GAZA ONE YEAR LATER: Who Cares About Gaza?

Gaza?  Where’s that?  Have you heard about it recently?  It doesn’t figure on the list of important matters for consideration by the world’s presidents and prime ministers.  It has vanished from the media.  Most people couldn’t care less about a generation of Palestinians who are subjected to viciously inflicted privation by an imperialist nation that has lost touch with humanity.

Most countries, most human beings, with predictable exceptions, condemned Israel for indulging in frenzied savagery during its blitzkrieg on Gaza last December and January. There is no doubt that many of its actions were criminal. For example, there are well-documented instances of use of white phosphorus artillery shells against civilians. Poison gas, in other words – if a bit more hi-tech than the venomous vapors that exterminated so many millions of innocent Jewish men, women and children in Nazi concentration camps.

But Israel, propped up as a strutting jackbooted puppet on the global stage by the well-muscled fingers of Washington and some other capitals whose endorsement of violence seems boundless, can get away, quite literally, with murder.  Innocent men, women and children can be exterminated by armed forces that have no reason to fear justice or even criticism from the world’s juridical system.

A highly respected international jurist, Mr Richard Goldstone (a South African Jew), produced a report for the UN about Israel’s attempted genocide and Hamas atrocities and was impartial and objective about assessing facts and apportioning responsibility, as would be expected of such a distinguished judge.

His terms of reference were “to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law that might have been committed at any time in the context of the military operations that were conducted in Gaza during the period from 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009, whether before, during or after.”

He investigated thoroughly (although the Israelis refused to cooperate in any way) and reported fairly. His finding was that Palestinian terror groups were culpable of atrocities, as were Israeli armed forces, and for the latter ruling he was promptly attacked by Israel, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist and the Financial Times.

And by President Barack Obama.

The Obama administration pronounced the report to be “flawed,” without giving any indication of what the flaws might be. Mr Goldstone, courteous and balanced as ever – if a trifle taken aback at such a reaction – observed gently that “I have yet to hear from the Obama administration what the flaws in the report that they have identified are . . .  I would be happy to respond to them, if and when I know what they are . . . Of course I’m concerned and would like to engage with the Obama administration, at least informally.”

Fat chance of that happening, unless Mr Obama is prepared to risk the wrath of Israel.

But Mr Obama, like his predecessors, isn’t in favor of anything that is critical of Israel.  He wants a second presidential term, after all, and must not offend the rich and dominant Israel Lobby.  And his country’s legislators, who are equally beholden to that Lobby and have to follow the Tel Aviv line, “overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning a report by a United Nations fact-finding panel that criticized Israel as part of an assessment of the conflict in Gaza in 2008 between Israel and Hamas.”  They voted against the report by 344 to 36, thereby showing, like the White House, their contempt for impartial analysis, the UN, the eminent Justice Goldstone, international law, and almost everything that remains civilized in this horrible world.  (And you wonder how many of them read the report before voting.)

Hundreds of legislators in the US and Britain have sold their souls to Israel and will support Tel Aviv in any circumstances.

Britain’s governing Labor Party is right behind Israel, and it is recorded that “The Labor Friends of Israel (LFI), ‘a Westminster based lobby group working within the British Labor Party to promote the State of Israel’ fostered close ties with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who joined the society upon his premiership.”

After his catastrophic decade as prime minister, Blair,  a squalid, greedy and unprincipled man, and a proven liar, was appointed “Middle East envoy working on behalf of the US, Russia, the UN and the EU,” as which he achieved precisely nothing.  The selection of Blair as a representative to the Middle East was absurd. Nobody could imagine for an instant that his activities would be regarded as impartial – unlike Mr Goldstone – but this didn’t matter, because he had the seal of Israeli approval.

Just as in the US, Israel knows no political borders in Britain, whose present prime minister, an uninspiring and petulant dullard called Brown, declared that :

“it is one of the great privileges I have to be able to address the Labour Friends of Israel, to be able to thank you for everything that you do to promote the cause of justice . . .  I count myself not only a friend of Israel but someone who wants to support the future of Israel.”

“The cause of justice”?

As Judge Goldstone recorded, Israel “committed actions amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity” by intentionally killing civilians during its Gaza blitzkrieg.

But Britain’s prime minister imagines that Israel’s slaughter of over 300 children will “promote the cause of justice.”

