TIME TO INVOKE THE DEATH PENALTY IN ISRAEL

All my life I opposed the death penalty and have written about its evils ….

In Israel, capital punishment is allowed only during and only for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, crimes against the Jewish people, treason, and certain crimes under military law during wartime. The current Arab-Israel conflict is considered a war, and the committing of any of the crimes can result in the death penalty. Israel inherited the British Mandate of Palestine code of law, which included the death penalty for several offenses, but in 1954, Israel abolished the penalty for murder. (FROM)

BUT ……

When an 18 month old is brutally burnt to death by rampaging settlers in the Occupied West Bank, is there any other punishment that fits the crime?

Relatives carry the body of Palestinian toddler Ali Saad Dawabsha, through the streets of the West Bank village of Duma during his funeral on July 31, 2015. (AFP/ Thomas Coex)

Relatives carry the body of Palestinian toddler Ali Saad Dawabsha, through the streets of the West Bank village of Duma during his funeral on July 31, 2015. (AFP/ Thomas Coex)

President Mahmoud Abbas called for an investigation by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, while senior PA official Riyad al-Maliki rejected Israeli condemnations of the attack as hollow.

“We refuse to accept any official Israeli condemnation of the terrorist crime; they hold direct responsibility for the crime by their ongoing silence and deliberate ignoring and rejection of labeling these groups as terrorists,” al-Maliki said.

The United States Consul Donald Blome also expressed condolences to the Dawabsha family, referring to the arson as a terrorist attack and condemning what it termed a “crime of hate.”

While the US State Department’s 2013 Country Reports on Terrorism included “price-tag” attacks — attacks by extremist Israeli settlers — for the first time, it noted such attacks were “largely unprosecuted.”

Full report HERE

Well …

The time has come for these crimes to be prosecuted, and as I see it there is only one punishment that fits such crimes, the death penalty!

Khaled Amayreh adds ….

In fact, there is a striking similarity between the various aspects of Jewish Nazism and Aryan Nazism. The Germans had the Mein Kampf, the Judeo-Nazis have the Talmud, the Chesront Shas and the Tanya, and the Germans had the Ubermenschen and the Untermenschen while Jews have the goyem concept, which dehumanizes non-Jews in a nefariously shocking manner. The Germans had the Lebensraum concept and the Zionist Jews have the settlements. The German Nazis taught that non-Aryans were lesser or infra-humans, while synagogues in Israel and around the world shamelessly teach that the lives of non-Jews have no sanctity. 
 
Needless to say, this evil Talmudic indoctrination functions as the ideological underpinnings of the genocidal crimes being perpetrated by the Nazis of our time, the Israelis. This is the reason that makes thousands of Israeli Jews, gleefully and sadistically, celebrate the mass murder of Palestinian civilians. 
 
I don’t know when the world can ever call Israel “Nazi” after all that Israel has done and is doing.
 
The unspoken words of many Zionist Jews would suggest that the world must refrain from calling Israel Nazi unless Israel murders six million Palestinians?!!!!
 
But this is an expression of absolute evilness by every standard of imagination. In the final analysis, if Israel were to suffer even a fraction of what it has inflicted on the Palestinians, Israeli leaders would not hesitate to call it a holocaust and pathological Jewish liars like Binyamin Netanyahu and Elie Weisel would  immediately invoke Auschwitz, Bergen Belsen, Dachau and Mauthauzen.!!!
 
In fact, they are already doing this although less than ten Israeli settlers have been killed.
 
In light, it is perfectly legitimate to call Israel the Nazis of our time, if only because Israelis are thinking, behaving and acting in Nazi-like manner.
 
As victims of Jewish Nazism, we Palestinians are not going to die quietly in the uninterrupted Jewish holocaust against our very existence. We are not going to behave meekly at the Jewish slaughterhouse in deference of Jewish feelings.
 
Let the shipyard dogs of Jewish Nazism, from California to Sydney, let them bark as rabidly and uncontrollably as they could, but they won’t be able to suppress our voices.
 
Don’t tell us Israel has many Nobel Prize winners and talented doctors and scientists. So what? The Nazis, too, had many talented doctors and scientists! We all know the rest of the story.

Here is his full report

“The Nazis of our time won’t be able to silence the voices of truth”

I have been receiving of late several email messages, especially from North America, all critical of my propensity to compare the manifestly genocidal Israeli crimes in the Gaza Strip with Nazi atrocities in the course of the Second World War.

Many of these messages came from recalcitrant Zionist supremacists who think the entire world must move according to the Zionist compass.

Other messages, however, were sent by apparently ignorant and naïve non-Zionists, seemingly brainwashed by protracted Zionist-Jewish propaganda. As we all know, Zionist-Jews more or less tightly control the media discourse in North America and to a lesser extent in Europe and Australia.  This is  one of the main reasons behind the unrestricted and often blind backing of the evil Zionist enterprise by most western governments, especially that of the U.S.

One of the critics of the Zionist-Nazi analogy wrote: “You call the Israelis the Nazis of our time. You clearly have no knowledge of history. Let’s take one example; at Barbi Yar in the Ukraine the Nazis slaughtered 30,000 Jews in one operation. 100,000 over a period of time. If the Israelis were the equivalent of Nazis neither you nor any other Palestinian would exist in what you call Palestine.  If ever there was the big liar, like the Nazis, it is you. I hope the PA comes for you again and puts you back in a deep hole.”

Palestinians don’t have to lie to promote their cause
Well, as Palestinians we don’t accuse Israel of murdering six million Palestinians, although Israel would have annihilated (physically) our entire people a long time ago had the circumstances been more “conducive” to the perpetration of such a genocide.

It is for this reason that instead of committing a single-event mega-genocide, the Zionist entity resorted to carrying out a series of genocidal atrocities, spread out overall several decades. This way the Zionists calculated the genocidal episodes would look less dramatic and world reactions would be muted and desensitized.

None the less, the ultimate Jewish-Zionist goal remained unchanged, namely the obliteration and physical annihilation of the native Palestinians in order to take over their country.

So the Palestinians are not inventing a “holocaust industry” to voice their plight and incriminate Israel. In fact, Israeli behaviors and actions are more than sufficient to condemn Israel. To put it very simply, the Palestinians don’t need to lie to expose Israeli Nazism and evilness.

Israel, its Talmudic doctrine, and the Zionist ideology in general do exude a clear mental willingness to embark on such a diabolical crime. Any honest observer can easily reach this inevitable conclusion by merely thoroughly examining any religious edicts, statements, lectures and speeches by numerous Israeli politicians and religious leaders.

So we are by no means making any hyperbolic or far-fetched claims here.

In fact, genocide by Jews against non-Jews is perfectly compatible with Orthodox Judaism, Talmudic doctrine and Jewish history. In any case, what is practiced in reality remains more eloquent an expression of Jewish Nazism than all the books and edicts.

Here is a testimony by Nurit Peled, daughter of Matti Peled, an Israeli Major-General, a celebrated Israeli military commander and war hero who describes Gaza as a concentration camp.

Numerous rabbis, past and present, made unequivocal and unmistakable statements enthusiastically supporting the notion of genocide against the Palestinian people. A few years ago, a Jewish settler leader affiliated with the messianic Jewish movement “Gush Emunim” was quoted as saying  that “the proper way to deal with the Palestinians is the Biblical way,” an allusion to  genocide.

More to the point, there is more to Jewish Nazism than just the sheer number of its Palestinian victims, although the numbers are not small by any means. Take for example the 2000 Palestinians murdered and the estimated 11000 maimed in the ongoing Judeo-Nazi blitzkrieg against Gaza so far. In proportion to the size of population, this would be like having about a million Americans murdered and maimed, and this happens during just “one military operation.”

Besides, Nazism, whether Jewish or Aryan, is not only about the sheer number of victims. It is also about a mental depravity, a criminal mindset, an evil intent, a barbarian value-system and a satanic ideology. Just watch how Judeo-Nazi Israelis are now celebrating the mass murder and mass destruction of Gaza.

In fact, there is a striking similarity between the various aspects of Jewish Nazism and Aryan Nazism. The Germans had the Mein Kampf, the Judeo-Nazis have the Talmud, the Chesront Shas and the Tanya, and the Germans had the Ubermenschen and the Untermenschen while Jews have the goyem concept, which dehumanizes non-Jews in a nefariously shocking manner. The Germans had the Lebensraum concept and the Zionist Jews have the settlements. The German Nazis taught that non-Aryans were lesser or infra-humans, while synagogues in Israel and around the world shamelessly teach that the lives of non-Jews have no sanctity.

Needless to say, this evil Talmudic indoctrination functions as the ideological underpinnings of the genocidal crimes being perpetrated by the Nazis of our time, the Israelis. This is the reason that makes thousands of Israeli Jews, gleefully and sadistically, celebrate the mass murder of Palestinian civilians.

I don’t know when the world can ever call Israel “Nazi” after all that Israel has done and is doing.

The unspoken words of many Zionist Jews would suggest that the world must refrain from calling Israel Nazi unless Israel murders six million Palestinians?!!!!

But this is an expression of absolute evilness by every standard of imagination. In the final analysis, if Israel were to suffer even a fraction of what it has inflicted on the Palestinians, Israeli leaders would not hesitate to call it a holocaust and pathological Jewish liars like Binyamin Netanyahu and Elie Weisel would  immediately invoke Auschwitz, Bergen Belsen, Dachau and Mauthauzen.!!!

In fact, they are already doing this although less than ten Israeli settlers have been killed.

In light, it is perfectly legitimate to call Israel the Nazis of our time, if only because Israelis are thinking, behaving and acting in Nazi-like manner.

As victims of Jewish Nazism, we Palestinians are not going to die quietly in the uninterrupted Jewish holocaust against our very existence. We are not going to behave meekly at the Jewish slaughterhouse in deference of Jewish feelings.

Let the shipyard dogs of Jewish Nazism, from California to Sydney, let them bark as rabidly and uncontrollably as they could, but they won’t be able to suppress our voices.

Don’t tell us Israel has many Nobel Prize winners and talented doctors and scientists. So what? The Nazis, too, had many talented doctors and scientists! We all know the rest of the story.

My addition ….. and we all know the penalty they received!

WHY BDS IS JUST AND IS A MUST

The Palestinians are poor. They are powerless. They have no voice or influence in the halls of power. They are demonized. They do not have well-heeled lobbyists doling out campaign contributions and pushing through pro-Palestinian legislation. No presidential candidate is appealing to donors—as Hillary Clinton did when she sent a letter to media mogul Haim Saban denouncing critics of Israel—by promising to advance the interests of the Palestinian people. Palestinians, like poor people of color in the United States, are expendable.

 Smoke and fire from an Israeli strike rise over Gaza City in July 2014. (Hatem Moussa / AP )

Smoke and fire from an Israeli strike rise over Gaza City in July 2014. (Hatem Moussa / AP )

Why I Support the BDS Movement Against Israel

By Chris Hedges

The Palestinians are poor. They are powerless. They have no voice or influence in the halls of power. They are demonized. They do not have well-heeled lobbyists doling out campaign contributions and pushing through pro-Palestinian legislation. No presidential candidate is appealing to donors—as Hillary Clinton did when she sent a letter to media mogul Haim Saban denouncing critics of Israel—by promising to advance the interests of the Palestinian people. Palestinians, like poor people of color in the United States, are expendable.

