Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Greenhouse propaganda—How Gazan history is being rewritten to dehumanise Palestinians

What really happened to the greenhouses? 

According to the New York Times, two months prior to the withdrawal, in July of 2005, Israeli settlers demolished about half of the greenhouses, “creating significant doubts that the greenhouses could be handed over to the Palestinians as ‘a living business.’” There are other reports that rather than leave their greenhouses behind for the Palestinians some settlers decided to burn them to the ground. Notwithstanding the destruction that had already been wrought, wealthy American philanthropists led by the Gates foundation and James Wolfensohn, the US Special Envoy for Gaza Disengagement, bought the remaining greenhouses from the Israeli settlers on behalf of the Palestinians in Gaza for $14 million. Wolfensohn contributed $500,000 of his own money.Admittedly, Palestinian looters took to the greenhouses when they were transferred to Palestinian control in mid-September 2005, hauling away some of the irrigation pipes, water pumps, plastic sheeting and glass, but leaving the greenhouses themselves structurally intact. Bassil Jabir was the CEO of the Palestine Economic Development Company (PED), the organization founded by the Palestinian Authority to take charge of the greenhouse project after it was turned over to the Palestinians. The PED invested more than $20 million into the project. Jabir said that as a result of the destruction by Israeli settlers and Palestinian looters the PED had to invest an additional $5 million into the greenhouse project to revive it. Despite the initial setbacks, the greenhouses were up and running by mid-October. By late November, the New York Times reported that the Palestinians were preparing to harvest a crop of peppers, strawberries, tomatoes and herbs worth $20 million. Presciently, in the same article, Palestinians expressed concern that if Israel did not keep the Karni border crossing open, it could result in the demise of the greenhouse project. Read more

AIPAC Is the Only Explanation for America's Morally Bankrupt Israel Policy

AIPAC OBAMA


The official name for Israel's latest assault on Gaza is "Operation Protective Edge." A better name would be "Operation Déjà Vu." As it has on several prior occasions, Israel is using weapons provided by U.S. taxpayers to bombard the captive and impoverished Palestinians in Gaza, where the death toll now exceeds 500. As usual, the U.S. government is siding with Israel, even though most American leaders understand Israel instigated the latest round of violence, is not acting with restraint, and that its actions make Washington look callous and hypocritical in the eyes of most of the world.
This Orwellian situation is eloquent testimony to the continued political clout of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and the other hardline elements of the Israel lobby. There is no other plausible explanation for the supine behavior of the U.S. Congress--including some of its most "progressive" members--or the shallow hypocrisy of the Obama administration, especially those officials known for their purported commitment to human rights.
The immediate cause of this latest one-sided bloodletting was the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli hikers in the occupied West Bank, followed shortly thereafter by the kidnapping and fatal burning of a Palestinian teenager by several Israelis. According to J.J. Goldberg's reporting in the Jewish newspaper Forward, the Netanyahu government blamed Hamas for the kidnappings without evidence and pretended the kidnapped Israelis were still alive for several weeks, even though there was evidence indicating the victims were already dead. It perpetrated this deception in order to whip up anti-Arab sentiment and make it easier to justify punitive operations in the West Bank and Gaza.
Read more

Saturday, August 9, 2014

US objects Palestinian bid to International Criminal Court


Spokesperson of the US Department of State Jen Psaki said on Tuesday that her country objects to the Palestinian Authority's efforts to try Israel at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Commenting at a daily press briefing in Washington on what she called "reports of a push for an ICC investigation", she said: "Our view is that we continue to strongly oppose unilateral actions that seek to circumvent or prejudge the very outcomes that can only be negotiated."
She continued: "We've been very clear that, while we've expressed concerns when we've had them, there is – the only realistic path for realising Palestinian aspirations of statehood is through direct negotiations between the parties."
Read more

Netanyahu asks US to help Israel avoid war crime charges

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ISRAELI Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked US lawmakers to help fend off Palestinian claims that his country engaged in “war crimes” in Gaza, one top politician tells the New York Post
Read more

Shoppers Use App To Boycott Israel In Grocery Store Aisles

When young California-based developer Ivan Pardo launched smartphone app Buycott last year, users at first seized upon its technology to avoid putting coins in the coffers of the conservative billionaire Koch brothers.
Everyday shoppers using iPhones or Android devices could scan the barcode of, say, Brawny paper towel or Dixie cups and trace the corporate ownership of both kitchen cupboard staples to Koch Industries , the conglomerate run by the politically active (and thereby controversial) industrialists Charles and David Koch.
Read more 

Native American Indians Take a Stand For Gaza

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The parallels to the plight of the Palestinian people and Native Americans have been drawn by many. Speaking in San Francisco, Tony Gonzales of the American Indian Movement (AIM), ”with a common legacy of bantustans (homelands) – Indian reservations and encircled Palestinian territories – Native Americans understand well the situation of Palestinians.”
While there are certainly diverse views on nearly every political issue imaginable within Native American communities, a growing number are beginning to empathize with and see a disturbing parallel between what happened to the First Peoples of North America, and Palestinians in the Levant.

