The video above shows a brave teenaged girl -- American, to judge from her accent -- risking her life to stop Israeli monsters from killing children. I do not know the origin of this video, and I do not know who the girl is. But her courage shames me.
I strongly urge you to watch this footage. This beautiful young woman should be more famous than the Chinese man who stood up to those tanks.
From the Guardian, we learn that the Israeli army in a Gaza suburb called Zeitoun evacuated more than 100 Palestinians -- mostly children -- to a single-story house "for their own safety." The army then fired rockets into the house.
The little girl in the photograph to your left is one of the victims.
There is no escape for these civilians. Any avenue of escape presented to them soon stands revealed as an evil Israeli ruse -- a massacre trap.
The UN said there had been extensive destruction in Zeitoun. For three days, from 3-7 January, the Israeli Defence Force prevented Red Cross medical teams from entering the area to evacuate the wounded.
I hope everyone will read these thoughts from a recently retired United States Marine who saw service in Iraq:
I am dismayed by the rhetoric from US politicians and pundits to the effect that "if the US were under rocket attack from Mexico or Canada, we would respond like the Israelis." This a gross insult to US servicemen; I can assure you that we would NOT respond like the Israelis. In fact, US armed forces and adjunct civilians are under attack constantly in Iraq and Afghanistan by people who are much better armed, much better trained and far deadlier than Hamas (I'll ignore for now that the politicians seem to be oblivious to this fact). Israel has indeed taken a small number of casualties from Hamas rocket fire (about 20 killed since 2001), but we have taken thousands of casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, including many civilian personnel. Hundreds of American casualties have occurred due to indirect fire, often from mortars. This is particularly true in or near the Green Zone in Baghdad. This fire often originates from densely populated urban areas.
Americans do not, I repeat DO NOT, respond to that fire indiscriminately. When I say "indiscriminately," I mean that even if we can precisely identify the source of the fire (which can be very difficult), we do not respond if we know we will cause civilian casualties. We always evaluate the threat to civilians before responding, and in an urban area the threat to civilians is extremely high. If US servicemen violate those rules of engagement and harm civilians, I assure you we do our best to investigate -- and mete out punishment if warranted. There are differing opinions on the conflict in Iraq, but I am proud of the conduct of our servicemen there.
With that in mind, I find the conduct of the Israeli army in Gaza to be brutal and dishonorable, and it is insulting that they and others claim that the US military would behave in the same way.
Obviously, we should disregard all Israeli claims that their soldiers are simply responding to fire. That excuse is nothing more than a "cover" for genocide.
The Israeli approach in Gaza strikes me as uncontrolled and vengeful. My objective analysis is that it has little tactical effectiveness; my opinion is that its main goal is to whip the entire Gaza population into submission. This is disturbingly similar to the Israelis' conduct in Lebanon in 2006, so I feel obliged to say that the Israeli military displays a concerted pattern of disregard for civilian lives.
Clearly, the Israeli leadership has decided upon enacting "Final Solution" to the Palestinian problem.
A Vatican official has compared Gaza to a concentration camp:
“Look at the conditions in Gaza: more and more, it resembles a big concentration camp,” Cardinal Renato Martino, the head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said in an interview published Wednesday in Il Sussidiaro.
He defended his comments in the center-left Italian daily La Repubblica on Thursday. While noting that Hamas rockets into Israel were “certainly not sugared almonds,” he called the situation in Gaza “horrific.” Israel sharply condemned the cardinal’s use of World War II imagery. “We are astounded that a spiritual dignitary would have such words that are so far removed from truth and dignity,” said Yigal Palmor, a spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
But Martino used Holocaust imagery, not World War II imagery -- and this is precisely what causes synapses to fry within the minds of many Jews. Although they cannot admit the truth to themselves, they know full well that Israel is doing to the Palestinians as Hitler's Germany did to the Jews.
Hamas rocket attacks, though far fewer in number than Israeli-American propaganda would have us believe, were perfectly justified. Imagine how Americans would respond if they had to live under pre-attack circumstances, as documented by Oxfam:
Movement in and out of Gaza is all but impossible and supplies of food and water, sewage treatment, and basic healthcare can no longer be taken for granted. As a result of the blockade and collapse of the economy, there is little money to buy food and limited food to buy. Food prices are rising and wheat flour, baby milk, and rice, among other essential goods, are increasingly scarce. During the period of May-June 2007 alone, these commodity prices rose 34%, 30% and 20.5% respectively.
