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Viewpoint - November 29, 2012

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7 top things you should know about Gaza

1. Gaza is Always Under Siege
Israel controls the airspace, waters, and borders of Gaza (with the exception of Rafah, the border with Egypt). Israel controls the electrical and sewage infrastructure of Gaza, and how much food, fuel and other supplies can arrive and leave, giving it almost total control over the economy. Palestinians in Gaza do not have the freedom to leave at will, to visit relatives in the West Bank, or get adequate health care. 1.7 million Palestinians are crammed into 140 square miles, making it one of the most crowded places on earth.

In other words, even on the best of days, when Israel is not bombing Gaza, it is largely responsible for holding 1.7 million people captive in miserable conditions. According to international law, by maintaining "effective control" of Gaza, Israel still meets the definition of occupying power. This status has been affirmed by the Red Cross, Amnesty International, the U.N., and the U.S. State Department, among others.

2. Asymmetry of Power
This "conflict" cannot be called a war. This is an assault by one of the most advanced militaries in the world with the full backing, and weaponry, of the U.S., the sole world super power. By every measure, including fatalities, fatalities of civilians, injuries, and destruction of infrastructure, the disproportionate impact on Gaza is clear. While there is no excuse for attacks on civilians, whether in Israel or in the U.S., the threat from Gaza to Israel and Israelis is no comparison to the harm being inflicted on Gaza.

3. Collective Punishment
Israel claims that this war is against Hamas. But so far (as of November 20th), well over half the fatalities have been to civilians, including large numbers of women and children. The proportion of wounded who are civilian is even higher. Targeting civilians is a war crime and contrary to international law.

4. Who Started The Fighting?
While the predominant narrative in the media tells a story about Israel being forced to defend itself, the truth is that Israel has repeatedly broken truces with Hamas, including in this latest escalation. Until November of this year, one Israeli had been killed by fire from Gaza in 2012, while 78 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli attacks.

On November 8th, five days before coverage of this latest round began, a 12 year old boy in Gaza was killed by Israeli soldiers, which drew a response from militants in Gaza. Although three more civilians, including two children, were killed by Israeli fire during the course of several exchanges between November 8th and 11th, Palestinian militant factions agreed to a truce on November 11th. Most disturbingly, after two days of calm, Israel then assassinated Ahmed Jabari, the head of Hamas's military wing, and a relative moderate who, it is claimed by independent Israeli negotiator Gershom Baskin, had just two hours before received a proposal for a long-term truce that had been painstakingly developed by Israelis and Hamas officials.

5. Media Distortions
In U.S. publications, especially, there are routine referrals to Israeli "surgical" or "pinpoint" strikes and to "targeted assassinations." These terms imply a precision that does not exist, and that have resulted in extensive civilian casualties.

News reports often refer to the "cycle of violence" as if both sides have equal power and are equally responsible for the violence. The context of the continuing blockade of Gaza and the enormous disparities in fire power and overall control are not mentioned.

Politicians, in the U.S. and Israel, constantly claim that Israel "has the right to defend itself" which is dutifully repeated in news reports. If this is true, does Gaza have the right to defend itself from Israeli attack in the same manner? There is a clear double-standard at work.

6. U.S. Role
Israel could not continue this assault if the Obama administration and Congress did not approve it. In fact, President Obama has said, "Israel has every right to expect that it does not have missiles fired into its territory." The Israeli military is using weaponry procured from Boeing, General Electric, and Elbit U.S.A., to name a few, purchases made possible by U.S. military aid to Israel. In other words, U.S. taxpayers are funding the Israeli attack on Gaza.

7. No Military Solution
Israel periodically uses its military might as a deterrent to Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem to rebel. But an unjust occupation and subjugation of an entire people cannot be maintained by military force alone. The only long-term solution, for Palestinians and Israelis, is one that offers freedom and dignity for all the people of Palestine and Israel.

Original Article: 7 top things you should know about Gaza



If murderous criminality is the modus operandi of Israel's treatment of its Palestinian victims, lying is Israel's shield against international condemnation.

Zionism is murder and lies
Israel's recurrent massacres of Palestinians are largely made possible because no one in power has the courage to challenge Zionist lies
Khalid Amayreh

In addition to plain murder, Israel has been indulging in outright propaganda based on lies in the attempt to justify its genocidal killing spree in the Gaza Strip. In the final analysis, killing and lying go hand-in-hand.

A few years ago I spoke with an Israeli army spokeswoman, asking her how Israel could claim that it didn't deliberately target Palestinian civilians when thousands of them were being killed, maimed and mutilated, often beyond recognition. With characteristic prevarication, the young woman answered: "We kill them knowingly but not deliberately."

I asked what the difference was since killing knowingly is killing deliberately. Facing my persistent questions, the army spokeswoman eventually told me she was not an expert on linguistic sophistry, and that as far as she was concerned, the Israeli occupation army didn't have an established policy of targeting innocent Palestinians.

The truth of the matter is that Israel does have a long established policy of targeting innocent civilians, whether in Gaza or the West Bank or South Lebanon.

License to kill

Israeli spokespersons claim that civilians are killed inadvertently or by mistake, while others fall as "collateral damage."

But mistakes happen once, twice or 10 times. When "mistakes" occur numerous times and on every day and in every round of war, it means "mistakes" are an established policy pursued consciously.

In 2006, the Israeli air force reportedly dropped 2-3 million cluster bomblets on southern Lebanon. This huge number of deadly time bombs is enough, at least theoretically, to kill 2-3 million Lebanese children. This is half a holocaust by Zionist standards. Does Israel expect humanity to be so naive to believe that this intended genocide of Lebanese civilians was planned and executed by mistake?

In reality, Zionists consider the rest of humanity too sheepish or gullible to discover their lies. This is why the bulk of Zionist rabbis believe in Jewish supremacy. Take, for example, Ovadia Yosef, the religious mentor of the Haredi Shas Party.

Two years ago, Yosef was quoted as saying during a Sabbath homily that Gentiles (non-Jews) are effectively donkeys that God created solely in order to serve Jews.

Yosef is not a demented or marginal rabbi. He is a former chief rabbi of Israel and has hundreds of thousands of loyal followers. Moreover, his party is a kingmaker within the Israeli political arena.

Reversing the truth

If murderous criminality is the modus operandi of Israel's treatment of its Palestinian victims, lying is Israel's shield against international condemnation.

Israel benefits from a huge network of Zionist-owned or Zionist-influenced media, extending from Sydney to California. These mouthpieces of Zionist lies have a premier function to perform as far as Israel is concerned: to turn big lies into virtual truths glorified by thousands.

This week, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, a habitual and pathological liar, asked a German official the following: What would Germany do if its capital was hit with wave after wave of rockets?

Of course, the German minister didn't have the courage to tell Netanyahu that Israel is founded on a pre-existing country, that its founders, including Zionist terrorists,
destroyed Palestinian homes, obliterated Palestinian villages, murdered Palestinian children and expelled hundreds of thousands with no chance of return. This is the reason Palestinians fire rockets on Israeli towns and settlements.

Indeed, even if the German minister had the rectitude to challenge Netanyahu, he probably wouldn't dare say what should be said lest he lose his job and be ejected from his party, or worse.

In truth, Zionist lies have a beginning but have no end. Zionists claim they didn't expel the bulk of the Palestinian people from their ancestral homeland when Israel was established in 1948.

Listening to these obscene lies, a stranger who knows nothing about the conflict would probably think that the Palestinians left their homes because they got so bored that they needed an opportunity for recreational activities outside Palestine.

The Zionists also claim that they are only responding to Palestinian provocations, namely the firing of projectiles on Israeli towns and settlements.

Israeli spokespersons even dramatise these lies by asking Westerners how would they feel and react if their citizens were showered with thousands of rockets.

The truth, which much of the international media, including agenda setters such as CNN, the BBC, CBS along with The New York Times, The Washington Post, and even Le Monde, ignore is that these inaccurate projectiles are nearly innocuous and are absolutely no match for Israel's state'of-the-art technology of death, such as F-15 and F-16 jets, Apache helicopters, unmanned predator drones, and laser-guided missiles fired from high altitudes on poor people's homes, causing massacres and widespread destruction.

The world needs to know

The world needs to know the truth and stop being at the mercy of Zionist lies. So-called Palestinian missiles are the poor man's weapon in the face of America and Israel's most advanced arsenal.

Indeed, were these Palestinian rockets "real weapons," they would enable Palestinians to protect their children who are slaughtered by the dozen per day. Indeed, a single bombing raid by an Israeli war plane, such as an F-15 or F-16, has more firepower and can inflict more damage and death than a thousand projectiles of the type fired from Gaza on Israel.

This is not propaganda. This is truth that is evident from the latest round of violence in Gaza. The Palestinians fired as many as 1100 "rockets" on Israel, leaving five Israelis dead and a few others injured.

In comparison, as many as 150 Palestinians were killed in little over a week, 90 per cent of them innocent civilians, including more than 30 babies and toddlers, with 1200 others - also mostly civilians - injured, many of them seriously. This is not to mention the destruction inflicted on the already bombed-out Gaza.

The Palestinians fire these projectiles because this is all they have to defend themselves and their children against a fascist enemy that is armed to the teeth and has the US government and Congress tightly under control.

The use of these so-called "missiles" is an expression of desperation and weakness on the Palestinians' part. But it is also an expression of Palestinian determination to gain liberty from an evil entity that only understands the language of force.

Finally, the world should understand and internalise the historical fact that it was these terrorist thugs from Eastern Europe, such as Netanyahu and Barak, who invaded Palestine, terrorising and banishing its native people to the four winds. It is paramount to remember this fact everytime Israel claims it is only responding to Palestinian violence.

Besides, we should also understand what the American-English poet Auden said.

"I and the public know,
What all school children learn,
Those to whom evil is done,
Do evil in return"



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