November 17, 2012

EDITOR: While the world protests the murders, governments of the west continue to support the crimes

Millions of people around the globe look with growing disbelief at their television screens and daily papers, bringing to them, again, the harrowing pictures of murder, wanton destruction and continuing war crimes committed by Israel in Gaza, for the umpteen time, with the ‘democracies’ of the west supporting the Israeli side. These are the governments which have brought us the financial crisis, which have refused to tax the rich, which bring untold misery to millions of Europeans, not to mention people in the developing world. These are the governments which enacted and supported the attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan, and which stood by Israel when it decimated, not for the first, second or even third time, the South of Lebanon in summer 2006, and Gaza in winter 2008/9. These are the governments which give Israel military, financial, and diplomatic and political support, however much death it sows. These are the governments which refuse, for many decades, any vestiges of human rights to the Palestinians, and which overlook Israel brutal military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and the hundreds of illegal settlements built there, despite all the faint noises from the UN over decades.

It seems that the ‘democracies’, as they dubbed themselves during the Cold War, are doing all they can to convince the Palestinians that there is no one they can talk to, rely upon, or hope for help and justice from. There shall be no peaceful and just solution to the Middle East crisis, because the west has denied that option, with stridently looking elsewhere when Israelis have broken all the international laws they could, and all standard of humane behaviour. That there is no more a possibility of a two-state solution, is a direct result of this criminal hypocrisy by the the US, EU, Canada, Australia, Japan and some other partners in crime.

Yes, Israel is the perpetrator of the war crimes, but none could have taken place without the multifarious support of the ‘democracies’. Now they are all ranged against Iran, due to its nuclear programme, but not a single word is spoken by their deluded leaders against Israel’s nuclear arsenal of more than 250 H bombs. This hypocrisy is destablising not only the Middle East, but the whole world, and is destructive not just politically and financially, but also environmentally. Israel continues to write the script for pliant regimes across the world, on a number of topics: The ‘War on Terror’, the ‘clash of civilisations’, and the continued anti-Islamic crusade upheld by the so called Judeo-Christian cultures. As long as this toxic influence is affecting ALL world affairs, there no hope not only for peaceful and just solution in Palestine, but any end to the other conflicts in the Middle East, not to mention an end to the crisis now devastating so many countries.

In his Cairo University address, the world has assumed, for at least few hours, that Barack Hussein Obama, a Nobel Laureate, has also understood this simple truth. Few believe in this failed idol now, even in his own country, even in his own rank. More than any US president before him, he has demonstrated a total inability to think and act to stabilise and improve the situation in Palestine, and has been in hock to the illegal aggressors in the Israeli regime, more fascist and right wing than ever before. Even Israelis, not to mention the people of Palestine, understand that this weak, indecisive and easily swayed politician is unable to take the lead, and is too much of a coward to move towards change in this bloody colonial conflict. There is no hope for Palestinians, and a result also for Israeli Jews, from that quarter, or from their own blood-thirsty and racist leader. Instead of using the lessons of the Holocaust to make sure racism and hate are never again successful, the Israeli leaders use fascism and racism against the Palestinians. We should remember that abused children are many times also abusing fathers in their own turn, and it seems that this is what has also happened in the case of Israel – they continue the cycle of abuse, hate and murder, which Jews over the centuries were the victims of, so often.

What is to be done, one wonders? As millions across the globe are angry, and go out into the streets to express this understandable emotion, they are also aware of their inability to change the course of events, to influence their own governments’ blind support of Israeli aggression, and through it, the continuation and intensification of the conflict, and the suffering not only of Palestinians, but also of Israelis. Unfortunately, what this inability of all of us proves is the weakness and corruption of our social and political structures in the west, and for me, specifically, of these structures in Britain – the ex-empire which hatched and matured this injustice though its colonial Mandate period between 1918 and 1948. The only solution is to tie the fight for justice and peace in Palestine to the struggles for social justice in Europe, against the neo-colonial wars by the western powers, and against the continuing erosion of civil society and its institutions in Europe. Such a struggle needs to be inspired by the Ant-Apartheid movement, and both its success to bring down Apartheid and its policies, as well as the failure to change the social structure of racist privilege in South Africa. The only hope of changing the European position on Israel and Zionism, is through the change of European governments, towards a socialist, equal societies in all European countries. How can we see a change in Palestine otherwise? Obama? He is a prisoner of AIPAC and will never act against what Israel considers its interests. Anyone waiting for change from that quarter is either fooled easily, or fooling themselves. How many decades of Palestinian suffering are necessary for people to understand this?

