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  • More voices describe Gaza slaughter as a 'genocide'
  • Video: Celebrities, artists and activists call for Palestinian freedom in #GazaNames project
    • I just discovered the only sane way to watch Sean Hannity. With play by play from Russell Brand. You gotta watch. Brand is great:

    • In Great Britain, 21,000 sign a call for an arms embargo against Israel:

      The rock star Peter Gabriel and film-maker Ken Loach are among 21,000 people who have signed an open letter to David Cameron, the British prime minister, demanding an immediate halt to the arms trade between the UK and Israel.

      The letter was delivered today, directly to Cameron’s residence at 10 Downing Street in London by Loach and three members of parliament — Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott and Jim Fitzpatrick.

      Prominent signatories included fashion designer Bella Freud, journalist and activist Jemima Khan, musicians Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream, Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack, Brian Eno and Bryan Adams, the writers Will Self, Hanif Kureishi, Ahdaf Soueif, Esther Freud, Laura Bailey and William Dalrymple, and the actors David Morrissey, Maxine Peake and Alexei Sayle.

      Academics Karma Nabulsi (a PSC patron), Ghada Karmi and Steven Rose and human rights lawyer Geoffrey Bindman also signed the letter.

      The letter was posted on the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s website earlier this week and gathered 21,000 signatures in just two days.

      link to electronicintifada.net

  • Attacks on demonstrators in Rome
    • According to a tweet by CNN International anchor and correspondent Michael Holmes , IDF Spokesman Lt.Col Peter Lerner just upped the ante on Israeli lies:

      DF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said that Hamas militants could have brought bodies to UN #Gaza school in order to blame Israel

      link to twitter.com

  • Claim that Hamas killed 3 teens is turning out to be the WMD of Gaza onslaught
    • Silverstein has a post up in which he says that there is an unwritten policy in the IDF not to leave men behind to be taken, and that, if necessary, kill them.

      The Israeli policy is called the Hannibal procedure:

      From Haaretz in 2003:

      For years, the army denied the existence of this directive, and the military censors did all they could to prevent it from becoming public knowledge. There were occasional media attempts to ignore the censors and make the order public, but the veil of secrecy made any serious public discussion impossible. But then, two weeks ago, Dr. Avner Shiftan, a doctor at Poriya Hospital in Tiberias, told Haaretz Magazine ("Better dead than abducted," May 9) that he had encountered the order in the course of his military service in southern Lebanon and had tried to get it annulled. This time Military Censorship didn't blue-pencil the report. In the wake of the Haaretz article, a lively debate developed on Israel Radio current events programs and on Channel One's "New Evening" program, which in turn elicited passionate responses from soldiers presently serving as well as former soldiers. Dozens of them contacted the three media outlets, described their encounter with the order and expressed their objections to it. Some of them said that its spirit still prevailed among field commanders.

      The testimonies indicate that the so-called Hannibal procedure was fully activated when three soldiers - Sergeant Benny Avraham and Staff Sergeants Omar Sawid and Adi Avitan - were abducted in the Har Dov region along the Lebanon border on October 7, 2000. At 12:50 P.M. that day, a Hezbollah squad attacked the Israeli soldiers' security vehicle with rockets and automatic fire, snatched the three soldiers and took them into Lebanese territory. The abandoned vehicle was found half an hour later and the Hannibal procedure was invoked. Attack helicopters were sent into action and opened fire at cars in which the army thought the abducted soldiers were being held.

      "It was only after some time that I understood exactly what happened there," says Haim Avraham, Benny's father. Avraham heard about the Hannibal procedure two weeks before his son was abducted.

      "I visited him in the army and he told me about the procedure. He told me that the order was that if a group of soldiers was abducted, the vehicle had to be stopped at any price, even if this cost the soldiers' lives. I was appalled. I asked him if he would be willing to shoot at his buddies. He said it was an order. After the abduction, one of the officers told me that in order to stop it, they intercepted 26 vehicles in the area. I remember the number clearly. At that moment, I didn't grasp the meaning of what he was saying, but after some time I connected what the officer said with what Benny told me and I realized that the implication of the procedure is that if my son was in one of those vehicles, they would kill him straightaway."

      Avraham is unwilling to accept the logic that underlies the order. "It's shocking to think that a soldier will execute his pal," he says. "True, an abduction presents a serious dilemma in terms of the price the state will pay, but hard as that is, I prefer a captive son to a dead son. That way I still have hope. The reason for the existence of the order is that the army doesn't have the necessary determination to rescue soldiers from captivity. Something is wrong with our code of ethics."

      more at link:

      link to haaretz.com

      Officially the procedure is no longer operative, but who knows if its still used unofficially.

    • If the source for the condition of the bodies was a medical examiner then the speculation would indeed have merit, but I don't think that a rabbi seeking to create 3 sainted martyrs out of the boys is a reliable source.

      "According to the doctors ...there is no scientific explanation for this phenomenon," is clearly a false statement by the rabbi since there is a very clear scientific explanation for such a condition and any forensic scientist would know it. One would think that a rabbi for a forensic unit would know that as well. I would lay greater odds on the idea that the rabbi was simply myth creating.

  • Oren's charge that networks showcase Palestinian dead at behest of Hamas is 'obscene' -- Penhaul
    • More pictures of tunnels here(I googled "photo Hamas tunnel" under Google Images):

      link to google.com

      They are mostly quite small, with only one person at a time able to walk through them, and some of them require stooping or even crawling. Some of them are reinforced with thin concrete slabs and some of them have no concrete or have only intermittent concrete, which is what I would have expected.

      There was one tunnel image that looked a bit more sophisticated, and had square sides. It turns out that one was a "training tunnel" for the US Army.

      Again, I think that the Israeli government is using the tunnels as another propaganda weapon, falsely claiming that Hamas used all the cement to make tunnels, and thus justifying blockading building materials that Gaza needs to rebuild all the civilian infrastructure that Israel has destroyed.

    • Thanks, Sumud. Have you seen any photos of the inside of a tunnel?Reinforcement at an entrance is always going to have to be greater than reinforcement along the length. At about 6 inches of concrete and an 8 foot diameter hole that would put it at about half a cubic yard of concrete per foot of length, at most. (Actually less than that since the floor would not need reinforcement.) 312,000 cubic yards would equal 624,000 lineal feet of concrete casing, or nearly 120 miles of tunnels, in an area of 139 square miles. Yup, Israeli concrete figures are bullshit.

      And its hard to tell from the photo but that "concrete" may well be a soil cement mixture.

    • 600,000 tons sounds pretty ridiculous, doing a quick back of the envelope calculation. That's 600,000 times 2000(lbs in a ton) divided by 3850 (the average weight in pounds of a cubic yard of concrete) which equals approximately 312,000 cubic yards of concrete. The Holland Tunnel, with 4 lanes of traffic, 2 tubes each 1.6 miles long, 29-1/2 feet wide and 12-1/2 feet tall used 130,000 cubic yards of concrete to line the tunnel, according to the internet sources I found.

      So 600,000 tons of concrete could build the equivalent of two and a half 4 lane Holland Tunnels. Highly unlikely that man-made tunnels, in a strip 5 miles wide by 25 miles long, could use anywhere near that amount, even if there were 60 of them. And of course whatever concrete lining there is, if any, would be nowhere as thick as the lining on the Holland Tunnels. If you want to actually do the calcs on the estimates of amount of concrete needed, Donald, that would be great but I think you'll find the Israeli figure is a gross exaggeration.

      It just sounds like Israeli talking points meant to strongly imply that Hamas used all the building materials allowed in to build tunnels, so therefore the Israeli blockade of building materials is justified. The usual Israeli bullshit.

    • ...they should not have been wasting whatever concrete they could smuggle in on tunnels.

      Donald

      It seems to me that a lot of, for lack of a better term, "first-world thinking" went into the idea that the tunnels require a lot of cement. I don't think they do. Soil cement (which uses somewhere around an 8:1 soil to cement mixture) could be used for a few inches to reinforce the opening, and rammed earth, requiring no cement, could also be used for stabilization. We aren't talking about a project commissioned by the US Corp of Army Engineers here. There are other ways to build tunnels that don't require vast amounts of cement and rebar.

      As for Israel being surprised at the number of tunnels, I'm not sure whether one should believe it. It seems to me that "terror tunnels" have become the new scare word in Israel, so Israeli officials claiming there are a lot more tunnels than anticipated is gauged to up the Israeli public fear factor, as well as excuse both the continuing killing and destruction, and the failures of the IDF in attaining their stated missions.

  • Joan Rivers slams CNN and BBC coverage of Gaza -- 'you're all insane'
    • BTW, Shingo. I’m under direct rocket attack here in Israel, where’s your stake in this conflict?

      Jackdaw, you have a greater chance of drowning in a bathtub accident than you have of being killed or injured by a rocket from Gaza. Maybe you should be worried about those "terror tubs" instead.

