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The Language of Death

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Posted on Jan 12, 2009
AP photo / Abdel Kareem Hana

Fire and smoke from Israeli miltary operations light up the night sky over Gaza City.

By Chris Hedges

The incursion into Gaza is not about destroying Hamas. It is not about stopping rocket fire into Israel. It is not about achieving peace. The Israeli decision to rain death and destruction on Gaza, to use the lethal weapons of the modern battlefield on a largely defenseless civilian population, is the final phase of the decades-long campaign to ethnically cleanse Palestinians. The assault on Gaza is about creating squalid, lawless and impoverished ghettos where life for Palestinians will be barely sustainable. It is about building ringed Palestinian enclaves where Israel will always have the ability to shut off movement, food, medicine and goods to perpetuate misery. The Israeli attack on Gaza is about building a hell on earth.

This attack is the final Israeli push to extinguish a Palestinian state and crush or expel the Palestinian people. The images of dead Palestinian children, lined up as if asleep on the floor of the main hospital in Gaza, are a metaphor for the future. Israel will, from now on, speak to the Palestinians in the language of death. And the language of death is all the Palestinians will be able to speak back. The slaughter—let’s stop pretending this is a war—is empowering an array of radical Islamists inside and outside of Gaza. It is ominously demolishing the shaky foundations of the corrupt secular Arab regimes on Israel’s borders, from Egypt to Jordan to Syria to Lebanon. It is about creating a new Middle East, one ruled by enraged Islamic radicals.

Hamas cannot lose this conflict. Militant movements feed off martyrs, and Israel is delivering the maimed and the dead by the truckload. Hamas fighters, armed with little more than light weapons, a few rockets and small mortars, are battling one of the most sophisticated military machines on the planet. And the determined resistance by these doomed fighters exposes, throughout the Arab world, the gutlessness of dictators like Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, who refuses to open Egypt’s common border with Gaza despite the slaughter. Israel, when it bombed Lebanon two years ago, sought to destroy Hezbollah. By the time it withdrew it had swelled Hezbollah’s power base and handed it heroic status throughout the Arab world. Israel is now doing the same for Hamas.

The refusal by political leaders from Barack Obama to nearly every member of the U.S. Congress to speak out in the major media in defense of the rule of law and fundamental human rights exposes our cowardice and hypocrisy. Those who openly condemn the Israeli crimes, including Israelis such as Yuri Avnery, Tom Segev, Ilan Pappe, Gideon Levy and Amira Hass, as well as American stalwarts Noam Chomsky, Dennis Kucinich, Norman Finkelstein and Richard Falk, are ignored or treated like lepers. They are denied a platform in the press. They are rendered nearly voiceless. Falk, the U.N. special rapporteur for human rights in the occupied territories and a former professor of international law at Princeton, was refused entry into Israel in December, detained for 20 hours and deported. Never mind that nearly all these voices are Jewish.

I called Avnery at his home in Israel. He is Israel’s conscience. Avnery was born in Germany. He moved to Palestine as a young boy with his parents. He left school at the age of 14 and a year later joined the underground paramilitary group known as the Irgun. Four years afterward, disgusted with its use of violence, he walked away from the clandestine organization, which carried out armed attacks on British occupation authorities and Arabs. “You can’t talk to me about terrorism, I was a terrorist,” he says when confronted with his persistent calls for peace with the Palestinians. Avnery was a fighter in the Samson’s Foxes commando unit during the 1948 war. He wrote the elite unit’s anthem. He became, after the war, a force for left-wing politics in Israel and one of the country’s most prominent journalists, running the alternative HaOlam HaZeh magazine. He served in the Israeli Knesset. During the 1982 siege of Beirut he met, in open defiance of Israeli law, with PLO leader Yasser Arafat. He has joined Arab protesters in Israel the past few days and denounces what he calls Israel’s “instinct of using force” with the Palestinians and the “moral insanity” of the attack on Gaza. Avnery, now 85, was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt in 1975 by an Israeli opponent, and in 2006 the right-wing activist Baruch Marzel called on the Israeli military to carry out a targeted assassination of Avnery.

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“The state of Israel, like any other state,” Avnery said, “cannot tolerate having its citizens shelled, bombed or rocketed, but there has been no thought as to how to solve the problem through political means or to analyze where this phenomenon has come from, what has caused it. Israelis, as a whole, cannot put themselves in the shoes of others. We are too self-centered. We cannot stand in the shoes of Palestinians or Arabs to ask how we would react in the same situation. Sometimes, very rarely, it happens. Years ago when Ehud Barak was asked how he would behave if were a Palestinian, he said, ‘I would join a terrorist organization.’ If you do not understand Hamas, if you do not understand why Hamas does what it does, if you don’t understand Palestinians, you take recourse in brute force.”


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By bouvier bernois, September 18, 2011 at 10:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

merci pour le partage

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By Anarcissie, February 3, 2009 at 7:38 am Link to this comment

Folktruther:
’[T]he problem with the three state solution, which many Zionists now hold, is that neither Egypt or Jordon, ruled by US funded puppets, would want to take on a radicalized people who are organized toward a national liberation stuggle. ...’

I imagine Pipes envisions dictatorial control of Gaza and the West Bank, backed up by U.S. imperial forces.  In other words “we” would get to administer the bantustan arrangement.

Improbable schemes like this are evidence that Pipes and company are at their wits’ end.

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By Folktruther, January 31, 2009 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment

the problem with the three state solution, which many Zionists now hold, is that neither Egypt or Jordon, ruled by US funded puppets, would want to take on a radicalized people who are organized toward a national liberation stuggle.

This may be partly the reason for the attempt, as one Isareli general put it, to terrorize the Palestinian people so “they realize deep in their consciousness that tey are a defeated people.”  that is, to break their self respect by death, imprisonment, torture, humiliation, and destroying their homes and businesses.  But anything that doesn’t kill them makes them stronger.

So Israel is getting more and more frustrated as it increases the settlements, 67% in the last year alone. the Palestinian people have less and less to lose: they have nothing to look forward to.  And they are communicating their anguish to Israeli Arabs, who have just been deprvied for their right to be represented in the Knesset, the Israeli parlement.

Israel has conducted large masscares int he past; killed thousands of Egyptian prisoners during the 1967 war, the massacre of the refugee camps in the Lebanon war, etc.  They are conditioning the Israeli population for massacre, whether the US wants it or not.  Needless to say, the US has supported massacres all over the world in the last half century.

The three state solution is not viable.  Neither the US or Israel will agree to the two state solution.  the war between the Israelis and Palestinians will therefore continue. Either Hamas will win some effective control of the land, or the slaughter will intensify during the next war.  I don’t see any other alternative, unless and until the people of Egypt and Jordan overthrow their puppet regiemes.

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By Shingo, January 31, 2009 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment

>> What an a-hole…“IDF’s do not target civilians. That is a fact”. That cannot ever be a ‘fact”, as we have no idea what is going through any one soldier’s mind at any one time. “...back in 1948….1967….that is a fact!”. Gawd, broken-record -itis! “Truman…blah, blah”

Indeed.  Mark Regev, the Israeli spokesman repeatedyl uses the term “it’s been documented”.  One audience member used this term when putting a question to Chomsky, who came back and revealed that this was just a lie used by Israel to bluff the interviewer.

The term “it’s been documented” is just a cover for - that’s our story as we’re sticking to it.

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By KDelphi, January 31, 2009 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

I watched Lanny Davis of The Israel Project on c-span today! Good gawd!! How could one possibly negotiate with such a bearer of the absolute truth of the universe!

What an a-hole…“IDF’s do not target civilians. That is a fact”. That cannot ever be a ‘fact”, as we have no idea what is going through any one soldier’s mind at any one time. “...back in 1948….1967….that is a fact!”. Gawd, broken-record -itis! “Truman…blah, blah”

“What is the break the bone strategty” “never heard of it” “White phosphorus…” “Within UN guidelines”. Bullshit.

It is hopeless, unless Jewish people decide to find a rep. with an more open mind….

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By Anarcissie, January 30, 2009 at 10:32 am Link to this comment

Given the dependence of Israel on the U.S., I conclude that the present sort of situation in Israel-Palestine is considered the most desirable from the point of view of the American ruling class (of those solutions currently possible.)  Any sort of different, stable solution would have to be more desirable to them than the present one.  I don’t think a stable solution by means of ethnic cleansing in the form of genocide or mass expulsion of the Palestinians is desirable in this regard.  On the other hand, a two-state solution is problematical in that the people would probably elect and support Hamas or someone like them.  The Palestinian state could be very troublesome.

I notice that neo-con Daniel Pipes advocates a three-state solution: Egypt to take over Gaza, and Jordan the West Bank minus the settlements and East Jerusalem.  My understanding of this plan is that these takeovers would not be democratic and would not impinge on any Israeli interests.  I wonder if this isn’t going to pop up into the mainstream pretty soon.

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By Folktruther, January 29, 2009 at 11:14 am Link to this comment

The essential point that must be explained to the American people is that under the guise of Defense, or even a two-state solution, the US-Isreal strategy is one of ethnic cleansing.  Israel, with the support of the US power structure, which is strongly Zionist influenced, wants to deprive the Palestinian people of their homes, businesses, resources, and nation.

This is strongly against the interests of the American people: indeed, of the American power structure. There are a billion and a half Muslims in the world and they are increasingly horrified by the US-Israel strategy, which they fear, rightly, may be used against them. So the US is held to account for this barbaric policy not only by Muslims but by all decent people who identify with elementary justice.

Obama was supported by the Zionist power structure to put a happy face on this policy of death and destruction.  He is undergoing a public relations effort not to transform Bushite policy, but to rehabilitate it.  His recent speech to the Muslims had the underlying presupposition “we don’t care if you hate us as long as you fear us.”  This policy feeds into the megalomania of a failing imperialism.

A two state solution is a central necessity to ending the War on Terrorism, and devoting military money to the needs of the American people.  To turn around the economy, to get out of debt, to decrease class inequality, to provide jobs for the American people, it is necessary to focus on economic means not military means, butter instead of guns.

to do so it is essential to fight the legitimating of the Bushite barbarism, and to fight the militarized police state that is needed to implement it.  This can only be done by changing US strategy to OPPOSE Israeli ethnic cleansing.

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By I.M. Small, January 21, 2009 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

AN AMERICAN’S LAMENT TO HIS COUSIN (ON DAY 20)

Israelis use white phosphorous
As we, depleted nukes—
They will not bear a cross for us
And suffer not rebukes:
We need them in the Middle East
Because their arms are not the least,
And though Gazan despair´s increased
Their bombs fall not as flukes.

When massacres get labeled wars
It´s hard to understand:
Of Palestinians, scores of scores
Lie dead, by Israel´s hand,
But the Israeli dead, my cousin,
Now number at a baker´s dozen,
As body-count, that never was in
Proportion does expand.

It´s twenty days: we can forget
That thing in Warsaw now,
“Ghetto,” so numbers climbing yet
In Gaza do allow—
“We bomb for peace, though it appalls
To have to target hospitals,”
So rhetoric spews forth, and false
You have to wonder how.

We have strategic aims, you see,
And having built our bases—
So busy—in Iraq to be
Used in “the worst of cases”
(So words proclaim), if any roil
To keep us from extracting oil,
We boast the means their schemes to foil
So have to keep our paces.

Israelis use white phosphorous
As we, depleted nukes—
Nor they will bear a cross for us
And suffer not rebukes,
But twenty days of Gaza shelling
Will never lead to unrest quelling:
The argument is not compelling,
So golly and gadzooks!

.

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By OzarkMichael, January 17, 2009 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment

Tony, thats as fair an answer as I could ask for.

Which means I withdraw my initial objection to your post.

Well done.

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By Shingo, January 15, 2009 at 9:02 pm Link to this comment

Sorry about the post.  Here it is again.

————-

Interesting posts, though there seems to be a contradiction in your argument.  You want the Palestinians to stand up and be counted, but not stand up to Israel.

I’m sure every Arab in the region is tired of wars being fought over land, bu when your own survival is st stake, you hardly have a choice.

