What if Israel Was the Victim? – ( and I thougth they constantly were victims…)

What if the roles of Israel, Gaza, and members of the international community in the ongoing conflict were reversed? How would Americans and their government respond?

Gaza’s offensive against Israel continued today, sharply escalating with a ground incursion that cut off the southern part of Israel from the north.

The Israeli death toll climbed past 400, at least 60 of whom were civilians, according to UN estimates. 4 Palestinian civilians have been killed as a result of Jewish settlers firing rockets into Gaza in response to the military operation led by Hamas.

Cloud bursts with flaming smoke trails were seen over Israeli cities as Hamas employed white phosphorus munitions. The use of such munitions as weapons targeting soldiers or civilians is prohibited by international law, but Hamas says it is only using the munitions legally to provide a smokescreen for its ground offensive.

There have been reports of Israelis with chemical burns from the phosphorus rounds entering hospitals, but the reports could not independently confirmed since Hamas has refused to allow any foreign journalists to enter Israel.

The United States led an effort at the United Nations to issue a resolution calling for a cessation of hostilities, but the effort was blocked by Russia. The Russian ambassador to the UN said, “We don’t want a one-sided cease-fire that would see Gaza end its operations only to allow Israel to continue firing rockets into Gaza. We are seeking a sustainable cease-fire.”

Russia has repeatedly reiterated its demand for Israel to recognize Gaza’s right to exist and renounce violence. Russia’s foreign minister said earlier this week, “Israel is responsible for ending the cease-fire. Gaza has the right to self-defense. No nation would sit by and just watch as rockets exploded in their towns, hitting homes and schools, without a response. No country would tolerate that.”

Israel’s rocket attacks against Gaza sharply escalated after Gaza’s offensive began 9 days ago. Prior to that, no Palestinians had been killed since the cease-fire began last year on June 19. Israel’s Labor Party led by Ehud Barak agreed to the truce in exchange for an easing of the siege of Israel by Gaza.

Barak is also the head of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), which Hamas lists as a terrorist organization.

During the first week of the cease-fire, Hamas soldiers fired upon Israeli farmers near the border in at least seven separate incidents. An 82-year old Jewish man was wounded in one of the incidents. The IDF claimed that this was a violation of the cease-fire, but Hamas responded by announcing a “special security zone” along the border in Israel and warned that it would fire upon any Jews that entered the zone.

At the same time, Hamas also stepped up its operations against the IDF in the Negev region, stating that the cease-fire only applied to northern Israel. Two Jewish militants were killed in one targeted assassination.

Tzipi Livni’s Kadima group responded by firing rockets into Gaza City. The Labor party urged Kadima to observe the cease-fire so that the siege of Israel would be lifted. Hamas warned Barak that his party would be held responsible for any rockets fired from Israel into Gaza by other groups and closed border crossings once again after a brief respite in which it allowed several of trucks to cross into Israel delivering humanitarian supplies.

The IDF claimed that Gaza’s firing at Jewish civilians and closing of the borders was a violation of the cease-fire, but held to the truce until after November 4, when Hamas launched an airstrike into Israel, killing 4 militants and injuring several others. Hamas said the Jewish militants were digging a tunnel under the border in order to cross into Gaza to kidnap a Hamas soldier. Hamas released satellite images with arrows pointing to what a spokesman said was the location of the tunnel. Hamas also blamed Barak’s IDF for violating the cease-fire by launching rockets in response to its airstrike.

Human rights organizations have criticized Hamas for its policy of blockading Israel, which they say had brought the Jewish people to the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe. The present military offensive has worsened the situation for Israelis, many of whom have no electricity. Many bakeries in Israel have run out of bread and cannot make more. Israel’s overflowing hospitals are running out of fuel to run generators, and the blockade has prevented them from receiving medical supplies which would assist in helping those injured in the present conflict.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh yesterday rejected the charges, saying “There is no humanitarian crisis in Israel. The humanitarian situation in Israel is exactly as it should be.”

