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Analysis of Underlying Issues and Hyprocrisy of Gaza Bombings

remote control bombing of Gaza

Sydney Morning Herald, July 26, 2014

CARTOON ABOUT GAZA DENOUNCED AS “ANTI-SEMITIC” AND RETRACTED BY NEWSPAPER

By Michael Hoffman

www.revisionisthistory.org

Kippah-wearing Israeli-watches-Gaza-bombing 19 July 2014

ZIONIST THOUGHT COPS REDUCE AUSTRALIAN NEWSPAPER TO QUIVERING BOWL OF JELLY 

Sydney Morning Herald can’t apologize enough for editorial cartoon and accompanying column

“We apologize unreservedly for this lapse and the anguish and distress that has been caused….It was wrong to publish the cartoon in its original form.”

The fact-based cartoon has been retracted 

Sydney, Australia — An influential Australian newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald, has retracted and said it was “wrong” to publish a July 26 cartoon about Gaza that ignited howls of outrage from Zionists. In an August 3 editorial, the Herald denounced its own cartoon, saying that it “invoked an inappropriate element of religion, rather than nationhood, and made a serious error of judgment.” The cartoon, by Glen Le Lievre, depicted “an elderly man, with a large nose, sitting alone, with a remote control device in his hand, overseeing explosions in Gaza,” according to the newspaper.  His armchair had a Star of David on it, “and the man was wearing a kippah, a religious skullcap.”

Initially, the newspaper defended the cartoon, explaining that Le Lievre’s drawing was inspired by “news photographs of men seated in chairs and lounges, observing the shelling of Gaza.”

The Herald’s initial defense was correct. As Harriet Sherwood reports (below), Israelis did indeed gather on hillsides to watch and cheeras their military dropped bombs on Gaza: “Israelis drank, snacked and posed for selfies” against a background of explosions in civilian areas.
Israelis lounge as Gaza is bombed Kippah wearing Israelis enjoying the bombing of Gaza from hill in Sderot

ISRAELIS GATHER ON HILLSIDES TO WATCH AND CHEER AS MILITARY DROPS BOMBS ON GAZA

By Harriet Sherwood in The Guardian (UK) July 20, 2014 (Excerpt)

People drink, snack and pose for selfies against a background of explosions as Palestinian death toll mounts in ongoing offensive.

As the sun begins to sink over the Mediterranean, groups of Israelis gather each evening on hilltops close to the Gaza border to cheer, whoop and whistle as bombs rain down on people in a hellish warzone a few miles away.

Old sofas, garden chairs, battered car seats and upturned crates provide seating for the spectators. On one hilltop, a swing has been attached to the branches of a pine tree, allowing its occupant to sway gently in the breeze. Some bring bottles of beer or soft drinks and snacks.

On Saturday, a group of men huddle around a shisha pipe. Nearly all hold up smartphones to record the explosions or to pose grinning, perhaps with thumbs up, for selfies against a backdrop of black smoke.

Despite reports that millions of Israelis are living in terror of Hamas rockets, they don’t deter these hilltop war watchers whose proximity to Gaza puts them within range of the most rudimentary missiles. Some bring their children.

In the border town of Sderot, which has been struck by countless missiles from the Gaza Strip in recent years, one family gathers on a top-floor balcony, draped with an Israeli flag and banner of the army’s legendary Golani Brigade. A house with a war view may even command a premium price these days.

An atmosphere of anticipatory excitement grows as dusk falls, in the expectation that Hamas militants will increase rocket fire after breaking their Ramadan fast, and the Israeli military will respond with force.

The thud of shellfire, flash of an explosion and pall of smoke are greeted with exclamations of approval. “What a beauty,” says one appreciative spectator.

Shimrit Peretz, 19, has come with her off-duty soldier boyfriend, Raz Sason, whose army-issue assault rifle is slung across his shoulders. “We come to look at the bombing,” Peretz says, adding that this is their fourth visit to the hilltop. They plan to stay several hours: “It’s interesting.” The pair have brought a backpack filled with bottles of water and bags of crisps… (end quote from Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian).

______________________

Why is it wrong to satirize, in a cartoon, an actual occurrence that is now part of the history of the Gaza war — the heartless contempt which many Israelis have exhibited for the lives of Palestinian civilians? This is reality. Why can’t Israeli partisans stomach reality? Why must the supposedly secular and independent media of Australia bow to the demands of nationalist and religious-fanatic reality-deniers, who find truth highly offensive to their tender sensibilities and raging egotism? 

The Sydney Morning Herald‘s editor, Darren Goodsir, told the Guardian Australia that he decided to apologize “after a long 10 days of serious thinking, and reflection.” What he actually means to say is, ten long days of constant pressure and hectoring from the Zionist lobby.

The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies complained to the Herald about the cartoon as follows: “In our view this is racial vilification, not only in the sense of offending, insulting, humiliating and intimidating Jews as a group, but also in the sense of inciting third parties to hatred of Jews,” according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Dear “Jewish Board of Deputies”—  if you feel “humiliated,” perhaps it’s because what your fellow tribesmen in the Israeli state did is indeed shameful and disgraceful. Rather than trying to censor reality, why not change your ways and become better persons, by moderating your hatred and contempt for Arab goyim? Everyone benefits from the self-reflection that comes from truth-based criticism.

Mr. Le Lievre’s cartoon was accompanied by an editorial by veteran Herald columnist Mike Carlton, which promptly came under verbal bombardment from the Zionist community. Australia’s “Anti-Defamation Commission of B’nai B’rith,” headed by Mr. Dvir Abramovich, termed Mr. Carlton’s column, “venomous propaganda.”

