A ceasefire that never actually happens

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According to UNRWA, the population of Gaza numbers around 1.9 million, of which 1.4 million (73%) are refugees. In what amounts to collective punishment and the denial of basic human rights, Israel denies freedom of movement to the inhabitants of the enclave, including the refugee majority, who are prevented from travelling within their own homeland. The Zionist regime‘s military forces come and go there, as they please, of course. This year, Israel had already made 18 incursions into the territory before a single missile had been fired from Gaza. Accompanied by reconnaissance aircraft, the invading Israeli forces laid waste to Palestinian land and agriculture. From 1 January until 14 April, there were no Palestinian missile-firings towards the Green Line and, when they did finally begin, the total of Israeli Gaza ceasefire violation attacks had already reached 315.

On the morning of the day the present ceasefire was agreed (21 May), the body of a three-year-old girl was recovered from under her home, destroyed in an Israeli air strike on Gaza City‘s Tel al-Hawa neighbourhood. Up to and including 26 May, another 19 bodies were uncovered under the ruins caused by Israeli air strikes. Two more people died of their air strike injuries on 23 and 24 May.

Incursions aside, as Haaretz journalist Noa Landau notes: “Israel is present in almost all aspects of life, as far as the residents of Gaza are concerned, including permission to wear camouflage-patterned clothing, or hiking boots (defined as “dual-use goods”, which can be used for military purposes). Even foreign journalists (and Israelis of course) are not allowed to cover what is going on there as they wish.”

Oh and, with regard to Israel’s one-sided view of so-called Gaza ceasefires, the Zionist regime simply couldn’t wait to return to ‘normal’. The very next day after the ceasefire announcement, on 22 May, and knowing that the mainstream news media would keep quiet, Israeli gunboats opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats, at sea off Khan Yunis. Three days later the Israeli Navy did the same off Gaza City and again the following day, off al-Sudaniya. Of course, Israel’s inhumanities only seemed to increase in the Occupied West Bank, especially in East Jerusalem, during and since its recent aerial blitzes on Gaza.

The world community has an urgent duty to defend the shamefully betrayed Palestinian people. It is imperative that Israel and its leaders be brought to account for their glaringly obvious war crimes.

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Leslie Bravery is a Londoner with vivid World War Two memories of the Nazi blitz on his home town. In 1947/1948 His father explained to him what was happening to the Palestinians thus: “Any ideology or political movement that creates refugees in the process of realising its ambitions must be inhuman and should be opposed and condemned as unacceptable.” What followed confirmed this assessment of the Zionist entity a hundredfold. Now a retired flamenco guitarist, with a lifelong interest in the tragedy of what happened to the Palestinian people, he tries to publicise their plight. Because the daily injustices they suffer barely get a mention in the mainstream news media, Leslie edits/compiles a daily newsletter, In Occupied Palestine, for the Palestine Human Rights Campaign. These days, to preserve his sanity, he enjoys taking part in a drama group whenever possible!

99 COMMENTS

  1. ‘This Is the Price of War’: Israeli Newspaper Publishes Photos of All 67 Palestinian Children Killed in Gaza Onslaught

    “Conversations around Israel/Palestine are changing in Jewish communities across the globe,” said rabbi and author Abby Stein. “It’s about time.”

    Human rights advocates and journalists applauded the Israeli newspaper Haaretz for its “unprecedented” cover story Thursday—one featuring the photos and stories of 67 Palestinian children killed in the latest bombardment campaign by the Israel Defense Forces.

    “This is the price of war,” the headline read.

    The article came a day after the New York Times published its own extensive account of the youngest victims of Israel’s most recent 11-day offensive, in which the IDF frequently targeted residential areas of Gaza, known as the world’s largest open-air prison.

    Haaretz’s focus on the children killed in Gaza was especially noteworthy, said author and Brooklyn College professor Louis Fishman, considering the newspaper’s “readers also send their children to fight in Israel’s wars.”

    “This is unprecedented,” Fishman tweeted.

    While Haaretz leans to the center-left editorially, Israeli’s mainstream media has traditionally not covered the Palestinian casualties of the IDF’s military campaigns and the Israeli government’s violent policies, said journalist Khaled Diab.

    As Diab tweeted, previous attempts by organizations in Israel to publicize the human cost of the IDF’s assaults have been repressed.

    Haaretz’s front page represented “a bold move,” tweeted journalist Saima Mohsin, adding, “Will it make a difference?”

    Others on social media took note of the unprecedented cover story. [Tweets in main link, below]

    “Conversations around Israel/Palestine are changing in Jewish communities across the globe,” tweeted rabbi and author Abby Stein. “It’s about time.”

    As Jewish Currents editor-in-chief Arielle Angell wrote last week in The Guardian, since Israel’s 2014 50-day assault on Gaza, which killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, rights advocates have “seen the growth of a small but committed Jewish anti-occupation movement [and] the last week and a half have brought an even larger circle of the community to a place of reckoning.”

    We’ve seen Jewish politicians, celebrities, rabbinical students and others speak up loudly for Palestine. We’ve seen a powerful display of solidarity from Jewish Google employees, asking their company to sever ties with the IDF. At Jewish Currents, the leftwing magazine where I am now editor-in-chief, we asked for questions from readers struggling to understand the recent violence. We’ve been deluged. These questions taken in aggregate paint a striking portrait of a community at a turning point.

    In Israel the Haaretz front page appeared to touch a nerve, garnering at least one outraged response from Oded Revivi, head of the Efrat Regional Council in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, who said Haaretz’s article was evidence that “people pity the wrong mothers.”

