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Ear to the Ground

Israel Continues Killing, Bars Journalists

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Posted on Dec 30, 2008
Israel Did This

The stories of the hundreds of Palestinians who died in Israeli’s attacks on Gaza remain untold by the limitations Israel historically puts on journalists.

Be it due to danger or the ever-present desire for security, the Israeli government has always found reason to forbid journalists to enter the Gaza Strip at times of “conflict.” The current brutal assault on Gaza is no different, but this time an association of journalists has filed a petition in the Israeli Supreme Court to demand access to the occupied territories.

For good up-to-date information on the attacks in the Gaza Strip, check out the Institute for Middle East Understanding.

The Guardian:

Israel’s supreme court will hear a petition tomorrow brought by the Foreign Press Association, which represents around 400 foreign journalists, demanding that Israel allow reporters into Gaza to cover the latest conflict.

The sole pedestrian crossing from Israel into Gaza, at Erez, has remained closed to journalists since Israel’s bombing campaign began on Saturday.

Two years ago, after Hamas won the Palestinian elections, Israeli authorities stopped all Israeli journalists and Palestinian journalists with Israeli identity cards crossing into Gaza, saying it was too dangerous.

Last month, as the last ceasefire between Israel and Gaza militant groups began to collapse, the Israeli defence ministry closed the Erez crossing to all foreign journalists as well, citing “security” reasons.

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By omniadeo, December 31, 2008 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

Please give me your sources for stating that Israel offered return to ‘67 borders and 95% of what the PLO wanted.

Here is the view of an Israeli Peace advocate on the issue:

“When the Palestinians agreed to a peace settlement based on the pre-1967 border (the Green Line), they were already giving up in advance 78% of the land between the sea and the Jordan river. They are ready to set up their state in the remaining 22%. Our government wants a “compromise” over this area. Meaning: “What’s mine is mine, about what’s yours, we shall compromise”. (Factual background: the November 29, 1947, UN partition resolution gave the Jewish state 55% and the Arab state 45% of Palestine. In the ensuing war [started by the Arabs], we conquered half of the territory allotted to the Arab state. Thus the “Green Line” came about, leaving 78% of the country in our hands.) The problem is not expressed in percentage points only. Barak appears to be asking for only 10% of the occupied territories. In reality, it’s closer to 30%, taking into account the territories he wants to annex in the Jerusalem area and place under his “security control” in the Jordan valley. But even worse, in the map submitted to the Palestinians, these percentage points cut the country up from East to West and from North to South, so that the Palestinian state will consist of a group of islands, each surrounded by Israeli settlers and soldiers.” 2

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By Maani, December 31, 2008 at 9:32 am Link to this comment


“When Israel admits that it should give some land back and relinquish all claim to land taken in warfare…”

You seem to be missing the point.  Even THAT would not be acceptable to Hamas.  As stated, their FOUNDING goal is the utter and complete “elimination” (whether by violence, dissolution of otherwise) of the State of Israel.  NOTHING short of that is acceptable to them.

In fact, you may remember that Arafat was offered a deal in which Israel was willing to cede ALL lands taken during war (back to 1967 boundaries) - and, indeed, the agreement gave Arafat 90%-95% of everything the PLO asked for.  It was an absolutely astounding offer.

Yet Arafat rejected it SOLELY because it did not include the partitioning of Jerusalem, and a separate capital there for Palestine.

So I believe you are wrong in this regard.


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By omniadeo, December 30, 2008 at 11:06 pm Link to this comment


Your original point was that Israel’s violence is understandable. My point was that Palestinian violence is understandable. Now you say that violence doesn’t work.

Just admit to yourself that Paestinian violence is totally understandable and will be as long as Israel persists in its ways and see how differently the world will look. Israel was founded on the violent theft of other’s land. (So was the US. I am not on a moral high horse here. But the US isn’t an island of a few million people, dependent on the military might of larger allies in a hostile world. Israel is.) To steal from others by force and then decry violence and theft in the vanquished in the name of “peace”—that just looks like more violence to me.

When Israel admits that it should give some land back and relinquish all claim to land taken in warfare, when it admits that it is only a “democracy” for a very few people, who qualify for entry based on birth (= racial) requirements, when it admits that it stole the atomic bomb from its best ally, when it admits that it plants the seeds of violence in countries all over the world to keep its enemies (and allies!) at war, when it admits that it now holds the peace of the whole world hostage to its own weird claim that it got title to a particular tract of land in a pact that also made it (surprise!) God’s chosen people, I will start to listen to complaints about Palestinian violence.

In the meantime, I consider the whole thing another human trasgedy unlikely to end in any good way for anyone, most definitely including the millions of Jews in this world who were not consulted when these mistakes were made.

I hope I am wrong.

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By Maani, December 30, 2008 at 10:01 pm Link to this comment


You may have a point.  But I would point out that violence only begets more violence: this is historical fact.  I’m not sure what the solution is, but violence clearly isn’t it (espedcially since it’s clearly not working).