The Australian Jewish News  even took offense that the columnist had praised Judaic culture as liberal and scholarly, while invoking the “Six Million Holocaust.” Australian Jewish News wrote, “Not only were we treated to baseless accusations of ‘genocide’ and ‘ethnic cleansing’ on Israel’s part, but then there was a subtle shift. These were crimes being committed by ‘a people with a proud liberal tradition of scholarship and culture, who hold the Warsaw Ghetto and the six million dead of the Holocaust at the centre of their race memory.’ “This column was no longer about a country, this was about a people and a race – a people and a race who should know better because of what they themselves went through. In short, you Jews are the same as the Nazis, worse perhaps because you choose to ignore the lessons of your own history.”

“…a people and a race who should know better because of what they themselves went through.” Exactly!

Mike Carlton

Carlton stood by his column and wrote about the attack on and his family on Twitter. The lives of Carlton’s children were threatened and he was eventually suspended by the Sydney Morning Herald. Mr. Carlton has since resigned from the paper (see the story here). His e-mail account has been hacked. You can reach him via Twitter: @MikeCarlton01 Here is Carlton’s offending column:

ISRAEL’S RANK AND ROTTEN FRUIT IS BEING CALLED FASCISM

By Mike Carlton

Sydney Morning Herald • July 26, 2014

The images from Gaza are searing, a gallery of death and horror. A dishevelled Palestinian man cries out in agony, his blood-soaked little brother dead in his arms. On a filthy hospital bed a boy of perhaps five or six screams for his father, his head and body lacerated by shrapnel. A teenage girl lies on a torn stretcher, her limbs awry, her face and torso blackened like a burnt steak. Mourners weep over a family of 18 men, women and children laid side by side in bloodied shrouds. Four boys of a fishing family named Bakr, all less than 12 years old, are killed on a beach by rockets from Israeli aircraft.

As I write, after just over a week of this invasion, the death toll of Palestinians is climbing towards 1000. Most are civilians, many are children. Assaulting Gaza by land, air and sea, Israel has destroyed homes and reduced entire city blocks to rubble. It has attacked schools, mosques and hospitals. Tens of thousands of people have fled, although there is nowhere safe for them to go in this wretched strip of land just 40 kilometres long and about 10 kilometres wide. There are desperate shortages of food and water, of medical and surgical supplies.

In an open letter to US President Barack Obama, Dr Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian surgeon working at Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital, writes of “the incomprehensible chaos of bodies, sizes, limbs, walking, not walking, breathing, not breathing, bleeding, not bleeding humans. Humans!

“Ashy grey faces – Oh no! Not one more load of tens of maimed and bleeding. We still have lakes of blood on the floor in the emergency room, piles of dripping, blood-soaked bandages to clear out … the cleaners, everywhere, swiftly shovelling the blood and discarded tissues, hair, clothes, cannulas – the leftovers from death – all taken away… to be prepared again, to be repeated all over.”

The onslaught is indiscriminate and unrelenting, with but one possible conclusion: Israel is not fighting the terrorists of Hamas. In defiance of the laws of war and the norms of civilised behaviour, it is waging its own war of terror on the entire Gaza population of about 1.7 million people. Call it genocide, call it ethnic cleansing: the aim is to kill Arabs.

As none other than Malcolm Fraser tweeted this week: “If any other country went to war killing as many civilians, women and children, it would be named a war crime.” But it is not, although the UN is asking the question of both sides.

Yes, Hamas is also trying to kill Israeli civilians, with a barrage of rockets and guerilla border attacks. It, too, is guilty of terror and grave war crimes. But Israeli citizens and their homes and towns have been effectively shielded by the nation’s Iron Dome defencs system, and so far only three of its civilians have died in this latest conflict. The Israeli response has been out of all proportion, a monstrous distortion of the much-vaunted right of self defense.

It is a breathtaking irony that these atrocities can be committed by a people with a proud liberal tradition of scholarship and culture, who hold the Warsaw Ghetto and the six million dead of the Holocaust at the centre of their race memory. But this is a new and brutal Israel dominated by the hardline, right-wing Likud Party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his coalition.

As one observer puts it: “All the seeds of the incitement of the past few years, all the nationalistic, racist legislation and the incendiary propaganda, the scare campaigns and the subversion of democracy by the right-wing camp – all these have borne fruit, and that fruit is rank and rotten. The nationalist right has now sunk to a new level, with almost the whole country following in its wake. The word ‘fascism’, which I try to use as little as possible, finally has its deserved place in the Israeli political discourse.”

Fascism in Israel? At this point the Australian Likudniks, as Bob Carr calls them, will be lunging for their keyboards. There will be the customary torrent of abusive emails calling me a Nazi, an anti-Semite, a Holocaust denier, an ignoramus.  As usual they will demand my resignation, my sacking. As it’s been before, some of this will be pornographic or threatening violence.

In fact, that paragraph within the quotation marks was written by an Israeli. Gideon Levy is a columnist and editorial board member of the daily newspaper Ha’aretz. Born in Tel Aviv to parents who fled the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939, he despairs of what his country has become and the catastrophe its armed forces are visiting upon Gaza. After a recent column calling on Israeli pilots to stop bombing and rocketing civilians, his life was threatened and he now has a bodyguard day and night. It has come to that. In the worst insult of all, Levy is branded “a self-hating Jew”.

Israeli propaganda is subtle and skillfully put. “If Israel were to lay down its arms tomorrow, she would be destroyed; but if Hamas were to lay down their arms, there would be peace,” goes the line, parroted endlessly.