Haniyeh also dismissed charges that Hamas forces were targeting civilians in its operations. “Hamas does everything to prevent the loss of life of civilians,” he said. “Israelis were even warned to leave areas where the terrorists are hiding. We are only targeting militants. It is Israel that is using human shields in violation of international law. It is Israel which is responsible for the loss of innocent lives.”

Critics of Hamas argue that Jews have no place to flee since Gaza has closed the borders and has bombed numerous targets deep within Israeli territory so that no place is safe.

A top Israeli leader, Binyamin Netanyahu, was killed earlier this week when Hamas targeted his apartment building. His wife, Sarah, and two sons, Yair and Avner, were also killed in the bombing…

Click here to read the exiting end…

Ref: Foreign journal policy

More israeli crying game…

Pro-israeli mythbuster

Q: What exactly is “the occupation”?

A: In 1967, Israel defeated the neighboring Arab countries in a war that lasted only six days. At the end of that war, Israel had captured the West Bank (which includes the Eastern half of Jerusalem), the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. (It also captured the Sinai Peninsula, but this was later returned to Egypt as part of a peace accord that holds to this day). Some of this territory was annexed, specifically the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. The rest of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip has been under a military occupation ever since. This means that the Israeli army has complete control over these areas. Palestinians in these regions have no guarantee of civil rights. They have no government of their own other than what Israel will allow. Israel can impose total curfews on any part or all of the territory. This prevents people from traveling to work, to market or to see family members. It can prevent medical care from reaching people, and people from reaching hospitals. Occupation means the Israeli military has total authority over every aspect of Palestinian life. return to top

Q: Didn’t Ehud Barak offer the Palestinians almost everything they wanted at Camp David in 2000? And didn’t the Palestinians respond to that offer by launching this much more violent Intifada?

A: Reports vary about what was actually offered at Camp David, but it is clear that the offer was a lot less generous than Barak has claimed. What we know is that the Palestinians were offered sovereignty over a very small part of Jerusalem, and that their capitol would have actually been in Abu Dis, a small suburb, and not in Jerusalem itself. The so-called 95% of the West Bank excluded all of the Greater Jerusalem area, which has grown considerably since 1967. Israel would also have maintained control of much of the Jordan Valley, for an indefinite security period. Thus, along with the proposed accommodations for certain key Israeli settlements, the offer was actually about 80% of the West Bank. Further, according to maps publicized by Gush Shalom and the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, the areas remaining under Israeli control would have effectively split the West bank in two and would have surrounded the Palestinian areas. For this, the Palestinians were to give up all claims resulting from the mass expulsion in 1948. Having already conceded 78% of what was once Mandatory Palestine, this did not strike the Palestinians as a ?generous offer?. It is true that Barak?s offer was much more than had ever been offered the Palestinians before. But this really says more about previous offers than it does about the Camp David offer. After seven years of the Oslo Process, which saw Palestinian standards of living decline markedly and the greatest period of Israeli settlement expansion by far, it was impossible for any Palestinian leader to compromise this far. For more on Camp David and the beginning of the current uprising, follow this link. return to top

Q: Don’t we have to support Israel because it is surrounded by countries that want to destroy it?

A: The ongoing occupation of Palestinian territories is the single most destabilizing factor in Israeli-Arab relations. The Arab League has offered full normalization of relations with Israel if the occupation ends. UN Security Council Resolution 242 calls for just such a settlement. Both Egypt and Jordan have long-standing peace treaties with Israel and both countries have honored those treaties. The best way to make Israelis more secure is to end the occupation, creating defensible borders and working relationships with their neighbors. This would allow for normalized relationships and create great incentives for everyone concerned to maintain peaceful relations with each other. return to top

Q: Isn’t Israel the only democracy in the Middle East, surrounded by dictatorships?

