13 Jan 2009

If Israel Does It Then It Can't Be Wrong

By Michael Brull
Media outlets like The Australian are doing their best to help the Israeli Government convince the world that it needs to kill people in Gaza, writes Michael Brull
It has been interesting watching the so-called "pro-Israel lobby" work the media over the course of Israel's latest demonstration of its military superiority in Gaza.

One journalist recently wrote in the Guardian that the Israeli Government is actively recruiting people to peddle their talking points in the media. That's not a big surprise. It's certainly part of the reason why I keep reading the same idiotic things over and over again in media from across the world: England, Australia, America, and also from Israel.

Robert Fisk recently noted the same strange uniformity in the rhetoric of persuasion coming from Israel apologists in different places, including Canada and Ireland. In many of the local newspapers he found an identical formula to the one that I'm sure you've heard too, in The Age, in The Australian, in The Sydney Morning Herald, on the ABC etc. It goes as follows: "Imagine if you were living in (insert suburb in your own city), and that people who lived in nearby (insert adjacent suburb) had been trying to kill you by firing thousands of rockets at you for years". In this hypothetical world, surely you'd clamour for your government to take action to protect you from such vicious lunatics, right?

And so the spin goes. I've discussed the relevant facts elsewhere, but even from the narrowest perspective of the Palestinian–Israeli conflict, Israel and Hamas had a ceasefire, which Israel violated. Hamas offered new terms for a new ceasefire — Israel wouldn't be able to kill Palestinians in the West Bank or Gaza, and also Israel wouldn't be able to continue its crushing blockade of Gaza. Israel weighed this up, and decided it would be more fitting to bomb and invade Gaza.

So that's the foundation of the lobby's chorus — but what happens when Israeli Government propagandists anywhere want to add extra verses, just to show how much they love the Holy State? Let's start with Greg Sheridan, who pretends to be a journalist at a Murdoch paper. Sheridan begins his article by suggesting Hamas poses an "existential threat" to Israel. I'm not making that up. Go check the link. I've read the article a few times, but I've yet to figure out how Hamas will destroy Israel. Perhaps we'll find out in his next column.

Now, even though Israel's army and nuclear weapons make it a little unlikely that Hamas poses an "existential threat" to Israel, Sheridan can have fun inventing whatever facts sound pleasing. Not so long ago, he reported that 1500 Israelis were being killed every year in Israel, before admitting in the Australian Jewish News that he got it wrong. Well, apparently his credibility remains undamaged, and we'll see what kind of nonsense he can fabricate out of thin air next.

Then there's the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC)'s Colin Rubinstein. He's also writing in The Australian, which apparently welcomes pretty much anyone, if they'll recite the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) talking points. Rubinstein notes that Israel refused to negotiate with Hamas, unless it renounced violence, recognised Israel's "right to exist", and "[agreed] to be bound by agreements previously signed by the Palestinian Authority". Rubinstein says that these are "simple terms for any party even remotely interested in peace".

Okay, let's try throwing in a crazy idea — that Palestinians are as human as Jews. Then I guess these "simple terms" would apply to Israel too, right? Doesn't that mean that Palestine has a right to exist? So it might be thought to follow that every continued second of occupation of the West Bank and Gaza shows that Israel is not "even remotely interested in peace"? And when did Israel renounce violence? Or its continued confiscation of Palestinian land in the West Bank for settlements?

But let's return to the bizarre world of Colin Rubinstein. He tells us Hamas "launched a violent coup", and "took control of Gaza from Abbas's Fatah party". Now, there are some people who may be unfamiliar with the Israeli and US role in fostering an attempted coup by Fatah against Hamas, which Hamas successfully pre-empted. What is striking about Rubinstein's piece is that he asserts that it was actually Hamas who launched a coup against Fatah, despite having himself mentioned a few paragraphs earlier that Hamas won the Palestinian elections in 2006. It's hard to construct an analogy to show how incredible this is. The closest I can think of is saying that Allende launched a violent coup against Pinochet in 1973.

Interestingly, Rubinstein goes on to note what Israel's Government admits — that the ceasefire was basically effective, and that Israel violated it, killing what Rubinstein calls "gunmen" in the process. Rubinstein, of course, has no problems with Israel's violation, because even during a ceasefire Israel has the God-given right to kill Palestinians whenever it thinks that's in its interests, and Rubinstein (of course) believes what the MFA tells him about the raid. Rubinstein then proceeds to swoon at how lovely Mubarak's views on the conflict are. If only every government in the region could live in police states that defied their populations to embrace Israeli massacres.

As you should be able to guess by now, I've long been impressed by the moral and intellectual standards of The Australian. But beyond the everyday, we recently had the mind-boggling racism of Martin Peretz. He solemnly informs us that "the Palestinians are unprepared for statehood, as many of the countries in Africa have been unprepared for statehood." Yes, you've read that right. Peretz misses the good old days of colonialism, and just doesn't think people who lack white skin are fully qualified for things like voting. He even explains this further: peace might not result from an independent Palestinian state. Well, this is a good point, if we accept that Jews have a right to self-determination and peace, but Palestinians don't have a right to either.

As it turns out, you can say basically anything in the Mudoch media. The important thing is simply that you hold the correct view. Take Niv Horesh's extraordinary piece. Horesh presumably reads Haaretz — he mentions how left-wing it is, and how it criticises Israel's government all the time. He then goes on to claim how Israel is one of the few countries in the world where protestors can protest their involvement in a war while it happens. The odd thing is that he says this in an article where he mentioned reading Haaretz, yet somehow missed, for example, its editorial complaining that the Israeli internal security agency Shin Bet was preventing Palestinians from protesting. How can he celebrate anarchist banners in a demonstration against the war, and neglect to mention, according to the Israeli paper he cited, that 21 anarchists were arrested after daring to lie on the street in fake blood? How much pride can he have in the openness of Israeli democracy, at a time when it has expelled the UN special rapporteur, and won't let foreign journalists into Gaza? Isn't he embarrassed that Israel's official excuse for barring foreign witnesses to the Gaza onslaught is "security reasons"? This excuse is more lame than "my dog ate your permission slips". Shouldn't journalists be allowed to judge these risks for themselves? And besides, isn't Israel claiming that it's only killing Hamas terrorists anyway?

The answer is that you simply don't need to trouble yourself over questions like these if you're writing for Murdoch.

One of the things Marx was wrong about was his claim that history repeats itself first as tragedy, then as farce. In fact, the ethical knots that apologists for Israeli war crimes tie themselves up in are always farcical, but we shouldn't be distracted from the tragedy that is the life of every Palestinian civilian, and the fact that the murder of any one of them gains the immediate, unconditional support of idiots across the world.

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Posted Tuesday, January 13, 2009 - 15:45

Well done New Matilda. You are our hope for the future.

Posted Tuesday, January 13, 2009 - 16:05

Indeed, and thank you NM.

Posted Tuesday, January 13, 2009 - 18:17

Boycotts are the answer.
From today's Age.

Boycotts may achieve what bombs and guns can't
Randa Abdel-Fattah
January 13, 2009
As the occupying power, Israel must be the one to make concessions.

AS THE Israeli offensive in Gaza enters its third week, people around the world feel a growing desperation at the failure of the UN and of Western and Middle Eastern governments to secure an end to the violence and slaughter.

When the international system fails, what can be done? The global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is rapidly garnering support for Palestinian rights from academic institutions, church groups and other grassroots bodies worldwide. Such sanctions were a vital tool in the struggle to abolish apartheid in South Africa and rehabilitate that state as part of the family of nations.

