Saturday, 16 August 2014

GAZA - Opposing views

On 22 July 2014, UN human rights commissioner, Navi Pillay, said this to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva:
"There seems to be a strong possibility that international law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes… A number of incidents, along with the high number of civilian deaths, belies the claim that all necessary precautions are being taken to protect civilian lives.

For Palestinians in Gaza and in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the current reality is not just one of repeated conflict but also one of protracted occupation, with insecurity and a constant daily struggle for human rights, in particular the right to self-determination.

In Gaza, the blockade and Access Restricted Areas continue to undermine the human rights of the population. In the West Bank, ever expanding illegal Israeli settlements; settler violence; demolitions of Palestinian homes; the Wall and its associated regime; excessive use of force; and large scale detentions of Palestinians are some of the ongoing, routine abuses and human rights violations committed against the occupied population.

A seven-year old Palestinian child in Gaza has never known life outside occupation and is already living through her or his third experience of a major Israeli military operation, including the so-called operations ‘Cast Lead’ in 2009 and ‘Pillar of Defence’ in 2012, with all the unimaginable death, destruction, terror and the life-long consequences that they inflicted.” 
On 18 July 2014, an open letter was sent to to The Guardian by a group of eminent dignitaries.

This is an edited version:
“Israel has once again unleashed the full force of its military against the captive Palestinian population, particularly in the besieged Gaza Strip, in an inhumane and illegal act of military aggression.
Israel's ability to launch such devastating attacks with impunity largely stems from the vast international military cooperation and trade that it maintains with complicit governments across the world.
Over the period 2008-19, the US is set to provide military aid to Israel worth $30bn, while Israeli annual military exports to the world have reached billions of dollars.

In recent years, European countries have exported billions of euros' worth of weapons to Israel, and the EU has furnished Israeli military companies with research grants worth hundreds of millions. Emerging economies such as India, Brazil and Chile are rapidly increasing their military trade and cooperation with Israel, despite their stated support for Palestinian rights. By importing and exporting arms to Israel and facilitating the development of Israeli military technology, governments are effectively sending a clear message of approval for Israel's military aggression, including its war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.

Israel's military technology is marketed as ‘field-tested’ and exported across the world. Military trade and joint military-related research relations with Israel embolden Israeli impunity in committing grave violations of international law and facilitate the entrenchment of Israel's system of occupation, colonisation and systematic denial of Palestinian rights.

We call on the UN and governments across the world to take immediate steps to implement a comprehensive and legally binding military embargo on Israel, similar to that imposed on South Africa during apartheid.”
Some of those who signed the above letter are listed below:

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Nobel Peace Laureate; Betty Williams Nobel Peace Laureate; Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate; Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Laureate; Roger Waters of Pink Floyd; Federico Mayor Zaragoza, former Unesco director general; Adolfo Peres Esquivel, Nobel Peace Laureate; Alice Walker, author of ‘The Colour Purple;’ James Kelman, Booker Prize winner; Michael Ondaatje, Booker Prize winner; Liz Lochhead, national poet for Scotland; Brian Eno, musician; Caryl Churchill, playwright; John Pilger, journalist and filmmaker; Ken Loach filmmaker; Luisa Morgantini, former vice president of the European Parliament; Jeremy Corbyn, MP; John McDonnell, MP; Michael Mansfield, barrister.

These signatories are Jewish.

Noam Chomsky, philosopher and academic; Mike Leigh, writer and film director; Richard Falk, former UN special rapporteur on Occupied Palestine; Ronnie Kasrils, former South African Minister; Ilan Pappe, Israeli historian; Sir Geoffrey Bindman, lawyer.

On 10 July 2014, J.J. Goldberg’s essay, How Politics and Lies Triggered an Unintended War in Gaza, was featured in the Jewish Daily Forward.

