Tag Archives: Gaza

RIP Anas Qandeel: Long live Palestinian intifada!

Anas Qandeel July 13 2014

Israel & its alibi agency (the media) talk about Israel’s precision bombing in Gaza to take out the homes of Hamas commanders, as if Hamas was an army with a command structure & bombing their families along with them was legitimate military practice rather than war crime. Overwhelming photographic documentation puts the lie to all this hasbara horse manure by showing Israeli aircraft indiscriminately dropping massive bombs over Gazan cities & creating massive property damage in residential areas. There’s nothing precision about it & that constitutes war crimes. Is the UN or Human Rights Watch taking note? Or are they still on the sidelines shaking their naughty fingers at both sides? Of course, when you call a spade a spade, standing on the sidelines in the midst of ethnic cleansing is tacit endorsement.

What Israel actually means by “precision bombing” is that the many Gazan infants & children we see in photographs being treated for injuries or prepared for burial (those the Israeli politician called the “little snakes”) & their Palestinian mothers, are precisely the ones Israel is going after. That’s why it’s called ethnic cleansing.

It’s too gruesome to post the photos of those small children. One feels daunted by the criminality & military might of Israel which we need our psychic & political energies to oppose. This is a photo of 17-year-old Anas Qandeel, a young Gazan teenager killed along with his father in an Israeli airstrike. Again, precisely the ones Israel is going after.

His FB cover photo is an image of intifada with the inscription in English & Arabic: “Palestine Resist”. He wrote on his wall just a few days ago: “I cannot sleep. When are you going to attack my home & finish?” This young boy wasn’t taunting fate; he was expressing trauma at hearing & huddling from hundreds of Israeli bombers trying to take out all of Gaza.

This beautiful vibrant young boy is now gone, taken out in one of Israel’s precision sorties. May he RIP. And may we keep him in mind as we continue to rally around the world demanding “Stop the massacre in Gaza!”

Pay your respects to young Anas & all those killed & injured by honoring the economic boycott of Israel (barcode beginning 729); supporting the cultural boycott of Israel; & demanding “No military aid to Israel!”

(Photo from thebowspring)

Gaza solidarity rallies held around the world

UntitleTel Aviv (Yafo) protest July 12 2014

There are reports & photos from around the world showing thousands rallying to support Gaza & condemn Israeli ethnic cleansing. Protesters marched in Algeria; London, Leicester, Nottingham, Birmingham, Gloucester, & Manchester, England; Paris, France; Oslo, Norway; Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Belfast, & Derry, Ireland; Semarang & Jakarta, Indonesia; Athens, Greece; New Delhi, India; Tunis, Tunisia; Pretoria, South Africa; Brussels, Belgium; Ankara, Turkey; Shopian District, Bandipora District, & Srinigar, Kashmir; Sana’a, Yemen; Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, & Dundee, Scotland; Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, & Melbourne, Australia; San Salvador, El Salvador; The Hague, Netherlands; London, Ontario & Toronto, Canada; New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, San Diego, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Pittsburgh, & Denver, USA–& many, many more places not yet reported. This photo is the protest in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Israel, about 45 miles from the Gaza border.

This is the chant that’s gone round the world: Stop the massacre in Gaza! Our fullest solidarity with the people of Gaza!

(Photo by Yuyu Ilany)

Documentation of Israeli war crimes in Gaza

Israeli rocket in Gaza July 12 2014ic cleansing in

Are these traumatized Israelis examining a Qassam rocket lobbed by Hamas from Gaza? No. It’s documentation of Israeli war crimes against Gaza–& it isn’t the only evidence, which mounts in photo after photo of Israeli aircraft exploding massive bombs over Gazan cities with homes, schools, clinics. These are in fact Palestinians in the town of Deir El-Balah (on the coast of central Gaza) examing a missile dropped from Israeli aircraft.

One would hardly take present international law as a guide to the oxymoronic (with emphasis on moronic) “humanitarian conduct of war”. But Israeli bombing of Gaza violates umpteen international treaties about bombing civilians & civilian property. And it must be remembered, every single person in Gaza is a civilian because there is no form of military & homemade rockets are no form of self-defense against one of the most sophisticated military arsenals in the world.

Deir al-Balah, which has a nearby refugee camp, is a frequent site of Israeli military incursions by land & by air because of its location & because it is a center of political opposition to Israeli apartheid. Israeli bombers & bulldozers have razed acres of orchard land in the area; tanks have occupied the area under the pretext of routing out Hamas arsenals shooting off rockets to Israel. Since in several decades of military incursions in the region Israel hasn’t been able to rout them out, maybe it’s a failed military strategy–or more likely, those arsenals don’t exist & never existed at all.