    On social media, Mairav Zonszein of the International Crisis Group said rather than the “price of war,” the Haaretz front page specifically shows the price of “Israel’s “continued military rule, dispossession, discrimination, and violence.
    Linked article

  2. Ireland Condemns Israel’s actions: “Israel is acting illegally!”

    The [Irish] Government has backed a Sinn Féin motion describing the building of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories as de facto annexation.

    Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said during a Dáil debate on the motion that “we need to be honest with what is happening on the ground and call it out” as “de facto annexation”.

    He added that Ireland is the first EU country to state this and it could be a message to the global community.

    The Minister echoed the comments of Sinn Féin foreign affairs spokesman John Brady who said “we are baldly stating that Israel is acting illegally under international law”. Read more at this link

  3. ‘Inescapable Hell’: Euro-Med Releases Report Documenting Israel’s Violations in Gaza

    A new report documenting several violations of international humanitarian law committed by Israel during its recent military attack on the Gaza Strip from May 10-21 was released today by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor.

    The report concluded that the International Criminal Court (ICC) must hold the Israeli leaders and soldiers accountable and not allow them to enjoy impunity.

    Titled “inescapable hell”, the report examined the Israeli army’s violations during its recent military attack on the blockaded Gaza Strip.

    The report was based on field research and documentation by Euro-Med Monitor’s team during and in the aftermath of the military attack, where dozens of field interviews and serious violations were documented.

    Statistics support the report, which presents day-by-day documentation of the Israeli attack, including violations such as mass killings and premeditated killings by deliberately targeting citizen gatherings and vehicles.

    The Israeli forces also targeted children, women (including pregnant women), people with disabilities, paramedics, medical facilities, and media and educational institutions.

    Over the 11 days of the attack, the Israeli air, land, and sea forces carried out a massive military attack on the Gaza Strip, the fourth since 2008. They dropped tons of high-explosive bombs, leaving hundreds dead and wounded.

    The attack caused massive destruction to the infrastructure, civilian objects, and homes, many of which were bombed with residents inside. Many families were wiped out altogether.

    According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, the attacks killed 254 Palestinians, including 66 children, 39 women and 17 elderly, and injured 1,948 others. The number of wounded reached 2,212, according to Euro-Med Monitor’s field count.

    The report monitored the bombing and destruction of civilian objects, including residential neighborhoods, towers, homes, institutions, civil society organizations, government headquarters, religious facilities, and infrastructure.

    The Israeli air raids also destroyed or damaged power, communications, and internet networks as well as many other economic facilities.

    The report highlighted the worsening humanitarian situation because of the Israeli military attack, and the mass displacement of about 120,000 Palestinians from their homes within the Gaza Strip. In addition to the collective punishment, it contained on the Strip’s population of more than two million people.

    Israel has committed grave violations of the rules of international humanitarian law, including the principles of distinction, proportionality, military necessity, and special protection in armed conflicts.

    The legal conclusions of the attacks and their consequences and effects confirm that what Israel did may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. This was exemplified by the bombing of houses whilst their inhabitants were still inside and the indiscriminate bombing.

    “ICC should include these practices in its investigations it finally decided to conduct into previous violations, work seriously to hold Israeli leaders and soldiers accountable and not allow them to escape punishment,” Euro-Med Monitor said. Read more here

      • Israel today is struggling to combat the growing spread of accurate news about its assaults on civilians and violations of international law.

        Thanks to the efforts of journalists in Palestine and beyond, as well as millions of Palestinians speaking their truth on social media, the real story of Palestine is finally being heard across the world. As a result, not only is global public opinion shifting in favour of Palestinians, many international institutions and organisations that had long allowed Israel to control the narratives about the conflict are feeling obligated to speak up for Palestine…

        Today, Israel is not only trying to stop the spread of accurate information during its assault on Gaza by bombing press offices, but also through a campaign of disinformation. Read more here

      • Keep it up Kheala – factual reports over-ride Gaby’s endlessly repeated Zionist propaganda hands down. Of course he never reads what you present as it is either more than just a headline, or longer than a couple of sentences. It is easier for him to say your contributions are boring rather than admit he has a limited capacity to actually read what you present.

        By the way, have you ever noticed he even has difficulty in comprehending information contained in the Zionist links that he sometimes puts up?

  4. It is Hamas who are in the business of “denial of basic human rights” for the people of Gaza.
    They torture and kill their opponents within Gaza. They won’t hold elections. They indiscriminately target the civilian population of Israel with unguided missiles.

    • Stop the Gabyesque propagandist lines. It doesn’t take much research and reading to find out the truth about Palestinian elections.

      • Exactly! They haven’t held elections for 17 years! Brutal dictatorships are all they know. Hamas shoot their opponents in the head and hurl them off high rises. Caught on film.

        • Well we all knew you have a reading difficulty. However, to give you the benefit of the doubt, it may be that your Zionist propaganda sites give you the usual disinformation about why elections never took place.

          As for the other stuff about brutal dictatorship, talk is cheap, where is your evidence? The question arises as there doesn’t appear to be anything on line that supports your claim.

          As for brutality, that term undoubtedly applies to the ongoing death and destruction perpetrated on non-military victims who don’t happen to be Israeli Jews?

