Tag Archives: Israeli ethnic cleansing in Gaza

Israeli war propaganda deeply rooted in racism and colonialism

Gazan man with child August 6 2014

The truth of the matter is Palestinian parents must be worn out & frantic trying to protect their children from bombs, from being buried in cement rubble, from being embedded with flechette darts & DIME shrapnel. And then to have Israeli war propaganda & world media accuse them of using their beloved children as human shields for rocket launchers!

Beat the drums loudly for justice in Palestine. Stand with the parents & children of Gaza & answer hasbara with the truth.

Keep marching; keep boycotting all Israeli goods (barcode beginning 729).

This man & his little girl are resting in the rubble of their home in an area of Gaza which has seen some of the worst destruction. They will be among the hundreds of thousands left homeless.

(Photo by Carolyn Cole/LA Times)

Palestinian solidarity must carry the banner of intifada while Gaza grieves

Gazan boys August 5 2014

Solidarity can do nothing to alleviate the grief that will haunt & traumatize Gaza for a long time. Mourning loss of such epic scale is not something most of us can even imagine nor something we can salve. What solidarity can do is carry the banner of Palestinian intifada while Gazans take time to grieve & get their bearings.

The mission of solidarity has only just begun but a world movement has formed to hammer at Israeli lies & counterpose the truth of Palestinian’s just claims to live in peace in their own lands. We need rallies, forums, teach-ins, speak-outs, pickets, protests; we need to build the holy hell out of BDS, encouraging everyone to boycott all Israeli products & pressure academics & performers to refuse their gigs in Israel.

No one need longer fear to speak the truth or whisper support for Palestinians lest we provoke charges & be ostracized as anti-Semite. Speaking support for Palestine once seemed a case of the still living attending the Vampire’s Ball or the Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The rosy hue of truth was not just unwelcome but vilified. Kiss that crap goodbye. The truth has been tweeted round the world now millions of times. Uninformed people of good will want to know the truth & won’t accept half-assed explanations or having the dead bony finger of hasbara pointed at them to denounce them as anti-Semites or self-hating Jews.

We need to grab this historic moment & run with it because Palestinian solidarity is no longer voices crying in the wilderness. It is now an international solidarity movement of the kind we haven’t seen since the Vietnam War. History is being remade; justice is being served. The voices of Palestine must now be heard.

Long live intifada! Take it international in solidarity with continuing rallies & honoring the economic boycott of all Israeli products (barcode beginning 729).

(Photo of boys outside their bombed-out house in Gaza City by Suhaib Salem/Reuters)

Crackpots are now running the hasbara factory

Gaza rubble August 5 2014

Let’s speak bluntly since diplomacy takes too much time. It’s too tedious to search for polite ways to say ugly truths. If you believe Israeli propaganda justifying ethnic cleansing, you don’t just have rocks in your head or cognitive dissonance or dissociative disorder; you need a guardian to handle your affairs.

The crackpots are now running the show in the hasbara factory. Just a review of the idiocies: Israel used a Patriot missile to shoot down a Hamas drone aircraft headed for Tel Aviv; Hamas was using specially trained skydivers for terrorist attacks in Israel; Hamas was rigging up suicide donkeys; Hamas rockets headed for Israel miraculously reversed course & landed in Gaza; Hamas has rocket launchers & tunnel accesses in homes, schools, hospitals, mosques, marketplaces, even UN-refugee centers. And the pièce de résistance of foolishness? According to Michael Oren, former Israeli ambassador to the US, Palestinians booby-trap toasters & fridges in their houses.

The Exodus baloney only takes you so far, Israel. When people believe Palestinians use their children for human shields, it only shows the depth & power of racism. It exposes that Israel draws on its roots in 19th century colonialism & racism to vilify the colonized as less than human. It links Israel to modern neoliberal colonialism, the barbaric phase of capitalism, where dispossession & plunder have created millions of homeless & forced them to travel the planet looking for a home & where those who resist are shot down like animals.

But when Israel blames Palestinian children for getting killed by getting in the way of a bomb, we haven’t just entered an Onion or Mad Magazine reality. We’ve entered the Twilight Zone; we’re entering the historic moment when the Exodus myth was stripped bare of romance & exposed as colonial racism.

Look at the mountains of cement rubble that now mark Gaza & ask yourself what was Israel’s intent? To take out rocket launchers destroying Israel & menacing it’s population? After nearly four weeks of relentless carnage in Gaza, Israel has yet to produce a single photo documenting property damage in Israel from Hamas rockets. And when we say document, we do not mean a 20-second grainy image of what might just as well be an unrepaired pothole.

