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Gaza War Crimes Report Sparks Conflict

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Posted on Oct 14, 2009
Gaza rubble
AP / Khaled Omar

Palestinians inspect the rubble of a building in the Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, destroyed in Israel’s military onslaught during last winter’s war.

A controversial report about last winter’s war in Gaza, generated by the United Nations and headed up by South African Judge Richard Goldstone, was the subject of debate at the U.N. Security Council Wednesday, largely owing to the fact that the report accuses both Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes.  —KA

The Wall Street Journal:

Gazan authorities were accused of firing rockets indiscriminately at Israeli civilians. Israel says it launched Operation Cast Lead to stop the rocket fire, which killed three Israeli civilians.

“I regret to say that the Goldstone report is one-sided, biased and therefore wrong,” said Gabriela Shalev, Israel’s U.N. ambassador. “The report favors and legitimizes terrorism. It denies Israel’s right to defend its citizens.”

Riad al-Malki, the Palestinian Authority foreign minister, said the U.N. report “constitutes another damning record of the Israeli crimes committed against our people … and the recommendations represent a significant contribution towards the pursuit of accountability and justice.”

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By DaveZx3, October 19, 2009 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

I think people need to practice better reading comprehension.  I am commenting that “THERE IS NO JUSTICE IN THE WORLD”

When you pick up your gun to seek justice, you are in danger of being obliterated.  DOES THIS STATEMENT CONDONE OBLITERATION?  DO ANY OF MY STATEMENTS CONDONE THE INJUSTICE? 

I am saying that there is reality as well as idealism, and sometimes people need to practice both.
And I do not condone the atrocities of either side, because they are both criminal and fanatical. 

But regarding any effort to obliterate the Jewish people, it ain’t going to happen.  Not because you hate them or not because I say so.  The attempts to rid the world of the Jews have failed for thousands of years.  What strength do they command to have been able to escape this onslaught?  WHatever it is, it is the stuff of reality, not belief or conjecture. 

There is nothing wrong with acknowledging reality no matter how much you hate it or deny it.  Like Mr. Ahmadinejad denying the holocaust.  We can deny anything we want to deny, but that don’t make it true.  (I know I probably spelled Mr. A’s name wrong but I am not going to take the time to look it up)

Idealism gets a lot of people killed, and there is absolutely NO JUSTICE IN THIS WORLD.

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By md71, October 19, 2009 at 6:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You know, I have never been passionate about anything so much where I would comment on these message boards> In a way now, I am sad that I did because every so often someone compltely stupid or insane posts something and I get sucked in to reading it. Precious moments of my life that I don’t get back.

Don’t make this about religion, don’t make this about right to survive, survival of the fittest, blah blah blah. This is about one thing. Power & Control. Religion is used as a front to rally the weak. It’s used to rally everyone to a cause that attempts to justify the killing and displacement of people for 60 years by saying simply that god says this land belongs to us. Sadly, god did not draw up any plans for what to tell the people who have been living there for 1000’s of years. No, the old testament unfortunately didn’t include anything about a relocation package either.

The last post trying to claim that this is all a higher power that has his hands in this and everyone should sit back and relax——it will all go away. Let this genius try that. Let him sit there silently while he and his family are evicted to the street. Kicked out of their home and land. Go find another place to live? Another place to work? If you can not have any reaction to that when you see it happening to all your family, friends, neighbors—and not have any reaction - then man you are not human.

We must accept reality, he says. reality is that the U.S. gives this country billions a year in military aid. That is the divine power you speak of. Without the military aid - your world turns upside down. Without the support of the U.S. you have nothing.

Divine intervention.

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By DaveZx3, October 18, 2009 at 12:30 am Link to this comment

The Palestinians and their supporters are seeking justice in a conflict which is above the power of men to control. 

The ancient Tribe of Judah, now called Israel, has a commission which is scarcely acknowledged and scarcely understood.  If it were possible to annihilate the Jews, it would have been done already.

In studying the history of the Jewish people, I have concluded that it is not prudent to attempt to go against them.  Like it or lump it, it is not based on human justice. 