Posted Tuesday, January 13, 2009 - 18:18

Kevin Rudd should hang his head in shame for not speaking out against this war crime.

Posted Tuesday, January 13, 2009 - 18:26

Gaza is Sinking in a River of Blood:
A Message from a Gazan to the World

By Mohammed Fares Al Majdalawi

January 12, 2009 "Commondreams" --- I want to write about the suffering of my people and my family in these days of siege against the people of Gaza. 888 people have been killed and more than 3700 injured. The Red Cross has accused the Israeli military of repeatedly refusing to allow ambulances to go to Zeitoun area, so those who are injured become those who die; a premeditated and purposeful violation of human rights.

In my house we can't get basic needs. No food. No bread. No fuel. No future. Yesterday, my father went to the bakery at 5 AM. He waited 5 hours to get one loaf of bread, which is not enough for my family because there are 11 of us. So today it was my turn. I went to all the bakeries -- all were closed.

There is no safe place we can go. We cannot communicate with our relatives and friends -- networks are down as missiles rain on our homes, mosques and even hospitals.

Our life is centered around the burials of those who have died, our martyrs, At night our camp, Jabalya Refugee Camp, is a ghost town, with no sounds other than those of Israeli military aircraft.

There is a horror in every minute and it is clear especially in the lives of children. For example, there were five sisters in one family killed from the Israeli occupation while they stayed in their home. But there are 800,000 other children in Gaza, all afraid, all waiting for someone or something to help them. They are caught in a prison that is becoming a concentration camp. Every day we sleep and open our eyes to the Israeli crimes of killing children and women and destroying civilians' homes. My words are unable to convey my feelings about this life in Gaza.

I have two messages to the world, to those who claim they love peace and seek freedom.

Imagine your life consisting of no electricity, destroyed homes, the sounds and strikes of missiles, day and night, and the only hunger as great as that for food is the hunger for an end to this occupation and siege. Imagine it is not just you but your children and your family who tell you through their eyes and cries: "We are afraid of the missiles." "We cannot sleep." "We may never sleep again." Imagine you are the dam and the river of blood has turned into a flash flood. How long could you stand it?

We wouldn't have to stand it any longer if the world stood with us. If they demanded an end to the siege and the killings and demolition of houses for our children. If they demanded assistance reach the people through rallies and sit-ins.

Finally, I invite you to come to Gaza and see the Holocaust. Because despite the siege, the barriers, the killing of my people and homes, and the total destruction of our lives by the Israeli occupation, they can not and will not kill the will of our people for equality and justice.


Posted Tuesday, January 13, 2009 - 19:16

By Chris Hedges

The incursion into Gaza is not about destroying Hamas. It is not about stopping rocket fire into Israel. It is not about achieving peace. The Israeli decision to rain death and destruction on Gaza, to use the lethal weapons of the modern battlefield on a largely defenseless civilian population, is the final phase of the decades-long campaign to ethnically cleanse Palestinians. The assault on Gaza is about creating squalid, lawless and impoverished ghettos where life for Palestinians will be barely sustainable. It is about building ringed Palestinian enclaves where Israel will always have the ability to shut off movement, food, medicine and goods to perpetuate misery. The Israeli attack on Gaza is about building a hell on earth.

This attack is the final Israeli push to extinguish a Palestinian state and crush or expel the Palestinian people. The images of dead Palestinian children, lined up as if asleep on the floor of the main hospital in Gaza, are a metaphor for the future. Israel will, from now on, speak to the Palestinians in the language of death. And the language of death is all the Palestinians will be able to speak back. The slaughter—let’s stop pretending this is a war—is empowering an array of radical Islamists inside and outside of Gaza. It is ominously demolishing the shaky foundations of the corrupt secular Arab regimes on Israel’s borders, from Egypt to Jordan to Syria to Lebanon. It is about creating a new Middle East, one ruled by enraged Islamic radicals.


Posted Tuesday, January 13, 2009 - 19:21

This is what we get when the media becomes corrupted. The sort of propaganda, spin and insane articles that Chris Hedges talks about here. Thank god for NM.

From the above cited article: There will be more dead Palestinian children. There will be more cases like that of the U.N. school, used as a sanctuary by terrified families, that was blown to bits by Israeli shells, with more than 40 killed, half of them women and children. There will be more emaciated, orphaned children. There will be more screaming or comatose wounded in the corridors of Gaza’s glutted hospital corridors. And there will be more absurd news reports, like the one on the front page of the Sunday New York Times, titled “A Gaza War Full of Traps and Trickery.” In this story, unnamed Israeli intelligence officials gave us a spin on the war worthy of the White House fabrications made on the eve of the Iraq war. We learned about the perfidious and dirty tactics of Hamas fighters. Foreign journalists, barred from Gaza and unable to check the veracity of the Israeli version of the war, have abandoned their trade as reporters to become stenographers. The cynicism of conveying propaganda as truth, as long as it is well sourced, is the poison of American journalism. If this is all journalism has become, if moral outrage, the courage to defy the powerful, the commitment to tell the truth and to give a voice to those who without us would have no voice, no longer matters, our journalism schools should focus exclusively on shorthand. It seems to be the skill most ardently coveted by most senior editors and news producers.

There have always been powerful Israeli leaders, since the inception of the state in 1948, who have called for the total physical removal of the Palestinians. The ethnic cleansing of some 800,000 Palestinians by Jewish militias in 1948 was, for them, only the start. But there were also a few Israeli leaders, including the assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who argued that Israel could not pick itself up and move to another geographical spot on the globe. Israel, Rabin believed, would have to make peace with the Palestinians and its Arab neighbors to survive. Rabin’s vision of two states, however, appears to have died with him. The embrace of wholesale ethnic cleansing by the Israeli leadership and military now appears to be unquestioned.

Posted Tuesday, January 13, 2009 - 19:27

Rockjaw. I can't/won't watch graphic things. It's bad enough reading about what is being done to the Palestinians.

Posted Tuesday, January 13, 2009 - 20:16

It is a lot less graphic than the picture on this piece.

Posted Tuesday, January 13, 2009 - 20:21

Allison Weir, an American girl who, until 5 years ago, believed every piece of bullshit about Israel and who, when she discovered the facts, started her own resistance to the thugs. Here is here site - worth a look:-


Posted Tuesday, January 13, 2009 - 20:49

It seems there are a select few readers who will do everything short of licking chocolate body paint off anybody who spits hateful bile against Israel.

Meanwhile, the shrill author of this article, Michael Brull, firing off just that sort of irrational anti-Israel venom, imagines that, by referencing the Murdoch press' coverage of the conflict, he is inoculating himself against any pro-Israel counter-argument.

Perhaps, but only in the minds of his chocoholic fanboys.

Back in reality, Australians are aware of what is going on in Gaza right now. People don't need the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs to tell them that it is an outrageous war crime for Hamas to fire rockets on Israeli civilian population centres (comprising 1 million Arab and Jewish Israelis).

Ordinary people are quite capable of thinking for themselves and recognising that Hamas cannot use the Geneva Conventions as both a shield and a sword. People can see that Hamas is doing just this when it falsely and libelously accuses Israel of breaching the Fourth Geneva Convention, while proceeding to launch attacks from hospitals, schools, and mosques (contrary to Articles 18 and 19 of that same Convention).

It is disappointing but hardly surprising that we are only hearing radical pro-Hamas analysis from the progressive left. One hopes that sites like New Matilda will stop cherry-picking the Loewensteins from the Jewish community, and recognise that not only is there room on the left for pro-Israel views, but such views describe a significant portion if not a majority of the left in this country - and certainly a vast majority of the Austraian Jewish community.

