from Egypt and Norway, were able to enter Gaza and told us that this was white phosphorus," said the doctor
"We noticed various things about this: the burn does not heal; the phosphorus may remain inside the body and goes on burning there, and the general condition of the patient deteriorates – normally with 10-15 percent burns you would expect a cure, now many such patients die."
Other strange injuries were caused by unusual weapons (possibly including Deep Inert metal Explosive – DIME weapons) which doctors did not know how to deal with. "We had eight amputations on one day – normally, the patients should all have lived, but they all died. We don't understand it," one doctor told the team.
http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/121526/

Peter Lemkin
01-22-2009, 05:15 PM
http://www.democracynow.org/2009/1/22/part_ii_palestinian_us_college_grad We return to the heart-wrenching tale of Amer Shurrab, who lost two of his brothers on the same day in an Israeli attack in Gaza. Amer is a Palestinian from Khan Yunis living in the United States. He recently graduated from Middlebury College. On Friday, his father and two brothers were fleeing their village when their vehicle came under Israeli fire. Twenty-eight-year-old Kassab died in a hail of bullets trying to flee the vehicle. Eighteen-year-old Ibrahim survived the initial attack, but Israeli troops refused to allow an ambulance to reach them until twenty hours later.

This is a War Crime - clear and simple...and the entire operation in Gaza over the years is Genocide [as is the Occupation everywhere]. I condemn the Govt and IDF of Israel in the stongest possible terms - this from a Jew [and proud to be!] and the nephew of the the man who coined the word 'Genocide' and wrote the Genocide Convention at the UN! How 'we' ever came to inflict on other innocents what the Nazis, and others, have inflicted upon us shows me that we are not special in any way - but as flawed as any group in humanity [though it saddens me to say!], and hope we find our way back to peace, justice, international law and apologize for our sins, war crimes, and genocide. There is also the Wall, the Occupation, Lebanon, support of South Africa, collaboration with neo-fascist elements in US intelligence and Warrior classes. If any People should know better, it is we. I weep for our crimes. Here are details of 2 out of the recent 1300 dead and 7000 wounded: http://www.democracynow.org/2009/1/22/part_ii_palestinian_us_college_grad

David Healy
01-22-2009, 07:18 PM
http://www.democracynow.org/2009/1/22/part_ii_palestinian_us_college_grad We return to the heart-wrenching tale of Amer Shurrab, who lost two of his brothers on the same day in an Israeli attack in Gaza. Amer is a Palestinian from Khan Yunis living in the United States. He recently graduated from Middlebury College. On Friday, his father and two brothers were fleeing their village when their vehicle came under Israeli fire. Twenty-eight-year-old Kassab died in a hail of bullets trying to flee the vehicle. Eighteen-year-old Ibrahim survived the initial attack, but Israeli troops refused to allow an ambulance to reach them until twenty hours later.

This is a War Crime - clear and simple...and the entire operation in Gaza over the years is Genocide [as is the Occupation everywhere]. I condemn the Govt and IDF of Israel in the stongest possible terms - this from a Jew [and proud to be!] and the nephew of the the man who coined the word 'Genocide' and wrote the Genocide Convention at the UN! How 'we' ever came to inflict on other innocents what the Nazis, and others, have inflicted upon us shows me that we are not special in any way - but as flawed as any group in humanity [though it saddens me to say!], and hope we find our way back to peace, justice, international law and apologize for our sins, war crimes, and genocide. There is also the Wall, the Occupation, Lebanon, support of South Africa, collaboration with neo-fascist elements in US intelligence and Warrior classes. If any People should know better, it is we. I weep for our crimes. Here are details of 2 out of the recent 1300 dead and 7000 wounded: http://www.democracynow.org/2009/1/22/part_ii_palestinian_us_college_grad

They'll be NO apologizing nor forgiving those that strap bombs on their young, send them off to Israel to blow-up innocents, that's utter nonsense!

Rumor has it Sen. George Mitchell (D-Me. Ret.) may be the up and coming US Mid-East Envoy, he is after all 1/2 Lebanese. Perhaps he can get Hamas (if there's anything left of them) and their merry band of terrorists to the table....

There's a current position here in the US: screw the UN! Your best bet is to try The Hague. A clear and simple scream to the high heavens "WAR CRIME", isn't going to get traction stateside. The reality is this, we're glad its over there, NOT here!

(p.s. thanks for toning down your post Peter, the original was a bit "iffy" :smokin:)

Jan Klimkowski
01-22-2009, 08:11 PM
The UK's Channel 4 News 7pm bulletin tonight broadcast a film containing compelling evidence that Israel used white phosphorus, DIME bombs and flechettes in densely populated civilian areas of Gaza. The piece included a former Pentagon weapons expert, now working with an NGO, examining a blast scene where civilians had been killed. What remained of the blast scene was very unusual.

There were also interviews with victims with very strange shrapnel in their body - seen by X-Ray.

For an introduction to the nature of DIME bombs, and Flechettes, see the wiki entries:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dense_Inert_Metal_Explosive

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flechette

I hope Channel 4's film turns up on the internet later.

After it was broadcast, the anchor (Jon Snow) interviewed Israel's answer to Alastair Campell, Mark Regev. Regev tried to shout Snow down.

But then, the evidence in Channel 4's film brought shame on the state of Israel.

A shame that will not be easily or quickly lost.

Jan Klimkowski
01-22-2009, 08:53 PM
Here's the link to the Channel 4 pieces:

http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/politics/international_politics/white+phosphorus+controversy+in+gaza++/2909012

Peter Lemkin
01-22-2009, 10:43 PM
[QUOTE=Jan Klimkowski;3245]The UK's Channel 4 News 7pm bulletin tonight broadcast a film containing compelling evidence that Israel used white phosphorus, DIME bombs and flechettes in densely populated civilian areas of Gaza. The piece included a former Pentagon weapons expert, now working with an NGO, examining a blast scene where civilians had been killed. What remained of the blast scene was very unusual.

