Shimon Peres… The Real Face of Zionist Entity’s Bloody Policies

September 28, 2016

Israeli ex-president Shimon Peres

To the West, Shimon Peres is the ‘Nobel laureate’ and the ‘tireless dove’ who has been widely respected for his ‘achievements’ regarding the peace in the Middle East. However, behind this image Peres -who died on Wednesday- represents the real face of the bloody and colonial policies adopted by the Zionist regime.

Over seven decades, Peres served as prime minister (twice) and president. He was a member of 12 cabinets and had stints as defense, foreign and finance minister.

He is perhaps best known in the West for his role in the negotiations that led to the 1993 Oslo Accords which won him, along with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, the Nobel Peace Prize.

Born in Poland in 1923, Peres moved along with his family to Palestine in the 1930s. As a young man, he joined the Haganah, the militia primarily responsible for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian villages during the Nakba in 1947-49.

Despite the violent displacement of the Palestinians being a matter of historical record, Peres has always insisted that Zionist forces “upheld the purity of arms” during the establishment of the Zionist entity, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) reported. He even claimed that before ‘Israel’ existed, “there was nothing here”.

Nuclear Weapons and Qana Massacre

He was also seen as a driving force in the development of Israel’s undeclared nuclear program. Peres has been described as “an architect of Israel’s nuclear weapons program which, to this day, “remains outside the scrutiny of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

In 1975, as secret minutes have since revealed, Peres met with South African Defense Minister PW Botha and “offered to sell nuclear warheads to the apartheid regime.” In 1986, Peres authorized the Mossad operation that saw nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu kidnapped in Rome.

Peres then had a key role in the military regime imposed on Palestinian citizens until 1966, under which authorities carried out mass land theft and displacement.

He has been also known for supporting illegal settlements in the West Bank.

As prime minister in 1996, Peres ordered and oversaw “Operation Grapes of Wrath” when Israeli armed forces killed some 154 civilians in Lebanon and injured another 351. The operation, widely believed to have been a pre-election show of strength, saw Lebanese civilians intentionally targeted.

The campaign’s most notorious attack was the Qana massacre, when Israel shelled a United Nations compound and killed 106 sheltering civilians.

Defending Blockade, Wars on Gaza

Perese also defended the collective punishment and military brutality against the besieged Gaza strip.

In January 2009, Peres urged “national solidarity” behind the ‘Operation Cast Lead’, describing the campaign as “Israel’s finest hour.”

During “Operation Pillar of Defense” in November 2012, Peres “took on the job of helping the Israeli public relations effort, communicating the Israeli narrative to world leaders,” in the words of Ynetnews.

In 2014, during an unprecedented bombardment of Gaza, Peres stepped up once again to whitewash war crimes. After Israeli forces killed four small children playing on a beach, Peres knew who to blame – the Palestinians: “It was an area that we warned would be bombed,” he said. “And unfortunately they didn’t take out the children.”

Source: MEMO

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Omar Khader (center) with his brothers and cousin. Musab (left).

by Omar Khader

I was born in Gaza, Palestine. My whole life I have lived under illegal military occupation. I have seen many wars on my people, but the most difficult was the 2008/2009 war and the 2014 war.

My brother, Musab, was my best friend. We were two years apart in age. We grew up together. We went to the same school and we did everything together. We even slept in the same bed. We laughed ourselves to sleep. We were one soul in one body.

One morning, during the terrifying 2008 war on Gaza, Musab woke me up and said he will go with Father to our house. Yes, it was the 2008 war which was one of the vilest and ugliest wars endured by the Palestinian people. The Israeli occupation used internationally banned weapons on defenceless civilians, such as White Phosphorous.

My family moved out into my grandparents house when the war began. Many refugee’s were created and people were forced to leave their homes because of the war.

That day was like the past days where we were forced to listen to the sounds of explosions.

After we had our breakfast, Musab, came near me and said, “I will go with my father to our home, to bring some things from there.” When we left our home, we did not take anything with us from the house. Also, Musab wanted to feed his chickens. I tried to stop him but he said, “there is a cease-fire and every thing will be ok. “ So I said “ok,” but inside I felt fear.

I went to the youth to ask them if there really is a cease-fire or not. They told me “yes there is.” Then I said every thing will be ok and Musab left.

After one hour, while I was talking to my cousin, Musab called me to ask me to help him transfer the municipal water from a water car, into the my grandparents tanks. We help him, but he was the active one of us. Musab was the most loved member of our family because he was always busy helping everyone.

At 3pm, while I sat with my cousin, Musab called me once again. He looked at me and said, “I want to go with Father as you know and Mother wants me to go with her to our sister’s house.”

He then suggested I go with Mother. I looked at him and said “ok, but take care yourself.” He said, “everything will be ok,” then he left. While he was leaving, I said to him, “Don’t forget to bring me my clothes!” He smiled and said, “I will not forget that.”

Then he was gone. I did not know that would be the last time I would see him.

مصعب خضر-1
Musab Khader

As we arranged, he went with Father and I went with Mother to our sister’s house. While I was walking with Mother in the street, I was looking into her face and I was seeing something strange. She did not talk to me on the road. She was quiet the entire way to my sister’s home. Mother stayed there just 5 minutes, then she decided to leave. My sister and I were surprised by our Mother’s behaviour. I said “ok, let’s go back home.”

Walking back at home, I could see my mother was feeling something terribly wrong. I began thinking of Father and Musab. When we got to my grandparent’s house, she did not enter the house. She stopped and was thinking. I went directly to her and took hold of her hand. We entered the house together. We were there a few minutes and then we heard a big explosion in the street.

On my way to see what happened outside, my cousin Ahmed rushed to me crying and said, “your brother Musab was murderd!”

OMG! When I heard those words, I fell to the ground. After 2 minutes, I gathered my strength and went out to see what was there. I saw a lot of people crowded around my Father, who was drowned in Musab’s blood.

I saw my most beloved brother laying down on the ground, his body mutilated. I went straight to Father, looked into his eyes and asked, “did my brother Musab, die?” He pulled me to him, hugging me so hard and said, “yes, he in heaven now.”

I fell to the ground crying. When Father and Musab got to our home, Musab wanted to feed the chickens, which were in a small room near the house. While he was opening the door, the Israeli occupation targeted him with a rocket, killing him.

Father was near Musab when the rocket struck him. Father was not hurt. He stood up and screamed for Musab, but he did not answer. Then, Father came close to my brother and found him dead, near the chickens he had been feeding.

Father carried Musab’s body back home to us. It was the most difficult moment for him, seeing his son killed in front of his own eyes.

20160207_153524 (1)My relatives began preparing for the funeral. They wrapped Musab’s body in white cloth. After 30 minutes, we carried his body to the mosque.

All our relatives prayed together for Musab’s soul. I was crying while I prayed. I could think only of my father in that moment. Our relatives prayed for our protection and asked Allah to bless us with patience.

When my relatives began to place Musab’s body in the grave and I watched them putting my brother in the ground, I could not see that. I fell, fainting. When I woke up, I sat up, next to Musab’s grave and cried and cried. I did not want to leave him, but my family forced me to. They carried me home.

When I got to my grandparent’s house, I saw my sisters and Mother crying. When they saw me, they hugged me hard and kissed me.

I could not sleep that night. I was sitting near my father, who was crying and thanking Allah for taking Musab to a better place.

I got hurt when I lost my brother, deep inside my soul. Even until these days. He was everything to me. We could not believe he was gone.

My brother was not a terrorist as the Israeli occupation said he was. He was murdered at 14-years-old. He did not have any weapons in his hands when he was killed. Musab had a very kind heart. He was feeding chickens when the occupation murdered him. They killed him because he is Palestinian. Yes, they killed him because they love to killchildren.

Yes, they killed him because they fear Palestinian children! Because they know we grow up under occupation and one day we will reject it. One day we may leave Palestine, to follow our dreams, but the desire to return to our homeland is always too strong.

Our pure desire’s can never be defeated. We always return. And our children are born with and carry the desire within them, to return to our blessed homeland. We will never give up the hope that we can one day return to Palestine.

Yes, they killed my brother but they cannot kill our hope. Yes, we will never give up and we will never give in to our genocide.

We will continue in this way to defend our lands and our traditions. Yes we will send our message to the world, that we are not numbers! We are human beings, just like you and we have the right to live in peace.

I hate the wars that I have endured. I love peace and I will do everything for my country and for my people to live in peace.

aviary_1414056216358 (1)

Omar Khader is a student of English Literature at Alazhar University in Gaza, Occupied Palestine. He is a Middle East Rising contributor.

Gaza in Context… Watch it!!!

July 27, 2016  /  Gilad Atzmon

Anti-Semitism Gilad Atzmon and Nottingham Jazz

By Jeanie Barton

I have always considered music a universal language; perhaps the only form of communication that can unite us regardless of creed, race, religion or even species – life connects with the beauty and passion of musical expression.  I was therefore recently very disturbed that, a small number of Nottingham residents succeeded in lobbying Gedling Borough Council to cancel a concert by a popular, critically acclaimed saxophonist who is also an Israeli critic of Jewish Identity Politics and identity in general.

When I heard that just 13 people had managed to cancel the musical performance of Gilad Atzmon, whose band has previously played The Bonington Arts Theatre 9 times to packed houses, without any complaint from audiences or residents, Jewish or Gentile, I balked at what this could mean for freedom of speech, jazz and music in general.

 Gilad is critical of ‘Jewish Power’.  He is not alone.  Following last summer’s latest military assault on Gaza by Israel, supported politically and financially by the US and her allies, there has been a profound awakening in the western public’s consciousness that all is not well and good in Palestine and that ‘we’ are complicit in the continued bloodshed and heartache.

Although not directly relevant to Gilad’s music, this campaign against him highlights the subsequent increase in people being labelled as anti-Semitic.  In the wake of operation Protective Edge (which killed around 2200 Gazans and 71 Israelis) I know many people critical of Israel, Zionism and ‘Jewish Power’ globally, have been accused of being anti-Semitic or ‘self-hating Jews’.  The desired result of these accusations is to silence discourse and in this case it went so far as to silence instrumental music.

So is Gilad anti-Semitic, and did Gedling Borough Council have any legal right to cancel his musical performance when he has never had any formal charges relating to anti-Semitism brought against him?

When I meet him he readily admits to being an “arrogant c*nt” but denies being anti-Semitic.  He points out that his latest book, The Wandering Who (within which the complainers site ‘anti-Semitic’ statements) has so far been published within 12 countries, including some who have laws against Holocaust denial. It has received numerous endorsements from leading scholars and eminent global political figures including;  Professor Richard Falk (United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Palestine), Professor John J. Mearsheimer, Greta Berlin (Co-Founder, the Free Gaza movement), Professor William A. CookProfessor Norton Mezvinsky  (Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, May 2012) the list goes on and on

Although one of the complainants, Dave Rio emailed and called my attention to an online document wherein 24 Palestinian solidarity activists denounce Atzmon, it rather put me in mind of the adage that ‘you can please some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time’.   Whose list of accreditors/condemners is more worthy or correct?  That is a subjective argument and would still not prove Atzmon is an anti-Semite.  We can only know that his book’s endorsements are by people who have definitely read the work in full.

As Gilad told me, Jews are generally very easily offended.  If his observations and statements are offensive to some, does that mean those few should get to choose for others what they hear – even if those others just wanted to hear jazz music and likely had no interest in politics?  Dave stated to me that “I would not tolerate anyone who made comparable remarks about black people or Muslims playing in Nottingham.” But who is he or the other 12 signatories to ‘tolerate’ or not?  This is a level of presumed moral authority that I’m not sure can be legitimised – they always had the option to boycott the concert themselves.

Gilad has previously questioned the definition of anti-Semitism;

“You are either a racist, which I am not, or have an ideological disagreement with Zionism, which I have.”

He has also defended himself from being labelled an anti-Semite with the witticism

“while in the past an ‘anti-Semite’ was someone who hated Jews, nowadays it is the other way around, an anti-Semite is someone the Jews hate.”

Following the cancellation of his concert at the Bonington on the 15th January (which went ahead at The Five Ways pub), Gilad arranged to come back for a talk, where his accusers could discuss with him their concerns at the Canalhouse, Canal Street, Nottingham on the 2nd February.  I popped there before my gig nearby only to find the whole pub in darkness – it turns out that someone had tipped off the venue and police that the meet could cause trouble and that the safety of the public and staff might be at risk, so they completely closed as a precaution!  Jaw dropping levels of panic!  The talk was moved last minute to the Salutation where around 35 people gathered, none of which were the mysterious 13.  It was calm, ordered and professional consisting mostly of local academics and jazz lovers.  Goodness knows why the venue or police thought it would become violent?

