Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gaza: British MPs demand tougher action over Israeli bombardment

"Senior MPs and advisers call on Cameron and Miliband to speak out more forcefully against killing of Palestinian civilians."
SPEAKING out even MORE forcefully: but will they manage?

Kind of puts me off reading the rest of their garbage:

Operation ‘Protective Edge’: Israel is showing remarkable restraint

… relative to the Israel on Lebanon 1982 war:

"By the end of the first week, 14 June 1982, International Red Cross and Lebanese police figures claimed that 9,583 had died and 16,608 injured. By the end of the second week, they claimed up to 14,000 people died and 20,000 were injured, mostly civilians."

Israel running out of ammo: US to the rescue

Washington has also, however, allowed Israel to tap a local U.S. arms stockpile in the past few weeks to replenish its grenades and mortar rounds, a U.S. defense official said on Thursday.

Israel’s Far Right meshugganah : ‘Gaza is a graveyard’


Tibi – Ahmed Tibi

I wanted you to know

The next kid to be hurt will be your kid

I hate Tibi

I hate Tibi the terrorist.

Tibi – is dead!

Tibi – is dead!

Tibi – is dead!


Tibi is a terrorist.

Tibi is a terrorist.

Tibi is a terrorist.


They’ll take their papers away.

They’ll take their papers away.

They’ll take their papers away.

Olé, olé, olé-olé-olé

In Gaza there’s no studying

No children are left there,

Olé, olé, olé-olé-olé,


[Three lines, not entirely clear]


Who is getting nervous, I hear?

Zoabi, this here is the Land of Israel

This here is the Land of Israel, Zoabi

This here is the Land of the Jews

I hate you, I do, Zoabi

I hate all the Arabs.


Gaza is a graveyard

Gaza is a graveyard

Gaza is a graveyard

Gaza is a graveyard



Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Now the EVIL Gaza power station has been killed too

Guilty of selling electricity to the Enemy, no doubt.

Kerry peeved, Bambams follows suit

John Kerry’s peeved, despite having voted in favour of the Zionist colony 9,879 times in 25 years (no nos or abstentions), some part of the Zionist press got it wrong, thinking he was pushing for a ceasefire. Poor Kerry.


Meanwhile same said press claimed Obama had ‘sternly admonished’ Bibi during their weekly Skype chat regarding the weather in Tel Aviv. Perhaps Bibi’s simple ‘a bit oppressive today, Barack’ caused the communication breakdown?


Apologies will now surely be issued to both injured parties?


On a serious note, the US/Israel relationship seems to be evolving from ‘tail wagging dog’ to ‘just give us the money and shut up’.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

More formaldehyde

Noam Sheizaf - 972Mag

The current war in Gaza demands we revisit the circumstances surrounding Israel’s “disengagement” from the Gaza Strip in 2005. Supporters of the war often claim that Israel left the territory and “got rockets in return.”

The first rocket was fired from Gaza in 2001, but there is a more important point to be made here: one cannot evacuate a certain part of the occupied territories and expect the problem to be solved – at least in that particular area – while more settlements are being built and there is less freedom elsewhere. The national drama surrounding the evacuation of 9,000 settlers in 2005 disguised the fact that Israel never ended the occupation; it merely rearranged its forces (and some of the civilian population). Just like it did with Oslo.

The events leading up to the siege demonstrate that pretty clearly – Hamas, after all, won the 2006 elections, but Israel denied it its victory. Just like other occupying powers, Israel insisted, and still does, on using its veto power in internal Palestinian politics. The rest is well known: having been left out of the political process, Hamas took Gaza by force and launched attacks on Israel, leading to Israel placing the Strip under siege, which didn’t end even when ceasefires were reached.

These events could have been expected, but in a way they served what the Israeli government perceived as its own interest. The object of the disengagement was to prevent the creation of the Palestinian state – relieving the pressure on an area that Israel had trouble maintaining in order to hold on more tightly to other parts. This was no secret; even Ariel Sharon’s top aid, Dov Weisglass, said as much on record in an interview with Haaretz.

