Archive | August 4th, 2014

Palestine solidarity movement on the defensive as AGM votes for Zionist formulations




1 MARCH 2012

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s AGM last month resulted in what can only be described as a significant step back for the British anti-imperialist movement and a significant victory for zionism.

The meeting voted to endorse a paragraph that the PSC executive had recently added to the campaign website stating that “Any expression of racism or intolerance, or attempts to deny or minimise the Holocaust have no place in our movement. Such sentiments are abhorrent in their own right and can only detract from the building of a strong movement in support of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people.” (My emphasis)

That is, they voted to give the PSC’s executive the ability to discipline and expel sincere and useful solidarity activists for committing a ‘crime’ that exists only in the zionist imagination – the crime of ‘minimising the holocaust’. And, whether they realised it or not, they simultaneously voted to endorse the zionist conflation of two terms that have no actual connection: racism and holocaust denial/‘holocaust minimising’.

Not that this is all that surprising in a country where ordinary people are so totally saturated with and generally accepting of imperialist propaganda. Even the fact that the PSC statement referred simply to ‘the holocaust’ rather than ‘the jewish holocaust’ shows how in thrall its writers are to the prevailing imperialist and zionist rhetoric, even if only subconsciously.

We are all ‘holocaust minimisers’

Speaking for the CPGB-ML, I proposed an amendment to the executive’s motion on anti-semitism that asked the campaign to keep to its primary focus of carrying out “effective work in solidarity with Palestine, against zionism and imperialism”. During my speech from the floor I emphasised the point that the more effective and influential the Palestine solidarity movement becomes, the more vociferously it can expect to be attacked by Israel’s supporters – which inevitably means being accused of ‘anti-semitism’ by hysterical zionist campaigners.

As if to prove the point that ‘holocaust minimising’ is a crime that anyone can be accused of, I found the trick being used against me by PSC Secretary Ben Soffa, who managed to twist my words with impressive sophistry. I had pointed out that those who ask any kind of question about the Nazi holocaust, or who challenge any of Israel’s founding myths, are all labelled ‘holocaust deniers’, ‘anti-semites’ and ‘racists’ by the zionist lobby. According to Ben, however, what I’d said was that the jewish holocaust was a myth!

Not only was this an unnecessarily hostile response to what was actually a fairly innocuous amendment, it was also a very underhand trick to play given that I was given no opportunity to reply. No doubt my expulsion is being prepared as we speak …

To underline the point, the meeting also voted to expel an activist from Brighton on the basis that he was deemed to be a holocaust denier and therefore ‘anti-semitic’. Just as in my local branch’s discussions, the case for the prosecution at the AGM focused not on why the accused member’s views meant he could not be useful as a PSC activist, but on whether those present agreed with him or not; whether they found his alleged views personally acceptable.

It’s a clever sleight-of-hand, but an important one for those interested in building a broad-basedmass movement for Palestine. I suppose at this point I have to say (again) that I have no interest in denying the truth or the horror of the Nazi crimes against the jews of Europe. But whether I do or not is NOT the business of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Those who try to make it our business should simply be asked, firmly but politely, to take their discussions elsewhere.

Mass movement or liberal charity?

As far as I can see, the only points we all need to agree on are that the Palestinians have the right to decide what their minimum programme should be, as well as to chose their own leadership and their own forms of struggle, and that British people should be mobilised to support the just Palestinian struggle for self-determination and to stop Britain’s participation in and backing for the criminal zionist project. Insisting on further points of agreement does not serve this agenda;it does not help Palestine.

What was especially tragic about the antics at the AGM was the way that the timetable for the day was manipulated so that discussion of these diversionary non-issues took up most of the available debating time – to such an extent that several important motions were dropped off the day’s order paper. Almost all of those wishing to oppose the leadership’s agenda were stopped from speaking by the chair, while speaker after filibustering speaker was invited to come to the mic to endorse the leadership’s position and waste what little debating time was available.

Even these speakers, antagonistic as they were to our party’s agenda, had to concede our main points: that the jewish holocaust was not the unique event that zionist propaganda portrays it as being, but one of an ongoing string of catastrophic industrial-scale massacres that have been a hallmark of the imperialist system since it arrived on the scene over a century ago; and that it is the system of imperialism that we must fight if we are serious about supporting Palestine.

Comrade Harpal Brar received extremely warm applause in the hall when he made these points, pointing out the absurdity of obsessing over one of imperialism’s holocausts to the exclusion of all others. Indeed, the jewish holocaust made up just one small part of the gigantic holocausts that were the two world wars of the 20th century, perpetrated by the imperialists in order to save their rotten system at the expense of 100 million lives.

The jewish holocaust, he said, was not the murder of one race by another race but the murder of human beings by imperialism. Similarly, Israel itself is not a jewish project, despite its window dressing, but an imperialist project aimed at controlling the vital resources of the Middle East. Far from being the defender of jews that it claims to be, Israel does untold damage to the interests of jewish workers, just as it does to those of Arabs and, indeed, to those of workers all over the world.

The power of the unions

Many of the activists present were seriously disgruntled about the lack of time dedicated to discussing the campaign’s real plan for action in support of Palestine, feeling that the day had been given over to a zionist-inspired witch hunt, whose only motivation seemed to be that of keeping the PSC ‘respectable’ in the eyes of its establishment patrons. Many also found it worrying that so few actual Palestinians were present – either on the day or in the organisation generally.

One telling tactic that was used during the debate was the threat of disaffiliation by the campaign’s big union backers. What would Unite do, we were asked, if they got wind of even a hintthat the PSC was being accused of anti-semitism? Drop us like a hot potato, of course, came the unspoken response. And so the debate, what little of it there was, died. After all, we don’t want to lose our connection with all those organised workers, do we?

The affiliation of major unions like Unite to the PSC in recent years has been hailed as a major breakthrough in the campaign’s progress; proof that we are becoming ‘mainstream’. The outcome of such affiliations, however, has not been quite what the more optimistic of us might have expected.

Instead of harnessing the collective power of Unite’s 1.5 million members in active solidarity with Palestine, the PSC has merely been given an opportunity to distribute postcards to union members aimed at persuading them to boycott settlement goods when making their weekly supermarket shop. But while moving a few people (or even a few thousand people) to makeindividual consumer choices may reflect a certain level of awareness and sympathy amongst the British population generally, it is no substitute for mobilising them for collective action; and not much threat to Israel either, if taken no further.