Deir al-Balah was once a center of Zionist settlements but under the despicable prime minister Ariel Sharon, Israel implemented a disengagement plan in 2005 & forcibly removed the Zionist settlers from Gaza. It now seems evident Israel’s strategy was not to generate peace between Israel & the bantustate of Gaza but to isolate Gaza to more effectively bombard it, ethnically cleanse it of Palestinians, & return it to Zionist freebooters.

Many Palestinian supporters around the world are traumatized watching the carnage & feel helpless to stay the hand of Israeli genocide. Maybe that partially explains why the antiwar movement is so weak: because military power is so daunting & seemingly impregnable. But we must never underestimate the power of resistance, of political education, of persistence. Our strength lies in numbers & in commitment & in steadfast solidarity with Palestinians, Afghanis, Iraqis, Pakistanis, & all others.

(Photo by Ashraf Amrah/Reuters)

Media lies to cover Israeli ethnic cleansing in Gaza

Gaza bombing (2) July 10 2014

Photojournalists are documenting Israeli human rights & war crimes in Gaza, including hundreds of tons of explosives raining down on cities. While the photographic testimony is massive & irrefutable, world media tries to turn the story on its head with headlines like “Israel under renewed Hamas attack” (BBC, July 8th); “Israel Continues Offensive in Gaza: Gaza Raids a Response to Palestinian Rocket Attacks on Israeli Towns” (Wall Street Journal, July 9th); “Israel and Hamas trade attacks” (NY Times, July 9th).

Shame-faced lying is the nature of media reporting on Israel & the Palestinians. If they could put a soundtrack to their pile of lies, it would be Andy Williams singing “The Exodus Song (This Land is Mine)” from the film justifying the expropriation of Palestine with paramilitary death squads & colonial hatred. The ABC news reader Diane Sawyer, who has made a career for herself croaking lies for the Pentagon, actually borrowed film footage of bombing carnage in Gaza & described it as Israel. There is no actual footage because there is no carnage in Israel comparable to the ethnic cleansing siege of Gaza. They’ve only been able to produce a few photos of Israelis cowering from sirens & a couple photos of property damage in Israel, allegedly from Hamas rockets.

Media publish the photos & try to counter their impact with captions. The Wall Street Journal album of carnage in Gaza used captions like: “At least 66 Palestinians have been killed so far, more than 50 of them civilians.” Since Gaza does not have any form of military they are all unarmed civilians–but the caption suggests Hamas militarism. Photo after photo of rubble in Gaza, of people running from air strikes in residential areas, of Israeli aircraft bombing cities are described in captions as “what police claimed was from Israeli bombing”–like it was just allegations from Palestinian authorities. What about what the Israeli military brazenly calls Operation Protective Edge? They bomb the hell out of Gaza & leave it to world media to cover for them.

The caption to this photo read: “A Palestinian woman runs carrying a girl following what police said was an Israeli air strike on a house in Gaza City.” You can stick any caption of lies on this photo & dramatize it with Andy Williams singing, but the overwhelming weight of evidence is that Operation Protective Edge is a massive Operation Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians by Israel. Those who want to stand on the side of ethnic cleansing using cynicism & mysticism, claiming the disputes are ancient or even genetic to semites, shaking their naughty fingers at both sides, ought to hang their heads in shame.

Stand against ethnic cleansing by supporting the economic boycott of Israel (barcode beginning 729); supporting the cultural boycott of Israel; & demanding “No military aid to Israel.”

(Photo by Majdi Fathi/Reuters)

Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestinians crescendoes to new levels of barbarism

Gaza funeral July 8 2014

It’s a damn good thing for Israel that it has world media covering its back to justify barbaric crimes against Palestinians. Sometimes media does it with half-truths, often with outright lies, but to cover the current jackboot occupation of the West Bank & the massive bombing of Gaza, the media tries to turn the story upside down.

This is little Asma weeping at the funeral of her older brother, Gomha Abu Shalouf. The caption to the photo claims Gomha, killed yesterday in an airstrike in Gaza, was a member of the Al Qassam Brigades who they identify as “the military wing of Hamas.” The caption continues: “Hamas has vowed revenge on Israel for the death of several of its members killed in an airstrike early Monday morning.”

The narrative of a vengeful & militaristic Hamas is really quite crucial to Israeli ethnic cleansing. So the recent agreement between Hamas in Gaza & the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank threw a monkey-wrench into Zionist justifications. If the kidnapping & murder of the three Zionist settlers in the West Bank didn’t present an opportunity to break the (anyway tenuous) entente, Israel would have found something else because it needs to construct a monstrous whipping boy to cover for its monstrous crimes against Palestinians.

When the boys were kidnapped, Israel immediately went into hasbara mode, condemning Hamas as the perpetrators. It probably didn’t give a rat’s ass who did it but was just grateful someone did–because the safety of Israeli citizens is not a concern to its cynical & corrupt Zionist leadership or they wouldn’t put them so frequently in harm’s way. Those who die can be used to whip up a frenzy against Palestinians. Which is exactly what happened.