A: While it is certainly true that Israel?s democratic structures are considerably more advanced than those of its neighbors, Israel fails on many counts. Discriminatory laws and bureaucratic practices in Israel bar Arabs in Israel from many privileges, especially owning land. Other systems tie certain opportunities to service in the army, from which most Arab Israelis are barred. There is a huge gap in municipal services between Jewish and non-Jewish areas in Israel. So-called ?unrecognized villages?, which are Arab towns that are not recognized by Israel as organized municipalities, receive virtually no services and are often subject to demolition or confiscation. Arabs families are routinely denied building permits and have their homes demolished if they build or add on to them without such permits. And all of this only deals with the situation for Arabs within the pre-1967 borders. Palestinians under Israeli occupation enjoy no civil or human rights, except those that depend on the whim of the commanders or soldiers in charge. Israel has legalized practices that are considered abusive in its interrogation procedures, detains Palestinians without charge for extensive periods, imposes unilateral and deadly curfews, and denies freedom of travel. By international human rights standards, these are not the hallmarks of a highly functioning democracy. Problems of democracy, as Edward Said often pointed out, are quite severe in the Arab world, but that does not excuse the shortcomings Israel has in its own right. There is much to be proud of in Israeli democracy, but there is also much to be very concerned about. return to top

Q: But didn’t the Arab countries kick a million Jews out of their countries after the 1948 war?

A: In the wake of the 1948 war, the backlash against Jews in the Arab world was often severe. Anger over the growing Zionist movement had been building throughout the 1940s, and it was too often directed at Arab Jewish communities, regardless of those communities? views of the Zionist project in Palestine.

British and French colonialism had created great hostility toward those countries in the Arab world. This resulted in a higher level of antipathy toward Jews than was normal for the Muslim world historically, though as has generally been the case, such anti-Semitism was far less severe than what existed at the time in Europe.
Israel initiated airlift and other emigration programs to bring in as many Jews from Middle Eastern countries as possible. Sadly, the treatment these new ?migr?s received in Israel was far from what they had expected (for more information, see Tom Segev’s book, 1949: The First Israelis).

Still, there is no doubt that many Arabs simply reacted out of fear and anger toward their own Jewish neighbors after the war that saw Israel?s birth and the expulsion of some 750,000-1,000,000 Arabs from what had once been called Palestine. The Arab world itself was only just emerging from the era of European colonialism in the wake of World War II, and instability was the rule of the day throughout the Middle East. As is often the case, minorities, especially Jews, are all too typical victims of such upheaval. return to top

Q: I see people compare Israeli law to Apartheid, what’s the truth?

A: There are major differences between Apartheid in South Africa and Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. But these are growing smaller all the time. Arab citizens of Israel face serious discrimination (see question above). But they are full citizens, and do participate in Israeli politics. They also have a relatively high standard of living, as compared to other Arab countries (though not as compared to Israeli Jews). But Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza enjoy no rights of citizenship, no real protection of law. This was not the case for Black South Africans. In the sense of there being two standards that are so different, the comparison to Apartheid is apt. And, as the occupation becomes more institutionalized, many Israelis believe that outright Apartheid is exactly what the future holds. return to top

Q: I only hear about Palestinian terrorist or nationalist groups. Where is the Palestinian “voice for peace”?

A: There are many different Palestinian peace groups, just as there are many different Israeli and Jewish peace groups. Unfortunately, we hear little about them in the media, even the Israeli and Arab media. But they are active, and, just like the Israeli peace camp, some part of them is also reflected in Palestinian leadership.
It was Israel that cut off negotiations with the Palestinian Authority in January 2001 at Taba, when, according to all parties involved, a deal had never been closer. Ehud Barak was about to be voted out, and he felt unable to present compromises to the Israeli public amid the violence that was occurring and being at the end of his tenure. From reports from both sides, this included being closer than ever to an agreement on the Palestinian refugees, final borders and Jerusalem. Surely this indicates some willingness, on both sides, to reach peace.