How much more effective would it be if Unite organised its lorry drivers to refuse to handle the goods to start with? Or if Usdaw backed its shop workers in refusing to put Israeli goods on the shelves? Or if the RMT organised members engaged in transporting freight by rail and sea to refuse to handle goods or weapons coming from or going to Israel? Or if the NUJ’s journalists stopped regurgitating zionist lies in Britain’s mainstream media?

Far from harnessing the power of Unite’s workers in support of Palestinian liberation, the affiliation has instead brought the power of Unite’s Labour-affiliated leaders into the PSC, where it is being used to crush any chance of organising the type of really effective Palestine solidarity work that might actually help Palestine by harming Israel – because in the process it would also damage British corporate interests.

And so the campaign’s new mantra seems to be: ‘What would Unite think?’ – which might as well be ‘What would the Labour party think?’ or (to take it to its logical conclusion) ‘What would Lord Sainsbury think?’

Dockers and activists stop the unloading of an Israeli ship in San Francisco, June 2010

Dockers and activists stop the unloading of an Israeli ship in San Francisco, June 2010

Non-cooperation off the agenda

Not that anybody present seemed to notice it, but the point about what kind of solidarity action is most useful was nicely underlined in the keynote speech of the day, given by Comrade Omar Barghouti of the Palestinian Campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. Having flattered the activists present by making the rather surprising assertion that the British PSC was the best solidarity organisation in the world, Comrade Omar pointed out that the most effective form of boycott was the type delivered by dockers who refused to unload a ship bringing Israeli goods to South Africa in February 2009 – an action which he said had absolutely terrified the zionists and their imperialist masters. (Tellingly, the reference to the South African dockers’ action has been omitted from the edited version of Omar’s speech published on the PSC website.)

Which brings us back to those critical undebated motions. The last item on the day’s agenda was the CPGB-ML’s motion on non-cooperation, which called on the PSC to mobilise British workers to follow the brave example of their South African counterparts.

In particular, it called for “Building support within individual unions and at the TUC for motions that draw attention to the complicity of Britain’s government and corporations in Israeli war crimes, and that also call on workers to refuse to cooperate in their commission (eg, by making or moving munitions or other equipment, by writing or broadcasting propaganda, or helping in any other way to smooth the path of Israel’s war machine).

Yet although the PSC’s leaders seemed perfectly happy to applaud such actions being taken elsewhere, they were clearly determined to avoid even a discussion about replicating them here in Britain. Having made sure the motion’s contents wouldn’t be debated at the AGM, the executive has quietly dropped all mention of the motion in its online summation of the meeting.

In fact, during the whole course of the day, the only mention of non-cooperation outside of Omar’s South Africa reference came when, as a candidate for election to the EC, I used my single minute of mic time to address a plea for action to the assembled delegates

If elected, I told them, I would focus my energies on organising and coordinating active non-cooperation work. In particular, as a media worker myself, I offered to work with other media worker members in PSC to get resolutions to the Bectu and NUJ conferences on the subject of non-cooperation with Israeli war crimes.

I emphasised the need to recognise the crucial role the media plays in supporting the zionist narrative and obliterating the Palestinian one, and reminded the activists of the Nuremberg rulings, which made it clear that propagating in favour of illegal wars and occupations is a war crime. That being so, I told them, it is vital that our media unions start to take a stand and protect their members from such involvement.

Interestingly, although I clearly wasn’t on the executive’s pre-approved list, and therefore had very little chance of being elected, this message was not so unpopular with the delegates as the leadership might have hoped. I received 119 votes (around 50 less than was needed to be elected).

The issue of active non-cooperation goes right to the very heart of what ‘solidarity’ actuallymeans, bringing to workers’ attention the very real power that they have to change things when they act collectively.

It is understandable that the imperialists don’t want us to talk about this. Understandable, too, that the bought-and-paid-for labour aristocrats of the TUC and the Labour party should prefer to crush all such discussion, harmful as it is to the imperialist interests that they ultimately serve.

What is neither understandable nor forgivable is that the leadership of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign should be so averse to giving workers this message. Yet such is clearly the case. Every tactic continues to be used within the campaign to supress and sideline discussion on this vital aspect of our work, while those who do bring up the subject are treated as pariahs and portrayed as a hostile presence in the organisation.

The one vote that didn’t go the executive’s way was over a proposed constitutional amendment that aimed to expedite the process for expelling activists by removing their right to appeal to an AGM. Clearly, the tenor of the day’s debate had awoken a significant section of the delegates to the possibility that the proposed changes might not be inspired by benign motivations, so that the necessary two-thirds majority was not achieved.

Meanwhile, if anyone doubts that it is Labour and not we communists who are the real threat to the building of an effective mass movement for Palestine solidarity in Britain, perhaps they should think about the recent all-expenses-paid trip to Israel taken by a delegation of bright young Labour hopefuls, all in leadership positions within Labour’s youth and student organisations. Paid for by the Union of Jewish Students (UJS), a frontline defender of the zionist state in Britain, the delegates were schmoozed by Israeli war criminals such as army spokesman Captain Barak Raz and Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev, as well as by Britain’s own arch-war criminal (sorry, ‘peace envoy’) Tony Blair.

Since Labour has given ample proof of its willingness to commit any crime in the cause of protecting British imperialist interests, it is hardly surprising that the party and its leaders continue to be committed backers of fascist Israel and defenders of its racist zionist ideology. What is surprising is that those who want to go against imperialist interests by supporting the Palestinian struggle for self-determination should allow their campaign to be misled by people who are tangled in a web of personal connections and political affiliations to that self-same warmongering, zionist-backing organisation.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, CampaignsComments Off on Palestine solidarity movement on the defensive as AGM votes for Zionist formulations

Stand with Gaza … Join the axis of resistance!


Issued on: 05 August 2014

Stand with Gaza ... Join the axis of resistance!
Massacre in GazaThroughout Ramadan 2014 and beyond, while muslims fasted, the world’s people looked on in horror as Israel’s intensification of the genocide of Palestinians escalated into a hideous bloodbath.While Israelis have justified these crimes to others with lies about ‘defending themselves from terrorism’, the discourse of zionists among themselves paints a far more telling picture.

Seven years of inhuman blockade have been openly described by Israeli officials as “putting Gaza on a diet” and keeping its economy “on the brink of collapse”.

After the killing of three teenage settlers (shipped in from New York and elsewhere to illegally colonise the West Bank, and killed by persons unknown), zionist leaders told Israelis: “There is no mercy for the murderers of children. This is the time for action, not words.”

