AN ODE TO COLUMBUS ~~ THE REAL MEANING OF THE DAY

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COLUMBUS DAY
By Tom Karlson

In long boat and knarr they sail west and south

stars and sun show a way for

Eric the Red’s son

gunless, horseless

a peaceful trip

see the sights pick some grape

leaving behind ruins and blue-eyed babies

Greenland bound   a new saga

 

Mali and Mandingo ships and men

with goods and weapons sail west and north

currents, wind and blind luck

bring them to the Yucatan

remains:

50 ton Nubian faced Olmac heads

myths of dark skinned giants 

financed by Iberian Jewry

the Admiral, Christian or Jew, Spaniard or Italian

leads 120 men in the

Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria

sailing south and west    

India bound

crewed by:

Milton Freedman and his Chicago University goons

     in charge of propaganda, interrogation, discipline,

     race and class consciousness  

Prescott Bush and George Armstrong Custer

     compose the voyage manifesto and mission

below deck are the sun-dried souls of

Rasputin, the Popes, Sylvester the Second and Benedict the Ninth

     in charge of rape, incest, and family values

Pinkerton and J Edgar Hoover

     spying,   pimping, and procuring stool pigeons

Kenneth Lay  

     finance, mergers, and loans

Edward Teller  

     munitions

Robert E Lee’s horse Traveler

will show the way home

where Ferdinand and Isabella’s bishops

find Jews to murder and maim, books to burn, Moors to exterminate

 

Columbus will trade

measles, diphtheria, small pox, and malaria

for gold and land

as he works out the science of genocide on Hispaniola

never forgetting the University’s tools of slavery   colonization

religious fanaticism     and free market capitalism

FINDINGS OF THE RUSSELL TRIBUNAL ON CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY IN GAZA

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Russell Tribunal finds evidence of incitement to genocide crimes against humanity in Gaza

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The Russell Tribunal on Palestine’s Emergency Session on Israel’s Operation Protective Edge held yesterday in Brussels has found evidence of war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of murder, extermination and persecution and also incitement to genocide.

The Jury [1] reported: ‘The cumulative effect of the long-standing regime of collective punishment in Gaza appears to inflict conditions of life calculated to bring about the incremental destruction of the Palestinians as a group in Gaza.’

‘The Tribunal emphasises the potential for a regime of persecution to become genocidal in effect, In light of the clear escalation in the physical and rhetorical violence deployed in respect of Gaza in the summer of 2014, the Tribunal emphasises the obligation of all state parties to the 1948 Genocide Convention ‘to take such action under the Charter of the United Nations as they consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of genocide.’

The Jury heard evidence from eyewitnesses to Israeli attacks during the Gaza war 2014 including journalists Mohammed Omer, Max Blumenthal, David Sheen, Martin Lejeune, Eran Efrati and Paul Mason, as well as surgeons Mads Gilbert, Mohammed Abou Arab, Genocide Expert Paul Behrens, Col Desmond Travers and Ivan Karakashian, Head of Advocacy and Defence for Children International.

In terms of the crime of incitement to genocide, the tribunal received evidence ‘demonstrating a vitriolic upswing in racist rhetoric and incitement’ during the summer of 2014. ‘The evidence shows that such incitement manifested across many levels of Israeli society, on both social and traditional media, from football fans, police officers, media commentators, religious leaders, legislators, and government ministers.’

The Tribunal also found evidence of the following war crimes:

Willful killing

Extensive destruction of property not justified by military necessity

Intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population and civilian objects

Disproportionate use of force

Attacks against buildings dedicated to religion and education

The use of Palestinians as human shields

Employing weapons, projectiles, and material and methods of warfare which are of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering which are inherently indiscriminate

The use of violence to spread terror among the civilian population

The Tribunal further stated: ‘It is recognised that in a situation where patterns of crimes against humanity are perpetrated with impunity, and where direct and public incitement to genocide is manifest throughout society, it is very conceivable that individuals or the state may choose to exploit the conditions in order to perpetrate the crime of genocide. 

It further noted: ‘We have have a genuine fear that in an environment of impunity and an absence of sanction for serious and repeated criminality, the lessons from Rwanda and other mass atrocities may once again go unheeded’.

The Tribunal calls on Israel to fulfill its’ obligations under international law and for the state of Palestine to accede without further delay to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, fully cooperate with the human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry and fully engage the mechanisms of international justice. 

The Tribunal also reminds all states to cooperate to bring to an end the illegal situation arising from Israel’s occupation, siege and crimes in the Gaza Strip. In light of the obligation not to render aid or assistance, all states must consider appropriate measures to exert sufficient pressure on Israel, including the imposition of sanctions, the severing of diplomatic relations collectively through international organisations, or in the absence of consensus, individually by breaking bilateral relations with Israel.

It calls upon All states to fulfill their duty ‘to take such action under the Charter of the United Nations as they consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of genocide’.

The Full and detailed findings and recommendations of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine can be found at the Russell Tribunal website: www.russelltribunalonpalestine.com

The Tribunal will present its’ findings to the European Parliament today.

#GazaUnderAttack ~~ LESSONS FROM THE WAR

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The future of Gaza is still uncertain. Even when you reach agreement with Israel (or with Egypt) there is no guarantee that it will be honored, as happened with the agreements after the previous (2012) war and with the 2011 prisoners’ exchange. Yet Gaza is fighting for liberty…

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Lessons from the Gaza War

ACT FOR GAZA NOW

Act For Gaza

Compiled by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

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Child lost his eyesight after Israeli shelling. The father was killed a week later!

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A rocket fell near us Tuesday in Beit Sahour. From the way it broke-up, we think it was one of the “iron dome” missiles that missed its mark (this happens to some 70-80% of missiles that are supposed to intercept Palestinian  home-made rockets from Gaza).  The owner of the house said of the significant damage: “we are with Gaza and continue to be”.  Wars bring out the worse in people and the best in people. Israeli devastation of Gaza is facing against heroism of resilience and resistance of Palestinians and an awakening of conscience of millions. Every hour we hear stories and listen to dignified resilient voices from Gaza in the face of incredible devastation. Medics who continue to operate even as their colleagues and relatives are killed. Remaining family members who lost everything but promise to rebuild and fight back until freedom. Municipal workers trying to avert a catastrophe and keep bombed sewage and water lines open and separate. Neighbors helping each other. Resistance fighters coming back from the front lines to help dig for civilian corpses buried under the rubble. A child consoling her little brother after all their family has been wiped out. People taking care of each other and giving all of us lessons in how we can keep our humanity. Messages from Gaza say to us “we survive, we are fine, how about you? How are you?” Gaza has become like the pH meter in my lab, a good barometer of change in the medium. How are we, the medium of humanity doing and where are we heading?

Palestinian Civil society organizations and public figures are calling on the world to demand the opening of the Rafah crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.

Israel has developed a doctrine of slowly increasing attacks on civilians to give them a chance to supposedly stop the resistance (an impossible task). The three stages used in the past four weeks included: first stage) used in the first week of the shelling of Gaza included  Israeli forces giving warning to some of the people to leave their houses before they flattened them with shells (a form of ethnic cleansing never-the-less).  Second stage) clearing neighborhoods with a blanket statement in media to evacuate whole neighborhoods, then flattening them (also ethnic cleansing), third stage) no warning just blanket and random shelling increasing civilian deaths.  Overlapping stage two and three was also the shelling of hospitals and schools and the power station (targeting infrastructure, mostly without notice given). Having exhausted these three stages which obviously were well planned, Israeli leaders announced victory and moved on. The only gain was to bank account of those who profit from wars (companies like Elbit Systems). This helps sales of weapons (depleting stocks which have to be bought back and the US taxpayers pay for these). People die but some people get to be even more rich.

On the bright side (if there is any), this adventure accelerated the inevitable decline of the racist genocidal state of Israel. The resistance is strengthened because people saw that Israel could not advance one or two kilometers into Gaza without casualties of its soldiers who are paranoid about being captured or killed (even killed by Israeli forces to prevent them from being captured. Many committed suicide or injured themselves to leave the battle field. In 1967, Israeli armies advanced and conquered hundreds of kilometers without any opposition from supposed “Arab armies”. The land conquered per hour was literally the time it took infantry to walk across the landscape (no opposition). Israel, Jordan and Egypt did not fight or even plan to fight. And they had supplies and open borders. Here a concentration camp (the enclave of Gaza) giving Israel a real fight and Israeli mighty army is bloodied and confused and wining about tunnels (well yes, the Vietcong also used tunnels because everything above ground was instantly scorched by imperial US forces). So many lies were uncovered that many observers have started to believe Hamas and other resistance groups more than they believe anything that the Western Mainstream Media and Netanyahu and his puppets have to say. Mr. Netanyahu came in front of the Israeli public and lied yet again. Israel acknowledged some 50 soldiers killed but most Israelis know the number is at least three times as high. Many Israeli families acknowledge money is being given to them to refrain from mentioning the killing of their children at the borders of Gaza. One Israeli leak suggested some 130-150 Israeli soldiers killed (closer to a number released by Hamas resistance). But the ceasefire declared by the UN (the only one declared by the UN and agreed to by the two parties) was broken by Israeli forces after they encountered some resistance fighters in their advance to Rafa and two Israeli soldiers were killed and the area was bombed burying a third soldier with the resistance fighters on spot. The Israeli government version of this was a fabrication (soldiers were attacked, one was kidnapped etc). Hamas’s version of what might have happened was more believable (they lost contact with soldiers defending the field East of Rafah and they presume them dead). Belatedly the Israeli version changed and they were forced t accept a version closer to what the Palestinians said. But this is of little consolation to Palestinians including children massacred with the excuse that Hamas broke the cease fire. Now there is talk in Cairo to give Israel what it could not achieve by military means: impunity from crimes, pacification of the natives while maintaining colonization and injustice.

But people are moving. The above call and other like it are followed by actions. There si widening boycotts of everything Israeli and people are mobilizing aid convoys to Gaza (three trucks from my own town of Beit Sahour will leave in the next two days and this is just one of hundreds of such efforts).  Yet this is still not enough. 400,000 Palestinians are now dislocated and for nearly half of them, their homes have been destroyed. Billions of dollars are needed to rebuild. Every bit helps though and actions speak louder than words. As we help Gaza Palestinians on a humanitarian level, we must also ensure accountability and to prevent more Israeli crimes. To do that we need BDS, we need ICC, we need coordination and joint action.

Names of Palestinians murdered by the colonial fascist Israeli forces (they are not numbers or even names, they are people with their stories and their rights violated and robbed of their lives by a war machine empowered by human silence)

I have many friends/colleagues in Gaza and all where affected by the ongoing horrors, more than half of them had family members killed (see for example story of family members of our colleague Dr Mona El Farra ), and one was killed herself with two of her children.

Being calmly rational about dead children feels like a very particular form of madness. Whatever else journalistic objectivity is, it surely cannot be the elimination of human emotion

Israeli Vets Speak Out: What Really Goes On In Gaza

Starvation, shooting at kids, casual violence—former IDF soldiers reveal the abuses by the Israeli military in Gaza

Photographer is killed as he videotapes attacks on ambulances

here is the same incident from another photographer who survived this war crime

A very excellent example of an article putting the context out that is ignored by Zionist dominated western media. We should all learn to write like that and to focus our energy on media.

 

Who profits from the war on Gaza

Over 100 Middle East Studies Scholars and Librarians Call for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions

Boycott Israel: here is research on 60 companies to boycott/picket etc.