Justice for Palestine will never come from the traditional governmental institutions or political parties that administer power. These institutions have surrendered to moneyed interests. Justice will come only from us. And the sole mechanism left to ensure justice for Palestine is the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Sanctions brought down the apartheid regime of South Africa. And they are what will bring down the apartheid regime of Israel. BDS is nonviolent. It appeals to conscience. And it works.

All Israeli products including Jaffa citrus fruits, Ahava cosmetics, SodaStream drink machines, Eden Springs bottled water and Israeli wine must be boycotted. We must refuse to do business with Israeli service companies. And we must boycott corporations that do business with Israel, including Caterpillar, HP and Hyundai. We must put pressure on institutions, from churches to universities, to divest from Israeli companies and corporations that have contracts with Israel. The struggle against apartheid in South Africa was long and hard. This struggle will be too.

Gaza, a year after Israel carried out a devastating bombing campaign that lasted almost two months, is in ruins. Most of the water is unsafe to drink. There are power outages for up to 12 hours a day. Forty percent of the 1.8 million inhabitants are unemployed, including 67 percent of the youths—the highest youth unemployment rate in the world. Of the 17,000 homes destroyed by Israel in the siege, not one has been rebuilt. Sixty thousand people remain homeless. Only a quarter of the promised $3.5 billion in aid from international donors has been delivered—much of it diverted to the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli puppet regime that governs the West Bank. And no one in Washington—Republican or Democrat—will defy the Israel lobby. No one will call for justice or stay the Israeli killing machine. U.S. senators, including Bernie Sanders, at the height of the Israeli bombardment last summer voted unanimously to defend the Israeli slaughter of a people with no army, navy, air force, mechanized units, artillery or command and control. It was a vote worthy of the old Soviet Union. Every senator held out his or her tin cup to the Israel lobby and chose naked self-interest over justice.

Israel, like the United States, is poisoned by the psychosis of permanent war. It too is governed by a corrupt oligarchic elite for whom war has become a lucrative business. It too has deluded itself into carrying out war crimes and then playing the role of the victim. Israeli systems of education and the press—again mirrored in the United States—have indoctrinated Israelis into believing that they have a right to kill anyone whom the state condemns as a terrorist. And Israel’s most courageous human rights campaigners, intellectuals and journalists are slandered and censored in their own country, just as American critics such as Norman Finkelstein, Max Blumenthal and Noam Chomskyare in the United States.

Those who become addicted to the wielding of the instruments of war, blinded by hubris and a lust for power, eventually become war’s victims. This is as true for Israel as for the United States.

Israel’s goal is to make life a living hell for all Palestinians, ethnically cleansing as many as it can and subduing those who remain. The peace process is a sham. It has led to Israel’s seizure of more than half the land on the West Bank, including the aquifers, and the herding of Palestinians into squalid, ringed ghettos or Bantustans while turning Palestinian land and homes over to Jewish settlers. Israel is expanding settlements, especially in East Jerusalem. Racial laws, once championed by the right-wing demagogue Meir Kahane, openly discriminate against Israeli Arabs and Palestinians. Ilan Pappecalls the decades-long assault against the Palestinian people “incremental genocide.”

In Gaza, Israel practices an even more extreme form of cruelty. It employs a mathematical formula to limit outside food deliveries to Gaza to keep the caloric levels of the 1.8 million Palestinians just above starvation. This has left 80 percent of the Palestinians in Gaza dependent on Islamic charities and outside aid to survive. And the periodic military assaults on Gaza, euphemistically called “mowing the lawn,” are carried out every few years to ensure that the Palestinians remain broken, terrified and destitute. There have been three Israeli attacks on Gaza since 2008. Each is more violent and indiscriminate than the last. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has said that a fourth attack on Gaza is “inevitable.”

During its 51-day siege of Gaza last summer Israel dropped $370 million in ordinance on concrete hovels and refugee camps that hold the most densely packed population on the planet. Two thousand one hundred four Palestinians were killed. Sixty-nine percent—1,462—were civilians. Four hundred ninety-five were children. Ten thousand were injured. (During the attack six Israeli civilians and 66 soldiers were killed.) Four hundred Palestinian businesses were wiped out. Seventy mosques were destroyed and 130 were damaged. Twenty-four medical facilities were bombed, and 16 ambulances were struck, as was Gaza’s only electrical power plant. Israel tallied it up: 390,000 tank shells, 34,000 artillery shells, 4.8 million bullets. Most of the civilians who died were killed in their homes, many of the victims torn to shreds by flechette darts sprayed from tanks. Children were burned with white phosphorous or buried with their families under rubble caused by 2,000-pound iron fragmentation bombs. Others died from dense inert metal explosive, or DIME, bombs—experimental weapons that send out extremely small, carcinogenic particles that cut through both soft tissue and bone. The Israel Defense Forces, as Amira Hass has reported, consider any Palestinian over the age of 12 to be a legitimate military target. Max Blumenthal’s new book, “The 51 Day War,” is a chilling chronicle of savage atrocities carried out by Israel in Gaza last summer. As horrible as the apartheid state in South Africa was, that nation never used its air force and heavy artillery to bomb and shell black townships.

A report by Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) found Israel killed and injured more civilians with explosive weapons in 2014 than any other country in the world. Hamas’ indiscriminate firing of wildly inaccurate missiles—Finkelstein correctly called them “enhanced fireworks”—into Israel was, as a U.N. report recently charged, a war crime, although the report failed to note that under international law Hamas had a right to use force to defend itself from attack.

The disparity of firepower in the 2014 conflict was vast: Israel dropped 20,000 tons of explosives on Gaza while Hamas used 20 to 40 tons of explosives to retaliate. Israel’s wholesale slaughter of civilians is on a scale equaled only by Islamic State and Boko Haram. Yet Israel, in our world of double standards, is exempted from condemnation in Washington and provided with weapons and billions in U.S. foreign aid to perpetuate the killing. This is not surprising. The United States uses indiscriminate deadly force in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia that outdoes even Israel, leaving behind civilian victims, refugees and destroyed cities and villages in huge numbers.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who during his last election campaign received 90 percent of his money from U.S. oligarchs such as Sheldon Adelson, has internally mounted a campaign of state repression against human rights advocates, journalists and dissidents. He has stoked overt racism toward Palestinians and Arabs and the African migrant workers who live in the slums of Tel Aviv. “Death to Arabs” is a popular chant at Israeli soccer matches. Thugs from right-wing youth groups such as Im Tirtzu routinely beat up dissidents, Palestinians, Israeli Arabs and African immigrants in the streets of Tel Aviv. It is a species of Jewish fascism.

Israel is not an anomaly. It is a window into the dystopian, militarized world that is being prepared for all of us, a world with vast disparities of income and draconian systems of internal security. There will be no freedom for Palestine, or for those locked in our own internal colonies and terrorized by indiscriminate police violence, until we destroy corporate capitalism and the neoliberal ideology that sustains it. There will be no justice for Michael Brown until there is justice for Mohammed Abu Khdeir. The fight for the Palestinians is our fight. If the Palestinians are not liberated none of us will be liberated. We cannot pick and choose which of the oppressed are convenient or inconvenient to defend. We will stand with all of the oppressed or none of the oppressed. And when we stand with the oppressed we will be treated like the oppressed.

Written FOR

GAZA ~~ THE AFTERMATH // IN PHOTOS

Spoof by Latuff

Spoof by Latuff

As Israel continues to whine about the prospects of peace with Iran, the people of Gaza continue to suffer from the war last summer ….

A shoe belonging to Hala Bassam Madi, 3, lies in the ruins of her home in Rafah, southern Gaza, on 19 November 2014. The girl died in an Israeli air strike on 1 August 2014 that also killed her father Bassam, her mother Eman and her 2-year-old sister Jana. Her 3-year-old cousin Yousef was also killed, and a great-uncle later died of his wounds. Today, many of the ruins of destroyed homes have not been cleared and personal belongings remain scattered in the ruins.

A shoe belonging to Hala Bassam Madi, 3, lies in the ruins of her home in Rafah, southern Gaza, on 19 November 2014. The girl died in an Israeli air strike on 1 August 2014 that also killed her father Bassam, her mother Eman and her 2-year-old sister Jana. Her 3-year-old cousin Yousef was also killed, and a great-uncle later died of his wounds. Today, many of the ruins of destroyed homes have not been cleared and personal belongings remain scattered in the ruins.

Remembering Gaza’s victims

Documenting Israel’s military assault on Gaza last summer, I witnessed what can only be called atrocities: hospitals and morgues, overwhelmed by the constant flow of casualties; nights of terror under widespread and indiscriminate bombing; attacks on hospitals, ambulances and United Nations schools used as shelters; entire neighborhoods destroyed.

Of all the horrifying statistics, one is particularly shocking: 142 families lost three members or more in single Israeli strikes. I started the project #ObliteratedFamilies — now available for download and exhibitioning all over the world — to document such loss. It began as a project about the victims, but soon became also a project about the survivors. How can one cope with loss on this scale?

With the support of the Gaza-based human rights group Al Mezan, I met more than 50 families profoundly affected by Israel’s deadly attacks. I have never been exposed to such pain. Months after the end of the attacks, many Palestinians I met were still traumatized and in deep grief. Many also expressed their doubt of any prospect for justice for the crimes committed against their loved ones.

Some broke down and cried during our interview, others expressed their anger or were still in shock and unable to comprehend what had happened to them.

When I visited the homes of these mourning families, the memory of their lost kin was always present, though in varying ways. In some homes, their photos were displayed atop TV sets or on the walls. Sometimes, the victims’ clothes and belongings were as they left them, months after their death, as if they would soon return. In other homes, family members constantly looked at photos and videos of their loved ones on their mobile phones.

This collection of photographs contributes to the effort to remember Gaza’s victims, and to promote the calls for justice of the survivors.

Anne Paq is a French freelance photographer and member of the photography collective ActiveStills.

A poster honors the memory of Abbas Helmi Abu Rijeila, 20, seen in the street of Khuzaa, southern Gaza, on 16 November 2014. The business student was killed along with his father and sister in an Israeli missile attack on their home on 27 July 2014. Abbas was killed immediately; his sister Nehad was evacuated on a donkey cart as the ambulance could not reach them. She died a few day later in an Egyptian hospital.

A poster honors the memory of Abbas Helmi Abu Rijeila, 20, seen in the street of Khuzaa, southern Gaza, on 16 November 2014. The business student was killed along with his father and sister in an Israeli missile attack on their home on 27 July 2014. Abbas was killed immediately; his sister Nehad was evacuated on a donkey cart as the ambulance could not reach them. She died a few day later in an Egyptian hospital.

*

A photo of Afnan Wesam Shuhaibar, 8, in her Gaza City room on 17 November 2014. Afnan was killed together with two of her cousins, aged 8 and 11, when they were feeding the pigeons on the roof on 17 July 2014. Wesam, her father, says that she was an excellent pupil.

A photo of Afnan Wesam Shuhaibar, 8, in her Gaza City room on 17 November 2014. Afnan was killed together with two of her cousins, aged 8 and 11, when they were feeding the pigeons on the roof on 17 July 2014. Wesam, her father, says that she was an excellent pupil.

