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With Gaza, Journalists Fail Again

Posted on Jan 26, 2009
AP photo / Sebastian Scheiner

A rainbow, as if projected by the American media, is seen over the northern Gaza Strip, from the Israel-Gaza Border.

By Chris Hedges

The assault on Gaza exposed not only Israel’s callous disregard for international law but the gutlessness of the American press. There were no major newspapers, television networks or radio stations that challenged Israel’s fabricated version of events that led to the Gaza attack or the daily lies Israel used to justify the unjustifiable. Nearly all reporters were, as during the buildup to the Iraq war, pliant stenographers and echo chambers. If we as journalists have a product to sell, it is credibility. Take that credibility away and we become little more than propagandists and advertisers. By refusing to expose lies we destroy, in the end, ourselves. 

All governments lie in wartime. Israel is no exception. Israel waged an effective war of black propaganda. It lied craftily with its glib, well-rehearsed government spokespeople, its ban on all foreign press in Gaza and its confiscation of cell phones and cameras from its own soldiers lest the reality of the attack inadvertently seep out. It was the Arabic network al-Jazeera, along with a handful of local reporters in Gaza, which upheld the honor of our trade, that of giving a voice to those who without our presence would have no voice, that of countering the amplified lies of the powerful with the faint cries and pain of the oppressed. But these examples of journalistic integrity were too few and barely heard by us.

We retreated, as usual, into the moral void of American journalism, the void of balance and objectivity. The ridiculous notion of being unbiased, outside of the flow of human existence, impervious to grief or pain or anger or injustice, allows reporters to coolly give truth and lies equal space and airtime. Balance and objectivity are the antidote to facing unpleasant truths, a way of avoidance, a way to placate the powerful. We record the fury of a Palestinian who has lost his child in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza but make sure to mention Israel’s “security needs,” include statements by Israeli officials who insist there was firing from the home or the mosque or the school and of course note Israel’s right to defend itself. We do this throughout the Middle East. We record the human toll in Iraq, caused by our occupation, but remind everyone that “Saddam killed his own people.” We write about the deaths of families in Afghanistan during an airstrike but never forget to mention that the Taliban “oppresses women.” Their crimes cancel out our crimes. It becomes a moral void. And above all we never forget to mention the “war on terror.” We ask how and who but never, never do we ask why. As long as we speak in the cold, dead language of those in power, the language that says a lie is as valid as a fact, the language where one version of history is as good as another, we are part of the problem, not the solution.

  “Bombs and rockets are flying between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza, and once again, The Times is caught in a familiar crossfire, accused from all sides of unfair and inaccurate coverage,” New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt breezily began in writing his assessment of the paper’s coverage, going on to conclude “though the most vociferous supporters of Israel and the Palestinians do not agree, I think The Times, largely barred from the battlefield and reporting amid the chaos of war, has tried its best to do a fair, balanced and complete job—and has largely succeeded.”

The cliché that Israel had a right to defend itself from Hamas rocket attacks—that bombs and rockets were “flying between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza”—was accepted in the press as an undisputed truth. It became the starting point for every hollow discussion of the Israeli attack. It left pundits and columnists chattering about “proportionality,” not legality. Israel was in open violation of international law, specifically Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which calls on an occupying power to respect the safety of occupied civilians. But you would not know this from the press reports. The use of attack aircraft and naval ships, part of the world’s fourth-largest military power, to level densely packed slums of people who were hungry, without power and often water, people surrounded on all sides by the Israeli army, was fatuously described as a war. The news coverage held up the absurd notion that a few Hamas fighters with light weapons and no organization were a counterforce to F-16 fighter jets, tank battalions, thousands of Israeli soldiers, armored personnel carriers, naval ships and Apache attack helicopters. It fit the Israeli narrative. It may have been balanced and objective. But it was not true.

The Hamas rockets are crude, often made from old pipes, and largely ineffectual. The first homemade Qassam rocket was fired across the Israeli border in October 2001. It was not until June 2004 that Israel suffered its first fatality. There are 24 Israelis who have been killed by Hamas rocket fire, compared with 5,000 Palestinian dead, more than half of them in Gaza, at least a third of them children. This does not absolve Hamas from firing rockets at civilian areas, which is a war crime, but it does raise questions about the story line swallowed without reflection by the press. I covered the Kosovo Albanians’ desperate attempts to resist the Serbs, which resulted in a handful of Serb casualties, but no one ever described the lopsided Serbian butchery in Kosovo as a war. It was called genocide, and it led to NATO intervention to halt it.


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By Eso, January 27, 2009 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

Thank you, Israel, for your milk of human kindness:

It makes my heart cry out with joy. More!

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By Ed Harges, January 27, 2009 at 7:44 am Link to this comment

It’s insane that our country has undertaken to guarantee and underwrite the ethnic nationalist project of another country.

This would be insane under any circumstances, but it’s particularly crazy when members of the ethnic group in question constitute only 2.5% of our own population. The US needs to cut Israel off.

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By RdV, January 27, 2009 at 7:36 am Link to this comment

ThnkUBush (that pretty much sizes up your credibility right there):
  I did consider adding that any opportunity to paint yourselves as the only persecuted victim (cynically using it as a tactic to deflect legitimate criticism for brutality)might be a benefit of having the whole world despise you. Instead you made my case for me. And I will say what I want—don’t forget your last refuge is the US providing cover and funding—my money—and the US has already lost it’s moral authority.

    You have no one to blame but yourselves.

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By vancemack, January 27, 2009 at 7:15 am Link to this comment

The author wrote that American journalists are cowards and dont exist…I agree…‘journalists’ have zero integrity and have long abandoned the quest for truth. This article is no different. It isnt reporting…it is biased and slanted…just biased and slanted in the authors own political bent.

He says that Israel has gotten a free pass from the media. Really? Which media is he watching? Israel has been criticized at every turn from the very beginning.

He states that the only REAL reporting came from Al Jazeera. That made me laugh. I have stood on the ground where Al Jazeera reported a policing activity when in fact an entire community of Kuwaitis were rounded up and slaughtered by Iraqi soldiers. I have been at events in UAE and Iraq that were reported QUITE differently by Al Jazeera than what actually occured. But fine…trust Al Jazeera as an unbiased news source.

The article stated that far from inciting the event, the Palestinians honorably observed the truce. I have posted the calendar of weekly and sometimes daily missile attacks that have NEVER ceased.

To think that there will be peace in the middle east is kinda silly. BOTH sides bear responsibility. But be honest…truthful (and from reading many of the comments here I doubt that you understand the words honest and truthful)...Israel isnt the ‘only’ bad guy here. Israel is one side…fighting for its life against Lebanon, Syria, Iran, and Palestine.

When Israel built the wall everyone was aghast and said Israel was keeping out Palestinians. Did anyone bother to ask why? Did they examine the frequency of suicide bombers before and after the wall was built? What plus what equaled the need for the wall? What plus what equals Israeli response in Palestine?

Oh no…you just keep on diggin’ that truth baby.

You are as slanted and biased as those which you accuse. Pot, meet kettle.

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By ThnkUBush, January 27, 2009 at 7:13 am Link to this comment


Your obvious hatred toward an entire people is of no good use. Whether you intend to or not you serve only to keep the fighting alive.

You write: “if Israel becomes despised by the world, and apparently they could care less, you would think they would care when it impacts all Jews.”

It is obvious that Jews do care. In fact Jews are already despised around the world. And almost every Jew on the globe is impacted by your unresolved bigotry and hatred.

If you truly wish to be helpful you need to search out a different way. Your current thinking causes more pain and death.

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By RdV, January 27, 2009 at 5:24 am Link to this comment

Et tu, Truthdig?
  It is tragic that even here you have allowed Zionist zealots to run rampant, spam your boards and with the usual arrogance try to suppress free speech with their perennial whining of victimization or antisemitism or attacking other Jews who aren’t the same racist thugs they are..
But now you are apparently censoring posts as well—and I can tell you I have seen it all before and there will be consequences from tamping down the suppressed outrage as perceptions grow and people catch on. True, these jerks only serve to harden views against them—but if Israel becomes despised by the world, and apparently they could care less, you would think they would care when it impacts all Jews.

