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Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah Speech Commemorating Al Quds Day 2014 (English Subs)

Video: ISIL beheads 50 Syrian soldiers, puts heads on poles


Sun Jul 27, 2014



Footage appears to show several soldiers' heads impaled on poles at an army base in Raqqa.

Newly-released video footage shows the ISIL Takfiri terrorists summarily executing at least 50 Syrian government soldiers in the troubled northern Syria.

The decapitated heads of several soldiers are shown mounted on poles on top of a fence at an army base in the northern province of Raqqa, Daily Mail reported.

Experts say the footage circulating online appears genuine and has been corroborated by other reports.

This comes as the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the troops were seized after ISIL militants took over a base in the troubled region.

"Some of the executed troops were beheaded, and their bodies and severed heads put on display in Raqqa city," said the Britain-based group's director, Rami Abdel Rahman.

Al-Qaeda-linked militant groups fighting against the Syrian government have committed numerous mass executions during the ongoing conflict.

Since the outbreak of the Syria crisis in March 2011, several video clips have been released showing the grisly crimes perpetrated by the Takfiri terrorists against innocent civilians in the crisis-torn country.

Al-Qaeda-affiliated groups such as the ISIL have been behind many of the deadly bomb attacks targeting both civilians and government institutions across Syria over the past three years.

The ISIL violence has spilled over to neighboring Iraq. Recently, a similar gruesome video was released, purportedly showing members of the ISIL Takfiri terror group brutally killing Shia Muslims in drive-by shootings in Iraq.

The ISIL and its associated militant groups are blamed for numerous sacrilegious acts. The terrorist groups have links with Saudi intelligence and are believed to be indirectly supported by the Israeli regime.

Related Articles/Viewpoints:

‘US playing with fire in arming ISIL’

Five Israeli Talking Points on Gaza—Debunked by Prof Noura Erakat

Professor NouraErakat is a Palestinian American human rights attorney
July 25, 2014

Israel has killed almost 800 Palestinians in the past twenty-one days in the Gaza Strip alone; its onslaught continues. The UN estimates that more than 74 percent of those killed are civilians. That is to be expected in a population of 1.8 million where the number of Hamas members is approximately 15,000. Israel does not deny that it killed those Palestinians using modern aerial technology and precise weaponry courtesy of the world's only superpower. In fact, it does not even deny that they are civilians.

Israel's propaganda machine, however, insists that these Palestinians wanted to die ("culture of martyrdom"), staged their own death ("telegenically dead") or were the tragic victims of Hamas's use of civilian infrastructure for military purposes ("human shielding"). In all instances, the military power is blaming the victims for their own deaths, accusing them of devaluing life and attributing this disregard to cultural bankruptcy. In effect, Israel—along with uncritical mainstream media that unquestionably accept this discourse—dehumanizes Palestinians, deprives them even of their victimhood and legitimizes egregious human rights and legal violations.

This is not the first time. The gruesome images of decapitated children's bodies and stolen innocence on Gaza's shores are a dreadful repeat of Israel's assault on Gaza in November 2012 and winter 2008–09. Not only are the military tactics the same but so too are the public relations efforts and the faulty legal arguments that underpin the attacks. Mainstream media news anchors are inexplicably accepting these arguments as fact.

Below I address five of Israel's recurring talking points. I hope this proves useful to newsmakers.


1) Israel is exercising its right to self-defense.


As the occupying power of the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian Territories more broadly, Israel has anobligation and a duty to protect the civilians under its occupation. It governs by military and law enforcement authority to maintain order, protect itself and protect the civilian population under its occupation. It cannot simultaneously occupy the territory, thus usurping the self-governing powers that would otherwise belong to Palestinians, and declare war upon them. These contradictory policies (occupying a land and then declaring war on it) make the Palestinian population doubly vulnerable.