*

A photo stored on a mobile phone shows members of the al-Najjar family in the Bani Suheila, Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, on 19 November 2014. Nineteen members of the family, including 10 children, were killed in an Israeli attack on the night of 26 July 2014.

A photo stored on a mobile phone shows members of the al-Najjar family in the Bani Suheila, Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, on 19 November 2014. Nineteen members of the family, including 10 children, were killed in an Israeli attack on the night of 26 July 2014.

*

The office of Ibrahim Deeb Kilani in his home in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza, on 19 November 2014. Ibrahim, his wife Taghrid and their five young children were killed in a single Israeli air strike on a Gaza City residential tower on 21 July 2014.  They had fled their home after Israel dropped leaflets on Beit Lahiya warning residents to evacuate and go to Gaza City. Ibrahim was an architect who had lived in Germany for more 20 years and some of his buildings can be found in Köln. He and his children held German passports. As of November 2014, their home remained untouched with all their belongings inside.

The office of Ibrahim Deeb Kilani in his home in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza, on 19 November 2014. Ibrahim, his wife Taghrid and their five young children were killed in a single Israeli air strike on a Gaza City residential tower on 21 July 2014. They had fled their home after Israel dropped leaflets on Beit Lahiya warning residents to evacuate and go to Gaza City. Ibrahim was an architect who had lived in Germany for more 20 years and some of his buildings can be found in Köln. He and his children held German passports. As of November 2014, their home remained untouched with all their belongings inside.

*

Delo, the nickname of Hadeel Abd al-Kareem Balata, 17, is seen written on the wall of her room which was destroyed during an Israeli strike on 29 July 2014 which killed the girl and 10 other members of the family in the Jabaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza, 14 September 2014. According to her surviving father, Hadeel was really gifted at school and wanted to be a doctor.

Delo, the nickname of Hadeel Abd al-Kareem Balata, 17, is seen written on the wall of her room which was destroyed during an Israeli strike on 29 July 2014 which killed the girl and 10 other members of the family in the Jabaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza, 14 September 2014. According to her surviving father, Hadeel was really gifted at school and wanted to be a doctor.

*

Sharifa Mustafa Baker clings to a shirt belonging to her son, 10-year-old Zakaria Ahed Baker, in her home in al-Shati refugee camp on 19 July 2014. Zakaria was killed along with with three of his cousins by a missile fired by the Israeli navy as they were playing on a Gaza City beach on 16 July 2014. The attack was caught on video as it occurred near the hotels where many foreign journalists were staying. The Israeli military exonerated itself of responsibility for the children’s deaths this June.

Sharifa Mustafa Baker clings to a shirt belonging to her son, 10-year-old Zakaria Ahed Baker, in her home in al-Shati refugee camp on 19 July 2014. Zakaria was killed along with with three of his cousins by a missile fired by the Israeli navy as they were playing on a Gaza City beach on 16 July 2014. The attack was caught on video as it occurred near the hotels where many foreign journalists were staying. The Israeli military exonerated itself of responsibility for the children’s deaths this June.

*

A photo of Issam Khalil Ammar, 4, is seen on the television in his parents’ Gaza City apartment, 25 February 2015. Issam was killed with his sister, Eman (9) and brother Ibrahim (13) during an attack on a residential building on 20 July 2014. Eleven persons were killed in the building, including six members from the Hallaq family. The Ammar family still lives in the same building and their flat is full of the photos of the three children who were killed there.

A photo of Issam Khalil Ammar, 4, is seen on the television in his parents’ Gaza City apartment, 25 February 2015. Issam was killed with his sister, Eman (9) and brother Ibrahim (13) during an attack on a residential building on 20 July 2014. Eleven persons were killed in the building, including six members from the Hallaq family. The Ammar family still lives in the same building and their flat is full of the photos of the three children who were killed there.

*

Mahmoud Ashraf al-Khalili’s Gaza City bedroom, 12 November 2014. The 7-year-old boy survived the 30 July 2014 attack on his family’s home was conscious when he arrived at the hospital. But he fell into a coma and died a few days later. His father Ashraf, his mother Nida and his siblings Dima (4) and Ziyad (4) were killed. His uncle was also killed along with his wife and 4-year-old daughter. The extended family was sitting in front of the home and waiting to be evacuated when the attack occurred. The surviving family members still live in the same home. A factory belonging to the family was destroyed in the fire caused by the strike.

Mahmoud Ashraf al-Khalili’s Gaza City bedroom, 12 November 2014. The 7-year-old boy survived the 30 July 2014 attack on his family’s home was conscious when he arrived at the hospital. But he fell into a coma and died a few days later. His father Ashraf, his mother Nida and his siblings Dima (4) and Ziyad (4) were killed. His uncle was also killed along with his wife and 4-year-old daughter. The extended family was sitting in front of the home and waiting to be evacuated when the attack occurred. The surviving family members still live in the same home. A factory belonging to the family was destroyed in the fire caused by the strike.

*

A portrait of Yousef Nasser Hussein Kullab, 15, drawn by one of his friends, is shown on a mobile phone in Rafah, southern Gaza, on 25 March 2015. Yousef was killed along with three members of his family, including two other children, in an Israeli attack on his home on 21 August  2014.

A portrait of Yousef Nasser Hussein Kullab, 15, drawn by one of his friends, is shown on a mobile phone in Rafah, southern Gaza, on 25 March 2015. Yousef was killed along with three members of his family, including two other children, in an Israeli attack on his home on 21 August 2014.

*

Wafa al-Louh holds a photo of her daughter Eman and her secondary school examination certificate in her home in the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah on 16 September 2014. Eman was killed in an airstrike on her uncle’s nearby home; she was struck in the head by a block of concrete while she was praying next to her bed. Her uncle Mustafa’s home, 100 meters from her own, was attacked on 20 August 2014. Eight family members were killed.

Wafa al-Louh holds a photo of her daughter Eman and her secondary school examination certificate in her home in the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah on 16 September 2014. Eman was killed in an airstrike on her uncle’s nearby home; she was struck in the head by a block of concrete while she was praying next to her bed. Her uncle Mustafa’s home, 100 meters from her own, was attacked on 20 August 2014. Eight family members were killed.

*

A letter written by 16-year-old Shireen Abu Madi mourning her father on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, the holiday at the end of Ramadan, is glued to a poster commemorating the six members of her family killed in an Israeli attack in al-Nuseirat refugee camp, central Gaza Strip, 17 March 2015. Shireen lost her father and three brothers in the 2 August 2014 attack, as well as a 6-year-old nephew and 2-week-old niece.

A letter written by 16-year-old Shireen Abu Madi mourning her father on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, the holiday at the end of Ramadan, is glued to a poster commemorating the six members of her family killed in an Israeli attack in al-Nuseirat refugee camp, central Gaza Strip, 17 March 2015. Shireen lost her father and three brothers in the 2 August 2014 attack, as well as a 6-year-old nephew and 2-week-old niece.

*

Kites made by 13-year-old Muhammad Amjad Abd al-Aziz Uwaida rest on his bed in Rafah, southern Gaza, 17 February 2015. The boy was killed along with his 5-year-old sister Amal on 5 August 2014 when they were on the roof to feed their pigeons. According to their mother, Tahrir, Muhammad was skilled at making things with his own hands and his parents keep the objects that he made, including the kites.

Kites made by 13-year-old Muhammad Amjad Abd al-Aziz Uwaida rest on his bed in Rafah, southern Gaza, 17 February 2015. The boy was killed along with his 5-year-old sister Amal on 5 August 2014 when they were on the roof to feed their pigeons. According to their mother, Tahrir, Muhammad was skilled at making things with his own hands and his parents keep the objects that he made, including the kites.

ONE MOTHER LOOKS BACK AT LAST YEAR’S EID IN GAZA

Um Bilal al-Ghoul found it difficult to celebrate the Eid holiday this year, after she lost most of her family to Israeli air strikes a year ago during last summer’s devastating Gaza war.

Last summer’s war was the third in Gaza in six years, and by far the deadliest and most destructive of the three.

Palestinian youth write the names of children killed during last summer's war in the Gaza Strip. (AFP/ Musa Al Shaer, File)

Palestinian youth write the names of children killed during last summer’s war in the Gaza Strip. (AFP/ Musa Al Shaer, File)

Gaza mother mourns family killed in airstrike after last year’s Eid

Um Bilal al-Ghoul found it difficult to celebrate the Eid holiday this year, after she lost most of her family to Israeli air strikes a year ago during last summer’s devastating Gaza war.

A single attack on her home in Rafah’s densely populated Yibna refugee camp on Aug. 3, 2014 left 10 of her family members dead and 20 more injured.

Um Bilal lost her husband Wael and three of their children.

Wael’s mother, father, brother, and two sisters were also killed in the attack.

Um Bilal’s youngest child, Ibrahim, lost his twin brother, Mustafa, just days after the two were born toward the beginning of the Israeli offensive.

Asmaa al-Ghoul, a journalist based in Gaza City and a relative of Um Bilal, wrote in a post on Facebook after their birth: “In Gaza, there is always hope and new life. A door of light and happiness in the middle of this war.”

This year, however, the grieving mother refused to celebrate Ibrahim’s first birthday without his twin.

Her older son Bilal attempted to persuade her otherwise, telling her that “her wound would still be bleeding even if the children’s wounds had healed.”

Um Bilal told Ma’an: “Ibrahim does not feel the suffering we feel, but Eid this year has still come heavy and difficult, as his twin Mustafa, his father, his brother Ismail, and his sister Malak are gone.”

Um Bilal’d last memory of her husband was him coming home with “Ringa” fish, upon their children’s request.

She said the children had stood waiting anxiously for him at the front door.

“They won’t be with us this year,” she said.

Um Bilal told Ma’an that she knows she will spend much of her future time introducing one-year-old Ibrahim to his father and siblings through photographs.

Following the attack last year, Asmaa wrote an article for Al-Monitor lamenting the death of her relatives, none of whom had anything “to do with Hamas,” she wrote.

She said that the house “was one story with a roof made of thin asbestos that did not require two F-16 missiles to destroy.”

“Would someone please inform Israel that refugee camp houses can be destroyed, and their occupants killed, with only a small bomb, and that it needn’t spend billions to blow them into oblivion?”Asmaa wrote that throughout the war bodies lay everywhere, with the appearance of having left their personal lives behind.

“Most importantly, they left the fear of war behind.”

Last summer’s war was the third in Gaza in six years, and by far the deadliest and most destructive of the three.

The commissioner general of UN relief agency UNRWA, Pierre Krahenbuhl, warned earlier this month that the root causes of the conflict remain unaddressed.

“The despair, destitution and denial of dignity resulting from last year’s war and from the blockade are a fact of life for ordinary people in Gaza,” he said.

Large swathes of Gaza remain in ruin and work has not yet begun on the reconstruction of some 18,000 homes that were totally destroyed during the war.

 

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A POEM FOR GAZA

To the children who lost their lives, and the parents who had to bury them.

Gaza City, June 2015. /Mohammed Asad (APA images)

Gaza City, June 2015. /Mohammed Asad (APA images)

Poem: Hashtag Gaza

Bring your camera.
Bring your candles and spotlights to highlight.
Bring your focus to hashtag anniversary.

Everyday Gaza.

Bring your reporters, your journalists, your moving infographics.