  • Which crowded cities can you fire into?
    • I'm aware of that Walid, but the primary problem wasn't the sale of land. The problem was the covenants the Zionist put on the land to prevent tenant farmers from cultivating the land, which the tenants had a legal right to do under Ottoman law. The covenants were the precursors to the wholesale ethnic cleansing that came later. So the Zionists chased the tenant farmers away and then lured Yemenite Jews to come and work on the land as petty laborers, so they could have their cheap Arab labor and the Jewish "conquest of labor" at the same time. Of course, the European Zionists assumed that the Yemenite Jews would be able to replace the indigenous farmers but most Yemenite Jews were not farmers, but rather silversmiths. The Yemenites who came during that era had very hard lives, a high mortality rate, and were treated as a lesser race by the European Zionists. Land sales prior to the establishment of the JNF in 1901 did not have these restrictions, and so the Palestinian tenant farmers remained on the land and worked for the new European Jewish landowners, most of whom were financially supported by Rothschild. There was an element of exploitation of course, but not the overt attempt to dispossess the Palestinians that occurred during the second Aliyah and beyond.

      My point to Phil was that even back then, at the turn of the 20th century, the "good Palestinians" were those who were, as Phil said, "concilliatory to the idea of a Jewish state", and didn't object to their dispossession.

    • Phil, have you read Ilan Pappe's "The Idea of Israel"? He discusses the Zionist mentality of the Second Aliyah (1904-1914, when the "Conquest of the Land" and "conquest of Labor" originated).

      Although the appropriation of local habits in order to get rid of the locals was regarded as an indispensable but temporary evil, sometimes that evil was prolonged to assist with the Zionist project. Such was the idea conceived by someone named Arthur Ruppin ("Father of the Jewish Settlements in Palestine"), who proposed that they build a madafa, the traditional guest tent or hall, for settling with local notables the final transition of land from absentee landlords to Zionist hands. The notables represented the tenants of the land, and had to be convinced to expel the tenants so as to allow actual Zionist settlement of the land that had been purchased. [My note: Tenant farmers had usufructuary rights to land they had cultivated under Ottoman law.] Cleansing the land of its farmers and tenants was done at first through meeting in the Zionist madafa and then by force of eviction in Mandatory times. The 'good' Palestinians were those who came to the madafa and allowed themselves to be evicted. Those who refused were branded robbers and murderers. Even Palestinians with whom the settlers sometimes shared ownership of horses or long hours of guard duty were transformed into villains once they refused eviction. Later on whenever Israelis would control the lives of Palestinians, such a refusal to collaborate would be the ultimate proof for Palestinian choice of the terrorist option as a way of life.

      The biggest sin of the Palestinians in early Zionist thought was that they (the Palestinians) refused to auto-ethnic cleanse themselves. I don't think it ever changed.

    • jon, are you saying that given a choice between putting your military at risk and putting your civilian population at risk, you think it wise to let soldiers frequent public places?

      One of the stated reasons over a decade ago for targeting Egged buses with suicide bombers was the fact that IDF soldiers would use the public buses to get to their bases. I think jon is saying that the buses then become legitimate targets.

    • Is it identified so that you know it’s a military installation?

      Yes, so what is your point? You can't possibly think that because its identified as a military installation that somehow makes it less of a legitimate target, can you? Are you seriously saying that a "possible" but unconfirmed location of a military installation and the civilian area around it is a more legitimate target than a confirmed military location? That's just f*cked up thinking.

    • Jon66,

      The better question to ask is why you locate a military facility next to a civilian clinic. Wouldn’t you want to put it in a field or isolated location?

      Matcal Tower, which houses the IDF General Staff, is located on a military base in Tel Aviv and is within 350 meters of Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, which is the main hospital in Tel Aviv and the 3rd largest hospital in Israel.

      The CIA and the Department of Defense had offices in the Twin Towers in NYC.

      There are many other examples of military facilities in both the US and Israel, and most other countries as well, that are located quite nearby or even adjacent to civilian infrastructure. There is nothing particularly out of the ordinary about this.

      And meanwhile there is this:

      On the 21 July at 2:17 PM, the IDF spokesperson released an image on twitter showing an aerial picture of a building marked as “Al-Wafa” hospital. In the image there is a red circle, which they designated as the location from which an M75 rocket was launched.

      The building in the picture marked “Al-Wafa” hospital is in fact not the el-Wafa hospital but the Right to Life Society.​

      link to electronicintifada.net

      The IDF purposely targeted Al-Wafa, NOT because it was being used as a military base or military storage facility, but because Israel claimed that rockets had been fired from "nearby". If the IDF wanted to specifically target the area where the rockets were coming from, it would not have targeted the hospital itself. And then, after destorying the hospital the IDF lied in a tweet about the location of the alleged rocket fire. This crap about Hamas locating military operations near to hospitals and schools is merely the usual Israeli lying to cover up the fact that they are targeting schools and hospitals as well as other civilian infrastructure and homes.

      Would you find it excuseable if some country with advanced weaponry specifically targeted the Tel Aviv hospital because it was nearby to the IDF headquarters? No.

  • Israel's actions 'unjustified' in eyes of women, non-whites, Dems, indy's, and those under 50 -- Gallup
    • Yes, I noted that as well. It seems like a purposeful fudging of the question between 2002 and 2014. You can't really compare the two poll results of those two years because Gallup changed the question. I suspect that the numbers would have been even higher for Israel "unjustified" if Gallup had used "Palestinians" instead of "Hamas" in the 2014 survey as they did in 2002.

  • How Israel militarized social media
    • Here's shocking news! (Not.) The IDF lied on Twitter.

      On the 21 July at 2:17 PM, the IDF spokesperson released an image on twitter showing an aerial picture of a building marked as “Al-Wafa” hospital. In the image there is a red circle, which they designated as the location from which an M75 rocket was launched.

      The building in the picture marked “Al-Wafa” hospital is in fact not the el-Wafa hospital but the Right to Life Society.​

      link to electronicintifada.net

  • Gaza massacre is generating ideological crisis in American Zionists
    • Here's a long piece on "Brandeis: Zionist Leader" from the Brandeis University Review published in 1992.

      link to brandeis.edu

    • Peter Beinart described it a few days ago:

      ...What frightens me about the organized American Jewish community is that it has no independent standard at all. Whatever the Israeli government does is, by definition, moral. Whatever the Palestinians do is, by definition, immoral. It's an utter abdication of one's own faculties--and completely contrary to the way American Jewish leaders act toward their own government. When Avigdor Lieberman, a man who wants to exile many Palestinian citizens of Israel from the country, became foreign minister, they shrugged. When Bibi renounced the two state solution, they said nothing. The more ghastly the photos from Gaza become, the more adamantly they insist that Israel bears no responsibility for them. Can anyone say, with confidence, that there is any action the Israeli government could take that American Jewish leaders would not seek to justify? I can't, and that terrifies me.

  • 9 Reasons why Israel is under rocket attack 
    • For Ezra,

      Here's a spreadsheet on the Israel and Palestinian violations of the ceasefire brokered and agreed to by both sides after the Israeli Pillar of Clouds military strike on Gaza of November 2012 until the start of Israel's Protective Edge military action of July 8, 2014. BTW, the ceasefire also called for an easing of Israel's blockade of Gaza, an element of the agreed ceasefire that Israel never observed during this time period.

      link to docs.google.com

      Primary sources for the violation reports are given in the tables.

      And here is the same information in a simpler infographic.

      link to electronicintifada.net

    • I believe you are being deliberately dishonest in your answer, because you appear to be a relatively intelligent and sane person otherwise. Israel absorbed 3 days of rocket fire without responding.

      Thanks for the compliment but I'm not being deliberately dishonest. You have been lied to, but it isn't me doing the lying, its the government of Israel, its spokespeople and professional hasbarists who are lying to you. From Shingo's link to the Times of Israel:

      Hamas operatives were behind a large volley of rockets which slammed into Israel Monday morning, the first time in years the Islamist group has directly challenged the Jewish state, according to Israeli defense officials.

      At least 16 rockets were fired at Israel Monday morning, most of them hitting open areas in the Eshkol region, the army said.

      The security sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, assessed that Hamas had probably launched the barrage in revenge for an Israeli airstrike several hours earlier which killed one person and injured three more.

      A member of Hamas’s militant wing was killed in the attack, Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra said.

      While Israel has maintained it holds Hamas responsible for all rocket attacks, officials have said that smaller groups, such as Islamic Jihad, are usually behind the rocket attacks, while Hamas squads generally attempt to thwart the rocket fire.

      Hamas hasn’t fired rockets into Israel since Operation Pillar of Defense ended in November 2012, and has yet to take responsibility for this latest barrage.