And the leader of Britain’s Conservative Party was equally toadying in June when he told the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) fundraising dinner at the Dorchester Hotel that he supported Israel unequivocally, “Not simply because of my party’s unstinting support for Israel through the decades, but also because it’s something I feel very deep inside of me.”

What drivel.  This little man, whose name escapes me, has jumped on the Israeli bandwagon because it means money. 80 per cent of Conservative legislators are members of the CFI, and subsidies for political campaigns from Israel-supporting business organizations are discreetly disguised and happily grasped.

There is hardly a word of criticism of Israel by politicians in the US and the UK, and it’s not at all surprising that this is so, because so many of them couldn’t exist without cash from the Israel Lobby, passed on in one way or another. All the lavish expenses-paid holiday trips to the land of “the cause of justice” are simply confirmation that legislators are out to get whatever they can for free.

And Peace Prize-winning Mr Obama, of whom so many of us had high hopes of even-handedness, has a Secretary of State who told the Israel Lobby “It is wonderful being here with all of you among so many friends and I feel like this is a giant family reunion . . . and I feel like I am among family . . .  I have a bedrock commitment to Israel’s security . . .  God bless Israel . . .

With servile, bootlicking friends like these, Israel can continue to defy UN Security Council resolutions, it can build scores of illegal settlements on land stolen from Palestinians, it can condemn the people of Gaza – and especially countless thousands of children – to indefinite and hideous hardship.  The state of Israel exists in a wicked and vicious parallel world, bolstered by smug and sleazy western politicians.

Ten years ago Justice Goldstone declared that “bringing war criminals to justice stems from the lessons of the Holocaust.”

Indeed it does.

But when so many politicians and so much of the media in the US and Britain are intent on supporting Zion and ignoring Israel’s repulsive human rights violations, you wonder if the lessons of the Holocaust are perhaps a bit one-sided. The people of Gaza are suffering from the effects of an illegal and malevolent Israeli blockade.  Its people are enduring horrible privation. The crimes against them go unpunished.

And nobody cares.  For it would be very difficult to admit that war crimes have been committed by people who come to your giant family reunions, promoting “the cause of justice.”

Ref: Counterpunch

Brian Cloughley’s book about the Pakistan army, War, Coups and Terror, is to be published in the US by Skyhorse next month. His website is http://www.beecluff.com.

Meanwhile, the israeli genocide project continues…

Israel’s justice ministry has dropped charges against a settler caught on camera shooting two Palestinians in the West Bank city of Hebron.

The incident happened last December and followed the eviction of Jewish settlers who were occupying a disputed house.

Al Jazeera’s Dan Nolan reports on how the gunman, charged by police, is now a free man.

*This report contains some disturbing images.

FIGHT ISRAEL; FAX ISRAEL!!!!

After the successful email campaign, it’s time to move to the next level: calling some of the war criminals.

Objectives of this campaign are as follows:

    1. Bombard their phone/mobile/fax lines with anti-war, anti-Zionist messages. This can be in the form of calls, faxes or even sms’s;
    2. Waste the time of these war criminals as much as possible. Some of them are doing nothing else but jumping on the TV screens to spread lies and hatred. They justify killing Palestinian children and civilians;
    3. Directly delivering to them the message that we are disgusted by what they are doing and they should stop now;
    4. Show them the magnitude of support that Palestinians have after the world witnessed their war crimes in Gaza.

(For privacy reasons, we don’t want the IOF to record your email, IP address, ISP, country, etc and track you down and maybe hack your PC or something worse. Therefore, don’t use your original email account to contact them. To overcome this, you can send them ANONYMOUS emails. This way they can’t track you or find any info about the sender (you). USE THIS SERVICE)

Let’s start with war criminal, Mark Regev, International Media Adviser to the Prime Minister.

His MOBILE number is: +972-5-0620-3264 and his office number is +972-2670-5354
If you like to follow your call/sms with an email, use this one:
mark.regev@it.pmo.gov.il

Second war criminal, Shlomo Dror in the Ministry of Defence.
His MOBILE number is +972-5-0629-8148, office number is +972-3697-5339, fax number is +972-2670-5602
As before, if you like to follow it up with an email, use this:
mediasar@mod.gov.il

Third war criminal is Major Liebovitz from the Israeli Navy
Her MOBILE number is +972-5-781-86248
(Sorry, I could not find his email. If you have it, please share it to update this post.)