This level of fear surrounding criticism of Israel and Jewish Power to me is the most frightening aspect of this saga.  With new steps being introduced to outlaw anti-Semitism in Canada and elsewhere, the Orwellian thought police are now a reality – but ironically we were actively encouraged to criticise and mock Muslims post Charlie Hebdo by world leaders who marched in Paris on 11th January?  Many have spotted this screaming hypocrisy.

Another irony here is that in trying to destroy Gilad’s music career, the actions of these 13 individuals and Gedling Borough Council have created an enormous amount of publicity for him and his work!  Gigs and talks across the country are now flooding his diary – his band joked that he probably orchestrated the whole thing, but he professes not to be that clever…

Joking aside, I found out recently how unjust and upsetting it is to have your music attacked because of your opinions.  In a small way I experienced this by being outspoken about the detrimental effect of the NET tram construction, which has wreaked havoc on residents and cost many businesses tens of thousands of pounds (including my family’s firm, which did not qualify for compensation). Compounding this misery, it recently became public that local Councillors have been involved in using fake identities to ‘flood the press’ with positive PR.  Aliases and pseudonyms on the Nottingham Post website that had previously only commented on articles about the tram, trolling those who do not adhere to the ‘positive’ light rail narrative, quickly moved across to attack me professionally under the article about my appointment as the new jazz columnist.

 However, this new age of poison pen letters merely compels us to continue exposing injustice locally, nationally and internationally; an attack on our music because of our opinions will only succeed in making us more outspoken.  I can only surmise that the nearer the target one gets the more flak you receive and that jazz music has a history of attracting rebels.

US Slams ICC Probe of Israel as “Tragic Irony”

Local Editor


The United States condemned the International Criminal Court decision to open a preliminary probe Friday into “possible” war crimes committed against Palestinians, blasting it as a “tragic irony”.

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said her office would conduct an “analysis in full independence and impartiality” into war crimes by Israel, including those committed during last year’s Gaza offensive.Gaza children martyrs

Her decision comes after Palestine formally joined the ICC earlier this month, allowing it to lodge war crimes and crimes against humanity complaints against Israel as of April.

Nearly 2,200 Palestinians were killed, most of them civilians, and more than 11,000 others were injured during last summer’s war on Gaza.

The US criticized the decision late Friday, saying it opposed actions against Israel at the ICC as “counterproductive to the cause of peace”.

“It is a tragic irony that Israel, which has withstood thousands of terrorist rockets fired at its civilians and its neighborhoods, is now being scrutinized by the ICC,” US State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said in a statement.

Gambian-born Bensouda had earlier stressed that “a preliminary examination is not an investigation but a process of examining the information available… on whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation.”

Bensouda will decide at a later stage whether to launch a full investigation.

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!



Children of Gaza asking for Help
Music: Revolution by DAM, Long Live Gaza by Lowkey, Masters of War arr and performed by Barb Jungr, and Featuring Land of Plenty Arr. and performed by Barb Jungr.

    • “Land of Plenty” by Barb Jungr

Abbas: Longtime Israeli Collaborator

Abbas: Longtime Israeli Collaborator

Note: This article was written before my two month illness. It remained unsubmitted on my desktop.
It’s appropriate now given Abbas’ less than wholehearted condemnation of Israeli mass murder and destruction in Gaza.
It continues as this article is posted on my blog site and sent to web editors.
Abbas is a longtime Israeli co-conspirator and collaborator against his own people. He shames the office Israel arranged for him to hold. He governs illegitimately.
Israel rigged his 2005 election. It was payback for enforcer services rendered. For betraying his own people.
He profited greatly. He serves illegitimately. His term expired in January 2009. He refuses to call new elections.
He shames the office he holds. Why Palestinians put up with him, they’ll have to explain.
He admitted collaborating with the enemy. Electronic Intifada co-founder Ali Abunimah explained. More on this below.
Deep-seated corruption and other crimes against his own people continue on his watch.
Large-scale Palestinian resistance is badly needed. Submissiveness is self-defeating. A third Intifada is long overdue. Not on Abbas’ watch.
“We will not go back to terrorism and violence,” he said. Israel wrote his lines.
He dutifully regurgitated them as ordered. “We will only operate through diplomacy and through peaceful means,” he said.
He permits occupation harshness, passivity and acquiescence alone. Freedom isn’t in his vocabulary.
Liberation struggles aren’t tolerated. Israeli rogues couldn’t say it better. Abbas serves them. He’s a convenient stooge.
Months earlier, Israeli President Shimon Peres praised him, saying:
He “condemned terror and has pledged that under his leadership there will not be a third intifada.”
“He understands very well that the solution to the Palestinian refugee problem cannot be within Israeli territory, so as not to change the demographic character of Israel.”
“But he has put out a hand to Israel to renew the peace process.”
Israel values collaborationist Palestinians. Abbas sold out long ago. He’s more double agent than legitimate leader.
The late Edward Said (1935 – 2003) met him in March 1977. At a Cairo National Council meeting.
It launched secret PLO/Israeli meetings. It “made Oslo possible,” Said said. It didn’t matter.
Israelis came prepared. They “fielded an array of experts supported by maps, documents, statistics, and at least 17 prior drafts (before) Palestinians” accepted what demanded rejection, Said explained.
“Three PLO men” alone were allowed to negotiate. “(N)ot one of whom knew English or had a background in international (or any other kind of) law,” said Said.
“The outcome was predictable, a one-sided agreement for Israel. Palestinians getting nothing besides anointment as ‘Israel’s sheriff,’ ” Said explained.
In his 1995 memoir, “Through Secret Channels: The Road to Oslo,” Abbas took unfair credit.
He anointed himself Oslo’s architect. He never left Tunis. “Arafat pull(ed) all the strings,” said Said.
He arranged his own capitulation. “No wonder then that the Oslo negotiations made the overall situation of the Palestinians a good deal worse.”
Said called Abbas “colorless, moderately corrupt, and without any clear ideas of his own, except that he wants to please the white man.”
His “authenticity (was) lacking in the path” he chose to follow. He was a tailor-made stooge. Hugely corrupt later on.
Concerned solely for his own welfare. Mindless of Palestinian rights. He represents Quisling leadership.
He’s against Palestine’s liberating struggle. He knew about Cast Lead in advance. A previous article explained.
On November 30, 2010, Reuters headlined “Israel says Abbas, Egypt warned on Gaza war – leaks,” saying:
Ahead of Cast Lead, Israel “conferred with the Western-backed Palestinian leadership and with Egypt…”
Leaked US diplomatic cables quoted a senior Israeli official confirming it. Haaretz reported the same thing. Mubarak and Abbas were briefed in advance.
Haaretz said “Israel tried to coordinate the Gaza war with the Palestinian authority.” WikiLeaks released US diplomatic cables confirming it.
In June 2009, months before Cast Lead, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with US congressional members.
He “consulted with Egypt and Fatah prior to Operation Cast Lead.” He asked “if they were willing to assume control of Gaza once Israel defeated Hamas.”
He “received negative answers from both.” Previous leaked information reported the same thing. WikiLeaks provided “the first documented proof.”
Abbas denied getting advance word. He lied. Mubarak said nothing either way.
Reuters said Abbas “urged Israel to crush Hamas during the war.”
Avigdor Lieberman held ministerial positions under Sharon and Ehud Olmert. In April 2009, he became Netanyahu’s Foreign Minister.
He explained Abbas’ involvement, saying:
“Over the past year, I witnessed (Abbas) at his best. In Operation Cast Lead, (he) called us personally, applied pressure, and demanded that we topple Hamas and remove it from power.”
Throughout Cast Lead, a senior Olmert official called his comments “essentially accurate.”
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said this information “reaffirms the fact that Mahmoud Abbas is no longer fit to represent our people, who conspired against his people during a war.”
Abbas was never fit to serve. That’s why Israel and Washington chose him.
WikiLeaks disclosed that Hamas spokesman Salah Al-Bardaweel said:
“We have not ruled out that Fatah and the Palestinian Authority could have contributed in one way or another in the war against Gaza for political reasons such as bringing down the Hamas movement and regaining control.”
Washington’s Tel Aviv embassy said Fatah officials asked Israel to attack Hamas.
Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin said “demoralized” Fatah officials wanted help to destroy Hamas.
“They are approaching a zero-sum situation,” he said. “(Y)et they ask us to attack Hamas. They are desperate. This is a new development. We have never seen this before.”
“Fatah is in a very bad shape in Gaza. We have received requests to train their forces in Egypt and Yemen.”
“We would like them to get the training they need, and to be more powerful, but they do not have anyone to lead them.”
Shin Bet has a “very good working relationship” with Abbas. His internal security service collaborates with Israel.
He understands “Israel’s security is central to (his) survival in the struggle with Hamas…”
At the time, Fatah collaborated with Washington to oust Hamas. An abortive coup failed. More information surfaced.
WikiLeaks published a June 12, 2007 cable. It said Israeli military intelligence head Amos Yadlin told US embassy officials that Hamas retaining power in Gaza was advantageous.
“Although not necessarily representing a GOI (government of Israel) consensus view,” said Yadlin,
“Israel would be ‘happy’ if Hamas took over Gaza because the IDF could then deal with (it) as a hostile state.”
Israel needs manufactured enemies. Having them facilitates violence and instability. They help justify small and larger-scale wars.
Cast Lead and Pillar of Cloud were planned months in advance. Their aim was advancing Israel’s imperium.
Doing so involves controlling all valued parts of Judea and Samaria, depopulating much of Palestine, and confining remaining population elements to canonized worthless scrubland.
Both conflicts were more about weakening Hamas than destroying it. They involved waging war on noncombatant men, women, children, infants and the elderly.
It’s official Israeli policy. Abbas and other Fatah officials knew about Cast Lead and Pillar of Cloud in advance. They urged them.
Abbas did nothing to help beleaguered Gazans. He approved Israeli slaughter and mass destruction.
It bears repeating. Abbas is a longtime Israeli collaborator.
According to Abunimah, he “told Israeli journalists and business people that his collaboration with Israeli occupation forces is ‘sacred’ and would continue even if the PA forms a ‘government’ backed by the Palestinian military resistance organization Hamas.”
“The security relationship…and I say it on air, security coordination is sacred, is sacred,” Abbas stressed.
“And we’ll continue it whether we disagree or agree over policy.”
“US-financed PA intelligence and security forces work closely with Israeli occupation forces and Shin Bet secret police to suppress any Palestinian resistance to occupation,” said Abunimah.
Abbas showed which side he’s on numerous times before.
“In 2012, he pleaded with a visiting Israel lobby delegation to help him secure weapons from Israel to stop resistance,” Abunimah explained.
“If they help me to get weapons, I’m helping them because I’m promoting security,” Abbas said.
He praised Oslo at the same time. He did so disgracefully. It was unilateral surrender. A Palestinian Versailles.
A vaguely defined negotiating process was agreed on. No fixed timeline or outcome were specified.
Israeli officials obstructed and delayed. They refused to make concessions. They kept stealing Palestinian land. They never stopped.
Colonization is policy. Occupation harshness enforces it. Negotiating with Israel is fruitless.
Palestinians got nothing for renouncing armed struggle, recognizing Israel’s right to exist, and agreeing to leave major unresolved issues for later final status talks. They’re still waiting.
Major issues include Palestinian self-determination. Free from occupation. Inside 1967 borders. The right of return.
Settlements. Clearly defined borders. Water and other resource rights. Air and coastal water rights. East Jerusalem as Palestine’s exclusive capital.
Abbas feigns support. Privately he backs Israeli delay and deny tactics. He openly declared opposition to boycotting Israel.
He wants diaspora Palestinians denied their right of return. He said so publicly. It bears repeating.
He’s a longtime Israeli collaborator. He’s a world class traitor. He’s a scoundrel writ large. He betrayed his own people.
He did so for special benefits he derives. He’s more Zionist than Palestinian. Liberation is impossible with him in charge.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.


Gaza, Zionism & the Destabilization Doctrine: An Interview with Jonathan Azaziah by Joshua Blakeney

By admin

July 28, 201


[Editor’s Note: Some further information on Blakeney and Azaziah, two leading figures in the resistance against the Zionist Empire of Evil.]

Published on Jul 26, 2014

Journalist Joshua Blakeney interviewed broadcaster and geopolitical analyst Jonathan Azaziah on July 24, 2014. The show focused upon the Israeli regime’s aggression toward the inhabitants of Gaza. At the time of recording Israel’s so called “Operation Protective Edge” had slain 800 Palestinians and maimed thousands more. Azaziah and Blakeney situated the murderous scenes emanating from Gaza in both a regional and global context in the show. Relevant links include:

Mask of Zion Report:

Jonathan Azaziah on The Middle East Show:

Jonathan Azaziah’s blog:

Joshua Blakeney’s website:

Joshua Blakeney’s YouTube channel:

The Real Deal blog:

Jonathan Azaziah’s Music:

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!