We all need to stand up and be counted. When my parents families were decimated by the Nazis in Poland, no one was prepared to stand up for them, so they had no hope. Palestinians today need your help, or they will perish likewise. History should not be allowed to repeat its horrific mistakes, and its our responsibility to make sure it doesn’t. All of us are responsible for this!

Stand up and defend Palestine, its right to just peace, and you by definition also defend the same right for Israeli Jews. Oppose the continued atrocities in the name of common humanity!


The report below clearly shows examples of the international action against Israeli brutalities:

Listen to the excellent and astute Rachel Shabi of the Guardian speaking about the inept and corrupt Arab League, and its total failure to assist the Palestinians, again:

EDITOR: The BBC has again supported Israel in its crimes!

For those of us who support the BBC as a crucial part of the public arena in the UK, now under attack by the Tory dogs of war, it has again become very difficult to defend an institution devoted to impartiality, taking Israel’s side on every turn of the road, on every news bulletin. The loses of the aggressor are always reported first, and those of the people under attack are glossed over or disregarded. The language and terminology comes out of the Israeli Hasbara guidebook, it seems, and the sentiments are all one sided. It makes sense for the national broadcaster of one aggressor nation in a war against Islam, to take the part of another aggressor nation against Islam, of course. It makes no sense for a public broadcaster with responsibility for truth and impartiality to do that, and we are all financing Auntie BBC and rightly feel we own it.

On Gaza, and on Palestine, the BBC does not speak for the people of Britain. It speaks for Israel and for the Tory-LibDem Coalition administration. One has to admit that the government of the war criminal Tony Blair was no better on Palestine, for the same reasons.

To remind you how horrible the BBC can be on Palestine, I suggest looking at this memorable and incredible clip of Tony Benn, the secular saint of British public life, during the 2009 massacre in Gaza, when the BBC has shamefully refused to broadcast the details of DEC Gaza appeal. Watch and wonder!


Fear and loathing in Gaza as offensive continues: Haaretz

Rain of fire and destruction conjures up memories of Operation Cast Lead and fear for the future
By Amira Hass     | Nov.17, 2012

Palestinians inspect a destroyed mosque after an Israeli air strike in Bureij, central Gaza Strip, November 17, 2012. Photo by Reuters

Five people were killed Saturday morning in an Israeli airstrike on Rafah, Palestinian sources said. Earlier, during an aerial attack Friday night, six Palestinians including one civilian were killed, a top source at the Health Ministry in Gaza claimed.

From the outset of Operation Pillar of Defense to Saturday morning, 37 Palestinians have died of whom at least 10 were civilians; Palestinian sources count 17 civilian deaths. Dozens more have been wounded.

Red Cross sources in Gaza say several medical centers, including the emergency facility in Jabaliya, suffered collateral damage from the strikes.

People living in the northern and eastern parts of the Gaza Strip began to flee their homes as of Friday as heavy fighting raged nearby. Talking with Haaretz, some described ceaseless attacks from sea, land and air only a few yards from them, “shaking the ground and the walls.”

Among the people who fled are the Samouni family, who live in the eastern part of the Gaza neighborhood Zeitoun. During Operation Cast Lead in the winter of 2008-09, 21 members of the Samouni family were killed when commander of the Givati Brigade, Ilan Malka, ordered their home bombed. Based on photos from an unmanned drone, Malka concluded the building was sheltering armed Palestinians. One of the Samouni women says she and her children are now reliving the trauma of 2009.