          • There is plenty of evidence online, but clearly you are the one with the reading problem. I had no issues with reading when I got my 2 university degrees (with Honours) and any number of diplomas, certificates etc. The elections weren’t held because Abbas was afraid of losing to Hamas so he instigated the vIolence on the Temple Mount and then Hamas tried to make themselves relevant by firing 4,000 rockets into Israel. Film footage of Hamas shooting opponents is readily available. Asking silly questions is your idea of rebuttal, only because you have no answers yourself.
            https://www.hrw.org/report/2009/04/20/under-cover-war/hamas-political-violence-gaza
            https://www.reuters.com/article/us-palestinians-gaza-scene-idUSL1264188820070612

            • Bloody hell, are you trying to kill us all with laughter now? Which of the 50 odd Israeli ‘universities’ give out honours degrees, diplomas and certificates with such alacrity that you collect them like stamps? One only has to look at your commentaries and endless regurgitation of propaganda to ascertain you were not an academic.

              Now, where is the link to the graphic film footage? It sounds like the stuff that others have called you out on where the original sound-tracks have been stripped and very suspicious captions have been added by the usual Zionist agencies and services. IDF even have a special unit dedicated to such strategies.

              As for the first of your links, have you ever bothered to check the credentials of HRW? Pretty dodgy.

              Being and enquiring academic, don’t you think it strange that a search, “Hamas throws people off buildings” comes up with a number of variations on the same theme with such gaping quantum discrepancies. That aside, You must also know how the Battle of Gaza was engineered by the Israeli government and its ‘protectors’. The routine is to create situations then clothe them in Israeli propaganda.

              • Ah, the ant, the little terrier gnawing away at the invincible heartbone of truth…and getting nowhere. Green eyes glowing madly. There are some good remedial programmes out there. Go seek.

                • A typically Gaby level intellectual non-response as expected. Hope your comment warrants the Open University of Israel sending you another diploma! It would be a shame for your incisive intellectual ability to not be recognised by your minders.

                  Intrigued about the reference to the ‘heartbone’. Got a dodgy Israeli medical degree as well?

  5. Brilliantly well reported @ LB.
    The first thing we can do as a country with a conscience is to kick the Israeli embassy staffers out immediately. If we don’t? Then we’re complicit in this murderous horror story.
    And if we’re to unashamedly complicit, as we seem to be? Then why?
    There are two reasons in my view. Firstly? The Zionists are here and now and constantly tug on our political apron strings and secondly munitions turn over good coin, Aye Boys?

  6. “With deceptively edited videos and dubious allegations, the Israel lobby has manufactured an antisemitism epidemic to turn the media’s gaze away from dead children in Gaza.

    Following an 11-day assault on the Gaza Strip in which the Israeli army killed over 220 people, including more than 65 children, and days of videotaped rampages of Jewish extremist mobs against Palestinian people and property inside Israeli cities, Israel lobbyists in the US and Canada have launched a carefully coordinated public relations campaign to deflect outrage.
    Having failed to successfully defend massacres of entire families in their homes and the deliberate demolition of civilian residential towers and media offices in Gaza City, the US Israel lobby and the Israeli government it advocates for have manufactured an epidemic of antisemitic violence with the goal of portraying American Jewry as the true victim of the crisis.”
    – Max Blumenthal.
    https://thegrayzone.com/2021/05/24/gaza-slaughter-israel-lobby-antisemitism/

  7. YAWN….Iran will not stop funding Hamas, and if they did the conflict would cease, Iran have no taste for it to stop, why would they, they have no interest nor sympathy for the people of gaza just the hatred of jews and Israel.
    USA give funds to Israel who make the best and deadliest weapons.
    Palistine people are just the meat in the sandwich, a sandwich they chose to be in by voting for Hamas.
    YAWN…..
    Will come to an end when Israel strikes Iran, and its coming soon, USA will finish the job Israel starts.

    • YAWN – you still haven’t provided evidence about Iran funding Hamas as previously requested!

      Otherwise, your comment has very little to commend it. You seem to have forgotten that Iran saw off the US in the proxy war with Iraq and that the poorly armed Hezbollah kicked Israel’s arse way back in 2006!

      The world is now watching and is rapidly losing any stomach for supporting the illegal and immoral Zionist slow genocide project. Another consideration is that the US taxpayers probably won’t endlessly accept well bribed Congressmen and Senators handing unconditional $ Billions over to Israel every year.

    • “Iran have no taste for it to stop, why would they, they have no interest nor sympathy for the people of gaza just the hatred of jews and Israel”
      I can understand this lack of knowledge from someone who is informed solely by the MSM up to a certain point but the fact that Iran is the only state in the World that not only has provided sanctuary for Jews during its long History and today provides reserved seats in Parliament for Jews is now common knowledge.
      The knowledge that the people of Gaza comprise those Palestinians who were driven from their homes and land by an invading (mostly illegal) immigrant force that inflicted, not just expulsion but rape and massacre documented by Israeli Historians:
      http://www.logosjournal.com/morris.htm
      ….should not have escaped anyone who feels qualified to comment.
      I am not familiar with this business of “hate”.
      When I consider conflict I see only grievance. I do not think Maori “hate” pakeha. Their grievances were and are legitimate. Had they not been addressed in some measure, they may well have begun violent resistance and I, for one, would have understood. To then say that their actions were inspired by “hate” would be risible.
      If we look closely at the undisputed History of the Israel/Palestine conflict, it is undeniable that :
      1. Around 400,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes and land at gunpoint before the so-called “War of Independence” began.
      2. A further 600,000 were driven off by 1967.
      3. According to all international law and several U.N. resolutions, these people have the inalienable right to return to their homes and property. This Israel has denied and issued a “shoot on sight” order against any who tried.

      The correction of Historic wrongs is only achieved as a result of resistance. Making it awkward for the perpetrator of wrongs and keeping the struggle alive and in front of the World is essential.
      Hatred and funding has nothing to do with it.