The bottom line is that Gaza and the West Bank are a single unit. This was demonstrated again and again in the last decade, including in the run-up to this war, which had much to do with the widespread operation Israel carried out against Hamas’ political leadership in the West Bank after the abduction of the three teenagers. An action taken in one place leads to a response in another. It is now clear even to Israelis that one cannot simply “get rid of Gaza”; the Strip is once again understood as part of the greater Palestinian issue. And this is Hamas’ greatest achievement in this war.

Conflicting forces of separation and integration are at work between Israel and the territories it occupied in 1967. If Cast Lead and Pillar of Defense were parts of the ongoing effort to isolate besieged Gaza, this military campaign seems to bring about an opposite outcome. Any foreseeable end to Operation Protective Edge will probably include some mechanism that would reconnect Gaza to the Palestinian Authority, and through them to Israel. There is even the option that Israel will decide to re-occupy the entire Strip, though this still seems unlikely.

At this point, it seems that nobody in Israel has given much thought to the goals or the exit strategy of this campaign. Naturally, Israelis would like to see the arrangement Israel has in the West Bank installed in Gaza – a proxy government whose main function is to protect Israeli citizens and prevent another uprising, financed by the international community and under Israeli supervision. The Egyptians would be happy with such a solution as well.

The problem is that the Palestinians, as well as the rest of the world, seem less thrilled – especially since Israel has made it fairly clear that the Palestinian Authority will never become sovereign in any real sense of the word.

Monday, July 28, 2014

I refuse

Watch the story of Udi Segal, a 19-year-old Israeli from Kibbutz Tuval, who was sent to jail on Monday for refusing to enlist in the Israeli military:

Udi, I salute you: for extraordinary courage.

Big H/T: 972Mag

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts

Although this is hardly news, Patrick Cockburn does a good job explaining why journalists should read the ‘Luntz report’.

Every one of the 112 pages in the booklet is marked "not for distribution or publication" and it is easy to see why. The Luntz report, officially entitled "The Israel project's 2009 Global Language Dictionary, was leaked almost immediately to Newsweek Online, but its true importance has seldom been appreciated. It should be required reading for everybody, especially journalists, interested in any aspect of Israeli policy because of its "dos and don'ts" for Israeli spokesmen.

These are highly illuminating about the gap between what Israeli officials and politicians really believe, and what they say, the latter shaped in minute detail by polling to determine what Americans want to hear. Certainly, no journalist interviewing an Israeli spokesman should do so without reading this preview of many of the themes and phrases employed by Mr Regev and his colleagues.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

45,000 gather in London to protest Israeli action in Gaza

Tens of thousands of people amassed outside the Israeli embassy in London today to protest against Israel’s incursion into Gaza which has killed over 1000 Palestinians, including at least 192 children.


And the prize for the crudest Hasbara effort goes to:

Ambassador Boaz Modai, Israeli ambassador to Ireland no less, for enthusiastically outshining Gates of Vienna and assorted Tinkerweb underbelly cesspits in Islamophobia.

It’s an old story but Herr Modai remains unrepentant:

Richard Silverstein

Singling out Israel

… by extraordinary, no-strings attached US foreign aid (USAID), more than half of its worldwide foreign aid expenditure.

Bare facts:


·         Aid received by Israel to date £121,000,000,000

·         Annual aid $3,000,000,000

·         Bonuses: in 2014 an extra $504,000,000 and another $720,000,000 for Iron dome


Woody Allen on the Origins

The Jews had just come out of a terrible war where they were exterminated by the millions and persecuted all over Europe, and they were given this tiny, tiny piece of land in the desert. If the Arabs had just said, “Look, we know what you guys have been through, take this little piece of land and we’ll all be friends and help you,” and the Jews came in peace, but they didn’t. They were not nice about it, and it led to problems,

Angry Arab (hat tip):

But I don't understand. Why did the US or other Western nations not come forward and said: look. We know what you guys have been through, take this little piece of land in Kansas and we'll all be friends and help you".