The blockade is destroying public service infrastructure in Gaza. The Israeli government prevents the repair and maintenance of the electricity and water service infrastructure in Gaza by prohibiting the import of spare parts. The impact of this is amplified by Israel’s parallel punitive restrictions on fuel and electricity to Gaza. Hospitals cannot generate electricity to keep lifesaving equipment working or to generate oxygen, while 40-50 million litres of sewage continues to pour into the sea daily.
In June 2007, there were 748 truckloads of exports leaving Gaza for Israel and other countries. A month later there were none.
Writers Jean Bricmont and Diana Johnstone have some sound advice, although the do not go nearly far enough:
Many people, especially on the left, persist in thinking that Israel is only a pawn in an American capitalist or imperialist strategy to control the Middle East. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Israel is of no use to anybody or anything but its own fantasies of domination.
For the pro-Western petro-monarchies and the "moderate" Arab regimes, Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestinian lands is a nightmare, which radicalizes much of their populations and threatens their rule. It is Israel, by its absurd policies, that provoked the creation of both Hezbollah and Hamas and that is indirectly responsible for much of the recent growth of "radical Islam".
Allow non-Jews to speak their mind about Israel
The notion of collective guilt was already very questionable in 1945, but the idea of transmitting that collective guilt to subsequent generations is quite simply a religious notion.
The fact that we are not all guilty of the crimes of the Third Reich is simple and obvious, but needs to be driven home to allow non-Jews to speak up freely about Palestine. As it is, non-Jews who often feel they must leave it to Jews, as the only people who have the "right" to criticize Israel, to defend the Palestinians. But given the relationship of forces between the Jewish critics of Israel, and the influential Zionist organizations claiming to speak for the Jewish people, there is no realistic hope that Jewish voices alone can save the Palestinians.
However, the main reason for the silence is surely not guilt precisely because it is so artificial, but rather fear. Fear of "what will they think", fear of slander and even of being taken to court for "anti-Semitism". If you are not convinced, take a journalist, a politician or a publisher to some spot where nobody is listening and there is no hidden camera or microphone, and ask whether he or she says in public all he or she thinks of Israel in private.
The practical initiatives are summed up in three letters : BDS- Boycott, disinvestment, sanctions
What is important about sanctions, especially on the cultural level, is their symbolic value. It is a way of telling our governments that we do not accept their policy of collaboration with a state that has chosen to become an international outlaw.
Juan Cole now seems to agree that the two-state solution is dead. I've long felt that way. Forgive a bit of self-quotation:
I support eradication of the Jewish state -- of the very concept of a state devoted to the supremacy of one race or religion. For the same reason, I also support the eradication of Saudi Arabia. (I would except Vatican City only because it is one-third the size of the Los Angeles Zoo; its status as an independent state is really an agreed-upon fiction.)
I do not speak of physical annihilation of the people; I speak of annihilating a government and an ideology. Just as the Germans had, through their crimes, lost the right to self-determination (in my view, they should not have regained sovereignty until the passing of every single German alive during the Nazi era), so too have the Israelis. The civilized world must impose a solution upon them -- by force if necessary, though non-violent means are, of course, preferable.
A pluralist, open, non-racist society -- a single-state solution -- is the only option for that patch of real estate. If any Jews in Israel cannot stomach such an outcome, then I say let the bigots find a new home in the sea.
Does it escape you that Hamas is the one who broke the ceasefire by sending missiles into Israel. Hamas refused the most recent ceasefire proposal. Palestinians were the ones who rejected the initial 2-state proposal back in 1967 (which Israel agreed to). Palestinians have rejected every attempt at negotiation since then. Surrounding Arab states are the ones who refuse to absorb Palestinian refugees into their countries and Palestinians are the ones who refuse to leave refugee camps, insisting on an all-or-nothing solution to their claims on land they themselves abandoned before the 1967 war? How then is this Israel's fault. Why are you not putting pressure on Palestine to help its people by negotiating in good faith and accepting a compromise?
posted by Anonymous : 11:08 AM
I let this Anonymous Coward blather on about his pack of disgusting lies in order to demonstrate that this humble blog is not immune to the propaganda phenomenon documented here:
I think the oil companies and the American military perceive Israel as a valued ally whether they are, in fact, or not. And I think that perception, be it accurate or inaccurate, is what drives American policy.
I think the US military very much wants a big chunk of land they can be guaranteed to land on in case the Arabs decide to cut off all of our access to oil. And to the end, Israel remaining hostile to the Arab countries in the region is our guarantee that they will side with us.