But in all these long and agonising decades, Israel has never offered the Palestinians a just and equitable peace. They would have only a splintered, vassal state, their polity and economy and even their borders and freedom of travel and trade managed and determined by Israel. The occupation of Palestinian lands would remain with the relentless expansion of illegal Israeli settlements on the West Bank of the Jordan and the Dead Sea.

As the Palestine Liberation Organisation official Hanan Ashrawi put it this week in a television interview with the Australian journalist Hamish Macdonald: “No nation can accept being imprisoned, being besieged by land, by air, by sea and deprived of the most basic requirements of a decent life: freedom of movement, clean water. For seven years they have been under a brutal and lethal Israeli siege … You shell them and you bomb them; you destroy homes, you destroy whole neighborhoods. You obliterate, annihilate, whole families, and then you come and say that this is self defense?”
That is why the killing and the dying goes on. Ad nauseam, ad infinitum. And the rest of the world, not caring, looks away. (End quote).

EDITORIAL (Sydney Morning Herald – Excerpt) Aug. 3 2014

There has been widespread reader and community reaction during the past 10 days over a cartoon that was used to illustrate an opinion piece by columnist Mike Carlton on the conflict in Gaza.

Much of that concern was borne out publicly on our letters pages – and there has continued to be commentary and correspondence that has sought to make sense of the conflict. The Herald has drawn opinions from a wide variety of sources to help readers to understand the causes of, and the possible ways to end, the war between Hamas and Israel. Deeply critical exchanges have taken place over the opinions expressed in Mr Carlton’s column, and properly so, as we invite debate over any column we publish.  But the Herald has also fielded a number of accusations of racism over the cartoon.

The Herald deeply regretted the upset the image had caused, but felt – not least because the cartoonist lacked any intent and that actual photographs influenced the setting and physical depiction of the character in the cartoon –that no racial vilification had occurred.

However, this newspaper accepts that this position was too simplistic and ignored the use of religious symbols. The Herald now appreciates that, in using the Star of David and the kippah in the cartoon, the newspaper invoked an inappropriate element of religion
, rather than nationhood, and made a serious error of judgment. It was wrong to publish the cartoon in its original form. We apologize unreservedly for this lapse, and the anguish and distress that has been caused. Our commitment remains to reporting in a fair and balanced way on the appalling events in Israel and Gaza, where our correspondent, Ruth Pollard, is currently based, witnessing daily the horrors of war….
(End quote; emphasis supplied).

In other words, God forbid that anyone should reach conclusions about fundamentalist Judaism which reporters, academics and pundits regularly draw about fundamentalist Islam. There is one religion on earth that must not, and indeed, in the old media, cannot be criticized, or exposed for fostering barbarism and racism. It has been said before, but it bears repeating —  find out who you can’t criticize and you will know who it is that rules over you.

 

ISRAELI PROFESSOR SUGGESTS RAPE AS ‘TERROR DETERRENT’

MORDECHAI KEDAR: SEX ASSAULT ON RELATIVES WILL STOP ATTACKS

By Ori Kashti • July 22, 2014

Mordechai Kedar of Bar-Ilan University

(Haaretz) — “The only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped.” This assertion was made by Middle East scholar Dr. Mordechai Kedar of Bar-Ilan University on an Israel Radio program. “It sounds very bad, but that’s the Middle East,” added Kedar, of Bar-Ilan’s Department of Arabic.

The program “Hakol Diburim” (“It’s All Talk”) was broadcast on July 1, immediately after the discovery of the bodies of Gilad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrah, who were kidnapped and murdered in the West Bank. It dealt, among other things, with the question of how Hamas can be deterred.

“You have to understand the culture in which we live,” said Kedar. “The only thing that deters [Hamas leaders] is a threat to the connection between their heads and their shoulders.” When presenter Yossi Hadar asked if that “could filter down” the organization’s ranks, Kedar replied: “No, because lower down the considerations are entirely different. Terrorists like those who kidnapped the children and killed them — the only thing that deters them is if they know that their sister or their mother will be raped in the event that they are caught. What can you do, that’s the culture in which we live.”

When Hadar said, “We can’t take such steps, of course,” Kedar continued: “I’m not talking about what we should or shouldn’t do. I’m talking about the facts. The only thing that deters a suicide bomber is the knowledge that if he pulls the trigger or blows himself up, his sister will be raped. That’s all. That’s the only thing that will bring him back home, in order to preserve his sister’s honor.”

Kedar is also a research fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan, and in the past also served as chairman of the Israel Academia Monitor organization, which is involved in “exposing extremist Israeli academics who exploit academic freedom in order to take steps to deny Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.” The organization is engaged in a battle against professors identified with the left.

In the wake of the publication of his words, feminist activists today sent a letter to Bar-Ilan University president Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, in which they decried Kedar’s “words of incitement that grant legitimacy to Israel Defense Forces soldiers and Israeli civilians to commit rape, and endanger both Israeli and Palestinian women. Kedar’s words echo expressions that treat rape as a remedial practice, although it is a war crime.”

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Michael Hoffman’s Afterword:

Though it will be claimed by the usual public relations hacks that Prof. Kedar’s monstrous rape/deterrent observation is “condemned by the Jewish tradition” (citing, for example, BT Kiddushin 22), there are rabbinic escape clauses which justify rape. First, the rape target must be classified as a zonah (prostitute) or a nokri (hostile alien). The supreme Ashkenazic halachic authority, Rabbi Moses Maimonides, rules that a Judaic soldier may rape this type of female POW (Yefas To’ar) when he is not actively fighting a battle (cf. Hilchos Melachim 8:3). For an explication of this subject consult my book, Judaism Discovered, p. 904.

