Norman Finkelstein’s new book indicts the ICC for whitewashing “israel”

“The prime impetus. . . was almost certainly to stem the rising tide of humanitarian vessels destined for Gaza.” He concludes that the fundamental truth is that the attack was a key part of “an Israeli plan or policy targeting humanitarian missions destined for Gaza so as to perpetuate crimes against humanity in Gaza.”

This May 31 marks 10 years since Israeli commandos attacked the Gaza Humanitarian Flotilla in international waters and killed 10 people. Norman Finkelstein, one of the world’s most effective critics of Israel, is observing the occasion with a persuasive indictment of Fatou Bensouda, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, for refusing to take legal action over Israel’s lethal attack on the Mavi Marmara, the Flotilla’s flagship.

At first glance, Finkelstein’s new book resembles a legal brief. But start reading more closely, and you soon see his trademark indignation, intense and eloquent. The Comoro Islands, where the Mavi Marmara was registered, brought the Gaza Flotilla case to the ICC in 2013, and Finkelstein points out that the chief prosecutor since then has tried to bury it 3 times. He is not diplomatic; he charges that she “defiled her office by refusing to investigate credible allegations of Israeli criminality.”

Finkelstein, with his characteristic Talmudic scholarship, scrutinizes various human rights reports on Israel’s killings on the ship, examining them alongside the Israel government’s own alleged self-inquiry. He points out, chapter and verse, just how Fatou Bensouda accepted Israel’s version of events (which Amnesty International described as a “whitewash”) while dismissing contradictory reports from the U.N. Human Rights Council and the U.N. Secretary-General’s Panel of Inquiry.

He argues that as a consequence Bensouda “grossly misrepresent[ed] the facts of the assault” itself. But even worse — she took Israel’s armed commando attack as an isolated event, instead of connecting it to even larger Israeli crimes: “the illegal Israeli blockade and the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.”

Let’s start with the actual Israeli assault. Bensouda echoed Israel’s alibi; it planned to stop the Flotilla peacefully, its commandos met with resistance when they boarded the Mavi Marmara, after which perhaps some excesses happened but the actions of a few Israeli soldiers didn’t rise to the level of a case that the International Criminal Court should take up. Finkelstein crushes this version. If Israel truly expected to act nonviolently,

then why did they deploy an elite commando unit trained to kill, not the Israeli coast guard or a police-like unit accustomed to handling civil resisters?

His indignation rises further when he considers Israel’s allegations that some of the passengers on the ship planned “extremely violent” resistance. He asks why these allegedly violent resisters “didn’t manage to kill any of the commandos,” but Israeli soldiers who were supposedly “rehearsed in the moral imperative to execute the operation ‘without any injuries’ ended up killing 10 passengers by shooting each of them multiple times, five in the head and even at point-blank range.”

(Another reason the outside world was confused about what happened on the Mavi Marmara was awful mainstream press coverage. At the time, this site noted that the New York Times religiously transmitted the Israeli version, but did not interview one single eyewitness from on board the ship.)

But Bensouda’s ignoring the Israeli siege of Gaza is the even greater injustice. Finkelstein concludes:

She refused to pronounce the blockade illegal, she effectively ignored the humanitarian catastrophe induced by the blockade. . . Had she properly rooted the assault [on the Mavi Marmara] in its critical context, the Prosecutor would have been hard-pressed to curtly dismiss the charge of Crimes against humanity.

Norman Finkelstein has a sharply different interpretation of the Israeli attack. He makes “the reasonable inference that Israel sought a bloody confrontation, although probably not on the scale that ensued.” He adds, “The prime impetus. . . was almost certainly to stem the rising tide of humanitarian vessels destined for Gaza.” He concludes that the fundamental truth is that the attack was a key part of “an Israeli plan or policy targeting humanitarian missions destined for Gaza so as to perpetuate crimes against humanity in Gaza.”

What’s worse, in the past 10 years Israel’s plan has largely worked. Resistance inside Gaza does continue, but the besieged territory is poorer and more isolated than ever. Finkelstein includes a long Appendix detailing Israeli crimes during its 2014 invasion of Gaza, and he traces the ongoing impunity right back to the failure of justice for the 10 dead on the Mavi Marmara. (He has even more detail in his vital longer work from 2018: Gaza: An Inquest Into Its Martyrdom.)

I Accuse! ends on a slightly upbeat note. In a last-minute postscript, Finkelstein notes that on December 20, 2019 Prosecutor Bensouda announced that, in response to a referral from the “State of Palestine,” the Court will open an investigation — although not into the Gaza Flotilla. He closes:

It is imperative to stay vigilant. The evidence amassed in these pages makes clear that the Prosecutor will not be persuaded by facts and reason but, instead, by the political forces at play behind closed doors and in the court of public opinion. Whereas Israel will bring to bear every squalid and sordid instrument in its arsenal, the forces arrayed against it will be able to draw on the mighty weapons of Truth and Justice. All eyes are now riveted on the Chief Prosecutor as the unfolding drama decides which side will prevail in this epic struggle.

“israeli” Zio-Nazi Terrorist Tell of Killing Gaza Civilians

Out of everything I’ve read and heard about Palestine, I did not grasp the reality until I visited myself. The reality is beyond the imagination and there are really no words to describe it. You feel it as much as see it.

The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists…” Edgar Hoover

An “israeli” terrorist prays atop his tank near the Gaza border on Jan. 28, 2008

‘That’s what is so nice  about Gaza: You see a person on a road, walking along a path. He doesn’t have to be with a weapon… and you can just shoot him’

(Editor’s note: the “israeli” newspapers Haaretz and Maariv published some testimonies of “israeli” soldiers who fought in the war in Gaza.  The following story appeared in the weekend edition of Haaretz and was published in the March 27 edition of the AJW in an abridged form.)

By AMOS HAREL / Haaretz

Less than a month after the end of Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip, dozens of graduates of the Yitzhak Rabin pre-military preparatory program convened at Oranim Academic College in Kiryat Tivon. Since 1998 the program has prepared participants for what is considered meaningful military service.

Many assume command positions in combat and other elite units of the “israel” Occupation Forces (IOF). The program’s founder, Danny Zamir, still heads it today and also serves as deputy battalion commander in a reserve unit.

War in Gaza Aftermath

The previous Friday, Feb. 13, Zamir had invited combat ‘soldiers’ and officers who graduated the program for a lengthy discussion of their experiences in Gaza. They spoke openly, but also with considerable frustration.

Following are extensive excerpts from the transcript of the meeting, as it appears in the program’s bulletin, Briza, which was published on March 18. The names of the ‘soldiers’ have been changed to preserve their anonymity.

The editors have also left out some of the details concerning the identity of the units that operated in a problematic way in Gaza.

Danny Zamir: “I don’t intend for us to evaluate the achievements and the diplomatic-political significance of Operation Cast Lead this evening, nor need we deal with the systemic military aspect [of it].

However, discussion is necessary because this was, all told, an exceptional war action in terms of the history of the IOF, which has set new limits for the army’s ethical code and that of the State of “israel” as a whole.

“This is an action that sowed massive destruction among civilians. It is not certain that it was possible do have done it differently, but ultimately we have emerged from this operation and are not facing real paralysis from the Qassam [rockets].

It is very possible that we will repeat such an operation on a larger scale in the years to come, because the problem in the Gaza Strip is not simple and it is not at all certain that it has been solved. What we want this evening is to hear from the fighters.”

Aviv: “I am squad commander of a company that is still in training, from the Givati Brigade. We went into a neighborhood in the southern part of Gaza City. Altogether, this is a special experience.