Frenzied mobs whipped up by such incitements went out and burned 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir alive in ‘revenge’. Strangely, no such call followed the shooting in cold blood of two Palestinian boys by Israeli snipers some weeks earlier, even though the perpetrators of that particular child murder had been caught on video.

Meanwhile, the rampage through the West Bank by occupation forces on the excuse of ‘searching for the missing settlers’ (all along known to be dead already) – during which 600 Palestinians were kidnapped and 10 killed – has paled into insignificance beside the unfolding horror that followed in Gaza.

In an attempt to crush the newly-formed Palestinian unity government and to keep the resistance to occupation in check, all the firepower of one of the world’s biggest and most technologically-advanced armies has been directed at the 1.8 million Palestinians (overwhelmingly refugees from earlier ethnic cleansing operations) who are penned into the tiny Gaza Strip.

These 40km2 are the most densely-populated on earth, and have been transformed by siege and occupation into a vast open-air prison.

As Israeli politicians openly call for the killing of mothers to prevent their producing more “little snakes” to fuel the resistance, the occupation forces are obediently targeting all the infrastructure of life – water wells and pipelines; hospitals, clinics, ambulances and medics; electricity stations and fuel supplies; mosques, schools and supply centres.

From uncontested skies, the ‘brave’ bombers of the zionist airforce are flattening one civilian neighbourhood after another, in a killing-spree that has left 2,000 dead (so far), 10,000 injured, and hundreds of thousands homeless … again.

Nearly half the victims of these attacks are women and children. The overwhelming majority are civilians. This genocidal ‘policy’ is referred to in Israel as “mowing the grass”.

Zionism and Palestine

Israel was originally set up by Britain to be a “loyal jewish Ulster” in the Middle East, and, although British masters were later pushed aside by American ones, that is what it has remained to this day.

The zionist stooges who destroy Palestinian homes, drop bombs on Palestinian schools, plough up Palestinian crops and poison Palestinian water are bribed by US and British governments and corporations to do imperialism’s dirty work.

In return for helping corporations like BP and Texaco to carry on looting the oil and dominating the people of the whole region, the zionists are given money, military technology, diplomatic immunity, and the backing of a campaign of lies and disinformation in the imperialist-controlled media.

Israel was established in an orgy of ethnic cleansing, and has been wiping out Palestinian families ever since. War crimes are a daily event in this, the most militarised state in the world.

In fact, rather than viewing Israel as a state with a huge military, it is more helpful to realise that Israel is in fact a massive army base that also happens to have some schools. Israeli children are brought up to be Nazi-like stormtroopers, their heads filled with supremacist hatred of all Arab peoples.

The imperialists made one serious miscalculation, though. It was assumed that in the face of Israel’s might, Palestinians would accept underclass status or leave, but the days when colonialists could evict a people from their land and get away with it were over.

In the era of socialist revolution and national liberation, the racist dismissal of local peoples as ‘uncivilised barbarians’ or merely ‘irrelevant’ was no longer possible.

Resistance and solidarity

Instead of politely disappearing, the Palestinians stood their ground – refusing to submit no matter how barbarous their oppressors became. Instead of passively joining the long list of imperialist victims, the Palestinians became a beacon of resistance and an inspiration to oppressed people globally.

It is this resistance that is the key to defeating zionism. The heroic 67-year resistance of the Palestinians to zionism by every means at their disposal has frustrated British and US plans for total domination of the Middle East, exposed the real nature of fascist Israel, and steadily destroyed Israel’s moral standing in the world.

Gradually, the wellspring of sympathy that Israel shamelessly exploited following the Nazis’ mass extermination of jews in WW2 has run dry. As every agreement and concession on the part of Palestinians is greeted with fresh Israeli crimes, it has become clear to all that it is the zionists, and not the Palestinians, who stand in the way of peace.

So brazen has its war machine become that, today, Israel is the number one creator of anti-jewish feeling in the world.

Meanwhile, we need to recognise the very real power we in Britain have over the Israeli war machine, which could not function without imperialist support.

Not only do our media need to be held to account for their lies, and those firms that profit from the war and occupation need to be singled out and boycotted, but all parts of the war machine need to be stopped from functioning.

We are not only consumers but workers. Our media unions have the power to organise their members to refuse to write, publish or broadcast war propaganda. We have a duty to remind the public of the Nuremberg ruling that the creation of such propaganda is itself a war crime.

Our manufacturing unions need to back us up so that those who are making munitions for Israel can refuse to carry out such work. Those of us who provide any goods or services to Israel and to the settlements should be empowered to withdraw our labour-power from such work and explain exactly why we are doing so to the British public.

Supermarket workers should be organised to refuse to put Israeli products on the shelves. Transport workers should refuse to carry anything to or from Israel.

The whole zionist enterprise would collapse pretty quickly if we put our money where our mouth is and used our collective power.

It’s the one thing that could terrify our own ruling class into dropping its support for the Israeli project.

Posted in GazaComments Off on Stand with Gaza … Join the axis of resistance!





Dress the Gaza Situation Up All You Like, But the Truth Hurts

Robert Fisk–There was a time when our politicians and media had one principal fear when covering Middle East wars: that no one should ever call them anti-Semitic. So corrosive, so vicious was this charge against any honest critic of Israel that merely to bleat the word “disproportionate” – as in any normal wartime exchange rate of Arab-to-Israeli deaths – was to provoke charges of Nazism by Israel’s would-be supporters. Sympathy for Palestinians would earn the sobriquet “pro-Palestinian”, which, of course, means “pro-terrorist”. dn

Hamas’s Chances

Nathan Thrall–The current war in Gaza was not one Israel or Hamas sought. But both had no doubt that a new confrontation would come. The 21 November 2012 ceasefire that ended an eight-day-long exchange of Gazan rocket fire and Israeli aerial bombardment was never implemented. It stipulated that all Palestinian factions in Gaza would stop hostilities against Israel, that Israel would end attacks against Gaza by land, sea and air – including the ‘targeting of individuals’ (assassinations, typically by drone-fired missile) – and that the closure of Gaza would essentially end as a result of Israel’s ‘opening the crossings and facilitating the movements of people and transfer of goods, and refraining from restricting residents’ free movements and targeting residents in border areas’. An additional clause noted that ‘other matters as may be requested shall be addressed,’ a reference to private commitments by Egypt and the US to help thwart weapons smuggling into Gaza, though Hamas has denied this interpretation of the clause. dn

