Tag Archives: Israeli bombing in Gaza

Ethnic cleansing in Gaza

Gaza rubble July 16 2014

Once again, rubble tells the story media ignores. This woman in Rafah is standing in front of what’s left of her house destroyed by an Israeli bomb. You can see it’s a congested area with other houses right up close to hers & you can see they’re made of concrete. So when Israel bombs them under the pretext of taking out Hamas rocket launchers, concrete ceilings & walls collapse on the inhabitants, causing the most gruesome & debilitating injuries.

Israel thinks it’s being foxy with us when it reports they dropped leaflets to warn residents to flee. Consider the options: do Palestinians run into the streets for safety while Israel is bombing everything into smithereens? After Israeli politicians referred to their children as “little snakes” & urged genocide, would any Palestinian parent in their right mind read the leaflet, gather up their kids, & head for safety in the streets? Anybody who buys this genocidal rubbish has to have their head examined.

That Hamas rocket launcher alibi is being worked to death by Israel, by media, by every stinking proclamation coming out of the US Congress & other governments. It’s the essential weapon In Israel’s propaganda arsenal & still the evidence is only hearsay. We search fruitlessly for photographic documentation of rocket barrages from Gaza. And what we find wouldn’t hold water in small claims court. What we find is overwhelming documentation of Israeli human rights & war crimes against the people of Gaza–even though the UN & Human Rights Watch (HRW) won’t acknowledge it.

Of course, when the UN & HRW refuse to see egregious war crimes, that isn’t a case of cognitive dissonance; it’s a case of collusion. To render Ezekiel from the Old Testament apropos: “They have eyes to see but turn their heads & ears to hear but play stone-deaf, for they are an unconscionable people up to their eyeballs in this genocide.” Amen.

Protests in solidarity with Gaza continue around the world, with one in Paris, France today sponsored by dozens of labor unions, peace, veteran, farmers, student, women’s groups–a show of solidarity in a country that until recently arrested boycott (BDS) advocates & dragged them into court. There was a massive rally held in Cape Town, South Africa today & another in Baramulla district, Kashmir. And there is a national rally scheduled for Washington, DC this Sunday.

There’s no such thing as overkill when it comes to solidarity against genocide. Stand with the people of Gaza & if it’s not possible to join a rally, it is always powerful to join the economic boycott of all Israeli products (barcode beginning 729), support the cultural boycott of Israel, & demand “No military aid to Israel!”

(Photo by Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters)

National march in Washington DC to demand “Stop the massacre in Gaza!”

Gaza City (Mohammed Saber:EPA) July 15 2014

There have been Palestinian solidarity protests reported in 50 cities around the world (if you count a lone picketer in McAllen, TX). Some have been “small but spirited”; some have been immense, numbering in the thousands. Eleven of those were in the US, though there were certainly more rallies unreported. These protests have to continue, have to grow, have to reach out & involve everyone under the sun demanding “Stop the massacre in Gaza.”

So it is great news that Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, has called a national demonstration in Washington, DC on Sunday, July 20th, calling for an immediate end to Israeli bombing & an immediate end to US military funding to Israel.

Here’s the info: Al-Awda National Rally to Defend Palestine; End the Genocide
Sunday, July 20, 2014
3 PM
US State Department to the White House
3514 International Drive NW
Washington DC

Organizations wishing to endorse and take part in this action, contact Don Bryant at 216.285.0223 or don@immigrantsupportnetwork.org

Everybody on the East Coast & east of the Mississippi River should consider finding a way to this rally & know it is an honor to support the people of Gaza in their struggle.

This is a photo of Israeli bombing in Gaza City where over half a million people live. There’s no way Zionists can put the soundtrack to “Exodus” to this carnage. “We Shall Overcome (for Palestine)” by Roger Waters is the only suitable anthem.

(Photo by Mohammed Saber/EPA)

Fighting the propaganda war against Zionist lies

LA rally July 15 2014

Israel & the Alibi Ikes of media have been pawning off rubbish as truth for so long they almost got caught unawares by the boycott movement & the massive growth of Palestinian solidarity. But Zionism has a lot of money at its disposal to catch up & there’s evidence of that everywhere: they have taken over the Israel-Palestine narrative on Wikipedia; are targeting student boycott (BDS) groups; Zionist-sponsored speakers tour campuses denouncing “honor killings” under the guise of feminism & human rights to discredit Middle Eastern cultures as irredemiably violent; they’re even trying to bring back pro-Israel rallies. Above all, they work tirelessly to equate anti-Zionism with antisemitism. And of course, in all this the media plays the indispensable role.