Would you PLEASE stop throwing around the word “Zionist” as an epithet, labeling anyone who dares to offer an opinion that doesn’t comport with yours a “Zionist?”

Has it occurred to you that Hamas’ “constitution” calls for the complete and utter eradication of Israel?  Not simply autonomy, not a “two-state” solution, not truces or treaties.  In fact, NOTHING in which the State of Israel continues to exist in ANY form.  That is the STATED PURPOSE of Hamas in their own founding documents.  It is not simply hyperbole or empty threat.  It is their raison d’etre.

I do not agree with a great deal of what the Israeli government does.  However, when you start from the premise that Hamas will accept nothing less than the “destruction” of the State of Israel, how on God’s great earth can there be ANY solution, or even an end to the violence?  Do you REALLY believe that Hamas would accept anything short of the government of Israel disbanding and Hamas becoming the de facto “authority” over the entire Palestinian area?

This suggestion does NOT make me “Zionist.”  It makes me a realist.

Peace.  (And I’m not hiding…If you want a piece of me, come to NYC and look me up…)

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By Robert, December 30, 2008 at 9:05 pm Link to this comment

Cynthia McKinney SLAMS Israeli Navy

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By Fadel Abdallah, December 30, 2008 at 8:45 pm Link to this comment

By Maani, December 30 at 3:35 pm #

My understanding - from dozens of articles in both MSM and AM formats - is that there was a six-month ceasefire that both sides (Hamas/Israel) entered into - and followed at the beginning - but that Hamas broke that ceasefire by lobbing rockets into Israel.  It is my further understanding that Israel did NOT react militarily at first, but warned Hamas over and over to stop, REFRAINING from reacting militarily.

It’s my understanding that you’re showing your true ugly Zionist colors, and that your sources of information are filtered through the officially released Zionist propaganda of mass deception. You hide always behind the word of “peace” at the end of your superficial posts.

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By Mickey Mockingbird, December 30, 2008 at 8:35 pm Link to this comment

Too dangerous for journalists, but fine as frog’s hair for children living there?!

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By omniadeo, December 30, 2008 at 7:38 pm Link to this comment

“...if someone needles you constantly, and you ask them to stop (a number of times) and they don’t, isn’t is possible that your response (once you respond) will be (or seem) disproportionate to the original infraction?” - Maani

And if someone takes your land by force, pretends like you are a mad criminal for wanting it back, and then starves you and attacks you to weaken you so that you can never take it back, isn’t it possible that you might want to “needle” that someone?

By the way, the slow response according to an article in Hamas, was so that the IDF could prepare for a more thorough assault on Gaza, Maani. It was not Israeli restraint but a preparation for a more “final solution.”

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By Maani, December 30, 2008 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment


“Even if what you say is true; isn’t Israel’s response a bit disproportional.”

Possibly.  But consider it on a personal level: if someone needles you constantly, and you ask them to stop (a number of times) and they don’t, isn’t is possible that your response (once you respond) will be (or seem) disproportionate to the original infraction?


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By Verne Arnold, December 30, 2008 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment

@ Maani, December 30 at 3:35 pm;

Even if what you say is true; isn’t Israels response a bit disproportional. This seems like a Lebanon redux.

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By Robert, December 30, 2008 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment

Disinformation, secrecy and lies: How the Gaza offensive came about

12.28.08 | Haaretz
By Barak Ravid

“Long-term preparation, careful gathering of information, secret discussions, operational deception and the misleading of the public - all these stood behind the Israel Defense Forces “Cast Lead” operation against targets in Gaza, which began Saturday morning.

The disinformation effort, according to defense officials, took Hamas by surprise and served to significantly increase the number of its casualties in the strike.

Sources in the defense establishment said Defense Minister Barak instructed the Israel Defense Forces to prepare for the operation over six months ago, even as Israel was beginning to negotiate a ceasefire agreement with Hamas. According to the sources, Barak maintained that although the lull would allow Hamas to prepare for a showdown with Israel, the Israeli army needed time to prepare, as well. Barak gave orders to carry out a comprehensive intelligence-gathering drive which sought to map out Hamas’ security infrastructure, along with that of other militant organizations operating in the Strip.

This intelligence-gathering effort brought back information about permanent bases, weapon silos, training camps, the homes of senior officials and coordinates for other facilities.

The plan of action that was implemented in Operation Cast Lead remained only a blueprint until a month ago, when tensions soared after the IDF carried out an incursion into Gaza during the ceasefire to take out a tunnel which the army said was intended to facilitate an attack by Palestinian militants on IDF troops.

On 11/19, following dozens of rockets and mortar rounds which exploded on Israeli soil, the plan was brought for Barak’s final approval. Last Thursday, on December 18, Prime Minister Olmert and the defense minister met at IDF headquarters in central Tel Aviv to approve the operation.

However, they decided to put the mission on hold to see whether Hamas would hold its fire after the expiration of the ceasefire. They therefore put off bringing the plan for the cabinet’s approval, but they did inform Foreign Minister Livni of the developments.