Dr. Mads Gilbert makes a moving speech upon his return to Norway from Gaza

Norman Finkelstein” The word is out, Israel is a lunatic state

 

SHARON’S GAZA LEGACY LIVES ON

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Unlike some Bloggers, I never claimed nor considered myself to be a journalist. I constantly aggregate articles and posts from other sources, especially those from the Palestinian Press, Progressive Jewish  and other Websites. This, needless to say is aggravating to many on-line zionists, which in a small way makes me feel that my mission was accomplished.

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However, I do on occasion write my own articles, the following is just one of them …

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THE LEGACY LIVES ON
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On the Hebrew Calendar, it was nine years ago today that former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon forcibly expelled the Jewish Settlers who were living in Gaza. This was a move that angered the right in Israel, they saw it as a sellout, as a defeat to their occupation of lands that did not belong to them. Some on the left saw the move as a positive one which would eventually lead to self rule in Palestine. In actuality, it was the beginning of the end to Sharon’s political reign. 

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Hell literally froze over that day as far as the settlers were concerned …

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I saw the move as an attempt to make the entire Strip Judenfrei, which would allow Israel to attack at any time without harming any Jewish residents. Perhaps that was a minority opinion, but I was proven correct just four years later when the first war in Gaza began, a war that saw over 1,400 Palestinian fatalities.

Two years later we witnessed an entire blockade of the area. This would not have been possible with the continued settlement of Jewish people. This blockade in itself started the flow of Humanitarian Aid Flotillas which also resulted in the deaths of many people.

Nor would it have been possible to continue the ethnic cleansing and genocidal policies which resulted in the second war which started 30 days ago today, a war that so far has resulted in the deaths of over 1800 Palestinians, mostly innocent civilians including women and children.

For them I mourn today, not for the displaced settlers.

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USA FINALLY APPALLED BY ITS OWN MISDEEDS IN GAZA

It took 28 days of killing innocent civilians to finally get the USA to speak out against it …. don’t forget it was THEY that supplied the bombs and bullets. 

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“The United States is appalled by today’s disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA school in Rafah sheltering some 3,000 displaced persons, in which at least ten more Palestinian civilians were tragically killed.”

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U.S. ‘Appalled’ By ‘Disgraceful Shelling’ On U.N. School in Gaza

Urges Israel to Avoid Civilian Casulties

By Reuters VIA

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The United States criticized the “disgraceful shelling” at a U.N. school in Gaza on Sunday and urged Israel to do more to prevent civilian casualties in its war against Hamas militants.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki also called for an investigation into attacks on U.N. schools in densely populated Gaza.

“The United States is appalled by today’s disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA school in Rafah sheltering some 3,000 displaced persons, in which at least ten more Palestinian civilians were tragically killed,” Psaki said in a statement.

Psaki urged Israel again to live up to its own standards of avoiding civilian casualties as the conflict in the Hamas-controlled Gaza stretched into its 27th day.

On Wednesday, at least 15 Palestinians who sought refuge in a U.N.-run school in Jabalya refugee camp were killed during fighting, and the United Nations said Israeli artillery had apparently hit the building. The Israeli military said gunmen had fired mortar bombs from near the school and it shot back in response.

Psaki said U.N. facilities should not be used as bases from which to launch attacks.

“The suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians,” she added.

The fighting on Sunday pushed the Gaza death toll given by Palestinian officials to 1,775, most of them civilians. Israel has confirmed that 64 soldiers have died in combat, while Palestinian rockets have killed three civilians in Israel.

HUMANIZING PALESTINE

Salma Al-Radiya, 2 years old, was killed by shrapnel from an Israeli tank shell in Beit Lihaya, north of Gaza Strip on July 23, 2014.

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By Mazin Qumsiyeh,PhD*

The holiday at the end of Ramadan brings mixed feelings and we could sense this here in Bethlehem on the faces of our Muslim neighbors, friends and colleagues. They tell us of their sadness at the massacres of whole families but they also tell proudly of resistance, persistence, resilience, self help and help to other. It is still a month of blessings. I was at the bank of Palestine on Saturday and saw lines of people sending money to colleagues and friends in Gaza. We had cloth and food drives. Convoys bringing medical aid are finally being allowed to enter even as 150 bodies were pulled from under the rubble in one neighborhood alone. Israeli soldiers speak to Haaretz of large scale destruction of civilian neighborhoods in Gaza and surprise and fear at the resistance fighters. Most people understand that Gaza is a big crowded prison that is being subjected to a most ruthless occupation that destroyed its economy and means of livelihood. Yet, some Zionists want to convince people that somehow resistance should not come from within this population! But there are no winners in the latest conflict started by Israel even though both resistance forces and Israel claim victory. Israel can claim victory by destroying so many neighborhoods, killing nearly a thousand civilians (very few resistance fighters). This they hope will teach a lesson not to resist. That is a foolish dream for all this does is stoke hatred and call for revenge from the killers and not decrease support among the population for resistance. Israeli intelligence agents know this (see for example below interview with ex-head of the Shin Bet). Israeli leaders know that with every strike on “Arabs” as they like to call us, resistance actually grows in strength and supporters. Hamas and other resistance forces gain in stature and Netanyahu appeared tough and gained some voters from teh racist right quarters in Israeli politics. Yet, Palestinians lives are lost that are irreplaceable and faith in human dignity tarnished as western leaders were forced to defend a an ongoing genocide so that they can please their Zionist lobbyists.The price paid by all humanity is far too high.
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Let me start by actual pictures and names of those Israel murdered. They are not just numbers (1070 murdered so far including over 200 children). PLEASE take time to get to know some of them. (there were also at least 45 Israeli soldiers killed by resistance fighters and in some cases directly by Israeli forces; see below)

Now what is the real reason for the Gaza carnage? Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Hamas for taking three young Israeli settlers (colonial squatters in occupied areas). It turns out even Israeli police knew that Hamas leaders were not involved (even though the suspects were never apprehended let alone charged). Hamas itself said it was not involved. see

But maybe this is the real reason: Armed robbery in Gaza: Israel, US, UK carve up the spoils of Palestine’s stolen gas.

Yuval Diskin was the director of Israel’s internal security service Shin Bet between 2005 and 2011 and he recently 24 July 2014 had an Interview with Der Spiegel/Reuters. He was asked ” Is Israel not essentially driving Palestinians into the arms of Hamas? He answered “It looks that way, yes. The people in the Gaza Strip have nothing to lose right now, just like Hamas. And this is the problem. As long as Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood was in power in Egypt, things were going great for Hamas. But then the Egyptian army took over and within just a few days, the new regime destroyed the tunnel economy between Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula, which was crucial for Hamas. Since then, Hamas has been under immense pressure; it can’t even pay the salaries of its public officials.”

Diskin also Stated that “The army is now trying to destroy the tunnels between Israel and the Gaza Strip with a kind of mini-invasion, also so that the government can show that it is doing something. …It is in equal parts action for the sake of action and aggressive posturing.” But then he even reveals something that all Israeli leaders know but choose to ignore: “They [Palestinians] will never accept the status quo of the Israeli occupation. When people lose hope for an improvement of their situation, they radicalize. That is the nature of human beings. The Gaza Strip is the best example of that. All the conditions are there for an explosion. So many times in my life I was at these junctions that I can feel it almost in my fingertips.”

He goes on to predict accurately increased shifts to extremism in Israeli society and admitted that Israel deals with Palestinian terror different than it does with Jewish terror. Full interview hereHis observations while from a Zionist colonial perspective concords in predicting a pressure cooker about to explode with other observers for example see this from someone who lived in Jenin for a while: The Paper Thin Underpinnings to Peace: Occupation and Intifada in 2014.

Those of us who cut through the lies act. There were demonstration in over 100 cities including Tokyo, Paris, London, Chicago, New York, Washington, Cairo, Tunis, Rabat etc). Some had tens of thousands and some over 100,000 participants. Here are just some inspiring photos.
There was even a demonstration of a few thousand in Tel Aviv objecting to the slaughter in Gaza. Some Israeli soldiers and reserves refused orders to mobilize to Gaza. All these demonstrations had mixed groups of people (all ethnicities and all religions). The few demonstrations for Israel and in support of killing Palestinians were tiny and included only Jewish Zionists (the largest was as expected in New York with a few hundred particularly angry and racist ones). We must concentrate on doing more positive actions and publicizing them. “Lighting a candle instead of cursing the darkness” as the old Chinese saying goes. I leave you with poignant note that a Church in Gaza is now home to dozens of displaced Muslim families. The pastor said that Islamic prayers in his church are welcome as Israel destroys mosques. That is the Palestine I love. That is the Palestine that will win. Decent Jewish citizens in the US were arrested as they demonstrated inside the NY offices of “Friends of the IDF” (a group supporting child killers tax deductible). That is the humanity that I love.

Let me end again with the pictures of Gaza Palestinians. Meet them and remember them.

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One neighborhood: Before and After the most moral army shelled it with US taxpayer funding

 

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Stay Human!

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TAKE A LOOK AT THE ‘TERRORISTS’ THAT ISRAEL IS BOMBING

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Shuja’iyah: Land of the Brave

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When we say “Crimes Against Humanity” – what “humanity” are we talking about?Here is the humanity of the Gaza Strip in Palestine. It features footage mostly of my family in the summer of 2013.It is juxtaposed against a stark call for help by a journalist during the Shuja’iyah massacre in Gaza in July 2014.

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Taken from THIS appeal from The War Resisters League

FROM GAZA WITH PAIN AND DIGNITY

Forcing people out of their homes is a crime against humanity let alone bombing those who remain. But CNN and other western media run by Zionists interview colonizer leaders like Netanyahu who is a habitual liar and do not interview representatives of the victims or the resistance.

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By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

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It is hard not to cry watching the unfolding horror in Gaza, children with heads blown off, pregnant woman with body torn by a shell, babies with missing limbs, targeting of playing children, targeting hospitals, targeting ambulances, and even a handicap center killing two handicap children.  Israeli forces then ratcheted up their attacks committing large scale massacres in places like Shujaia and Beit Hanoun. 80% of the victims are elderly, women and Children (over 110 children so far). Though mainstream western media self-sensors to comply with the Zionist lobby, the truth is coming out and the videos and pictures are horrific. Our friends in Gaza issue desperate calls to us. Israel cannot absolve itself by saying we asked people to evacuate (110,000 are homeless already). Forcing people out of their homes is a crime against humanity let alone bombing those who remain. But CNN and other western media run by Zionists interview colonizer leaders like Netanyahu who is a habitual liar and do not interview representatives of the victims or the resistance.

Gaza is very heavily populated thanks to the ethnic cleansing done to create the racist colonial state of Israel. Two thirds of the people are refugees denied their basic rights including right to return to their homes and lands. Israel tries to dehumanize its victims while blaming the few people who resist as “the problem.” Unfortunately as I stated repeatedly before, colonization and ethnic cleansing are the violence, and resistance is actually part of the remedy. I repeatedly explained that Zionism lost and Zionists will get very violent here before they finally give up privilege based on racist ideology. They refused to abide by basic human norms and insisted that through money and military might they could achieve their goal of a racist ethnocentric chauvinistic state. I always held the hope that the elites among them will be able to step back and avoid this suicidal path. If only they admit the folly of their ways, and ask their victims for forgiveness. I always thought it is possible and is the only way to peace here. I always feared though the Zionist strategy would lead to a lose lose scenario. In this case, they will lose more since there are some hundreds of millions of Arabs and only at best 2-3 million Zionists. Many Jews did see this folly and became anti-Zionist or post-Zionists. But Zionists were influential and powerful and intimidated and silenced millions including some Arabs and Muslims (look at our “leaders” like Abbas and Sisi). The Egyptian government even denied medical relief convoys from entering Gaza. Spoiled Zionists used to privilege on the expense of others are acting mad since they can’t get their way to silence their victims. They decided to go all out and having failed to stop the resistance decided to take on civilians.

