ISRAEL GLOATING IN ITS FAKE VICTORY

The national chorus is trying to fake a victory. In the absence of many achievements, they’re also trying to fake the fall of Hamas. Previously it had faked “national unity,” “steadfastness” and of course the heroism and morality of the Israel Defense Forces. It has dismissed the volleys of global criticism as anti-Semitism. That’s our national chorus, the chorus of fakers.

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Israel’s fake victory

There were many examples of heroism and sacrifice in this war, but pride isn’t the only thing the IDF bequeathed to Israel. We cannot forget that the destruction and mass killing were also the work of IDF soldiers.

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The rubble of destroyed buildings on July 27, 2014, in Gaza City

Palestinians carrying items they found in the rubble of destroyed buildings on July 27, 2014, in Gaza City. Photo by AFP
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The national chorus is trying to fake a victory. In the absence of many achievements, they’re also trying to fake the fall of Hamas. Previously it had faked “national unity,” “steadfastness” and of course the heroism and morality of the Israel Defense Forces. It has dismissed the volleys of global criticism as anti-Semitism. That’s our national chorus, the chorus of fakers.

GOC Southern Command Sami Turgeman, one of the military leaders of this brutal war, said, “Our fighters overcame the enemy.” An Israeli businessman wrote me from New York in response, “Real Madrid overpowered Sakhnin.” A terror organization, or an army of daring warriors? The chorus has changed its definitions.

The commentators vie with one another to spew the most words about how Hamas is on the ropes, but the truth is quite different. Its leaders, who are now meant to crawl out of their burrows, view the destruction sown by Israel and wave the white flag, are indeed emerging to a different Gaza. It was destroyed in a month, but most of the bill will be submitted to Israel, which will be forced to pay it. We’re not talking only about the worldwide wave of enmity against it, but also about one more generation of Gazans who will retain forever the shocking memories of death and destruction and grow up in an atmosphere of terrible (and justified) hatred. An Israeli victory? Very doubtful.

The national chorus has obscured the fact that Israel acceded to Hamas’ demand for the IDF’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, as a condition for agreeing to the cease-fire. It also ignores the fact that in the wake of the war, Israel is suddenly willing to talk to representatives of the Palestinian unity government. Is that not a Hamas success? The chorus chuckles now over Hamas’ demand for a seaport and an airport. Unfortunately, Gaza will presumably not get its (justifiable) wish on this matter. But to laugh?

The chorus is also sniggering at the resignation of Britain’s first female Muslim cabinet minister, over her government’s position on the Gaza conflict. “Why should she resign? After all, they started it,” one television anchor babbled, and the commentators explained that there were actually other reasons for her resignation. That’s how the chorus misrepresents the world’s position.

National unity and the home front’s steadfastness was another place where the chorus was off-key. Although there were impressive expressions of solidarity, any unity that existed was of aggression, incitement and ultra-nationalism. One can even question the home front’s steadfastness. It’s better not to think about what would have happened to the home front had Iron Dome system not protected it. Of course it’s good that this was the case, but there was no real test here. One day of a semi-siege of Ben-Gurion International Airport, and Israel began to reconsider. No steadfastness there.

Even the warm embrace extended to the troops, however moving, understandable and authentic, blurs the overall picture. Israel was filled with billboards and posters: The nation loves its soldiers, the nation is proud of them. We cannot comment on the love. But is pride indeed the (only) emotion evoked by the IDF these days? What exactly is there to be proud of? The defense systems were indeed impressive, but can a military victory over a guerilla group, accompanied by an almost unbridled attack on a civilian population, be considered an impressive military victory, a source of pride?

There were many examples of heroism and sacrifice in this war, but pride isn’t the only thing the IDF bequeathed to Israel — far from it.

At the end of the war we cannot forget that the destruction and mass killing in Gaza were the work of IDF soldiers, the ones that Israelis so love to love. The pilots, the armored corpsmen, the artillery gunners and the infantry didn’t decide to go to war, but their commanders shaped its character, and they executed it.

“We salute you,” and “Thanks to the brave fighters,” as some headlines crowed on Wednesday? Yes and no. Thanks for your sacrifice and bravery, no thanks for the death and destruction you sowed. Around 1,900 dead, including about 700 women and children, around 10,000 injured, 30,000 homes damaged and a half a million displaced persons, most of them now homeless, are numbers not of pride, but of shame. As for those responsible, the chorus cannot get them wrong. Hail, hail, Israel.

 

WE DON’T WANT YOU HERE!

This short video might not be what you expected to see …. but it speaks volumes using  just five words.

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This video was produced by the The Parents Circle – Family Forum to protest the ongoing escalation. The PCFF is a joint Palestinian Israeli organization of over 600 families, all of whom have lost a close family member as a result of the prolonged conflict.

The organization is trying to advance the idea that the process of reconciliation between nations is a prerequisite to achieving sustainable peace.

 

Source

THE PALESTINIAN CONNECTION TO HIROSHIMA

The following is a post from the Archives written a year ago …
Palestinian in Hiroshima

