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Guernica in Gaza

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | feature author Sunday December 28, 2008 22:18author by Justin Morahan Report this post to the editors

Hundreds of Gazans Reported Dead & Injured in Sabbath Day Surprise Attack

International Solidarity Movement
video (ISM): Uploaded Dec 27 2008

Justin Morahan writes... On the Jewish Sabbath, this morning, The Israeli Defence forces launched a massive missile attack on Gaza killing at least 140 people.

The attack came as a surprise even to Israelis. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz put the number of dead at 155 or more. There was little or no warning when the "strike" began at 11.30 a.m. Israeli time.

Television footage showed dead bodies scattered on a road and wounded and dead being carried away by distraught rescuers.

The Israel Defense Forces said that the airstrikes "will continue, will be expanded, and will deepen if necessary."

Egypt has now opened its long-sealed border with Gaza to allow in the wounded for medical treatment.

According to reports, the Hamas Government buildings were targeted as were the police headquarters with heavy casualties in both locations. Police Chief Tawfiq Jabber is among the dead. A spokesman said that the police compound in Gaza City had been hosting a graduation ceremony for new personnel when it was attacked.

At least two people were killed and 30 wounded from an attack in Khan Younis, a refugee camp in the south of Gaza.

According to reports residents reported hearing at least 15 explosions. Many of Hamas's security compounds are in residential areas, and the air strikes took place as children were leaving school. "Plumes of black smoke rose over Gaza City, sirens wailed through the streets and women frantically looked for their children"

The attacks have been condemned by Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah who is recognised as President of Palestine by the USA and other Israeli allies.

author by Mickpublication date Sat Dec 27, 2008 13:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Shame on those who made the orders and those who followed them.

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Sun Dec 28, 2008 20:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There was a lively protest at the GPO in Dublin today with about 250 in attendance. The bitterly cold weather, holidays and maybe lack of awareness kept many locals away. Another protest is planned for tomorrow night at the Israeli Embassy.

author by newsmedia - newsmedianewspublication date Mon Dec 29, 2008 01:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Without meaning to belittle any of this terrible state sanctioned murder, it is hypocrisy of the highest order for the USA to make any condemnation of Israel in the light of US drone attacks on civilian locations in Pakistan and elsewhere.

Israel forcibly occupied the Gaza strip in 1967 (it previously invaded during the Suez crisis in 1956 but withdrew after international pressure. It has oppressed and repressed the people of this crowded strip of land ever since. It is time that this rogue nation was bought fully to book. But then, their wealth is what really matters to our so called civilised nations.

author by Conor. M - S.E.E.Dpublication date Mon Dec 29, 2008 03:41author email groupseed at yahoo dot ieauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is up to 300 dead now and hundreds wounded.... Israel has tanks at the north and east border, 6500 reserve soldiers ready. Israel threatening a ground assault.

Paris 200 protested, 1300 anti-Israel in France, Hundreds in London, blocking the streets and ten arrested when the protest turned violent. Protests in Madrid, Dublin etc. Tens of thousands in middle east protesting. China called on Israel to cease all attacks immediately.

Also large demonstrations against Egypt's complacency. It has however, opened its border after protests and ground battles - one protester and one Egyptian border police-man killed.

author by redjadepublication date Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Glenn Greenwald quotes the 'centrist' New Republic's Marty Peretz (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Peretz):

'Israeli intelligence reported 225 people dead, mostly Hamas military leaders with some functionaries, besides, and perhaps 400 wounded. The Palestinians announced 300 dead, probably as a reflex in order to begin their whining about disproportionate Israeli acts of war. And 600 wounded.

[....]

Frankly, I am up to my gullet with this reflex criticism of Israel as going beyond proportionality in its responses to war waged against its population with the undisguised intention of putting an end to the political expression of the Jewish nation. . . .

The current warfare will go on a bit longer. If there is a pause and if I were giving advice to the Israelis, this is what I would say to Hamas and to the people of Gaza: "If a rocket or missile is launched against us, if you take captive one of our soldiers (as you have held one for two and a half years), if you raise a new Intifada against us, there will be an immediate response. And it will be very disproportionate. Proportion does not work."


Glenn Greenwald further writes....
One can travel from the farthest right fringe of the GOP to the heart of the Democratic Party leadership and hear exactly the same thing: Israel is always right. Israel must not be criticized. Israel never bears any blame. Any action taken by Israel is justified. No matter the situation, that just gets repeated over and over like some hypnotic bipartisan mantra. Meanwhile, American citizens overwhelmingly -- 71% -- want their Government to be "even-handed" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Yet that view is simply ignored, disregarded, not even viable for any American mainstream political leader to express.'
• more at http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/12/28/peret....html

author by daisypublication date Mon Dec 29, 2008 13:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Moshe, I'm sorry but I can only assume you have not been to the West Bank or Gaza, and that you have not seen the separation wall / fence, the settlements, the jets flying over the hills of Bethlehem and other towns on a nightly basis, heard the stories of daily abuctions and detentions for 6 month periods without trial...and so on. I once would have believed such myths, but once you go beyond the mass media and critically engage with the reality, you cannot ignore the facts. Sadly, it seems, the actions of the Israeli state are very distinctly implying that they do not in fact have any interest in peace. We are already beyond the possibility of a two-state solution - the territories of Palestine are a fractured array of villages, towns and cities thanks to the illegal settlements and settler-only roads that disect the territories, and the agricultural lands of these territories. See for yourself before you make such hasty judgements.

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Mon Dec 29, 2008 13:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Everywhere, including in Ireland, Israeli spokespersons are springing into action, getting on to News programmes and chat shows, trying to counter the horror stories that are only partially emerging from Gaza with their own propaganda.

The main line is that Israeli defence was being jeopardised, that Hamas were the fisrt to break the truce. This is a lie also being promulgated by Condoleezza Rice.

On the Internet too a plethora of apologists and trolls get in on the act as often as possible. Look out for the nom-de-plumes "Sean Og", "Moshe" etc

However, the Israeli Peace Group, GUSH SHALOM in their latest statement say clearly: "It was the State of Israel which broke the truce, in the 'ticking tunnel' raid on the night of the US elections two months ago. Since then the army went on stoking the fires of escalation with calculated raids and killings, whenever the shooting of missiles on Israel decreased." http://ww4report.com/node/6572

The GUSH SHALOM statement envisages a desire by the State of Israel NOT to have peace with Gaza and Hamas. Note the last sentence: The Israeli army went on "stoking the fires of escalation with calculated raids and killings, whenever the shooting of missiles on Israel decreased."

This is a damning indictment of the IDF/Israel and shows the hypocrisy of their blatant propaganda. about Hamas provoking them by "breaking the cease-fire"

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Mon Dec 29, 2008 14:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The US Secretary of State made the following statement:

"The United States is deeply concerned about the escalating violence in Gaza,

"We strongly condemn the repeated rocket and mortar attacks against Israel and hold Hamas responsible for breaking the cease-fire and for the renewal of violence there.

"The cease-fire must be restored immediately and fully respected. The US calls on all concerned to protect innocent lives and to address the urgent humanitarian needs of the people of Gaza” -

Beat that for hypocrisy.

To contact Ms Rice write to: Condoleezza Rice Sec of State, US Department of State, 2201 C Street NW Washington DC 20520,
Tel: 202 647 4000 (Main Switchboard), or 202 647 6575

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Mon Dec 29, 2008 15:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I attended a huddling but fervent demonstration in Galway city today and another is planned for Saturday. It is hard to avoid thinking that Israeli action is based on a nod-through from the US and has more to do with upcoming elections in Israel and a change of president in the US than anything else.
But for neck it's hard to beat the Israeli statement this morning that they would possibly put on trial Palestinian 'terrorists.'!!!!! Clearly they are a little foggy around Sabra and Shatila and the persistent commission of war crimes by Israel regarding collective punishment of Palestinians, ghettoising them behind a wall, depriving them of electricity, food and health stuffs. Europe and the US (as I said in a comment on another thread, which was, oddly, removed by the thread's author) say nothing, do nothing, beaten into submission. History meanwhile echoes the destruction of the ghettoes in Poland.

author by Moshepublication date Mon Dec 29, 2008 15:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The following is Mahmoud Abbas's statement at a joint press conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Abu al-Gheit:

"I say in all honesty, we made contact with leaders of the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip. We spoke with them in all honesty and directly, and after that we spoke with them indirectly, through more than one Arab and non-Arab side... We spoke with them on the telephone and we said to them: We ask of you, don't stop the ceasefire, the ceasefire must continue and not stop, in order to avoid what has happened, and if only we had avoided it."

Even the leader of the West Bank Palestinians admits what Irish Hamas supporters like yourself will not admit.

The Hamas television station, Al-Asqa TV has been broadcasting videos glorifying the Qassam rocket attacks on Israeli civilians, with clips of the rocket teams and injured Israelis with the slogans:

"Send them to hell! Tear them to pieces!"

and

""Let them taste violent death."

A news ticker on Al-Asqa TV also admits that most of the dead are not civilians:

"More than 180 Palestinian policemen were killed including the [Police] Commander, General Tawfik Jaber."

Iran, along with Syria, a key weapons suppliers and financial donor to Hamas, has made explicit threats to Israel. This is what President Ahmedinijad (who has hosted Holocaust denial seminars in Teheran and called for Israel to be "wiped off the map."):

"These crimes will not change the Zionist entity's condition. Rather, its situation will be even blacker and its fate even worse."

Now, I want to know why the so-called anti-war movement and supposed supporters of the Palestinians are openly supporting Hamas and are twisting the truth?

Why is indymedia giving these apologists of terrorism a forum?

Hamas is an explicitly and murderously anti-Jewish, anti-Israeli, pro-jihadist organisation.

It is truly bizarre that supposed leftists have allied themselves with this openly fascists, religious extremist movement that shares the same ideology as Al-Qaeda.

Shame on you Justin.

author by LPpublication date Mon Dec 29, 2008 17:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As many people have noted with horror (including former members), the IDF is an explicitly and murderously anti-Arab, anti-Palestine and pro-war organisation, and since its foundation is responsible for more deaths in Palestine and its environs than any other organisation. This organisation must be opposed with all our might. If Hezbollah can give them such a bloody nose, there is hope yet for Hamas.

author by Moshepublication date Mon Dec 29, 2008 17:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

When those police are members of Hamas and collaborate with the Hamas terrorists who are firing rockets at Israeli civilians.
The police in Gaza enforce the theocratic Islamic regime of Hamas.

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Mon Dec 29, 2008 17:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Moshe", as expected, is ready and waiting in the wings, and, as predicted, springs into action.

One of the ploys of these propagandists is to accuse you of “twisting the truth” if you publish a truth that doesn't suit them.

So, who ended the truce then? See the Gush Shalom statement above.

And, from the ”Terrorism Awareness Project”, a pro-Israeli site:

“In fact, the truce began collapsing a month and a half ago after Israel launched a deadly cross-border raid. The army said it destroyed a tunnel that was going to be used to kidnap Israeli soldiers. Since then, Palestinian rockets and mortars have been fired at Israel nearly every day.

- Robert Berger Jerusalem 19 December 2008

The blame and the shame for this new holocaust is squarely on the shoulders of the State of Israel and the Israeli Defence Force.

It is an outrage of horrendous proportions that is ongoing - and no amount of diversion tactics by the Israeli media and Israeli-controlled media or their trolls on the internet can make the world forget that.