While today's democracynow.org didn't go into it in detail [they mentioned it yesterday]; in today's show they repeatedly showed a clear scene of a doctor examining the legs of a man who had holes in his legs down to the bone wherever something had touched them - revolting - if you can stomach watching. Several experts have said that they clearly saw white phosphorous in use and evidence of it having burned persons. Ditto DIME. Those are horrible - but all done from a distance. I find most aggregious the reports of Israeli soldiers close-up killing obvious innocents and denying persons they've just shot medical care to prevent their dying in front of them!!!!! They also targeted food storage areas and 'smart bombed' buildings they told persons to seek shelter in. I'm totally revolted. I think this will come-back to haunt Israel and the callous US Public, if the above response is the way most in the USA see the events.

Adding to the whole offensive 'killing persons in a virtual prison fishbowl' is the report of who did what when with violation of the cease-fire [not the MSM version - nor Israel's nor the USA's] here http://www.democracynow.org/2009/1/22/ex_carter_admin_official_israel_ignored

David Guyatt
01-23-2009, 03:20 PM
In a clear David versus Goliath war, I do not apologize for siding with David.

This Biblical story is relevant in the case of the indefensible carnage inflicted by Israel upon innocents in Gaza during their 22 day vengeful massacre.

And it was a massacre - as the figures clearly show:

Palestinian fatalities: 1,200.

Israeli fatalities: 13

It is also evident to me that this carnage was "sanctioned" by George Bush - as a parting shot. After all this is the spoilt brat-cum-president who enjoys gesture politics, as demonstrated by his farewell to G8 heads when he punched the air with a grin and the words: "Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter".

Mark Ludwig
01-23-2009, 10:58 PM
I'd say this is pretty damning really.

It looks like hell itself is raining down.

Not human to fire this at anyone, let alone civilians.

Magda Hassan
01-23-2009, 11:37 PM
Perhaps he can get Hamas (if there's anything left of them) and their merry band of terrorists to the table....

Oh, I think there is plenty left of them. I can only see the IDF as acting the role of a Hamas recruitment agency. They have excelled themselves. Not only have they treated every resident of Gaza as an armed and dangerous member of Hamas, even 6 month old babies, but they might just make it so. The IDF action will swell the ranks of suicide bombers for generations to come and endanger the lives of ordinary people everywhere especially jewish people.

This is not the first time that Israel has killed Jews (or allowed them to be killed, same thing in the end) to justify the killing of Palestinians.


In that same year, the authoritative Jane's Foreign Report disclosed that the Blair government had given Israel the "green light" to attack the West Bank after it was shown Israel's secret designs for a bloodbath. It was typical of new Labour's enduring complicity in Palestine's agony. However, the Israeli plan, reported Jane's, needed the "trigger" of a suicide bombing which would cause "numerous deaths and injuries [because] the 'revenge' factor is crucial". This would "motivate Israeli soldiers to demolish the Palestinians". What alarmed Sharon and the author of the plan, General Shaul Mofaz, then Israeli chief of staff, was a secret agreement between Yasser Arafat and Hamas to ban suicide attacks. On 23 November 2001 Israeli agents assassinated the Hamas leader Mahmoud Abu Hanoud and got their "trigger": the suicide attacks resumed in response to his killing.

David Guyatt
01-24-2009, 12:04 PM
However, the Israeli plan, reported Jane's, needed the "trigger" of a suicide bombing which would cause "numerous deaths and injuries [because] the 'revenge' factor is crucial". This would "motivate Israeli soldiers to demolish the Palestinians".

How useful "triggers" appear to be. One thinks not just of the Reich-stag fire, or of the Gulf of Tonkin incident, but also of 911 - an event that doubtless motivated that all too crucial need for "revenge".

Mark Stapleton
01-25-2009, 05:16 PM
[QUOTE] I can only see the IDF as acting the role of a Hamas recruitment agency. They have excelled themselves. Not only have they treated every resident of Gaza as an armed and dangerous member of Hamas, even 6 month old babies, but they might just make it so. The IDF action will swell the ranks of suicide bombers for generations to come and endanger the lives of ordinary people everywhere especially jewish people.



Indeed, Maggie.

The naked ferocity of the IDF's attack on civilians, especially defenceless women and children, has made everyone on the planet much less safe. I hope I live to see the war crimes trials.

The Palestinians will never forget this---and why should they?

Obama delivered possibly the unkindest cut of all yesterday at the State Department welcome for Hilary Israel Clinton when he told Hamas they "must recognise Israel and renounce violence".

WTF?? Did you say HAMAS, Mr. President? HAMAS must renounce violence?? And they should now RECOGNISE Israel? Well they already do recognise Israel, Mr. President--as the genocidal psychopaths they clearly are.

Obama will live to regret that comment, even if he was acting in the role of wind up toy. It was cruel and callous in the extreme. After the carnage of Israel's attack, Hamas--an extension of the Gazan people--are expected to display the disposition of Mother Theresa, and more.

Apparently this 'country' which calls itself Israel is now fully prepared for the tidal wave of international lawsuits following their 'defensive' campaign of the last 22 days. They've padded up, hector protector firmly in place, toadies alert and keen, and are apparently quietly confident they can dispatch many a delivery into the stands for six. That'll be the end of it, they'll say.

I don't think so.

Peter Lemkin
01-30-2009, 04:24 PM
Israel's war on Gaza killed 1,330 people,70 percent of the deaths were civilian; and wounded 5,450 others, Wounded included 1,890 children. Palestinian medics said on Thursday in a final toll of the offensive. 70 percent of the deaths were civilian. Overall, thirty-four health facilities—eight hospitals and twenty-six clinics—were damaged or destroyed in the Israeli attack.Add to that several UN facilities - including one with hundreds of tons of food and medicine. Plus the tunnels that brought-in food, fuel, parts, medicine etc. were destroyed.

Israeli side: 3 civilians, 10 soldiers [4 by friendly fire] (gives new meaning to the term asymetric warfare)

Genocide of a trapped population in a ghetto, IMO - the timing for end of Bush Regime and Israeli elections gave it an even more revolting blush. Weapons banned by international law were repeatedly used, but denied as used. Persons were phone by the IDF told to leave X and go seek shelter at Y; only to have Y bombed immediately afterwards.