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

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I and Oliver Stone both spoke at Hiroshima on the anniversary of the first nuclear bombing in human history and we are slated to speak in two days at Nagasaki on the anniversary of the second nuclear attack.  My speech is below in English (I will send the Japanese version later).  These remain the most starkest of acts of state terror in Human history.  I had seen images and video before that made me shudder but being in the City is different.  At 8:15 AM on a sunny hot day we laid down next to the dome for three minutes with people from all backgrounds and I stared at the sky and tried to imagine through the tears the terror that came and exploded 600 meters directly above us in the sky 68 years ago.   But how can one imagine the horror of dropping a nuclear weapon on a population incinerating and skeletonizing tens of thousands and leaving tens of thousands with burned body skin hanging in rags and worse. Harder to imagine yet is the darkness of the human hearts and minds that took the decisions to do that to fellow human beings.
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Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick explained eloquently about the real reasons for dropping the bombs instead of the mythology that is told in school books in America.  But does that really make any difference on the horror of what Truman and his generals visited on humanity? Those of us in the medical field understand clinically what radiation poisoning does to the human body but politicians also know that and Truman had detailed reports from the earlier experiments.  I met so many hibakushas (survivors of the nuclear blast) and their children and grandchildren.  Many told us of the dramatic death of children by leukemia and other cancers and of the congenital deformities.  It was more than we could take even as visitors so I can only begin to imagine the actual feelings of people here.
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Clearly the monuments to victims were slanted strongly away from nationalism and war; something that reminded us that it is possible for victims to learn that war and nationalism are not the answer.  I wished more people can learn that lesson and change the misleading pro-war pro-Zionist message of many holocaust museums to build instead a pro-peace structure.
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On the positive side, we were thrilled to see so many children and youth taking the banner of peace.  Middles school children collected signatures to ban nuclear weapons around the world. Hundreds of us marched to the electric company in town to ask that they stop using nuclear power (especially poignant after the disastrous Fukushima plant meltdown).   Our colorful Palestinian Kuffiyas were welcomed among the colorful banners in our march. We felt love and peace. We saw alternating images of hope and pain and of beautiful people who face-up to right-wing politicians and the few racists who even deny what Japanese soldiers did in China and Korea. Like a roller-coaster, a tour of Japan brings mixed emotions.
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As a visiting Palestinian I am struck most of all by the neatness and orderliness of the cities.  Everything runs perfectly.  Trains are accurate to the minute.  Millions ride on these trains both within cities and between cities.  Streets are clean and no walls or checkpoints stop us from freely moving around.  It is all orderly and peaceful.  Crossing streets on cues, trash in its receptacles, lines are straight, and cars and homes are clean and orderly.  Just about everyone speaks in low tones and people are courteous to each other.
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Japan like most countries is a society burdened by Western style capitalism.  Here you see also things like McDonalds, Starbucks, prostitution, and corrupt politicians.   Though more homogeneous than other countries, Japan is a very large country of 120 million people and even in a short visit one sees remarkable diversity of ideas and concepts.  In Nagoya, we visited an educational table at the main square that tried to challenge the Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty (a US Dominated agreement favorable to corporations at the expense of people). The organizer of this table belonged to one of the few native communities of Japan, a great man by the name of Esaman.  People stopped by bringing food and sharing stories.  In the same square a lone young musician played his guitar asking for donations to build a school in a remote area of Pakistan.
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In Nagoya, I attended a discussion of writings by Kobayashi Takiji.  The audience were some 30 individuals of diverse background who put their shoes at the entrance of the lecture hall and wore red slippers as they listened intently to a retired bookstore seller discuss and pass around the books by Takiji.  Takiji was born in 1903 and showed a talent for writing at an early age. His writings did not please authorities and he was fired from his job and eventually executed by the government at age 30 y.o. His most famous short novel is called  Kanikōsen and it is a story about workers at a boat fishing for crabs.  The story takes you into an incredible world of suffering of the workers, humanity to fellow workers, and cruelty of their boss.  There seemed to be a revival of the interest in this genre of literature after the last Japanese economic bubble burst.
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Many Japanese yearn for a more caring society and support global solidarity, including with Palestine. This was shown vividly in our visit to Nagoya and Hiroshima.   I reflect on the people I met and saw in get-together, on the streets, in trains, and in restaurants.  Here I would see people who reminded me of people I met in America, in Palestine and elsewhere.  I thought someone should do a documentary on this carrying a camera around different countries to show that there are individuals in each country virtually twins with those living in other countries.  Perhaps this film can bring us all closer to one another.  In the meantime, I cannot wait for our upcoming visit to Nagasaki, Osaka, Tokyo, and Kyoto. And I cannot wait to go back to Palestine where hope against all odds still survives.  Stay tuned.
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Speech by Professor Qumsiyeh in Hiroshima on the 68th anniversary of the First Atomic Bomb
Kumbunwa and thank you for this invitation.  It is a special honor for me to visit Japan.  Here in Hiroshima we are most reminded of the horrors of war.  Here we have a chance to reflect on the fact that there is no “good war”.  We are reminded that nations do not win or lose wars.  Wars cause the suffering of common people and makes rich people richer.   Money wins wars, people lose wars. That is why President Eisenhauer warned about the power of the military-industrial complex.  It is a power we were reminded of by Oliver Stone earlier today. It is this complex that was enriched as US taxpayers were left with 3 trillion dollars more in debt due to the criminal war on Iraq.    And it was the same Truman that lied publicly about why he created the catastrophes of Hiroshima and Nagazaki and also the catastrophe (Nakba) of Palestine.
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War, as General Butler correctly observed, war is a racket.  It is a way to make money for rich people at the expense of poor people.  And that is why wars will continue unless common people revolt to stop them. And we the people were able to stop wars before for example in Vietnam and in South Africa. It is this power of the people that I am most optimistic about.
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I am one of 12 million Palestinians in the world, 2/3rd of us are refugees or displaced people and the rest live under rule of a foreign government.  How did this come about and how can we stop this war on the people?
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Palestinians are the endogenous people of the Western Part of the Fertile Crescent in Western Asia.  Key milestones in human civilization occurred in this Land of Canaan: animal and plant domestication, development of the alphabet, and development of laws and religions.
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We had over 11,000 years of civilization with religious and cultural developments.  Short attempts to transform Palestine into one thing or another failed.  This included short lived attempts to make it all Christian or make it all Muslim or make it all Jewish.  The European crusades were a good examples of this. But for 97% of our history, Palestine remained mutli-religious and mutli-cultural.
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Since the late 19th century, the new political idea of Zionism was developed to create a “Jewish state” in Palestine. At that time less than 3% of the population in Palestine was Jewish. This Zionist colonization was aided by western countries notably England and more recently the USA.
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An organized and ruthless project to ethnically cleanse the native Palestinians was organized resulting in countless massacres and total destruction of 530 Palestinian villages and towns. It is still the largest refugee crisis after World War II. In that sense my grandmother is a hibakusha.
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Today 7 million Palestinians are refugees and five million of us still live on 8.3% of our historic land.  The state of Israel was built on the destruction of Palestine. Israel has 55 laws that specifically discriminate against native Palestinians. It fulfills the international legal definition of an apartheid (racial discrimination) state.
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Zionists like all other colonial imperial powers try to portray the victims as terrorists. European colonization always did that whether in the Americas or in Africa or in Asia.  It maybe convenient to say that we are white civilized people who “circle the wagons” to protect ourselves from native savages. But the truth is that colonization is violence and 10 times more native civilians are killed than invading people.
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I can tell you hundreds of stories of the brutality of occupation and colonization.  I can tell you about home demolitions, about removal of people from their land, about murders, and about torture. I can tell you about breaking bones of Palestinian children, about using white phosphorous on schools and about Israel’s nuclear weapons. I can tell you about toxic waste dumped on Palestinian villages. I can tell you about prisoners held for years without seeing lawyers or judges.I could tell you about friends I lost killed in peaceful demonstrations.  I could tell you my own family stories of suffering. But we do not have time.
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I will tell you that Palestinians resisted for the past 100 years this onslaught.  This Palestinian resistance took hundreds of forms, most of them unarmed. We had 13 uprisings, on average one every 10 years. South Africa under apartheid had a long struggle with 15 uprisings.
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We Palestinians have been innovative in our struggle.  We had the first demonstration in human history to use automobiles (cars) when in 1929 Palestinian women gathered 120 cars and drove down the old streets of Jerusalem. We lobbied the Ottoman Empire and the British empire to stop supporting colonialist Zionism. We engaged in tax revolts and other forms of civil disobedience.
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We also asked and still ask the international community to help us.  Tens of thousands joined our struggle. There is the International solidarity movement.  As in the struggle against apartheid in south Africa, there is also the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDS).  We ask you to join us because this struggle is the most important.  It is important because it exposes clearly the hypocrisy of Western governments who speak of democracy and human rights but directly support racism, tyranny, war, and all violations of human rights.
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We share this one small blue planet and the era of nuclear weapons when a country like Israel could destroy the earth, we cannot afford to be complacent.  We must prove Haegel wrong when he wrote that “We learn from history that we do not learn from history.” We do learn from our common history and today in the age of the internet, we are beginning a global uprising against nuclear weapons and against war. When people power is finally realized through global solidarity, we can not only win over war but also over poverty and over climate change and over apathy/indifference.  That is really a future worth sacrificing for.
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The Budhists tell us to have “joyful participation in the sorrows of this world”.  Participation is the key.  So indeed may you all have  joyful participation in the sorrows of this world….  Arigatu, thank you, shukran, peace, salam.
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Also see THIS post from the Archives

A LETTER FROM A CHILD’S GRAVE IN GAZA

I’m fine. Really, don’t cry for me. Cry for yourselves.

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Don’t Cry For Me

The voice of a Palestinian child in Gaza, taken from this world by Israel — “the only democracy in the Middle East”

By Sam Bahour

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As the latest horrific obscenity of Israel’s aggression against the Gaza Strip continues, the death toll mounts. Palestinian children are paying the highest price, both those who are killed and wounded, and maybe even more so, those who survive.

Since I have written for decades about how Israel’s prolonged military occupation and endless violations of international law—let alone their blatant disregard to their very own self-interests—would get us to this very point, fresh analysis and fresh vantage points are difficult to find. The only words I can muster now, while the images of the carnage are freshly etched into my mind, are the words that may have come from one of the child victims whose life was cut short by a U.S. supplied Israeli F-16 fighter jet missile.

Below is the imagined letter from the victim:

Dear Humankind,

Hi. My name is Eman; it means faith in Arabic. I doubt you will have seen or remember me; only particular photos make it to your TV screen, those are the ones you will remember. I’m a Palestinian child from Gaza. I like my dolls, playing with my sister, and swimming. I was told that many of you are crying for me, but please don’t cry for me. I just arrived to this place and wanted to write to let you know that I’m OK. Really, I’m fine. I just miss Mommy.

There are a lot of people here, just like back home in Gaza. Lots of Palestinian kids too, some have been here for a very long time. Why would you want to cry for only me?

My neighbor arrived a few months ago from the Yarmouk Refugee Camp in Syria, he shares a room with someone who came from a different refugee camp in South Lebanon called Sabra who arrived in September 1982. I really don’t know what a refugee camp is, even though Mommy told me that’s where we live too.

Down the road I saw a really older girl, maybe 23 years old. Her name is also Iman, but she spells it with an “I”. Iman came here in October 2004. She told me she was walking home from school, not far from my house in Gaza, when an Israeli soldier emptied his magazine into her after she was wounded and laying on the ground. She says he was caught on radio communications saying he was “confirming the kill.” I don’t really know what that means, either.

There are a lot of old people here, too: mommies and daddies. Some have their kids with them and some are alone. I actually saw a sign on one house that said the person arrived from Kufer Kassem in 1948 (that’s a long time ago!). I think Kufer Kassem is not far from Gaza, but I really don’t know since Daddy never took us on trips far away.

Anyway, I made friends with another girl exactly my age, Amal, her name means hope and she is from Qana in Lebanon. She lives with her sisters; one arrived in 1996 and the other in 2006. There are really a lot of nice people here from Lebanon.

See, I’m in good company, so please, don’t cry for me.

I am exactly 8 years and 23 days old; pretty big girl, wouldn’t you say? I have one baby sister and two older brothers, or at least Mommy tells me that I have two brothers. I’ve only seen one, the other, Mommy says, lives in an Israeli prison and has been there for a very long time. Even though I never saw him, I still love him. 