In the course of the training, you wait for the day you will go into Gaza, and in the end it isn’t really like they say it is. It’s more like, you come, you take over a house, you kick the tenants out and you move in. We stayed in a house for something like a week.

“Toward the end of the operation there was a plan to go into a very densely populated area inside Gaza City itself. In the briefings they started to talk to us about orders for opening fire inside the city, because as you know they used a huge amount of firepower and killed a huge number of people along the way, so that we wouldn’t get hurt and they wouldn’t fire on us.

“At first the specified action was to go into a house. We were supposed to go in with an armored personnel carrier called an Achzarit [literally, “cruel”] to burst through the lower door, to start shooting inside and then… I call this murder… in effect, we were supposed to go up floor by floor, and any person we identified — we were supposed to shoot. I initially asked myself: Where is the logic in this?

“From above they said it was permissible, because anyone who remained in the sector and inside Gaza City was in effect condemned, a terrorist, because they hadn’t fled. I didn’t really understand: On the one hand they don’t really have anywhere to flee to, but on the other hand they’re telling us they hadn’t fled so it’s their fault… This also scared me a bit.

I tried to exert some influence, insofar as is possible from within my subordinate position, to change this. In the end the specification involved going into a house, operating megaphones and telling [the tenants]: ‘Come on, everyone get out, you have five minutes, leave the house, anyone who doesn’t get out gets killed.’

“I went to our soldiers and said, ‘The order has changed. We go into the house, they have five minutes to escape, we check each person who goes out individually to see that he has no weapons, and then we start going into the house floor by floor to clean it out… This means going into the house, opening fire at everything that moves , throwing a grenade, all those things.

And then there was a very annoying moment. One of my soldiers came to me and asked, ‘Why?’ I said, ‘What isn’t clear? We don’t want to kill innocent civilians.’ He goes, ‘Yeah? Anyone who’s in there is a terrorist, that’s a known fact.’

I said, ‘Do you think the people there will really run away? No one will run away.’ He says, ‘That’s clear,’ and then his buddies join in: ‘We need to murder any person who’s in there. Yeah, any person who’s in Gaza is a terrorist,’ and all the other things that they stuff our heads with, in the media.

“And then I try to explain to the guy that not everyone who is in there is a terrorist, and that after he kills, say, three children and four mothers, we’ll go upstairs and kill another 20 or so people.

And in the end it turns out that [there are] eight floors times five apartments on a floor — something like a minimum of 40 or 50 families that you murder.

I tried to explain why we had to let them leave, and only then go into the houses. It didn’t really help. This is really frustrating, to see that they understand that inside Gaza you are allowed to do anything you want, to break down doors of houses for no reason other than it’s cool.

“You do not get the impression from the officers that there is any logic to it, but they won’t say anything. To write ‘death to the Arabs’ on the walls, to take family pictures and spit on them, just because you can. I think this is the main thing in understanding how much the IOF has fallen in the realm of ethics, really. It’s what I’ll remember the most.”

“One of our officers, a company commander, saw someone coming on some road, a woman, an old woman. She was walking along pretty far away, but close enough so you could take out someone you saw there. If she were suspicious, not suspicious — I don’t know. In the end, he sent people up to the roof, to take her out with their weapons. From the description of this story, I simply felt it was murder in cold blood.”

Zamir: “I don’t understand. Why did he shoot her?”

Aviv: “That’s what is so nice, supposedly, about Gaza: You see a person on a road, walking along a path. He doesn’t have to be with a weapon, you don’t have to identify him with anything and you can just shoot him. With us it was an old woman, on whom I didn’t see any weapon.

The order was to take the person out, that woman, the moment you see her.”

Zvi: “Aviv’s descriptions are accurate, but it’s possible to understand where this is coming from. And that woman, you don’t know whether she’s… She wasn’t supposed to be there, because there were announcements and there were bombings. Logic says she shouldn’t be there. The way you describe it, as murder in cold blood, that isn’t right. It’s known that they have lookouts and that sort of thing.”

Gilad: “Even before we went in, the battalion commander made it clear to everyone that a very important lesson from the Second Lebanon War was the way the IOF goes in — with a lot of fire. The intention was to protect soldiers’ lives by means of firepower.

In the operation the IOF’s losses really were light and the price was that a lot of Palestinians got killed.”

Ram: “I serve in an operations company in the Givati Brigade. After we’d gone into the first houses, there was a house with a family inside. Entry was relatively calm. We didn’t open fire, we just yelled at everyone to come down. We put them in a room and then left the house and entered it from a different lot.

 A few days after we went in, there was an order to release the family. They had set up positions upstairs. There was a sharpshooters’ position on the roof. The platoon commander let the family go and told them to go to the right.

One mother and her two children didn’t understand and went to the left, but they forgot to tell the sharpshooter on the roof they had let them go, and it was okay and he should hold his fire and he… he did what he was supposed to, like he was following his orders.”

Question from the audience: “At what range was this?”

Ram: “Between 100 and 200 meters, something like that. They had also came out of the house that he was on the roof of, they had advanced a bit and suddenly he saw them, people moving around in an area where they were forbidden to move around.

I don’t think he felt too bad about it, because after all, as far as he was concerned, he did his job according to the orders he was given. And the atmosphere in general, from what I understood from most of my men who I talked to… I don’t know how to describe it…. The lives of Palestinians, let’s say, [are] something very, very less important than the lives of our soldiers.

So as far as they are concerned they can justify it that way.”

Yuval Friedman (chief instructor at the Rabin program): “Wasn’t there a standing order to request permission to open fire?”

Ram: “No. It exists, beyond a certain line. The idea is that you are afraid that they are going to escape from you.

If a terrorist is approaching and he is too close, he could blow up the house or something like that.”

Zamir: “After a killing like that, by mistake, do they do some sort of investigation in the IOF? Do they look into how they could have corrected it?”

Ram: “They haven’t come from the Military Police’s investigative unit yet. There hasn’t been any… For all incidents, there are individual investigations and general examinations, of all of the conduct of the war. But they haven’t focused on this specifically.”

Gazans Dig Dead from Rubble in Scenes of War Devastation — Naharnet

Moshe: “The attitude is very simple: It isn’t pleasant to say so, but no one cares at all. We aren’t investigating this. This is what happens during fighting and this is what happens during routine security.”

Ram: “What I do remember in particular at the beginning is the feeling of almost a religious mission. My sergeant is a student at a hesder yeshiva [a program that combines religious study and military service].

Before we went in, he assembled the whole platoon and led the prayer for those going into battle. A brigade rabbi was there, who afterward came into Gaza and went around patting us on the shoulder and encouraging us, and praying with people.

And also when we were inside they sent in those booklets, full of psalms, a ton of psalms. I think that at least in the house I was in for a week, we could have filled a room with the psalms they sent us, and other booklets like that.

“There was a huge gap between what the Education Corps sent out and what the IOF rabbinate sent out. The Education Corps published a pamphlet for commanders — something about the history of “israel’s” fighting in Gaza from 1948 to the present.

The rabbinate brought in a lot of booklets and articles, and… their message was very clear: We are the Jewish people, we came to this land by a miracle, God brought us back to this land and now we need to fight to expel the gentiles who are interfering with our conquest of this holy land.

This was the main message, and the whole sense many soldiers had in this operation was of a religious war. From my position as a commander and ‘explainer,’ I attempted to talk about the politics – the streams in Palestinian society, about how not everyone who is in Gaza is Hamas, and not every inhabitant wants to vanquish us.