If you know or come across any mobile number* of any Israeli war criminal, please send it to (haitham.sabbah@gmail.com) so that I can update the list here. Meanwhile, you can bombard the top war criminal, Olmert and his office assistance, managers, spokesperson, etc… Please visit the following page to select the name that you like to play with and pick his/her office number and/or fax number.
http://www.pmo.gov.il/PMOEng/PM+Office/Contacts/

Note: To call or fax any in the above list, remove the “zero” and add +972 (Israel Int’l code) before the number. (Example: Ehud Olmert’s phone number is 02-670-5555 will become +972-2-670-555, fax number is 02-670-5475 will become +972-2-670-5475)

I suggest that you put your feelings on paper either by drawing or as a letter (in any language, in fact using other than English language will keep them busier and waste more of their time, which we want) and fax it to the maximum fax numbers you find there, but phone calls are still very important if you can.

More? Yes, you can do more. Call or fax the current Knesset members. Go to the following link, select any name and you will find their phone and fax numbers. Again, to call or fax any, remove the “zero” and add +972 before the number. (Example: Benjamin Netanyahu (a.k.a. Bibi the butcher!) phone: 02-6408456 will become +972-2-6408456 and his fax number is 02-6496659 which becomes +972-2-6496659)

Knesset members:
http://www.knesset.gov.il/mk/eng/mkindex_current_eng.asp?view=0

Also Knesset Directory (add +9722 before the numbers you find here):
http://www.knesset.gov.il/description/eng/eng_directory.htm

To: The Israeli Ministry of Defense, Fax: +972-3-697-6717
To: The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fax +972-2-5303367

Last but not least, share a copy of your fax with others. Please post your fax on this flickr group:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/fax-israel/

PS. Feel free to do the same with any and all pro-Israel war on Gaza. You can start with:

White House (although they are busy backing up there files, but we can only hope that Obama will get something to read and learn about on his first day in office):
http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

The Congress (which justed gave Israel new green light to kill kids and women of Gaza):
http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/
https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

Be creative! Search for the contacts of your government official’s website and contact them. Save Gaza!

Remember, Silence is Complicity!

* Israeli mobile numbers start with the following codes:
9725 Israel-Mobile
9726 Israel-Mobile
97251 Israel-Mobile
97253 Israel-Mobile
97255 Israel-Mobile
97256 Israel-Mobile
97258 Israel-Mobile
97252 Israel-Mobile-Cellcom
97257 Israel-Mobile-Mirs
97254 Israel-Mobile-Partner
97250 Israel-Mobile-Pelephone
Source: http://www.nstelcom.com/support/codes_il.htm

VIDEO: STOP THE GENOCIDE; Stop watching the genocide!!!


Click image to see video

The U.N. special rapporteur for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, former Princeton University law professor Richard Falk, calls what Israel is doing to the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza “a crime against humanity.” Falk, who is Jewish, has condemned the collective punishment of the Palestinians in Gaza as “a flagrant and massive violation of international humanitarian law as laid down in Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.” He has asked for “the International Criminal Court to investigate the situation, and determine whether the Israeli civilian leaders and military commanders responsible for the Gaza siege should be indicted and prosecuted for violations of international criminal law.”

Falk, while condemning the rocket attacks by the militant group Hamas, which he points out are also criminal violations of international law, goes on to say that “such Palestinian behavior does not legalize Israel’s imposition of a collective punishment of a life- and health-threatening character on the people of Gaza, and should not distract the U.N. or international society from discharging their fundamental moral and legal duty to render protection to the Palestinian people.” “It is an unfolding humanitarian catastrophe that each day poses the entire 1.5 million Gazans to an unspeakable ordeal, to a struggle to survive in terms of their health,” Falk said when I reached him by phone in California shortly before he left for Israel.

Ref: Stop watching


This is not amazing.
This is israeli banality and entertainment; genocide.

Welcome to Israhell…

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Israel guilty of WAR CRIMES + illegal use of phosphorus

Inside Story asks: what are the chances of pursuing Israel legally? What, if any, recourse has the international community to punish those alleged to be accountable? Would senior Israeli political and military leaders bear personal liability for their offenses, and could they be prosecuted by an international tribunal? Maryam Nemazee discusses.