Posted Tuesday, January 13, 2009 - 21:31

alphacrusis, You have to ask yourself how you can condone occupation, colonisation and the slaughter of the children of those you occupy and colonise. Israel is a rogue nation guilty of war crimes and appalling human rights abuses. Sane Israelis know that, though they be few, but most of the world now does.

Posted Tuesday, January 13, 2009 - 21:54

Make chocolate, not war.

Posted Tuesday, January 13, 2009 - 22:18

rosross, I assume you mean that Hamas is occupying and colonising Gaza, and slaughtering its own children (not to mention kneecapping its own enemies). In which case the question is a fair one! Well worth asking.

Kind regards

Posted Tuesday, January 13, 2009 - 22:20

Ringo - have you tried Pesek Zman? An amazing chocolate that I often enjoyed in TA and Jerusalem. Highly recommended! They are available here.

Anonymous (not verified)
Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 00:59

** yawn ... **

Still firing rockets¿

Stupid, stupid, stupid ...

** yawn **

(But rather nice, in a schadenfreudesque kinda way!)

[Keep the hamish on the hearth...well cured? Doubtless ....]



Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 06:50

It has been interesting watching the so-called "pro-Israel lobby" work the media over the course of Israel's latest demonstration of its military superiority in Gaza.
One journalist recently wrote in the Guardian that the Israeli Government is actively recruiting people to peddle their talking points in the media. That's not a big surprise. It's certainly part of the reason why I keep reading the same idiotic things over and over again in media from across the world: England, Australia, America, and also from Israel.
Robert Fisk recently noted the same strange uniformity in the rhetoric of persuasion coming from Israel apologists in different places, including Canada and Ireland. In many of the local newspapers he found an identical formula to the one that I'm sure you've heard too, in The Age, in The Australian, in The Sydney Morning Herald, on the ABC etc. It goes as follows: "Imagine if you were living in (insert suburb in your own city), and that people who lived in nearby (insert adjacent suburb) had been trying to kill you by firing thousands of rockets at you for years". In this hypothetical world, surely you'd clamour for your government to take action to protect you from such vicious lunatics, right?

Ahh Michael, this has to be one of the saddest things I have ever heard. Your manipulation of reality is unheard of in normal society. However, this is your right, a right that is not bestowed upon the people who live in the Gaza Strip under the Hamas regime, but lets forget about this and move onto some of your absurd points.

1. Israel violated the truce, well I suppose that is true if you would forget about the hundreds of missiles and rockets that were shot from the Gaza Strip during the “cease-fire”. How is it that you can forget about the hundreds of rockets launched into Southern Israel before Israel sent in some troops to blow up some smuggling tunnels? I think this is caused selective memory don’t you?
2. Another point, why is it wrong for Israel to reject a cease-fire that were given on Hamas’ terms? Why can’t Hamas accept Israel’s terms? The reasons for your assumptions are based on illusions that Israel should do what others should do, but when it comes to what Israel needs, well not important
3. Furthermore, why is it that Israel has to open up its borders to an enemy entity, should Syria open its borders for free trade with Israel, or even Lebanon?
4. You claim that Hamas is not an existential threat to the state of Israel, and your basis for this is that, at this moment, they cannot destroy the State of Israel; I didn’t know that for a country to be a threat they had to be able to destroy a country. How about a threat to Israel’s way of life? Or how about a threat to the citizens of Israel? Would they not amount to an existential threat? Would it not be an existential threat when an organization calls for the destruction of a State? You claim that Hamas is not an existential threat to the state of Israel, and your basis for this is that, at this moment, they cannot destroy the State of Israel; I didn’t know that for a country to be a threat they had to be able to destroy a country. How about a threat to Israel’s way of life? Or, how about a threat to the citizens of Israel? Would they not amount to an existential threat? Would it not be an existential threat when an organization calls for the destruction of a State? For example:
"The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews." (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).
“The day that enemies usurp part of Moslem land, Jihad becomes the individual duty of every Moslem. In face of the Jews' usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised. To do this requires the diffusion of Islamic consciousness among the masses, both on the regional, Arab and Islamic levels. It is necessary to instill the spirit of Jihad in the heart of the nation so that they would confront the enemies and join the ranks of the fighters.”
“The question of the liberation of Palestine is bound to three circles: the Palestinian circle, the Arab circle and the Islamic circle. Each of these circles has its role in the struggle against Zionism. Each has its duties, and it is a horrible mistake and a sign of deep ignorance to overlook any of these circles. Palestine is an Islamic land which has the first of the two kiblahs (direction to which Moslems turn in praying), the third of the holy (Islamic) sanctuaries, and the point of departure for Mohamed's midnight journey to the seven heavens (i.e. Jerusalem).”
But, I suppose that these threats in the Hamas charter, taken from Yale Law School translation, are not an existential threat, rather they would be a peace treaty no?
5. Israel’s demands of a terrorist organization, I struggle to see how there is anything wrong with these demands. However the fact that you are even comparing Israel’s rights to the “Palestinians” rights is complete absurd. 1. until this date there is no such thing as a “Palestinian” country so there rights do not need to be recognized, for no one recognizes that that country exists. Rather, if this country will exist in the future is meant to come from peace talks between Israel and the “Palestinian” people.
6. You throw that word occupation around like it is meant to mean something. I would like to know exactly from whom Israel is occupying Judea, Samaria and Gaza from? As you may know, the answer will not be the “Palestinian” people, for they never had any land for themselves. So this land was once controlled by Jordan and Egypt. However, this land you speak of was also occupied by them, but from whom? It was not the “Palestinian” people. If you do look at international law, the people that this “occupied” land was given to, were the Jewish people, or the Zionist entity under the San Remo Conference of 1922. So I don’t see how Israel is occupying this land, and since there is no occupation, why can Israel not build settlements on this land?
7. Ahhh, more mistakes. The fact that Hamas was elected does not mean they actually had the power. If the writer of this misguided article would actually know what he was talking about he would understand that the person that had the power and the leader of the “Palestinian” people is actually the president, who happens to be from Fatah, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen). What Hamas won, was the legislative elections, which would be similar to the congress. In other words what the writer is saying is, when the Democrats in America had a majority in the Congress it would be legal for them to kick out the Republicans in a violent coup. Come on, there has to be some logic in this.
8. The reason why journalists are not allowed into Gaza are simple. 1. It is dangerous to allow journalists in there for many reasons. They could be killed in the crossfire, or much worse taken hostage by Hamas terrorists, however, I don’t see any complaints about that from the writer. 2. Israel wants to have the element of surprise when taking on its enemy, and will not have journalists uncovering where its troops are to make them easy targets for the enemy
9. Protests. In ever Western nation there are limits to how protesters can protest. For example, in America one cannot burn an American flag. Does that mean that there is no right to protest in America? Rather it means that the protesters have to comply with the law. Secondly, in order to protest in any Western nation, the protesters have to obtain a permit. If these protesters do not obtain one, then the police can arrest them, like in any Western democracy. However, I would like to know of the last gay pride done through Gaza city? I think you will find that if it did take place, which of course it wont in a society that is not free and run by Sharia Law, there would be violence against these protesters
This writer is clearer disturbed and has written a fantasy that is not based in any logic. Is not terrorism a war crime, I do not see any complaints about that. Is not using schools, ambulances and hiding behind civilians a war crime, but still the writer says nothing. Is not shooting rockets inside civilian areas a war crime? Is not targeting civilians with rockets, a crime Hamas has admitted to, a war crime? When Hamas don’t allow the Red Cross or any international body to visit their captive, Gilad Shalit, a war crime?
This writer seems to concentrate on the actions of one actor in this conflict and how they are to blame for the continuation of violence.