The precarious and unstable conditions in the Gaza Strip from which Palestinians suffer are Israel's responsibility. Israel argues that it can invoke the right to self-defense under international law as defined in Article 51 of the UN Charter. The International Court of Justice, however, rejected this faulty legal interpretation in its 2004 Advisory Opinion. The ICJ explained that an armed attack that would trigger Article 51 must be attributable to a sovereign state, but the armed attacks by Palestinians emerge from within Israel's jurisdictional control. Israel does have the right to defend itself against rocket attacks, but it must do so in accordance with occupation law and not other laws of war. Occupation law ensures greater protection for the civilian population. The other laws of war balance military advantage and civilian suffering. The statement that "no country would tolerate rocket fire from a neighboring country" is therefore both a diversion and baseless.

Israel denies Palestinians the right to govern and protect themselves, while simultaneously invoking the right to self-defense. This is a conundrum and a violation of international law, one that Israel deliberately created to evade accountability.


2) Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005.


Israel argues that its occupation of the Gaza Strip ended with the unilateral withdrawal of its settler population in 2005. It then declared the Gaza Strip to be "hostile territory" and declared war against its population. Neither the argument nor the statement is tenable. Despite removing 8,000 settlers and the military infrastructure that protected their illegal presence, Israel maintained effective control of the Gaza Strip and thus remains the occupying power as defined by Article 47 of the Hague Regulations. To date, Israel maintains control of the territory's air space, territorial waters, electromagnetic sphere, population registry and the movement of all goods and people.

Israel argues that the withdrawal from Gaza demonstrates that ending the occupation will not bring peace. Some have gone so far as to say that Palestinians squandered their opportunity to build heaven in order to build a terrorist haven instead. These arguments aim to obfuscate Israel's responsibilities in the Gaza Strip, as well as the West Bank. As Prime Minister Netanyahu once explained, Israel must ensure that it does not "get another Gaza in Judea and Samaria…. I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan."

Palestinians have yet to experience a day of self-governance. Israel immediately imposed a siege upon the Gaza Strip when Hamas won parliamentary elections in January 2006 and tightened it severely when Hamas routed Fatah in June 2007. The siege has created a "humanitarian catastrophe" in the Gaza Strip. Inhabitants will not be able to access clean water, electricity or tend to even the most urgent medical needs. The World Health Organization explains that the Gaza Strip will be unlivable by 2020. Not only did Israel not end its occupation, it has created a situation in which Palestinians cannot survive in the long-term.


3) This Israeli operation, among others, was caused by rocket fire from Gaza.


Israel claims that its current and past wars against the Palestinian population in Gaza have been in response to rocket fire. Empirical evidence from 2008, 2012 and 2014 refute that claim. First, according to Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the greatest reduction of rocket fire came through diplomatic rather than military means. This chart demonstrates the correlation between Israel's military attacks upon the Gaza Strip and Hamas militant activity. Hamas rocket fire increases in response to Israeli military attacks and decreases in direct correlation to them. Cease-fires have brought the greatest security to the region.

During the four months of the Egyptian-negotiated cease-fire in 2008, Palestinian militants reduced the number of rockets to zero or single digits from the Gaza Strip. Despite this relative security and calm, Israel broke the cease-fire to begin the notorious aerial and ground offensive that killed 1,400 Palestinians in twenty-two days. In November 2012, Israel's extrajudicial assassination of Ahmad Jabari, the chief of Hamas's military wing in Gaza, while he was reviewing terms for a diplomatic solution, again broke the cease-fire that precipitated the eight-day aerial offensive that killed 132 Palestinians.

Immediately preceding Israel's most recent operation, Hamas rocket and mortar attacks did not threaten Israel. Israel deliberately provoked this war with Hamas. Without producing a shred of evidence, it accused the political faction of kidnapping and murdering three settlers near Hebron. Four weeks and almost 700 lives later, Israel has yet to produce any evidence demonstrating Hamas's involvement. During ten days of Operation Brother's Keeper in the West Bank, Israel arrested approximately 800 Palestinians without charge or trial, killed nine civilians and raided nearly 1,300 residential, commercial and public buildings. Its military operation targeted Hamas members released during the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange in 2011. It's these Israeli provocations that precipitated the Hamas rocket fire to which Israel claims left it with no choice but a gruesome military operation.