Israel is like a Tsunami which washes over a small island and destroys the lives and property of its inhabitants.  And the survivors survive, but not due to justice.  There is no justice in nature, it devours all who are in its swath.  And there is no justice in Israel, presently.  Their purpose is larger than the human, personal concept of justice. 

I have made an analogy elsewhere, which is:  to go against Israel is like a mosquito attempting to bite a person.  The mosquito believes it has a right to bite the person, because it was born with the need and inclination to do so, but upon alighting, the human slaps it and it abruptly dies, and there is nothing the mosquito can do. 

If other mosquitos had lawyers and courtrooms, they could attempt to sue the person, (as I understand one of the present Czars of the Obama administration professes), but the person will slap the lawyers, and then the person will swat the courtroom.  And justice will not be served, except in the mind of the person and other persons, but not in the mind of the mosquitos. 

This is the natural state that we have inherited as humans.  There is no justice in this present world, it is every self-serving man for himself, natural selection, the survival of the fittest. 

To attempt to bring your version of justice is to deny anothers version of justice, and in this vein, there can be no justice. 

So what can we do? 

First, acknowledge that seeking your version of justice at the peril of your existence is probably not wise.  Like a mosquito, going up against something much larger than you will probably result in your extermination.  That is the natural law.

Second, pray that justice will come to the world soon.  I mean real justice, the kind which men have not been able to deliver for thousands of years, if not longer. 

Third, Palestinians, give it up.  YOU WILL NOT WIN.  Save your people, save your sanity, have a pure heart, and all your justice will be delivered in the end. 

Judah is still Judah, Israael is still Israel.  There is no perfection in them yet.  But steer clear of them.  Allow them to have their space and autonomy.  They are not perpetually imperialist.  Zionism has a limited scope.  Israel is reactionary, and will not be dangerous if left alone.  The U.S., Canada, Britain, Australia, have blood-brother oblligations to defend them, so beware of that also. 

And while the mosquito does have the theoretical right to bite, it should seek a bitee that does not have big hands.  Reality must tame idealism.

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By omop, October 17, 2009 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

All those Palestenian men, women and children living in tunnels are a deaathy
threat to Israel’s democracy. Isreal cannot defend itself afainst such vicious
people with the missiles, cluster bombs, tamks and helicopters provided by the
US.

If it were not for all the million of dollars Israel gets every day of the week all
those subhuman Palestenians would have overrun a democracv that has over
160 nuclear war heads in addition to hundreds of missiles and an army of
200,000 men.

All decent Americans beleivers in the rights of man, constitutional rights,
morality integraty and equality of human rights should consider the advantages
of increasing the number of people throughout the world that HATE THE US AND
ALL AMERICANS.

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By Md71, October 16, 2009 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is is not Egypt and Jordan’s land they have stolen or occupy. It is not the citizens of these countries that they force into refugee camps. It isn’t Egypt or Jordan’s people whose lives or hope for any kind of normal human existence have been crushed by a people who are trying to pretend they don’t even exist.

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By edwin sanchez, October 16, 2009 at 7:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is not Israel has done nothing to bring peace. They
have had peace with Egypt and Jordan for years now.

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By morris108, October 16, 2009 at 3:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A Gazan jounalist speaks out candidly

Muhamed talking from Gaza
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TV077SgyHyE

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By NZDoug, October 14, 2009 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment

Settlements are theft.
Article 242 of the UN sttes that you cant take land by force.
Stop this endless cycle of theft, lies, murder.
67 borders.
Nice place you built for your Palies.
Just give it back.
http://www.radioislam.org/gaza/massacre-juif-en-photos/index.htm

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Ed Harges's avatar

By Ed Harges, October 14, 2009 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment

This article states in its opening summary that “the report accuses both Israel and
Hamas of committing war crimes.”

This is misleading. It conveys an impression that the report found fault equally on
both sides.

That is a false impression: the reports lays the blame quite preponderantly on the
Israelis, where it belongs.

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By md71, October 14, 2009 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is that article by Larry Derfner for real?

What kind of logic is this guy using? You need mental help man!