Israel's atrocities in Gaza prompt unprecedented political fallout

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Ben White
"Carnage" in Gaza – "the killing of children and the slaughter of civilians". Not the words of a Palestinian spokesperson but rather French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. Australia's FM Julie Bishop condemned what she called "shocking" and "indefensible" incidents, with "hundreds of innocent people" killed.
Just two examples of how Israel's strongest allies have criticised the conduct of 'Operation Protective Edge' in unprecedentedly harsh terms. In the UK specifically, there has been an undeniable sea-change in the way that self-declared 'friends' of Israel have drawn a red line – adding their voices of criticism to more vociferous condemnation heard at numerous, large-scale demonstrations.
Read more

ISIS consolidates

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Patrick Cockburn

As the attention of the world focused on Ukraine and Gaza, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) captured a third of Syria in addition to the quarter of Iraq it had seized in June. The frontiers of the new Caliphate declared by Isis on 29 June are expanding by the day and now cover an area larger than Great Britain and inhabited by at least six million people, a population larger than that of Denmark, Finland or Ireland. In a few weeks of fighting in Syria Isis has established itself as the dominant force in the Syrian opposition, routing the official al-Qaida affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, in the oil-rich province of Deir Ezzor and executing its local commander as he tried to flee. In northern Syria some five thousand Isis fighters are using tanks and artillery captured from the Iraqi army in Mosul to besiege half a million Kurds in their enclave at Kobani on the Turkish border. In central Syria, near Palmyra, Isis fought the Syrian army as it overran the al-Shaer gasfield, one of the largest in the country, in a surprise assault that left an estimated three hundred soldiers and civilians dead. Repeated government counter-attacks finally retook the gasfield but Isis still controls most of Syria’s oil and gas production. The Caliphate may be poor and isolated but its oil wells and control of crucial roads provide a steady income in addition to the plunder of war.

Mohamed will never see his father's face again; will he see his mother's?

9 year old Palestinian badly injured 2014
In 34 days of war on Gaza, the Israeli occupation has killed around 1,900 Palestinians and wounded around 9,000 others. Most of them, according to UN statistics, were civilians. At least 400 children are among the dead.
 Nine year-old Mohamed Badran was looking forward to hugging his parents and playing with his six brothers during the three-day annual holiday that follows the holy month of Ramadan. Despite the fact that the Israeli war has devastated any hope of happiness in Gaza, Mohamed remained hopeful.
But days later, with his mother and his uncle standing beside him in Al-Shifa Hospital, Mohammed told MEMO: "All my dreams were shattered after two Israeli tank shells darkened my life and wounded all my brothers."
After the dawn prayer of the first day of the holiday, Eid Al-Fitr, Mohamed and his family members were sleeping peacefully in their house. Mohamed prepared the new clothes and toys his mother had bought him and his brothers to wear for the holiday.
He went to bed, looking forward to his mother waking him up in the morning. He did not know at that moment he was going to close his eyes forever. Two merciless Israeli tank shells hit his house, destroying his bedroom and wounding him and his six brothers.
Read more

Palestine will not withdraw their complaint to the ICC

Hospital staff carry dead Palestinian child
Palestinian Justice Minister Salim Al-Saqqa affirmed that the Palestinian complaint to the ICC against Israeli war crimes had not been withdrawn, Palestinian newspaper Al-Resalah reported on Saturday.
Several sources reported on Friday that the Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas had withdrawn the complaint under international pressure.
Al-Saqqa recognised that there is international and regional pressure on the PA to withdraw the complaint. He did not name any of the bodies exerting that pressure, but he affirmed that the complaint is still "active."
He said that he is the only person "authorised" to deal with the complaint and he did not "withdraw" it. "I will not withdraw it," he stressed.
The minister said that the PA had filed the complaint to the ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda through the famous French lawyer Jill Denver.
Read more