    • IR
      USA funds Israel. Did you know that or do you ignore the billions that have gone to Israel and the supply of weapons to the “IDF”

    • But you ok with chinese goods?
      Arent you lefties supposedly to be upset about the muslim Uigers treatment in China?….or are they the wrong kind of muslim to be marching about and not buying chinese products? (BFD type of thing)….better to just hate the jews eh?

  8. “The War on Truth”
    Israel is not only trying to stop the spread of accurate information during its assault on Gaza by bombing press offices, but also through a campaign of disinformation.

    For example, last week, a spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shared a video on Twitter which he claimed showed Hamas firing rockets at Israel “from populated areas”. As the BBC stated, the clip was actually filmed in Syria in 2018 and had nothing to do with Gaza. Twitter later labelled the tweet as “manipulated media”.

    Beyond sharing demonstrably “fake news”, the Israeli government is also trying to manipulate the international and domestic public opinion by persistently peddling the false narrative that Hamas is the aggressor in the conflict, that its military is doing everything it can to avoid civilian “casualties”, that it is merely defending itself against “a terrorist organisation”, and that the current escalation is not a direct result of its illegal occupation. Read more here

  9. “We’ve been occupied for more than 70 years. A ceasefire is not enough.”

    ‘Left Voice’ interviews a Palestinian nurse from the West Bank.
    Excerpt:
    Q: What is your message for what people in the United States or other parts of the world can do to continue to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle?

    A. I was thinking about it all day. There are so many things.
    The history is clear. It’s obvious who is occupied and who is the occupier. This is not a war. Israel has the most powerful army in the world and the Palestinians have nothing, only their hands. I think the encouragement and support from people all over the world can give them power. And it’s better than any weapon that any country can provide to anyone and better than any funding. This is something that will last forever.
    Read more

    • This is all truly a breath of fresh air. To see how utterly the narratives of the likes of Gaby have disintegrated in the face of the commitment to justice for Palestinians brings a lot of relief and joy to me. With this level of understanding of the plight of Palestinians, we can be sure that the life of the apartheid state of Israel is very close to termination.
      Kia kaha!

    • I’ve lived in the UK for 30 years and here in NZ for 42 years and not once have I met any “jew hatred.” people are horrified at the oppression inflicted on the Palestinians and the theft of their homeland. Nothing to do with hatred of jewish people.

      • And, Jewish groups are increasingly breaking with Israel to support Palestine Liberation:
        See this article: Truthout, May 28th

        From that link:
        “Palestinians are doing every single thing they can do to survive,” said Morgan Bassichis, a member of Jewish Voice for Peace, an anti-Zionist grassroots organization with over 70 chapters across the country. “Our duty and our responsibility and our commitment is to do every single thing we can do in solidarity with the Palestinian people.”

    • Gaby use your head if you can.
      The more atrocities and lies promulgated by Israel then the more intense the dislike for Israel can be expected globally.

      Your seeming indoctrination with Israeli propaganda as expressed on this blog also generates greater dislike for such expressed “causes”
      You are not doing yourself a favour but in your frame of mind you do need help. The intense psychological indoctrination you seem to have just stands out so clearly.

      • Yes, there is a level of irrationality that is difficult to understand. The only times I have met that before was in trying to discuss something with someone who was in a religious extremist cult.

        Oh, wait…

  10. Senator David Norris” Israel bombs first and weeps later”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keS-LDl_ewA

    Christopher James
    6 years ago
    This man is the only bloody person on this planet with any balls!! Tell it like it is mate! I’m a Jewish man and I’ll be damned if I’m going to stand by and watch this slaughter for one more day! I’m ashamed of what has happened in Gaza! We of all people should know better. Every word this man has spoken is true.Share this video over and over and stop the killing of the innocents.
    ReactionShot
    6 years ago
    Finally a man with the courage to speak the truth.
    Brilliant!
    TurfHeadClic
    6 years ago
    What a fiery, passionate, Impressingly articulate, & detailed speech! Wow !!!! Truly remarkable sir. U get my complete & utter respect “I stand for human rights”

    • One man on the planet speaks the truth. Every single word.
      Humanity is not yet quite dead.

      David Norris is absolutely right – The UN should have a task force in Gaza NOW, protecting the people and helping them to survive and rebuild.

      Thank you so much for posting this link to David Norris speaking. It should be on the news, everywhere.

  11. Three Gaza medics outside what remains of the wider medical facility/ Covid testing centre (also Red Cross, Red Crescent and much more were in the building complex, – bombed) at this Youtube link

    These medics describe what happened, with on-screen translations as they speak.

  12. Caitlin Johnstone: Israel narrative management is getting incredibly desperate and brazen:

    “Before the Gaza ceasefire last week Israel managed to deliberately blow up over 20 offices for Palestinian media outlets, as well as the tower hosting the international outlets AP and Al Jazeera.

    “The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what happened today,” AP president and CEO Gary Pruitt said in a statement after the building was destroyed.

    Which, of course, is the whole idea: for the world to know less about what happens in Gaza. The Israeli government has a decades-long history of threatening and targeting journalists in order to exert control over the public narrative about what happens under its rule, and as that narrative slips from its grip we are seeing this pattern ramp up with greater and greater aggression.