It is true that I was born in Gaza, but Grandpa told me when I was very young that our real home is in a place called al-Majdal. He still has the key to his house. It’s all rusted but I think it may still work. I bet you don’t know where al-Majdal is located, but you may know a place called Ashkelon. I understand how this can happen, it happens all the time. Those people who made Grandma and Grandpa come to Gaza keep changing the names of everything, even their own names. They not only changed the name of al-Majdal, they changed the name of many cities and villages too. Daddy told me that one organization called Zochrot goes around and puts signs up with the original names where Palestinian towns and villages were wiped off the face of the earth. This way no one will forget. You really don’t need to worry, because here they must have a very big computer, as all the names are what they used to be, nothing is forgotten. So please, don’t cry for me. 

Let me tell you what happened to me last month. It was the beginning of Ramadan. I love Ramadan because at the end of the month there is a big feast and Daddy takes us all to the marketplace and we each are allowed to buy two toys. A few days before the end of Ramadan, Mommy takes us to buy new clothes and shoes. This is the happiest time of the year for me and my brother and sister. But this year, Mommy was sad. She stayed sitting in my room crying while she nursed my baby sister. When I asked her why she was crying she said that we would not be able to buy new clothes this year because all the stores were closed. I understood (I am almost 9 years old, you know) so I surprised her. I went to my closet and pulled out my dress from last year’s Ramadan and I dusted off the pink paddy leather shoes Mommy bought me on my last birthday and I told her she can stop crying because I don’t mind wearing old clothes, even if they don’t match. But she cried even more. I think I know why she was crying. The neighbors were playing with fireworks all night and day, even though Ramadan was only in its first week. Usually fireworks happen only at the end of Ramadan. I asked her if she wanted me to go tell them to stop but she said no, she liked to hear them. I pretended as if I liked the fireworks too, but I don’t think she was telling me the truth because they are scary, especially at night. I’m glad there are no fireworks here. 

Anyway, just as I was putting my Eid clothes back in the closet something happened. I want to tell you what happened but I really don’t know how. I felt like I was swimming, but I wasn’t. The water did not feel like the bathtub, it was warm and sticky. When I glanced down I think it was red too. The last thing I remember is looking up and seeing the light fixture in my room, the one that looks like a clown’s head (Daddy bought that for me when my sister was born). It was falling, coming straight at me. I know this is not making sense, because ceilings don’t fall, but I swear that was what it looked like. 

Next thing I knew, I was brought to this nice place. I love it here but I really miss Mommy and my baby sister. I wonder why they did not come here with me. Mom would love it. We have electricity all day and night and the stores never close. Really, I’m not joking. In my home here, I can drink water right out of the faucet any time I’m thirsty. One of my friends told me that when I get a little older we can even go on trips far, far away, even to Jerusalem. I’m not sure where that is but I’m sure I’ll be able to ride a plane for the first time ever to get there. 

I want to tell you so much more but I’ll have to write again later because I need to go now. My two newest friends, Hadar and Issa, are bringing their bikes to take turns in giving me a ride. Can you tell Mommy to send me my bike? I also forgot my toothbrush in the rush to get here so I need that too. Tell her not to send me my Eid dress and shoes. I want my baby sister to wear them for Ramadan next year, because I doubt the stores will open anytime soon. One more thing, please: tell Mommy to empty my piggybank, and send all my savings to The Palestine Children Relief Fund because I’m sure that many of my friends who did not come with me are going to need a lot of help. 

After going for the bike ride I’m coming back home to take a nap. I was so happy that I found the CD here with the same exact song that Mommy use to sing to me every night at bedtime. It’s this one.

So see, I’m fine. Really, don’t cry for me. Cry for yourselves.

Love,
Eman

 

IN PHOTOS ~~ 10,000 STRONG MARCH IN NEW YORK MARCH FOR GAZA’S CHILDREN

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The continuing slaughter of innocents in Gaza brought a crowd of what one police officer estimated to be 10,000 people into the streets of New York on Friday.  They met at the headquarters of CNN and then marched through the crowded theater district to the Fox News Building.  At both places they accused the corporate news entities of lying to the public and shouted “Shame!” repeatedly.  The crowd was mostly young, multi ethnic, sad, and very angry.  The tourists on the streets along Broadway looked astonished and fascinated.  They read the signs and explained what was happening to their children.  Some gave a thumbs-up and said they were glad to see people out protesting what was happening.  It seemed that very many of the demonstrators were young Palestinian Americans who felt a strong tie to the Palestinian people  struggling in Palestine and Israel and wanted to express strong feelings of solidarity with them  as well as protest the torment that Israel was inflicting.  Golda Meir is reputed to have said, in reference to the Palestinian people, the old will die and the young will forget.  Judging by who has been in the streets over the past 3 weeks, she couldn’t have been more wrong.  These young people know exactly who they are, what has happened to them, and they are not about to forget anything.

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer … Commentary above by Chippy Dee

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WE CANNOT SAY
WE DID NOT KNOW

ONCE AGAIN IN SHOCK
ONCE AGAIN IN SORROW
ONCE AGAIN ENRAGED

We carry the names of the dead in Gaza.
In the name of decency we must act.

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Photo credit Laura Krasovitzky
 
On July 31, 2014, we gathered to mourn Palestinians killed in Gaza by Israeli military forces. We read some of their names aloud.  We marched silently from Bryant Park to the Israeli Consulate in New York City wearing names of those who were murdered.

The March of The Dead continues.

Some of us wore death masks to represent the massacre of civilian populations throughout Gaza. At the site of the Israeli Consulate
eight masked activists were arrested.

Actions around the world continue in solidarity
with the people of Palestine.

We will not be silent.

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Photo credit Bud Korotzer
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Photo credit Michael Nigro
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   Photo credit Belén Suárez

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   Photo credit Belén Suárez

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Photo credit Len Tsou

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Photo credit Lisa Guido

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Photo credit Belén Suárez

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Photo credit Bud Korotzer

[] Photo credit Lisa Guido

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Click here to view more photos. 

A PALESTINE THAT ISRAELIS CAN’T SEE

Israel’s 10-meter high separation barrier and the country’s decades of indoctrination have blocked its view and allowed Israelis to simply stop seeing real live Palestinians — decidedly alive, even if not well, and determined to live normal lives.

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A Palestine That Israelis Can’t See

How Does an Unsustainable Situation Keep On Going?

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Dead End: It’s a truism to say that the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories is unsustainable. So why does it show no sign of ending anytime soon?

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Dead End: It’s a truism to say that the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories is unsustainable. So why does it show no sign of ending anytime soon?

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By Sam Bahour

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The status quo in Palestine and Israel is unsustainable. Anyone involved in the reality on the ground in this part of the world knows this for a fact. As such, one can view the current Palestinian bid to the United Nations General Assembly for non-member state status as a last-ditch effort by the secular Palestinian leadership to save whatever may be remaining of the two-state paradigm as the basis to ending Israel’s 45 years of military occupation.

A significant driver of the current political paralysis is the stereotype, designed and propagated by Israelis, that Palestinians living on the other side of the separation barrier are violent and not deserving of freedom or independence. As such, most Israeli Jews do not see Palestinians as equal human beings, and thus any violent action against them becomes justified, no matter how cruel, illegal or in contradiction of Jewish values.

Nearly all Palestinians on the receiving end of this stereotype miraculously wake up every morning and — beyond doing their utmost to sustain a livelihood under miserable conditions — somehow remain focused on working toward realizing a future free of military occupation.

This stereotype, spread by Israeli authorities to foreign audiences and, sadly, inculcated through Israel’s state education system, is that any substantial relief or complete removal of the 45 years of Israeli military occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and Gaza, would result in a security risk. A similar fear-mongering strategy is used to dismiss the inalienable right of Palestinian refugees to return to Israel. In the meantime, Israel makes matters worse on the ground by, for example, continuing to build illegal, Jewish-only settlements.

Foreign countries, donors and international organizations have come around, albeit belatedly, to noting in their reports that the status quo is unsustainable. The data is there, in dizzying detail, for all to read.

Additionally, newspapers of record in Israel, France and America have started to editorialize with some hard questions, such as “Can Israel really be a Jewish (only) state?” and “Is a two-state solution still possible?” More recently, even The New York Times questioned the future of Israel’s democratic character when it noted in an editorial: “One of Israel’s greatest strengths is its origins as a democratic state committed to liberal values and human rights. Those basic truths are in danger of being lost.” Human rights aside, there is no doubt that Israel is at a foundational crossroads.

The dominant narrative, especially in the United States — that any change in the status quo would put Israel in existential danger — is one that Israel has sustained for decades, spending hefty amounts on professional public relation firms and masters of spin to disseminate this message. Listening to world leaders and consuming today’s corporate media, the average person would have a hard time reaching a different conclusion.

Enter reality.