Hollywood studios blacklist Penelope Cruz over Gaza letter

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"The Oscar-winning actors Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz have fuelled furious divisions within Hollywood over the Gaza conflict by accusing Israel of committing “genocide” in the territory.
Pledges to shun the Spanish actors – believed to have been made privately by a handful of top industry executives – came after Bardem and Cruz, who are married, signed an open letter denouncing “the genocide perpetrated by the Israeli occupation army”.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Spain freezes arms exports to Israel over Gaza op

Spanish demonstrators protest against the Israeli campaign in Gaza, Madrid.
Spanish demonstrators protest against the Israeli campaign in Gaza, Madrid, July 31, 2014. Photo by APThe Spanish government decided to temporarily freeze arms and military technology exports to Israel over the offensive in the Gaza Strip, the Spanish daily El Pais reported on Monday.
Spain is the second country to announce sanctions over arms sale to Israel in the past 24 hours, after Britain said it was reviewing all arms export licenses to Israel. A similar move was taken by the British government after Operation Cast Lead in 2009.
Read more 

UK Foreign Office minister resigns over UK’s 'morally reprehensible' stance on Gaza

Lady Warsi announces on Twitter that she is standing down because she can no longer support government policy
Lady Warsi Lady Warsi has resigned saying: ‘I can no longer support government policy on Gaza’. Photograph: Lee Thomas/Zuma Press/Corbi
Lady Warsi, the senior Foreign Office minister, has resigned from the government in protest at its policy on Gaza, describing it as “morally indefensible”.
Warsi announced her departure on Twitter on Tuesday, saying: “With deep regret I have this morning written to the Prime Minister & tendered my resignation. I can no longer support Govt policy on #Gaza.”
In her resignation letter, Warsi said the government’s “approach and language during the current crisis in Gaza is morally indefensible, is not in Britain’s national interest and will have a long term detrimental impact on our reputation internationally and domestically”.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Death toll update:1367 killed, 7680 injured..(as of 02.00 local time 31 July)

 According to Gaza's Ministry of Health, Israel has killed 1,363 Palestinians and wounded a further 7,680 (as of 02.00 local time 31 July) - the death toll includes 315 children. Overnight attacks were significantly less intense than previous days. Wednesday, Israeli attacks killed an estimated 130, including 30+ victims of two separate strikes on a UN school and market. These incidents have only added to the growing chorus condemning Israeli war crimes - for example, Amnesty International yesterday stated that "artillery should never be used against targets in crowded civilian areas". Citing the UNHRC inquiry, Amnesty urged accountability for those responsible for war crimes. By Tuesday, Israeli strikes had damaged 133 schools & 23 health facilities; destroyed or damaged 8,590 housing units. The UN OCHA's latest briefing includes the following: "To 29 July, at least 68 families have lost three or more family members in the same incident, for a total of 360 fatalities; 140 men, 73 women and 147 children." Meanwhile, the Israeli military death toll reached 56 soldiers and officers (in addition to three civilian fatalities).

As atrocities mount in Gaza, US approves Israeli request for more bombs



Smoke from the explosion of an Israeli strike rise over Gaza City on 29 July. (Ashraf Amra / APA images)
Hours after Israel shelled yet another UN school sheltering internally displaced families and a marketplace in Gaza, killing dozens of people, an unnamed defense department official revealed to CNN that the US had approved an Israeli request to tap into the one billion dollar weapons stockpile the US keeps in Israel.
The last time Israel dipped into the special stockpile was in 2006, during its assault on Lebanon.
Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby confirmed to the The Electronic Intifada over email that the US Department of Defense authorized a transfer of munitions to Israel on 23 July in response to a request from the Israeli defense ministry for “a normal Foreign Military Sales delivery of ammunition.”
Two of the munitions Israel demanded—120mm mortar rounds and 40mm grenades—happened to be available in the stockpile, so the US delivered them to the Israeli army from there.
“Issuing munitions from the War Reserve Stockpile Ammunition-Israel (WRSA-I) was strictly a sourcing decision,” explained Kirby. 
Read more

Kosher genocide: Rabbi: If you have voted for Hamas then you're not a civilian

Kirshner, from the Temple Emanu-El site
Kosher genocide:Kirshner, from the Temple Emanu-El site
There was a pro-Israel rally of 10,000 people in New York yesterday, a half block from the United Nations, and Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner, the president of the NY Board of Rabbis, suggested that Palestinians who voted for Hamas are combatants who deserve to be targeted by Israel. He said:
When you are part of an election process that asks for a terrorist organization which proclaims in word and in deed that their primary objective is to destroy their neighboring country and not to build schools or commerce or jobs, you are complicit and you are not a civilian casualty.
The crowd cheered. Kirshner went on to say that the Israeli army is “the most moral army in the history of civilization.” He ended his remarks with the word, Amen.
The rabbi did not make it clear how he would sort out Palestinians who voted for Hamas. In the last election in Palestine, in 2006, Hamas — the “terrorist organization” to which Kirshner was obviously referring– got 440,000 votes, 44 percent of the electorate, according to Wikipedia. Fatah won 410,000, the PFLP 42,000.
Read more