A `self-hating` Jew`s guide to answering Zionist talking points

Jared Sacks–I grew up being indoctrinated by Zionists throughout my life. As a child, I was told that the state of Israel is somehow “necessary” to prevent another Holocaust. I was also told that Palestine/Israel was empty and uninhabited when Jews began emigrating there in the late 1800s, and was still sparsely populated after World War II. I was taught that the Jews are a chosen people with the right to their own homeland.dn

What, it took Washington 25 days to call the Gaza war barbaric?Gideon Levy–On Saturday morning the Palestinian Health Ministry phoned A. from Rafah and asked him to open his vegetable refrigeration room. The idea was to make room for dozens of bodies piling up in the city’s small hospital. A.’s refrigerator quickly filled up with bodies, including of many children. dn
Dispatch from Gaza: The bloody devolution of a `ceasefire`Samer Badawi–GAZA CITY – After a night of relentless shelling from tanks and naval warships, a ceasefire meant to take hold in Gaza at 8 a.m. this morning quickly devolved into fierce fighting on two fronts along the Strip’s eastern and southern borders. As of this writing, Israeli shelling in Rafah had killed 40 Palestinians, and heavy bombardment was visible east of Gaza City, near the already battered towns of Shejaiya and Khuza’a. dn

Yet Another War of Deceit

Ran HaCohen–The Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights is now 47 years old. Two generations of Israelis have grown up, matured and been educated in a country depriving millions of their political rights. In Israel’s political leadership, settlers residing in the Occupied Territories and recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union are over-represented. No wonder, then, that basic notions of democracy have been virtually abandoned. For example, in a step highly reminiscent of anti-Semitic boycotts against Jews in Eastern and Central Europe during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Israel’s foreign minister Lieberman explicitly urged Israelis (i.e. Jews) to boycott businesses of Israeli Arabs. Having grown up in a Soviet dictatorship, it is the same Lieberman who found Putin’s 2011 elections in Russia fair and democratic. dn

Palestine: The Hatred and the HopeDavid Shulman–In the midst of the wearisome compulsions of the present Gaza war, with its familiar but no less heart-wrenching horrors, two striking, perhaps surprising developments—one ominous, the other somewhat hopeful—are taking place far from the battlefield: on the streets of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and in the towns and villages of the West Bank. Seen together, they tell us something of what the near future may hold for Israel and Palestine. dn
Hamas never agreed that Israeli troops could remain in Gaza during CeasefireYnetnews–The head of Hamas` political bureau Khaled Mashal, spoke in an interview with CNN Saturday saying that Hamas had rejected an US drafted ceasefire that was presented last weekend. Mashal said that Hamas never agreed to allow IDF troops to remain in the Gaza Strip during a ceasefire. dn
Thousands of people protested on Saturday in TamraYnetnews–Thousands of people protested on Saturday in Tamra, just north-east of Haifa, against the continuation of Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip. dn

U.S. Anti-Israel Protests Continue In Week 3 Of Gaza War

Protests against Israel’s operations in Gaza continued this week, with at least two dozen protests taking place since Sunday and several dozen more scheduled over the week­end. A total of 206 demon­stra­tions have taken place since Israel’s military cam­paign began on July 8. See below for a roundup of what hap­pened in select cities this week: dn

For previous articles since 2004 go to respective sections
Recommended articles 
Nathan Thrall:Hamas’s Chances
Martin Lejeune: Emergency call from Gaza
Martin Lejeune: “The front line is none of your business”
Today in Palestine:Today in Palestine for Agust 31, 2014
PCHR:PCHR update Saturday, August 2, 2014
Marc H. Ellis:Amira Hass and the end of Jewish ethical history
HENRY SIEGMAN: Israel Provoked This War : It’s up to President Obama to stop it

David Grossman:An Israel Without Illusions

Posted in Palestine Affairs, GazaComments Off on PALESTINE NEWS

US suspended aid to Egypt after it slaughtered civilians — why not I$raHell?


You surely know that the White House in its wisdom has condemned the Israeli shelling of the U.N. school in Gaza that killed 15 or 20 civilians or more (accounts vary). Obama’s press secretary Josh Earnest said yesterday that Israel wasn’t living up to its high standards:

But the shelling of a U.N. facility that is housing innocent civilians who are fleeing violence is totally unacceptable and totally indefensible.  And it is clear that we need our allies in Israel to do more to live up to the high standards that they have set for themselves.

Meantime, Navi Pillay of the UN Human Rights Council made a statement that was far stronger; she said such attacks have occurred time and time again, and she called for international legal accountability for Israel at last, or there would be more schools blown up (thanks to Phyllis Bennis):

For the past week I have been looking at the previous fact-finding missions. They’re all out there, the same kind of attacks occurring now on homes, schools, hospitals, UN premises.

None of this appears to me to be accidental. There have been clear warnings issued to Israel by these very eminent commissions of inquiry. Plus follow-up commissions of inquiry.

Therefore I would say they appear to be defying, deliberate defiance of obligations that international law imposes on Israel. We cannot allow impunity. We cannot allow this lack of accountability to go on.

Every legal system, every just system in each one of our countries is based on the principle that to avoid a recurrence of crime, you investigate, prosecute & punish.
That has not happened here.

At the State Department briefing yesterday, the reporters to their credit heard the official line of condemnation and then many of them asked, What’s next? If you watch the briefing’s first half hour, you will hear one reporter after another ask whether there aren’t going to be consequences for Israel’s action. Many of them ask about suspending aid: That’s what you did with Egypt when it slaughtered civilians. There’s a sense in these questions that there may be growing public pressure on the administration to do something, that some newspapers and public figures (I almost wrote politicians) will call for suspending aid.

Here are some excerpts of the reporters’ questions, with the occasional response from Marie Harf of the State Department.

QUESTION: Are there any policy implications for this?… I mean is it business as usual with Israel after you’ve condemned this shelling? … I mean [the] overall U.S. relationship with Israel. Is there any consequence to the fact that this happened, or are you saying this is a bad thing, we condemn it, but let’s move on, everything else can remain normal? And I say this in the context of this approval ..last week or whenever it was — of the – right, of the additional ammunition…

QUESTION: Do you – are you – do you know at – if any point during the review at the State Department, if even a concern – if any concerns were raised about this transfer?

MS. HARF: I am happy to check. I am not aware of the internal discussions that were had around this until the decision was made, but I can check with our folks…

QUESTION: By continuing to resupply ammunition that is being used in this conflict, what – you say that you’re concerned about the civilian deaths, most of which these deaths are civilian deaths. But don’t you think that those two aims are working at cross purposes?…

QUESTION: How do you think that continuing to supply ammunition is not furthering this conflict?