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By ThnkUBush, January 27, 2009 at 4:33 am Link to this comment

Most analyses of the Arab reaction to the Gaza Strip conflict have generally emphasized either widespread popular sympathy for Palestinian suffering and revulsion at Israel’s tactics, or political divisions about how to respond. Although both points are accurate, two important developments so far have been overlooked: only a handful of major street protests have occurred, and almost no tangible support for Hamas has materialized. Hamas’s apparent rejection of the UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire will probably continue this pattern.

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By Inherit The Wind, January 27, 2009 at 4:21 am Link to this comment

Folktruther, January 26 at 6:34 pm #

Tropicgirl, you are blaming the Israeli murder of Rachel Corrie on the American workers who make bulldozers?  I would like to know how you get this responsibility.

Ehrn workers make a tool or insturment of any kind, they have no idea what it will be used for.  Most bulldozers are used in construction; most tractors in plowing the land.

Tropicgirl- I would really like to know how Catapellar workers are responsible for Rachal Corrie’s brutal murder.

Well, it’s nice to see there’s SOME limit you recognize to insanely blaming anyone who provides anything to Israel that might help her.

I actually agree with you that this is absurd—it’s not the same as blaming a gun manufacturer for selling its weapons where they know they’ll be used for crimes—that’s not a bulldozer’s intended function.

Should these soldiers be tried for her death? Probably.  But when you put your body in front of a machine, you better be sure the operator isn’t prone to panic and isn’t psycho either.

For 239 years the story of the Boston Massacre is that British troops opened fire on un-armed Bostonians who threw a few snowballs at them, cruelly killing them.  Yet John Adams managed to get all but one of the soldiers acquitted and the last convicted on a lesser charge.  Why? They were surrounded, pelted with oyster shells, ice balls (no just snowballs) and even bats.

This led Adams to say “Facts are stubborn things”.  Rachel Corrie’s death makes for great propaganda, but the FACTS of what happened that day have not come out.  For all I know, there’s a John Adams out there who could win those bulldozer operators an acquittal as well.

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By nefertiti, January 27, 2009 at 3:27 am Link to this comment

i had expected the journalists to complain and criticize Israel , the same way they complain about Mugabe in zimbabwe for not allowing them in .  But this time they just kept very quiet and said Politely , Ok , whatever you decide . we stay outside and you give us the news .  what a bunch of coward Journalists who have lost all credibility .  freedom of the Press   , yeah whatever !!!

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By Volma, January 27, 2009 at 3:05 am Link to this comment

Regarding journalists, who are just writing what they are told to write…Their days are numbered as credible journalists, maybe this is why they write what they are told to write, because they couldn’t possibly make it at freelancing, or anywhere else, other than propaganda robots for money….Capitalism is folding in on itself…Greed, profit at any cost is not self sustaining, the laws of nature and humanity will not support this…I would hope that some will eventually get the clue, that we are really connected to each other, it’s our duty as fellow human being to care and help each other around the entire earth…The journalist, like Chris Hedges, and Amy G. are true hero’s, keepers of freedom, truth, peace and love of our fellow humans…There are people out there who will not be bought and sold, who will not sell their souls for power and riches….Vance Mack is a propaganda piece for Israel, he is spreading, his little spiel to justify the massacre by Israel of the innocents in Gaza…And of course he ends with the “Martyr Rebel Yell of Zionists” “In every generation they rise up to destroy us”!!!!Oh Oh, why don’t I feel guilty, well ya it’s because Israel is the aggressor, the really nasty guy, who has clearly murdered innocent men, women and children, with high tech, accurate, deliberately aimed missiles, or weapons of mass destruction, as Bush likes to call them…The leaders of Israel are religious radicals, who have absolutely no human regard for any humans who are not of their radical Zionist sect…I am sure that if they had the power,  they would rid themselves of their fellow Jews who do not agree with their hard line stance, and gladly rid themselves of the heathens in the US who ignorantly give a portion of their hard earned life wages to support their evil hard ass religion….Maybe Hamas is a organization of thugs, who don’t care about the innocents who are being slaughtered by Israel, but Hamas is a group of boy scouts compared to Israel…Your the nasty hard core murderers who are using missles against home made, random rockets, that absolutely cannot really be accurately aimed…It’s people with stones, actually hitting a few people, by random luck, vs people with high tech laser guns, rockets, with all the bells and whistles, aiming their weapons at the innocent kids down the street, not even bothering to get the rock throwers…;Your not fooling anyone, Israel, your not the martyrs, anymore your the bad guys, killing innocents…If Jews from around the world would stand up and let their voices be counted against this massacre, refuse to buy into the martyr mantra, stand up for truth, refuse to let religious beliefs be used to justify murder by fanatics, the leaders cannot and will not be able to turn a deaf ear. Without support, financial and religious, they are nothing, but a bunch of powerless bullies without their weapons of mass destruction.

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By diamond, January 27, 2009 at 12:43 am Link to this comment

Vancemack if you check very carefully you’ll find that I never used the word ‘wuv’ once. It is a fact that every poll shows that the Palestinians want peace. Every poll taken in Israel shows that the majority of Israelis also want peace so when you say the Palestinians don’t want peace and the only ‘choice’ is to keep on killing and stealing land you’re not telling the truth. And such a statement is ridiculous on its face: why would any people on earth want what the Palestinians have got? This is just the same old demonization: ‘they’re all killers’, ‘they’re all terrorists’, ‘they’re not like us’, ‘they hate us and want to drive us into the sea’, ‘they’re devils in human form’. I’ve heard it all before. All through history you can hear similar things said about Jews, Armenians, Russians, Albanians, Gypsies, Catholics, the Kurds, the Iraqis or whoever the demonic, evil ‘terrorist’ du jour is.  And you display flagrant double standards: I may not speak for the Palestinians because there’s a terrible danger I might actually think they’re human and be fair to them, you on the other hand are allowed to speak for them because you can be relied on to defame them and point out with glee that everyone else hates them too. This is true only to the extent that they were driven into Jordan, Lebanon and elsewhere by the Israeli state’s implacable hatred and oppression and this led to no end of trouble for the countries they were in. You can play with the words as much as you like but you’ll never change the story and don’t think you can fool me with misinformation, I know the whole story, not just the parts of it you’re prepared to admit to. Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians is nothing more nor less than a gravy train that runs between Washington and Israel. Israel rakes in billions and uses this money to acquire the most horrific weapons on earth to kill and impoverish the Palestinians. Perhaps this all makes sense to you, but to me it’s just insanity. Another version of MAD - mutually assured destruction.

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By Virginia777, January 26, 2009 at 10:28 pm Link to this comment

Its not just that our media failed again, it is that the New York Times failed so badly this time!

The New York Times revealed itself to be completely controlled by a pro-Israel agenda. Their coverage was unbearably biased, and this was made sickeningly clear day after day.

The same can be said of that other great New York publication, the New Yorker, which has run a series of recent “international human rights abuse” articles, none of them touching on Gaza, Israel OR the United States.

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By KDelphi, January 26, 2009 at 9:55 pm Link to this comment

If Obama refuses to speak with Hamas, preferring only the discounted Abbas, it will not work. If he sends aid, only to Fatah, it wil not work.

If on can “talk to Iran”, one can talk to Hamas.(we should never fear to negotiate)

Or, is the uS govt just afraid that they have no moral authority anymore, since we will not convict our own of obvious war crimes.

vancemack—-when/where/what was the “olive branch”??

Yes, you may be albe to blame the US govt for Rachel Coprrie, but the “workers in Illinois”? ???

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By Robert, January 26, 2009 at 9:35 pm Link to this comment

Sara Roy: “I would urge you to write 60 Minutes thanking them and B Simon”

Time Running Out For A Two-State Solution

01.25.2009 |

60 Minutes: Growing Number Of Israelis, Palestinians Say Two-State Solution Is No Longer Possible

Date: Sun, 25 Jan 2009 22:42:41 -0500
From: sroy{at}
Subject: 60 Minutes story on the end of the two-state solution

Dear List,

I hope you saw the piece by Bob Simon tonight on 60 Minutes. It was really excellent and one of the most powerful statements against Israeli policy in the West Bank that I’ve seen on US television. For those of you who missed it, the link is below.

I would urge you to write 60 Minutes thanking them and B Simon, of course.

EMAIL: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

PHONE: (212) 975-3247

60 Minutes
524 West 57th St.
New York, NY 10019

I am certain he will be getting a great deal of flack from the organized Jewish community. It is important that we voice our support and appreciation.



An excellent piece/report by Bob Simon on 60 Minutes. It really is worthwhile to see it. I am really surprised that Bob was able to put it on 60 minutes. I commend & salute Bob Simon for his courage & all his efforts.

Watch the fanatic Israeli settlers, the IDF & Israel’s Apartheid in the works…you be the judge.

Click on link below:

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By cyrena, January 26, 2009 at 9:25 pm Link to this comment

•  “I covered the Kosovo Albanians’ desperate attempts to resist the Serbs, which resulted in a handful of Serb casualties, but no one ever described the lopsided Serbian butchery in Kosovo as a war. It was called genocide, and it led to NATO intervention to halt it.”

My point exactly. It wasn’t a war, it was a GENOCIDE. It was a GENOCIDE in Rwanda as well. BUT, until the International Community recognizes and formally acknowledges it as such, the atrocities kill millions of innocent civilians.

Clinton made a unilateral decision to act in Kosovo, in DEFIANCE of the UN resolution that was already in place for disaster. He was wrong, and skirted the law to do it the way that he did, undermining the International Law. Be that as it may, the point is that until such acts/behaviors/CRIMES are acknowledged by the legitimate authority of the International Community, NOTHING is done.

This same Clinton also ater admitted this to be the case in Rwanda. He admitted that we had ignored the victims of the genocide in Rwanda, refusing to acknowledge it for what it was in time to prevent it, or at least lessen the damage.

NO plan of action on the part of the World body can kick in, if such crimes aren’t even acknowledged as happening, or when the rest of the world turns their back using the “it’s a civil conflict – we have to stay out of it” That mentality represents an abdication of our responsibilities and commitments under the terms of the Conventions and Treaties to which we are legally obligated. It’s that simple. We are OBLIGATED to collaborate with the International Community under the terms of the International Laws, to both prevent and punish these crimes.

However, for the past several decades, and specifically over the past 8 years, the US has blocked any and every effort on the part of the International Legal Body to reign Israel in, or to call the 40+ year occupation and collective punishment of an entire ethnic group what it is…GENOCIDE!!

Meantime, I do understand Chris’ frustration with Western journalists, particularly in regurgitating the standard propaganda, without ever even bothering to check the accuracy or reliability of it. On the other hand, it makes sense that Palestinian reporters and Al-Jazeera would do a better job, since Western reporters weren’t allowed anywhere near the place. We WERE able to hear from some of them directly, via Western journalists like Amy Goodman and Fared Zachariah, when they used our wonderful technology to connect to people actually there at the time. Legitimate spokespeople and journalists from the area. For many of us, those are far more trustworthy sources of information anyway.
I’m also inclined to believe/hope/sense that we might be at the beginning of a new trend, (or a return to an old one) that will allow for journalists to become professional journalists again, including investigative journalists the likes of which we haven’t seen in quite some time now. It means undoing the near full-fledged Fascist Authoritarian structure that we’ve been living under for the past 8 years. That undoing has already begun, just in the actions that President Barack Obama has undertaken in four days, happening even faster than I expected myself.
So, we’ll see.

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By gritona, January 26, 2009 at 8:37 pm Link to this comment

these should be journalists have a lot to answer for. they are simply refusing to do any work. writing down what the government- u.s. or israeli- tells you is not reporting. but it’s much worse than just gutless or a failure. these people are lying on purpose because they are part of the system they should be exposing. what the media did in bush’s wars- Afghanistan is as much a war crime as Iraq- was and is to be accessories to those crimes. I think lying reporters are worse than frontline perpetrators, because we expect politicians to lie to us, so we do need real journalism to tell us what’s true.
the story of media complicity is not new, i know, but the problem is the near total blackout of real news we have been experiencing since- when? the Gulf war?
if any of the perps in these war crimes ever does any hard time,the enabling journalists belong in the slammer with them.

and yes, thank you Amy Goodman we love you.

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By Paolo, January 26, 2009 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment

As a libertarian, I believe our approach should be “hands off.” The quarrel between the Israelis and the Palestinians is not our problem. A recent poll showed that 71 percent of Americans agree that we should take neither side.

Having said all that, I have to say that a “two state solution” has always been insane. This is exactly, precisely the position taken up by the South African government when it set up “tribal homelands” for native black tribes, while continuing to rule the majority of the country as “whites only.”

The Palestinians get “tribal homelands” in Gaza as well as a few isolated areas on the West Bank.

The Israeli system is set up so that Jewish people will always be in the majority. Any immigrating Jew is given instantaneous citizenship, under the despicable “law of return.” Palestinians, who after all had their homes on the same land now occupied by Israelis, don’t get a “law of return.” Just the opposite: you can apply, as a Palestinian, for citizenship in Israel, but the process is long and arduous, and you will almost certainly be turned down in the end anyway.

The only solution is a one-state solution. Allow any Palestinians or their descendants who can demonstrate they lost their homes in the 1948 war, a similar “law of return” (which, by the way, is consistent with the Geneva Conventions regarding the illegality of forcible expulsion of native populations from their lands).

In the new, single state, Palestinians would be slightly in the majority. Jews would be a large, well-organized minority. The issues would have to be hammered out in the new Parliament, rather than in the streets of Gaza.

I suggest the new nation be called neither “Palestine” nor “Israel,” but simply, “the Levant.”

But again, this is not America’s concern. We need to stop thinking we are the world’s policeman and den-mother.

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By Folktruther, January 26, 2009 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

Tropicgirl, you are blaming the Israeli murder of Rachel Corrie on the American workers who make bulldozers?  I would like to know how you get this responsibility. 

Ehrn workers make a tool or insturment of any kind, they have no idea what it will be used for.  Most bulldozers are used in construction; most tractors in plowing the land.

Tropicgirl- I would really like to know how Catapellar workers are responsible for Rachal Corrie’s brutal murder.

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By Don Stivers, January 26, 2009 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment

When I was younger I was 100% pro Israel (1950’s to 1960’s).  I was ignorant as to how Israel was cut out of Palestine and how the refugees were given just 15 minutes to collect their belongings, move out of their homes, put on stake side trucks and moved to Gaza. The will of the rest of the world through the UN resolution to create the state of Israel prevailed.  (Why didn’t the resolution give the Jews at least 1/2 of Germany instead?)

Anyway, in the late 1960’s I began to read about nurses who had gone to Israel who were given a very difficult time when they tried to enter Gaza to visit the few hospitals in that state.  (These were nurses who were very much pro Israel but more than that they were over there to give humanitarian aid.  When they got to the hospitals they were horrified as to the conditions of those few hospitals because of the supplies that were denied the refugees at the border between the state of Gaza and Israel.  I could go on but as I gained knowledge on both sides, I could see that the Palestinians were the ones who were being short changed.

But most of us who write to this blog already know and nothing will be done.

Kucinich is still my man.  I don’t think he ever lied about being shot at as our Secretary of State did or not pay his taxes as our Treasury Secretary did.

But it IS way better than Bush.  And I am not one who does not want to see justice done for those this country trampled on, our own citizens included.  War crimes.  Justice.