Why not explore the psychology around why the Palestinans resort to killing themselves in the name of freedom. I live in the states and hell, I can’t see myself doing that. Giving up my family and life for any cause at all. But these Gazans do? Why? HOW BAD MUST LIFE BE THERE FOR THEM TO THINK THAT DEATH IS A BETTER WAY OUT! That they are actually willing to do that. Yes, there are extremists, fundamentalists etc. The Israelies have themselves to thank for that mess. You have fostered this and created the breeding ground for this. What other voice of “hope” do people have but to turn to these fundamentalists as heroes and martyrs. I am not saying it is right. I don’t believe anyone should die. I DO NOT CONDONE IT. BUT DON’T BE IGNORANT. Understand why it is happening over and over and over.

If you can sit there with a straight face and justify the killing of 1400 to 3 (and that is just in that one clash) on top of that the controlling of water, power, food, travel, medicine etc. then you better not complain about how the indigenous people that have always lived there have reacted to you destroying their sense lives (FOR DECADES).

What do you expect them to do. This has been going on all of their lives. Not just the last year or two. For almost SIXTY years now. Kicked out of their homes, kicked off of their land, put into refugee camps, or force to flee to another country hoping they can find a way to make it in a foreign place. The wall you have put up means those who have stayed can’t even access their schools, their place of work???

What would you do if this was you, or your parents, your grandparents. If during WWII - you had the chance to fight back against the Nazi’s by firing rockets at them, would you have done nothing?? Didn’t they do much of the same to you. Didn’t your ancestors get killed, kicked off their land, their homes, etc.

Don’t tell me not to compare this to the Holocaust. Sure, i understand that the same number of people haven’t died - but isn’t Israel systematically trying to remove an entire people from their land by making it impossible for them to live there? By any means necessary, they want to make the palestinian lands less and less, control more and more. TELL ME THIS IS NOT TRUE!

The fact that there is a debate over this doesn’t even make sense. It’s not like the people living in Palestine just magically appeared a week before all the European Jews flooded the gates there. They had been living there for 1000’s of years already.

How do you sleep at night?

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, October 14, 2009 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

Rattling the Cage: Our exclusive right to self-defense

10.08.2009 | The Jerusalem Post
By LARRY DERFNER

“Virtually all of Israel is now speaking in one voice against the Goldstone report, against any attempt to blame us over the war in Gaza. We’ve honed our message to a sharp point and, inspired by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s performance at the UN, we’re delivering it with just the right tone of outrage:

How dare anyone deny us the right to self-defense! How dare anyone deny us the right to fight back against terrorism!

Very nice. Puts everyone else on the defensive. The right to self-defense is up there with motherhood and apple pie - who’s going to come out against it, especially for us, for Israel, for the Jews, for the people of the Holocaust?

The right to self-defense - perfect.

But I’d like to ask: Do the Palestinians also have the right to self-defense?

We probably wouldn’t admit it out loud, but in our heads we would say - again, in one voice - “No!”

This is the Israeli notion of a fair deal: We’re entitled to do whatever the hell we want to the Palestinians because, by definition, whatever we do to them is self-defense. They, however, are not entitled to lift a finger against us because, by definition, whatever they do to us is terrorism.

That’s the way it’s always been, that’s the way it was in Operation Cast Lead.

AND THERE are no limits on our right to self-defense. There is no such thing as “disproportionate.” We can blockade Gaza, we can answer Kassams with F-16s and Apaches, we can take 100 eyes for an eye.

We can deliberately destroy thousands of Gazan homes, the Gazan parliament, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Interior, courthouses, the only Gazan flour plant, the main poultry farm, a sewage treatment plant, water wells and God knows what else.

Deliberately.

After all, we’re acting in self-defense. By definition.

And what right do the Palestinians have to defend themselves against this?

None.

Why? Because we’re better than them. Because we’re a democracy and they’re a bunch of Islamo-fascists. Because ours is a culture of life and theirs is a culture of death. Because they’re out to destroy us and all we are saying is give peace a chance.

One look at the ruins of Gaza ought to make that plain enough.