Write:

“Abu Muhammad sits on the balcony, cradling the head of Muhammad.
Sorry.
“The photo of the head of Muhammad.”

Talk about bomb shelters and war sirens in Sderot and Tel Aviv.
Call it “Neutrality”

Talk about your 5 dead and your iron dome.
Call it “Objective Reality”

Bring your billion dollar pledges and your aid caravans
Your excel sheets, monitoring reports and donor requirements.
Call it “Accountability”

Write:

“Abu Muhammmad sits on the balcony hopelessly smokes a hopeless cigarette talks about lack of hope.”

This one is human interest story.

And when we invite you into our rubble homes for tea and bread you call it “Generosity.”

And when we are strong about our suffering you call it “Resilience.”

Write:

51 days.
2,000 dead.
10,000 wounded.

Abu Muhammad says:

My boys took a ball to the beach.
Came back bodies.
How can we remember what we can’t forget?
Jehan Bseiso is a Palestinian poet, researcher and aid worker currently based in Cairo.

LINEAR VIEWS OF THE WAR IN GAZA

The artist drew delicate lines over 50 photographs selected from the deluge of horrific news images of Gaza that flooded social media during Israel’s war last summer. With Scholnick’s intervention, the images are slightly abstracted, but also given further depth.

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Full report and more images HERE

GAZA ~~ A WINDOW TO HELL

A destroyed home in Khuzaa, September 2014. (Anne Paq /ActiveStills)

A destroyed home in Khuzaa, September 2014. (Anne Paq /ActiveStills)

A window to hell in Gaza

Spending the day of 17 August in Khuzaa was like peering through a window to hell. But what we witnessed in the landscape of apocalyptic oblivion paled in comparison to the experience described to me by two Palestine Red Crescent volunteers who had attempted to break through the Israeli military cordon during the siege of the town.

Twenty-five-year-old Ahmed Awad and 24-year-old Ala’a Alkusofi arrived at the edge of Khuzaa at a time when Red Cross ambulance crews refused to travel anywhere near the town. They said they had come to collect the body of a man whom soldiers had lashed to a tree by both arms and shot in the leg. When they arrived at the site, the soldiers ordered the driver of their ambulance, Muhammed Abadla, to exit the vehicle. When he obliged, they told him to walk five meters forward and switch on a flashlight. As soon as he flicked the light on, the soldiers shot him in the chest and killed him.

“It was something I’ll never forget,” Awad recalled, “seeing a colleague killed like that in front of me. I couldn’t believe what I witnessed.”

The two Red Crescent volunteers told me they later found a man in Khuzaa with rigor mortis, holding both hands over his head in surrender, his body filled with bullets. Deeper in the town, they discovered an entire family so badly decomposed they had to be shoveled with a bulldozer into a mass grave. In a field on the other side of town, Awad and Alkusofi found a shell-shocked woman at least 80 years of age hiding in a chicken coop. She had taken shelter there for nine days during the siege, living off of nothing but chicken feed and rain water. “She couldn’t believe it when we found her,” said Alkusofi. “She was sure she would die with the chickens.”

Horror stories

In nearly every shattered home I entered in Khuzaa, on every bomb-cratered street, in destroyed mosques and vandalized schools, I heard horror stories like this. Every resident I met in this town was touched by the violence in one way or another. While visiting the town, I wandered into the courtyard of a rehabilitation clinic for women and children afflicted with Continuous Traumatic Stress Disorder — a condition that affects a solid majority of youth in Gaza.

Located on a street lined with four-story apartments pockmarked with bullets and tank shells, the school was completely empty, but the signs of an Israeli presence were everywhere. As we entered, we found Stars of David spray painted by soldiers across the walls, right below colorful heart-shaped paper cut-outs bearing the names of students. In the closet of an administrative office that was neatly kept except for a few scattered papers, I found a spent M72 Light Anti-Tank Weapon. It was one of the shoulder-mounted launching tubes manufactured in Mesa, Arizona, by the Norwegian-owned Nammo arms corporation. The weapon had been used by the Israelis to rocket civilian homes across Gaza’s boundary regions.

In a classroom across the courtyard, sunrays burst through a gaping hole in the wall about the size of a 120mm tank shell. They shone light on a series of colorful posters decorated with matching ribbons that contained motivational messages. They read:

It always seems impossible until it’s done

Stay alive

Look to the future

No negative thoughts allowed

We wandered around the corner, past a group of children filling a jug of water from a truck that replaced the water tower Israeli forces detonated, past the giant dome of the Ebad al-Rahman mosque, which now sat on a pile of rubble next to the toppled water tower like the ancient ruins of some bygone empire. Nearby, we entered a small courtyard surrounded by a warren of shattered homes. At the edge of the yard, a small boy lay impassively in his bed in a room with no walls. A ceiling fan that looked as though it had been melted dangled above his head. In the center of the yard sat a gigantic olive green barrel. It was a spent Giant Viper round — one of the C4-packed mine clearing devices the Israelis fired into the center of Khuzaa during the assault on the town. A hen flapped its wings next to the barrel and chased after baby chicks bouncing through the rubble.

“Where are you from?” an old man called out to me from the road. He wore large spectacles and a morning robe, his front pocket stuffed with paper notepads, various cards and a glasses holder. He reminded me of my older Jewish relatives who came of age before the digital era and grew accustomed to carrying stacks of business cards, coupons and handwritten reminders in their shirt and coat pockets along with assorted mints and pens.

“I’m from America,” I told the man, readying for an indignant response.

“Ahhhh, Amreeka,” he grumbled. “I want to thank the American people,” the man continued, advancing to within two feet of me. “They are nice people, they give us food and bread and they give the Israelis weapons to kill us. They have different standards. It would be nice if they treated us all as humans.”

“We love life”

He introduced himself as Ali Ahmed Qudeh, the father of Kamal Qudeh, the doctor who treated the town’s wounded under heavy bombardment and in spite of being injured himself. Like his son, Ali Ahmed was a supporter of Fatah, the rivals of Hamas. And like virtually everyone I met in Gaza, he was an ardent supporter of the armed resistance of the Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ armed wing. “Our weapons are not terrorist weapons, our weapons are [for] self-defense,” he insisted. “Our weapons are to free our land. We are dignified people, we love life. We don’t hate life like they say. But we’ll die for our land.”

As a group of small children gathered in the courtyard, Ali Ahmed detailed to me how many family members each child lost in the assault on Khuzaa. Pointing at the little boy lying in bed, he suggested that the most devastating consequence of the war was not the death toll, but the psychological impact on the youngest members of his community.

“That kid wants to make an atomic bomb and obliterate Israel!” he roared. “Why? Because he saw his family members die in front of him! How can you raise kids who want to make bombs?”

When I made my way back into the road, I heard Ali Ahmed call after me again. He was rushing forward through the rubble with a tray of sweets. “I don’t mean to say that all Americans are bad,” he said, urging me to take a freshly baked cookie. “It’s the government that’s the problem, not the people.”

Just then, an Israeli squadron of American-made F-16s roared through the sky. A small girl standing beside me ducked reflexively at the sound of the jets, bracing for another missile strike. The war was far from over.

This essay is excerpted from Max Blumenthal’s new book, The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gazapublished by Nation Books.

VIDEO ~~ GAZA WAR; ONE YEAR LATER AND WHY BDS IS A MUST

Video: BDS and the Gaza war — Ali Abunimah on France 24

This week I’m on a speaking tour in France organized by Campagne BDS France.

At events in Paris, Bordeaux, Montpellier and Lyon, we’re marking 10 years since the Palestinian call forboycott, divestment and sanctions.

This week we also mark the first anniversary of the beginning of Israel’s 51-day assault on Gaza that killed more than 2,200 people and devastated the territory. One year on there’s been almost no reconstruction, no lifting of the siege and no accountability for those who committed these crimes.

While in Paris I was interviewed by the news channel France 24 about these topics, as well as Palestinians’ right to resist and a one-state solution.

Such a broad-ranging discussion about Palestine on a mainstream news channel is rare, at least in my experience. Watch the English-language interview above.

IN PHOTOS ~~ GAZA REMEMBERED ON THE STREETS OF NEW YORK

Photos  © by Bud Korotzer

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Adding insult to injury

Adding insult to injury

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GAZA, ONE YEAR LATER ~~ A VIDEO TO WATCH AND SHARE

Prominent Jews and Palestinians and others stand for Palestine in this heartbreaking video with Jonathan Demme, Gloria Steinem, Tony Kushner, Diana Buttu, Chuck D, Eve Ensler, Brian Eno, Roger Waters, Mira Nair, Wallace Shawn, Naomi Klein, Mira Nair, Raj Patel, Noura Erakat and many others. To learn more or take action, visit freedom4palestine.org. Project of JewishVoiceforPeace.org with assistance from IMEU.org (Institute of Middle East Understanding)

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Meanwhile, Israel is preparing for their next round … (Click on link)

A year on, army looks to last Gaza war for lessons on fighting the next one

 

GAZA, A YEAR LATER ~~ THE REAL STORY AND THE ONE FROM REUTERS

The Western Media has their own version

The Western Media has their own version

Gaza Today …..

Gaza today ....

Gaza today ….

The real report here …. (click on link)

‘I feel only pain’: Gaza children suffer emotional trauma one year after war – report

Regular nightmares, fear about another war and refusal to step outside their homes – all these are symptoms of emotional trauma experienced by the children of Gaza a year on from the deadly Israeli operation, a report by an international watchdog says.

And the Reuters whitewash … (Click on link)

Gazans look to a hopeful future through resilient character

A year after Operation Protective Edge, there is a stark contrast in Gaza’s scenery, where destroyed neighborhoods can be seen from the roof of a new boutique hotel.

 

ISRAEL APPLAUDS THE WORLD’S SILENCE

In a statement Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu justified the seizure of the Marianne, claiming that the “flotilla is nothing but a demonstration of hypocrisy and lies that is only assisting the Hamas terrorist organization and ignores all of the horrors in our region.”

Netanyahu insisted that “preventing entry by sea was done in accordance with international law and even received backing from a committee of the UN Secretary General.”

“Israel is the only democracy that defends itself in accordance with international law,” Netanyahu insisted, adding that “there is no siege on Gaza.”

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Israel seizes Gaza-bound boat in “act of piracy”

Palestinian children take part in a rally to show support for the latest attempt to break the siege of Gaza by sea, at the Gaza City port on 28 June 2015. (Ashraf Amra APA images)

Palestinian children take part in a rally to show support for the latest attempt to break the siege of Gaza by sea, at the Gaza City port on 28 June 2015. (Ashraf Amra APA images)

Israeli forces boarded and commandeered the Marianne on Monday, one of four boats that were bound for Gaza in the latest attempt to break the tight Israeli siege of the occupied territory.

At around 2 am Gaza time Marianne was surrounded by three Israeli navy boats while in international waters more than 100 miles off the coast of Gaza, organizers Freedom Flotilla III said in a press release.

“After that we lost contact with the Marianne and at 05:11 am (Gaza time) the IDF [Israeli army] announced that they had ‘visited and searched’ Marianne,” the press release states. “They had captured the boat and detained all on board ‘in international waters’ as they admitted themselves. The only positive content in the IDF announcement was that they still recognize that there is a naval blockade of Gaza, despite the Netanyahu government’s recent denial that one exists.”