I wanted to explain to the soldiers that this war is not a war for the sanctification of the holy name, but rather one to stop the Qassams.”

Zamir: “I would like to ask the pilots who are here, Gideon and Yonatan, to tell us a little about their perspective. As an infantryman, this has always interested me. How does it feel when you bomb a city like that?”

Gideon: “First of all, about what you have said concerning the crazy amounts of firepower: Right in the first foray in the fighting, the quantities were very impressive, very large, and this is mainly what sent all the Hamasniks into hiding in the deepest shelters and kept them from showing their faces until some two weeks after the fighting.

“In general the way that it works for us, just so you will understand the differences a bit, is that at night I would come to the squadron, do one foray in Gaza and go home to sleep. I go home to sleep in Tel Aviv, in my warm bed. I’m not stuck in a bed in the home of a Palestinian family, so life is a little better.

“When I’m with the squadron, I don’t see a terrorist who is launching a Qassam and then decide to fly out to get him. There is a whole system that supports us, that serves as eyes, ears and intelligence for every plane that takes off, and creates more and more targets in real-time, of one level of legitimacy or another.

In any case, I try to believe that these are targets [determined according to] the highest possible level of legitimacy.

“They dropped leaflets over Gaza and would sometimes fire a missile from a helicopter into the corner of some house, just to shake up the house a bit so everyone inside would flee. These things worked. The families came out, and really people [i.e., soldiers] did enter houses that were pretty empty, at least of innocent civilians. From this perspective it works.

“In any case, I arrive at the squadron, I get a target with a description and coordinates, and basically just make sure it isn’t within the line of our forces. I look at the picture of the house I am suppose to attack, I see that it matches reality, I take off, I push the button and the bomb takes itself exactly to within one meter of the target itself.”

Zamir: “Among the pilots, is there also talk or thoughts of remorse? For example, I was terribly surprised by the enthusiasm surrounding the killing of the Gaza traffic police on the first day of the operation: They took out 180 traffic cops. As a pilot, I would have questioned that.”

Gideon: “There are two parts to this. Tactically speaking, you call them ‘police.’ In any case, they are armed and belong to Hamas… During better times, they take Fatah people and throw them off the roofs and see what happens.

“With regard to the thoughts, you sit with the squadron and there are lots of discussions about the value-related significance of the fighting, about what we are doing; there is a lot to talk about. From the moment you start the plane’s engine until the moment you turn it off, all of your thoughts, all of your concentration and all of your attention are on the mission you have to carry out.

If you have an unjustified doubt, you’re liable to cause a far greater screw-up and knock down a school with 40 children. If the building I hit isn’t the one I am supposed to hit, but rather a house with our guys inside — the price of the mistake is very, very high.”

Question from the audience: “Was there anyone in the squadron who didn’t push the button, who thought twice?”

Gideon: “That question should be addressed to those involved in the helicopter operation, or to the guys who see what they do. With the weapons I used, my ability to make a decision that contradicts what they told me up to that point is zero. I dispatch the bomb from a range within which I can see the entire Gaza Strip. I also see Haifa, I also see Sinai, but it’s more or less the same. It’s from really far away.”

Yossi: “I am a platoon sergeant in an operations company of the Paratroops Brigade. We were in a house and discovered a family inside that wasn’t supposed to be there. We assembled them all in the basement, posted two guards at all times and made sure they didn’t make any trouble.

Gradually, the emotional distance between us broke down — we had cigarettes with them, we drank coffee with them, we talked about the meaning of life and the fighting in Gaza. After very many conversations the owner of the house, a man of 70-plus, was saying it’s good we are in Gaza and it’s good that the IDF is doing what it is doing.

“The next day we sent the owner of the house and his son, a man of 40 or 50, for questioning. The day after that, we received an answer: We found out that both are political activists in Hamas. That was a little annoying — that they tell you how fine it is that you’re here and good for you and blah-blah-blah, and then you find out that they were lying to your face the whole time.

“What annoyed me was that in the end, after we understood that the members of this family weren’t exactly our good friends and they pretty much deserved to be forcibly ejected from there, my platoon commander suggested that when we left the house, we should clean up all the stuff, pick up and collect all the garbage in bags, sweep and wash the floor, fold up the blankets we used, make a pile of the mattresses and put them back on the beds.”

Zamir: “What do you mean? Didn’t every IOF unit that left a house do that?”

Yossi: “No. Not at all. On the contrary: In most of the houses graffiti was left behind and things like that.”

Zamir: “That’s simply behaving like animals.”

Yossi: “You aren’t supposed to be concentrating on folding blankets when you’re being shot at.”

Zamir: “I haven’t heard all that much about you being shot at. It’s not that I’m complaining, but if you’ve spent a week in a home, clean up your filth.”

Aviv: “We got an order one day: All of the equipment, all of the furniture — just clean out the whole house. We threw everything, everything, out of the windows to make room. The entire contents of the house went flying out the windows.”

Yossi: “There was one day when a Katyusha, a Grad, landed in Beersheva and a mother and her baby were moderately to seriously injured. They were neighbors of one of my soldiers. We heard the whole story on the radio, and he didn’t take it lightly — that his neighbors were seriously hurt.

So the guy was a bit antsy, and you can understand him. To tell a person like that, ‘Come on, let’s wash the floor of the house of a political activist in Hamas, who has just fired a Katyusha at your neighbors that has amputated one of their legs’ — this isn’t easy to do, especially if you don’t agree with it at all.

Little boys killed while playing on the Gaza beach by Zio-Nazi snipers for fun.

When my platoon commander said, ‘Okay, tell everyone to fold up blankets and pile up mattresses,’ it wasn’t easy for me to take. There was lot of shouting. In the end I was convinced and realized it really was the right thing to do.

Today I appreciate and even admire him, the platoon commander, for what happened there. In the end I don’t think that any army, the Syrian army, the Afghani army, would wash the floor of its enemy’s houses, and it certainly wouldn’t fold blankets and put them back in the closets.”

Zamir: “I think it would be important for parents to sit here and hear this discussion. I think it would be an instructive discussion, and also very dismaying and depressing. You are describing an army with very low value norms, that’s the truth… I am not judging you and I am not complaining about you.

I’m just reflecting what I’m feeling after hearing your stories. I wasn’t in Gaza, and I assume that among reserve soldiers the level of restraint and control is higher, but I think that all in all, you are reflecting and describing the kind of situation we were in.

“After the Six-Day War, when people came back from the fighting, they sat in circles and described what they had been through. For many years the people who did this were said to be ‘shooting and crying.’ In 1983, when we came back from the Lebanon War, the same things were said about us. We need to think about the events we have been through. We need to grapple with them also, in terms of establishing a standard or different norms.

“It is quite possible that Hamas and the Syrian army would behave differently from me. The point is that we aren’t Hamas and we aren’t the Syrian army or the Egyptian army, and if clerics are anointing us with oil and sticking holy books in our hands, and if the soldiers in these units aren’t representative of the whole spectrum in the Jewish people, but rather of certain segments of the population — what are we expecting? To whom are we complaining?

“As reservists we don’t relate seriously to the orders of the regional brigades. We let the old people go through and we let families go through. Why kill people when it’s clear to you that they are civilians? Which aspect of Israel’s security will be harmed, who will be harmed? Exercise judgment, be human.”

Israel’s air defense experiments with lasers and algorithms to stay a step ahead of its enemies

No other country in the developed world is shot at as often as Israel – making it a forge of innovation for air defense systems

telegraph.co.uk

The Islamic Jihad rocket streaked out of Gaza and through the night sky towards the greater Tel Aviv area. 