(Photo of Beit Lahiya by Adel Hana/AP)

Israel bombs UN refugee center in Beit Lahiya

Beit Lahiya school August 4 2014

Remember this little guy? On July 17th I did a post about him that said: “In even the worst of human tragedies, there are always moments when human beings reveal the stardust we are born from. This little guy with his baby donkey is at the UN school in Beit Lahiya (north Gaza) where his family took refuge after evacuating their home. Even in hell holes, humans can make magic.”

On July 31st, Israeli tanks shelled the Beit Lahiya school injuring over 30 people, mostly women, sleeping children & infants. It’s unclear how many died. We don’t know what happened to this beautiful child. We only know that against this hell hole we must raise hell till justice is served.

Rally for Palestine; boycott all Israeli products (barcode beginning 729).

(Photo by Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)

The grieving children of Gaza

Gaza- grieving girl August 4 2014

This young girl is mourning the death of three family members killed when Israel bombed the Jabaliyah refugee camp in northern Gaza. We can no longer bear to look at images of bodies being recovered from rubble, of children being carried into hospitals embedded with shrapnel & disfiguring injuries, of people lying in the street in pools of blood. It’s more than we can bear & our nightmare is this girl’s life.

Until now, the Exodus fiction had people swooning for Israel (even though it has to be the most boring epic film Hollywood ever made). Even Paul Newman’s good looks & Andy Williams crooning schmaltz couldn’t save it’s sorry ass. But the myth prevailed in propaganda form. Well that hasbara can now bend over & kiss it’s ass goodbye. The decades of vilifying & stereotyping Palestinians as terrorists & suicide bombers can bend over with it. The truth is out–bombed to smithereens &, one could even say, tweeted to death.

A new era is begun: the era of truth & justice & solidarity with Palestine; the era of calling the bantustate swindle what it is & fighting for a democratic secular state where Jews & Palestinians can live as brother & sister.

We are so sorry to our Palestinian brothers & sisters that we could not stay the hand of genocide & they have suffered so unbearably. But justice is on the march & “there aint no stoppin’ us now!”

All out for Gaza! Honor the economic boycott of Israeli products (barcode beginning 729)

(Photo by Suhaib Salem/Reuters)

Homeless in Gaza

Gaza- homeless August 4 2014

This forlorn man is carrying the few belongings he salvaged from his bombed out house in the village of Khuzaa in central Gaza. He really has no place to go & certainly no place to hide from Israeli bombers & tanks. He’s got no toothbrush, no soap, no clean underwear, no clean shirt & all the comforts & accoutrements of his life are buried in rubble.

Does he know Palestinians no longer stand alone? That over a million people all around the world are in the streets in a thunderous chorus demanding justice for Palestine? Has he heard the news that a historic shift is taking place–not just what they call a paradigm shift but a power dynamic like the movement that helped the Vietnamese people defeat the US military which, until then, seemed invincible?

The bombing is still going on, they’re still recovering bodies & the injured from the rubble, Gaza is grieving & burying the dead, despondence is unavoidable; it will take a while before the spirit of intifada can rise from the rubble & the ashes. But when it does emerge, we need to be there campaigning on every front that forges solidarity: marching, speaking out, touring Palestinians, honoring those who served so admirably in Gaza, & evangelizing for the economic boycott of Israel (barcode beginning 729).

How dare Israel & it’s US & European allies think they could go this far in the age of Twitter & social media when hasbara could be discredited & exposed in a trice & in a million tweets?

Long live Palestinian intifada–the spirit of resistance to Israeli apartheid & ethnic cleansing! Take it international with solidarity? Palestine will be free!

(Photo by Oliver Weiken/EPA)

Using feminism to support ethnic cleansing

Weeping women of Gaza August 4 2014

Hasbara is bringing out the heavy artillery now–nothing lower caliber than feminism to justify targeting children in Gaza. It worked so well to justify the US-NATO war in Afghanistan they decided to give it a go in Gaza. They must have complete meatheads running the hasbara operation these days.

An article in the UK journal called New Scientist dated August 1st, 2014 is titled “The reasons why Gaza’s population is so young.” Demographics & babies are always a primary concern to colonial powers. The young represent potential rebellion & in Gaza continued intifada, so Israel & it’s colonial allies keep close watch on just how many kids Palestinians are having.