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By M.B.S.S., January 26, 2009 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment

vancemack rhymes with aipac

nefesh says:  “I’ve read alot of Hedges’ screeds, so there’s no need anymore to do other than skim his crap.”  that much is obvious.  im assuming you didnt read his last article here when you said:  “he would do some expose pieces on why exactly Hamas is rightly branded a terrorist organization, and what they do to the population of Gaza, and why. But never a peep out of Hedges.”

thnkubush says:  “Excuse me? Which news sources are you following Mr. Hedges? The plight of the people in Gaza has been reported everywhere. The pictures have been in every major newspaper, and on every television broadcast and cable news program, in the United States. The point of view of the Palestinians has been represented in every major newspaper as well.”  do i really need to refute this?  no i dont.  everyone knows that is incorrect.  it is the opposite of the truth.  the truth is all across america, in every major newspaper and media outlet, the point of view of Israel has been represented.

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By kares jhangaini, January 26, 2009 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris Hedges:  you are nobility in a land of criminals and murderers.  There is no life after death, no religion, no superstitious rubbish about heaven and hell.  Yet, fools as we are, kill others, deprive others of their right to existence for just a piece of glory.  Long may you live and may I continue to hear from you for long.  Thanks.

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By tropicgirl, January 26, 2009 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment

Rachel Corrie was twenty-three years old when she was deliberately crushed to death by an Israeli Caterpillar bulldozer in Gaza in March 2003.

May the displaced workers at the Caterpillar plant in Illinois feel that guilt and suffer far more than Rachel.

And as they lose their homes, their health insurance and the lifestyle they have come to enjoy, may they think of Rachel and realize that they collectively deserve the ill fortune that has come their way.

A certain amount of justice occurred today.

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By vancemack, January 26, 2009 at 4:29 pm Link to this comment

Diamond…Palestinians are the best judge as to their feelings towards Israelis. You are simply wrong if you think they are just big fuzzy teddy bears wanting to wuv evewyone…they arent. They want Israel gone.

Now…you make a salient point…they feel conquered and oppressed…therefore they fight. Fine. But THAT is at least an honest statement of fact. Now…when faced with that fact, its pretty obvious that the olive branch approach hasn’t worked and wont work.

Oh…just a little aside…you might want to read a little history on how the Egyptians, Jordanians, and Lebanese REALLY feel about the Palestinians. Perhaps the only people less loved in the middle east than the Israelis are the Palestinians.

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By diamond, January 26, 2009 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

Nefesh you say ‘In every generation they rise up to destroy us’ - don’t you think the Palestinians might be starting to say the same thing to themselves about Israel? What would ‘enoble’ Israel would be to give the Palestinians their state and to show some common human decency. Instead of plodding along blinkered by hatred and fear, get your brain in gear and START THINKING. There’s no future in what Israel is doing and assuming that everyone’s out to get you is just paranoia hardened by history into unreason. This is the argument that got you the rockets and Gaza the blockade and the massacre. You assume they hate you as much as you hate them. A common mistake in those who have wronged others. Anyone who only looks at the world in a rearview mirror will only ever see what’s behind them. You need to look down the road ahead because the current policy of ‘kill them all, the way Joshua would have’ will make Israel an international pariah and take it into the abyss, as it’s already doing.

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By nefesh, January 26, 2009 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment


Willful ignorance cannot be overcome with salient facts.

In fact, I know of no way it can be reversed, short of first-hand experience.

Perhaps a work-release program during the past few years in Sderot (the immigrant town which has borne the brunt of the thousands of Hamas missiles) for your Jew-obsessed interlocutors might have opened their eyes (and hearts).

Perhaps not.

I no longer care about the likes of your blinded-by-hatred co-commenters, and have resigned myself to the truth in the saying, “In every generation they rise up to destroy us…..”. It ennobles us in the Jewish community around the world and in Israel - the spiritual, historic, eternal, and very real and sovereign homeland of the Jewish people - to remember this, and to act to preserve ourselves and our children’s future in the face of such engineered hatred.

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By jr., January 26, 2009 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment

According to the israeli newspaper yediot achronot israeli soldiers were ORDERED to commit suicide rather than be taken prisoner and, to kill other israeli soldiers witnessed being taken captive.

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By vancemack, January 26, 2009 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment

WC…well…which is it…do you like MSM or dont you? Its a little like cherry picking….hate the media reports that support Israel, love the ones that support your particular bias or bent.

In the initial article it was stated that Hamas and Palestinians had honored the cease fire. That’s just horsesh@#, son…the shelling of Israel has NEVER stopped.

I’ll tell you straight up…any other country in world that was hit daily by rocket attacks would respond. If it continued, they would respond again. And again.

I personally think Israel is exercising restraint. If it was me…Id respond the first time. Maybe the second time. The third time? Heck…Gaza would cease to exist. Bet.

Facts is facts…stop ignoring the facts. Palestinians DO NOT want peace…until that changes you wont have peace or even the hope of peace.

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By diamond, January 26, 2009 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

Howard you are vociferous, determined and one eyed and I can only say, as has been said for a long time, ‘In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king’. And, of course, we all know that an eye for an eye makes us all blind. This is your credo: they did x, so we will do x too, only much, much worse. You’re ignoring the facts, they don’t seem to matter to you at all, because in the end you’re an activist for zionism and Israel, that is your mission. Not telling the truth. Israel violated the ceasefire from the beginning by not lifting the blockade which has subjected the people of Gaza to a living hell, long before the killing began at the hands, once again, of the Israelis. Israel agreed to end the blockade if Hamas stopped firing rockets into Israel but then Israel actually tightened the blockade, bringing Gaza to its knees, thereby breaking the agreement. Israel has never kept a single agreement it has made with the Palestinians so that comes as no surprise to me. In the past their enemy was Fatah, now they claim their enemy is Hamas and all the rhetoric and catchcries that were directed at Fatah are now directed at Hamas even though they themselves created Hamas to drive a wedge between the Palestinians, hoping for civil war, which they also got, briefly - and anyone can see how splendidly it has all worked. The fact is, you can’t invade a place and carry out a massacre of their children because you don’t like how they voted. That’s a crime under all laws including the laws of war. It is an unconscionable act which no civilized country would even contemplate let alone carry out. The Israeli journalist who said that the attack on Gaza was done to ‘thwart a two state solution’ had it almost right. Thanks to Israel’s amorality and deceit it is now a three state solution: Fatah in one place, Hamas in another and Israel crowing from the top of the dungheap that it has been victorious. All I know is, every time Israel wins, humanity loses. The only alternative to war is negotiation but there’s no money in negotiation is there? There’s a shitload of money to be made out of war, though, isn’t there? Lots and lots of nice American money. While this state of affairs goes on you might as well pin a dollar value on every Palestinian’s back.$2,000 for an adult female,$5,000 for an adult male, $10,000 for a young male of fighting age and $50,000 for a young female because, dead, she will never grow up to breed more Palestinians. Read ‘A Modest Proposal’ in which Swift told the British that if they were going to let the Irish starve to death they should at least make some use of them and eat them. But, of course, Swift had a conscience - and two good eyes.

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By flow, January 26, 2009 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

See original post at:

Post copy:
IDF’s violations of laws-of-war prohibitions
Jan. 25, 2009
kenneth roth
executive director of Human Rights Watch, THE JERUSALEM POST

Israelis take comfort in the belief that the IDF does all it can to spare civilians, but its shelling of Gaza calls that belief into question. Two kinds of artillery shells selected for use in Gaza - one as an “obscurant,” the other as a weapon - were utterly inappropriate for the densely populated areas where the IDF deployed them. Their use violated the IDF’s obligations under the laws of war.

The first was white phosphorous. A typical shell releases 116 phosphorus-soaked wedges which, upon contact with oxygen, burn intensely, releasing a distinctive plume of smoke. That smoke can be used legitimately to obscure troop movements, but white phosphorous can be devastating when used in urban areas, igniting civilian structures and causing people horrific burns. Its use violated the legal requirement to take all feasible precautions during military operations to avoid harming civilians. The IDF never should have used it in densely populated sections of Gaza.