Allegations of the use of white phosphorus have been made against Israel in their attack on the Gaza Strip and firework-like explosions during the offensive like those made when using the chemical have been widely seen. Al Jazeeras Jacky Rowland spoke with Marc Garlasco, a weapons expert, on the border with Gaza about the viability of these claims.

Also read Israelis deny using phosphorus and Israel rains fire on Gaza with phosphorus shells and a note from their supplier

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.

Israel; Always the Victim – Not even close!

Israel has successfully portrayed itself as the victim with the duty to defend its people, but the reality is that everyone has the right to defend its people and to live in security. These are not luxuries to be enjoyed by Israelis alone in the Middle East.

The Israelis insist that the latest violence began when Hamas “ended” a six month truce. I didn’t know there was a truce.

During this six-month truce, the International Middle East Media Center (a collaboration of international and Palestinian journalists) reported that the Israeli army killed 23 Palestinians, wounded 62, and kidnapped 38 residents in the Gaza Strip.

Truce? What truce?

In terms of the daily life for Palestinians in Gaza, Israel has been blocking medical supplies, food, and fuel on a regular basis for the past two years. Prior to the latest attacks, many have died from treatable illnesses due to the blocking of medical supplies. A Reuters article (12/30/08), citing research from Save the Children (UK), noted that 70% of Palestinian children already had a vitamin A deficiency and almost half of children under age two were anemic due to the border blockade. Early last year, a Toronto Star article (2/11/08) featured Palestinians from Gaza who have been driving on cooking oil due to fuel shipments being blocked.

What would Israel’s response be if the situation were in reverse?

Sadly, our media has not covered these tactics. Instead, it has generally chosen to publicize the Israeli spin of victimhood.

Israel. Always the victim.

Even with the Israeli Army’s revelation in a January 4, 2009 Haaretz article that they overestimated Gaza’s rocket severity, Israel won’t give up its victimhood card. The bombing continues, as does the self-righteousness that comes with it.

Perhaps, Israeli historian Ilan Pappe put it best in his recent article, “Israel’s righteous fury and its victims in Gaza.” He wrote, “The self-righteousness is a powerful act of self-denial and justification. It explains why the Israeli Jewish society would not be moved by words of wisdom, logical persuasion or diplomatic dialogue.”

Israel. Always the victim.

Though we live in the 21st century, it seems that maybe our Western world (specifically the US) has been caught in a time warp. There are those who actually think that it can atone for the crimes of WWII by giving Israel the green light to commit more crimes against humanity. But ignoring Israel’s embargo of food, medicine, fuel, and the killings of Palestinians actually dishonors the memories of those who were murdered for who they were during WWII.

Just because there are no ovens or gassing in the current conflict doesn’t mean that it is less of a genocide or holocaust. And when Israel intentionally blocks humanitarian goods and aims to make life so miserable that Palestinians will want to leave all the while dehumanizing them in the process, Israel is committing genocide.

Article II of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide does not make exceptions for motive. In other words, using Hamas as an excuse is unacceptable. The Convention discusses “Deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to destroy a group includes the deliberate deprivation of resources needed for the group’s physical survival, such as clean water, food, clothing, shelter or medical services. Deprivation of the means to sustain life can be imposed through confiscation of harvests, blockade of foodstuffs, detention in camps, forcible relocation or expulsion into deserts.”

It is what it is and whitewashing it doesn’t change the reality, regardless of the Israeli spin.

In recent days, the inter-active forums on the internet have been filled with pro-Israel posts referring to Palestinians as vermin who should be exterminated. These Hitleresque statements, of course, are said within the context of self-righteousness and victimhood.

Israel. Always the victim.

At some point, I have to believe that even those who have abused this card will tire of it.

Someday.

For now, the words of respected journalist and media reform advocate, Bill Moyers, come to mind. “Democracy without honest information creates the illusion of popular consent at the same time that it enhances the power of the state and the privileged interests that the state protects.”

We need to think about that as our corporate media becomes more of a mouthpiece for the government and less interested in hard reporting and truth-telling.

Israel. Always the victim? Not even close.

Ref: PalestineChronicle.com.
– Sherri Muzher J.D. with emphasis in International Law. She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.