22 Jan 2009

Peeking Into Gaza

By Jim Alexander
Harvesting potatoes on a kibbutz near the border with Gaza, Jim Alexander felt as though the conflict was a world away
The Gaza Strip occupies a land area not much bigger than a large country town: it is barely 12 kilometres wide and from its southern border with Egypt about 40 kilometres long. To its north and east lies Israel and its western edge is a Mediterranean beach.

Its history is long, complicated, and often terribly cruel — it has been a biblical city, a crusader port, a dusty pit stop for weary pilgrims, a place where Australian soldiers fought and died fighting the Turks and, in 1948, a refuge for thousands of Arabs fleeing the creation of the State of Israel.

Today is a fetid hellhole where in 2007 a poorly maintained sewage treatment plant collapsed and people were drowned by a tidal wave of excreta. Everyday life is increasingly lived under the thumb of clerics who harp on martyrdom and morality but whose rockets and suicide bombs kill mostly the innocent and unlucky. But when it comes to cleaning up the donkey shit that coats the crumbling roads and attracts swarms of flies, or getting the lights to work, or drinkable water to come from the taps, these people have far fewer ideas.

Gaza is the sort of place that people would leave if they could, but they can't. Over the decades its border with Israel has evolved from an unmarked line in the scrub to a high-tech security barrier patrolled by tanks, attack helicopters and aerial drones. It is, in effect, a giant prison.

I peeked into Gaza from Israel: it was the closest I could get. In 2005 I found a job on a kibbutz that was built right up against the border fence. A few kilometres away, on the streets of the Gaza Strip, donkey power was how things got moved around, but on the kibbutz, they were using advanced technology to make potatoes sprout from the desert. They had giant robotic sprinklers on wheels and there was talk of potato DNA. The aerial photos on the wall of the farm office showed circular swathes of brilliant green sprouting from a desert that was otherwise the colour of burnt toast.

Sometimes in the cool of the night I'd wander off for a stroll and end up far enough away from the glare and noise that I could hear the crickets chirping and see the dim pinpricks of what looked like kerosene lamps twinkling out from the city next door. I liked to kid myself they had some slight ethereal flicker that lights back home didn't have. This was, after all, the Holy Land.

Nearly every night there was shooting of one sort or another over there. Strange muffled crumps, weird flashes of light and tat, tat, tat. This, people said, was the sound of a Palestinian civil war. They were always launching these homemade rockets at the nearby Israeli town of Sderot that were highly effective at blowing craters in car parks and fields. (Thankfully the potato farm, though easily within range, seemed to be beneath their attention.) For their trouble, they were swiftly bombed into oblivion by the Israeli Air Force, often taking a bunch of innocent bystanders with them.

Other times the shooting did come from our side: the soldiers who guarded the security barrier opening fire on a shadow that was frequently a goat, but occasionally someone trying to get across into Israel.

I didn't doubt that there were terrorists in Gaza who believed murdering someone like me was a sure way to heaven, and I was glad that someone stood between them and the local bus stop. Beyond that sinister truth, however, there must have been thousands more who were neither crazy nor homicidal, just desperate enough to fool themselves into thinking they could escape through the fence and find some cash-in-hand work in Israel that, though shitty and demeaning, might just keep their family from going hungry. Regardless of who they were, few who tried to escape from Gaza made it out alive.

The strange thing is that standing there on the very edge of all this, it didn't seem incredibly important. I had my own work and worry and so long as the fighting stayed a few kilometres away, it wasn't my concern.

Daylight didn't make things any clearer. At work in the fields I had a clear view over the fence to the slums: they were a low-slung sea of concrete boxes clustered tightly on the surface of a desert plain. One and a half million people were crammed into the Strip but from the back of the tractor it looked so still and silent the figure seemed unbelievable.

There were snipers over there who sometimes shot at the tractors. The field hands joked about what poor shots they were. They stayed quiet while I was there, though looking out over the fields and the fence at the slums beyond, I didn‘t doubt they existed. In the afternoon, when the heat was intense, the city on the other side had the look of no other city I'd ever seen. It actually seemed to smoulder with anger, although that might just have been the noxious fumes rising from the piles of uncollected trash stewing in the sun.

Anywhere else it would be deemed insane to try to harvest potatoes in such an environment, but Israel has so little land and so many hostile borders that there are few other choices. This is not a country where anything is simple. Even the potatoes come out of the earth coated with guilt and history. Along with mud and rocks and spuds, the harvesting machines churn up shards of broken pottery, remnants of jars that had once held olive oil and water. These jars could only have come from the Arab villages that once dotted the desert we were making bloom, but had long since been ground into mud.

It hard to imagine that the grandparents of the snipers lurking in the slums just over the fence had once lived in them, but I knew that some of them almost certainly had.

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Cubby
Posted Thursday, January 22, 2009 - 15:19

It's good to read a reflective, observational piece about this. thanks for running it

GraemeF
Posted Thursday, January 22, 2009 - 15:49

Written with some compassion. Thank you.

rosross
Posted Thursday, January 22, 2009 - 18:44

I think the truly spooky thing about this is that it demonstrates quite clearly, how easily the human mind can deny something terrible, even while seeing it quite clearly. Just as the Germans and Poles lived next to concentration camps where terrible things happened, and yet they did not question, or could accept even what they saw or suspected, so too, this writer shows how easily it is done. He knows the Palestinians are locked into Gaza, he knows it is a hellhole, he knows the Israeli military bomb and strafe and kill and yet he accepts it.
A rational person would look at these imprisoned people and say:'My State, my army keeps 1.5million people locked up in a hellhole. That is wrong.'
but he doesn't, he peers into the hellhole and gets on picking potatoes. That is how crimes against humanity begin and end.

rosross
Posted Thursday, January 22, 2009 - 19:18

This is a closer peek into Gaza. You cannot look at these images and not be struck by how modern technology has made it impossible to hide war crimes. Mobile phones are common throughout the third world because landlines are either not available or don't work. Mobile phones are cameras and computers and images can be taken in a second and a second later flashed around the world. It doesn't really matter what governments do or what propaganda is fed when the truth is so clearly revealed by ordinary people.
There are a lot of images out of Gaza here, some of them not easy to see but a lot of them have been on television and in the press anyway but it is a revealing compilation.
http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=2510
All power to the people. We are one.

rosross
Posted Thursday, January 22, 2009 - 19:19

Oops, meant that second post to go elsewhere.

alphacrucis
Posted Friday, January 23, 2009 - 00:39

This article is interesting and surprisingly thoughtful for an NM piece on Israel - most articles on NM are anti-Israel propaganda.