Nothing for Israel to be proud of and I believe a turning-point for that nation - all downhill from here until the citizens retake their country - as the population of the USA and UK must also - all three are in the hands of a connected cabal of warmongers, apartheidists , ultra-right, and imperialists.

Richard Welser
02-01-2009, 08:21 PM
....... until the citizens retake their country - as the population of the USA and UK must also - all three are in the hands of a connected cabal of warmongers, apartheidists , ultra-right, and imperialists.

"Until" ..... aye, there's the rub.

I think you're more optimistic than I.

But I guess you gotta believe it's possible in order to try. So.... "until" it is.

Peter Lemkin
02-02-2009, 03:52 PM
....... until the citizens retake their country - as the population of the USA and UK must also - all three are in the hands of a connected cabal of warmongers, apartheidists , ultra-right, and imperialists.

"Until" ..... aye, there's the rub.

I think you're more optimistic than I.

But I guess you gotta believe it's possible in order to try. So.... "until" it is.

From one realist and quasi-cynic to another - I'm NOT optimistic, but know it can be done - has been done before. The only think that might prevent that albeit small chance of the possibility would BE our complete inaction - feeling defeated before we are. We're 'down for the count' for sure, under the shoe, spied pon up the yazoo and our rights and freedoms all but completely stolen. It is simple, we [not just Americans] need a revolution - in fact, in ideas, in ideals, in morality, and in relationship to Gaia and the other beings on this tiny pebble in space. Nothing less will do! Enourmous? Difficult? You bet your ***! Only problem is the only alternative is extinction by the slow and painful method. Choose.

Mark Stapleton
02-12-2009, 06:13 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7883176.stm#map


Looks like a tie between Kadima and Likud. The ultra ultra ring winger Avigdor Lieberman won 15 seats. If he forms a coalition with ultra right winger Netanyahu then war with Iran is a certainty, although its probably likely anyway.


There's only one person who can stop it--Barack Obama. The war drums are already starting up.


War seems inevitable as I can't see Iran bowing to Israeli demands to cease its nuclear ambitions. So Obama will need to talk to Israel in order to avert war. Unfortunately, judging by the support for the recent genocide in Gaza, now reinforced with support for right wingers in the election, I don't think the Israeli leadership will be receptive to reason.

I think Israel will try the usual pea and thimble trick by offering to release Palestinian prisoners combined with some superficial changes to the Gazan concentration camp, as a trade off for Iranian concessions. Trouble is, why should Iran make any concessions at all? Compared with Israel's deceitfulness in the nuclear arena, Iran is as pure as Snow White.

Mark Stapleton
02-12-2009, 10:27 PM
http://sydwalker.info/blog/2009/02/13/the-wounds-of-gaza/


From the Lancet Global Report, descriptions of wounds suffered in Gaza and weapons used by the Israeli genocide machine.

Phosphorus shells, heavy bombs, silent bombs (that's a goodie), targeting of ambulances and a few good old fashioned executions of women, children and old people for good measure.

I think US aid to Israel is currently about 4-5 billion per annum. Well over a million bucks a day for these scumbag war criminals.

Question for US taxpayers currently staring down the abyss of economic ruin: how do you feel?

David Healy
02-13-2009, 08:28 AM
http://sydwalker.info/blog/2009/02/13/the-wounds-of-gaza/


From the Lancet Global Report, descriptions of wounds suffered in Gaza and weapons used by the Israeli genocide machine.

Phosphorus shells, heavy bombs, silent bombs (that's a goodie), targeting of ambulances and a few good old fashioned executions of women, children and old people for good measure.

I think US aid to Israel is currently about 4-5 billion per annum. Well over a million bucks a day for these scumbag war criminals.

Question for US taxpayers currently staring down the abyss of economic ruin: how do you feel?

well..... some here feel the Israelis should of driven the Palestinians into Syria and Jordan, that certainly would be a bad PR move.... scanning local media news reports, the greater majority haven't uttered the words "war criminals" when speaking of Israel, yet. Guess we in the states have tougher stomachs for dirty work than most. I doubt the USofA has lost an ally because we support and finance Israel. There's moaning and groaning sure, but that's political posturing for other middle-eastern interests...

btw, we hit economic ruin, we'll have plenty of company, I wouldn't hold ones breath.....

Peter Lemkin
02-20-2009, 04:00 PM
Shows that some in the Israeli side have been on a killing spree for a long time.

Mark Stapleton
03-14-2009, 07:29 PM
http://sydwalker.info/blog/2009/02/13/the-wounds-of-gaza/


I think US aid to Israel is currently about 4-5 billion per annum. Well over a million bucks a day for these scumbag war criminals.

Question for US taxpayers currently staring down the abyss of economic ruin: how do you feel?


http://www.counterpunch.org/christison03052009.html


The Ultimate Earmark
U.S. Military Aid to Israel
By KATHLEEN and BILL CHRISTISON

In these days of economic crisis, budget overruns, earmarks, and multi-billion dollar bailouts, when Americans are being forced to tighten their own belts, one of the most automatic earmarks—a bailout by any measure—goes to a foreign government but is little understood by most Americans. U.S. military aid to Israel is doled out in annual increments of billions of dollars but remains virtually unchallenged while other fiscal outlays are drastically cut.

The United States and Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding in August 2007 committing the U.S. to give Israel $30 billion in military aid over the next decade. This is grant aid, given in cash at the start of each fiscal year. The only stipulation imposed on Israel’s use of this cash gift is that it spend 74 per cent to purchase U.S. military goods and services.

The first grant under this agreement was made in October 2008, for FY2009, in the amount of $2.55 billion. To bring the total 10-year amount to $30 billion, amounts in future years will gradually increase until an annual level of $3.1 billion is reached in FY2013. This will continue through FY2018.

Israel is by far the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid. Since 1949, the United States has provided Israel with $101 billion in total aid, of which $53 billion has been military aid. For the last 20-plus years, Israel has received an average of $3 billion annually in grant aid;, until now the grant has been a mix of economic and military aid.

Israel receives its aid under vastly more favorable terms than any other recipient. Egypt, for instance, receives $2 billion a year in economic aid, but this is a loan and must be repaid. Saudi Arabia also has U.S. military equipment in its arsenal, but it buys and pays for this equipment and is not given it, as Israel is.