There are many Palestinian groups and individuals who are working for peace and justice for both sides. These include the Palestinian National Initiative led by Mustafa Barghouti; the Miftah human rights NGO led by Hanan Ashrawi; the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement in Bet Sahur; the Holy Land Trust in Bethlehem; the Palestinian Center for Human Rights led by Raji Sourani; Wi?am, the Palestinian Center for Conflict Resolution, headed by Zoughbi Zoughbi; the respected psychiatrist Iyad al-Sarraj in Gaza, who has been the head of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizens’ Rights; the joint Palestinian-Israeli women’s peace group, the Jerusalem Link, whose Palestinian half is called the Jerusalem Center for Women. Many of these groups are known throughout the Palestinians territories and are enormously respected. They are all quite active, and there are many similar groups.

Rema Hammami and Saleh Abdel Jawad ? both professors at Birzeit University -initiated in November, 2000 a public call for Palestinians not to use violence in the second intifada, and it was signed by over 120 fellow professors in Palestine. Many Palestinians and Israelis have been engaged in joint non-violent demonstrations against the wall in several different formations in recent months. The list of examples of Palestinian peace workers and peace groups could go on much longer. We can only wonder why the media on all sides continues to pay them so little attention.

Yet we must remain aware that the situation is not symmetrical. There is an occupier and an occupied. And the occupied have a right under international law to resist, and even to use armed force in resisting occupation (though this absolutely does not include attacks on civilians). It is crucial to appreciate that the situation is not simply one of “a cycle of violence,” but that the Israeli side has been conducting an occupation in violation of both international law and public opinion. That allows people to imagine that the solution is for both sides to compromise somewhere in between on the basis of simple non-violence. Oslo was an attempt to do that and it failed miserably. The violence of the Palestinians today is part of the price of that failure. Until an Israeli political leader clearly says that the occupation must end for the violence on both sides to stop, it will be difficult to come to a negotiated settlement. return to top

Q: I also see people talk about Zionism being racism. But it’s also a liberation movement. I’m confused and uncomfortable.

A: This is a very difficult question for many Jews. Zionism means Jewish nationalism, and any form of nationalism, by definition, puts the interests of its own group ahead of others. In the early days of Zionism, there were many different strains of thought, and many different ideologies. Some were much more progressive and humanistic than others. Zionism arose as a response to both the massive increase in Jewish assimilation after the Enlightenment, and to persistent and growing anti-Semitism throughout Europe. But many of the Jews who came to Palestine in the early 20th century were told that there were no people inhabiting that land, when in actuality over 700,000 Arabs were there. There were exceptions. The Cultural Zionism of Ahad Ha?am, for instance, recognized the rights of the Arabs already living on the land. Other early Zionist thinkers also had a variety of reasons for wanting to find a way to live in peace with their Arab neighbors, with respect to their rights. But it is fair to say that most strains of even early Zionism were at best disdainful of the Palestinian people.

Even though modern ideologies like Liberalism and Communism had diminished the influence of religion in most Western countries, anti-Semitism continued to flourish. The Holocaust was the ultimate expression of a new, largely secular form of anti-Semitism, and it seemed to confirm the most ominous warnings of many of the Zionists of the day. The Holocaust gave Zionism legitimacy in many people?s minds. After such a horrifying genocide and the experience of having the world close its eyes and borders to the atrocity, did the Jews not deserve a state of their own? Perhaps so, but the Palestinians, who had nothing to do with the Holocaust, were the people who were made to provide that state.

As Israel became more stable and strong, new waves of Zionism flourished. Today?s Likud Coalition was once a minority among Zionists, but today they head the most stable government Israel has seen in a quarter of a century. Religious Zionism grew stronger after the 1967 war and the capture of the Jewish holy sites in East Jerusalem (from which Jews had been barred by Jordan since 1948). Zionism remains a tangled web of various ideologies. Many aspects of it are certainly horribly hostile to Arabs. Other aspects remain dedicated to an idealism that leads its believers to work for peace and co-existence. Zionism has changed over the years as well. Where once there were more than a few Zionists who opposed the idea of a Jewish state, today the meaning of the term only encompasses those who are committed to a state that is Jewish in character, although differences still remain over such issues as laws that discriminate against non-Jews and the question of whether Israel should be the state of its citizens or the state of the entire Jewish people. return to top

Q: But I have heard that the Palestinians and other Arabs sided with the Nazis in World War II.