The only glaring factual flaw in it: "I didn't doubt that there were terrorists in Gaza who believed murdering someone like me was a sure way to heaven, and I was glad that someone stood between them and the local bus stop. Beyond that sinister truth, however, there must have been thousands more who were neither crazy nor homicidal..." Given that there are admittedly at least 15,000 Hamas terrorists in Gaza, for every Hamasnik there are less than 1000 non-Hamasniks. And this doesn't take into account the number of Hamas supporters, as well as Islamic Jihad, Al Aqsa Brigade, and other jihadi factional fighters. There are significantly more than the author believes.

However, the usual comments from the gang of about half a dozen Israel-haters who troll NM are downright appalling. Nobody in their right mind believes this rhetoric about there being a "genocide" in Gaza. The banalisation of the Holocaust, and the wretched, barbarous, and factually incorrect comparison of Israel to Nazi Germany, are unspeakably offensive.

If it were possible to rape and massacre the truth, the anti-Israel activists have done it. I find it extraordinary that a so-called "progressive" website permits the sheer volume of antisemitic and anti-Israel vilification on this forum that it does (frequently the two overlap.)

Rockjaw
Posted Friday, January 23, 2009 - 00:58

What would we do without Amnesty International?

http://amnestyireland.blogspot.com/ for their views on Gaza.

Good on the Irish.

Takes more than a slimy pork greaseball to pull the wool over their eyes.

Dr Dog
Posted Friday, January 23, 2009 - 10:12

More questions alphacrucis, despite your woeful inability to answer previous queries.

If, as you say there is no genocidal intent on the part of Israel, what exactly is the plan for dealing with Gaza?

It appears to me at this point that Israel has bottled up, goaded, starved and regularly attacked this population, who have responded with violence.

Israel then take the opportunity presented by this violence to wreak havoc on the entire population. There can be no doubt at this point that Israel sees little difference between combatants and children who get in the way.

Again, is there any coherant ideas coming from Israel for how the Palastinian people might live free and peacefully?

Given the rhetoric about Hamas being an existential threat to Israel genocide seems to be a reasonable description of the solution sought by at least some Israelis. Even your implications above ('glaring factual flaw') that the whole Gaza strip is crawling with terrorists smacks of justifying wiping out the whole population.

As all Israelis must recognise, to be genocide it doesn't have to be successful, just attempted.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. dazza
Posted Friday, January 23, 2009 - 12:21

Taken from AlJazeera Magazine on-line today.

By Brian Cloughley

Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt were pretty close, politically and personally. They led the fight against fascism in the early 1940s, and although they had their disagreements they got on very well. They were both blunt in expressing their views, but there was no doubt who was the more powerful : Roosevelt called the shots, although Churchill had a lot of influence on him. But it would have been unthinkable for Churchill to have behaved in the way that the present (though not for long) prime minister of Israel did with the present (though not for long) president of the United States.

Prime minister Olmert of Israel, who has been forced to stand down because of allegations of corruption, telephoned President Bush to make the latter alter his orders to his Secretary of State to support a mild resolution in the UN Security Council that called for a ceasefire in Gaza. The barely believable transcript of Olmert's boasting of his success is on public record. He said:

"I [Olmert] spoke with him [Bush]; I told him: You can't vote for this proposal. He said: listen, I don't know, I didn't see, don't know what it says. I told him: I know, and you can't vote for it! He then instructed the secretary of state, and she did not vote for it."

There is no other head of government in the entire world who could say such words to the president of the United States. And will Olmert's successor be able to speak with Bush's successor in the same way and with a similar result?

We know the name of the next U.S. president, but we don't know who the next Israeli prime minister will be. It looks as if it might be a choice between two steel-minded sadists, Tzipi Livni or Binyamin Netanyahu, both dedicated haters of Palestine, Palestinians and Arabs in general. So what might they be able to say to President Obama? Will they be able to pick up the phone and call him to suggest forcefully that he alter the voting intention of the United States of America in the UN Security Council? And what would he do, if they did?

Given the commitment to Israel of Mr Obama and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, as was obvious in their groveling speeches last year to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, there is no guarantee that they will, either of them, ever utter a word in criticism of Israel.

There is one thing certain: the U.S. Congress is going to continue its unconditional support for Israel, no matter what war crimes are committed by its disgusting thugs-in-uniform. The Reps need the money, after all, which they get through political action committees which are generously funded by American Jews. And they are scared to political death by the threat that pro-Israel agencies will destroy them politically if they dare say a word against Israel.

There are very few Representatives of the people of America who would dare challenge Israel, or who might possibly criticize Israel, or who have the courage to condemn atrocities committed by Israel.

The worst of all the barbarians who are killing children and their mothers and fathers in Gaza are the Israeli pilots who mercilessly bomb houses occupied by terrified families. And they are staunchly supported by the House of Representatives of the United States of America.

These pilots, these vile little war-gamers of the skies, these latter-day examples of what Tom Wolfe called "The Right Stuff", can zoom over towns full of traumatized children and happily heave and hurl their bombs and rockets to kill yet more Palestinian kids without the remotest chance of being shot down. How heroic; how truly gladiatorial. How contemptible. They are blood brothers with the pilots of the Nazis' Stuka ground attack aircraft of yesteryear, with their terrifying sirens, who bombed columns of fleeing refugees all round Europe.

