Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Gaza Under Attack

       Operation Protective Edge: Israel's latest war on Palestinians

   Israel's war on the millions of Palestinian's in the West Bank and Gaza has been going on for nearly 50 years. Even in so called times of peace Israel wages constant low intensity warfare on the Palestinians. People are assassinated, people are dragged away to prison without charge where they will be tortured. Many of those they arrest are minors. In addition Israel wages a constant economic war, in Gaza they have been under a state of siege since 2007 when an economic blockade was imposed. The west bank is constantly being ethnically cleansed to make way for more and more jewish only settlements. The settlers invariably made up of the most extremist elements of Israeli society are given the freedom to constantly harass and attack their palestinian neighbors. The palestinians are also the target of a constant psychological war aimed at breaking their spirit. Israel hopes that if it can make conditions hellish enough that one day they will be able to eject the entire populace. After all this is how Israel was founded and they were quite successful in ethnically cleansing palestine to create the state of Israel as documented in the now classic "Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine" by Israeli historian Ilan Pappe. (He was forced to flee the country because of a stream of death threats against himself and his family) This period of ethnic cleansing is called by the Palestinians the Nakbah meaning the Catastrophe. However in the Hubris of the 1967 war Israel seized more Palestinian populated territory the West Bank was seized from Jordan while Gaza was seized from Egypt. With the whole world watching Israel didn't dare to force the entire populace to flee. So it began it's process of slow motion genocide which has continued to this day. Bit by bit they have devoured the west bank families are forced off of their homes and loose their land. Until the Israeli dream of a Nakbah part 2 can take place they have to content themselves with these periodic attempts to terrorize the entire population and engage in a genocidal targeting of their infrastructure very similar to the methods the US used in Iraq that led to a million dead from disease. Schools, hospitals, water treatment facilities, houses and Gaza's only power plant have been destroyed. 1.2 million are currently without access to clean water or working toilets. Afterwards the Palestinian's will be prevented from rebuilding as Israel restricts the import of building materials into Gaza. In fact even without this latest rampage the water and sewage situations were leading to a health emergency do to restrictions on building materials. In other words the populace was forced to drink sewage tainted water. Some have speculated that Israel is destroying vast swathes of Gaza to make way for settlements there. Israel withdrew it's settlers from densely populated Gaza in order to focus on stealing Palestinian lands in the West Bank. This is what earned convicted war criminal Ariel Sharon the Orwellian praise of being "a man of peace." However given the current public relations disaster where even the mainstream media, even the state department have begun to criticize the attack on Gaza these plans will probably be postponed for the present. It has also been pointed out that enormous natural gas reserves have been discovered off the coast another motive for all the bloody carnage. Whatever the motive the world is once again being subjected to the site of a largely defenseless people being slaughtered. Most of the world has always seen the conflict for what it is. It is instructive to read the long list of condemnations Israel has received at the hands of the UN general assembly. Often only the US and it's most servile and insignificant allies side with Israel. However in Some ignorant parts of the world that like to think of themselves as advanced like my native land the United States of America they have been under the delusion that Israel was defending itself.  This illusion seemingly resistant for decades to any form of common sense, to any facts may finally be lifting from the US public. In return so as not to loose all credibility or often merely as a result of individually witnessing some new outrage the media is daring to criticize Israel.
    Israel has one of the most powerful militaries in the world. They have massive stockpiles of Biological chemical and nuclear weapons. Israeli Nuclear submarines patrol the entire region. Still it is Israel's soft power that is truly dangerous. To do it justice would require a book or even a series of books. The Israel lobby is the elephant in the room that many are reluctant to discuss. It includes  groups like AIPAC infamous for it's power over the US legislative branch. Recently the US Senate voted Unanimously in support of Israel's terror campaign against the civilian population of Gaza.  This was not because they had all suddenly gone insane but rather because none dared to defy the lobby. Nor is the US the only country with a powerful Pro-Israel lobby Paris has CRIF and the Lobby is powerful in Britain and Germany among other countries. Still as I said there is far more then Aipac there are Pro Israel think tanks like the Institute for Defense of Democracies.  