A: It is true that much of the Arab world did side with the Axis in World War II. As the British and French had been colonial powers in the Arab world since the end of World War I, this was not surprising. In most cases, the Nazi’s racist ideology had nothing to do with that calculation. In the case of the Palestinians, however, their most prominent leader, Hajj Amin al-Husayni, specifically aligned himself with the Nazis and their genocidal program against Jews. Husayni’s statements and acts of solidarity with the Nazis cast a pall over the Palestinian movement that continues to this day. But the fact is, Husayni’s acts, as contemptible as they were, had little effect on Jews either in Europe or in Palestine. Husayni’s actions and views regarding anti-Semitism were his own and there is little evidence that they represented any significant measure of the Palestinian people at the time. That Husayni was a severe Jew-hater is clear. But the evidence from the time suggests that this view had little traction among Palestinians and Arabs of the day. return to top

Q: I’ve heard that the Palestinians left Israel on their own or under order from Arab leaders in 1948. Is this so?

A: There were between 650,000 and 1.2 million Palestinians who left the area that was to become Israel in 1948. The circumstances of their departure varied. The records of the Hagana (the Jewish militia which later became the Israeli army) show that there were some official plans to empty Palestinian towns and villages. Records also clearly show that there were at least several instances of Palestinian towns suffering massacres at the hands of Israeli soldiers (both sides launched numerous attacks on civilians, especially in the early part of the war). Minutes from meetings of different Jewish leadership groups also indicate that there was definitely a desire to see as much of a Jewish majority in whatever territory would end up being Israel?s as possible. There is also clear evidence that some of the more radical Jewish militias attacked Palestinian towns with the goal of spreading fear in the Arab populace, in the hopes that this would make them flee.

It has often been claimed that the Arab Higher Committee broadcast a call for the Palestinians to flee so that the invading Arab armies could defeat the Zionists and then the Palestinians could return. No such call was ever issued. There were, of course, calls to move women and children out of the path of the fighting, but there was never a call for all civilians to leave. Many of the Palestinians fled in the very early stages of the war, long before any such call would have been issued in any case.

As the fighting intensified, and more villages came under attack, more and more Palestinians fled the war. Organized expulsions also continued. In some areas, especially cities like Haifa and Yaffo, where Arabs and Jews had lived together in relative stability, there were efforts made by Jews to get their neighbors to stay, and these met with some success at times. As today, there was a great variety of views among Jews in Palestine/Israel.

But whatever the circumstances, Israel went beyond its rights in passing laws to prevent the Palestinians from returning after the war. International law requires countries to allow people who flee a war back to their homes when the war ends. Israel was specifically enjoined to do so by the United Nations after the war, but did not comply. This was the beginning of the Palestinian refugee crisis, which remains the most vexing issue between the two peoples to this day. For more information about this, see Benny Morris’ book, “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited.” return to top

Q: I keep hearing about the Palestinian Right of Return. What is this about?

A: International law provides that refugees have the right to return to their homes after hostilities have ended and provided they are willing to live in peace. After Israel?s creation, it barred this return. The problem is now much more difficult because some 700,000 to one million refugees in 1948 (with another 200,000 or so created after the 1967 war) have now ballooned to over 4 million, with many other Palestinians scattered around the world, but not living as refugees. Many of these refugees live in camps in the West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Lebanon and within Israel itself. Others have drifted to various places in the Arab world, where they have generally not been welcomed. Still others have left the Middle east altogether. International law was not written with this situation in mind.

Israelis fear that acknowledging any responsibility for the refugees would lead to a massive return of the refugees and Jews then becoming a minority in Israel. For Palestinians, the right of return is viewed as both a right granted to each refugee individually and to the Palestinian people as a group. The former has a sound basis in international law, while the latter does not. Many Palestinian families still have the keys to their former homes.