But the U.S. House of Representatives rushed to praise Israel, and endorse its invasion and its merciless air strikes, and committed America to a motion "Recognizing Israel's right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza, reaffirming the United States' strong support for Israel, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process."

Not many Americans know anything about the hideous barbarity in Gaza, because U.S. cable networks and newspapers rarely carry pictures of disfigured blood-splashed children who have been killed, maimed or orphaned by the Israelis. But here in Europe we have access to some TV channels and newspapers that are very different from the pliant pro-Zion patsies of the major news outlets across the Atlantic.

And if U.S. television channels carried pictures like the ones we see, there would be such outbursts of horror and indignation that even the US Congress might be forced to condemn the Israeli fascists for their barbarity. But the all-powerful Israel lobby makes sure that little of the sort will appear.

* Who runs America?

The only honorable members of the House, voting against unconditional support for Israeli killing of Palestinian children, were Democrats Dennis Kucinich (Ohio), Maxine Waters (California), Gwen Moore (Wisconsin), and Nick Rahall (West Virginia), along with Texas Republican Ron Paul. And Mr Kucinich put the whole case for their vote when he said

"In Gaza, the United Nations gave the Israeli army the coordinates of a UN school, and the school was then hit by Israeli tank fire, killing about 40. The UN put flags on emergency vehicles, coordinating the movements of those vehicles with the Israeli military, and the vehicles came under attack, killing emergency workers. The Israeli army evacuated 100 Palestinians to shelter, and then bombed the shelter, killing 30 people."

Blunt stuff – but it cut no ice with the 390 members of the House who voted for Israel to continue its killing.

The Israelis have killed over a thousand Palestinians, and the UN reports that at least 500 of these deaths were civilians, and that half of these were women and children. One million of Gaza's 1.5 million people have no electricity, and about 750,000 are without water. They are existing in conditions of appalling squalor and fear, with US-supplied helicopter gunships and F-16s striking at will, and tanks and artillery destroying their houses and killing their children.

Yet the House votes for Israel. And the President of the United States of America jumps to obey the Israeli prime minister. But will there be any change under Obama and Clinton?

A year ago Hillary Clinton told the American Israeli Committee that "we stand with Israel because of our shared values and our shared belief in the dignity of men and women and the right to live without fear or oppression."

Last June Barack Obama told the American Israeli Committee "Now is the time to be vigilant in facing down every foe, just as we move forward in seeking a future of peace for the children of Israel, and for all children. Now is the time to stand by Israel . . ."

Will they continue to support Israel, the country that has laid waste a land and murdered over 200 women and children?

If they do, the question must be asked: Who runs America?

-- Brian Cloughley's book about the Pakistan army, War, Coups and Terror, has just been published by Pen & Sword Books (UK) and will be published in the US in May by Skyhorse (New York). This article appeared in CounterPunch.org.

Dazza.

Dr Dog
Posted Friday, January 23, 2009 - 12:52

Dazza you have beaten Dr Polya by 15 words and will receive an award in the mail for longest ever post on NM. Congratulations and keep up the good work.

lethal
Posted Friday, January 23, 2009 - 13:51

Dear Alphacrucis,

Which is more correct, psychopathic Zionist or Zionist psychopath?

rosross
Posted Friday, January 23, 2009 - 14:59

alpha,
Have you taken a look at the pictures? They aren't pretty but they are real and they are going around the world. If you can look at these photographs and still tell me that Israel is doing the right thing then it is clear you are incapable of seeing reason.
The one that made me weep most of all, beyond a few bodies and the humiliation, was the small boy, maybe about nine, being held up by an IDF soldier and you could see he had wet his pants. Is this what you admire in Israel's army? Photos don't lie. The truth of Israel's barbarism is there for all to see even if you and yours cannot.

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=2510

rosross
Posted Friday, January 23, 2009 - 18:22

Quite simply Israel had lost and lost badly from the moment people aroundt he world saw photos of dead, mutilated, injured and traumatised children and it was clear that nearly half of those killed had been women and children.
Israel has been morally bankrupt for a long time but this was the final straw. Then, to add insult to injury as an indication of either how insane or incompetent they are, Israel bombed UN aid facilities, hospitals, ambulances, universities and refused to allow medical help in to the injured. Aid workers and the rest of the world in turn were outraged to find dying and starving toddlers who had been left for days with their dead mothers because Israel refused to allow medical help to reach them.... contrary to the Geneva Convention, and one would add, all civilized behaviour.
Countless public figures from the Vatican representative to Ban Ki Moon, head of the UN, MP's in the UK and elsewhere started using terms like 'concentration camp' for Gaza; genocide and war crime.
And now we have the stories. All of those journalists who were prevented from entering Gaza because Israel was trying to hide what it was doing, are now inside and listening to the stories. Children telling of watching their parents executed; parents telling of watching their toddlers shot while IDF soldiers looked on eating chocolate and chips; families telling of the IDF shooting people who went out with white flags; stories of the IDF herding families into houses which were then bombed; stories of the IDF telling people to come out and then shooting them; stories of IDF soldiers using Palestinian women and children as human shields; stories of IDF soldiers destroying homes, defecating in homes; stories of the use of white phosphorus against civilians and terrible wounds which will not heal; stories so ghastly, so inhumane, so criminal that even if you decided a half of them were true (although most seem to be backed up by medical and aid workers) they would stand as a stain on the nation of Israel for decades.
How anyone can still defend this appalling atrocity is amazing. Israel, as a massively militarily armed nation, backed by the world's most heavily armed nation, the US, as a free democracy (at least for its Jewish citizens) has absolutely no justification for using the sort of criminal force it does against the palestinians. There is no threat to Israel except the corruption and gradual debasement of the society itself. The tragic irony is that if Israel is destroyed it will not be because of anything the Palestinians do, but of what Israelis and their supporters have done, still do and may yet do.

alphacrucis
Posted Friday, January 23, 2009 - 18:28

"If, as you say there is no genocidal intent on the part of Israel, what exactly is the plan for dealing with Gaza?"