It’s about time this insanity comes to end.

I beg all of you to read what he writes and look for the truth in places where you might actually find it. This writer has brought down his opinion with out it being based in any facts or reality and this is clear.

Thank you


Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 08:51

Just re-iterating the thankyous. Great article.

Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 08:59

Excellent article by Michael Brull.

The most dangerous thing about racist Zionism is the endless, shameless, racist, Goebbellsian, Apartheid Israeli LYING that has contributed to a deadly, dishonest, "politically correct" racist (PC racist), Culture of Ignoring, and Culture of Lying in the Western Murdochracies that now threatens extermination of most non-Europeans on the Planet by Climate Genocide (see "Good and Bad Climate News": http://www.green-blog.org/2009/01/13/good-and-bad-climate-news/) .

In this sense of the acute threat of "differentialist" racist Zionist (RZ) and Bush-ite and neo-Bush-ite LYING to the lives of 6 billion non-European human beings, racist Zionist LYING is far more dangerous than the Occupation (Occupied Palestinian post-invasion under-5 infant deaths 0.2 million; post-invasion excess deaths 0.3 million; 7 million refugees); the 9-11 million avoidable deaths associated so far with the Zionist-promoted Bush Wars, 1990-2009 (see "9-11 excuse for US global genocide. The real 9-11 atrocity: millions dead (9-11 million) on Bush Wars (1990-2009)": http://mwcnews.net/content/view/25184/42/) ; or the latest Apartheid Israeli Gaza Massacre in the Gaza Concentration Camp (latest count on Day 18 from Gaza: 980 dead, 4,400 wounded in Nazi-style Israeli military attacks on one of the most densely populated urban areas of the Planet VERSUS NO Israeli deaths from Gaza missiles in the preceding year) (see Sameh Habeeb's daily reports from inside the Israeli Gaza Concentration Camp: http://www.gazatoday.blogspot.com/ ; see "Palestinian-Israeli Death Ratios. Nazi-style Israeli Gaza War Crimes": http://mwcnews.net/content/view/27795/42/).

Rational risk management successively involves (a) accurate data, (b) scientific analysis and (c) systemic change to minimize harm to humanity. Racist Zionist, Bush-ite and neo-Bush-ite (a) LYING a (b) SPIN and (c) bigoted, genocidal, "terror hysteria" "blame and shame" subvert this protocol and threaten not just Occupied Haitians, Occupied Somalians, Occupied Palestinians, Occupied Syrians, Occupied Iraqis, Occupied Diego Garcians, Occupied Afghans and US robot-bombed Waziris in Pakistan but essentially ALL of Humanity facing a Climate Emergency that is ignored by the racist Zionist-backed Bush-ites and neo-Bush-ites (Libs and Labs, respectively, in Australia).

Those Australians who have dual citizenship with Apartheid Israel or who have otherwise been complicit in Apartheid Israeli war crimes against (a) relatives of Australians or (b) actual Australian residents or citizens (e.g. the 25,000 Australian citizens bombed and rocketed by the Israelis in Lebanon in mid-2006 with Lib-Lab support) should be investigated and prosecuted as TERRORISTS and TRAITORS.

If it is appropriate to detain and prosecute alleged Muslim "terrorist" nutters for intemperate "thoughts" or intemperate "private conversations" , then it is surely appropriate for the AFP to detain and prosecute Israeli state terrorist agents involved in ACTUAL war crimes, in ACTUAL Israeli terrorist violence to Australians or the relatives of Australians or in ACTUALLY supporting these terrorist crimes by word or financially (the latter carries a penalty of up to life imprisonment according to "Australian Anti-Terrorism Act 2005: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Anti-Terrorism_Act_2005 ).

The racist Zionist (RZs) are not simply un-Australian in their lying, bigotry, psychotic injustice and racism - they are also anti-Australian and pose a huge threat to not only Australia but the whole World.

The racist Zionists (RZs) should be side-lined just as other violent, racist bigots such as the Nazis, neo-Nazis and KKK have been sidelined in Western public life.

In clearly setting out how the Israelis are grossly violating the Geneva Convention, outstanding Jewish American law professor, author and President of the US National Guild of Lawyers, Professor Marjorie Cohn, has set out the pure racist EVIL of the current Gaza Massacre, QUOTE: "The targeting of civilians violates the Fourth Geneva Convention. Since the rockets fired from Gaza into Israel cannot distinguish between civilians and military targets, they are illegal. But Israel’s air and ground attack in Gaza violates Geneva in four ways. First, it constitutes collective punishment of the entire population in Gaza for the acts of a few militants. Second, it targets civilians, as evidenced by the large numbers of civilian casualties. Third, it is a disproportionate response to the rockets fired into Israel. Fourth, an occupying power has an obligation to ensure food and medical supplies to the occupied population; Israel’s blockade has created a humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Israel’s airstrikes and ground assault on the people of Gaza have little to do with the Gazan rockets, which hadn’t killed any Israelis for a year before Israel’s current military operation. Israel’s leaders are bombing and attacking Gaza in order to gain an advantage in the upcoming Israeli elections in February. " END QUOTE (see: "Israel’s Collective Punishment of Gaza ": http://mwcnews.net/content/view/27707/42/).

Decent, anti-racist Australians - and indeed ALL decent, anti-racists around the World, including all decent, anti-racist Jews - must employ intra-national and international SANCTIONS and BOYCOTTS to oppose the Bush-ite-, neo-Bush-ite-, and Lib-Lab- supported racist Zionist (RZ) Apartheid Israeli Palestinian Genocide.

Peace is the only way but Silence kills and Silence is complicity.

Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 09:24

anytime, im glad that you enjoyed what i wrote ;)

Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 09:27

World media: Israel 'endangers roots of our civilization'

At the outset of the Gaza war, Israel and the IDF were eager to promote their media campaign, which they believed would help preserve Israel's image abroad, allowing the military to do its job at home.

But that may have been wishful thinking.

As Israel's third week in Gaza marches on, the media coverage is beginning to go sour.

Leading the charge is Time magazine, the most recent cover of which prominently features a Star of David behind barbed wire, a startling and disturbing image that seems to suggest a parallel between the Gaza war and the Holocaust, presumably not to Israel's credit.

The cover is a lead-in for the magazine's top story, headlined "Can Israel Survive Gaza?"

Commenting wryly in his blog for Time competitor The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg, a Jewish journalist who has spent time reporting in Gaza, said, "It got me thinking: Which one will last longer - Israel, or Time magazine? I'm betting on Israel."

Prof. Eytan Gilboa of Bar-Ilan University was less kind.

A media analyst who has specialized in popular American attitudes towards Israel, he was quick to say that Time "has been anti-Semitic for a long time."

"When [Menachem] Begin won his election in 1977, Time called him a 'superhawk,' and compared him to Fagin," the morally reprehensible Jewish character from Dickens' Oliver Twist, Gilboa said. Anti-Semitic sentiment, he added, had plagued the magazine ever since.

Speaking of its recent cover art, Gilboa pointed out that Time "likes to use Holocaust imagery that hints that Israel is doing to the Palestinians what the Nazis did to the Jews."