Also groups aiming to prevent criticism in the Media like Canvas. When all else fails they send in the ADL. Israel's harshest critics are often Israelis so I'll recommend a hilarious Israeli documentary "Defamation" on the ADL where it's National Director Abe Foxman clearly states that there is no other conceivable reason other then anti-Semitism why anyone would ever criticize Israel.  And as for all the Jewish Voices who criticize Israel? In any case Israel has used it's soft power to insure that certain western countries like the US have a completely false picture of Israel's endless Illegal occupation of palestinian territories. They believe that Israel is only defending itself. Fortunately a recent Gallup Poll revealed that 51% of American's consider Israel's actions during Operation Protective Edge were unjustified only 21% thought that Israel was justified. Thanks to the Internet people are finally beginning to wake up despite the disgraceful coverage of media outlets like the New York Times. By carrying out the attack on the Palestinians for too long the Israeli's may be loosing one of their most important assets US public opinion.
    There is no telling how long Israel plans to continue it's latest bloodbath.  As I write there is a supposed Ceasefire yesterday hours after it was declared Israel shelled a family home in a refugee camp injuring 30 people mostly women and children and killing a little girl. Just the latest in a long line of incidents that have horrified the world. Twitter is awash with photos of the mangled corpses of dead children. The tearstained faces of angry mourning parents. Devastated neighborhoods that have literally been flattened by bombs. Schools blown up in front of journalists. Playgrounds targeted. Hospitals bombed to prevent them from treating the wounded. 13 hospitals have been targeted so far and ten doctors have been killed. There is only so long all this can be spun as defense. The numbers don't lie as of August 4th 3 Israeli civilians had died. 64 Israeli soldiers have been killed mostly as a result of Netanyahu's foolish ground invasion of Gaza. 1,865 palestinians have been killed 429 were children 243 were women 79 were over 60. Many more have been "Injured" imagine loosing an arm or a leg or being scarred for life. Every day for the rest of your life is negatively impacted especially if these scars act as a constant reminder of a dead husband, wife, brother sister parent or child. So far 9,536 people have been "injured" 2,877 were children 1,853 were women 347 were over 60. Almost 3000 children have been scarred for life already. Then there are all those psychological scars. Over 40,000 homes have been destroyed. Imagine loosing everything you own in an instant. So many sentimental attachments destroyed so many memories gone forever. Psychological war is being waged in this case the deliberate attempt to instill feelings of terror, despair, Helplessness. But it's all very pointless certainly they succeed in spreading misery but after suffering nearly 50 years under Israel's ruthless occupation with old generations dying and new ones being born, the spirit of resistance will never fully die no matter how many times Israel wages one of it's almost yearly terror campaigns on the populace. If such a strategy truly worked it would have worked decades ago. Of course as I said the lunatic fringe at the helm secretly hope for the day when then world will be distracted by a big enough crisis that Israel will be able to get away with killing or expelling the Palestinians. Israeli politicians and Media seem oblivious to the fact that news can travel around the globe in an instant. They have engaged in some of the most shocking public statements imaginable. Rape has been openly advocated against the family members of members of various Palestinian resistance movements like Hamas. Israel played a prime role in the promotion of Hamas to it's current stature. The PLO was just too reasonable which was bad for Israel's public image so Israel promoted a muslim brotherhood splinter group to compete with PLO. Thus Israel claims to be defending itself against a monster that is largely of it's own creation. Sounds eerily familiar. Besides advocating rape there have been open calls for genocide from politicians and pundits. There have been calls to kill more mothers before they can give birth to more snakes which is what some Israelis are calling palestinian children.
    At least in the US and Europe politicians at least feign humanitarian motives. Iraq had to be destroyed in order to be Freed. The Libyan people supposedly had to be bombed to smithereens in order to save them from Qadafi. Sure a moments critical analysis reveals it all to be utter madness but usually a steady stream of media disinformation manages to fool a certain amount of people for a time. The point is that they still pretend to be doing good despite the fact that they are doing evil. In Israel clearly that is no longer the case. Sure internationally their press guides tell them to feign concern for the palestinians but the domestic audience seems to have other ideas. The Israeli public has been manipulated for 70 years until it has come to this sorry state. Israel has been under attack, it has been under a psychological