VIDEO: pro & anti ISRAEL + Leave Israel alone to kill!

And an video with a BRILLANT sarcastic twist…

Leave Israel alone to kill!

VIDEO: CNN Confirms Israel Broke Ceasefire First (whatelse is new?)

The Israeli propaganda mainstay – (Sderot and the ethnic cleansing of palestinans)

Sderot is a lie (like everything else)

Sderot, the Israeli township on which Hamas rockets have been “raining down”, is the main plank of the Israelis’ attempt to justify the bloodshed they have inflicted on the people of Gaza.

They use it ad nauseam to brainwash the media and their own people. They have studiously counted and broadcast the number of erratic, home-made Qassam rockets coming into Israel, without ever admitting to the huge number of missiles, bombs and shells that Israel’s high-tech military fires into Gaza with much more deadly effect.

Those sympathetic to Israel – can there really be any who still wish to be associated with such appalling crimes? – will be mortified to know that Sderot has no business being where it is. It is built on the lands of a Palestinian village called Najd, which was ethnically cleansed by Jewish terrorists in May 1948, before Israel was declared a state and before any Arab armies entered Palestine. The 600+ villagers, were forced to flee for their lives. Britain was on watch as the mandated government, while this and many other atrocities were committed by terrorists.

Palestinian Arabs owned over 90 percent of the land in Najd and, according to UN Resolution 194 and also the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, they have a right to return home.

But as we have come to expect, Israel refuses to recognise the rights of others and will not allow them back. Anyway, what is there for them to return to?

The 82 homes there were bulldozed. Najd was one of 418 Palestinian villages and towns ethnically cleansed and wiped off the map by Zionist Jews. Its inhabitants, presumably, became refugees in Gaza and their families are probably still living in camps there. The sweet irony is that some of them were probably manning the rocket launchers…. Well, wouldn’t you?

Several months ago when Barak Obama visited Sderot (he didn’t have the gumption to call in on Gaza) he spouted the well-worn mantra backing Israel’s right to protect its citizens from rocket attacks. “If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I would do everything to stop that, and would expect Israel to do the same thing.” Well said, Obama. But presumably you wouldn’t be so stupid or arrogant as to live on land stolen from your neighbour at the point of a gun.

Find yourself some new advisers, Obama, ones that are savvy enough to brief you on the facts about Sderot and everything else about the Palestinians’ plight. Relying on Israeli propaganda lies will only make you look like another mindless Zionist tool.

As the slaughter goes off the dial, what pearls of wisdom are we getting from the EU?

The Czech EU presidency spokesman defended Israel, saying: “We understand this step as a defensive, not offensive, action.” Czech foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg, currently leading a EU delegation to the region, said Israel had the right to defend itself, clearly reading off Israeli notes and forgetting that the Palestinians have an equal right to self defence. “Let us realize one thing: Hamas increased steeply the number of rockets fired at Israel since the ceasefire ended on Dec.19,”

This staunch ally of Washington understands nothing, as demonstrated when he went on to say that Hamas had excluded itself from serious political debate due to its rocket attacks on Israel. “Why am I one of the few that have expressed understanding for Israel? … I am enjoying the luxury of telling the truth,” said Schwarzenberg. This would have been achingly funny if ignorance at such a senior level weren’t so dangerous! Those silly words earned him a cringe-making thank-you from none other than American Jewish Committee.

30 December 2008

Dear Minister Schwarzenberg:

On behalf of the American Jewish Committee, we write to thank you for your unwavering public recognition of Israel’s right to self-defense against repeated rocket and mortar attacks from Hamas-controlled Gaza.

Your recent comments once again demonstrated the courage and moral clarity of your support for a fellow democracy, Israel, in the face of an unrelenting terrorist threat.

We applaud your principled leadership and your commitment to, in your words, “telling the truth.” We will continue to rely upon both as the Czech Republic assumes the presidency of the European Union….


Richard J. Sideman

David A. Harris

This is what happens when a juggernaut like the EU finds itself ‘led’ by a dumb-ass nobody in an hour of crisis. Back in the 1940s the Czechs supplied Jewish terrorists with weapons to be used against the British. How dare you, Schwarzenberg, make us Brits accomplices in Israel’s crimes? Taint yourself if you wish, but DON’T TAINT US!