In his opinion, Time bears responsibility for "a history of not only anti-Semitism, but systematic distortion of what is happening [in Israel]."

But with the current war, the magazine's sensationalist approach is all but matched by other publications.

The unusual relationship of international media to Israel was described as being subject to "four cardinal sins: obsessiveness, prejudice, condescension and ignorance" by Hanoch Marmari, the former editor of Ha'aretz.

If newspapers around the world are any indication, Israel's image may once again have failed to escape those sins in the popular press.

Sunday's international edition of the Miami Herald carried what was perhaps the most extreme headline of the daily newspapers, its front page dominated by the words: "Israel tells Gaza to brace for a bloodbath."

That the word "bloodbath" was only used by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and never by any Israeli source, does not seem to have fazed the Herald's editors.

But minimizing the damage, the Herald carried a different front page in the US, and it was one of the few American newspapers to devote any front page coverage at all to the ongoing war.

Only the New York Times gave top billing on Sunday to the Gaza action - most other papers had turned their attention to the recession, or president-elect Barack Obama's inauguration.

Outside of the US, Gaza coverage remained more of a priority.

Two Canadian newspapers, the Edmonton Journal and the Halifax-based Chronicle Herald, both ran front page headlines on the war which referred to Israel's "attacks" on Gaza.

Elsewhere, Turkey's Today's Zaman found a more apocalyptic tone, running a front page blurb stating "Reckless Israel Endangering Roots of Our Civilization."

Perhaps most incredible of all, the United Arab Emirates' Gulf News proclaimed, across five columns of its front page, that Israel had "set sights on reoccupying Gaza" - contrary to Israel's direct statements.

Gulf News also featured a prominent count of Gaza casualties, though it might mislead the reader into believing in an additional 350 dead.

Gilboa was not eager to condemn Western media universally.

"Violence, in general, motivates newspapers and magazines to take extreme positions," he said. "The question is, why are these always attributed to only one side?"


Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 09:41

Sorry alphacrucis, Israeli chocolate is too bitter for me.

Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 11:25

alphacrusis, Just who are the ordinary people? I've spoken to a lot of people in Adelaide and Perth of late, across all walks of life and have not found one who is not angry about Israel's murderous assault on Gaza. You may lie to yourself but let me tell you, ordinary people no longer believe the lies. That is why they are demonstrating in their thousands in the UK, US, Europe, Asia and yes, even in little old Australia.
This is the only thing which gives hope. I can watch commercial television, which I never do normally, and see those awful photos of bloodied Palestinian children and commentators who clearly are aware of what Israel is doing. Even SBS, the super suck-up it has become in recent years with the change of management has had the guts to challenge the Israeli propagandists. It gives us all hope.
You forget, this medium, as part of the internet access to information means that more and more people see the sort of truth which used to be restricted to Arabs but which is now spread around the world.
Rabbis in the US are speaking out against this genocide and that says something. Thank God at last people are finding the courage to call Israel exactly what it is a rogue state using terrorism against the people they occupy and colonise.
One can feel depressed when the Zionist lackey Hilary Clinton says she will not talk to Hamas but the fact is, she will talk to anyone she has to if Obama has the guts to say peace is required.
More to the point the worldwide boycotts movement is growing apace and even if Obama fails us, that will succeed. Even some US companies have cancelled sales with Israeli companies following this latest slaughter. The Brits have been doing it for awhile.
So, there is hope, despite the propaganda and the lies and as I have said before, and as Uri Avnery said, Israel simply cannot win. It cannot win because it is in the wrong and it cannot win because the Palestinians exist and will always exist ... it is simply impossible to exterminate all of them.
The murderous attack on the Gaza Ghetto will go down in history, as did the attack on the Warsaw Ghetto and on Stalingrad, as a victory for the human spirit against the onslaught of tyranny. Israel was morally bankrupt before, now it is a pariah.

Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 11:28

Israel may face UN court ruling on legality of Gaza conflictAfua Hirsch, legal affairs correspondent The Guardian, Wednesday 14 January 2009 Article historyIsrael faces the prospect of intervention by international courts amid growing calls that its actions in Gaza are a violation of world humanitarian and criminal law.

The UN general assembly, which is meeting this week to discuss the issue, will consider requesting an advisory opinion from the international court of justice, the Guardian has learned.

"There is a well-grounded view that both the initial attacks on Gaza and the tactics being used by Israel are serious violations of the UN charter, the Geneva conventions, international law and international humanitarian law," said Richard Falk, the UN's special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories and professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University.

"There is a consensus among independent legal experts that Israel is an occupying power and is therefore bound by the duties set out in the fourth Geneva convention," Falk added. "The arguments that Israel's blockade is a form of prohibited collective punishment, and that it is in breach of its duty to ensure the population has sufficient food and healthcare as the occupying power, are very strong."

Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 11:31

Suffer the little children of Gaza. Israel's brave war against Palestinian children. Children make up half of the population of Gaza. Hardly surprising then that a third of the dead are children and that half of those killed are women and children. Those brave Israeli forces .... what a battle of equals.
Here are some stories from children who live, well, at least for the moment they do.


Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 11:34

Just so there is no doubt about what Israel's supporters are supporting.

Gaza: UN Official Reports Horrific Hospital Scenes of Casualties

By UN News Centre

January 12, 2009 1 – Appalled that fighting was still continuing in Gaza despite the Security Council’s ceasefire resolution, senior United Nations officials said today they were horrified at the human costs amid reports that over 40 per cent of the nearly 900 Palestinians killed in the Israeli offensive, and almost half of the 3,860 wounded, were women and children.
“Behind those statistics that we read out every day is really profound human suffering and grave tragedy for all involved and not just for those who are killed and injured but for their families as well,” UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Director of Operations John Ging told a news conference in New York, speaking by video link from Gaza, where he had just visited the main Al Shifa hospital.

“(It) is the place of course where you see the most horrific human consequences of this conflict. Among the tragic cases that I saw were a child, six years of age, little or no brain activity, people don’t have much hope for her survival; multiple amputee – another little girl; and a pregnant woman who’d lost a leg,” he said, as the Israeli offensive went into its 17th day with the stated aim of ending Hamas rocket attacks into Israel.

Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 11:37

It gets worse. How debased can a society and its army get? Very is the answer. That will teach those Palestinian kids for resisting occupation!

IDF Under Scrutiny
Is Israel Using Experimental Weapons in Gaza?


Concerns about Israel’s use of non-conventional and experimental weapons in the Gaza Strip are growing, with evasive comments from spokesmen and reluctance to allow independent journalists inside the tiny enclave only fuelling speculation.

The most prominent controversy is over the use of shells containing white phosphorus, which causes horrific burns when it comes into contact with skin. Under international law, phosphorus is allowed as a smokescreen to protect soldiers but treated as a chemical weapon when used against civilians.

The Israeli army maintains that it is using only weapons authorised in international law, though human rights groups have severely criticised Israel for firing phosphorus shells over densely populated areas of Gaza.

But there might be other unconventional weapons Israel is using out of sight of the watching world.

One such munition may be Dime, or dense inert metal explosive, a weapon recently developed by the US army to create a powerful and lethal blast over a small area.

The munition is supposed to still be in the development stage and is not yet regulated. There are fears, however, that Israel may have received a green light from the US military to treat Gaza as a testing ground.

“We have seen Gaza used as a laboratory for testing what I call weapons from hell,” said David Halpin, a retired British surgeon and trauma specialist who has visited Gaza on several occasions to investigate unusual injuries suffered by Gazans.