MS. HARF: Because that’s a simplistic reading of what this military-to-military relationship is like. We resupply allies and partners and friends that we have a military-to-military relationship with when there are requests to do so. That is an ongoing process and a fairly routine process

QUESTION: But when you – when the Egyptians were cracking down the civilian population earlier this year or last year, you quietly suspended resupply to them.

MS. HARF: They are totally different situations, Elise.

QUESTION: Well, why is it totally different?

MS. HARF: Wholly different situations. Our relationship with Israel – our military-to-military relationship is a very strong one….where, as you know, we suspended a large amount of assistance after what happened politically in Egypt.

QUESTION: Fine. But isn’t part of that strength of the relationship being able to say that we think that –… the asymmetry of this conflict is getting out of hand?…

QUESTION: Have they said that they’re not going to use this latest batch of stuff that you’re giving them in the current conflict?…

QUESTION: Do you not worry about the optics of  American-supplied ammunition being used in Gaza and possibly causing even more deaths? Does that not – in a situation where the American reputation in the Arab world is already not great — do you not worry about those optics?…

QUESTION: But Marie, on a – from a policy perspective, when you just said in answer to Elise’s question how different it is from Egypt, can you explain how it is? Because at the time, I remember State Department saying that we have a very strong military-military relationship with the Egyptian military… But it took – the Administration took a long time and then finally suspended delivery of items specifically because they were upset about how those items were being used against a civilian population…

QUESTION: But how – why is it wholly different from what we’re looking at now in terms of weapons being used against a civilian population, which you’ve said is a concern to the Administration?..

MS. HARF: Well, in Egypt, they were using them against their own people. In Israel, they are using them against a terrorist organization to fight a terrorist organization, which we believe is in legitimate self-defense. That’s different, say –

QUESTION: But causing mass civilian casualties –

MS. HARF: Which we’ve said they need to take more steps to lower those numbers.

QUESTION: But using –

MS. HARF: So, A, those are –

QUESTION: — supplies that the United States is continuing to provide –

MS. HARF: I understand the crux of your question, but they’re not comparable situations. In Egypt, you had a government cracking down on its own people. In Israel, you have a government fighting an external threat that’s coming from Gaza that is from a terrorist organization. Those are in no way equivalent situations.

UNRWA is saying that Gaza is on the verge of collapse. There is no power. There is no water. The hospitals are not working, or working on a very minimal power supply. Everything is falling apart. Are you concerned that we are maybe on the verge of a huge human catastrophe there?

I’ve seen about six or seven instances where the Israelis have said that they saw rocket fire coming from that area, and the targets that ended up being hit were not legitimate Hamas targets.

Well, there are places for them to go, but then those places are being targeted also.

is there any thought, given the fact that these – it is so densely populated, that these people have nowhere to go, that even the places that they are going in shelters are being targeted, is there any consideration of any type of safe haven places where you can send these refugees?

So I haven’t heard discussion about that. But look, we believe there should be safe places for civilians in Gaza, period.

You seemed to say that in – the context was different because in Egypt, the Egyptian military was going after its own civilians, or Egyptians and that Israel is different because it’s defending itself from an outside threat. So can we just limit this to the civilian – innocent civilian casualties? There were some in Egypt, people who got caught up in thePeople who, as the government was cracking down on violence or whatever – that people got caught up. I don’t understand how it’s okay for a government to shoot and kill its own people – I mean, it’s not okay for a government to shoot and kill its own people, but it is okay  to kill innocent civilians –

MS. HARF: We condemn all civilian casualties.

QUESTION: Are they not comparable in terms of your arms transfer regulations, or are they not comparable at all?

MS. HARF: The situations are just actually not comparable at all.

QUESTION: Okay. So –

MS. HARF: Some of the same principles may apply at times in both, but the situations are just not comparable.

QUESTION: Marie, if you –

MS. HARF: They’re just not at all.


QUESTION: — is there any consideration on any level of reconsidering the delivery – not the contracts, but the delivery – of any military supplies to Israel right now? I mean, it’s not without precedent to withhold certain armaments because you don’t like the way they’re being used.

MS. HARF: Not that I’ve heard….I think we’ve been clear that we are committed to our security relationship with Israel.


Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on US suspended aid to Egypt after it slaughtered civilians — why not I$raHell?

Gaza Holocaust: Nazi military announce they will bomb al-Shifa hospital in Gaza

al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City (Photo:

al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City (Photo:

Al-Shifa hospital has received a phone call telling them a building of the hospital will be bombed.

At 16:30, the hospital received a call from an unlisted number, stating a building needed to be evacuated immediately.

The building is being used for overflow patients, and is directly across the road from the main hospital building. It is part of the hospital site, but building work has yet to be completed.

The hospital is now in the process of evacuating all staff and patients inside.

“I’d like to say that Israel’s threats to bomb Gaza’s largest hospital have reached a new low, but in light of its relentless atrocities and civilian massacres over the last 25 days, it’s hardly unexpected,” stated Joe Catron, U.S. International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activist now in al-Shifa hospital.

Since July 25th, international volunteers from countries including Spain, Sweden, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, New Zealand, Australia, and Venezuela have begun a constant protective presence in various locations at the al-Shifa Hospital.

According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, as of July 29th, there have been 34 attacks against Gazan medical facilities since this latest Israeli military assault began 25 days ago.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, GazaComments Off on Gaza Holocaust: Nazi military announce they will bomb al-Shifa hospital in Gaza

Gaza Holocaust: The experts’ verdict Every Nazi missile strike is a war crime


A video published by Al Arabiya shows the destruction of Beit Hanoun over the course of one hour.

Yesterday’s Guardian includes an article that appears to be excusing Israel of responsibility for the massive death toll it has inflicted on Palestinian civilians. But, more significantly, it includes a lot of useful – and damning – information about just how “indiscriminate” Israel’s weapons really are.

This interests me a great deal because I have been warning about problems with the interpretation of international law used by leading human rights groups on this very point since the 2006 Lebanon War.

At that time I got into a dispute with Human Rights Watch’s Middle East policy director, Sarah Leah Whitson. Her organisation argued that Hizbullah was committing war crimes by definition whenever it fired rockets at Israel, even if it hit military targets, because those rockets were primitive and inherently inaccurate.

By contrast, HRW claimed, Israel’s missiles were precise and therefore their use was not inherently inadmissible. Its view was that Israel did not commit war crimes by firing its missiles; the obligation was on observers to show that they had not been used within the rules of war – which is a much harder standard of proof. For more on this debate, see my articles here and here.