The article cites a few different studies–one more imbecilic than the next. There’s an unfortunate schnook in Oslo named Jon Pedersen whose academic reputation may never recover from his public idiocies. Our man Pedersen says women in Gaza working outside the home & seeking a career are significantly lower than in other Arab countries “with similar cultures to Gaza.” Presumably Saudi Arabia is not included. Not content with leaving bad enough alone when it comes to idocy, Pedersen elaborates that while women are housebound, their husbands earn more money the more kids they have: “Traditionally, men will get extra wages if they have extra children.” Well that’s not a bad system at all if you have kids to feed, but our man is simply talking through his ass, which is what makes him so suitable for hasbara. The estimated unemployment rate in Gaza due in large part to the Israeli embargo is 41 percent. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics bases that rate on the number of people actively looking for work, not the total number of those unemployed. It’s the embargo, stupid! Not the unwilllingness of Palestinian women to work.

The second study they report was headed by Sara Randall, an English anthropologist, who claims: “Palestinian women are not having lots of children because they don’t know about contraception or can’t access contraception. So one has to conclude that they actually want lots of children.” Randall’s study concluded it was intifada driving the birth rate in Gaza & our man in Oslo agrees. Pedersen says Hamas is urging women to pump out babies “to create a larger army” while Randall acknowledges some measure of oppression (without identifying it’s source as the Israeli embargo) but says “Reproduction is one of the few liberties which remains, & also contributes to the larger goal of increasing the Palestinian people.” How demeaning can you get?

But these foolish studies are small potatoes. Hasbara really thinks it’s using big guns when it quotes the Somali-born Islamophobe named Ayaan Hirsi Ali. You may not have heard of her, though she’s built quite a career hating on Islam, but when you know she married Niall Ferguson, that should situate her politically. Meatheads of a feather creating their own little demographic nightmare. Ferguson is a well-schooled smug fellow, pickled in neoliberal apologetics, & spouting some of the silliest & most loathsome historical theories humankind has seen since “Mein Kampf.”

Ali bills herself as a feminist & if you consider Hillary Clinton a feminist, why not include Ali too? If you think war mongering, religious intolerance, & social hatred are compatible with feminism, why not invite Henry Kissinger to the party?

Hasbara doesn’t give a rat’s ass about feminism or about the oppression of women. Witness the unseemly campaign conducted on Facebook by Israeli women writing pro-war graffiti on their naked torsos to cheer on Israeli bombers & tanks. These attempts to degrade Palestinian women while Israel attempts to exterminate them are unspeakable & feminists around the world need to thunderously denounce this crap for the war propaganda it is.

We don’t concern ourselves with Palestinian demographics; we leave that to the women of Gaza. We don’t care how many kids they have or why. Our job is to defend the women, men, & children of Gaza against ethnic cleansing. And that’s that!

These women are outside the morgue at the hospital in Jabaliya where their family member & 14 others are being prepared for burial after an Israeli bomber took out a school the UN used as a refugee center. Our deepest condolences.

Long live intifada! Take it international in solidarity with rallies & honoring the economic boycott of Israel (barcodes beginning 729).

(Photo by Carolyn Cole/LA Times)

The rubble of genocide

Looking for belongings (Gaza) August 4 2014

Mountains of cement rubble now mark what was once Gaza: its homes, schools, hospitals, mosques, playgrounds, university. Bereft Palestinians retrieve from rubble what little remains of their lives. This little boy is trying to retrieve books from the rubble of a mosque. Rescue crews still comb through shifting cement to retrieve bodies, hoping some will be found alive. When Israel’s tanks & bombers leave Gaza, the magnitude of psychic & physical survival is impossible to imagine.

This phase of Operation Ethnic Cleansing is part of–& an acceleration of–the economic blockade of Gaza (since 2007) where Israel allows in only measured amounts of calories per person, creating massive malnourishment; only limited amounts of medicine in a war zone when sewage facilities have been destroyed & diseases of all kinds will emerge & with people suffering massive injuries from shrapnel, burns, disfigurement. Israel bombed out the hospitals precisely to assure most would not survive. Israel embargoes building materials of all kinds, in particular cement. And when they bombed the smuggling tunnels on the Gaza-Egypt border, it was to make sure there was no possibility for humanitarian aid to enter or for Gaza to rebuild–creating massive homelessness. And still the UN sees no violations of international humanitarian law.

In short, we are witness to barbaric genocide where governments remain silent because they are complicit in the crimes. But we will not remain silent. Our international commitment to solidarity has only just begun. No man or woman of good will can stand aside. We need to build international collaboration to continue protesting the blockade & demanding sanctions against Israel for genocide; we need to organize humanitarian aid to Gaza; organize teach-ins, forums, speak-outs & have Palestinian speakers tour our cities to tell the truth. We will need to build the hell out of the economic & cultural boycott of Israel. We need to do everything in our power to stop the genocide.

