Assault on Gaza: Day of grief and defiance

By Donald Macintyre in Jabalya, northern Gaza
Monday, 3 March 2008

Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, rejected international calls yesterday to end the “excessive” and “disproportionate” military operation in Gaza which has claimed the lives of 101 Palestinians – including many children and other civilians –since Wednesday.

The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, called on Israel to halt the air and ground attacks which on Saturday alone claimed the lives of at least 54 Palestinians in the most lethal single day of violence since the beginning of the second intifada more than seven years ago. The Slovenian EU presidency – while condemning the rocket attacks from Gaza which Israel says it is trying to stop – condemned the “recent disproportionate use of force by the Israel Defence Forces against the Palestinian population of Gaza, noted the death of “innocent children” and said that such acts of “collective punishment” were against international law.

But as the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, announced that he was breaking off US-brokered negotiations with Israel as long as its “aggression” continued, Mr Olmert told the weekly meeting of the Israeli Cabinet: “Israel has no intention of stopping the fight against the terrorist organisations even for a minute.” He declared: “With all due respect … no one has the right to preach morality to Israel for employing its elementary right of self-defence.”

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Prime Minister of Turkey, Israel’s most important ally in the Muslim world, also decried the “disproportionate force” used in attacks which were killing “children and civilians” and complained that Israel was rejecting a “diplomatic” solution to the conflict.

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Israel: The time for worldwide boycott is now

On Friday, 29 February 2008, Israel’s deputy defense minister Matan Vilnai threatened Palestinians in Gaza with a “holocaust,” telling Israeli Army Radio: “The more Qassam fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, [the Palestinians] will bring upon themselves a bigger holocaust because we will use all our might to defend ourselves.”This date will go down in history as the beginning of a new phase in the colonial conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, whereby a senior Israeli leader, a “leftist” for that matter, has publicly revealed the genocidal plans Israel is considering to implement against Palestinians under its military occupation, if they do not cease to resist its dictates. It will also mark the first time since World War II that any state has relentlessly — and on live TV — terrorized a civilian population with acts of slow, or low-intensity, genocide, with one of its senior government officials overtly inciting to a full-blown “holocaust,” while the world stood by, watching in utter apathy, or in glee, as in the case of leading western leaders.

For an Israeli leader who is Jewish, in particular, to threaten anyone with holocaust is a sad irony of history. Are victims of unspeakable crimes invariably doomed to turn into appalling criminals? Can anything be possibly done to break this vicious cycle, before the state that claims to represent the main victims of the Nazi holocaust commits a fresh holocaust itself?

Before addressing those questions, however, isn’t it exaggerated and pointedly counterproductive, one may ask, to compare Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians, no matter how brutal and inhumane they have been, to Nazi genocide? Besides, isn’t each crime unique and worthy of attention in its own right as a violation of human rights, of international law, of universal moral principles? The answer is yes: each crime is unique, and nothing Israel has done to date comes even close, in quantity, to Nazi crimes. But when victims-turned-perpetrators openly admit their intentions to carry out a unique form of offense that they are most familiar with, and they actually commit repeated acts that are qualitatively reminiscent of that crime in their unbridled racism and the ghastly level of disregard for the value and dignity of the human life of the “other” that is inherent in them, then their threats ought to be taken seriously. Everyone is called upon to react, to act in any way to stop this crime-in-progress from reaching its logical conclusion.
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Israeli Extra-Judicial Executions

At 8:50AM on February 27, an Israeli aircraft fired two missiles at a civilian microbus on the coastal road near Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. Six members of the Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades were in it at the time. Five of them were killed. The sixth one was seriously injured.

Twenty minutes later, another aircraft attacked a vehicle in which other Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades members were traveling. They escaped harm by fleeing before missiles struck their car and destroyed it.