Courtesy of Maurice Pinay — text from the Meorot theology journal of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinic School, giving permission to Judaic soldiers to rape a female gentile battle captive one time:

“It is the consensus of many halachic decisors (judges of rabbinic law) that the yefat to’ar (female goy captive) can be subject to involuntary intercourse, though only once, after which she must undergo a specific regimen described in the Torah (Torah sheBeal peh i.e. the Mishnah and Gemara), conversion and marriage, before her captor is permitted further sexual relations with her…”

 “It is the consensus of many halakhic decisors that the yefat to’ar can be subject to involuntary intercourse, though only once, after which she must undergo, a specific regimen prescribed in the Torah, conversion and marriage, before her captor is permitted further sexual relations with her. There is a dispute among rishonim, pre-sixteenth century decisors, regarding the venue of the initial sexual relationship. Some argue it can take lace on the battlefield; others state it must take place elsewhere; still others maintain that relations on the battlefield prior to conversion can only take place with the woman’s consent. There are others who are of the view that even the first sexual contact can only take place after the regimen, conversion and marriage. For a complete discussion see R. Shlomo Yosef Zevin, et. Al., eds., Intsiqlopediyah talmudit: le-inyanei halakhah, Vol. 25 (Jerusalem: Talmudic Encyclopedia, 2002), especially columns 30-34.”

— Dov. S. Zakheim, Meorot vol. 6: no. 1 (2006), p. 5.

Zakheim was Under Secretary of Defense in the administration of George W. Bush, 2001-2004.

One wonders how much of an outcry this rape-as-a-deterrent observation will receive from Michele Obama, from those who denounced Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin, and from big media like FOX News and the New York Times. The Times published a lengthy, front page report on July 13 concerning a small U.S. college that supposedly was negligent in investigating the rape of an intoxicated female student. Let’s see what the Times has to say, if anything, about this professor who is on the faculty of Bar-Ilan, the most prestigious Talmudic educational institute in the Israeli state.

August 5 Update: On August 4, the NY Times online permitted a passing reference to Kedar’s rape remarks. It appeared in the eleventh paragraph of an Op-Ed by Ali Jarbawi. The Times claims to be deeply concerned about a culture of rape on American college campuses, but took 13 days to even mention (much less report) on the Israeli professor who teaches at a heralded Talmudic university, who states on Israeli radio that raping Palestinian women is the only effective deterrent against Palestinian armed resistance. Kedar’s repulsive remarks deserve a separate article, and an exposé in the Times. However, let the record show that the article by Jarbawi mentioning Kedar was not published in the print edition of the New York Times distributed in the U.S. It was published only online and in the printed International edition. It was omitted from the US print edition, which still has the majority of the readers of the Times, who will not see even a passing mention of the outrageous Israeli rape-as-a-deterrent doctrine.

COMMENTS

Andrew E. Mathis said…

Dear Mr. World’s Foremost Expert on Judaism,

Moses Maimonides was neither Ashkenazi nor the supreme Ashkenazic halakhic authority. On the former point, Maimonides, having been born in Spain, was Sephardi. On the latter point, his Mishneh Torah, while authoritative for Sephardim is not authoritative for Ashkenazim. That distinction goes to R’ Josef Karo and his Shulchan Aruch, which gloss by R. Moses Isserles.

 

Michael Hoffman said…

Hi Andrew

You should get a new prescription for your reading glasses. We did not state that Moses Maimonides was of Ashkenazi descent.

We said he was a top legal authority for those Orthodox who are of Ashkenazi descent. Your goofy claim that he is not, requires no rebuttal.

Karo’s Shulchan is a building block in the halachic edifice of which the Rambam is a preceding block and the Mishnah and Gemara of the Talmud Bavli are the foundation. Many other “blocks” (the Mishneh Berurah of the Chafetz Chaim for example) comprise the whole.

 Palestinian father comforts son after loss of relatives in bombing 3_8_14

ISRAELI EXTERMINATION IN GAZA

By Ali Jarbawi

Birzeit University • Palestine

There is now an extremist, racist ideological current in Israel that not only justifies the recent onslaught on the Gaza Strip, but actually encourages the use of enormous and disproportionate violence against civilians, which has led to the extermination of entire families.

RAMALLAH, WEST BANK — Centuries of colonialism have provided the world with certain basic lessons about subjugating colonized peoples: The longer any colonial occupation endures, the greater the settlers’ racism and extremism tends to grow. This is especially true if the occupiers encounter resistance; at that point, the occupied population becomes an obstacle that must either be forced to submit or removed through expulsion or murder.

In the eyes of an occupying power, the humanity of those under its thumb depends on the degree of their submission to, or collaboration with, the occupation. If the occupied population chooses to stand in the way of the occupier’s goals, then they are demonized, which allows the occupier the supposed moral excuse of confronting them with all possible means, no matter how harsh.

The Israeli occupation of Palestine is one of the only remaining settler-colonial occupations in the world today.

And it is not limited to East Jerusalem and the West Bank: Although Israel withdrew its settlers and army from Gaza in 2005, it is still recognized by the United Nations as an occupying power, due to its complete control of Gaza’s airspace, sea access and of almost all of its land borders.

Over the years, Israel has used all forms of pressure to prevent the Palestinians from achieving their national rights and gaining independence. It hasn’t been enough for Israelis to believe their own claims about Palestinians; they have sought incessantly to impose this narrative on the world and to have it adopted by their Western allies.