4) Israel avoids civilian casualties, but Hamas aims to kill civilians.


Hamas has crude weapons technology that lacks any targeting capability. As such, Hamas rocket attacks ipso facto violate the principle of distinction because all of its attacks are indiscriminate. This is not contested. Israel, however, would not be any more tolerant of Hamas if it strictly targeted military objects, as we have witnessed of late. Israel considers Hamas and any form of its resistance, armed or otherwise, to be illegitimate.

In contrast, Israel has the eleventh most-powerful military in the world, certainly the strongest by far in the Middle East, and is a nuclear power that has not ratified the non-proliferation agreement and has precise weapons technology. With the use of drones, F-16s and an arsenal of modern weapon technology, Israel has the ability to target single individuals and therefore to avoid civilian casualties. But rather than avoid them, Israel has repeatedly targeted civilians as part of its military operations.

The Dahiya Doctrine is central to these operations and refers to Israel's indiscriminate attacks on Lebanon in 2006. Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot said that this would be applied elsewhere:

What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on. […] We will apply disproportionate force on it and cause great damage and destruction there. From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages, they are military bases.

Israel has kept true to this promise. The 2009 UN Fact-Finding Mission to the Gaza Conflict, better known as the Goldstone Mission, concluded "from a review of the facts on the ground that it witnessed for itself that what was prescribed as the best strategy [Dahiya Doctrine] appears to have been precisely what was put into practice."

According to the National Lawyers Guild, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, Israel directly targeted civilians or recklessly caused civilian deaths during Operation Cast Lead. Far from avoiding the deaths of civilians, Israel effectively considers them legitimate targets.


5) Hamas hides its weapons in homes, mosques and schools and uses human shields.


This is arguably one of Israel's most insidious claims, because it blames Palestinians for their own death and deprives them of even their victimhood. Israel made the same argument in its war against Lebanon in 2006 and in its war against Palestinians in 2008. Notwithstanding its military cartoon sketches, Israel has yet to prove that Hamas has used civilian infrastructure to store military weapons. The two cases where Hamas indeed stored weapons in UNRWA schools, the schools were empty. UNRWA discovered the rockets and publicly condemned the violation of its sanctity.

International human rights organizations that have investigated these claims have determined that they arenot true. It attributed the high death toll in Israel's 2006 war on Lebanon to Israel's indiscriminate attacks.Human Rights Watch notes:

The evidence Human Rights Watch uncovered in its on-the-ground investigations refutes [Israel's] argument…we found strong evidence that Hezbollah stored most of its rockets in bunkers and weapon storage facilities located in uninhabited fields and valleys, that in the vast majority of cases Hezbollah fighters left populated civilian areas as soon as the fighting started, and that Hezbollah fired the vast majority of its rockets from pre-prepared positions outside villages.

In fact, only Israeli soldiers have systematically used Palestinians as human shields. Since Israel's incursion into the West Bank in 2002, it has used Palestinians as human shields by tying young Palestinians onto thehoods of their cars or forcing them to go into a home where a potential militant may be hiding.

Even assuming that Israel's claims were plausible, humanitarian law obligates Israel to avoid civilian casualties that "would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated." A belligerent force must verify whether civilian or civilian infrastructure qualifies as a military objective. In the case of doubt, "whether an object which is normally dedicated to civilian purposes, such as a place of worship, a house or other dwelling or a school, is being used to make an effective contribution to military action, it shall be presumed not to be so used."