On March 1, Hamas reported that Israelis killed 91 Palestinians in February, 83 in Gaza and eight in West Bank, and the killing continues to escalate. The International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC) said eyewitnesses confirmed that IDF troops and tanks invaded Jabalyia (in Gaza) before dawn on Saturday. They targeted the refugee camp, struck at resident homes, attacked medical relief workers, fired missiles at cars and in residential areas, and killed at least 37 Palestinians (mostly civilians) and injured 120 others by midday. IMEMC later on Saturday raised the toll to 56 dead and updated it again Sunday AM to 98 as IDF forces continued rampaging without letup.

Haaretz first reported 34 deaths on Saturday, including five children and three women. Later in the day, it upped the total to 50, then 59 and by Sunday noon the total known killed was “more than 70.” AP first indicated 33 deaths, then raised it to 45, then 50 late in the day and 66 by Sunday morning (plus about 200 wounded) and nearly 100 deaths since February 27.

The Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported 84 deaths since Saturday, 98 in total since February 27 and over 200 wounded, many with mangled bodies and serious life-threatening injuries. Throughout the weekend, Israeli aircraft struck many targets, including Hamas’ headquarters building (unoccupied at the time) that “completely collapsed” and injured five people, according to witnesses.

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How Labour used the law to keep criticism of Israel secret

The full extent of government anxiety about the state of British-Israel relations can be exposed for the first time today in a secret document seen by the Guardian.

The document reveals how the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) successfully fought to keep secret any mention of Israel contained on the first draft of the controversial, now discredited Iraq weapons dossier. At the heart of it was nervousness at the top of government about any mention of Israel’s nuclear arsenal in an official paper accusing Iraq of flouting the UN’s authority on weapons of mass destruction.

The dossier was made public this week, but the FCO succeeded before a tribunal in having the handwritten mention of Israel kept secret.

The FCO never argued that the information would damage national security. The Guardian has seen the full text and a witness statement from a senior FCO official, who argued behind closed doors that any public mention of the candid reference would seriously damage UK/Israeli relations. In the statement, he reveals that in the past five years there have been 10 substantial incidents and 20 more minor ones relating to Israeli concerns about attitudes to their government within Whitehall.

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Israel ‘hatching serial killing plot’

Lest we forget; Terrorism is only terrorism if it’s Muslims doing it.

Mossad head Meir Dagan

Israel is planning to assassinate senior figures of Hezbollah, Hamas and even Iran after killing Imad Mugniyah in Syria, a new report says. The assassination of Mugniyah was only the first in a string of assassinations that Israel is planning to carry out, Israeli sources quoted by a report in the Kuwaiti daily al-Jarida on Wednesday.

“After Mugniyah there will be a second stage and a third stage, which will target Hezbollah and Hamas and perhaps even Iran,” the report said.

Mugniyah a Hezbollah top commander was killed in Damascus last week. A Sunday Times report earlier had said that Mossad had killed the senior commander using an explosive device planted in the headrest of the driver’s seat in his car.

The sources said that the successful assassination of Mugniyah prompted the Israeli regime to extend the mandate of Mossad head Meir Dagan.

Ambulances in Gaza unable to run due to fuel shortage

Gaza – Ma’an – Ambulances in the Gaza Strip ran out of fuel on Monday due to the reduction of fuel shipment from Israel to Gaza. The ambulance and emergency service in the Palestinian Health Ministry organized a ‘sit-in’ for the ambulance drivers in protest against the Israeli decision to further reduce fuel deliveries.

Muawiya Hassanain, director of ambulance and emergency service, appealed to the international Quartet and the World Health organization (WHO), as well as the United States, the UN, UNICEF and the Red Cross – asking them to end the siege of the Gaza Strip and to secure resumption of fuel delivery.

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War pimp alert: ‘IDF should wipe out parts of Gaza’

Israel will escalate its ground and air operations in the Gaza Strip this week and may begin targeting members of the Hamas political leadership in the wake of intensified Kassam rocket attacks against Sderot, senior defense officials said Sunday.The officials said it was premature to launch a major ground operation and that the army still had a number of steps to try before reaching that point.

“The IDF has not exhausted all of its options,” a defense official said. The decision to escalate military operations was made after two brothers, aged eight and 19, were seriously wounded by a Kassam rocket in Sderot on Saturday night.

Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit told The Jerusalem Post that during Sunday’s cabinet meeting, he had called on the IDF to “take off its gloves,” head into Gaza with armored tractors and raze an entire neighborhood from which rockets have been launched, and then withdraw. The residents of that neighborhood would be warned in advance to flee, he said.

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Does this look like a Jew hating “Hitlerian” madman to you?

Ahmadi Najad meets with members of Neturei Karta, a fundamentalist Jewish anti Zionist group.

Visit http://www.nkusa.org/index.cfm and learn about how ultra orthodox Jews condemn Israel and want the Palestinians to have their land back.

Anti Zionism does not equal Anti-Semitism.

In fact these people are actively persecuted in Israel, for their fundamental believes.

Zionist Violence

Remember that before the state of Israel was born, Every Arab country had their own communities of Jews. There have never been Holocausts or Progroms in Arab states against Jews, and even Jerusalem had a Jewish community. They were free to practice their believes and Islam reveres the same arch-father Abraham. In Iran Jews are represented in the Government and they are free to practice their believes. They have their own Hospitals and Ahmadi Najad has even given money to one Hospital.

There was no dispute between Jews and Arabs until secular Jews drove the Palestinians of the lands they had been living on for thousands of years. There is still no dispute between fundamental Jews and Arabs. There is no fundamental religious hate between Moslems and Jews.

The only place were Jews were undicriminaly killed and disciminated against was the western (read Christian) world. It was Christians who blamed the death of Jesus on the Jews and felt justified in killing them and locking them up in Ghetto’s.

Olmert to hold emergency meeting on dollar rates

Slipping dollar rate, subsequent industry losses prompt PM to call emergency meeting with finance minister, trade and labor minister, governor of the Bank of Israel and head of National Economic Council to discuss possible countermeasures

Gad Lior

Published:  02.07.08, 11:33 / Israel Money

 

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Olmert has summoned Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On, Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai, Governor of the Bank of Israel Stanley Fischer and several other Finance Ministry officials to the meeting, which is the first of its kind in years.

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Bryant Jordan: Demand answers about the Liberty incident

BBC documentary “Dead in the water” 

IN THE PAST YEAR, Congress has been busy defending the reputations of American service members.

Republicans pushed for a resolution condemning the now famous “General Petraeus or General Betray Us?” ad. Democrats opened up a front against Rush Limbaugh after he asserted that some of those who criticize the Iraq war were actually “phony soldiers.”

Meaningless antics.

If senators and representatives want to take up an issue that has insulted service members and their families, they can look at the Liberty, an American spy ship that was strafed, napalmed and torpedoed by Israeli air and naval forces on June 8, 1967, as it sailed in international waters [during the Six-Day War between Israel on one side and Egypt, Jordan and Syria on the other]. Thirty-four American men died in the incident; at least 173 were wounded.

For 40 years politicians have dodged this issue by relying on the Naval Court of Inquiry report that concluded that it was all a mistake. But that report never held much water. It ignored most of the testimony of the survivors. The last drop turned to vapor more than five years ago when its legal adviser, retired Capt. Ward Boston, told me the court’s work was a sham to cover up the truth.

Since then I found copies of Navy telegrams to the Liberty deads’ next-of-kin, in which the Navy had labeled the incident an accident even before the court convened. Anyone who knows — or can even imagine — military policy on death notification will find this more than strange.

More recently, reporter John Crewdson, in the Chicago Tribune, reported that the National Security Agency intercepts of the Israeli pilots’ communications during the attack left no doubt that Israel knew that it was attacking an American ship. Crewdson, relying on recently declassified NSA records and interviews with people with first-hand knowledge of the intercepts, tells a story that backs up the survivors’ long-dismissed claims.

Haredi sect brands Chief Rabbi Metzger ‘Zionist stooge,’ wicked

The strongly anti-Zionist Neturei Karta sect of ultra-Orthodox Jews
has attacked Ashkennazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger as a “very well paid Zionist stooge” and a “a wicked emissary of evil” who should be expelled from Israel, following Metzger’s reported comments proposing that poor Gazans be moved to a Palestinian state established in the Sinai.