Israel’s 10-meter high separation barrier and the country’s decades of indoctrination have blocked its view and allowed Israelis to simply stop seeing real live Palestinians — decidedly alive, even if not well, and determined to live normal lives.

They can’t see an army of telecommunication engineers and call center operators struggling to create a commercially viable network with a full suite of services even though the needed, imported equipment is routinely delayed — at times for years — at Israeli ports.

They can’t see an army of youth pocketing the latest 3G-enabled smartphones that are useless because the electromagnetic spectrum required to operate a 3G network is controlled by the Israel military, and therefore use of 3G frequencies — like pasta and crayons in Gaza, not long ago — is prohibited by Israel.

They can’t see the dozen or so business incubators that host innovative entrepreneurs, many of them women, who routinely pitch their ideas to investors and enter their business plans in competition, only to be vulnerable to failure because of the innumerable structural impediments imposed by the Israeli occupation.

They can’t see the 18 banks and half-dozen or so equity capital funds that, day in and day out, seek viable businesses to invest in, only to end up with more funds than this militarily occupied market can absorb. They can’t see the enthusiastic young men and women at the Hereditary Research Lab at Bethlehem University exploring the genetics of hearing loss and breast cancer.

They can’t see hundreds of parents — yes, mothers and fathers — holding their children’s hands as they lead them to watch the performances of the Palestinian Circus School or Al Kamandjâti music school.

They can’t see bank investment committee members toiling with the moral dilemma of financing projects in the besieged Gaza, when nothing in their formal education ever prepared them for the market risk of societal collapse that they must calculate into their decisions every day.

They were blind to the excitement and grassroots campaigning across cities and villages in the occupied Palestinian territory as West Bank residents recently went to the polls, again, for municipal elections.

Most important, they also can’t see something much more serious than any of this — that the Israeli status quo, built on a cruel collective indifference, and the false glow of a rigged prosperity in which the Israeli public is basking can lead to only one outcome: collapse.

Socially, economically and definitely politically, Palestinians will not, and cannot, take any route other than reducing their efforts to build their state and redoubling their efforts toward ridding themselves of the Israeli boot of occupation pressing on their necks. Even if successful in attaining non-member state status in the U.N., the upgraded status will be used as a tool of resistance to terminate this doomed occupation once and for all.

Israelis may be living in utter denial of the peculiar and unsustainable reality they have created by the sheer might of force — but this is no excuse for the rest of the world, especially the United States, not to wake up and realize that ending the occupation has the potential to release a tremendous amount of positive energy in the Palestinian community — a necessary energy for a party to negotiate in good faith as it rebuilds its society from the ruins of decades of destitution.

Ending this military occupation, at long last, will not totally resolve the conflict. Yet in light of current trends putting Israel on a collision course with history, arranging for Palestinians to reach the point where they have real authority over their affairs would be a huge step forward, one that could save many lives on both sides of the Wall.

Published in The Forward

HAVE A LOOK AT ISRAEL’S SUPPORTERS IN NEW YORK

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Somebody from a great pro-Palestinian group called Existence is Resistance was on our walk through the diamond district last week and did a short video of the welcoming we got there.  They were quite willing to rip us to pieces.

And ‘New York’s Finest’ would have let them

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Racist Zionists Spew Hatred at Protestors

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A few hundred activists met outside of the New York Public Library for a demonstration and march against the string of atrocities in Gaza which have taken over 800 Palestinian lives so far. While the rhetoric coming out of Washington and Tel Aviv cites the rocket-fire from resistance groups in Gaza as the cause of this latest massacre, the march sought to highlight the real root of the problem – the continued ethnic cleansing and occupation of Palestine.

Shortly thereafter, en route to another institution, the march passed through NYC’s diamond district, specifically, 47th St between 5th and 6th Avenues. Here, marchers were thronged by what appeared to be an impromptu counter-protest where chants of “Israel! Israel!” soon echoed down the block. I found myself lagging behind and recording the spectacle – supporters of Israel whipped into a frenzy at the sight of pro-Palestine activists, engaging in racist and Islamophobic language, calling for more ethnic cleansing, and even threatening to physically attack.

It’s important to understand the mindset that informs Zionism. This is it in its purest state. A frenzied, foaming nationalism that desperately expresses open hatred for anything that appears to disagree with its racist agenda to steal indigenous land. Some choice lines:

“Get the hell out of our state… Go to Iran… Iran is your place! Go, go with your families… get out!”

“Down with Palestine! Fuck the Palestinians!… Get the fuck outta here you mother fuckers.”

“You son of a bitch! You son of a bitch!”

“I bet your Jewish!”

“You’re luck you got cops here!… you only do this when cops are around! Pussies!… you’re a nut… you better pray there are cops around the corner.”

“How does it feel to be a terrorist? Does it feel good?”

“There is no Allah. It’s all hell for you!”

NEW YORKERS REFUSE TO REMAIN SILENT ~~ PHOTO ESSAY

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The demonstration was organized by WE WILL NOT BE SILENT,  a group of artists and activists who take the name  from the words of the sister and brother anti-Nazi activists in Hitler’s Germany who formed the group known as the White Rose.  They were both captured and executed.  Scores of people met in Bryant Park, stood in a line while each wore the name of one of the people murdered in Gaza and a member of the group read some of the names of those killed.  At noon they began a slow walk of mourning in a single file to the Israeli Consulate. Once they reached their destination twelve members of the group staged a die-in  in front of the Consulate bringing traffic to a stop on busy 2nd Avenue.  They were arrested for this act of civil disobedience, a tactic frequently used by Dr. Martin Luther King.  This week there have been several such acts in New York and in other cities with some being initiated by Jewish  Voice for Peace but most others came about through people, in a state of anguish and rage, making connections on facebook and coming together to express their pain, their anger, and their need to say, not in my name.

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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FIRST THEY BOMBED AN OPEN MARKET IN GAZA, THEN THEY KILLED A REPORTER COVERING THE STORY ~~ GRAPHIC VIDEO

A graphic video showing the killing of journalist Ramy Ryan in Gaza and an attack on an ambulance and rescue workers by Israeli air strikes has surfaced online. Warning: This six-minute video is very graphic. Viewer discretion is advised.

You do not have to understand Arabic to hear the anger in their voices …

The video uploaded onto YouTube by Abu Shaar shows two ambulances arriving urgently on the scene where Ramy Ryan is seen covering the situation. About 15 seconds into the video, the first missile strikes the ambulance. Fourteen seconds later, the second missile strikes.

For several seconds, all we see is smoke with residents yelling for help, “Ya Allah” (Oh God) followed by “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great) and “La Ilaha Illa Allah” (There is no god but God), both common cries of desperation.

At 0:40 seconds, the third strike. 0:55, the fourth strike. 1:09, the fifth. The cameraman stands up and we see a dozen men lying on the ground, all seemingly injured and trying to escape towards the walls to take refuge. 1:20, the sixth strike. 1:32, the seventh. 1:47, the eighth. 1:57, the ninth. At 2:00 the cameraman moves again and crawls towards the injured men on his left. 2:07, the tenth strike. 2:20, the cameraman moves toward another injured man who’s yelling “Ya Allah, Ya Mohammad”. At 2:40, he captures another man unconscious or dead. At 2:50, he takes cover with a group of injured men. The old man at 3:00 is saying “I can’t. I can’t,” while limping. A 3:27, we hear another missile.

At 3:50, we see Ramy Ryan on the floor, lying over a pool of blood. He’s dead. A man is telling us “Look, look. A journalist. Look.” while showing us Ramy Ryan’s “Press” insignia. The man then tells us angrily, “show the United Nations! Show the world! Show the Red Cross! Show the Arab traitors! They are all traitors!”

The missiles have stopped and panic breaks. We hear people mourning their dead. From 4:20 onwards, the cameraman shoots the aftermaths of the Israeli strikes.

* A photo of journalist Ramy Ryan, from Susan's Facebook page. *

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Not only is zion silencing the reporters, look what else they are blacking out from the Western Media?

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Jews Stage Massive Anti-War Protests In Tel Aviv, New York and Elsewhere

Opposing Israeli Policy Does Not Make One a “Self-Hating Jew”

A huge anti-war protest is being held tonight by Jews in Tel Aviv:

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(Jews and Palestinians have been holding anti-war protests throughout Israel, but the mainstream media has refused to cover them.)

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Jews also protested the Gaza war in New York City  yesterday:

Not in Our Name: New Yorkers rally against Israeli war in Gaza in lower Manhattan. Anti-war protests have also been held in other cities throughout the world. Indeed, many Jews oppose Israeli treatment of the Palestinians:

Postscript: Many devoutly religious Jews oppose Zionism.  So opposing an Israeli policy does not make anti-Semitic … or a “self-hating Jew“. And we salute Israelis protesting against the war, especially since dissent may subject them to death threats. (From)

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Why is the Press so afraid to report these events?