IDF Sniper Admits On Instagram To Murdering 13 Gaza Children

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An Instagram post by an Israel Defense Forces sniper boasts of murdering 13 Gazan children in one day. An IDF Combat Engineering Corps Soldier, specifically, David D. Ovadia posed with a Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifle.
 Ovadia posted his comments on the Instagram account of Palestinian Sherrii ElKaderi.
The image was quickly screen captured in case Ovadia came to his senses and realized that he could be prosecuted for his admission of war crimes. It is unclear and perhaps unlikely that the Barrett was used in the commission of such crimes, as this weapon is usually reserved for the best of the best marksmen. In any event, Ovadia is in active deployment and openly confesses to killing Gazan civilian children. While not specifying what weapon he used, the posting of himself with the .50 caliber rifle was obviously meant to be visually intimidating to Palestinians.
In the mean time, while more information is gathered on Ovadia, the “hacktivist” group “Anonymous” took control of his Instagram account, deleting it entirely. For “good measure” Anonymous sources said that they hacked the websites of the Mossad intelligence agency in Israel “or the brave IDF Sniper”, in reference to Ovadia. By 11:30, they had taken down the Israeli Ministry of Defense as well, and similarly attributed it as a response to Ovadia’s confessions.
If you agree that Ovadia’s admission of war crimes against Gazan children needs to be FRONT PAGE NEWS, share this with someone you know who cares!
(Article by Ari Simeon and Isa Abu Jamal)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

CBS News: U.N. report accuses Israeli forces of using Palestinian children as human shields, abusing children in custody

CBS news:
"A United Nations committee focused on youth rights accused Israel Thursday of failing to stop the mistreatment of Palestinian children in military and police custody.
The group's report accuses Israeli forces of using Palestinian children as human shields, and alleges that detained children in some cases face torture, solitary confinement and threats of sexual assault.
Assembled by the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child, the 21-page document comes three months after a UNICEF paper criticized the "systematic and institutionalized" mistreatment of Palestinian children detained by the Israeli military."
Read more

The Palestinian Resistance Its Legitimate Right and the Moral Duty

If Americans Knew.org
“International law grants a people fighting an illegal occupation the right to use ‘all necessary means at their disposal’ to end their occupation."
The American media call our search for freedom “terrorism,” thus casting the Palestinian in the role of the international prototype for the terrorist. This has shaped Western public consciousness and resulted in an international bias that tends to describe instances of violence against Palestinian civilians in neutral language, reducing Palestinian losses to mere faceless statistics, while using emotional language and visuals to describe Israeli losses.
This distortion of the Palestinian resistance has clouded all reasonable dialogue. Many of our efforts to defy the arbitrary rules of the occupier are reflexively dismissed as “terrorism,” and we are always expected to apologize for and condemn Palestinian resistance—despite the lack of agreement on a definition of terrorism, and the fact that the right to self-determination by armed struggle is permissible under the United Nations Charter’s Article 51, concerning self-defense.
Read more

Israel admits HAMAS didn't kidnap the 3 Israeli teens after all

It Turns Out Hamas Didn’t Kidnap and Kill the 3 Israeli Teens After All
When the bodies of three Israeli teenagers, kidnapped in the West Bank, were found late last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not mince words. "Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay," he said, initiating a campaign that eventually escalated into the present conflict in the region. But now, officials admit the kidnappings were not Hamas's handiwork after all.
Read more

Saturday, July 26, 2014

UN: Palestinian children tortured, used as shields by Israel


(Reuters) - A United Nations human rights body accused Israeli forces on Thursday of mistreating Palestinian children, including by torturing those in custody and using others as human shields.
Palestinian children in the Gaza and the West Bank, captured by Israel in the 1967 war, are routinely denied registration of their birth and access to health care, decent schools and clean water, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child said.
"Palestinian children arrested by (Israeli) military and police are systematically subject to degrading treatment, and often to acts of torture, are interrogated in Hebrew, a language they did not understand, and sign confessions in Hebrew in order to be released," it said in a report.