In the over thee weeks of its military operation, Israel has demolished 3,175 homes, at least a dozen with families inside; destroyed five hospitals and six clinics; partially damaged sixty-four mosques and two churches; partially to completely destroyed eight government ministries; injured 4,620; and killed over 700 Palestinians. At plain sight, these numbers indicate Israel's egregious violations of humanitarian law, ones that amount to war crimes.

Beyond the body count and reference to law, which is a product of power, the question to ask is, What is Israel's end goal? What if Hamas and Islamic Jihad dug tunnels beneath the entirety of the Gaza Strip—they clearly did not, but let us assume they did for the sake of argument. According to Israel's logic, all of Gaza's 1.8 million Palestinians are therefore human shields for being born Palestinian in Gaza. The solution is to destroy the 360-kilometer square strip of land and to expect a watching world to accept this catastrophic loss as incidental. This is possible only by framing and accepting the dehumanization of Palestinian life. Despite the absurdity of this proposal, it is precisely what Israeli society is urging its military leadership to do. Israel cannot bomb Palestinians into submission, and it certainly cannot bomb them into peace.

==
SOURCE | http://m.thenation.com/article/180783-five-israeli-talking-points-gaza-debunked

PLO’s Hanan Ashrawi: Deliberate Massacre in Gaza

#GazaUnderAttack  [ABC News Jul 20, 2014]


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Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi lashed out at Israel today over what she described as “war crimes” and the “deliberate massacre” of Palestinian civilians during Israel’s current ground offensive in the Gaza Strip.

“This morning, it’s nothing short of a massacre, a deliberate massacre. War crimes committed daily. But now there is a deliberate shelling and bombing and destruction of whole areas, of residential areas,” Ashrawi said on “This Week.”

“These are war crimes being committed before the world, before the eyes of the whole world and I just can’t understand how people sit back and say [it's] self-defense. I just can’t take the language, I can’t take the propaganda, I can’t take the mantra that Israel has a right to defend itself. Against whom? Against innocent civilians? More than 80 children have been torn to bits. Is this self-defense?” Ashrawi added in her extended interview with ABC’s Hamish Macdonald reporting today from Ramallah.

As of Sunday morning, more than 400 Palestinians have been killed — including at least 60 on Sunday alone — and more than 35,000 Gaza residents have been displaced since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8, in response to Hamas rocket fire into Israel. Eighteen Israeli Defense Forces troops have been killed in the latest ground offensive into Gaza, now in its fourth day.

“Look there, there is no human being who cannot be affected by this. Unless you lose the last vestiges of humanity, you cannot allow this to go on. It has to stop,” Ashrawi said of the latest violence in Gaza. “And Mr. Obama, and the Congress, and everybody has to know that these are human beings. Think of your children. I’m a mother, I’m a grandmother. I cannot tolerate to see torn limbs. I cannot see grown men break down and sob. I cannot see people — a whole nation in a state of trauma.”

Israel maintains that the goal of this latest incursion is to destroy Hamas’ infrastructure and terrorist tunnels leading into Israel, and says they give neighborhoods ample warning to evacuate. Ashrawi said the numbers of innocent victims are disproportionate because they are trapped.

“These are all human beings and they’re being abstracted and they’re being anonymously shelled by the strongest army in the region and they are defenseless,” Ashrawi said. “They are hemmed in by land, by air, by sea and then if they try to dig tunnels as a way out — what do you expect?”

As Israel intensified its ground operation in Gaza today, Ashrawi said the blame is being misplaced on the civilian population.

“If they respond in any way, they are not only labeled as terror targets, they are dehumanized, they are terrorized, and they’re being killed. It’s not just adding insult to injury, it’s just double and multiple murder. You’re maligning a whole nation, and you are giving Israel the time and the means to continue with these massacres and these war crimes. One day they will be held accountable.”

When Macdonald asked Ashrawi if Palestinians plan to apply to join the International Criminal Court to bring war crime charges against Israel, she said they plan to take that step, but she’d like to see the situation addressed by the international community before a legal case is prepared.