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19 MORE ‘TERRORISTS’ MURDERED BY ISRAEL ~~ HUNDREDS WOUNDED

The ‘terrorists’ before the bombing ….

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Palestinians who fled their homes from Israeli attacks gather in a UNRWA school building at Jabaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza. Photograph: Hatem Moussa

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Full Definition of REFUGE (FROM)

1:  shelter or protection from danger or distress
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2:  a place that provides shelter or protection
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3:  something to which one has recourse in difficulty
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Full Definition of SHELTER (also FROM)

1a :  something that covers or affords protection <a bombshelter>

b :  an establishment providing food and shelter (as to the homeless)

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2:  a position or the state of being covered and protected<took shelter>
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(Be sure to see the ‘Concise’ zionist English Dictionary at the bottom of this post)
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Israel killed at least 19 Palestinians sheltering in a school in Gaza’s biggest refugee camp on Wednesday, a U.N. official said, as Egyptian mediators prepared a revised proposal to try to halt more than three weeks of fighting.

Some 3,000 Palestinians, including many women and children, were taking refuge in the building in Jebalya refugee camp when it came under fire around dawn, Khalil al-Halabi, director of northern Gaza operations for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said.

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Israel Shelling Kills 19 at Gaza U.N. School — Toll Hits 1,300

Hundreds Wounded in Shelter at Jebalya Refugee Camp

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By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Jeffrey Heller FROM
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(Reuters) — Israel killed at least 19 Palestinians sheltering in a school in Gaza’s biggest refugee camp on Wednesday, a U.N. official said, as Egyptian mediators prepared a revised proposal to try to halt more than three weeks of fighting.

Some 3,000 Palestinians, including many women and children, were taking refuge in the building in Jebalya refugee camp when it came under fire around dawn, Khalil al-Halabi, director of northern Gaza operations for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said.

“There were five shells – Israeli tank shells – which struck the people and killed many of them as they slept. Those people came to the school because it a designated U.N. shelter,” he said.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said militants had fired mortar bombs from the vicinity of the school and troops fired back in response. The incident was still being reviewed.

UNRWA said on Tuesday it had found a cache of rockets concealed at another Gaza school – the third such discovery since the conflict began. It condemned unnamed groups for putting civilians at risk.

In addition to the 19 dead, some 125 people were wounded at the Jabalya school, including five in critical condition, Halabi said. An UNRWA source said the agency had recovered fragments from the shells.

Blood splattered floors and mattresses inside classrooms, and some survivors picked through shattered glass and debris for flesh and body parts to bury.

Israel has been shelling in Jebalya, where some 120,000 people live, since Tuesday, in what the chief Israeli military spokesman, Brigadier-General Motti Almoz, described as a slight broadening of its campaign against militants in the Hamas Islamist-dominated Gaza Strip.

Israeli tank fire also struck the main market in Jebalya on Wednesday, killing at least three people and wounding 40 others, the Gaza Health Ministry said. Seven members of one family died in an Israeli attack in Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip.

The ministry said 1,270 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed since Israel began its offensive on July 8 with the declared aim of halting cross-border rocket fire.

In ground operations launched 10 days later, the army has said its main mission is to locate and destroy tunnels that militants have built under the frontier and have used to launch attacks inside Israel.

On the Israeli side, 53 soldiers and three civilians have been killed. Public support remains strong for continuing the operation in the hope of preventing future flareups.

HAMAS DEFIANT

Mohammed Deif, the shadowy leader of Hamas’s armed wing, said in a broadcast message on Tuesday that Palestinians would continue confronting Israel until its blockade on Gaza – which is supported by neighboring Egypt – was lifted.

Five rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel on Wednesday, landing harmlessly in open areas, police said.

Israel has balked at freeing up Gaza’s borders under any de-escalation deal unless Hamas’s disarmament is also guaranteed.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was due to review progress with his security cabinet later on Wednesday, and a Palestinian delegation was expected in Cairo for discussions on an elusive truce.

In previous bouts of fighting between Israel and its neighbors, the United States has often leaned on the Israelis to stop after incidents that cause high civilian casualties. Washington appears to have less sway with either side this time.

Egypt said on Tuesday it was revising an unconditional ceasefire proposal that Israel had originally accepted but Hamas rejected, and that a new offer would be presented to the Palestinian representatives.

UNRWA, the main U.N. relief agency in Gaza, said it was at “breaking point” with more than 200,000 Palestinians having taken shelter in its schools and buildings following calls by Israel for civilians to evacuate whole neighborhoods before military operations.

Both U.S. President Barack Obama and the U.N. Security Council have called for an immediate ceasefire to allow relief to reach Gaza’s 1.8 million Palestinians, followed by negotiations on a more durable end to hostilities.

Efforts led by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry last week failed to achieve a breakthrough, and the explosion of violence appeared to dash international hopes of turning a brief lull for the Muslim Eid al-Fitr festival into a longer-term ceasefire.

In a statement on Wednesday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he was “extremely concerned about the escalating fighting in and around Gaza” in which civilian infrastructure and U.N. facilities have come under fire.

“Everything must be done to prevent civilian victims and to uphold humanitarian law,” he said. “I urge both sides to agree to an immediate ceasefire and to resume negotiations about a long-term ceasefire on the basis of the Egyptian suggestions.”

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THE REDEMPTION OF NORMAN FINKELSTEIN

Norman said ….. and now he’s saying it again!

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In the recent past we have had some major differences with Dr.Norman Finkelstein. He literally put a knife in the back of the Pro Palestinian Movement with his statements and actions.

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By his own actions of the past week he totally redeemed himself. The wounds from the stabbing are still there, but now there is hope that they will soon heal.

From my personal Mantra … NEVER SAY NEVER!

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From his own Blog …

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Norman Finkelstein: “For 20 days I have sat in front of this computer like a mad man. Tomorrow I will be arrested and arrested and arrested until this madness ends.”
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Why It Matters That Norman Finkelstein Just Got Arrested Outside the Israeli Consulate

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Israeli-Palestinian peace protesters in New York City on July 29, 2014. Photo by Michelle Goldberg.

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At 12:30 pm today, a few dozen people laid down in the street at the intersection of 43rd Street and Second Avenue, stopping traffic from reaching the 42nd Street block housing the Israeli Consulate. Around them, a hundred or so people chanted from the sidewalks for the end of the occupation and the slaughter in Gaza. The writer Norman Finkelstein, a fierce critic of both Israel and of the BDS movement, had called the protest the day before. “A lot of people feel that going to a demonstration every three days doesn’t rise to the occasion, the immensity of the horror,” he told me. He noted that the Israeli bombing of Gaza is now in its twenty-first day, “which means it’s one day short of Cast Lead,” the assault on Gaza that began at the end of 2008. And there is no sign that this war is going to stop anytime soon.

The action didn’t last long. After issuing a few warnings for the demonstrators to move, the police swooped in, handcuffing people and carrying those who let their bodies go limp. Traffic was stopped for, at most, twenty minutes. Still, it didn’t seem like a futile effort, because this is a moment when it’s particularly important to break through the illusion, which pervades our politics, that American support for Israel and its war in Gaza is unshakable.

Already, there are anecdotal signs that conventional New York opinion, which tends to be liberal on everything except Palestine, is starting to shift. “If Netanyahu is so bothered by how dead Palestinians look on television then he should stop killing so many of them,” wrote Benjamin Wallace-Wells in a piece on New York magazine’s website last week, a sentiment that would have been hard to imagine coming from that publication a few years ago. Today, the magazine’s DC columnist Jonathan Chait, an occasionally hawkish veteran of The New Republic, has a posttitled, “Why I Have Become Less Pro-Israel.” According to a recent CNN poll, while a majority of Americans continue to support Israel, 38 percent have an unfavorable opinion of the country, up fourteen points since February.

I don’t want to overstate this—after all, 10,000 people showed up at a pro-Israel rally in front of the United Nations yesterday. Even there, however, there were a couple of people with signs, in English, Arabic and Hebrew, mourning the dead in Gaza. “To the older woman who kept following me with her own ‘Stand with Israel’ sign to block my own sign and yelling out loud—look at the traitor—he’s a mamzer—a bastard—I turned and said, calmly—my father is a Holocaust Survivor, please respect him if not me,” wrote the rabbinical student Amichai Lau-Lavie. “To which she replied—he should have died there. There were other obscene and racist statements that I won’t describe.” People like this woman, obviously, are not reachable. But others might be. What’s happening is simply so brutal and inexcusable that it makes the rote rationalizations of Israel’s apologists sound ever more risible.