Israel Losing Support from Its Biggest Ally: American Evangelical Christians

A Shift Among Evangelicals … Especially Among the Young

We documented yesterday that the biggest supporters of Israel are American evangelical Christians … Protestants or – to a lesser extent – Catholics.
But that support base is slipping …
Buzzfeed reported in January:
Figures with deep roots in America’s religious right have launched a quiet effort aimed at pushing evangelical Christians away from decades of growing loyalty to Israel and toward increased solidarity with the Palestinians.
***
The campaign by a coalition of religious leaders, international nonprofits, and activists has taken place in recent years largely behind the scenes and away from the prying eyes of the political press — and it’s being driven by a generation of Evangelicals alienated by the way their faith was yoked to Republican foreign policy during the Bush years. Now, organizations like the Telos Group and the large Christian nonprofit World Vision have joined a small army of ministers and Christian opinion-makers working to reorient Evangelicals’ stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — producing documentaries about the plight of Palestinian Christians, providing theological rationale for a more “balanced” view of the issue, and taking Evangelicals on trips to the Middle East.
Read more

Israeli universities lend support to Gaza massacre


A Palestinian child wounded in an Israeli strike on a UN-run school in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza, receives treatment at Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahiya on 24 July.
(Ali Jadallah / APA images)
Two leading Israeli academic institutions are offering strong support for Israel’s ongoing massacre in Gaza.
Tel Aviv University is giving students who serve in the attack on Gaza one year of free tuition.
“Tel Aviv University embraces and supports all the security forces who are working to restore quiet and security to Israel, including its students and employees called up to reserve duty,” the institution says in 24 July statement on its official website.
The context for the university’s declaration “is that there a witch hunt against Palestinian students [who are citizens of Israel] and others who are posting in social media against the Israeli occupation forces attack on Gaza,” Nadim Nashif, director of Baladna – the Association for Arab Youth, told The Electronic Intifada.
The university “wouldn’t say directly” that their statement is aimed at such dissenters, Nashif added, “but for people here it is clear.”
The university statement continues:
Tel Aviv University absolutely condemns and denounces the hurtful and extreme statements being circulated nowadays over social media – statements that have no place in the public discourse. The university will take action in accordance with its disciplinary regulations, which are applicable to students and employees, in the any event of any infraction.
Read more

In Shifa Hospital morgue

Ayman Mohyeldin
July 26, 2014 | Shifa Hospital Morgue, Gaza. Bodies on top of bodies next to bodies. In four hours, at least 81 bodies have been pulled from the rubble pushing the overall death toll to more than 1,000 Palestinians killed since the war began. The smell of decomposed bodies, some who had been rotting there for a week was suffocating making it almost impossible for anyone to breathe without a mask. Hospital workers were barely capable of identifying bodies and were issuing death certificates on the fly and for parents who wanted a cause of death, there was simply no time for proper autopsies meaning few if any will be able to pursue legal recourse against their relative's killers. They had to choose between a full autopsy or laying their loved ones to rest in the few hours of a ceasefire. All of them chose to take their relatives for burial.
 

Gaza: 12 hour ceasefire takes hold


The Guardian
As a temporary 12-hour ceasefire comes into force in Gaza, Palestinians take to the ruined streets to survey the damage to their homes, find missing loved ones and locate scarce supplies