For those of us who have been through this many times, we feel there is something different this time suggesting that it maybe indeed the last Zionist tantrum. It is hard to imagine what else Netenyahu and his racist gang can try. They have tried to destroy Gaza and Lebanon before but in every round, the resistance only grows stronger. They even went into this bizarre idea that they can succeed to mobilize the world against Political Islam by training and funding killers through Arab regime puppets and sent them to kill people (christians, Shia, democrats, etc) to simply say “look they are horrible”. Instead of intimidating everyone, the obvious and now exposed game creates a backlash and awaken a lot of people to join the ever spreading wave of real resistance aimed at justice which is the only route to peace. Zionists are unleashing the only tool they have (their military) and whipping up even more frenzied racism among their people (e.g. Israelis cheering the slaughter in Gaza). Another sign of the endgame is the scurrying of western puppets around the world capitals to try and show their people that we are “doing something.” I think that explains Abbas in Cairo and Istanbul and his calling for a three day mourning period for the victims of last massacre while still working overtime to undermine resistance. Another massacre was committed and his police force prevented demonstrators in the West Bank and his spokesman tried to act as if Israel and Gaza are two children querreling and he is the grown-up. Our choice is certainly not between Western created Israel (and Arab puppets) and Western created fanatics beheading fellow Muslims and forcing Christians to flee for their lives! The steadfastness of 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza is creating a ripple effect that could end this theater of the absurd for good. Maybe that is why both sides of Western creations are acting desperately (killing, butchering, and trying so hard to create fitna/division!). Maybe that is why we need not despair but instead focus on building some positive and credible movement for peace with justice. We need more actions for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS). We need more demonstrations. We need more movement against quisling and weak “leaders”. We need to force mainstream media to stop their compliance. We need to ridicule and embarrass politicians who support racism and apartheid. We need to support the Palestinian people in their Sumud (resistance and resilience). But that is tomorrow.. today we need all to work to end the horrific slaughter of Gaza civilians by a fascist government. All of us need to turn off our computers and our TVs and go down to the streets (after we tell others to join us !)
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Mads with a patient in Gaza
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Below is a letter from Dr. Mads Gilbert, a physician working in Gaza.

Dearest friends -

Last night was extreme. The “ground invasion” of Gaza resulted in scores and carloads with maimed, torn apart, bleeding, shivering, dying – all sorts of injured Palestinians, all ages, all civilians, all innocent.
The heroes in the ambulances and in all of Gaza’s hospitals are working 12-24hrs shifts, grey from fatigue and inhuman workloads (without payment all in Shifa for the last 4 months), they care, triage, try to understand the incomprehensible chaos of bodies, sizes, limbs, walking, not walking, breathing, not breathing, bleeding, not bleeding humans. HUMANS!
Now, once more treated like animals by “the most moral army in the world” (sic!).
My respect for the wounded is endless, in their contained determination in the midst of pain, agony and shock; my admiration for the staff and volunteers is endless, my closeness to the Palestinian “sumud” gives me strength, although in glimpses I just want to scream, hold someone tight, cry, smell the skin and hair of the warm child, covered in blood, protect ourselves in an endless embrace – but we cannot afford that, nor can they.
Ashy grey faces – Oh NO! not one more load of tens of maimed and bleeding, we still have lakes of blood on the floor in the ER, piles of dripping, blood-soaked bandages to clear out – oh – the cleaners, everywhere, swiftly shovelling the blood and discarded tissues, hair, clothes,cannulas – the leftovers from death – all taken away…to be prepared again, to be repeated all over. More then 100 cases came to Shifa last 24 hrs. enough for a large well trained hospital with everything, but here – almost nothing: electricity, water, disposables, drugs, OR-tables, instruments, monitors – all rusted and as if taken from museums of yesterdays hospitals.But they do not complain, these heroes. They get on with it, like warriors, head on, enormous resolute.
And as I write these words to you, alone, on a bed, my tears flows, the warm but useless tears of pain and grief, of anger and fear. This is not happening!
An then, just now, the orchestra of the Israeli war-machine starts its gruesome symphony again, just now: salvos of artillery from the navy boats just down on the shores, the roaring F16, the sickening drones (Arabic ‘Zennanis’, the hummers), and the cluttering Apaches. So much made and paid in and by US.
Mr. Obama – do you have a heart?
I invite you – spend one night – just one night – with us in Shifa. Disguised as a cleaner, maybe.
I am convinced, 100%, it would change history.
Nobody with a heart AND power could ever walk away from a night in Shifa without being determined to end the slaughter of the Palestinian people.
But the heartless and merciless have done their calculations and planned another “dahyia” onslaught on Gaza.
The rivers of blood will keep running the coming night. I can hear they have tuned their instruments of death.
Please. Do what you can. This, THIS cannot continue.MadsGaza, Occupied Palestine
Mads Gilbert MD PhD
Professor and Clinical Head
Clinic of Emergency Medicine
University Hospital of North Norway

NEW YORKERS HONOUR THE MARTYRS OF GAZA ~~ IN PHOTOS

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Mock Funeral held for the victims …

We met in Bryant Park behind the 42nd St. library, read the names of the dead, and then began a silent walk, only the sound of a drum, across 42nd St to the Israeli Consulate on 2nd Ave. We carried signs, Palestinian flags, figures of people wrapped in white, and some wore blood stained shrouds.  People on the crowded streets stood aside and watched our long line pass.  Some took photos.  When we got to the consulate we chanted and after about an hour we went to the Egyptian Consulate and did the same there.

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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AFTERMATH OF THE ‘HUMANITARIAN CEASEFIRE’

Three children from a single family were killed when an Israeli air strike hit their home in the Sabra section of Gaza City on Thursday evening.

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Israel ends “humanitarian ceasefire” with new massacre of Gaza children

The bodies of Fulla Tariq Shuhaibar, Jihad Issam Shuhaibar and Wasim Issam Shuhaibar lay in a morgue at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on 17 July.  (Mohammed Asad / APA images)

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Four children were killed when Israel resumed its heavy bombardment of the occupied Gaza Strip after the expiry on Thursday afternoon of a five-hour “humanitarian ceasefire” requested by the United Nations.

Another child died of injuries sustained in earlier Israeli attacks.

By Thursday evening in Gaza, at least fourteen Palestinians had been killed in Israeli attacks before and after the brief ceasefire, bringing the total to 237 fatalities since Israel’s round-the-clock assault began on 7 July, according to the health ministry in Gaza.

The number of children killed has risen to 53, including four young boys from the Baker family slaughtered by Israeli shelling in front of international media as they played on a beach on Wednesday.

Defence for Children International Palestine, which documents the deaths of children, said the toll from Israel’s current campaign “is now at its highest since Israel’s December 2008 military incursion, Operation Cast Lead, which resulted in the deaths of 352 children.”

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A medic with the Palestine Red Crescent Society carries an injured child to a hospital in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah following an Israeli air strike before a five-hour ceasefire went into effect on 17 July.  (Eyad Al Baba / APA images)

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More than 1,770 people have been injured, straining Gaza’s health services which facesevere shortages of medications and supplies.

Almost eighty percent of the dead are civilians, and almost half of the injured are women and children, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Three children from single family killed

Three children from a single family were killed when an Israeli air strike hit their home in the Sabra section of Gaza City on Thursday evening.

The children were named as Fulla Tariq Shuhaibar, Jihad Issam Shuhaibar and Wasim Issam Shuhaibar, all young children whose ages were not specified.

A video uploaded to YouTube shows the dead children lying in a medical facility while a distraught medical official denounces their killings as a “crime.”

“Every day there is a massacre,” the official says.

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In a separate incident, Rahaf Khalil Jbour, aged four, was killed in an Israeli air attack on her neighborhood of al-Manara in Khan Younis.

Also on Thursday, Yasin al-Humeidi, aged four, died of injuries he suffered in an earlier air attack on Gaza City.

Among those killed on Thursday were 71-year-old Zaynab al-Abadla of Khan Younis and 67-year-old Muhammad Abdulrahman Hassouna of Rafah.

Destruction of homes continues

Israel has also continued its systematic destruction of civilian homes.

By the end of 16 July, Israel had destroyed or severely damaged 1,660 residential buildings, making 9,900 people homeless, OCHA reported.

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After a five-hour ceasefire went into effect, Palestinians collect belongings in a Gaza City building damaged in an Israeli air strike, 17 July.  (Ezz Zanoon / APA images)

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Another 22,600 are seeking shelter in UN-run schools, having fled from Israeli shelling or threats of attack, principally in the northern and eastern sectors of the Gaza Strip.

Nine hundred thousand people – half the population of Gaza – are “without water supply due to inability to repair or operate infrastructure,” OCHA said.

Human Rights Watch said this week that Israeli air attacks it investigated “have been targeting apparent civilian structures and killing civilians in violation of the laws of war.”

The group called on Israel to “end unlawful attacks that do not target military objectives and may be intended as collective punishment or broadly to destroy civilian property.”

Ceasefire?

Intense ceasefire negotiations are ongoing in Cairo, and earlier today there were premature reports that a ceasefire had been reached.

However the clearest sign that there was no agreement could be seen in the tweets of journalists and residents of Gaza who testified that the Israeli campaign of terror continues.

In a worrying development late Thursday in Gaza, The Electronic Intifada contributor Joe Catron reported that a heavy attack had begun on or near al-Wafa hospital, which had previously been threatened by Israel.

Catron had previously been at the hospital himself, along with other international activists, from where he spoke to The Electronic Intifada on Tuesday.

ISRAEL CONTINUES TO LIE AS GAZANS CONTINUE TO DIE

Netanyahu’s Gaza Dilemma

Analysis: Prime minister utilized restraint to the fullest although he knew that it carries a political price and could even have electrical consequences.

Each and every one of us found themselves pondering the following dissonance this week: We must maintain deterrence, but we must not enter Gaza under any circumstances; we must utilize the airstrikes to the fullest potential, but it would be a disaster if a bomb hits innocent people.

 

That’s all they have been hitting …

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Left wings demonstrators protest outside the Israeli President Shimon Peres house  during his meeting with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos  in Jerusalem

* There have been no Israeli deaths so far despite Hamas launching waves of rockets across Israel that triggered sirens in cities as far from Gaza as Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa. *

Israeli offensive in Gaza continues with at least 14 killed

Palestinians say up to eight members of a single family, including children, among the dead as air strikes enter third day

Agencies in Gaza and Jerusalem

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Aftermath of an air strike on a house in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, on Wednesday. Photograph: Mohammed Salem/Reuters

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Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip killed at least 14 people as they continued into Thursday, Palestinian medics said, as the UN security council was set for an emergency meeting.

The first strike hit a coffee shop in the city of Khan Younis, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told Agence France-Presse, adding that six men were killed and at least 15 other people wounded.

The second, in Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, on the home of Raed Shalat, killed him and wounded several others, Qudra said.

Further strikes on two houses in Khan Younis killed seven people – three women and four children, he said. The Palestinian health ministry put the total number who died in the two houses at eight and said they were all from the same family, with five of the victims children.

