Tag Archives: Israeli ethnic cleansing of Gaza

No this is not damage from a Hamas rocket in Israel; this is Gaza City

Gaza City rubble July 26 2014

You wouldn’t think even the inventive minds of hasbara agents could hedge on this one, would you? This is the landscape of the Shuja’iyya residential neighborhood in Gaza City that Israel blasted into smithereens this week ostensibly to take out tunnels & rocket launchers. Of course nobody with half a brain & an ounce of decency buys that. There are dozens & dozens of these kind of scenes all over Gaza but captions still hedge with comments like, the area “was reportedly heavily damaged by shelling & airstrikes.” You think!?

The UN is cooking up another investigation for after the carnage ends to cover Israel’s ass for war crimes while Amnesty International claims the jury is still out on war crimes. God knows where Human Right Watch stands on this. They’re probably vacationing in the Bahamas so they don’t have to bear witness. They all belong to the “see no evil, hear no evil” crowd. Perhaps if they go up to the hills of Sderot they can take a front row seat along with all the other psychos & try to gather data from there.

Support the Palestinians: grab a placard & join a rally, boycott their products, & support the cultural boycott of Israel

(Photo by Oliver Weiken/EPA)

Sometimes the simple things tell the truth

Gaza saving parakeets July 26 2014

Sometimes the simplest things are the most telling. The psycho-state of Israel has ceased fire for a 12-hour period & Israelis watching ethnic cleansing from the hills of Sderot can take a bathroom break now or check to see if dinner’s ready or catch up on the sports page.

Palestinians are returning to mountains of cement rubble to retrieve what they can from demolished homes.These young men in Beit Hanoun (the town where Israel bombed the hospital & refugee center yesterday) are trying to save the family birds who they found still alive. Not exactly the image of terrorists are they? But then who knew this stage of Operation Ethnic Cleansing would bring the truth all home for all the world to see?

Those who have eyes & see not & who have ears & hear not can stuff their cognitive dissonance. Playing stupid doesn’t cut it any more.

Support the economic boycott of Israel (barcode beginning 729); support the cultural boycott, & join the hundreds of thousands around the world demanding “Stop the massacre in Gaza!”

(Photo by Lefteris Pitarakis/AP)

We need a war crimes tribunal for Israeli crimes in Gaza

Gaza boy with balloon July 26 2014

This poignant photo is widely circulated on social media as if it were from Israel’s current murderous assault on Gaza but it was taken during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead assault in 2009. The original caption identified this as the rubble of the little boy’s house in Jabalia, northern Gaza.

Israel has really never stopped bombing Gaza since it removed Zionist settlers in 2005 under prime minister Ariel Sharon’s “unilateral disengagement” plan touted in media as a peace initiative, but as we know now, was intended to facilitate ethnic cleansing & avoid harm to Zionist settlers.

The continuous bombing of Gaza has been punctuated by several-day operations including Operation Cast Lead in December 2008 & January 2009 (22 days) & Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012 (8 days) & now Operation Protective Edge which continues after 18 days. All of which combine to make Operation Ethnic Cleansing. After the 2009 massacre, a UN commission was formed to investigate war crimes, headed by Judge Richard J. Goldstone, a South African judge & chief prosecutor of the UN criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia & Rwanda.

The commission report published in September 2009 was an important exposure & indictment of Israeli war crimes but it was an equivocal document also indicting Hamas self-defense as war crimes. It could be said “equivocal” is not damning enough of such diplomatic deceit & false even-handedness. Israeli politicians including president Shimon Peres & Netan-psycho-yahu went ballistic denouncing the exposure of Israeli war crimes. People are still trying to figure out where Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority stood on the report because he had his head stuck so far up Israel’s “you-know-what” that no one has ever been able to discern–not unlike his conduct today.

Predictably, the US government damned the report as biased against Israel & for letting Hamas off easy & the political halfwits in the US Congress played their usual role by passing resolutions of condemnation. As we know from the November 2012 & current Israeli assaults on Gaza, nothing practical came out of the Goldstone report.

Unfortunately Goldstone turned out to be a cowardly man who couldn’t take the criticism & perhaps the loss of prestige in awards & honoraria that come with turning your back on Israeli war crimes. In 2011, he repudiated the commission findings & said Israel did not in fact intentionally target “civilians” in Gaza as a matter of policy. The other principal authors of the report exhibited more backbone & stood by the original condemnations of Israel for war crimes. Ah well, just another day at the UN, where equivocations & deceits are the diplomatic norm.

There are calls for another UN commission to investigate war crimes in Gaza on both sides: the side of genocide & the side of self-defense. Been there, done that! There needs to be a truly independent commission to investigate charges of human rights crimes & one of the first things they’ll need to demand is iron-proof documentation of property damage in Israel from those alleged barrages of Hamas rockets. We’ll need to see documentation of those alleged 31 cement Hamas tunnels from Gaza into Israel. And of course, we’ll need to see proof positive that those tunnel entrances were under hospitals, mosques, schools, & homes in Gaza to justify Israel bombing them into smithereens. We’ll need to see proof that ambulances harbored rocket launchers & that medics recovering bodies & rescuing wounded were really Hamas “military operatives” which justified Israel bombing them.

The world already has overwhelming documentation of Israeli war crimes in Gaza; most of us can’t stomach any more gruesome evidence. Their defense for targeting children & using weapons like flechette shells & Dime shrapnel is already being played out in world media accompanied by a chorus of braying jackasses from governments–in which Canada, the UK, & US distinguish themselves. That defense comes complete with the evil fairies from outer space reversing Hamas rockets to protect Israel. But of course in an independent inquiry those evil fairies won’t hold much sway so they better come up with something much more convincing than farce.

All out in defense of Gaza, demanding “Stop the massacre in Gaza!” Support the economic boycott of Israel (barcode beginning 729) & support the cultural boycott of Israel.

Long live Palestinian intifada! Take it international!

(Ashraf Amra is the actual photojournalist who took this photo for APA Images; that is misidentified in current captions.)

Long live Palestinian intifada! Take it international!

Gaza rally in Beirut July 26 2014

The monstrous assault hammering Gaza approaches three weeks & the barbarisms of Israeli crimes against Palestinians has men & women of good will around the world horrified & shell-shocked. We stand witness to genocide. But we do not stand silent & complicit. Tens of thousands around the world in hundreds of cities gather to demand “stop the massacre in Gaza!” in the biggest expression of human solidarity since we gathered to defend the Vietnamese people against the US war machine.

While our brothers & sisters in Gaza run from bombs & thousands in the occupied West Bank marshal in defense of Gaza & intifada, solidarity activists around the world hold high the banner of Palestine. We were all Vietnamese; today we are all Palestinians.

This solidarity rally is at Rawshe Rock on the Mediterranean coast in Beirut (July 22nd).

Long live Palestinian intifada! Take it international!

(Photo by Jamal Saidi/Reuters)

The Pope and Peres: comrades-in-arms

Pope and Peres July 24 2014

There was some amicable disagreement when Pope Francis stopped at the apartheid wall to say a Hail Mary on his trip to the West Bank & Israel last month. Some considered that act supportive of Palestinian justice. I don’t like empty gestures that much. Prayer is good, especially if combined with outspoken commitment to Palestinian justice. But praying doesn’t exempt you from taking a stand with justice.

Pope Francis proceeded from the apartheid wall to join Netan-psycho-yahu & Shimon Peres (president of Israel & former paramilitary death squad leader) at the monument to Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism who inspired the monstrosity that is Israel. One media source said: “It was a finely balanced gesture on the last day of the pontiff’s visit to the Holy Land, where even the smallest acts are fraught with political symbolism”–a statement that manages to flatter the pope for banality & at the same time, insult the intelligence of Palestinians & Israelis. In fact, from empty gesture the pope moved to an affront & betrayal of Palestinians. Because even the pope, with his hot-line to heaven, cannot have it both ways.

So where does Pope Francis stand today on Israeli ethnic cleansing in Gaza? Is he sporting a keffiyeh or is he standing with tens of thousands of men & women around the world demanding “stop the massacre in Gaza”? Actually he’s chatting it up with Shimon Peres in the most meaningless exchange of pietisms & false religiosity that we’ve seen since the last time he met Peres. And they also exchanged regrets about the “small group of fanatics who are the cause of suffering in Gaza.” Ethnic cleansing never came up. Reality never came up.

You always want to give the pope a break; nobody wants to excoriate a holy man. But nobody wants to be made a fool of either. Nobody wants to pretend when Pope Francis talks about praying for peace but refuses to take a stand against genocide, that he is just too holy to face political reality & really does have his head in the clouds. Nobody thinks he’s that stupid–or for that matter, that holy.

Nobody with a conscience gets to turn their backs on the people of Gaza spouting platitudes & banalities, abstractions & evasions.

I deeply regret if I offend people for my criticism of Pope Francis but if he calls himself a leader of the faith, then he has to act like a leader & not like a man lost in the wilderness or worse, a flunkey to the status quo.

(Photo is Shimon Peres greeting Pope Francis during the latter’s trip to Israel in May, by David Buimovitch/AFP/Getty Images)

Israel bombs refugee center in Gaza

Gaza school refugee July 24 2014

If we want to know where neoliberalism is dragging this planet, we need only look at Israeli barbarism in Gaza. Those few world politicians (it is such a misnomer to call them leaders) who speak about Israel’s slaughter in Gaza rant support for genocide without even a scintilla of squeamishness about blood rolling in the streets. The rest stand like mute oxen lest they endanger their secret defense bargains with Israel. Wearing a keffiyeh scarf around your neck, wringing your hands in discomfort for benefit of reporters, running around like a chicken with your head cut off trying to broker a ceasefire do not substitute for outspoken denunciations of ethnic cleansing or for mobilizing every resource your government can muster to compel Israel to stop the slaughter.

Just a week ago, the UN was up in arms denouncing Hamas far & wide when they discovered a cache of rockets stored in one of the vacant schoolhouses they use for refugee asylums in Gaza. It could be said they went ballistic, launching an investigation & even informing Israeli officials. They were talking tough: the UN “has reinforced & continues to implement its robust procedures to maintain the neutrality of all its premises, including a strict no-weapons policy & regular inspections of its installations, to ensure they are only used for humanitarian purposes.”

Today, for the fourth time in two days, Israel bombed one of the schools serving as shelters where the majority of refugees are women, children, elderly, & disabled. According to the UN official in charge of UN refugee facilities in Gaza, they received no evacuation warning before Israel bombed the school in Beit Hanoun, just a few miles across the border from the hills of Sderot, Israel where they watch these horrors in genocidal delight. The UN official said they told the Israeli military several times to warn them so they could evacuate the refugees & their own staff.

The schools are all marked with a UN flag; more importantly, in this case the UN official tweeted that “Precise co-ordinates of the UNRWA shelter in Beit Hanoun had been formally given to the Israeli army.” So the Israeli army knew just where to pick those women & children off. That’s called ethnic cleansing, bought & paid for by the US government in collusion with all those regimes that remain silent, hoping this too will pass, & they can continue to make hay on deals with Israel.

We await with hopeful anticipation for Ban Ki-moon to stop wringing his hands & come out ballistic in condemnation of Israeli bombers violating the neutral premises of the UN refugee centers, of Israel violating every international law on the books governing human rights. After all, what’s a cache of undeployed weapons in a vacant building compared to bombing a schoolhouse full of kids, old people, & people in wheelchairs? Will we wait in vain for Ban Ki-moon’s indictment? Most likely–& even though many UN relief workers have been shot & killed in Gaza by Israeli forces.

This isn’t the first time Israel bombed refugee centers in Gaza; they did so also in the 2009 siege of Gaza. Forty-three people, mostly women & young children, were killed when Israel fired white phosphorous bombs at a school shelter in Beit Lahiya (near Beit Hanoun). Obama expressed his deep concern over the deaths but never wavered in support for Israeli ethnic cleansing & Israel had the criminal temerity to identify nine of them as Hamas militants.

Support the economic boycott of all Israeli products (barcode beginning 729); support the cultural boycott of Israel; & keep the rallies massive demanding “Stop the massacre in Gaza!”

Long live intifada! Take it international!

(Photos of UN refugee center at school in Rafah, July 19th, by Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters)

“All of Gaza bids farewell to herself every night and congratulates those who remain alive the morning of another day”

Gaza July 22 2014

Palestinian men carrying a white flag, the symbol of truce & surrender, flee Israeli bombing during the brief ceasefire requested by rescue teams to retrieve the wounded & dead in the Shuja’iyya neighbourhood of Gaza City (July 20).

“There are no spaces for life. No place to return. All of Gaza bids farewell to herself every night & congratulates those who remain alive the morning of another day. They inspect their bodies, then run their hands over the living. They close their eyes then open them, & once again call the members of their families one by one…so that the memory of their names does not fail & their spirits do not disappear.”

(by Gaza blogger Hedaya Shamun from “I Do Not Wish For You To See Gaza As Anything But a Rose”)

(Photo by Manmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)

Zionism and ethnic cleansing in Gaza

Sderot July 21 2014

There never was a hay day for Zionism; from it’s inception it stunk of racism & supremacy. And not just ethnic supremacy but that based on gender & class. This obscene spectacle we see today on the hills of Sderot, where Israelis sit back in easy chairs to cheer ethnic cleansing, is not a degeneration but the full flowering of Zionist theoretics–if you want to call the tripe written by its founder Theodor Herzl theory.

In his plan for establishing Israel either in Palestine or Argentina he said, “The emigrants standing lowest in the economic scale will be slowly followed by those of a higher grade. Those who at this moment are living in despair will go first. They will be led by the mediocre intellects which we produce so superabundantly & which are persecuted everywhere.” The “mediocre intellects” must have comprised the paramilitary death squads whose leaders became eventual leaders of Israel–like Shimon Peres & Ariel Sharon.

Was it Herzl or another early Zionist thinker (using the word loosely) who said ‘When I see my first Israeli prostitute, I will know that Jews are free’? Real visionaries, these guys!

Many European Jews, beleaguered by pogroms & exhausted by the holocaust, must have hoped a state of their own could give respite from persecution. They paid a high price for credulity & falling for the hucksters of Zionism.

The ethnic cleansing of Gaza reflects a crisis in Israel which they’re trying to solve on the backs of Palestinians. Meanwhile Zion crumbles & millions around the world now know the vision of a Jewish-only, hermetically isolated state was rancid coming out the gate. It must be said: in the long run the Israeli state will have to be dismantled because it is built on hatred & supremacy. Herzl once used to exhort that a Jewish-only state was not a pipe dream; he probably didn’t know it would become a nightmare generating social hatred.

Palestinian intifada has offered the only solution that is a vision & a possibility: a democratic secular state where Jews & Palestinians can live together as brothers & sisters.

Support that vision by boycotting all Israeli products (barcode beginning 729); supporting the cultural boycott of Israel; & joining the growing international solidarity movement demanding “Stop the massacre in Gaza!” “No military aid to Israel!”

(Photo by Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)

Israel targets children in Gaza

Gaza beach murders July 18 2014

The Israeli bombing of four small Palestinian boys playing ball on a beach & the forced evacuation of a hospital in Gaza certainly distinguish this monstrous siege of Israeli ethnic cleansing; we can only hope they don’t continue to scale new heights of barbarism. And the only thing that can stop that inevitability is massive public opposition.

The photo of the little boys lying mangled in the sand is irrefutable indictment of Israeli war crimes & still the UN & Human Rights Watch (HRW) don’t see the problem & continue to shake the naughty finger at both sides, refusing to distinguish between ethnic cleansing & self-defense.

When asked about the bombing of the little boys, Mark Regev, the spokesman for Netan-psycho-yahu, said “War is a terrible thing.” Banalities are his stock in trade & hopefully don’t indict the entire education system of Australia, from whence he came–unlike the Palestinians they’re trying to destroy who go back generations in the region. He claimed Israel doesn’t target civilians, which is really hard to maintain with a straight face since Gaza has no military of any kind. He claimed Israel doesn’t target children, but who does he think lives in those homes they’re bombing & what about the little kids on the beach who weren’t even four feet tall or more than 60 pounds? In response to interrogation, this smug racist punk said Palestinians are using their kids as human shields. This kind of tripe & toilet-bowl mentality is where racism & Zionist ideology take you.

In his interview, Regev pointed to the endorsement of the Arab League for the cease fire scam Israel used to justify a more murderous escalation of the siege–as if that endorsement rendered it legitimate. Regev is of course not directing that to anyone who knows a damn thing about the Arab League but to those who know nothing. For heaven’s sake, Saudi Arabia has a seat in the League & they’re playing an active role in undermining all the Arab uprisings, most notably in Bahrain. Egypt is also a key member & it should not be forgotten is presently persecuting thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members, with which Hamas has political affinity. That political affinity may be regrettable but one can understand why Hamas would be extremely reluctant to accept their political initiatives with trust. Such trust would be arrant stupidity.

Many look to world governments & ask “Why aren’t they doing more to stop this massacre?” The answer is simple: the neoliberal predators are up to their eyeballs supporting it with loans, military weaponry, arms deals, & political proclamations denouncing Hamas terrorism. They’re not just invested financially in Israel but politically. They are enemies of justice, not allies.

So there is no one to turn to except men & women of good will who want to know the truth. Thousands of solidarity activists around the world are hitting the streets to demand “Stop the massacre in Gaza!” Massive public opposition telling the truth is Gaza’s best defense right now. People often think protests are ineffectual, that governments will do whatever the hell they want unrestrained by our actions. Tell that to the Vietnamese who recognized the power of public protest & held the international antiwar movement in highest regard.

{This is a photo of two of the young victims of Israeli bombing on the beach. Usually I think atrocity images demoralize more than inspire political activism. However, I make an exception with this photo because it indicts Israeli war crimes more powerfully than a mountain of condemnations. It’s another picture worth a thousand lies. The photo should be sent to the UN & HRW, not to goad their consciences–because they have none–but to indict them as collusive with genocide.}

May our little brothers Mohammed, Ahed, Zakaria, & Mohammed Bakr RIP. Our deepest condolences to their family for their loss & our heartfelt regret we are not yet strong enough to stay the hand of genocide.

Long live intifada!

(Photo by Tyler Hicks, a reporter from the NY Times who witnessed the murderous assault on July 16th & when interviewed acknowledged it would have been impossible for Israeli aircraft not to see it was just four small boys playing ball.)