Here is our idea of the “laws of war”: When Israeli bulldozers rolled across the border into Gazan villages and flattened house after house so Hamas wouldn’t have them for cover after the IDF pulled out, that was self-defense. But if a Palestinian boy who’d lived in one of those houses threw a stone at one of the bulldozers, that was terrorism.

The Goldstones of the world call this hypocrisy, a double standard. How dare they! Around here, we call it moral clarity.”

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/in-the-land-of-oren-the-one-eyed-man-is-king/

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By brewerstroupe, October 14, 2009 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

“Israel says it launched Operation Cast Lead to stop the rocket fire”

This is an extraordinary statement given that Israel’s own official Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center reported that Hamas had halted rocket fire during the six months prior to “Cast Lead”:

“During its first month, the lull arrangement resulted in a significant drop in rocket and mortar fire at Israel. A relative calm has settled over Sderot and Israeli population centers near the Gaza Strip, occasionally broken by rockets and mortar bombs fired by terrorist organizations which oppose the lull (mostly local Fatah networks, with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad violating the lull only on one occasion).”

http://mwcnews.net/content/view/33738/26/

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, October 14, 2009 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment

October 14, 2009

A Suppressed Talk on the Israel/Palestine Conflict

Fearsome Words?

By MICHAEL NEUMANN

“In April of this year I was invited by the Canada-Palestine Parliamentary Association to speak at one of their meetings.  The meeting was to have taken place in the Parliament building in Ottawa, where I have spoken previously without incident.  John Ivison, in the National Post newspaper, published a not particularly vicious or unbalanced attack on me, deploring the invitation.  After this, without any contact with me and without seeing the content of my talk, the meeting was ‘postponed’.  It is now clear that the postponement was permanent.

This might seem spineless, but it involved more than the National Post article.

Ivison reports that Alykhan Velshi, director of communications for Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney, had the following to say:

“In a free country like Canada, Mr. Neumann has the right to air his noxious views. The corollary, of course, is that we can and must criticize them. Neumann’s farrago of cant, conspiracy theory and hate are completely repugnant to our government, and we make no apology for saying so.”

Bob Rae (former Ontario premier, former head of the New Democratic Party, now a high-ranking Liberal Party leader) is reported to have been ‘“surprised and disappointed” that the parliamentary group thought Mr. Neumann had something positive to contribute’.

Here is the alleged farago of cant, conspiracy theory and hate - unaltered since before the attacks.  Readers may judge for themselves whether the allegations have merit.

* * *

Nationalism and the Israel-Palestine Conflict

For a brief period in the 1970s I worked in the Vancouver used book trade.  I got to know a legend among booksellers -  Bill Hoffer.  Bill was a skilled purveyor of Canadian first editions and a great bluffer.  Once I found him in earnest and extended conversation with one of ‘his’ authors; later I asked Bill whether the guy’s stuff was any good.  “I don’t read it,” said Bill, “I just sell it.”.

Bill told me that the secret of the used book business was ‘gaining moral ascendency’ over the customers (whom he called ‘civilians’).  This meant making them feel like you were more knowledgeable about and more committed to whatever they were interested in.  Intimidate the customer a bit, and your business flourishes.

The Israelis gained moral ascendancy long ago; some reputed people called ‘the Arabs’ never had it.  This involved more than PR skills.  It also involved terrible confusions about nationalism.  They’re the secret weapon of the Zionists and the secret weakness of ‘the Arabs’.

Zionist ideology has always departed from a question:  every people has its state; why not the Jews?  A ‘no’ answer would tie you to that evil of evils, antisemitism.  The rights of ‘the Jewish people’ meant Israel had a morally titanic ‘right to exist’.  It meant that the relentless expansion of Jewish settlement was, far from a mortal threat to the non-Jewish inhabitants of the area, the mere completion of the long Jewish Odyssey.  It was just part of the long journey home.