A Palestinian fighter of Hamas’ armed wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, trains in Gaza in 2007 (AFP)
An expert in Hamas affairs says its use of tunnels to launch incursions, ability to repulse commando raids and use of powerful Gaza manufactured rockets are signs of a growing military maturity

By Mohammed Omer
GAZA CITY – The strength projected by Hamas is based on its military potential of the movement – its capacity to employ force against the enemy. Both engineers and fighters from Hamas’s military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, have died over the years so the group could achieve what this military capacity is today.It has been a painful process of trial and error, analysts say. When Hamas was established in 1987, it simply planned to copy Israel’s iconic sub-machine gun, the Uzi. Now it has M-75 missiles which with a range of about 80 kilometers that can reach further than Tel Aviv.Hamas’ ability to repulse two Israeli special-forces beach landings with air cover in the last week has not gone unnoticed internationally. Hamas also immobilized Israeli tanks and launched tunnel incursions, raising questions as to what capacity the military wing has developed since its defeat in the 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead.“The wars of 2008-9 and 2012 matured Hamas. Now we see the introduction of newer rockets”, said Ibrahim Al-Madhoun, an expert in Hamas affairs. “Its military capacity has improved in both quality and quantity,” he told MEE.

Madhoun says the progress draws from painful experiences in Operation Cast Lead. For instance, Qassam has introduced new anti-tank missiles able to hit tanks from a further distance, such as the Russian Tandem warhead, which can penetrate up to 900mm of armour. This is unlike 2008 where P7 and RPG-7 missiles failed from a shorter distance.

Although there is no information on how many Tandem warheads Hamas has, Madhoun says there are yet further weapons Hamas is keeping as a “surprise” for ground invasions on Gaza.

“Inter-city tunnels are another factor providing Hamas with defensive tactics and ability to surprise Israel”, he adds.  Israel’s military said on Thursday that it had fought back an incursion by Hamas under a heavily fortified border near Sufa kibbutz – but Qassam Brigades said it had successfully completed a “mission” during the underground raid.

Military mastermind

Ahmed Jabari, a chief commander of the Qassam Brigades who was assassinated in an Israeli air strike in November 2012, is widely seen as responsible for planning a domestic missile manufacturing capability that has developed in defiance of an Israeli-Egyptian blockade on the strip. In Jabari’s honour, Hamas introduced two new missiles, the J80 and J160.

The group also saw improvements in training and specialisation into different divisions, including explosive, engineering, rocket launching, snipers, naval, air defense and manufacturing units, according to analysts.

Since 1987, when Hamas first emerged, the group’s rocket variety and range – both closely guarded secrets – have steadily improved.

Manufacturing by the Hamas military is an evolving process which, according to Al-Madhoun, has developed as a result of with time spent and determination within the military wing.

In comparison with 2008 and 2012, when experts in Gaza say that Israel took Hamas by surprise, Hamas’ response in the current conflict suggests it is more aware of its strengths and weaknesses.

The patterns of rocket fire from Gaza seem consistent over the last 10 days of war, and there are estimates that Hamas’ military is still only using less than 20% of its military weapon capacity, Madhoun said.

Indeed, Madhoun says other divisions have also not used their full military capacity yet, predicting months more of rocket fire-power.

“There are also more human resources not yet used or exhausted” he says, indicating that the response so far has concentrated on rocket attacks and the number of rockets is “neither increasing, nor decreasing”.

“I believe that – in general – the Gaza resistance is not yet moving at full speed,” he told MEE

During the past 10 days, Israel strikes have killed 230 Palestinians and injured 1,700 Palestinians, the vast majority of them being civilians, mainly children and women according to the United Nations.

One Qassam navy commander Mohammed Shaban was killed— but Madhoun says Shaban was not a leader but a field-operative and that a few hundred more remain in the navy unit. In the past, Qassam Brigades members were killed either on the way to launch rockets, or on the way back.

Potential Israeli plans for a ground invasion in the coming days have been met with defiant statements from the the Qassam Brigade, which have said they favor this as the “only option to liberate our Palestinian prisoners”.

In 2003, Hamas leaders estimated the number of troops in the Qassam Brigade’s ranks at around 20,000. However, some observers believe it is closer to 40,000.

One reason for this is because after Hamas won elections in Gaza in 2006, the limit on military recruitment was extended by the Hamas-led government. The group is also aligned with other factions that each have a few thousand fighters.

Despite its monitoring technologies, Israel has little idea of the exact size of Qassam’s arsenal. “This [arsenal] is mostly manufactured locally – but yes, Hamas has also benefited from the chaos in Libya, which has seen missiles brought in”.

An analyst from Jane’s Intelligence- a London-based consultancy- told Reuters this week that in this offensive the brigade has unveiled new rockets and launchers that they made themselves – so the fighters are less dependent on smuggled weapons.

While Iran has traditionally been seen as the main patron for Qassam’s military capacity, Madhoun says that the relationship has suffered lately after Hamas did not follow Tehran and back President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

Another sign of Hamas’ improving military capacity is in its drone technology. On Monday, the Israeli military announced it had shot down a done which Hamas has named the Ababeel, describing it as its first bomb-carrying unmanned aerial vehicle.

Wary of invasion

Madhoun says that the use of Russian anti-tank guided missile the Kornet four times by Hamas and Islamic Jihad has made Israel think twice before launching a ground invasion that would lead to multiple casualties among Israeli troops.

He adds that it would be wrong to underestimate Hamas’ capacity to face Israel’s troops.

“One useful tactic for Hamas is capturing Israeli soldiers and it has proved itself more than capable of doing this”, he adds.

If it launches a ground invasion, Israel is likely to face not only Hamas’ renewed military strength and camouflage capabilities, but also the potential for mass troop casualties and international criticism of its “scorched-earth” tactics, said Madhoun




Rashid KhalidiRashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University, former advisor to Palestinian negotiators, and author of Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East (2013) and The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood (2006).
Mouin RabbaniMouin Rabbani, Senior Fellow with the Institute for Palestine Studies, Policy Advisor to Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network, Contributing Editor with Middle East Report and Co-Editor of the ezine Jadaliyya. Former Senior Middle East Analyst with the International Crisis Group.

Noura ErakatNoura Erakat, Human rights attorney, Assistant Professor at George Mason University, and member of the Legal Support Network for the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Refugee and Residency Rights, and co-editor of the ezine Jadaliyya.


Q – Why do you think Hamas didn’t accept the terms of the ceasefire?

RK – “Hamas has insisted that there be a lasting resolution of the basic problem of Israel’s siege of Gaza, as was promised as part of the 2012 cease-fire, but never implemented in spite of Israel’s recognition that Hamas scrupulously maintained the cease-fire until quite recently. The Egyptian proposal makes lifting of the siege conditional on Israel’s approval, which means never.”

MR – “Hamas, and with it other Palestinian organizations such as Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, have indicated that they were not consulted on the Egyptian cease-fire proposal, and that it has not been formally presented to them but rather released to the media after its terms were agreed with Israel.

“In terms of the proposal’s contents, what these organizations and many Palestinians object to is that it simply restores a 2012 ceasefire agreement that Israel has systematically violated and does not provide any guarantees such violations would cease. These violations consist not only of periodic armed Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, but also Israel’s refusal to respect clauses on the rights of fishermen in Gaza’s territorial waters and farmers in land close to the Gaza/Israel boundary.

“Hamas has additionally stated that it would not accept an agreement that does not provide for the immediate re-release of Palestinian prisoners who were released by Israel in 2011 as part of a prisoner exchange with Israel, but re-arrested by Israel in the last month.

“More broadly, Hamas and other Palestinian organizations are averse to returning to an untenable status quo, which lasts only until Israel once again decides to launch a major assault on the Gaza Strip, and which does not include concrete steps towards lifting the ongoing and prolonged blockade of the Gaza Strip.

“There is widespread Palestinian suspicion that Egypt, which has shown nothing but unremitting hostility towards Hamas since the current regime seized power in July 2013, released a proposal it ensured would be acceptable to Israel but rejected by the Palestinians, in order to help Israel legitimize an escalation of attacks against the Gaza Strip. It is likely to have done so in close cooperation with its new best friend, Tony Blair, and other advocates of Israeli power in the Arab world and internationally.”

NE – “Within two days of Israel’s aerial assault on the population of the Gaza Strip, Hamas announced five conditions for a ceasefire:

1) stop the airstrikes;

2) observe terms of 2012 ceasefire;

3) release the Palestinians released during the Shalit prisoner exchange who were recently re-arrested;

4) lift the siege; and

5) don’t interfere with Palestinian unity government.

What little is known about the proposed ceasefire agreement is that it demands a cessation of violence with no conditions thus reverting to conditions that are even worse than the status quo ante.

“This clearly weakens Hamas politically, exacerbates the humanitarian conditions under which Palestinians struggle, and emboldens Israel to strike again with zero accountability. That said, it is not in the Palestinians’ best interest for Hamas to continue launching rockets regardless of the circumstances, as it provides a justification for Israel to continue its brutal attacks on a defenseless and besieged population.”


Q – What will be required for a ceasefire to be accepted by both sides?

RK – “Either serious external pressure on the parties, especially Israel, or the exhaustion of both sides, which is not yet apparent.”

MR – “It’s difficult at this point to imagine a proposal that both Israel and Hamas would accept. Hamas insists on an end to Israeli impunity in its dealings with the Gaza Strip and an end to the blockade and isolation of that territory, while for Israel these are core policies. This means that a solution that meets basic standards of international law and human decency would have to be imposed on Israel by the international community, or that either party is sufficiently exhausted by the current conflict that it lowers its expectations. Neither of these scenarios appears likely in the immediate future.”

NE – “Hamas has made its five demands clear and its observance of the November 2012 ceasefire demonstrates its good faith. In contrast, it is not clear what Israel’s endgame is. It seems willing to accept a ceasefire on condition of Hamas’s unconditional capitulation, but what will ensure that it does not indiscriminately attack the 1.8 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip again? Israel has said it is bombarding Gaza in retribution for the death of three Israeli teens though it has failed to produce a single shred of evidence incriminating the Hamas leadership. Israel also claims it wants to decimate Hamas’s capability to launch rocket and mortar fire but this makes little logical sense since in the past diplomatic efforts have done much more to yield a cessation in rocket attacks than have military ones.”

Q – What do you think Israel’s actual goals for bombing Gaza are?

RK – “Israel’s main goals are to weaken Hamas and to prevent an inter-Palestinian reconciliation, which would strengthen the Palestinians and make them more capable of resisting inexorable Israeli pressure.”

MR – “Israel has been on high alert since Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement in late April, and particularly since a new PA government was formed with the endorsement of both Fatah and Hamas thereafter. Its primary goal is to ensure that the Palestinians remain divided and its current campaign should be seen above all as an attempt to sabotage the reconciliation agreement and initiatives to move it further forward.”

NE – “Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is attacking Gaza in response to domestic and international political considerations that have nothing to do with any threat posed by Hamas. Right before the start of this latest assault on Gaza, Netanyahu suffered several blows politically: he failed to thwart the start of a US-Iran rapprochement; was unable to stop the establishment of a Palestinian unity government; and was widely blamed for the collapse of the peace talks renewed by US Secretary of State John Kerry last summer. His political standing a well as that of Israel’s had been seriously weakened and by launching an attack on the Gaza Strip, he appears strong to the Israeli public, shifts international attention away from Israel’s responsibility for the failure of negotiations, and puts enormous pressure on the recently formed Palestinian Authority national unity government, which Israel wishes to undermine.”

Q – How do you think the United States and international community should respond to the current situation?

RK – “The international community should stop placing an occupied people and their oppressor on the same level, and should stop equating small inaccurate rockets that have so far killed no Israelis and wounded 13 with the world’s most advanced weaponry, that has so far killed 200 Palestinians, 80% of them civilians according to the UN, and wounded nearly 1200. This is not a war between equals: it is akin to shooting fish in a barrel.”

MR – “In an ideal world, the international community would act to arrest and reverse Israel’s systematic impunity in its dealings with the Palestinian people and ensure Israeli accountability for its actions.

“It would also need to address the underlying causes of the current crisis, at least the key shorter-term ones formed by the ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip and seek to ensure steps towards normalcy in the Gaza Strip.

“That is very unlikely to happen and for the time being I think we should expect continued complicity in Israeli actions.”