So it’s important for people who feel, intuitively, that there is something deeply wrong happening in Gaza to see others fighting for that conviction. Among those who were taken into custody today was Corey Robin, a Jewish professor of political science at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center. Robin is a longtime critic of Israel, but he’d never before been arrested over it. “I finally felt like I had to do something,” he said a few moments before lying down in the street. “This is my first time doing this for Palestine. If it’s my first time, it’s going to be somebody else’s first time, if not now, then another time.

DEBUNKING 5 ISRAELI POINTS JUSTIFYING GENOCIDE

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Israel denies Palestinians the right to govern and protect themselves, while simultaneously invoking the right to self-defense. This is a conundrum and a violation of international law, one that Israel deliberately created to evade accountability.

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Five Israeli Talking Points on Gaza—Debunked

Smoke from an Israeli strike rises over the Gaza Strip. (AP, Hatem Moussa)

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Israel has killed almost 800 Palestinians in the past twenty-one days in the Gaza Strip alone; its onslaught continues. The UN estimates that more than 74 percent of those killed are civilians. That is to be expected in a population of 1.8 million where the number of Hamas members is approximately 15,000. Israel does not deny that it killed those Palestinians using modern aerial technology and precise weaponry courtesy of the world’s only superpower. In fact, it does not even deny that they are civilians.

Israel’s propaganda machine, however, insists that these Palestinians wanted to die (“culture of martyrdom”), staged their own death (“telegenically dead”) or were the tragic victims of Hamas’s use of civilian infrastructure for military purposes (“human shielding”). In all instances, the military power is blaming the victims for their own deaths, accusing them of devaluing life and attributing this disregard to cultural bankruptcy. In effect, Israel—along with uncritical mainstream media that unquestionably accept this discourse—dehumanizes Palestinians, deprives them even of their victimhood and legitimizes egregious human rights and legal violations.

This is not the first time. The gruesome images of decapitated children’s bodies and stolen innocence on Gaza’s shores are a dreadful repeat of Israel’s assault on Gaza in November 2012 and winter 2008–09. Not only are the military tactics the same but so too are the public relations efforts and the faulty legal arguments that underpin the attacks. Mainstream media news anchors are inexplicably accepting these arguments as fact.

Below I address five of Israel’s recurring talking points. I hope this proves useful to newsmakers.

1) Israel is exercising its right to self-defense.

As the occupying power of the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian Territories more broadly, Israel has an obligation and a duty to protect the civilians under its occupation. It governs by military and law enforcement authority to maintain order, protect itself and protect the civilian population under its occupation. It cannot simultaneously occupy the territory, thus usurping the self-governing powers that would otherwise belong to Palestinians, and declare war upon them. These contradictory policies (occupying a land and then declaring war on it) make the Palestinian population doubly vulnerable.

The precarious and unstable conditions in the Gaza Strip from which Palestinians suffer are Israel’s responsibility. Israel argues that it can invoke the right to self-defense under international law as defined in Article 51 of the UN Charter. The International Court of Justice, however, rejected this faulty legal interpretation in its 2004 Advisory Opinion. The ICJ explained that an armed attack that would trigger Article 51 must be attributable to a sovereign state, but the armed attacks by Palestinians emerge from within Israel’s jurisdictional control. Israel does have the right to defend itself against rocket attacks, but it must do so in accordance with occupation law and not other laws of war. Occupation law ensures greater protection for the civilian population. The other laws of war balance military advantage and civilian suffering. The statement that “no country would tolerate rocket fire from a neighboring country” is therefore both a diversion and baseless.

Israel denies Palestinians the right to govern and protect themselves, while simultaneously invoking the right to self-defense. This is a conundrum and a violation of international law, one that Israel deliberately created to evade accountability.

2) Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005.

Israel argues that its occupation of the Gaza Strip ended with the unilateral withdrawal of its settler population in 2005. It then declared the Gaza Strip to be “hostile territory” and declared war against its population. Neither the argument nor the statement is tenable. Despite removing 8,000 settlers and the military infrastructure that protected their illegal presence, Israel maintained effective control of the Gaza Strip and thus remains the occupying power as defined by Article 47 of the Hague Regulations. To date, Israel maintains control of the territory’s air space, territorial waters, electromagnetic sphere, population registry and the movement of all goods and people.

Israel argues that the withdrawal from Gaza demonstrates that ending the occupation will not bring peace. Some have gone so far as to say that Palestinians squandered their opportunity to build heaven in order to build a terrorist haven instead. These arguments aim to obfuscate Israel’s responsibilities in the Gaza Strip, as well as the West Bank. As Prime Minister Netanyahu once explained, Israel must ensure that it does not “get another Gaza in Judea and Samaria…. I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.”

Palestinians have yet to experience a day of self-governance. Israel immediately imposed a siege upon the Gaza Strip when Hamas won parliamentary elections in January 2006 and tightened it severely when Hamas routed Fatah in June 2007. The siege has created a “humanitarian catastrophe” in the Gaza Strip. Inhabitants will not be able to access clean water, electricity or tend to even the most urgent medical needs. The World Health Organization explains that the Gaza Strip will be unlivable by 2020. Not only did Israel not end its occupation, it has created a situation in which Palestinians cannot survive in the long-term.

3) This Israeli operation, among others, was caused by rocket fire from Gaza.

Israel claims that its current and past wars against the Palestinian population in Gaza have been in response to rocket fire. Empirical evidence from 2008, 2012 and 2014 refute that claim. First, according to Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the greatest reduction of rocket fire came through diplomatic rather than military means. This chart demonstrates the correlation between Israel’s military attacks upon the Gaza Strip and Hamas militant activity. Hamas rocket fire increases in response to Israeli military attacks and decreases in direct correlation to them. Cease-fires have brought the greatest security to the region.

During the four months of the Egyptian-negotiated cease-fire in 2008, Palestinian militants reduced the number of rockets to zero or single digits from the Gaza Strip. Despite this relative security and calm, Israel broke the cease-fire to begin the notorious aerial and ground offensive that killed 1,400 Palestinians in twenty-two days. In November 2012, Israel’s extrajudicial assassination of Ahmad Jabari, the chief of Hamas’s military wing in Gaza, while he was reviewing terms for a diplomatic solution, again broke the cease-fire that precipitated the eight-day aerial offensive that killed 132 Palestinians.

Immediately preceding Israel’s most recent operation, Hamas rocket and mortar attacks did not threaten Israel. Israel deliberately provoked this war with Hamas. Without producing a shred of evidence, it accused the political faction of kidnapping and murdering three settlers near Hebron. Four weeks and almost 700 lives later, Israel has yet to produce any evidence demonstrating Hamas’s involvement. During ten days of Operation Brother’s Keeper in the West Bank, Israel arrested approximately 800 Palestinians without charge or trial, killed nine civilians and raided nearly 1,300 residential, commercial and public buildings. Its military operation targeted Hamas members released during the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange in 2011. It’s these Israeli provocations that precipitated the Hamas rocket fire to which Israel claims left it with no choice but a gruesome military operation.

4) Israel avoids civilian casualties, but Hamas aims to kill civilians.

Hamas has crude weapons technology that lacks any targeting capability. As such, Hamas rocket attacks ipso facto violate the principle of distinction because all of its attacks are indiscriminate. This is not contested. Israel, however, would not be any more tolerant of Hamas if it strictly targeted military objects, as we have witnessed of late. Israel considers Hamas and any form of its resistance, armed or otherwise, to be illegitimate.

In contrast, Israel has the eleventh most powerful military in the world, certainly the strongest by far in the Middle East, and is a nuclear power that has not ratified the non-proliferation agreement and has precise weapons technology. With the use of drones, F-16s and an arsenal of modern weapon technology, Israel has the ability to target single individuals and therefore to avoid civilian casualties. But rather than avoid them, Israel has repeatedly targeted civilians as part of its military operations.

The Dahiya Doctrine is central to these operations and refers to Israel’s indiscriminate attacks on Lebanon in 2006. Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot said that this would be applied elsewhere:

What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on. […] We will apply disproportionate force on it and cause great damage and destruction there. From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages, they are military bases.

Israel has kept true to this promise. The 2009 UN Fact-Finding Mission to the Gaza Conflict, better known as the Goldstone Mission, concluded “from a review of the facts on the ground that it witnessed for itself that what was prescribed as the best strategy [Dahiya Doctrine] appears to have been precisely what was put into practice.”

According to the National Lawyers Guild, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, Israel directly targeted civilians or recklessly caused civilian deaths during Operation Cast Lead. Far from avoiding the deaths of civilians, Israel effectively considers them legitimate targets.

5) Hamas hides its weapons in homes, mosques and schools and uses human shields.

This is arguably one of Israel’s most insidious claims, because it blames Palestinians for their own death and deprives them of even their victimhood. Israel made the same argument in its war against Lebanon in 2006 and in its war against Palestinians in 2008. Notwithstanding its militarycartoon sketches, Israel has yet to prove that Hamas has used civilian infrastructure to storemilitary weapons. The two cases where Hamas indeed stored weapons in UNRWA schools, the schools were empty. UNRWA discovered the rockets and publicly condemned the violation of its sanctity.