Netanyahu led the way with calls for revenge, the deployment of thousands of soldiers to the West Bank arresting hundreds, breaking into & ransacking homes, & a massive bombing campaign over Gaza. Israeli politicians called for blood & ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the most inflammatory language, saying Palestinian mothers give birth to “little snakes”; lynch mobs formed within Israel & burned a young Palestinian boy to death. It was the Zionist leadership of Israel whipping up this climate of hatred & revenge.

Even if Hamas did call for vengeance, what the hell can slingshots & rocks do against one of the mightiest military apparatuses in the world!? Is Hamas lobbing rockets from Gaza, as Israel claims to justify the bombing sieges? Who the hell knows, since Israel can’t be believed & hasn’t been able to provide much evidence of property damage!? Isn’t their Iron Dome anti-rocket system working? Even if Hamas did call for vengeance, why is Israel punishing all Palestinians in the most extreme & violent way?

The last thing Israel wants from Palestinians is a leadership that can move the struggle from intifada to power & a democratic, secular state where Jews, Palestinians, & Africans can live as brothers & sisters. Hamas is not that; nor is the collusive leadership of Mahmoud Abbas & the Palestinian Authority. If we want to know where that leadership will come from look to the youth of Gaza & the West Bank, the activists of intifada who are learning from the mistakes & compromises of Hamas & the PA & will forge the kind of political leadership necessary to win justice & peace.

(Photo by Hatem Moussa/AP)

Israeli ethnic cleansing in Gaza

A Palestinian boy & man here seek shelter in a car damaged in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City on Monday. The airstrikes began Saturday in southern Gaza & moved north to Gaza City. There are no international voices of outrage while Israel pummels everything that moves with bombs. Israel claims the airstrikes are retaliation for rockets from Gaza but they aren’t able to produce a single shred of evidence for such attacks. Providing press releases from the Israeli military or setting off air raid sirens in Israel are not evidence.

No one yet knows who kidnapped the three boys from one of the illegal Zionist settlements in the West Bank though Israel is blaming it on Hamas. We don’t make light of the abduction or consider it an acceptable strategy to target children (as Israel does Palestinian children)–& neither do most Palestinians. But the fate of those boys is really not what concerns Israel or it would be negotiating for their safe return, not provoking the situation by terrorizing the West Bank with thousands of jackboots & arresting Palestinians in an indiscriminate dragnet.

The fear on this small boy’s face tells us what we have to do: support Palestinian justice by boycotting all Israeli products (barcode beginning 729); support the cultural boycott of Israel; & demand “No military aid to Israel!”


Israeli military strategy in bombing Gaza

Khan Younis June 9 2014 (Mohammed Salem)

Israeli bombing forays over Gaza are now a constant, punctuated by recurrent operations that last for days taking out farm lands, homes, schools, hospitals & killing hundreds of men, women, & children. Israel gives these operations names like Operation Summer Rains, Operation Autumn Clouds, Operation Returning Echos, Operation Pillar of Defense but they’re just poetic expressions for ethnic cleansing. You can make it rhyme but you can’t stop it from stinking.

Gaza is a small territory (139 sq miles/360 sq km) so every round of Israeli airstrikes is worth it’s weight in terror. The forays are not at all indiscriminate but a calculated strategy targeting the two most developed urban areas–Gaza City & Khan Yunis. Both areas are also militarily pivotal. Israel always claims the forays are in response to rockets sent from Gaza into Israeli territory. There isn’t much documentation of these steady barrages–unless you consider IDF press releases sufficient evidence. But to chide the Palestinians for defending themselves defies not only international law but elementary good sense. If they used sling shots instead of rockets, they’d still get bombed because ethnic cleansing is the agenda, not Israeli self-defense.

Bombing this week was again over Khan Yunis, only a few miles from the Rafah crossing between Gaza & Egypt. Khan Yunis has been a conflict zone in Gaza politics, partially due to its location, since Zionist paramilitary forces took over Palestine in 1948. It then became the site of a refugee camp which today houses between 38,000 & 72,000 people (the figures are disputed between the UN & Palestinian Bureau of Statistics). In the 1956 Suez War, Israeli soldiers entered the town & refugee camp & massacred 275 people without provocation. Gaza then came under direct Egyptian military occupation until the 1967 Six-Day War with Israel when Khan Yunis was occupied by the Israeli army.

In 1968, Israel began building the Gush Katif complex of 17 settlements in the region with settlers from Nahal military brigades–that is, settlers who combined military service with setting up agricultural settlements. (Many kibbutzim were originally Nahal settlements.) The location & entire layout of Gush Katif was military–primarily to isolate northern Gaza from the southern region & Gaza City from Khan Yunis; to take Israeli control of the area to use as a buffer zone between Palestinians & military bulwark against Egypt (before it began to collude with the US & Israel as a result of the Camp David Accords in 1978).

Israel claims Gush Katif residents, who were fortified by the Israeli army, were targeted by Palestinians during the First Palestinian Intifada of 1987-1990 against Israeli repression which included extrajudicial killings, mass detentions, house demolitions, land expropriations, & deportations. Israel lodged the same complaint during the Second Intifada (or Al-Aqsa Intifada) of 2000-2005, saying Gush Katif residents sustained frequent stonings & violent attacks. According to Israel, it’s permissible for farmers armed with AK-47s & Uzis to land-grab Palestinian lands but if Palestinians resist with stones, they’re terrorists. Who can reason with such crap?

In 2005, Israel’s prime minister Ariel Sharon launched a disengagement plan which forcibly removed the 8,600 unwilling Zionist soldier-settlers & relocated them to the West Bank–another place they don’t belong. When they left, Israel moved in demolition crews to destroy all the buildings. They claim they only destroyed the homes & left all public buildings (schools, libraries, community centers, office & industrial buildings, factories, & greenhouses) intact. What are the odds of that!?

Gaza is considered an occupied territory by the UN & other international agencies like Amnesty International. Activists liken it to an outdoor prison. Apparently the way Israeli military strategists view it, it’s a case of shooting fish in a barrel. That’s how cavalier Zionists are about ethnic cleansing.

For some reason, before the recent bombing of Khan Yunis started, several media sources published photos of Palestinians at the Khan Yunis refugee camp & squatting in the rubble of the former Gush Katif settlements. These photos depicting the squalor of occupation should stand as the historical record of Zionism, not an archive of a people ethnically cleansed.

Support Palestinian justice, stand against apartheid & boycott all Israeli products (barcode beginning 729); support the cultural boycott of Israel; & demand “No military aid to Israel!”

Photo is Palestinian women cooking inside her makeshift housing at the former Gush Katif settlement (on June 3rd 2014).

(Photo by Mohammed Salem/Reuters)

Israeli bombing & ethnic cleansing in Gaza

This photo of a Palestinian responding to the Israeli bombing of a smuggling tunnel (earlier this month) captures the breadth & barbarism of Israel against Gaza–which is at once a siege of constant bombings & an embargo on vital human needs like medicine & foods. Palestinians are forced to build underground tunnels to smuggle what Israel won’t allow claiming Gaza uses much of the stuff to build bombs–though Israel has never been able to explain how books, paper, blankets, penicillin, aspirins, antibiotics, chocolate, spices, & other vital products are used in constructing heavy artillery. Such an embargo is however extremely effective in ethnic cleansing.

There are concentrated periods, often lasting several days & weeks, of Israeli bombing in Gaza but it never really ends. Drone sorties are most often triggered by Israeli claims of rocket attacks from Gaza. It’s become difficult for Israel to explain why thousands of alleged rockets have caused so little property damage & no casualties (including injuries from shrapnel) directly related to a rocket in the past several years. Zionist ideologues do not know shame but you have to hand to hand it to them for inventiveness in war & malice. They claim the lack of death & destruction is due to the massive civil defense infrastructure they built up in southern Israel near Gaza. They have bomb shelters, the noisy Red Dawn siren system, & the vaunted Iron Dome missile shield against rockets from Gaza. That means they never have to produce a single piece of evidence for the alleged rocket barrage.

There’s no question Israel sets off that noisy siren system & ushers people into bomb shelters to scare the hell out of them & justify the war footing against Gaza. It’s also likely some Palestinians in Gaza attempt to send over makeshift bombs loaded with blankets & oregano. But isn’t that Iron Dome working for Israel? Can’t the damn thing thwart such artillery?

Israel also claims it’s targeting Hamas military sites in Gaza. That doesn’t explain why they took out a washing machine factory in a refugee camp, a metal shop, schools, & homes; killed many civilians; injured dozens of others; & are keeping the people of Gaza under a reign of terror.

According to B’Tselem & the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, two Israeli human rights groups, there is a dramatic increase in the number of Palestinians injured or killed by gunfire near Israel’s apartheid wall encircling Gaza. Since December, B’Tselem documented 55 Palestinians injured near the fence–43 of them by live ammunition & two by tear gas canisters. There have also been several fatalities, including children & a mentally ill woman, but there is no reliable figure on how many. Mind you, they were all killed within Gaza on farm lands considered off-limit zones to the Israeli military. The military claims they were sabotaging the fence but that’s as believable as thousands of rockets bombarding Israel.

Support Palestinian justice by boycotting all Israeli products (barcode beginning 729), supporting the cultural boycott of Israel, & demanding “No military aid to Israel!”

(Photo by Hatem Omar/AP)