“I fear the thinking in Israel is that it is in its interests to create as much mutilation as possible to terrorise the civilian population in the hope they will turn against Hamas.”

Gaza’s doctors, including one of the few foreigners there, Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian specialist in emergency medicine working at Al Shifa hospital in Gaza City, report that many of the injuries they see are consistent with the use of Dime.

Wounds from the weapon are said to be distinctive. Those exposed to the blast have severed or melted limbs, or internal ruptures, especially to soft tissue such as the abdomen, that often lead to death.

There is said to be no shrapnel apart from a fine “dusting” of minute metal particles on damaged organs visible when autopsies are carried out. Survivors of a Dime blast are at increased risk of developing cancer, according to research carried out in the United States.

Traditional munitions, by contrast, cause large wounds wherever shrapnel penetrates the body.

“The power of the explosion dissipates very quickly and the strength does not travel long, maybe 10 metres, but those humans who are hit by this explosion, this pressure wave, are cut in pieces,” Dr Gilbert said in a recent interview.

Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 12:02

Coincidentally, I have noted the same strange uniformity in the lobby attacking Israel ... "illegal phosphorous shells" that the Redc Cross today declared aren't illegal at all, a total absence of any regard for the plight of Israeli civilians over the past 8 years, a similar disregard for the plight of the poor Palestinians whose children are being brainwashed to sacrifice themselves for "the cause", a clear ignorance of what Hamas or Fatah actually stand for (have any of you actually read the Hamas Charter or the Fatah Constitution?).

As to the abyssmal understanding of history that reads like an Arab propaganda primer ... the mind boggles. How many are aware that Palestine was actually divided fairly between its residents in 1924, with 80% going to the Palestinians and 20% to the Jews? How many know that the land was never "Palestinian" but, to this day, over 80% of the West Bank and Gaza are classed as "Ottoman public land"? How many know that the settlements sit largely on Jewish owned properties purchased in the 1920s and 30s? But the silly mantras go on. How about you stop simply believing what you hear, and put in a litlle real research of your own on primary documents and reputable sources ... you'll be amazed at what you discover. A whole new world!

Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 12:18

Even Israeli historians admit that Palestine was Palestine and the Palestinians were dispossessed violently to allow the creation of Israel.
The majority of people living in the land called Palestine were opposed to partition. Hardly surprising. In a more civilized world the partition was therefore a moral and legal wrong. The UN had no right to divide Palestine.
The fact that Palestinians had not reached a point of nationhood is irrelevant. Germany was not a nation until about a hundred years ago and before that time, for countless centuries there were a German people, a German culture and a German country. Ditto for the Palestinians.
The land was called Palestine in Roman times and before that Palestia. Before that it was Canaan which was an Egyptian colony and where a variety of tribes, including Hebrew, settled for a time.
Palestia and Palestine come from the God Pales.
Beyond your ignorance of history the fact is none of this matters.
In the modern age we consider occupation and colonisation to be wrong. Israel is a modern coloniser just like Australia and the US, Canada and Nz. Those nations have had to admit to the wrongs inherent in their foundation and make redress to the indigenous peoples who were living in the country when it was colonised and so must Israel.

And anyone who can defend something as ghastly as phosphorus shells is without soul. They are illegal by the way used against civilians which is what Israel is doing. And for any civilized person they, like all the ghastly weaponry which exists, should be illegal full stop.

Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 12:21


You said: I assume you mean that Hamas is occupying and colonising Gaza, and slaughtering its own children (not to mention kneecapping its own enemies).

Dear me, you are confused. I suppose you would say that the French resistance were occupying and colonising France and slaughtering their own children in their fight against German occupation.

That the Russians were occupying and colonising Stalingrad and slaughtering their own children because they resisted German occupation.

That the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto were using their women and children as human shields against the Gestapo.

That's an interesting position. Not a rational one but interesting all the same.

Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 12:37

balance, I suppose you're a holocaust denier as well? Are you also going to disgust us with claims that there were never 6 million Jews living in Europe during the Holocaust? What sort of "whole new world" would emerge then?

A whole new world is it? You mean the one which exists in the minds of the pathological liars and genocidaires in Tel Aviv? No thanks, you can keep it.

When every international obligation is met, and when those responsible for the numerous genocides and war crimes are brought to trial, perhaps then humanity might take a second look, until then humanity will sympathise with the victims of this genocide which are the Palestinian people whom the zionists are attempting to wipe off the map under the protection of a massive umbrella of propaganda led by a mass media whose credibility is already seriously damaged.

New world this:- http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6604775898578139565&hl=en

Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 14:00

Does Israeli Intelligence Lie?


All of the suffering in Gaza - indeed, all of the suffering endured by Palestinians under Israeli occupation for the last eight years - could have been avoided if Israel negotiated a peace agreement with Yasser Arafat when it had the chance, in 2001.

What chance? The official Israeli position is that there was no chance, "no partner for peace." That's what Israeli leaders heard from their Military Intelligence (MI) service in 2000 after the failure of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations at Camp David. Arafat scuttled those talks, MI told the leaders, because he was planning to set off a new round of violence, a second intifada.

Now former top officials of MI say the whole story, painting Arafat as a terrorist out to destroy Israel, was an intentional fiction. That's the most explosive finding in an investigative report just published in Israel's top newspaper, Ha'aretz, by one of its finest journalists, Akiva Eldar.

Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 14:08

balance you need to change your handle to outrightbollocks

"How many know that the settlements sit largely on Jewish owned properties purchased in the 1920s and 30s"

This is patently and demonstrably false (not to mention utterly ridiculous to anyone au fait with the regions history) Which settlements are you referring to anyway those in thhe West Bank? those acknowledged by the ENTIRE world as illegal? Those that were built at an increasing rate at the time of the so called "generous offer" or those currently being built on top of Palestinian farms?

"illegal phosphorous shells" that the Redc Cross today declared aren’t illegal at all"

That is NOT what they said. What they ACTUALLY said was that they have no evidence that WP was being used contrary to IL. That means (unsurprisingly) that they have no eye witnesses to it being used an offensie weapon - funny that what with it being blinding

"Hamas or Fatah actually stand for (have any of you actually read the Hamas Charter or the Fatah Constitution?)."

Yes I have - ever read Israel's? Ever heard "land without people" bollocks?

"How many know that the land was never "Palestinian" but, to this day, over 80% of the West Bank and Gaza are classed as "Ottoman public land"

why do Israeli apologists keep using this pathetic meme? If what "existed" before is such a big deal then the whole thing is sorted anyway. It wasn't ISRAEL before EITHER.

Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 14:53


16. Networks belonging to Fatah/Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades were the most prominent and central in violating the lull arrangement. Their motivation was the desire to show themselves as the standard bearers of the “resistance” (i.e., terrorism) and to send a message of defiance to Hamas, their rivals, even though Fatah in Judea and Samaria renounced the attacks.

In certain instances the Palestinian Islamic Jihad or other organizations fired
rockets. In most instances they did not publicly claim responsibility. Such attacks were motivated by deep internal Palestinian rivalries, especially between Fatah and Hamas, and not responses to “violations” on the part of Israel.

17. During the first period Hamas was careful to maintain the ceasefire and its operatives were not involved in rocket attacks. At the same time, the movement tried to enforce the terms of the arrangement on the ot her terrorist organizations and to prevent them from violating it. Hamas took a number of steps against networks which violated the arrangement, but in a limited fashion and contenting itself with short-term detentions and confiscating
weapons. For example, a number of times Hamas’s security services detained Fatah/Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades operatives, including Abu Qusai, an Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades spokesman, who claimed responsibility for rocket fire (June 29).