      Even the Times of Israel makes clear that the first launch of rockets from Hamas came in response to Israeli airstrikes in Gaza. But Israeli did not only engage in airstrikes prior to Hamas launching rockets in the end of June. Israel also killed numerous Palestinians, injured many more and arrested without charge many Palestinian in the West Bank under the excuse that it was searching for the 3 kidnapped Israeli youths. And even prior to the kidnapping the IDF killed 2 unarmed Palestinian youths in early June. If you think that the Israeli government has the right to respond to attacks against its people, I would hope that you are sane and logical enough to realize that Hamas, as a governing body, as the same right to respond to attacks against its people. Your timeline is incorrect as to who was responding to whom.

      Now it is true, Israel could have just sat back and absorbed the rocket fire.

      Israel had other options besides killing masses of Palestinian civilians, particularly because the rocket fire has never been a significant threat to Israeli lives. Israel could have stopped killing and arresting hundreds of Palestinians with no charge, it could have lifted the crippling siege it has imposed on Gaza, it could have negotiated in good faith with the unity government that Hamas was joining to end the occupation, but instead Israel decided to go ballistic again because it doesn't want to negotiate. It wants all of Palestine without the Palestinians, and it is willing to engage in incremental genocide in order to get what it wants.

      They could have encouraged their citizens to put big bulls eyes on themselves, lie prostrate on the ground, and scream “shoot me.” That was an option that I suppose you would have supported.

      I would have pegged you as a bit more intelligent than someone who would resort to such silly hyperbole. Even if every Israeli followed your inane proposal, there'd still be more people in Israel dying in bathtub accidents than would have died from rocket fire from Gaza. And no, your proposal is not what I would have wished, but I will note that the Israeli government, which prevents Israeli Bedouins in their villages from constructing bomb shelters, recommends that the Bedouins "lie on the ground" during an attack. One set of rules for Jews and a harsher one for non-Jews, and this is among Israeli citizens, not just in the OPT.

      But if Israel means one thing, it means that Jews will not allow themselves to be slaughtered lying down again.

      NO, Israel stands for the idea that Jews have more rights than non-Jews. There is nothing noble about that, and there is a huge difference between "allowing yourself to be slaughtered lying down" and oppressing another people. For some reason an awful lot of Israeli Jews seem to think that slaughtering defenseless people is A-OK as long as its Palestinians who are being slaughtered.

      I've mentioned this many times before, but since you are new here I will mention it again. My Jewish sister lives in Israel. Yes, I know the rockets can be scary and can potentially cause some deaths. But my sister doesn't live under a brutal occupation that has been ongoing for decades, she doesn't have to wait at checkpoints for hours just to visit her friends, she doesn't have to worry about being put under curfew, or siege, or having her house demolished, or her children arrested in the middle of the night. Nor does she have to find a way to survive an aerial assault that decimates whole neighborhoods. Overall, she's doing fine. She doesn't need the IDF to slaughter Palestinians in order to have a decent life in Israel, and neither does she need to be treated as special or "more equal" because of her Jewish status. The sooner Israel learns that lesson the sooner there will be peace and justice for all. But Israel is a morally backward country and a slow learner.

      On more addendum: Obviously, Israel has now learned that Hamas has numerous tunnels, and apparently some of them lead into Israel. If Hamas' only interest was in "killing Jews" then it could have done so at any time and killed many more Jews in Israel in one day than have been killed by rocket fire over the last decade. They didn't because killing Jews is not their motive. Their motive is seeking rights for Palestinians that match the rights that Israel accords its Jewish citizens. Only in Israel can you steal some one's land, destroy their homes, oppress them and then claim that you are the victim. Its beyond ridiculous.

    • Ezra,

      The simple answer is NO. And yes I'm being completely honest and I read the article above which you apparently did not. For further explanation, see here:

      After nearly 200 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip over the past week, there is finally increased discussion of attaining a cease-fire. The truth is, everyone knew it would have to end with a cease-fire, the only questions were how many more Palestinians would be killed, when would it happen and on what terms. Much of the discourse on this issue to tragically misinformed about the dynamics or fire between Israel and Gaza both during and outside of cease-fire agreements. Using data that ranges nearly ten years and with a closer focus on a subsection that was the 2012 cease-fire period, we explain below how these dynamics work in an effort to inform a way forward.

      This first chart below depicts the number of launches from Gaza of projectiles from September of 2004 through this May. That is nearly a decade. It starts at September because that's how far back our data set goes on this issue, but this significant span of time gives you a very clear picture of the ebbs and flows. Launches can involve one projectile (which is often the case) or more. I've highlighted some key events.

      Two things become very clear when looking at this chart. The single most effective way to bring projectile fire from Gaza to a halt is through a cease-fire agreement. Military campaigns have only had the effect of increasing the number of projectiles fired. The June 2008 agreement brought projectile fire from Gaza to near zero until the Israelis broke the truce on Nov. 4th, 2008 sparking the escalation that culminated in the massive attack that was "Operation Cast Lead". What's clear from this is that the military operation generated far more rockets than the absence of it. Keep in mind the context which this is taking place, prior to "Operation Cast Lead", according to B'Tselem's statistics, over 392 Palestinians were killed on average in each year from 2004-2008 in Gaza alone. That's more than one a day for 4 years.

      Link to this article and chart is here:

      link to blog.thejerusalemfund.org

      It goes on to make the same point about 2012 and today. Rocket fire is a response to Israeli military attacks. Rocket fire increases during or after IDF operations and decreases significantly or ends all together during ceasefires as long as Israeli also observes the ceasefire.

  • 'Heartbreaking' is U.S. government's talking point for Gaza massacre
    • The US abstains….what a shame.

      Correction. The US didn't just abstained. It was the lone "No" vote. Incredibly shameful for our country.

    • FAA extends ban………!

      I admit to a bit of schadenfreude for the Israeli government spokes. They insist that Israel is "under siege" and "fighting for its very existence" and then when the FAA bans all US flights to Tel Aviv they change their tune to "what's the problem? Everything is fine here." It can't be easy to change your tune on a dime like that. The
      g-forces must be tremendous!

  • The deafening silence around the Hamas proposal for a 10-year truce
    • Henry Seigman (former Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress) has a piece up on Politico:

      Israel Provoked This War
      It’s up to President Obama to stop it.
      By HENRY SIEGMAN July 22, 2014

      There seems to be near-universal agreement in the United States with President Barack Obama’s observation that Israel, like every other country, has the right and obligation to defend its citizens from threats directed at them from beyond its borders.

      But this anodyne statement does not begin to address the political and moral issues raised by Israel’s bombings and land invasion of Gaza: who violated the cease-fire agreement that was in place since November 2012 and whether Israel’s civilian population could have been protected by nonviolent means that would not have placed Gaza’s civilian population at risk. As of this writing, the number killed by the Israel Defense Forces has surpassed 600, the overwhelming majority of whom are noncombatants.

      Israel’s assault on Gaza, as pointed out by analyst Nathan Thrall in the New York Times, was not triggered by Hamas’ rockets directed at Israel but by Israel’s determination to bring down the Palestinian unity government that was formed in early June, even though that government was committed to honoring all of the conditions imposed by the international community for recognition of its legitimacy.

      The notion that it was Israel, not Hamas, that violated a cease-fire agreement will undoubtedly offend a wide swath of Israel supporters. To point out that it is not the first time Israel has done so will offend them even more deeply. But it was Shmuel Zakai, a retired brigadier general and former commander of the IDF’s Gaza Division, and not “leftist” critics, who said about the Israel Gaza war of 2009 that during the six-month period of a truce then in place, Israel made a central error “by failing to take advantage of the calm to improve, rather than markedly worsen, the economic plight of the Palestinians in the [Gaza] Strip. … You cannot just land blows, leave the Palestinians in Gaza in the economic distress they are in and expect Hamas just to sit around and do nothing.”

      This is true of the latest cease-fire as well. According to Thrall, Hamas is now seeking through violence what it should have obtained through a peaceful handover of responsibilities. “Israel is pursuing a return to the status quo ante, when Gaza had electricity for barely eight hours a day, water was undrinkable, sewage was dumped in the sea, fuel shortages caused sanitation plants to shut down and waste sometimes floated in the streets.” It is not only Hamas supporters, but many Gazans, perhaps a majority, who believe it is worth paying a heavy price to change a disastrous status quo.

      more at link:

      link to politico.com

    • Bumblebye,

      Unfortunately, DeBakr was correct. UNRWA did release a press statement today about a second vacant school that was found to have rockets stored in it, after they conducted a routine inspection there.

      link to unrwa.org

      However, this does not excuse the IAF bombing schools which are serving as emergency refugee centers (which have no rockets in them). As it has done in Maghazi School.

      link to unrwa.org

  • Watch: 9 Jewish activists arrested after occupying Friends of the Israel Defense Forces office
    • ...I doubt they wanted any attention drawn to their headquarters, I mean, offices.

      A quick perusal of a map indicates that there might be a hospital within 100 meters or so of the FIDF office. According to Hophmi, that means that the hospital is a legitimate target for aerial bombardment. Same for any nearby school, or any other civilian infrastructure, like libraries or parks, etc.