The IDF has tried to defend itself with denial and obfuscation. It first denied using white phosphorous at all. Then, when that proved untenable, it claimed that use was limited to unpopulated areas. Neither claim is true. On January 9, 10 and 15, a Human Rights Watch military expert personally observed white phosphorous being fired from an artillery battery and airburst over Gaza City and the Jabalya refugee camp. Its telltale jellyfish-like plume was a dead giveaway, as can be seen from photographs.

The Times of London also photographed an IDF artillery battery firing white phosphorous shells. The shells are color coded and labeled with the IDF term for white phosphorous - “exploding smoke.” They are also marked with the code used by the US manufacturer of white phosphorous - M825A1. Similarly marked and color-coded shells and other evidence of white-phosphorous use have been recovered within urban areas of Gaza where they fell.

As for obfuscation, the IDF claimed that all weapons it used were “legal,” but that begs the critical question of how they were used.

Continue reading remainder of entry here.

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By Kalista, January 26, 2009 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

I doubt Hedges monitors these comments (I wouldn’t) but I would like to thank him for his insightful, thought-provoking, and historically-accurate journalism.  I make it a point to read his articles on Truthdig because although I certainly don’t always agree with his views, I find I do always respect his work.  Thank you for your courage, Mr. Hedges.  I wish their were more journalists like you injecting a strong dose of reality into our diseased media.

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By W.C.91, January 26, 2009 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

vancemack:  The 60 minutes segment on 1/25 about Palestine and recent published reports of the Isreali occupation of Gaza persuade me that the government of Israel and out-gunned Hamas are now moral equals in the conflict.  Any sympathy I had for Israel is dispelled by the truth of its genocidal treatment of Gaza.  The U.S. MUST NOT give financial support to such gross inhumanity.  When the truth about Gaza becomes common knowledge here, public opinion will be outraged and demand that Washington take action, which I will encourage.  Your defense of Israel has lost its appeal.

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By Liberal prefers NO media bias, January 26, 2009 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It would be nice if the media wasn’t endlessly biased in one direction. So ignorant on the FACTS you report and post with a one sided agenda not having the intelligence to know there is another side of the story that is NOT getting out to the media- You’re so busy being unprofessional you choose to IGNORE THE OTHER SIDE, THE FACTS, THAT HAMAS IS AND ALWAYS WAS AN TERRORIST ORGANIZATION THAT DOES NOT CARE ABOUT THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

This link is to a post that is just (one) example of the news you people in the media choose not to report on- the ugliness of Hamas:

Keep showing yourselves to be unprofessional, biased, liberal media with no journalistic integrity or understanding of what it is to be a journalist-

Fake journalism is a dime a dozen online and sadly on our cable (crappy) news channels- all of them.

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By Howard, January 26, 2009 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

re:  Vancemark

right on.

If there was no instigation by Hamas there would have been no response by Israel.  Went on for years.  No one cares when the Israeli public suffered. Hamas kept it up and kept it up and finally goaded Israel to do what any country would do to protect its citizens.

Give Gaza back to Egypt. Solve all the probelems.  Hamas canot govern.  Danger to its own people , obviously, and certainly a danger to the world. yes, Egypt can help them best.

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By vancemack, January 26, 2009 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

Zionist huh? HAH! You are laughable! That’s YOUR ploy by the way…throw out attacks. Fine…call me a Zionist. I truly could not care less. Now…would you like to take a trip back to the “truth,” a word that is obviously misunderstood (You keep saying this word…I do not think it means what you think it means)?

Fact…when the Palestinians stop trying to kill Israelis…when the Palestinian leadership stops hailing slaughter of Israeli settlers as ‘heroic’ (as cited in numerous Human Rights Watch articles), when there are two parties to peace, there may be a legitimate hope for peace in Israel. Until that point…Israel should do everything in their power to eliminate the threat.

You want to call that stance Zionist? Fine…but facts is facts.

Palestinians do not want peace…they want an end to Israel. THAT is why they will always have conflict. Once that has changed…once Palestinians stop calling for the end of Israel THEN you can work toward peace.

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By Eso, January 26, 2009 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

Gaza aid appeal video by the Disaster Emergency Committee of UK:
rejected by BBC and Sky

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By Folktruther, January 26, 2009 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

Israel is recruiting thousandas of Zionists to counter the obvous barbarism of Israel by sending them into the blogs with Zionist propaganda. Vancemack appears to be one of those, a colleague of Sehparad.

A common ploy of this polemic is to make the aggressor, Israel,  appear the victim.  This a twist of the standard election ploy of the Gops, to make power figures like Bush, part of the ruling class with enormous wealth who went to Ivy league schools, to be a political outsider attacking those Elite liberals in Washington.

The Zionist ploy is more obscene because Israel is based on ethnic cleansing and the Likud strategy is now mainstream in Israel, helod by all the major parties.  It is to take the land,homes and resources away from the Palestinians under the guise of wanting a two-state solution.

the functon of Zionists like Vancemack is to divert attention away from the simple truth, often with a sequence of outright lies, and to legiitmate barbarism as Defense.  We can expect more of this kind of thing as Israel recruits more Zionists and preps them to try to stop the outrage and disgust of world opinion.

Especially American opnion, which interferes with Obama continuing to support Israeli barbarism.

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By vancemack, January 26, 2009 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

Residents: Hamas Militants Staged Attacks from Cover of UN School Save Email Print
Posted: 4:21 PM Jan 6, 2009
GAZA CITY, Gaza (AP) - Residents of a Gaza neighborhood are confirming Israel’s claim that Hamas militants had opened fire from the cover of a U.N. school where hundreds of Palestinians had
sought refuge. Israeli forces fired back with mortars, and hospital officials says three dozen Palestinians were killed. Two residents say a group of militants had fired their mortars from a street near the school, then fled into a crowd of people in
the streets. The Israeli army says two of the dead were militants. It accuses Gaza’s Hamas rulers of “cynically” using civilians as human shields.

I guess AP is biased too. CNN, everyone but Al Jazeera…excuse while I laugh. Well…puke first…then laugh.

I guess after witnessing the atrocities of Iraqi “freedom fighters” its a little hard to take anyone that defends Hamas seriously.

Comment stands…get the Palestinians to agree to real peaceful co-exisistence with Israel…THEN we can talk

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By vancemack, January 26, 2009 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

December 19th
The cease fire agreement ends (See: 2008 Israel–Hamas ceasefire). During the six month cease fire 329 rockets and mortar shells were fired. For the six months prior to the truce 2278 rockets and mortars were fired into Israel.[103]
December 21st
At least 50 rockets and mortars struck southern Israel since a cease-fire with Hamas ended on December 19th. Rockets landed in Ashkelon’s industrial zone, near an elementary school, a youth cultural center in the western Negev and a home in Sderot. A foreign worker was injured. In response, Israeli forces struck at least two rocket launchers in Gaza. [104]
December 22nd
Three Qassam rockets were fired at Israel on Monday afternoon and evening, while Hamas had mostly stopped launching rockets at Israel for 24 hours at the request of Egypt.[105]
December 23rd
At least five Qassam rockets fired from the Gaza Strip struck the western Negev.[106]
December 24th
More than 60 Qassam rockets and dozens of mortar shells struck homes, factories and a playground in southern Israel. Two longer ranged Grad-type missiles struck a public area in northern Ashkelon. Homes in Kibbutz Shaar Hanegev and Sdot Negev suffered serious damage from direct hits. A rocket also struck next to a playground in Netivot. One factory in the western Negev was hit twice. Several people in those areas were treated for shock.
Two Palestinians were hurt when a rocket that did not clear the security fence at the border landed on a home in a northern Gaza town. [107]
December 26th
A dozen rockets and mortar bombs were fired from Gaza into Israel, one accidentally falling short and striking a northern Gaza house and killing two Palestinian sisters, aged five and thirteen, while wounding a third[108][109]
December 27th
A 58 year old man was killed when a rocket from Gaza hit his apartment in Netivot. Also, the Israeli Air Force launched a large surprise attack on Hamas facilities in Gaza. At least 225 persons are killed, primarily Hamas personnel. The attack was launched in mid-morning in order to catch Hamas personnel at their normal posts. [110] The Israelis call these attacks Operation Cast Lead. Hamas fired 130 Qassam rockets.[111]
December 28th
Hamas fired 20 Qassam rockets.[112]
December 29th
A 27 year old man was killed when a grad type rocket hit a construction site in Ashkelon. Hamas later claimed responsibility for the attack. Additionally, a 38 year old warrant officer was killed by a mortar when it hit a military base near Nahal Oz. Also, the same day, a 39 year old women was killed when a rocket hit Ashdod. Several others were wounded along with her.