Dozens of strikes were heard slamming into the Palestinian territory in the early hours of Thursday as Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, the largest military campaign against Gaza since 2012, entered day three.

On Wednesday 29 Palestinians were killed and Tuesday’s toll stood at 21, bringing the total number of dead to 64. Hamas kept up its rocket fire into Israel and sent thousands running to shelters across the country.

The dead include at least 10 women and 18 children, according to an AFP count based on medical reports.

The overall toll included six militants killed in raids into Israel on Wednesday and Tuesday.

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, accused Israel of committing “genocide” in Gaza but the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, warned of even tougher action to come.

There have been no Israeli deaths so far despite Hamas launching waves of rockets across Israel that triggered sirens in cities as far from Gaza as Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa.

There were no confirmed hits in the northern port city itself but media reports spoke of rockets hitting either open ground or the sea in the surrounding region.

Tanks were seen massed on the Gaza border and the office of the Israeli president, Shimon Peres, quoted him as saying that “if the fire continues we do not rule out a ground incursion”.

This “may happen quite soon”, said Peres.

Israeli troops on Wednesday killed two Palestinians who came ashore on dunes close to the Gaza border, near the scene of a foiled assault on an army base the night before.

Troops killed four under almost identical circumstances on Tuesday.

The UN security council is to hold an emergency morning meeting on the crisis, with the secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, due to give the latest about the situation on the ground, followed by closed-door consultations between the council’s 15 member states.

The meeting follows a request by Arab envoys.

Ban called the new wave of violence “one of the most critical tests the region has faced in recent years”.

“Gaza is on a knife edge. The deteriorating situation is leading to a downward spiral which could quickly get beyond anyone’s control,” he said.

“The risk of violence expanding further still is real. Gaza, and the region as a whole, cannot afford another full-blown war.”

Ban earlier spoke with world leaders including Netanyahu, Abbas and Egypt’s president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, as well as the US secretary of state, John Kerry. He condemned the rocket attacks, saying: “Such attacks are unacceptable and must stop.”

Ban also urged Netanyahu to exercise maximum restraint and to respect international obligations to protect civilians.

The European Union and the US also called for restraint.

In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the executive committee of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation is due to discuss the spiralling crisis on Thursday.

The escalation comes with Arab riots inside Israel over the burning to death of a Palestinian teenager by Jewish extremists.

The boy was murdered in apparent revenge for the kidnap on 12 June of three Israeli youths in the occupied West Bank who were subsequently killed.

Their abductions sparked a huge Israeli assault on Hamas’s infrastructure in the territory and retaliatory rocket fire from the Islamists’ Gaza power base.

Three of the six Israelis held over the young Palestinian’s abduction and killing last week would be released on Thursday, Israeli media said, raising the spectre of renewed unrest by outraged Palestinians.

The three expected to be let out of custody deny involvement in the murder, while the remaining three are said by authorities to have confessed.

The Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal demanded world pressure on Israel to end its campaign.

“If the world wants an end to the bloodshed it must put pressure on Netanyahu and his criminal gang to stop aggression against Gaza,” Meshaal said in a televised speech from his base in Doha.

The Israeli air offensive failed to staunch the rocket fire by Gaza militants, which sent Israelis scurrying into shelters across more and more of the country.

Three rockets were fired at the southern town of Dimona where Israel has a nuclear reactor, the military said on Twitter.

“Two fell in open areas; Iron Dome intercepted the other,” it said, referring to the Israeli missile defence system.

The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Gaza-based Hamas, said it “launched three M75 rockets at Dimona”, referring to the Gaza-produced rockets with a range of about 50 miles (80km).

Early on Thursday the Israeli military said that during the course of the preceding day “at least 82 rockets hit Israel” and 21 were intercepted.

Israel showed it was preparing for a possible ground assault by approving the call-up of 40,000 reservists.

Reuters and AFP contributed to this report

 

Also see this from The Forward

 

Bloody Gaza Onslaught Built on Foundation of Politics and Lies

Israeli Military Dragged Into New Quagmire by Politics

 

GETTY IMAGES

NINE IMMORAL SOLUTIONS FOR GAZA – A GUIDE

The following appeared in HaAretz six years ago. It could have been written today. It is definitely an interesting read….

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

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For a moral compass, Gaza is the North Pole. The needle spins so continually, and at such speed, that no reading is possible.

For Israelis, the quandary of Gaza is a powerful Rorshach of the role and the burdens of Israel, of mood and injury, of personal tragedy and official befuddlement, of social conscience, ethical outlook, and sense of history.The Gaza Strip, unwanted by the world, unwanted by Israel, unwanted by the Arabs and even by many Palestinians, forlorn, violent, seething, unlivable, has become the great moral test for the Jewish people.

All it took was rockets.

Seven years of rockets. Rockets launched toward civilian populations, schools, a college, rockets that slammed through private homes, children’s bedrooms in the blue collar Israeli town of Sderot. More than a thousand rockets a year for seven years, directed at kibbutzim which for decades had supported an end to occupation and the rise of a Palestinian state. Eight thousand rockets, fired when Israel had 25 settlements and 20,000 troops in the Gaza Strip, and when Israel expelled the settlers and withdrew its troops, rockets fired from the ruins of the settlements and former emplacements of the IDF.

For Palestinians, Gaza was a prison before the disengagement, and a maximum security lockup thereafter. For Palestinians, the end of Israeli rule and the subsequent rise of Hamas were a human rights tragedy turned human rights catastrophe. For Palestinians, there is no more work in Israel, no more work in Gaza, no more hope anywhere.

When Israel ended its operation in the Strip on Monday, a Hamas radio announcer declared victory, saying that despite all of the destruction and death, Hamas gunners were still hitting Sderot and Ashkelon and even Netivot. Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar addressed a rally to mark what he called Hamas’ success in the Five Day War. Taking the trouble to thank the news media in general for its coverage of Palestinian casualties, Al Jazeera and Hamas’ own Al Aqsa TV in particular, he told a cheering, chanting crowd, in effect: We showed them. The Israelis?ll think twice before invading ever again.

He’s right. Israelis will think twice, and many times again. This is why: Hamas, with the direct or inadvertent cooperation of Hezbollah, Iran, the Islamic Jihad, Fatah fatcats, Fatah rebels, the Bush administration, and, of course, Israel itself, has created a situation in which every one of Israel’s moral and strategic options is a bad one.

This is the test for Israel: There is no way to ace it, and there are countless ways to fail. Here are a few.

Choose your poison:

1. A massive IDF ground offensive.

Arguments in favor: There is no alternative but to use overwhelming if tactically directed force to root out terror groups which fire the rockets, and to break the back of the Hamas government and remove it from power.

Marshalled example: Operation Defensive Shield, 2002

Arguments against: The risk-benefit equation suggests that large numbers of Gaza non-combatants as well as Israeli forces would be killed and wounded, without truly material success in curbing Qassam and Katyusha attacks.

International outrage could cause Israel great political, economic, even strategic harm.

2. Reoccupy the Gaza Strip

Arguments in favor: Israel cannot abide a terrorist state less than an hour’s drive from Tel Aviv. Hamas, if allowed to rule, will eventually take over the West Bank and, effectively, East Jerusalem as well. Even a large-scale IDF offensive, if only temporary, will leave the field open to rearmament and continued attacks.

Arguments against: Israel militarily occupied the Gaza Strip for nearly forty years, but was unable to prevent the manufacture and firing of Qassams. Qassam firing continued under Israeli occupation for more than three years until the disengagement in 2005. Finally, Israel lacks the will and the forces to occupy Gaza indefinitely.

3. Shell sources of rocket fire

Arguments in favor: Use of long-range artillery will save the lives of soldiers who would be out at risk in a ground offensive. If Israel puts Gazans on notice that artillery will immediately and consistently shell any area from which rockets are fired, they will either prevent Hamas gunners from using their homes and yards, or will flee before the firing begins.

Arguments against: Artillery has proven markedly inaccurate as retaliatory fire against small crews of armed men, often with disastrous consequences. Cases of innocent civilians killed in error, tragic in themselves, have in many cases also made it impossible for the IDF to continue to pursue its military targets.

4. Assassinate Hamas leaders

Arguments in favor: Assassinations of commanders and political leaders can paralyze the organization, sending leading figures underground, cutting lines of communication, interrupting chains of command, while at the same time causing less danger to Palestinian civilians and to IDF soldiers. When Israel assassinated Hamas founders Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Abed Aziz Rantisi in 2004, threats os monumental retaliation never materialized, and the organization subsequently offered a limited truce.

Arguments against: Civilians are often killed by mistake in assassination attempts. Assassination is also a dangerous policy, as it invites counter-attempts, such as the murder of then-cabinet minister Rehavam Ze’evi in Jerusalem in 2001. Finally, it fails to address core concerns, and may cause deadly reprisals, as in the suicide bombings that killed 60 people in Israel after the 1996 assassination of Hamas bomb mastermind Yihye Ayyash.

5. Negotiate with Hamas

Arguments for: Hamas is not only the democratically elected ruler of Gaza, it also still enjoys broad, if somewhat dimished, popular support in the Strip. Because it trades on an ideology of martyrdom and steadfastness in the face of attack, it will be defeated neither by economic sanctions nor military confrontation. There is no alternative to talks toward a cease-fire, which Hamas has been proposing for years, holding out the offer of the return of captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in an exchange for jailed Hamas men.

Arguments against: Negotiations would constitute a major victory for Hamas, and tacit Israeli recognition of the organization, further undermining the standing of Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority and perhaps paving way for future Hamas control of the West Bank.

The Hamas charter continues to call explicitly for the violent destruction of the state of Israel, and any expansion of Hamas hegemony to the West Bank could put large swathes of central Israel, the bulk of Israel’s population, in range of Katyusha-Grad rockets.

6. Tighten the economic siege over Gaza

Arguments for: How can a nation at war justify supplying its enemy with fuel, electricity, water, and even supplies which may be used for producing rockets and other armaments?

Arguments against: The people of Gaza as a whole should not be punished for the actions of a small number of armed men. Collective punishment, moreover, increases hatred toward Israel and will, in the end, persuade more youths to become terrorists.

7. Lift the economic siege over Gaza

Arguments in favor: Such a step could, if carried out in cooperation with Abbas and the PA, strengthen Abbas’ hand. (Also see arguments against, numbers 6 and, if carried out in cooperation with Hamas, 5 above)

Arguments against: Such a step could bolster Hamas, whioch could list it as a strategic victory and an indication that its policies were correct all along.

8. Increase IDF operations in the West Bank

Arguments in favor: Israel must do everything it can to confront and contain Hamas in the West Bank, to keep it from taking over.

Arguments against: Such operations sap the limited sovereignty of Abbas and the PA, which has taken action of its own against Hamas in the West Bank. Such operations also cast Abbas in the role of collaborator with Israel, cutting his support among Palestinians.

9. Do nothing

Arguments for: This stance, which, while it may have adherents in practice, has no proponents.

Arguments against. Israel does not have the option of doing nothing. To do nothing is, in effect, a violation of the human rights of the people of Sderot and the western Negev, who are the targets of Hamas war crimes.