NE –  “The current situation is a recurrence of Israel’s bloody attacks on Gaza in the winter of 2008-2009 as well as November 2012. Absent efforts to address the root causes of this conflict, it will be repeated yet again in the near future. The primary issue is that of Israel’s military and colonial rule over the Palestinian population of the occupied territories, including Gaza, which is characterized by a discriminatory apartheid legal regime and brutal repression. When the rockets stop flying and the aerial strikes cease, Palestinians will continue to die a slow and protracted death under the boot of Israel’s occupation. In particular, the population in the Gaza Strip faces a horrific future. By 2020, it is predicated that Gaza’s one source of clean water will be unusable and the World Health Organization says the 150-square mile Strip will be unlivable. Strong measures are required to hold Israel to account, aimed at ending the occupation and Israel’s apartheid regime through international legal institutions like the International Criminal Court, arms embargoes, and continued grassroots efforts by the Palestinian-led global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.”

Q – How do you think Palestinian leaders should respond to the current situation?

RK – “They should re-establish the unity of the Palestinian national movement on the basis of an agreed new strategy for confronting Israel’s control over the entirety of Palestine, they should pronounce that the Oslo accords, which in 21 years have failed to bring about an end to Israeli occupation and colonization, are null and void, and they should insist on a truly honest broker as a mediator rather than the United States, which is totally biased in favor of the aggressor and occupier, Israel.”

MR – “At the very least one would have expected Mahmoud Abbas to urgently travel to the Gaza Strip and engage in efforts to lead the response to end this assault. Instead he has been sitting in Ramallah with his main concern that Hamas emerges weakened rather than strengthened from this crisis. It’s an abject failure of leadership.

“More broadly Palestinians need to undertake concrete steps to ensure national unity, first and foremost through overcoming the schism that has been with us since 2007 and agreement on a common strategy and national program.”

NE – “Palestinian leaders need to launch a full court political offensive against Israel’s violations of international law, systematic human rights abuses, and structural violence, employing all available legal, diplomatic and grassroots means. Multilateral institutions such the International Criminal Court should be engaged to hold Israel to account for war crimes such as the disproportionate use of force and settlement construction, and Palestinian leaders should fully embrace the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.”

What if Hamas Dumped all their Rockets in the Sea Tomorrow?

West Bank Palestinians DO NOT fire rockets, yet there is no sign of an end to their misery and oppression.

The slaughter of civilians is necessary to stop Gaza rocket-fire. That’s what Israel says. “This isn’t about rockets from Gaza,” says Unite.

The union Unite is to be congratulated on its no-nonsense analysis and statement expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people. Especially at this horrific time. Unite is the biggest union in the UK and Ireland, with nearly 1.5 million members. Its mission is to strive for a society that places equality, dignity and respect above all else.

The statement on Palestine is an easy-to-digest description of the Holy Land situation in blunt language. Here is a key passage:

There will be no peace and no justice unless the root causes of the conflict are addressed. The roots of the conflict lie in Israel’s decades-long illegal occupation of the West Bank, the building of illegal settlements in the occupied territories, the forced take-over of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, and the effective establishment of an apartheid system that systematically removes the most basic human rights of Palestinians.

Unite “calls on the UK government to demand the Israeli government halt its military action and to make it clear that should it fail to do so then a move for international sanctions will be launched within the United Nations Security Council and the European Union.”

Unite believes the Israelis’ attack on the Palestinian people is merely cover for their intransigence during the peace talks and an expression of their future intent. “Israel is clearly concerned that the Palestinian people are finding a new unity and that the justness of their cause is gaining increasing international recognition and support.”

And it neatly de-bunks the Israeli propaganda myth about rockets.

This isn’t about rockets from Gaza. It’s about Israel fighting to maintain its control over Palestinian lives, and Palestinian land.

It’s about Israel feeling able to commit war crimes with complete impunity. It’s about the world media indicating that Palestinian lives are worth less than Israeli lives. It’s about the fact that Palestinian children are being killed at the rate of one every three days. It’s about millions of Palestinians living under illegal occupation.

It’s about the brutal siege on Gaza, and the third military assault on a trapped population in less than 6 years. It’s about more than sixty laws that discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel.

It’s about Israeli-state racism and apartheid. It’s about ethnic cleansing. It’s about colonisation, and over 500,000 settlers. It’s about Israel’s systematic violations of international law and Palestinian human rights.

Besides approving boycott and divestment, Unite goes the whole hog and calls also for sanctions against Israel for its continued illegal occupation, flouting of international law, and construction of an apartheid regime.

You can read the statement in full here . One can only hope it reaches the widest possible public. Hopefully too it will encourage other major unions to take a more active role in securing Holy Land justice, if they are not already involved. Nothing would concentrate out politicians’ minds more.

The only thing I would add to Unite’s excellent briefing is sharp condemnation of US and UK policy that seeks to deny Palestinians the right to go to international law and insists that the only route to peace is through lopsided talks. This position is morally indefensible, and those who advocate it may face the wrath of the growing BDS movement.

On the point about Israel’s repeated military assaults on Gaza’s trapped population, a PLO report reminds us that since 2006 (when Hamas was democratically elected) Israel has launched no fewer that six major onslaughts – “Summer Rain”, “Autumn Clouds”, “Warm Winter”, “Cast Lead”, “Pillar of Defense” and currently “Protective Edge”. These have caused 2,423 Palestinian deaths and 7000 injured, not to mention the massive wrecking of homes and vital infrastructure – essential context for any conversation.

I entirely agree about the rockets. During Israel’s infamous “Cast Lead” operation five years ago, in a piece entitled “The carnage in Gaza is not about Hamas rockets” I posed the following questions…

What if Hamas dumped all their rockets in the sea tomorrow? Would Gazans enjoy the same freedoms as other nations? Would they be able to open their sea port to foreign ships and rebuild and operate their airport? Would they be able to import and export and carry on trade and develop their economy and prosper like other countries?

Would they be allowed to exploit and develop their offshore gas field? Would their fishermen be allowed to fish in unpolluted waters? Would their young people be able to come and go and take up places at foreign universities?

Would Israel clear out of Gazan airspace permanently? Would the Israeli navy cease its piracy and stay out of Palestinian territorial waters? Would you and I be able to visit Gaza direct?

Fat chance. None of this would suit Israel. So Gazans would be no better off. Their tormented half-existence would continue.

There are no rockets coming out of the West Bank. Yet the illegal Israeli occupation there continues and so does the ethnic cleansing, the land theft, the illegal settlements, the colonization, the demolition of Palestinian homes, the throttling of the economy, the abduction and ‘administrative detention’ of civilians and the massive interference with freedom of movement. Nothing has changed for West Bank Palestinians who DO NOT fire rockets. There is no sign of an end to their misery.

The bloody assault on Gaza therefore has much more to do with Israel’s ambition to expand racial dominance in the Holy Land and make their occupation permanent than crude and erratic rocket-fire from the resistance. Hamas and the Palestinians holed up in Gaza are simply in the way of the Grand Plan and have to be removed or totally subdued.

Nothing has changed – certainly not the aggression of the blood-soaked delinquents in Tel Aviv.

These words are printed on a tee-shirt I sometimes wear. They cut through the propaganda crap straight to the true cause of the recurring unpleasantness in Gaza (and the West Bank).

They stole my land,
burnt my olive trees,
destroyed my house,
took my water,
bombed my country,
imprisoned my father,
killed my mother,
took my job,
starved us all,
humiliated us all,

But I am to blame: I shot a rocket back.

So they stole more of my land,
burnt my olive trees,
destroyed my house,
took my water,
bombed my country….

Stuart Littlewood’s book Radio Free Palestine, with Foreword by Jeff Halper, can now be read on the internet by other articles by Stuart.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

“Ode” by Professor Francis Boyle

Saher Abu Namous, 4, after the targeting of their house next to the Kamal Adwan hospital in the north.”

 by Nahida Exiled Palestinian

A poignant, heart-wrenching and profoundly truthful poem by Professor Francis A. Boyle

Ode to My Colleague and Friend Frank Newman

Way to go Berkeley Law!
Deeming Yourselves above The Law
Your Dean Frank Newman now crying in Heaven
Berkeley Law can go to Hell!

Accessories After The Fact to torture, murder and war crimes
Law Prof Carl Schmitt would be proud of You All
The Nazis had Their Law Schools too
Replete with John Yoo

RIP Berkeley Law
Into the Ashcan of History You All go
Good Riddance to Cal’s Neo-Nazi Rubbish!.


American Law Professors
What have we become?
American Law Professors for torture!
American Law Professors for Gitmo Kangaroo Courts!
American Law Professors for indefinite detention!
American Law Professors for spying!
American Law Professors for drone strikes!
American Law Professors for murder!
American Law Professors for assassinations!
American Law Professors for war crimes!
American Law Professors for crimes against humanity!
American Law Professors for genocide!
American Law Professors for wars of aggression!
American Law Professors for murdering US citizens!
American Law Professors for murder courts!
American Law Professors for trashing the US Constitution!
American Law Professors for trashing the Bill of Rights!
American Law Professors for trashing International Law!
American Law Professors for trashing Human Rights!

How much lower can American Law Professors sink
Into this criminal shit
Of Neo-Nazi Legal Nihilism?

The Nazis had their Law Professors too
The worst of the bunch was Carl Schmitt
And now we have: American Law Professors
For Carl Schmitt too!

Arabs and Muslims
Have become
American Law Professors’
New Jews
And now at Berkeley Law too
With Chaired John Yoo

Francis A. Boyle is an attorney and a professor  at the University of Illinois College of Law. His books include Foundations of World Order (Duke University Press: 1999) and Tackling America’s Toughest Questions (2009).   His most recent book is United Ireland, Human Rights and International Law.   This is his poem “Ode to My Colleague and Friend Frank Newman.”

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!


Eva Bartlett


A ball of fire is seen following an early morning Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern of Gaza strip. Photograph: Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images

Watch this video for a sense of the terror of having houses around you bombed. The usual tactic is a first strike followed immediately, sometimes within a minute, by the massive bomb which obliterates the house. This is what Palestinians are enduring.


The UN has weakly expressed concern whether “the Israeli strikes have been in accordance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law.”…To borrow a friend’s expression, Tfooooo!!!, on you UN. Useless institution that only weakly utters condemnation on the Zionists and on the Takfiris in Syria and which enabled the Zionists to occupy Palestine, enabled NATO to bomb Libya to shreds and is in general complicit wherever a nation is being torn apart.

“…in a televised statement on Thursday, Netanyahu seemed to indicate that Israeli’s military action in Gaza – named Operation Protective Edge – was far from over.

“So far the battle is progressing as planned, but we can expect further stages in future. Up to now, we have hit Hamas and the terror organisations hard and as the battle continues we will increase strikes at them,” he said.

Israel has called up about 20,000 reserve troops, and while there is still no indication of whether it will launch a ground offensive, shelling and air strikes continued on Friday.”

Press TV gave up to date numbers: Death toll from Israeli attacks on Gaza hits 107

Medical sources reported several casualties from an Israeli missile attack on a house in southern Gaza on Friday while Israeli warplanes pounded Deir al-Balah, leaving a number of people dead in the central city.

Earlier, three Palestinians, including a child, were killed in the northern towns of Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahiya in the coastal enclave.

Israeli warplanes and drones have reportedly pounded more than 600 targets across the blockaded sliver since Tuesday, with Palestinian sources saying one third of the casualties are women and children.

Israel has also mobilized 20,000 soldiers for a possible ground invasion of the Gaza Strip.

Relatives and friends carry the body of Nour al-Najdi, 10-years-old, during her funeral in Rafah after being killed by an Israeli strike in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 11, 2014. (Photo: AFP - Said Khatib)

Al Akhbar has updated the list of the names of the martyred, and their ages and venues when murdered.

The medical sector is in even more of a state of crisis than the normal siege-inflicted crisis.  Al Akhbar reported:

“…hospitals in the Strip are going through a major crisis that began even before the war, when the Health Ministry had announced that it is running out of 25 percent of essential drugs. Now they are facing what could be called a disaster as the martyrs and the injured keep arriving at hospital reception rooms and ERs by the minute. The Israeli aggression, accompanied by an environmental crisis and high pollution rates in Gaza, in addition to increased power outages and the lack of alternatives, prompted medical personnel to declare a state of emergency from the very beginning of the current aggression.

the available drugs and medical supplies are barely enough for the coming two days. He cautioned that hospitals have depleted more than 55 percent of their supplies on all levels because of the serious injuries coming in. He called on Arab countries and international organizations to save Gaza from a major health disaster and to stop the Israeli assault.

Inside hospitals, it is clear that injuries range between critical to moderate. Based on Al-Akhbar’s observations and pictures provided by news agencies, it appears that a large number of martyrs are arriving in pieces and loss of limbs are the dominant form of injury in addition to severe burns.