attack by extremist elements within Israeli society for so long that it is fast becoming a nation of virulent racists. Thus an Israeli newspaper published an op-ed openly calling for genocide. The current crisis actually began with a typical example of how the Israeli public are manipulated. Three Teenagers were kidnapped. The Israeli police received a call from one of the teenagers moments before they were shot. They were killed by machine gun fire during the call and the kidnappers could be heard saying we got three. Israeli intelligence put a gag order on the media forbidding them to reveal the teens fate and the Israeli public was lead to believe that they were still alive so that they could be whipped up into a frenzy behind the latest attack on the Gaza strip. In addition they falsely blamed Hamas for the attack when they knew the kidnappers were not connected to Hamas. These are the sorts of tactics that have over the decades turned Israel into a nation of bigots. Thus not only have the Israeli been killing palestinians angry mobs have been carrying out brutal murders that remind me of the sort of scenes once common in the American south. They are eerily similar to the Lynchings that once plagued America. Google Emmet till for one famous example. Palestinian Teenagers are being kidnapped beaten to death and set on fire. Even Israelis demonstrating for peace have been beaten by bands of racists. Think of it as a cautionary tale Media propaganda can turn people into racist beasts. The same sort of mindset is being instilled across the western world as a result of the War on Terror and the War on Drugs. Hollywood movies turn the people of the world into menacing faceless others who must be killed without a second thought. If we do not resist this effort to dehumanize others we ourselves become dehumanized.
    The People of the world must remember this latest series of atrocities and war crimes. For far to long the plight of the Palestinians has been ignored. How many more decades are they going to alternate between economic warfare, and endless humiliating restrictions, punctuated with arrests and assassinations and these periods of brutal rampages by the Israel Military in which civilians are bombed, shelled, and shot. Imagine if every couple of years your home was turned into a war zone. The rest of the time you lived in a state of induced emergency. Caged behind walls and fences for the crime of being born Palestinian. To give just one example of economic war Unemployment has increased in the Palestinian territories to 40% since 2001 when it was 20%.  The people of the world must find ways to bring this endless military occupation to an end. Join the boycott divestment and sanctions movement and try to boycott as many corporations as possible profiting from the Occupation. Even a quick survey of the corporations involved like Coca Cola or McDonalds reveals the tragedy of our consumer society nearly everything we buy is tainted with blood and oppression. If not Palestinian blood then African, Asian or Latin American blood. The system makes accomplices of us all. Help fight the information war by creating or at least spreading media revealing the truth of what is going on in Palestine. Society seems to be nearing the tipping point where more then a decade of attempts to provide independent news is finally bearing fruit. The Media is being forced to grudgingly admit the truth that it tries so hard to hide. Israel is engaged in a war on a defenseless civilian population. Firing rockets is largely a symbolic form of resistance they have no warheads and have killed all of 3 people. While the Palestinians are helpless against the Israeli military assault, we have the power to beat the Israeli propaganda assault. In fact perhaps we already have. We must continue the fight to  end the brutal occupation of Palestine. Israel's latest outrages must not be forgotten.

I spent all morning reading various articles besides having paid attention for weeks. I don't feel like reproducing it all here nor could I if i did. I'll just mention that Syria 360 has had great coverage of the war on Gaza.


And here is the infamous Max Blumenthal article on the three missing teenagers


For a great history of Israel read David Hirst's "The Gun and the Olive Branch" he was the first westerner who dared write an honest account of the conflict and has an updated expanded edition that brings it into the 21st century. I also recommend his "Beware of Small States" a history of Lebanon the site of terrible massacres of palestinian refugees as well as the scene of israeli invasion and a civil war.  Also I recommend the Works of Israeli Historian Ilan Pappe such as The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. You can find some great lectures of his for free online. Edward Said is great to read for a Palestinian perspective. He also has some great lectures online. Jeffrey Blankfort is a great source on the Israel lobby. Watch the movie reel bad arabs available free online to begin to fight hollywoods attempts to turn you into a racist. My friend Pearse Redmond appeared on a recent Episode of Clandestime to discuss the movie. The podcast and a link to the film are here.


Check out his site for some great independent journalism


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