You characterize Hamas and groups like it as no better than rabid dogs roaming the streets ravaging any who come close enough to be attacked or attempt to thwart its progress through town. It seems lost on you that this is what normally happens when humans are imprisoned, humiliated, abused and treated like animals.

You lament that you have seen video of Palestinians and other muslims dancing in joy when thousands of American died on 9/11. Maybe you need to take a look at this charming montage of Israeli supporters celebrating eh blood bath in Gaza.

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=FABqq_jjRRo

I know that as an American, you are offended by others mocking us, but the slaughter in Gaza has been 100% enabled and endorsed by our government, as has been the case for decades.  As such, in the eyes of Palestinians, we are just as culpable as those who are stealing their land and killing them.

And need I remind you that the only political leader that described 911 was a good thing is one of the candidates in the up coming Israeli elections?

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By Shingo, January 15, 2009 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

So…  How do I as an American feel about the Gazan situation.  I want the palestinians to stand up as a people and defy the militants who kill their own people and put on gruesome displays of violence to promote fear and quash opposition to their rule.  I want them to stand and say “We have had enough of this hate, let us find a way of peace.  We need not fire rockets to show our independence.  We need not kill and threaten to make ourselves heard.”

I would like to simply see them say “Let this end and instead of asking our Arab and Persian brothers for bullets, let us ask them for plows and teachers.  Let us ask them to help us make ourselves great so that we may take our place as leaders in the region. Let us find a way to weld our peoples into a society that can feed ourselves.  Let us find a way to share the heritage that is Jerusalem and the lands that man sprung for from.”

But baring that from happening, I would rather the paestinians be made impotent and soon to be forgotten.  It has happened hundreds of time to hundreds of cultures.  It is terrible and tragic, but Average American Joe,

Interesting posts, though there seems to be a contradiction in your argument.  You want the Palestinians to stand up and be counted, but not stand up to Israel.

I’m sure every Arab in the region is tired of wars being fought over land, bu when your own survival is st stake, you hardly have a choice. 

You characterize Hamas and groups like it as no better than rabid dogs roaming the streets ravaging any who come close enough to be attacked or attempt to thwart its progress through town. It seems lost on you that this is what normally happens when humans are imprisoned, humiliated, abused and treated like animals. 

You lament that you have seen video of Palestinians and other muslims dancing in joy when thousands of American died on 9/11. Maybe you need to take a look at this charming montage of Israeli supporters celebrating eh blood bath in Gaza.

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=FABqq_jjRRo

I know that as an American, you are offended by others mocking us, but the slaughter in Gaza has been 100% enabled and endorsed by our government, as has been the case for decades.  As such, in the eyes of Palestinians, we are just as culpable as those who are stealing their land and killing them.

And need I remind you that the only political leader that described 911 was a good thing is one of the candidates in the up coming Israeli elections?

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By Average American Joe, January 15, 2009 at 7:58 pm Link to this comment

So…  How do I as an American feel about the Gazan situation.  I want the palestinians to stand up as a people and defy the militants who kill their own people and put on gruesome displays of violence to promote fear and quash opposition to their rule.  I want them to stand and say “We have had enough of this hate, let us find a way of peace.  We need not fire rockets to show our independence.  We need not kill and threaten to make ourselves heard.”

I would like to simply see them say “Let this end and instead of asking our Arab and Persian brothers for bullets, let us ask them for plows and teachers.  Let us ask them to help us make ourselves great so that we may take our place as leaders in the region. Let us find a way to weld our peoples into a society that can feed ourselves.  Let us find a way to share the heritage that is Jerusalem and the lands that man sprung for from.”

But baring that from happening, I would rather the paestinians be made impotent and soon to be forgotten.  It has happened hundreds of time to hundreds of cultures.  It is terrible and tragic, but I am tired of wars being fought over land and ideology by men who really only pay lip service to the ideals the land and its history stand for.

It sounds unjust and hateful to some of you, bu tI see Hamas and groups like it as no better than rabid dogs roaming the streets ravaging any who come close enough to be attacked or attempt to thwart its progress through town.  I would put it down for the good of the town and to save its next victim.  Hamas should be treated the same way.

This sounds hateful to some of you, but I say this,“My words are spoken with a heavy heart grieving for the dead and soon to be dead, even though they consider themselves my enemies.  I have seen video of palestinians and other muslims dancing in joy when thousands of American died on 9/11.  Who sounds so heartless and deserving of your ire?  Where is your vitriol for their hate and threats of violence, for their diatribes promoting the national death of America? Where is your common sense?

Enough is enough.  Let it be ended by lasting peace or by lasting pieces.

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By Average American Joe, January 15, 2009 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment

There is NO basic fairness or rights given to man when he is born into this world.  Those rights have to be won, secured, and jealously maintained in order to exist in any meaningful manner.

The right to exist, to be treated fairly is a fantasy.  Certain countries and cultures have created this right by force of arms and will.  I am an American and I will be the first to tell you that we are a belligerent crowd who have committed our share of atrocities on par with any other country or political group. I don’t excuse it or glorify it.

What I do point out is that in the Middle East, the people as an aggregate have not secured their “rights” to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness against all comers.  As with many who perceive themselves as helpless, they give over their power to change their destiny to a select few with a nice speech and some guns.  But I tell you to look at world history that is replete with the virtually unarmed, untrained, and undersupplied masses overcoming a greater power to secure freedom and some semblance of personal rights.  India, China, the US, France, etc. 

I as an American can be appalled and horrified about the state of affairs in Gaza.  But it is no more tragic than the plight of millions upon millions who suffer elsewhere in the world.  It is long past time that palestinians and the Arab/Persian world accepts Israel as a reality that is not going away.  Trying to use force to push them out will be met with equal or greater force by the Israelis. It could eventually come down to nukes which would destroy the entire middle east (for surely Israel would take all their enemies with them!).

When I advocate for this to be finished one way or the other, I simply point out that if both or even one side is inflexible about the other’s existence then destruction for onew or both is inevitable.  And my point made earlier, was that if I had to take a side I would like to see survive that sort of confrontation it would be Israel.  The Taliban, Hamas, and Hezbollah ( and any other militant group anywhere in the world) are created in response to a perceived or real threat to safety, property, or power.  The problem is that these groups have never grasped the truly important part of a was: there has to be an end game. What comes after the War?  When these groups feel vindicated in using methods so horrifying that they become tainted by their use and adopt the “end justifies the means” mentality, they become villianous and untrustworthy to the international community and to modernized societies.

What world leasder or government truly serving its people can trust any treaty or agreement signed by advocates of terror, hate, and extremism.  I see the united Kingdom operating out of political fear right now, making statements and taking positions based in part on the fear of increasing fundamental extremism in the muslim populations within their own borders.  I see Egypt closing their border in defiance of their Arab “brotherhood” for fear of extremism spreading like a cancer within its borders.

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By Tony Wicher, January 15, 2009 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment

You see, OZ, I just want the United States under President Obama to treat Israel and Saudi Arabia as equals, no better, no worse. The United States should no more be either arming or politically supporting the one than the other. The United States should go by its own democratic principles and by the United Nations Declaration of Universal Human Rights and support neither. U.S. intervention in the Middle East is all about oil anyway. Only the naive think it has anything to do with democracy or human rights.

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By Tony Wicher, January 15, 2009 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

By OzarkMichael, January 15 at 5:44 pm #

Lets try again. Would you or would you not make the same prediction of the very many Islamic states? I will use your words precisely, but substitute:

“If Saudi Arabia does not repudiate Islamism, it will be destroyed as surely as Nazi Germany was destroyed.”

Tony, we could make a long list of Islamist states. So there is going to be an awful lot of destruction going on if you are right. By whose hand is this going to be done? But no, you dont mean it.

          =X=X=X=X=X=X=X

OZ,

Yes, I do very much mean it. I do not expect the anachronistic, atavistic, reactionary, chauvinistic political institutions that make up Saudi Arabia to last another 50 years, any more than I expect the equally reactionary Zionist state to do so. The only question is whether they will change violently or peacefully. The same is true of Israel. I do single out Israel in some ways. I will give you three of them. (1) Israelis are educated people who understand what democracy is and should know better, (2) at least the Arab states admit they are Islamist and not democratic, whereas Israel claims to be a democracy and claims U.S. support on that basis, and (3) at least the inhabitants of the Arab countries generally did not immigrate en mass within the last hundred years and take over their country from its indiginous population.

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By OzarkMichael, January 15, 2009 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment

Tony:If Israel does not repudiate Zionism, it will be destroyed as surely as Nazi Germany was destroyed.

Then I asked: Tony and Ed… Do you want to make the same coarse comparison to nazis and the same threat of annihilation to all the Islamic states?


Tony responded: I do not wish to “annihilate” anything but the Zionist and Islamist ideologies, along with all other national chauvinist ideologies.

Well, I am glad to know you wont annihilate anyone. Me neither.

Lets try again. Would you or would you not make the same prediction of the very many Islamic states? I will use your words precisely, but substitute:

“If Saudi Arabia does not repudiate Islamism, it will be destroyed as surely as Nazi Germany was destroyed.”

Tony, we could make a long list of Islamist states. So there is going to be an awful lot of destruction going on if you are right. By whose hand is this going to be done? But no, you dont mean it.

Obviously it is Israel and only Israel that you predict will be destroyed like Nazi Germany was. By using ‘Nazi Germany’ you imply that Israel deserves this. And you imply that the Islamist states that will destroy Israel are somehow the good guys. 

Against that I protested.

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By thebeerdoctor, January 15, 2009 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

“But there are some things within our social order to which I am proud to be maladjusted and to which I call upon you to be maladjusted. I never intend to adjust myself to segregation and discrimination. I never intend to adjust myself to mob rule. I never intend to adjust myself to the tragic effects of the methods of physical violence and to tragic militarism. I call upon you to be maladjusted to such things.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, May 1958

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By Robert, January 15, 2009 at 10:14 am Link to this comment

“THE ONLY THING NEEDED FOR THE TRIUMPH OF EVIL IS FOR GOOD MEN TO DO NOTHING.”

Edmund Burke

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By thebeerdoctor, January 15, 2009 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

re: Robert

Thank you Robert for the timely link. Of course that was 2006, the total contributions has since gone up. Just about says it all, does it not?

“The dry cell of money has locked the minds and cauterized hearts.”
CECIL TAYLOR

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By Robert, January 15, 2009 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

By thebeerdoctor, January 15 at 2:55 am #


“There you have it folks. A United States Senator responding like some AIPAC programmed puppet. “Israel has a right and duty to defend its people from terrorism”. But I guess, according to the Senator, the Palestinians have no right to defend themselves against state sponsored terrorism? The utter deceit of S. Res 10, “reaffirming the Israeli-Palestinian peace process”, when in fact, the only peace truly being sought is that of putting all the Palestinian people into graves! But then, my good Senator Sherrod, offers this little nugget:
“I am deeply concerned by the growing number of civilian casualties.””
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

thebeerdoctor…You are right when you said that “A United Sates Senator responding like some AIPAC programmed puppet.”

Your US Senator, Sherrod Brown, is on AIPAC payroll list.

Just click on URL and scroll down to the State of Ohio to see the list of “programmed puppets” and how much $$$ they received from Pro-Israel PAC Contributions:

http://www.wrmea.com/archives/July_2007/0707019.html

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By thebeerdoctor, January 15, 2009 at 4:06 am Link to this comment

Here is a follow up link to Senator Brown’s assertion about Israel’s “right and duty”:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article5521925.ece

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By thebeerdoctor, January 15, 2009 at 3:55 am Link to this comment

re: KDelphi, Nozferatu, Shingo, Fadel Abdullah, Ed Harges, Robert and everybody else

Since this Middle East mess really does concern me, I do not just post screeds on Truthdig. I contacted the office of Senator Sherrod Brown, saying in effect, what a shameful business it is to find the Ohio Senator’s name as a co-sponsor of S. Res 10, the complete congressional cave-in to the Zionist lobby. Here is part of what he wrote to me in reply:

“Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the current situation in Gaza.