Palestinians walk across the rubble of destroyed buildings and homes in the Shejaiya residential district of Gaza City.
Palestinians walk through rubble in the Shujai'iya residential neighbourhood of Gaza City. Photograph: Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images
Palestinians carry a body of a man found under the rubble of a destroyed house during a 12-hour cease-fire in Gaza City's Shijaiyah neighbourhood.
Palestinians carry the body of a man found buried in the rubblein the Shujai'iya neighbourhood of Gaza City. Photograph: Khalil Hamra/AP
A Palestinian woman looks at the rubble of destroyed buildings in the Shejaiya district of Gaza City.
A Palestinian woman shows her defiance amid the rubble in the Shujai'iya neighbourhood of Gaza City. Photograph: Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images
A Palestinian man walks with a mattress rolled on his back while leaving the northern district of Beit Hanoun in the Gaza Strip.
A Palestinian man carries a mattress as he leaves the northern Gaza district of Beit Hanoun. Photograph: Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images
Palestinians inspect destroyed houses in the Shejaia neighbourhood of Gaza City.
Palestinians inspect destroyed houses in the Shujai'iya neighbourhood of Gaza City. Photograph: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto/Corbis
A Palestinian man walks past a unexploded tank shell while walking back towards the northern district of Beit Hanun in the Gaza Strip.
A Palestinian man walks past an unexploded tank shell in the northern Gaza district of Beit Hanoun. Photograph: Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images
A Palestinian woman chants slogans in support of Palestinian fighters as she stands next to her destroyed house in Beit Hanoun town.
A woman chants slogans in support of Palestinian fighters in front of her destroyed home in Beit Hanoun. Photograph: Suhaib Salem/Reuters
Rescue workers look on as a father grieves over the body of his son after it was removed from under the rubble of his home in Beit Hanun.
A father grieves over his son's body after it was removed from under the rubble of his home in Beit Hanoun. Photograph: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images
A Palestinian woman looks at a shrapnel-scarred wall at the hospital in Beit Hanoun town.
A Palestinian woman looks at a wall damaged by shrapnel at Beit Hanoun hospital. Photograph: Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters
Palestinians hug each other after seeing their homes destroyed, during a 12-hour cease-fire in Gaza City's Shijaiyah neighborhood.
Palestinians console each other after finding their homes in the Shujai'iya neighbourhood of Gaza City destroyed. Photograph: Khalil Hamra/AP
A Palestinian girl looks on as her family salvage belongings found in the rubble of their destroyed house, during a 12-hour cease-fire in Gaza City's Shijaiyah neighbourhood.
A Palestinian family salvage belongings in the Shujai'iya neighbourhood of Gaza City. Photograph: Khalil Hamra/AP

Friday, July 25, 2014

Israel used fabricated images to justify bombing al-Wafa hospital



A clearer view of al-Wafa hospital. Note that it is in a different area entirely than the Israel army claims.
(Ismael Mohamad / United Press International)

Israel used fabricated images to justify bombing al-Wafa hospital

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Relatives bury the bodies of two Palestinian boys, Abdulrahamn Abed al-Nabi, 1, and Hadi Abed al-Nabi, 3, who medics said were killed in an Israeli air strike in northern Gaza on Thursday.
(Ezz al-Zanoun / APA images)
The Israeli military on Wednesday completely destroyed the al-Wafa rehabilitation and geriatric hospital in the eastern Gaza City neighborhood of Shujaiya after weeks of missile strikes on the hospital and the forced evacuation of the patients, caregivers and hospital staff last week.
The Israeli daily Haaretz reported that the Israeli military claimed the hospital buildings were “being used as a Hamas command center and rocket-launching site.” However, the hospital director, Dr. Basman Alashi, says that Israel has targeted the hospital based on false and misleading claims.
Activists with the International Solidarity Movement, who have been working closely with al-Wafa hospital staff and who attempted to prevent Israel from shelling the hospital two weeks ago, stated in a press release on Wednesday (including the photo below) that:
On the 21 July at 2:17 PM, the IDF spokesperson released an image on twitter showing an aerial picture of a building marked as “Al-Wafa” hospital. In the image there is a red circle, which they designated as the location from which an M75 rocket was launched.
The building in the picture marked “Al-Wafa” hospital is in fact not the el-Wafa hospital but the Right to Life Society.​
Read more

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Israel bans radio broadcast that named children killed in Gaza

A Palestinian man takes a wounded boy to hospital following an Israeli strike
A radio broadcast that announced the names of some of the children killed during the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip has been banned in Israel. Human rights group B’Tselem was told by the Israel Broadcasting Authority that the broadcast was “politically controversial” and has already had an appeal against the ruling rejected. “Is it controversial that the children [aren’t] alive? That they’re children? That those are their names? These are facts that we wish to bring to the public’s knowledge,’ B’Tselem said.
Read more

Jonathan Cook: A legal and moral case for Hamas rocket fire

"Two leading intellectuals make separate and eloquent cases that the people of Gaza have the right to resist by any means – including by firing rockets – Israel’s efforts to slowly extinguish their right to self-determination, and possibly to life itself. They argue that the Palestinians have this right most certainly at a moral level, but also almost certainly at the level of international law.
I recommend reading each article in its entirety but, knowing the constraints on readers’ time and attention, I have extracted the most salient points they make." Read more

Chris Hedges: The Palestinians’ Right to Self-Defense


  A relative inspects a Palestinian family’s apartment, destroyed by an Israeli strike in Beit Lahiya on July 19. AP/Lefteris Pitarakis

