IN PHOTOS ~~ ONE YEAR ON // REMEMBERING THE DEAD IN GAZA

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August 26th 2015, one year after the brutal Israeli massacre in Gaza, Jewish Voice For Peace  organized a memorial march through New York City from  West 77th St. to Columbus Circle. 200+ people participated in the memorial. As the they marched with signs and banners they  boldly called out  “Free Gaza”, “End the occupation” and “Not another nickel, not another dime, no more money for Israel’s crimes”. The group entered Columbus Circle in silence to honor the thousands murdered and injured in the attack which included children.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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#OperationSaveTheCatsOfGaza

Yesterday I posted about the wonderful lives dogs enjoy in Israel as compared to the lives of Palestinians …

Today there is a report of how 2 kittens were rescued from the war zone in Gaza last summer amidst the carnage of over 550 murdered innocent children.

Palestinian children killed in Israeli shelling, Gaza Strip. Their names are unknown, unlike the 2 kittens described below

Palestinian children killed in Israeli shelling, Gaza Strip. Their names are unknown, unlike the 2 kittens described below

Tzuk and Eitan were rescued from the fighting zone in the Strip during Operation Protective Edge by an IDF soldier, who is now the protagonist of a new optimistic and colorful book for children.

New children’s book tells story of kittens rescued from Gaza

Meet the kittens Tzuk and Eitan, who were born in Gaza, found a home in Israel after Operation Protective Edge (“Tzuk Eitan” in Hebrew) and are now starring in a new children’s book.

The cats, one white and the other ginger, were rescued from the fighting zone by one IDF soldier during Protective Edge. Their story has now been made into a children’s book written by Nurit Sternberg.

Illustration from the book: Matan feeding the kittens (Photo: Gadi Kabalo)

Illustration from the book: Matan feeding the kittens (Photo: Gadi Kabalo)

The soldier who rescued the cats, Matan Meshi, who is studying industrial engineering at the Ben-Gurion University, is the main protagonist of the book, titled “Tzuk and Eitan Find a Loving Home.”

Meshi, a fighter in the Ground Forces, was called for reserve duty at the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, and along with his friends went into the Gaza Strip for a series of missions in built-up areas in the central Gaza Strip.

“All of a sudden, a weak yowling was heard, and then another very weak, shaky yowling, and then a third. ‘What is there in the corner?’ Matan called with wonder. Two pairs of eyes sparkled in the darkness. Matan shone his light at the whispering, bustling corner, and then another weakling meow was heard. Matan saw two skinny, gaunt cats, and he felt sorry for the hungry and abandoned kittens.”

Matan fed the cats with food from his battles rations and gave them some water.

The ginger and white kittens spent three days with the fighters, who became attached to them and decided to bring them back to Israel in a cardboard box.

Illustration from the book: Matan and his friends taking the kittens to Israel (Photo: Gadi Kabalo)

Illustration from the book: Matan and his friends taking the kittens to Israel (Photo: Gadi Kabalo)

Once out of Gaza, the fighters got to Doron Elbaz’s refreshment station at the entrance to Moshav Maslul. Their next mission was to find the kittens a loving home.

Elbaz spread the story and the kittens were soon adopted by Kristina, a young woman from Tel Aviv. They have been living with her since.

And so the book describes it: “With a heavy bag on his back and his weapon on his shoulder, Matan marched with his friends along their journey, while the white and ginger cats were closed up in a cardboard box.”

Elbaz spread the story and the kittens were soon adopted by Kristina, a young woman from Tel Aviv. They have been living with her since.

Author Nurit Sternberg from Moshav Sde Warburg, who is a friend of Matan’s mother, decided to write a children’s book about the operation and the kittens’ adoption. Despite the fact the book takes place in war time, she wrote an optimistic and colorful book which makes for a light reading.

“I found the story really touching. It opens up a window into what went on in the soldiers’ hearts, and how they did not lose their compassion and gentleness despite the difficult operation,” Sternberg said.

 

Source

ISRAEL’S NEW UN AMBASSADOR ~~ THE REAL RIGHT TAKES OVER OFFICIALLY

Genocide was not good enough for him ….