Israel has a right and a duty to defend its people from terrorism. For too long Hamas has used Gaza as a staging ground for terrorism, including the recent escalation of rocket launches against Israeli citizens, to the detriment of the Palestinian people. I cosponsored S. Res. 10, a resolution reaffirming support for the Israel-Palestinian peace process, because it states that right and asserts our concern about humanitarian aid and protecting civilian lives.”

There you have it folks. A United States Senator responding like some AIPAC programmed puppet. “Israel has a right and duty to defend its people from terrorism”. But I guess, according to the Senator, the Palestinians have no right to defend themselves against state sponsored terrorism? The utter deceit of S. Res 10, “reaffirming the Israeli-Palestinian peace process”, when in fact, the only peace truly being sought is that of putting all the Palestinian people into graves! But then, my good Senator Sherrod, offers this little nugget:
“I am deeply concerned by the growing number of civilian casualties.”

These people are insufferable. If anyone thinks the Democratic congress advocates for justice, please dear friends, think again.
Peace. It’s an action, not a concept.

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By ahkams_razer, January 15, 2009 at 1:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

at first I thought they are doing this while they still have Dick-Tators in the whitehouse.

(If you don’t get this it is the answer to the question what do you get when you cross vice president Cheney with Mr. Potato head.)

I assumed they were doing this because they think that this will be their last opportunity before people with hearts and working minds start to rain them in.

But just now reading this I realized something else, that is they are blackmailing America to stay involved in the failed attempts to set up shop in Islamic territory by causing an inevitable huge counter uprising of Jihadist, forcing the US to stay in IRAQ for an EXTRA 2 to 6 years, Aphganistan probably an extra decade, potentially involving other countries like IRAN. They are doing this to keep us in the mix over their so they will not feel so alone. It is a huge gamble that could end up in WW3 and embolding Jihadist for decades.

This is so stupid and short cited not to mention the shear horror of proactive conflict.

But again they are just following the Dick-tator’s lead

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By KDelphi, January 14, 2009 at 11:42 pm Link to this comment

I got this link from “Shift”, an another site. I am sure she/he doesnt mind if I “share” it…from January 11, 2009

“A very large delivery of US weaponry to Israel consisting of 3,000 tons of “ammunition” is scheduled to sail to Israel. The size and nature of the shipments are described as “unusual”:

“Shipping 3,000-odd tons of ammunition in one go is a lot,” one broker said, on condition of anonymity.

“This (kind of request) is pretty rare and we haven’t seen much of it quoted in the market over the years,” he added….”

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11743

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By KDelphi, January 14, 2009 at 11:35 pm Link to this comment

This is from the Anti-Defamation League (Geneva Conventions)—{what are those?? US doesnt know!!}Fourth regards treatment (and killing) of civilians…

“ADL [and other organizations] have vigorously opposed convening the Fourth Geneva Convention in regard to Israeli settlements arguing that it could dangerously politicize the international legitimacy and high standings of the Geneva Conventions. It could open a Pandora’s box across the globe haphazardly applying the convention to a plethora of nations. Furthermore, it would give credence to the Palestinian tactic of using the international community to air grievances regarding the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and thereby threatens the peace process itself.”

It gets worse:

“International efforts led by the United States were successful in scaling down the July 15th special UN meeting in Geneva. The closed-door meeting lasted a mere 45 minutes. However, a resolution was unanimously passed stating that the Fourth Geneva Convention does apply to Israeli settlements in the “occupied territories.”

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By Tony Wicher, January 14, 2009 at 11:33 pm Link to this comment

re A Khokar, January 14 at 3:51 pm #

Hamas but have to deny the victory in Gaza to Israel. If Hamas can make Israel suffer another humiliation by putting up a decisive fight in the pitch battle in the streets of Gaza and turn those into enemy grave yard like the one Hezbollah demonstrated in 2006; that is the victory; a Fateh e Mubeen that Hamas may be looking for.

          =x=x=x=xx=x=x=x=x=x=x=x

A Khokar,

You are a bloody-minded fool. This idea of a Palestinian military victory is a fantasy. It is the people of Gaza who will lie in that graveyard, not the Israelis.

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By Tony Wicher, January 14, 2009 at 11:22 pm Link to this comment

Re OzarkMichael, January 14 at 12:23 pm #


Ed spoke,Tony W applauds him: Beautifully stated! Zionism, the idea of a Jewish state, is incompatible with democracy and peace.

Now as the applause dies down, lets see if this idea has any consistancy or practical value. Let us assume that a Jewish state is incompatable with democracy and peace. So now a question for Ed or for Tony: is an Islamic state compatable with democracy and peace?
            =x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x

OZ:

My answer is no, an Islamism is another national chauvinist ideology which, like other national chauvinist ideologies, such as Naziism, is equally incompatible with democracy and peace.

            x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x

Tony continues: (Zionism)is a nineteenth century national chauvinist ideology.

And what would you say about Islam? I say its a 7th century national chauvinist ideology. Will you take a stand on this question? Do you have an opinion?

                x=x=x=x=x=x
OZ,

Islam, like Judaism, is a religion. Neither Islam nor Judaism are incompatible with pease and democracy. Islamism, however IS a national chauvinist ideology which is equally incompatible with peace and democracy as Zionism. 

            =x=x=x=x=x=

Tony:If Israel does not repudiate Zionism, it will be destroyed as surely as Nazi Germany was destroyed.

Oh how the rightious Leftists are calling for the end of little Israel. So another question…for the record, and be aware the Fadel will be reading your answer, also be aware that the UN is monitoring that you dont defame Islam… Tony and Ed… Do you want to make the same coarse comparison to nazis and the same threat of annihilation to all the Islamic states? Dont bother to answer, because I see below that you already made your choice.

              x=x=x=x=x=x=x

OZ,

I do not wish to “annihilate” anything but the Zionist and Islamist ideologies, along with all other national chauvinist ideologies. I want to extirpate all these reactionary anti-democratic ideologies, not kill any human beings. The fact that Islamist states are national chauvinist does not excuse the fact that Israel is also. Israel pretends to be a democracy but it is not. Under President Obama, the United States must not support this lie. The United States must join with the other nations of the world, not to “annihilate Israel” but to force change of the apartheid Zionist Israeli regime. And this must not be done militarily but through boycott and force of world opinion. 

              x=x=x=x=x=x=x

To be a real force for democracy and freedom in the world, as opposed to a phony one, the United States must equally oppose national chauvinism of every kind. It should join with the rest of the world in the United Nations in boycotting Israel to force it to change…

Wow, so Tony proposes joining with the UN’s Organization of Islamic States to force israel to change. Which means that no matter what he may respond to my questions with, he has already recommended an action which reveals his true answer. He is going to support the 40 or so Islamic states against one tiny Zionist state.

How heroic.

Do you think that giving up Israel to them will satisfy them? Think of giving up little nations to Nazi Germany… did it make for peace? Even a short post by you has so many contradictions that it makes my head spin. In the realm of practicality your post is an idealistic blunder. Maybe you are good hearted but your brains are rattling in your head.

            x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x
OZ,

I never said anything about “giving up Israel” to “them”, whoever “they” are. I said Israel must transform from a Zionist apartheid state to a democracy. Only then would it be worthy of full U.S. and international support.

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By KDelphi, January 14, 2009 at 11:08 pm Link to this comment

Shingo—Amen! Ed and Tony—yes ! It is another “Shock Dcotrie” , is it not? Worked out so well for us…

Fadel—I am glad to see you are “back”...

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By Joesph Fattal, January 14, 2009 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Even though its purely murder that the Israelis are inflicting on the Palestinians. But there is something that people are missing on Israel conflict in the area. When Israel Fought the 6 days war, they won decisevely. In 1973 they won it, even though the Egyptian took back the suez canal. Then the civilian casualities weren’t as high as it is in Lebanon in 2006, and in Gaza in 2009. Now Israel know that they are fighting a different war. A guerrilla warfare, they have no choice in the matter. In Lebanon collateral damages were used by the Israeli air force, as soon as they entered Lebanon their casualities risen, and they lost it at the end. The same in Gaza with Hamas. The air force did all the damages knowing that if they entered Gaza their casualities will rise.And they will lose this one too. Israel should had learned from Lebanon in 2006 and after bombarding Gaza, they should have ask for a ceasefire, or stop the invasion. They went in, because they had to, now they going to lose it.

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By Shingo, January 14, 2009 at 7:43 pm Link to this comment

Indeed Fadel,

Israel learned a painful lesson in 2006, when they were not able to control the propaganda, and world opinion was almost entirely against them - and for good reason.

This time, Israel has banned foreign reporters from entering Gaza, and the western media have indulged them.

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By Fadel Abdallah, January 14, 2009 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment

The language of death is always preceded and accompanied by the language of evil propaganda, following the familiar Nazi model.

Read here’s below an excerpt from and a link to an article by the good Uri Avnery on Israel’s war of lies and evil propaganda!
==========================
Israel’s War Of Deceit, Lies And Propaganda
By Uri Avnery

http://www.countercurrents.org/avnery140109.htm

In this war, as in any modern war, propaganda plays a major role. Almost all the Western media initially repeated the official Israeli propaganda line. They
almost entirely ignored the Palestinian side of the story, not to mention the daily demonstrations of the Israeli peace camp. The rationale of the Israeli
government (“The state must defend its citizens against the Qassam rockets”) has been accepted as the whole truth. The view from the other side, that the Qassams are a retaliation for the siege that starves the one and a half million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, was not mentioned at all…..

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By Ed Harges, January 14, 2009 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment

re: By Tony Wicher, January 14 at 9:33 am:

Yes indeed, Tony. I’ve also been pleased to see recently that Naomi Klein has joined the call for a boycott of this kind.

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By Peter, January 14, 2009 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is nothing exceptional about Jews, nothing that makes them different from other human beings, so why is the defense of Israel so important as to allow them to become merciless killer. The chosen people stuff was always a fairy tale, it was a lie told to a people in captivity in Babylon, in Persia.. tht it shoud be used to justify genocide is incomprehensible

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By Shingo, January 14, 2009 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael,

“So now a question for Ed or for Tony: is an Islamic state compatable with democracy and peace?”

Here’s a question for you OzarkMichael.  How many predominantly Muslim states claim to be democracies, and what is democracy without liberty anyway.  it was Benjamin Franklin who said democracy is two wolves and a lamb arguing about what’s for lunch.

“And what would you say about Islam?”

The difference being that we in the west don’t pretend that any Islamic state represents our values.

“Oh how the rightious Leftists are calling for the end of little Israel.”

Oh how the Zionist right love to parrot this trope whenever they find themselves on the defensive.

“Do you want to make the same coarse comparison to nazis and the same threat of annihilation to all the Islamic states?”

The threat is real because Israel does have the means to achieve it. Consider Israel’s obsession with Iran and attacking it.  If Iran retaliates in such a way as to threaten Israel, in come the US, followed perhaps by Russia and whamo, WWIII.

“Wow, so Tony proposes joining with the UN’s Organization of Islamic States to force israel to change.”

I trust you are referring to the UN that actually create Israel?  How odd that Israel and it’s defenders have such contempt for the very body that gave it legitimacy.

“He is going to support the 40 or so Islamic states against one tiny Zionist state.”

Oh how heart wrenching!!

Correction.  One tiny Zionist state that (that ignored over 60 UN resolutions) that has the unconditional backing, support and veto of the world most powerful country.

Do you think that giving up Israel to them will satisfy them? Think of giving up little nations to Nazi Germany… did it make for peace?

Again, Israel’s amen corner predictably equates Israel returning land it stole with it’s destruction.  Another thing Israeli apologists do is pretend that offers, like the one from the Arab League (which offers to recognize Israel as per the 1967 borders), does no exist

“My, but the ignorance of a Truthdigger is untellable.”

It’s not ignorance, it’s just a refusal to accept your warped and distorted vie of the world.

“Chess games dont go well if you only look at one piece, such as Israel.”

On the contrary.  Israel does not hold all the pieces at all. It is a failed state that requires billions of dollars in aid and a war guarantee from the US just to remain viable.  Meanwhile, and to the consternation of the Zionists, Gaza and other Arabs states, as impoverished as they are have always existed and will remain.

