It is now incumbent on the world outside the horror of Gaza to prevent the status quo ante from being reinstated once Israel determines that it has bombed enough tunnels....let alone actual people who have nothing to do with its military ambitions.

When Palestinina parents ask of their flayed, dismembered, burned, shrapnel riddled babies, toddlers or adolescents "are these the children of the resistance?"...and plead for "peace or you will make terrorists of all our children", you would have to be extremely callous or an idiot to dismiss them.

The toll in the Palestinina children from relentless targeted and obviously error filled assaults by Israel's IDF is beyond inhuman.

It not only calls into question the true aims of the incursion, but also the very ability of the IDF itself.

The entire package is a disgrace to humanity, even more so because it has taken this for the 'world' to again notice Palestinians.

Israel has actually been killing Palestinians largely unnoticed by the 'outside' all year round for years - 1400 children since 2000. Their parents, siblings, families know.

If considered at all they are deemed necessary casualties in Israel's pursuit of the Holy Grail  - it's unparalleled security requirements. The reason for all military and non- military actions.

Even when Palestinians were killed, locked up by the hundreds, had their homes demolished when three israeli teens were kidnapped, few bothered to factor in this 'security needs' collateral.

When just before the kidnappings two Palestinian teens were shot in cold blood by the IDF - captured on film and uploaded to YouTube - there was barely a murmur.

The revenge torture and execution of a Palestinian teen made headlines because of the context of the missing Israelis. This kid's cousin who was savagely beaten by Israeli soldiers - again captured on film- made the 'news' because he was an American citizen.

What is not told is that beatings  at the hands and rifle buts of the occupying forces are a daily hazard for Palestinian teens. It is part and parcel of the systematic oppression of a whole people which has the temerity to refuse to lie down and take it.

Gaza - the open air prison, the ghetto -  enters out living rooms when Israel decides to "mow the grass" - it's deeply sinister slang for incursions into the Strip.

Netanyahu had been angling for a 'reason' to mow the grass since Hamas and Fatah announced their unity government.

On the news of the  Israeli teens' abduction he was once again judge, jury and executioner of all Palestinians, regardless of evidence.

As the toll of Netanyahu's mowing mounts - now the dead and injured number in the many thousands  -  and Gaza is pulverised into a wasteland, as UN havens are bombed, UN personnel amongst the dead, as war crimes are being collated there is indication of a perceptible move away from the blinkered treatment of Palestinians.

This focus of world leaders, international media and concerned citizens prepared to hit the streets in support must continue. We can not revert to the status quo ante whenever it is that Israel decides it has decommissioned enough tunnels. If not the endless cycle of violence will continue with no peace for Israel and no peace for Palestine.

The Times cartoonist Peter Brooks put it this way: Hamas must stop mining under Israel; Israel must stop undermining itself.

Netanyahu was hardly guffawed at when he enlikened the Hamas rockets into Israel as akin to the Dresden bombings. Lord Prescott was met with outrage when he noted that you would think the Jews, as people who suffered appallingly at the hands of the Nazis would have a "unique sense of perspective and empathy with the victims of a ghetto".

Seems we have a way to go yet, but there are signs....

Self professed Zionist Roger Cohen, writing in the New York Times said he cannot a accept the current perversion of Zionism that has seen "the inexorable growth of a Messianic Israeli Nationlism claiming all the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River....that blockades Gaza with its 1.8m people locked in its prison and is then surprised by periodic eruptions of the inmates..."

The futility if the occupation and it's consequence - endless cycles of violence - is indisputable.

So many lives and so much time wasted when everyone knows that killing and maiming oppressed people becomes a recruitment poster for resistance.

It is way past time for the United States to reflect on how many of the billions it gives to poor, struggling Israel (not) are responsible for killing innocents in Gaza.

As in apartheid South Africa there is no military solution for the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. It must be political and those who have any leverage at all have to use it. That means an end to the mollycoddling of Israel. That would entail no more protection through US vetoes of UNSC calls for accountability or adhering to UN resolutions, no more tolerance of Israel's flouting of international rules in tems of its undeclared nuclear arsenal, no more tolerance of a 47year long illegal occupation along with its rapacious settlement construction, and at least a freeze and reinstatement for genuine behaviour of foreign aid.

It might hurt Israel's friends and allies, but sometimes friends and allies have to face the facts, even if that is to avoid being dragged down themselves.

Netanyahu and his dangerously right wing coalition need to be forced to recognized that their talk of the moral high ground is obscene.

The only high ground they can claim is that atop the mounting pile of predominantly innocent Palestinan corpses.

Comments (21)

by Flat Eric on August 04, 2014
Flat Eric

Not a mention that since Israel unilaterally withdrew in 2005, Hamas, using the construction materials needed for the economic revivial of Gaza, instrad constructed kilometres of tunnels in order that it could carry out attacks inside Israel. Even the BBC mentioned this one. Nor a mention of the Hamas comamand and control operatives embedded inside UN hospitals, as reported by many on-the-spot journalists, inlcuding one who was taken there and interrogated by Hamas. No mention of the fact that even the UN on its website has complained about Hamas storing weapons inside its facilities in Gaza.

You say a political response is needed. Any suggestions beyond that, for example how to get a political response from an organisation publicly dedicated to the complete eradication of Israel?

 

by Alan Johnstone on August 04, 2014
Alan Johnstone

It comes down to a basic question, either you support Isreals right to exist or you don't.

You can't have peace with someone who wishes to destroy your state and drive your people into the sea.

I understand that conditions in Gaza are awful, but do you expect the Israelis to sit meekly and turn the other cheek as rockets fall.

by Henry Barnard on August 04, 2014
Henry Barnard

@SPM "Any suggestions beyond that, for example how to get a political response from an organisation publicly dedicated to the complete eradication of Israel?"

@Alan: "You can't have peace with someone who wishes to destroy your state and drive your people into the sea."

Might be useful to read Likud's charter here and then think about Hamas's.

by Lee Churchman on August 05, 2014
Lee Churchman

Seems we have a way to go yet, but there are signs....

Self professed Zionist Roger Cohen, writing in the New York Times said he cannot a accept the current perversion of Zionism.

That's not new. Liberal Zionists like Cohen have been having doubts for some years now. Peter Beinart is another similar case that leaps to the mind. But they don't matter since their brand of liberal Zionism has been consigned to the margins in Israel itself where the centre of political gravity has moved well past the right towards the Kahanist far right. They might as well not exist in the current political reality.

A really bad sign is that some Israeli politicians and newspaper columnists in Israel have started to openly call for the expulsion of the Palestinians from Gaza. These are no longer fringe views – I've seen a few of these in the last week, some of them in the "respectable" Israeli press. There seems to me to now be a reasonable chance of this actually happening in the near future. 

Netanyahu and his dangerously right wing coalition need to be forced to recognized that their talk of the moral high ground is obscene.

By whom? Netanyahu has shown this week and in the past that he can openly insult Obama and US government emissaries at no political cost, since Israeli interests more or less own the Congress. As long has Israel can count on US backing, Netanyahu doesn't care what anyone else thinks, and he's been quite open about that. Given those circumstances, nobody outside Israel is able to force him to do anything. 

It looks like Palestine is over. There's no prospect of a meaningful 2 state solution because there is no way that Israel will ever abandon the settlements in the West Bank. There may be some limited autonomy for the Palestinian regions of the West Bank, but that's about as far as it will go. Gaza looks like it will be immiserated until most of its people pack up and leave or until the international community comes to some settlement for the transfer of most of its population. 

The Palestinians might as well start leaving. They have no other reasonable move left. How many more civilians must die for what is now a hopeless cause?

by william blake on August 05, 2014
william blake

It seems Netenyahu's forces are trying to turn the Palestinian populous against their radical but elected Hammas by biblically slaughtering mothers and their children. For me it is having the effect of turning my anti Zionist sentiments into anti-semitism. 

Trade embargoes on Israel, especially arms, would seem the best way to slow the pogrom in Palestine. International sporting and cultural banishment would reinforce Israels pariah status. 

 

by Lee Churchman on August 05, 2014
Lee Churchman

For me it is having the effect of turning my anti Zionist sentiments into anti-semitism. 

Why hate people like Stephen Fry and Jon Stewart just because Israel commits war crimes?

by william blake on August 05, 2014
william blake

Why? It's not something I have much controll over Lee. It's emotive rather than rational but there it is. I think it was the image of the infant with its legs blown off that swung me over.

 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/apr/30/israelandthepalestinians

by william blake on August 05, 2014
william blake

^. That is a friendly link, no horror.

by Lee Churchman on August 05, 2014
Lee Churchman

Why? It's not something I have much controll over Lee. It's emotive rather than rational but there it is. I think it was the image of the infant with its legs blown off that swung me over.

I've seen it and various other horrific images – I can't get them out of my head. Do you think it's reasonable to adopt a racist attitude towards William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy (both Jewish and very kindly, elderly men) because the government of Israel claims to be acting on behalf of world Jewry? If you're going to be an anti-semite, then, logically, you ought to hate all Jews and consider them all to be a malign influence on civilisation. I'm sorry, but that just seems to me to be an absurd belief once you start listing all the people you are now logically required to hate.  Look, I agree that the Israeli right and their backers are entirely odious. I don't see why this should make me want to hate Stephen Fry or agitate for thugs to burn down his house.
by Andrew Osborn on August 05, 2014
Andrew Osborn

In 4th generation warfare our minds are part of the battlefield.