“I don’t believe the world has to wait until we do these things and until we prepare these cases,” Ashrawi said. “There has to be immediate intervention to provide the Palestinians with protecting, to curb the Israeli violations and to hold Israel accountable.”

[SOURCE | http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2014/07/plos-hanan-ashrawi-deliberate-massacre-in-gaza/ ]





Israel and the Psychological Dynamics of Totalitarianism

JULY 18-20, 2014
Israel and the Psychological Dynamics of Totalitarianism. The Invasion of Gaza | by NORMAN POLLACK

Silence, in the face of extreme moral provocation, is not golden; it is cowardice, in this case, for a Jewish person deeply respectful of Judaism for its ethical principles and writings, its “home” to much of modern radicalism and social protest across religious, racial, ethnic lines in struggles on behalf of all humankind, the seat of devotion for his parents, to be silent NOW, is to be complicit in the degradation of one’s faith as Israel taking the name of the Jewish State and claiming to represent world Jewry commits wanton war crimes and atrocities—and has for some time—on a helpless, desperate, defenseless people who have been under the Iron Heel of occupation for decades. Palestinians face subjugation on a daily basis; I, and my fellow Jews, face the long-term desecration of our faith and, ultimately, separation from God. For what purpose? To what end?

We all know the drill. Dare to criticize Israel on any ground, much less the militarization of its political culture and mindset, and consequent actions and displays of power, employing superior force for the purposes of intimidation (here, Palestinians, but also, dissident Israelis themselves), and one is labeled immediately a “self-hating” Jew, as though a full-scale propaganda apparatus following closely Jewish opinion and currents of thought were ready to pounce. An addiction to conspiracy theory on my part? No, whether highly organized or intuitively expressed by a large proportion of the Jewish community, especially in America, the charge comes quickly and doesn’t miss a trick: ostracism, isolation, for those presumably misguided/dishonored/ungrateful individuals who dare speak up but also invoked even on a whole range of issues, unrelated to Israel, but again organized and/or intuitively felt as questioning what has become an integrated world-view. If one questions American foreign policy, or recognizes Putin has a leg to stand on in his analysis of and response to the Ukraine crisis, one is therefore a self-hating Jew.

The rigidness of mind is revealed through its inner consistency where human rights are concerned (not Neo-Con “human rights,” liberal humanitarianism achieved through war, intervention, regime change, at the point of a gun), but as authentically realized by peoples often through social struggle, that which must necessarily be suppressed as a principle of national policy and statecraft lest world politics become democratized and freed from local, regional, and global pressures of domination. In its own right and as cheering section for Global Reaction, Israel has proven its mettle, not least in furthering US international objectives. But here I veer too much to the theoretical; meanwhile, the people of Gaza are writhing in pain—and the world does not care.

World Jewry, led by the US, in its ironclad embrace of Israel, is in process of constructing psychological walls of self-denial, a massive collective defense mechanism, prepared to tolerate anything in the name of what is perhaps an historically twisted version of Zionism (emphasizing those passages of Torah which glorify the chosen-people doctrine and legitimate the conquest of others, while ignoring the beauty and majesty of the universality embodied in the Decalogue), clearly fearful of the cosmopolitan, humane, yes, radical in many cases, and for even the poorest unskilled worker or farmer, a respect for learning and inclination toward the intellectual as part of daily life and Jewish identity—all being swept away presently by the vulgarization of extolling Repression and methodically practicing—perhaps to confirm one’s superiority—the suppression and humiliation of Palestinians. Do the cries of Gazan mothers holding their dead children not move Israelis? Apparently not, for otherwise this carpet-bombing-in-microcosm would never be considered.