Source

IT’S NOT WAR IN GAZA ~~ IT’S GENOCIDE

STOP-BOMBING-IN-GAZA

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The Israeli military, announcing it had launched “Operation Protective Edge”, said it targeted about 50 sites in aerial and naval assaults overnight and resumed air strikes on Tuesday morning after rockets were fired at southern Israeli towns. (FROM)

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The following report is just the beginning ….  as 

Netanyahu tells IDF to ‘take glove off’ and prepare for long Gaza operation; Minister: Hamas ignored our ceasefire attempts. (FROM)

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4 killed in Israeli airstrike on car in Gaza City

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BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — An Israeli airstrike on a vehicle in Gaza City killed four Palestinians on Tuesday, bringing the total death toll in Israel’s latest assault on the besieged enclave to five, medics said.”Four people were killed in a Zionist strike on a civilian car in the Daraj neighbourhood in the centre of Gaza City,” emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra told AFP.

Earlier, the body of Rashad Yassin, from al-Nuseirat refugee camp, was found under the rubble of a destroyed house in central Gaza.

Yassin is reportedly affiliated with Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades.

At least 50 Palestinians have been injured since late Monday in military action dubbed Operation Protective Edge, with Palestinian security sources putting the number of airstrikes at more than 70.

“Around 50 targets were hit, among them four houses belonging to militants, rocket launching sites and other terrorist infrastructure,” an Israeli army spokesman said.

Dozens of sites were targeted in Beit Lahiya, Gaza City, and Khan Younis, with at least 13 injured in Gaza City.

Al-Qidra said 12 injured Palestinians had been taken to Kamal Adwan hospital in the northern Gaza Strip, six to al-Aqsa hospital in central Gaza, and another six to al-Shifa medical center.

Israel’s army said 81 rockets had struck southern Israel on Monday, around a third of them during a short period in the evening.

The al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad movement, took responsibility for launching 60 rockets into Israel on Tuesday.

The al-Nassar Salah al-Din Brigades, the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, said earlier it had responded to overnight airstrikes by firing five rockets at Eshkol and another 12 rockets elsewhere in southern Israel.

The National Resistance Brigades, the military wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said in a statement that it had launched three rockets into southern Israel.

NOT LEARNING THE LESSONS OF HISTORY ….

…. MAKES IT EASY TO REPEAT THE MISTAKES

 

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800px-Stroop_Report_-_Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising_06b

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Seventy one years ago today there was an uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto. Today, the same is happening in the Ghetto we know as Gaza …

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palestine3

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“What else is Gaza but a Warsaw Ghetto? When the people, the heroes, of the uprising of the Warsaw Ghetto, who decided they’d rather die on their feet, than live on their knees, desperate for food and water, rose up and tackled their besiegers – those who were keeping them in that Warsaw Ghetto – they were rightly hailed and are remembered in historyas freedom fighters, as heroes. Yet the Palestinians, when they rise up out of their Warsaw Ghetto, are called terrorists in your country, and in my country, never mind in the country that is doing the besieging.”

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Comparative Holocausts in photos …

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This photo essay was put together by the head of the Norweigan Embassy in Saudi Arabia. It origanilly appeared on MWC News.

THE GRANDCHILDREN OF HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS FROM WORLD WAR II ARE DOING TO THE PALESTINIANS EXACTLY WHAT WAS DONE TO THEM BY NAZI GERMANY …

 

BUILDING WALLS & FENCES TO KEEP PEOPLE IN PRISON

Hitler Yesterday ~ Israel Today










CHECK POINTS NOT TO ALLOW PEOPLE BASIC FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT









ARRESTS & HARASSMENTS









DESTROYING HOMES & LIVELIHOODS



GIFTS (WITH LOVE) FROM THE CHILDREN OF PEACE-LOVING & CIVILIZED COUNTRIES












THE CLASSIC PROPAGANDA MACHINE – YOU WILL FIND THE PICTURE IN BLACK & WHITE IN ALL AMERICAN AND SOME OTHER WESTERN COUNTRIES HISTORY BOOKS, ENCYCLOPAEDIAS, LIBRARIES, MUSEUMS… THAT DEPICTS A YOUNG JEWISH BOY WITH HIS HANDS UP WHILE NAZI TROOPS POINT THEIR GUNS AT HIM AND HIS FAMILY IN ORDER TO EXPEL THEM FROM THEIR HOMES… (IT’S SUPPOSED TO MAKE YOU SYMPATHIZE WITH THE VICTIMS & TO SUPPORT THEIR CAUSE FOR JUSTICE & A HOMELAND)
THE ISRAELIS PRACTICE THE SAME TACTIC



A SURVIVOR OF SHARON’S MASSACRE SPEAKS

“Children with their throats slit, a pregnant woman with her stomach chopped open, her eyes still wide open, her blackened face silently screaming in horror; countless babies and toddlers who had been stabbed or ripped apart and who had been thrown into garbage piles.”

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Sabra and Shatila

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How butcher Sharon massacred my relatives  

By Jamal Kanj

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My friend and I were on a cross-country flight from San Diego to Washington, DC on Saturday 18 September 1982.

We arrived at our friend’s home with gleaming smiles, but were received with dejected expressions.

“Haven’t you heard the news?” they asked. “What news?” we replied.

“The massacre of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians in and around Sabra and Shatila camps,” was their wretched response.

Needless to say, we were glued to the TV, listening to trickling reports from inside the camps and watching bloated bodies of women and children paraded on TV screens.

Starting at 6pm on 16 September until 8am on 18 September, the Israeli-armed-Lebanese Phalange militia went on a killing spree while the Israeli army besieged the camps – stopping anyone from fleeing the massacre.

American reporter Janet Lee Stevens, who was one of the first foreign journalists to enter the camps, described the scene.

“Children with their throats slit, a pregnant woman with her stomach chopped open, her eyes still wide open, her blackened face silently screaming in horror; countless babies and toddlers who had been stabbed or ripped apart and who had been thrown into garbage piles,” she documented.

I didn’t realize at the time that my cousin Saleh and his children were among those murdered in the 36-hour killing orgy.

A 1983 United Nations team investigating the massacre concluded that “Israel bore responsibility” for the killing of civilians.

In the same year, Israel’s own Kahane Commission reached a similar conclusion, accusing Ariel Sharon of bearing “personal responsibility” for the slaughtering of women and children.

Despite being held accountable for killing more than 3,000 civilians, Sharon refused to resign his Defence Minister post and his patron, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, snubbed requests to fire him.

Following strong pressure from the international community and violent civilian protests in the streets of Tel Aviv, Sharon finally agreed to quit the military post, but was retained in the cabinet as a minister without portfolio.

Less than two decades after the massacre, the former Ariel Scheinerman – born to a Belarusian couple before changing his family name to Sharon – was elected to Israel’s highest office, serving as prime minister from 2001 until he suffered a brain haemorrhage in 2006 which rendered him comatose.

He followed in the footsteps of two other Israelis: Yitzhak Shamir and Begin, who decorated Britain’s most wanted terrorist list in the 1940s.

They too were recognized for their murderous contributions to Zionism, reaching the highest political office in the Israeli government.

The Sabra and Shatilla massacre was just one of Sharon’s terrorist achievements on behalf of the state of Israel. He first gained notoriety in the 1950s, serving as a leader in the special, brutal Israeli army Unit 101.

Sharon’s first decorated massacre was in the autumn of 1953 when his unit attacked the village of Qibya and dynamited houses, killing 69 civilians, including children, sleeping peacefully in their homes.

While human rights organizations, along with relatives of murdered civilians, lament Sharon’s escape from justice on earth, morally corrupt leaders of so-called world democracies are absurdly calling this same person – who massacred women and children – a “man of peace”.

In memory of my cousin Saleh and for all those people he [Sharon] massacred throughout his murderous career, I will forever remember Sharon as a decorated butcher.

 

Source

 

ARIEL SHARON; THE FINAL FAREWELL (FINALLY)

Finally the gates of hell opened wide enough for him to pass through!
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gates_of_hell_by_anarkyman
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Sharon’s history offers a monochromatic record of moral corruption, with a documented record of war crimes going back to the early 1950s. He was born in 1928 and as a young man joined the Haganah, the underground military organization of Israel in its pre-state days. In 1953 he was given command of Unit 101, whose mission is often described as that of retaliation against Arab attacks on Jewish villages. In fact, as can be seen from two terrible onslaughts, one of them very well known, Unit 101′s purpose was that of instilling terror by the infliction of discriminate, murderous violence not only on able bodied fighters but on the young, the old, the helpless.
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  Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (Photo: Reuters)
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In lieu of an obituary to this bloodthirsty bastard, I present here a piece from Counterpunch written in 2001. There were more crimes committed, but there are enough documented here to open the gates of hell wide for him …
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The Crimes of Ariel Sharon

by Alexander Cockburn And Jeffrey St. Clair

Some incorrigible optimists have suggested that only a right-wing extremist of the notoriety of Likud leader Ariel Sharon will have the credentials to broker any sort of lasting settlement with the Palestinians. Maybe so. History is not devoid of such examples. But Sharon?

Sharon’s history offers a monochromatic record of moral corruption, with a documented record of war crimes going back to the early 1950s. He was born in 1928 and as a young man joined the Haganah, the underground military organization of Israel in its pre-state days. In 1953 he
was given command of Unit 101, whose mission is often described as that of retaliation against Arab attacks on Jewish villages. In fact, as can be seen from two terrible onslaughts, one of them very well known, Unit 101′s purpose was that of instilling terror by the infliction of discriminate, murderous violence not only on able bodied fighters but on the young, the old, the helpless.

Sharon’s first documented sortie in this role was in August of 1953 on the refugee camp of El-Bureig, south of Gaza. An Israeli history of the 101 unit records 50 refugees as having been killed; other sources allege 15 or 20. Major-General Vagn Bennike, the UN commander, reported that “bombs were thrown” by Sharon’s men “through the windows of huts in which the refugees were sleeping and, as they fled, they were attacked by small arms and automatic weapons”.

In October of 1953 came the attack by Sharon’s unit 101 on the Jordanian village of Qibya, whose “stain” Israel’s foreign minister at the time, Moshe Sharett, confided to his diary “would stick to us and not be washed away for many years”. He was wrong. Though even strongly pro-Israel commentators in the West compared it to Lidice, Qibya and Sharon’s role are scarcely evoked in the West today, least of all by journalists such as Deborah Sontag of the New York Times who recently wrote a whitewash of Sharon, describing him as “feisty”, or the
Washington Post’s man in Jerusalem who fondly invoked him after his fateful excursion to the Holy Places in Jerusalem as “the portly old warrior”.

Israeli historian Avi Shlaim describes the massacre thus: “Sharon’s order was to penetrate Qibya, blow up houses and inflict heavy casualties on its inhabitants. His success in carrying out the order surpassed all expectations. The full and macabre story of what happened at Qibya was
revealed only during the morning after the attack. The village had been reduced to rubble: forty-five houses had been blown up, and sixty-nine civilians, two thirds of them women and children, had been killed. Sharon and his men claimed that they believed that all the inhabitants had run away and that they had no idea that anyone was hiding inside the houses.”

The UN observer on the scene reached a different conclusion: “One story was repeated time after time: the bullet splintered door, the body sprawled across the threshhold, indicating that the inhabitants had been forced by heavy fire to stay inside until their homes were blown up over them.” The slaughter in Qibya was described contemporaneously in a letter to the president of the United Nations Security Council dated 16 October 1953 (S/3113) from the Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Jordan to the United States. On 14 October 1953 at 9:30 at night, he wrote, Israeli troops launched a battalion-scale attack on the village of Qibya in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (at the time the West Bank was annexed to Jordan).