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Mon Dec 29, 2008 18:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is true that Mahmoud Ammas blamed Hamas for Israel's holocaust against Gaza.

In today's Irish Times, Michael Jansen reports that he (Abbas) argued "that if Hamas had renewed the cease-fire that expired on December 19th, Israel would not have had a pretext to mount the unprecedented attack".

So, Israel needed a pretext, were spoiling for a fight, according to Abbas?

And Jansen adds tellingly: "His statement reflected the views of Israel and the United States, the principal backers of his West Bank regime".

author by Moshepublication date Mon Dec 29, 2008 18:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What do you propose Israelis do?

If Palestinians want peace, Israel will make peace with them if they cease attacking Israel, recognise the state of Israel and dismantled the infrastructure of terror.

Hamas rockets fired over the border in Gaza are killing and injuring innocent Israelis who cannot reach their shelters in 15 secs.
Young and old, infants, children, teenagers, mothers, fathers and the elderly cower in fear and terror because they are targets for extermination by Hamas.

What do propose that they do?

Surrender to the Islamic extremists or flee their homeland?

Israel does not occupy Gaza and Jewish settlements have been gone since 2005.
Israel did this in good faith to foster peace and is committed to the two state solution.
Palestinians have been running their own affairs ever since and what have they done?
They elected Hamas into power, an organisation that is dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the genocide of Israelis and true to their promises Hamas continues to attack Israelis with indiscriminate rocket fire.
Israel has been given no option but to shut the borders with Gaza.
Israel has been given no option to prevent Hamas from being resupplied by land and sea.
Israel has been given no option but to strike Hamas.
Hamas uses the Palestinians as a human shield.
Hamas is responsible for breaking every agreement that Israel has honoured.
Hamas is responsible for the current situation.
The deaths of Palestinians are on its head.

Take it or leave it.

You are totally morally bankrupt and I will say it again.

Shame on you Justin.

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Mon Dec 29, 2008 19:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Quote from an e-mail received 20 minutes ago:

"This is the most violent and heartbreaking situation that has happened to the Palestinians in recent history, and it must stop".

author by Moshepublication date Mon Dec 29, 2008 19:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It can stop anytime the Palestinians want if the Palestinians do ONE simple thing.

STOP ATTACKING ISRAEL !!!!

Got it?

Good.

author by Mickpublication date Mon Dec 29, 2008 20:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If another Irish human rights activist is shot there Israel must be evicted from Ireland.

author by ecpublication date Mon Dec 29, 2008 20:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why is IDF bombing the fishmarket and fishing boats in Gaza?

"Israeli warships rocketed the Gazas only port only moments ago, 15 missiles exploded, destroying boats and parts of the ports. These are just initial reports over the radio. We don't know what the extent of the damage is. We do know that the fishing industry that thousands of families depend on either directly or indirectly didn't pose a threat on Israeli security The radio reporter started counting the explosions, I think he lost count after 6. At his moment we heard 3 more blasts. "I'm mostly scared of the whoosh", I told my sister, referring to the sound a missile makes before it hits. Those moments of wondering where it's going to fall are agonizing. Once the whooshes and hits were over the radio reporter announced that the fish market (vacant of course) had been bombed."

Related Link: http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/2008/12/the-constant-ominous-maddening-droning-sound-of-the-apaches-overhead.html
author by ecpublication date Mon Dec 29, 2008 20:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"“The Israeli Navy have pulled in towards Gaza Port and are shelling the coastal area. The shelling is incredibly heavy.” Eva Bartlett - International Solidarity Movement

Earlier Eva Bartlett had reported from Al-Shifa intensive care unit in Gaza;

“Dr Khaled from Shifa hospital’s intensive care unit told me today around 10am that the majority of cases in the ICU are critical, with approximately 80% who will not survive. At that time, the 24 beds in the ICU were the fourth shift of critically injured, the former three having died from their injuries.”

Related Link: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0812/S00595.htm
author by Moshepublication date Mon Dec 29, 2008 20:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why should Israel allow Hamas to smuggle weapons into Gaza by sea that will be ultimately used arm Hamas and to attack Israeli civilians?

author by LPpublication date Mon Dec 29, 2008 21:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why should Hamas allow the establishment and expansion of colonies near Gaza that could be used as bases to attack them? The Qassam attacks can stop anytime, all Israel has to do is respect UN resolutions. Simple, no?

author by Davepublication date Mon Dec 29, 2008 22:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

No Mick ,

The lives of Irish Acitivist are worth no more than the lives of Palestinians. Specially not five sisters, all similtaneously put to death this morning.

Expel Zion Evrony from Ireland Immediately.

http://www.imemc.org/article/58197

author by Vincentpublication date Mon Dec 29, 2008 23:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I wonder if the shelling of the port and the destruction of boats there is a threat that is supposed to coincide with the departure from Larnaca of the Free Gaza boat with Medical supplies. The Israelis are never slow to say that they cant be held responsible for bystanders being blown to pieces in their war zones. Perhaps they are setting the stage for another premieditated crime agsainst these activists.

http://www.freegaza.org/index.php?module=latest_news&id...fset=

author by Reporter12publication date Tue Dec 30, 2008 00:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It appears that Mick, who posted above, may get to see his red line crossed in the very near future.

The Boat headed to the Gaza Port as we speak has onboard, among others, Caoimhe Butterly .

It only remains to be seen will they be killed over the next hours.

It is not clear yet has the port been bombed or not.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=79827§ionid=35...20202

The passenger list of the Free Gaza Missiojn en route to the bombing zone.

http://www.freegaza.org/index.php?module=latest_news&id...fset=

author by redjadepublication date Tue Dec 30, 2008 07:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

video from CNN....
http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2008/12/29/p...t.cnn

from FreeGaza.org....

''There are 15 civilian passengers representing 11 different countries (see below for a complete list). At approximately 5am (UST), well out in international waters, Israeli warships began surrounding the Dignity, threatening the ship. At 6:45am (UST) we were able to establish brief contact with the crew and were told that the ship had been rammed by the Israeli Navy in international waters, and that the Israelis were preventing the ship from finding safe harbor. We heard heavy gunfire in the background before all contact was lost with the Dignity.''


• read more at http://www.freegaza.org/index.php?module=latest_news&id...89db6

author by redjadepublication date Tue Dec 30, 2008 08:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Emailed to medeia from FreeGaza.org....
temporarily posted in full until it appears on official website

(Larnaca, Cyprus, 10:00 am) On Tuesday, December 30, at 5 a.m., several Israeli gunboats intercepted the Dignity as she was heading on a mission of mercy to Gaza. One gunboat rammed into the boat on the port bow side, heavily damaging her. The reports from the passengers and journalists on board is that she is taking on water and appears to have engine problems. When attacked, the Dignity was clearly in international waters, 90 miles off the coast of Gaza.

The gunboats also fired their machine guns into the water in an attempt to stop the mercy ship from getting to Gaza.

As the boat limps toward Lebanon, passengers have been in contact with the Lebanese government who have said the captain has permission to dock and are willing lend assistance if needed. Cyprus sea rescue has also been in touch, and has offered assistance as well. The Dignity clearly flies the flag of Gibraltar, is piloted by an English captain and has a passenger manifest that includes Representative Cynthia McKinney from the U.S. The attack was filmed by the journalists, and the crew and passengers will report on Israel's crime at sea once they arrive in Lebanon.

On board the boat are doctors traveling to this impoverished slice of the Mediterranean to provide badly-needed relief at the hospitals there. The crew and passengers were also hoping to take wounded out for treatment, since the hospitals are not coping. In addition, the Dignity was carrying 3 tons of medical supplies at the request of the doctors in Gaza.

The three physicans on board who were sailing to Gaza are: Dr. Halpin (UK), an experienced orthopaedic surgeon, medical professor, and ship's captain. He has organized humanitarian relief efforts in Gaza on several occasions with the Dove and Dolphin. He is traveling to Gaza to volunteer in hospitals and clinics. Dr. Mohamed Issa (Germany), a pediatric surgeon from Germany is traveling to Gaza to volunteer in hospitals and clinics. Dr. Elena Theoharous (Cyprus), MP Dr. Theoharous is a surgeon and a Member of the Cypriot Parliament. She is traveling to Gaza to assess the ongoing conflict, assist with humanitarian relief efforts, and volunteer in hospitals.

Yet Israel thumbs its nose in the face of maritime law by attacking a human rights boat in international waters and has put all of these human rights observers at risk. At no time was the Dignity ever close to Israeli waters. They clearly identified themselves and the Israeli attack was willful and criminal.

The Dignity is still in international waters, 40 miles off Haifa. Everybody on board is safe at the moment as the boat slowly makes its way to safety in Lebanon.

#######

http://www.FreeGaza.org

author by redjadepublication date Tue Dec 30, 2008 08:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Associated Press:

''The 66-foot (20-meter) yacht Dignity left Larnaca with almost 4 metric tons (3.6 tons) of Cypriot-donated supplies and 16 passengers, including former U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney, Cypriot lawmaker Eleni Theocharous and activists from Britain, Australia, Ireland and Tunisia, organizers said.

Theocharous, who is also a surgeon, said supplies include urgently-needed surgical equipment and antibiotics that will be used to treat the wounded.

"We're hoping that the Israelis are receptive to our very clear focus that this is a humanitarian mission," said Caoimhe Butterly, the spokeswoman for the Free Gaza group. "This is a symbolic relief shipment and we hope that it will be the first of many."

The Free Gaza group has made five deliveries of aid by boat to Gaza since August, defying a blockade imposed by Israel when Hamas won control of the territory in June 2007.''


• more at http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/12/29/europe/EU-Cyp...e.php

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'Moshe' seems to think that Israel are eager for peace with the Palestinians in Gaza. They are not. It is seldom mentioned that the people huddling in the ghetto of Gaza originally came from Ashkelon, from which they and their parents and grandparents were pushed out by Israeli settlers, acting illegally. But in any case let us remember that the latest war crimes committed by the Israelis are to boost confidence in the current political parties coming up to an Israeli election - it's as cynical as that. Also, there is a need to get it all done before Obama, of whom they cannot be as sure as they were of the abysmal Bush, comes into power in the White House. Palestinian lives, be they those of policemen or children, are of no importance to the Israelis: on radio last evening, an Israeli spokesman spoke of the 'murder' of an Israeli by a Palestinian rocket . . . and managed, naturally, not to say anything about the five young children murdered by Israeli bombs. The Palestinians are merely a nuisance, a reminder of a blood-stained history, to the Israelis. To believe that Israel wants, or will ever want, peace with them is ridiculous. Only the US can force Israel into seeing sense. And I doubt very much that Obama will do it. But Moshe, Israel is not the victim here.

author by Goretti Horgan - Derry Anti War Coalitionpublication date Tue Dec 30, 2008 14:19author email resistderry at aol dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Caoimhe contacted members of the Derry Anti War Coalition this morning as the boat limped towards Lebanese waters for repairs - it was too badly damaged by the Israelis' ramming to make it back to Cyprus.