Dr Dog, the day Australia begins to negotiate with Jemaa Islamiyah, I will discuss with you the options for negotiating with Hamas. Until then, I see no reason to talk to Islamist terrorists.

It is the people of Gaza who must demonstrate a preparedness to build a civil society.

As for your silly suggestion about "genocide" - I do notice a lot of Jew-haters using this offensive accusation nowadays. You are certainly not the first. It is obscenely stupid, of course, for if Israel ever attempted a genocide, 20 minutes later there wouldn't be a human left living on the Strip. Moreover, Israel's aim in the Gaza operation was woeful if it was aiming for civilians, since the majority of dead were combatants (unless of course you take Hamas' word for it).

Please, is this all you can come up with to bash Israel? Do better.

alphacrucis
Posted Friday, January 23, 2009 - 18:30

lethal: is your Jew-hatred psychopathy? Or is your psychopathy antisemitic? Does it make any difference? And does it make any difference what I, a "genocidal pig grease scum filthy animal" Jew (to quote Rockjaw), say?

alphacrucis
Posted Friday, January 23, 2009 - 18:35

rosross, I saw you post those pictures before. The fact that a bit of barbed wire exists on a fence in Gaza and that there was barbed wire around the Nazi ghettos and death camps says nothing about the similarity of lack thereof of the two depicted situations.

It is offensive and obscene to compare the Palestinians in Gaza with the Jews in Nazi Germany. As a descendant of survivors, I find it offensive. It banalises the Holocaust and robs the discourse of genocide of any real meaning. It is so ridiculous and so offensive that it may well breach the terms of the RDA, as I have previously stated (not that any of you care about legality or morality).

In the interests of good taste and decency, however, I ask you to stop the ridiculous antisemitic remarks and to repudiate those who continue to make them on NM.

alphacrucis
Posted Friday, January 23, 2009 - 18:39

Ah yes rosross, those great moral arbiters: the UN, the Vatican and backbenchers in the UK. Do you always look to these sources for moral guidance?

Israel will exercise its right to defend itself, no matter how people like you feel about the pictures and the "stories". Keep in mind that in the last couple of days Hamas has resumed the kneecapping and execution of so-called "collaborators" (that is, any Gazan who strays from the official story).

You may choose to continue to believe in the Hamas cover story of rape and genocide and war crimes, and you may choose to believe in the veracity of the story told in Moby Dick, but your beliefs say nothing about the truth of either.

rosross
Posted Friday, January 23, 2009 - 18:50

alpha,
You did not look at all the photos. It was not just a bit of barbed wire. It was a montage, of photos, taken of the Nazis, some of them very well known, side by side with a montage of the same sort of photo ... little boy with hands in air in front of Germans with guns ... little boy, whose trousers show he has wet himself, with hands in air in front of IDF with guns; children peering through bars and barbed wire in Nazi concentration camps with children doing the same in Israeli concentration camps.
It is a very accurate and very graphic compilation. Photos do not lie even if people do. Finkelstein has put together a couple of dozen of these images and the fact that he can mirror Nazi images with israeli images says something. Well, it does to most people.

Israel is not defending itself it is defending its occupation and continued colonisation of palestine. You see you can't get away from this. If the palestinians lived in freedom you could say Israel was defending itself but they don't. They live under the Israeli jackboot as an occupied people.

And it really is too bad if you are offended because your ancestors suffered under the Nazis. they must be turning in their graves. What is truly offensive is that those deaths count for nothing, those people died for nothing, with Israel becoming another version of the Nazis. That truly offends all people of conscience.

By the way,t he stories are coming not from Hamas but from independent journalists, aid agencies, human rights activists, peace activists, UN workers, medical professionals .... there's your problem alpha. Facts are facts.

rosross
Posted Friday, January 23, 2009 - 19:46

Dr Dog,
You can't understand alpha's comments unless you understand his beliefs. One presumes that a persons beliefs are reflected in their position. From what he says it is clear he believes:
1. Occupation is justified
2. Colonisation is justified.
3. Using military force to maintain occupation is justified.
4. using military force to continue colonisation is justified.
5. Anyone who resists occupation is a terrorist.
6. Anyone who resists occupation and continues to live with their family is using them as human shields.
7. Demolishing homes with people inside, shooting children, dropping bombs into civilian areas, refusing medical aid to those you occupy, refusing food, water and shelter to those you occupy is justified.
8. Anyone of any age who resists occupation is an aggressor and it is alright to shoot them.
9. Anyone of any age who resists being dispossessed and colonised is an aggressor and it is alright to shoot them.
10. Occupiers and colonisers are victims. The aggressor is always those who resist.
11. An anti-semitic is someone who criticises Israel's behaviour in any way, shape or form even when the criticism is solidly founded in fact and made by most of the world.
12. It's okay to keep people imprisoned in concentration camps.
13. It's okay to imprison people without charge or trial.
14. It's okay to torture prisoners including children.
15. It's okay to use massive military force to punish people when they resist occupation and colonisation.
16. It's okay to humiliate those you hold under occupation.
17. It's okay to let people, including newborn babies, die at checkpoints.
18. It's okay to let illegal settlers harass, beat or even shoot people who try to harvest their crops.
19. It's okay to lie.
20. It's okay to bomb your neighbours.

We should all be very grateful that alphacrucis is the exception not the rule.

alphacrucis
Posted Friday, January 23, 2009 - 19:58

If your idea of reality is finding pictures that look similar, there is little that any rational person could say to you to dissuade you of such silliness.

I looked at the photos and I find the comparison ridiculous and offensive. The very idea that you could use the term "Israeli concentration camp" is laughable and aburd to anybody who knows anything about the Middle East.

That you dare suggest that Israel is "defending is occupation" is similarly ridiculous to anybody who is aware that Gaza was judenrein and unblockaded between 2005 and 2007. I can't imagine what your excuse for Hamas atrocities between those years would be. Presumably the same excuse as Hamas': it wants Israel out of Tel Aviv, and the death of all Jews.