Dr. Marwan Rashid told Al-Akhbar that 40 percent of the injuries are among children, adding: “most of the children’s injuries are serious given that their bodies cannot withstand the injury. In addition, shortages in children’s drugs exacerbate the effects of injuries because it is not possible to use adult drugs that might cause them serious complications.”

…Because targeting Palestinians in their homes is not enough for Israel, it drops bombs near Palestinian hospitals, especially those located in close proximity to the border, which are the most vulnerable, including hospitals in northern Gaza in Beit Hanoun and in southern Gaza in Rafah and Khan Younis.

The day before yesterday, Israeli planes bombed in the vicinity of the European Gaza Hospital in Khan Younis. According to a Health Ministry statement, one of the buildings of the hospital was targeted which caused cracks in the building and wounded a paramedic and a nurse

…Another factor that makes the situation more complicated for these hospitals is that the shortage in supplies is worse than in hospitals in the center of the city. Medical supplies – no matter how limited – do not reach them fast enough due to the difficulty of the movement of ambulances in those areas. After all, Israel has a history of targeting ambulances and their medical staff as they did in the previous two wars on Gaza in 2008 and 2012.

On the second day of this war, an Israeli plane targeted an ambulance belonging to the Palestinian Red Crescent which was transferring victims from the city of Gaza, injuring an ambulance worker in his shoulder and abdomen. Yesterday night, the Red Crescent headquarters in the town of Jabalia was bombed and three paramedics were injured. An ambulance worker, Maamoun Atallah, says the north area where he works is targeted the most. He told Al-Akhbar: “Most of the time, the planes do not fire warning rockets as they do with houses, that is why they target paramedics directly and deliberately injure them.”

On the note of medical services and supplies, MAP-UK does excellent work in Gaza and has a fund-raising campaign, one way to support Palestinians if you are looking to do so.

Another sad incident which might move people who don’t necessarily care about Palestinians but do about football: World Cup fans killed in Gaza as bomb hits cafe:

“Palestinian football fans gathered in a café in Gaza last night to watch the World Cup semi-final between Argentina and Holland, in a bid to seek respite from the barrage of airstrikes that have killed scores of people since Operation Protective Edge began early on Monday morning.

There was to be no let-up in Israel’s bombing campaign, however, as horror struck and missiles rained down on the Fun Time Beach café killing nine people and wounding 15.

All that remains of the popular beach front café, where people were breaking their Ramadan fast and watching the football, is a large crater and several mounds of sand.

The Israeli airstrike scattered the dead and wounded fans across the beach, making a hole so large seawater filled it after impact.

“It was a normal social occasion,” Wael Soboh, a local policeman employed by the Palestinian Authority, told AFP.

“The boys ate their Ramadan iftar meal there, and then began watching the match. It is not a military area,” he said.

Eight people were immediately killed by the blast, medical sources said, all of them residents of Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

Bulldozers were seen earlier on Thursday looking for a ninth man believed buried in the rubble, while locals looked on in the searing midday heat.”

Chatted with Amjad Shawa, who my own corporate CBC deigned to interview, an appallingly bad interview full of loaded questions implying Palestinians deserve to be murdered…Anyway, Amjad re-iterated things are worse than ever in Gaza.

  • what’s the situation now?

  • Amjad Shawa

    worse than yesterday deterioration more target killing of civilians with threat of the ground operation

  • Eva Bartlett

    do you know how many have been martyred?

  • Amjad Shawa

    103 killed 700 injuries

  • Eva Bartlett

    which areas of Gaza are being most targeted (I know that everywhere is being targeted, but are some areas being hit more than others?)

  • Amjad Shawa

    Zaiton, Shijaia and the sea port

  • no safe place in Gaza

  • Eva Bartlett

    what hospitals have been hit?

  • Amjad Shawa
  • el Wafa rehabiltation hospital, red crescent center in Jabalia, el Bureij Ministry of Health center

    The ISM in Gaza posted this notice re the al Wafa Rehabilitation Hospital:

    “Israeli forces have contacted El-wafa hospital in Gaza and told them to evacuate. Four ‘Warning’ rockets have been fired. Three ISM activists and six other internationals are heading to the hospital now to offer protective presence.”

    I’d like to point out that Wafa is a hospital with mostly invalid patients, unable to walk (let alone flee) of their own accord who are need the specialized care Wafa provides and which is not found elsewhere in Gaza. This is what the Zionists are targeting.

    This is what they did to Wafa in Jan 2009, when there were roughly 70 invalid patients in the hospital:

    I wrote the following on Jan 20, 2009:

    “The hospital, attacked on January 12th with a chemical bomb that may well be white phosphorus and which set fire to the roof, and whose 4 different buildings were shelled intensely on January 15th, is trying to re-build and re-open, as is the shelled, burned, seriously-damaged al Quds hospital in Tel el Hawa, Gaza city.

    Even today, after mentioning to the Canadian TV crew accompanying me that fire blobs had burned up to yesterday, we found still more blobs spread out, smoldering and willingly breaking into white smoking fires anew.”

    More photos from the attack in 2009:



“Canada’s recent diplomatic, corporate and military oriented mission to Israel, one of the largest such foreign delegations in Canadian foreign affairs history, including over 200 people, certainly set in motion a deepening of Canadian complicity with Israeli apartheid, driven strongly from the halls of political power in Ottawa.

Specific examples of military equipment and devices produced in Canada, now being deployed by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and Israeli Air Forces (IAF) are numerous and damming.

Engines for the Bell “cobra” helicopter, nicknamed the “viper” on the Israeli Airforce website, are produced in the Montréal region by Pratt & Whitney Canada. Also the the Israeli military uses helicopters produced in Mirabel, Quebec by Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, a company also represented on the recent Conservative governmental delegation to Israel.

Also CAE, a corporation in Montreal that specializes in flight simulator and “real-time operation systems”, has secured major contracts to develop technology for the Israeli army, aiming to train military personnel to operate “next-generation combat aircraft.”

As bombs fall from the skies over Gaza, let us think about the aircraft training technologies for Israeli military pilots manufactured here in Montreal by CAE.

Beyond military companies the Canadian government continues to deepen links with Israel, a process dating back to one of Canada’s first international “free trade” agreements, signed with Israel in 1997. Also seen in the more recent and wide-ranging “public security agreement”, under which Israel named a defence attaché to Ottawa for the first time, through which Israeli agencies aim to “enhance cooperation” between Israeli state institutions with the RCMP, CSIS and CBSA.

Certainly a major amount of Canadian produced military technologies are right now an important part of the military machinery, involved in the killing over 100 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip over recent days. On a diplomatic level, total Canadian support for Israel’s horrifying state violence equals more political operating room for Israel on the international stage, more political room for Israel to assert a violent, colonial narrative that dehumanizes and attempts to erase the legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people.”

“South Africa’s ruling party on Thursday denounced Israel’s ongoing onslaught on the Gaza Strip, urging South Africans to protest the Israeli attacks and show solidarity with the Palestinian people.

“The African National Congress (ANC) condemns in the strongest terms the barbaric attacks on the defenseless Palestinian people of Gaza,” ANC Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte said in a statement.

“The state of Israel has turned the occupied territories of Palestine into permanent death camps,” said the ANC.

“As we move towards the month of August and are reminded of the atrocities of Nazi Germany, surely we must ask the people of Israel has the term ‘lest we forget’ lost it meaning?”

“We are unequivocal in our support for the Palestinian people in their struggle for self-determination and unapologetic in our view that the Palestinians are the victims and the oppressed in the conflict with Israel.”

“… I heard a loud explosion. I grabbed Kinan and went out into the street with him. It was full of smoke and dust. I walked on bits of glass. I left Kinan with people in the street and went back into the yard to check on the rest of the family. I found bodies lying on the ground covered in blood, with their clothes torn. Everything was full of shrapnel and blood. Some neighbors came with flashlights. When they lit up the yard, I was shocked – I saw the bodies of my three sons, ‘Abd al-Hafez, Mahdi and Ibrahim, my wife, my granddaughter Dina, and my daughter-in-law Suha. The two other little ones, Rakan and Nur, were lightly injured.

I went into shock. The neighbors held me because I couldn’t stand. I felt like I was going to faint from the horror of it. The missile fell on my family with no warning. I assume they wanted to hit ‘Abd al-Hafez, but what did the rest of the family do wrong? Why did they kill an entire family?”

“A simple search of Twitter for the string ARAVIM, which means “Arabs” in Hebrew, produces a long list of messages by young Jewish Israelis calling to ethnically cleanse the country.”

“Sderot cinema. Israelis bringing chairs 2 hilltop in sderot 2 watch latest from Gaza. Clapping when blasts are heard. ‘