Friday, July 25, 2014

“You can have our handbags…”

The overwhelming Israeli firepower unleashed on the Palestinian militant group Hamas in the ongoing battle in Gaza is perhaps reminiscent of the Algerian war of independence (1954-1962) when France, the colonial power, used its vastly superior military strength to strike back at the insurgents with brutal ferocity.

While France was accused of using its air force to napalm civilians in the countryside, the Algerians were accused of using handmade bombs hidden in women’s handbags and left surreptitiously in cafes, restaurants and public places frequented by the French.

In one of the memorable scenes in the 1967 cinematic classic The Battle of Algiers, a handcuffed leader of the National Liberation Front (NLF), Ben M’Hidi, is brought before a group of highly-partisan French journalists for interrogation.

One of the journalists asks M’Hidi: “Don’t you think it is a bit cowardly to use women’s handbags and baskets to carry explosive devices that kill so many innocent people?”

The Algerian insurgent shoots back with equal bluntness: “And doesn’t it seem to you even more cowardly to drop napalm bombs on unarmed villages, so that there are a thousand times more innocent victims?”

Then he delivers the devastating punchline: “Of course, if we had your fighter planes, it would be a lot easier for us. Give us your bombers, and you can have our handbags and baskets.”

In the current conflict in Gaza, a role reversal would see Hamas armed with fighter planes, air-to-surface missiles and battle tanks, while the Israelis would be hitting back only with homemade rockets.

But in reality what is taking place in Gaza is a totally outmatched and outranked Hamas fighting a country with one of the world’s most formidable and sophisticated military machines, whose state-of-the-art equipment is provided gratis – under so-called “Foreign Military Financing (FMF)” – by the United States.

According to the latest figures, the two-week long conflict has claimed the lives of more than 620 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including over 230 women and children, and over 3,700 wounded, while the Israeli death toll is 27 soldiers and two civilians.

Speaking of the military imbalance, Dr. James E. Jennings, president of Conscience International and executive director of U.S. Academics for Peace, told IPS, “Unless you have been on the street facing Israeli troops in Gaza, or sleeping on the floor under an Israeli aerial assault, as I have several times while delivering aid in 1989, 2000, and 2009, it’s impossible to imagine the total disproportion of power in this conflict.

“I saw boys who were merely running away shot in the back by Israeli soldiers with Uzi [submachine guns] and arrayed in body armor, and in 2009 and 2012 at Rafah witnessed Israel’s technological superiority in coordinating sophisticated computers, drones, and F-15s with devastating effect,” he said.

The repeated missile strikes ostensibly targeted youths scrambling through tunnels like rats to bring food and medicine to the trapped population, but often hit helpless civilians fleeing the bombing as well, said Jennings.

He also pointed out that in terms of the imbalance in the number of casualties in this so-called “war”, statistics speak for themselves. However, numbers on a page do not do justice to the up-close reality.

“In my work I have visited wounded women and children in hospitals in Rafah and Gaza City and helped carry out the bodies of the dead for burial,” Jennings said.

When military capabilities are that asymmetrical, he said, shooting fish in a barrel is the best analogy.

As for the largely homemade Qassam rockets launched by Hamas, their ineffectiveness is apparent in the statistical results: over 2,000 launched, with only two unlucky civilians killed on the Israeli side.

“That is far less than the eight Americans killed accidentally last year by celebratory rockets on the 4th of July,” Jennings noted.

The billions of dollars in sophisticated US weapons purchased by Israel are under non-repayable FMF grants, according to defense analysts.

Israel is currently the recipient of a 10-year, 30-billion-dollar US military aid package, 2009 through 2018.

And according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), Israel is also the largest single recipient of FMF, and by 2015, these grants will account for about 55 percent of all US disbursements worldwide, and represent about 23-25 percent of the annual Israeli military budget.