I'm not advocating this position. I'm just pointing out the obvious.
posted by Lori : 11:45 AM
Mr. Anonymous above seems to recognize that the game may be up for Israel, otherwise why the anger at Arab states for refusing to "absorb" the Palestinian "refugees"? I suppose Milosevic was equally angry at Albania for refusing to "absorb" Kosovar "refugees"...
But that's the situation you find yourself if you build a state on the basis of ethnic nationalism. Any significant ethnic minority within your borders becomes a mortal threat to your national security simply by existing, because it undermines the very founding myth of your state. Israel simply has ceased being a Jewish state, and it ceased being one a long time ago. Pretending otherwise does not change reality. Moreover, the ethnic balance continues to swing against the Jews, and within the Jewish population itself the percentage of Orthodox Jews (the ones who are a net burden on the Israeli treasury and are exempt from military service, but at the same time espouse the most hardline policies--no hypocrisy there...) continues to grow. There's only one way this can end. I suppose Israeli leaders will make many more similar attempts at ethnic cleansing by stealth in hopes the Arab soon-to-be-majority simply becomes sick and tired of incessant Israeli violence, but that too will fail. Sooner or later the Arab inhabitants of Israel will be recognized as full citizens, and the sooner that happens the easier the transition is going to be.
THANK YOU, Joseph, for having the guts and resolve to expose these barbarians. I graduated from high school during the 6 day war in 1967 and have always admired the Jewish spirit to survive throughout history. But at a certain point EVERY PERSON has to look at and own their part in whatever befalls them. No one on earth is exempt. This is an ancient blood feud that is determined to destroy the world as we know it. Vast segments of humanity, especially in this age of digital media, have evolved from the old blood feud mentality into something higher and are sickened by insane maniacs who use God and "religion" to justify conquest, murder and depravity. THANK YOU, thank you, thank you! windsun
posted by Anonymous : 2:05 PM
The girl in the video is Huwaida Arraf, founder of the International Solidarity Movement. The film, though, dates from last January, and reportedly was taken on the West Bank rather than in Gaza.
See the Wikipedia entry on her:
which has a link to the video on YouTube.
posted by Forrest : 3:15 PM
Israel is more tolerant of its Arab minority than any Arab state was of its Jewish minority. I was watching an episode of Foyle's War, Season 5, Show 1, and saw clergy making the same arguments against the bombing of Germany as you are about Gaza. When there is a war going on, it's morality cannot be debated in terms of casualties unless you are willing to declare all wars immoral. Your pictures are moving but the point remains the same -- Arabs must accept Israel's right to exist and stop terrorism against Israelis. All international law and history supports Israel's existence as a nation. A two-state solution is inevitable and Hamas, Palestinians, and supporters only prolong the suffering by refusing to accept it.
Anyone can look at a map and see that the US has plenty of places to land planes without Israel. Further, Israel has no oil and the USA's close relationship with the Saudis should refute the idea that this is about oil. It is about the fact that 3% of our population is Jewish, that we fought a World War to prevent Jewish annihilation, and that we are not about to condone it now when Arabs are the ones engaged in religious zealotry. I have no connection with any Jewish organization much less a foreign ministry and these are my own ideas. Palestinians are as engaged in propaganda efforts as Israel, and why shouldn't any group have the right and ability to put their message out there?
posted by Anonymous : 3:20 PM
I have long hoped for a Palestinian state. I believe that Palestinian and Israeli leaders both mislead their people at the expense of the Palestinian people.
Both seem to have some pathological needs. The Palestinians to be martyrs and the Isrealis to exact revenge.
If war did not work for them and they really wanted peace they would pursue it on both side with greater urgency with each Palestinian and Israeli death.
The Palestinians had a chance in 2000 to take the leap and passed on it. Arafat said that he was afraid of being killed by his own people if he agreed to peace with Israel.
Yitzak Rabin (sp) had the credibility and authority to really move the peace process forward. We know how that worked out for him. (Sadat syndrome)
Justice and real peace between the peoples with the HELP of their leaders is the only way forward. Otherwise radicalization will continue because a succession of Israeli and Palestinian leaders need it to stay in power.
I disagree that Israel will cease. This conflict will probably continue in some form for decades if not centuries. Once Iran has the bomb it is probably only a matter of time before Israel or Iran uses it on the other. Even then the conflict will continue.
This is a war of conquest. Discovered in 2000, there are extensive gas reserves off the Gaza coastline.