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

How Israel Gets Away with Murder

by Stephen Lendman

Israel is above the law. It’s exempt for observing rule of law principles. It’s free to rampage extrajudicially. 
It kills and kills again. It does so with impunity. It justifies lawlessness the old-fashioned way. It lies. It’s standard Israeli practice.
It calls legitimate self-defense “terrorism.” It calls acts of aggression “self-defense.” It calls nonviolent Palestinian men, women, children, infants, the elderly and infirm existential threats. 
Israel’s only ones are those it invents. World leaders able to act responsibly do nothing. They support Israel’s worst crimes. Doing so makes them complicit.
Washington is worst of all. Both countries partner in crime. America supplies billions of dollars in annual aid, the latest weapons and technology, and unconditional support.
Media scoundrels turn a blind eye to Israel’s worst crimes. Occupation harshness is ignored. Besieged Gazans don’t matter.
NAKBA mass slaughter and displacement never happened. Lawless settlements are OK. Israel is more victim than aggressor.
Palestinians choose conflict over peace. They’re responsible for their own misery. Daily Israeli security force violence goes unreported. So do settler crimes.
Peace process pretense is legitimate. Police state Israel is the region’s only democracy. It’s an oasis in a sea of despotism.
It’s rap sheet includes horrendous crimes of war, against humanity and genocide. It’s a malignancy in a troubled region. It’s a threat to humanity.
Zionism is “a machine for the manufacture of human rights abuses,” says Joel Kovel. State-terror is official Israeli policy. So is torture. Numerous other abuses are standard practice.
Homemade rockets, small arms and rocks are Palestinians’ only defense. Imagine them against the most sophisticated/powerful weapons.
Imagine never knowing when they’ll be used. Imagine Israel manufacturing reasons to do so. Imagine the terrible toll it takes. Imagine horrific crimes. Imagine them without accountability.
In its 2013 State of Israel report, Amnesty International (AI) said:
“Israeli forces responsible for the killing and injuring of Palestinian civilians (as well as) torture and other ill-treatment of detainees continued to evade accountability.”
“Periodically throughout the year, Israeli military forces carried out air strikes on Gaza…” More on the latest one below.
The IDF “continued to (use) live ammunition to enforce the land and sea ‘exclusion zones’ inside Gaza’s perimeter and territorial waters, killing at least six civilians and injuring others.”
“Israeli leaders publicly advocated bombing Iranian nuclear sites.”
“The myriad restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities on the movement of Palestinians amounted to collective punishment of the population of Gaza and the West Bank, in violation of international law.”
AI condemned Gaza’s suffocating siege. It discussed:
  • forced West Bank/East Jerusalem evictions and demolitions;
  • impunity Israel enjoys;
  • acts of aggression like Operation Pillar of Cloud;
  • detentions without charges or trials;
  • horrific prison conditions;
  • torture and other ill-treatment;
  • compromised freedoms of expression and assembly;
  • oppressing conscientious objectors; and
  • denying refugees and asylum-seekers safe havens.
B’Tselem publishes numerous reports on Israeli human rights abuses. A December 31 one discussed a five-year high in Palestinian West Bank fatalities.
B’tselem Director Jessica Montell said:
“The sharp rise in fatalities in the West Bank only serves to intensify concern about the lack of accountability.”
Investigations when conducted are whitewashed. Practically no one is ever held accountable. Failure to do so “indicates a disregard for human life,” said Montell. Palestinian ones don’t matter.
In 2007, B’Tselem published a report titled “Ghost Town: Israel’s Separation Policy and Forced Eviction of Palestinians from the Center of Hebron.”
It discussed “protracted and severe harm to Palestinians (from) some of the gravest human rights violations.”
An unnamed Israeli official acknowledged “a permanent process of dispossessing Arabs to increase Jewish territory.”
  • Hebron is the West Bank’s second largest city. Its central area once thrived. On January 16, B’Tselem headlined “Ghost town: A tour of downtown Hebron.”
Photos showed the result of Israel’s “strict segregationist policy…(E)ntire neighborhoods have been deserted.”
Once viable areas are abandoned. It’s happening throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Palestinians are forced out. Jewish development replaces them. Crimes against humanity repeat. They do multiple times daily.
Conditions are intolerable. Human suffering is extreme. Palestine is an open-air prison. Israel’s Separation Wall isolates them.
It entraps them. It steals their land. It has nothing to do with national security. It’s ethnic cleansing. Other daily crimes against humanity persist. Western media ignore them.
On Sunday morning, multiple Israeli air strikes targeted Gaza. A Palestinian man and child were injured.
Gaza health ministry spokesman Ahraf al-Qidra said a 22-year old man was taken to Al-Shifa Hospital. He sustained serious injuries.
A 12-year old boy suffered moderate wounds. An Israeli military spokesman lied. He said the IDF attack followed a homemade shell fired into the Western Negev.
Palestinians respond after multiple Israeli acts of aggression. It bears repeating. Israel calls legitimate self-defense “terrorism.”
It calls preemptive high crimes “self-defense.” Days earlier, Israeli missiles injured four Palestinian children. One woman was hurt.
On Sunday, Israeli soldiers kidnapped 12 Bethlehem, Hebron and Nablus residents. Mahmoud Da’ajna is a recently released Israeli prisoner. He lives in East Jerusalem.
He didn’t remain free long. Israeli police rearrested him. They lied citing a “tax related” issue. Israeli authorities didn’t want him released in the first place.
Expect other former Palestinian prisoners treated the same way. It’s commonplace Israeli practice. Its deals aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.
On December 31, Da’ajna was freed. On January 19, he was rearrested. Bethlehem area witnesses said Israeli forces invaded violently. They broke into Palestinian homes.
They ransacked them. They damaged property. They kidnapped nonviolent residents. It happens throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It persists daily.
On Saturday, eight Palestinian Jenin, Bethlehem and Hebron residents were arrested. Israeli soldiers stormed the Aida refugee camp.
They did so violently. They used live fire, rubber bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades. They did so indiscriminately.
They broke into multiple homes. They forced residents outside in the cold. Detainees were abducted on the pretense of being wanted by Israel’s intelligence service.
State terror is official Israeli policy. Multiple community incursions occur daily. In the week ending January 15, Israeli forces conducted 75 – nearly 11 a day on average.
At least 66 Palestinians were arrested. They included seven children. They’re treated like adults. Israel makes no distinction.
Human rights abuses are horrific. At least 10 Palestinian civilians were wounded. So was an international activist.
Gaza was attacked. Israel conducted five airstrikes. Civilians suffer most. Property is indiscriminately damaged or destroyed. Homes are targeted. So are schools and mosques.
Israeli naval forces targeted Palestinian fishermen. They confronted them violently. They opened fire. No casualties were reported. Occasional deaths occur.
Border area shooting incidents are commonplace. Israel confronts peaceful protesters violently. On Sunday, hundreds of Gazans demonstrated against Israel’s buffer zone.
They did so peacefully. Israeli forces attacked them violently. They used live fire and tear gas. At least two Palestinians were wounded.
An IDF spokeswoman lied saying the army “was unaware of the incident.” Demonstrators marched peacefully. They did so near Israel’s border fence.
They supported Palestinian farmers. Israel destroyed their citrus trees. A Gaza Youth Coalition statement said:
“Israel destroyed most of our citrus trees. (It) prevents us from importing or exporting any products.”
Near daily attacks occur. Farmers risk injury or death on their own land. Israel’s so-called buffer zone (on stolen Palestinian land) is a free-fire zone.
Soldiers target Palestinians walking within or near it. Young children are targeted like adults.
On Sunday, dozens of Israeli settlers began farming on stolen al-Hathaleen village land. Soldiers accompanied them.
Palestinian farmers wanting their stolen land back are attacked. These type incidents and similar ones happen multiple times daily.
Palestine resembles a war zone. Imagine the worst of human rights abuses. Imagine living under these conditions. Imagine world leaders able to help turning a blind eye.
Imagine horrific human suffering. Imagine it persisting for decades. Imagine a ruthless occupier. Imagine harshness it imposes unaccountably.
Israel gets away with murder and much more. Palestinian torment continues. Relief is nowhere in sight. Conflict resolution is a convenient illusion. Maybe someday. No time soon.
Mustafa Barghouti is a Palestinian physician. He’s a leading political/human rights activist. Ongoing peace talks aren’t about conflict resolution, he said.
They’re more sham than solution. They’re “about deceiving the Palestinians and the international community,” said Barghouti. Israel wants apartheid conditions “legitimi(zed).”
It wants the worst of occupation harshness continued. It wants Palestinian rights ruthlessly denied. It wants pain and suffering inflicted.
It wants what Palestinians won’t accept. The film “When I Saw You” is must viewing. It’s been out for months. It’s being shown in New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
European cinemas showed it. So did Middle East ones. It’s coming to other US cities. It won the Berlin International Film Festival Best Asian Film award. Palestinians produced it.
It’s disturbingly realistic. It’s about Israel’s 1967 Six Day War. It’s about displaced Palestinians wanting to go home.
It’s about refugees denied their fundamental rights. It’s about resistance and hope. It’s a child’s eye-view of what happened.
It reflects life in Occupied Palestine today. Resistance and hope persist. Palestine’s liberating struggle continues.

Selective Impunity Rules!

Syria hopscotch

Selective impunity is a Western speciality

Punishment for Syria, rewards for Syria’s neighbour Israel

US Secretary of State John Kerry accuses Syrian government forces of killing 1,429 people, including 426 children, in a chemical weapons attack in Damascus last week described as an “inconceivable horror” and “a crime against conscience”.
President Obama is considering lethal punitive strikes against the Assad regime, strikes that Britain, for one, will not take part in.

In a press release yesterday (Friday) the US government says it concludes “with high confidence” that the Syrian government carried out the chemical weapons attack against opposition elements in Damascus on August 21, and that any scenario in which the opposition did the dirty deed is “highly unlikely”.

The assessment states: “We have a body of information, including past Syrian practice, that leads us to conclude that regime officials were witting of and directed the attack on August 21. We intercepted communications involving a senior official intimately familiar with the offensive who confirmed that chemical weapons were used by the regime on August 21 and was concerned with the U.N. inspectors obtaining evidence.” Oh, I heard the Israelis supplied that titbit.

But, says the assessment, “we will continue to seek additional information to close gaps in our understanding of what took place”. Will those gaps be closed before, or after, the cruise missile button is pushed?

It adds, rather mysteriously: “There is a substantial body of information that implicates the Syrian government’s responsibility in the chemical weapons attack that took place on August 21. As indicated, there is additional intelligence that remains classified because of sources and methods concerns that is being provided to Congress and international partners.” So we ordinary citizens, who will witness the punishment and in whose name punishment will be inflicted, cannot question or challenge the ‘evidence’ on which it is based.

How extraordinary that the figures quoted – 1.429 including 426 children – are almost identical to those slaughtered in Gaza by the Israeli regime’s thugs during Operation Cast Lead. I don’t recall nearly so much moral outrage and condemnation from the White House for that atrocity, or any talk of lethal ‘punishment’ to be inflicted on Tel Aviv.

Let’s remind ourselves that in the winter of 2008/9 Israel intensively bombed Gaza for three weeks killing 1,396 Palestinians including 345 children, 110 women and 117 elderly people and injuring and maiming some 5,450 more. Israel also destroyed or damaged 58,000 homes (ICAHD puts it nearer 42,000 of which 4,247 were totally destroyed), 280 schools, 1,500 factories and water and sewage installations.

And Israel’s forces used prohibited weapons like depleted uranium and white phosphorus shells. White phosphorus, Mr Kerry, is an extremely nasty chemical weapon. Wasn’t that a red line?
Furthermore, Israel blocked necessary materials for reconstruction.

How would Boston, Massachusetts, have looked after such an onslaught?

Next came Operation Pillar of Defense, an eight-day Israel Defense Forces (IDF) operation launched against the Gaza Strip last November. The IDF struck more than 1,500 sites in the process killing 133 Palestinians of whom 53 were civilians. An estimated 840 were wounded and many families displaced. One Israeli airstrike killed ten members of the same family.

Throughout the crisis western leaders, news readers, chat-show hosts and assorted pundits focused on the “thousands” of rockets fired by Hamas. Actually some 1,500 were fired, 10 percent failing to clear Gaza’s boundary fence, following an upsurge of IDF provocation attacks on Gazan civilians in the days leading up to the operation. The continuing blockade of the Gaza Strip and the never-ending occupation of West Bank and East Jerusalem were also reasons. Was anyone keeping count of the numbers of state-of-the-art bombs, rockets, tank-shells and other ordnance fired by Israel into the densely-packed population of Gaza?

What would be the Palestinians’ reward if Hamas scrapped all their rockets tomorrow?

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was reported as saying: “There is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel. We call on those responsible to stop these cowardly acts immediately in order to allow the situation to de-escalate.”

Cowardly acts? Who is the coward? Israel, which uses sophisticated state-of-the-art weaponry (courtesy of the US taxpayer) to relentlessly attack an unarmed, half-starved and overcrowded population who have nowhere to run because their borders have been sealed 24/7 for 6 years, or Gaza’s guerrillas who fight back with anything that comes to hand including garden-shed rockets?
What if Hamas dumped all their rockets in the sea tomorrow? Would the illegal blockade be lifted? Would Gazans enjoy the same freedoms as other nations? Would their democratically elected government be allowed to get on and govern? Would they be able to open their sea port to foreign ships and rebuild and operate their airport? Would they be able to import and export and carry on trade and develop their economy and prosper like other countries?

Would they be allowed to develop and benefit from their offshore gas field? Would their fishermen be allowed to fish in unpolluted waters? Would their young people be able to come and go and take up places at foreign universities?

Would Israel clear out of Gaza’s airspace permanently? Would the Israeli navy cease its piracy and stay out of Palestinian territorial waters? Would you and I be able to visit Gaza direct?
Fat chance. None of this would suit America’s friend Israel.

There are no rockets coming out of the West Bank. Yet the illegal Israeli occupation there continues and so does the ethnic cleansing, the land theft, the illegal squatter ‘settlements’, the colonization (a war crime), the demolition of Palestinian homes, the throttling of the economy, the abduction and ‘administrative detention’ of civilians and the massive interference with freedom of movement. Nothing has changed for West Bank Palestinians who DO NOT FIRE ROCKETS. And there is no sign of an end to their torment.

The bloody assaults on Gaza therefore have more to do with Israel’s ambition to expand racial dominance in the Holy Land, make their occupation permanent, seize Gaza’s offshore gas field and hang on to Syria’s Golan Heights – all thanks to the impunity guaranteed by America and its endless Security Council vetoes – than the paltry damage from crude and erratic rocket-fire. The Palestinians holed up in Gaza are simply in the way of the Grand Plan and must be removed or totally subdued.
During Pillar of Defence Interior Minister Eli Yishai said: “The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages. Only then will Israel be calm for 40 years.”

According to RT Network ….

Journalist, Gilad Sharon, the son of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in an editorial in the Jerusalem Post on Sunday called for Gaza to be flattened like the US flattened the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945 with an atomic bomb.

“We need to flatten all of Gaza. The American’s didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough – so they hit Nagasaki too. There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing. Then they’d really call for a ceasefire,” ranted Sharon.

As the former Prime Minister’s son publicly urged the military to wipe Gaza off the map, a member of the Knesset and the National Unity Party, Michael Ben-Ari, called for Israeli soldiers to kill Gazans without thought or mercy. “There are no innocents in Gaza, don’t let any diplomats who want to look good in the world endanger your lives – mow them down!” it was reported on the Hakol HaYehudi website.

Israel Katz, the country’s transport minister, has called “for Gaza to be bombed so hard the population has to flee into Egypt.” While Avi Dichter, the minster of home front defense, has urged the IDF to “reformat” Gaza – to wipe it clean with bombs.

Obama, Cameron and Hague pledge support for these maniacs, implicating all of us in their foul crimes. I’d like to consign those prating politicians (and their families, for punitive bombing engulfs women, children and old folk too) to just one night of the London blitz and see how they’d like it. London at least had defences, properly functioning emergency services and an extensive subway network. Gaza doesn’t. Nor does Damascus, yet.

Actually I’d like to include the entire United Nations Security Council in that chilling experience
The Palestinians had no history of violence until their lands were threatened then partitioned and finally overrun by a brutal intruder whose greed is never satisfied. It is interesting that demands for Palestinians to cease their terror campaign (if you buy the idea that resistance = terror) are never accompanied by corresponding demands of Israel.

Selective impunity rules!