Each attack is sourced.

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By vancemack, January 26, 2009 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment


December 3rd
At least four Qassam rockets and 15 mortar rounds were fired from the Gaza Strip at the western Negev. Islamic Jihad’s Al-Quds Brigades claimed responsibility. One mortar attack damaged an Israeli power cable being used to transfer electricity to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. [97]
December 6-7th
At least 20 Qassam rockets and mortar shells fired from the Gaza Strip hit the western Negev over the weekend. One Qassam landed near a Sderot school.[98]
December 12th
Two rockets launched from the Gaza Strip hit open space in Israel a week before a truce is set to expire. The Qassam rockets launched Friday landed in open areas and caused no damage. [99]
December 16th
At least six Qassam rockets and a mortar shell hit Israel hours after Israeli troops killed an Islamic Jihad commander in the West Bank. One of the rockets fired landed in the soccer field of Sderot’s Sapir College. Several people were treated for shock. Following the attack, Israel defense Force troops hit a Qassam launcher in northern Gaza.[100]
December 17th
A Qassam rocket struck the parking lot of a shopping center in Sderot, injuring three Israelis. At least 18 rockets and 6 mortar shells were fired this day on southern Israel, 48 hours before the truce between Israel and the Hamas expired. [101]
December 18th
Hamas declares the end of the 6 Month Truce with Israel. Three rockets are fired at Israel by the Al-Quds Brigades.[102]

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By vancemack, January 26, 2009 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

August 1-31st
In the month of August 7 rockets and 12 mortars were fired from Gaza into Israel.[78]

[edit] September
September 1-30th
The month of September represented a considerable lull in the number of rocket and mortar attacks. In this month, 3 rockets and 2 mortars were fired from Gaza into Israel. They caused no injuries or deaths.[79]

[edit] October
October 11th
A single rocket was launched from Gaza into Israel resulting in no injuries or deaths.[80]

[edit] November
November 4th
The rocket and mortar fire increased after an Israeli operation on the Gaza side of the border on the 4th of November to close a proported 250 meter cross-border abduction tunnel. During this operation, 7 Hamas militia were killed inside Gaza[81] At least Six Gaza fighters are killed and four Israeli special forces wounded. Hamas responds by firing 30 Qassam rockets at Israel.[82] The Israel Security Agency reports a sharp increase in the number of high trajectory weapon attacks, including towards Ashkelon. According to the Israel Security Agency, “this was preceded by an ISA-IDF operation on the evening between November 4th and 5th”. Between October 29th and November 6th 48 rockets and 21 mortars were fired from Gaza into Israel.[83]
The IDF claimed the cross-border tunnel was intended for the capture of Israeli soldiers, while Hamas, and according to Robert Pastor one IDF source, maintained it was for defensive purposes.[84] [85][86] Hamas considered this attack a “massive breach of the truce,”[87] and rocket attacks towards Israeli cities around Gaza increased sharply in November 2008, approaching the pre-truce levels.[88]
November 6-12th
Given the increase in cross-border fire, the truce agreed to five months ago is starting to flounder.[89] Between November 5th and November 12th, 22 rockets and 9 mortars were fired into Israel.[90]
November 12-19th
In this week 62 rockets and 26 mortars were fired from Gaza into Israel. The results of these attacks were that 16 people were wounded, 13 from shock and 3 from light wounds.[91]According to a November 17 article in The Telegraph, “since violence flared on Nov 5, Israeli forces and militants, some of them from Hamas, have engaged in almost daily tit-for-tat exchanges.”[92]
November 21st
A rocket hit the Ashkelon industrial area.[93]
November 22-23rd
Four Qassam rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel over the weekend.[94]
November 24-25th
Two Qassam rockets landed in Israel.[95]
November 26-27th
Four Qassam rockets landed in the western Negev, one damaging a house on a kibbutz. [96]

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By vancemack, January 26, 2009 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

“This is truthdig!”  Hah…great line from a movie about 300 Spartans…ALSO fictional…but what do you care?

A source none other than AlJazeera and Jimmy Carter??? You people are laughable.

SURE…Palestinians just want peace…right? And Iran…the want peace too…right?

lets play dueling sources…better yet…why bother. You are as slanted and biased as you accuse others of being.

July 2, 2008
There were no rocket or mortar attacks so Israel reopens the four Gaza crossings on Wednesday July 2. Since a truce began June 19, Israel has closed the passages a total of six days in retaliation for rocket attacks.[68]
July 3, 2008
A rocket lands in an open area north of Sderot. A previously unknown organization calling itself the “Badr Forces” claims responsibility for the attack. In response Israel temporarily closes the crossings on July 4, 2008.[69]
July 7, 2008
A mortar shell is fired at Israel from Gaza on Monday and lands near the Karni crossing.[70]
July 8, 2008
After two mortar attacks from Gaza at the Sufa crossing, one fell just inside Gaza and the other at the crossing. Israel closed all the crossing. After an Egyptian request they reopened the crossings. Hours after the crossings opened at noon, militants fired another shell into Israel, causing no casualties or damage, the Israeli military said. Israel kept the crossings open. No Palestinian group immediately claimed responsibility.
In all, 15 rockets and mortars have been fired from Gaza since the truce took effect on June 19. Israel has responded automatically by snapping shut the crossings, which have been closed about half of the time. So far the truce has not eased conditions in Gaza because of the frequent closures.[70]
July 10, 2008
Two Qassam rockets were fired at Israel, but caused no damage, after an unarmed Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades infiltrator was killed at the Kissufim crossing. An Israeli Army spokesman said they fired warning shots and when the man did not stop they killed him. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades vowed revenge and claimed responsibility for the rocket attack.
In the West Bank city of Nablus, Israeli troops continued for a fourth straight day a crackdown on institutions it links to the militant Hamas movement. On Wednesday July 10 they shot dead a Hamas member near the West Bank city of Jenin.[71]
July 12, 2008
A rocket lands in an open area in Sha’ar Hanegev regional council. Nobody claims responsibility for the attack.[72]
July 13, 2008
Two mortar shells are misfired and they land on the Gaza side of the border security fence in the Nahal Oz region. Nobody claims responsibility for the attack. Israel responds by only closing the Nahal Oz and Sufa crossings.[73]
July 15, 2008
A mortar hit is identified.[74]
July 25, 2008
A rocket misfires and lands in Gaza near the Kissufim crossing.[75]
July 29, 2008
Another rocket is launched from Gaza and mistakenly lands in Gaza.[76]
July 31, 2008
Again, a rocket misfires and lands in Gaza.[77]

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By thebeerdoctor, January 26, 2009 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

Have the apologists forgotten the wedding parties blown to bits by U.S. armed forces in Afghanistan. Have the also forgotten the hundreds of children torn apart in the recent Israeli massacre in Gaza? Oh I almost forgot, the eye for an eye crowd can not see how blind they are.

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By Spiritgirl, January 26, 2009 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

Good article, the press abdicated it’s responsibility to the public a long while back.  They have become whores for the highest bidding, and a bit of celebrity!  America needs to divest and stop supplying aid to Israel, it is the only way to force them to come to the negotiating table!  For all of the talk about Israeli self defense, it’s an obfuscation of the worst kind!  Israel will not be satisfied until all of the Palestinians are slaughtered by genocide, or have been relocated into other nations!