If Israel insists, as the Bosnian Serbs did in Sarajevo, on using the weapons of industrial warfare against a helpless civilian population then that population has an inherent right to self-defense under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. The international community will have to either act to immediately halt Israeli attacks and lift the blockade of Gaza or acknowledge the right of the Palestinians to use weapons to defend themselves.
No nation, including any in the Muslim world, appears willing to intervene to protect the Palestinians. No world body, including the United Nations, appears willing or able to pressure Israel through sanctions to conform to the norms of international law. And the longer we in the world community fail to act, the worse the spiral of violence will become.
Israel does not have the right to drop 1,000-pound iron fragmentation bombs on Gaza. It does not have the right to pound Gaza with heavy artillery and with shells lobbed from gunboats. It does not have the right to send in mechanized ground units or to target hospitals, schools and mosques, along with Gaza’s water and electrical systems. It does not have the right to displace over 100,000 people from their homes. The entire occupation, under which Israel has nearly complete control of the sea, the air and the borders of Gaza, is illegal.
Read more

Washington Post eviscerates a Wall Street Journal's article: The most vile op-ed you will read about Gaza



Mourners gather around the bodies of seven members of the Kelani family, killed overnight by an Israeli strike in Gaza City, during their funeral in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, on Tuesday. (Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press)
 
I’d like to propose a new rule of thumb for writers: When your op-ed’s first sentence reads “Let’s state the obvious: No one likes to see dead children,” you should step away from the keyboard, take a look in the closest mirror and think long and hard about exactly the argument you’re about to make. Otherwise, you may end up with an execrable screed like the one Thane Rosenbaum published in the Wall Street Journal on Monday. Rosenbaum argues that the adult residents of Gaza are not innocent civilians, as even Israeli leaders (sometimes begrudgingly) admit, but part of a “citizen army.” He writes:
To qualify as a civilian one has to do more than simply look the part. How you came to find yourself in such a vulnerable state matters. After all, when everyone is wearing casual street clothing, civilian status is shared widely.
The people of Gaza overwhelmingly elected Hamas, a terrorist outfit dedicated to the destruction of Israel, as their designated representatives. Almost instantly Hamas began stockpiling weapons and using them against a more powerful foe with a solid track record of retaliation.
Read more

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Israeli military falsifies photograph to justify bombing el-Wafa hospital

Photo by ISM
Photo by ISM


On the 21st July at 2:17 PM, the IDF spokesperson released an image on twitter showing an aerial picture of a building marked as ‘Al-Wafa’ hospital. In the image there is a red circle, which they designated as the location from which a M75 rocket was launched.
The building in the picture marked ‘Al-Wafa’ hospital is in fact not the el-Wafa hospital but the Right to Life Society.​

Israeli troops should have been able to tell slain Gaza children not Hamas members, colonel says

An Israeli military spokesman says the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) should have been able to tell that four boys it killed on a Gaza beach last week were not Hamas operatives.
The four boys from the one extended family - Zacaria, Aahed Bakr Jr, Mohammed and Ismail - were killed by a rocket strike while they played.
"The IDF had a target, a Hamas terrorist target," Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner told the ABC's 7.30 program.
Read more

Gaza’s children, most likely to be killed, live in state of "shock and horror"



Israel’s indiscriminate attacks on Gaza have killed, injured and deeply traumatized Palestinian children.
Israeli forces began shelling a United Nations girls’ school today, where hundreds of Palestinians have sought refuge since Israel’s attacks began two weeks ago. According to Chris Gunness, spokesperson for UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, Israel shelled the school and then shelled it again when humanitarian aid workers went to investigate the damage.
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We single Israel out because we in the west are shamefully complicit in its crimes


Palestinian firefighters survey the scene of a house destroyed during an Israeli strike. Photo: Getty
"Which other country is in receipt of $3bn a year in US aid, despite maintaining a 47-year military occupation in violation of international law? Which other country has been allowed to develop and stockpile nuclear weapons in secret? Which other country’s prime minister could “humiliate” – to quote the newspaper Ma’ariv – a sitting US vice-president on his visit to Israel in March 2010, yet still receive 29 standing ovations from Congress on his own visit to the US a year later? And which other country is the beneficiary of comically one-sided resolutions on Capitol Hill, in which members of Congress fall over each other to declare their undying love and support for Israel – by 410 to eight, or 352 to 21, or 390 to five?
Indeed, which other country has been protected from UN Security Council censure by the US deployment of an astonishing 42 vetoes? For the record, the number of US vetoes exercised at the UN on behalf of Israel is greater than the number of vetoes exercised by all other UN member states on all other issues put together. Singling out, anyone?"