Last year, Netanyahu fired Danon from the post of deputy defense minister after Danon publicly criticized Netanyahu for not taking firmer military action against Hamas during Israel’s summer offensive against the group in Gaza. After his dismissal, Danon lambasted Netanyahu’s “leftist flaccid attitude,” as he termed it.

 

Far Right-Winger Named as Israel’s New UN Envoy

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed Danny Danon, a hardliner from Netanyahu’s Likkud party, as ambassador to the United Nations.

Danon’s appointment, which was announced Friday, is meant to allow him to fight for the truth, Netanyahu said in a statement.

“The U.N. is an important forum right now and I am convinced that Danny will fight with all his power to present the truth in the international arena,” Netanyahu’s statement read.

Netanyahu and Danon – a firebrand who has called to reopen the Temple Mount to Jewish worship and has called boycotts against Israel “modern-day anti-Semitism” – have had a tense relationship.

Last year, Netanyahu fired Danon from the post of deputy defense minister after Danon publicly criticized Netanyahu for not taking firmer military action against Hamas during Israel’s summer offensive against the group in Gaza. After his dismissal, Danon lambasted Netanyahu’s “leftist flaccid attitude,” as he termed it.

At the U.N. headquarters in New York, Danon will replace Ron Prosor, who is widely credited in Israel for his performance at the organization, where Israel is often singled out for criticism, but where it has recently clinched some precedent-setting roles.

Israel’s Channel 2 this week reported that Netanyahu is considering appointing Mark Regev, a spokesperson of the Prime Minister’s Office under Netanyahu, to serve as ambassador in Britain.

SPOOF OF THE DAY ~~ VIP SERVICE AWAITS NETANYAHU IN LONDON

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IN PHOTOS ~~ HIROSHIMA/NAGASAKI BOMBINGS REMEMBERED IN NEW YORK AND PALESTINE

See below for report from Palestine

Carlos Latuff added this image

Carlos Latuff added this image

On August 6th  the New York City Granny Peace Brigade  held a Hiroshima / Nagasaki  day memorial event in front of the New York City Public Library at 5th Avenue and 42nd Street. The memorial was held during the  rush hour as people were leaving work returning home. This way the memorial would have the greatest public visibility. There were numerous tourists also passing by. People stopped to take pictures and many took the yellow leaflets the grannies were handing out.

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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Mazin Qumsiyeh. PhD adds the following from Palestine and Hiroshima

70 years ago, on August 6 and August 9, the US government of Harry Truman
dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Here is from my visit and
speech on that anniversary August 6, 2013 in Hiroshima.

This is the same Truman that pushed successfully to create nuclear armed
apartheid state of Israel that is terrorizing Palestinians and has
committed hundreds of massacres. Today Saad Dawabshe died of his severe
burns. He is the father of 18 month old martyr Ali who was burned alive in
the attack by racist Jewish colonial settlers on their family home. The
mother and second child still in critical condition. And the world leaves a
group of “pyromaniacs led by an egalomaniac” running a tinderbox (not my
words but words of an ex-Director of Israel’s security service, see below).
But the struggle goes on.

Today Saad Dawabshe died of his severe burns. He is the father of 18 month
old martyr Ali who was burned alive in the attack by racist Jewish colonial
settlers on their family home. The mother and second child still in
critical condition. And the world leaves a group of “pyromaniacs led by an
egalomaniac” running a tinderbox (not my words but words of an ex-Director
of Israel’s security service, click on link below). But the struggle goes on.

Click HERE


Contributed by Mike Rivero @

Contributed by Mike Rivero @

IN PHOTOS ~~ NEW YORKERS COMMEMORATE HIROSHIMA BOMBING

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Photos  © by Bud Korotzer

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Chippy Dee adds ….

Several people were invited into the consulate to present a letter of apology from the American to the people of Japan for the bombings. The failure of the American government to issue an apology in these seventy years was duly noted. Numerous peace organizations participated in organizing the event. On the street the participants engaged in speeches, singing and giving out leaflets explaining the meaning of the event.

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And Carlos Latuff added the following image

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The immortal Pete Seeger was there in spirit entertaining the participants …

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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’

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