"Hassan Nasrallah remained a popular figure in Egypt, even if less so than before"



[Wilson Center/ USIP project]

“…Overall, Iran’s support for Hezbollah and Hamas, which has been opposed by some Arab governments, particularly Saudi Arabia, has been popular among the Arab public, especially in Egypt, and more so in times of armed conflict involving Israel. Despite strong Arab public support for the Syrian rebels, for example, and frustrations with Hezbollah’s support for the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, Hassan Nasrallah remained a popular figure in Egypt, even if less so than before.  

The November 2012 war between Israel and Hamas increased Arab public sympathy for Hezbollah and Iran as the Arab conclusion was that Israel’s inclination to end the fighting early was mostly linked to Hamas’s longer-range rockets that were supplied by Hezbollah and Iran …”

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

No Israels illusions : Hezbollah will not raise the white flag لا أوهام إسرائيلية: حزب الله لن يرفع الراية البيضاء

لا أوهام إسرائيلية: حزب الله لن يرفع الراية البيضاء

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‏السبت‏، 09‏ آذار‏، 2013

يحيى دبوق

لا خلاف في إسرائيل على أن الحرب على الجبهة الشمالية، مع سوريا أو مع لبنان، أو كليهما معاً، واقعة لا محالة. تطورات الساحة السورية وما يجري في لبنان، يشيران، من منظور إسرائيلي، إلى إمكانات مرتفعة للتدهور الأمني، وصولاً إلى المواجهة الشاملة. لكن ماذا عن استعدادات إسرائيل وجاهزيتها؟ وكيف ستخوض الحرب؟ وما هي الأهداف المرسومة والممكن تحقيقها؟

أسئلة حاولت صحيفة يديعوت أحرونوت الإجابة عنها، عبر عرض السجالات والتقديرات المختلفة لدى المؤسسة العسكرية، والجدل الدائر بين سلاح الجو والقوات البرية، والأسلوب الأنجع لخوضها.في مستهل تقريرها، حذرت الصحيفة من أنه لا حافزية لدى إسرائيل لخوض الحرب. لكنها أكدت، نقلاً عن مصادر عسكرية، أن التهديد موجود، ويتعاظم و«لدى المؤسسة الأمنية فرضية تتركز على أن المواجهة العسكرية شمالاً، ستندلع في المدى المنظور، سواء مع حزب الله، أو مع المنظمات الإرهابية التي ستثبّت نفسها لاحقاً في سوريا، أو كليهما معاً»

.تضيف الصحيفة، أن «الحرب المفترضة توجب توفير ردّ سريع وقاسٍ، يختلف تماماً عن الحروب الماضية، الأمر الذي يثير جدالاً وسجالات بين سلاحي الجو والبر، حول السبل الكفيلة بخوض الحرب والانتصار فيها».وتكشف الصحيفة أن الجدل برز، خلال تدريب قيادي أجرته أركان المنطقة الشمالية في الجيش، قبل بضعة أسابيع، وتحديداً بين سلاحي البر والجو. أما خلاصة الفرضيتين، فعرضتها الصحيفة على النحو الآتي:يقارن سلاح البر، ما بين التهديد الشمالي من حزب الله، والتهديد الجنوبي من قطاع غزة، ويرى أوجُه شبه بينهما، رغم الاختلاف؛ إذ إن «تهديد كلا الجانبين موجه للجبهة الداخلية وللسكان المدنيين وللجنود، لكن من ناحية حزب الله، فإن تهديده أكبر بكثير، وإذا كانت إسرائيل قد تلقت خلال عملية العسكرية الأخيرة في قطاع غزة 1500 صاروخ، إلا أنها ستتلقى من حزب الله نفس عدد الصواريخ، لكن في كل يوم من أيام الحرب المقبلة، مع التأكيد أن حجم تدمير هذه الصواريخ سيكون كبيراً جداً».وتؤكد فرضية عمل سلاح البر أن الاستناد فقط إلى «المعلومات الاستخبارية الدقيقة، وقدرة سلاح الجو الممتازة، غير صحيح؛ إذ هذه التوليفة لا تستطيع أن توقف إطلاق الصواريخ»، مشيرة إلى ضرورة إدخال القوات البرية إلى الأراضي اللبنانية. ويشدد أصحاب «البزات الخضراء»، على أنه خلافاً لغزة، فإن الشأن اللبناني يتشعب في اتجاهات عديدة، و«يمكن أن تنشب مواجهة عسكرية لأسباب مختلفة، من بينها إيران وبرنامجها النووي، وسوريا والحرب الأهلية ومستودعات السلاح فيها، إضافة إلى تنفيذ سلسلة من العمليات الإرهابية ضد مصالح وأهداف إسرائيلية حول العالم، من شأنها أن تؤثر في أصحاب القرار في إسرائيل»

.أما لجهة التدريبات والاستعداد للحرب، فتنقل الصحيفة عن مصادر سلاح البر تأكيدها أن «القوات الإسرائيلية تتدرب بنحو متواصل، وتحاكي تدريباتها ظروف الحرب الحقيقية»، مشيرة إلى أنه «في حرب 2006، كانت أكثر الصواريخ من الجانب اللبناني موزعة في مناطق وأراضٍ مفتوحة خارج المناطق المبنية، أما الآن فهي موجودة داخل القرى». استعداداً لمواجهة مبنية على هذه الوقائع، «تتدرب القوات البرية على المبادرة إلى عمل عسكري سريع يكون أكثر عنفاً لاجتثاث التهديد من داخل القرى»

.مع ذلك، يحذر سلاح البر من رفع سقف التوقعات، ويؤكد أن «المهمة لن تكون احتلال لبنان أو القضاء على حزب الله، بل التركيز فقط على شلّ قدرته الصاروخية، وإصابة مقاتليه، ومن ثم الخروج سريعاً وبنحو آمن».أما لجهة أصحاب «البزات الزرق»، فيتحدثون بمفاهيم مغايرة، ويبدون ثقة كبيرة بما لديهم من قدرات، على خوض الحرب المقبلة مع حزب الله، محذرين من إقحام سلاح البر في الشمال، ذلك أن «الأميركيين عندما اجتاحوا العراق قضوا على السلاح العراقي هناك، الأمر الذي لم يحدث في سوريا ولن يحدث، وبالتالي فإن منظومات السلاح السوري الضخمة ستصل إلى المنظمات الإرهابية في الشمال».وتشدد فرضية عمل سلاح الجو على «تغيير حاد في بناء القوة وتشغيلها في الميدان، قياساً بالحرب الماضية، والتوفيق ما بين المعلومات الاستخبارية وقدرة سلاح الجو على الضرب ضرباً واسعاً ومتكرراً، لهزيمة حزب الله». وبحسب مصادر السلاح، فإن «قيادة الجيش الإسرائيلي غير قادرة على إدراك ما يمكن الوسائل القتالية الجديدة أن تحققه، أو أن تلحق الهزيمة سريعاً بحزب الله»

.مع ذلك، يوافق سلاح الجو على المحذور الذي دعا إليه سلاح البر؛ إذ «لا يمكن الحديث عن استسلام حزب الله، أو دفعه لرفع الراية البيضاء، بل يمكن التأكيد أنه هو من سيطلق الرشقات الأخيرة (من الصواريخ)، لكنه سيلتزم، في اليوم الذي يلي، وقفَ إطلاق النار».وتؤكد مصادر سلاح الجو أنه في حال نشوب المواجهة، «سنطلب من السكان المدنيين الخروج من القرى (في لبنان)، والبدء سريعاً بالهجوم على الأهداف داخلها، على أن تتزايد الهجمات مع استمرار إطلاق الصواريخ على إسرائيل». وتشير إلى «إمكان المبادرة إلى ضرب بنى تحتية في لبنان، يمكن أن تساعد الطرف الثاني على القتال، لكن يجب عدم استهداف محطة توليد كهرباء يكلف بناؤها مليارات الدولارات، بل يمكن إسقاط ثلاثة أعمدة ناقلة للطاقة، والتسبب بإيقافها».ويؤكد قادة سلاح الجو أن الحرب ستشهد «ضربة قوية جداً من جانب إسرائيل، على أن توقف هجومها لاحقاً، دون اتفاق لوقف إطلاق النار. أما الطرف الثاني، فسيطلق شيئاً قليلاً من الصواريخ ويكف عن المتابعة، لأننا سنعلن له مسبقاً أننا في الوجبة الثانية من القصف، سنكون أكثر عنفاً وقسوة بكثير من الهجوم الأول».أما الصحيفة، فتخلص إلى التأكيد أن الجدال لم ينته، وما زال قائماً، والجهة التي ستحسمه هي المؤسسة السياسية، مع بدء الحرب، إلا أن الصحيفة تنبّه إلى أن الجميع يدرك سلفاً، أن عدم نجاح سلاح الجو في فرضياته، سيعني دخولاً برياً لا مفر منه، وتتساءل، كما مصادر سلاح الجو: هل نريد فعلاً إدخال الجنود الإسرائيليين إلى بيروت؟ أم إلى بنت جبيل؟ علماً أن حزب الله سيطلق صواريخه من وسط لبنان ومن شماله، وهذه الأماكن لن يصل إليها إلا سلاح الجو؟».

خشية إسرائيلية من مزارع شبعا بحرية

طالب رئيس أركان سلاح البحرية الإسرائيلي، العميد يارون ليفي، في حديث خاص مع صحيفة «إسرائيل اليوم»، بضرورة الابتعاد عن النزاع مع لبنان على حقول الغاز والنفط في عرض البحر المتوسط. وفي إطار وصفه للنزاعات القائمة على الحقول والمناطق الاقتصادية الخاصة لفلسطين المحتلة والدول المجاورة لها، قلل ليفي من حجم النزاع القائم على حدود المنطقة الاقتصادية مع لبنان، مشيراً إلى أنّ «لدينا مع الدولة اللبنانية جدلاً صغيراً يتعلق بعدد من الدرجات في الزاوية القائمة بين منطقتنا ومنطقتهم، إلى الشمال الشرقي من الحدود البحرية»، داعياً إلى تفادي أي احتكاك مع الجانب اللبناني من أجل الحؤول دون التسبب بإنشاء «مزارع شبعا جديدة» في عرض البحر مع لبنان. وأضاف: «أنا أوصي بالامتناع عن إنشاء نقاط تنقيب على الحدود» في تلك المنطقة.وحذّر ليفي من أن التهديدات التي تواجه منشآت التنقيب الإسرائيلية يمكن اختصارها بالآتي: «قوارب مفخخة وسفن صدم، وصواريخ من أنواع مختلفة، وبعضها متطور مثل صواريخ ياخونت روسي الصنع، كذلك يمكن إصابة المنشأة البحرية من تحت الماء بواسطة ألغام عمق أو غواصين، ويمكن إصابتها من الجو». وأشار ليفي إلى أن «خطر أي عملية إرهابية ناجحة ضد منشأة تنقيب إسرائيلية، لا يقتصر على الخسائر المادية المباشرة، أو رفع رسوم التأمين التي تهدد الجدوى الاقتصادية للتنقيب عن الطاقة، بل قد يؤدي إلى امتناع شركات دولية عن المجيء للاستثمار في إسرائيل».


‏الجمعة‏، 08‏ آذار‏، 2013

أوقات الشام
ماهر الخطيب


ما بين التحذيرات الخليجية التي تبلغ بها العديد من المسؤولين اللبنانيين، والتهديدات بطرد اللبنانيين من هذه الدول، والمواقف الدولية المحذرة في بعض الأحيان والمهددة في أحيان أخرى، هناك سؤال جوهري يطرح بقوة في الأيام الأخيرة حول وجود قرار بتفجير الأوضاع الداخلية المأزومة على أكثر من صعيد.
على مدى الأشهر السابقة، كانت هناك معادلة يتم الحديث عنها بشكل يومي، تتعلق بما يسمى “المظلة” الدولية الحامية للإستقرار في لبنان، فهل هي باقية، وهل تكفي لحماية لبنان من الإنزلاق نحو المجهول؟

“المظلة” الدولية

طيلة الفترة السابقة، كان هناك نوع من الإجماع بين القوى الدولية على تجنيب لبنان الإنزلاق نحو المجهول الذي تعيشه بعض الدول الإقليمية، وهذا الموقف كان يعبّر السفراء عنه بشكل دائم، ولكن الضغوطات الجديدة في ملفات داخلية بدأت تثير العديد من التساؤلات.