She said that they have three tonnes of medicines on board – medicines that are urgently needed to treat civilians who have been seriously injured by the Israeli bombardment and that it is unbelievable that they are not being allowed through with them. The Israelis are saying that they are trying to aid terrorists. But the people on the boat include Dr. David Halpin, an experienced orthopaedic surgeon and medical professor who is travelling to Gaza to volunteer in hospitals and clinics; Dr. Issa, a paediatric surgeon from Germany who also wants to help in Gaza’s over-stretched hospitals; former US congresswoman Cynthia McKinny and Cyprus MP Dr. Elena Theoharous, who is also a medical doctor.

Caoimhe said that it is outrageous to suggest that they are trying to do anything but aid the disastrous humanitarian situation in Gaza. That situation was dire after two years of the blockade; now – it’s a catastrophe. The doctors and medicines on board the Dignity are urgently needed.

While it is true that three truckloads of medicines have been allowed through from Egypt in the last two days, the UNRWA have said that, in the context of the blockade and now the Israeli bombardment, these few truckloads are a drop in the ocean of what is needed.

The Lebanese government have said the boat could dock there. We had another phone call in Derry to tell us that they were now in Lebanese waters. Caoimhe says that the Free Gaza boat will set off from Lebanon again just as soon as repairs are complete – in a day, or two at the most.

author by Paul - wsm (pers. cap.)publication date Tue Dec 30, 2008 15:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The threat that this (long planned) attack is designed to counter is Likud poll ratings not Qassam rockets.

from today's FT "A poll by Israeli television’s Channel 10 on Sunday showed 81 per cent of Israelis approved of the strikes." (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/feb52d42-d5d6-11dd-a9cc-00007....html)

Fact is, the more Palestinians you kill, the more your vote goes up - at least initially. On the other hand, what goes up can also go down, as the abortive 2006 push into Southern Lebanon proved.

To follow on from the 27/12 statement from Gush Shalom, mentioned above, here is (translated) an ad from them published in today's Ha'aretz

"CEASE FIRE NOW!" [ad in Ha'aretz - Tuesday 30/12, 20:30]
see link for full text

extract:

"On behalf of thousands of Israelis who have demonstrated in the streets of Tel-Aviv within hours after the start of the war, we demand:

* To stop at once the attack on Gaza!
* To propose - and to maintain - a cease-fire that will include the end off all violent actions by both sides, a real opening of the border crossings and the termination of the blockade against the population of the Gaza Strip.
* To start a dialogue with Hamas. Hamas is an integral part of Palestinian society and the Palestinian political system. Without their participation, all negotiations and agreements are meaningless."

Related Link: http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/events/1230639936
author by Mr Manpublication date Tue Dec 30, 2008 16:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Paul is correct, there are political motivations affecting the assault. However, "Fact is, the more Palestinians you kill, the more your vote goes up" is not. Even cursory investigation would suggest that the opposite is correct, which is why so much meticulous planning was put in place to maximise legitimate targets, so that they can say 'look we did this one right, not like Lebanon'

author by redjadepublication date Tue Dec 30, 2008 17:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Damaged Gaza aid boat docks in southern Lebanon - 30 Dec 08

also see & listen to:
Gaza Interview Ewa Jasiewicz
Dec 28th 11pm (7:30 mins audio)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muLlFdcK3EA

Gaza Interview Jenny Linnel
Dec 29th 5pm (10 mins audio)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9g74j4HMMSg

Caption: Embedded video Youtube Video


author by redjadepublication date Tue Dec 30, 2008 17:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

''Caoimhe Butterly, an organizer with the Free Gaza Movement, stated that,
"The gunboats gave us no warning. They came up out of the darkness firing
flares and flashing huge flood lights into our faces. We were so shocked
that at first we didn't react. We knew we were well within international
waters and supposedly safe from attack. They rammed us three times,
hitting the side of the boat hard. We began taking on water and, for a few
minutes, we all feared for our lives. After they rammed us, they started
screaming at us as we were frantically getting the life boats ready and
putting on our life jackets. They kept yelling that if we didn't turn back
they would shoot us."''

• read the entire press release at... http://www.freegaza.org/index.php?module=latest_news&id...fset=

gazaneedsourvoices.jpg

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Tue Dec 30, 2008 18:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Early this morning, on Sky TV, an Israeli spokesman was flatly denying that The Dignity had been rammed.

When he was asked to comment on the report he replied: "It is not true"

He then said that the boat had not been rammed but the Israelis had not allowed it to land but had "escorted it back all the way to Cyprus."

Sky News has not asked for an explanation from any Israeli spokesperson since then about the perpetration of this lie by Israel.

Is anyone surprised?

author by Conor. M - S.E.E.Dpublication date Tue Dec 30, 2008 20:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I watched Sky news maybe two hours ago. There was a Palestinian rep and an Israeli rep. It was unbalanced and made me twitch with anger. The Palestinian sat quietly listening to the same rhetoric about peace and self defense and when he tried to speak he was constantly interrupted and undermined.

I only watched it to see if there was any further escalation. It a bad station and you only have to change a two letters to get SKY LIES

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Wed Dec 31, 2008 01:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The following e-mail came from a non-violent human rights group in Palestine at 11.30 p.m Irish time Tuesday 30 December 2008:

"To all free people of the world,,, to all who call for freedom and Justice……

To all who have a living conscience,,, to all who love Peace,

The hearts of the children of Palestine are calling to you, the screams of the bereaved mothers are calling your consciences.

We are wondering how the world sleeps while the children of Palestine are been cut into pieces, forgive us, our eyes are full of tears and our hearts are saddened by the criminal actions of the Israeli occupation that are beyond our imaginations.

It is also hard to see the support of the governments of the world for such war crimes, which are giving permission to Israel to commit more crimes.

We are calling upon you all on the following:

1- To continue your demonstration in front of the Israeli embassies and your parliaments not just as an emotional reaction

2- A serious boycott to Israel at all levels and work to ask the Israeli ambassadors to leave your countries

3- To work towards having the Israeli war crimes put before war crime courts

4- We call upon all popular committees in Palestine to organize more demonstrations on a daily basis

5- We call upon the Israelis who refuse the occupation to demonstrate in front of their war ministry"

author by redjadepublication date Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

''The UN has called for an investigation into the attacks, which are causing heavy civilian casualties. It says at least 62 of the Palestinians killed so far were women and children.''
• more at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7804218.stm

''Over half of the population in Gaza are children, and children are particularly vulnerable in situations of armed conflict [....] It is critical that humanitarian assistance, including food, medical supplies and equipment be allowed into Gaza to address the urgent needs of children and women.''
• more at http://www.unicef.org/media/media_46970.html

The IDF joins the YouTube Wars with its own WarPorn....

idfnadesk
Joined: December 29, 2008
Last Sign In: 49 minutes ago
Videos Watched: 16
Subscribers: 4,191
Channel Views: 216,796
''The IDF Spokesperson's Unit is the Israel Defense Forces' professional body responsible for media and public relations in Israel and around the world. This is our new site that will help us do so.''

• IDF's YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/idfnadesk

author by Paul - wsm (pers. cap.)publication date Wed Dec 31, 2008 13:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

See link. Excerpt:

"The chances of war, however, may be less easier to calculate. If Israel indefinitely continues its billion dollar blitz on Gaza – and we all know who is paying for that – there will, at some stage, be an individual massacre; a school will be hit, a hospital or a pre-natal clinic or just an apartment packed with civilians. In other words, another Qana. At which point, a familiar story will be told; that Hamas destroyed the school/hospital/pre-natal clinic, that the journalists who report on the slaughter are anti-Semitic, that Israel is under threat, etc. We may even get the same disingenuous parallel with a disastrous RAF raid in the Second World War which both Menachem Begin and Benjamin Netanayahu have used over the past quarter century to justify the killing of civilians.

And Hamas – which never had the courage to admit it killed two Palestinian girls with one of its own rockets last week – will cynically make profit from the grief with announcements of war crimes and "genocide".

At which point, the deeply despised and lame old UN donkey will be clip-clopped onto the scene to rescue the Israeli army and Hamas from this disgusting little war. Of course, saner minds may call all this off before the inevitable disaster. But I doubt it."

Related Link: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-the-self-delusion-that-plagues-both-sides-in-this-bloody-confl....html
author by Justin Morahanpublication date Wed Dec 31, 2008 16:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Unfortunately, Robert Fisk appears throughout this article to be concerned more about miltary victories. tactics, maneuvers etc than about what is morally right and wrong.

author by Georgepublication date Wed Dec 31, 2008 23:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fred or Justin,

A simple yes or no question.

Are there Islamist elements operating in Gaza? Are rockets being fired into Israel?

author by LPpublication date Thu Jan 01, 2009 03:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'll answer that for you. Of course there are Islamists in a Muslim city; you may as well ask are there Orthodox Jews in Tel Aviv. Yes, there are rockets being fired from Gaza that kill Israelis. They have killed a grand total of 18 Israelis in the last 8 years. Compare that to the IDF kill rate over the last three days, and have a think about what that entails.

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Thu Jan 01, 2009 04:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yes to both.
LP 's reply would also be mine.

author by Susanpublication date Thu Jan 01, 2009 04:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is a well written and heart-wrenching story written by a member of the Free Gaza Org.

http://www.freegaza.org/index.php?module=latest_news&id...fset=

" The situation is really that of an unnatural catastrophe, a hate-fuelled and cynical upheaval catapulted onto the people of Gaza like molten lead, tearing human bodies apart. Contrarily to their predictions, it unites all Palestinians, brought together and turned into a sole entity. These are people who may not even have greeted one another until recently, on account of belonging to opposing factions. "

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Thu Jan 01, 2009 11:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'Islamist elements,' in Gaza George? What does that mean? Are there Catholics in the Falls Road? It's as if the very word is associated with violence, which is rubbish and quasi-racist. Are there Zionists in Israel who wish (according to their military commanders) to obliterate the Palestinians? Yes, most definitely. The Germans had an interesting policy in certain parts of Europe during World War II. For every one German soldier killed, they'd shoot fifty or so locals, or perhaps flatten a village. Now tell me, does this sound familiar to you? As an Al Jazeera reporter rightly said last evening, the Israelis have killed more Palestinians in five days than Palestinian rockets have killed in five years. Clearly, however, in your thinking, only Israelis are 'murdered.' The lives of Palestinians are not important. And the resemblance between Nazi tactics against the ghettoes of Poland and Israeli tactics against the Palestinians are hard to ignore, as even moderate Israelis have pointed out, to their discomfort. Remember, George, the Palestinians too have a right to defend themselves. Just as the inhabitants of the ghetto in Warsaw did.

author by LPpublication date Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fred, it's worse than the Al Jazeera report; Israelis kill more Palestinians in five HOURS than vice versa in five years. Qassams have killed 18 people since 2000.

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Thu Jan 01, 2009 15:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There have been protests outside the Israeli Embassy in Dublin last night and another outside the GPO today both of which I have missed for not knowing. A brother in Mayo told me that he had heard that Kadar Asmal was going to protest at Israeli Embassy - he had heard this on RTE morning news.

Would anyone who knows what's going on, please post it on Indymedia. The only info from IPSC and AWI is about Saturday's protest but these are crucial days in between.

It's good to know that the events of last night (snippet on RTE according to Colm) and of this afternoon were well attended.

Could someone please publish a report?

author by Kevin T. Walsh - Social Justice and Ethicspublication date Thu Jan 01, 2009 16:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is absoloutely terrible what is happening on the Gaza Strip. Anybody with compassion would feel sorry for the women and the children with the consistency of bombing by the Israeli airforce. I am intrigued by Fred Johnston's posting but this Fred is not a yesterday problem, as you well know Fred. We can all take out our history book and start writing and enlightening people of the background of this complete hunanitarian tragedy. Sadly people can march until they are blue in the face, the Israelis won't stop until they are finished.