We speak of “self-hating” Jews. It’s time to throw the ball back into the court of the Jewish militaristic, Super-Mensch of Israel and their complicit, frightened, subservient admirers in America. It’s time to cast off the epithet used to silence dissent among Jews themselves, and move from “self-hating” to what had always been “self-affirming” and “life-affirming” Jews, which also translates as, a time for self-respecting Jews in Israel to leave Israel, our contemporary Sodom, in every respect a denigration of Judaism itself. As I write, the juggernaut of Israeli might is on the move. From Jodi Rudoren and Fares Akram’s New York Times article, “Netanyahu Warns of Wider Israel Operation in Gaza,” (July 18), we see illustration of the ruthless push, even the photo of a family walking, father, mother, children, grandmother, down the road, meager possessions—a small bag in the father’s right hand is all, his other, clutching that of one of his children, a desolate scene, massive Israeli tanks reported to be hovering out of sight.

Thus: “Al Aksa radio station, which is run by Hamas [as if perhaps to discount the veracity, or a knee-jerk NYT instruction to its reporters to slur for its own sake], reported that three children of Ismail Abu Musalem—Walaa, 12, Mohammed, 13, and Ahmed, 14—had been killed when a shell hit their bedroom in Al Nada housing bloc, close to the Erez crossing from Israel.” So much for surgical strikes, so much for avoiding civilian casualties (“housing bloc”). Thus, too (here I apologize to the reporters; they are doing a conscientious job): “Dozens of families fled intense Israeli bombings in northern Gaza on foot and on donkey carts packed with up to 10 people, including children and older adults.” They continue: “Explosions from airstrikes could be seen, as well as outgoing rockets or mortars. Little else moved in Gaza City, where streets were mostly deserted and shops were closed.” This is not an incursion—a mere raid—but a full-scale assault: “An exception [to the quiet] was Shifa Hospital, where casualties continued to arrive, including one body blown to pieces and a boy whose face was pockmarked by shrapnel. Many staff members at the hospital have worked nearly nonstop for 11 days. A funeral was held nearby for two others killed overnight.”

In northern Gaza, “it was relatively calm at midday [Friday] after a night of shelling and machine-gun fire.” The palpable sense of terror: Residents “thought Israel [using tanks] might be clearing the way for further incursions [that word!] later.” And “in the town of Khan Younis in southern Gaza, at least nine people were killed overnight, including four members of the Radwan family,” as meanwhile, residents in the eastern part of the town said “bulldozers were leveling fields planted with crops near the border fence in eastern Gaza in what is known as the ‘buffer zone’–a strip where Israel prevented planting for years but lifted restrictions under a cease-fire agreement that ended the last Gaza battle in 2012” (this last an example, restrictions on planting, of the day-to-day humiliation intended by the occupation).

Too, air strikes by F-16s and Apache helicopters targeting “an apartment in Al Jawhara tower,” as, a mile inside Israeli territory, “dozens of tanks topped with Israeli flags were parked in fields, with soldiers on standby… The Israeli military has begun calling up 18,000 more reservists, adding to the 50,000 already mobilized for the campaign.” This all, in less than the first twenty-four hours, to which our estimable Secretary of State, John Kerry, urged precision and, according to the department, “the need to avoid further escalation.” For the record, the UN “estimates that three-quarters of the Palestinians killed in the operation were not militants and that the victims include MORE THAN 50 CHILDREN”(my caps). In addition to the four children killed on the beachfront in Gaza City, four more “were killed in an airstrike as they played on a Gaza City rooftop at around 6 p.m. on Thursday,” i.e., the start of the operation.