Within seconds it had been detected by Israeli radar and a computer system began furious calculations based on the rocket’s trajectory, speed, and type. 

The computer’s conclusion flashed a moment later across the screen of Itai Aizenkraft, a 21-year-old lieutenant in the Israeli Air Force: the rocket was going to crash into a civilian neighborhood.  

Lt Aizenkraft gave the order and an Iron Dome battery outside Tel Aviv roared to life, firing an interceptor missile to bring down the incoming rocket.

“The whole thing was over in a matter of seconds,” he said afterwards. 

No other country in the developed world is shot at as often as Israel. Around 1,300 rockets were fired from Gaza last…

Lies That Hamas Has Been Firing Rockets at Israel

“the Israeli government presented no evidence that rock-throwing and other violence by some demonstrators seriously threatened Israeli soldiers across the border fence.”

The New York Times claims that, until the demonstrations began in Gaza last month, Hamas had been firing “a fairly steady tempo” of rockets at Israel. In fact, it had been firing none.

On March 30, fourteen peaceful demonstrators were killed and hundreds wounded when Israeli soldiers fired across the border fence at unarmed Palestinians in Gaza.

The day of the crime, New York Times reported that, although the protests were “billed as the start of a peaceful, six-week sit-in”, Palestinian protesters had “quickly turned violent”.

The Times added, “But as some began hurling stones, tossing Molotov cocktails and rolling burning tires at the fence, the Israelis responded with tear gas and gunfire.”

Three days later, the editorial board of the Times acknowledged that the claim that Palestinians were “hurling stones, tossing Molotov cocktails and rolling burning tires at the fence” was the “Israeli version of events”.

In other words, the Times tacitly acknowledged that it had presented the Israeli propaganda version — in which the violence was instigated by the Palestinians — as though truthful.

By contrast, as Human Rights Watch noted, “the Israeli government presented no evidence that rock-throwing and other violence by some demonstrators seriously threatened Israeli soldiers across the border fence.”

Rather, “The high number of deaths and injuries was the foreseeable consequence of granting soldiers leeway to use lethal force outside of life-threatening situations in violation of international norms, coupled with the longstanding culture of impunity within the Israeli army for serious abuses.”

The Times hasn’t been faring any better with its reporting on Gaza since. In fact, it gets worse.

In an article published as “News Analysis” on April 15, David M. Halbfinger wrote in the Times about Hamas’s attitude toward such non-violent resistance.

Under the headline “Hamas Sees Gaza Protests as Peaceful — and as a ‘Deadly Weapon’“, he characterizes Hamas as presenting a mixed message, supporting peaceful protests while routinely engaging in violence. He writes:

To its rockets Israel had responded with the Iron Dome antimissile system. To its tunnels Israel was answering with a $2 billion reinforced-concrete wall buried deep underground.

And on Sunday, Israel said it had uncovered and destroyed the longest operational tunnel yet from Gaza.

It was no surprise, then, that after a grass-roots idea for a peaceful, long-lasting protest along the Gaza fence started gaining widespread support, Hamas brought a halt to what had been a fairly steady tempo of rocket launches into Israel and threw its considerable organizational might behind the demonstrations.

That is a lie.

Hamas had not been routinely launching rockets into Israel until the protests began.

Hamas had not been firing rockets into Israel at all.

Not in the days prior. Not in the weeks prior. Not in the months prior. Not even in the years prior.

According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), 25 rockets fired from Gaza struck Israel in 2015, and 15 rockets in 2016. The IDF itself identified none of those rockets as having been fired by Hamas.

In 2017, according to the IDF, 35 rockets and mortars were fired at Israel from Gaza. Most of them, about 30, had been fired in the very last month of the year, after US President Donald Trump on December 6 said Jerusalem was Israel’s capital (even though East Jerusalem is under international law “occupied Palestinian territory”, and for the US to move its embassy there would be illegal).

About half of them landed inside Gaza.

The IDF also acknowledged that these rockets were not being fired by Hamas. Rather, as the Israeli daily Haaretz reported, the IDF attributed the attacks to “the desire by Islamic Jihad and other Salafi organizations to thwart the planned reconciliation between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas”, as well as Islamic Jihad’s “desire to avenge Israels destruction of a cross-border attack tunnel in October that killed 12 of the organizations operatives.”

The Zionist regime presents no evidence to back most of it’s claims. The world is to rely solely on it’s say so.

See, Hamas has actually long been trying to suppress the very rocket attacks the New York Times would have you believe it was responsible for routinely until the Gaza protests. Hamas and the Salafi groups firing these rockets are actually at odds with each other. 

Of course, Israel holds Hamas responsible for any rocket attacks — even though it knows that Hamas isn’t the one doing it.

This has been the situation for quite a long time. Every serious observer knows this. Halbfinger is the Times‘ Jerusalem Bureau Chief. He cannot not know this.

Data for this year isn’t so easily obtained. But according to the list compiled at Wikipedia, there were six rockets fired in January and five or more in February.

According to the list compiled by the Jewish Virtual Library, there were four rockets in January and one in February.

Pointing out the low number of rocket attacks is not to trivialize their seriousness. Indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israeli civilian population centers are a war crime. T

he point is that the Times‘ claim that there had been “a fairly steady tempo” of rocket attacks until the Gaza protests started last month is at best misleading. And the Times‘ insinuation that rockets that have been fired were fired by Hamas is also maliciously false.

Compare the Times‘ claim with the acknowledgment from Michael Kaplow writing last week in the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle that “Hamas has not fired a rocket in 14 months”.

I would challenge Kaplow even to support his implication that Hamas fourteen months ago was responsible for firing rockets at Israel; but regardless, it puts the lie to the Times claim that Hamas had been steadily raining down rockets on Israel until the demonstrations began last month.

The falseness of the Times‘ claim also goes to the broader propaganda purpose of the article.

What the Times won’t tell you is that, actually, it is Israel that has routinely violated its ceasefire agreements with Hamas — including the ceasefires in place prior to its major operations “Cast Lead” (2008-2009), “Pillar of Defense” (2012), and “Protective Edge” (2014).

Hamas has also since 2005 expressed its acceptance of a Palestinian state alongside Israel within the 1949 armistice lines (a.k.a. the 1967 lines or “Green Line”).

And there is a great deal more about Hamas, and the Israel-Palestine conflict in general, that the Times does not disclose to its readers. 

This kind of information isn’t reported — and lies like the above are reported — because the media fulfill the self-designated purpose of manufacturing consent for the US policy of supporting Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians.

For more information about the reality of the situation as compared with how the New York Times and other mainstream media sources characterize it, read my book Obstacle to Peace: The US Role in the Israeli-Palestinian ConflictIf you want to learn what to expect inside its pages, you can read the entire first chapter, “The Rise of Hamas in Gaza”, for free.

Bonus video: Russia, China and the new world order

Living on Borrowed Time in a Stolen Land

If you wonder how come the Israelis don’t know their history, the answer is pretty simple, they have never been told.  The circumstances that led to the Israeli Palestinian conflict are well hidden within their culture.

‘You out there, in Sderot, Beer Sheva, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Tel Aviv and Haifa, whether you realize it or not, you are actually living on our stolen land. You better start to pack because your time is running out, you have exhausted our patience. We, the Palestinian people, have nothing to lose anymore’.

“Every Middle East expert knows that Hamas can seize control of the West Bank within hours.

In fact, PA and Fatah control in the West Bank is maintained by the IDF. Once Hamas takes the West Bank, the biggest Israeli population centre will be left to the mercy of Hamas.