Nicole Auger, a military analyst who covers the Middle East and Africa at Forecast International, a leader in defense market intelligence and industry forecasting, told IPS Israel imports practically all its weapons from the US– and this largely consists of sophisticated equipment it does not produce domestically, or equipment it finds more expedient to buy with US assistance funding.

She said despite a proposed shift in emphasis from air and naval power to ground strength, Israel continues to place priority on maintaining air superiority over all its regional neighbors.

The emphasis on air supremacy and strike capability has resulted in an additional order for F-15I fighters to serve as the lead fighter until the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is brought into service with the Israeli Air Force (IAF), she said.

Along with its 25 long-range strike F-15Is (Ra’ams), the IAF also has 102 multirole combat F-16Is (Soufas) purchased under the Peace Marble V program in 1999 (50 platforms) and 2001 (option for a further 52 planes), Auger said.

The F-15I and F-16I jets, some of which are being used for aerial bombings of Gaza, are customized versions of the American fighters tailored to specific Israeli needs.

Israel’s military arsenal also includes scores of attack helicopters.

Auger said the Sikorsky CH-53 heavy-lift helicopter fleet was just upgraded with the IAI Elta Systems EL/M-2160 flight guard protection system, which detects incoming missiles with radar and then activates diversionary countermeasures.

Israel has also completed a major upgrade to its fleet of Bell AH-1E/F/G/S Cobra attack helicopters and its Boeing AH-64A Apache helicopters has been converted to AH-64D Longbow standards.

The middle layer of defense is provided by the upgraded Patriot PAC 2 antimissile system (PAC 3) and the air force is also armed with Paveway laser-guided bombs, BLU-109 penetration bombs, Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) kits, and GBU-28 bunker busters.

In terms of vehicles, she said, Israel manufactures the majority of its own.

Jennings told IPS two facts are largely missing in the standard media portrayal of the Israel-Gaza “war”: the right of self-defense, so stoutly defended by Israelis and their allies in Washington, is never mentioned about the period in 1948 when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced from their homes and pushed off their land to be enclosed in the world’s largest prison camp that is Gaza.

Secondly, the world has stood by silently while Israel, with complicity by the US and Egypt, has literally choked the life out of the 1.7 million people in Gaza by a viciously effective cordon sanitaire, an almost total embargo on goods and services, greatly impacting the availability of food and medicine.

“These are war crimes, stark and ongoing violations of international humanitarian law perpetuated over the last seven years while the world has continued to turn away,” Jennings said.

“The indelible stain of that shameful neglect will not be erased for centuries, yet many people in the West continue to wonder at all the outrage in the Middle East,” he added.

You Having a Larf?

Marie Harf: “We will stand up for Israel ... even if it means standing alone." (A slight case of foresight, maybe?)

The US was also the last nation to stand with Apartheid South Africa. Or when perceived self-interest causes moral blindness and extreme inertia.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

AIPAC Is the Only Explanation for America's Morally Bankrupt Israel Policy

Stephen M. Walt

The official name for Israel's latest assault on Gaza is "Operation Protective Edge." A better name would be "Operation Déjà Vu." As it has on several prior occasions, Israel is using weapons provided by U.S. taxpayers to bombard the captive and impoverished Palestinians in Gaza, where the death toll now exceeds 500. As usual, the U.S. government is siding with Israel, even though most American leaders understand Israel instigated the latest round of violence, is not acting with restraint, and that its actions make Washington look callous and hypocritical in the eyes of most of the world.

This Orwellian situation is eloquent testimony to the continued political clout of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and the other hardline elements of the Israel lobby. There is no other plausible explanation for the supine behavior of the U.S. Congress--including some of its most "progressive" members--or the shallow hypocrisy of the Obama administration, especially those officials known for their purported commitment to human rights.