وفي هذا السياق، يوضح الكاتب والمحلل السياسي سيمون أبو فاضل أن هناك نوعين من “المظلات” في لبنان، الأول يتعلق بالمواقف الدولية التي تشدد على عدم إتخاذ مواقف من الأزمة السورية تؤدي إلى “إحتكاكات” على الأرض، أما الثاني فهو بسبب واقع سياسي أمني داخلي حيث أن الفريق الذي له القدرة على تفجير الوضع ليس له مصلحة في ذلك، لأنه منشغل في مواضيع أخرى، لا سيما الوضع الميداني في سوريا، وهو بالتالي غير مستعد للذهاب نحو أي حدث داخلي، بالإضافة إلى أن الوضع القائم يختلف عن العام 2008 على أكثر من صعيد.
في الجهة المقابلة، يرى الكاتب والمحلل السياسي فيصل عبد الساتر أن الوضع في لبنان لم يعد بحاجة إلى “مظلة” من قبل أي جهة، لأن الجميع يعلم أن تفجير الوضع قد يطيح في كل المعادلات القائمة، ويراهن على وعي اللبنانيين وحدهم لمنع الإنزلاق في هذه المعادلات لأن الجميع ذاهب نحو الإنفجار.
ويشدد عبد الساتر، عبر “النشرة”، على أن الحل الوحيد هو أعطاء الدولة الضوء الأخضر للمؤسسات الرسمية لمعالجة كل الحالات الشاذة، لأن من الواضح أن هناك من يريد أن يجر فريقاً معيناً إلى المواجهة، ويعتبر أن التصريح الأهم حول حقيقة ما يجري في المنطقة صدر عن رئيس الوزراء العراقي نوري الدين المالكي، الذي أكد أن كل الأمور مرتبطة بالأوضاع في سوريا، وإنهيار الدولة هناك سيؤدي إلى إنفجارات كبيرة جداً في المنطقة.

لا إنفجار…

على صعيد متصل، لا يرى عبد الساتر أن الضغوط التي تمارس من قبل العديد من الجهات الإقليمية والدولية كافية لتفجير الأوضاع الداخلية، فهو يعتبر أن الأمر يتعلق بالدرجة الأولى بقوى محلية لا تريد الوصول إلى هذه المرحلة.

ويشدد عبد الساتر على أن مواقف الدول الخليجية تعبّر عن سياسة “إبتزاز” تمارس ضد الدولة اللبنانية منذ سنوات طويلة، لا سيما بعد خروج رئيس الحكومة السابق سعد الحريري، ويلفت إلى أن هناك العديد من الأمثلة التي تؤكد هذه السياسة، ويرى أن هناك “رعونة” لبنانية في مواجهة هذه السياسة، ويستغرب في هذا الإطار الهجوم على وزير الخارجية والمغتربين عدنان منصور بسبب موقفه في الجامعة العربية.

من جانبه، يرى أبو فاضل، في حديث لـ”النشرة”، أن لا مصلحة لأحد بالذهاب نحو حالة من عدم الإستقرار، حيث يشير إلى أن الحالة السلفية تبحث عن تأكيد حضورها، و”حزب الله” ليس لديه أي دافع للقيام بأي عمل.
وبالنسبة إلى تصريح السفيرة الأميركية مورا كونيللي المتعلق بموضوع الإنتخابات النيابية، يشير أبو فاضل إلى أنه يعود إلى موقف بلادها التي تأخذ على عاتقها من زمن الحفاظ على الديمقراطية في المنطقة، لا سيما في لبنان، ويرى أن البعض يريد أن يستغل هذا التصريح من ناحية القول أنه تدخل في الشؤون الداخلية، لكنه يؤكد أنه ليس الأول من نوعه، وقد كانت هناك تصريحات عديدة في السابق من أكثر من مسؤول دولي.
وفي ما يتعلق بالتهديدات الخليجية، يوافق عبد الساتر على أنها تعود إلى فترة خروج الحريري من السلطة بسبب مواقف هذه الدول المتضامنة معه وتطور الموقف بسبب الأحداث السورية، لكنه يشدد على أن معاقبة المواطنين اللبنانين المتواجدين في هذه الدول الذين يبحثون عن لقمة عيشهم أمر غير مقبول.

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Instagram Scandal Highlights Racism Among Israeli Youth

Israeli youths dance under a huge national flag during a parade marking Jerusalem Day in Jerusalem, May 20, 2012.

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An image of a Palestinian child in the crosshairs of a gun posted on an Israeli soldier’s Instagram account went viral in February after being published by the Electronic Intifada, the US-based blog on Palestinian issues, attracting widespread negative attention in international media. Israeli authorities were quick to assure that this was not a typical case and that the photo did not accurately portray the Israeli military. A few days later, more disturbing pictures of soldiers, including Rambo-like posing and hailing the killing of Arabs, went viral.

According to Rebecca Stein, a professor at Duke University, the use of social media by the soldier on the ground to capture his or her everyday life is nothing new. In a phone interview with Al-Monitor, Stein explained that what makes the Instagram images interesting is the way of aestheticizing the military and thereby normalizing warfare and the occupation of the Palestinian territories.

“It becomes clear the extent to which the occupation as a reigning paradigm in Israel is now so banal that it can be rendered in an aestheticized form and circulated like a souvenir,” said Stein.

Yehuda Shaul is a former Israeli soldier and cofounder of Breaking the Silence, an Israeli organization that gathers testimonies of veteran combatants to reveal the reality of everyday life as soldiers in the occupied territories. He was not surprised to see the Instagram photo, which he said was almost identical to an image from the second intifada.

“It’s just a fact that in 2013 there is Instagram. It’s not like the disrespect for Palestinian life wasn’t there before Facebook, for instance. It just gives another window into the mindset of what it means being a soldier and how you see Palestinians when you serve in the Palestinian territories — and the answer to that is, not as equal human beings to you,” said Shaul in a phone interview with Al-Monitor. ”[As a soldier] you stand at your post for eight hours, bored to death, and you look for ways to pass some time. Taking pictures through your scope is just something you do.”

Israel authorities aestheticize military culture

The Israeli army guaranteed that the recent case attracting so much attention would be “examined and properly handled,” referring to investigations into whether any criminal acts had taken place. Shaul finds this reaction nonsensical.

“The army is trying to dampen the PR damage while not giving any concern to the real problem this photo is portraying,” said Yehuda. ”It’s not about whether we commit crimes according to the criminal law, but about whether we commit crimes to the moral laws we want to stand up to.”

Stein has been researching new media technologies in connection with the Israeli occupation since Operation Cast Lead in 2008–2009. According to her, the army as well as the state and its different branches of government have since that time been fully aware of the importance of new media and have tried to catch up with the highly digital young soldiers both on and off the battlefield.

Stein also points to the fact that social media tools are not only used by soldiers, but also by Israeli authorities, who have incorporated these tools into their “toolbox of military occupation and war.” While Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have been a part of the army’s PR strategy for years, Instagram was added to the list prior to the Pillar of Defense campaign against Gaza in November 2012.

“The operation mission in 2012 made it abundantly clear to anyone who had any doubts about the central role of new media, both in the hands of Israelis and Palestinians on the ground, but also in the hands of the state. Instagram was being used as a platform to celebrate military culture and the targeting of Palestinians,” said Stein.

While it seems that the Israel Defense Forces has taken down its Instagram platform, posting only a select few images on its blog, more can be viewed in a November feature in the New Inquiry, an independent online magazine.

Racism is nothing new

The message of racism and targeting of Palestinians expressed in Israeli soldiers’ Instagram images is apparently not confined to social media. In recent weeks, Israeli media have featured cases of young Israeli Jews who attacked Arab Israelis. During the Jewish holiday of Purim, 40-year-old Hassan Ausruf was severely beaten in Tel Aviv by a group of Israeli youths who, according to Ausruf, shouted racist incitements. On Feb. 26 in Jerusalem, an eyewitness took pictures of an alleged hate crime in which a Jewish woman attacked a Muslim woman, tearing off her head scarf, at a light rail stop.

Hebrew University professor Moshe Zimmerman, a historian specializing in anti-Semitism in Europe and the role of the Holocaust in Israel and postwar Germany, warned some 20 years ago about the growing issue of racism among Israeli youth.

“What is happening now is just a demonstration of what has already been going on for a long time. There is a feeling that Jews are superior to others, and there is a lot of hate to[ward] ‘the other.’ All the racism that we know from European and American history is also found in the Israeli society,” said Zimmerman in a phone interview with Al-Monitor.

Zimmerman attributes the culture of racism to a process of socialization in formal and informal education, which is also reflected among young Israeli soldiers. “The military is the outcome. You educate the Israeli youth to believe in a racist ideology, and the first place where they can practice this is in the army when being confronted by Palestinians in the Palestinian territories,” said Zimmerman.

According to Zimmerman, there is little being done to tackle the issue of racism. He would like to see a bigger effort, especially in the education system, to confront this racist trend.

Lena Odgaard is a Danish journalist reporting from around the Middle East, mainly on Israel and Palestine. She tweets @l_odgaard.

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Jewish terror state breaches truce 820 times in three months


Israel breaches truce 820 times in three months
Israel has breached its ceasefire agreement with the Palestinians on more than 800 occasions since it was signed last November.

Human rights organisations have revealed that Israel has breached its ceasefire agreement with the Palestinians on more than 800 occasions since it was signed last November. In stark contrast, the Palestinians have broken the truce just twice.

Data based on reports produced by the United Nations, the Israeli Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement (GISHA) and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, as well as Israeli and Palestinian media outlets, found that the three months old ceasefire is not being taken seriously by the Israeli occupation authorities.

According to the data sources, four Palestinian civilians have been killed in the Gaza Strip since November and 91 have been wounded. In the West Bank, meanwhile, six Palestinians have been killed by Israel, with 618 wounded.

A breakdown of the statistics shows that 63 attacks and 13 incursions were carried out by the Israelis in several areas of the Gaza Strip. Israel detained nine people from Gaza during the incursions.
At sea off the Gaza coast, the Israeli navy has carried out 30 attacks on fishing boats belonging to Palestinian fishermen, resulting in several casualties. Thirty-nine fishermen were detained by Israel, including two children. Ten fishing boats were shot at, with 8 being damaged significantly. British Members of Parliament visiting the Gaza Strip last week at the invitation of London-based charity Interpal witnessed Israeli gunboats attacking Palestinian fishing boats well within the 6-mile limit agreed as part of the ceasefire deal.

Palestinians in Gaza launched just two mortar shells in the same period, causing little or no damage in Israel. The human rights groups say that no rockets were fired from Gaza during the three month period covered by the survey, from November 22, 2012 to February 22, 2013.

The ceasefire agreed between Palestinians in Gaza and Israel brought to an end the eight-day Israeli offensive on the besieged territory. Around 170 Palestinians were killed, including 43 children, 15 women and 18 elderly; more than 1,250 people were injured, including 430 children, 207 women and 88 elderly. Three Israelis were killed and about 240 were either injured or treated for psychological trauma. Research in the Gaza Strip claims that 86 per cent of Palestinian children there now suffer trauma at the sound of the Israeli F-16 fighter aircraft which overfly the territory frequently.

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What a ‘period of calm’ looks like in the Occupied Territories

22 February 2013  

 By Ben White
22 February 2013

Since the end of the last Israeli incursion into Gaza, its navy has attacked Gaza fisherman multiple times
Three months have passed since the ceasefire that brought an end to Israel’s eight-day attack on the Gaza Strip known as Operation “Pillar of Defence”. This infographic depicts the number of attacks on the Gaza Strip by the Israeli military during this three-month period, as well as the number of Palestinian attacks emanating from Gaza. Since late November, Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip have averaged over one a day, everyday. These include shootings by troops positioned along the border fence, attacks on fishermen working off the Gaza coast, and incursions by the Israeli army.

This data is important for three reasons. First, it is a response to the Western media’s failure to cover the vast majority of Israeli attacks. This fits with a familiar and disturbing pattern, where a regional “period of calm” is exclusively defined in terms of attacks on Israelis. “Calm” from this perspective means security for Israelis – but more dead and injured Palestinians.

Second, data of this nature lay bare the daily reality for Palestinians and the power imbalance between the occupier and an occupied, colonised people fighting for their basic rights. It is instructive that the Israeli army refers to the entry of its forces into the Gaza Strip as “routine activity”. Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers continue to snatch Palestinians from their homes in the West Bank, enforce segregation, and protect settler land theft. We have included numbers for Palestinians killed and wounded in the West Bank over this same period because developments there and in Gaza ought not to be viewed as isolated from one another.

Third, if or when there is another assault by Israel on the Gaza Strip, the Israeli government and many in the West will seek to emphasise the “rockets” narrative once again. So remember this data, and note what the Israeli army has been doing when – in the words of Israel’s own consul general in Los Angeles – “for the last three months, there hasn’t been a rocket fired from Gaza”.
Gaza ceasefire infographic

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