For those who fail to see, this would be the end of Jewish Israel. It may happen later today, it may happen in three months or in five years, it isn’t matter of ‘if’ but rather matter of ‘when’.

By that time, the whole of Israel will be within firing range of Hamas and Hezbollah, Israeli society will collapse, its economy will be ruined.”

By Gilad Atzmon

Communicating with Israelis may leave one bewildered. Even now when the Israeli Air Force is practicing murder in broad daylight of hundreds of civilians, elderly persons, women and children, the Israeli people manage to convince themselves that they are the real victims in this violent saga.

Those who are familiar intimately with Israeli people realize that they are completely uninformed about the roots of the conflict that dominates their lives.

Rather often Israelis manage to come up with some bizarre arguments that may make a lot of sense within the Israeli discourse, yet make no sense whatsoever outside of the Jewish street.

Such an argument goes as follows: ‘those Palestinians, why do they insist upon living on our land (Israel), why can’t they just settle in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon or any other Arab country?’ Another Hebraic pearl of wisdom sounds like this: ‘what is wrong with these Palestinians? We gave them water, electricity, education and all they do is try to throw us to the sea’.

Astonishingly enough, the Israelis even within the so-called ‘left’ and even the educated ‘left’ fail to understand who the Palestinians are, where they come from and what they stand for. They fail to grasp that for the Palestinians, Palestine is home. 

Miraculously, the Israelis manage to fail to grasp that Israel had been erected at the expense of the Palestinian people, on Palestinian land, on Palestinian villages, towns, fields and orchards.

The Israelis do not realize that Palestinians in Gaza and in refugee camps in the region are actually dispossessed people from Ber Shive, Yafo, Tel Kabir, Shekh Munis, Lod, Haifa, Jerusalem and many more towns and villages. 

If you wonder how come the Israelis don’t know their history, the answer is pretty simple, they have never been told.  The circumstances that led to the Israeli Palestinian conflict are well hidden within their culture.

Traces of pre-1948 Palestinian civilization on the land had been wiped out.  Not only the Nakba, the 1948 ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinians, is not part of the Israeli curriculum, it is not even mentioned or discussed in any Israeli official or academic forum

In the very centre of almost every Israeli town one can a find a 1948 memorial statue displaying a very bizarre, almost abstract, pipe work. The plumbing feature is called Davidka and it is actually a 1948 Israeli mortar cannon.

Interestingly enough, the Davidka was an extremely ineffective weapon. Its shells wouldn’t reach more than 300 meters and would cause very limited damage.  Though the Davidika would cause just minimal harm, it produced a lot of noise. 

According to the Israeli official historical narrative, the Arabs i.e., Palestinians, simply ran away for their lives once they heard the Davidka from afar.

According to the Israeli narrative, the Jews i.e., ‘new Israelis’ did a bit of fireworks and the ‘Arab cowards’ just ran off like idiots. 

In the Israeli official narrative there is no mention of the many orchestrated massacres conducted by the young IDF and the paramilitary units that preceded it.

There is no mention also of the racist laws that stop Palestinians[1][1] from returning to their homes and lands.

The meaning of the above is pretty simple. Israelis are totally unfamiliar with the Palestinian cause. Hence, they can only interpret the Palestinian struggle as a murderous irrational lunacy.

Within the Israeli Judeo- centric solipsistic universe, the Israeli is an innocent victim and the Palestinian is no less than a savage murderer.

This grave situation that leaves the Israeli in the dark regarding his past demolishes any possibility of future reconciliation. Since the Israeli lacks the minimal comprehension of the conflict, he cannot contemplate any possible resolution except extermination or cleansing of the ‘enemy’.

All the Israeli is entitled to know are various phantasmic narratives of Jewish suffering. Palestinian pain is completely foreign to his ears.  ‘Palestinian right of return’ sounds to him like an amusing idea.

Even the most advanced ‘Israeli humanists’ are not ready to share the land with its indigenous inhabitants.

This doesn’t leave the Palestinians with many options but to liberate themselves against all odds. Clearly, there is no partner for peace on the Israel side.

This week we all learned more about the ballistic capability of Hamas. Evidently, Hamas was rather restrained with Israel for more than a long while.  It refrained from escalating the conflict to the whole of southern Israel.

It occurred to me that the barrages of Qassams that have been landing sporadically on Sderot and Ashkelon were actually nothing but a message from the imprisoned Palestinians.

First it was a message to the stolen land, homes fields and orchards: ‘Our beloved soil, we didn’t forget, we are still here fighting for you, sooner rather than later, we will come back, we will start again where we had stopped’. 

But it was also a clear message to the Israelis. ‘You out there, in Sderot, Beer Sheva, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Tel Aviv and Haifa, whether you realize it or not, you are actually living on our stolen land.

You better start to pack because your time is running out, you have exhausted our patience. We, the Palestinian people, have nothing to lose anymore’.

Let’s face it, realistically the situation in Israel is rather grave. Two years ago it was Hezbollah rockets that pounded northern Israel. This week the Hamas proved beyond doubt that it is capable of serving the South of Israel with some cocktail of ballistic vengeance.

Both in the case of the Hezbollah and the case of the Hamas, Israel was left with no military answer. It can no doubt kill civilians but it fails to stop the rocket barrage.

The IDF lacks the means of protecting Israel unless covering Israel with a solid concrete roof is a viable solution. At the end of the day, they might be planning just that (link).

But this is far from the end of the story. In fact it is just the beginning. Every Middle East expert knows that Hamas can seize control of the West Bank within hours.

In fact, PA and Fatah control in the West Bank is maintained by the IDF. Once Hamas takes the West Bank, the biggest Israeli population centre will be left to the mercy of Hamas.

For those who fail to see, this would be the end of Jewish Israel. It may happen later today, it may happen in three months or in five years, it isn’t matter of ‘if’ but rather matter of ‘when’.

By that time, the whole of Israel will be within firing range of Hamas and Hezbollah, Israeli society will collapse, its economy will be ruined.

The price of a detached villa in Northern Tel Aviv would equal a shed in Kiryat Shmone or Sderot. By the time a single rocket hits Tel Aviv, the Zionist dream will be over.

The IDF generals know it, the Israeli leaders know it. This is why they stepped up the war against the Palestinian into extermination. The Israelis do not plan upon invading Gaza. They have lost nothing there.

All they want is to finish the Nakba. They drop bombs on Palestinians in order to wipe them out.

They want the Palestinians out of the region.  It is obviously not going to work, Palestinians will stay. Not only they will they stay, their day of return to their land is coming closer as Israel has been exploiting its deadliest tactics. 

This is exactly where Israeli escapism comes into play. Israel has passed the ‘point of no return’. Its doomed fate is deeply engraved in each bomb it drops on Palestinian civilians.

There is nothing Israel can do to save itself. There is no exit strategy. It can’t negotiate its way out because neither the Israelis nor their leadership understand the elementary parameters involved in the conflict.  Israel lacks the military power to conclude the battle.

It may manage to kill Palestinian grassroots leaders, it has been doing it for years, yet Palestinian resistance and persistence is growing fierce rather than weakening.

As an IDF intelligence general predicted already at the first Intifada. ‘In order to win, all Palestinians have to do is to survive’. They survive and they are indeed winning.

Israeli leaders understand it all. Israel has already tried everything, unilateral withdrawal, starvation and now extermination. It thought to evade the demographic danger by shrinking into an intimate cosy Jewish ghetto. Nothing worked.