British Gas (BG Group) and its partner, the Athens based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC) owned by Lebanon's Sabbagh and Koury families, were granted oil and gas exploration rights in a 25 year agreement signed in November 1999 with the Palestinian Authority.
And ain't it fuckin' funny how the Russian shutoff of natural gas to Europe is now a headline item in the mainstream media? Trans.: Don't try to bullshit an ol' bullshitter.
How long can we stand the shame of being part of this?
posted by john in wv : 6:01 PM
The US House of Representatives voted by 390 to 5 to pass a motion recognising that the ethnic-supremacist regime called "Israel" has the "right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza".
And if someone draws the rather obvious conclusion about who calls the shots in Washington DC, they get called a Nazi-style racist. Am I right or wrong?
We should face it. Things do not look good: not for the next few days, not for the next few years, not for the next few generations.
The idea sphere is dominated by the enemy and advanced disinformational techniques of pseudo-critique are being carefully used. There is a reason why thinking in stock phrases and muddle-headedness have been the order of the day since Edward Bernays described them in my grandparents' time. Powerful interests have achieved that state of affairs because they have consciously and successfully tried to do so. "Advanced" capitalist society is deeply, deeply totalitarian.
But anyway...while we're waiting...
...here's a little "talking point" for those of us who oppose genocide and racism: the issue of whether Israel has the "right to defend itself".
This major PR message is being sold by cowardly paid-for "governments" in France, Germany, Britain, and, yes, the US. Swallowed with pleasure, it's being vomited up as if it were custard, for every TV watcher's consumption.
And it's bullsh*t. Such an entity as the Zionist regime in Palestine does not have the right to defend itself.
posted by b : 8:12 PM
Should those who are consciously active in the Zionist hasbara effort in relation to the Gaza massacre be prosecuted for assisting in the carrying out of war crimes abroad?
posted by b : 9:17 PM
Sorry to come back to this. Here is a link to the motion passed by the US House of Representatives (390 votes to 5) on 8 January, "recognizing Israel's right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza".
Babies are being burnt. Zionist soldiers are limbering up to burn more. The Sderot settlers sit back on deckchairs and enjoy. This is the context of this truly obscene, amoral document from the American legislature.
I live in England and don't know how much coverage it's had in the US press.
Introduced by Nancy Pelosi, it got huge support from both Democrats and Republicans.
I have no idea how many "Clintonite" representatives there are — assuming the term means anything, as Hilary Clinton prepares for being Obama's Secretary of State. But presumably they all supported this motion.
The five who voted against were: Kucinich, Moore (WI), Paul, Rahall, Waters. The only name I recognized was Kucinich.
What mileage is there in participation in parliamentarist politics under such conditions?
It's intellectually cowardly and pathetic to keep shtum about Obama being a lying criminal for fear of being called racist. But isn't the same true about avoiding espousing the ZOG thesis, for fear of being called an anti-Semite?
Parliamentary democracy is a media phenomenon. It's about propaganda.
Paid to consider laws for America, these vile individuals have all got together to give propaganda support to the burners of Arab babies in Palestine. Why?
These "representatives of the people" in their vile assembly are willing assets of the Zionist propaganda ("hasbara") campaign.
If I've got that wrong, could some fellow anti-racist (and therefore anti-Zionist) please present an alternative explanation?
Far from Gaza, these legislators are assisting those who are about to push their forces further into Gaza to commit further crimes of genocide.
It's not that America is giving Israel "free rein". It isn't. It doesn't hold any reins. Israel is not dependent on forces within US-based influential circles which could independently decide to stop supporting Israel and thereby topple the entity. Because no such forces exist in American ruling circles.
Where Israel is concerned, there is no independently-made US foreign policy. There hasn't been for 40-50 years.
We hear the same "Israel has the right to defend itself" line from Germany's Angela Merkel, France's president (and "former" Mossad helper) Nicolas Sarkozy, and from Britain's David Miliband.
As far as I'm aware, only the Venezuelan government has expelled the Israeli ambassador. They should go further: shut the embassy and freeze this terrorist entity's assets. Tell the ADL, which threatened Venezuela, to stick its threats where the sun don't shine.
The Cuban government has condemned the genocidal Israeli actions, but I don't think they have expelled any diplomats yet. b
posted by Anonymous : 2:17 PM
Again we find you repeating the propaganda of ignorance and bigotry.
The rockets have been fired at Israel proper. They are not attacking land that is under dispute. Wait, the terrorist organization Hamas says that they do not recognize Israel, any of it. They will not negotiate.