Organizers called the seizure of the boat and its passengers an “act of piracy.”

Israel’s Haaretzreports that the boat is being towed to Usdud (Ashdod), a port in present-day Israel, where the passengers “will be interrogated before being escorted to Ben Gurion Airport and flown out of Israel.”

The 18 passengers aboard the Marianne include Basel Ghattas, a Palestinian citizen of Israel and member of the Israeli parliament, former Tunisian president Moncef Marzuki, Spanish member of the European Parliament Ana Miranda and Professor Robert Lovelace, retired chief of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation in Canada.

Many Palestinians in had eagerly awaited the flotilla, hoping that it would call international attention to the siege which Israel imposed eight years ago.

Members of the crew of the Marianne, which was seized by Israeli forces in international waters early on 29 June as it headed toward Gaza. (Freedom Flotilla III)

Members of the crew of the Marianne, which was seized by Israeli forces in international waters early on 29 June as it headed toward Gaza. (Freedom Flotilla III)

Three other boats – Rachel, Vittorio and Juliano II – that also made up the flotilla have headed back to their ports of origin.

In total, 47 passengers from 17 countries were aboard the boats, which carried medicines, solar panels and above all a strong message of solidarity for the 1.8 million Palestinians still besieged in Gaza one year after Israel began its 51-day destructive assault that killed more than 2,200 people.

An independent UN Human Rights Council inquiry into the attack, published last week, found extensive evidence of war crimes approved by Israel’s leaders at the “highest level.”

Violence incitement

Ghattas joined the flotilla despite violent threats and incitement from fellow lawmakers in Israel to lift his parliamentary immunity so that he could be prosecuted.

Yair Lapid, head of Israel’s purportedly centrist Yesh Atid party, for instance denounced the flotilla as a “provocation against the state of Israel.”

“This is a flotilla of a group of terror supporters a heinous flotilla that needs to be stopped,” Lapid added. “We need to act against the flotilla the same way we do when dispersing a violent protest and these guys need to all be arrested.”

In a Huffington Post column on Sunday, Ghattas defended his right to take part in the flotilla.

Bigots in “a discriminatory Jewish state as a white Southern extremist in a Confederate state, seek to diminish the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel and their representatives in the parliament,” Ghattas writes.

“More than anything, it is obvious that the situation of Palestinians in Gaza will inevitably lead to another round of bloody war, perhaps even more horrifying than the one we had less than one year ago,” Ghattas adds. “Still, my very outspoken colleagues in the Knesset would not even consider lifting the blockade as a means to avoid future war.”

“No siege on Gaza”

In a statement Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu justified the seizure of the Marianne, claiming that the “flotilla is nothing but a demonstration of hypocrisy and lies that is only assisting the Hamas terrorist organization and ignores all of the horrors in our region.”

Netanyahu insisted that “preventing entry by sea was done in accordance with international law and even received backing from a committee of the UN Secretary General.”

“Israel is the only democracy that defends itself in accordance with international law,” Netanyahu insisted, adding that “there is no siege on Gaza.”

The fact that 18 civilians aboard a yacht cannot sail to Gaza, and that there has been virtually no reconstruction in Gaza since Israel’s attack last year would tend to undermine Netanyahu’s contention.

According to Haaretz, after boarding the boat, Israeli army gunmen were “to hand out a letter issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, welcoming [the captives] to Israel and wondering why they sailed to Gaza and not Syria.”

“Perhaps you meant to sail somewhere else nearby – Syria, where Assad’s regime is massacring his people every day, with the support of the murderous Iranian regime,” the letter would reportedly state.

Netanyahu’s statement did not specify which UN “committee” he was talking about, but this was a likely reference to the 2011 “Palmer report” commissioned by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon into Israel’s attack the previous year on the Mavi Marmara.

Turkey rejected the report into the assault that killed 10 of its citizens on the Mavi Marmara in international waters and imposed sanctions on Israel.

The inquiry was heavily criticized for bias. The four-member committee that wrote the Palmer report was chaired by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer and vice-chaired by former president of Colombia Alvaro Uribe, a notorious human rights abuser close to Israel.

The inquiry commissioned by Ban was in addition to an official UN Human Rights Council fact-finding missionwhich found that Israel’s attack on the 2010 flotilla was illegal.

Determined

“It is disappointing that the Israeli government chose to continue the absolutely fruitless policy of ‘no tolerance,’ meaning it will continue to enforce an inhumane and illegal collective punishment against 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza,” flotilla organizers said in their statement.

“Israel’s repeated acts of state piracy in international waters are worrying signs that the occupation and blockade policy extends to the entire eastern Mediterranean.”

They also urged governments”to ensure that all passengers and crew from the Marianne are safe, and to strongly protest against the violation of international maritime law by the Israeli state.”

“We call on all civil society organizations to condemn the actions of Israel,” the statement concludes. “People all over the world will continue to respond and react to this injustice, as will we, until the port of Gaza is open and the siege and occupation is ended.”

This video, published on 20 June, shows Marianne calling at the Italian port of Messina for a solidarity visit.

Complicity kills!

Complicity kills!

SPOOF ON ISRAELI PIRACY

 

Spoof by Latuff

Spoof by Latuff

Israel seizes activist flotilla headed to Gaza

Naval special forces take control of ship, which carried 20 activists including MK Basel Ghattas, without violence.

 

Full report HERE

PIRACY AT SEA ~~ LIVE ON VIDEO

‘If you see this video IDF pirates have taken us prisoner’

WHO SAID THE WAR IN GAZA WAS OVER?

And while Israel’s war on Gaza was declared over, the residents of Khuzaa remain under fire.

Israeli soldiers shot 16-year-old Islam Samir Tawfiq Abu Reda in the leg. (Ezz Zanoun)

Israeli soldiers shot 16-year-old Islam Samir Tawfiq Abu Reda in the leg. (Ezz Zanoun)

Israel shoots four boys enjoying evening walk in Gaza

On Monday, 22 June, Israeli soldiers fired on a group of four boys aged 16 to 17 in the southern Gaza Stripvillage of Khuzaa. Two of the boys were hit in the legs and one was critically injured.

The four friends had walked out to the edge of the village to spend the final hour of their fast for Ramadan.

“We were there to waste time before iftar [the meal that breaks the fast],” Muhammad Sami Abu Reda, 17, told The Electronic Intifada. Muhammad was one of the two boys who escaped injury on Monday.

“It’s a very nice area. You can see the fields and farms, and we go there because it used to be closed off but now they told us we can go there,” he explained.

Severe injuries

Last month, the Hamas-led government in Gaza announced the opening of a road that runs alongside the “buffer zone,” the no-go area imposed by Israel which covers a wide swath of land on the Gaza side of the boundary with Israel, in the east and north.

The “buffer zone” was supposed to be reduced in size under the terms of last August’s ceasefire between Hamas and Israel following Israel’s 51-day attack. However, it remains unclear just where Palestinians can safely walk, drive or farm.

In the month of May alone, Israeli soldiers fired on 14 people who were close to the boundary, leaving six Palestinians injured, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).

Islam Samir Tawfiq Abu Reda, 16, is one of the boys shot on Monday. Lying on his hospital bed, he told The Electronic Intifada that “everyone went to the road since it was announced on the news that it had been opened.”

Islam’s calf was struck by a bullet. While his wound required more than a dozen stitches, he is healing well.

But the other youth, Ibrahim Abu Reda, remains in intensive care. The outcome of his far more severe injuries is uncertain. Two bullets entered his right leg, one near the ankle and another below the knee, shattering his shinbone and severing veins and arteries.

The night he was shot, Ibrahim was treated by Dr. Qasim Kamel in a six-hour surgery at the European Hospital near Rafah, a city in southern Gaza. Kamel told The Electronic Intifada he hopes that he will not need to amputate the teenager’s leg.

In Ibrahim’s home, his parents showed this reporter photographs of the boy lifting weights and playing sports. His father, Jamal Ahmad Abu Reda, said Ibrahim was in Khuzaa’s soccer club and loved to go to the gym. He struggled not to cry as he described his son.

With tears streaming down her face, Safaa Abu Reda, Ibrahim’s mother, said “It’s my right to see my son walking.”

She is desperately worried that her son will not be able to receive adequate treatment in Gaza and wants him to be transferred to Israel. Doctors have told her that the likelihood that Ibrahim will be able to walk again is a slim 15 percent. She believes the odds would be higher if he could get treatment in Israel.

“Why are they doing this to my son? He had no weapons,” she said. “He just went there to walk and have fun, like everyone.”

Ibrahim is the younger brother of Ahmed Abu Reda, 18, who was used as a human shield by Israeli soldiers for five days during last summer’s war, as documented by the recent UN Human Rights Council’s independent investigation of Israel’s assault on Gaza as well as by other independent observers.

Ahmed was detained by Israeli soldiers on 23 July while attempting to flee Khuzaa with the rest of his family during Israel’s 11-day ground invasion of the small village.

“Buffer zone”

Before one reaches Khuzaa’s boundary with Israel, one must drive through cultivated farmland and greenhouses where farmers grow tomatoes, melons, peppers and zucchini on plots of land demarcated with thickets of crawling cactus.

As one approaches Israel, an inconspicuous fence appears. An Israeli watchtower stands behind. This is the boundary.

Since 2005, Israel has guarded the so-called “buffer zone” here, preventing farmers from safely accessing their lands that lie within it.

While initially the zone stretched 150 meters wide into tiny Gaza, Israel has expanded it over time. In 2010 the buffer zone grew to a 300-meter-wide area that runs alongside the boundary wall.

While the area was supposed to be reduced to 100 meters following the ceasefire, Hamdi Shaqqura, deputy director of PCHR, told The Electronic Intifada that people are fired on as far away as 500 meters from the border. “There is no guarantee from Israel or the international community that Palestinians will have access to their land,” he said.

At the beginning of this year, Gisha, an Israeli organization that monitors Palestinians’ ability to move freely in and out of Gaza, sent an information request to the Israeli military regarding its policy toward the buffer zone following the ceasefire.

Like PCHR, their data also shows that the ban was enforced on a larger area than was officially declared. They have yet to receive a response from the military.

“Silent gunshots”

At the hospital, The Electronic Intifada met the two other boys who were with Ibrahim and Islam when they were shot. Muhammad Sami Abu Reda, 17, said there was no sign that any Israeli soldiers were around. The boys had just paused for a moment while taking their walk when Islam suddenly fell to the ground. Then Ibrahim. Muhammad said the gunshots were silent.

“There were no warning shots,” Muhammad explained.

Muhammad and the other youth, Hisham Abu Mutliq, 17, tried to pick their friends up off the ground, but more shots were fired toward them.

“We ran behind a sand hill to take cover, but the Israelis kept shooting,” Hisham said.

The boys were able to use their mobile phones to call an ambulance, but help did not arrive for 15 minutes. The injured boys lay bleeding on the ground.

Kamel is hopeful that Ibrahim’s leg will heal after the surgery. When The Electronic Intifada visited him at the hospital, Ibrahim was in a deep sleep, but Kamel said he has been lucid and talking in between resting.

There has been a partial clearing of the rubble in Khuzaa, restoring a semblance of normalcy. The ruins of many of the demolished homes, of which nearly 400 were completely destroyed, have been swept into neat mounds, though some remain standing with their roofs sunken through to the ground.