    “Rather than reduce the cruelty, the Israeli government keeps trying to reduce accurate news coverage,” author and activist Norman Solomon writes. “The approach is a mix of deception and brutality. Blow up the cameras so the world won’t see as many pictures of the atrocities.””
    https://www.rt.com/op-ed/525165-israel-narrative-management-palestinian/

  13. NZ
    Abby Martin talks about Gaza, Palestine, Israel, BDS, and her film: Gaza Fights For Freedom
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fs-00wLeDnM

    Sohail Yousuf
    2 hours ago
    Abbey Martin comes across as a genuinely principled and courageous young woman her struggle to alleviate pain and misery of Palestinians is commendable .Young lady I salute your resolve .

  14. A “Ceasefire”?
    Or, a licence to commit acts of terrorism.

    Firing on people at worship – Here in AO/ NZ that is terrorism.
    Yet one regime carries it out regularly with impunity.
    And as of now, NZ continues to maintain diplomatic relations with that terrorist regime.

    This from CommonDreams:
    Just hours after a cease-fire agreement paused Israel’s latest bombardment of the occupied Gaza Strip, Israeli police forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Friday and fired stun grenades, rubber bullets, and tear gas at Palestinian worshippers and demonstrators, an attack that observers worried could undermine the nascent truce.

    Following Friday prayers, many Palestinians remained at the Jerusalem compound—one of Islam’s holiest sites—to celebrate the cease-fire deal, which came after Israel killed more than 230 people in Gaza and displaced tens of thousands.

    Reporting from the ground in Jerusalem, Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan said that Palestinians “were singing and chanting when a contingent of the Israeli police [stationed] next to the compound came into the compound and started using crowd control measures that they use all the time.”

    “They started firing in that crowd in an effort to try and disperse them,” Khan added.

    The Israeli raid injured more than a dozen people, according to Middle East Eye.

    “Israeli apartheid doesn’t stop,” the Institute for Middle East Understanding tweeted in response to the raid.
    Full article here

  15. Its going mainstream:

    “The latest round of fighting between Israelis and Palestinians ended in the usual way: with a cease-fire that left Palestinians worse off and the core issues unaddressed. It also provided more evidence that the United States should no longer give Israel unconditional economic, military, and diplomatic support. The benefits of this policy are zero, and the costs are high and rising. Instead of a special relationship, the United States and Israel need a normal one.

    Once upon a time, a special relationship between the United States and Israel might have been justified on moral grounds. The creation of a Jewish state was seen as an appropriate response to centuries of violent antisemitism in the Christian West, including but hardly limited to the Holocaust. The moral case was compelling, however, only if one ignored the consequences for Arabs who had lived in Palestine for many centuries and if one believed Israel to be a country that shared basic U.S. values. Here too the picture was complicated. Israel may have been “the only democracy in the Middle East,” but it was not a liberal democracy like the United States, where all religions and races are supposed to have equal rights (however imperfectly that goal has been realized). Consistent with Zionism’s core objectives, Israel privileged Jews over others by conscious design.

    Today, however, decades of brutal Israeli control have demolished the moral case for unconditional U.S. support. ”
    – Stephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University.
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/05/27/its-time-to-end-the-special-relationship-with-israel/

  16. Bernie Sanders weighs in:

    ““Israel has the right to defend itself.”
    These are the words we hear from both Democratic and Republican administrations whenever the government of Israel, with its enormous military power, responds to rocket attacks from Gaza.

    Let’s be clear. No one is arguing that Israel, or any government, does not have the right to self-defense or to protect its people. So why are these words repeated year after year, war after war? And why is the question almost never asked: “What are the rights of the Palestinian people?”

    And why do we seem to take notice of the violence in Israel and Palestine only when rockets are falling on Israel?

    In this moment of crisis, the United States should be urging an immediate cease-fire. We should also understand that, while Hamas firing rockets into Israeli communities is absolutely unacceptable, today’s conflict did not begin with those rockets.”
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/56545.htm

    • And why is the question almost never asked: “What are the rights of the Palestinian people?”

      Bernie called it, right there.

    • From that Guardian link, re-posted here:
      However, according to the resolution, the UN agency called to urgently establish a commission to investigate all “violations”, not only in Gaza but also in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Israel.

      The commission would investigate “all underlying root causes of recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict, including systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity”.

      In her opening remarks, Bachelet said the Gaza violence was “directly linked” to protests in Jerusalem that began weeks beforehand, which she said were met with “a heavy response from Israeli security forces”.

      She said two factors led to the escalation – the imminent eviction of Palestinians “under forced displacement” in the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah; and Israel’s use of “excessive force” against Palestinian protesters, including at the al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.

    • The UN Investigation is also covered by the ABC-AU:

      The United Nation’s top human rights body will launch an international investigation into potential “war crimes” committed during an 11-day conflict between Israel and militant group Hamas in Gaza.

      The 24-9 vote, with 14 abstentions, capped a special Human Rights Council session on the rights situation faced by Palestinians…

      The UN resolution, which will almost certainly go unheeded by Israel, calls for the creation of a permanent “Commission of Inquiry” — the most potent tool at the council’s disposal — to monitor and report on rights violations in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.

      It would be the first such COI with an “ongoing” mandate.

      The commission is also to investigate “all underlying root causes of recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict” including discrimination and repression, according to the text.

      Amid signs that the resolution would pass, its authors added more teeth to its language with a late revision on Wednesday.