This said:
“In the flood of angry words that poured out of Israel and Gaza during a week of spiraling violence, few statements were more blunt, or more telling, than this throwaway line by the chief spokesman of the Israeli military, Brigadier General Moti Almoz, speaking July 8 on Army Radio’s morning show:

‘We have been instructed by the political echelon to hit Hamas hard’…

Spokesmen don’t speak for themselves. Almoz was expressing a frustration that was building in the army command for nearly a month, since the June 12 kidnapping of three Israeli yeshiva boys. The crime set off a chain of events in which Israel gradually lost control of the situation, finally ending up on the brink of a war that nobody wanted…

The frustration had numerous causes. Once the boys’ disappearance was known, troops began a massive, 18-day search-and-rescue operation, entering thousands of homes, arresting and interrogating hundreds of individuals, racing against the clock. Only on July 1, after the boys’ bodies were found, did the truth come out: THE GOVERNMENT HAD KNOWN ALMOST FROM THE BEGINNING THAT THE BOYS WERE DEAD. IT MAINTAINED THE FICTION THAT IT HOPED TO FIND THEM ALIVE AS A PRETEXT TO DISMANTLE HAMAS’ WEST BANK OPERATIONS.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately placed a gag order on the deaths. Journalists who heard rumors were told the Shin Bet wanted the gag order to aid the search. For public consumption, the official word was that Israel was ‘acting on the assumption that they’re alive.’ It was, simply put, a lie…

Nor was that the only fib. It was clear from the beginning that the kidnappers weren’t acting on orders from Hamas leadership in Gaza or Damascus. Hamas’ Hebron branch, more a crime family than a clandestine organization, had a history of acting without the leaders’ knowledge, sometimes against their interests. Yet Netanyahu repeatedly insisted Hamas was responsible for the crime and would pay for it.”
The fact that Goldberg, who is the editor of The Forward, is as overtly critical of Israel as he is here is deeply instructive. He is, intellectually, very much the Jewish chauvinist and is as aggressively Zionist as it comes. For him to condemn the genesis of the latest butchery is such forthright terms is highly unusual.

Hopefully, such unvarnished commentary will herald a more discerning evaluation of Israel’s conduct by the U.S. media in the future.

Myra is Jewish.

Professor Emeritus of international law at Princeton University, Richard Falk, said this when interviewed recently:
"Israel periodically 'mows the grass' in Gaza as one right-wing Israeli advisor to Sharon distastefully expressed the goal of Israel policy toward Gaza several years ago. There were factors present in the context of this Israeli attack that help explain why now.

The main two factors in my view were the unwelcome establishment of an interim 'unity government' on June 2 by the leadership of Fatah and Hamas, which undermined the Israeli approach of keeping the governing authorities in the West Bank and Gaza AS DIVIDED AS POSSIBLE.

The second element was Israel's strong incentive to weaken Hamas in the West Bank so that Israel could justify its moves in April to end direct negotiations with the Palestinian Authority and move ever closer to incorporating the West Bank, or most of it into Israel, and fulfil the expansionist Zionist dream to move beyond the 1967 borders."
Richard is Jewish.

On 15 July 2014, comedian Alexei Sayle said this when interviewed by a representative of the Council for Arab-British Understanding:
"I always try and think of the psychology of the nation and the psychology of the people behind it, and I said it in 2009 during Cast Lead that Israel seemed to me to be like a teenager that's never been given any boundaries, that is endlessly indulged by its doting parents, the West, and has kind of become psychopath as a result...

You could also say that Israel is now the Jimmy Savile of nation states, it clearly doesn't care about damaging the lives of children, it thinks that everybody else is in the wrong, and it is endlessly in the right...

It's a state that is endlessly again indulged by... Western powers, by governments everywhere because they're frightened of it, frightened of it physically in some ways and of its kind of anger and of the power that it wields and its influence."
In January 2009, more than 1,400 Palestinians were killed during Israel's Operation Cast Lead bombing of Gaza. At a demonstration in London. where over 100,000 marched in sympathy with Gaza’s inhabitants, Alexei said this:
"I think it’s important that Jewish people who have a public profile speak out to say that this is not being done in our name. All the time we hear from Israeli spokespeople that they are angry with the people they have murdered for making them murder them. It is the psychology of the murderer, it is the psychology of the rapist, it is the psychology of the bully. That’s what Israel is in this situation."
Alexei is Jewish.