Let’s give the final word to Netanyahu, that he might metaphorically hang himself. This today (the 18th): Israel’s is “a moral army like no other… [and] does not aspire to hurt even one innocent person, not even one.” When I speak of the psychological dynamics of totalitarianism, I mean that wall of denial, which in turn masks a profoundly deep guilt for the inhumanity not allowed self-recognition (or in this case, the nation’s), but for that reason there and taking aggressive outlet. Israelis are everything the Palestinians are not, and must shatter the mirror which holds them up to themselves so as not to see what they have become: incapable of feeling, unable to respond to the tears of the mothers and fathers (they, too, not ashamed to cry) over the death or maiming of their child; seeing that living simply is a refutation of the Israeli hedonistic-sybaritic lifestyle, and its gated-communities a stark contrast to the overcrowded norm of conditions and ascetic manner of a people going about their daily life. Youths have been killed waiting to attend morning prayers, and in Jerusalem itself the Israel Home Front Command has barred men under 50 from Al Aksa Mosque compound for Friday prayers, even though this is the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Psychological totalitarianism: nothing must be permitted to penetrate the tightly-locked worldview of dominance, license to conquer, arrogance, certitude, for any glimmer of doubt might shatter the whole mental-cultural-ideological edifice and the corrupted institutional framework on which it rests. And then, just perhaps, Judaism can rediscover its roots in the struggle for human betterment of all peoples in the world. Shalom.

Norman Pollack has written on Populism. His interests are social theory and the structural analysis of capitalism and fascism. He can be reached at pollackn@msu.edu.

Israel showed restraint in Gaza before attacking? You must be kidding!..


By Amira Hass  - 14 July 2014

[Amira Hass debunks these talking-points: "Gaza is an independent state," "Self-defense," "Israel has shown restraint," "Israel supplies water, electricity, food and medicine to Gaza," "Israel only pinpoints legitimate targets," and "Hamas uses the population as human shields."]

1) “Gaza is an independent state”

It is not. It and the West Bank are a single territorial unit composed of two parts. According to the international community’s decisions, a state shall be established in these two parts, which are still under Israeli occupation, as are the Palestinians who live there.

Gaza and the West Bank have the same international area code — 970. (The separate code is an empty gesture left over from the Oslo period. The Palestinian phone system is a branch of the Israeli one. When the Shin Bet security service calls a house in Gaza to announce that the air force is going to bomb that house, the Shin Bet doesn’t have to dial 970).

With his colonialist guile and skills he acquired from Mapai, the precursor to Labor, Ariel Sharon removed the settlers from the Gaza Strip. Via another form of domination, he tried to cut the enclave off for good from the West Bank. The effective control of the sea, air, borders and much of Gaza remains in Israel’s hands.

And yes, Hamas and Fatah, motivated by their factional struggle, have significantly contributed to the disconnect between the two parts. With its propaganda, Hamas has bolstered the illusion of Gaza’s “independence.”

Meanwhile, Israel still controls the population registry for Gaza and the West Bank. Every Palestinian newborn in Gaza or the West Bank must be registered with the Israeli Interior Ministry (via the Coordination and Liaison Administration) to be able to obtain an ID card at age 16.

The information typed into the cards is also in Hebrew. Have you ever heard of an independent state whose people must register in the “neighboring” (occupying and attacking) state — otherwise they won’t have documents and won’t officially exist?

When experts like Giora Eiland, a retired general who helped plan the Gaza disengagement, say Gaza is an independent state that’s attacking us, they’re trying to expunge the context of this round of bloodshed. That’s a pretty easy task. Israelis have already done this.

2) “Self-defense”
Both sides (Hamas and Israel) say they are firing in self-defense. We know that war is a continuation of politics by other means. Israel’s policy is clear (if not to consumers of Israeli media): Cut Gaza off even more, thwart any possibility of Palestinian unity and divert attention from the accelerating colonialist drive in the West Bank.

And Hamas? It wants to boost its standing as a resistance movement after the blows it took as a governing movement. Maybe it really thinks it can change the Palestinian leadership’s entire strategy vis-a-vis the Israeli occupation. Maybe it wants the world (and the Arab states) to awaken from its slumber.

Still, with all due respect to Clausewitz, rational calculations are not the only explanation. Let’s not forget the missile envy — whose is bigger, longer, more impressive and reaches farther? The boys play with their toys and we’ve gotten used to calling it policy.