In practice, HRW’s argument was nonsense, as was clear even in 2006. During that war, Israel dropped millions of cluster munitions – little bomblets that serve effectively as land mines – all over southern Lebanon, endangering the whole civilian population of the area.

But Norman Finkelstein recently pointed out the more general problem with HRW’s argument:

“By this standard, only rich countries, or countries rich enough to purchase high-tech weapons, have a right to defend themselves against high-tech aerial assaults. It is a curious law that would negate the raison d’être of law: the substitution of might by right.”

It may not be entirely surprising that HRW and others interpret international law in a way that serves rich and powerful western states, however many civilians they kill, and criminalises developing states, however few civilians they kill.

The current fighting in Gaza illustrates this point in dramatic fashion. Some 95% of the 64 Israelis who have been killed during the current fighting are soldiers; some 75% of the nearly 1,500 Palestinians who have been killed are civilian.

But comments from experts in the Guardian article add another layer of insight into HRW’s dubious distinctions.

One should ignore the irritating framing used in the article, which seems to suggest that the high Palestinian death toll may be down to human or systems errors. Experts discount this theory in the article and also point out that Israel is often not checking whether its shooting is accurate. In other words, it gives every indication of not taking any precautions to ensure it is hitting only military targets (or rather targets it claims are military in nature). That recklessness makes it fully culpable.

But we also have experts cited here who make the point that much of Israel’s precise weaponry is not accurate at all.

Andrew Exum, a former US army officer and defence department special adviser on the Middle East, who has studied Israel’s military operations, says this:

“There are good strategic reasons to avoid using air power and artillery in these conflicts: they tend to be pretty indiscriminate in their effects and make it difficult for the population under fire to figure out what they’re supposed to do to be safe.”

“Pretty indiscriminate”! So doesn’t that mean Israel was committing war crimes by definition every time it made one of those thousands of air strikes that marked the start of Operation Protective Edge, and that continue to this day?

But it is not just strikes from the air that are the problem. There is more:

“However, military analysts and human rights observers say the IDF is still using unguided, indirect fire with high-explosive shells, which they argue is inappropriate for a densely populated area like Gaza …

“[Israel’s 155m howitzer] shells have a lethal radius of 50 to 150 metres and causes injury up to 300 metres from its point of impact. Furthermore, such indirect-fire artillery (meaning it is fired out of direct sight of the target) has a margin of error of 200 to 300 metres.”

Read that again: a margin of error of up to 300 metres, plus a lethal radius of up to 150 metres and an injury radius of 300 metres. So that’s a killing and injury zone of close to half a kilometre from the intended “precise” site of impact – in a territory that is only a few kilometres wide and long. In short, one of the main shells Israel is using in Gaza is completely imprecise.

Set aside what Israel is trying to do in Gaza. Let us assume it is actually trying to hit military targets rather than being either reckless about hitting civilian targets or deliberately trying to hit civilians, as much of the evidence might suggest.

Even if we assume total good faith on Israel’s part that it is trying to hit only Hamas and other military sites, it is clear it cannot do so even with the advanced weaponry it has. The inherent imprecision of its arsenal is compounded many fold by the fact that it is using these weapons in densely built-up areas.

So when are going to hear HRW or the United Nation’s Navi Pillay stop talking about proportionality or Israel’s potential war crimes, and admit Israel is committing war crimes by definition – right now, as you read this.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, GazaComments Off on Gaza Holocaust: The experts’ verdict Every Nazi missile strike is a war crime

Gaza Holocaust: How Nazi army destroyed Beit Hanoun

Bombed homes, shelling and cars charred by missiles: Fidaa Zaanin on how Israel destroyed Beit Hanoun
Palestinians in Gaza walk amid destroyed buildings in the northern district of Beit Hanun during an humanitarian truce on July 26, 2014. (Photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)

Palestinians in Gaza walk amid destroyed buildings in the northern district of Beit Hanun during an humanitarian truce on July 26, 2014. (Photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)

Six months after flying to Iceland to study, Fidaa Zaanin returned to her home in the Gaza Strip. One month later, the 25-year-old Zaanin was confronted by yet another Israeli attack on the coastal enclave that is surrounded on all sides by hostile forces.

Zaanin, a resident of Beit Hanoun, in Gaza’s north, has seen two punishing wars come and go. The only difference this time is that the ferocity of Israel’s assault has surpassed the others–something that many thought was hard to do given the immense destruction wrought by Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09.

“I can’t say I’m shocked to come back, because this is the reality. This is what I grow up to, this is the way I was raised up,” Zaanin, who joked her age is “three wars,” told me in a phone conversation from Gaza City, where she has been displaced to after Beit Hanoun suffered heavy bombardment. “This one is much worse. They are targeting everywhere.”

The numbers bear her out. Israel’s 22-day attack in 2008-09 killed an estimated 1,400 Palestinians, with estimates varying depending on which group did the counting. Whatever the exact number is, though, the grim toll of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge has now passed Cast Lead’s toll. At least 1,437 Palestinians, the vast majority of them civilians, have been killed over the past three weeks. Over 5,000 were injured during Cast Lead, while over 8,000 have been injured during the current assault.

But statistics can only tell you so much. My conversation with Zaanin focused on what the people of Beit Hanoun, the place where she resides, have gone through over the past week as Israeli shelling and bombs rained down on the city in Gaza’s north. It is one of the hardest hit areas in Gaza. She managed to stay in Beit Hanoun for most of the assault, but that changed earlier this week.

On the night of July 25th, Israel launched a massive–and by many accounts indiscriminate–attack on areas near the border with Israel, including Beit Hanoun and Shuja’iya, after Palestinian militants killed Israeli soldiers. Zaanin lived through a terrifying night that saw Israeli shells and bombs level rip up the area’s infrastructure. Reporting from the city the day after, The Guardian’s Gaza-based reporter Peter Beaumont wrote that “whole blocks had been flattened, dozens of buildings at a time reduced to a moonscape from which the smell of death at times wafted.”

“It was the most scary night. They were shelling in a very crazy way, a very intense way,” said Zaanin. “I don’t know how I managed to hold on that night. I couldn’t sleep, I didn’t sleep that night, not even one minute.” Her house shook the whole time as the skies lit up from the bombing, she added.

She left Beit Hanoun the morning after the July 25th attack while there was a temporary cease-fire, walking two kilometers with family members until they reached a place where a car could bring them to Gaza City. Asked what she witnessed on her way over to Gaza City, she painted a macabre portrait. Many homes were demolished. Other houses that weren’t demolished bore the scars of Israeli bombing; her neighbor’s roof had a hole through it. Ammunition littered the street. Cars in the street were blackened after being hit by Israeli missiles, in some cases while people were inside of them, said Zaanin.