It is Palestinian persistence in the shape of Hamas politics that defines the future of the region.

All that is left to Israelis is to cling to their blindness and escapism to evade their devastating grave fate that has become immanent already. All along their way down, the Israelis will sing their familiar various victim anthems.

Being imbued in a self-centred supremacist reality, they will be utterly involved in their own pain yet completely blind to the pain they inflict on others. 

Uniquely enough, the Israelis are operating as a unified collective when dropping bombs on others, yet, once being slightly hurt, they all manage to become monads of vulnerable innocence.

It is this discrepancy between the self-image and the way they are seen by the rest of us which turns the Israeli into a monstrous exterminator.

 It is this discrepancy that stops Israelis from grasping their own history, it is that discrepancy that stops them from comprehending the repeated numerous attempts to destroy their State. It is that discrepancy that stops Israelis from understanding the meaning of the Shoah so can they prevent the next one. It is this discrepancy that stops Israelis from being part of humanity.

Once again Jews will have to wander into an unknown fate. To a certain extent, I myself have started my journey a while ago. 

 

Israel to reinstitute ‘assassinations policy’

Despite now officially about to be investigated for warcrimes, Israeli minister boasts the israeli killer army will continue its never-ending ‘assassinations policy’ against Palestinians!

December 26, 2019

Israel’s foreign minister on Thursday said Tel Aviv would return to “the policy of assassinations” against Palestinian resistance figures in the Gaza Strip, Reuters reports.

In statements he made to Israel’s army radio, Yisrael Katz indicated that there was “an intelligence effort to identify the rockets’ launchers and work to eliminate them.”

He stressed: “Intelligence efforts are currently focused on determining who is responsible for ordering missile launch instructions in order to work to eliminate him.”

On Wednesday evening, Israel’s iron dome anti-missile system intercepted a missile reportedly fired from the Gaza Strip towards the country’s south while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was attending an election rally in Ashkelon province.

According to Israeli media, security forces transferred Netanyahu to a “protected area” while security forces responded by bombing several sites in the Gaza Strip without any casualties.

Gaza Terrorist Fighter Assassinated by Zionist Entity

These are the people fighting to get their land back from the terrorist children of the terrorist Irgun. Israel is nothing but the legitimization of Zionist terrorism which has continued unabated for over 70 years.

The Occupation of Palestine. The Zionists stole their homes and land.

“We have to wait and see if “strongman” Netanyahu follows the killing of Bahaa Abu Al-Ata with another major offensive. If Hamas doesn’t respond, it will lose face amongst the Palestinians. If it does, a major military attack with devastating potential is the possible outcome. Netanyahu, it seems, is ready to do anything to boost his popularity and maintain his grip on power in Israel.”

The 42-year-old was killed in an Israeli air raid on his home in Gaza that also killed his wife.

Bahaa Abu al-Ata, a commander of the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad, has been assassinated in an Israeli air raid targeting his home in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The attack in the early hours of Tuesday also killed the 42-year-old’s wife. Medics and local sources told Al Jazeera that the raid in Gaza’s Shejaiya neighbourhood also wounded two of his children who are receiving medical treatment in the city’s al-Shifa hospital.

Later on Tuesday, large crowds gathered outside Gaza’s main hospital to participate in Abu al-Ata’s funeral procession.

During the 2014 Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, Abu al-Ata had survived an assassination attempt when he was a deputy commander to Daniel Mansour, commander of al-Quds Brigades in northern Gaza, the sources said.

Overall, more than 2,250 Palestinians, including nearly 1,500 civilians, were killed and a further 11,000 were wounded in the July-August 2014 war, according to Palestinian and United Nations estimates. On the Israeli side, 66 soldiers and six civilians died.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu alleged that Abu al-Ata was “in the midst of plotting additional attacks these very days”, without elaborating.

“He was a ticking bomb,” he added.

Meanwhile, Islamic Jihad promised to avenge Abu al-Ata’s killing. A barrage of rockets was fired towards Israel after his assassination was confirmed.

“Our inevitable retaliation will rock the Zionist entity,” the group said, referring to Israel.

According to political analyst Zulfiqar Swirgo, the assassination operation was not a new policy but an urgent necessity to rescue the Israeli Prime Minister. “The developments and escalations might put Netanyahu in trouble, but this depends on the level of response from the Palestinians, Iranians and Syrians. He has become a dangerous mafia thug.”

Israel prime minister declares ’emergency’ because of lower turnout by Likud voters

Haaretz reported earlier Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu aborted last week plans for an unusual military move in the Gaza Strip, which would likely have had far-reaching implications.

He did so at the last moment due to a legal opinion by Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit that the plan required the approval of the security cabinet.

Officials involved in the matter said in response to the report that the attorney general was the one who asked the senior adviser to update election board chief, Justice Hanan Melcer, about a possible escalation.

The dramatic discussion over a potential military action began Tuesday night. A few hours earlier, Netanyahu had gone through a disturbing experience: Gaza-based Islamic Jihad operatives fired a Katyusha rocket at the southern city Ashdod, [Ashdod is occupied Palestine land, the owners are currently locked up in Gaza] where he was speaking at a campaign rally.

Fantasy terrorists

After the rally, Netanyahu convened senior defense officials at army headquarters in Tel Aviv for urgent consultations. Afterward, his office distributed a picture of him with the senior officials in question – Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, Shin Bet director Nadav Argaman, Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, National Security Adviser Ben-Shabbat, Military Intelligence director Tamir Hayman and Netanyahu’s military secretary, Avi Blot. All wore grave faces.

Some of those at the discussion had reservations about the force of a possible attack for two reasons: The possibility of sustaining collateral damage and the risk that a Palestinian response would include massive rocket fire by Hamas and Islamic Jihad that would drag the two sides toward war.

In addition, although nothing was said directly to Netanyahu, some participants were concerned that some of the prime minister’s motives were connected to the election.

The dispute continued during the following two days, as well. Mendelblit played a major role after being brought into the discussions at a later stage. He warned Netanyahu of the legal requirement to involve the security cabinet in any decision that could lead to a war.

But Netanyahu did not bring the decision to a vote before the security cabinet and in the end stopped pressing the heads of the defense establishment to act. Early Wednesday morning the army conducted a minor air raid, hitting several Hamas targets in Gaza without causing any casualties.

“Sderot cinema. Israelis bringing chairs 2 hilltop in sderot 2 watch latest from Gaza. Clapping when blasts are heard.” Sderot is Palestine land and the owners are locked up in Gaza.

 

 

Netanyahu’s plan is for Palestinians to accept their brutal defeat

middleeasteye.net/opinion 24 May 2019

The endgame is to wear away hope until nothing but acceptance of Israel’s total and complete victory feels possible.

I was a student at An-Najah University in the West Bank in 1999 when I was arrested at an Israeli checkpoint for not having a residency permit.

During the court case that ensued, the Israeli judge told me that when it came to my punishment, I had a choice: prison or the cemetery.

He was not using the word “cemetery” literally. He meant exile to the Gaza Strip, from where I had come. Isreal’s policies, I realized then, were intentionally designed to turn Gaza into a huge, living graveyard, a cemetery. 

The 52-year (71, actually) occupation, decade-long siege, and repeated attacks on Gaza are meant to drum this reality into Palestinians in the occupied territories and beyond. 

The recent Israeli military escalation in Gaza had the same logic, even if the motivations were different.

While Israel did not diverge in its degree of force or its targets, including civilian women and children, the political machinations behind it were specific to the

moment.

Obviously Rothschild Israel is the biggest power on earth because there seems to be no one can stop this.