Avner Gvaryahu was a sergeant in the Israeli Defence Force special forces from November 2004 to November 2007.

On 15 July 2014, he blew the whistle thus in The Independent:
"My first mission involved the seizure of a Palestinian home. I had never before had the opportunity to be inside a Palestinian home, and my squad was surprised for a moment by the fact that within the home lived an entire family, spanning three generations…

I remember asking myself: what do they think about all of this? What would I do if soldiers broke into my home? But I immediately repressed these questions and carried on with the mission… This was our daily routine, and as a result, the next time I didn’t really think about how the family whose home we entered felt…

I wasn’t bothered when we destroyed entire homes during search operations, and when my squad accidentally shot an innocent woman, and we quickly buried the incident and moved on…

During Operation Cast Lead I had been a civilian active with Breaking the Silence for over a year, but I was still shocked by the incidents I heard had occurred there. I remember a friend who had taken part in Cast Lead… This is what he testified:

‘In the morning we identified four men, aged 25 - 40, with keffiyehs, standing outside the house talking. It was suspect. We reported it to intelligence, specifying the house they were about to enter. Intelligence passed this on to the Shabak (Israeli Security Agency) who reported that this was known as a Hamas activist’s house. This is automatically acted upon.

I don’t remember what we used, whether it was a helicopter or something else, but the house was bombed while these guys were inside. A woman ran out of the house holding a child, and escaped southward. That is to say, there had been innocent people inside’…

The politicians that send us to perform these tasks don’t even pretend to promise hope for a better future. Just further use of force and violence. Our doubts about logic and justice don’t even interest us anymore… 150 killed in Gaza in the first six days of the operation, the vast majority of whom were civilians, and a quarter of whom were children. Millions of Israeli and Palestinian people live in existential fear that a rocket or a missile will fall on their heads…

The red line at which we stopped during Operation Cast Lead (2009), is the same line from which we commenced Operation Pillar of Defense (2011). The point at which we stopped during Pillar of Defense is the same place from which we’ve started Protective Edge. What will our next red line be? And when will we cross that one too? Only we can answer that question. It depends on us, and what we allow others to do in our name.”

By way of contrast to the above, here are some dissenting views:

On 1 August 2014, Moshe Feiglin, Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset, posted an open letter to Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, on his Facebook page.

This said:
“This is our country, our country exclusively, including Gaza. There are no two states, and there are no two peoples. There is only one state for one people…

The strategic enemy is extremist Arab Islam in all its varieties, from Iran to Gaza, which seeks to annihilate Israel in its entirety. The immediate enemy is Hamas…

Defining the tasks: Conquest of the entire Gaza Strip, and annihilation of all fighting forces and their supporters. Defining the strategic goal: To turn Gaza into Jaffa, a flourishing Israeli city with a minimum number of hostile civilians…

The IDF will designate certain open areas on the Sinai border, adjacent to the sea, in which the civilian population will be concentrated, far from the built-up areas… In these areas, tent encampments will be established, until relevant emigration destinations are determined…. Electricity and water for populated areas, will be disconnected.

The formerly populated areas will be shelled with maximum fire power. The entire civilian and military infrastructure of Hamas, its means of communication and of logistics, will be razed to the ground…

The IDF… will… exterminate nests of resistance, in the event that any should remain…

Israel will start searching for emigration destinations and quotas for the refugees from Gaza… Those who wish to emigrate will be given a generous economic support package, and will arrive at the receiving countries with considerable economic capabilities…

When the fighting ends, Israeli law will be extended to cover the entire Gaza Strip, the people evicted from the Gush Katif will be invited to return to their settlements, and the city of Gaza and its suburbs will be rebuilt as true Israeli touristic and commercial cities.”
The above document has since been removed from Feiglin’s Facebook page. However, on 14 July 2014, he was saying much the same thing to an Israeli audience in Beit Shemesh.