Unsurprisingly, all of this has led to complete shamelessness in mainstream Israeli rhetoric about Palestinians. After all, if one is not held accountable, then one has the freedom to think — and do — what one wants. With no internal or external checks, one can act with impunity.

The Israeli left is a relic, all but extinct, and the extremist right is entrenched in the Israeli political establishment. Attacking the Palestinians has become officially sanctioned policy, embedded in Israeli public consciousness and politely ignored in Western political circles.

There is now an extremist, racist ideological current in Israel that not only justifies the recent onslaught on the Gaza Strip, but actually encourages the use of enormous and disproportionate violence against civilians, which has led to the extermination of entire families.

Moshe Feiglin, deputy speaker of the Knesset, recently called on the Israeli army to attack and occupy Gaza, paying no heed to anything but the safety of Israeli soldiers. He then demanded that Gaza be annexed to Israel, and asked the army to use all means at its disposal to “conquer” Gaza, by which he meant that obedient Palestinians would be allowed to stay, while the rest — the majority — should be exiled to the Sinai Peninsula. This cannot be understood as anything less than a call for ethnic cleansing.

Ayelet Shaked, a Knesset member for the Jewish Home Party, a member of the governing coalition, called on the Israeli army to destroy the homes of terrorist “snakes,” and to murder their mothers as well, so that they would not be able to bring “little snakes” into the world.

And Mordechai Kedar, a professor at Bar Ilan University, publicly suggested that raping the mothers and sisters of “terrorists” might deter further terrorism* The university did not take any measures against him.

Such statements are no longer isolated incidents, but reflective of the general sentiment within a country where chants of “Kill the Arabs” are increasingly common. It is no longer an aberration to hear these opinions expressed in public, or by politicians and academics. What is unexpected — and unacceptable — is that such statements are not met with any sort of condemnation in official Western circles that claim to oppose racism and extremism.

The rise in Israeli racism and extremism against Palestinians would not have happened without the unconditional support that Israel receives from its allies, most significantly the United States.

Israel cannot continue to be the exception to the rule of international law and human rights. The international community must hold it accountable for its rhetoric and its actions, and begin to treat it like all other countries. It should not be allowed to continue to enjoy its state of exceptionalism and to use this to wreak destruction on the Palestinian people.

After 47 years of occupation, two decades of stalled peace talks and almost eight years of a strangulating siege of the Gaza Strip, the international community must demand that Israel clearly state what it intends to do with its occupation of the Palestinian people. Since the Palestinians are not the occupiers, but rather those living under occupation, this question cannot be asked of them.

If Israel wants to continue its occupation and hinder Palestinians’ path to freedom and independence, then it should be aware that the Palestinian people will continue to resist with all the means at their disposal. If Israel intends to end the occupation, then it will find that the Palestinians are more than ready for an agreement.

What the Palestinians are enduring today in Gaza should be a clarion call for the entire world to end the bloodshed. But it will take more than a cease-fire. It will take peace. And peace cannot happen without an end to the occupation.

This article was published in the New York Times on Aug. 4, 2014. It was translated from the Arabic by Ghenwa Hayek. Emphasis and links are supplied by On the Contrary.

This is the first mention in the NY Times of Israeli Prof. Kedar’s repulsive “rape the Palestinians” remarks, since his views were first reported July 22 by independent news pages online. His despicable observation deserves a full report and exposé in the Times, not just a passing reference buried in the eleventh paragraph of an Op-Ed. On July 13, the Times gave massive, front page coverage to a rape that was said to have occurred at a small upstate NY college, and then published two more follow-up reports about it. The Times claims to be deeply concerned about a culture of rape on American college campuses, but took 13 days to even mention (much less report) the Israeli professor who teaches at a heralded Talmudic university, who publicly states on Israeli radio that raping Palestinian women is the only effective deterrent against Palestinian armed resistance.

However, let the record show that the article by Jarbawi mentioning Kedar was not published in the print edition of the New York Times distributed in the U.S. It was published only online and in the printed International edition. It was omitted from the US print edition, which still has the majority of the readers of the Times, who will not see even a passing mention of the outrageous Israeli rape-as-a-deterrent doctrine.

_____________

Addendum: “People cannot flee from Gaza; Israel and Egypt keeps their borders virtually sealed. Residents can flee their neighborhoods, but even United Nations schools being used as shelters in Gaza have come under deadly fire. And in downtown Gaza City, where Israel has urged people to go for safety, Israeli airstrikes have repeatedly hit apartment buildings packed with residents and refugees. One strike collapsed most of a building and killed the family of a bank employee who had moved to Gaza City because of Israeli instructions.” — Anne Barnard, NY Times online August 4, 2014

Gaza being bombed

ISRAELI CODE WORD FOR GENOCIDE: “MOWING THE LAWN”

Editor’s Note: Ilan Pappe, an Israeli historian, states that the Israeli government stands convicted of perpetrating “incremental genocide” of the Palestinian people through episodic massacres such as Operation Cast Lead (December 2008 – January 2009) and the latest round of mass murder which began earlier this month as part of Operation Protective Edge. The Israelis themselves have coined  cold-blooded euphemisms for their cycle of massacres: “mowing the lawn;” “mowing the grass.”

Israel mows the lawn

By Mouin Rabbani

London Review of Books (LRB)  July 31, 2014, p. 8.

In 2004, a year before Israel’s unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip, Dov Weissglass, éminence grise to Ariel Sharon, explained the initiative’s purpose to an interviewer from Haaretz:

“The significance of the disengagement plan is the freezing of the peace process … And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda. And all this with … a [US] presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress … The disengagement is actually formaldehyde. It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.”