Netanyahu used the escalation to show his far-right coalition partners his determination and ability to subdue Gaza

Recently re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is looking to form a coalition that will keep him in power until the end of his term.

Netanyahu used the escalation to show his far-right coalition partners his determination and ability to subdue Gaza. 

Former defence minister Avigdor Lieberman, after all, resigned in November 2018 in protest against what he claimed was a weak Israeli response to Hamas rocket fire.

Lieberman rejected the truce that Egypt had brokered and demanded a draconian change in policy.

Hence, the recent directives of the Israeli political-military cabinet led by Netanyahu, to intensify strikes against Gaza, are an implied invitation to Lieberman and his bloc to join Likud and its coalition once again.

Everything Israel says (in defense of itself) is a lie.

Divide and rule

Netanyahu’s recent attack on Gaza also involves maintaining a division among Palestinians in the occupied territories, in particular the separation between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Israel’s periodic attacks on Gaza are designed to weaken and embarrass Hamas, but not dislodge it from power, ensuring that the Fatah-Hamas rivalry remains. *(Isreal uses Gaza as a weapons lab. The others in the West Bank are used for terrorist training, Palestinians are useful for this purpose only)

In the West Bank, Netanyahu is pursuing a policy of steady annexation with US and Arab support.

He also wants to maintain a weak Palestinian Authority (PA) under Fatah that continues security coordination with Israel so that the direct costs of Israel’s occupation are subsidised by foreign donors.

No matter what the Zionists devils do, we will never accept them, and we will fight against them.

Israel’s periodic attacks on Gaza are designed to weaken and embarrass Hamas, but not dislodge it from power, ensuring that the Fatah-Hamas rivalry remains.

Moreover, Netanyahu wants a Palestinian negotiating partner that he can easily dismiss as unwilling to accept peace on Israel’s terms and unable to implement any agreement.

As such, it is in Israel’s interest that Hamas stays in power in Gaza and the PA continues in the West Bank, provided that both parties remain on the brink of an abyss and unable to overcome their predicament.

The hidden hand is not so interested in hiding, since they are certain they’ve got it in the bag. (All of us)

Indeed, Netanyahu declared during the election that he would continue to sustain this division by preventing Gaza from returning to the PA at all costs.

Essentially, he desires a stability through which he can control Palestinian land and people and continue to convince a toothless international community that occupation and violence against Palestinians is necessary for Israeli security.

In this fashion he can achieve his goal of perpetuating the occupation without taking responsibility.

Instead, local powers will bear the blame for the persistent lack of peace, while he devotes himself to expanding normalization with Arab states without the obstacle of the Palestinian cause.

The spirit of defeat

In the long term, Netanyahu aims to engender a spirit of defeat in Palestinians. This will be achieved by wearing Palestinians down in both Gaza and the West Bank through continued excessive force and a multitude of “disciplinary” measures, such as closed borders and checkpoints, segregated roads, home demolitions, collective punishment, and assassinations.

His ideal result: for Palestinians to give up and recognise Israel’s victory, a strategy that American historian Daniel Pipes has dubbed “the victory caucus”.

Israel believes that the key to this victory hinges on the subjugation of Gaza, which is a prelude to the subjugation of the West Bank.

Yossi Cohen and Yovel Mor Yosef, who were killed in the shooting attack at Givat Assaf in the West Bank on December 13, 2018.

While the fun lasted, huh? Yossi Cohen and Yovel Mor Yosef, who were killed in the shooting attack at Givat Assaf in the West Bank on December 13, 2018.

Hamas’s Ismail Haniya with Palestinian Fatah delegation chief Azzam al-Ahmad during a reconciliation meeting in Gaza (AFP)

Israel’s goal is to uproot Gaza from its national context and isolate it in particularly dire living conditions, thereby subjugating the people of the besieged enclave while also communicating to Palestinians everywhere that struggle and resistance are futile. 

Israel is a terrorist entity created and support by top of the food chain.

Furthermore, if Israel can subjugate Gaza with little or no international criticism, especially from the US, then it can do the same in the West Bank.

In the West Bank, the right-wing settler movement is essential to the success of this strategy.

The settlers believe Israel has a historical and religious right to the occupied territory, despite generations of Palestinians living on that land, and they have support from the Trump administration. 

A genuine reconciliation

All the while, the UN promotes compensatory discourse, such as UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov’s constant warnings against Gaza’s worsening situation.

Such discourse implicitly shows the UN’s failure to counter Israeli policies and practices, as well as a renunciation of international responsibility to recognize and advocate for Palestinian rights.

The BBC’s sophisticated distortion of Palestinian protest and Israeli power

Read More »

The recent escalation, like all previous ones, was subdued, but the calm will not last. Netanyahu will rekindle the Gaza front whenever his policies require it, whether to preserve his government coalition or perpetuate division between the West Bank and Gaza in the event of a potential Palestinian rapprochement.

Challenging this cycle of violence and death requires genuine Palestinian reconciliation that empowers the Palestinian people and reinforces their existence on their land.

This should involve all factions coming together to draft a national agenda capable of defying the occupation and resisting Israel’s attempts to oppress and subdue Palestinians.

The agenda should express the demand for the right to a decent life – an outcome that is only possible with the end of the siege and military occupation of Palestinian land and the Palestinian people. 

Well, that’s never gonna happen, Talal Ahmad Abu Rokbeh (author of this admirable  post). But indeed, right thinking people will keep throwing the proverbial rock at the devil wherever he shows himself if for no other reason than to be on the right side. Ameen.

Israelis Need To Know

Israelis need to know, is it on or off?  Today, tomorrow? Yes or no? It erodes the public’s faith in the actions of the political leadership and will reawaken doubts as to their decisions!

Image result for israelis watching gaza bombing meme

But this thundering silence, compared to the regular blabber during normal times, and especially given the deceptive denials on Thursday night, is grating. It erodes the public’s faith in the actions of the political leadership and will reawaken doubts as to their decisions, even if a decision is made in the end to escalate steps taken against Hamas (i.e. all and any Palestinians).

haaretz.com

The government’s silence about Gaza, compared to its regular running off at the mouth, has eroded the public’s faith in its leaders.

Thursday night, before midnight, at the time that the newspapers were about to close their weekend print editions, the Al-Jazeera television network cited Egyptian sources as saying that a cease-fire had been reached between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

A few minutes later, a foreign diplomat who is involved in the talks seconded the claim. Both sides agreed to stop shooting and the understandings would take effect at midnight, he said. The Israelis were actually the ones to rush to deny the claims, in a text message sent out to reporters. “The report on a supposed cease-fire is not correct,” read the message.

Now it’s Friday morning, and in what is difficult to describe as a surprise, it seems once again as if the Palestinian and Egyptian version of the events behind the scenes is much more trustworthy that the Israeli version. During the night, no exchanges of fire were recorded along the border with the Gaza Strip. Not a single rocket was fired – and despite the threatening briefings the television stations received from security cabinet members on Thursday, Israeli Air Force planes remained on the ground too.

Image result for anticipation animated gif

The Home Front Command lifted its special restrictions for civilians in the south on Friday morning. Even if Israel is hiding behind the statement “quiet will be met with quiet,” and has declared it is not conducting negotiations with Hamas, in practice this is a cease-fire.

It is also a replay, beat by beat, of the way in which one of previous rounds of escalation in Gaza ended at the end of May. Then too, an announcement of a cease-fire came from Cairo and Gaza late at night, and then too, a vehement Israeli denial was issued – as usual, attributed to “senior officials” – which turned out to be baseless the next morning. The only difference is that every time, fewer journalists fall into the trap. Those who managed to check things out with officers in the Israel Defense Forces on Thursday were generally more cautious in their forecasts.