Comparing this to the Falls Road is a little bit beyond me Fred and that takes some doing. I don't recall any shelling on the Falls in the 70's but maybe you mean the mindset of hate is the same on both times and thank God we have learned a little bit.

Blame Blame Blame will not stop the Israelis.

President Elect Obama: You talked the spin for a year. You walked the spin and now WHERE ARE YOU OBAMA? WHERE IS THE CHANGE YOU PROMISED? Walking down Waterloo Road this evening, I met an American couple on holiday. We greeted in the New Year and I asked them, will this Guy bring change to America. The Lady replied with a smile - we have been fooled again.

So a history background will not stop them. Washington, London, Paris and our own Muppets here will all do a jig for the Israelis. Sadly it is happening right now and I would like to know if there is any global leader with the balls to condemn the slaughter outright. Maybe Putin but definitely not the spin doctor Obama.

K. T. Walsh

author by Georgepublication date Thu Jan 01, 2009 17:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So, your problem with Israel's operations is not that the Israelis are hitting back but that they are not doing so on a one-for-one, tit-for-tat basis?

The only problem with killing one palestinian for every Israeli killed is that Israel would look pitifully weak, which would jeopardize its national security. Lets not forget that Israel has been a state under siege since its inception.

If Israel aims to stop rocket attacks into its territory, do you really think that killing 18 Palestinians would suffice, or change anything? The problem is not the amount of Israelis killed, but the fact that there are militants involved in cross border attacks on its settlements. And lets face it: for a country to do nothing in the face of rocket attacks on its citizens would be political suicide for the government and would greatly embolden others who are hostile to it. Just because Hamas' weapons are not particularly effective does not mean that Israel can ignore the threat. The fact that Israel's military is more powerful than its opponents doesn't mean that it has no right to use its military. That doesn't even make sense. Do you seriously expect a country under attack not to defend itself, particularly when it is stronger? That defies common logic and historical precedent.

author by Georgepublication date Thu Jan 01, 2009 18:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You are clearly mixing up 'Islamic' and 'Islamist'. Islamic describes anything related to Muslim religion or civilisation. Islamist is a term for radical Islamic ideology or groups associated with such ideology. So therefore yes, Islamist is a term generally associated with violence in the name of Islam. And as to it being quasi-rascist, that is rubbish, for Islam is not a racial but religious identity. To call the violent Palestinian elements Muslim would be correct anyway, for they are.

As to the Israelis inflicting more casualties than they are taking, that does not in any way imply that the Palestinians have a moral high ground. This is a war, a clash of civilisations, which by their nature are life and death struggles. The simple fact of Israeli miliary superiority would imply that they would inflict vastly greater losses than they would recieve. This merely proves that they are militarily superior. It does not make them any more 'bloodthirsty' than the militants they are fighting.

Now I am assuming that you have no military experience whatsoever. Please correct me if I am wrong. In an insurgency or assymentrical conflict, the assymetrical (non-conventional) elements, whether the Resistance groups and Partisans of World War Two in Europe, or the Viet Minh and North Vietmanese Army in Indochina, or radical Islamist guerrillas in Iraq, Afghanistan or Gaza can not operate successfully for any prolonged period without the support of the local population. Without such support, they have no way of being supplied or of gaining intelligence on enemy movements, while similarly if the local population sides with the conventional forces, the personnel, tactics, supply dumps and postitions of guerrilla elements will be quickly be passed on to the government forces. Only by the support of the population can they continue to stay one step ahead of there opponents. Thus, if guerrilla elements are successfully operating without being revealed to their enemy, it is clear that the population is working with them, thus ceasing to be merely 'innocent' civilians. In Vietnam for example, women and children would help the insurgents by refilling their magazines and throwing grenades. They thus cease to be non-combatants.

I absolutely accept the 'right' if you will of the occupied peoples of Europe to resist their occupiers. It would be their national duty, and I salute the unspeakable courage of many of those fighters. On the other hand, if they are going to fight amongst their own wives, parents and children then they must be responsible for the consequences. Such World War Two massacres as Lidice and Oradour-sur-Glane were not part of an extermination campaign. They were in response to successful Resistance operations in their localities that resulted in the deaths of German officers. This simply proved that the guerrillas were supported by the populace, who therefore had to take the consequences for their involvement. The Germans have always held that the rules of war involved uniformed armies fighting one another, and have taken a dim view of partisans and of other such dirty tricks inherent in unconventional warfare, which is why they were later to take to special forces units than the Allies. When it came to defending their brothers-in-arms' lives, the German soldiers had as much right to fight for their country as the Resistance had to resist. War is war.

In terms of atrocity in assymetrical warfare, perhaps you should look for precedent closer to home. The Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War saw brutal atrocities on both sides. In the Irish Civil War in particular the Irish Army carried out a brutal counter insurgency campaign. It was also highly effective. The IRA did not have the support of the majority of the population, and inspite of its attempts to terrorize the population into subservience it was quickly overcome. It was defeated when faced by total, not limited, warfare. In Iraq, the coalition gained the support of the vast majority of the population, and the insurgency is now on its last legs. Thus, you can see that these truths of asymmetrical warfare are historically justified.

Of course the Palestinians have the 'right' to defend themselves. As the Israelis do. But in fighting they naturally have to take the consequences. And Hamas know full well what they are provoking. By luring Israel into counter-attacking and intermingling with the civilian population they can appear as the wronged party, and thus gain increasing international credibility. I have no dout that manipulating Israel into attacking their own people is in their best interest strategically and on the world stage. Don't forget that.

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Thu Jan 01, 2009 21:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

http://usa.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/58000

Attempted summary of some points made by Uri Avnery; (Israeli patriot, former member of the Knesset and member of Gush Shalom:)

1. There was no real cease-fire as the border crossings were not opened, only "for a few hours now and again".
The blockade on land, on sea and in the air against a million and a half human beings is an act of war"

2. As there were scarcely any rockets being launched for several months, Israel set up an army unit that crossed in to Gaza "to destroy a tunnel that came close to the border." This (and several other such small raids in which Hamas fighters were killed) was "a pretext for the termination of the cease-fire in a way that made it plausible to put the blame on the Palestinians". When Hamas retaliated with a massive launch of rockets, everyone blamed Hamas for putting an end to the cease-fire..

3. Tzipi Livni implied that the aim was to eliminate Hamas rule in Gaza. This, although it was Israel that set up Hamas or, as Yaakov Peri put it, "We did not create it but we did not hinder its creation". Israel was at war with the secular PLO, and as the Islamist movement was preaching against Arafat and the PLO, the Islamic movement was viewed by Israel as an ally. When the Islamic Movement renamed itself Hamas on the outbreak of the first Intifada, the Shin-Bet took no action against them for almost a year while Fatah members were executed or imprisoned in large numbers.

4. After Arafat's demise (Uri Avnery believes he was murdered) his successor, Mahmoud Abbas, was declared by Ariel Sharon to be a "plucked chicken". Negotiations for a peace settlement under USA auspices became a joke. Abbas was humiliated, Hamas won a resounding victory in the elections - the most democratic election ever held in the Arab world. Israel boycotted the elected government. In the ensuing internal struggle, Hamas assumed direct control over the Gaza Strip.

5. The present war should be called "the Election War" just as other wars were about elections. The timing was chosen meticulously - two days after Christmas, when American and European leaders are on holiday until after New Year. They calculated that, even if somebody wanted to try and stop the war, no one would give up his holiday. That ensured several days free from outside pressures. Also George Bush is still in the White House

6. "The Gaza War is an almost exact replica of the second Lebanon war.The strategic concept is the same: to terrorize the civilian population by unremitting attacks from the air, sowing death and destruction. This poses no danger to the pilots, since the Palestinians have no anti-aircraft weapons at all. The calculation: if the entire life-supporting infrastructure in the (Gaza) Strip is utterly destroyed and total anarchy ensues, the population will rise up and overthrow the Hamas regime. Mahmoud Abbas will then ride back into Gaza on the back of Israeli tanks."

7 ".DAY AFTER DAY, night after night, Aljazeera's Arabic channel broadcasts the atrocious pictures: heaps of mutilated bodies, tearful relatives looking for their dear ones among the dozens of corpses spread out on the ground, a woman pulling her young daughter from under the rubble, doctors without medicines trying to save the lives of the wounded. (The English-language Aljazeera, unlike its Arab-language sister-station, has undergone an amazing about face, broadcasting only a sanitized picture and freely distributing Israeli government propaganda. It would be interesting to know what happened there.)."

8. The millions who see the terrible images, picture after picture, day after day, will forever have a horrible image of Israel and also a sense of Arab shame because of the images of "corrupt, passive Arab regimes".
This, because of the closure of the border by Egypt and the silence of other Arab countries like Saudi Arabia.
Through their lack of leadership, such Arab leaders have left a space, and Avnery believes that space may eventually mean the replacement of secular Arab regimes by regimes with the ideology of Islamic fundamentalism. This would be the worse for Israel.

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Thu Jan 01, 2009 23:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Not at all sure I know what you're on about, George. Perfectly obvious to many people that the Israeli Likud Party want Hamas - deomcratically elected, by the way- to be uprooted and destroyed, which is what the US wants too. And killing civilians is of no consequence. It should be known to you that Israel broke the cease-fire, and not Hamas; having asked for democracy to take root in Gaza, the US and Israel looked at the results of democracy and said 'Ooops! But you've elected the wrong people!' Ever since that Hamas - who supply a social and supportive civilian infrastructure - have been labelled in the West as the villains, whereas it is obvious that they enjoy popular support. Israel remains the single greatest terror organisation in the Middle East, using tactics against the Palestinians that were used by the Germans in the Second World War against whole populations, Jewish and others. This shames many Jews in Israel, some of whom have voiced this shame. But no one listens to them. So Israel, its army led in some instances by non-Israelis, its illegal settlements populated from Australia, California and everywhere but the Middle East (the foreign settlers are always the most rabidly anti-Arab) is permitted to push into another country and destroy its people, its police-force, its infrastructure - while others make cynical intellectual arguments in favour of their war-crimes.

author by Observerpublication date Fri Jan 02, 2009 08:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The fact that Hamas has not had a high kill rate with its 1,000s of rockets does not lessen the fact that no state could tolerate a daily onslaught of that nature, especially under the auspices of an allegedly legitimate neighbouring Government.

Justin and others are also careful to omit any mention of the hundreds of Palestinians murdered by Hamas in the past 3 years. Ironically many of them members of organisations which the Palestinian solidarity movement abroad was establshed to support! Not a peep from any of them about the internal repression by a group that is exactly the same as the Taliban in ideology, methods and aspirations. How any democrat or anyone on the left could support Hamas is beyond me.

author by redjadepublication date Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

more news continues here....
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/90363#comment241410

Caoimhe on CNN off the coast of Gaza - click link for video info
Caoimhe on CNN off the coast of Gaza - click link for video info

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

To "Observer"

On 18 December 2008,the nineteen-year old daughter of an outgoing Mossad Deputy-Head, Ms Omer Goldman stated:

"I refuse to enlist in the Israeli military. I shall not be part of an army that needlessly implements a violent policy and violates the most basic human rights on a daily basis.