3) “Israel has shown restraint”
Where does one begin to calculate restraint? Why not start with the fishermen who have been shot at, wounded and sometimes killed by the Israeli navy, even though the 2012 understandings talked about expanding the fishing zone?

Why not with the farmers and metal scavengers near the separation barrier who have no other income and are shot at and sometimes wounded and killed by soldiers? Or the demolition of Palestinian houses supposedly for administrative reasons in the West Bank and Jerusalem?

Don’t we call this restraint because this is violence that the Israeli media arrogantly overlooks? And why don’t we hear about the Palestinian restraint after Nadim Nawara and Mohammed Abu Dhaher were killed by Israeli soldiers at the Ofer checkpoint? “Restraint” is another term that expunges contexts and bolsters the sense of victimhood of the world’s fourth-mightiest military power.

4) “Israel supplies water, electricity, food and medicine to Gaza”
It does not. It sells 120 megawatts of electricity at full price, at most a third of demand. The bill is deducted from the customs fees that Israel collects for goods passing through its ports destined for the occupied territories. Food and medicine that Palestinian traders buy at full price enter Gaza through the crossings under Israel’s control.

According to the Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, in 2012, 1.3 billion shekels ($379 million) worth of Israeli products were purchased in the Gaza Strip. So Gaza is also a captive market for Israel.

As for water, Israel has imposed an autarchic water economy on Gaza; that is, Gazans must make do with rainwater and groundwater that collects in its territory. Israel, which imposes a water quota on the Palestinians, does not let them share the West Bank’s water sources with Gaza.

As a result, demand outstrips supply and there is over-pumping. Seawater seeps into the groundwater, as does sewage from decrepit pipelines. Ninety-five percent of Gaza’s water is not fit for drinking. And based on past agreements, Israel sells 5 million cubic meters of water to Gaza (a drop in the ocean).

5) “Israel only pinpoints legitimate targets”
The houses of junior and senior Hamas members are being bombed — with and without children there — and the army says these are legitimate targets? Is there a Jewish home in Israel that does not shelter a commander who has helped plan or wage an offensive? Or a soldier who hasn’t shot at or will shoot at a Palestinian?

6) “Hamas uses the population as human shields”
If I’m not mistaken, the Defense Ministry is in the heart of Tel Aviv, as is the army’s main “war room.” And what about the military training base at Glilot, near the big mall? And the Shin Bet headquarters in Jerusalem, on the edge of a residential neighborhood?

And how far is our “sewing factory” in Dimona from residential areas? Why is it all right for us and not for them? Just because they don’t have the phallic ability to bomb these places?


Original article published by  Haaretz - Jul 14 2014 . 

Global Protests for Peace in Palestine

 Protests are being organized around the world calling for peace in Palestine.


New York



NYC LIVESTREAM

Washington DC
Livestream

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream



Chicago




Philadelphia


Los Angeles


Boston

St Paul Minnesota

Montreal



Toronto

Ottawa

Netherlands

London






Manchester

Birmingham

Sheffield

Glasgow


Ireland



France

Spain

Rome







Naples

Greece

Germany



Oslo

Stockholm


Helsinki


Serbia
Photo: Natasa Utašazananje
Photo: Natasa Utašazananje
Mexico





Ecuador


Colombia

Chile


Venezuela


Brazil

Photo: Jornal A Nova Democracia - Belo Horizonte
Photo: Jornal A Nova Democracia – Belo Horizonte


Rio de Janeiro
Photo: Coletivo Mariachi
Photo: Coletivo Mariachi
Photo: Coletivo Mariachi
Photo: Coletivo Mariachi
Honduras

Nicaragua

Egypt



Syria

Yemen

Tunisia

Morocco

Afghanistan

Algeria


South Africa

Israel




Istanbul



Indonesia

Japan

Melbourne

Korea
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Sourced From | http://revolution-news.com/global-protests-peace-palestine/