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

WATCH: Jon Stewart on what happens if he mentions Israel


On Monday night's show, Stewart poked fun at all those who criticized his criticism - by having members of his own team drown him out with shouts of 'Self-hating Jew' and 'Hamas supporter' whenever he even mentioned Israel.
The irony, of course, is that, in the end, Stewart didn't discuss Israel on Monday's show.

From Kerry to Selena Gomez & Rihanna, Israel’s Claims of Precision, Compassion are Dissed

By Juan Cole
You always wonder where John Kerry the anti-Vietnam War activist went, who compared the US campaigns in Southeast Asia to the predations of the Mongols. It turns out he is still in there somewhere, just not allowed to appear before the cameras. But in a ‘hot-mic’ moment on Fox on Sunday, Kerry appeared to reference the Israeli massacre at al-Shuja`iya in Gaza by Israeli planes and/or artillery, which left 60 dead & 200 wounded. Kerry called sardonically “a hell of a pinpoint operation.” His reference is to Israeli propagandists who keep saying that Israel’s airstrikes in densely populated Gaza are “precision strikes” when very obviously they are massive and indiscriminate, having killed over 500 as of Sunday night, over 70% of them noncombatants, including women and children. Although Hamas, the combatants, are fair game, the noncombatants are not. Israel doesn’t get off the hook by saying Hamas uses human shields. First, most of those people Israel killed were not being used as human shields. Second, international law forbids military commanders to strike if it seems likely they will kill a lot of innocents.
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Monday, July 21, 2014

Worldwide protest against Israeli attack on Gaza

Chicago
Chicago
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa
Rabat, Morocco
Rabat, Morocco
London
London
Nazareth
Nazareth (Photo:Activestills.org)
Bethlehem, Palestine
Bethlehem, Palestine
Aukland, New Zealand
Auckland, New Zealand
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Maldives
Maldives
Valparaiso, Chile
Valparaiso, Chile
Amman, Jordan
Amman, Jordan
Nablus
Nablus (Photo:Activestills.org)
Madrid, Spain
Madrid, Spain
Dublin
Dublin
Tunisia
Tunisia
Philadelphia
Philadelphia
France
Metz, France
Haifa
Haifa
Washington D.C.
Washington D.C.
South Korea
South Korea
San Francisco, USA
San Francisco, USA
Ottawa, Canada
Santiago, Chile
Santiago, Chile
Sweden
Stockholm, Sweden
Chicago
Chicago,USA
Paris, France
Paris, France
Glasgow, Scotland
Glasgow, Scotland
Lebanon
Lebanon (photo:AP)
Tokyo, ,Japan
Tokyo, ,Japan
London
London
Greece
Greece
Columbus, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Norway
Norway
Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh, Scotland
Iceland
Iceland
Amman, Jordan
Amman, Jordan
Pro-Palestinian demonstration in Kansas City, July 20,photo by Billy Jo Larmore
Kansas City, Missouri (photo: Jo MacNiven)
Milan, Italy
Milan, Italy
Seattle
Seattle
Seattle
Seattle
Tunisia
Tunisia
Ft. Lauderdale, FL Woman with sign is Elena Stein
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
eattle
Seattle
BuenosAires, Argentina
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Sydney
Sydney, Australia
Spain
Italy
San Francisco
San Francisco
Bogata, Columbia
Bogota, Colombia
Chicago
Chicago, USA
Germany
Germany
Frankfurt, Germany
Frankfurt, Germany
france
France
Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Dublin, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland
Rome, Italy
Rome, Italy
Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen, Denmark
Vienna, Austria
Vienna, Austria
Montreal, Canada. Photo courtesy of Under the Olive Tree which airs on CKUT 90.3 FM every Thursday from 11am – 12 noon. Learn more at http://www.mixcloud.com/UnderTheOliveTree/.
Montreal, Canada. Photo courtesy of Under the Olive Tree which airs on CKUT 90.3 FM every Thursday from 11am – 12 noon. Learn more at http://www.mixcloud.com/UnderTheOliveTree/
New York
New York
Montreal, Canada. Photo courtesy of Under the Olive Tree which airs on CKUT 90.3 FM every Thursday from 11am – 12 noon. Learn more at http://www.mixcloud.com/UnderTheOliveTree/
Montreal, Canada. Photo courtesy of Under the Olive Tree which airs on CKUT 90.3 FM every Thursday from 11am – 12 noon. Learn more at http://www.mixcloud.com/UnderTheOliveTree/
Kansas City, July 20, by Billy Jo Larmore. More photos here
Kansas City, Missouri (Photo: Jo MacNiven)
Columbus, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio