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Little Alex in Wonderland: Israel claims they are targeting Hamas. The facts say that they are engineering a humanitarian crisis.

"You've also got to understand the distinctiveness of Jewish anxiety about annihilation, which is real... But at the same time, anti-Semitism should never be a blinder or an impetiment of understanding the suffering of Palestinian people under occupation and the difficulty of having any serious bridge building when you are an occupied people."


-Dr. Cornel West

The Newspeak out of Israel is that "there is no humanitarian crisis in the [Gaza] Strip." and Israel is targeting Hamas, not the Palestinians.

If so, they're doing a great job of missing their targets, to say the least.

Hypothetically speaking, were Hamas to target an Israel military installation on a Palestinian settlement and wound a child, the Newspeak would be that 'Hamas is killing children' out of Israel. When Israel targets a Hamas operative and kills 20 Palestinian civilians, the Newspeak stinks of "collateral damage" that we're just supposed to accept as a necessary evil of self-defensive war.

The conundrum in this Newspeak is another 'it's wrong when they do it to us, but not when we do it to them' that loses its transparency as its repeated by our leaders [sic] in the West, giving the Newspeak illegitimate credibility.

The best way to battle Newspeak is with fact (from our YouTube playlist, "Israel Attacks Gaza"):


al Jazeera - "Nowhere to Run for Those Trapped in Gaza" - 30 Dec 08 (3:11):



al Jazeera - "B'Tselem Questions Israeli Account of Attack" - 1 Jan 09 (2:38):



al Jazeera - "Gazans Struggle to Survive Amid Onslaught" - 1 Jan 09 (2:41):


ei - "Civilians are paying the price in Gaza" - Haider Rizvi reports from the UN:

International aid groups, including several United Nations agencies, are warning of a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza if Israel does not stop its military action there immediately.

"The consequences of [further] military action by Israel would be disastrous," said Jeremy Hobbs, director of Oxfam International, a London-based aid organization that is providing food and water for Palestinians affected by the Israeli blockade.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Gaza depend on Oxfam and other international aid agencies for the basics of life -- clean water, food and sanitation. Before the recent Israeli bombing campaign, Gaza had been cut off from the outside world for 19 months.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is also expressing similar concerns about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. The group says hospitals are "overwhelmed and unable to cope with the scale and type of injuries that keep coming in."

At the time this article went to press on 30 December, more than 300 Palestinians are reported to have been killed -- and nearly 1,000 wounded -- since the Israeli air force began bombing Gaza Saturday....

Before the recent attacks on Gaza, aid organizations had repeatedly stressed that the Israeli blockade of Gaza was hindering their efforts to reach out to Palestinians who were in dire need of food and medicines.

Currently, nearly half of the population in Gaza does not have enough food to meet its basic needs. A majority of the population are refugees who were driven out of their homes by the Israeli occupation in 1948....

"The blockade is illegal and constitutes collective punishment of ordinary men, women, and children," said Diakonia's Christoffer Sjoholm, who, although critical of Palestinian rocket attacks, condemned Israel's plans to carry out further attacks on Gaza....

On Monday, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) expressed deep concerns about the impact of the Israeli aerial attacks and demanded that the self-declared Jewish state must allow the humanitarian supplies to enter.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also called for Israel to take such actions.

"The frightening nature of what is happening on the ground, in particular, its effects on children who are more than half of the population, troubles me greatly," Ban said. "I have continuously stressed the need for strict observance of international humanitarian law."...

A statement released Tuesday by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that many more deaths are likely as hospitals in Gaza are lacking sufficient medical supplies.

"The ability of the hospitals to cope with a problem of this magnitude, if the situation continued unchanged, will result in surge in preventable death," a UNICEF spokesperson said in a statement. "Civilians are paying the price for a long blockade."...

In recent days, the United Nations agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) has repeatedly expressed its concern over the Israeli efforts to stop aid supplies. The agency stresses that days and weeks before the current military action the blockade was already hurting some 1.5 million people.

In a statement, UNRWA's head Karen AbuZayd said she was horrified by the current situation in Gaza and wanted the Israeli government to heed calls for ceasing its bombardment of Gaza.

ei also relays a press release from Al Mezan Center for Human Rights:

The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) has continued its military operation in the Gaza Strip for the fifth day. Today, it targeted an ambulance and its medical crew with a missile, killing a doctor and an orderly and critically injuring its driver. According to Al Mezan Center's monitoring, the number of Palestinian casualties since the start of Israel's Operation Cast Lead at 11:30am on 27 December 2008 has risen to 315, of whom 41 were children and nine women. At least 939 people have been injured, including 85 children and 52 women. The number of civilian objects that have been destroyed is as follows:

  • Seven mosques have been completely destroyed from direct air strikes;

  • 38 private industrial and agricultural enterprises have been completely destroyed;

  • 16 schools have been damaged;

  • Nine CBO offices were completely destroyed;

  • Eight private vehicles were destroyed;

  • 16 governmental facilities were destroyed.


Al Mezan Center for Human Rights asserts, according to its monitoring of the situation on the ground, that the IOF has perpetrated grave breaches of the international humanitarian law, amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity, in the course of its military actions in Gaza. The Center also asserts that the vast majority of IOF's targets in Gaza are civilian targets that must not be deliberately targeted. This includes houses, mosques, police stations and at least one ambulance. Most of the casualties are not combatants and were not involved in any hostilities when they were targeted by IOF. This behavior reflects a blatant disregard of civilian life and of the international law that is supposed to protect it.

Al Mezan Center condemns the IOF's violations of international law applicable in times of belligerent occupation and armed conflict. In particular, the violations by IOF of the Fourth Geneva Convention and its Protocol I have caused extreme suffering as well as loss of civilian life. Articles 15-19 of the Convention prohibit the disruption of the working of health facilities during times of conflict. Article 20 requires respect and protection of the persons who are involved in the search for civilians, the sick, the wounded, the elderly and mothers and care for them. IOF violates international humanitarian law by imposing a strangulating blockade that disrupts, and sometimes prevents, the provision of humanitarian aid to the population of the Gaza Strip.

Despite The New York Times bad paraphrasing, the quote from the UN official estimates "a minimum of 25 percent of all those killed are civilians and it may well be far higher."

Another interesting Newspeak tool is to manipulate the meaning of "civilian." Targeting Hamas and killing Gazan police officers make the police officers more "collateral damage," but they are left out of civilian fatality estimates. The common term is "non-combatant" and that statistic is never reported.

ei:

Reports said that many of the dead were Palestinian police officers. Among those Israel labels "terrorists" were more than a dozen traffic police officers undergoing training.

Ha'aretz:

"Seventy policemen were killed there, not all Hamas members," said S., who opposes Hamas. "And even those who supported Hamas were young men looking for a job, a salary. They wanted to live. And therefore, they died. Seventy in one blow. This assault is not against Hamas. It’s against all of us, the entire nation. And no Palestinian will consent to having his people and his homeland destroyed in this way."

Battles between authorities, especially when one or more authorities are the State admist an election season, always harm those already oppressed under the illegitimate authority more than those dominating the oppressed. Those in power have the primary objective (meaning over all other objectives) of maintain and strengthening the power of their institution. This is the cynical nature of institutions -- even those that are generally benign because were the benign institution to lose power, clout, resources, etc., the institution would struggle to exist.

The Palestinian people do not have a legitimate amount of clout in the authorities that govern them, yet are being destroyed more than their most direct dominators: Hamas, Fatah, and Israel.

A 0.29 second Google News serach of "Gaza children" wields almost 15,000 results; the first page of which can make your head spin and question the legitimacy of the governments issuing tacit consent to the TerrorState of Israel.

Tariq Ali could sum this up best:

"There is no other way. And Israeli citizens might ponder the following words from Shakespeare [The Merchant of Venice] that I have slightly altered:

"‘I am a Palestinian. Hath not a Palestinian eyes? Hath not a Palestinian hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Jew is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that...the villainy you teach me, I will execute; and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.’"

Originally posted to 6dbl5321 on Thu Jan 01, 2009 at 01:15 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Breaking: Hamas claims it was misquoted on the (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    object16, zemblan, Corwin Weber, Setrak

    whole truce thing.

    From News24 via Agence-France Press

    A top Hamas official on Thursday denied saying the group had conditionally accepted an EU truce proposal for Gaza violence, saying a bogus statement had been published on the main Hamas website.
    ...
    Earlier, the website carried a statement attributed to Barhum saying that the Islamists were accepting the EU truce proposal under certain conditions.

    "A ceasefire deal must be part of a global agreement including a ceasefire, the lifting of the blockade and the reopening of all the border crossings," the statement said.

    "I gotta rec that sh*t, even though it is completely tasteless and rude."

    by DemocraticLuntz on Thu Jan 01, 2009 at 01:27:08 PM PST

  •  Hamas Succeeds at Hitting Targets, (6+ / 0-)

    which are civilian.  Doesn't matter whether it's a four year-old girl or a sixty-eight year-old man.  Soldier or non-combatant.  For Hamas, every Israeli is a target.  When they hit a civilian, they hit their target.  When Israel hits a civilian, they missed their target.  There's a great difference between the two.

    "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves! Be ye therefore as wise as serpents, and as harmless as doves." Matthew 10:16

    by Setrak on Thu Jan 01, 2009 at 01:29:53 PM PST

    •  Not to the dead. Nor their families. (5+ / 0-)

      The difference may exist, but it's one with almost no moral distinction.

      The great difference you say you see should be explained to someone who can understand it, like Kim Phuc.

      We didn't mean to napalm you, kid.  Sorry.  You'll get over it.  

      [When] the land... has become private property, the landlords... love to reap where they never sowed, and demand rent even for its natural produce. ~Adam Smith

      by ogre on Thu Jan 01, 2009 at 01:36:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Did I say it's acceptable? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        burrow owl, Corwin Weber

        Of course not.   However, to claim there's a moral equivalence between Israel's accidental-killing of civilians, and Hamas' intentional-killing of civilians is to do nothing but forsake all logic and to rationalize one's support of rocket-attacks that are meant to do one thing;  wreak havoc, terror, murder upon civilians.

        The bombs won't stop until the rockets stop.   Do you really, honestly, think that peace will be possible when the governing-group in Hamas has on their charter that their goal is the destruction of Israel?  Hamas is not for peace, they are not for God(Allah, Jawheh, et cetra); they are for nihilism and mutual destruction.

        "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves! Be ye therefore as wise as serpents, and as harmless as doves." Matthew 10:16

        by Setrak on Thu Jan 01, 2009 at 01:41:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Heh, that was John Bolton's argument (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ogre, Deward Hastings, Terra Mystica

          There is no moral equivalence between the Lebanese child killed in the bombing, and the ISraeli child killed by Hezbollah rocketry.

          Stomach turning sickening, I wanted to vomit.  

          Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

          by Eiron on Thu Jan 01, 2009 at 03:00:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The only equivalency is the end result, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Corwin Weber

            a dead child, which is tragic.   However, arguing that there is a moral equivalence between what Hamas and Israel have done would be like arguing that there is a moral equivalence between 1st-degree homicide and negligence/wrongful death.

            "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves! Be ye therefore as wise as serpents, and as harmless as doves." Matthew 10:16

            by Setrak on Thu Jan 01, 2009 at 03:04:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  On one hand, I take your point (0+ / 0-)

              on the other, one asks would either death have been reasonably preventable, and the duty of the participants in preventing it.  In that sense I see no moral lack of equivalence.  

              Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

              by Eiron on Thu Jan 01, 2009 at 04:14:23 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Considering that for the bombings to stop.... (0+ / 0-)

                ....all that has to happen is for Hamas to stop launching rockets at children, I'm still not seeing the equivalence between the two.

                •  There really isn't any evidence (0+ / 0-)

                  to support that   Israel's record on keeping such commitments isn't that compelling.  

                  Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

                  by Eiron on Thu Jan 01, 2009 at 05:12:01 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  "Launching rockets at children" (0+ / 0-)

                  is inflammatory rhetoric.

                  The rockets aren't accurate.  They're not launched at children.  They're launched into Israel.

                  If you insist on that kind of assertion, then we have to accept that Israel is dropping bombs on (at) children, too.

                  [When] the land... has become private property, the landlords... love to reap where they never sowed, and demand rent even for its natural produce. ~Adam Smith

                  by ogre on Thu Jan 01, 2009 at 06:51:58 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  And--let's be honest-- (0+ / 0-)

          air attacks are by their nature grossly inaccurate.  It's been a fantasy since before WWII that massive air attacks and "pinpoint" attacks could be used to replace ground combat and so forth.  And that fantasists continue to pretend that they hit their targets (only), and that this will somehow achieve the intention of... what?

          The idea that the Israeli bombings are supposed to manipulate Hamas by hitting (now and then) targets that are actually Hamas, as opposed to civilians and policemen in training, and so forth isn't a form of terrorism is as tendentious and threadbare and embarrassing as suggesting that American policies and tactics in Iraq haven't been war crimes.

          A deep, deep hole has been dug.  And both sides keep digging.  And both keep pointing to the digging of the other side as cause and justification for digging.

          Israel has Gaza under what has been a tight blockade, depriving huge numbers of the ability to have meaningful, useful lives.  Do we wonder that the Gazans have reacted to that in a violent and irrational way?  And the Gazans have permitted rockets to be fired into Israel.  Do we wonder that the Israelis have reacted in a violent and irrational way?

          What I see is violence and a lack of reason.

          And the death of innocents.

          The idea that there's a moral argument that justifies any of it is absurd.

          Israel is not militarily threatened by Hamas; what's being done is terrorism, sure--and a military response to terrorism has generally failed dismally. The only military cure is so bloody and inhumane that almost no one even discusses it.

          The bombs won't stop until the rockets stop.  Which won't stop until...

          The real problem?  There is no peace without justice.  Merely ceasing fire doesn't achieve justice.

          [When] the land... has become private property, the landlords... love to reap where they never sowed, and demand rent even for its natural produce. ~Adam Smith

          by ogre on Thu Jan 01, 2009 at 06:49:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  so then (0+ / 0-)

        .. you imply that Israel and Hamas are morally equivalent, as there is "almost no" moral difference between their targetting.

        Given that, why should I support either or condemn either?

        •  I imply? (0+ / 0-)

          No, you infer.

          Perhaps Israel has a "better" moral excuse for killing innocents.  And it's killed a bunch of them.  And Hamas, perhaps, has a "worse" excuse--and has killed fewer.

          Oddly... I'm more concerned with the deaths and maimings of people, and not the "moral" excuses used by either side.

          Why should you do anything?  Because people are being starved (food and economically), deprived of medical supplies, and being killed and maimed.  That's a good reason for caring.

          [When] the land... has become private property, the landlords... love to reap where they never sowed, and demand rent even for its natural produce. ~Adam Smith

          by ogre on Thu Jan 01, 2009 at 06:36:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Here are the statistics: please cite some facts (8+ / 0-)

      Here is a link that provides statistics regarding deaths in Gaza with a breakdown by civilians and security forces.  

      This link even provides names

      http://www.btselem.org/...

      Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann (and btw, the bike in kayakbiker is a bicycle)

      by Kayakbiker on Thu Jan 01, 2009 at 01:37:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Gee denial of what is happening is unbelievable. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      object16, Eiron
    •  to 90 percent of the world Israel is a terrorist (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Nucleo

      state

  •  Not really.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Corwin Weber

    A majority of the population are refugees who were driven out of their homes by the Israeli occupation in 1948....

    A majority of the people living in Gaza are over the age of 61? They look so young! However, if you want to go that route, almost the entirety of the population of Israel are refugees...and over half of them were driven out of their homes by Arab governments in order to show solidarity with the Palestinians.

    •  Officially recognised (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeavyJ, ChiTownBlue2000

      From the United Nations Relief and Works Agency

      The Gaza Strip is unique amongst UNRWA's five fields of operations as the majority of its population is refugees and over half of the refugees live in eight camps. Most of the people who fled to the Gaza Strip as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war were from Jaffa, towns and villages south of Jaffa, and from the Beersheva area in the Negev. In all, some 200,000 refugees came to Gaza, whose original inhabitants numbered only 80,000.

      UNRWA only works with refugees. Another UN agency, the World Food Programme, deals with feeding non-refugees in Gaza.

      Rosa sat so Martin could walk, Martin walked so Barack could run, Barack ran so our children could soar

      by Lib Dem FoP on Thu Jan 01, 2009 at 02:24:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Jews in Arab lands (4+ / 0-)

      From:  THE JEWS OF IRAQ by Naeim Giladi

      The terrible truth is that the grenades that killed and maimed Iraqi Jews and damaged their property were thrown by Zionist Jews.

      [snip]

      This, too, was the conclusion of Wilbur Crane Eveland, a former senior officer in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), whom I had the opportunity to meet in New York in 1988. In his book, Ropes of Sand, whose publication the CIA opposed, Eveland writes:

      In attempts to portray the Iraqis as anti-American and to terrorize the Jews, the Zionists planted bombs in the U.S. Information Service library and in synagogues. Soon leaflets began to appear urging Jews to flee to Israel. . . .

      Although the Iraqi police later provided our embassy with evidence to show that the synagogue and library bombings, as well as the anti-Jewish and anti-American leaflet campaigns, had been the work of an underground Zionist organization, most of the world believed reports that Arab terrorism had motivated the flight of the Iraqi Jews whom the Zionists had "rescued" really just in order to increase Israel's Jewish population."[6]

  •  In the words of Fredy Perlman (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Johnny Nucleo

    In the words of Fredy Perlman:

    "The trick of declaring war against the armed resistance and then attacking the resisters’ unarmed kin as well as the sur­rounding population with the most gruesome products of Death-Science — this trick is not new. American Pioneers were pioneers in this too; they made it standard practice to declare war on indigenous warriors and then to murder and burn villages with only women and children in them. This is already modern war, what we know as war against civilian populations; it has also been called, more candidly, mass murder or genocide.

    Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that the perpetrators of a Pogrom portray themselves as the victims, in the present case as victims of the Holocaust.

    Herman Melville noticed over a century ago, in his analysis of the metaphysics of Indian-hating, that those who made a full-time profession of hunting and murdering indigenous people of this continent always made themselves appear, even in their own eyes, as the victims of manhunts."

    From: ANTI-SEMITISM & THE BEIRUT POGROM

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