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By A Khokar, January 14, 2009 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

It has been a long-established fact that no outside power can institute its credibility inside a country through the use of military force or through occupation alone.  The U.S. has learned that bitter reality after remaining an occupying power in Iraq for the past eight years.  It is likely to face the same fate in Afghanistan.  Israel refuses to learn that lesson as it invades Gaza and remains an occupying power of Palestine.  The gloomiest fact of that occupation is that the mounting toll of Palestinians will create new generations of even more enduring—and even more radical-minded—resistance to Israel than Hezbollah and Hamas have thus far demonstrated.

Hamas but have to deny the victory in Gaza to Israel. If Hamas can make Israel suffer another humiliation by putting up a decisive fight in the pitch battle in the streets of Gaza and turn those into enemy grave yard like the one Hezbollah demonstrated in 2006; that is the victory; a Fateh e Mubeen that Hamas may be looking for.

Israel seemingly has learnt the Armour war fare lesson not to advance tanks into built up area with out infantry in support. They are carrying out enough of bombardment to soften up the targets before launching a ground attack. Hamas has to articulate and put up a superior tactic that how to isolate the tank from Infantry and make them vulnerable to avail a sure kill. The sure kill of a tank is at 50 meters range which is a tank’s dead blind zone where the dare devil juveniles with rocket launchers may engage the advancing tanks.

Hamas knows it well that their demonstration of superior tactics at this stage is vital. That is the only way open to give a victory to Palestinians. Victory of Palestinian in the street of Gaza will also mark the sure end of a haughty oppressor which is planted in the Middle East as an enabling agent by the west with the aim to serve as mother board and an epicentre of all the terrorism in the world.

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By KDelphi, January 14, 2009 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

Ozark—IN short, yes. There is no place for quasi-religious states in a modern world.

Singo—Good point about Lebanon! Rather reminds of US in Iraq…

Can you imagine if every race and religous group demanded protection for a state that will not allow other races nor religions become citizens? We should not support such.


This is so bad for Jewish people of good will..(Amy Goodman, of Democracy Now)

“We as Jews have to say to this country that claims to represent us, ‘Stop. Stop. This is a humanitarian disaster.’”

http://www.alternet.org/rights/119260/mobilized_against_israel’s_bombs,_jewish_activists_say_’not_in_our_name’/

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By Shingo, January 14, 2009 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

Howard,

It’s obvious what you’re trying to do.  Repetaing a lie often enough in teh hope it becomes convetional wisom.

You say Hamas cannot govern in the least. Israel’s governmetn cannot even control the settlers in the West Bank from expanding illegal settlements.

Everyone now knows that it was Israel never lifted the blockade as per the truce agreement, so were in vilation from Day 1. Hamas overlooked this and contiued to observe the ceasefire, even asking ISreal to extend in Mid December (after Isrel had broken the ceasefire a second time Nov 4).

Hamas overlooked the atatck by Israel in November when Israel attacked a so called tunnel from teh Gaza side (as opposed to the Israeli side) as a blatant provocation.

“Then 3 weeks ago Hamas refused to resign the agreement.”

A lie that has been completely debunked. It ws Israel that rejected the ceasefire.

http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=45350

Israel quite clearly wnated to attack Gaza, and goaded and provoked Hamas into giving it a reason. 

“Israel doesn’t want to keep feeding gazans.  They belong back in the house/area of Egypt.”

Israel has not been feedign Gazans.  They have been starving them.  The inhabitants fo Gaza belong n Osrael, where they came from.

“Under the artificial UN group, there is no accountabilty.”

That would be the same UN that created Israel right?

“Wasting all the monies that is doled into the country on missles and rockets, not businesses or farms or industry.”

All Israel’s weaponry is given to them by the US.  A third fo those being killed are children.  That would be money well spent?

Gaza is not Egypts’s responsiblity.  Israel cretaed the problem and as always, they expect someone else to foot the bill.

So much for a responsible society.

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By thebeerdoctor, January 14, 2009 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

Thank you Robert, for pointing out the ridiculousness of George Bush’s notion of compassion. I think anyone of conscience should make this Middle East monster the ultimate litmus test for supporting any idiotic politician. The recent vote of approval for the Israeli massacre in Gaza, by the newly formed congress, is yet another shameful episode of equivocating cowardice. Alas, it seems a Democratic majority will prove to be even more brutal than the Republicans, when it comes to Middle East policy. It is times like these I sometimes wish I had never voted. If only these bastard would stop betraying our country.

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By OzarkMichael, January 14, 2009 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

Ed spoke,Tony W applauds him: Beautifully stated! Zionism, the idea of a Jewish state, is incompatible with democracy and peace.

Now as the applause dies down, lets see if this idea has any consistancy or practical value. Let us assume that a Jewish state is incompatable with democracy and peace. So now a question for Ed or for Tony: is an Islamic state compatable with democracy and peace?

Tony continues: (Zionism)is a nineteenth century national chauvinist ideology.

And what would you say about Islam? I say its a 7th century national chauvinist ideology. Will you take a stand on this question? Do you have an opinion?

Tony:If Israel does not repudiate Zionism, it will be destroyed as surely as Nazi Germany was destroyed.

Oh how the rightious Leftists are calling for the end of little Israel. So another question…for the record, and be aware the Fadel will be reading your answer, also be aware that the UN is monitoring that you dont defame Islam… Tony and Ed… Do you want to make the same coarse comparison to nazis and the same threat of annihilation to all the Islamic states? Dont bother to answer, because I see below that you already made your choice.

To be a real force for democracy and freedom in the world, as opposed to a phony one, the United States must equally oppose national chauvinism of every kind. It should join with the rest of the world in the United Nations in boycotting Israel to force it to change…

Wow, so Tony proposes joining with the UN’s Organization of Islamic States to force israel to change. Which means that no matter what he may respond to my questions with, he has already recommended an action which reveals his true answer. He is going to support the 40 or so Islamic states against one tiny Zionist state.

How heroic.

Do you think that giving up Israel to them will satisfy them? Think of giving up little nations to Nazi Germany… did it make for peace? Even a short post by you has so many contradictions that it makes my head spin. In the realm of practicality your post is an idealistic blunder. Maybe you are good hearted but your brains are rattling in your head.

There will soon be other demands from the OIC(there already are but likely you dont know about that). My, but the ignorance of a Truthdigger is untellable.

Are you ready to keep caving and giving in? How much of your freedom are you willing to give up?

Chess games dont go well if you only look at one piece, such as Israel. Instead look at the whole board. See the flow of the whole game and you will recommend better moves.

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By KDelphi, January 14, 2009 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

thebeerdr..-yes, it is getting tiresome, but I am glad that ypu went on in your next post, which was excellent, to say this:
“Zionism has no place in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It should be rejected, just as Sharia Law should be rejected”

Lets get the US on the side of rationalism and reason (for real “change”)-not religious entities, which ,despite insistence to the contrary , seems to produce war, after war, after war. Or , perhaps just an excuse to confiscate resources (pss..Gaza has lots of oil—surprise!!).

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By Nozferatu, January 14, 2009 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

Here are the pieces of shit in action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJaPZLNLBu8&feature=related

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By TAO Walker, January 14, 2009 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

ASHES….ASHES….ALL FALL DOWN!!!!

HokaHey!

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By thebeerdoctor, January 14, 2009 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

re: Tony Wicher

Your comments about Zionism reminded me that back in 2001, August 31 to September 7, the United States refused to participate in the World Conference Against Racism, held in Durban, South Africa. The reason? The United States government does not recognize UN General Assembly Resolution 3379, which states that Zionism is a form of racism. Of course the state of Israel denies this obvious fact officially, but this does not stand up when it was revealed that Israel supported the apartheid regime in South Africa for many years.
Also, on a personal note, I have heard American Jews refer to the Palestinians as “sand niggers”, not all of course, but quite surprising that the minority who utter such remarks are fairly well educated. Max Blumenthal’s coverage of the recent pro-Israel rally in New York, shows committed Zionists who think it is perfectly proper to destroy all Palestinians, or for that matter, all Arabs, off the face of earth. This uneasy compromise with the semantics of a concept, as you said, belongs in the 19th century, has left the United States with a foreign policy that is without a moral compass, just because we refuse to acknowledge what the rest of the world clearly understands: Zionism has no place in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It should be rejected, just as Sharia Law should be rejected.

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By Robert, January 14, 2009 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

January 14, 2009

The White House Moron Stumbles to the Finish
The Humiliation of America

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

  “Early Friday morning the secretary of state was considering bringing the cease-fire resolution to a UNSC vote and we didn’t want her to vote for it.” Olmert said. “I said ‘get President Bush on the phone.’ They tried and told me he was in the middle of a lecture in Philadelphia. I said ‘I’m not interested, I need to speak to him now.’ He got down from the podium, went out and took the phone call.”

“Let me see if I understand this,” wrote a friend in response to news reports that Israeli Prime Minister Olmert ordered President Bush from the podium where he was giving a speech to receive Israel’s instructions about how the United States had to vote on the UN resolution. “On September 11th, President Bush is interrupted while reading a story to school children and told the World Trade Center had been hit—and he went on reading. Now, Olmert calls about a UN resolution when Bush is giving a speech and Bush leaves the stage to take the call. There exists no greater example of a master-servant relationship.”

Olmert gloated as he told Israelis how he had shamed US Secretary of State Condi Rice by preventing the American Secretary of State from supporting a resolution that she had helped to craft. Olmert proudly related how he had interrupted President Bush’s speech in order to give Bush his marching orders on the UN vote.

Israeli politicians have been bragging for decades about the control they exercise over the US government. In his final press conference, President Bush, deluded to the very end, said that the whole world respects America. In fact, when the world looks at America, what it sees is an Israeli colony.

Responding to mounting reports from the Red Cross and human rights organizations of Israel’s massive war crimes in Gaza, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted 33-1 on January 12 to condemn Israel for grave offenses against human rights.

On January 13, the London Times reported that Israelis have gathered on a hillside overlooking Gaza to enjoy the slaughter of Palestinians in what the Times calls “the ultimate spectator sport.”

It is American supplied F-16 fighter jets, helicopter gunships, missiles, and bombs that are destroying the civilian infrastructure of Gaza and murdering the Palestinians who have been packed into the tiny strip of land. What is happening to the Palestinians herded into the Gaza Ghetto is happening because of American money and weapons. It is just as much an attack by the United States as an attack by Israel. The US government is complicit in the war crimes.

Yet in his farewell press conference on January 12, Bush said that the world respects America for its compassion.

The compassion of bombing a UN school for girls?

The compassion of herding 100 Palestinians into one house and then shelling it?

The compassion of bombing hospitals and mosques?

The compassion of depriving 1.5 million Palestinians of food, medicine, and energy?

The compassion of violently overthrowing the democratically elected Hamas government?

The compassion of blowing up the infrastructure of one of the poorest and most deprived people on earth?

The compassion of abstaining from a Security Council vote condemning these actions?

And this is a repeat of what the Israelis and Americans did to Lebanon in 2006, what the Americans did to Iraqis for six years and are continuing to do to Afghans after seven years. And still hope to do to the Iranians and Syrians.

In 2002 I designated George W. Bush “the White House Moron.” If there ever was any doubt about this designation, Bush’s final press conference dispelled it.”

http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts01142009.html

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By Robert, January 14, 2009 at 11:14 am Link to this comment

January 14, 2009

Leading Israeli Scholar Avi Shlaim: Israel Committing “State Terror” in Gaza Attack, Preventing Peace


“The assault on Gaza is entering its nineteenth day, with no end in sight. Israel continues its intense bombardment of the territory as Israeli troops edge closer to the heart of Gaza City. Nearly 1,000 Palestinians have been killed, more than 4,400 injured, many of them women and children. Thirteen Israelis have died over the same period, ten of them soldiers. We speak with Oxford professor Avi Shlaim. He served in the Israeli army in the mid-1960s and is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading authorities on the Israeli-Arab conflict.”

http://www.democracynow.org/2009/1/14/leading_israeli_scholar_avi_shlaim_israel

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By mvhome, January 14, 2009 at 11:03 am Link to this comment

Ed Hargas responded…

“The answer to your question is: will, IF my government is going to insert itself at all in the matter - and that’s a very big if, it should be with absolutely no more interest in securing an ethnic state for one side than for the other. And by the way, it’s only because ISRAEL insists on a religious/ethnic state that the Palestinians need a separate state. Can you really be this obtuse?”