That night, in speaking to the media, sources in the Prime Minister’s Bureau said that “if the shooting from Gaza continues, the showdown with Hamas would be inevitable.” On the weekend, several ministers in Olmert’s cabinet inveighed against him and against Barak for not retaliating for Qassam launches.

“This chatter would have made Entebe or the Six Day War impossible,” Barak said in responding to the accusations. The cabinet was eventually convened on Wednesday, but the Prime Minister’s Bureau misinformed the media in stating the discussion would revolve around global jihad. The ministers learned only that morning that the discussion would actually pertain to the operation in Gaza.

In its summary announcement for the discussion, the Prime Minister’s Bureau devoted one line to the situation in Gaza, compared to one whole page that concerned the outlawing of 35 Islamic organizations.

What actually went on at the cabinet meeting was a five-hour discussion about the operation in which ministers were briefed about the various blueprints and plans of action. “It was a very detailed review,” one minister said.

The minister added: “Everyone fully understood what sort of period we were heading into and what sort of scenarios this could lead to. No one could say that he or she did not know what they were voting on.” The minister also said that the discussion showed that the lessons of the Winograd Committee about the performance of decision-makers during the 2006 Second Lebanon War were “fully internalized.”

At the end of the discussion, the ministers unanimously voted in favor of the strike, leaving it for the prime minister, the defense minister and the foreign minister to work out the exact time.”

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By Maani, December 30, 2008 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment

My understanding - from dozens of articles in both MSM and AM formats - is that there was a six-month ceasefire that both sides (Hamas/Israel) entered into - and followed at the beginning - but that Hamas broke that ceasefire by lobbing rockets into Israel.  It is my further understanding that Israel did NOT react militarily at first, but warned Hamas over and over to stop, REFRAINING from reacting militarily.  It is my further understanding that it was only AFTER Hamas REFUSED to stop - and refused to renew the ceasefire - that Israel finally reacted to the ongoing rocket attacks.

If someone else has other information, I would be interested in hearing it.


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By Little Brother, December 30, 2008 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

Oh, I’m sure they’ll invite journalists back in once they start running out of their primary targets.

The IDF is fond of whacking working journalists when it gets the chance.  Never on purpose of course, but always as the result of a Merry Mixup.

No one issues perfunctory apologies like the Israeli government.

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By Robert, December 30, 2008 at 12:46 pm Link to this comment

Israel will continue to kill women & children so long as the Western media & US cameras are not on the killing fields.

IDF will kill news reporters with their video camera crew so that the American people will NOT have a chance to see ‘Israel’s Nazi horrors’ on their TV screens.

Americans can be assured that Bush, Cheney, Rice & many other zionist neo-cons gave the approval nod for Israel’s massive attacks on unarmed civilians.

Israel & the American zionist controlled media keep trying to tell us about the current “WAR” between Israel and the Palestinians. The Palestinians have NO F-16, No F-18, No Apache helicopters, No tanks, No missiles, No Smart bombs…they have a few thousand rifles and those homemade kassam rockets with no sense of direction. Our July 4th firecrackers have more accuracy than the kassam.

Israel keeps tell us about those “kassam WMD” that the Palestinian have in their firepower arsenal warehouses.

One wonders what Olmert, Livni, Netenyahu, Mossad, the neo-cons know and have on Bush, Cheney OVER THE LAST 8 YEARS? 


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By Fadel Abdallah, December 30, 2008 at 11:50 am Link to this comment

Yes, of course, they continue to do the job they were created for to start with and the job they are the best at: terrorism, massacres, destruction; and all with the full support of the evil U.S. political establishment using my and yours tax-payer money!

Your democracy Americans, and your democracy Israelis doing the work that even medieval savages would shy from doing!

If there is justice in this world, there must be a day, sooner or later, for Israel and America to get a bitter taste of their own medicine!

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By me, December 30, 2008 at 11:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think it should be up to the reporter to determine if that’s a risk they want to take. 

If it’s really that dangerous then the rest of the world should see that, and be able to step in to interveen. 

Sounds like a real lack of transparency to me, and anytime that happens it’s likely someone is hiding something. 

Do we even know who was firing the rockets into Isreal?  It could have been anyone who fired those rockets into Isreal which killed 1 person.  Now we are seeting the annialiation of Palistine and it’s people because of what’s supposedly was Hammas extremist. 

I’m sorry, but if someone from Nevada fires a rocket into California we don’t kill every man, woman, and child in Nevade because of it.  The crime does not fit hte punishment, and this is oppression and nation building at its worst.

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By dihey, December 30, 2008 at 10:59 am Link to this comment

If I had written on November 11 “The cowardly PE Obama will soon hide behind the apron-strings of mama Axelrod and granma Bush” Cyrena would have scolded me an Obama-basher and then some more. I am stunned that it has happened sooner than I could have imagined. I think now that the Democratic party nominated the wrong candidate. Hillary is probably more hawkish on “Hamas” and Iran than Barak Obama but she would have let me know where she stands two days ago.

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