My grandmother is alive and I can assure you that the only thing her dead family would be turning in their graves about is your invocation of that animal Finkelstein. (Can't you come up with anybody else except the usual parade of fools and zealots: Finkelstein, Pappe, Shlaim, Hass, etc?)

The very idea that you could compare Israel's killing of Hamas fighters who hide behind civilians and fire from civilian buildings on the one hand, with the gassing of my family along with the rest of the 6 million, and the production of their remains into soap and lampshades, is, frankly, disgusting.

Your own mother and grandparents must be so proud of you.

alphacrucis
Posted Friday, January 23, 2009 - 20:03

rosross, you are quite wrong. Your assumptions about my "beliefs" are misguided and loaded, and you are thoroughly wrong about the prevalence of my beliefs.

I can confidently say that my position is the position of the vast majority of Jewish communities around the world. I am the rule, not the exception.

I can prove it. Look at the statements of the major Jewish communities: Australia, South Africa, the US, France, Britain, Canada, Brazil, Germany and Argentina (among others). I am in accord with them.

Shabbat shalom to those of you who don't hate Israel.

alphacrucis
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 - 01:52

The following was posted on another anti-Israel thread: "When I see young children in Gaza dead and bleeding - I can only say to Israel you F——— Bastards. Israel is in the sewer of humanity !!" (http://newmatilda.com/2009/01/13/if-israel-does-it-then-it-cant-be-wrong...)

This sort of Jew-hatred is so typical of the discourse that is permitted on NM; I find it incredible that self-proclaimed progressives can live with the dissonance of being at the storm front of antisemitism today.

It is quite clear that the anti-Israel far-Left today has taken the baton from the fascist Right of the 20th century. David Duke doesn't concern me at all; but this antisemitism dressed thinly as "legitimate" "criticism" of Israel is the vanguard of Jew-hatred today.

rosross
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 - 11:37

Alpha, get over it.
I have a Jewish side to the family and I happen to think that Israel gives Jews a bad name.
I was ashamed of my country, Australia, under Howard many times due to our involvement in the illegal and immoral invasion and occupation of Iraq; our support by omission of the worst excesses of the Bush regime; our treatment of asylum seekers and numerous other abuses of the rule of law, civilized behaviour and human rights.
At no time, despite my shame and criticism did I hate Australia and neither was I anti-Australian.
I have again been ashamed of my country because of Rudd's failure to speak out against Israel's war crimes in Gaza.
At no time did I hate my country I merely pointed out to others and myself its terrible failings.
It is childish when you scream anti-semitic and Jew hating because people make just criticisms of the Jewish state of Israel. Those who point out Israel's barbaric failings do not hate Israel or Jews they just hate what Israel does. This is not anti-semitic. You clearly have no true concept of racism.
Let me give you an example:
This is racist: Israelis are terrorists.
This is not racist: Israelis have supported the terrorist activities of their government for too long.
This is racist: Jews hate Arabs.
This is not racist: Many Israelis and fundamentalist Jews express violent hatred toward Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular.
If you cannot see the difference then it is clear your capacity for making distinctions is limited, which of course accounts for the erroneous nature of much of which you say.
Those with whom you are in accord are very different to Jews I know. You may be a majority in dysfunctional Israel and amongst the fanatical and fundamentalist Jews but, mainstream Judaism does not support the rogue terrorist state which Israel has become. Thankfully.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. dazza
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 - 13:06

Talking of the power of the Jewish lobby. The Age on -line today has an article apologising and grovelling with bellies to floor about an article they printed by one Michael Backman, a British business writer, in the Saturday Age, which unfortunately I have not read. They have been power-hit by two of the major Jewish/Zionist lobbies in Victoria, with the usual Anti-Semitic garbage, accusing them and Backman of all sorts of 'horrific acts' against the Jewish religious/racist state. The usual rubbish, but it sure is powerful, the Age and Backman fell to the ground in supplication on the instant.
While no media outlet, other than New Matilda, has the courage to print the slightest criticism of the actions of the israelis in Palestine, we really do not have a Free Press! And I note that even New Matilda must be coming under increasing pressure from these and other jewish groups. Hey, if there are so many moderate and thinking Jews in Australia, where are they? How is is that these pressure groups are so well supported and are never (or rarely) criticized by their own people. They seem to have inexhaustible supplies of finances, and the people on the ground everywhere to seek out and destroy any and every slight criticism of obscene actions by the Jewish state. And most are like our 'mate' alphacrucis, totally lacking in any moral and ethical foundation, and possibly any brain to think with. Bit like dead snakes, they still bite well after brain death, in an instinctive and well trained reaction. No thinking, no conscience, no rationality involved whatsoever.
Dazza.

alphacrucis
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 - 14:07

"At no time, despite my shame and criticism did I hate Australia and neither was I anti-Australian."
"This is racist: Israelis are terrorists."

rosross, I am wondering, since you are able to acknowledge this racism, why you have only twice gently criticised Rockjaw's outrageous comments, and you have allowed "Israel is in the sewer of humanity" to slip through to the keeper. If you will simply scroll back through my posts on NM, you will find that I took umbrage only at the most overt antisemitism (which includes the Holocaust banalisation comments on this forum).

I also find it surprising that you are willing to support the use of controversial emotive terms like "terrorism" which progressives tend to shun. Why is it ok to call Israeli actions "terrorism" but the news can't call Hamas "terrorists" but have to resort to the diluted term "militant"?

I expect more vigilance, more consistency and less hypocrisy from self-proclaimed progressives.

- alphacrusis
"Death to all juice!"

alphacrucis
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 - 14:09

rosross: Rockjaw wrote on another thread "to appease humanity’s outrage against this stone age barbarism committed by a stone age people, barbaric mongoloids, in possession of modern weapons donated to them by a modern and misguided state."

I am trying to work out how it would be ok to refer to either Jews or just Israeli Jews as "stone age people" or "barbaric mongoloids".

Please explain how this is not racist/antisemitic.

alphacrucis
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 - 14:20

dazza: "Hey, if there are so many moderate and thinking Jews in Australia, where are they? How is is that these pressure groups are so well supported and are never (or rarely) criticized by their own people. They seem to have inexhaustible supplies of finances, and the people on the ground everywhere to seek out and destroy any and every slight criticism of obscene actions by the Jewish state"

Your antisemitism is a double-edged sword for you. A better term would be Judeophobia. You are terrified by us.

There is no need to be terrified. The idea that we are "well-financed" is a myth. Jewish communities around the world are simply well-organised and democratically elected and are in general extremely supportive of Israel because there is every reason to be so.

I cannot fix your fear and loathing of Jews, but I can come on to this forum and speak truth to your hatred and fear. I know no better remedy.

rosross
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 - 14:38

alpha,
You and Rockjaw speak the same language. Your constant cries of anti-semitic, jew-haters, etc., are as extreme as his.
Stone-age barbarism is correct. Stone-age people is hyperbole. barbaric mongoloids is too incorrect to be racist since israelis are not mongls. Probably this is racism toward mongols.
I think you could refer to Israelis as stone-age given their attitude.
And, judged by its actions, Israel is in the sewer of humanity as is the US in iraq.

Rockjaw
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 - 14:55

alphacrucis, if nothing else, you have given the NM community a wonderful display of Israeli propaganda.

"You are terrified by us"? - Get it right Alphacrucis, "we" (whomever "we" are) are not terrified by "you" (assuming you refer to those Israelis responsible for the many massacres witnessed by the world).

no, we are not afraid of you, we are repulsed by you, we are revolted and disgusted by you. You and those who stand in support of the crimes witnessed by the world in Gaza are repugnant to humanity.

You are an obscenity, a disease, an odious and deformed group of monsters which collectively form the greatest liability suffered by humanity for well over a generation already.

You also have a bloody cheek to pretend to represent the interests of Jews.

How dare you? Who appointed you representative of Jews? Who are you to determine who is and who is not a Jew?

Do you also speak for all those Jews who stand in vigorous opposition to Israel and the filth which Israel represents?

Have you perhaps had any recent dialogue or discussions with burning bushes perhaps?

Have you recently parted the Red Sea?

Have any voices from heaven commuinicated with you and provided you with a comprehensive list of names of those who may and who may not call themselves "Jewish"?

Has the same voice provided you with a new definition for the term "semite"?

Do you even live on the same planet as the rest of us?

revilo
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 - 16:10

It's good to see that NM has'nt completely gone to the "Dogs" anyway.

The anti semitic rants are getting more and the raving lunies are thick as thieves. I would like to think mthat my rants are more like a sniper's bullet.
I aim my words at the target ie The antisemitism, not the person.

Those Israel haters have lots of ammo, granted, but if they examine what lies at the core, if at all honest, they will agree it is the antisemitic teachings of past decadent churches and the racist anti Jewish parents and schools they grew up in.

Now, back to Gaza. Yes those pictures are'nt pretty. But the ones of blown up old Jewish people and children don't look any better.

The big lie of Dr Dog is the bit about "Israel doing exactly what the Nazis did to the Jews" LIE LIE LIE Goebbels would be proud of you mate.
You will not get away with that one.
The use of the total infrastructure of the German State and neighbouring European countries to effect a genocide by systematically deporting Jews, homosexuals and gypsies to EXTERMINATION camps, not prisons, not just concentration camps, but places where utilizing methodical German precision, in almost conveyor belt style. Hitler and Himmler modelled these extermination camps on kosher abbattoirs.
The guards were given total permission to treat the inmates as they wished. They diced with their food, their clothes and their lives.
These people did no harm to anybody. They did not support terrorism, they did not ask anything from their homeland. They wished no harm to their fatherland, most of them loved Germany.
Contrast this to what the survivors of the holocaust have met in Palestine, even as they fled HItler, Mussolini,etc.

The West is to blame for the M.E. mess.
However many Jews die it will never be enough for them, and every Arab death is one too many, as long as a single Jew lives.
They will never be happy as long as a single Jew lives, so be it.
But it is refreshing to see a story which sees both sides. Keep it up NM

rosross
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 - 16:13

alpha,
you really don't get it. we are not terrified by you, we are appalled by what Israel does and that people can support it. Saddened perhaps at the level of dysfunction and denial with which people live, disgusted at the ability of human beings to defend war crimes and appalling human rights abuses, but frightened of you, no. Israel is a tiny country with a very small population. Jews as a whole are a small minority in the world so even if most Israelis and many jews support Israel's actions you are, an insignificant number in world terms. Thankfully.
Many people actually want something better for Israelis instead of this endless spiral into inhumane and debased barbarism. As I said before, Israel gives Jews a bad name and the religion is shamed because of the actions of Israelis and those who support her.

alphacrucis
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 - 16:15

Haha Rockjaw, I can just see you writing these hysterical Judeophobic posts, your face plum-red with anger, your blood pressure in the stratosphere.

I do not live on the same planet as you. You live on a planet of hatred and racism. I will not allow your extremist fringe Jew-hatred to inhabit the planet that I inhabit. Your obnoxious outrages are self-evidently disgraceful, uncivilised, bileful, and antisemitic. Normal, well-adjusted people do not troll websites and post Jew-hating propaganda.

As for rosross, I take umbrage at your classification of me as in any way similar to Rockjaw. Have I ever referred to Palestinians as "animals" or "filth" or "a disease"? Clearly not, and yet you tolerate and even approve of Rockjaw's references to pro-Israel Jews as such. And then you dare to compare me to his ilk. Shame!

Maintain the rage, boys. Your Israel-hatred is quite irrelevant. Israel will thrive.

rosross
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 - 16:32

alpha,
If the Palestinians were doing what the Israelis do then the same would be said of them. They are not so it is not.
Anyone who supports Israel's war crimes and shocking human rights abuses is understandably suggesting that they approve of such things and that puts them into the same category of barbarism and dysfunction.

ShockDoc
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 - 16:39

I wonder what the resident Israeli thugs think of Gerald Kaufner's remarks in the British Houses of Parliament?

What are their views concerning son of Holocaust survivors, Prof. Norman Finkelstein's recent interview, where he describes Israel's thugs in far worse language than the "anti-semites" would dare to do?

How do they feel about American President J Carter's book "Israel, Peace not Apartheid"

What about Prof Elan Pappe? and Sand? Or the Schministim? what of Michael Warschawski who told the current odious Israeli leaders not to dare present themselves at ceremonies for the heros of the Warsaw ghetto.

What of these Israeli citizens:- http://www.freegaza.org/en/home/658-a-call-from-within-signed-by-israeli...

Or these Israel Jewish anti-Zionists:- http://www.ijsn.net/home/

Or the Petition in support of the call by United Nations General Assembly President Miguel D’escoto Brockmann for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel

Or the many humanitarian organisations including the Red Cross, or Amnesty who were also targeted by the Nazis from Tel Aviv.

These people are a small minded minority with the aires and graces of the average common or garden type supremacist.

And then they believe the world fears them? A delusion typical of a bigot.

If anyone is afraid it is the Israli thugs who know their beloved stolen land is dying from within as it succumbs to the same problems apartheid South Africa did.

Feel free to fear the future revilo and alphacrucis, your beloved Israel is over.

What we are witnessing through these terrible genocides are the death throes of a sick and dying nation whose leaders will soon find no protection from the international community as it increasingly calls for full legal retribution for those crimes against humanity which were committed by your genocidal concentration camp guards like Ohlmert, Ashkenazi and Livni.

And Rockjaw, I agree with your views on Kaufner, what a wonderful speech he delivered.

These people who claim to represent us and who commit these appalling crimes in our name must be brought to justice before it is too late.

It is encumbent upon us to become more proactive and I have moved from inactive to vigorous rejection of Israel, a very sad day for me, but a day which I somehow always knew would arrive.

Rockjaw
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 - 17:01

I am certain the NM readers have read the very many books, articles and commentaries which discuss the dilemma of the Israeli Gestapo in Tel Aviv.

The fears of such "leaders" as Sharon and Perez who complain that no matter what Israel does it cannot survive the demographic reality which will finally bring about the end of Israel as we know it.

That is the whole reason the Kadima (modern Nazi) party came into existence, which was to implement the identical Bantustan policies which Apartheid South Africa attempted and which failed so dismally. Even Sharon and Perez have repeatedly admitted that the policy has very little chance of success, but in the absence of any other policy to sustain their hold on the stolen Palestinian lands and political control of Israel, they have no other straw to grasp on to as Israel slowly drowns in it's own cesspool of blood and filth.

The game is up and if anyone is afraid it is you lot.

But don’t be so afraid alphacrucis, the Palestinians are not a bad mob, really, you will find Israel a much better place when it becomes a single state with equal rights for all.

Democracy is not as frightening as you think it is

And another thing alphacrucis, between you and me, what sort of Israeli are you that you feel so offended by the term "Mongoloid" - you said Israelis welcome people from ALL parts of the world to join their sick and iniquitous den? Are Mongoloids an exception?

Advice: Adapt or dye alphacrucis, remember that, adapt or dye.

Have a nice day.

Rockjaw
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 - 17:03

Thanks ShockDock, I did not see your post or I would have commented on the contents, but I will leave that for our incompetent propagandists to do for me.

alphacrucis
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 - 17:20

Quite apart from your inability to spell even Shimon Peres' name correctly, you have the audacity to use "mongoloid" as a derogatory term (as you were quite aware when you used it, the term has become a synonym for "idiot" in standard usage) and then turn around and refer to its official technical usage as a racial denominator.

Who do you think you are kidding? Could there be any more straightforward demonstration of your hateful two-faced hypocrisy?

Israel is the world's only Jewish state, and it is thriving. This talk of "death throes" is laughable. You probably have never been there, but I assure you, it is doing very well, and will continue to do so. Your apocalytpic calls for the genocide of Israelis are quite ridiculous.

Rockjaw
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 - 17:43

"the term has become a synonym for "idiot" in standard usage" - if the shoe fits alphacrucis, wear it!

Shockdock, if I may add to your train of thought and list of Jewish anti-Israeli activists :-

American Jews for a Just Peace, united States
European Jews for a Just Peace, Europe
ICAHD-USA, United States
Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, Israel
Italian Network of Jews against the Occupation (Rete-ECO), Italy
Jewish Voice for Peace, United States
Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago, United States
Jewish Women for Justice in Israel/Palestine (Boston, MA), United States
Jews Against the Occupation (Central NJ), United States
Jews Against the Occupation - NYC, United States
Jews for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, Sweden
Jews for Justice for Palestine, Britain
Los Angeles Jews For Peace, United States
Not In My Name - SA, South Africa
People of Faith CT, United States
Portland Peaceful Response Coalition, United States
Tikkun Community Chicago, United States
Tucson Women in Black, United States
Visions of Peace with Justice in Israel/Palestine, United States
Women in Black Union Square NYC, United States

Then there is our very own Independent Jewish voices in Australia and Brian Klug's IJV in London

Here is a list of prominent Jewish dignitaries, academics, businessmen, professionals etc who signed their names to a letter of protest against Israel's actions in their name:-