First to your expressing an epithet… please that is not necessary. Perhaps I am old-fashioned, but I think more points are won using civility.

What I am hearing you say is that the sole reason for Palestine requiring a separate state is because Israel is, as you say, a religious/ethnic state. I don’t agree with this since in my opinion there are a range of reasons for the foundation of Palestine as a separate country.

But,  I am not sure I follow your logic [re: “it’s only because ISRAEL insists”]... so if it’s ok, in your opinion, for Palestine to be a religious/ethnic nation-state, then what is the issue with Israel. I think it’s a bit of circular reasoning.

Just wondering what your thoughts are re: other religious/ethnic nation-states receiving funds from the USA, etc… Jordan and Egypt to name but two.

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By J Grant, January 14, 2009 at 10:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As usual your arguments certify terrorists, the lying thieving cowards who are murderers. Their cause justifies their activities and they are cause celebre to you. Next your articles will justify Al Qaida. I can’t wait for your glorification of the Tamil Tigers. Nowhere do you point out that every morning there are prayers in the MidEast for the annihilation of Israel. Does Hammas want to go to a negotiating table to stop the endless circle of mayem and and deaths of innocent citizens on either side? No! Suicide bombings of schools, school buses, rocket attacks, effective or not, are all ok, as these people are fighting for what is right. Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr must be such fools to you.

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By Tony Wicher, January 14, 2009 at 10:33 am Link to this comment

Ed,

Beautifully stated! Zionism, the idea of a Jewish state, is incompatible with democracy and peace. It is a nineteenth century national chauvinist ideology. If Israel does not repudiate Zionism, it will be destroyed as surely as Nazi Germany was destroyed. It is so true that it is only the Zionist requirement for a Jewish state that creates the apparent need for a Palestinian state. Such a “state” will never exist, and to whatever extent something purporting to be one is created, the conflict between it and Israel will continue. The United States must stop pretending that Israel is a democracy. To be a real force for democracy and freedom in the world, as opposed to a phony one, the United States must equally oppose national chauvinism of every kind. It should join with the rest of the world in the United Nations in boycotting Israel to force it to change its apartheid regime. No matter what Obama says now, nothing less than this is what he will have to do if he expects to negotiate a real peace in the Middle East.

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By MeHere, January 14, 2009 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

Thanks Chris Hedges for your informative article.

Leaving aside, for a moment, all considerations of justice, human rights, international law, etc., how on earth can the Israeli and US governments believe (and/or expect us to believe) that their “brilliant” strategy and policies regarding the Palestinian issue can succeed?  Can all these phD’s and many other officials with degrees from prestigious educational institutions be so incredibly dumb?  I guess some indeed are—education and lack of judgement can coexist.  But others are simply pursuing their personal political agenda for as long as it can last. In any case, it is amazing how all these leaders succeed in instilling the wrong kind of fear in masses of people and get their support for highly flawed policy decisions.

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By Ed Harges, January 14, 2009 at 9:10 am Link to this comment

By mvhome, January 14 at 7:38 am:

The answer to your question is: will, IF my government is going to insert itself at all in the matter - and that’s a very big if, it should be with absolutely no more interest in securing an ethnic state for one side than for the other. And by the way, it’s only because ISRAEL insists on a religious/ethnic state that the Palestinians need a separate state. Can you really be this obtuse?

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By mvhome, January 14, 2009 at 8:38 am Link to this comment

Ed Harges wrote…

“Andrew - lots of people have to do without a religious-ethnic state of their own.

There are many more ethnicities in the world than there are nation-states devoted to any one of them. Tough. “

In your opinion, how does this point of view play out re: the potential Palestinian State? Is this too a nation-state based on a religious-ethnic construct (predominantly Muslim and Arabic)? Is it wrong, in your view, for Palestinian Arabs to expect a homeland? Do you respond to these people, “tough”!

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By Ed Harges, January 14, 2009 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

from: By AndrewX, January 13 at 6:08 pm #

“Do you think the state of israel should exist? do you believe the jews should have a homeland? a place we can call home?”

Andrew - lots of people have to do without a religious-ethnic state of their own.

There are many more ethnicities in the world than there are nation-states devoted to any one of them. Tough.

And even if you really, really want that, you have no right to expect the US government to attach itself passionately to this stupid cause. None. Go choose yourself, Mr. Chosen.

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By Mainesongwriter, January 14, 2009 at 8:17 am Link to this comment

In song: “THESE ARE THE ONES WHO DIE”

http://www.soundclick.com/mikenobel

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By Howard, January 14, 2009 at 5:51 am Link to this comment

Hamas is at fault. Cannot govern in the least.  Broke the most recent supposed cease-fire from the get-go. Overlooked by Israel until November when a fresh tunnel was discovered being dug into israel. Of couse the diggers were discovered and IDF got them.  Certainly a breach by Hamas of the cease-fire.  Then 3 weeks ago Hamas refused to resign the agreement. Instead they increased the rate of the missles and rockets.

Hamas begged, promoted, asked, instigated, desired, wanted Israel to come into Gaza. Finally goaded Israel to come in. As any nation would do. Power and range of rockets were getting larger.  Iran orders Hamas around, anyway.  Hamas is a danger to its own people.

Israel doesn’t want to keep feeding gazans.  They belong back in the house/area of Egypt. They can help them get startd in governing .  Properly. Under the artificial UN group, there is no accountabilty.  Must have that to govern.  Wasting all the monies that is doled into the country on missles and rockets, not businesses or farms or industry. Yes, they need to have Egypt have the responsiblity for few decades again to help them jump start their society.

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By marta, January 14, 2009 at 5:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It was the Israeli’s who First overpowered the Palestianans ,for the Greed to occupy more land, and with the help of Britian, and the United States, suppling the money and weapons, it is being accoumplished, Nazi Massacre Style. The same as was done to the American Indians. If anyone deserves the Billions that are sent to Israel, it’s the American Indians.

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By Eso, January 14, 2009 at 5:10 am Link to this comment

“But I am forced to admit that they bring this on themselves by allowing and supporting leaders who take them down this path.  Only these people can end it and only when they feel that they have had enough. They just have to want it bad enough”.
.................

Yes, they have to want it bad enough to self-sacrifice themselves before every church, synagogue, and temple. And then maybe the parishioners—if not the world—will take notice.

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By PatrickHenry, January 14, 2009 at 4:28 am Link to this comment

By Average American Joe, January 13 at 11:12 pm #

I understand this statement to be a feeble excuse to attack an under armed populace:

“But I am forced to admit that they bring this on themselves by allowing and supporting leaders who take them down this path.  Only these people can end it and only when they feel that they have had enough. They just have to want it bad enough”.

They didn’t want it bad enough so they must die.

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By thebeerdoctor, January 14, 2009 at 4:15 am Link to this comment

This has become so tiresome. The many posters who try to point out the obvious injustice of the situation, always wind up reading the postings of the brutally equivocating deniers. Both Nozferatu and Shingo have pointed out that militant organizations against the “state” of Israel, are in fact, reactionary products of their own “stated” misguided policies. What is also equally ridiculous is the notion that Israel, backed up by its vicious big brother The United States, can decide what government the Palestinians are allowed to choose. This is suppose to be democracy?
But what is the use? The folks who embrace this monstrous injustice will find a myriad of ways to justify their insanity. They have hijacked reason the way organized religion has hijacked spirituality. The blessed desert god religions will make a desert of this planet yet. The industry of militarism demands it.

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By Nozferatu, January 14, 2009 at 12:52 am Link to this comment

AndrewX:

Would you agree to living in a slum in an area about twice the size of Washington DC? 

Will you agree to limiting your running water to less than a few hours a day?  How about electricity?  Will you mind if I shut if off for 12-15 hours a day?  How about food?  Can I ration it for you so you go hungry all the time?

How about work?  Can I have you be humiliated, have your time wasted, and have you out of work 50% of the time? 

Tell me…do you really think it’s the world’s problem to find a place for YOU when you have no problem finding a place for others?

How have you improved life on earth?  By who’s grace can you be so arrogant? 

Giving yourselves awards is easy when you pretty much run the businesses you speak of…have you heard of nepotism of the extreme form?

What nonsense.  Perhaps if you stopped stroking your egos for a moment and realized how much damage you have caused, you’d think twice about your view of enrichment.  All that enrichment and still you act like barbarians and imperialists.  Have you learned nothing?

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By Nozferatu, January 14, 2009 at 12:43 am Link to this comment

Do you even know the history of Hamas?  Do you know why it was formed?  It won elections because of the corruption in the secular Fatah party that was backed by Israel and the US for various purposes.

Hamas has a more religious base than Fatah.  But the irony lies in the fact that when a religious organization takes over, democratically no less, the religious right-wing nutjobs in American and Israel (like the murderous morally bankrupt scumbag Netenyahu) feel they have a God given right to put other peoples’ choices down.

How do you expect a culture that has been dehumanized by people like you to “calm down” and sit across the other side of the table when all they have seen is two-faced barbarism, racism, and control?  Would you if you were them?

I doubt it very much.

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By Shingo, January 14, 2009 at 12:40 am Link to this comment

Average American Joe,

You seem like a nice enough guy, which makes your comments all the more disturbing.  You may think you’re a moderate and rational person, yet you are not even aware fo the implications of this statement.

“I would rather they finish this once and for all and end this perrenial conflict than let Hamas or its allies win or even draw and go on thinking that this kind of extremist behavior is acceptable anymore.”

Do you have any idea what “finish this once and for all” implies, short of genocide?

Furthermore, painting this as some good vs evil scenario is nothing short of juvenile.  First you lump together Hamas, the Taliban, and Al Queda, and dismiss them as merely gun toting despots spasming in a violent death roll.

If you knew anything about Hamas, you would realize that they, like Hezbollah, are a product of Israel’s aggression.  There would be no Hezbollah if Israel had not invaded Lebanon and occupied it.  There would be no Hamas had Israel not supported it in eh beginning in it’s effort to thwart the PLO and thus avoid having to deal with it.

The Taliban have not attacked us.  They had nothing to do with 911.

As for who you want as a neighbor, that is none of our business.  That is the concern of the ME, not ours.

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By Average American Joe, January 14, 2009 at 12:12 am Link to this comment

I read a book once, and I’m sorry I can’t remember the title or Author, but it had a short discourse that stuck in my head.  It stated that as technology evolved and created a more mobile and fluid society, Totalitarian governments would eventual vanish after a brief but violent spasm of death. 
  It went on to explain that any government that did not allow its people to use, own, or become educated in the use of modern technology would quickly become outdated and unproductive compared to the rest of the world. It would become unable to manufacture anything of interest to more industrialized societies and would be forced to rely on the export of natural resources and its pool of cheap labor to create national revenue.  Even this would eventually fail as natural resources dried up or replaced by modern technology.
  The only recourse would be to eventually educate the people, modernize its infrastructure, and allow technology to trickle down to the populace.  And this would be the totalitarian governments death sentence.  For how can one control a population so absolutely when one has handed that population the very tools to interfere with and manipulate the infrastructure itself?
  This book was an old one, written back in the 60’s or 70’s.  May have been Orwell, I’m not sure.  But this sure sounds like the trap that certain middle eastern countries have found themselves in, doesn’t it?
  Hamas, the Taliban, Al Queda, and the numerous other organizations like them are merely gun toting despots spasming in a violent death roll, sickened with hate at the world that has passed them by and proven their beliefs to be ill founded and unwelcome.
  Regardless of what some of you ivory tower liberals want to admit, the simple truth is this:  No civilized person wants an organization like Hamas or the type of people who run it to be their neighbors.  Israel may have contributed just as much to this war as Hamas, may have erred in its politics, and may even be a bunch of jerks; but who would you rather sit to table with?  If I am forced to take a side morally or physically in theis sensless violence, I would lay it all on the side of Israel.  I would rather they finish this once and for all and end this perrenial conflict than let Hamas or its allies win or even draw and go on thinking that this kind of extremist behavior is acceptable anymore.
  I really feel for the innocent Palestinians, but they can end this by letting go of Hamas and seeking governance from more moderate leaders who can bring peace and prosperity into Gaza and the West Bank.
  Israel “gets away” with their behavior because they deal peacefully and meaningfully with the international community, have a healthy economy, and a benevolent government.  These militant groups antagonize everyone outside the middle east and a good chunk of those within by acting like barbarian maniacs.  Public executions, kidnappings, and murder in the name of governing is stupid and gets you nothing but bad press and ill will amongst the nations of the world.
  I like a great deal of things about Arab and Persian cultures. Individually, they are men and women and children no different than I find in my own neighborhood.  And yet, as a group I find their politic repulsive and their willingness to cheer hate and violence abhorent.  Their culture needs to mature and calm a bit to sit at my table.
  I am an ex-soldier so I say this with some trepidation.  Killing and death are things to be avoided.  Wounded and orphaned children tear your hear to pieces.  Women lamenting lost family and men struggling with their inability to prtect and provide for their loved ones eat at your soul when you see them in person.  But I am forced to admit that they bring this on themselves by allowing and supporting leaders who take them down this path.  Only these people can end it and only when they feel that they have had enough. They just have to want it bad enough.