Palestinians have enough to do defending themselves against Israeli settlements, land expropriations, the military occupation & jackboot tyranny in the West Bank, incarcerations, including of their children, the unspeakable blockade of Gaza, & the ethnic cleansing assault going on now. It is the Palestinian solidarity movement around the world that must take up the propaganda flank of this struggle & work as tirelessly to get the truth out as hasbara agents work to dispense lies.

Irish activists are circulating a petition to get their news network to give honest coverage in place of hasbara lies; English activists are protesting at the BBC because of its wretched history of lies. These actions matter because even if they don’t compel news networks to stop covering for Israeli ethnic cleansing, many will see there is another side to the story. Each media source doesn’t have to be specifically targeted because they’re all complicit & massive protests with placards demanding “stop the massacre in Gaza” will put the lie to all of them.

In the 1970s, when Palestinian justice didn’t appear to have a snow ball’s chance in hell, political relations between liberal Zionists (those who want a bantustate solution rather than a democratic secular state) & Palestinian supporters were almost amicable but as BDS gains ground around the world, amity morphs into rancor & incompatibilities between justice & apartheid become crystal clear.

Every year since 1964, Israel has sponsored a Celebrate Israel Parade in NYC where Zionists from around the country (& probably fleets from Israel) march up Fifth Avenue to salute Israel. It’s a spectacle of hasbara & organizers claim it attracts thousands; last year they claim it drew a million. A few years ago, they initiated the same parades in London & Manchester, England. But there hasn’t been a Zionist popular movement in the streets because media was all wrapped up & there wasn’t much need for a social movement to counter the lies.

BDS is changing that & we can expect to see Zionist rallies around the world, especially as counter-protests to Palestinian support rallies. Last Sunday, Zionist protesters gathered for a pro-Israel rally in Los Angeles, apparently as a counter-protest to a Palestinian solidarity rally across the street. One account estimated Palestinian supporters at 200 & different media estimated the Zionist group from 500 to 1,800. Media reports are completely conflicted & quite frankly questionable; the most honest appears to be in The Jewish Press. Photos show the Zionists flipping the bird to pro-Palestinian protesters & there was of course mutual taunting involved. It isn’t the most gracious way of operating but it isn’t fisticuffs either. What appears to be an entirely minor scuffle between protesters–provoked by a Zionist when he grabbed a Palestinian flag & stomped on it–became national news when a federal officer shot at the Palestinians driving away after the altercation where no one was hurt.

A spokeswoman for the Israeli-American Council, which co-organized the rally, characterized it as very peaceful & described the altercation as a minor incident (probably so nobody in her group would get arrested) but cops arrested the four Palestinians & booked them for assault with a deadly weapon. We’re talking the stick holding the flag, which multiplied into several sticks in media accounts.

That axiom about “the truth will set you free” is a cliché & quite frankly tedious as all get-out but in fact, truth & strength in numbers are the only weapons we have & when we combine them in a thunderous international chorus of “Stop the massacre in Gaza”, we shake the very foundations of tyranny & injustice.

(Photo of Palestinian solidarity rally in Los Angeles by Rick Loomis/LA Times)

Israeli bombers target homes, schools, mosques, clinics in Gaza

Rafah missile on Bedouin home July 14 2014

There is so much infrastructure damage from Israeli bombing in Gaza & one can only view so many photos of rubble. But a lot of that rubble tells a story so it’s worth going through them because they identify Israeli military targets & document war crimes. This gesturing Palestinian woman lives in Rafah, a town near the Gaza border with Egypt where there are border crossings & also a lot of smuggling tunnels Palestinians use to bring in contraband like foods & medicines from a several page list of vital needs Israel bans. Israel & Egypt have been trying to destroy those tunnels for a few years, including by flooding them with sewage, so that helps explain why there have been several bombing sorties over Rafah.

If you look at this photo, it’s clearly a congested residential area indistinguishable from a slum. The house with the dud missile is a tin shack belonging to a Bedouin. Can the Israeli military explain how their state-of-the-art aircraft, including drones, mistook a tin shack for a Hamas rocket launcher? Or were they really going for the Bedouin, his family & neighbors?

Property damage in Gaza is massive & speaks to several violations of international law governing war. But it’s one thing to show rubble & document infrastructure damage; it’s quite another to show the human carnage of ethnic cleansing. Some political journals have found through experience that little purpose is served showing gruesome photos of dismembered or tortured bodies. More often the barbarities demoralize rather than inspire antiwar opposition. But of course, those being bombed, including small children, witness & are traumatized by what we find unbearable to view. Medical personnel treating the injured have to deal with human beings torn apart, dismembered, charcoaled from burns, & screaming with pain from shrapnel, bombed buildings collapsing on them, & from DIME explosives, the experimental US weapons Israel is developing by use against Gaza.

On the one hand, no political purpose or dignity is served by circulating photos of human carnage, but on the the other hand, Israel & other warmakers take advantage of that to conduct the most unspeakable human rights & war crimes in secret. The way to get around the apparent dilemma is to describe the kinds of weapons Israel is using & what damage they inflict on human bodies. Many writers have done this over the course of many wars, describing the effects of Agent Orange & other biological weapons in Vietnam, depleted uranium in the Gulf War, white phosphorus & DIME explosives in Gaza.

In an interview on Democracy Now, Dr. Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor who has treated in Gaza through the past 17 years, described the bombing injuries & mutilations from DIME. He said more important than medical teams, “The most important medical thing you can do now is to force Israel to stop the bombing, & to lift the siege of Gaza. Then the Palestinians will manage well themselves.” For those of us overwhelmed with grief & feeling helpless before Israeli genocide, Gilbert just laid out our mission: building massive, consistent, persistent, committed public opposition to the massacre in Gaza & building broad participation in the boycott campaign.

Stop the massacre in Gaza! Boycott all Israeli products; support the cultural boycott of Israel; demand “No military aid to Israel!”

(Photo by Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters)

Solidarity rallies in Kashmir in solidarity with Gaza

Kashmir solidarity with Gaza protest July 14 2014

In the past week, there have been several Palestinian solidarity rallies in Indian-occupied Kashmir. The conflict between India & Kashmir results from the British colonial partition when it gave up colonial control of South Asia in 1947. The occupation by the Indian military is every bit as brutal & relentless as the British colonial arrangement with Zionism in 1947 that led to Israeli apartheid & Palestinian bantustates.

The resistance among Kashmiri youth has been called intifada because of it’s similarities to Palestinan political resistance. As we can see from these photos, Kashmiri solidarity with Gaza is rooted in their own struggle against occupation & their heartfelt, blood-soaked understanding of injustice, persecution, & social hatred.

Our solidarity with the Kashmiri freedom movement who also stand with Gaza. Stop the massacre in Gaza! End the occupation of Kashmir!

(This photo from INn AMm)

Palestinian diaspora 2014

Palestinian diaspora July 14 2014

And so Palestinian diaspora continues: now 66 years of young, old, infirm, disabled, terrorized off their lands, out of their homes into refugee camps or exile. Operation Ethnic Cleansing in Gaza is intended to destroy the infrastructure of Gazan society & forcibly destroy or expel the population; it hasn’t a damn thing to do with fictitious rocket barrages from Hamas militants.

Netan-psycho-yahu proclaims Israel will not buckle before international pressure & he is not referring to a groundswell of revulsion at ethnic cleansing from any government. The regimes weighing in outdo each other with scurrilous, shameful denunciations of “Hamas terrorism” & weepy-assed declarations that Israel has a right to defend itself against those rockets–for which nobody can provide documentation because there is none. Showing photos of Israelis in parking garages waiting out sirens is not documentation of terrorism. It is Israeli political theater to scare the hell out of its citizens & fool them & us into thinking massive rocket barrages really exist.

As we would expect, the US Congress & Canada have issued inflammatory proclamations endorsing Israeli genocide. If you can imagine, the resolutions are even more war-mongering than the Knesset. But what do we expect from governments that conduct wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, DR Congo, & so many other places, & work tirelessly to thwart popular thrusts for democracy, like the Arab uprisings? Barbarism is the very nature of neoliberal capitalist regimes.

India, whose new prime minister is a fascist, issued a less inflammatory statement, shaking the naughty finger at both sides & urging restraint from both Palestinians & Israel. Not too much restraint on the part of Israel though because behind the scenes India has a lucrative political & military relationship with Israel, including $10 billion in military sales in the past decade.

Maybe the saddest proclamation of all comes from Cuba. No one is demanding long-winded denunciations of Israeli genocide but it certainly merits more than a couple sentences in Granma. The Cuban statement condemned Israel’s policy of collective punishment & disproportionate use of force & then went on to call for peace talks between Israel & Palestinians to set up a Palestinian state–the old bantustate solution long-since discredited by the Oslo Accords & confirmed in the past two decades of trying to implement them. As for peace talks, what did Cuba miss in the catastrophe of Israel talking peace with the Palestinian Authority & US while it escalated settlements in the West Bank & conducted bombing sorties in Gaza?

And where is the UN in all this? After all, isn’t harmoney between nations their stated mission? Don’t they have a pile of proclamations & resolutions defining war crimes & genocide? And doesn’t Israeli conduct in Gaza violate every single one of them? Why instead of denouncing this war does the UN content itself with mopping up some of the carnage by providing abandoned schools for Palestinians running from bombs to live in, sleeping on bare floors with blankets as mattress? Why does the UN make public estimations that 77% of the victims in Gaza are civilians when 100% of the people of Gaza are civilians? And why does it issue the same kind of equivocations as India, urging restraint on both sides? How does the distinction between ethnic cleansing & self-defense so escape them?

The international pressure that concerns Netan-psycho-yahu is Palestinian solidarity & the boycott movement. Mobilizing opposition to genocide is not a flash-in-the-pan operation but an ongoing campaign calling to men & women of good will across this planet to join in & make the voice of justice thunderous: Stop the massacre in Gaza!

(Photo by Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)

Israeli operation “Ethnic Cleansing”

Gaza airstrike June 21 2014

Attention is focused on Israel’s jackboot operation in the West Bank while massive Israeli bombing continues in Gaza over the two largest urban areas. We don’t know what poetic name Israel has given to the Gaza operation; they call the West Bank one “Operation Brother’s Keeper” but they’re both two phalanxes of operation ethnic cleansing.

Here a young boy walks inside the crater left by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City where over half a million people live. The Israeli military say it’s retaliation for Hamas rockets but can they explain why the entire population has to be punished with bombing?

Oppose ethnic cleansing & 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 Moussa/AP)

The false narrative in media about Israeli ethnic cleansing in Gaza

Gaza June 16 2014

The caption to this photo in the LA Times is a classic illustration of media narrative on Palestinians & Israel. It reads: “A Palestinian girl walks past the rubble of a destroyed Hamas site after Israeli air strikes in the northern Gaza Strip. Israeli military said it carried out airstrikes on five weapons & militant sites in Gaza, following overnight rocket fire from the coastal strip into Israel.” It’s only a caption but it doesn’t exhibit the honesty considered de rigueur to most second-graders. Why all the media flap over plagiarism by journalists when they won’t even tell the straight story? What’s cribbing even entire paragraphs compared to making up the whole story?

Let’s parse that caption a little because whatever their political failings, Hamas is the elected government of Gaza. So is that “destroyed Hamas site” where they store municipal supplies like shovels? Did they store court files in there or toilet paper for the government buildings? Or was it an arsenal as the Israeli military claims? And an arsenal of what? Here’s where that “integrity in journalism” thing comes in: would intrepid reporters with an ounce of integrity simply accept the word of the aggressing party for why they bombed? Or is that shyster journalism of the same kind where media accepts Pentagon press releases as oracular? In other words, is it BS? Can they provide one shred of documentation that those rockets were actually set off or that they came from Gaza? We’ll take even a shred of documentation.

Originally when the bombing began this weekend in Gaza, reports said the forays were over the Khan Yunis region south of Gaza City but later reports indicate they also included Gaza City. There are no final reports yet on fatalities & property damage.

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

(Photo by Mohammed Saber/EPA)

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)