The least destroyed of homes still show walls riddled with bullet holes. The molding on the minaret of a mosque in the center of the village is nearly entirely blown off.

And while Israel’s war on Gaza was declared over, the residents of Khuzaa remain under fire.

THE UN’s BLURRED VISION

They seem to see a double holocaust in Gaza last summer

Its report, published Monday in Geneva, says investigators were “able to gather substantial information pointing to serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law by Israel and by Palestinian armed groups.”

blurred-vision

 

“Balance” in UN Gaza report can’t hide massive Israeli war crimes

Palestinians pray over the bodies of eight members of the al-Haj family, killed when Israel bombed their Khan Younis house on 10 July 2014. This was one of the attacks investigated by an independent UN body that found extensive evidence of Israeli war crimes during last summer’s assault on Gaza. (Eyad Al Baba APA images)

Palestinians pray over the bodies of eight members of the al-Haj family, killed when Israel bombed their Khan Younis house on 10 July 2014. This was one of the attacks investigated by an independent UN body that found extensive evidence of Israeli war crimes during last summer’s assault on Gaza. (Eyad Al Baba APA images)

There can be no surprise that the UN Human Rights Council’s independent investigation of Israel’s assault on Gaza last summer found evidence of massive and systematic war crimes.

Its report, published Monday in Geneva, says investigators were “able to gather substantial information pointing to serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law by Israel and by Palestinian armed groups.”

“The extent of the devastation and human suffering in Gaza was unprecedented and will impact generations to come,” the chair of the investigation commission, Justice Mary McGowan Davis told media, adding that “there is also ongoing fear in Israel among communities who come under regular threat.”

Despite the “balanced” language that is now the habitual refuge of international officials hoping to avoid false accusations of anti-Israel bias, the evidence shows that the scale and impact of Israeli violence dwarfs anything allegedly done by Palestinians.

Israel systematically targeted Palestinian residential buildings and infrastructure without any apparent military justification. The horror of what Israel did, detailed in the 183-page report, cannot be adequately summarized here.

In total, 2,251 Palestinians were killed, including 1,462 Palestinian civilians, among them 551 children, the report states. More than 11,000 Palestinians, including 3,540 women and 3,436 children, were injured with almost 10 percent suffering permanent disabilities.

Six civilians died in Israel and more than 60 Israeli soldiers died in fighting with the Palestinian resistance.

But a key finding is that the mass destruction and killing inflicted by Israel, often amounting to war crimes, “may have constituted military tactics reflective of a broader policy, approved at least tacitly by decision-makers at the highest levels of the Government of Israel.”

This finding provides an important basis for Palestinians to pursue Israeli leaders, not just their uniformed subordinates, and bring them to justice in international courts.

The report also confirms that Israel remains the occupying power in Gaza as far as international law is concerned, because it continues to exercise “effective control” over the territory. Israel is therefore subject to all the legal obligations of an occupying power to protect civilians there.

It also found a massive escalation of Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights in the occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem in the weeks preceding and during the Gaza assault that was “overshadowed by the tragic events in Gaza.”

Israeli obstruction

The commission was made up of two independent experts: former New York Supreme Court Justice Mary McGowan Davis, who chaired it, and Senegal’s Doudou Diène, a former UN special rapporteur on racism.

The previous chair, Canadian international law expert William Schabas, resigned from the commission in February under relentless Israeli criticism and pressure.

Israel’s concern about the make up of the committee was not matched by a willingness to cooperate with its work. Israel refused to respond to any requests for information and barred the investigators from traveling to the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip or to present-day Israel.

The Egyptian military regime also colluded with Israel by blocking investigators entering Gaza through theRafah crossing.

Nonetheless, the investigators and their staff conducted hundreds of interviews with victims and witnesses, received hundreds of written submissions and obtained large amounts of data from other UN bodies. They also consulted satellite imagery, independent military experts, government documents and statements and evidence gathered by independent organizations.

Deliberate attacks on civilians

Israel carried out more than 6,000 airstrikes on Gaza last summer, the report states, including “targeted attacks on residential and other buildings.”

As a result of these attacks, 142 Palestinians families “had three or more members killed in the same incident owing to the destruction of residential buildings,” for a total of at least 742 deaths, according to UN figures.

The report examines in detail 15 attacks on residential buildings in which a total of 216 people were killed, including 115 children and 50 women. Israel refused to provide any information on what made these buildings alleged military targets.

Killed while they slept

In one of the incidents, at 2 am on 10 July, Israel attacked the house of Mahmoud al-Haj in Khan Younis. All eight members of the family were killed, including two children and three women. The bomb completely destroyed the house and damaged surrounding homes injuring 20 more people, mostly women and children.

In another attack, on the afternoon of 21 July, Israeli forces fired two missiles at the five-story building of the al-Qassas family, killing nine people, including six children and three women, one of them pregnant. Another 10, mostly children and one a baby, were injured.

The investigators could find no information to suggest “that there was a military target in the al-Qassas building.”

This was frequently the case. “In many of the cases examined by the commission, as well as in incidents reported by local and international organizations,” the report states, “there is little or no information as to how residential buildings, which are prima facie civilian objects immune from attack, came to be regarded as legitimate military objectives.”

Israeli justification debunked

The report does find that “indications of possible military objectives emerged in nine of the 15 cases” of attacks on residential buildings that it examines.

But it says that “the potential targets of the attack seem to have been mostly individuals who were or who could have been present in the building that was struck, indicating that one or several individuals were the likely target and not the building itself.”

Here, the report refutes one of the major Israeli justifications for attacking homes: that someone associated with an armed group lives in one. However, the report “underlines that the mere fact of being a member of the political wing of Hamas or any other organization in Gaza, or working for the authorities … is not sufficient in and of itself to render a person a legitimate military target.”

It adds that “under international humanitarian law, a member of an armed group has to have a continuous combat function to constitute a legitimate military target.”

Even if the person were a “legitimate military target,” Israel’s method of attacking homes is disrproportionate, indiscriminate and illegal.

The investigators also consulted military experts who found that the types of US-supplied bombs Israel dropped – such as the GBU-32/MK-82 1,000 lb bomb or the GBU-31/MK-84 2,000 lb bomb – have such a wide impact that their use amounted to indiscriminate attacks.

During the attack, Israel often boasted about its use of a smaller “warning missile” or “knock on the roof” to tell residents to get out of a building minutes before a much bigger explosion. But the report concludes “that the ‘roof-knocking’ technique is not effective” and there were many instances in which civilians were killed despite such warnings.

Destruction of Shujaiya

On 19 and 20 July, Israel carried out a massive artillery bombardment of the Shujaiya neighborhood of eastern Gaza City, killing at least 55 people, including 19 children and 14 women.

As The Electronic Intifada reported last year, the type of weapons used – predominantly heavy artillery and mortars – means the attack could not but have been indiscriminate.

Israel also used over 100 one-ton bombs in the attack which destroyed 670 buildings and damaged another 1,200.

The UN report now confirms that “these methods and means employed by the [Israeli army] could not, in such a small and densely populated area, be directed at a specific military target and could not adequately distinguish between civilians and civilian objects and military objectives as required by [international humanitarian law].”

“Therefore,” the report concludes, “there are strong indications that the IDF’s [Israeli army] Shujaiya operation on 19 and 20 July was conducted in violation of the prohibition of indiscriminate attacks and may amount to a war crime.”

Human shields

Similarly, the report examines and finds evidence of war crimes during Israel’s siege and shelling of the village ofKhuzaa between 20 July and 1 August and its massive bombardment of the southern city of Rafah after one of its soldiers was reported captured on 1 August.

Israel also used human shields in Khuzaa, a farming village in east central Gaza. On 23 July, for instance, 17-year-old Ahmed Abu Reda was abducted by Israeli soldiers from his family as they tried to flee the area.

He was kept hostage for five days during which he was interrogated and, according to his father, forced to undertake “risky tasks such as opening doors, inspecting rooms, switching the lights on and off to test whether secret explosives were being connected to the light switches, open fridges and other devices that may have detonated explosions.”

It concludes that “there are strong indications that elements of the IDF operation in Khuzaa may qualify as direct attacks against civilians or civilian objects and may thus amount to a war crime.”

In Rafah, Israel implemented the “Hannibal Directive,” a procedure which calls for massive fire to prevent a soldier being captured even if it kills the soldier.

The report cites Israel’s “military culture” resulting from this and other policies as “a contributing factor for the unleashing of massive firepower on Rafah, in total disregard for its impact on the civilian population.”

It also finds that Israeli commanders continued the attack for hours even when they must have known about the catastrophic death and injury they were causing to civilians – in itself a potential war crime.

Accusations against Palestinians

Any Israeli claim that the investigation is biased is refuted by the accusations the report levels against Palestinian resistance groups.

It says the investigators have “serious concerns with regard to the inherently indiscriminate nature of most of the projectiles directed towards Israel by these groups and to the targeting of Israeli civilians, which violate international humanitarian law and may amount to a war crime.”

It also condemns the extrajudicial executions by Hamas of two dozen Palestinians accused of collaborating with the enemy as a war crime. These executions had already been condemned by Palestinian and international human rights organizations.

Yet in many of the specific instances examined by the committee, especially those involving mortar fire at Israeli targets near the Gaza boundary, the investigators found that Palestinians were aiming at Israeli military targets that were often deliberately placed close to civilian communities.

Military bases near civilians

The report notes “a number of military objectives are located in various parts of Israel, in some cases in the immediate vicinity of built up areas such as the Hatzor airbase, or in the case of the IDF Headquarters, in the midst of a densely populated area.”

It adds that during the attack on Gaza, “the number of IDF positions in the south of Israel around Gaza, sometimes close to civilian communities, was higher than usual.”

“Mortar fire by the Palestinian armed groups appears to have often been aimed at specific targets and is more precise than the rockets in the armed groups’ arsenal,” the report states.

On 22 August 2014, 4-year-old Daniel Tregerman, the only Israeli child fatality in the conflict, was killed by a mortar shell in his home at Kibbutz Nahal Oz, 2 kilometers from the Gaza boundary.

The report notes that this too was an area of intense military activity.

“Based on the information available,” the report states, “the commission cannot exclude that the intended target of the tragic attack of 22 August on Kibbutz Nahal Oz was the IDF Chief of Staff.”

Israeli claims hard to verify

The report acknowledges that in many cases, Palestinian armed groups warned Israeli civilians, especially in the areas near Gaza, and when they fired rockets towards Ben Gurion Airport, of impending attacks.

The investigators say they asked Israel for “detailed information” on “where the rockets and mortars fired by Palestinian armed groups in Gaza actually landed so as to make a more detailed assessment of the proportion of cases in which they were directed at densely populated areas in Israel.”

But Israel – which is always eager to tell global media about how its civilians are the main targets of Palestinian groups – refused, making it “difficult for the commission to determine the extent to which attacks [were] directed at the civilian population in Israel.”

Legitimate military targets

As for tunnels dug from Gaza into present-day Israel, the report is blunt: “during the period under examination, the tunnels were only used to conduct attacks directed at IDF positions in Israel in the vicinity of the Green Line, which are legitimate military targets.”