In 2006 Dov Weissglass was just as frank about Israel’s policy towards Gaza’s 1.8 million inhabitants: “The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.”

He was not speaking metaphorically: it later emerged that the Israeli defense ministry had conducted detailed research on how to translate his vision into reality, and arrived at a figure of 2279 calories per person per day – some 8 per cent less than a previous calculation because the research team had originally neglected to account for ‘culture and experience’ in determining nutritional ‘red lines’.

This wasn’t an academic exercise. After pursuing a policy of enforced integration between 1967 and the late 1980s, Israeli policy shifted towards separation during the 1987-93 uprising, and then fragmentation during the Oslo years. For the Gaza Strip, an area about the size of Greater Glasgow (Scotland), these changes entailed a gradual severance from the outside world, with the movement of persons and goods into and out of the territory increasingly restricted.

The screws were turned tighter during the 2000-5 uprising, and in 2007 the Gaza Strip was effectively sealed shut. All exports were banned, and just 131 truckloads of foodstuffs and other essential products were permitted entry per day. Israel also strictly controlled which products could and could not be imported. Prohibited items have included A4 paper, chocolate, coriander, crayons, jam, pasta, shampoo, shoes and wheelchairs.

In 2010, commenting on this premeditated and systematic degradation of the humanity of an entire population, David Cameron characterised the Gaza Strip as a ‘prison camp’ and – for once – did not neuter this assessment by subordinating his criticism to proclamations about the jailers’ right of self-defense against their inmates.

It’s often claimed that Israel’s reason for escalating this punitive regime to a new level of severity was to cause the overthrow of Hamas after its 2007 seizure of power in Gaza. The claim doesn’t stand up to serious scrutiny. Removing Hamas from power has indeed been a policy objective for the US and the EU ever since the Islamist movement won the 2006 parliamentary elections, and their combined efforts to undermine it helped set the stage for the ensuing Palestinian schism.

Israel’s agenda has been different. Had it been determined to end Hamas rule it could easily have done so, particularly while Hamas was still consolidating its control over Gaza in 2007, and without necessarily reversing the 2005 disengagement. Instead, it saw the schism between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority as an opportunity to further its policies of separation and fragmentation, and to deflect growing international pressure for an end to an occupation that has lasted nearly half a century.

Its massive assaults on the Gaza Strip in 2008-9 (Operation Cast Lead) and 2012 (Operation Pillar of Defense), as well as countless individual attacks between and since, were in this context exercises in what the Israeli military called “mowing the lawn”: weakening Hamas and enhancing Israel’s powers of deterrence. As the 2009 Goldstone Report and other investigations have demonstrated, often in excruciating detail, the “grass” consists overwhelmingly of non-combatant Palestinian civilians, indiscriminately targeted by Israel’s precision weaponry.

Israel’s current assault on the Gaza Strip began on July 6 with ground forces moving in some ten days later, is intended to serve the same agenda. The conditions for it were set in late April. Negotiations that had been going on for nine months stalled after the Israeli government reneged on its commitment to release a number of Palestinian prisoners incarcerated since before the 1993 Oslo Accords, and ended when Netanyahu announced he would no longer deal with Mahmoud Abbas because Abbas had just signed a further reconciliation agreement with Hamas.

On this occasion, in a sharp departure from precedent, US Secretary of State John Kerry explicitly blamed Israel for the breakdown in talks. His special envoy, Martin Indyk, a career Israel lobbyist, blamed Israel’s insatiable appetite for Palestinian land and continued expansion of the settlements, and handed in his resignation.

The challenge this poses to Netanyahu is clear. If even the Americans are telling the world that Israel is not interested in peace, those more directly invested in a two-state settlement – such as the EU, which has started to exclude any Israeli entities active in occupied Palestinian territory from participation in bilateral agreements – may start considering other ways to nudge Israel towards the 1967 boundaries.

Negotiations about nothing are designed to provide political cover for Israel’s policy of creeping annexation. Now that they’ve collapsed yet again, the strategic asset that is American public opinion may start asking why Congress is more loyal to Netanyahu than the Israeli Knesset is. Kerry had been serious about reaching a comprehensive agreement: he adopted almost all of Israel’s core positions and successfully rammed most of them down Abbas’s throat – yet Netanyahu still balked. Refusing even to specify future Israeli-Palestinian borders during nine months of negotiations, Israeli leaders instead levelled a series of accusations at Washington so outlandish – encouraging extremism, giving succour to terrorists – that one could be forgiven for concluding Congress was funding Hamas, rather than Israel, to the tune of $3 billion a year.

Israel received another blow on 2 June, when a new Palestinian Authority government was inaugurated, following the April reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah. Hamas endorsed the new government even though it was given no cabinet posts and the government’s composition and political program were virtually indistinguishable from its predecessor’s. With barely a protest from the Islamists, Abbas repeatedly and loudly proclaimed that the government accepted the Middle East Quartet’s demands: that it recognize Israel, renounce violence and adhere to past agreements.

Abbas also announced that Palestinian security forces in the West Bank would continue their security collaboration with Israel. When both Washington and Brussels signalled their intention to co-operate with the new government, alarm bells went off in Israel. Its usual assertions that Palestinian negotiators spoke only for themselves – and would therefore prove incapable of implementing any agreement – had begun to look shaky: the Palestinian leadership could now claim not only to represent both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip but also to have co-opted Hamas into supporting a negotiated two-state settlement, if not the Oslo framework as a whole. There might soon be increased international pressure on Israel to negotiate seriously with Abbas. The “formaldehyde” was beginning to evaporate.