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By Shingo, January 13, 2009 at 10:18 pm Link to this comment

Hamas did honor the cease-fire, but Israel refused to lift the blockade - hence Hamas were left with a choice to die quietly or respond.

In the summer of 2003, Hamas undertook a unilateral ceasefire for the summer, and Israel continued to kidnap and assassinate Haas leaders.

As Gareth Porter reported, Hamas tried to renew the ceasefire in mid December and Israel refused.  You re just repeaating debunked Isralei propaganda.

Israel planned to go into Gaza 18 months ago.  Yes, , Israel left Gaza in 2005, and immediately blockaded Gaza and returned in 2006 to punish the Palestinians for the wrong way. I

These were hardly unprecedented attacks - the were provoked by a weak Israeli government who had been humiliated in South Lebanon in 2006. C

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By AndrewX, January 13, 2009 at 8:19 pm Link to this comment

men womyn children six million…people.. defenceless…
tell me Chris ...where and how.????
thats more than the population of Sydney.. slaughtered….
Tell me??? tell us please???
let us go…

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By KDelphi, January 13, 2009 at 8:09 pm Link to this comment

AnderwX—After WWII (which has less to do with zionism than many think), we should have let them come here.No one here has a “specific holy land homeland”. What they should do now, I dont think anyone knows. But, we should stop supplying them with death weapons.

If Israel wants to behave like this—they should go their own way. Or, we should sell equal weapons to Gaza..as PatrickHenry suggested on antoher thread.I cant believe that Chuck Schumer was applauding Israel’s actions today, at a rally. Campaign money, I guess.

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By AndrewX, January 13, 2009 at 8:05 pm Link to this comment

i want to go home… Please…
i live in australia.. thanks australia.. but its not home…its a sanctuary.. but we know how people feel about Jews…
where is my home??? where is our home…???

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By PatrickHenry, January 13, 2009 at 7:24 pm Link to this comment

By AndrewX, January 13 at 6:08 pm #

You asked.

http://www.tellingfilms.co.uk/birobidjan.htm

Nice, out of the way, no neighbors to screw with.

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By AndrewX, January 13, 2009 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment

Do you think the state of israel should exist? do you believe the jews should have a homeland? a place we can call home? if so where and how?
we have taken home over 20% of all nobel prizes. we have improved life on earth…

where do you want us to go..???
please tell me???

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By P. T., January 13, 2009 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment

Here is video of the children the Zionists are attacking.  Click on http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/13/gaza-israel-war-crimes

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By Ed Harges, January 13, 2009 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

Howie writes:

“Hamas is very much at fault.  If there was no instigation on their part, there would have been NO repsponse by Israel.”

Yes, Howie - if only the people of Gaza had been able to endure Israel’s blockade and other constant acts of war without a peep of resistance, indefinitely.

That would have been “peace”, right, Howie? The Israelis were happy to have the Palestinians live this way. Why weren’t the Palestinians happy with this “ceasefire”?

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By Howard, January 13, 2009 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

Hamas is very much at fault.  If there was no instigation on their part, there would have been NO repsponse by Israel. 

In November, besides suffering bombardment since a truce was initiated supposedly the previous June, a tunnel, a fresh tunnel was discovered coming from gaza into Israel.  Quite a breach of the ’ truce ‘.  Israel went after the tunnel diggers and fire fight resultd in their deaths.  This was not a bunch of civilians.  Israel did not break the questiionable truce, and after that Hamas increased its daily number of rockets even. Pretended it was Israel’s fault.  Ya, know. Scream it was Them.  Not us.  Just like 3 weeks ago when Hamas refused to resign the truce with Israel. Yes, Hamas, on its own, or with Iran’s orders,  refused to resign the truce.  Begged, provoked, incited, pleaded with Israel to attack.

Of course Israel drew up plans months ago…goodness gracious, prepare a little bit if need be.  The bombardment had been going on for months, if not years.  And the range of rockets that were smuugled in from Iran and their explosive power were getting larger.  What would any nation do?

Tried a blockade of some goods, not everything, to deter more missles from Gaza.  Just like we blockaded to this day somethings with Cuba.  Or Iran. Did not work for Israel..  Hamas increased it fire into Israel in December, no less.  What should Israel do?  Not defend its people.?  Tell its people to accept more and better missles and rockets like good little children?

Give Israel a break.  Would like to see one, uno, single article telling their side of it. Israel is not the devil incarnate.  No matter what Es Jaareza propounds.

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By Robert, January 13, 2009 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment

January 13, 2009

Seeing Through the Lies

The Facts About Hamas and the War on Gaza

By NORMAN FINKELSTEIN

“The record is fairly clear. You can find it on the Israeli website, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. Israel broke the ceasefire by going into the Gaza and killing six or seven Palestinian militants. At that point—and now I’m quoting the official Israeli website—Hamas retaliated or, in retaliation for the Israeli attack, then launched the missiles.

Now, as to the reason why, the record is fairly clear as well. According to Ha’aretz, Defense Minister Barak began plans for this invasion before the ceasefire even began. In fact, according to yesterday’s Ha’aretz, the plans for the invasion began in March. And the main reasons for the invasion, I think, are twofold. Number one; to enhance what Israel calls its deterrence capacity, which in layman’s language basically means Israel’s capacity to terrorize the region into submission. After their defeat in July 2006 in Lebanon, they felt it important to transmit the message that Israel is still a fighting force, still capable of terrorizing those who dare defy its word.

And the second main reason for the attack is because Hamas was signaling that it wanted a diplomatic settlement of the conflict along the June 1967 border. That is to say, Hamas was signaling they had joined the international consensus, they had joined most of the international community, overwhelmingly the international community, in seeking a diplomatic settlement. And at that point, Israel was faced with what Israelis call a Palestinian peace offensive. And in order to defeat the peace offensive, they sought to dismantle Hamas.

As was documented in the April 2008 issue of Vanity Fair by the writer David Rose, basing himself on internal US documents, it was the United States in cahoots with the Palestinian Authority and Israel which were attempting a putsch on Hamas, and Hamas preempted the putsch. That, too, is no longer debatable or no longer a controversial claim.

The issue is can it rule in Gaza if Israel maintains a blockade and prevents economic activity among the Palestinians. The blockade, incidentally, was implemented before Hamas came to power. The blockade doesn’t even have anything to do with Hamas. The blockade came to—there were Americans who were sent over, in particular James Wolfensohn, to try to break the blockade after Israel redeployed its troops in Gaza.

The problem all along has been that Israel doesn’t want Gaza to develop, and Israel doesn’t want to resolve diplomatically the conflict, both the leadership in Damascus and the leadership in the Gaza have repeatedly made statements they’re willing to settle the conflict in the June 1967 border. The record is fairly clear. In fact, it’s unambiguously clear.

Every year, the United Nations General Assembly votes on a resolution entitled “Peaceful Settlement of the Palestine Question.” And every year the vote is the same: it’s the whole world on one side; Israel, the United States and some South Sea atolls and Australia on the other side. The vote this past year was 164-to-7. Every year since 1989—in 1989, the vote was 151-to-3, the whole world on one side, the United States, Israel and the island state of Dominica on the other side.

We have the Arab League, all twenty-two members of the Arab League, favoring a two-state settlement on the June 1967 border. We have the Palestinian Authority favoring that two-state settlement on the June 1967 border. We now have Hamas favoring that two-state settlement on the June 1967 border. The one and only obstacle is Israel, backed by the United States. That’s the problem.”

http://www.counterpunch.org/finkelstein01132009.html

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By thebeerdoctor, January 13, 2009 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment

re: Ed Harges

To quote Avrum Burg, an Israeli and former member of the government reveals that the Holocaust excuse for atrocities does not work. But also the “self hating Jew” applied to Jewish critics of Israeli policy is totally false. In other words, there is no rational explanation for their advocacy of senseless violence, other than to disguise the fact that it is nothing more than full scale land robbery and ethnic cleansing, fully facilitated by United States military assistance. There is the true rub. The insanity of political religion reveals that any semblance of moral order simply does not exist. Despite all the talk of compassion amongst the 3 desert god religions, what their most fiery adherents REALLY want is a judgmental, spiteful, all powerful God to smite their enemies, which basically includes everyone outside of their own chosen, delusional cult. Make no mistake, the adherents of the 3 desert god religions will systematically bring about the destruction of this planet. That is how crazy they really are.

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By brewerstroupe, January 13, 2009 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment

Who will save Israel from itself?
By Mark LeVine

One by one the justifications given by Israel for its latest war in Gaza are unravelling.

The argument that this is a purely defensive war, launched only after Hamas broke a six-month ceasefire has been challenged, not just by observers in the know such as Jimmy Carter, the former US president who helped facilitate the truce, but by centre-right Israeli intelligence think tanks.

The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, whose December 31 report titled “Six Months of the Lull Arrangement Intelligence Report,” confirmed that the June 19 truce was only “sporadically violated, and then not by Hamas but instead by ... “rogue terrorist organisations”.

Instead, “the escalation and erosion of the lull arrangement” occurred after Israel killed six Hamas members on November 4 without provocation and then placed the entire Strip under an even more intensive siege the next day.

According to a joint Tel Aviv University-European University study, this fits a larger pattern in which Israeli violence has been responsible for ending 79 per cent of all lulls in violence since the outbreak of the second intifada, compared with only 8 per cent for Hamas and other Palestinian factions.

http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/war_on_gaza/2009/01/2009110112723260741.html

......................................................

Hamas teaches their people nothing else but hate in the schools

The biggest and best school in Gaza is run by a Catholic Priest.

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By mike, January 13, 2009 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“We need a lobby specifically constituted to thwart the Israel lobby.”

Then go ahead and form it. People have been saying this for years and have tried. The reason they have failed is because most of the American people simply don’t agree with them. They remember Palestinians dancing in the streets on 9/11. But if you feel there is significant support for the Palestinians among Americans, then this is a democracy and you have the right to organize that support, just as the Jews do. What’s stopping you? Has your vote been taken away from you? Jews only constitute 3% or so of the American population. So it should only take 4% of the American population to outvote them. Go ahead, organize, support and campaign for politicians who agree with you. AIPAC may be powerful, but all they do is work within the confines of the American democratic system. They organize, support politicians who support their cause, and make sacrifices to donate to them. You’re free to do the same. But to suggest that politicians from states that are overwhelmingly Christian, where Jews constitute even less than 3% of the population, are controlled by Jews simply doesn’t make sense.

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By Ed Harges, January 13, 2009 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

beerdoctor quotes A. Burg:

“Even the Holocaust, the lesson is “Never Again.” But this doesn’t mean just never again can genocide be allowed to happen to the Jews, but never again can genocide be allowed to happen to any human being.”
————————————

Don’t you love how we in the US have to find a Jewish quote in order to have permission to think what should be morally obvious to all?

That’s the reality of the debate on this subject - if you dissent at all from the Israeli line, you’d better make sure you’ve got your Jewish quotations lined up - because only what the Jews think can possibly ever count.