Aid to Israel can be said to benefit the United States because it is spent to purchase equipment manufactured here. But this recycling of federal monies into the arms industry is not the wisest way to spur general economic recovery. In fact, in the midst of a financial crisis, incurring a long-term obligation of this magnitude is highly irresponsible.

When Israel attacks Palestinians, as during the recent assault on Gaza, its instruments of destruction are U.S. fighter jets and attack helicopters, U.S. missiles, U.S.-made white phosphorus, U.S.-made Caterpillar bulldozers. All of this American-made destruction is clearly identifiable to television audiences throughout the Arab and Muslim world, where viewers receive a steady diet of news showing Palestinian civilians being killed by weapons made in the USA. It is from this vast population, which feels kinship with Palestinians and feels itself to be under assault from the United States, that terrorists such as Osama bin Laden are able to find recruits.

The U.S. Foreign Assistance Act stipulates that no aid may be provided to a country that engages in a consistent pattern of violations of international human rights laws. Israel has been charged by human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch with precisely such violations during the Gaza assault and in past attacks. Israel also violates the Arms Export Control Act, which stipulates that U.S. weapons must be used only for “internal security.”

This arms package, furthermore, seriously undermines the mission of U.S. peace mediators such as former Senator George Mitchell, recently appointed by President Obama as envoy to the Middle East. As long as Israel can rest assured that it is guaranteed an annual arms package in the billions, it will have no incentive whatsoever to heed Mitchell’s mediation efforts, to make the territorial concessions necessary to reach a peace agreement, to stop building settlements and other infrastructure in the occupied Palestinian territories, or to stop its attacks on Palestinians.

By committing itself to this arms package, the United States is undermining with one hand the very peace agreement it is trying to promote with the other hand.

These distortions of U.S. national interests must stop.



Kathleen and Bill Christison have been writing on Palestine and Israel for several years. Kathleen is the author of two books on the Palestinian situation and U.S. policy on the issue, while Bill has written numerous articles on U.S. foreign policies, mostly for CounterPunch. They have co-authored a book, forthcoming in June from Pluto Press, on the Israeli occupation and its impact on Palestinians, with over 50 of their photographs. Thirty years ago, they were analysts for the CIA. They are members of the Stop $30 Billion Coalition in Albuquerque, NM. They can be reached at kb.christison@earthlink.net.

Terry Mauro
03-14-2009, 09:48 PM
This, on top of the $11 billion annual packaged layout we've been bankrolling them since, at least, 1994?

This factoid appeared in The Harpers Index of one of the Harpers Magazine issues in the fall of that year.

Peter Lemkin
03-15-2009, 07:01 PM
I turned on the TV at about 1:30pm and was shocked to see footage of what appeared to be Israeli's using White Phosphorus in Gaza. I stayed tuned to BBC News 24, at 3pm they had a more in depth report with one minor change... All of the footage previously shown of apparent chemical weapons was now omitted. So I went to the bbc website and found this:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7810270.stm
Watch the video, at 1:06 you can see one of the pieces of footage that I'd seen earlier showing what I think is white phosphorus. There was a lot more footage shown on the channel earlier. Compare this footage to the US attack on Fallujha or the Israeli attacks on Lebanon.
Also look at the 2nd picture here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_pictures/7810301.stm

And this video at 1:32:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7809476.stm

either it's white phosphorus or isn't.... what's your take? A bit of your experience concerning your evaluation would be helpful, too!

Further that, can you imagine Hamass terrorist(s) having access to white phosphorus? Which by-the-way can be delivered by shoulder mounted weapons (RPG's).

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article5521925.ece

[and there are many other such reliable reports]

Mark Stapleton
04-02-2009, 06:09 AM
There's a saying that goes something like "you can tell a lot about someone by the company they keep".

Well here's how America's closest friend in the ME, if not the world, behaves. This is the country which dictates America's foreign policy.



http://www.counterpunch.org/heller04012009.html


Tales of War Crimes
Thank God, It Was Only Rumors
By STANLEY HELLER


Military Advocate General Brig. Gen. Avichai Mendelblit has instructed the Military Police Investigation unit to close the inquiry into Israeli soldiers' accounts of serious violations of the army's rules of engagement during the Gaza Massacre or as the IDF so winningly calls it: “Operation Cast Lead”. It turns out the General discovered all the charges "were based on hearsay and not first-hand experience." Just a bunch of rumors.

Thank God for that. Those shells were just rumors, the ones that hit the U.N. warehouse and the al-Quds Hospital. It wasn’t white phosphorus. The jellyfish-like white tentacles that are a signature for a white phosphorus burst were probably a Palestinian fireworks display. The Abu Halima family was wrong. There was no shell that exploded in their house killing four children. Human Right Watch made a mistake. It must have been a sandstorm or a jinn.

Stories that Israeli soldiers wrecked and defiled Palestinian homes were obviously urban legends. After claiming to visit one home near Jabalya camp Israeli newspaper columnist Amira Hass wrote,

“There are houses where excrement was smeared on the walls, or where dry piles of it were found in corners. In many cases, the smells indicated that soldiers had urinated on piles of clothing or inside a washing machine. In all the houses the toilets were overflowing and clogged, and there was filth all around. When the Abu Eidas returned to house No. 5 in Jabalya, they discovered pots of urine and excrement in the refrigerator.”

Where did she come up with this tall tale? The courageous Israelis who commented on her article nailed her good, “What Propaganda”, said Gershon Reed” , “Yes, Amira War is Hell”, said Baruch Gold. “More Hamas Propaganda”, said “Rambo”.

In an effort to clear up confusion Israeli army chief Gabi Ashkenazi announced, "I can say that the IDF is the most moral army in the world." Well there you have it. It comes from the Chief of Staff, himself. The International Red Cross complained that the Israeli army was firing on ambulances. No doubt the charge is a lie. An Israeli handwritten order on a piece of paper that stated: “Rules of Engagement: Open fire also upon rescue’, was obviously just a joke. Have humanitarian organizations no sense of humor?