      The revised text calls on states to refrain from “transferring arms” — the recipients were not specified — when they asses “a clear risk” that such weapons might be used to commit serious violations of human rights or humanitarian law. Read more

    • Ah, So it has nothing to do with the 400,000 Palestinians who were driven from their homes before the War began in May 1948, the (minimum) 25 massacres of civilians and the further 600,000 driven out by 1967 because they were not Jewish – at the hands of a well armed invading force claiming ownership despite not believing in the book of myths underpinning it nor speaking Hebrew or Arabic, the languages of the land for centuries.
      Nothing to do with a 50 year brutal occupation that, in just the past couple of decades has killed at least 2,172 Palestinian children.
      Nothing to do with the fact that, by all International Law and conventions, Palestinians have the right to return to their property that Israel refuses to even discuss and the right to resist occupation…
      – it is because they have an irrational hatred of Jews.

      If whatever institution is currently treating you has a library, I suggest you take up a History book or two. Not only will it improve your understanding, it could well assist your condition by bringing you back to some semblance of reality.

      • Of the two “sides” (the word given), guess which one is welcoming an outside/ UN investigation into violations and the possibility of war crimes?

        And which “side” is bitterly opposed to any such investigation?

        Hint: The latter is not Hamas.

  17. Killing children lost its electoral magic? :
    “A coalition of Israel’s opposition parties have announced they have reached an unlikely agreement and now have the votes to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the country’s longest serving leader.
    Naftali Bennett, former defense minister for Netanyahu, and opposition leader Yair Lapid will lead the opposition parties under this new agreement that would split power in a “unity government.” Bennett would take over as prime minister first, and then Lapid if they are successful in pushing Netanyahu from power.

    “We could go to fifth elections, sixth elections, until our home falls upon us, or we could stop the madness and take responsibility,” Bennett announced on Sunday, adding that this “unity government” is needed to save Israel from its “tailspin.””
    https://www.rt.com/news/525234-israel-netanyahu-opposition/
    Crash!:
    https://www.worldatlas.com/r/w960-q80/upload/e4/ce/85/shutterstock-1139861468.jpg

    If you can put up with Katie Halper’s “nails on the blackboard” voice, Norman Finklestein’s take is worth it:
    https://youtu.be/7UVHMQyfQjw?t=6254
    I have tried to time the vid to catch Max Blumenthal’s final remarks then Norman comes on and is joined by Aaron Matte. Well worth taking the time to listen through to the end.

      • Who do you think you are kidding?
        Palestinian children killed by IDF between 19 January 2009 – 30 April 2021: 801.
        Israeli minors killed by Palestinian activity (not one of them killed by Hamas*): 11
        Palestinians who did not take part in hostilities and killed by IDF: 1789

        *Included are a 7 month foetus delivered by caesarian section after her mother was injured in a drive-by shooting, 3 were victims of an obviously insane youth, 1 was a 16 years old resident of Bat Ayin, an illegal settler colony housing a Jewish terrorist group that “began to engage in drive-by shootings of Palestine cars at nighttime on minor roadways, spraying them with fire from automatic weapons, and the planting of bombs in public buildings” (Wikipedia), 1 was killed after the vehicle he was riding in was hit by thrown stones, 1 was killed as a result of being hit by a vehicle……and so on.
        All of these killings were in the West Bank where the intentional homicide rate is .7 per 100,000. New York’s rate is 2.88 per 100,000.
        What does that tell you?

        https://ifamericansknew.org/stat/children.html
        https://www.btselem.org/statistics/fatalities/after-cast-lead/by-date-of-event

      • Your article headline reads: “20 years on, Dolphinarium bombing victims still struggle” and describes a suicide bombing and its effects on victims and family.
        This you post in support of your previous statement “The only side killing children are Hamas” in spite of the fact that the article’s author offers no evidence that Hamas were involved beyond baldly stating that the perpetrator was “Hamas affiliated”.
        In fact, it was Islamic Jihad that claimed responsibility. They are “affiliated” with Hamas in precisely the same way as the IDF is affiliated with Irgun, Hagganah and Lehi.
        Now we can go down that rabbit hole and list the “IDF affiliated” atrocities from Samson in the temple through the Sicarii, the Baghdad bombings, the offer to fight on Germay’s side in WWII, the Lavon Affair, the targeted assassinations (of which Israel seems quite proud), the Hotel King David, the particularly nasty “Sergeants Affair”, the Patria ad infinitum and I can say “see. This is what Israelis do” if you want – but I don’t think it would help either cause.
        Alternatively we could examine the motivations for such events and realise “that suicide bombings are not the expressions of specific cultural peculiarities or exclusively religious fanaticisms. Instead, they represent a strategic option of the desperately weak who strategically disguise themselves under the mask of apparent strength, terror, and invincibility*” – and address the root causes.

        What you neglect to relate is that it was Hamas who put a stop to suicide bombing once they became a political force in 2006 and there have been only 2 or 3 instances since (by rogue elements). During that period however, Israel has killed 801 children and nearly 2,000 in civilian bombings and Palestinians have been credited (in some cases wrongly, as I point out above) with 11 killings – none attributed to Hamas.

        *Takeda, Arata (2010). “Suicide bombers in Western literature: Demythologizing a mythic discourse”. Contemporary Justice Review. 13 (4): 471.

  18. Incredibly, as bombs were destroying medical centres, emergency relief and humanitarian centres in Gaza, including the only Gaza Covid testing facility as well as the Red Cross, the Red Crescent and USAID, … while this was going on the social media giants censored or blocked Palestinians!

    From the Independent:
    Users trying to share information from conflict zones saw posts taken down without explanation, through moderation policies campaigners say are ‘clearly biased’
    There has been a “dramatic increase” in the censorship of Palestinian political speech on social media over the past two weeks, during the period of intense fighting between Israel and militants in Gaza.

    Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have all been used by Palestinians to share information from, among a variety of areas, the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah where families face eviction.