The immediate cause of this latest one-sided bloodletting was the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli hikers in the occupied West Bank, followed shortly thereafter by the kidnapping and fatal burning of a Palestinian teenager by several Israelis. According to J.J. Goldberg's reporting in the Jewish newspaper Forward, the Netanyahu government blamed Hamas for the kidnappings without evidence and pretended the kidnapped Israelis were still alive for several weeks, even though there was evidence indicating the victims were already dead. It perpetrated this deception in order to whip up anti-Arab sentiment and make it easier to justify punitive operations in the West Bank and Gaza.

And why did Netanyahu decide to go on another rampage in Gaza? As Nathan Thrall of the International Crisis Group points out, the real motive is neither vengeance nor a desire to protect Israel from Hamas' rocket fire, which has been virtually non-existent over the past two years and is largely ineffectual anyway. Netanyahu's real purpose was to undermine the recent agreement between Hamas and Fatah for a unity government. Given Netanyahu's personal commitment to keeping the West Bank and creating a "greater Israel," the last thing he wants is a unified Palestinian leadership that might press him to get serious about a two-state solution. Ergo, he sought to isolate and severely damage Hamas and drive a new wedge between the two Palestinian factions.

Behind all these maneuvers looms Israel's occupation of Palestine, now in its fifth decade. Not content with having ethnically cleansed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in 1948 and 1967 and not satisfied with owning eighty-two percent of Mandatory Palestine, every Israeli government since 1967 has built or expanded settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem while providing generous subsidies to the 600,000-plus Jews who have moved there in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Two weeks ago, Netanyahu confirmed what many have long suspected: he is dead set against a two-state solution and will never--repeat never--allow it to happen while he is in office. Given that Netanyahu is probably the most moderate member of his own Cabinet and that Israel's political system is marching steadily rightward, the two-state solution is a gone goose.

Worst of all, the deaths of hundreds more Palestinians and a small number of Israelis will change almost nothing. Hamas is not going to disband. When this latest round of fighting ends, the 4.4 million Palestinians who live in the West Bank and Gaza will still be Israel's de facto prisoners and still be denied basic human rights. But they are not going to leave, mainly because Palestine is their homeland, but also because they have nowhere to go, especially given the turmoil in other parts of the Middle East.

Eventually another ceasefire will be negotiated. The dead will be buried, the wounded will recover, the tunnels now being destroyed will be rebuilt, and Hamas will replenish its stockpile of missiles and rockets. The stage will then be set for another round of fighting, and Israel will have moved further down the road to becoming a full-fledged apartheid state.

Meanwhile, U.S. politicians and policymakers continue to back a brutal military campaign whose primary purpose is not to defend Israel but rather to protect its longstanding effort to colonize the West Bank. Amazingly, they continue to support Israel unreservedly even though every U.S. president since Lyndon Johnson has opposed Israel's settlements project, and the past three American presidents--Clinton, Bush and Obama--have all worked hard for the two-state solution that Israeli policy has now made impossible.

Yet as soon as fighting starts, and even if Israel instigates it, AIPAC demands that Washington march in lockstep with Tel Aviv. Congress invariably rushes to pass new resolutions endorsing whatever Israel decides to do. Even though it is mostly Palestinians who are dying, White House officials rush to proclaim that Israel has "the right to defend itself," and Obama himself won't go beyond expressing "concern" about what is happening. Of course Israelis have the right to defend themselves, but Palestinians not only have the same right, they have the right to resist the occupation. To put this another way, Israel does not have the right to keep its Palestinian subjects in permanent subjugation. But try finding someone on Capitol Hill who will acknowledge this simple fact.

The explanation for America's impotent and morally bankrupt policy is the political clout of the Israel lobby. Barack Obama knows that if he were to side with the Palestinians in Gaza or criticize Israel's actions in any way, he would face a firestorm of criticism from the lobby and his chances of getting Congressional approval for a deal with Iran would evaporate.