The report concedes, however, that “in the vast majority of individual rocket and mortar attacks, the commission does not have information on the intended targets, but notes that Palestinian armed groups announced that they intended to attack population centers in Israel and declared responsibility for launches directed at different places in Israel.”

It also notes that the “majority of projectiles fired by Palestinian armed groups consisted of rockets that at best were equipped with only rudimentary guidance systems and in the vast majority of cases had none at all.”

It acknowledges that the “limitations of the military arsenals of Palestinian armed groups was advanced as a reason for their failure to attack precisely military targets.”

“Security experts have noted that while the al-Qassam Brigades [the military wing of Hamas] may have targeted civilians in the past as part of its military strategy, in 2014 its declared official policy was ‘to focus on military or semi-military targets and to avoid other targets, especially civilians,’” the report observes.

But it notes that under the relevant international law, the “military capacity of the parties to a conflict is irrelevant to their obligation to respect the prohibition against indiscriminate attacks.”

While this may be the case, what it indicates is that if Palestinians exercising a legitimate right to resistance and self-defense were allowed access to more precise weapons, most of the activities designated as possible war crimes in the report would probably not have occurred.

This is not true, however, in the case of Israel, which boasts about its very precise weapons and yet inflicted massive amounts of death, injury and destruction on civilians as a result of its policy of targeting them.

Instead, Palestinian resistance groups are designated as “terrorists” and barred from obtaining more accurate weapons, while the United States, European Union and other governments continue to supply Israel’s massive arsenal.

The report, if anything, displays a distinct anti-Palestinian bias, using the word “resistance” only between quotation marks as if the right to resist belligerent military occupation is not a well-recognized right in international law.

Analysis

The report looks at the events in Palestine through the strict lens of international humanitarian and human rights law. In doing so it finds evidence that both Palestinians and Israelis committed war crimes and other violations.

But the crimes allegedly committed by Israel are massive compared to anything allegedly done by Palestinians.

There can also be no moral equivalence between the legitimate self-defense and resistance of a people under occupation and the aggression of an occupier whose aim is to subject millions of people to its unopposed military tyranny.

It is also apparent that most, though not all, of the transgressions alleged against Palestinians are an artifact of the inferior and unguided weapons, often locally made in Gaza, that are available to resistance groups.

But the approach of the so-called “international community” has been to deny Palestinians the means to resist against Israeli occupation forces and then to condemn them for using what they have.

Despite this, the fact remains that while Israel mostly killed civilians, Palestinians mostly killed Israeli soldiers. Indeed, 65 percent of those killed by Israel were civilians, while 90 percent of those killed by Palestinians werearmed combatant soldiers.

Nothing is more legitimate than Palestinian resistance and nothing is more illegitimate than Israeli occupation. And yet it is to Israel that weapons of massive destruction continue to flow, often from the countries that preach loudest about human rights and international law.

Means of resistance

It is clear that many governments and international organizations tacitly reject the Palestinian right to resist militarily even if they do not say so openly. Many supporters of Palestinian rights and many Palestinians prefer nonviolence, believing that in the long run it will make a just peace more feasible.

If that is the case, then everyone must be proactive in offering support for nonviolent alternatives that can help redress the balance of power between a tenacious belligerent occupier and its victims.

Boycott, divestment and sanctions, for instance, must be recognized and promoted by the so-called international community as a legitimate means of resistance supplementing other forms of legitimate resistance to colonial occupation.

As for Israel, its strategy with this investigation as in others, was to try to obstruct it and then to whine that it is unfair and biased. If Israel is so certain that its actions were legal and correct, it should have nothing to hide.

Given the consequences if the report’s call for accountability were to be implemented, it is no surprise that the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and its staunch ally, the US administration of President Barack Obama, have attacked and delegitimized the UN investigation from the very start.

It remains to be seen if others will have the courage to demand accountability and ensure this report is not buried like the Goldstone report into Israel’s 2008-2009 massacre in Gaza.

Without such accountability, another Israeli massacre in Gaza is only a matter of time.

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ZIO BEX ~~ IF IT WASN’T A HOLOCAUST IN GAZA, WHAT WAS IT?

Words that upset are not nearly as bad as the crimes that were committed …

“The continuation of the extermination of the Assyrians by the jihadists, the invasion and occupation in northern Cyprus, the Kurdish issue, the blockade of Gaza, the genocidal dismemberment of Yugoslavia, and the Ukraine crisis.” 

Stop the Holocaust in Gaza: A pro-Palestinian protester at a Berlin rally Friday, July 18, 2014. (Micki Weinberg/The Times of Israel)

Stop the Holocaust in Gaza: A pro-Palestinian protester at a Berlin rally Friday, July 18, 2014. (Micki Weinberg/The Times of Israel)

Greek Official Slammed for Comparing Gaza to Holocaust

A Greek official is accused of abusing the memory of the Holocaust by mentioning Gaza during a speech about the genocide, and saying that “victims become bullies.”

The criticism by The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a watchdog group, was over a speech that Panagiotis Sgouridis, a deputy minister of rural development, gave on June 7 in the northern city of Kavala during the unveiling ceremony for a monument in memory of the area’s murdered Jews.

Noting that atrocities continue today despite the lessons of the Holocaust, Sgouridis listed “the continuation of the extermination of the Assyrians by the jihadists, the invasion and occupation in northern Cyprus, the Kurdish issue, the blockade of Gaza, the genocidal dismemberment of Yugoslavia,” and the Ukraine crisis as examples.

He concluded his speech by saying that monuments like the one unveiled at Kavala are important “because unfortunately many times the roles switch and the victims become bullies.” Shimon Samuels, the Wiesenthal Center’s director for international relations, said that Sgouridis’ speech was “not only an inversion of the Holocaust by listing it alongside the blockade on Gaza, but also served to banalize it.”

The Kavala unveiling was preceded by an international uproar over reports that the city’s mayor objected to the incorporation of a Star of David in its design, though she denied this. The monument that was unveiled features that symbol.

Public discourse in Greece about Jews and Israel has become “more toxic,” said the center, amid a financial crisis and the rise of Golden Dawn, a neo-Nazi party that became Greece’s third-largest following the 2015 legislative election.

Sgouridis’ party, the rightist Independent Greeks, has called on Germany to pay Greece reparations for its invasion and occupation of the Balkan country.

“The speech, the place, the time and the back story all combine to make Sgouridis’ speech inappropriate,” Samuels said.

OPEN YOUR EYES! ~ ISRAEL IS FULL OF SH-T

The Foreign Ministry released a 50 second animated clip that depicted an cartoon journalist with an American accent reporting from Gaza during last summer’s war.

“We’re here in the center of Gaza, and as you can see, the people here are trying to live quiet lives,” the character says. “There are no terrorists here, just ordinary people.”

A rocket launches behind him, seemingly contradicting the claim. The clip concludes with the message, “Open your eyes. Terror rules Gaza.”

See yesterday’s post for more videos

Israel Mocks Foreign Reporters With YouTube Cartoon

Israel’s Foreign Ministry took to YouTube to mock foreign journalists’ coverage of the Gaza conflict last summer — but not everyone sees the humor.

The Foreign Ministry released a 50 second animated clip that depicted an cartoon journalist with an American accent reporting from Gaza during last summer’s war.

“We’re here in the center of Gaza, and as you can see, the people here are trying to live quiet lives,” the character says. “There are no terrorists here, just ordinary people.”

A rocket launches behind him, seemingly contradicting the claim. The clip concludes with the message, “Open your eyes. Terror rules Gaza.”

In an official statement, the Foreign Press Association said it was “surprised and alarmed” by the segment, and called the videos “misleading and poorly conceived.” They reminded readers that 2,100 Palestinians and 72 Israelis had been killed in the bloody conflict.

Emmanuel Nahshon, the spokesman for the Foreign Ministry told the New York Times that it was only, “an attempt to poke gentle fun at some journalists who choose not to see reality.”

Nahshon asserted the video was based on allegations that unnamed foreign correspondents ignored Hamas militants that launched rockets at Israel, and “released the footage only after the operation was over.”

A New York Times staff photographer, Tyler Hicks, explained in a blog post from last summer that there was a reason reporters did not cover Hamas fighters in their pictures and news coverage: “Hamas fighters are not able to expose themselves,” he wrote

So far, the video has had 23,200 views.

Obviously Israel sees us all as little children if they have to resort to cartoons to justify their war crimes

Now that your eyes are open …. Look Into My Eyes

HERE you can see the foreign press’ reaction to the cartoon …

Journalists rage at Foreign Ministry’s Hamas cartoon

Foreign Press Association condemns foreign ministry cartoon as ‘inappropriate’ after 17 journalists died in Operation Protective Edge.

ISRAELI TREASON AGAINST HUMANITY

Don’t tell me Israel is too civilized and wouldn’t indulge in the unthinkable. The truth is that Israel would unhesitatingly embark on the unthinkable should the humanity go into a brief moment of slumber.

This is why humanity must remain vigilant because the Israeli snake is venomous and treacherous.

zionist-snake11

Israel murdered, maimed thousands of Palestinian civilians, knowingly and deliberately

By Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank
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A report issued Sunday by the Israeli occupation army on last year’s genocidal blitz in the Gaza Strip claimed that Israeli forces didn’t intentionally target Palestinian civilians.

The report, issued belatedly and scandalously fraught with half-truths, selective data taken out of context and containing a preponderance of sheer lies, seems to be intended to counter growing international convictions that Israel did commit real war crimes and crimes against humanity during its 50-day devastating aggression on Gaza last summer.

However, it seems that Israel’s task of exonerating itself of manifestly damning charges related to war crimes is not going to be easy.

Indeed, the irrefutable facts available to the UN, the Red Cross and other neutral third parties should be sufficient to condemn and convict Israel as a murderous state.

There are also thousands of testimonies by on-the-ground eyewitness who have presented credible and honest narratives of the atrocities which killed and maimed thousands of civilians including hundreds of children.

It is really hard to believe that thousands of civilians were killed inadvertently or by mistake or as a result of collateral damage. Believing such claims would be an insult to human intelligence.

True, Israel is constantly shielded from international condemnation, especially punishment, by the United States, Israel’s ultimate guardian-ally, as well as the governments of Western Europe.

But in this age of open skies and internet, it is imperative for all honest men and women around the world, irrespective of their religion or race, to expose the brutal ugliness of this criminal entity called Israel. This is the very least humanity should do on behalf of the helpless victims.

This is very crucial because Israel is convinced it is above the laws of man and God and unbounded by the international norms.

And should the world, God forbid, continue to fail to call the spade a spade, especially when the proverbial implement is seen in the hands of our grave-diggers, and I am not speaking metaphorically, it should be a foregone conclusion that Israel could or probably would eventually embark on the unthinkable vis-à-vis its helpless victims.

I don’t know for sure how the unthinkable would be played out on the ground. However, 67 years of the Israeli experience should be more than sufficient to invoke and remember Stalin and his Gulags, Hitler and his concentration camps, Pol Pot and his genocidal crimes and Bashar El-Assad and his sectarian massacres.

Don’t tell me Israel is too civilized and wouldn’t indulge in the unthinkable. The truth is that Israel would unhesitatingly embark on the unthinkable should the humanity go into a brief moment of slumber.