The strike on the Hamas government Saturday morning was also watched warily by neighbors. On Thursday, a man living in the area told Haaretz that people were expecting Israeli jets to bomb the symbol of Hamas civil rule. In 2008 the government buildings were in the southern Gaza neighborhood Tel el-Hawa, and were destroyed in a series of strikes. About three to four months later, the government moved to a building in the northern Gaza neighborhood of Nasser.

“It was a very difficult night,” S. told Haaretz. “The bombing didn’t stop. At about five, I was preparing for prayer, when I heard an explosion nearby and figured it was the government building.” Two hours later, he says, the Israel Air Force bombed another target on the IDF’s list – the soccer stadium in Palestine Square. Less than 200 yards from a mosque that was packed at the time. S.’s 13-year-old son relates: “I was sleeping. The noise woke me up.” The shockwave warped the neighbors’ doors, he said. “We leave the windows open, so the glass didn’t break, but the neighbors’ windows broke. Shockwaves caused bricks to fall on cars and damaged them. One of them dented our car.”

Everybody he knows felt heartened by Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil’s visit to Gaza, says S.: It made them more resilient. “Today the Tunisian foreign minister came and tomorrow other delegations will be coming form Egypt. When I watch Israeli television, I feel they don’t understand the change that Egypt and Tunisia have undergone. They’re still thinking in terms of despots dependent on the United States, and don’t realize that the opinion of the Egyptian people plays an important role in Egyptian policy.”

A number of medical centers were damaged during the fighting of the last three days, the organization Physicians for Human Rights said in a press release. Dr. Bashar Murad, director of the Red Crescent’s Gaza emergency and rescue services, told the organization there were no direct strikes on emergency services or their centers. But some were close enough to strikes to have suffered severe damage, mainly in the open areas of the south such as the emergency center in Jabalya. It was hit by large, sharp shards and rubble, some weighing as much as ten pounds, he says: “We received no notice or request to evacuate before the attack.”

Medical facilities in the Tel el-Hawa district were damaged, Murad says, including the al-Quds Hospital. “Most of the windows were shattered. Some of the roofs collapsed or were damaged from the shock of the bombings (not direct hits). The Jabalya emergency and rescue center was damaged.” The patients are afraid in the very place they’re supposed to feel cared for, he says.

“The damage to infrastructure, such as the roads, creates obstacles and delays in reaching the wounded. Sometimes roads are blocked by a bomb crater, or rubble from destroyed houses and ambulances can’t get through,” Murad says. “The paramedics have to go on foot and carry the injured risking their own lives, and naturally get to the injured later at a time when every minute can be the difference between life and death.”

“One of the biggest dangers is when a place is bombed for a second time, when medical teams are already on their way,” he continues. “There have been cases where the same place was bombed twice, with a few minutes to half an hour or an hour in between, which endangers rescue teams.”

According to Palestinian health authorities, as of Saturday morning 13 civilians, six of which were children, had been killed since the start of the offensive. 37 have died since the campaign began, and as of Friday afternoon, the count of wounded had reached 257, of whom 253 are civilians, including 62 children and 42 women.

According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, two children were killed on Thursday night in the town of Beit Hanun in northern Gaza, after a strike near their home: Udai Nasser, 15, and Fares el-Basiyuni, 8.

Earlier Thursday evening, in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahia, Marwan al-Komsan, 52, a teacher employed by the United Nations refugee agency, was killed while visiting his brother. A mortar shell or explosive fell in a field near the brother’s home, seriously injuring the brother, who is 72.

In Zeitoun, a 10-month-old girl, Hanan Tafesh, died Thursday night of head injuries sustained in a strike the day before. Her mother and two others were wounded.

Camel Makat, 23, died Friday morning of a heart attack after a fighter jet bombed a field near his home in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in northwestern Gaza City. On Friday evening 2-year-old Walid al-Abdullah died of his injuries sustained the day before in a strike on the village of al-Kara, east of Khan Yunis.

In Israeli strikes on Zeitoun Wednesday, a 3-year-old girl, Ranin Arafat, was killed along with an 11-month-old boy, Amar Masharawi, and a pregnant 19-year-old woman, Hiba Masharawi-Turk. Also on Wednesday, a 61-year-old man, Mahmoud Hmad, was killed in a field in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.