To quote a Palestinian (or a WASP, or Jesse Jackson) saying exactly the same thing would mean nothing — in the American world of “debate” on the Middle East.

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By Shingo, January 13, 2009 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment

Howard,

Just about everything you have stated is a lie.

You say that Hmas teaches their people nothing else but hate in the schools and mosques.  What do you call getting young children to write messages on bombs about to be dropped on Lebanon?

Israel vilated the ceasefire from the first day.  They agreed to lift the blockade, then refused to do it.

It was revealed this week that Hamas DID try to renew the truce in December, but Israel refused.

http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=45350

Hedges has it right. Israel has declared war on Gaza - as it planned to do over 18 months ago.

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By Ed Harges, January 13, 2009 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

Americans, wake up!

We need a lobby specifically constituted to thwart the Israel lobby.

“J Street” is not good enough. It’s the “Israel Lobby Lite”. We need a lobby organized to oppose the very idea of this “special relationship”.  J Street does not and cannot do that.

Without a truly opposing, hostile, powerful political force, pro-Israel partisans of both the right and “left” will continue to dominate our foreign policy and media, perpetuating the idea that Israelis (at least the Jewish ones)  are somehow better than people — not only better than Palestinians, and but even better than Americans, who must serve Israel without question in order to please God (or what-effing-ever).

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By thebeerdoctor, January 13, 2009 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

If someone uses the rant of a political hack such as Susan Estrich, to justify the slaughter in Gaza, obviously such delusional thinking will never end. An American baby-boom Zionist is the best they can come up with? I guess such folks would consider Avrum Burg a self-hating Jew:

“Even the Holocaust, the lesson is “Never Again.” But this doesn’t mean just never again can genocide be allowed to happen to the Jews, but never again can genocide be allowed to happen to any human being.”

http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,1869325,00.html

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By yours truly, January 13, 2009 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Settler-State Israel Puts Jews At Risk

“Why is that?”

“Along with its conquest of Palestine and the holocaust it is causing in Gaza, its claim to speak for all Jews.”

“But if not Israel who better speaks for the Jewish people?”

“True Jews.”

“Based on?”

“Always siding with the slave, never with the slaveowner.”

“What makes the Palestinian the slave?”

“Having one’s homeland occupied by another people is to be enslaved.”

“Which means that the Zionist settlers are?”

“Slaveowners and therefore not true Jews.”

“What’s the true Jew’s responsibility here?”

“To rise up and demand justice for the Palestinian people.”

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By tropicgirl, January 13, 2009 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

The only solution that will now work is a ONE state solution with all its members having equal rights. So let Israel take over. It really already has. The only difference is that by not acknowledging this they can operate an apartheid nation. Let there be one state with democracy. By winning Israel will eventually disappear. I believe they already know this is inevitable and are trying to exterminate.

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By M.B.S.S., January 13, 2009 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment

thnkubush:

you dont think we dont know all about susan estrich and thomas sowell and cant anticipate the dribble they will spew?  you cant think for yourself enough to come up with something original?  you are recycling their pablum which are simply recycled and repackaged talking points.  the degree of separation from novelty is astounding.  why dont you copy and paste some jonah goldberg while youre at it.  that should do the trick.

thomas sowell, give me a break.

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By brewerstroupe, January 13, 2009 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

Israel Is Losing This War

By Uri Avnery

NEARLY SEVENTY YEARS ago, in the course of World War II, a heinous crime was committed in the city of Leningrad. For more than a thousand days, a gang of extremists called “the Red Army” held the millions of the town’s inhabitants hostage and provoked retaliation from the German Wehrmacht from inside the population centers. The Germans had no alternative but to bomb and shell the population and to impose a total blockade, which caused the death of hundreds of thousands.

Avnery is an Israeli writer. He was a fighter with the Irgun and has been a member of Israel’s Parliament.

http://www.progressive.org/mag/avnery011109.html

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By troublesum, January 13, 2009 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

By telling the Palestinians to leave their homes, the Israelis mean for them to leave the country.  They have been telling them this for 75 years.  It isn’t a matter of telling them to get to safety before they bomb their homes, they are telling them to get out of the country.  Does it really matter whether they die in their homes or in the streets or in the next UN sanctuary that they go to for refuge.
The message is the same as it ever has been: leave the country or we will kill you.

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By troublesum, January 13, 2009 at 10:14 am Link to this comment

democracynow is giving the Israeli line again today.  As Robert Fisk said, “If you are doing a report on the slave trade, you don’t need to bring the captain of the slave ship in for his side of the story.”

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By Ed Harges, January 13, 2009 at 10:03 am Link to this comment

re: By Robert, January 13 at 6:49 am:

This is just appalling.

When the American backlash against Israel finally comes, it will be as sudden and massive as the financial meltdown.

Israel’s supporters will be stunned, like all those traders and investors back in September who were scratching their heads and wondering, “Why didn’t we see this coming?”

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By Robert, January 13, 2009 at 7:49 am Link to this comment

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Israeli PM Ehud Olmert Claims to be Able to Order Bush Around

“So outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was speaking in Ashkelon on Monday, and he said the most amazing thing. The USG Open Source Center translated the relevant passage from his speech, in which he claimed he had the ability to control US foreign policy and summarily over-rule the Secretary of State:


‘“Olmert Says Israel Determined To Go On, Recalls Phone Talk on UNSC Vote With Bush
Telephone report from Ashqelon by political correspondent Shmu’el Tal—liveA
Voice of Israel Network B
Monday, January 12, 2009 . . .
Document Type: OSC Translated Text

[Olmert:] “It transpired all of a sudden that a vote would be held in 10 minutes’ time. I tried to find President Bush, and I was told he was attending an event in Philadelphia.”

Cont’d


‘I know that if somebody tried to find me on the phone right now, it would have to be something unusual and extraordinary for them to say: Leave it all and go to some room to talk to me. In this case, I said: I don’t care, I have to talk to him right now.

He was taken off the podium and brought to a side room. I spoke with him; I told him: You can’t vote for this proposal.

He said: Listen, I don’t know, I didn’t see, don’t know what it says.

I told him: I know, and you can’t vote for it!

He then instructed the secretary of state, and she did not vote for it.

It was a proposal she had put together, one she formulated, one she organized, one she maneuvered. It left her rather embarrassed, abstaining in the vote on a proposal she herself had put together. That was why the French and the Brits said she had pulled a fast one on them, she having been the one to spur them to submit the proposals.” ‘


Olmert’s account cannot be accurate as to detail. Bush was not interrupted during his speech in Philadelphia, and the speech was given many hours before the UN vote. But that kind of discrepancy is easily resolved if we want to believe that Olmert is telling the truth. When he called the White House, he may have initially gotten a staffer who said something like, Bush is away at Philadelphia for a speech. Olmert could have misunderstood the staffer to say that Bush was still giving the speech.”


http://www.juancole.com/2009/01/israeli-pm-ehud-olmert-claims-to-be.html

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By Allan Gurfinkle, January 13, 2009 at 7:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

—-By ThnkUBush, January 13 at 3:11 am #

—-We will not go back to the ovens. Israel was the answer to the ovens, and if Israel is your enemy, so am I.

There is a intentional tendency to conflate ‘ovens’ with ‘gas chambers’ in the holocaust history.  Crematory ovens are used to cremate bodies, they are not murder weapons, it is gas chambers that were used to kill millions of Jews, according to the holocaust narrative.

Quite a bit can be learned about these ‘gas chambers’ by viewing the video ‘David Cole Interviews Frantisek Piper, Director, Auschwitz State Museum’, at

http://www.vho.org/GB/c/DC/gcgvcole.html

The video includes a tour of Auschwitz accompanied by David Cole and an official guide, it includes a visit to the ‘gas chamber’ shown everyday to visitors to Auschwitz.

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By Allan Gurfinkle, January 13, 2009 at 6:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By KDelphi, January 12 at 4:03 pm #

—-http://www.endtheoccupation.org/
—-http://www.imemc.org/article/58313 (Palestine)
—-Some browsers are blocking these, citing “your browser does not support hatred and racism”...why do we put up with this shit?! Time to switch to Firefox…

Both browsers access the first website on my computer, so I don’t think it is the browser.  There is a very active campaign to restrict access to websites that advocate “hate and racism” by the ADL, with “hate and racism” including anything the ADL disapproves.  Thus, some of my favorite sites ! are not accessible with any browser on the New York library system computers.

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By Howard, January 13, 2009 at 6:39 am Link to this comment

RE:  ThnkUBush

Well explained !  thx.

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By thebeerdoctor, January 13, 2009 at 5:40 am Link to this comment

Mr. Hedges is simply stating the obvious, and all the “Howards” of this world can not change these facts. KDelphi is right, if a browser is trying to edit what you look at it, it is long overdue to get Firefox, the finest on this planet (Open source=freedom).
To links worth looking at:
http://www.alternet.org/audits/119372/

http://www.alternet.org/vision/119065/

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By Andre De Angelis, January 13, 2009 at 5:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Howard,

You say that Hamas speaks the language of Death.

Was is not Barak’s loyal deputy, Matan Vilnai, who made his now infamous comment that, should the rocket fire continue, Gazans would face a “shoah” – the Hebrew word for holocaust?

Now please remind us, who is it that speaks the language of death?

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By Andre De Angelis, January 13, 2009 at 4:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Howard,

You exemply the derrangement of the Zionists midset.

1. It was revealed thsi week that Israel rejuected the continuination fo the ceasefire.

http://www.antiwar.com/porter/

2. Israel agreed to lift the blockade as part of the June ceassefire agreeement.  They never did, hence it was they who vilated the truce from day 1.

3. Israel planned this siege 18 months ago.

4. The November attack was on the Gaza side of the border.  Israel could have blocked the tunnel on the Israeli side, but chose the Gaza side to provoke Hamas.

5. The Israeli blockade of Gaza is an act of war and contravenes international law.

6. Israel has never cared abotu iternational opinion, so it’s insistence that Hamas recognise it is pure theatrics.

7. Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas, even though they helped create it.

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By PatrickHenry, January 13, 2009 at 4:40 am Link to this comment

The candyass IDF have some explaining to do.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123154826952369919.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

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By ThnkUBush, January 13, 2009 at 4:18 am Link to this comment

Pretty Talk and Ugly Realities
By Thomas Sowell

No phrase represents more of a triumph of hope over experience than the phrase “Middle East peace process.” A close second might be the once-fashionable notion that Israel should “trade land for peace.”
Since everybody seems to be criticizing Israel for its military response to the rockets being fired into their country from the Gaza strip, let me add my criticisms as well. The Israelis traded land for peace, but they have never gotten the peace, so they should take back the land.
Maybe a couple of generations of Palestinians in Gaza living in peace under Israeli occupation and a couple of generations of the occupation troops squelching the terrorists—“militants” for those of you who are squeamish—would set up conditions where the Palestinians would be free to vote on whether they would like to remain occupied or to have their own state—minus terrorists and their rockets.
Casualty totals alone should be enough to show that the Palestinian people are the biggest losers from the current situation, where the terrorists among them, firing rockets into Israel, can bring devastating retaliatory strikes.
Why don’t the Palestinians vote for some representatives who would make a lasting peace with Israel? Because any such candidates would be killed by the terrorists long before election day, so nobody volunteers for that dangerous role.
We don’t know what the Palestinians really want—and won’t know as long as they are ruled by Hamas, Hezbollah and the like.
Whatever the benefits of peace for the Palestinian population, what are the terrorists going to do in peacetime? Become librarians and furniture salesmen?
So-called “world opinion” has been a largely negative factor in this situation. Nothing is easier than for people living in peace and safety in Paris or Rome to call for a “cease fire” after the Israelis retaliate against people who are firing rockets into their country.
The time to cease fire was before the rockets were fired.
What do calls for “cease fire” and “negotiations” do? They lower the price of launching attacks. This is true not only in the Middle East but in other parts of the world as well.
After Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, if British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had heeded calls for a “cease fire,” that would have simply lowered the price to be paid by the Argentine government for their invasion.
Go back a hundred years—before there was a United Nations and before “world opinion” was taken into account.
An Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands at that time would have risked not only a British counter-attack to retake the islands but also British attacks on Argentina itself.
Anywhere in the world, attacks such as those on Israel today would not only have risked retaliation but invasion and annihilation of the government that launched those attacks.
Today, so-called “world opinion” not only limits the price to be paid for aggression or terrorism, it has even led to the self-indulgence of third parties talking pretty talk about limiting the response of those who are attacked to what is “proportionate.”
By this reasoning, we should not have declared war on Japan for bombing Pearl Harbor. We should have gone over to Japan, bombed one of their harbors—and let it go at that.
Does anyone imagine that this would have led to Japan’s becoming as peaceful today as it has become after Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
Or is the real agenda to engage in moral preening from a safe distance and at somebody else’s expense?
Those who think “negotiations” are a magic answer seem not to understand that when A wants to annihilate B, this is not an “issue” that can be resolved amicably around a conference table.