Israel calculates that apart from a brief outburst of half-hearted denunciations and some vociferous demonstrations in some western capitals, the world powers, particularly the US, would just “let it pass” and probably content with issuing indifferent calls on “all sides to exercise self-restraint.”

I really don’t know if the macabre Israeli calculations are accurate or not. However, from our bitter experience with the West especially since the Second World War, Israel seems ostensibly correct in its prognosis of western moral bankruptcy.

Indeed, a West that is looking on rather passively as Assad with active support from the Russians, the Iranians and Hizbullah is slaughtering hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians, is decidedly unlikely to experience an awakening of moral conscience if and when the Israeli death machine gangs up on the Palestinians.

Genocidal Israelis

Israel is not Denmark or Sweden or even Britain. There is a definitely genocidal mindset in Israel which millions of Europeans and North Americans cannot easily detect due to many years of sustained brain-washing by Zionist-influenced or Zionist controlled media in the West.

Several years ago, an Israeli settler leader named Daniela Weiss from a colony in the northern West Bank delivered a hair-raising speech to dozens of fanatical Gush Emunim settlers in Hebron.

In her brief tirade, the gung ho settler leader told the fanatical multitude that the best way to deal with the Palestinians was the Joshua’s way, an allusion to Biblical massacres carried out by Biblical Israelites against indigenous Canaanite tribes.

The speech, met with loud cheers, didn’t raise many eyebrows in Israel, neither in the media nor in the government.

Hence, the claim that Israelis or Jews wouldn’t allow the government of Israel to resort to genocide against the Palestinian is based more on wishful thinking than on any convincing arguments.

Today, the Palestinian people owe their survival as a people to the good-will of the international community.

But the continuity of this good-will cannot be taken for granted. This is why humanity must remain vigilant because the Israeli snake is venomous and treacherous.

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THE JUSTIFIED HOLOCAUST

Even before the UN issues its report dealing with the last blitzkrieg in Gaza, Israel issues a report justifying their actions ….

Israel’s Protective Edge report: 44% of Palestinian casualties were terrorists

Government-sanctioned report is released as ‘pre-emptive strike’ ahead of international UN report due to come out this month; authors say report provides evidence to justify Israel’s decision to launch war in Gaza based on international law.

Here’s a photo of the ‘terrorists’ they speak of

Palestinian children killed in IDF bombardment (Photo: AP)

Palestinian children killed in IDF bombardment (Photo: AP)

At least 44 percent of the 2,125 Palestinians killed during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza last summer were identified by the IDF as armed fighters belonging to Hamas or other terror organizations in the Strip, according to an Israeli report released Sunday.

The Foreign Ministry’s report presents Israel’s diplomatic, military and legal positions on the events of Protective Edge, ahead of the release of a UN committee’s report on Monday.

The international report will only be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on June 29, but the two warring sides, as well the members of the UN Security Council, will receive a copy of it this week.

The 277-page report, which cited Israel’s internal probes and statements from Western leaders backing its right to self-defense, suggested the Netanyahu government hoped to defuse criticism from the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) inquiry in advance.

Deeming the HRC biased, Israel boycotted its investigators as it did those from the council who looked into its 2008-09 Gaza offensive. That HRC inquiry was harshly critical of both Israel and Hamas.

But this time around, the stakes are higher. The Palestinians have joined the International Criminal Court and are pursuing war crimes charges against Israel. The council’s new report, expected as soon as this week, could play a key role in the case against Israel.

“Having on the record our view of this war is extremely important, and we have nothing to hide,” Dore Gold, the new director of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, told reporters at a special briefing held to unveil Israel’s own investigation into the war.

Gold was accompanied by the country’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Tzipi Hotovely, and governmental and military legal experts who worked on the report.

Palestinians have said that the IDF violated the rules of war, which include giving adequate warning to civilians, using proportionate force and distinguishing between civilians and combatants. They have pointed to the high civilian casualty count as evidence.

In Sunday’s report, Israel defended itself with the same arguments it has been making since the fighting ended, albeit with a level of detail never shown before.

According to Israel, the actions of Hamas and other terror groups in the Strip that are detailed in the report constitute as war crimes, crimes against humanity, and a blatant violation of international law.

UN numbers of casualties in Gaza differ from Israel’s, stating 2,256 Palestinians, including 1,563 civilians, were killed in the 50-day conflict.

The report disputes the UN figures, saying confirmed non-combatants made up 36 percent of the Palestinian dead and many militants were misidentified as civilians.

“Harm to the civilian population also occurred as the result of unfortunate – yet lawful – incidental effects of legitimate military action in the vicinity of civilians and their surroundings, and as a result of the inescapable constraint of commanders not being infallible, intelligence not being perfect and technological systems sometimes failing,” the report says.

The Palestinians rejected the Israeli report. “The Israeli decision to deny targeting civilians in Gaza is the logical continuation of what Israel did in Gaza,” Ehab Bseiso, spokesman of the Palestinian unity government told AFP. Therefore, the report published on Sunday “does not change our position to demand an international investigation,” he said.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, meanwhile, called the Israeli report worthless, saying “Israeli war crimes are clear because they were committed in front of live cameras”. Hamas has denied any wrongdoing, saying it acted to protect Palestinians.

Izzat Risheq, a senior Hamas official, called the report a “lie promoted by the occupation to cover up its crimes.” He said “the hand of justice will reach the perpetrators.”

Hamas’ war crimes

The Israeli report presents a list of war crimes committed by Hamas and the other terror organizations in the Gaza Strip and includes testimony and seized Hamas documents which prove, according to Israel, that Hamas’ strategy was to encourage its fighters to move in civilian areas, knowing that it would constrain Israel’s ability to act and turn the civilian population there into a human shield.

The report includes what Israel says are seized Hamas documents encouraging its fighters to move in civilian areas, knowing that it would constrain Israel’s ability to act.

“We were a bit struck and surprised with the amount of documentation that we managed to recover during the operation actually indicating that this is a strategy of Hamas,” said Eran Shamir-Borer, a lawyer in the Israeli military’s international law department.

It also lists the locations of military command centers operating from civilian structures, mosques used as firing posts for snipers, schools used to store weapons and rockets, explosives planted in civilian structures and tunnels dug from inside civilian structures and residential areas.

The report also includes examples of instances in which Hamas forced civilians to arrive in fighting zones and stay there, and instructed them to ignore IDF warnings given before attacks on targets in those areas.

The Israeli report further details several instances in which the Palestinian militants posed as civilians or as IDF soldiers.

Also detailed are the main events that led to the launch of Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s main objectives, the terror targets the IDF acted against, the humanitarian aid Israel allowed into the Gaza Strip, the damage caused to the Israeli civilian population, Israel’s inspection and investigation mechanisms, and more.

“From 2000, Hamas’ terror activity has led to the death of at least 1,265 Israelis; Hamas fired over 15,200 rockets and mortars at Israeli citizens (4,500 of which during Protective Edge), covering some 70 percent of Israel’s population; Hamas dug at least 32 tunnels which cross the border between Gaza and Israel, meant to commit terror attacks against Israeli population centers,” the report states.

Therefore, “Israel’s decision to launch a large-scale military operation against Hamas and other terror groups in the Gaza Strip as part of the ongoing armed conflict these organizations led was justified according to international law.”

The report also details Israel’s humanitarian efforts to send medical equipment, food and other supplies into the Gaza Strip during the fighting, despite the fact Hamas and the other terror groups were attacking the border crossings while supply was being let through.

With regards to the proposals for ceasefire, the report states that “had Hamas accepted the first Egyptian-mediated ceasefire, the one Israel accepted on July 15 that had the same conditions as the ones Hamas eventually accepted on August 26, 90 percent of casualties could have been prevented.”

According to the report’s authors, the information collected focused on facts, data and the legal aspects of the fighting against Hamas and the other terror factions in the summer of 2014.

Israel has been working on the report for several months and its authors says the report proves that Israel followed international law and made great efforts to avoid hurting innocent people, whether by using the “Knock on the Roof” procedure or by dropping leaflets, phone calls, radio broadcasts and warning strikes with unarmed shells ahead of live airstrikes.

Shamir-Borer showed reporters what he said was a declassified “target card” that laid out the calculations Israel took before striking a suspected arms cache hidden in the home of an Islamic Jihad leader in southern Gaza.

The “operational directives” listed on the card call for destroying the arms while avoiding civilian casualties. It calls for a single airstrike on the home, at night and only after warning people to leave, and “real-time surveillance” to be on the lookout for civilians.

Shamir-Borer said the home was hit, and there was a “secondary blast,” indicating weapons were stored there. The report said the army was unaware of any casualties from the strike. Shamir-Borer said the army went through a similar process in all 5,000 preplanned airstrikes carried out during the fighting.

The report calls to examine the incidents in which civilians were hurt in Gaza must be against the backdrop of the war crimes committed by Hamas and its use of civilian population, alongside Israeli effort to prevent harming civilians and adhere to international law.

Israel, the report says, did not intentionally act to cause damage to the civilian Palestinian population and its surroundings during the confrontation, and deeply regrets this damage.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Israeli report was meant to be a pre-emptive strike, noting that “this report is especially important because the State of Israel is under an unprecedented de-legitimization attack. This attack is not relevant, it’s political. Its goal is to tarnish the State of Israel, and we intend to respond to this attack… We will act wherever we need to for as long as we need to in order to deal with false claims and anti-Israeli initiatives.”

Source

Even worse news than the above …..

Remember this?

Israel Army Clears Soldiers in ‘Boys on Beach’ Gaza Shelling

Israeli military prosecutors closed a probe into the death of four children in Gaza last year and opened three new ones — including an alleged revenge shelling.

The Israel Defense Forces’ announcement Thursday on the closure of the probe said the children’s deaths on a Gaza beach in July as a result of an airstrike were an accident and did not affect the legality of Israel’s military actions in Gaza. No action is being taken against those involved. The strike was on a compound known to be in use by Hamas’ naval commando unit, the statement said.

Also on Thursday, the Military Advocate General announced it would look into the death of nine people in July at a café in Khan Younis hit by IDF artillery

A second probe concerns the suspected revenge shelling of a Palestinian clinic. Armored Corps troops are believed to have targeted the clinic as payback for the slaying of two of their comrades on July 22 by a Palestinian sniper whom the suspects believed fired on them from the clinic. The third probe concerns the alleged beating of a Palestinian prisoner.

All incidents occurred during Israel’s war on Hamas in Gaza in July and August of 2014 following Hamas’ firing of rockets at Israel civilians. A United Nations committee of inquiry into Israel’s actions in Gaza — which the Palestinians and other countries said amounted to war crimes — is due to submit its report next week.

Additionally, the advocate general said it would indict three soldiers suspected of looting in Gaza on July 29.

The International Court of Justice is also looking into Palestinian complaints on Israel’s summer offensive in Gaza. Some legal analysts have said the ICC, a U.N. court, has no jurisdiction to investigate the matter or prosecute alleged offenders because Israel’s judiciary is investigating the conduct of its own troops in compliance with international judicial standards. However, Israel’s critics dispute this.

So far, the Military Advocate General has received 190 complaints about Israeli troops’ conduct during Israel summer offensive, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement. Of those, 105 have been processed. Of the processed complaints, seven have been deemed to merit criminal investigations.

Another 15 incidents were investigated by local units and not at the general staff level.

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