I asked her whether her home was okay. She said that after she left Beit Hanoun, neighbors had told her that windows were broken. Her uncle’s house is damaged, and some chickens on the uncle’s farm had been killed. “But this is nothing compared to what happened to other people, so I can’t really complain,” said Zaanin, adding that Gaza City was a comparably calmer place. Still, she has had no electricity since Israeli shells hits Gaza’s sole power plant. She can only access the Internet through her phone–which is quite expensive–or when she finds journalists in the city who have an Internet connection.

Despite the destruction in Beit Hanoun and other areas of Gaza, Zaanin said the incessant Israeli shelling and bombing has not broken the people of Gaza’s spirit and desire to change their situation. “In the streets, people are pro-resistance. There is no one complaining. They are saying, ‘they are killing us, they are targeting us all the time, just go with it if it’s going to give us our rights.’” But she added, “of course people are sad about their homes, about their loved ones who already left us, about the kids who are dying….It’s not because of the resistance that this happening. people know they target us whether there is resistance or not.”

For now, all Zaanin can do is wait out this military assault from Gaza City, away from home. She wants to continue her studies. And she was supposed to start working this month. That will have to wait.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, GazaComments Off on Gaza Holocaust: How Nazi army destroyed Beit Hanoun

Collective fear, collective support for war crimes — it’s the ‘Time of Men’ in I$raHell

Hilla Dayan and PW Zuidhof 
Coalition of Women for Peace demonstration in Israel

Coalition of Women for Peace demonstration in Israel

Two Israeli themes of the Gaza war have been the intense fears of attack inside Israeli society and the overwhelming support by Israelis for their government’s onslaught against Gaza. The New York Times conveyed the fears as if they are perfectly rational. Several websites have now picked up this letter about the mood inside Israel from Hilla Dayan and PW Zuidhof, a Dutch-Israeli couple who live in Amsterdam, reflecting on that society after a vacation. I’ve picked up most of the letter as posted by Jewish Voice for Peace:

Why do Israelis support a costly ground invasion of Gaza?

The summer in Israel was planned long in advance. Eager to go, our three small children were excited to start their Lego themed summer camp. We landed in Tel Aviv in steamy mid July, just when the current violence started. As a Dutch-Israeli family from Amsterdam that travels frequently to Israel we are used to being teased in calmer times about why, for our own sanity, we do not choose a real holiday destination instead of a conflict zone. Friends and relatives in the Netherlands are now worried. They inquire politely as to our safety and wellbeing. On facebook they see our shared images of dead and wounded children in Gaza, war horrors, anti-war demonstrations, international condemnations, outraged op-eds and petitions calling for immediate ceasefire. Pictures from home of smiling blond kids in green parks and sunny beaches are flickering in glaring contrast to the barrage of depressing feeds from our “vacation.”

Our family here knows we are appalled by the war and condemn the atrocities in Gaza but there is no point talking about it with them. As Israeli and Dutch citizens who want to see an end to the occupation our politics combined with the fact that we don’t live in Israel makes us outsiders, if not outright “traitors.” We are naïve if we don’t see that hitting Gaza hard is necessary in response to the existential threat of Hamas. The weight of the overwhelming support for the war descends upon us daily, heavy and inescapable like the 90% humidity in the air. In Kindergartens, Pilates studios, hairdressers, office building signs are posted as people collect goodies for packages to send to our soldiers in the front. Soldiers are on everyone’s mind since the first smiley profiles of dead young man appeared in the news. At night many Tel Aviv restaurants and bars are empty or closed. Summer events and music concerts are cancelled so our sister and sister-in-law doda (aunt) miki the producer has plenty of time to spoil our children. This is war…

Our war amounts to spending a few minutes in a friendly meet and greet in the staircase of the apartment building if we happen to be home with the children when the siren is on. At night we do not disturb the kids’ sleep and skip the neighborly meet and greet, like last night when the siren went off. It took us few rather disorienting days here to slowly come to the conclusion that the palpable collective fear is disproportionate to the actual threat.

Government propaganda, lies and deceptions to galvanize support for the war is relentless and the Iron Dome system, the system that intercepts Hamas rockets, is just part of it. An expert opinion according to which the Israeli population is almost 100% safe even without it because of the inferiority of Hamas’ weapons and the abundance of shelter infrastructure seemed credible. Deep inside, we believe, everyone knows that the chance something will happen to you here is statistically negligible. It can happen, like the chance of dying in a shocking aviation disaster as what happened this summer to hundreds of Dutch citizens, but it is very unlikely.

One commentator rightly said that Iron Dome functions as the Deus-ex-Machina of this war. Everyone but us is convinced it saves lives. We see it more as a psychological warfare device. Curiously, much of the explosion sound that gets people so worked up here is largely produced by the Iron Dome system itself. What is striking if not outright suspicious is that there is hardly any information in the aftermath of interceptions; we know nothing about it and nobody cares. The threat of warheads in any case gradually subsides as we write giving way to fear from terrorist infiltration from the Gaza tunnels. This shift happened within days from the ground invasion, which marked a notable decrease in the number of Iron Dome alarms.

How come everyone, even in our leftie circles, is so psychologically affected by this war? Why are they so afraid? Earlier rounds – the second Intifada with buses and markets exploding – were much more terrifying. Of course far too many are first and foremost afraid for the lives of their loved ones, soldiers and reservists in Gaza. In my family a distant relative was wounded; the brother of a friend is “inside”; The ex of a friend, who I know way back from our military service during the first Intifada, was drafted. With more than forty soldiers dead, it appears that the imaginary threshold of a war too costly to wage has not been crossed.

As we write this, carnage in Gaza and the death of scores of soldiers is authorized to continue. Why? The Israeli narcissism that concerns itself only with IDF casualties while hundreds of bodies pile up in Gaza is nothing new. The logic of war normality we experience here in Tel Aviv just confirms it. The soldiers die so that we can live “normally.” Violence is inevitable because Israel is under attack. One has to be here to understand fully that the legitimacy of this war is not just manufactured top down by the Israeli government. It is a genuine and widespread social reality. Everyone, even those few hundreds opposing the war, us included, take part daily in its production. Take for instance the dynamic of normal routine interrupted regularly by sirens. In no time, these interruptions themselves became a normal routine. We all got used to the “pending emergency” situation. We are all on an emergency-normality switch mode. People stop cars in the middle of the road to seek shelter in nearby buildings only to go back behind the wheel and honk impatiently at the other drivers as if nothing happened; In cafes people nervously react to suspicious sounds, jump from their seats to the sound of sirens, and return seconds later to their relaxed posture sipping their espressos and so on.