At this point Netanyahu seized on the 12 June disappearance of three young Israelis in the West Bank like a drowning man thrown a lifebelt. Despite clear evidence presented to him by the Israeli security forces that the three teenagers were already dead, and no evidence to date that Hamas was involved, he held Hamas directly responsible and launched a ‘hostage rescue operation’ throughout the West Bank. It was really an organised military rampage.  It included the killing of at least six Palestinians, none of whom was accused of involvement in the disappearances; mass arrests, including the arrest of Hamas parliamentarians and the re-arrest of detainees released in 2011; the demolition of a number of houses and the looting of others; and a variety of other depredations of the kind Israel’s finest have honed to perfection during decades of occupation. 

Netanyahu whipped up a demagogic firestorm against the Palestinians, and the subsequent abduction and burning alive of a Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem cannot and should not be separated from this incitement
.

For his part, Abbas failed to stand up to the Israeli operation and ordered his security forces to continue to co-operate with Israel against Hamas. The reconciliation agreement was being put under serious pressure. On the night of July 6, an Israeli air raid resulted in the death of seven Hamas militants. Hamas responded with rocket attacks deep into Israel, escalating further as Israel launched its full-scale onslaught. For the past year Hamas had been in a precarious position: it had lost its headquarters in Damascus and preferential status in Iran as a result of its refusal to give open support to the Syrian regime, and faced unprecedented levels of hostility from Egypt’s new military ruler. The underground tunnel economy between Egypt and Gaza had been systematically dismantled by the Egyptians, and for the first time since seizing control of the territory in 2007 it was no longer able regularly to pay the salaries of tens of thousands of government employees. The reconciliation agreement with Fatah was its way of bartering its political program in exchange for its own survival: in return for conceding the political arena to Abbas, Hamas would retain control of the Gaza Strip indefinitely, have its public sector placed on the PA payroll and see the border crossing with Egypt reopened.

In the event, the quid pro quo Hamas hoped for was not permitted to materialize and, according to Nathan Thrall of the International Crisis Group, ‘life in Gaza became worse’: ‘The current escalation,’ he wrote, ‘is a direct result of the choice by Israel and the West to obstruct the implementation of the April 2014 Palestinian reconciliation agreement.’ To put it differently, those within Hamas who saw the crisis as an opportunity to put an end to Weissglass’s regime gained the upper hand. So far, they appear to have the majority of the population with them, because they seem to prefer death by F-16 to death by formaldehyde.

Among all the sanctimonious howls – this time including a lily-livered Cameron’s – about Israel’s right to self-defense, and in the face of the categorical rejection of the Palestinians’ equivalent right, the fundamental point that this is an illegitimate attack is often lost. As the lawyer Noura Erakat has cogently argued, ‘Israel does not have the right to self-defense in international law against occupied Palestinian territory.’ Its argument that it no longer occupies the Gaza Strip has been dismissed by Lisa Hajjar of the University of California as a self-generated ‘licence to kill.’ Once again, Israel is ‘mowing the lawn’ with impunity, targeting civilian non-combatants and civilian infrastructure. Given its continual insistence that it uses the most precise weapons available and chooses its targets carefully, it is impossible to conclude that the targeting is not deliberate.

According to UN agencies, more than three-quarters of the more than 260 Palestinians killed so far (July 18) have been civilians, and more than a quarter of them children. Most were targeted in their own homes: they cannot be described as collateral damage under any definition of the term. Of course Palestinian militants have also been recklessly targeting Israeli population centers, though their attacks have resulted in just a single death: a man handing out sweets to the soldiers pulverising the Gaza Strip. Human Rights Watch has criticised both sides but, true to form, has accused only the Palestinians of war crimes.

Gazan father cries over his son - 3 Aug 2014

ISRAELIS COMMIT WAR CRIMES AT UNITED NATIONS SHELTERS

August 3 update:

A Palestinian father mourns his son who was killed Aug. 3 in the Israeli bombing of a United Nation shelter for civilians in Rafah.

Ten Palestinians were killed and dozens seriously wounded at a UN Relief and Works Agency shelter for 3,000 Palestinians in Rafah in southern Gaza, on Sunday, August 3, 2014. The coordinates of the school, like all UN facilities in Gaza, were repeatedly communicated to the Israeli military before the attack.
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U.N. says Israel violated international law, after Israelis bomb a school in Gaza

GAZA CITY, July 30, 2014 — United Nations officials accused Israel of violating international law after artillery shells slammed into a school overflowing with evacuees Wednesday, an attack that Palestinian and U.N. officials said killed at least 20 people and wounded dozens as they slept.

It was one of the worst mass-casualty incidents of the 24 days of the mass murder of Palestinians. The building was the sixth U.N. school in the Gaza Strip to be rocked by explosions during Operation Protective Edge,” which began July 6.

Israeli officials said they were trying to determine who was responsible for the bloodshed. In past incidents, the Israeli military blamed errant rocket or mortar fire by Gaza militants for explosions at U.N. schools — or said the blasts were under investigation.

The U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which operated the school-turned-shelter in the Jabalya refugee camp, said it had gathered evidence, analyzed bomb fragments and examined craters after the attack. Its initial assessment was that three Israeli artillery shells hit the school where 3,300 people had sought refuge.

“I condemn in the strongest possible terms this serious violation of international law by Israeli forces,” said Pierre Krähenbühl, the UNRWA commissioner-general. “This is an affront to all of us, a source of universal shame. Today the world stands disgraced.”