    However the report from 7amleh, The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media, shared exclusively with The Independent, argues that social media companies’ moderation attempts and codes of conduct have resulted in numerous citizens’ accounts being taken down.

    It comes in the context of huge criticism surrounding the Israeli government’s military decisions, which include displacing 52,000 Palestinians via air strikes, causing the deaths of numerous children, bombing the Associated Press and Al Jazeera building, and, on social media, the bizarrely flippant tone of its Twitter account. Read more here

  19. NOT IN MY NAME!

    Lo b’shmi. “Not in my name.” ~ Women of Jerusalem
    Times of Israel

    Hundreds of Jerusalem women took to Facebook last week posting selfies of their faces and hands held up to the camera, with the words Lo b’shmi, “Not in my name,” scrawled in ink on their palms.

    Their posts, in Hebrew, Arabic, and English, included the following text:

    Women from all sectors are saying: Not in our name.
    From the horrible events we are witnessing these days, we choose life and say no to violence.
    We call on all of you to join.
    This evening, together, we raise our hands to say *Not in my Name*
    #NotinmyName
    #Jerusalemitessaynotoviolence
    #ProtectLife

    • From that link:
      “In the midst of the hate and violence that’s exposing itself from every side… I’m convinced that we’re the majority. The majority that believe in humanity. I believe that there is also love, patience and hope…
      “It was really about this feeling of despair, of a silent majority,” said Zion Mozes, who works in a special education kindergarten. …

      “For years, I have felt like I have nothing to say because it’s so complicated, but it’s so clear that all this violence is done by men and that we, as women, live in a different way. We have something to say here — with our bodies and voices we can say something else.” …

      “It gives us hope that it’s not only the extremists but also our voices that matter. I want to bring hope into this situation for myself, for our kids, for our neighbors.”

  20. Documentary examines anti-Semitism, and its affect on Israeli and U.S. politics.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shx_l5LT0ro
    Defamation (השמצה‎‎) is a 2009 documentary film by award-winning filmmaker Yoav Shamir. It examines antisemitism and, in particular, the way perceptions of antisemitism affect Israeli and U.S. politics. Defamation won Best Documentary Feature Film at the 2009 Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

    Yoav Shamir was born in Tel Aviv in 1970. A ninth-generation Israeli from Tel Aviv, he is the son of two elementary school teachers. He graduated from Tel Aviv University with a BA in History and philosophy. He obtained a MFA in cinema with honours. He served as an Israeli soldier in the Israeli-occupied territories.
    Shamir’s films have received awards from independent film festivals including Best Feature Documentary at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, Best International Documentary at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, and the Golden Gate Award for Documentary Feature at the San Francisco International Film Festival.

    • At about 58 minutes in, you can hear Uri Avnery. (A rare opportunity to hear him, one of the last times.)

      Re: (Are Israelis) fighting anti-Semitism?
      Or, are they fighting criticism of Israel/ Israeli policies.

      “None of them fight anti-Semitism. They fight criticism of Israel.
      These are two totally different things.”

      “In America hardly any anti-Semitism exists. It’s a myth. There is none.”

      “The phenomenon called anti-Semitism only exists in the Israeli media, and in the minds of the Jewish big shots of the world who make a living ‘fighting anti-Semitism’.”

      OMG!

      Just as I got to that section, – just as i was transcribing Uri Avnery speaking, YouTube cut me off!

      It has stopped the tape/ vid at 1.31.26 (mins in) and a black screen covers it with a big exclamation mark in a circle making a stop sign.

      The words now read: “The following content has been identified by the YouTube community as inappropriate or offensive to some audiences”.

      There is no option to say, eg, “That’s okay by me- I want to hear what he has to say!!!!!!!!!”
      WHICH I DO!
      And now I cannot.
      What BS Censorship crap is that.

      • Sorry for the block/ bold – That was not intentional. It was meant to be the first sentence of that lot, only. I did not take time to check the html.

        That said, – of all the violent and offensive videos that run freely on YouTube, they choose to censor a renowned Peace Activist (who is no longer here to speak directly for himself). I don’t have words for this.

    • I have just posted a comment about what has happened – YouTube…
      (Taking deep breaths and calming self down…)

      And now, by some odd synchronicity, which I do sincerely believe is unrelated, GMail has locked me out of my mail account until I provide them with some more information about myself…
      Which they state they require for “third parties”…
      They say it’s “the law” that I provide them with this if I wish to access my emails.
      My emails include all my bills to pay, etc etc – important stuff which, if I delay on, will cost me (money that I don’t easily have).

      What the hell is going on?

    • It cuts deep, that I cannot hear Uri Avnery speaking.
      He had sent words of encouragement to a group of us who were a bit distraught when following a ship that tried to reach the Palestinians – It was carrying Anne Wright, for one, – when the IDF attacked them. They landed on the ship and took it over, using their weapons.

    • Gaby, I take no pleasure in informing you that your friend would probably not know History from the works of Walt Disney.
      I don’t know what is taught in Israeli High Schools but I suspect it is similar to that I learned here in New Zealand 60 years ago – a simplistic, selective narrative that ignored the voice of the indigenous people.
      Your friend regurgitates a similar High School narrative which, in relation to the ancient period, relies on Biblical stories (exegesis).
      For now I will ignore such howlers as: “The land was 95% empty for nearly 2,00 (sic) years” ( in fact the area has been one of the most densely populated, comparatively, throughout the centuries) and concentrate on something you do not seem familiar with – Historical Method and the confusion of traditional tales with History.
      I invite you to listen to a lecture by Israel Finklestein* which contains an object lesson in both Historical Method and the perils of embracing High School and Biblical narratives.
      https://vimeo.com/486967084
      *Israel Finkelstein is an Israeli archaeologist, professor emeritus at Tel Aviv University.