“We should look for victory, we should win… What are we going to do afterwards with 1.8 million Arabs in Gaza?…

I’m not talking about going back to Gaza as a colonialist as we did in 1967. No. I’m talking about going back to Gaza as the owner of the land as we did in… 1948…

Those who fought you in the past or still don’t accept your sovereignty should be destroyed or sent away… it’s simple.”
It’s simple, all right. It’s also imperialist, supremacist and genocidal. The seizure of the territory of one people by another, ethnic cleansing, annihilation for those who resist. It really couldn’t be any clearer, could it?

And remember who’s saying it. This is no armed-to-the-teeth Ashkenazi settler who’s been in the country for a week, this is the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset. This is a big shot. This is a bloke whose opinions are valued and acted upon.

Heil Israel, eh?

And yet, the Jew in Europe, in our world, has been pushing for open borders, for letting the outsider in, since time immemorial. In Israel they want the original inhabitant removed, Throughout the white world, (and only the white world) they want the original inhabitant overtaken by the alien hordes.

You know what it says in the Bhagavad Gita, don’t you?
"Now I am become death, destroyer of worlds."
In the 1965 TV documentary ‘The Decision to Drop the Bomb,’ the Jew, Robert Oppenheimer, director of the Trinity project that invented the A-bomb, told us that, upon witnessing the first nuclear explosion, the same thought had crossed his mind.

On 1 July 2014, Dr. Mordechai Kedar of Bar-Ilan University said this on Israeli radio programme, ‘Hakol Diburim:’
“Terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, the only thing that deters them is if they know that their sister or their mother will be raped in the event that they are caught. What can you do, that’s the culture in which we live…

I’m talking about the facts. The only thing that deters a suicide bomber is the knowledge that if he pulls the trigger or blows himself up, his sister will be raped. That’s all.”

Finally, history of the revelatory kind.

On 18 November 2012, during the ‘Pillar of Defense’ attack on Gaza, Gilad Sharon, the son of former Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, said this in The Jerusalem Post:
“What does a decisive victory sound like? A Tarzan-like cry that lets the entire jungle know in no uncertain terms just who won, and just who was defeated.

To accomplish this, you need to achieve what the other side can’t bear, can’t live with, and our initial bombing campaign isn’t it. The desire to prevent harm to innocent civilians in Gaza will ultimately lead to harming the truly innocent: the residents of southern Israel. THE RESIDENTS OF GAZA ARE NOT INNOCENT, THEY ELECTED HAMAS. The Gazans aren’t hostages; they chose this freely, and must live with the consequences…

We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima, the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too.

There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing. Then they’d really call for a ceasefire. Were this to happen, the images from Gaza might be unpleasant, but victory would be swift, and the lives of our soldiers and civilians spared…

There is no middle path here, either the Gazans and their infrastructure are made to pay the price, or we reoccupy the entire Gaza Strip… A million civilians can’t live under fire for long. This needs to end quickly, with a bang, not a whimper.”

Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, was caught on camera saying these things in 2001:
"Today everyone understands the slogan 'The Settlements are here'. They are everywhere. What's the difference? What do you think Arafat wants? He wants one big settlement that is called Tel Aviv...

The main thing is, first of all, to strike them, not once but several times, so painfully that the price they pay will be unbearable... a large-scale attack on the Palestinian Authority, causing them to fear that everything is about to collapse...

AMERICA IS SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN EASILY MANOEUVRE AND MOVE IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. And even if they do say something... so what? 80% of Americans support us!"
"I wasn't afraid to confront Clinton. I wasn't afraid to go against the U.N. What happened with the Oslo Accords?... I gave my own interpretation to the agreements, in such a way that will allow me to stop the race back to the 1967 borders...

Nobody defined what 'Military Facilities' are. So I also defined them as being 'security zones'. The entire Jordan Valley, for me, is a 'military facility'...

There was the question of who will define these 'military facilities?' I received a letter... sent to me and to Arafat at the same time, saying that Israel and Israel alone will define the 'military facilities,' their locations, and size.

Now, they didn't want to give this letter so I refused to sign the Hebron Accords. I stopped the government meeting and I said: 'I won't sign.' And only when the letter arrived, during that meeting, to me and to Arafat, did I sign the Hebron Accords. Or ratified it, to be exact - it was already signed.


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