Detained operatives were released after a short interrogation and no real measures were taken against them. However, it was clear that throughout the first period Hamas sought to avoid direct confrontations with the rogue
organizations (especially the PIJ) insofar as was possible, lest it be accused of collaborating with Israel and harming the “resistance.” Hamas therefore focused on using politics to convince the organizations to maintain the lull arrangement and on seeking support for it within Gazan public opinion (including issuing statements by its activists regarding the lull’s achievements).

The hundreds of rockets during the ceasefire?

June 18-30 - 5, Jul-4, August-8,Sept/- 1, Oct - 1

4 November Israel break truce. Kill 7

A total of 223 rockets and 139 mortar shells were fired during the period of calm, most since November 4, 2008

Freaked out nut cases. And here is another couple of points.

Israel's only right to be is within the border they accepted in 1947 and even that is moot because the vote was illegal because the Palestinian owners of the land did not get a vote.

How can any of you people here accept the drivel coming out of Israel? It is a massacre and after the other massacres they have committed in the name of having all the land with no arabs how can you fruitcakes believe them?

Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 15:03

Isaac you freak, why is it more dangerous to be a journalist in Gaza than in Iraq, Afghanistan, Burma, China, Tibet, the Congo, Darfur and other places? It is not about the protection of journalists you idiot it has been acknowledged by Israel that they want to control the news.

Dr Dog
Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 15:26

I don't normally weigh in on the important stuff, but alphacrucis really goes too far in accusing those against the war on Palestinians as being shrill.

The real crime would be if we were as sanguine about the large numbers of deaths in this seemingly endless war as the pro-Israeli writers. Who really cares if phosphorus shells are 'legal'? Surely the point is that Israel shouldn't be lobbing the fuckers into schools filled with children and adult non-combatants.

Shrill will be when I front one of these jerks at a party or bar and stick my finger in their smug faces. I had someone hit me with the old 'eye for an eye' the other day, like Mosaic Law was something to aspire to in this day and age, but even if that was the law, Israel is looking for a few hundred eyes for each taken.

I wish wholeheartedly that the UN had done the right thing in the first place and created a multicultural state designed to accomodate all the religious and cultural groups that have a claim on the area. No chance now. In the meantime it seems any violence is only as unethical and awful as the subsequent justifications.

Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 15:40

Excellent comments from isaac and balance.

Dr Dog, if your only recourse to my comments is to threaten violence, I have little regard for you indeed. So much for peace, eh?

Meanwhile, I thought the fair-minded readers of NM would enjoy this piece by a former Gazan about the real cause of the Palestinians' suffering.

<h3>The Gaza Prison Camp</h3>
<h4>Nonie Darwish</h4>

"Gaza conditions at '40-year low'" the BBC headlined last week. Rarely a week goes by without a politician or organization deploring the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. But I do not hear anyone describe its root cause: 60 years of Arab policy aimed at maintaining Palestinians as stateless refugees in order to pressure Israel.

I lived in Gaza as a child in the 1950s when Egypt conducted guerrilla-style operations against Israel from Gaza, then under Egyptian control. My father commanded these operations, carried out by "fedayeen," (which means, "self sacrifice"). This became the frontline of Arab Jihad against Israel. My father was killed by Israel in a targeted assassination in 1956.

Today the Gaza Strip, now under the control of Hamas, has become the Gaza prison camp for 1.5 million Palestinians and continues to serve as the launching pad for attacks against Israeli citizens.

This is the legacy of the Arab world's Palestinian refugee policy, started 60 years ago, when the Arab League implemented special laws regarding Palestinians that all Arab countries had to abide by. Arab countries could not absorb Palestinians. Even if a Palestinian married a citizen of an Arab country, that Palestinian could not become a citizen of his or her spouse's country. A Palestinian can be born, live and die in an Arab country, but never gain its citizenship. Even now I receive e-mails from Palestinians telling me they cannot have a Syrian passport, for example, and must remain Palestinian even though they have never set foot in the West Bank or Gaza. Forcing the Palestinian identity on them is designed to perpetuate the Palestinian refugee status. Palestinians have been used and abused by Arab nations, and by Palestinian terrorists, for the purpose of destroying Israel.

The 22 Arab states certainly do not have a shortage of land. Many surrounding Arab areas, such as the Sinai Peninsula, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, are very sparsely populated. But absorbing Palestinians would end their refugee status and their desire to harm Israel.

Arab wealth, which is increasing dramatically because of skyrocketing oil prices, is not used to improve the lives, infrastructure and economy of the people of the West Bank and Gaza. Instead, it supports terror groups who reject Israel's existence and oppose peace with Israel. The average Gaza man has a better employment opportunity if he joins Hamas.

Gazans' breach of their checkpoint with Egypt in January, orchestrated by Hamas, is a result of the Palestinian refugee policy. The checkpoints on the Arab side of Gaza could not keep the inmates inside. The Arab plan to overpopulate Gaza exploded in the wrong direction. After this explosion, Suleiman Awwad, an Egyptian administration spokesman, said, "Egypt is a respected state, its border cannot be breached and its soldiers should not be lobbed with stones." In other words, Egypt is not like Israel, which is a disrespected state. Gazans should not direct the violence at Egypt, only at Israel. This is Arab conventional wisdom.

Last month Hamas threatened to bring 40,000 Palestinians, primarily children and women, to the Gaza border with Israel to protest Israel's restrictions on Gaza. Some Hamas leaders hinted they would send these protestors to breach the border, once again demonstrating that the Palestinian terrorists have no qualms about endangering the lives of innocent people -- Israelis or Palestinians. Fortunately, only 5,000 showed up.

But Hamas did succeed two days later in killing an Israeli: a 47 year-old father of four during a rocket attack from Gaza while he was sitting in his car next to Sapir College near Sderot. Two weeks earlier, two Israeli brothers, Osher and Rami Twito, ages 8 and 19, were seriously injured by a rocket from Gaza while buying their father a birthday present. Osher's left leg had to be amputated.

Israel completely left Gaza in August 2005. In May and June 2007, Hamas waged war against its Palestinian brothers in Fatah to gain control of Gaza. Hamas intensified its rockets attacks on Israeli towns, compelling Israel to take economic and military measures against Gaza. Hamas has become a danger not only to Israel, but to Palestinians and to neighboring Arab countries, as well. Nevertheless, the Arab world still refuses to see its role in creating this monster. It is difficult to find a similar situation in human history: the intentional creation of a refugee status for a million and a half people, sustained for 60 years. The Arab world has cut its nose to spite its face.

The world needs to understand that this dangerous mess started when 22 Arab countries agreed to create a human prison called the Gaza Strip. Arabs claim they love the Palestinian people, but they seem more interested in sacrificing them. It is time for the Arab world to open their side of the borders and absorb the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza who wish to be absorbed. It is time for the Arab world to truly help the Palestinians, not use them.

<em>Nonie Darwish, who grew up in Cairo and Gaza City, is the author of, "Now They Call me Infidel."</em>

(from www.huffingtonpost.com)

Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 16:34

Readers of NM who are reading these posts and scratching their heads are right to wonder how this publication could get it so right on so many issues, but launch into a radically distant orbit on this particular issue.

This issue has been hijacked by pro-Palestinian ideologues with an agenda. There is no debate; if you disagree with their line, you are labeled a "Zionist propagandist oppressor" or some such thing.

As far as I know, unlike huffingtonpost.com, newmatilda has not yet published the work of pro-Israel progressives. I look forward to a change in this approach, and some genuine debate on this vital issue.

Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 16:58

Readers of NM who are reading these posts and scratching their heads are right to wonder why alphacrucis has never made a comment on any other issue/article posted here but has tonnes to say about every single piece about Israel.

Wee bitty obsessed huh?

This user is a New Matilda supporter. pwinwood
Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 17:19

Of course the images from Gaza are terrible. Of course it's a public relations disaster for Israel. Does anyone seriously think that the Israelis didn't know that would be the case?
So how does one explain it?
The uncomfortable reality might be to examine the argument from the Israeli perspective that NO-ONE has actually cared about what happens to the Jews for over two thousand years. Come on, have they? Anti-semitism has been rife for at least that long, culminating in the Holocaust.
So the Jews know full well (certainly they fully believe it) that no-one cares what happens to them in a realistic practical sense now. If their public image is tarnished by Gaza, so what!. When it comes to what they perceive as their continuing fight (literal fight) for survival surrounded by enemies since Israel was founded in 1948 who are committed to destroy it, they have to look out for themselves.
[Of course, this is not to deny the immense US military and financial support engedered by the Jewish lobby in the USA, and which has been crucial in its survival through at least three major Arab attempts to destroy Israel].
All that Israel (and the Palestinians) want to do is to live in peace together. But the forces of IRAN and their proxies in Lebanon and Gaza, Hamas and Hezbollah, won't allow this.
Has Hamas and Hezbollah shown the caring for their own people that their rhetoric suggests? Have they ensured all their forces are kept away from civilian areas. Have they done all they can to avoid provoking Israel? Have they done all they can to work towards an Internationally brokered peace agreement?
Well, have they?
Has Israel offered to return Gaza and the West Bank to Palestinian control (in the Oslo talks-1992)?
Has Hamas been firing rockets into Israel at the rate of over 70 a day for months?
Has there been any International efforts to stop Hamas' attacks on Israel?
Well, have there?
Will the latest Israeli effort to destroy Hamas and prevent these attacks once and for all?
Probably not.
Do you really believe it is it the will and wish of the actual Palestinians living in Gaza to continue to attack Israel on a daily basis by rockets? Well do you?
Imagine if YOUR state, county, council area, (or whatever urban area you live in) was being daily attacked by a neighbour and there was no government action to stop it and prevent it again, year after year.
What might YOU be inclined to do (in desperation) if all the surrounding areas and people about your had no PRACTICAL inclination to help you?
Before we rush to judgment about Israel over Gaza (or Lebanon) we need to actually sit down and carefully consider ALL the facts.
Can Israel solve this situation alone?
Is the International community willing to step in PRACTICALLY to bring this 60 battle to an end once and for all?
THINK before you judge.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. shoes1
Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 18:01

I am heartily sick of reading articles which use the term "Jews" instead of "Israelis".

The 4th paragraph from the bottom of this article reads "if we accept that JEWS have a right to self-determination and peace, but Palestinians don't have a right to either." It should read "if we accept that ISRAELIS have a right to self-determination etc"
I am a Jew but am not an Israeli.

I am an Australian and happen to oppose the policies of the Israeli Govt. yet because of this confusion between nationality and religion, it gives the appearance that all Jews agree with the Israeli Govt. We must do if we are Jews - right? There is as much diversity of opinion within the Jewish community in the world as there is in any other faith.

It is just as incorrect to say in the same paragraph "if we accept that Jews have a right to self-determination and peace, but MUSLIMS don't have a right to either."

By using religion rather than nationality, it provides more ammunition for those who are anti-Israel to have anti-semitic tendencies if they are so inclined. So please get it right.

Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 18:49

Michael writes that Martin Peretz "solemnly informs us that "the Palestinians are unprepared for statehood, as many of the countries in Africa have been unprepared for statehood." Yes, you've read that right. Peretz misses the good old days of colonialism, and just doesn't think people who lack white skin are fully qualified for things like voting."

Peretz doesn't say that he misses colonialism. He's just pointing out a pertinent fact that the Palestinians, such as they are, aren't prepared for statehood. Statehood means having responsibility and ensuring that you live in peace with your own citizens and your neighbours; you have to build institutions of civil society and provide freedom for all of your citizens. In fact, very few of the Palestinians are interested in running a state this way. After all, when you can get a ton of foreign aid from Arab states and much of the West, what imperative is there to do anything? You may as well can keep living off foreign aid and fund most of this towards a war to kill the Jews.

The Palestinians aren't ready for statehood. Hamas demonstrated this when they came to power in a bloodthirsty-coup even though they were democratically-elected. What does it say about a group who is prepared to murder their political opponents and deny the rights of the ordinary folks in the street, subjecting everyone to Sharia law?

For those of you who haven't read Hamas' Charter, please do. It was drawn up in 1988 and Hamas live by it today. They have no problem proclaiming loud and wide what their intentions are and what they'd like to do to Israel should they get the capability to do so. For now they aren't able to destroy Israel because they don't have the military capability; indeed, besides killing Israelis wherever they can, they just make life miserable for Israeli civilians and their own civilians too.

Hamas should never be allowed to run a state and it's clear that the freedoms we all take for granted - such as freedom of speech and the freedom of conscience - would be tossed out the window in Hamastan. All people would be subjected to Sharia law with grave consequences for all who are subjugated to it, especially women and non-Muslims.

Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 19:22

"Hamas should never be allowed to run a state"

So you don't believe in democracy then? Could you provide a list of people you'll allow the Palestinians to vote for?

"and it’s clear that the freedoms we all take for granted - such as freedom of speech and the freedom of conscience - would be tossed out the window in Hamastan. All people would be subjected to Sharia law with grave consequences for all who are subjugated to it, especially women and non-Muslims."

That is only clear if you HAVE NOT read their charter which you implore others to do.

It is only clear if you ignore facts on the ground. Hamas' candidates at the election INCLUDED WOMEN AND NON MUSLIMS and they HAVE NOT INSTITUTED SHARIA

Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 19:56

The most amazing part of all of this is that there are actually people who have justified this positively primitive behaviour of Israel for years already and even now, when the undeniable occurs, when the undeniable becomes public knowledge, these people maintain an indefensible opinion in a barrage of the most shameful and spiteful lies, lies and more lies.

Not only are these people psychopathic, they are pathological.

Indefensible opinions may be excused, of course, but when patent lies and falsehoods are employed for the purposes of promoting the indefensible then criminality or the intent to commit or assist in the commission of a crime as motivation for the lies can be the only rational conclusion one can draw.

Occupation of foreign lands is indefensible, contempt for the international community and it's laws is indefensible, reservation of special civil rights for a specific religious group is indefensible, deprivation of civil rights granted to others based on religious belief is indefensible but the victimisation of a people, the creation of concentration camps and the wilful slaughter of innocents is absolutely beyond all question indefensible and those responsible for such acts must be brought to answer to humanity or we all lose our dignity and self respect.

Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 20:09

missnomar: ""Hamas should never be allowed to run a state" So you don’t believe in democracy then? Could you provide a list of people you’ll allow the Palestinians to vote for?"

There you go again, defending Hamas. How can you say that you are not pro-Hamas?

Hamas is a genocidal jihadi organisation. That it was elected in apparently free elections does not purify it and make it "democratic". Democracy requires far more than free elections - it requires civil society, which is utterly absent in Gaza and barely functioning in the West Bank.

Gaza may be the least democratic place on the planet.

Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 20:11

Rockjaw, your posts are too numerous, too hateful, and too ignorant to deserve a detailed response.