  • 'Telegenically Dead': Israel’s crumbling media war
    • I don't particularly like those kind of numbers exercises either, but just in case the random "What about Syria?" diversion comes up there's this: There was a headline the other day that the largest 2 day death toll in Syria just happened-700 Syrians killed in 2 days, assuming the figures are accurate. Doing the math with 22 million Syrians and 1.8 million Gazans, that would be equivalent to 58 Gazans dying in 2 days. Has there ever been 2 day period in Gaza since the start of the Israeli assault that didn't exceed that number?

    • More great PR for Israel. From David Sheen:

      Israeli city council hangs banner: “Israeli soldiers, we are with you! F*ck their mom & come home safely to your mom”

      link to twitter.com

      This isn't some idiot on the internet mouthing this crap. This is the city council of Or Yehuda, in the Tel Aviv district of Israel, on a banner for all to see, no less! Or Yehuda is 100% Jewish, of course.

    • Note that the question was about Palestinians right to defend themselves, and the answer diverted to "Hamas" with a lot of holy indignation. Couldn't answer the simple question.

  • US Jews occupy Israeli army support office in NY in civil disobedience action
    • Elmer Berger also, very early on, and there were many who followed and got shoved down the rabbit hole into herem. The problem preventing more objections to Israeli actions on the part of Jews and non-Jews alike is the censorship and blacklisting of those who opposed, as well as the overwhelmingly biased Zionist narrative that downright lied about nearly everything.

      Back in 1948, the Palestinians were "evil" because they fled when the sweet and humane Haganah begged them to stay, now they are "evil" because the sweet and humane IDF begs them to leave and instead they stay. Its such f*cking shameless and hideous propaganda. They aren't content with just killing Palestinians, they have to blame them for being human and for dying. Anyone who does that is a complete moral midget.

  • Renouncing my Israeli citizenship
    • But facts are not facts until they are presented with some real link and some real survey and not a hint of a symptom of a smell of a link.

      No, facts are facts whether there is a "link" or not, otherwise there would have been no facts in the history of mankind before the internet. A link may prove or disprove something to be a fact, but the existence or lack of a link is not dispositive in itself.

      At this point, the existence of the survey and what it said are simply inadequately confirmed as far as you are concerned, even though there are multiple reliable reports of the existence of such a survey and a reporting of what it said, which is exactly what I said it was, and slightly different than what Nevada Ned said it was, as I noted.

      My error was in thinking that you actually cared about facts in this instance, thus I did a search for you. You don't really care about facts, as usual. From your response its clear that you were simply fulfilling your self-appointed role as the argumentative website malcontent.

    • A picture of Susan Nathan from sometime prior to the Summer of 2009. I'd guess she's in her mid to late 60's in the pic, which would make her in her fifties, at the youngest, in 1999.

      link to terrasanta.net

    • Yonah,

      I didn't find the survey itself, but I have seen multiple references to it. The description of it is not quite accurate, but in the ballpark, as they say. The percentage in the survey refers to those Israelis who either have approached a foreign embassy in Israel, or intend to, in order to obtain a second passport.

      I'll use this quote from a 2012 op-ed in Arutz Sheva, since I assume that you won't view it as some "unreliable" anti-Zionist source:

      A 2008 survey by the Jerusalem-based Menachem Begin Heritage Center found that 59 percent of Israelis had approached or intended to approach a foreign embassy to inquire about or apply for citizenship and a passport. Today it is estimated that the figure is approaching 70 percent.

      link to israelnationalnews.com

      I don't know where they get the 2012 estimate from, but I've seen reports that the 2008 trend was continuing, which would make the 2014 70-80% figure realistic. There may in fact be a later survey which directly supports the figure but I found the 2008 one in a quick Google search.

      Feel free to peruse the Menachem Begin Heritage Center site if you want a link to the actual survey. Perhaps its easier to find the survey in Hebrew. In English the site is hard to navigate and the search function is useless, giving an error message on any word search, so its not worth wasting any more of my time there.

      link to begincenter.org.il

    • how old was susan nathan in 1999? a youngster, i’ll betcha.

      You lose your bet by a wide margin. She moved to Israel when her children were all grown, which means she was around retirement time, or close to it. She was not a youngster. You're grasping at straws in your nastiness, yonah.

    • Susan Nathan moved to Israel in 1999, as a Zionist, then came face to face with the racism and inequality there, and ended up moving to the all Arab Israeli town of Tamra in the Galilee in 2002, and then wrote a book explaining her evolution, so the idea that 4 years is too short a time to see the true face of Israel has no real merit except as sour grapes. I assume that Lenny was a retired teacher when he moved to Israel. He was probably looking for a place to retire and was encouraged to move there with tales of how great it was.

      Some people are more perceptive in seeing what's really going on around them, and some continue to have an attachment to their blinders, or they have no problem with racism when its directed at someone other than them. And some people resent others for seeing more clearly than they do, and feel the need to cast aspersions.

  • Netanyahu's latest 'cartoon evidence': racist image identifying Muslims with terror
    • Speaking of cartoons, here's one from the Guardian, although its source is an Australian political cartoon, First Dog on the Moon:

      "How does one respond to a message stating that your house will be destroyed in 10 minutes? asks First Dog on the Moon"

      link to theguardian.com

    • Yousef Munayyer:

      Israel claims to know whats in a civilian building its bombing from the air, yet has killed 3 of its own soldiers by friendly fire.

      James Fallows:

      When strategic message becomes ‘They’re forcing us to kill children,’ strategy is in trouble. As US learned.

      link to twitter.com

    • That is a blow to their big egos.

      Exactly. I saw a tweet yesterday that said: "There's nothing quite as shocking and infuriating as those you consider and treat as inferiors making you look bad."

      link to twitter.com

  • Massacre in Gaza: At least 60 killed in Shuja'iyeh, over 60,000 in UN shelters
    • Sumud, I know what "Cupid Stunt" means and I know its a play on words with the first letters of the name reversed. And no its not in the "best possible taste". I don't see the humor in referring to someone by uttering a hateful slur used to refer to a female body part.

    • Seafoid. Please don't use gross misogynistic slurs.

  • This Jew can't support Israel
    • Meanwhile, Ali Abunimah linked to Peter Beinart on Facebook: (with the comment, "Peter Beinart looks into the abyss and sees a yellowed photograph of himself looking back..."

      What frightens me about the organized American Jewish community at times like this is not that our leaders are hawks. A genuine, self-reflective hawk would have a higher threshold for Israeli military action than me, but would have some independent criteria for when the moral and strategic cost of continuing the war grew too high. The Shin Bet leaders interviewed in the Gatekeepers are hawks of this sort. They were willing to take very tough actions to protect Israel but also capable of recognizing when such actions became self-defeating. What frightens me about the organized American Jewish community is that it has no independent standard at all. Whatever the Israeli government does is, by definition, moral. Whatever the Palestinians do is, by definition, immoral. It's an utter abdication of one's own faculties--and completely contrary to the way American Jewish leaders act toward their own government. When Avigdor Lieberman, a man who wants to exile many Palestinian citizens of Israel from the country, became foreign minister, they shrugged. When Bibi renounced the two state solution, they said nothing. The more ghastly the photos from Gaza become, the more adamantly they insist that Israel bears no responsibility for them. Can anyone say, with confidence, that there is any action the Israeli government could take that American Jewish leaders would not seek to justify? I can't, and that terrifies me.

      link to facebook.com

  • Israeli military destroyed el-Wafa hospital even though it knew there were no weapons inside
    • History of Al-Shifa hospital:

      Al-Shifa, which means "healing" in Arabic, was originally a British Army barracks, but was transformed into a center to provide treatment for quarantine and febrile diseases by the government of the British Mandate of Palestine. Prior to the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, al-Shifa was the only hospital in Gaza. When the Egyptians administered the Gaza Strip after the war, the quarantine and febrile diseases department was relocated to another area in the city and al-Shifa developed into the central hospital of Gaza. Initially, a department for internal medicine was established, followed by a new wing for surgery, and subsequently new buildings for pediatrics and ophthalmology were added to the hospital.[3]

      After a brief occupation by Israel during the 1956 Suez Crisis, the returning Egyptian administration, under directives by president Gamal Abdel Nasser, paid more attention to the health and social situation of Gaza, and al-Shifa was expanded to include departments for obstetrics and gynecology. They established a new health administration for the Gaza region, later building several clinics throughout the city that were attended by doctors from the hospital.[4] The largest department in al-Shifa was internal medicine (100 beds), then pediatrics (70 beds), surgery (50 beds), ophthalmology (20 beds) and gynecology (10 beds).[5]

      Israeli occupation and Palestinian contro

      When Israel reoccupied Gaza in the 1967 Six-Day War, the entire Egyptian administration and staff in the hospital were taken prisoner.[6] By 1969, the internal medicines department grew to contain several sub-departments.[7] The hospital underwent a major Israeli renovation in the 1980s as part of a showcase project to improve the living conditions of Gaza residents.[8]

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      According to Haaretz, as part of the 1980's renovation, Israel built Building 2 at Al-Shifa, which included a large basement for laundry and administrative services. This basement is where Israel alleges Hamas leadership is hiding, but given the existence of numerous tunnels, which appear to be far safer than a hospital that the IDF has repeatedly attacked, it seems rather unlikely.

      link to haaretz.com

      Of course, Wikipedia insists that Ahmed Jabari (second in command of Hamas military wing, since killed in an assassination by Israel in 2012) hid there in 2008. However its sources for the allegation merely state that the Shin Bet believed that (unnamed) Hamas leadership was hiding there, not that it was proven or admitted.