Sarkozy of France told the Lebanese press that the Hamas ”bears major responsibility for the suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza, because it decided to break the truce and begin launching rockets again into Israel.” Another one who doesn’t do his homework before opening his mouth.

And where is Blair our wonder peace-envoy in all this? Still trying to find the balls to go see Hamas. He says: “We are doing everything we possibly can to bring about an end to a situation of immense suffering and deprivation. I know over next few days there are going to be intensive diplomatic efforts. We will increase our efforts to bring about a resolution to this situation.”

So why haven’t there been intensive efforts before now? How many must die or be maimed before you pull your finger out? Tell you what, Tony, if the Israelis won’t listen, say to them in a nice clear voice: “Ceasefire immediately or say goodbye to economic and technological co-operation.” If they still act deaf, you could add: “Say goodbye to your London embassy also. You loons are not taking us Brits down with you.”

Meantime Livni reiterated her country’s position, that it was Hamas and not the Palestinian people that were the targets: “This is a war against terror… we have nothing against the Palestinians.” Great. So why does your illegal occupation continue? Why are you still making their lives a misery? Why slaughter their kids? Why trash their infrastructure and public institutions?

Today, I think the last (and most chilling) word goes to Dr Mahmoud Al-Zahar, a co-founder of Hamas. He warned: “They [the Israelis] have legitimised the murder of their own children by killing the children of Palestine. They have legitimised the destruction of their synagogues and their schools by hitting our mosques and our schools.

Al-Zahar knows all about a father’s grief. He has been the target of assassination attempts. His two sons were killed and his daughter injured in Israeli raids.

Ref: Al Jazeera magazine

— Stuart Littlewood is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation.

Medical teams find ‘unbelievable’ horror amid rubble + 2 Israeli voices

Ambulances were able to drive to some of the most heavily shelled areas in Gaza for the first time to collect the dead and injured yesterday, as Israel paused its military offensive for three hours to allow in aid, amid growing international pressure to call a ceasefire and ease the humanitarian crisis.

A team of medics and volunteers from the Palestinian Red Crescent took advantage of the lull in fighting to drive to Zeitoun, the scene of an Israeli attack on a house on Monday that was known to have killed nine members of the Samouni family. It was the first time medics had been able to reach the scene.

Muhammad Shaheen, a volunteer with the Red Crescent, said the team found a scene of devastation. They discovered another 10 corpses inside the house and “dozens” more dead lying in the rubble in the area around.

“It was an unbelievable sight,” he said. “There was a huge number of dead bodies, houses were completely destroyed and many others partially destroyed.” The team found around 10 injured people in the house and another 15 who were unhurt, but still sheltering from the fighting.

As aid trucks drove in, many Palestinians left their homes to shop and stock up on food while they could. “Food and milk – what else can we hope for in three hours,” said Ahmed Abu Kamel, a father of six who lives near Gaza City. “We want it all to end.”

Several Israeli tanks were close by, next to the remains of the Israeli settlement at Netzarim, which has become a key Israeli military position during this conflict. The troops told the medical teams to park their vehicles and walk to the house to collect the dead and injured. All were brought back to Gaza City.

“We tried to help as much as we could, but it was hard to get access to the whole area. The roads were destroyed, there was rubble everywhere,” said Shaheen.

Some Israeli officials suggested that similar pauses in the fighting would be held every afternoon during the conflict. Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesman who works on the crossings, said lulls would be considered. Even during the pause in operations, Israeli soldiers might still fight, he said. “For every attack against the army, there will be a response,” he said.

But aid workers said three hours was not enough to allow sufficient relief into Gaza after months of an Israeli economic blockade. John Ging, director of operations for the UN Relief and Works Agency in Gaza, said it was a “hell on earth … Let’s stop the fighting, not just for three hours, but for 24 hours a day,” he said. “There’s nowhere safe in Gaza. Everyone here is terrorised and traumatised.”

There were occasional explosions heard across Gaza during the three-hour lull, and just minutes after it had expired the fighting returned. Israeli military helicopters were seen in the sky and there were several heavy explosions that sent up thick clouds of black smoke. Two rockets fired from Gaza streaked through the sky and landed in the southern Israeli town of Be’er Sheva. More rockets followed yesterday evening.

The death toll continued to mount. Last night, an Israeli air strike on a car killed a man and his three children in northern Gaza, Palestinian medical officials said.

At least 28 Palestinians were killed yesterday in attacks across the Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian medical officials. The overall Palestinian death toll was at more than 660, with nearly 3,000 injured. Journalists are still banned from entering Gaza to report on the killings. On the Israeli side, seven soldiers and three civilians have been killed in the past 12 days.

In a separate incident, the aid agency Care International said one of its staff on a food distribution project was killed on Tuesday night when his home was hit by an Israeli air strike. Muhammad Samouni died in the attack and his son was critically injured, the agency said.

Although lorries carrying medical supplies and food were allowed into Gaza yesterday, along with deliveries of industrial diesel, concern about the crisis is still growing. The World Bank warned there was a threat of a severe public health crisis because of a shortage of drinking water and the failure of the sewage system. Nearly all sewage and water pumps were out of operation because of a lack of electricity and limited fuel, it said.

Even when fuel was delivered, it was too dangerous to take it to the pumps where it was most needed, the bank said. It said that as well as fuel, a regular electricity supply was needed and maintenance work was urgently required on a large sewage lake in Beit Lahiya that was in danger of bursting.

“As of today, nearly the entire population of Gaza is without running water and is dependent on their own stored water supplies and limited sales by private water distributors,” the bank said.

Sewage had already flooded in some areas, it said, and warned that as many as 10,000 Palestinians were at risk of drowning if the Beit Lahiya sewage lake burst.

Ref: Guaridan

‘It’s the only way to stop the rockets’

Allon Schamroth, 29, is an engineer living in Jerusalem and working for a solar energy company

“A country’s responsibility is to its citizens. I’m in favour of what’s going on. There’s no way we can talk when neither side trusts the other. This is the only way to bring an end to the rockets. Eventually we might be able to get to a situation where an agreement might be able to be made. A lot of international pressure has kept the government from not defending its citizens. If this were any other country you would have been up in arms ages ago. We have been sitting quietly when rockets have been falling on homes. It hurts to see citizens living in bomb shelters when the country does nothing about it.”

Teddy Katz, 65, is a former Jewish Agency official who helped Jews to immigrate to Israel. He became a peace activist in his 40s and is opposed to Israel’s assault on Gaza

“Many in Israel call us war criminals for speaking out against the war. They say we should stay silent. But the truth is that the government is the war criminal and it started this criminal war. What makes it worse is that this war is about an election. This is [defence minister Ehud] Barak’s war to get elected. This is [foreign minister Tzipi] Livni’s war to become prime minister. This is the war of [prime minister Ehud] Olmert [who is under a corruption investigation] to cover his criminal past with a criminal war. I am not ashamed to be against the war. I call on the Israeli government to stop the unbelievable massacres.”

Ref: Guardian

In the US, Gaza is a different war (dumb US keept ignorante and racist!)

The images of two women on the front page of an edition of The Washington Post last week illustrates how mainstream US media has been reporting Israel’s war on Gaza.

On the left was a Palestinian mother who had lost five children. On the right was a nearly equally sized picture of an Israeli woman who was distressed by the fighting, according to the caption.

As the Palestinian woman cradled the dead body of one child, another infant son, his face blackened and disfigured with bruises, cried beside her.

The Israeli woman did not appear to be wounded in any way but also wept.

Arab frustration

To understand the frustration often felt in the Arab world over US media coverage, one only needs to imagine the same front page had the situation been reversed.

If an Israeli woman had lost five daughters in a Palestinian attack, would The Washington Post run an equally sized photograph of a relatively unharmed Palestinian woman, who was merely distraught over Israeli missile fire?

When the front page photographs of the two women were published on December 30, over 350 Palestinians had reportedly been killed compared to just four Israelis.

What if 350 Israelis had been killed and only four Palestinians – would the newspaper have run the stories side by side as if equal in news value?

Like many major news organisations in the US, The Washington Post has chosen to cover the conflict from a perspective that reflects the US government’s relationship with Israel. This means prioritising Israel’s version of events while underplaying the views of Palestinian groups.

For example, the newspaper’s lead article on Tuesday, which was published above the mothers’ photographs, quotes Israeli military and civilian sources nine times before quoting a single Palestinian. The first seven paragraphs explain Israel’s military strategy. The ninth paragraph describes the anxiety among Israelis, spending evenings in bomb shelters. Ordinary Palestinians, who generally have no access to bomb shelters, do not make an appearance until the 23rd paragraph.

To balance this top story, The Washington Post published another article on the bottom half of the front page about the Palestinian mother and her children. But would the paper have ever considered balancing a story about a massive attack on Israelis with an in-depth lead piece on the strategy of Palestinian militants?

Context stripped

Major US television channels also adopted the equal time approach, despite the reality that Palestinian casualties exceeded Israeli ones by a hundred fold. However, such comparisons were rare because the scripts read by American correspondents often excluded the overall Palestinian death count.

By stripping the context, American viewers may have easily assumed a level playing field, rather than a case of disproportionate force.

Take the opening lines of a report filed by NBC’s Martin Fletcher on December 30: “In Gaza two little girls were taking out the rubbish and killed by an Israeli rocket – while in Israel, a woman had been driving home and was killed by a Hamas rocket. No let up today on either side on the fourth day of this battle.”

Omitted from the report was the overall Palestinian death toll, dropped continuously in subsequent reports filed by NBC correspondents over the next several days.

When number of deaths did appear – sometimes as a graphic at the bottom of the screen – it was identified as the number of “people killed” rather than being attributed specifically to Palestinians.

No wonder the overwhelmingly asymmetrical bombardment of Gaza has been framed vaguely as “rising tensions in the Middle East” by news anchors.

With the lack of context, the power dynamic on the ground becomes unclear.

ABC news, for example, regularly introduced events in Gaza as “Mideast Violence”. And Like NBC, reporters excluded the Palestinian death toll.

On December 31, when Palestinian deaths stood at almost 400, ABC correspondent Simon McGergor-Wood began a video package by describing damage to an Israeli school by Hamas rockets.

The reporter’s script can be paraphrased as follows: Israel wanted a sustainable ceasefire; Israel needed to prevent Hamas from rearming; Hamas targets were hit; Israel was sending in aid and letting the injured out; Israel was doing “everything they can to alleviate the humanitarian crisis”. And with that McGregor-Wood signed off.

Palestinian perspective missing

There was no parallel telling of the Palestinian perspective, and no mention of any damages to Palestinian lives, although news agencies that day had reported five Palestinians dead.

For the ABC correspondent, it seemed the Palestinian deaths contained less news value than damage to Israeli buildings. His narration of events, meanwhile, amounted to no less than a parroting of the official Israeli line.

In fact, the Israeli government view typically went unchallenged on major US networks.

The US media has been accused of prioritising Israel’s version of events [EPA]
Interviews with Israeli spokesmen and ambassadors were not juxtaposed with the voices of Palestinian leaders. Prominent American news anchors frequently adopted the Israeli viewpoint. In talk show discussions, instead of debating events on the ground, the pundits often reinforced each other’s views.

Such an episode occurred on a December 30 broadcast of the MSNBC show, Morning Joe, during which host Joe Scarborough repeatedly insisted that Israel should not be judged.

Israel was defending itself just as the US had done throughout history. “How many people did we kill in Germany?” Scarborough posed.

The blame rested on the Palestinians, he concluded, connecting the Gaza attacks to the Camp David negotiations of 2000. “They gave the Palestinians everything they could ask for, and they walked away from the table,” he said repeatedly.

Although this view was challenged once by Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former US official, who appeared briefly on the show, subsequent guests agreed incessantly with Scarborough’s characterisation of the Palestinians as negligent, if not criminal in nature.

According to guest Dan Bartlett, a former White House counsel, the Palestinian leadership had made it “very clear” that they were uninterested in peace talks.

Another guest, NBC anchor David Gregory, began by noting that Yasser Arafat, the late Palestinian president, “could not be trusted”, according to Bill Clinton, the former US president.

Gregory then added that Hamas had “undercut the peace process” and actually welcomed the attacks.

“The reality is that Hamas wanted this, they didn’t want the ceasefire,” he said.

Columnist Margaret Carlson also joined the show, agreeing in principal that Hamas should be “crushed” but voicing concern over the cost of such action.

Thus the debate was not whether Israel was justified, but rather what Israel should do next. The Palestinian human tragedy received little to no attention.

Victim’s perspective

Arab audiences saw a different picture altogether. Rather than mulling Israel’s dilemma, the Arab news networks captured the air assault in chilling detail from the perspective of its victims. The divide in coverage was staggering.

For US networks, the bombing of Gaza has largely been limited to two-minute video packages or five minute talk show segments. This has usually meant a few snippets of jumbled video: explosions from a distance and a momentary glance at victims; barely enough time to remember a face, let alone a personality. Victims were rarely interviewed.

The availability of time and space, American broadcast executives might argue, were mitigating factors.

On MSNBC for example, Gaza competed for air time last week with stories about the economy, such as a hike in liquor sales, or celebrity news, such as speculation over the publishing of photographs of Sarah Palin’s new grandchild.

Most US networks have reported exclusively from Israel
On Arab TV, however, Gaza has been the only story.

For hours on end, live images from the streets of Gaza are beamed into Arab households.

Unlike the correspondents from ABC and NBC, who have filed their reports exclusively from Israeli cities, Arab crews are inside Gaza, with many correspondents native Gazans themselves.

The images they capture are often broadcast unedited, and over the last week, a grizzly news gathering routine has been established.

The cycle begins with rooftop-mounted cameras, capturing the air raids live. After moments of quiet, thunderous bombing commences and plumes of smoke rise over the skyline. Then, anguish on the streets. Panicked civilians run for cover as ambulances careen through narrow alleys. Rescue workers hurriedly pick through the rubble, often pulling out mangled bodies. Fathers with tears of rage hold dead children up to the cameras, vowing revenge. The wounded are carried out in stretchers, gushing with blood.

Later, local journalists visit the hospitals and more gruesome images, more dead children are broadcast. Doctors wrap up the tiny bodies and carry them into overflowing morgues. The survivors speak to reporters. Their distraught voices are heard around the region; the outflow of misery and destruction is constant.

Palestinian voices

The coverage extends beyond Gaza. Unlike the US networks, which are often limited to one or two correspondents in Israel, major Arab television channels maintain correspondents and bureaus throughout the region. As angry protests take place on a near daily basis, the crews are there to capture the action live.

Even in Israel, Arab reporters are employed, and Israeli politicians are regularly interviewed. But so are members of Hamas and the other Palestinian factions.

The inclusion of Palestinian voices is not unique to Arab media. On a number of international broadcasters, including BBC World and CNN International, Palestinian leaders and Gazans in particular are regularly heard. And the Palestinian death toll has been provided every day, in most broadcasts and by most correspondents on the ground. Reports are also filed from Arab capitals.

On some level, the relatively small American broadcasting output can be attributed to a general trend in downsizing foreign reporting. But had a bloodbath on this scale happened in Israel, would the networks not have sent in reinforcements?

For now, the Israeli viewpoint seems slated to continue to dominate Gaza coverage. The latest narrative comes from the White House, which has called for a “durable” ceasefire, preventing Hamas terrorists from launching more rockets.

Naturally the soundbites are parroted by US broadcasters throughout the day and then reinforced by pundits, fearing the dangerous Hamas.

Arab channels, however, see a different outcome. Many have begun referring to Hamas, once controversial, as simply “the Palestinian resistance”.

While American analysts map out Israel’s strategy, Arab broadcasters are drawing their own maps, plotting the expanding range of Hamas rockets, and predicting a strengthened hand for opposition to Israel, rather than a weakened one.

Ref: Al Jazeera

Habib Battah is a freelance journalist and media analyst based in Beirut and New York.

Also read “7 myths about Gaza”