Like most of my peers, I too have not dared to question the ethics of the Israeli military. But when I visited the Occupied Territories I realized I see a completely different reality, a violent, oppressive, extreme reality that must be ended.

I believe in service to the society I am part of, and that is precisely why I refuse to take part in the war crimes committed by my country. Violence will not bring any kind of solution, and I shall not commit violence, come what may"

Related Link: http://caledoniyya.com/2008/10/13/omer-goldman-the-unlikely-heroine/
author by Observerpublication date Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

She is entitled to her opinion and luckily for her she lives in a society that will allow her to express it. Unlike the hundreds of Palestinians murdered by Hamas as part of their creation of a totalitarian Islamic state.

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Fri Jan 02, 2009 13:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The point is not what she is "free to say" but the truth of what she is saying and how she is punished for it

She is telling the truth about Israel, her own State

And she has spent two terms in prison for her beliefs. Is that "lucky for her"?

She sees Israel as responsible for "a violent, oppressive, extreme reality that must be ended".

And guilty of "war crimes" in which she will have no part

author by K.T Walsh - Social Justice and Ethicspublication date Fri Jan 02, 2009 17:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Justin

I respect all the postings on this site. I asked the moral question and nobody answered - including you Fred and your George.

Is it really important now asking the question 'Who is to Blame of Did she, Would she, morally.

Right now we don't need the silly arguments and brownie points.

We all can give history lessons from 1948 to 1967 in relation to this war. I can bore you with 100 pages of the history but come on - common sense now asks the questions.

Justin - you said most world leaders were on holidays during this onslaught of Gaz, women and children.

With the highest of respect you know, like myself, Leaders are never on holidays. Bush is now irrelevant in the White House and Obama has given us the first example of his Change for 2009 NOTHING

Where is Brown, Napoleon Sarkozy, the Germans, the Dutch, the Australian and our own bunch of clowns - you see, they all take the White House route, nothing

K.T. Walsh
Quotation
'The first casualty of war, is the Truth

Related Link: http://www.those
author by Justin Morahanpublication date Fri Jan 02, 2009 18:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

KT I see no "moral question" in your earlier comment above. If you are referring to your question re Obama or Brown, I have no idea what they will do. Why do you expect me to know?

With regard to your last comment, I was not saying that world leaders were on holidays but quoting the respected Israeli peace activist and former member of the Knesset Uri Avnery - you should read what he said carefully. I don't think anyone on this or similar threads are looking for brownie points, not even the trolls.

It's important for me to present what I believe is the truth. If you think otherwise, please say why.

author by Georgepublication date Fri Jan 02, 2009 19:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am arguing that this campaign can not be judged by history while being separated from its context. I hold that this war is a clash of civilizations which started in 1948. If you wish to judge it on moral grounds you need to judge the moral context of the entire conflict. The historical context and the military and political reality of the issue are what interest me, and are ultimately the only aspects which will affect its outcome. To ignore history is to ignore reality and to ignore any circumstances which may lead to the end of the conflict.

Morally, I do not hold either side to be superior. Therefore, as this site is anti-Israeli I am trying to prove that they are no more villainous objectively speaking than the Palestinians. Ultimately, you will have to judge the moral aspect for yourself. As one of my instructors back at the Naval Academy once told me "never say that you have proved a social science point. You would be the first person in history to do so." I challenge anyone on this thread to provide a realistic plan by which both sides can be realistically expected to make peace without fighting. If there is no such solution, no amount of protesting, whether on Indymedia or otherwise, will end the conflict or change anything. Even the intervention of world leaders can only at best delay the next campaign until next week, or next month, or next year. Too many attempt to argue with short-sighted, self-deluding, reality divorced or simply naive arguments. Hans Josef-Wagemueller once stated that he was a Nazi "if one has to be a Nazi to think in terms of years and not in terms of days". I fervently hope that one does not have to be a Nazi to be far-sighted or insightful on a geopolitical issue.

author by Georgepublication date Fri Jan 02, 2009 19:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am glad to see some hard analysis finally coming into this debate. Uri Avnery brings up some very valid points.

However, I think that we are missing the essence of the issue. This war did not start last week, or in 2000, or even with the start of the First Intifada in 1987. This war started on the night of the 14-15 May 1948, when the British Mandate of Palestine ended and the forces of the Arab League invaded Israel from North, South, East and West. By determined resistance the Israelis managed to defend their geographically vulnerable nation from far superior forces. By 1973 Israel had asserted its conventional military superiority over all of its opponents. Nevertheless, neither side has been strong enough to gain total victory, and thus the war continues.

A cease-fire is just that; a cessation of fire. It is temporary in nature, and is generally agreed to between combatants who are looking for a respite to re-organize and prepare their forces for the next campaign. It is quite obvious that the status quo is unsatisfactory to both sides. Therefore, there should be no surprise that hostilities have resumed, as the war did not end. Seeing that the cease-fire was temporary and that the resumption of warfare was therefore inevitable, it is quite obvious that the Israelis would continue to besiege Gaza, so as to interdict Hamas' resupply lines and to prevent them from strengthening their forces and expanding their stockpiles of armaments, which would soon be used against the Israeli forces. Quite obviously the siege is an act of war. 'Acts of war' generally happen in a war.

Seeing as there has been no end to the war, the cease-fire would end as soon as one side or the other decided to violate it and renew hostilities on their terms. Ultimately, in war it is the force that maintains the intiative that will gain military victory, and Israel lost in Lebanon in 2006 because Hezbollah openend hostilities on their terms and managed to prevent the Israelis from regaining it, an impressive military feat for such a group. Israel is clearly determined not to make that mistake again. They are seizing the intiative by opening this campaign, leaving Hamas on the defensive by striking first. This does not alter the fact that they did not start any new war. Also, the timing of the Israeli's offensive does not change this fact. It was simply very well chosen from a military and political point of view.

As to playing off the Palestinian factions, that is a simple strategem which the Israelis are using to weaken their enemies. Just because Israel may have manipulated Hamas in the past does not change the fact that they are a mortal enemy. Hamas are obviously unacceptable to Israel, as Hamas charter declares that 'There is no solution to the Palestine issue but through Jihad'. The fact that Hamas won an open democratic election simply implies that the majority of Palestinians have endorsed their policies. This of course may not tell the full story, as it can not denied that Hamas have done great work in terms of building infrastructure etc which will naturally account for considerable support. But the Israeli government when fighting Hamas can not afford to differentiate in terms of their support base. Israel and Hamas are implaceable foes, and the Palestinian people have effectively endorsed Hamas views. The fact that Hamas was democratically elected does not change the fact that they are a threat to Israel. It simply implicates the Palestinian people as enemies of Israel as well.

As I explained previously, no assymetrical military force can continue to campaign against a conventional force without the support of the civilian population. The fact that Hamas has been able to remain in the field against Israel is simply a confirmation of the fact that the population of Gaza are supporting their campaign. The only way for Israel to defeat Hamas' insurgency is to deny them the support of the civilian populace, without which they could not continue to fight. Terrorizing the Palestinian people into turning against Hamas is the only way by which Israel can militarily end the war. However, so far it appears that the majority of the casualties have not been innocent civilians but Hamas personnel, which would go to prove that this is not an aimless dumping of high-explosive on Gaza, but an offensive targeted against Hamas positions.

It is no doubt likely that many people will be influenced by the reality of war on their televisions. War is brutal, and certainly not for the faint-hearted. However, sometimes it is a necessity, and the reality of it does not change the facts nor the strategic circumstances under which the war is waged.

Avnery's final point is certainly food for thought, and a legitimate possibility. However, it should be noted that the fact that a rising democracy in Iraq is firmly pro-Western will help to counterbalance to any such regional anti-Israeli trend. Nevertheless, it does not change the fact that the status quo in Palestine is unacceptable to both sides, and that until one side or the other wins a total victory or becomes too exhausted to continue(both of which are unlikely in the foreseeable future) the war will continue to be fought.

author by Frank Adam - private citizenpublication date Sat Jan 03, 2009 01:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Most of these remarks are the usual Palestinista hypocrisy to judge morality mechanically by the casualty figures and colour pictures while forgetting the Arabs started this war by rejecting with arms the UN 181 two state policy in 1947. It is OK for any Arabs to to shoot, knife and kamikaze the Jews of Israel but wrong for Israel to exclude the Arabs of Gaza and Samaria who did it. It is OK for Hamas and friends in Gaza to rocket Israeli civilians but after repeated warnings and minor reprisals it is too nice for some consciences if Israel hits Hamas heavily to make it think about the expenses of its "policies" to destroy Israel.

The point is not whether Hamas' 3000 or 5000 rockets killed18 or 1800. There should not have been any rockets at all in the circumstances which started peacefully. Somebody once said that Arafart started the Second Intifada not because the Arabs hated Israel but to make sure they did hate Israel. After all, in the previous thirty years the Gazans had mightily prospered on jobs in Israel and trebled their population - not a sign of an unduly oppressive regime. Equally that the last week has seen more Gazans killed than they have killed Israelis these two or eight years is irrelevant to the politics and morality.

War is waged to an objective: Hamas thought that israel like all Westerners is soft and unwilling to fight so a few casualties will make it emigrate or surrender to the medieval tender mercies of those who tortured and mutilated the rabbi and his wife in Bombay but have been similarly inclined in the name of fundamentalist conceptions of heaven to mutilate corpses whenever they can - as anybody who has served in the Middle East knows full well.

Israel's objective is to deter assorted Arabs from attacking her but as with Nasser's border raiding campaign of 1949 - 56 it sometimes takes a hell of a beating the penny to make it drop in the minds of Arab governments. Sinai made Nasser's Egypt calm down till Soviet backed Syria jeered Nasser into threatening to send Israel swimming. Third time lucky for Israel she could point to Jan 1949 and March 57 that insisting she left without a treaty just re-ran another war because the Arabs knew that if they lost, the simple West would pull its chestnuts for them to save the oil, the UN votes and the arms market.

Eventually Egypt realised she could retrieve her Sinai for good manners of a peace. Hamas has not learnt that they can only have trade and prosperity with peace but on the other hand they still think kicking Israel into touch for the sake of their bent interpretations of interpretations of the Koran is politically worth more than peace and prosperity.

In WW II Allied bombing killled 5000 and something thousand German civilians - twice as many as German bombers killed in Warsaw, Rotterdam and Britain, but that does not make the Germans less guilty because the Allies had half the number of fatal casualties. The Russian front cost 22 million Russian lives compared to the German 4 or 5 million proved as did the Western Front in WW I that casualties are a direct function of the military competence or incompetences of the troops and generals involved - and I found when I researched the Michael Collins' War of Irish Independence that the bill was 800+ dead each on both sides. Now who was the more immoral in1919 - 21?

Remember Abbba Eban's jibe that the the Arabs can have war or the Arabs can have peace; but what the Arabs can not have is that we [Israel] should be at peace and they [Arabs] can be at war.

author by dunkpublication date Wed Jan 07, 2009 09:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Venezuela expelled the Israeli ambassador and part of his staff in Caracas to show its condemnation of the Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip.http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=324820&Catego...10718

Click here to read the Official Communique from the Foreign Ministry.
http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=324813&Catego...10717

for more info as it unfolds from latin american solidarity with gaza, see TV station broadcast from venezuala, last night when i got home it was live from mosque in caracas
http://www.telesurtv.net/

see below youtube in spanish regarding the expulsion

Venezuela expulsa al Embajador y al cuerpo diplomático de Israel, por los ataques hacia el pueblo de Gaza Palestina.

Venezuela Expels Israeli Ambassador To Protest Gaza Strip Attacks
Venezuela Expels Israeli Ambassador To Protest Gaza Strip Attacks

Caption: Embedded video Youtube Video


author by K. T. Walsh - Social Justificationpublication date Wed Jan 07, 2009 18:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Re. George and Frank Adam.

I respect your postings and I deeply understand that Israel has the right to defend its people against rocket attacks which were happening for months. But believe me gentlemen I don't need a lecture on Middle East lecture. Sadly done that and been there.

I would like to ask both of you - morally again - the word that should haunt the human conscience.

Nobody and I mean nobody has the right to slaughter women, old people and sadly children sheltering in the UN school,

I always admired Israel - its people went through a haulocaust with the evil nazis.

But now sadly the victims of the Haulocaust are presently the abusers on innocent women and children

Nobody should ever stand over the slaughter of the innocent.

K.T. Walsh

Related Link: http://www.selectivejustice
author by Justin Morahanpublication date Wed Jan 07, 2009 20:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The bombing of the school in Gaza that had a UN flag on top killed 43 and injured 100 people.

John Ging, Director of Operations for the UN Refuge and Works Agency describes the situation in Gaza tonight as Hell on Earth.

In an interview with Alex Thomson tonight on Channel 4 News, he said that he had visited the school and he was now closer to 100% certain (rather than 99.9% certain) that there was no firing from the school, that there were no militants there and those who said otherwise have come up with no footage or evidence to prove their allegations.

"What we have is an absence of the rule of law" The safety of the school under the protection of the UN flag had not been honoured (by Israel). For twelve days the Geneva Convention has not been upheld, and this applies to the International community which is compelled to act. After twelve days, there has been no action but a three hour relief.

Those responsible should be held accountable, he said.

http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/politics/internat...99087

author by Barry Brennanpublication date Wed Jan 07, 2009 23:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Proportionality and Israeli Actions

There are two sides to this debate. I think this week's Economist puts it well:

"The arguments are over the nebulous facts of a particular incident. Did Israel do enough to avoid civilian deaths? Do Palestinian policemen count as combatants? For Israel, the use of overwhelming force is both legitimate and, given its desire to restore its “deterrent effect” towards its enemies, sometimes necessary. Israel says that intent is what matters: it says it tries to avoid civilian deaths, whereas Hamas deliberately seeks to kill Israeli civilians with its rockets, relatively ineffective as they may be. Hamas responds with two arguments: as the disproportionately weaker party, Palestinians must use the crude means at their disposal to free their lands from Israeli occupation; more controversially, it often says there are no Israeli civilians since most Israelis serve in the army.

Proportionality in jus ad bellum and jus in bello are hard to separate: indiscriminate killing will colour the view of whether a war is justified; and even proportionate actions in battle will be denounced if the war is deemed unjust. In the Israeli-Palestinian context, arguments about legality fast turn into ones about history. If the tit-for-tat starting point is Hamas’s rocket attacks, then the Israelis have a right to defend themselves; if it is Israel’s occupation of Palestine or the dispossession of Palestinians when Israel was born in 1948, then Palestinians can argue for a right to resist. Proportional or not, the killing of innocents will go on until the dispute is settled."

Link to article: http://www.economist.com/world/mideast-africa/displayst...67302

At the end of the day, you can debate this until the cows come home. There's one thing that you can never debate though, which K T Walsh rightly points out: you can never, ever justify the killing of innocent civilians.

Regards,
Barry Brennan

author by Georgepublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 01:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You seem to be of the impression that on a battlefield there is a clear-cut distinction between innocent civilian and enemy combatant, an opinion which you no doubt formed from extensive experience in sitting on your living room couch. It is clear that you have zero experience of a combat zone. Perhaps a little patrolling down the streets of Baghdad, Basra or Gaza would enlighten your mind.

The insurgents which we are fighting do not fight in organized units on a Napoleonic battlefield. Indeed, many of them where no uniform at all. They fight amongst their own families. In urban combat visibility can often be down to a few dozen metres. Every corner can lead to a death-trap. Enemies are often visible for a fraction of a second. Hesitation means death. As I pointed out previously, guerrilla units can not operate without the support of the populace. When you see your brothers-in-arms, whom you would jump on a grenade for without hesitation, getting hurt and killed by such guerrillas, who follow no rules or conventions of war, you will shoot first and ask questions later. I assure you.

What if you were that Israeli Second Lieutenant, and your platoon is being pinned down by mortar fire, and your teenage conscripts are starting to take casualties? One of your riflemen tells you that he saw a flash of light in a large building ahead: binoculars perhaps, carried by a Hamas forward observer as he directs the accurate enemy mortar fire closer and closer to your position, or maybe the scope of a sniper rifle. Maybe you are starting to take small arms fire. Your men are too pinned down by the mortars to pinpoint the enemy positions. Your only indication of the enemy positions is that flash of light. Do you seriously think that you can just send a few of your soldiers to walk up the road, go into the building and find out whose inside? For all you know you would just be sending men to their deaths. Attempting to kill the forward observer and render the Hamas mortars blind, you call in artillery fire on the building. Which you later find out is a school. Even if the Israeli headquarters staffs knew that that building was a school, the troops on the ground almost certainly do not. I assure you, on the battlefield you have to make extremely tough split-second decisions with a complete lack of information, or risk annihalation.

Of course it is as a principal unnacceptable to deliberately kill innocent civilians. I am all for a reasonable, factual, stimulating debate. But stupid, ignorant generalizations I find appalling. I don't mind whether you care about the strategic situation, but to make utterly ignorant conclusions that add nothing to the debate, and to insinuate that you can call the shots better than the soldiers on the ground is nauseating. In a part of the world where civilians regularly participate in hostile acts against western forces, there is no way to tell who is innocent and who is not. Perhaps you can come out and guide our troops on the ground, so as to avoid further civilian casualties?

"Only the Dead have seen the end of War." - Plato

author by gazasympathiserpublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 23:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Shatilla & Shabra, Qana, Gaza

Don't you see the pattern here?

The IDF (and their sub-contractors) are best incompentent repeatedly commiting massacres of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians often while in UN bases.

At worst the Palestinians are regarded as sub-human and expendable.

Roll out the PR machine afterwards and the compliant media like zionist-owned Sky and all the blood will be quickly and quitely washed away leaving the unfortunate Palestinians with the blame for everything.

author by Georgepublication date Fri Jan 09, 2009 02:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm afraid that several isolated incidents on two different battlefronts over the space of a quarter of a century does not comprise a systematic campaign of genocide.

When Hezbollah and Hamas forces fight amongst their own people and in urban areas, it is inevitable that people will be killed. For example at Qana satellite photos reveal rockets being fired from Hezbollah positions in the direct vicinity of the relevant high-rise.

Incompetence is not the issue. Aircraft dropped guided weapons are not perfectly accurate. There is precious little reason to suspect that the events at Qana were deliberate. And when the lives of Israeli soldiers are at stake, the lives of the enemy's population will be a secondary consideration. That's just a fact of life. When Israel's enemies show no regard for the laws and conventions of war, should Israel be reasonably expected to fight at a disadvantage by doing so?

Yes, many Israeli soldiers hate their enemies. It is equally common knowledge that the Jews are hated throughout the Arab world. The events of Sabra and Shatila were carried out with the complicity of the Israeli officers present. Of that there is no doubt. That does not in any way prove that Israeli policy is to commit atrocities. War is brutal. Israel is certainly fighting in a ruthless manner, as are her opponents.

Von Clausewitz offered sage advice on the potential consequences of strategic restraint:

Kind-hearted people might of course think there was some ingenious way to disarm or defeat an enemy without too much bloodshed, and might imagine this the true goal of the art of war. Pleasant as it sounds, it is a fallacy that must be exposed: war is such a dangerous business that the mistakes which come from kindness are the very worst . . . It would be futile—even wrong—to try and shut one’s eyes to what war really is from sheer distress at its brutality.

author by gazasympathiserpublication date Fri Jan 09, 2009 09:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is a litany of similar incidents (not just 3 isolated but memorable ones over a quarter of a century) in which Palestinian "un-protected persons" (read untermenschen) have been wiped out by the most "moral" army in the world.

This neo-con pattern is of course not restricted to Israel but has also been used by your supporters the USA in defining anybody they don't agree with as "enemy combatants" conveniently circumventing the Geneva convention and allowing kidnapping, murder, internment and torture on hearsay.

Conveniently as you yourself pointed out they do not have to regard them as "protected" in any way which makes them sub-human and we all know where that particular path leads.

This allows the said "un-protected persons" to be wiped out because of your so-called "rules" of war, which you can shove ...

I'm sure with a little research even you will manage to figure out that there is a pattern here and it goes back to the foundation by theft and ethnic cleansing of your delightful little state (as long as you are not Muslim of course).

Far from being an example to be followed in the middle east as zionists would like to have us believe, the only "democracy" in the middle east is an example of worst-practice by any yardstick.

author by Georgepublication date Fri Jan 09, 2009 21:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why do you say that Israel's army is the most moral in the world? That is certainly a new slant to the debate.

OK. You believe that there shouldn't be any laws in war. Fine, although its admittedly a little ridiculous for someone who has never fought in one to call the shots. Therefore you have admitted that the Palestinian people should have no protection whatsoever. There has been nothing illegal. So what's your issue then?

You complain about atrocities. If you don't recognize any laws of war then I do not know by what yardstick Israel should be expected not to massacre their enemies populations. So on what grounds are you complaining?

On what basis are the Arab suicide attacks on Israeli civilians just and Israeli killing of Arab civilians unjust? The islamist insurgents who are waging Jihad on the West do not follow the Geneva Convention or any other international agreement, the like of which the peaceniks cling so dearly. Surely you have seen at least a few of their execution videos of civilian hostages. Therefore they can expect no protection under it, nor are they entitled to it. Do you seriously think that the soldiers of Israel should afford the enemy the benefits which they afford no Israeli? This is a false, lying morality. Indeed, it is therefore obviously from a philosophical point of view no morality at all.

As to the foundation by theft and 'ethnic cleansing' of Israel, name any country in the world whose present inhabitants have lived there eternally, and not taken their land from previous inhabitants. Should the Anglo-Saxons be expelled from England and sent back to Northern Germany? Or the Turks expelled from Turkey and sent back from Central Asia? Nations have always been created and maintained by warfare. I challenge you to name one that is otherwise.

This is hardly a campaign against Muslims or Arabs. Druze and Sunni Bedouin soldiers have given distinguished service in the IDF, and they are being encouraged to join in larger and larger numbers. Hamas have executed hundreds of Palestinians in the last several weeks for collaboration with the Israelis. This is not a black and white struggle of racial extermination.

As to Israel being an example of worst practice, which one of its enemies is an example of better practice? Israel is a democracy. Its government representatives are elected by the people and are about as accountable to them as those of any other democracy. That Israel is a democracy does not change the fact that it is fighting a brutal sixty year old war to secure its homeland. "Democracy" is not a divine word. It is just another form of government and is not inherently superior to other types of government (save Communism, which we can safely say is defunct).

author by gazasympathiserpublication date Sat Jan 10, 2009 17:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Never stick to the point do you?

The point is that if Israel is a democracy (and it is a pretty strange one which is democratic only if you are Jewish) it has to measure up to standards expected of a democracy.

By its deliberate targeting of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians and failure to abide by UN resolutions it obviously does not meet these standards and is not a democracy.

QED

By the way where is your proof that you fought in a war or served in an army?

You could be 12 years old for all I know and judging by your infantile arguments it is quite possibly the case.

author by Vincentpublication date Sat Jan 10, 2009 18:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here is a shocking testimony of one of the Free Gaza Members in Gaza refusing to leave the killing Fields. What he sees around him he readily describes as the New Nakba of 2009. Ethnic cleansing in full swing as Europe sits on it's hands and nods yes, yes, yes.

--- I took some black and white photos yesterday, the caravans of mule-drawn carts, overloaded beyond belief with children waving white drapes pointing skywards, their faces pale and terrified. Looking through those snaps of fleeing refugees today, I felt shivers down my spine. If they could only be superimposed with those witnessing the Nakba of 1948, the Palestinian catastrophe, they would be a perfect mirror image of them. The cowardly passiveness of self-styled democratic states and governments are responsible for a new catastrophe in full swing right now, a new Nakba, a brand new ethnic cleansing befalling the Palestinian population. ---

http://www.freegaza.org/en/home/661-al-nakba-2009

author by Michaelpublication date Sat Jan 10, 2009 21:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If I was Israeli, I would do some serious thinking about the future of my country.
What would happen if one day they somehow lose a war?
What treatment would they expect from the other side?
Because remember, the difference between Israel and the Palestinians is that the Israelis have to win ALWAYS - if they lose just once, that is it, Israel will be gone - and I would fear for the outcome for them.
And it is very likely that they will lose one day.
The vanquished of today could be the winners tomorrow.

The way Israel treats the Palestinians today will affect how the Palestinians will treat them tomorrow.

author by Michaelpublication date Sat Jan 10, 2009 22:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Interesting to see that “Moshe” was fairly quickly replaced by “George” in this debate, isn't it?

Now “George” said the following:

"Of course it is as a principal unnacceptable to deliberately kill innocent civilians. "

But he had previously written this:

"The fact that Hamas has been able to remain in the field against Israel is simply a confirmation of the fact that the population of Gaza are supporting their campaign. The only way for Israel to defeat Hamas' insurgency is to deny them the support of the civilian populace, without which they could not continue to fight. Terrorizing the Palestinian people into turning against Hamas is the only way by which Israel can militarily end the war. "

Taken together, (and so much for his principles) I can only assume that his actual position is that there are few “innocent civilians” in Ghaza as most of them support Hamas -- and therefore it is fair game to kill them. What a sick mind.

To get back to the rights and wrongs of the situation, I think George/Moshe will agree that the Palestinians will not rest easy until they can return to their homes and lands, whether in “Israel” or elsewhere in Palestine – and that this is the real sticking point, as the Israelis have taken over their lands, and do not want to give them back. So it is a fight until one side or the other finally surrenders or is totally beaten - which gives the side that can take most suffering the final victory. George/Moshe - which side is capable of taking most suffering? Are the Israelis capable of dealing with the sort of suffering that the Palestinians put up with day in day out?

author by Georgepublication date Sun Jan 11, 2009 01:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Israel is a democracy. The standards which you tag on to the term "democracy" are arbitrary and do not affect the actual system of government. The Athens of Themistocles and Pericles is recognized as a democracy by all contemporary scholars (in spite of the fact that only native adult males could hold citizenship and vote). Did ancient Athens live up to your arbitrary standards? 'Deliberate targeting of civilians' and failure to abide by U.N. Resolutions have nothing to do with a country being a democracy or not. Israel would only cease to be a democracy if its citizens ceased to elect representation in Government. Therefore, you do not have a point. So what is there to stick to?

People suspect in others that which is worst in themselves. I have not questioned your integrity or anyone else's on this thread. The fact that you feel a need to do so indicates that you yourself lack integrity. Nevertheless, what proof would you like of my military service? Would you believe that anymore than you would believe my statement of fact that I did? If not, don't ask. I have enough comrades who know what we have been through. I don't particularly mind what any ignorant fool thinks.

'You could be 12 years old for all I know'. That is a weak statement, as judging by the quality of your argument, that is very little. Your ignorance of the Middle Eastern situation, of warfare and of geopolitical reality is astonishing. Personally, I try not to get involved in bashing people who post their opinions, even though they are mostly ignorant and entirely based on emotion, seeing as the site says 'play the ball, not the woman'. Seeing the simple lack of fact, any shred of analytical ability and your baffling ignorance of reality as displayed by your posts your attempt to support your ignorance by arrogance is a hilarious attempt to justify your arguments (whatever they are).

author by gazasympathiserpublication date Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I agree that Israel is on the level of a 2000 year-old proto-democracy in terms of its behaviour, and access to democractic process for privileged sectors of society.

Unfortunately while the world has moved on in the intervening two milennia in terms of standards of behaviour from states, Israel has not.

Hasbaranik hair-splitting does nothing to disguise the facts that Israel is a brute among nations who refuses to accept UN resolutions and standards of behaviour demanded of civilised states.

author by Andrewpublication date Sun Jan 11, 2009 15:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Is this not ethnic cleansing? I don't know about you but I don't think these people were "militants". Warning: horrid video:

http://www.blog-video.tv/video-1370813708d483c-L-HORREU....html

author by Georgepublication date Sun Jan 11, 2009 19:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Michael, you are quite right. The Israelis always have to win. If they lose just once, that is it, Israel will cease to exist. Where you go wrong is in assuming that Israel's actions in this war will affect their fate in the event of defeat. Israel has faced annihilation since its inception. The Jews and Arabs of Palestine have been treating each other with great brutality since the inception of the British mandate, in the 1920's. The Haganah, the poorly equipped predecessor of the IDF, was set up to protect Jewish communities during the British mandate. Arab raiding and pillaging of Jewish civilians was endemic The Arabs have always sought the destruction of Jewish civilization in Palestine. Israel must therefore win or die. I am glad that you know understand why Israel must fight so unscrupulously and with such ferocity. Because they can not afford to lose.

This war will not end until one side or the other is subjugated or destroyed. Israel's only choice is to keep fighting in order to subjugate or intimidate its neighbours. This is the only way that it will survivie in the long term, it is not symbolic of any imperialistic designs. One will see that Israel has conquered and then withdrawn from Sinai and Southern Lebanon several times. Due to Israel's military victories Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia have effectively been knocked out of the war and no longer pose a serious threat. Israel is thus left to face non-state actors who continue the war by unconventional means. At present it has to fight on two different fronts: against Hamas in the south-east, in the vicinity of Gaza, and against Hezbollah in the North, on the Lebanese border. This offensive is clearly aimed to defeat Hamas once and for all.

I believe that it is dishonourable for a soldier to deliberately use their power to needlessly take life. However, from a military aspect the only way to defeat a guerrilla army is to remove from it the support of the civilian population, whether by military means or by hearts-and-minds type operations, which were first employed by the British in Malaya in the 1950's. If Hamas have chosen Gaza as their battleground, to fight amongst their own people, then that is where Israel will be forced to fight if she is to bring the enemy to battle and defeat them. In war defeating the enemy takes precedence over all other considerations. The fact that Hamas' support from the people of Gaza is declining rapidly since the opening of the offensive is a validation of this strategy. Only by the defeat of Hamas or the total defeat of Israel will a peace come to the region. And there are sometimes worse things that peace for peace's sake.

The Israeli's have won wars and gained supremacy by their single-minded ruthlessness and by their ability to achieve much with little. The Israeli Defence Forces were not much better equipped than the Arab armies until the late 1970's. They are capable of taking more suffering than the Arabs, who are not famed for their stoicism or staying power, either culturally or on the battlefield. The nations of the Arab world would have to unify to even have a chance of defeating Israel in war, and even when Egypt and Syria united in Nasser's Arab Republic to threaten Israel on two fronts they were still crushed in the Six Day War. The Israelis have thus far proven to be much more of a warrior race than the Arabs. I so no prospect of an Arab military revival in the next few decades.

author by Georgepublication date Sun Jan 11, 2009 20:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am glad that we finally agree that Israel is a democracy. However, the world has not progressed in terms of standards of behaviour from states in the past two and a half millenia. You will find that the standards which you believe to be universal in extent and acceptance are actually limited to the Western, Christian civilization whose ideals inspired them. They are in fact as alien to much of the rest of the world as the notion of democracy. Israel is obviously not part of Christian European civilization, although it is to is considerably influenced by it, and I would consider Israel to be an Asiatic nation, like the other Semetic peoples. Throughout the non Western world the values which many of us believe to be universal are at best skin deep, towards which such countries pay at best lip service..

As to Andrew's post, the video does not show any particular indication of ethnic cleansing. It does not show Israeli soldiers lining up hundreds of defenceless civilians and machine-gunning them into mass graves. What it does show is the reality of warfare, particularly in an urban setting. Similar scenes were enacted thousands of times in Iraq, the result of insurgent bombings often deliberately massacring their own peoplr. Therefore the sight of civilian casualties does not indicate ethnic cleansing. In this particular instance neither does the death toll. What you do see is that Hamas soldiers are intermingled with civilians, that they are fighting amongst their own people. That is a military decision which is have grave consequences for the people of Gaza. That Israel would fight Hamas is obvious. They are fighting Hamas in Gaza because that is where Hamas has chosen to position itself.

As to the civilians not looking like militants, I would imagine that the majority of the people of Gaza are not actively fighting. However, guerrillas often fight in civilian clothes. I saw at least one corpse in the video having his webbing removed. However, it is the fact that Hamas has been able to solidify their presence in Gaza and even win free elections there that indicates that the majority of the people of Gaza have expressed at one time or another their support for Hamas. They have therefore by the same token effectively accepted war with Israel.

author by Jake Carneypublication date Mon Jan 12, 2009 08:56author email jakecarney36 at yahoo dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Keep up the fight in Ireland and around the world. Proud to know all that had a hand in speaking of the horrible acts committed in the name of lies. Fight on my Irish brothers and sisters and all good people of the world. Don't give up. We change the world by our existance. Meditate, pray and be a thorn in the side of the Neocons of America and Isreael. If you don't believe in pray and meditation, just raise your fist and say "Enough."

Your Irish American brother in Ukraine,
Jake Carney

author by gazasympathiserpublication date Mon Jan 12, 2009 17:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You really don't get it do you?

Israel is not a democracy by the standards we would judge it, in terms of equality and standards of behaviour etc.

You claim that your war of territorial expansion is one and the same war as the US, UK and south-sea islands are fighting against "terror".

This is or course a lie and you have jumped opportunistically on the WOT bandwagon to try and hijack it with your distasteful and criminal anti-Palestinian agenda.

You are also confusing genocide with ethnic cleansing.

You don't need to exterminate people in order to ethnically cleanse them from their homes as you did with the Palestinians 60 years ago.

Just because Israel doesn't state its agenda doesn't mean that it doesn't have one as Tzipi Livni let slip recently when she said that once there was a Palestinian state that so-called Israeli "Arabs" would be going there.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7779087.stm

author by dunkpublication date Mon Jan 12, 2009 17:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Israeli media takes notice of Irish criticism
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2009/0112/123....html

THE GOVERNMENT'S strong condemnation of Israel's military assault on Gaza, now in its third week, has not gone unnoticed in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Last week Ireland featured prominently in an article by Jerusalem Post columnist Herb Keinon in which he assessed how the world viewed Israel's offensive.

"Ireland, according to foreign ministry officials, is currently one of the European countries most antagonistic to Israel, and a country where the hostility of the press is matched by the tone of the government," Keinon wrote.


Original article by Jerusalem Post columnist Herb Keinon: 'Shouldn't Israel be ashamed of itself?'
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=123116728415...wFull

In saying that though, Im hugely dismayed at what appears to be a very low turn out for the National demo on the cold streets of Dublin on Saturday, just over 1,000 people turned up to show solidarity. In Barcelona it was 100 times as much, in a city just over twice the size of Dublin, reports and views on that expressed at links below:

Is this not a disgraceful Irish turn out?
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/90540&comment_limit=0&c...42681

"A large crowd estimated of 1,500 -2,000 marched to the Israeli embassy on a cold day in Dublin" Thats only about 1% of the Population of Dublin alone, is this not a disgraceful turn out? In Barcelonas demo on Saturday there about 100 times as that, the population of BCN is about twice that of Dublin... Here there were between 100,000 - 175,000 people on the streets, thats about 2 full Croke parks!

A report of the BCN demo can be found at First they came for the communists, now they are coming for the Palestinians @ http://www.indymedia.ie/article/90538

author by Georgepublication date Mon Jan 12, 2009 21:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'Israel is not a democracy by the standards we would judge it'

Who is 'we'? Attaching the royal 'we' to your arbitrary standards of democracy does not lend them any relevance to the situation. The fact is that most of the world does not recognize or adhere to your standards. They are therefore an irrelevancy.

War of territorial expansion is a ridiculous term to apply to the Israeli offensive in Gaza. Why would Israel want to occupy a tiny, overpopulated, unproductive strip of land populated by a largely hostile population? When on the other hand they have twice returned the Sinai to Egypt and Southern Lebanon to a weak Lebanese government. After the Egyptians recognized that Israel had the upper hand they ceased attacking Israel, regained their lost territory and have enjoyed largely peaceful relations ever since. A similar case in Transjordan, although Israel could not return the West Bank to Jordan as that would be a threat to Israel's ability to defend itself. Hamas and Hezbollah continue to fight. Israel therefore naturally continues to fight as well.

As to ethnic cleansing, Israel removed its own people from the Gaza strip in 2005. The video showed no evidence of Israel either deporting or massacring a defenceless population. Where would Israel move them to? The Palestinians in Israel proper are not particularly oppressed, indeed the two official languages of the State of Israel are Hebrew and Arabic. Jewish, Christian, Druze and Muslim religious courts all function as part of the Israeli legal system. Israel is the only country in the region ranked "Free" by Freedom House based on the level of civil and political rights; the Palestinian Authority was ranked "Not Free". Reporters Without Borders rated Israel 50th out of 168 countries in terms of freedom of the press and highest among Southwest Asian countries.

Palestinians were restricted in the military zones of the West Bank and Gaza because in those regions the Israeli Defence Forces were operating against insurgents among a population largely sympathetic to the insurgency. I.E. it was a battlefield. Restricting the enemy's population is a necessary military precaution to limit guerrilla support, protect Israeli troops and to interdict guerrilla movements. That has nothing to do with Israel being a democracy; it is called fighting a war. The niceties of parliamentary democracy can not exist in a war situation, as the Prussian General von Clausewitz noted so well.

Of course Israel has an agenda. Every country does. Its called their national interest. A country will always act to safeguard its national interests, probably the most important of which is establishing and maintaining secure, defensible borders to protect the homeland. Some countries are aided in this in that they are surrounded by ocean. Israel is not. And presumably if the Arabs of Palestine do not want to live in Israel they would move to a Palestinian state. That is the basis of the vaunted and foolish two-state solution.

As to conspiracy theories, you should probably move to Hollywood and write film scripts. Wild conquer-the-globe type plots do not exist in the real world. They are simply impractical.

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Tue Jan 13, 2009 02:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The holocaust in Gaza may have been perpetrated by Israel in order to gain control of 2 gas fields off the shore of Gaza. according to Michel Chossudovsky
http://www.transcend.org/tms/article_detail.php?article...d=649

The British Gas Group (BG) drilled two wells in the year 2000, Gaza Marine 1 and Gaza Marine 2 off the shore of Gaza.

One of these was about 30 km from the shore, the other about 80 km. The Gaza coastline and its offshore belong to Palestine and at that time they were owned by the Palestinian Authority. In a deal, the British Gas got the rights to 60% of the gas field, a Lebanese Company got rights to 30% and the Palestinian Authority got the rights to 10%. ( See map: http://www.bg-group.com/OurBusiness/WhereWeOperate/Page...Areas)

In 2001, after the election of Ariel Sharon, the Israeli Government challenged Palestine's sovereignty over the gas fields in the Supreme Court of Israel.

In 2003 Ariel Sharon vetoed a deal that would allow BG to supply Israel with natural gas from Gaza's offshore wells.

In 2006, Hamas was elected to power in Palestine. It was rumoured that Tony Blair intervened to scupper a deal that was on the cards to pump the gas to Egypt.

In May 2007 Israel agreed to buy gas from Palestine, but bypassed both the Palestinian Authority (now in "control" of the West Bank) and Hamas (now in "control" of Gaza). Israel tried to make a new deal with BG that would channel the gas underground as far as Ashkelon in Israel, hoping to transfer control over the sale of the natural gas to Israel. BG did not agree to the deal. In December 2007, BG withdrew from negotiations and in January 2008 closed their office in Israel. http://www.bg-group.com/OurBusiness/WhereWeOperate/Page....aspx

In June 2008, Israel requested British Gas to resume negotiations concerning Gaza's natural gas. (Globes online -Israel's Business Arena, June 23, 2008, as quoted in the article)

In June 2008, or earlier, the present invasion of Gaza "Cast Lead" was set in motion according to Ha' aretz article by Barak Ravid at the very same time that Israel was beginning to negotiate a ceasefire with Hamas:
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1050426.html

In October the requested negotiations betwen BG and Israel were taking place . In November the IEC (Israel's Electric Corporation) were orderd to enter negotiations with British Gas "in line with a framework proposal". The IEC Board approved this framework proposal in late October. (Globes online -Israel's Business Arena, June 23, 2008, as quoted in the article)

Chossudovsky believes that there is intent by Israel, through its military invasion of Gaza, to transfer the sovereignty of Gaza's gas fields to Israel in violation of international law.

See full story at: http://www.transcend.org/tms/article_detail.php?article...d=649

author by Miriampublication date Tue Jan 13, 2009 07:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Story here:

Ten Israeli soldiers choose jail over Gaza
Ma'an news

Bethlehem – Ma’an – At least ten soldiers have opted for prison terms rather than going through with their deployment.

The refusals would be the first of their kind since Israel launched its massive air, sea and ground assault on the Gaza Strip,

On "conscience’s grounds," the soldiers refused orders to head to the Gaza Strip, they said.

Preferring a 14-day prison stint and rounding criticism from fellow soldiers and society at large, at least ten are awaiting trial for violations of orders. One said he simply could not go through with the deployment.

No'em Levna, a first lieutenant in Israel's army, refused to serve in Gaza, saying, "We killed 900 Palestinians in 17 days, including hundreds of children."

"If violence must be used, it should be used minimally, and that isn't what’s happening," he added. "Killing innocent civilians cannot be justified. Nothing justifies this kind of killing. It’s devilish."

"It is Israeli arrogance based on logic. It’s saying, 'if we hit more, everything will be okay,'" he said. "But the hatred and anger we are planting in Gaza will rebound on us."

Link: http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m50755&hd=&size=1&l=e

author by Ilhampublication date Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's good to see there are Israeli soldiers that have a conscience and refuse to serve in the army.

author by IrishAussiepublication date Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well at last the ceasefire has been brought into effect so now is the time for Hamas to show total restraint and stop firing rockets into Israel. The result should be a lasting peace. Yeah right!!!
But seriously it would be a good result.

author by Frank Adam - private citizenpublication date Thu Jan 22, 2009 20:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Michael must be either very young, or has not read the back files or any books on the Arab war on Israel. Ever since the 1936 Arab rebellion let alone more recently, Arab leaders and rank and file have sought to kill as many Israeli Jews as possible or to throw the survivors into exile. I have witnessed Arabs threatening murder and mayhem and exile all my life right back to the Scorpions' Pass bus ambush in March 1953 so on diminishing returns it makes no more difference what happens between the parties - just read HAMAS Charter if you want proof from the horse's mouth.

The other silly notion about, is that the Gaza bashing was a matter of stealing the PA's off shore gas field - though I do not see British Gas nor any other firm actually going ahead with the work for an apology of a government that thinks it political virtue to tease a relatively powerful neighbour till it lashes out physically in exasperation. Israel has just had the good fortune to find its own large gas-field 90 kms WEST of HAIFA which if you read more than war stories, your correspondents would have known.

You can be just too cynical or parti-pris. True one should read both sides and one should watch for what is not worded, what the bigger context might be, and different parties have different priorities; but sometimes it does turn out that what somebody says is true, even if you do not like them, and do not like what they say.

This Gaza affair after 8 000 rockets over eight years promoted by Iran, is remarkably parallel to the Nasser sponsored 12 000 border reiving cases in the eight years before the Sinai/ Suez Campaign of 1956. In each case some bigger power was fishing for regional supremacy by proving they can kill Israel, and in both cases they got a black eye - as did Hizbollah in 2006: for proof they sat out the Gaza Ball. Ditto 1967 when USSR set up Syria and Egypt with ropey rumours. According to the Egyptian official report of Oct '67 the idea was that USSR could make quid pro quo's to trade the USA out of Viet Nam for the survival of Israel froman Arab attack it promoted. Only the Nasserists were not up to it and ever since the USA has seen Israel as one of its secular assets in the "great game."

author by Justin Morahan - publication date Sat Jan 24, 2009 01:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors


So says Paul Joseph Watson in an article of 19 January quoting from Haaretz.
I would have thought that the army was already in place with numerous foot soldiers in action here on Indymedia Ireland.

It's more than sad that these trolls can continue to cover over Israel's massacre in Gaza with clever words and arguments, changing the point of reference and in effect denying this recent holocaust.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/israel-recruits-army-of-blo....html

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Mon Feb 02, 2009 01:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

According to widespread news reports, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said yesterday that there would be (another) "disproportionate" attack against the Gaza Strip . Two weeks after the end of the attack on the tiny Strip, that killed 1300 and injured 5000, a barbaric attack that has elicited allegations of war crimes by the Zionist state, Mr Olmert made no apology but threatened more of the same, showing utter contempt for Gaza, the UN, the EU and all of those whom he has succeeded in silencing so far.

Related Link: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=2&article_id=99033
author by Wesleypublication date Mon Feb 02, 2009 02:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ehud olmert is a lame duck dog. Quack Bark. The gaza bombing election campaign is on standby. We are dealing with seriously sick election campaign people here for Feb 20 or close. Gaza is suffering with the polution from Israel elections . Whoever gets elected should be tried for the attacks against gaza. Its an Israeli crime.

Punish the new Israeli Government. Vote against Israel on Feb 20.

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