    • Exactly, Mooser. It is, as Ilan Pappe has called it, an incremental genocide.

      In a September 2006 article for The Electronic Intifada, I defined the Israeli policy towards the Gaza Strip as an incremental genocide.

      Israel’s present assault on Gaza alas indicates that this policy continues unabated. The term is important since it appropriately locates Israel’s barbaric action — then and now — within a wider historical context.

      This context should be insisted upon, since the Israeli propaganda machine attempts again and again to narrate its policies as out of context and turns the pretext it found for every new wave of destruction into the main justification for another spree of indiscriminate slaughter in the killing fields of Palestine.

      The context

      The Zionist strategy of branding its brutal policies as an ad hoc response to this or that Palestinian action is as old as the Zionist presence in Palestine itself. It was used repeatedly as a justification for implementing the Zionist vision of a future Palestine that has in it very few, if any, native Palestinians.

      The means for achieving this goal changed with the years, but the formula has remained the same: whatever the Zionist vision of a Jewish State might be, it can only materialize without any significant number of Palestinians in it. And nowadays the vision is of an Israel stretching over almost the whole of historic Palestine where millions of Palestinians still live.

      link to electronicintifada.net

    • The law with civilian hospitals is that if they are being used for military purposes, they forfeit their protected status.

      And the IDF specifically stated that El Wafa was NOT being used for military purposes, and yet they bombed it anyway, in violation of the 4th Geneva Convention. You can studiously avoid that fact all you want, but it doesn't change the fact. It simply reveals your argument as specious.

    • One thing I can say with some confidence – the framers of Article 19 did not anticipate those situations where militants were firing from highly urbanized areas, right next to hospital buildings.

      First off, 100 meters is the entire length of a football field and wider than a typical city block. so even according to the IDF the alleged rocket fire was not "right next to hospital buildings" by any stretch of the imagination. Number two, the idea that the framers of the 1949 Geneva Convention did not "anticipate" fighting in urbanized areas is idiotic in the extreme. Much of WWII was fought in urbanized areas, so there was no need to "anticipate" what had already occurred 5 years before.

      Obviously, Israel came to believe it was a legitimate target, and its behavior was consistent with Article 19 requirements to warn the hospital in advance so that it could be evacuated, which Allison admits in her article they did, communicating at length with the hospital director. Allison’s point that there was no weapons cache in the hospital is certainly something to be considered, assuming it is accurate, but it is not dispositive.

      No, its behavior was NOT consistent with Article 19. Here's Article 19 verbatim:( I've bolded the relevant sentences)

      The protection to which civilian hospitals are entitled shall not cease unless they are used to commit, outside their humanitarian duties, acts harmful to the enemy. Protection may, however, cease only after due warning has been given, naming, in all appropriate cases, a reasonable time limit, and after such warning has remained unheeded.

      The fact that sick or wounded members of the armed forces are nursed in these hospitals, or the presence of small arms and ammunition taken from such combatants and not yet handed to the proper service, shall not be considered to be acts harmful to the enemy.

      link to icrc.org

      The IDF has admitted that the hospital DID NOT commit acts "harmful to the enemy". The IDF's only claim is that the hospital was near to where "harm" was done, not that the hospital itself committed harmful acts. This alone precludes specifically targeting the hospital itself, which the IDF has admitted it did.

      As for your tortured "interpretation" of the second sentence, any rational human being who wasn't frantically trying to excuse the inexcusable as you are would recognize that the "warning" that Article 19 requires prior to a hospital being targeted, is not a warning that the hospital will be targeted even though it has not violated the policy stated in the first sentence. The warning required is clearly a warning issued to stop "acts harmful to the enemy", otherwise the caveat about the warning going "unheeded" makes no sense whatsoever.

      In other words, Article 19 spells out exactly when an opposing army can ignore the protection given to hospitals. It is only allowed to do so when the hospital is committing acts "harmful to the enemy", and even then the opposing army is only allowed to consider the protection null and void IF it has given the hospital a warning to cease its harmful activities, given it a reasonable amount of time to do so, and the hospital does not heed the warning by ceasing its harmful activity. As much as it may give you warm fuzzies to think that the IDF warned the hospital that it was going to attack it, that means nothing in international law. The first provision of Article 19 was not met, nor was the second, since the hospital was not itself harming the IDF.

      Allison’s point that there was no weapons cache in the hospital is certainly something to be considered, assuming it is accurate, but it is not dispositive.

      Wow, you're on one hell of a Ziocaine high. The IDF admitted that it was not targeting the hospital because of anything the hospital did itself. It claims it targeted the hospital because it was within 100 meters of rocket firing. You can't even read straight, even if it comes from the lips of the IDF.

      Question for you, hophmi: How far away is a hospital supposed to be from a "legitimate target" to avoid being specifically targeted itself? And if a hospital can be a legitimate target because its near to another "legitimate targe"t, can't that line of thinking be used to make every building in Gaza a so-called legitimate target? Or have I stumbled upon the IDF's military strategy here?

  • Israel warns media they are at risk of 'injury or death' because Hamas ‘exploits journalists as human shields’
  • On the defensive, Barney Frank accuses Clemons and Kornacki of ganging up on him, and Israel
    • Thanks for that quote from Greenwald, American. John Cusack just recently posted on his twitter feed a link to a portion of a 2012 interview of reporter Chris Hedges which says essentially the same thing.

  • NBC reverses; Mohyeldin to return to Gaza to cover 'Palestinian side of story'
    • The actor John Cusack also has some good tweets on Gaza recently. And Kerry Washington tweeted about the killing of the 4 soccer kids.

  • Hasbarapocalyse: Naftali Bennett says Hamas committing 'massive self-genocide'
    • It occurs to me that despite all the Zionist talk about the "need" for a "Jewish State" in order to give Jews "self-determination" there are still Israeli officials who clearly believe that Jews in Israel lack self-determination entirely. They have no agency and are never responsible for their own actions. Someone else has "made them do it", and they are completely unable to prevent others from "making" them do despicable things, thus in their eyes their very own actions are all the fault of the other and never their own fault or responsibility. Maybe its time to rethink the need for a Jewish State. Its definitely not working even by their own standards.

  • How can Human Rights Watch conclude an Israeli didn't want to kill 4 boys on the beach?
    • More on the genocidal T-shirts here:

      link to mondoweiss.net

    • More to help HRW's "imagination":

      Photo of a T-shirt printed for members of an IDF elite unit who had completed sniper training, reads "The smaller they are - The harder it is!".

      link to lawrenceofcyberia.blogs.com

      Quote cited from the same source:

      Sniper: “They forbid us to shoot at children”.
      Journalist: “How do they say this?”
      Sniper: “You don’t shoot a child who is 12 or younger”.
      Journalist: “That is, a child of 12 or older is allowed?”
      Sniper: “Twelve and up is allowed. He’s not a child anymore, he’s already after his bar mitzvah. Something like that”.
      Journalist: “Thirteen is bar mitzvah age”.
      Sniper: “Twelve and up, you’re allowed to shoot. That’s what they tell us”.
      Journalist: “Under international law, a child is defined as someone up to the age of 18.”
      Sniper: “Up until 18 is a child?”
      Journalist: “So, according to the IDF, it is 12?”
      Sniper: “According to what the IDF says to its soldiers. I don’t know if this is what the IDF says to the media.”

      -- Amira Hass' interview with an IDF sniper, explaining why so many Palestinian children were killed in the first weeks of the intifada, when the IDF was largely confronted by stonethrowers. Published in Ha'aretz, Don’t shoot till you can see they’re over the age of 12, 20 November 2000.

      ....

      ...According to Rafi, an officer in the Shaldag, an elite unit connected to the air force, the whole mission was about revenge. "The commanders said kill as many people as possible," he said.

      He and his men were ordered to shoot anyone who appeared to be touching the ground, as if they might be placing a roadside bomb, or anyone seen on a roof or a balcony, as if they might be observing Israeli forces for military reasons, regardless of whether they were armed.

      Asma Moghayyer, 16, and her brother Ahmed, 13, were shot as they went to collect clothes from a rooftop washing line. The Israeli army insisted the children had been blown up by a roadside bomb. However, journalists visiting the morgue saw only single bullet wounds to the head.