Amos Harel, the Haaretz military affairs reporter, tells about the testimony given to Danny Zamir who interviewed soldiers who had graduated from his pre-military preparatory program at Oranim Academic College and who had fought in Gaza. Zamir claimed that soldiers told him accounts of soldiers killing a woman and two of her children, shooting and killing an elderly Palestinian woman, and destroying property at will. Supposedly a soldier told Zamir, "That what's great in Gaza, you could say - you see someone walking down a track, not necessarily armed, and you can simply shoot them. In our case, it was an elderly woman.” Obviously Harel or Zamir made it all up.

In another article Harel brings up testimonies about the army’s use of the so-called "neighbor procedure". What’s wrong with asking a Palestinian to invite his neighbors to come out for a polite chat with the Israeli army? Harel says Israeli soldiers force Palestinians to do this. Nonsense. Hearsay. Baseless slander. Israelis don’t take human shields. By definition that’s only something Arabs do.

Another Haaetz columnist Gideon Levy wrote, “An army whose armored corps has yet to encounter an enemy tank and whose pilots have yet to face an enemy combat jet in 36 years has been trained to think that the only function of a tank is to crush civilian cars and that a pilot's job is to bomb residential neighborhoods.” What does Levy know? An old woman could be a suicide bomber. A six year old could be a suicide bomber. So the IDF destroyed 20 ambulances. Ambulances could be carrying terrorists. As a U.S. bumper sticker said in Vietnam days, “Kill ‘em all and let God sort ‘em out.”

Bleeding heart Amnesty International bellyached about the use of flechettes in Gaza. “Flechettes are 4cm long metal darts that are sharply pointed at the front, with four fins at the rear. Between 5,000 and 8,000 are packed into 120mm shells which are generally fired from tanks..” They are “ anti-personnel weapon designed to penetrate dense vegetation”. Well, doesn’t Israel have to fight the terrorists who hide in Gaza’s vast jungles? Amnesty claims Wafa' Nabil Abu Jarad, a 21-year-old pregnant mother of two, was one of those killed by flechettes in Gaza. Where does it come up with this science fiction?

Since the IDF is a most moral army the photos of hateful graffitti soldiers allegedly wrote on houses in Gaza were necessarily faked. Journalist Amira Hass says there were sentences like “We came to annihilate you; Death to the Arabs; Kahane was right; No tolerance, we came to liquidate.” She writes about scribblings cursing the prophet Muhammad. Clearly bogus. So what if the graffiti “appears alongside the names of army units and individual soldiers.” Hasn’t she heard of Photoshop?

And where did the Israeli journalist Uri Blau come up with this dubious report? “Dead babies, mothers weeping on their children's graves, a gun aimed at a child and bombed-out mosques - these are a few examples of the images Israel Defense Forces soldiers design these days to print on shirts they order to mark the end of training, or of field duty.” He claims “A sharpshooter's T-shirt from the Givati Brigade's Shaked battalion shows a pregnant Palestinian woman with a bull's-eye superimposed on her belly, with the slogan, in English, 1 shot, 2 kills.’ He even has a photo. Still, he must have made a mistake. The most moral army in the world doesn’t shoot pregnant women. It wouldn’t brag about its cruelty on casual wear. Givati Brigade T-shirts no doubt feature purple bougainvillea flowers emblazoned with the slogan “Purity in Arms”.

Stanley Heller is host of “The Struggle” TV news magazine Contact him at mail@TheStruggle.org

Magda Hassan
02-02-2010, 02:18 AM
The Israel Defense Forces on Monday denied that two of its senior officers had been summoned for disciplinary action after headquarters staff found that the men exceeded their authority in approving the use of phosphorus shells during last year's military campaign in the Gaza Strip, as the Israeli government wrote in a recent report.

In an official response provided to the United Nations over the weekend in response to last September's Goldstone Commission report, the government said that a brigadier general and another officer with the rank of colonel endangered human life during by firing white phosphorous munitions in the direction of a compound run by UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

The government finding acknowledges, at least in part, allegations by international organizations.
But the IDF on Monday flatly denied that Division Commander Brig. Gen. Eyal Eisenberg and Givati Brigade Commander Col. Ilan Malka been subject to disciplinary action by GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Yoav Gallant. It did not deny that the munitions were in fact used during the war, however.

The incident in question occurred on January 15 of last year, two days before the end of Operation Cast Lead, in the southern Gaza City neighborhood of Tel al-Hawa, at a time when the Givati brigade and other Israeli forces were in the area.

In the course of engagement with a Hamas squad, which according to IDF intelligence possessed advanced anti-tank missiles, it was decided to use phosphorus smoke munitions to create cover that would make it harder for the Hamas fighters to see the IDF soldiers.

According to Israeli intelligence, the Hamas forces were stationed in a commanding location from which they could easily see the soldiers and the UNRWA compound that was located between the Israeli forces and the Hamas position.

The munitions disperse hundreds of pieces of felt impregnated with phosphorus and at least some of the pieces fell into the UNRWA compound, causing injury to an UNRWA employee there as well as to two Palestinian civilians who took cover at the location.

Many human rights organizations said that the IDF had illegally used the phosphorus munitions, which are shot from 155 mm. cannon, and that the material caused many burn injuries among the Palestinian population. The IDF responded that the munitions were permitted under international conventions and that similar shells are in use by other Western armies. The army also contended that the munitions were used in locations remote from heavily -populated areas.

With the conclusion of Operation Cast Lead, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi ordered the convening of five special investigative committees each headed by an officer with the rank of colonel to examine some of the serious allegations leveled against the army. One of the committees examined the use of phosphorus shells.

After three months, at the end of April of last year, then deputy chief of staff Maj. Gen. Dan Harel presented the committees' findings and with respect to phosphorus munitions said that they had found no instances in which shells were fired in violation of orders and in any event, they were fired in open areas.

Nonetheless, the report that the Israeli government gave to the United Nations last Friday explicitly states that the two senior officers were disciplined after one of the investigating committees noted among its findings that they approved the firing of phosphorus shells at Tel al-Hawa "exceeding their authority in a manner that jeopardized the lives of others."

The report to the UN also says that Ashkenazi recently ordered the convening of a sixth committee to examine additional allegations made against the IDF as well as an incident which one of the previous panels had been unable to thoroughly probe.

The investigative teams have been looking into only the most serious and prominent of the allegations made as a result of Cast Lead. This is in addition to military police probes that were carried out, or are still in progress, into about 150 alleged incidents of improper conduct on the part of soldiers involving civilians and Palestinian property during the Gaza campaign.

Some of the incidents were raised in operational IDF debriefings held after Cast Lead, but most came to light following complaints by human rights organizations, individual Palestinian civilians and press reports. Twelve incidents were raised for the first time in the Goldstone Commission report, which was commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council.

In the course of the IDF investigations, about 500 soldiers were questioned and nearly 100 Palestinian civilians were interviewed at the Erez checkpoint on the Israel-Gaza border. As a result of the IDF's investigations, 36 criminal investigation files have been opened so far, but criminal legal proceedings have so far been opened in only one case, in which two Givati brigade soldiers were convicted of stealing a Palestinian civilian's credit card.

Dershowitz: Goldstone is a traitor to the Jews

Prominent political commentator and pro-Israel campaigner Professor Alan Dershowitz slammed jurist Richard Goldstone, the architect of a UN report which accuses Israel of Gaza war crimes, calling him a traitor to the Jewish people, Army Radio reported yesterday. Dershowitz and Goldstone were colleagues and close friends for many years before the UN Gaza probe, but once Goldstone published his report the ties between the two were severed. (Haaretz Staff)
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1146638.html

David Guyatt
02-02-2010, 02:42 PM
In an official response provided to the United Nations over the weekend in response to last September's Goldstone Commission report, the government said that a brigadier general and another officer with the rank of colonel endangered human life during by firing white phosphorous munitions in the direction of a compound run by UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

The government finding acknowledges, at least in part, allegations by international organizations.

But the IDF on Monday flatly denied that Division Commander Brig. Gen. Eyal Eisenberg and Givati Brigade Commander Col. Ilan Malka been subject to disciplinary action by GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Yoav Gallant. It did not deny that the munitions were in fact used during the war, however.


In other words the Israeli government lied t the UN in their report for purposes of political expediency.

And since I imagine that the IDF was given a tacit green light by the government/Prime Minister to use Willy Pete as they did, the IDF isn't going to take the blame sitting down...

What this shows us is that there really is no remorse in Israel for using these banned weapons and that, consequently, they'll use them again as and when they damn well please. And then lie again to the UN likewise.

Jan Klimkowski
02-03-2010, 07:33 PM
Israeli commander: 'We rewrote the rules of war for Gaza'

Civilians 'put at greater risk to save military lives' in winter attack - revelations that will pile pressure on Netanyahu to set up full inquiry

By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem

A high-ranking officer has acknowledged for the first time that the Israeli army went beyond its previous rules of engagement on the protection of civilian lives in order to minimise military casualties during last year's Gaza war, The Independent can reveal.


The officer, who served as a commander during Operation Cast Lead, made it clear that he did not regard the longstanding principle of military conduct known as "means and intentions" – whereby a targeted suspect must have a weapon and show signs of intending to use it before being fired upon – as being applicable before calling in fire from drones and helicopters in Gaza last winter. A more junior officer who served at a brigade headquarters during the operation described the new policy – devised in part to avoid the heavy military casualties of the 2006 Lebanon war – as one of "literally zero risk to the soldiers".

The officers' revelations will pile more pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to set up an independent inquiry into the war, as demanded in the UN-commissioned Goldstone Report, which harshly criticised the conduct of both Israel and Hamas. One of Israel's most prominent human rights lawyers, Michael Sfard, said last night that the senior commander's acknowledgement – if accurate – was "a smoking gun".

Until now, the testimony has been kept out of the public domain. The senior commander told a journalist compiling a lengthy report for Yedhiot Ahronot, Israel's biggest daily newspaper, about the rules of engagement in the three-week military offensive in Gaza. But although the article was completed and ready for publication five months ago, it has still not appeared. The senior commander told Yedhiot: "Means and intentions is a definition that suits an arrest operation in the Judaea and Samaria [West Bank] area... We need to be very careful because the IDF [Israel Defence Forces] was already burnt in the second Lebanon war from the wrong terminology. The concept of means and intentions is taken from different circumstances. Here [in Cast Lead] we were not talking about another regular counter-terrorist operation. There is a clear difference."

His remarks reinforce testimonies from soldiers who served in the Gaza operation, made to the veterans' group Breaking the Silence and reported exclusively by this newspaper last July. They also appear to cut across the military doctrine – enunciated most recently in public by one of the authors of the IDF's own code of ethics – that it is the duty of soldiers to run risks to themselves in order to preserve civilian lives.

Explaining what he saw as the dilemma for forces operating in areas that were supposedly cleared of civilians, the senior commander said: "Whoever is left in the neighbourhood and wants to action an IED [improvised explosive device] against the soldiers doesn't have to walk with a Kalashnikov or a weapon. A person like that can walk around like any other civilian; he sees the IDF forces, calls someone who would operate the terrible death explosive and five of our soldiers explode in the air. We could not wait until this IED is activated against us."

Another soldier who worked in one of the brigade's war-room headquarters told The Independent that conduct in Gaza – particularly by aerial forces and in areas where civilians had been urged to leave by leaflets – had "taken the targeted killing idea and turned it on its head". Instead of using intelligence to identify a terrorist, he said, "here you do the opposite: first you take him down, then you look into it."

The Yedhiot newspaper also spoke to a series of soldiers who had served in Operation Cast Lead in sensitive positions. While the soldiers rejected the main finding of the Goldstone Report – that the Israeli military had deliberately "targeted" the civilian population – most asserted that the rules were flexible enough to allow a policy under which, in the words of one soldier "any movement must entail gunfire. No one's supposed to be there." He added that at a meeting with his brigade commander and others it was made clear that "if you see any signs of movement at all you shoot. This is essentially the rules of engagement."

The other soldier in the war-room explained: "This doesn't mean that you need to disrespect the lives of Palestinians but our first priority is the lives of our soldiers. That's not something you're going to compromise on. In all my years in the military, I never heard that."

He added that the majority of casualties were caused in his brigade area by aerial firing, including from unmanned drones. "Most of the guys taken down were taken down by order of headquarters. The number of enemy killed by HQ-operated remote ... compared to enemy killed by soldiers on the ground had absolutely inverted," he said.

Rules of engagement issued to soldiers serving in the West Bank as recently as July 2006 make it clear that shooting towards even an armed person will take place only if there is intelligence that he intends to act against Israeli forces or if he poses an immediate threat to soldiers or others.

In a recent article in New Republic, Moshe Halbertal, a philosophy professor at Hebrew and New York Universities, who was involved in drawing up the IDF's ethical code in 2000 and who is critical of the Goldstone Report, said that efforts to spare civilian life "must include the expectation that soldiers assume some risk to their own lives in order to avoid causing the deaths of civilians". While the choices for commanders were often extremely difficult and while he did not think the expectation was demanded by international law, "it is demanded in Israel's military code and this has always been its tradition".

The Israeli military declined to comment on the latest revelations, and directed all enquiries to already-published material, including a July 2009 foreign ministry document The Operation in Gaza: Factual and Legal Aspects.

That document, which repeats that Israel acted in conformity with international law despite the "acute dilemmas" posed by Hamas's operations within civilian areas, sets out the principles of Operation Cast Lead as follows: "Only military targets shall be attacked; Any attack against civilian objectives shall be prohibited. A 'civilian objective' is any objective which is not a military target." It adds: "In case of doubt, the forces are obliged to regard an object as civilian."

Yedhiot has not commented on why its article has not been published.

Israel in Gaza: The soldier's tale

This experienced soldier, who cannot be named, served in the war room of a brigade during Operation Cast Lead. Here, he recalls an incident he witnessed during last winter's three-week offensive:

"Two [Palestinian] guys are walking down the street. They pass a mosque and you see a gathering of women and children.

"You saw them exiting the house and [they] are not walking together but one behind the other. So you begin to fantasise they are actually ducking close to the wall.

"One [man] began to run at some point, must have heard the chopper. The GSS [secret service] argued that the mere fact that he heard it implicated him, because a normal civilian would not have realised that he was now being hunted.

"Finally he was shot. He was not shot next to the mosque. It's obvious that shots are not taken at a gathering."


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israeli-commander-we-rewrote-the-rules-of-war-for-gaza-1887627.html

Jan Klimkowski
02-03-2010, 08:47 PM
An Israeli human rights lawyer on the information posted above:


Michael Sfard: Laws of conflict do not allow for killing civilians in this way

Israel conducted an armed operation in the most populated civilian area in the world

If this commander's quote represents the rules of engagement as they were applied during Operation Cast Lead, then it is a smoking gun because it proves the case that Israel was charged with. It proves the main revelations in the Breaking the Silence report. When I read the testimonies in that report – some of which were difficult to read – what was common to them was a change to rules of engagement so that either there were no rules, or they allowed soldiers to shoot anything that moved in the vicinity.


If the quote is true, that means that Israel has abandoned the main safeguard that makes sure that combatants realise the most basic principle of international humanitarian law: the principle of distinction between combatants and civilians. That principle confers a duty to target only combatants and military objects and prohibits the targeting of civilians and civilian objects – unless and for such time as they are actively engaged in hostilities.

Means and intention are the most customary parameters for considering that a person is a combatant or that he or she is engaging directly in hostilities. If you delete them, or even delete one of them, you are providing combatants with a licence to kill civilians.

Leaflets urging civilians to leave an area can be a very positive way of reducing the danger and harm caused to civilians, if there is a no-war zone to which they can go. In Gaza there was no such zone.

Secondly there may always be people who despite the leaflets decide not to leave their homes, perhaps because they have young children or elderly relatives, or perhaps because they have simply decided not to leave their homes, perhaps because they have been refugees before and have vowed that they never will be again.

The laws of armed conflict do not allow the killing of civilians just because they chose not leave their homes which became a war zone.

Of course there is a dilemma for soldiers confronting an unarmed man in civilian clothes who may have some other means of threatening their lives. But that is a risk of combat. International law requires that combatants run risks to reduce harm to civilians.

The principle of distinction is not a suggestion but the product of the experience of the whole of humanity throughout centuries of bloodshed and a means of putting some limitations on warfare as it affects civilians.

The writer is an Israeli human rights lawyer

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/michael-sfard-laws-of-conflict-do-not-allow-for-killing-civilians-in-this-way-1887631.html

Magda Hassan
01-29-2011, 12:08 AM
Channel 4 News (http://www.channel4.com/news/)

(http://www.channel4.com/news/catch-up/)[/URL]
Friday 28 January 2011






Revealed: story of Israeli troops told to 'cleanse' Gaza

Wednesday 26 January 2011
Exclusive: Israeli soldiers tell Channel 4 News they were ordered to "cleanse" Palestinian neighbourhoods, as filmmaker Nurit Kedar says "the atmosphere was that nobody should talk about this war".





Nurit Kedar's film, Concrete, hears from Israeli soldiers who blame their military leaders for encouraging a "disproportionate" response to Hamas's rockets.
They claim their commanders used to "psych up" soldiers before an operation so they were ready to shoot indiscriminately.
This is the first time Israeli soldiers have come forward publicly with claims which counter those of their bosses.
In a report first aired on Channel 4 News on Wednesday, 24-year-old tank commander Ohad remembers being told the night before the operation that the entry into Gaza was to be "disproportionate".

It sounds really terrible to say 'cleanse' but those were the orders. Israeli tank commander

Once into Gaza, he says his orders were unambiguous: "We needed to cleanse the neighbourhoods, the buildings, the area. It sounds really terrible to say "cleanse", but those were the orders....I don't want to make a mistake with the words."
The IDF has said its operational orders during the war emphasised "proportionality" and "humanity".
The importance of minimising harm to civilians was made clear to soldiers, the IDF said at the time. By the end of the 22 day long operation some 1,400 Palestinians had been killed and large areas of Gaza razed. Ten Israeli soldiers and three Israeli civilians also died.



http://www.channel4.com/media/images/Channel4/c4-news/JAN/26/26_Gaza_r_k.jpg
Challenging Israeli views
The woman behind the film is Nurit Kedar. Speaking to Channel 4 News she said it took some time to gain the soldiers' trust: "It was months of telling them I wasn't interested in if they shot somebody, I was interested in their insight, their point of view.
"I was very much interested in their emotional feelings so that's how I persuaded them. I really didn't threaten them."
Nurit continued: "I feel for them, what can I tell you. It's very sad what our society is doing to youngsters."
She told Channel 4 News the Israeli people did not like to see themselves in the mirror.
Nurit said: "The atmosphere in Israel was nobody should talk about this war.

People in Israel don't like to see themselves in the mirror. [I]Nurit Kedar

"There was only one narrative. The narrative was the Palestinians fired for eight years and that's why we came in and that's it. Why didn't the IDF let any journalists inside, any cameramen? Nobody knows what happened."
There are currently no plans for the film to be shown in Israel, Nurit hopes this will change: "Right now I don't have any broadcaster..people in Israel don't like to see themselves in the mirror.
"Usually the Israeli people don't like to see this kind of film. I made a lot of films about wars and it's not easy, they don't like it."

http://bcove.me/tyz3yt6p
[url]http://www.channel4.com/news/filmmaker-tells-story-of-israelis-told-to-cleanse-gaza (http://www.channel4.com/tv-listings)

David Guyatt
01-29-2011, 12:16 PM
What we all suspected at the time was true after all.

Awful.

Magda Hassan
08-31-2013, 07:20 AM
(Hatem Omar / Maan Images)
BBC editor urged colleagues to downplay Israel’s siege of Gaza Submitted by Amena Saleem on Fri, 08/30/2013 - 13:34
The new Middle East online editor for BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world/middle_east/) has been praised by a pro-Israeli website (http://isthebbcbiased.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/miscellany-for-weekend.html) for being “willing to listen to his critics” after he sent internal emails guiding BBC staff to write more favorably about Israel.
Raffi Berg was promoted to head the BBC website’s Middle East desk earlier this month, having already worked as a journalist with that desk. His emails, which have been posted on a pro-Israeli site (http://isthebbcbiased.blogspot.com/2013/04/miscellany-for-weekend.html), were sent during Israel’s eight day assault on Gaza in November 2012, which killed nearly 200 Palestinians.
In one, he asked BBC colleagues to word their stories in a way which does not blame or “put undue emphasis” on Israel for starting the prolonged attacks. Instead, he encouraged journalists to promote the Israeli government line that the “offensive” was “aimed at ending rocket fire from Gaza.”
This was despite the fact that Israel broke a ceasefire when it attacked Gaza on 14 November, a ceasefire which the Palestinians had been observing — firing no rockets into Israel
In a second email, sent during the same period, Berg told BBC journalists: “Please remember, Israel doesn’t maintain a blockade around Gaza. Egypt controls the southern border.” He omitted to mention that the UN viewed Israel as the occupying power in Gaza and has called on Israel to end its siege of the Strip. Israel’s refusal to do so is a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1860.
Berg wrote in both emails that the advice was being given to BBC journalists as a result of complaints that the BBC was too harsh on Israel in its early coverage of the assault.
Bowing to pressure Both emails were originally posted onto the Zionist website Biased BBC on 21 November 2012 by a user going by the name “soothsayer.” They were reposted on another pro-Israeli website Is the BBC biased? (http://isthebbcbiased.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/miscellany-for-weekend.html) on 13 April this year in an article which noted that the emails “indicate at least that Raffi Berg is willing to listen to his critics.”
In an email exchange earlier this week with a British-Palestinian activist, Berg said he was not responsible for posting the internal emails onto Biased BBC but accepted they were his work. The email exchange has been seen by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (http://www.palestinecampaign.org/).
The activist put it to Berg that his emails to BBC journalists “demonstrate a clear bias towards the Israeli government line and show a bowing to pressure from pro-Israeli groups.”
Berg replied: “We continually examine the language we use on contentious subjects, such as the Israel-Palestinian conflict, but do not take our lead from any pressure groups.”
In a later email, the activist pointed out that neutral sources agree that Israel’s assassination of Hamas commander, Ahmed al-Jabari, was the trigger for the assault which followed, and asked why Berg was requesting BBC journalists to take the emphasis off this fact.
Berg replied: “The cause of the conflict in Gaza is contentious, with Israel giving ongoing rocket attacks as grounds for its assassination of Ahmed Jabari…As you will appreciate, we do not take sides on issues but to avoid appearing to put a definitive starting point on the violence, a neutral form of words was found.”
Concealing Israeli aggression In the days preceding the execution of al-Jabari, Israel killed seven Palestinians in Gaza (http://electronicintifada.net/content/israel-assaults-gaza-bbc-reporting-assaults-truth/11894), including five teenage boys, in the space of 48 hours.
The killings reveal the scale and regularity of lethal Israeli aggression in Gaza. But rather than dwell on this, BBC journalists stuck doggedly to the line (http://electronicintifada.net/content/bbc-admits-pandering-israeli-propaganda/12004), pushed by Berg, that Israel’s eight day pounding of the blockaded Strip involved Israel defending itself.
Berg has replaced Tarik Kafala as head of the online Middle East desk. Overseeing his work will be James Harding (http://electronicintifada.net/content/apologists-israel-take-top-posts-bbc/12395), who was appointed the BBC’s director of news and current affairs earlier this year.
In his previous post, as editor of Rupert Murdoch’s Times newspaper, Harding spoke in 2011 at a media event organised by The Jewish Chronicle. He told the audience: “I am pro-Israel. I believe in the State of Israel. I would have had a real problem if I had been coming to a paper [The Times] with a history of being anti-Israel.”
Harding, it would appear, need have no worries about his new online Middle East editor exposing the full scale and horrors of Israel’s occupation to the BBC audience. Berg’s internal emails reveal his willingness to toe the BBC’s line of concealing, obscuring or softening Israel’s violations of international law and its abuse of Palestinian human rights, allegedly in the name of “neutral reporting.”
He and the openly Zionist Harding should get on well.
http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/amena-saleem/bbc-editor-urged-colleagues-downplay-israels-siege-gaza

Tracy Riddle
01-09-2014, 02:28 PM
A short history of Israel, as sung by Andy Williams.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HB0bTx3pYZU