Ben Birnberg, Prof Haim Bresheeth, Deborah Fink, Bella Freud, Tony Greenstein, Abe Hayeem, Prof Adah Kay, Yehudit Keshet, Dr Les Levidow, Prof Yosefa Loshitzky, Prof Moshe Machover, Miriam Margolyes, Prof Jonathan Rosenhead, Seymour Alexander, Martin Birnstingl, Prof. Haim Bresheeth, Ruth Clark, Judith Cravitz, Mike Cushman, Angela Dale, Merav Devere, Greg Dropkin, Angela Eden, Sarah Ferner, Alf Filer, Mark Findlay, Sylvia Finzi, Bella Freud, Tessa van Gelderen, Claire Glasman, Ruth Hall, Adrian Hart, Alain Hertzmann, Abe Hayeem, Rosamene Hayeem, Anna Hellmann, Selma James, Riva Joffe, Yael Kahn, Michael Kalmanovitz, Ros Kane, Prof. Adah Kay, Yehudit Keshet, Mark Krantz, Bernice Laschinger, Pam Laurance, Beryl Maizels, Miriam Margolyes, Helen Marks, Martine Miel, Diana Neslen, O Neumann, Susan Pashkoff, Hon. Juliet Peston, Renate Prince, Roland Rance, Sheila Robin, Ossi Ron, Manfred Ropschitz, John Rose, Prof. Jonathan Rosenhead, Leon Rosselson, Michael Sackin, Ian Saville, Amanda Sebestyen, Sam Semoff, Prof. Ludi Simpson, Viv Stein, Inbar Tamari, Ruth Tenne, Norman Traub, Eve Turner, Tirza Waisel, Karl Walinets, Renee Walinets, Stanley Walinets, Philip Ward, Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, Ruth Williams, Jay Woolrich, Ben Young, Myk Zeitlin, Androulla Zucker, John Zucker

Numerous other anti-Israeli groups whose activities have been ignored by Australian media, groups such as the Jewish activists who shut down the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco, or the outrage expressed by Jewish Government ministers in South Africa.

Read the attack on the South African racist Warren Goldstein, whom Jewish ANC anti-Apartheid hero and freedom fighter, Ronnie Kasrils, accused of being a "propagandist for massacre and crimes against humanity"

The Jewish community called for the Israeli supporters of genocide to be "shunned by all South Africans, Jews and gentiles alike, who believe in justice and international law".

Israel is facing ever increasing opposition from the very people it erroneously claims to represent and these people are in revolt in every civilised country as they express outrage that they should be used as excuses for the war crimes committed by Israel.

How long before the dumb cheer squad for the Yobbos of Tel Aviv begin to realise that their ship is sinking?

rosross
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 - 18:07

alpha,
I have been to Israel, more than once, and it is not doing well. It always was a bit Third World even before the society became so debased. Israel has lost any Soul it might have had. Those who are sane, those with conscience, those with decency and compassion leave.
Israel is a world pariah, a rogue state, a terrorist state and even if Governments won't admit to it, people around the world know it.
At the end of the day Israelis will benefit. The racist State for only Jews was always doomed. As a concept it is backward and primitive and has no place in the modern world.
The Palestinians are not threatened in the same way. They still have dignity and right on their side. It is Israel which is destroying itself and that can be achieved as long as people like yourself support what she is and what she does.

alphacrucis
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 - 20:25

Prominent? None of those names is prominent. Their names seem to creep out of the woodwork as "prominent" Jews but nobody has ever heard of these "Jews". Who are they? And on what basis could you possibly claim that they are a significant group of dissenters?

Moreover, if they are such a large group, why aren't the running in Jewish community elections? The state representative bodies are democratic. These people are more than welcome to run - there is an anti-Zionist group represented in the Victorian Jewish community right now that you've probably never heard of (the Australian Jewish Democratic Society).

None of these people are suppressed. There just aren't very many of them. It's very easy for you to claim that there are a massive number of them - if so, where are they? Why are you posting me a list of "prominent" Jews, none of whose names is prominent at all?

I stand by my remarks: the world's Jewish communities are behind Israel. Loewenstein and his ilk are a tiny minority. Prove otherwise.

alphacrucis
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 - 20:32

rosross, it sounds like you went to a fantasy Israel that you've constructed in your own mind. "Debased" society? Please. The only thing that is debased is the very notion of rational debate after you are done mutliating the English language with your nonsensical and false claims of "racism" and "genocide". How can you possibly lie on this forum and claim that you have been to Israel and its society is "debased"? If you have in fact been to Israel (which I very much doubt), I challenge you to tell me how life on Dizengoff Street is "debased".

You have the audacity to criticise Israeli society as "debased" and seem incapable of criticising the most debased society of all: the suicide-worshipping cult of death in Gaza, a place which is bereft of civil society. Not one word of criticism have you breathed about the society that kneecaps and executes so-called "collaborators".

Have you no shame? You debase logic and reason; you debase good taste; you debase the English language; you debase the notion of human rights; and yet you dare call the world's only Jewish state "debased"? Answer. Have you no shame?

Ringo
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 - 22:39

Is that it alpha? Seriously, you are deluded. The J Post is your 'source' and it includes this: "Israel has presented no formal alternative information."

You're not even worth engaging with.

revilo
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 - 23:07

Well we've heard from al Jazeera and a few other jewish antisemite sites. The Jewish antisemites are very obvious, hey Rockjaw. That Antony Lowenstein is one. They are paid off for their treachery and collusion. They have a very special place in hell awaiting them.It is called gehinnom.
It is fortunate that the true Jews won't be there to witness their fate.
I think Jerusalem post journalists are up there at least with those other sites, or are toilet walls allowed as well?
Midot kneged midot. This means, "what goes around comes around"...with leverage.
Burning in Hell would be too good for them.
"Those of us left to witness the final battle of good over evil will fall to their knees and on their faces and wish they were never born"
All will suffer and there will be only relief if one's own conscience is clear and accumulated good deeds are sufficient.

I wish the ending was a happy one, but it looks like it won't be.

Hamas will never stop using their children as human shields and Israel will never surrender to the terrorists.
It does'nt matter how many Jewish hate sites are referred to, this is the simple truth.
The dust bin of history is replete with those who have tried to destroy Jews, Zionists, Israelis, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Yet they still think they can do it.
Lunatics, maniacs, imbeciles.
Shema Yisrael hashem elokanu hashem echod!
Tzika aka oli

alphacrucis
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 - 23:08

Oh Ringo, I won't begin to tell you what you're not worth. Read between the lines. Israel has informally presented alternative information, but it has not YET formally presented its figures. Unlike Hamas and other Palestinian sources (who once put the Jenin death toll at over 1500 when it turned out to be 52), the Israelis actually do something called "investigations".

You know, actual finding of fact.

Unheard of for someone like you who is used to dealing in Hamas' lies and half-truths.