International human rights organizations that have investigated these claims have determined that they are not true. It attributed the high death toll in Israel’s 2006 war on Lebanon to Israel’s indiscriminate attacks. Human Rights Watch notes:

The evidence Human Rights Watch uncovered in its on-the-ground investigations refutes [Israel’s] argument…we found strong evidence that Hezbollah stored most of its rockets in bunkers and weapon storage facilities located in uninhabited fields and valleys, that in the vast majority of cases Hezbollah fighters left populated civilian areas as soon as the fighting started, and that Hezbollah fired the vast majority of its rockets from pre-prepared positions outside villages.

In fact, only Israeli soldiers have systematically used Palestinians as human shields. Since Israel’s incursion into the West Bank in 2002, it has used Palestinians as human shields by tying young Palestinians onto the hoods of their cars or forcing them to go into a home where a potential militant may be hiding.

Even assuming that Israel’s claims were plausible, humanitarian law obligates Israel to avoid civilian casualties that “would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.” A belligerent force must verify whether civilian or civilian infrastructure qualifies as a military objective. In the case of doubt, “whether an object which is normally dedicated to civilian purposes, such as a place of worship, a house or other dwelling or a school, is being used to make an effective contribution to military action, it shall be presumed not to be so used.”

In the over thee weeks of its military operation, Israel has demolished 3,175 homes, at least a dozen with families inside; destroyed five hospitals and six clinics; partially damaged sixty-four mosques and two churches; partially to completely destroyed eight government ministries; injured 4,620; and killed over 700 Palestinians. At plain sight, these numbers indicate Israel’s egregious violations of humanitarian law, ones that amount to war crimes.

Beyond the body count and reference to law, which is a product of power, the question to ask is, What is Israel’s end goal? What if Hamas and Islamic Jihad dug tunnels beneath the entirety of the Gaza Strip—they clearly did not, but let us assume they did for the sake of argument. According to Israel’s logic, all of Gaza’s 1.8 million Palestinians are therefore human shields for being born Palestinian in Gaza. The solution is to destroy the 360-kilometer square strip of land and to expect a watching world to accept this catastrophic loss as incidental. This is possible only by framing and accepting the dehumanization of Palestinian life. Despite the absurdity of this proposal, it is precisely what Israeli society is urging its military leadership to do. Israel cannot bomb Palestinians into submission, and it certainly cannot bomb them into peace.

PHOTO OF GAZAN ‘TERRORIST’ BOMBED BY ISRAEL

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They aimed for Haniyeh, but got this one instead ….. VERY DISTURBING PHOTO

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The following video shows more of the carnage

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BEWARE OF THE TERRORISTS, ESPECIALLY THE SHORT ONES!

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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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PHOTOS OF ‘DIE-IN’ AND MARCH FOR GAZA IN NEW YORK

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The demonstrators made a short tour of financial institutions in midtown Manhattan that are supporting Israeli policies financially and aiding in colonization.  The demonstrators stopped at 2 banks and walked through the diamond district where many were glad to have a heavy police escort since the business owners appeared to become
agitated and threatening.  In front of one of the banks 6 people performed an act of civil disobedience by having a die-in after spraying the bank and street with fake blood.  Using passive resistance, the police were forced to lift  and carry them to the police van to arrest them.
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Photos © by Bud Korotzer
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The Die-In and arrests …
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And the march …
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In the afternoon several thousand people of every age, race, and ethnicity
converged on Times Sq. for a rally against the Gaza massacre.  Families came
with their flags, posters, and beautiful children.  After the rally everyone
marched across busy 42nd St. to the Israeli Consulate. They got considerable
support from people standing aside to watch the marchers pass.
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Diamond merchants seem to have a problem with the marchers … I guess zionism is their BEST FRIEND
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THE LATEST GAZA SPOOFS

Images ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

No Happy Eid in Gaza today

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The bird of Prey is always faster than the bird of Peace

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EVERY NUMBER HAS A NAME IN GAZA

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Afraid that the names of those slaughtered by Israel would get lost in the staggering statistics of death, two women have set up the website Humanize Palestine (humanizepalestine.com) as an online memorial to Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks.

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Not just numbers: online memorial publishes names, faces of Palestinians killed in Gaza

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Asem Khalil Abed Ammar

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Qassem Talal Hamdan, 23, was killed on 13 July 2014 in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza. An engineering student, his “dream was to be a successful engineer to build and develop his country.”

Iman Khalil Abed Ammar was just nine years old. She was killed on 20 July in the Shujaiya massacre along with her brothers, four-year-old Asem and thirteen-year-old Ibrahim.

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Qassem Talal Hamdan

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Mahmoud Abdel Hamid Elzowidi, 23, and Mohammad Khalid Jamil Elzowidi, 20, were among five members of their family killed on 19 July when Israel bombed their house in Beit Hanoun.

These are the names of just six of the more than 1,000 Palestinians known to have been killed in almost three weeks of relentless Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

On Saturday, during a twelve-hour “humanitarian truce,” the full extent of the mass destruction Israel has inflicted was revealed as people were able to re-enter neighborhoods such as Shujaiya, and dozens more bodies were pulled from under the rubble. Many people are still missing.

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Iman Khalil Abed Ammar

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Afraid that the names of those slaughtered by Israel would get lost in the staggering statistics of death, two women have set up the website Humanize Palestine (humanizepalestine.com) as an online memorial to Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks.

Bayan Abusneineh and Dana Saifan are both recent graduates of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and have both been active in Students for Justice in Palestine.

I spoke with Abusneineh, who told me that she and Saifan got the idea to start the project after seeing many graphic images of the bodies of Palestinians who had died violent deaths circulating through social media.

“Initially when everything was happening it was necessary for people to see these graphic images, to know the reality of what is going in Gaza,” Abusneineh explained. “But then I started thinking about those three Israeli settler youths who were kidnapped – their faces were everywhere. Generally, when Israelis are killed, their bodies are not shown. You only see smiling faces, and that creates empathy.”

Abusneineh said that Humanize Palestine was intended to serve first and foremost “as a reminder and memorial for our own community. People were already making an effort to put names out there, and we saw them sharing some of the images of friends and relatives when they were alive, so our project is another way to bring them together.”

But she also says she hopes that people outside the Palestinian community will “see it and understand better who Palestinians are. This is how they lived. This is how their lives were ended.”

I asked Abusneineh how she and Saifan verify the images, names and other information they publish on the site, and she talked about the process: “We started just compiling images about a week ago on a Google document and we realized we could make something bigger. We started going through Twitter, Tumblr, trying to get verification. People were sharing pictures of family members and we got into contact with them as well.”

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Mahmoud Abdel Hamid Elzowidi (left) and Mohammad Khalid Jamil Elzowidi

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“When we find someone circulating information, we try to find multiple pictures of the person matched to a name,” she explained. “We check to see if the name is on a list of casualties on a credible website. If we can’t find a match, we don’t use the image. We also try our best to match information up with stories published in the media. There have been a lot we didn’t use.”

Still the effort is not perfect, Abusneineh acknowledges, which is why she thinks it is crucial to see Humanize Palestine as a community effort. Several people have helped to refine, correct and track down information, and there is now an email address on the site for people to send in submissions.

“We’ve had a lot of people contribute pictures saying these are my cousins, this is their picture and this is what happened to them, and we’re hoping to put those up too.” Others have even sent in art work and poetry.

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Mustafa Abd El Hadi Abu Mur and Khaled Abd El Hadi Abu Mur

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The website also includes Palestinians who may have been combatants, such as brothers Mustafa Abd El Hadi Abu Mur, 20, and Khaled Abd El Hadi Abu Mur, 23 who, the site says, “died together in Rafah in defense of their nation.”

Abusneineh acknowledges that the site is a lot of work, but she sees value in it becoming a permanent memorial if the community effort can be built and maintained.

Although she agreed to speak to The Electronic Intifada in order to explain the goals of Humanize Palestine, Abusneineh says that she and Saifan have not put their own names on the website itself, “because we want the focus to be entirely on the people whose lives we write about.”

The website features not only Palestinians killed by Israel in Gaza, but victims of Israeli army and settler attacks in the occupied West Bank as well.

“We don’t want it just to be when a huge massacre happens. People still die every day because of the occupation. So we hope to continue,” she says.

All images courtesy of Humanize Palestine.

HUMANITARIAN FUNERALS IN GAZA

The humanitarian cease-fire was meant, above all, to allow for the removal of bodies trapped under bombed homes in residential areas adjacent to the border with Israel. Around 150 bodies were extricated yesterday, bringing the number of Palestinians killed in the past two-plus weeks of fighting past the thousand mark. According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, of the 928 fatalities who had been identified by name as of 10 A.M. yesterday, 764 were civilians, and they included 215 children and 118 women.