One has to guard against specially posed or altered photographs designed to tug at our emotions.

 

by Lois Griffiths on August 05, 2014
Lois Griffiths

Chris Trotter recently asked in the Press,  what was meant by "Free Free Palestine".

 Yes, Palestinians, not just those  in Gaza, but their brothers and sisters  in the West Bank and  in Israel itself,  want freedom. They want  freedom to travel, freedom to welcome travellers,  freedom to farm and fish without being shot, freedom to marry whoever they want, freedom to access medical assistance . 

They want freedom from drones constantly buzzing overhead.

Palestinians want the freedom to support themselves, to harvest their olive groves, to live in their own houses. In the West Bank,  olive orchards are vandalised by settlers and houses demolished by the army.

Palestinians want freedom from 'administrative detention'.

Palestinians, Christians and Muslims,  want the freedom to worship at the church of their choice.  Palestinians want the freedom to know their own history and poetry.

Basically Palestinians want the freedom to live. The UN has reported that Gazan water is undrinkable because Israel bombs the power plants needed for sewage infrastructure. This isn't 'warfare', this is genocide. Our media tells us the number of Gazans slaughtered immediately, by warships, warplanes, tank missiles, snipers. Many more will die from their wounds. Norwegian doctors  are horrified at the use by Israelis of DIME bombs.

Many Gazans  will die from disease. 

Israel is not under existential threat, It never has been. It is the Palestinian people whose existence is precarious. 

I agree that the 2-State solution is over..has been for many many years. The issue now is human rights. Israel should be treated as the pariah state that it is, until it becomes a democratic secular state for all. No more walls, no more abuse of children (see Defence of Children International), no more humiliation at checkpoints by heavily armed teenagers in uniform .Israel has a long way to go but with international pressure things could change, no more armed settler fanatics terrorising people trying to live as normal a life as possible under horrifc circumstances. 

Freedom isn't such a difficult concept. It's a universal human longing.

We in NZ could contribute by expelling the Israeli ambassador. Helen Clark had the Israeli Embassy shut down in 2002 when Israeli agents were caught stealing NZ passports. So the action is not unprecedented. 

by william blake on August 05, 2014
william blake

Lee, like I said it's not a reasoned response, it's an undesirable reaction to barbaric actions by the state of Israel. 

 

 

by Andrew Osborn on August 05, 2014
Andrew Osborn

Lois: Israel is not under existential threat, It never has been

Clearly that is not the truth. Either you're ignorant of the history or you are deliberately making stuff up.

1/The Hamas Charter includes the destruction of Israel and the killing of all Jews.

2/ Israel's neighbours have repeatedly attacked it with the sole intention of killing all its citizens.

Israelis might be more inclined to give up land if it would make any difference, but it can be seen that concessions by Israel wouldn't change Arab attitudes.

 

 

by Lee Churchman on August 05, 2014
Lee Churchman

That is dishonest, Andrew.

1/The Hamas Charter includes the destruction of Israel and the killing of all Jews.

Since there's no prospect of them ever carrying out the threat, it is an empty statement (I doubt that the leadership believe it anyway). Hamas has proposed long term ceasefires and recently was willing to give up most of it's poltiical power to fatah in order to have a unified Palestinian political front for peace negotiations. As any informed person knows, part of the Israeli motivation for the current Gaza war is to prevent that from happening. 

2/ Israel's neighbours have repeatedly attacked it with the sole intention of killing all its citizens.

Nonsense. They've attacked it in the past to destroy or prevent the state of Israel as a political entity and end the Jewish colonisation of Palestine. There's no evidence that the war aims of Syria, Jordan and Egypt ever seriously included the systematic murder of all Jews in Palestine. That is an absurd suggestion, and you should be ashamed of yourself for making it. 

But it's of merely historical interest, since Egypt and Jordan are no longer enemies of Israel, and Syria is a basket case. Moreover, Israel is a nuclear armed state, and possesses effective deterrence against invasion for that very reason. It's no accident that the last attempt to seriously attack Israel was over 40 years ago. That was the last time that there was still any doubt about the existence of Israeli nuclear weapons. 

If Israel is ever existentially threatened, it will be for diplomatic reasons rather than military ones, and that is pretty unlikely.

by Andrew Osborn on August 05, 2014
Andrew Osborn

Lee: I've seen some ludicrous examples of denial in my time but this wins hands down.

From the very first moments of Israels existence it was under threat of annihilation. The fact that their despot neighbours have received a bloody nose each time they've repeated the attempt is the reason that they now opt for insurgency instead.

Now even the arabs are sick & tired of Hamas - as this shows:

http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/07/27/support-for-hamas-waning-gazan-jour...

Hamas is being squeezed out of existence & not by Israel. This is likely their last roll of the dice.