      The truth, said Rafi, was that they were shot by an Israeli soldier following clear orders to shoot anyone on a roof regardless of their role in the conflict.

      Rafi says that his overriding impression of the operation was "chaos" and the "indiscriminate use of force". "Gaza was considered a playground for sharpshooters."

      -- Israeli Soldiers Tell of Indiscriminate Killings by Army and a Culture of Impunity by Conal Urquhart; 6 Sept 2005.

      I could go on an on with examples of the deliberate killing of children by the IDF. HRW clearly lacks "imagination".

  • And now a word from our Democratic Party standard bearer
    • That already happened for me before the last Presidential election. I'm voting Green Party from now on until and unless I see a change in the Democratic Party.

      Issued July 16th, 2014:

      WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Green Party of the United States is calling for an immediate ceasefire in the current exchange of missiles between Israeli and Palestinian forces, negotiation for a just and peaceful resolution to the conflict, an end to Israel's occupation of Palestinian Territories and human rights violations, repeal of apartheid policies in Israel, and establishment of one democratic state for all in Israel-Palestine.

      The Green Party opposes and condemns all violence against unarmed civilians and deplores the murder of young people on both sides that ignited the current face-off. Greens said that Israel must be held accountable for mounting Palestinian casualties in the assault on Gaza, with over 200 deaths, mostly civilians, caused by airstrikes in densely populated areas (link to independent.co.uk). Hamas must be held accountable for indiscriminate rocket attacks, which have killed one Israeli during the escalating crisis.

      "We are appalled that the Obama Administration endorsed Operation Protective Edge. The White House must lead the rest of the world in bringing international pressure for a ceasefire, aid for civilian populations in the line of fire, observance of international law, and a just peace in the region with an end to Israel's illegal occupation and apartheid policies within the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel," said Dr. Justine McCabe, Connecticut Green and member of the Green Party's International Committee (link to gp.org).

      Greens are urging support for U.S., Israeli, and Palestinian peace groups that are protesting the air assault and possible ground invasion and demanding a return to the November 2012 ceasefire agreement and an end to the occupation and seven-year blockade of Gaza.

      "Assertions about Israel's right to defend itself must be placed in the context of Israel's high-tech military arsenal; the occupation of Palestinian Territories; mass displacement of Palestinians, including home demolitions and settlements; detentions and brutality by the IDF, often directed at children; denial of access to resources; and continuing denial of basic human rights and equality. There is no 'right' to occupy, violate human rights, or inflict collective punishment on civilians. Safety is only possible for Israelis and Palestinians when Israel ends these injustices and when both sides lay down arms and sit down to negotiate a solution," said Muhammed Malik, former Co-Chair of the Miami-Dade Green Party and member of the International Committee.

      ....

      n an effort to bring about real peace, justice, and security for all Israelis and Palestinians, the Green Party of the United States has endorsed the Palestinian Civil Society call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel as nonviolent measures to be maintained until Israel ends the occupation and colonization of Arab lands and dismantles the separation wall, recognizes the fundamental rights of Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality, and promotes the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in U.N. Resolution 194.

      ....

      The Green Party supports suspension of U.S. military and foreign aid to Israel and a U.S. foreign policy that promotes the creation of one secular democratic state for Palestinians and Israelis on the land between the Mediterranean Sea and River Jordan as the national home of both peoples with Jerusalem as its capital. The party encourages a new U.S. diplomatic initiative to begin the process of negotiation, laying the groundwork for such a single-state constitution.

      ...

      link to gp.org

  • 'We are moving from Iron Dome to an iron fist': Israel launches ground invasion of Gaza
    • And the Hamas command post is not, in fact, located in El-Shifa Hospital, and yet you have insisted that the fact that a Hamas representative spoke outside the hospital proved that the hospital was a command post. If your level of proof for the existence of a command post in the hospital is the fact that an official speaks directly outside the hospital then by YOUR OWN LOGIC applied to the Israeli government would mean that Yad Vashem is an IDF command post and thus a "legitimate target" in your mind. Except of course that you believe in the "two-rule" solution. One vet harsh rule for Palestinians and another, much more lenient one for Israel.

      Other than that you are simply parroting the hasbara of Israeli government sources used to excuse their targeting of civilian infrastructure.

    • OK, jon. Then does Netanyahu speaking at Yad Vashem mean that the IDF has put its military headquarters there? Cuz that's the equivalent of your cracked logic.

  • What would you do?
    • I found a similar image to the damage photo Sumud posted. Here it is from Haaretz, so the photo is legit, and I stand corrected. The photo does show significant damage and the woman was very lucky. Not as much damage as the Israeli missiles cause in Gaza but significant damage to this poor woman's home.

      link to haaretz.com

    • Sumud,

      You mention that you saw other photos of this scene. Could you link to them? The damage doesn't look like rocket damage to me and with a Google search I haven't been able to find any other use of this photo or mention of this in any news source recently, nor have I found it with Tin Eye, which is an internet photo search engine. The only source that I can find is the one you posted, which is ElderofZion.

      On edit I see Citizen's post about the Israeli official's twitter photo. Any other news source for this besides a twitter photo?

    • Here's video of another one. Significantly less damage than the one that Sumud posted.

      link to facebook.com

  • NBC reportedly orders Mohyeldin to leave Gaza -- after he criticized State Dep't
    • Twitter from reporter Peter Stevanovic: Media told by @IDF to leave all beachfront hotels in Gaza, which we are in. Have nowhere else to go. Could be a long night.

      link to twitter.com

      I heard that the IDF at least gave them 30 minutes to evacuate, where the Palestinians get 57 seconds. Same problem though. Where do you go?

      This is why the IDF banned all reporters from Gaza during Cast Lead. Some of them might actually report what is happening there.

    • DaBkr,

      I don't see our MSM couching the Syrian conflict as a case of poor Assad being perpetually victimized by violent rebels, or the BokoHarum being excused while US officials insists there is "no light" between the US and the BokoHarum. That's the difference between what Israel is doing and what is happening in other countries, and that is why the hasbara is failing and that was seafoid's point.

  • The trojan horse of liberal Zionism
    • But Annie, as I said, you already believe that the IDF is evil, so no matter what, you’re going to accept whatever explanation seems most evil.

      No, Annie is aware that the IDF lies consistently so she is not likely to believe an organization that lies on a routine basis. If you want an example of blatant lying by the IDF, I would remind you of another incident in Gaza in 2003 when an Israeli tank fired on children playing soccer and killed a Palestinian boy.

      11-year-old Khalil al-Mughrabi was shot dead in Rafah by the Israeli army two years ago as he played football with a group of friends near the security fence. One of Israel’s most respected human rights organisations, B’Tselem, wrote to the judge advocate general’s office, responsible for prosecuting soldiers, demanding an inquiry. Months later, the office wrote back saying that Khalil was shot by soldiers who acted with “restraint and control” to disperse a riot in the area. However, the judge advocate general’s office made the mistake of attaching a copy of its own, supposedly secret, investigation which came to a quite different conclusion – that the riot had been much earlier in the day and the soldiers who shot the child should not have opened fire. The report says a “serious deviation from obligatory norms of behaviour” took place. In the report, the chief military prosecutor, Colonel Einat Ron, then spelled out alternative false scenarios that should be offered to B’Tselem. B’Tselem said the internal report confirmed that the army has a policy of covering up its crimes. “The message that the judge advocate general’s office transmits to soldiers is clear: soldiers who violate the ‘Open Fire Regulations’, even if their breach results in death, will not be investigated and will not be prosecuted.”

      Of course the Chief Military Prosecutor was not punished in any way for her falsity and after leaving the IDF she was appointed as an Isreali judge.

      link to richardsilverstein.com

      This is not just an allegation that the IDF lied. Through an error in sending an internal memo to BTselem, it is a direct proof from the IDF itself that the IDF knew the truth and purposely lied about a child's death and did nothing to pursue either justice or the possibility of this type of thing happening again and again.

  • Violence outside Paris synagogue falsely attributed to anti-Semitism (Updated)
    • Alienkh added another piece of the puzzle for me with the Voltaire Metro. For a large part of the longer video you can see parts of the intersection at Rue Poppincourt and Rue de la Roquette. There seems to be a number of JDL guys taunting and reacting to something down the street on Rue Poppincourt, and a few pro-P people who seem to be coming down Rue P and tuning left on Rue R, away from the JDL peeps (and away from the synagogue, a block further away). At one point, you can even see a guy with a kefiyyeh and another guy standing in the intersection (at 0:47) looking at the JDL guys as if acting as a protective force while other people turn the corner towards the Voltaire Metro station. The camera pans away so you can't see what happens immediately after that.

      Looking at the Google map of where the incident was video'd, it looks like the shortest, most direct route from the Bastille, where the pro-P protest happened, to the Voltaire Metro station is straight down Rue de la Roquette, where the synagogue and the JDL demonstration was. If the pro-P protesters leaving the demo were skirting around the synagogue by taking side streets until they got to Poppincourt and then heading back to Rue de la Roquette to hook up again with the shortest route to the Voltaire Metro, that would explain some of what we see there.

      As far as the 5:50 video goes, my biggest question would be what is happening at the very beginning of the video (or right before the video starts) when you see people running away from the direction of the synagogue and then a group of JDL thugs yelling and ripping up cafe furniture to make weapons. There is the slight possibility that this was after some type of attack of a few pro-P demonstrators on the JDL guys, however there is too much distance between the people we see running and the JDL peeps we see at the start of the video for me to seriously believe that there was a physical confrontation between the two groups at that point. When we see some Pro-P guys counterattack the JDL guys starting at 3:06, with the JDL guys running behind the police line there is much less distance between the two groups than there is at the very start so I compared that to the opening scene of the video and don't think they are showing similar events (i.e., the aftermath of a direct confrontation.)

      (Honestly, I must admit that I laughed when the brave JDL "defenders" with their chairs and sticks and iron bars all cut and ran behind the police line when the going got tough. However, it looks like some poor guy got a bad beating from a pro-P person or two, which is terrible.)

      One additional point: When you see a glimpse of the people in front of the synagogue at 4:19, you can see a group of policeman a half a block away at the nearest intersection. You can't see much beyond the synagogue but all activity seems to be in the direction away from the Bastille side of the synagogue. I don't see any indication that the synagogue was "surrounded" by attacking pro-P people, or even peaceful pro-P people for that matter. Unless another video shows up with some new perspective this looks like a case of a street fight between some JDL hooligans and a few pro-P people, instigated by the JDL (and apparently Beitar France as well). I see no attack on the synagogue.

    • Annie, Did you notice down thread that Sumud and Sycamores figured out that the cell phone video supposedly taken from inside the synagogue was actually taken from a different location over a block away?

    • Good detective work, Sycamores and Sumud. But the gated parking area at 98-100 is on the wrong side of the Restaurant La Cappadoce. I think the location of the video that was claimed to be the synagogue is actually at 102-104, on the left side of the restaurant as you look at it (camera left, not stage left). Its got the same kind of gate as the parking gate, enclosing an outdoor courtyard of a apartment complex as far as I can tell. Definitely not the synagogue, which is over a block away.

      link to google.com

      And if you stop the 5:50 video at 4:19 you can just see for an instant the synagogue's gated courtyard in the upper middle of the screen. It's past the tree and the group of mopeds and motorbikes and just past the shop with the orange lettering on the glass window. It appears that the synagogue gate which is blue in the Google Street view from 2012 is now painted white. Lots of people milling about but no ruckus there and you can see some people walking out of the synagogue.

      Here's the synagogue on Google Street View:

      link to google.com

      Here's another view of some of the confrontations from a camera directly opposite the one that was incorrectly identified as the synagogue. You can see the gated apartment courtyard clearly from this one. (Note: When it first loads it will tell you that you can't access it from your geographic location-unless you are in France- but just wait a couple of seconds and the screen will change. Then after making you watch a promo for The Transformers movie, the 2:06 video will start.) Its start correlates to about 3:15 into the longer 5:50 video, and about 10 seconds into the :25 second non-synagogue "synagogue" video.

      link to wat.tv

    • In fact I can't spot one person within the whole video who is even looking at the synagogue. Whatever is going on outside - and it looks like possible hooliganism from both sides -it has nothing to do with the synagogue, and is in no way an attack on it.

    • No, they clearly stated in their tweet the night before that they were planning a demonstration in support of Israel's bombing of Gaza right outside of the synagogue. Great way to "protect" your synagogue by insinuating that they endorse your violent extremism. Talk about using human shields, this is a good example of it.

      Besides if you look at the short video shot from the synagogue there is no one attacking the synagogue itself. People are running back and forth in front of it, but no one is attacking it.

  • Understanding Hamas
    • And tree, too. Great.

      So you're saying that Sumud's rational comments didn't make you testy? Pretty easy to tell that you are upset from you nasty responses to him.

      I only added the point of you being testy on edit in my comment to Sumud after noticing your nasty reply to his comment about Dubai. You obviously have a blind spot for your own nastiness.

    • Sumud at 3:13pm

      Great and reasoned comment but now you've made yonah testy again.

      And I think your comparison to Latin America a few decades ago is quite apt.

    • How many homes were bulldozed in Kiryat Arba?

      Zero of course. Not only do homes NOT get destroyed, but the Jewish murderers in the OPT get released early and given copious funds from the government for living on someone else's land.

      Menachem Livni is an example. He killed 3 and wounded many more in a machine gun attack on the Islamic College of Hebron in 1983. He got a life sentence, which, in Israel, really means 30 years, and was pardoned after 5 years. He made the news last year:

      An Israeli settler who was released early from a life sentence for killing 3 Palestinians in 1983 has received compensation of 1.3 million NIS (around $250,000) from the Israeli Tax Authority for alleged damage to land that he has cultivated in the Hebron area – land that he illegally confiscated from its Palestinian owners.

      Menachem Livni is a settler in the ultra-right wing settlement of Kiryat Arba, in the Palestinian city of Hebron, and says that he is entitled to the payments, and will continue to sue the Israeli government for more money.

      Livni was convicted of the murder of three Palestinian students, and the wounding of 33 others, when he and two other right-wing settlers with the so-called ‘Israeli Underground’ threw hand grenades and fired automatic weapons at the Islamic College of Hebron in 1983.

      He was sentenced to life in prison along with the other perpetrators of the attack, Shaul Nir and Uzi Sharbav, but he received an early release when he was pardoned by Israeli President Chaim Herzog in 1990.

      He immediately moved to the Israeli settlement Kiryat Arba, which soon became known for violent attacks against Palestinians and illegal seizure of Palestinian land.

      Livni himself took over a large swath of Palestinian farmland and began growing fruit. He was provided with his own contingent of Israeli military troops to protect his stolen swath of land from the Palestinian owners, who repeatedly attempted to reclaim it.

      link to imemc.org

      If you can get passed the paywall you can also read about it here:

      link to haaretz.com

      This is typical. No Jew has ever had his house demolished for punitive reasons, regardless of whether he lives in the OPT or in Israel.

      And then of course there is the example of the destruction of 15 houses in the Palestinian village of Beita in 1988. A group of young Jewish hikers from Elon Moreh escorted by two armed guards trespassed on Beita village land, shot and killed a 19 year old Palestinian in his fields and then entered the town, shot another Palestinian and got into a confrontation with other villagers. A 15 year old Jewish girl was killed in the conflict. Israel went ballistic, destroyed several houses in the village and deported six Palestinians. It would have been worse, but it came out after a few days that the girl had actually been killed by an errant shot from the Jewish guard's rifle, and the IDF knew that before they destroyed the village houses. Settler groups were extremely agitated against the IDF for releasing the fact that she had been killed by the guard and not by any villager, and for releasing the fact that the young hikers had been initially coached to lie about what happened.

      A semi-accurate account of it is here, enough to get the flavor of what happened:

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      Of course, none of the Jews were prosecuted, and no house in Elon Moreh was demolished.

  • Federal official fires gun at pro-Palestine demonstrators following scuffle in LA
    • Annie, I noticed it immediately after posting this. Sorry for the redundancy.

    • A different report on the incident in Paris, including a video showing LDJ (French JDL) vigilantes attacking demonstrators. Apparently the altercation was not one-sided, even though hophmi would like to present it that way.

      Jewish vigilantes brandishing iron bars and cans of pepper spray took to the streets of Paris to attack pro-Palestinian demonstrators, it emerged today. (Tuesday)

      Shocking images shot in the French capital at the weekend show around 150 mainly young men chanting racist slogans as they went on the rampage.
      It came as President Francois Hollande warned that he did not want to see 'the Israeli-Palestinian conflict imported into France.'

      French Jewish groups have complained about an increase in anti-Semitism in recent months, with many accusing Muslim youths of targeting them.
      But a video shot close to the Place de la Bastille on Sunday, and verified by police before being posted on YouTube, suggests that the pro-Israel groups are in fact taking the law into their own hands.

      It will cause concern in moderate Jewish communities around Europe, especially in Britain, where the Israeli bombardments of Palestinians in Gaza have come in for huge criticism.

      While security guards are regularly used to defend synagogues and other Jewish sites in cities like London, vigilante groups would be banned.
      In Paris, CRS riot police do not make a single arrest among the Jewish gang, thought to be linked to the extremist Jewish Defence League (LDJ), despite them openly fighting in broad daylight.

      Members can be heard chanting '****-you Palestine' as they smash up chairs and metal tables to be used as missiles.
      Gas canisters, pepper spray, metal bars and wooden sticks are used by the vigilantes, some of whom are wearing crash helmets.

      They run through the streets towards pro-Palestinian demonstrators, and skirmishes break out while the police stand by.
      When the gang runs back towards police lines, there is no attempt to arrest any of them.

      In contrast, pro-Palestinian demonstrators were later accused of trying to break into synagogues, and six of them were arrested.

      Alexis Bachelay, a Paris MP for the ruling Socialist party, said: 'There has evidently been a media manipulation about who really got assaulted.
      'These are extremely serious facts that need to be investigated thoroughly by the police. It is not the first time that young French people of Muslim origin are stigmatised by the media.

      'French people of Muslim origin should be protected by the law when demonstrating. They should not be attacked by radical groups like the LDJ'.
      In turn, local Jewish community leader Joel Mergei, accused anti-Israel protestors of reaching a 'new low'.

      An LDJ source insisted that the gang members pictured were 'defending' the Jewish community in Paris.

      link to middleeastmonitor.com

    • Here's another version of events from the LA Times:

      Fight at pro-Israel rally started over stomping of Palestinian flag

      A pro-Israel demonstration outside a federal building Sunday in Westwood turned physical after protesters ripped a Palestinian flag away from a passing vehicle and began stomping on it, according to media reports.

      People in the vehicle got out and tried to retrieve the flag at about 5:45 p.m. and that's when the confrontation turned physical, KNBC-TV Channel 4 reported.

      The demonstration outside a federal building in the 11000 block of Wilshire Boulevard was being held to back Israel in its bombing of targets in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire sent from Gaza by Hamas, authorities said.

      The protest was nearing its conclusion when “a verbal and physical altercation ensued between the occupants of two vehicles leaving the area,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.

      A federal officer trying to break up the fight fired a single gunshot, according to the Sheriff’s Department. No one was injured.

      No sheriff’s deputies were involved but the department is investigating, officials said.

      Four people were arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, KNBC reported. The weapons were reportedly wooden poles used to hold protest signs

      link to latimes.com

  • Florida Congresswoman sides with Israeli police over her own brutalized teenage constituent
    • Phil and Adam and Scott are making a huge mistake, which I have told Phil about without expecting him to believe me or of course to change his mind.

      I totally understand that, and that is the point that I am criticizing. I think it is you and others like you are making a huge mistake. I see the primary problem as bigotry directed at Palestinians and Arabs (and Muslims). Its a big problem within the organized Jewish community and within the greater US community as well. To a very great extent this kind of bigotry is the deadly kind, excusing and even calling for death and destruction based on ethnicity, as well as supporting (monetarily and politically) a militarily strong country that is committing grievous acts against human beings simply because of their ethnicity . Focusing instead on the smaller problem of spoken stereotypes, which is the majority of what is claimed to be some form of Jew hatred when it is not, is a diversion that allows the majority of the organized Jewish community(MOJC) to ignore the log in its own eye, so to speak.

      Its gatekeeping, and its a co-dependent type of relationship to Israel, insisting that the abuser will get better on its own if everyone would stop criticizing it and stop criticizing the co-dependent, which in this instance is the majority of the American organized Jewish community. Yes, some of the criticism is unfair and based on stereotypes, but its a stereotype that the MOJC encourages and indulges in itself. Phil and Adam and the rest are doing something brave and right in their reporting and in hosting this website. For decades the response of the MOJC to the Israeli abuse of Palestinians has been to shun and silence any critic within their ranks and to seek to present a united front in complete support of the abuser, and this only further ingrained and encouraged the abuse. Part of this stems from a profound bigotry on the part of the MOJC that firmly believes that "Jews don't do that" (assumed Jewish moral superiority), and part of it stems from a similar bigotry that thinks that if anyone within their ranks criticizes Israel, that the greater non-Jewish community will blame all Jews for the actions of Israel (assumed non-Jewish moral inferiority). And so they deny the truth, even when they know it is the truth, but rather than saving the Jewish community they put it in more danger by actually making the community complicit in the actions of Israel, rather than a community that is standing up for justice and equality.

      The MOJC needs more introspection about its own activities and the violent and abusive consequences of its activities in support of Israel, not a hunt to find some spoken stereotype on a website to rationalize their own bigotry. Its a diversion, proven by the fact that they define anti-semitism so broadly as to make it meaningless in their need to justify the unjustifiable.

      I'm sure your feelings on the plight of the Palestinians are sincere, but I think that some of your activities in this regard are counterproductive and not where your energies could best be used to stop the "incremental genocide", as Ilan Pappe put it recently. I understand that you disagree but want you to know how I view what you are doing here. I'm probably not explaining this to the best of my abilities at the moment because of my anger and frustration that we are focusing on someone on a website making a stereotypical generalization about a real problem within the US while hundreds of people are being slaughtered and having their homes destroyed, yet again. This seems sadly typical of approved discourse in the US. and that is not what is going to stop this ongoing horror.

    • I have said such things many times. Nothing I have ever said should make you infer I think otherwise.

      The majority of your posts indicate that your primary concern here is sniffing out perceived anti-semitism. Just as your first question to Phil when you invited him to your club was about the possibility of anti-semites latching onto the truth that Phil courageously posted about Israel. Yes, you have issues that are important and interesting to you and its obvious from your comments exactly what they are, and what gets boilerplate instead.

      PS No comment in a comment section is really much of an effort towards anything, you realise that right?

      I understand that but then why the "sniff" crusade on your part? Especially when you say nothing when other commenters post vile stereotypes about Palestinians, or when you yourself imply some sort of conspiratorial "code" among non-Jewish commenters. Isn't that exactly the same sort of negative trope you are flourishing yourself?

      And then there are the ZIonist commenters here who insist that Zionism is the only natural and acceptable ideology for a "true" Jew. I've never seen you dispute their use of stereotypes. Why is that?

      Part of the problem with our Congressional Representatives is a monetary one, but the other part of the problem is that too many in the organized Jewish community are too willing to call "anti-semite" for an elected leader who would defend or help a Palestinian American boy against an Israeli Jewish system of justice that frankly stinks to high-heaven of ugly bigotry. And such an accusation is very difficult to defend against given the current state of the average American's knowledge of what really goes on there. Unfortunately, the reality is that too many American Jews are overly concerned about what is said about Israel or their support for it and utterly unconcerned with what Israel really stands for.

      The commenter didn't know the difference between the majority of the organized Jewish community and "the Jews" which implies all Jews and is wrong, even though several in that same organized Jewish community try to imply that in fact what they say speaks for all Jews, or all who count and aren't "self-hating". Its not a case of knowing "the code", its of understanding the reality and not the stereotype, which sadly, many in that same organized Jewish community make easy to fall into.

    • Ah, our hero tokyobk strikes again. Six paragraphs about the horror of a new commenter engaging in a stereotype, followed by a short rote recitation tacked on at the end claiming to be horrified at the problem the commenter has spoken about, albeit in less than enlightened terms. Because the real critical problem is not what horrible things are happening to Palestinians in reality, but what might happen in some alternate reality if TBK doesn't quash every possible "scent" of anti-semitism.

      Next time, TBK, instead of adding your meaningless little "yes, its terrible" coda to the vast majority of your posts that worry solely about how people here vent their frustration why not just shorten it to "Your mileage may vary (YMMV)" or "Member FDIC". It will mean just as much, especially since you clearly consider commenting on the actual subject of the article to be "OT".

      Or on the other hand, you could actually try commenting on the subject of some of these reports, instead of just searching for possible anti-semitic comments, and show that your concern is real and not just a protective afterthought.

  • Jewish activists light children's dolls on fire at Yad Vashem to protest Gaza attack
  • Israel viciously bombs Gaza, that's the only truth
    • Thanks for this piece, Ali. The world needs more voices like yours.

    • I agree with you there about the US political class. Israel has done the same thing. Hitting a "militant" with a missile and then firing another one with flechette weapons to keep anyone from approaching the wreckage. Israel's twist is to then accuse the Palestinians of faking injuries and death if Israel gets caught in the act. The US usually just pretends it was a dreadful mistake and passes money around.

  • 'American Jewish voices are most critical in the world' (to end idea that Jewish lives matter more)
    • I would not read eran efrati’s post in order to get my finger on the pulse of Israel’s Jews.

      I think that the fact that Efrati was appealing to American Jews because he recognized that Israeli Jews would not turn away from racism on their own indicates he has a good sense of the pulse of the vast majority of Israel's Jews.

      However, that was not my point. My point was that he is an Israeli and is hoping to enlist American Jews in standing up for justice and equality, with a life experience as relevant as yours, or more so, since he's been in the IDF and later joined Breaking the Silence and so has a much closer experience with the occupation and also with Palestinians than you have had. He isn't asking you to figure out what Israeli Jews are thinking in order to join them lockstep, which seem more like what you are copping to.

      Thanks for the links but I can't access Shalev's article from either link without a paywall popping up. I may be able to read it later. I have read other Shalev pieces and consider him reasonable. It doesn't change the reality though.

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