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Some 150 bodies recovered in Gaza as death toll exceeds 1,000

Palestinian sources say seven members of medical teams have been killed by IDF in past two weeks.

By Amira Hass IN
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A Palestinian woman pauses amid destroyed buildings in the northern district of Beit Hanun.

A Palestinian woman pauses amid destroyed buildings in the northern district of Beit Hanun, July 26, 2014. Photo by AFP
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Accompanied by the stench of raw sewage, rotting garbage, animal carcasses and human bodies buried under rubble, hundreds of thousands of Gazans yesterday left their homes and temporary refuges and returned to what two weeks ago were bustling neighborhoods and towns.

The humanitarian cease-fire was meant, above all, to allow for the removal of bodies trapped under bombed homes in residential areas adjacent to the border with Israel. Around 150 bodies were extricated yesterday, bringing the number of Palestinians killed in the past two-plus weeks of fighting past the thousand mark. According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, of the 928 fatalities who had been identified by name as of 10 A.M. yesterday, 764 were civilians, and they included 215 children and 118 women.

For two weeks, the Israel Defense Forces barred Palestinian rescue teams from reaching wounded Palestinians or searching the ruins of destroyed homes for possible survivors if Israeli infantry units were operating nearby. Seven members of emergency medical teams were killed by the IDF in the past two weeks while trying to reach the wounded. Two were killed on Friday, in Beit Hanun and in eastern Khan Yunis. In an unknown number of incidents, EMT teams turned back after being shot at by Israeli soldiers. The Palestinian Health Ministry said that even yesterday, during the cease-fire, EMT crews were stopped from entering Kaft Huza’a, east of Khan Yunis, where dozens of civilians were killed by the IDF late Tuesday night or early Wednesday. It’s not known how many people are still buried under the rubble, whether dead or injured.

In the day preceding the humanitarian cease-fire, 75 Palestinians were killed by Israeli gunfire or air attacks in the Gaza Strip, 52 of them civilians. According to the Palestinian human rights center, 18 of these were children and eight were women.

In a single air strike, about five hours before the cease-fire went into effect, 20 members of Samir Hussein Muhammed al-Najar’s family died when a bomber fired a missile at the two-story building, including 11 children and five women, including Samir, 58, Ra’aliya, 56, and their children Majd, 19, Kifah, 24 and Samr, 26; relatives Amir, 2, Islam 3, and Amira, eight months; and Riham, 25 and pregnant.

In one of the bombing runs on the night between Thursday and Friday, Husam Yassin, 15, a grandson of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the founder of Hamas, was killed.

At 7 P.M. Friday, an IDF shell hit a hospital in Beit Hanun. Hospital staff, civilians and two volunteers from the International Solidarity Movement were in the building.

They reported that Israeli soldiers had been seen outside the building and that exchanges of gunfire had been heard in the area. As a result of gunfire in the vicinity of the hospital, most of the patients had been evacuated previously. The firing on the hospital continued until Friday night.

“It was absolute chaos, the army shelled the hospital. There are two patients on the second floor and we think they’re all right but we can’t move them easily because they’re bedridden. I’m bleeding from my head because of an injury, and another person was also wounded. People are scared,” a Swedish volunteer at the hospital said. The hospital was not evacuated until yesterday morning, when the humanitarian cease-fire went into effect.

During the night between Thursday and Friday, IDF fire hit the a-Dura children’s hospital in Gaza City. A 1-year-old infant in the pediatric intensive care unit was killed and 30 other patients were injured. They were evacuated to Shifa Hospital.

A Beit Hanun man who was among the thousands who fled their homes in the middle of last week returned home yesterday morning, like thousands of others, hoping to at least take a few changes of clothing for himself, his wife and his family, who was staying with friends in Jabalya.

“It was as if a tsunami had hit,” he said. “I couldn’t even tell what was our home and what was the neighbors’. And when I did figure it out, I discovered that there was nothing to take. All the furniture and the clothing was burned or still burning. The house was half-destroyed. All our savings, for decades, gone.”

Shujaiyeh, which had about 100,00 Palestinian inhabitants, not refugees, had turned into “a ghost town,” said a woman who went to see the destruction. “Residential buildings had not only been destroyed in bombing raids but also ground into gravel, sand, piles of dirt. I’ve seen destroyed homes in my life. Usually you can tell where the buildings were, even where the walls had been. This was different. You can’t tell where a building used to be, how many buildings were there before the bombardments. A few buildings are still standing, others totally disappeared.”

INFOGRAPHIC ~~ISRAEL/PALESTINE … WHO DUNNIT?

CeaseFire

 

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While both the Israeli military and Palestinian resistance factions violated the terms of the ceasefire, a close examination shows that Israeli violations were more frequent and far more deadly.

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Infographic: Who violates ceasefires more, Israelis or Palestinians? 

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Ali Abunimah

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The United States and other governments have harshly blamed Hamas for the ongoing slaughter in Gaza because they refused a unilateral “ceasefire” declared by Israel on 14 July through its Egyptian proxy.

But as dozens of prominent figures in Gaza civil society write, “Hamas represented the sentiment of the vast majority of residents when it rejected the unilateral ceasefire proposed by Egypt and Israel without consulting anyone in Gaza.”

“We share the broadly held public sentiment that it is unacceptable to merely return to the status quo” of devastating Israeli siege on Gaza, the civil society leaders said. “To do so would mean a return to a living death.”

To put the situation in context, Visualizing Palestine (visualizingpalestine.org) created this infographic that charts the routine violations of the last Egyptian-brokered ceasefire from 22 November 2012 until 7 July 2014.

Israeli violations lethal and most frequent

While both the Israeli military and Palestinian resistance factions violated the terms of the ceasefire, a close examination shows that Israeli violations were more frequent and far more deadly.

Out of Israel’s 191 violations, 10 percent resulted in death and 42 percent in injuries or detentions; while out of the 75 Palestinian violations, just four percent resulted in injuries and none in death.

This new graphic complements the earlier one created in February by Ben White and Rachele Richards for Al Jazeera that covered the first three months of the November 2012 ceasefire.

During that period, zero rockets and two mortar shells came out of Gaza. In the same period, Israel attacked Palestinians in Gaza dozens of times, killing four and injuring 91.

No one in Gaza would want the current bloodbath to continue for another minute, but it is imperative that any ceasefire agreement actually be enforced – especially on the party with the tendency to most frequently and lethally violate the terms of previous agreements: Israel.

This is the first of two graphics to be released on the situation in Gaza by Visualizing Palestine. Visualizing Palestine has provided a file with the raw data used to create this infographic.

As of Thursday evening, the Gaza Ministry of Health reported that 797 Palestinians have now been killed, and more than 5,100 injured during the sixteen consecutive days of Israel’s attacks.

More than one hundred Palestinians were killed on Thursday alone, as Israel attacked multiple areas of the Gaza Strip, including a United Nations-run school in Beit Hanoun where Palestinians had sought refuge.

REMEMBERING LOVE IN TIME OF CRISIS

As the madness continues, we must remember those that opposed it before it even started. Juliano Mer-Khamis was one of those …. For him, for his mother, STOP THE MADNESS NOW!
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Portrait of Juliano Mer-Khamis
Portrait of Juliano Mer-Khamis
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It matters not to me who actually pulled the trigger on the gun that killed Juliano. In reality, he was killed by the occupation that he so despised. An occupation that is responsible for the creation of monsters on both sides of the wall, monsters so full of hatred and venom that any one of them could be the guilty party. A part of all of us was murdered that afternoon in Jenin by that monster.
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Juliano was the embodiment of the anti occupation. He could not hate Jews because he was one. He could not hate Palestinians because he was one. He was genetically designed to love. But, obviously he was hated by some for being one or the other. It is sad that a man such as this did not live to see his dreams become a reality. Two nations sitting side by each in PEACE. It will happen dear Comrade…. this we promise you.
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Juliano and I shared a special bond, his parents were Communists as were mine, as are my son’s, as were his. This unique background establishes a very special relationship. This is a concept that can only be felt  by those who grew up in similar circumstances. I am not implying that we were a part of an exclusive fraternal order, but am saying that unless one actually wore the proverbial ‘red diaper’, one could not share the sentiments that I am speaking of. His death affected me personally as if a close member of my family died. In the terms I spoke of, in fact, Juliano was my brother.
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Juliano Mer-Khamis was mourned on both sides of the wall, in the two nations that he so proudly belonged to.  If you haven’t watched the following video, you must. You will get a good idea what a special man Juliano was, what a special woman his mother Arna was, and the love that both had for their people. You will see how evil the occupation is and how good those that oppose it are. It’s truly a special video about a special situation.
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