We have the daunting task of exposing the Exodus script as propaganda & replacing it with the truth of Palestinian justice. Many lauded the late arrival of Latin American government officials to the revolution, who took nearly three weeks to make a wimply diplomatic gesture of recalling ambassadors. Wimpy doesn’t cut it in a genocide. We need an international campaign to demand these governments sever all economic ties with Israel & use their massive resources to mobilize humanitarian aid for Gaza.

When we speak of humanitarian aid, we mean food, medicines, toiletries, appliances, books, clothing–& yes, cement & steel. But the biggest humanitarian aid of all will be to continue massive mobilizations demanding “Stop the massacre in Gaza!” “End the blockade of Gaza!”

(Photo by Sergey Ponomarev/NY Times)

The deceits of Zionist war propaganda

Gaza- flechette damage

This Palestinian man from the Bureij refugee camp in Gaza is holding & pointing to flechette darts in his bombed-out home. Flechette shells are anti-personnel weapons fired from tanks which explode in air & release thousands of metal darts. Remarkably, they are not prohibited under international humanitarian law. Maybe if they shoot a few up Ban Ki-moon’s ass the UN will change its mind. In 2002 the Israeli Supreme Court upheld their legality for military use by the IDF–a done deal, if there ever was one. An unidentified Israeli military source said they were only used against “legitimate military targets in accordance with international law” but didn’t specify that “legitimate targets” included small children & anybody within shooting distance of those tanks.

They’ve been around a long while since they were invented by deranged but well-remunerated scientists in the US. Israel used them in Lebanon & in Gaza in it’s 2008-2009 phase of Operation Ethnic Cleansing. The pieties of international law have never stopped Israel from deploying illegal weapons. In the 2008-2009 assault they used artillery shells containing white phosporous which caused many agonizing deaths & massive burn injuries.

Things are really breaking down on the propaganda front for Israel. So while a few days ago, The Washington Post was calling for the complete destruction of Gaza, now they’re bringing on a liberal Zionist rabbi calling for “radical empathy” on both sides. She doesn’t like the vitriolic language or strident voices that “ignore or deny the painful narrative of the other.”

Just dripping in empathy she says we need to hear “pro-Palestinian voices that empathize with the Israelis racing for shelter, that denounce terrorism & rocket attacks, & that refuse to tolerate any anti-Semitic tropes masquerading as criticism of Israeli policy.” And, she goes on, “We need to hear pro-Israel voices expressing authentic grief at the deaths of Palestinian children, calling for protection for civilian populations, acknowledging the damage inflicted by 47 years of occupation, and denouncing any language that dehumanizes Palestinians or Muslims.” Well isn’t she the very soul of graciousness.

We share her concern at the rise of anti-Semitic violence around the world but why does she try to vilify Palestinian supporters as the perpetrators? She claims protesters against the slaughter in Gaza held up signs saying “Hitler was right” & encouraging reading of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” Golly, we’d sure like to see some documentation of that accusation & we wonder how in the hell she spotted those signs in the sea of placards demanding Israel stop the massacre in Gaza. But we’re still waiting for documentation of property damage in Israel from those Hamas rocket attacks.

In her homilietic she says radical empathy will “force us to see the humanity of the other, to reject hate speech & violence, & ultimately to demand a political solution that protects the human rights of Palestinians & Israelis.” But why is her sermon addressed mainly to Palestinian supporters? We’re not the ones sitting in the hills of Sderot cheering on ethnic cleansing? We’re not supporting a government & military engaged in ethnic cleansing. We’re on the record as publicly opposing it.

Behind the smarmy mask of empathy & noblesse oblige is the–at this point in time–hopelessly stupid proposal for a bantustate solution. Behind the smarm is the refusal to face the moral, political, & criminal bankruptcy of Zionism & a shameful attempt to portray Palestinians defending themselves with homemade rockets as morally equivalent to one of the mightiest military apparatuses on the planet.

It is not those who stand with Gaza against ethnic cleansing who need sermons on empathy. Nice try rabbi, but your smarmy homiletics & unsubstantiated accusations don’t cut it. You need to direct your sermons to Israel & your condemnations too. And by the way, if Palestinians use epithets against those psychos in the Knesset & the hills of Sderot cheering on the murder of their children, well, “bombs & mortars will break your bones; words will never hurt you.” So shove your smarm & your phony homiletics.

Long live Palestinian intifada! Take it international in rallies & in honoring the economic boycott of Israel (barcodes beginning 729, 500, 871)

(Photo by Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images)