According to the diplomat’s account, Israeli forces had entered the village and systematically murdered all occupants of houses, using automatic weapons, grenades and incendiaries. On 14 October, the bodies of 42 Arab civilians had been recovered; several more bodies were still under the wreckage. Forty houses, the village school and a reservoir had been destroyed. Quantities of unused explosives, bearing Israel army markings in Hebrew, had been found in the village. At about 3 a.m., to cover their withdrawal, Israeli support troops had begun shelling the
neighbouring villages of Budrus and Shuqba from positions in Israel.

And what of Sharon’s conduct when he was head of the Southern Command of Israel’s Defense Forces in the early 1970s? The Gaza “clearances” were vividly described by Phil Reeves in a piece in The London Independent on January 21 of this year.

“Thirty years have elapsed since Ariel Sharon, favourite to win Israel’s forthcoming election, was the head of the Israel Defence Forces’ southern command, charged with the task of ‘pacifying’ the recalcitrant Gaza Strip after the 1967 war. But the old men still remember it well. Especially the old men on Wreckage Street. Until late 1970, Wreckage, or Had’d, Street wasn’t a street, just one of scores of narrow, nameless alleys weaving through Gaza City’s Beach Camp, a shantytown cluttered with low, two-roomed houses, built with UN aid for refugees from the 1948 war who then, as now, were waiting for the international community to settle their future. The street acquired its name after an unusually prolonged visit from Mr Sharon’s soldiers. Their orders were to bulldoze hundreds of homes to carve a wide, straight street. This would allow Israeli troops and their heavy armored vehicles to move easily through the camp, to exert control and hunt down men from the Palestinian Liberation Army.

“‘They came at night and began marking the houses they wanted to demolish with red paint,’ said Ibrahim Ghanim, 70, a retired labourer. ‘In the morning they came back, and ordered everyone to leave. I remember all the soldiers shouting at people, Yalla, yalla, yalla, yalla! They threw everyone’s belongings into the street. Then Sharon brought in bulldozers and started flattening the street. He did the whole lot, almost in one day. And the soldiers would beat people, can you imagine? Soldiers with guns, beating little kids!’ By the time the Israeli army’s work was done, hundreds of homes were destroyed, not only on Wreckage Street but throughout the camp, as Sharon ploughed out a grid of wide security roads. Many of the refugees took shelter in schools, or squeezed into the already badly over-crowded homes of relatives. Other families, usually those with a Palestinian political activist, were loaded into trucks and taken to exile in a town in the heart of the Sinai Desert, then controlled by Israel.”

As Reeves reported, the devastation of Beach Camp was far from the exception. “In August 1971 alone, troops under Mr Sharon’s command destroyed some 2,000 homes in the Gaza Strip, uprooting 16,000 people for the second time in their lives. Hundreds of young Palestinian men were arrested and deported to Jordan and Lebanon. Six hundred relatives of suspected guerrillas were exiled to Sinai. In the second half of 1971, 104 guerrillas were assassinated. ‘The policy at that time was not to arrest suspects, but to assassinate them’, said Raji Sourani, director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza City”.

Israeli complacency leading to their initial defeat by the Egyptians in the 1973 war was in part nurtured by the supposed impregnability of the “Bar Lev line” constructed by Sharon on the east bank of the Suez canal. The Egyptians pierced the line without undue difficulty.

In 1981 Sharon, then minister of defense, paid a visit to Israel’s good friend, President Mobutu of Zaire. Lunching on Mobutu’s yacht the Israeli party was asked by their host to use their good offices to get the US Congress to be more forthcoming with aid. This the Israelis managed to accomplish. As a quid pro quo Mobutu reestablished diplomatic relations with Israel. This was not Sharon’s only contact with Africa. Among friends he relays fond memories of trips to Angola to observe and advise the South African forces then fighting in support of the murderous CIA stooge Jonas Savimbi.

As defense minister in Menachem Begin’s second government, Sharon was the commander who led the full dress 1982 assault on Lebanon, with the express design of destroying the PLO, driving as many Palestinians as possible to Jordan and making Lebanon a client state of Israel. It was a war plan that cost untold suffering, around 20,000 Palestinian and Lebanese lives, and also the deaths of over one thousand Israeli soldiers. The Israelis bombed civilian populations at will. Sharon also oversaw the infamous massacres at Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps. The Lebanese government counted 762 bodies recovered and a further 1,200 buried privately by relatives. However, the Middle East may have been spared worse, thanks to Menachem Begin. Just as the ’82 war was getting under way, Sharon approached Begin, then Prime Minister, and suggested that Begin cede control over Israel’s nuclear trigger to him. Begin had just enough sense to refuse.

The slaughter in the two contiguous camps at Sabra and Shatilla took place from 6:00 at night on September 16, 1982 until 8:00 in the morning on September 18, 1982, in an area under the control of the Israel Defense Forces. The perpetrators were members of the Phalange militia, the Lebanese force that was armed by and closely allied with Israel since the onset of Lebanon’s civil war in 1975. The victims during the 62-hour rampage included infants, children, women (including pregnant women), and the elderly, some of whom were mutilated or disemboweled before or after they were killed.

An official Israeli commission of inquiry – chaired by Yitzhak Kahan, president of Israel’s Supreme Court – investigated the massacre, and in February 1983 publicly released its findings (without Appendix B, which remains secret until now).

Amid desperate attempts to cover up the evidence of direct knowledge of what was going on by Israeli military personnel, the Kahan Commission found itself compelled to find that Ariel Sharon, among other Israelis, had responsibility for the massacre. The commission’s report stated: “It is our view that responsibility is to be imputed to the Minister of Defense for having disregarded ["entirely cognizant of" would have been a better choice of words] the danger of acts of vengeance and bloodshed by the Phalangists against the population of the refugee camps, and having failed [i.e."eagerly taken this into consideration"] to take this danger into account when he decided to have the Phalangists enter the camps. In addition, responsibility is to be imputed to the Minister of Defense for not ordering appropriate measures for preventing or reducing the danger of massacre as a condition for the Phalangists’ entry into the camps. These blunders constitute the
non-fulfillment of a duty with which the Defense Minister was charged”. (For those who want to refresh their memories of Operation Peace for Galilee, of the massacres and the Kahan coverup we recommend Noam Chomsky’s The Fateful Triangle.)

Sharon refused to resign. Finally, on February 14, 1983, he was relieved of his duties as defense minister, though he remained in the cabinet as minister without portfolio.

Sharon’s career was in eclipse, but he continued to burnish his credentials as a Likud ultra. Sharon has always been against any sort of peace deal, unless on terms entirely impossible for Palestinians to accept. As Nehemia Strasler outlined in Ha’aretz on January 18 of this year, in 1979, as a member of Begin’s cabinet, he voted against a peace treaty with Egypt. In 1985 he voted against the withdrawal of Israeli troops to the
so-called security zone in Southern Lebanon. In 1991 he opposed Israel’s participation in the Madrid peace conference. In 1993 he voted No in the Knesset on the Oslo agreement. The following year he abstained in the Knesset on a vote over a peace treaty with Jordan. He voted against the Hebron agreement in 1997 and objected to the way in which the withdrawal from southern Lebanon was conducted.

As Begin’s minister of agriculture in the late 1970s he established many of the West Bank settlements that are now a major obstruction to any peace deal. His present position? Not another square inch of land for Palestinians on the West Bank. He will agree to a Palestinian state on the existing areas presently under either total or partial Palestinian control, amounting to merely 42 per cent of the West Bank. Israel will retain control of the highways across the West Bank and the water sources. All settlements will stay in place with access by the IDF to them. Jerusalem will remain under Israeli sovereignty and he plans to continue building around the city. The Golan heights would remain under Israel’s control.

It can be strongly argued that Sharon represents the long-term policy of all Israeli governments, without any obscuring fluff or verbal embroidery. For example: Ben-Gurion approved the terror missions of Unit 101. Every Israeli government has condoned settlements and
building around Jerusalem. It was Labor’s Ehud Barak who okayed the military escort for Sharon on his provocative sortie that sparked the second Intifada and Barak who has overseen the lethal military repression of recent months. But that doesn’t diminish Sharon’s sinister shadow across the past half century. That shadow is better evoked by Palestinians and Lebanese grieving for the dead, the maimed, the displaced, or by
a young Israeli woman, Ilil Komey, 16, who confronted Sharon recently when he visited her agricultural high school outside Beersheva. “I think you sent my father into Lebanon”, Ilil said. “Ariel Sharon, I accuse you of having made me suffer for 16 some odd years. I accuse you of having made my father suffer for over 16 years. I accuse you of a lot of things that made a lot of people suffer in this country. I don’t think that you can now be elected as prime minister”.

Ilil was wrong. He’s there. And now the bloodbath will begin.

DesertPeace’s addendum …. And it continues to this very day!

DEATH PENALTY RESERVED FOR PALESTINIANS ONLY IN ISRAEL

Officially there is no death penalty in Israel, unless of course you are a Palestinian. In these cases, the IDF acts as the Judge, Jury and executioner. No one is held accountable for these atrocities.

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Israeli forces kill 27 in West Bank in 2013, NGO says

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Israeli forces killed 27 Palestinians in the West Bank in 2013, a human rights watchdog has said, three times the figure recorded last year.
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It was also the first time in 10 years more Palestinians were killed in the West Bank than in the Gaza Strip, where Israeli forces killed nine Palestinians in 2013, Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said.

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Three Israeli security forces personnel were killed – two in the West Bank and one in Gaza, the group added in a statement on Monday.

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B’Tselem said that in many of the West Bank incidents, Israeli soldiers shot at Palestinians who were throwing stones, “one man was shot when he tried to enter Israel without a legal entry permit,” and “one woman passerby was shot by the military who argued that a Molotov cocktail had been lobbed in the area.”

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Two Israeli soldiers were killed in separate incidents in the West Bank in 2013 and an Israeli fixing the border fence with the Gaza Strip was shot dead by a sniper from inside the blockaded Palestinian territory.

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Riots in Jenin, January 2013 (Photo: AFP)
Riots in Jenin, January 2013 (Photo: AFP)

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B’Tselem spokesperson Sarit Michaeli slammed the Israeli army’s “lack of seriousness” in investigating the incidents where Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli troops.

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The army has only once indicted and convicted a soldier in some 28 separate incidents that have killed 35 Palestinians in the last two-and-a-half years, B’Tselem said.

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“Investigations are now launched almost automatically,” B’Tselem director Jessica Montell said in the statement.

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“Yet the essence of the investigative mechanism remains unchanged… in which practically no one is held accountable for the killing of Palestinians.”

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Source

GAZA IS DROWNING AS ISRAEL AND EGYPT WATCH

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

gaza-disaster

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Related Post from In Gaza

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Gaza drowning …and under power and media blackout

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Photos and updates from Gaza paint one of the most dire scenarios the Palestinians locked in the Strip have faced, Israeli bombing campaigns aside.

IN LANDMARK VERDICT, ISRAEL FOUND GUILTY OF GENOCIDE ON ALL COUNTS

 Israel GUILTY of Genocide: Tribunal issues landmark verdict!
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Tribunal Issues Landmark Verdict against Israel for Genocide ~ Yoichi Shimatsu, Global Research.

To a crowded courtroom on the late afternoon of November 25, presiding Judge Lamin Mohd Yunus announced the verdict by an international panel of seven jurists:

The Tribunal is satisfied, beyond reasonable doubt, that the first defendant, (General) Amos Yaron, is guilty of crimes against humanity and genocide, and the second defendant, the State of Israel, is guilty of genocide.”