      • Nice try, Brewer. Sorry to disappoint you but she exposes the claims of you and your comrades with dazzling style. Time to open that history book she recommends. She’s young, well-informed, articulate, patriotic and IS the voice of the indigenous people. Everything you despise in a Jew of course. You’re clearly unfamiliar with Mark Twain’s famous firsthand description of Palestine as desertified, primitive and virtually empty? Another book for you? Innocents Abroad.
        https://blog.nli.org.il/en/mark-twain-in-palestine/

        • She doesn’t expose anything at all but her talent for speaking rapidly. There is not one reference in her printed summary and obviously none in her diatribe.
          It is not only customary in but essential to serious discussions of History that references to sources etc are given. By making such statements as: “she exposes the claims of you and your comrades” you expose your unfamiliarity with not only Historical Method but academia in general which holds to similar standards, putting your claim to achieving two degrees with honours into serious doubt.
          Citing Mark Twain, a humorist with whom I am very familiar, as a serious and factual authority is also indicative of a non-academic approach. Apart from the fact that Twain made similar remarks about Greece (the Mediterranean was in drought at the time), contemporaries such as Cyrus Adler, American educator, Jewish religious leader and scholar wrote:
          “I had one general impression of the great beauty of the country and little wonder that the Israelites fought so hard for it. The succession of hills and valleys and green fields”.
          Historians rely on hard facts, not writers whose purpose and livelihood relies on the popular appeal of their humour.

        • I feel like I am dealing with someone in the advanced stages of dementia.
          Please point to the “indisputable archaeological evidence” contained in the article you link to. It relies on a piece written by Pinhas Inbari. So I look up this person who I assume must be an archaeologist of some note and I find:
          “Pinhas Inbari is an Israeli correspondent who has reported on Palestinian affairs for Israel Radio and the newspaper Al Hamishmar, and currently for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and several foreign media outlets”.
          I am reminded of George Carlin’s advice:
          “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

        • I am sure Israel Finklestein, professor emeritus at Tel Aviv University, member of the Israel Academy of Sciences, winner of the Dan David Prize for his history of Israel in the 10th and 9th centuries BCE, named chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture, doctorate honoris causa from the University of Lausanne, laureate of the Dan David Prize in 2005, recipient of the Prix Delalande Guérineau: Institut de France, l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres and the MacAllister Field Archaeology Award 2017 and the French decoration of Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres, (2009) and the Doctorat honoris causa of the University of Lausanne ……….
          ……will be intrigued to learn that you consider him a revisionist because your version of History, sourced from a youtube video of a slightly post-pubescent girl delivering a rant devoid of Historical references has a different version.
          For other readers, (you will, if you are perceptive at all, will realise I am becoming impatient with your denial of History as expounded by Israeli academics) I suggest viewing the series “Bible and Archaeology, The View from the Center” which is on Youtube:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22HQKXCMfHk&list=PLvm7MPUI_WJclpUfZgCw1Tfd_cyT4Fh-f&index=2
          Thanks for the opportunity for bringing this important information, which is generally not available to the general public, to their attention.

    • The Israel-bashers here don’t even acknowledge that there IS a Hamas, a vicious Nazi-inspired terrorist group. Their ‘Palestinians’ are a fictionalised bunch of helpless baby-wabies needing their daddy-waddy. Lois Griffiths is particularly deranged in this respect and this is how they try to justify their antisemitism.

      • Oh, thank you, Gaby, you reveal your true one sided view again. If there are any Nazi like people, then that is rather the Zionists, not Hamas or any other Palestinian organisation. I do not actually approve all that Hamas stands for and wants and does, and force and violence are not really an ideal solution, apart from used for resistance and defense of rights.

        If you’d care about what Hamas actually stands for, then perhaps inform yourself about their policies and principles:
        https://hamas.ps/en/post/678/A-Document-of-General-Principles-and-Policies

        “8. By virtue of its justly balanced middle way and moderate spirit, Islam – for Hamas – provides a comprehensive way of life and an order that is fit for purpose at all times and in all places. Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance. It provides an umbrella for the followers of other creeds and religions who can practice their beliefs in security and safety. Hamas also believes that Palestine has always been and will always be a model of coexistence, tolerance and civilizational innovation.”

        The so called two state solution is now dead an totally impractical, it will never eventuate, and those in the so called democratic west are dishonest when they peddle that idea at an international and local level. President Biden is also not quite sincere about his position towards Israel and Palestine.

        Hamas at least says the truth that only one state can be solution, they simply want the right to return for refugees and their descendants, and they oppose the Zionist kind of state that Israel is. They are not opposing Jews or Christians, who they claim should be entitled to practice their faith besides of Muslims.

        Look at the mess that the West Bank has become under Fatah and others in charge, they let Israel get away with too much and have become corrupted.

        If there is any Nazism, it can be found in many countries, even in New Zealand, where the state is dominant and dominates much of people’s lives, even spies on them, if they dare think a bit too differently from the majority, hence there is GCSB and SIS and so. In the past New Zealand also practiced rather racist policies and marginalised and patronised Maori for instance. So do not pretend that you stand above all else and have such a purist and fair view of things.

        Terror also has many forms and shapes, it is not just the known ‘terrorist organisations’ that fit the criteria, look also at Mainland China for instance. And in the NZ Wars there was terror practiced from various sides.

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