The statements, reported in Haaretz last week, spurred an angrily worded response from Neturei Karta, which has often taken vocally pro-Palestinian stances against Israel.

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Denouncing Metzger’s Sinai proposal, the group refered to him as the “so-called Chief Rabbi of the so-called State of Israel” and as a “very well paid Zionist stooge”.

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War pimp alert: PM vows ‘relentless’ war on terror in wake of Dimona attack

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert pledged Monday that Israel will not relent in its struggle against terrorism, after a suicide bombing in the southern town of Dimona earlier in the day. The United States issued a statement Tuesday condemning the attack and urging the Palestinian Authority to do more to counter terrorism.

Addressing the Knesset, Olmert said that Israel is facing a constant war in the southern part of the country, referring to Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. Israel believes the suicide bombers infiltrated into Israel from Egypt after crossing from Gaza into Egypt.

Referring to the attack in Dimona, Olmert said, “It was a very harsh incident that only points again to the complexity that we deal with daily. I have said more than once in the past few weeks that a constant war is being conducted in the south of the country, a war of terror against us and our war against terror, this war will continue, terrorism will be hit. We will not relent.”

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Sy Hersh confirms: Syrian facility bombed by Israel was not nuclear

After Israel bombed a Syrian military facility last September, the United States and Israel both claimed the target had been a Syrian nuclear facility under construction.RAW STORY‘s Larisa Alexandrovna was alone at the time in reporting that the actual target was a cache of North Korean No-Dong missiles, dating back to the 1990′s, which Syria was converting for use as chemical warheads.

In a follow-up report, Alexandrovna added that Vice President Dick Cheney was suspected of being behind leaks to the press of misleading claims of a nuclear basis for the incident.

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War pimp alert: Attackers slipped into Israel via Egypt, militant says

GAZA CITY (CNN) – Two Palestinians left Gaza across the recently breached border with Egypt and then entered Israel to carry out a suicide bombing Monday, a militant spokesman said.

art.israel.bomb.ap.jpg

A police officer shouts at the scene of a suicide bombing Monday in the southern Israeli town of Dimona.

It is unclear how the attackers got from Egypt to the southern Israeli town of Dimona, where one of them detonated a bomb at a shopping mall Monday, killing one person and injuring 11.

A police officer shot and killed the second attacker as he was reaching to set off his explosives belt.

Monday’s attack had been planned for months, said Abu Fouad, a spokesman for Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a military offshoot of the Fatah movement, in Gaza City. The U.S. State Department considers the group to be a terrorist organization. Video Watch the scene at the shopping mall bombing »

Israel has raised concerns about the flow of terrorists and weapons across the Rafah Crossing, which separates Gaza and Egypt, after it was overrun two weeks ago.

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War pimp alert: Israel gearing up for Another War

Israel calls for shelter rooms to be set up in a bid to prepare the public for yet another war, this time, one of raining missiles.

“The next war will see a massive use of ballistic weapons against the whole of Israeli territory,” claimed retired general Udi Shani.

Shani did not specify whether by ‘the next war’ he meant a battle against the residents of the Gaza Strip, the Lebanese or the war many speculate Israel will wage on Iran allegedly over its nuclear program, which the recent US National Intelligence Estimate conceded to be void of nuclear arms development intentions.
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NATO and Israel: Instruments of America’s Wars in the Middle East

NATO’s Role in the Middle East War TheaterThe North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is the iron fist of America, Britain, France, and Germany. These four Western nations are the pillars of NATO.

In the post-Cold War era, NATO has become an instrument in support of Anglo-American and Franco-German foreign and security objectives. Although intra-NATO differences exist, the interests of the U.S., the E.U. and Israel – which since 2005 has held a de facto membership in NATO – are interlocked within the Atlantic military alliance.

Two areas in the Middle East have been militarized by foreign powers: the Persian Gulf and the Levant.