The landmark ruling against Israel for its genocide against the Palestinian people rendered by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal is significant for several reasons:

-          In contrast to other non-official courts of conscience on Palestinian rights, for example, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine (New York 2012), the prosecution in Kuala Lumpur took a step beyond war crimes and crimes against humanity to the higher and broader charge of genocide.

-          The decision was rendered during the ongoing commission of the alleged crime by the defendant, rather than after the fact as in earlier genocide cases.

-          Instead of limiting its ruling to individuals who ordered genocidal actions, the jurists also charged the state as a defendant.

-          As a consequence, this case breaks the tradition of immunity of nation-states from criminal prosecution under international law.

-          The decision introduces a legal basis for international action to protect minorities from genocide as a lawful alternative to the current response of so-called humanitarian intervention, invasion, occupation and regime change, which have often been as illegitimate and more destructive, and in some cases as genocidal as the original violation being punished.

The Kuala Lumpur Tribunal based its momentous decision on the 1948 Genocide Convention, which prohibits and punishes the killing, causing of harm and deliberate infliction of conditions of life calculated to bring about the physical destruction of a group of people, targeted for their ethnicity, religion or race. In instances of genocide, these criminal acts are done with the specific intent of destroying as a part or in whole of the targeted group, as in this plight the Palestinian people.

The defendants, Gen. Yaron and the Israeli State , through its representatives, refused to accept the Tribunal summons and appear in court.

Prominent Israeli legal scholars also refused invitations to serve as defense counsel. The Tribunal therefore appointed an Amicus Curae (defense counsel, referred to by the Latin term for “friends of the court”), including attorneys Jason Kay Kit Leon, Larissa Cadd, Dr. Rohimi Shapiee and Matthew Witbrodt, to defend the accused. Even absent Israeli participation, the defense proved to be forceful and often made heated remarks in Israel’s defense, especially during the cross-examinations of expert witnesses.

Why Not New York , London , Paris or Berlin

One point to note is that the sponsoring Kuala Lumpur Commission on War Crimes and its associated international Tribunal is unrelated to Malaysia and its legal system, aside from the participation of some Malaysian jurists and citizens in its proceedings. Malaysian laws are in many areas quite different from and sometimes in diametric opposition to the legal opinions of the international Tribunal. The independence of this “court of conscience” allows an approach to international law unconstrained by local norms, but this also means that the Tribunal lacks an enforcement capability.

That the first-ever Tribunal to prosecute Israel for genocide was initiated in Southeast Asia offers some indication of the continuing sensitivity within the traditional “center” of international law, Western Europe and North America, toward the circumstances behind Israel’s creation.

The Kuala Lumpur proceedings are bound to raise controversy and discomfort, especially among a reluctant West, since the historical motive behind creating a modern Jewish state in 1948 was largely a response to the abandonment of European Jewry to the pogroms and extermination program of the Third Reich, which in its early stages went unopposed by Western governments and prominent opinion leaders in the Atlantic community.

The courage to finally confront Israel after nearly seven decades of eviction and merciless brutality against the Palestinian people was summoned not by the Atlantic community but in faraway Southeast Asia , where a law case could be pursued with critical distance, logical dispassion and an absence of historical complicity. In short, an evidence-based fair trial found Israel to be guilty of genocide.

Why Israel

Why then was Israel singled out by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission on genocide charges before its Tribunal, when many other states have gone unpunished? Chief prosecutor Gurdial Singh explained:

“Other settler states, for example Australia, have offered compensation and apologized for the dispossession and harm to their indigenous populations, while Israel remains unapologetic and continues its campaign of destruction against Palestinians and to make their conditions unlivable inside and outside its borders.”

In contrast with previous special courts involving genocide charges, this Tribunal left the time frame of events open-ended, by starting just before the creation of the State of Israel until the present and, presumably, into the future until Israel ceases its expansionist campaign against the Palestinians and offers instead justice and reconciliation. By comparison in prior cases invoking the Genocide Convention, including those against former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Cambodia and Sierra Leone, the mass killings of civilians were perpetrated within a short time-frame by political leaders of the then-governing regime or by a major political faction.

The Kuala Lumpur Tribunal asserted that the modern Jewish state, in contrast to other cases, had since even before its inception pursued a genocidal program as a consistent feature and indeed a foundation of state policy. Therefore, genocide in the Israeli case cannot be solely attributed as the isolated action of a leader, political party or elected government but remains the responsibility of the state itself.

Genocide as Response

The specific intent of Israeli state policy, since even before the founding of Israel, was discussed in a live-video transmission by expert witness Ilan Pappe, an Israeli historian at University of Exeter in the UK and the director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies. His research has revealed that a planning group of top-ranking Jewish military leaders in the Haganah militia, led by David Ben Gurion (who later became Israel’s first prime minister) devised an ethnic-cleansing program to rid the future Israel of its Arab predecessors. Called Plan Dalet (the letter “D” indicating the fourth plan of a colonialist agenda) was to be activated as soon as the British suspended the Palestine Mandate.

With the declaration of Israeli statehood in 1948, a coordinated armed campaign by Israeli military forces and paramilitary units against hundreds of Palestinian urban neighborhoods and rural villages led to the flight of an estimated 700,000 refugees from Palestine and parts of neighboring Trans-Jordan, including Jerusalem . Although the Israeli intent was intended to intimidate the Palestinians into relocating outside the borders, but before long village populations that refused to flee were mass murdered.

The forcible deportation of indigenous inhabitants from their homes and land was a criminal act of ethnic cleansing, Pappe said. That policy, however, soon metamorphosed into a systematic campaign to destroy Palestinians, that is, genocide. Under cross-examination by defense team, the historian explained, that as an Israeli citizen and son of Jewish refugees who escaped Nazi-ruled Germany , it is morally, ethically and historically inconsistent to condemn the genocide against Jews while endorsing a new one against Palestinians.

 Cumulative Record of Crimes

The Israeli record of massacres, extrajudicial killings and daily harassment of Palestinian comprises a continuum of criminal behavior over the past 67 years. Given the overwhelming evidence, the prosecution team therefore decided to focus on key cases, which were extensively reported in the news media and/or were subject of investigations. These included:

-          the September 1982 massacre of Palestinians, mainly women and children, at the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in a southwest district of Beirut, Lebanon;

-          lethal firing of teargas canisters and “rubber” bullets by Israeli Defense Forces that resulted in the deaths of unarmed civilians during the Intifada campaigns and subsequent protests; and

-          intensive and indiscriminate aerial bombing and artillery shelling of civilian quarters in the Gaza Strip in 2008.

Among the witnesses who testified in person or via video transmission included:

-          a former university student who was shot without warning at a peaceful protest by an Israeli sniper firing a fragmentary bullet that caused extensive and permanent damage to his internal organs;

-          a Christian resident of the West Bank who was repeatedly imprisoned and tortured on grounds of subversion;

-          a female resident of Nablus who suffered mental anxiety due to her imprisonment and subsequent social ostracism; and

-          two men from the Al Sammouni clan of Gaza, which lost 21 family members, mainly children and women, in an Israeli commando raid on their home.

-          a Palestinian physician who conducted studies on the psychological trauma inflicted, particularly on children, as result of constant intimidation, massive violence and state terror during and following the second Intifada;

-          Expert witness Paola Manduca, an Italian chemist and toxicologist, who found extreme levels of toxic contamination of the soil and water across the Gaza Strip caused by Israeli weapons made of heavy metals and cancer-causing compounds.

 Killing Fields

Professor Pappe said that the mass killing of defenseless civilians trapped without avenues of escape within a cordon or enclosure is clear evidence of genocidal policy, as happened inside the Beirut refugee camps surrounded by Israeli tanks and hostile Phalangist militiamen and inside Gaza cities that are ringed by a wall-fence.

For the Beirut atrocity, Israeli Defense Force commander General Amos Yaron was charged in absentia for crimes against humanity and genocide. Among the witnesses who testified in person on the Camps Sabra and Shatilla events were:

-          Chahira Abouardini, a widow whose husband and three children were murdered by Israeli-allied militiamen at Camp Shatilla, provided a graphic account of the carnage, describing piles of bullet-riddled bodies and, in one case, of a pregnant women whose belly had been slit open and with her dead unborn child left on top of her corpse. She recounted how refugees were rounded up from their homes and lined against walls for summary execution by automatic weapons fire.-

-          Dr. Ang Swee Chai, a London-based Singaporean surgeon and medical volunteer at the time at a hospital run by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, with the aid of the International Committee of the Red Cross, testified that another Beirut hospital had been bombed by Israeli jets, all Palestinian facilities including schools and hospitals were deliberately destroyed by artillery barrages and explosive charges, and ambulances were intercepted and their drivers shot dead. She stated that an Israeli observation post positioned in the 7-storey Kuwaiti Embassy, located on a hilltop, had an unobstructed view of the refugee camp, indicating that the Israeli forces were directing a joint operation to exterminate the refugees left behind under the international plan to withdraw the PLO from Lebanon . In her forensic investigation of the bullet wound that injured a male nurse at her hospital, Dr. Ang determined that the sniper fire had come from the Israeli-occupied Embassy building

Considering the Israeli checkpoints on roads and its vantage points, Brigadier General Amos Yaron as field commander of the Beirut incursion and occupation, had effective control over the camps. His close liaison with the local militia leader meant that Yaron had condoned the 36-hour rampage by militiamen, which led to an estimated 3,500 civilian deaths. No orders were issued to prevent the one-sided violence, prosecutor Aziz Rahman argued before the Tribunal. A 1983 special commission report, under its chairman Nobel Laureate Sean MacBride, concluded that Israel had “complicity in genocide”. Research findings gathered since then indicate that Yaron was not merely complicit but held personal responsibility for the massacre.

A point contested by the Amicus Curae defense team was that then Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, an official of superior rank, should have been prosecuted instead of Gen. Yaron. (The prosecution had earlier declined to serve notice on Sharon, who has been in a coma for many years and is unable to testify in hisown defense. Moreover, Yaron had wide sway of authority as field commander in a battle zone outside the borders of Israel .) Prosecutor Gurdial Singh pointed out that Israel not only failed to file criminal charges against Yaron and his subordinates but subsequently awarded and repeatedly promoted the general and his circle. Yaron was therefore found guilty as accused.

Responsibility of the State

International law has traditionally taken for granted the immunity of states from prosecution by a court in another country. There are several reasons for immunity of states, even for high crimes such as genocide and serious violations of various humanitarian codes.

-          International law and the treaty system are based on the principle of equality among states, which are parties to and enforcers of international agreements. The criminal conviction of a state for serious crimes would automatically weigh against the accused party, thereby causing an imbalance in relations and introducing unfairness to the international system.

-The sovereignty of states is a fundamental protection against aggression or undue interference by a foreign state or alliance of nation-states.

-          As argued by defense counsel Matthew Witbrodt, prosecution of and penalties imposed on a state would result in collective punishment of all of its citizens. (Since the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I, the international community has tried to avoid forms of collective punishment, including heavy war reparations.)

On the other side of the coin, total immunity for the state can encourage violations of international law by dictatorial, racist and/or bigoted regimes. The absence of legal challenge by foreign courts therefore leaves few legitimate means to pressure the offending state. The more “peaceful” methods include economic sanctions, which can be interpreted as a type of collective punishment against a victimized citizenry.

With no legal recourse to counter mass atrocities, other states then must launch interventions through extralegal and often illegal strategies of covert warfare,  proxy insurgencies or biased peacekeeping operations. The subsequent invasion and occupation by self-appointed saviors can be more harmful to the people, and to the principles of law, than the original violations of the offending regime.

Thus,  quoting its opinion upon the verdict, a “reason the Tribunal wishes to reject the doctrine of absolute state immunity from prosecution in matters of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity is that the existing international law on war and peace, and humanitarianism, is being enforced in a grossly inequitable manner. Small, weak nations, mostly in Africa and Asia , are periodically subjected to devastating sanctions, military interventions and regime changes. At the same time, unbearable atrocities and brutalities are inflicted on the military weak nations of Latin America, Africa and Asia by powerful nations in the North Atlantic and their allies go unscrutinized and unpunished.”

The alternative to the law of the jungle applied by self-appointed unilateral powers or coalitions of the willing is the reform of international law to balance sovereignty with the responsibility of the state for high crimes such as genocide.

Restricting Sovereignty

In its opinion on the ruling, the Tribunal therefore offered a rational method for limiting sovereignty in cases of gross crimes: “Where there is a conflict between two principles of law, the one hierarchically higher in importance should prevail. To our mind, the international law doctrine against impleading (suing) a foreign state, being lower than that that of the prohibition against genocide, resulted in the charge against the State of Israel.”

The Tribunal did not spell out how a genocide ruling can be enforced or provide a model for a reconstitution of state. Presumably and theoretically, the general effect of genocide-based restrictions on sovereignty would be to dissuade and deter state administrations from perpetrating mass atrocities with impunity. Under a legal standard for common action to stop genocide, a preventive intervention could then proceed under accepted rules of engagement and with safeguards against unwarranted violence by peacekeepers. When an inherently extreme policy in embedded in the constitution or state regulations, a lawfully grounded international authority could then abolish that state structure and reconstitute a legitimate state subject to a referendum. A legal process for constitutional change is far preferable to the current method of arbitrary regime change favorable to the interests of and politically subservient to an occupation authority. This remains hypothetical, showing only that the international community is yet to seriously consider the alternative to the present unlawful model.

Restriction of state sovereignty, as the Tribunal noted, is a new and evolving trend in international law. The U.S. permits its citizens to file lawsuits in federal court against states that harbor terrorists, and although this is covered under tort law, such cases inherently restrict the sovereignty of foreign countries. The European Union has also constrained the sovereignty of member states. Under the 1978 State Immunity Act, the British privy council ruled that vessels owned by foreign governments are subject to the same liability laws as commercial vessels.

As argued by the Tribunal panel in their opinion, “We find it rather mind-boggling when some courts can consider commercial disputes as a reason for not allowing a state to be shielded by the state immunity principle and yet strenuously protect such a state in cases of genocide or other war crimes. Human lives cannot be less important than financial gain.”

The vigorous and often well-founded arguments by the Amicus Curae team in defense of Israel were constructive criticism that greatly helped to focus the Tribunal on the complexities of international law. In heated courtroom debate, defense counsel Jason Kay Kit Leon opined that “the elephant in the room” was Palestinian terrorism against Israeli civilians, for instance, the launching of unguided rockets at settlements, and that Israeli forces have acted in self-defense. The thrust of his claim was based on “In Defense of Israel” by Harvard law scholar and attorney Alan Dershowitz.

The jurists, however, accepted the prosecution argument. “It is our finding that much of the Palestinian-generated violence is not on Israel’s own territory, but from and on Israeli-occupied Palestinian land. Much of the violence perpetrated by Palestinians in a reaction to the brutalities of the vicious racism and genocide that is a tragic feature of Palestinian life.”

The opinion went further, by stating: “We also hold that the force of the IDF is excessive, totally disproportionate and a violation of international humanitarian law. The methods used are unspeakably inhumane and amount to war crimes.”

Internal Disputes

Earlier disputes within the Commission had led to a two-month adjournment of trial proceedings due to harsh and sometimes bitter accusations between participants. In the conflicted process, several judges recused themselves or were absent due to schedule conflicts and one prominent prosecutor resigned in protest of suspected tampering of the judicial panel. These controversies fortunately served to clarify rather than muddy the legal issues and court procedures, resulting in stronger arguments on both sides. Taking Israel to task is never an easy proposition.

Thereby, a stunning precedent in international law was achieved with the Tribunal’s unanimous decision to charge a state for the high crime of genocide. The arguments and verdict against the State of Israel will undoubted be a hotly debated test case for legal scholars over years to come. Since its Charter does not allow an appeal process, the case of “The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission Against the State of Israel” will stand as the nub of controversy for human-rights law and the principle of sovereignty for nation-states.

While citing several precedents, the strongest argument for implication of the state is outlined in the 2007 genocide case of Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Yugoslavia , which covered the Sebrenica massacre of Bosnian Muslms by Serb-dominated federal armed forces. As Canadian jurist John Philpot, who earlier served on the Rwanda Tribunal, pointed out following the reading of the verdict “Bosnia/Herzegovina clearly laid out the culpability of the state and thus served as the precedent for our judgment against Israel .”

According to the Bosnia/Herzogovina ruling, “Genocide is a international crime entailing national and international responsibility on the part of individuals and states” and “if an organ of the state, or a person or group whose acts are legally attributable to the state, commits any of the acts proscribed by Article 3 of the (Genocide) Convention, the international responsibility of that state is incurred.

A point to note: The Rwanda and Yugoslavia genocide cases, are considered by some legal experts to be flawed by the underlying covert and illegal factor of great-power interference. These cases were cited infrequently and judiciously by the Kuala Lumpur Tribunal, which exercised proper case in selection of appropriate passages, while relying on a much wider range of legal precedents in regard to liability of the state.

Critique: Going Beyond Reparations

Until this genocide ruling by the Kuala Lumpur Tribunal, offending states and their foreign sponsors have evaded responsibility while the entire burden of guilt has been placed on the individual agents of weak nation-states. Under the Tribunal ruling, both the core state apparatus – including the executive office, military command, intelligence agencies, supportive ministries and, in many cases, the judiciary and police – bear as much and, in some cases, more criminal responsibility for genocide as individual leaders or military officers.

Yet that is still insufficient when the primary responsibility should rest on powerful sponsor states that move from supporting the offending regime toward punishing its rebellious hubris. The nexus of powerful and ruthless states and global elites, with their machinery for war-making and arms production, creates the political state of siege, the economic strangulation and the covert weapons trade that prompt weaker states to perpetrate genocide.

Barely addressed in just one paragraph of the Tribunal opinion is the reality that powerful states oppose any dilution of their absolute state immunity with the unspoken objective of preserving their war-making powers. The dominant Atlantic allies have cited genocide solely as a pretext to expand their global domain though invasions under a broad and vague “responsibility to protect” principle and have imposed new constitutions on defeated adversaries authored by foreign legal scholars while guised as the ideals of domestic political revolutions. Meanwhile, their own genocidal state structures, centered in the national-security structure and military command, categorically reject any international controls over extralegal interventions operated under the cover of humanitarian operations.

Also, in limiting its call for remedial action to reparations from Israel , the Tribunal wasted a precious opportunity to demand full justice for the Palestinian nation. What is realistically required is an international peacekeeping force to guarantee the withdrawal of the Israeli miltary and police force from Palestinian territory until a domestic law-enforcement and security force can take over; the elimination of wall-fences, checkpoints and other barriers to the free movement of citizens; the return of occupied land in Palestine; financial restitution for the loss of lands and property inside the boundaries of Israel; and an official apology for the countless crimes committed.

Furthermore, the continuity of genocide perpetrated by the core state structure and abetted by the complicity of much of the Israeli population demands that the offending state must be reorganized under a new constitution free of religious bias and racial discrimination to ensure legal norms that prevent a repetition of genocide. This objective should require an international occupation of Israel in event that powerful elements in Israeli society refuse to comply with international law. Israel should be spared the violence unleashed against the Third Reich, but stern justice and strong rule of law are nonetheless required in situations of ideological conformity based on the goals of genocide.

  Courage and Wisdom

Whatever its few shortcomings, the Kuala Lumpur Tribunal demonstrated immense courage, foresight and wisdom in leveling the long-overdue charge of genocide against the State of Israel. The Tribunal correctly framed genocide in the context of international law rather than merely as a localized violation. The verdict along with the sophisticated judicial opinion provides an important initiative toward deterring the great powers from promoting and exploiting genocides among weaker nations and victimized peoples.

The Tribunal verdict raised not only a legal challenge to supporters of the Zionist cause in the United States and Europe but also appealed to universal moral principles in the tradition of high-minded rhetoric. “Much as we condemn violence and pray for peace, it must be stated that no power on Earth can douse the flame of freedom from the human spirit. As long as there is suppression, there will always be people prepared to die on their feet rather than live on their knees.”

 The precedent-setting decision by the Kuala Lumpur Tribunal is a giant step forward not only for dispossessed Palestinians but also for humanity as a whole.

Author: Yoichi Shimatsu, an East and Southeast Asia focused journalist, is former editor of The Japan Times Weekly in Tokyo.

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Testimony by Dr. Ilan Pappe on Genocide in Palestine by Israel

The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal Hearing on Palestine–Testimony by Dr. Ilan Pappe.

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On November 22, 2013, the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal (KLWCT) went into the third day of the hearing on genocide and war crimes charges against the State of Israeland Amos Yaron, a retired Israeli army general.

The tribunal heard the testimony of renowned historian and socialist activist, Prof Ilan Pappe, who informed the tribunal about the systematic ethnic cleansing via expulsion and killing of the Palestinians from their homeland since 1948. Three witnesses from West Bank also gave an account of their trials and tribulations under the Israelis.

The testimony of Dr. Pappe was an interesting and revealing account of the Israeli leadership strategy to rid the Palestinians from their homeland since the 1940s. He testified that the expulsions were not decided on an ad hoc basis, as other historians have argued, but constituted the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, in accordance with Plan Dalet drawn up in 1947 by Israel’s leaders then.

He testified that the expulsion of the Palestinians in 1948 constituted ethnic cleansing, as the Zionists movement was not concerned with the native people. He revealed that it was as early as in the 1940s when it began deliberating the fate of the indigenous people of Palestine and that they wanted to take over Palestine with as little Palestinians in it by having them leave voluntarily or be forced out.

He further revealed that from 1948 until 1949, the plan was enforced by Israeli forces to cleanse villages and towns of Palestinians by encircling the villages/towns from three flanks to intimidate the residents into leaving by leaving one flank open. Some 530 villages were wiped out physically. Under the partition plan, 56% of the land was to be handed to Israel wherein the 2/3 of the population was Palestinians. In the end, 93% of the land came under the control of Israel and 750,000 Palestinians were left out as refugees in neighbouring countries, in Gaza and West Bank. After the 1967 war, Gaza and West Bank were occupied.

He added that having taken over most of Palestine territories, the policy changed from expelling to destroying the Palestinians. Hence, the Sabra & Shatilla massacre was an attempt to destroy Palestinians in Lebanon.

He told the tribunal that the use of military action against Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank was considered genocidal against people who cannot defend themselves. Military operations such as Summer Rains, Autumn Clouds, and Cast Lead were just to kill the Palestinians and destroy the economy, culture and their spirit.

In cross-examination by Amicus Curiae Jason Kay, Prof Pappe agreed that his view of history is a minority view and that while he is grateful that the Zionist movement had saved his parents from the Nazi holocaust for which he is grateful; however, the moral way is to live together with the Palestinians, not expel and kill them.

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