Similarly, every member of the House and Senate--including progressives like Senator Elizabeth Warren--knows that voting for those supposedly "pro-Israel" resolutions is the smart political move. They understand that even the slightest display of independent thinking on these issues could leave them vulnerable to a well-funded opponent the next time they're up for re-election. At a minimum, they'll have to answer a flood of angry phone calls and letters, and, on top of that, they are likely to be blackballed by some of their Congressional colleagues. The safer course is to mouth the same tired litanies about alleged "shared values" between Israel and the U.S. and wait till the crisis dies down. And people wonder why no one respects Congress anymore.

To be sure, the lobby's clout is not as profound as it once was. Public discourse about Israel, U.S. policy toward Israel and the lobby itself has changed markedly in recent years, and a growing number of journalists, bloggers and pundits--such as Andrew Sullivan, Juan Cole, Peter Beinart, M.J. Rosenberg, Max Blumenthal, Phyllis Bennis, Bernard Avishai, Sara Roy, Mitchell Plitnick, David Remnick, Phil Weiss and even (occasionally) Thomas Friedman of the New York Times--are willing to speak and write candidly about what is happening in the Middle East. Although most Americans openly support Israel's existence--just as I do--their sympathy for an Israel that acts more like Goliath than David is fading. The ranks of the skeptics include a growing number of younger American Jews, who find little to admire and much to dislike in Israel's actions and who are far less devoted to it than were previous generations. Pro-peace groups such as J Street and Jewish Voice for Peace reflect that trend and show that opinion among American Jews is far from unified.

Moreover, AIPAC and other hardline lobby groups could not convince the Obama administration to intervene in Syria, and they have been unable to convince the Bush or Obama administrations to launch a preventive strike against Iran's nuclear infrastructure. They have also failed to derail the nuclear negotiations with Tehran--at least so far--though not for lack of trying. Pushing the U.S. toward another Middle East war is a lot for any interest group to accomplish, of course, but these setbacks show that even this "leviathan among lobbies" does not always get its way.

But the lobby is still able to keep roughly $3 billion in U.S. aid to Israel flowing each year; it can still prevent U.S. presidents from putting meaningful pressure on Israel; and it can still get the U.S. to wield its veto whenever a resolution criticizing Israel's actions is floated in the U.N. Security Council. This situation explains why the Obama administration made zero progress toward "two states for two peoples": if Israel gets generous U.S. support no matter what it does, why should its leaders pay any attention to Washington's requests? Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry could only appeal to Netanyahu's better judgment, and we've seen how well that worked.

This situation is a tragedy for all concerned, not least for Israel itself. A Greater Israel cannot be anything but an apartheid state, and exclusionary ethnic nationalism of this sort is not sustainable in the 21st century. Israel's Arab subjects will eventually demand equal rights, and as former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned back in 2007, once that happens, "the state of Israel is finished."

Unfortunately, AIPAC, the Anti-Defamation League, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and assorted Christian Zionist groups continue to exhibit a severe case of tunnel vision. Because defending Israel no matter what it does is their main raison d'etre (and central to their fundraising), they are unable to see that they are helping Israel drive itself off a cliff. Similarly, those pliant members of Congress who cravenly sign AIPAC-drafted resolutions are not true friends of Israel. They are false friends who pretend to care but are really only interested in getting reelected.

Historians will one day look back and ask how U.S. Middle East policy could be so ineffectual and so at odds with its professed values -- not to mention its strategic interests. The answer lies in the basic nature of the American political system, which permits well-organized and well-funded special interest groups to wield significant power on Capitol Hill and in the White House. In this case, the result is a policy that is bad for all concerned: for the Palestinians most of all, but also for the U.S. and Israel as well. Until the lobby's clout is weakened or politicians grow stiffer spines, Americans looking for better outcomes in the Middle East had better get used to disappointment and prepared for more trouble.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Murderous Zionism...

Murdering carnage in Shuja-iyeh, committed by Zionist butchers:

Full story: