Tag Archives: Israeli ethnic cleansing of Gaza

Intifada: Palestinian resistance to ethnic cleansing

Gaza intifada July 18 2014

Most of us are overwhelmed with images & reports of unspeakable Israeli barbarity in Gaza & now phalanxes of tanks have entered Gaza supporting an infantry indoctrinated in Zionist ideology & racist hatred. It isn’t worse than US-NATO wars in Iraq & Afghanistan but it is considerably more concentrated & hell-bent on genocide.

We are overcome with grief & terror for the people of Gaza but we continue to organize public opposition in a growing & thunderous international chorus of “Stop the massacre in Gaza!”

This photo is a Palestinian woman sitting in the rubble of her home in Gaza City which was targeted by Israeli bombers under the ruse she harbored rocket launchers in her closet. But Israel isn’t afraid of those; they have the most sophisticated military apparatus in the world & can take most of them out in a trice. What they’re afraid of is intifada–Palestinian resistance to ethnic cleansing. It isn’t wishful thinking or projection that sees resistance & determination written all over this young boy’s face. In all that rubble & carnage, intifada only grows.

And so must our solidarity. The mission of Palestinian supporters is to remain steadfast & not buckle before the onslaught. We have “miles to go before we sleep.” Until the last Palestinian cries “uncle”, we stand with them because that is where justice stands & because staying the hand of genocide has the power to inspire millions around the world to defy power & fight for human freedom.

Reports continue of solidarity protests around the world: now the Maldives & new protests in Turkey, India, Ireland, the UK, Scotland, Cape Town, Durban, & Johannesburg, South Africa. In the US, rallies are slated in Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, California, Minnesota, New York, Washington DC, Texas, & elsewhere: all demanding “Stop the massacre in Gaza!”

If you cannot get to a rally, honoring the economic & cultural boycott of Israel is a powerful show of solidarity (barcode beginning 729).

Long live intifada!

(Photo by Mohammed Salem/Reuters)

The mantra of Palestinian solidarity and intifada: Stay Human!

Gazan boy and donkey July 17 2014

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.

It was the Italian reporter & passionate advocate for Palestinians, Vittorio Arrigoni (murdered in Gaza in 2011), who popularized the mantra “Stay Human” from a compilation of his reportage on Gaza. The reminder not to lose our humanity in the struggle against barbarism is a caveat that includes Palestinian supporters–that we never stoop to violence or vituperations that even come close to antisemitism. Jews & Judaism are not the problem; in fact, thousands of Jews sensitized to injustice through centuries of pogroms, were central to building the labor movement & other social justice movements in many countries. Zionism in league with neoliberal colonialism–implicating the US, European countries, & other nations like India–is the problem. If we become so desensitized that we turn venom on Jews, we render ourselves not just useless but impediments to the struggle for Palestinian justice & human freedom.

There are several photos of abandoned donkeys scouring for food in garbage since being abandoned by fleeing caretakers. Maybe they’ll survive the bombing; maybe they won’t. Israel has enough war crimes charged against it now (per international law & ignored by everyone except Palestinian supporters) to keep an army of human rights courts busy for a long time. But somewhere among the catalog of charges should be one about the reckless endangerment of animal welfare.

Reports are coming in of solidarity protests in Madrid, Firenze, London, Dublin, & elsewhere, with others scheduled in Washington DC, Los Angeles, Fresno. Grab a placard demanding “Stop the massacre in Gaza” & head out. If you cannot participate, join the economic & cultural boycott of Israel (barcode beginning 729).

(Photo by Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)

Show us the rocket!

Ashdod, Israel rocket damage July 17 2014

Once again in the interests of journalistic integrity (an antiquated, romantic notion taught in high school journalism courses but found inconvenient to media), we post this photo of alleged rocket damage in Ashdod Israel, about 23 miles north of the Gaza border. We say alleged because we can see no evidence of any damage whatsoever.

These guys are from Homefront Command, a division of the Israeli military, & the caption says they’re cleaning up rubble from a Hamas rocket in this front yard. Now let’s get real: if there was significant damage in Israel, it would be all over the front pages to counter the impact of the hundreds of photos of massive destruction in Gaza. And if there was any real damage in this front yard, they wouldn’t stick soldiers in front to obscure it; they’d have the family out there weeping over their lost flower bed. Is it that those home-made jobs coming out of Gaza are no match for that multi-billion dollar Iron Dome system? Or are there really not that many rockets to contend with?

Why is it that every photo of Hamas rocket damage in Israel (out of four or five that exist) are taken from long distance & never actually show the rockets? Is this another version of people in Sderot cowering in bomb shelters when cameras show them sitting in lawn chairs watching ethnic cleansing like a ball game?

There is one reported death in Israel, allegedly from a Hamas rocket, but the deceased was serving as an adjunct to Israeli troops at the Gaza border; he was operating in a war zone. It should be noted, there isn’t a single other soldier death reported in this slaughter because the military aggression goes entirely one way.

When Israel claims it bombs mosques, disabled rehab centers, homes, apartment complexes, schools in congested areas because they’re harboring Hamas rocket launchers, they turn propaganda into farce. One doesn’t have to know squat about rocket launching & military operations to know you cannot launch long-distance rockets from a studio apartment or prayer room & expect it to get past other buildings obscuring its path.

Protests in defense of Gaza continue around the world. If you cannot join a picket, join the economic boycott of Israeli goods (barcode beginning 729); support the cultural boycott of Israel; demand “No military aid to Israel!”

(Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

The grief of Palestinian children and the strength of intifada

Gazan boy July 16 2014

The tarpaulin behind this little guy is hiding the rubble of a building destroyed by Israeli bombers. Part of the Israeli embargo of Gaza includes building materials of all kinds, including cement. So rebuilding hundreds, probably thousands, of homes, buildings, & infrastructure bombed by Israel is a monumental project.

But where do they go when Israel has taken out their homes? Media keeps reporting about an abandoned school house without a stick of furniture that the UN is using to house the displaced. All 15,000 plus of them? Let’s get real!

The most horrifying damage of course are those killed & injured–injuries that mangle small children & adults alike–& the psychic scars in survivors, especially children who have no where to cower from tonnage of explosives & see loved ones & neighbors die.

Elie Weisel, the holocaust survivor & Zionist ideologue, has made a career for himself describing the psychological horrors endured & he wrote “I swore never to be silent whenever & wherever human beings endure suffering & humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” Oh so true! So why is Weisel mute on the genocide in Gaza? Was that just self-serving melodrama? Is he so corrupted by Zionist racism that he does not recognize the slaughter of Palestinians as genocide?

It’s hard to read the face of this little guy; his emotions must include horror, grief, terror–& resistance. It’s too much to ask the children of Gaza to stand alone when they should be playing soccer, flying kites, & singing silly songs. They make our protests all the more important. Weisel may be blowing smoke but he’s absolutely right: this is the time to take sides & join the international chorus demanding “Stop the massacre in Gaza!”

(Photo by Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images)

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)

Israeli propaganda piles surrealism on lies: the farce that is hasbara

Sderot Israel July 15 2014

Israeli propaganda has gone to the next level, as they say–from bald-faced lies to science fiction. It’s on a par now with the guys who claim space aliens built the pyramids. It’s one thing to get nailed claiming traumatized residents of Sderot, Israel cower in terror in bomb shelters when photojournalists show them sitting in lawn chairs & moving in furniture to watch Israel slaughter thousands of Palestinians. It’s another level of deceit to claim the Israeli military is taking out Hamas drone aircraft. But there’s no shame in hasbara-land & the Israeli military reported an unmanned Hamas aircraft was taken out by a Patriot surface-to-air missile along the southern Israeli coastline near the city of Ashdod.

One doesn’t know who the Associated Press is talking to in Hamas since they don’t name names, but they report Hamas acknowledged it has drones in its arsenal, claimed it launched three yesterday (two have disappeared in fairy land), & have developed one type of drone for surveillance & one for delivering munitions. And as they used to say, if granny had wheels, she’d be a Ford.

The whole shebang would be a burlesque except that millions of people read this stuff & think it’s reality–& all of this crap is to justify ethnic cleansing.

We keep the people of Gaza in our hearts, along with our grief about what they are sustaining, but there is a deeper understanding now of how malignant & profoundly corruptive Zionism is to its adherents. Like every other form of racism, it creates sociopathology, emotional & spiritual hollowness incapable of human empathy.

Supporting Palestinian intifada, standing with the people of Gaza is the duty of all who believe in a just & humane world & it is the only possible liberation from the stranglehold of Zionist hatred.

(Photo of Israelis in Sderot, Israel watching the slaughter in Gaza by Lefteris Pitarakis/AP)

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)

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)

Rare photo of rocket damage in Israel? Or fire at the petrol pump?

Ashdod, Israel July 12 2014

In the interests of journalistic integrity, we post this rare photo of rocket damage in Ashdod, Israel, about 23 miles north of the Gaza border, halfway to Tel Aviv. The caption says residents are watching firefighters douse fire from a rocket that hit a petrol station & does not claim it is a Hamas rocket. For all we know, it could be a fire at the pump or a car fire having nothing to do with rockets. Why do we say that? Because if ABC news can put up footage of a Muslim woman in veil standing in bombing rubble & claim it’s Israel rather than Gaza, then truth in journalism doesn’t mean squat. If Israel can rain down thousands of tonnage of bombs on cities in Gaza, calling it precision bombing to take out Hamas commanders, & media howls only about home-made rockets from Gaza, then war reporting becomes a farce.

It cannot be said often enough: there is no military parity between Gaza & Israel since Gaza has no military & Israel has one of the mightiest in the world. But there is a distinction between self-defense & ethnic cleansing. The caption doesn’t accurately report the number of deaths, injuries, & massive property damage in Gaza. It claims 90 have died in Gaza but admits not a single soul has died in Israel. That harsh & telling contrast does not give media pause because they are not reporting news; they are fabricating an alibi for Israeli genocide.

The death toll in Gaza is now well over 100 with hundreds & hundreds of injuries. And when we say injuries, we don’t mean just scratches, but broken limbs, concussions, permanent disabilities from being bombed. There is massive property damage which Israel claims are Hamas arsenals but photojournalism clearly identifies as homes. And according to the Israeli government, this genocidal siege has only just begun.

There are massive protests around the world in solidarity with Palestinian justice & opposed to Israeli ethnic cleansing. Palestinians are less politically isolated today than they were ten years ago or even since the last genocidal bombing siege over Gaza–because with every new murderous assault, more & more people around the world are learning the truth in place of media alibis for Israel.

Find a rally in your area to join with; if there is none organized, call one. If necessary, be the voice in the wilderness & take a picket sign to a busy corner demanding “No military aid to Israel!”

(In 1967, I was disturbed by the media frenzy in support of Israel & saw a young Palestinian picketing at the University of Minnesota student union. I wanted to understand–even though I couldn’t have found Israel or Palestine on a map at that time–& asked the young man why he was picketing. He was afraid, because the political climate then was nourished by the Israeli propaganda film “Exodus”, & he answered me gruffly, “They stole our land.” Didn’t tell me much except that I needed to investigate the issue more deeply.

There was no solidarity movement at that time in the US, except a handful of Arab students, some socialists, & odd & end activists like myself. BDS has changed all that & that lone Palestinian no longer stands alone. If you have to stand on a street corner alone with a picket sign, keep that young man in mind.)

The political defeat of Zionist racism is a historic mission of our generation. A Palestinian victory heralding a democratic secular state where Jews & Arabs can live in harmony would reverberate around the world, fatally weaken the stranglehold of racism & colonialism, & inspire resistance in millions of human beings still held in the grip of tyranny.

If you can’t picket, join the boycott in support of Palestinian justice.

(Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)

Ethnic cleansing as spectator sport in Israel

Ethnic cleansing as a spectator sport July 10 2014

You can talk till you’re blue in the face but it’s not that easy to convince people a lot of what we see in the news is just baloney. That’s what makes photojournalists so invaluable. They don’t just humanize the news but often show the truth so easily camouflaged in the fluster of language–especially if the writer has been schooled in the French philosophical method of writing, or the Washington Post method of journalism (more akin to fiction when it comes to Israel), or if they regularly read the Jerusalem Post (best used for wrapping garbage).

Take this photograph for instance. In one fell swoop, it exposes at least a dozen Zionist justifications for ethnic cleansing in Gaza. It’s a photo worth a thousand lies. The caption identifies these as Israeli men from Sderot, Israel, a town one mile from the Gaza border. We’re told they’re settling down on a hill overlooking Gaza to watch the Israeli military bombard Gaza with bombs & observe “rockets fired by Palestinian militants from inside Gaza towards Israel.” Oh what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive & there’s somebody with a camera nearby.

Today a photo circulated on Facebook titled “Sderot cinema” which showed another group of Israelis in Sderot sitting in lawn chairs watching bombs fall on Gaza & said they were clapping & celebrating every time they heard a blast go off. One hoped the photo had been misidentified but it claimed to be confirmed by Al Jazeera. It was hard to see young Israelis so jaded, racist, & sociopathic from Zionism that they could view ethnic cleansing as a spectator sport.

In nearly every account after one of Israel’s murderous sieges against Gaza, media reports on the damage done by Hamas rockets in Sderot. It’s like the model city for indicting Hamas rockets. Without actually photographically documenting much damage, we’re told the town has been a continuous target of rockets from Gaza: residents have been killed & wounded; there’s been millions of dollars in property damage; daily life has been disrupted; thousands of residents sustain severe psychological trauma.

So take a look at these Sderot guys in lawn chairs with their chips & candy & soda laughing it up watching ethnic cleansing like they were watching a soccer game. If they’re so damn traumatized by rockets why aren’t they in a bomb shelter?

Zionism isn’t just an affront to journalistic integrity. It’s a malignant ideology that corrupts everything it touches, especially those who adhere to it. When under the drunken influence of Zionist racism, ethnic cleansing becomes a spectator sport there is no possible reformation or redemption for the ideology. It must be defeated & replaced with human solidarity. That is one of the great historic missions of our era.

(Photo by Lefteris Pitarakis/AP)