As for the Palestinians, they described themselves as Arabs.  This sounded like they *had* a home; it was the whole Arab world.  If their ‘Arab brothers’ would not take them in, well, that was no fault of the Zionists. So if the Palestinians were squeezed ever further into unlivable enclaves, it was the Arabs who were to blame.”

http://www.counterpunch.org/neumann10142009.html

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By seektruth, October 14, 2009 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment

Most (but not all, by any means) Israelis are not psychologically able to admit guilt or responsibility, for several reasons:

1) Their imaginary status as the conflict’s sole victims would be tarnished; Israel thrives on victimhood, even as it massacres Palestinians, takes their land, imprisons their young (some as young as 13), and restricts their religious rights to Jerusalem.  Their self-identification as eternal victims justifies any crime, any action, any behavior…“How can we have done anything wrong?  WE are the victims!”

2) To admit guilt on one issue (the Gaza war) risks starting a cascade of self-realiztion that would risk acknowledging the “orginial sin”—the Zionist movement’s founding myth that Palestine was empty and that millions of European Jews had a biblical/national right to settle on land that was not theirs.  Once you start accepting guilt, there’s no saying where you will end up—so it’s best to just insist on your rightness and goodness (and victimhood) at all times.

Unfortunately, the Goldstone Report will only harden Israelis’ sense of victimhood.  The national psyche of Israel simply is not strong enough to acknowledge guilt and responsibility.  It is common knowledge that children who were brutally abused frequently become victimizers themselves.  The Jews’ tragic history of abuse at the hands of mostly European, mostly Christian anti-Semites has created a sort of national-level PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)that has rendered many Israelis (and diaspora Jews, especially in the US) incapabale of self-reflection.  In their psyches, the Gaza War becomes a kind of twisted revenge for the Warsaw Ghetto or Auschwitz.  Of course, the reality is that it is Gaza that more resembles the Warsaw Ghetto—the roles have truly been reversed, which may be why so few Israelis feel bad or guilty…better to be the killers than the killed.

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By nefertiti, October 14, 2009 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

Quote :Why have you printed this pointless, uninformative article?

If You , Emma , Find it uninformative , others wont think the same way as you . I think it is highly informative and it is about the rights of one million and half million of people who had been abused for so long , under occupation and are facing the worst sanctions in human history , food and fuel trickles at them if Israel decides , while Arab OIl Pour freely for other destinations .
Such a shame you do not show any interest in the plight of some human beings who are suffering while the world looks on .

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By GoyToy, October 14, 2009 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Israel can do no wrong because the Jews are the Chosen

And the U.S. can do no wrong because it is exceptional; it’s the shining city on the hill.


Together they are a pair. Made for each other.

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By md71, October 14, 2009 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You can always guarantee that anytime something is written that critcizes Israel in any way shape or form that the person or media group that wrote the artical will be criticized in return. Your article is pointless, or your anti-semetic, etc.

Why is it that anytime something is posted or someone speaks out against what Israel has done for the last what 50+ years that someone has to say something stupid. (i.e. above, that the article was “pointless and uniformative”)

What is “pointless” about providing news to the public about a report detailing a nation’s war crimes. Why is this not newsworthy? Maybe you are right, because American news media will surely not cover it?

Sad.

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By omop, October 14, 2009 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

So basiclly men, women and children thousands of whom exist in “earthen
tunnels” are vicious animals while the Isrealis that receive $17 million dollars a
day every day of the year from the US in addition to cluster bombs, missiles and
the latest in military hardware is judged to be helpless victim.

What a bizarro society have the Zionists turned the US into?

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By Emma, October 14, 2009 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

Why have you printed this pointless, uninformative article?

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By Spiritgirl, October 14, 2009 at 11:20 am Link to this comment

”...concluded that “Israeli operations were carefully planned in all their phases as a disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize” Gazan civilians, more than 1,400 of whom were killed.”

Israel never feels it has done anything wrong, and it is always trying to “protect” it’s citizenry, if Israel really wants to defend it’s citizenry they would pull back to the internationally recognized 1967 borders!  And while I am not condoning what Hamas has done, I’d like to know how many Americans could tolerate the same treatment and not fight back?

Oops, my bad, Americans did do that under the Monroe Doctrine, and the native nations that weren’t exterminated are now living on the reservations that “we’ve” allowed them!!!  Ok, so we’re trying to pretend that “we’re” more civilized than that, so until Israel is willing to behave like adults, how about we start by divesting!!

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