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By ThnkUBush, January 13, 2009 at 4:11 am Link to this comment

The World is Wrong to Condemn Israel
By Susan Estrich

“Go back to the oven,” the woman in her hijab in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., yelled to the Jewish Americans demonstrating their support for Israel. “You need a big oven, that’s what you need.”

This is why I love Israel and always have. It is because Israel will never surrender to their hatred.

Israel is tiny. If you live in Massachusetts, as I did when I traveled there two decades ago, imagine Rhode Island being in the hands of those who are committed to destruction, sending rockets over your common border. If you live in Los Angeles, as I do now, imagine San Diego being not only a different state, but a committed enemy whose official government has long been listed as a terrorist organization.

How do you live like that? How do you raise your children knowing that, when they graduate from high school, they will go to war against those who do not place the same value on human life as you do, fighting people who send their children to be suicide bombers?

Amid the violence in Gaza, Israel stopped shooting for three hours yesterday to allow the people to get food and supplies, to allow trucks with medical supplies to deliver them in safety. Imagine Hamas doing the same thing to help Israeli civilians. I cannot. Not for a minute.

I do not always like everything Israel does. I do not always like everything my own country does. But I love Israel for the determination and courage of its people in standing up to the terrorists who would destroy it. And I detest those who traffic in anti-Semitism and then seek to excuse their hatred of me by saying no, it isn’t Jews they hate. Just Israel. Liars.

The world is busy condemning Israel. The media are busy doubting its future. Time magazine goes on for pages about why Israel can’t win. Maybe it can’t, but it also can’t lose.

Dick Morris says this is the doves’ war, the last chance for the left-leaning government of Prime Minister Olmert and Defense Minister Barak to beat back the prospect of defeat by the more hard-line Binyamin Netanyahu. Politics is relative. From what I know, there are no doves in Israel. How can you be a dove when the rockets are landing 17 miles outside of Tel Aviv? You can fight or you can fight more. If Hamas can get away with murder, why should Iran fear at all?

No one likes seeing civilians suffer and die. No one likes seeing hospitals overrun, supplies running out, doctors near exhaustion. But terrorists who use schools and hospitals as launching pads for attacks should not complain when the bombs hit the targets they have created. No one likes to see children die, but so-called leaders who use their children as pawns and train them to kill should not expect sympathy when the lives they risk so carelessly are then lost.

If I knew the answer, I would tell you. I don’t. But I know what isn’t the answer. It is not the answer to sit back and let the rockets rain down. It is not the answer to let terrorists attack you and not fight back.

We will not go back to the ovens. Israel was the answer to the ovens, and if Israel is your enemy, so am I.

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By brewerstroupe, January 13, 2009 at 2:49 am Link to this comment

cont…
The logic of those who demand that we stop our resistance is absurd. They absolve the aggressor and occupier - armed with the deadliest weapons of death and destruction - of responsibility, while blaming the victim, prisoner and occupied. Our modest, home-made rockets are our cry of protest to the world. Israel and its American and European sponsors want us to be killed in silence. But die in silence we will not.

What is being visited on Gaza today was visited on Yasser Arafat before. When he refused to bow to Israel’s dictates, he was imprisoned in his Ramallah headquarters, surrounded by tanks for two years. When this failed to break his resolve, he was murdered by poisoning.

Gaza enters 2009 just as it did 2008: under Israeli fire. Between January and February of last year 140 Gazans died in air strikes. And just before it embarked on its failed military assault on Lebanon in July 2006, Israel rained thousands of shells on Gaza, killing 240. From Deir Yassin in 1948 to Gaza today, the list of Israel’s crimes is long. The justifications change, but the reality is the same: colonial occupation, oppression, and never-ending injustice. If this is the “free world” whose “values” Israel is defending, as its foreign minister Tzipi Livni alleges, then we want nothing to do with it.

Israel’s leaders remain in the grip of confusion, unable to set clear goals for the attacks - from ousting the legitimately elected Hamas government and destroying its infrastructure, to stopping the rockets. As they fail to break Gaza’s resistance the benchmark has been lowered. Now they speak of weakening Hamas and limiting the resistance. But they will achieve neither. Gaza’s people are more united than ever, determined not to be terrorised into submission. Our fighters, armed with the justice of their cause, have already caused many casualties among the occupation army and will fight on to defend their land and people. Nothing can defeat our will to be free.

Once again, Washington and Europe have opted to aid and abet the jailer, occupier and aggressor, and to condemn its victims. We hoped Barack Obama would break with George Bush’s disastrous legacy but his start is not encouraging. While he swiftly moved to denounce the Mumbai attacks, he remains tongue-tied after 10 days of slaughter in Gaza. But my people are not alone. Millions of freedom-loving men and women stand by its struggle for justice and liberation - witness daily protests against Israeli aggression, not only in the Arab and Islamic region, but worldwide.

Israel will no doubt wreak untold destruction, death and suffering in Gaza. But it will meet the same fate in Gaza as it did in Lebanon. We will not be broken by siege and bombardment, and will never surrender to occupation.

• Khalid Mish’al is the head of the Hamas political bureau

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By brewerstroupe, January 13, 2009 at 2:47 am Link to this comment

This brutality will never break our will to be free

For 18 months my people in Gaza have been under siege, incarcerated inside the world’s biggest prison, sealed off from land, air and sea, caged and starved, denied even medication for our sick. After the slow death policy came the bombardment. In this most densely populated of places, nothing has been spared Israel’s warplanes, from government buildings to homes, mosques, hospitals, schools and markets. More than 540 have been killed and thousands permanently maimed. A third are women and children. Whole families have been massacred, some while they slept.

This river of blood is being shed under lies and false pretexts. For six months we in Hamas observed the ceasefire. Israel broke it repeatedly from the start. Israel was required to open crossings to Gaza, and extend the truce to the West Bank. It proceeded to tighten its deadly siege of Gaza, repeatedly cutting electricity and water supplies. The collective punishment did not halt, but accelerated - as did the assassinations and killings. Thirty Gazans were killed by Israeli fire and hundreds of patients died as a direct effect of the siege during the so-called ceasefire. Israel enjoyed a period of calm. Our people did not.

When this broken truce neared its end, we expressed our readiness for a new comprehensive truce in return for lifting the blockade and opening all Gaza border crossings, including Rafah. Our calls fell on deaf ears. Yet still we would be willing to begin a new truce on these terms following the complete withdrawal of the invading forces from Gaza.

No rockets have ever been fired from the West Bank. But 50 died and hundreds more were injured there last year at Israel’s hands, while its expansionism proceeded relentlessly. We are meant to be content with shrinking scraps of territory, a handful of cantons at Israel’s mercy, enclosed by it from all sides.The truth is Israel seeks a one-sided ceasefire, observed by my people alone, in return for siege, starvation, bombardment, assassinations, incursions and colonial settlement. What Israel wants is a gratuitous ceasefire.

...cont..

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By brewerstroupe, January 13, 2009 at 2:36 am Link to this comment

...cont:

Our message to the Palestinians is this: our people are not only those who live under siege in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip but also the millions languishing in refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria and the millions spread around the world unable to return home. We promise you that nothing in the world will deter us from pursuing our goal of liberation and return. We shall spare no effort to work with all factions and institutions in order to put our Palestinian house in order. Having won the parliamentary elections, our medium-term objective is to reform the PLO in order to revive its role as a true representative of all the Palestinian people, without exception or discrimination.

Our message to the Israelis is this: we do not fight you because you belong to a certain faith or culture. Jews have lived in the Muslim world for 13 centuries in peace and harmony; they are in our religion “the people of the book” who have a covenant from God and His Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) to be respected and protected. Our conflict with you is not religious but political. We have no problem with Jews who have not attacked us - our problem is with those who came to our land, imposed themselves on us by force, destroyed our society and banished our people.

We shall never recognise the right of any power to rob us of our land and deny us our national rights. We shall never recognise the legitimacy of a Zionist state created on our soil in order to atone for somebody else’s sins or solve somebody else’s problem. But if you are willing to accept the principle of a long-term truce, we are prepared to negotiate the terms. Hamas is extending a hand of peace to those who are truly interested in a peace based on justice.

· Khalid Mish’al is head of the political bureau of Hamas .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/jan/31/comment.israelandthepalestinians

Send him your support. I am sure he could use it at this time. Also go down to the office of your local media outlet, place your hands about the Managing Editor’s throat and demand to know why this has not been front page news.

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By brewerstroupe, January 13, 2009 at 2:32 am Link to this comment

Reading the piece by prole, it suddenly struck me that maybe you “septics” (pardon a bit of antipodean rhyming slang, septic tank = yank, no offense intended) might not be in possession of any of Hamas’ statements.

I am going to post a couple. See they get around.

We will not sell our people or principles for foreign aid

Palestinians voted for Hamas because of our refusal to give up their rights. But we are ready to make a just peace.

It is widely recognised that the Palestinians are among the most politicised and educated peoples in the world. When they went to the polls last Wednesday they were well aware of what was on offer and those who voted for Hamas knew what it stood for. They chose Hamas because of its pledge never to give up the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and its promise to embark on a programme of reform. There were voices warning them, locally and internationally, not to vote for an organisation branded by the US and EU as terrorist because such a democratically exercised right would cost them the financial aid provided by foreign donors.

The day Hamas won the Palestinian democratic elections the world’s leading democracies failed the test of democracy. Rather than recognise the legitimacy of Hamas as a freely elected representative of the Palestinian people, seize the opportunity created by the result to support the development of good governance in Palestine and search for a means of ending the bloodshed, the US and EU threatened the Palestinian people with collective punishment for exercising their right to choose their parliamentary representatives.

We are being punished simply for resisting oppression and striving for justice. Those who threaten to impose sanctions on our people are the same powers that initiated our suffering and continue to support our oppressors almost unconditionally. We, the victims, are being penalised while our oppressors are pampered. The US and EU could have used the success of Hamas to open a new chapter in their relations with the Palestinians, the Arabs and the Muslims and to understand better a movement that has so far been seen largely through the eyes of the Zionist occupiers of our land.

Our message to the US and EU governments is this: your attempt to force us to give up our principles or our struggle is in vain. Our people who gave thousands of martyrs, the millions of refugees who have waited for nearly 60 years to return home and our 9,000 political and war prisoners in Israeli jails have not made those sacrifices in order to settle for close to nothing.

Hamas has been elected mainly because of its immovable faith in the inevitability of victory; and Hamas is immune to bribery, intimidation and blackmail. While we are keen on having friendly relations with all nations we shall not seek friendships at the expense of our legitimate rights. We have seen how other nations, including the peoples of Vietnam and South Africa, persisted in their struggle until their quest for freedom and justice was accomplished. We are no different, our cause is no less worthy, our determination is no less profound and our patience is no less abundant.

Our message to the Muslim and Arab nations is this: you have a responsibility to stand by your Palestinian brothers and sisters whose sacrifices are made on behalf of all of you. Our people in Palestine should not need to wait for any aid from countries that attach humiliating conditions to every dollar or euro they pay despite their historical and moral responsibility for our plight. We expect you to step in and compensate the Palestinian people for any loss of aid and we demand you lift all restrictions on civil society institutions that wish to fundraise for the Palestinian cause.


....cont.
· Khalid Mish’al is head of the political bureau of Hamas .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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