 

 

 

by Lee Churchman on August 06, 2014
Lee Churchman

Lee: I've seen some ludicrous examples of denial in my time but this wins hands down.

Stop trying to change the subject.

Where's your evidence that the Arab armies of 1948, 1967 and 1973 (excluding the 1956 war since Israel was the aggressor) intended the mass slaughter of the entire Jewish population of Israel?

I'd love to hear it. I'm sure that historians of the 20th century Middle East conflict would love to hear it as well. For example, it would completely invert accepted accounts of the Yom Kippur war in which Egypt and Syria acted as if they had quite limited war aims (retaking territory lost in 1967).

by Andrew Osborn on August 06, 2014
Andrew Osborn

Lee: Please read this article. It is written by a journalist who is far better informed than most of ours in NZ.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/31/world/middleeast/fighting-political-islam-arab-states-find-themselves-allied-with-israel.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0

The title may give you a clue as to the thrust:

Arab Leaders, Viewing Hamas as Worse Than Israel, Stay Silent

 

by Lee Churchman on August 06, 2014
Lee Churchman

What does that have to do with your unsupported assertion that the Arab states intended the mass murder of Israel's Jews?

by Serum on August 07, 2014
Serum

“Where's your evidence that the Arab armies of 1948, 1967 and 1973 (excluding the 1956 war since Israel was the aggressor) intended the mass slaughter of the entire Jewish population of Israel?”

In the Israeli War of Independence (1948) the combined military power of five Arab nations - Egypt,Transjordan,Lebanon,Iraq and Syria - invaded Israel with the stated purpose of annihilating every Jew. Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League said;

“It will be a war of annihilation. It will be a momentous massacre in history that will be talked about like the massacres of the Mongols or the Crusades.”

(“Interview with Abd al-Rahman Azzam Pasha”, Akhbar al-Yom (Egypt), October 11, 1947; translated by R. Green.

by Lee Churchman on August 07, 2014
Lee Churchman

“It will be a war of annihilation. It will be a momentous massacre in history that will be talked about like the massacres of the Mongols or the Crusades.”

Is there any evidence that they actually tried to do that, apart from the rhetorical ramblings of that guy? Wiki suggests otherwise.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1948_Arab–Israeli_War#Political_objectives

And the quote itself is of dubious provenance:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azzam_Pasha_quotation

As in all such cases, look at what people do rather than what they say – talk is cheap. A number of Israeli news sites have published similarly inflammatory material this week (you should read Moshe Feiglin's column), but I would find it hard to believe that Israel would massacre every single Palestinian.

And, in any case, the majority of massacres in the 1948 war were committed by Jewish forces.

According to the sources and depending on the definition, between 10 and 70 massacres occurred during the 1948 war.[1][3][4]

Yishuv (or later Israeli) soldiers killed roughly 800 Arab civilians and prisoners of war.[1] Most of these killings occurred as villages were overrun and captured during the Second phase of the Civil WarOperation DaniOperation Hiram and Operation Yoav.[1][5]

According to Morris, Jewish forces were responsible for 24 massacres during the war.[1] Aryeh Yizthaki attests to 10 major massacres with more than 50 victims each.[6] Palestinian researcher Salman Abu-Sitta records 33, half of them occurring during the civil war period.[6] Saleh Abdel Jawad has listed 68 villages where acts of indiscriminate killing of prisoners, and civilians took place, where no threat was posed to Yishuv or Israeli soldiers.[7]

The main massacres and attacks against Jewish civilians were the Haifa Oil Refinery massacre where 39 Jews were killed by Arab workers after Irgun members had thrown a bomb into the crowd, and the Kfar Etzion massacre where around 120-150 surrendering defenders were killed by Arab irregulars, with the participation of Arab Legion soldiers. With 80 deaths, the Hadassah medical convoy attack is also reported as a massacre because it included the mass killing of unarmed medical personnel by Arabs.[1][8][9]

Both Israeli archives and Palestinian testimonies confirm killings occurred in numerous Arab villages.[6] According to Morris, the "worst cases" were the Saliha massacre with 60 to 70 killed, theDeir Yassin massacre with around 100, Lydda massacre with around 250 and the Abu Shusha massacre with 60-70.[10] In Al-Dawayima, accounts of the death toll vary. Saleh Abd al-Jawad reports 100-200 casualties,[7] Morris has estimated "hundreds"[10] and also reports the IDF investigation which concluded 100 villagers had been killed.[11] David Ben-Gurion gave the figure of 70-80.[12]Saleh Abd al-Jawad reports the village's mukhtar account[13] that 455 people were missing following the al-Dawayima massacre, including 170 women and children.[7]

Controversy surrounds the assertion that a massacre by Israelis took place at Tantura.[1][14][15]

You really must do better. Warmed over accusations that can be disproved in minutes don't cut it.

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