It is time to hold the Israeli government and people to account for their crimes against humanity!  If the Israeli’s want peace, then maybe they should move back to the 1967 borders and leave the Palestinians to govern themselves!!!

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By christian96, January 26, 2009 at 11:04 am Link to this comment

I loved the picture of the rainbow but I do not
understand the comment “as if projected by the
American media.”  Why are so many people critizing
Israel?  Have you forgotten the suicide bombers several years ago killing innocent people on buses
in Israel?  Have you forgotten the numerous people
killed at a wedding reception in Israel by a suicide
bomber?  Those suicide bombings created a lot of
fear and anger.  What would you do if terrorists
were blowing up buses and wedding receptions in

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By thebeerdoctor, January 26, 2009 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

Not only did Hamas observe the cease fire, but this was pointed out this morning on the Today show by former President Carter, pointing out it was Israel who violated the terms of the cease fire on November 4, to the astonished amazement of Meridith Wherever, who like all good clones, blindly accept the government issued garbage about the conflict. They are shocked, absolutely shocked, when a former U.S. President tells them otherwise.

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By Ed Harges, January 26, 2009 at 10:30 am Link to this comment

re: By vancemack, January 26 at 9:18 am:

Vance? Hello? This is Truthdug. You are targeting your crap to the wrong audience. We know stuff. You can’t just tell the standard lies and assume we don’t know any better.

Hamas did observe the June truce. Until September, there were only three rockets from Gaza (no casualties), and credible observers believe these were not fired by Hamas, but by rogue individuals.

But why were three those 3 piddling rockets? Well, it could be because of the FACT that Israel NEVER observed the truce. A prime condition of the truce was that Israel cease its intolerable blockade of Gaza. A blockade is an act of war. Israel never abided by the truce.

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By Jean-David, January 26, 2009 at 10:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Elsewhere people are bemoaning the loss of circulation of newspapers. Newspapers are becoming on-line only. Why is this? I cannot speak for others, but for me it is because the newspapers are nothing more than government mouthpieces, and not just the U.S. government, but those that it thinks are its allies.

I wish for the 1940s and 1950s when the likes of Edward R. Murrow, Elmer Davis, and Martin Agronsky (on the radio: I did not have a TV, so I do not know how he did there).

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By vancemack, January 26, 2009 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

ESO…what role would you suggest the Palestinians accept? What happens if the Palestinians refuse? Do you recognize that the Palestinians have NO desire to peacefully coexist with Israel?

Seems to me you are putting the cart before the horse. Get the Palestinians to stop their daily attacks…THEN lets talk.

Good luck!

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By Eso, January 26, 2009 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

To: vancemack. Yes, the shared-state solution has its problems, but the Israelis will not take to the Jordanian solution, nor the Egyptian solution, nor the Saudi solution, so the only solution they have left is to take the shared-state solution with the United Nations playing the umpire for a generation or two. Incidentally, my mention of Dr. Doolittle’s island contains the sunk island solution. There cannot be an Israeli solution, because the only solution Israel can think of is occupation, occupation, occupation. It has led to an inflated real estate bubble from which I hear air escaping.

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By vancemack, January 26, 2009 at 8:42 am Link to this comment

Mr Robison…do you, a jew by birth, live in Israel? Do you face the daily missile attacks against women and children? Do you face the daily threat of murder by people who launch missile attacks from the confines of schools churches and markets? Do you recognize that the threat to Israel is perpetrated by people who dont give a damn about International law?

You are ignorant if you think you can fight an enemy in some sort of a clean war…especially an enemy that routinely hides behind women and children to launch strikes.

I suspect you live in a place where you enjoy relative safety and have the luxury of making such empty headed comments.

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By photoshock, January 26, 2009 at 8:33 am Link to this comment

Re: To all those who think that attacking Zionism, is somehow acquainted with and akin to attacking Judaism, I have words enough for you.  I am Jewish by my grandfather, I have a love for the “people of the book,” I stand against all who say that Jews, were the killers of their messiah, Yeshua.
Yet for all this, I cannot help but recriminate those who flout International Law, by using weapons that have been banned for use against civilian populations, collectively punishing a whole population for the crimes of a few, and killing innocent men, women and especially wholly and completely innocent children.
The use of “white phosphorus,” is completely against all conventions of civilized conduct, yet the Israeli
“Defense” Force, used this banned substance to indiscriminately kill men women and children.
Israel, in its insane wish for retribution, used collective punishment against the legally elected government of Hamas, and the citizens of Palestine, to somehow destroy the hold Hamas has on the people.
Violence has never solved a major problem, it is an oxymoron, to think that by punishing a whole group of
people, you will remove a government that was freely chosen with the approval of both Israel and the US.
All of the people who back Israel, to the exclusivity
of not listening to the people of Palestinian descent
have no one to blame but themselves for the election of Hamas as the government of Palestine.
I am ashamed at those of my people who, discount the International Community, which community helped to set up the nation of Israel, in reparation for the Nazi atrocity called the “Final Solution.”
Yet we have again, history repeating itself, the Israelis, choosing to ghettoize and murder innocents,
while disregarding the outcry of those whom they are killing without regard for guilt or innocence.
I a Jew by birth, stand with the Palestinians against
the nation of Israel, for the crimes against humanity
the war crimes and mass murder of an innocent population of civilians that have and had nothing to
do with the rocket launches that are happening in Israel.

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By vancemack, January 26, 2009 at 8:16 am Link to this comment

ESO…a shared state solution wont work when one party wants to slaughter the other.

Oh…wait…do you mean a shared state solution like what we now have in South Africa?

Here is an example…You own your home and land…now you have people living with you…and they decide they want to take what you have and kill you…how does that work for you as a “shared home” solution? You all in for that kind of a living arrangement?

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By Eso, January 26, 2009 at 8:00 am Link to this comment

The only solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is the shared state solution. We would have had it long ago, except for U.S. aid to Israel, which permits it to think of itself as an island. But methinks it is Dr. Doolittle’s floating island, because one day U.S. aid will stop, and then the rock sitting on the edge of the volcano will fall into the crater and burst the bubble supporting the island.

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By nefesh, January 26, 2009 at 7:27 am Link to this comment

TO: </b>RdV, January 26 at 7:09 am

meanwhile Zionist board bullies like nefesh continue to echo their pathetic talking points

Who is the bully here? Not I. I merely speak my mind and point out the obvious. It is you who is resorting to cheap-shot name-calling. That’s to be expected from those who defend totalitarian Jihadist regimes such as Hamas, which also squelch free speech, violently and with extreme prejudice. Merely the introduction of a point of view different from your own is enough to bring out the intimidation tactics. That’s sad.

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By RdV, January 26, 2009 at 7:24 am Link to this comment

Thank heaven for Amy Goodman!

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By vancemack, January 26, 2009 at 7:23 am Link to this comment

In your zeal to chest thump and show how you are the REAL journalist did you miss the basic foundation of the conflict…that is…that Hamas DOES in fact launch thousands of missile attacks from civilian protected locations inside of Gaza AGAINST civilian targets in Israel?

Isreal has expressed a willingness to pursue peaceful existence with Palestinians. To Palestinians, peace means dead Israelis and an end to Israel. Those two goals arent what we would call mutually achievable.

When Hamas stops the daily attacks on Israel you MAY see an end to the conflict. Until then…my opinion…Israel SHOULD level Gaza and drive the Palestinians out.

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By nefesh, January 26, 2009 at 7:20 am Link to this comment

“Siegman demolishes Israel’s claims”

Nobody pays any attention to Siegman except Israel-bashers like you. Siegman’s arguments are as full of holes as those of Hedges.

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By WR Curley, January 26, 2009 at 7:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What journalists have to sell is credibility…and they sell it to the highest bidder. The major news outlets in the US are owned and/or controlled by interests working in lockstep with the global Zionists. Any journalist who cannot stomach the diktat from his ownership’s editorial board soon finds him/herself exiled to the blogosphere. As Mr Hedges surely knows.