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said “all available evidence points to Israeli artillery as the cause” of the pre-dawn attack. Ban said Israel had received the precise GPS coordinates of the school from the United Nations 17 times.

The Israeli military announced a brief humanitarian cease-fire in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday evening. The pause in hostilities would not apply to areas in which the military is operating, it said.

A Hamas spokesman dismissed the lull as a “media stunt” that would not allow rescue workers to recover casualties in combat zones that Israel was excluding from the cease-fire.

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a senior spokesman for the Israeli military, called the shelling of the U.N. school “a true tragedy,” and said the incident is under investigation. “There was mortar fire in the area, directed at our troops,” he said. “There was an exchange of fire. We have yet to determine if it was Israeli munitions that struck the compound.”

One of the survivors said she had no doubt who was at fault for the barrage. “There were five shells, one after the other. We were a clear target,” said Hannah Sweilem, 33, who was in the shelter with her husband and eight children. “If the Israelis say it was a mistake, they are lying.”

Witnesses at the Jabalya Primary School for Girls said the Israeli bombing July 30 struck a classroom where about 50 people, mostly women and children, were sleeping. The room’s roof was ripped apart. Most of the dead, however, were young men who had woken for the traditional Muslim dawn prayer, said Moen al-Masr, a doctor at the Kamal Odwan hospital. Said Allah al-Bes, 33, who was seeking refuge at the school with his wife and three sons: “We found people torn to pieces. It was like hell.” Bes and his family went to the U.N. facility after an earlier attack on a U.N.-run school in Beit Hanoun. “We have learned no place is safe in Gaza,” he said.

The Israeli terror attack on the other U.N. Relief Works Agency shelter, inside a school in the northern Gaza city of Beit Hanoun on July 24, killed 16 Palestinian civilians. U.N. agency administrators said on July 25 that they had made urgent pleas — sending their coordinates 12 times — asking the Israeli military to hold their fire. Israelis liars said that only one errant mortar struck the school that day, when the courtyard was empty. Corporate US media surmised that errant Hamas rockets did the damage. But   according to the Wall Street Journal (Saturday July 26, 2014 p. A8): “Weapons experts who reviewed photographs of shrapnel recovered from the bodies of of victims said they didn’t match those produced by rockets, and were consistent with mortar fire from tanks. The high number of casualties suggested a more sophisticated weapon than Hamas’s unguided rockets, these experts said.”

Gaza Health Ministry officials said that more than 105 people were killed in Israeli bombing, shelling and missile strikes July 30 and that more than 400 were injured as Israelis pressed ahead with their escalated campaign against the coastal enclave. Satellite images released by the United Nations show the impact of Israeli strikes on structures in Gaza. One of the most ravaged areas is the Shijaiyah neighborhood in the southeastern part of Gaza City.

TIMELINE OF ISRAELI TERRORISM AGAINST THE UNITED NATIONS 

In 1948, United Nations diplomat Count Folke-Bernadotte of Sweden was assigned by the U.N. with the mission of bringing peace to Palestine. Sitting in the back seat of a Chrysler sedan on Sept. 17 were the UN negotiator and Colonel André Serot, a decorated French hero of two world wars. Their vehicle, the last of a three-car convoy, started its ascent up a narrow road in Jerusalem. It was at that moment, that Yehoshua Cohen, a member of a hit squad, emerged. Journalist Donald MacIntyre describes what happened next, as Cohen: “ran to the Chrysler, pushed the barrel of his German-made Schmeisser MP40 sub-machine gun through the open rear window, and pumped six bullets into the chest, throat and left arm of the aristocrat, and another eighteen bullets into the body of the French colonel sitting on his left.” This assassination of the United Nations’ top diplomat was perpetrated by Judaic terrorists disguised as Israeli soldiers. The assassination was carried out by the Stern Gang. The murders were ordered by the Stern Gang’s triumvirate, which included future Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir. In New York on October 3, 1984, Shamir, who was at that time Israeli Foreign Minister, received a warm welcome from the U.N. and addressed the General Assembly.

In 1996
, Israelis shelled a UN compound in Qana, Southern Lebanon – which it had occupied since 1982 – killing more than 100 civilians.  The UN report on the massacre concluded that it had to have been deliberate.

In 2002, during Ariel Sharon’s mauling of the West Bank, Israelis repeatedly struck UN ambulances.  The commissioner-general of UNRWA stated that the Israelis deliberately targeted the ambulances.

In 2006, during the most recent Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the Israeli military bombed a well-marked, well-known UN observation post, killing UN personnel. “Israel” offered a wry shrug of the shoulders: accidents happen, innocent people get killed, what a tragedy.  The UN determined that the Israeli bombing was deliberate murder of their people.

In 2009, during Operation Cast Lead, Israelis bombed several UN buildings.

The UN has never brought war crimes charges or sanctions against “Israel” for the assassination or these massacres.

Israeli UN ambassadors walk out whenever an Iranian leader is scheduled to speak at the UN, in order to demonstrate “Israeli indignation” at these supposed Iranian “moral lepers.” As part of their theatre of superior Judaic ethics, the Israelis are allowed to pose at UN meetings as paragons of morality, and when they do so the western media do not contradict their play-acting by reminding the public of Israeli crimes against the UN. Instead, the media develop a case of amnesia concerning the 1948 assassinations and the more recent massacres which the Israelis have perpetrated against United Nations employees and the Arab civilians they shelter in their facilities. As former Israeli President Shimon Peres has stated, “No one will judge Israel!”
gaza-bombing
For further research: Israeli extermination in Gaza

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