The comments by the so called US Veteran are questionable as well. First, we do not know that he is veteran, but people can claim to be anything.
The ridiculous claim that the situation in Gaza is similar to Nazi Germany is a red herring.
The Germans rounded people up and executed them. They didn't bother to drop pamphlets or let aid in.
If there was any balance here we'd see more comments about the terrible injustices in Africa and the travesty there.
But let's go back to the faux serviceman. He is wrong if he claims that the US would not respond aggressively to being attacked from Mexico or Canada. It would never be tolerated and a faux vet should know better.
Jack - that's a whole load of hasdara talking-points (to give them a polite name) that you've mentioned there.
When you typed that the comparison of the situation in Gaza with the one in Nazi Germany is a "red herring", did you realise that "red herring" means "true but irrelevant"?
What brings a fellow human being to think like that???
Of course surrounding a densely populated area and moving the lines inward and inward, slaughtering everyone who's in the way and terrorising absolutely everybody, not letting anyone out, is extremely reminiscent of the Nazi slaughter of the inhabitants of the Warsaw ghetto.
The confrontation is so similar that you even get the use of tunnels. Not because of coincidence, but because those who have heroically prepared to defend against Zionist aggression in this urban environment have had little choice but to make use of these means that are available to them.
Except (although I haven't looked it up) the German troops probably suffered more casualties than the Zionist troops are currently suffering. Reports of the attack suggest that Zionist soldiers are hardly ever even risking being shot at out in the open, preferring to destroy whole blocks to enable the advance of their units. Plus Gaza is much bigger than the Warsaw ghetto was. As even a Vatican cardinal has said (!), Gaza is essentially a big concentration camp.
"Israel proper" is a Zionist propaganda concept. Ethnic-supremacist regimes have no rights other than the "right" to disappear.
So is the idea that there are two sections of the population in Gaza, namely "Hamas" (or "fighters") and "others".
Everyone other than the infirm, very young, pregnant, or already wounded will and should be a fighter in such conditions. Wouldn't you be? The issue of "Hamas" versus "not Hamas" is practically meaningless in this context.
Zionist propaganda has for a few years classified the entire population of Gaza as "terror supporters". Ever since Fatah lost the election because it became publicly known that the leadership were making money supplying cement for the apartheid wall.
Peculiar, isn't it, that it's OK with the Zionists for cement to be supplied from Egypt for the wall, but not for much-needed weapons to be supplied from Egypt to Gaza?
The point is to isolate an entire population so they can be at the mercy of Zionist terror which is not known for showing mercy. In the past fortnight, the aggression has been nothing but genocidal. Talking about dropping leaflets encouraging those who do not want to resist to gather away from the front line so they can watch their valiant sons and daughters get slaughtered and then, in the few hectares that remain, perhaps get airlifted out to somewhere, is obscene. This propaganda serves two purposes only: 1) an attack on enemy morale and 2) support for worldwide propaganda saying anyone who gets killed by the aggressors deserves it.
In the clearest possible terms, people are fighting to defend their community against a genocidal aggressor. Just like in the Warsaw ghetto.
Yes, there are some differences. The Germans did indeed round people up and execute them. In the current Gaza massacre, the Zionists aren't even bothering to take prisoners in the first place - unless, that is, you count the entire Gaza population as prisoners.
This will be the last post I make here (or anywhere) answering Zionazi talking-points because they are not made by bona fide people with a sense of common humanity independent of ethnicity. Making such "points" is, in a very real sense, part of the aggressors' propaganda war. It is currently going on in all sorts of forums across the internet.
Those of us who want, with our meagre resources, to give a little support to the people in Gaza should denounce and explain the Zionist propaganda effort rather than getting drawn in by it.
PS Another propaganda term is "Palestinian", especially when used in phrases such as "Israel versus the Palestinians". If we don't accept apartheid (in whatever form, including a two-state solution), then surely the country is Palestine and people live there who are Arabs, Jews, Russians, Armenians etc. "Israel" is a wholly racist invention. Note the propagandists' success in "disappearing" the identity of "Arab Jew", largely through the Zionist "education" system. I'm talking about the system that doesn't allow "+" as the symbol for addition in many schools, preferring this sign instead.
posted by b : 8:28 AM
Ah yes, the warning pamphlets! And the loudspeaker warnings! Every apologist for Israel has dragged these crappy arguments out, as though warning people that you're going to firebomb their homes and slaughter their children makes it A-OK. And they also leave out the burning question of just where the fuck those duly warned people are supposed to go.