In practical terms, many of the homes that Palestinians were driven from no longer exist. Indeed, many of their towns are gone today. The international community has generally favored some combination of a return of refugees to a Palestinian state, at least some number returning to Israel and all receiving compensation for their loss and for their years as refugees. A recent poll of Palestinians, while certainly controversial, indicated that only a small percentage would want to exercise a right to return to the area that is now Israel. But Palestinians all over have been very clear on their insistence that they be allowed a free choice in this matter. return to top

Q: Haven’t Jews and Arabs been fighting for thousands of years? Is there really an answer?
A: In fact, Jews and Arabs have been fighting for only about a century. While Jews were facing repeated expulsion and persecution in Europe, Jews in the Muslim world, though still facing some problems, were faring much better. Jews, as People of the Book under Islamic law, were entitled to legal protections and certain rights. To be sure, they were not the equals of Muslims, and there were incidents of anti-Semitism in many parts of the Muslim and Arab world through the centuries, some of them serious. But both the severity and the frequency of these were far lower than in Europe. There is no doubt that the ongoing and brutal conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as the neighboring Arab states, has created a great deal of hatred on both sides. But it is simply false to say that history shows that Jews and Arabs cannot live together. They have before, and, in a modern, secular state, may well be able to do so on a much more equal footing than existed in the past. return to top

Perspective; just a map reminder of Israeli colonialisation and silent genocide

Israel: Boycott, Divest, Sanction – BOYCOTT ISRAEL NOW!!!

It’s time. Long past time. The best strategy to end the increasingly bloody occupation is for Israel to become the target of the kind of global movement that put an end to apartheid in South Africa.

In July 2005 a huge coalition of Palestinian groups laid out plans to do just that. They called on “people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era.” The campaign Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions–BDS for short–was born.

Every day that Israel pounds Gaza brings more converts to the BDS cause, and talk of cease-fires is doing little to slow the momentum. Support is even emerging among Israeli Jews. In the midst of the assault roughly 500 Israelis, dozens of them well-known artists and scholars, sent a letter to foreign ambassadors stationed in Israel. It calls for “the adoption of immediate restrictive measures and sanctions” and draws a clear parallel with the antiapartheid struggle. “The boycott on South Africa was effective, but Israel is handled with kid gloves…. This international backing must stop.”

Yet many still can’t go there. The reasons are complex, emotional and understandable. And they simply aren’t good enough. Economic sanctions are the most effective tools in the nonviolent arsenal. Surrendering them verges on active complicity. Here are the top four objections to the BDS strategy, followed by counterarguments.

1. Punitive measures will alienate rather than persuade Israelis. The world has tried what used to be called “constructive engagement.” It has failed utterly. Since 2006 Israel has been steadily escalating its criminality: expanding settlements, launching an outrageous war against Lebanon and imposing collective punishment on Gaza through the brutal blockade. Despite this escalation, Israel has not faced punitive measures–quite the opposite. The weapons and $3 billion in annual aid that the US sends to Israel is only the beginning. Throughout this key period, Israel has enjoyed a dramatic improvement in its diplomatic, cultural and trade relations with a variety of other allies. For instance, in 2007 Israel became the first non-Latin American country to sign a free-trade deal with Mercosur. In the first nine months of 2008, Israeli exports to Canada went up 45 percent. A new trade deal with the European Union is set to double Israel’s exports of processed food. And on December 8, European ministers “upgraded” the EU-Israel Association Agreement, a reward long sought by Jerusalem.

It is in this context that Israeli leaders started their latest war: confident they would face no meaningful costs. It is remarkable that over seven days of wartime trading, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s flagship index actually went up 10.7 percent. When carrots don’t work, sticks are needed.

2. Israel is not South Africa. Of course it isn’t. The relevance of the South African model is that it proves that BDS tactics can be effective when weaker measures (protests, petitions, back-room lobbying) have failed. And there are indeed deeply distressing echoes: the color-coded IDs and travel permits, the bulldozed homes and forced displacement, the settler-only roads. Ronnie Kasrils, a prominent South African politician, said that the architecture of segregation that he saw in the West Bank and Gaza in 2007 was “infinitely worse than apartheid.”

3. Why single out Israel when the United States, Britain and other Western countries do the same things in Iraq and Afghanistan? Boycott is not a dogma; it is a tactic. The reason the BDS strategy should be tried against Israel is practical: in a country so small and trade-dependent, it could actually work.

4. Boycotts sever communication; we need more dialogue, not less. This one I’ll answer with a personal story. For eight years, my books have been published in Israel by a commercial house called Babel. But when I published The Shock Doctrine, I wanted to respect the boycott. On the advice of BDS activists, I contacted a small publisher called Andalus. Andalus is an activist press, deeply involved in the anti-occupation movement and the only Israeli publisher devoted exclusively to translating Arabic writing into Hebrew. We drafted a contract that guarantees that all proceeds go to Andalus’s work, and none to me. In other words, I am boycotting the Israeli economy but not Israelis.

Coming up with this plan required dozens of phone calls, e-mails and instant messages, stretching from Tel Aviv to Ramallah to Paris to Toronto to Gaza City. My point is this: as soon as you start implementing a boycott strategy, dialogue increases dramatically. And why wouldn’t it? Building a movement requires endless communicating, as many in the antiapartheid struggle well recall. The argument that supporting boycotts will cut us off from one another is particularly specious given the array of cheap information technologies at our fingertips. We are drowning in ways to rant at one another across national boundaries. No boycott can stop us.

Just about now, many a proud Zionist is gearing up for major point-scoring: don’t I know that many of those very high-tech toys come from Israeli research parks, world leaders in infotech? True enough, but not all of them. Several days into Israel’s Gaza assault, Richard Ramsey, the managing director of a British telecom company, sent an e-mail to the Israeli tech firm MobileMax. “As a result of the Israeli government action in the last few days we will no longer be in a position to consider doing business with yourself or any other Israeli company.”

When contacted by The Nation, Ramsey said his decision wasn’t political. “We can’t afford to lose any of our clients, so it was purely commercially defensive.”

It was this kind of cold business calculation that led many companies to pull out of South Africa two decades ago. And it’s precisely the kind of calculation that is our most realistic hope of bringing justice, so long denied, to Palestine.

Ref: the Nation, by Naomi Klein

PICT: resisting in every way possible to Isareli genocide + enjoying “shoah entertainment”

A Palestinian woman protesting the Israeli military operation in Gaza signalled her defiance yesterday as she faced Israeli soldiers in the West Bank village of Bilin, near Ramallah. (Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images)

These young Israelis look with curiosity and humor bombing of the Israeli army.


Ref: end-gaza-siege.ps/

VIDEO Israeli propaganda denial of bombing + Israelis admit militants not in UN school

Video: Israeli spokesman says UN school in Gaza contained explosives; Update: Anti-tank missiles found at school?

Ref: Hot air

One day later…
Israelis admit militants not in UN school

The UN said last night that the Israeli military had privately admitted that the shelling of a UN school in Jabaliya which killed more than 40 Palestinians on Tuesday was in response to militant fire from outside, not inside, the UN compound.

After the attack, the Israeli military said an initial inquiry had shown that several mortar shells had been fired at Israeli forces “from within the Jabaliya school” and that Israeli forces had returned fire.

However, a UN spokesman yesterday said the military had admitted that this account was no longer accurate. “In private briefings with diplomats the Israeli army has admitted that the militant fire from Jabaliya did not come from within a UN compound but outside and therefore allegations that this fire came from inside our compound are completely baseless,” said Chris Gunness, spokesman for UNWRA.

Last night, the Israel Defence Force, stood by its initial account.”The source of the fire was from within the school compound and that we returned fire and we have intelligence information that we hit the actual mortar firing squad that was firing at us,” said Captain Benjamin Rutland, an Israeli military spokesman.

Earlier yesterday, John Ging, director of operations in Gaza for UNRWA, visited the school himself.”I am very confident now that there was no militant activity inside the school nor militants in the school. If anybody has evidence to the contrary, then let’s bring it forward.”

ref: Guardian