In this regard, there have been two distinct phases of militarization in the Middle East since the late-1970s, the first being distinctly Anglo-American, going back to the Iraq-Iran War and the later being a unified NATO endeavour involving France and Germany as key players.

Although the militarization process in the Levant started after the Second World War with the establishment of Israel, NATO’s distinctive role in this process took shape since the launching of the “Global War on Terror” in 2001.

Paris and Berlin reveal their functions in the “Global War on Terror”

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The Gaza strip is dying: 1.5 million people have no electricity, water or bread

I call this genocide.

War pimp alert: Israel may have to take military action against Iran: Bolton

Former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said on Monday that Israel may have to take military action to prevent its archfoe Iran from acquiring an atomic bomb.

Bolton also said that further UN sanctions against the Islamic republic will be ineffective in stopping Iran’s controversial nuclear programme which Israel and the US believe is aimed at developing a bomb — a claim denied by Tehran.

“One can say with some assurance that in the next year the use of force by the United States is highly unlikely,” Bolton told AFP on the sidelines of the Herzliya conference on the balance of Israel’s national security.

“That increases the pressure on Israel in that period of time… if it feels Iran is on the verge of acquiring that capability, it brings the decision point home to use force,” he said.

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The Lessons of Violence

Posted on Jan 21, 2008
Hamas mourners
AP photo / Khalil Hamra
Palestinians mourn over the body of Hussam Zahar, 24, son of Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar, during his funeral in Gaza City. Hussam Zahar was killed Jan. 15 in an Israeli strike on Gaza.

By Chris Hedges

The Gaza Strip is rapidly becoming one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the world. Israel has cordoned off the entire area, home to some 1.4 million Palestinians, blocking commercial goods, food, fuel and even humanitarian aid. At least 36 people have been killed in Israeli strikes since Tuesday and many more wounded. Hamas, which took control of Gaza in June, has launched about 200 rockets into southern Israel in the same period in retaliation, injuring more than 10 people. Israel announced the draconian closure and collective punishment Thursday in order to halt the rocket attacks, begun on Tuesday, when 18 Palestinians, including the son of a Hamas leader, were killed by Israeli forces.

This is not another typical spat between Israelis and Palestinians. This is the final, collective strangulation of the Palestinians in Gaza. The decision to block shipments of food by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency means that two-thirds of the Palestinians who rely on relief aid will no longer be able to eat when U.N. stockpiles in Gaza run out. Reports from inside Gaza speak of gasoline stations out of fuel, hospitals that lack basic medicine and a shortage of clean water. Whole neighborhoods were plunged into darkness when Israel cut off its supply of fuel to Gaza’s only power plant. The level of malnutrition in Gaza is now equal to that in the poorest sub-Saharan nations.

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Never against! European collusion in Israel’s slow genocide

Omar Barghouti, The Electronic Intifada, 21 January 2008

The lives of premature babies being cared for at Gaza’s hospitals are threatened if incubators can’t be powered. (Wissam Nassar/MaanImages)

The European Union, Israel’s largest trade partner in the world, is watching by as Israel tightens its barbaric siege on Gaza, collectively punishing 1.5 million Palestinian civilians, condemning them to devastation, and visiting imminent death upon hundreds of kidney dialysis and heart patients, prematurely born babies, and all others dependent on electric power for their very survival.

By freezing fuel and electric power supplies to Gaza, Israel, the occupying power, is essentially guaranteeing that “clean” water — only by name, as Gaza’s water is perhaps the most polluted in the whole region, after decades of Israeli theft and abuse — will not be pumped out and properly distributed to homes and institutions; hospitals will not be able to function adequately, leading to the eventual death of many, particularly the most vulnerable; whatever factories that are still working despite the siege will now be forced to close, pushing the already extremely high unemployment rate even higher; sewage treatment will come to a halt, further polluting Gaza’s precious little water supply; academic institutions and schools will not be able to provide their usual services; and the lives of all civilians will be severely disrupted, if not irreversibly damaged. And Europe is apathetically watching.

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