The moralistic fulminatiuons from both sides of the Palestine question serve in part to obfuscate an obvious truth: The interests of the US and Israel diverged at about the point where this country became a debtor to the oil reserves of the planet. By that time, of course, the Zionists had consolidated control of our media, adding the “hard news” industry to the entertainment divisions they had mastered for decades.

Ask yourself how it is that Israel, a nation of 5 million souls with no natural resources, representing a mythic homeland for an ethnic group comprising no more than .005% of the world population (and falling), absolutely dominates the news cycles hour to hour, day to day, year to year. Think about it.

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By Ed Harges, January 26, 2009 at 7:15 am Link to this comment

Nefesh: I think Siegman knows what he’s talking about. Why don’t you take your fingers out of your ears and listen?

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By Ed Harges, January 26, 2009 at 7:12 am Link to this comment

An exception to this mainstream media obedience to Israel is the London Review of Books. It has published a trenchant refutation of Israel’s lies by Henry Siegman, director of the US Middle East Project in New York (he is also a former national director of the American Jewish Congress ).

Siegman demolishes Israel’s claims, starting with the biggest lie of all: that Hamas broke the June truce. He writes:

“Israel, not Hamas, violated the truce: Hamas undertook to stop firing rockets into Israel; in return, Israel was to ease its throttlehold on Gaza. In fact, during the truce, it tightened it further. This was confirmed not only by every neutral international observer and NGO on the scene but by Brigadier General (Res.) Shmuel Zakai, a former commander of the IDF’s Gaza Division.”

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By RdV, January 26, 2009 at 7:09 am Link to this comment

It continues to make us look bad in the eyes of the world—in fact, worse, because it demonstrates that the US has not ventured from the same mindset that drove us into Iraq. Underlying all this is the conclusion that Zionist interests still are shaping perceptions and people again will start to complain about the Jews who own the media or demonize Arabs in Hollywood or…run the financial institutions…
Those are the consequences when it seems most plausible, meanwhile Zionist board bullies like nefesh continue to echo their pathetic talking points—which only makes them appear desperately pathetic.

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By Eso, January 26, 2009 at 7:07 am Link to this comment

To: nefesh. Fancy Israelis use USA made phosphorus bombs? Fancy Israeli government promise to defend its soldiers accused of war crimes? Fancy denial of access to reporters to witness the killing of children in Gaza and then claim no one saw it happening? Trouble is those who watched from far away with media help believe such fancies fancy state terrorism.

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By wmmbb, January 26, 2009 at 6:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

While I appreciate it is hard to deal with addictions, the more so if you have invested in them, but the simple expedient of turning off those who would claim to be reporting the news until they do so might yet work.

Israel was not simply about terrorizing the population of Gaza. It was far more sinister than that. It’s purpose was to degrade the Palestinians economically and culturally.

Such is the scale of the crime, that I believe it warrants my government moving to have them shunned from the United Nations by the General Assembly, until they mend their ways,  but I might try without the expectation of much traction in achieving that objective.

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By nefesh, January 26, 2009 at 6:43 am Link to this comment

TO: ThnkUBush, January 26 at 6:09 am

Your words point out the blatantly willfull blindness of Hedges and his sycophants on this obscure website.

No great surprise, is it then, for such a self-righteously pompous writer like Hedges to conveniently neglect to mention the irrefutable war crimes of the Hamas terrorist regime.

Hedges hasn’t admitted that his valiant Hamas terrorists’ lobbing of thousands of missiles deliberately at population centers are war crimes - each and every missile launching is a war crime, multiplied by the thousands of instances, logged year after year, in full view of the world’s eyes and ears. And from Hedges? Not a frickin’ peep.

Nor does he mention the fact that Hamas using hospitals, mosques, and schools for weapons stashes and firing locations are war crimes - each and every instance.

Nor does he mention that Hamas uses civilian homes for storage of weapons - each and every instance a war crime.

Nor does he mention that Hamas uses these homes as cover for combat - each and every instance a war crime.

Nor does he mention the fact that Hamas deliberately clothe their gunmen in civvies - fully aware that this will cause civilian casualties when the IDF rightfully returns fire. Each and every individual deliberate use of the civilian population for cover is a war crime.

Hedges gives genocidal Jihadist terrorists a free pass when it comes to their monstrous behaviour. So much for Hedges’ credibility….........

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By Eso, January 26, 2009 at 6:19 am Link to this comment

Christian Science Monitor wrote in an editorial that Gaza was “pummeled”. Well, Jesus continues to sit on his hands. As I recall, some 400 children were killed and over a thousand injured. On, oh yeah, BBC, SKY will continue to bend their ear to Israel and not advertise the needs of the Gaza children.

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By nefesh, January 26, 2009 at 6:11 am Link to this comment

Right off the bat Hedges paints himself into a terrorist-appeasing corner:

“The assault on Gaza exposed not only Israel’s callous disregard for international law but the gutlessness of the American press.”

I’ve read alot of Hedges’ screeds, so there’s no need anymore to do other than skim his crap. The truth is that the Israeli government’s actions in Gaza are fully legal according to any law, Hedges’ specious (and oft-repeated lie) notwithstanding. He cannot lay out a real case, so it’s back to the same old same old…...

He doesn’t have the balls to admit that not only were Israel’s defensive actions in Gaza legal and long overdue, but they were the solemn moral actions of any government’s primary responsibility to defend it’s citizens from harm, especially during a time of war waged by the most ruthless external enemy.

If Hedges was a real journalist instead of a bitter hack ex-newspaper man (the NY Times, no less - ha ha ha) he would do some expose pieces on why exactly Hamas is rightly branded a terrorist organization, and what they do to the population of Gaza, and why. But never a peep out of Hedges. That’s not what extreme partisans would. With faux-journos like Hedges, truth is always the first casualty.

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By ThnkUBush, January 26, 2009 at 6:09 am Link to this comment

“But these examples of journalistic integrity were too few and barely heard by us.”

Excuse me? Which news sources are you following Mr. Hedges? The plight of the people in Gaza has been reported everywhere. The pictures have been in every major newspaper, and on every television broadcast and cable news program, in the United States. The point of view of the Palestinians has been represented in every major newspaper as well.

What is almost always missing are the reports on what it’s like living in a city or town where children have only 30 seconds to get into a bomb shelter after the warning sirens are engaged. For years these sirens have been going off every day, often several times a day, after an explosive projectile is fired from Hamas into Israel. What must that be like? I wonder, Mr. Hedges, would you feel terrorized living like that? Would you demand your government act to end that danger?

Both sides in the conflict live in palatable fear. Both sides are guilty of atrocities. Both sides have their legitimate grievances.

Think small…. see small, Mr. Hedges.

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By thebeerdoctor, January 26, 2009 at 4:23 am Link to this comment

With the insanity of the United States government’s Middle East policies, the enabled looting of what was left of the national treasury by the remnants of the ownership class, and last but not least, the totally insane war on drugs, which really amounts to a war on plants; you can’t help but ponder, is this the proverbial final straw that will breakdown, once and for all, the federal humped back camel?
AIPAC and the its many moneyed minions in Congress, actually believe that a country must exist based on religion. Listen to the comments of the “settlers” grabbing the land in the West Bank, who believe, who actually believe, that God (whatever that means to them) gave them this land to take, and it is His will for them to expand by driving the former occupants out or death. Now, I wish someone could explain why that intolerant fundamental religious racism is allowed and supported, but the Wahabi Muslim idea of driving out the infidels from holy land is not? Perhaps Vice-President Joe Biden, the non-Jewish Zionist, can explain the difference, while promoting his beloved, immorally vicious cause.

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By M.B.S.S., January 26, 2009 at 4:17 am Link to this comment

“We ask how and who but never, never do we ask why.”

how is it that even a child knows to ask why repeatedly , but the most “civilized” and “erudite” among us fail in this same regard?

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