But in this case, it seems most of the blame does not lie with the media. Fifteen minutes before the evening news broadcast, 15 minutes before the newspapers went down to print – these are the times of maximum spin. When the journalists and columnists are obligated to publish their information quickly, at the height of a security crisis, the machines of deception go into action.

As usual, no one in the cabinet thought this morning that they had to be accountable to the public. The decisions on the policies concerning Gaza directly affect hundreds of thousands of Israelis: Residents of the region near the Gaza border, residents of the entire south of Israel, and parents of IDF combat soldiers who hear on the news that a ground offensive against Gaza is under consideration.

Nonetheless, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and most other ministers have avoided explaining their considerations to the public. Even their very active Twitter accounts have gone almost silent since the latest escalation began on Tuesday. So what if we said and promised and lied? Today is the beginning of a new day. You’ll soon forget.

Image result for anticipation animated gif

A thundering silence

In practical terms, it is possible to find logic in the security cabinet’s policy. Netanyahu has been doing quite a lot over these past few weeks to avoid a costly and superfluous war. There is no need to rush to enter Gaza when all alternative channels have not been completely exhausted, while it is also not clear what Israel wants to achieve.

But this thundering silence, compared to the regular blabber during normal times, and especially given the deceptive denials on Thursday night, is grating. It erodes the public’s faith in the actions of the political leadership and will reawaken doubts as to their decisions, even if a decision is made in the end to escalate steps taken against Hamas.

Blowing a tactical smokescreen around the IDF’s plans is legitimate in a near-war situation. This is how Israel acted on the eve of beginning Operation Cast Lead in 2008. But so far, this looks like an effort to mislead for internal political reasons, whose main consideration is to defend against political criticism.

How long will the nations allow a small minority to dictate to them their criminal terms?

Killing people from preventable diseases as a result of the collapse of infrastructure, lack of food and health care, and displacement is also an element of genocide.

“There is scarcely a field, from Art and Literature, to Academics and Political Economy, from Politics and Media, to the most secret domains of sensuality and criminality, in which the Jewish spirit cannot be clearly traced and has not imparted a peculiar warp to the affairs of life.”

Water Works in Gaza Destroyed

Water Works in Gaza Destroyed

What is left of the Water and Sanitation Works, al-Mughrraqa City, Gaza.

Overnight on August 8-9, Israeli warplanes bombed the Water and Sanitation system for al-Mughraqa City in Gaza.

from Quds News Network

There are several possible explanations for this heinous act:

  1. Someone accidentally hit this site – multiple times

  2. This site was targeted on purpose, with full knowledge that Gazans have almost zero access to clean water and are slowly dying – and this will cruelly speed up their death.

Not surprisingly, the destruction of water works is a breach of international law:

Attacks against Objects Indispensable to the Survival of the Civilian Population

Article 54(2) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides:

It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove, or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, agricultural areas for the production of foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies and irrigation works, for the specific purpose of denying them for their sustenance value to the civilian population or to the adverse Party, whatever the motive, whether in order to starve out civilians, to cause them to move away, or for any other motive.

The Calling Card of Little Satan, Israhell

If Palestinians inside Palestine aren’t suffering they are dead.


PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES, GAZA, PALESTINE – 2018/07/17: A general view of the arts and handcraft village that was damaged by the Israeli air strikes in Gaza City.

Jomma Alzaem was still looking frantically for his rare antiques amid the rubble in Gaza’s Arts and Crafts Village on Wednesday, four days after it was severely damaged during Israeli air strikes.

Israel said the strikes across Gaza were against Hamas, the group that rules the isolated Palestinian territory. One strike hit an unfinished building right next to the village, where Mr Jomma owned a brass shop.

“I believe that Israel wanted to target the village, not the building. They targeted Palestinian heritage, a heritage that they don’t own,” Mr Jomma, 67, told The National.

“I spent years collecting the brass. I had items about 100 years old. My shop was considered as a tourist attraction, and now all of the brass and relics are under rubble.”

UN reports a 12 percent increase in the demolition of Palestinian-owned structures in Jerusalem over the first half of 2018.

Israel using ‘strange gases’ against protesters in Gaza

The Great March of Return protests acted as a laboratory for Israel to trial its latest technologies in a real-life situation. This provides concrete evidence of the technologies’ efficacy, which can then be used as fuel for international arms trade deals.

Image result for idf snipers in gaza

Gaza Strip—Thousands of Palestinians protested along Gaza’s sealed border with Israel [occupied Palestine]  , engulfing the volatile area in black smoke from burning tires to try to block the view of Israeli snipers. Palestinian resistance is covered by international law, even armed struggle, while the Zionist occupation is illegal and barring the Palestinians from returning to their homes since 1948.]

Israeli occupation forces used “strange” and “unknown” gases against unarmed, peaceful protesters in Gaza, Quds Press reported the central commission for documentation and pursuit of Israeli war criminals –Tawtheeq saying.

Head of the commission Imad Al-Baz told Quds Press that Israel used strange gases against the protesters for the first time last Friday as Palestinians continued their peaceful activities as part of the Great March of Return.

The gases caused protesters’ bodies to convulse and tremble, he explained. Many lost consciousness as a result for several hours, he added.

“We do not know the kind of gases which were used for the first time,” he said, “but we took cultures from the blood and urine of those affected and we expect the results will be shocking.”

Israeli occupation forces used unmanned drones to drop the gas on the demonstrators, Al-Baz said.

Protesters were being targeted in their lower body, Al-Baz said, with many  shot with live ammunition in their genitals..

The following lists the consecutive attacks on the Gaza strip: “There is something wrong with a regime that requires a pyramid of corpses every few years”. G. Orwell

  • 2000: Muhammad al-Durrah incident

    Image result for Muhammad al-Durrah incident animated gif

    Father and son shot by Zionist Occupation forces.

  • 2004 May: Operation Rainbow (2004)

    Related image

  • 2004: Operation Forward Shield

    Image result for Raid on Beit Hanoun (2004); Operation Forward Shield

  • 2004 September: Operation Days of Penitence

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  • 2005: (Israeli disengagement from Gaza)

  • 2006: Operation Summer Rains

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    Gazans examine a bridge destroyed by Israeli F-16 warplanes as part of Operation Summer Rain

  • 2006: Gaza beach explosion (2006)

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    7-year-old girl who lost her parents and five of her brothers in Friday’s Gaza beach by Occupation militant shelling

  • 2006: 2006 Israel-Gaza conflict

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  • 2006: 2006 shelling of Beit Hanoun

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  • 2006 November: Operation Autumn Clouds

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  • 2008: Beit Hanoun April 2008 incident

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  • 2008 February: Operation Hot Winter

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     2010 May: Gaza flotilla raid (in international waters)

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    IDF personnel began firing on the Mavi Marmara from both the speedboats and helicopters before boarding had commenced, 9 activists executed, another activist died later.

  • 2011: August 2011 Gaza Strip air raids

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  • 2012 March: March 2012 Gaza–Operation Returning Echo

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  • 2012: Operation Pillar of Defense

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  • 2014: 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict

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2018: The Great march of Return

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  • 25 May 2018: Israeli forces have injured 109 demonstrators

  • 15 May 2018: two Palestinians were reported killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, and 417 injured

  • 14 May 2018: 55 Palestinians were reported killed by Israeli forces, including six children, 2,771 injured.