Many Israelis, including very young children, incessantly consume updates on strikes and interceptions through the “red color” app. The app with the red icon on their smartphones is decorated with a sound radiation sign resembling the nuclear danger logo. Authorities, institutions, employers, all heighten security procedures, producing signs, road signs and flyers with instructions on buildings “safe spaces”. Municipalities put on giant billboards with patriotic slogans, one more offensively patriotic than the other. We received a leaflet to parents from the kids’ summer camp advising us on how to maintain “emotional safe spaces” for our children. On TV mainly men talk: brain-dead, repetitive, militaristic tactic-talk. The blogger Idan Landau once aptly called this tsunami of public appearances at times of warzman hagvarim – “the time of men.”  At the same time, the witch hunt of dissenters has reached epidemic proportions, targeting many, and women especially, who dare speak their minds against the war. Orna Banai, Gila Almagor, Shira Gefen are famous celebrities who were vilified for speaking out; a Palestinian psychologist working for the Lod municipality and many like her got fired for what they posted on facebook.

The Open House LGBT organization in Jerusalem came under attack after Elinor Sidi, its director, took a stance against the war. In academia, university presidents published statements warning that they monitor staff and students expressions on social media and will resort to sanctions if they express “too extreme” opinions. This blunt assault is what happens publicly. In private, we know from our friends, many who are politically colored as unpatriotic or anti-Zionist pay a great personal price. Candidates for jobs are asked to write letters renouncing their political opinions. University presidents intervene personally to block “controversial” appointments. Ron Shoval, former leader of Im Tirtzu organizations called to put to use the boycott law, from its sinful inception no more than a dead letter law, to preemptively prosecute and jail human rights defenders. The idea is to prevent human rights organizations from reporting to an international investigation like the Goldstone commission after operation Cast Lead. This witch hunt did not begin yesterday, but the war made things much worse. We encounter both this white fascism running through the main echelons of Israeli society, and the street fascism, those small but well organized gangs of the extreme right who mobilize to beat and intimidate anti-war protestors when they take to the street. In the cultural war raging here it is the Mizrahi face of the extreme right chanting “death to Arab” on the street that grabs all the attention. Haaretz is covering this Mizrahi extreme right extensively. Indeed, it is perceived by lefties especially as menacing, as the “sewage” flooding civilized Israel. But, the white fascism of university presidents or Im Tirtzu is far worse, far more dangerous. One Ron Shoval is more effective in crushing dissent than a thousand street gangs. Those are the people who really hold the key to a complete breakdown of the façade of Israeli democracy.

We attempted to describe the regime of manufactured fear and psychological support for the war, penetrating all aspects of life in all directions. For the vast majority of the country this fear is disproportionate to the actual threat. We described also a climate of threat of violence and violence directed against any form of dissent. In an atmosphere of pending emergency dissent is forbidden and any government action addressing the collective paranoia from the threat of Hamas is seen in a positive light. Needless to say, the government does nothing to curb the climate of violence against dissenters. Instead it incites it with reckless disregard to its potentially disastrous consequences. We do not fear to go and demonstrate, we are still able to do that with reasonable safety, but staying safe on the street is a slightly more complicated task than calculating where the nearest building entrance is in case of a siren alarm. This regime of collective fear and collective mobilization in support of the war is so intense, that our “war vacation” is starting to feel like we took the wrong flight and landed in North Korea.

“They are all animals,” a tattooed man in his 30s muttered in our direction as we just got up to pay for our coffee. “Are you sure ALL of them are?” one of us replied later contemplating the stupidity of a casual response that could have easily provoked violence. Hamas is seen as a mortal, inhuman enemy, which must be crushed, decimated. In line with Prime Minister Netanyahu it is for many heir to Amalek in ancient times and Hitler. This is no apology but Israelis have been traumatized by the savage campaigns of suicide bombings of Hamas beginning in the 1990s, and so it is psychologically impossible for many to acknowledge that however criminal the actions of military resistance to the occupation sometimes are, in fact as soon as Hamas took power over Gaza in 2006 it became an intimate strategic partner of the militant Israeli government. Mash’al and Bibi are caught like lovers on an airplane about to crash in a deadly embrace for their own survival. Although the IDF now deals Hamas a military blow, the government is in fact desperate to keep the organization somehow alive. Military sources said from the outset of the operation that the purpose of the invasion this time is not to “break Hamas.” Hamas’ demands for a ceasefire in turn reflect just how addicted it became to the crumbs falling from the Israeli government table. The script for a ceasefire was already written before the ground invasion began. It is a matter of ending the bloody spectacle with a mere semblance of two sides mutually bettering their positions. The tragedy of course is that so many stand-ins and movie extras must die so spectacularly in vain for the status quo of occupation-resistance to continue. It may sound crazy, given all that we have said so far about Israel in the grip of fascism, but right to left people understand perfectly well the futility of the bloodshed. They already talk about the next round as inevitable. Depressed and helpless to stop it many express confusion and are simply torn between their instinct of victimization and sense of horror at the high price in human life. What is entirely lost or powerfully sublimated is the consequence of being implicated in and authorizing crimes against humanity. Israelis consider the war of position between Hamas and their government to be an existential war, and the conduct of their enemy, they feel, absolves them from any accountability. In their battle of survival, real and imaginary, it only makes sense to let the enemy die and verify the killing (vidu hariga). In this savage place no laws of war apply.

Our children’s renewed Israeli passports arrived just before the ground invasion. Staring at their pictures, Israeli IDs and passport numbers, the thought crossed our minds – why can’t they be spared this terrible burden? Why should they carry an identity associated with cruelty, horrors, war, occupation, apartheid, crimes against humanity? They are Dutch kids after all, fluent in Hebrew but with a thick Amsterdam accent. Why can’t they just sleep in their beds safely without their parents agonizing about children killed in their name? We should go home to Amsterdam or join our relatives vacationing in la Palma, a Canary island. This war vacation and the summer disaster in the Netherlands made us aware of our fragility, temporariness, and inability to control what is happening in our environment. It also sharpened our differences. At times like these mom is better off here in this normal-savage place where she is from, and where she directly partakes in efforts to stop the war. For dad it is crazy to be here, where he is surrounded by supporters of war crimes, who seem superficially normal and go about their normal lives. The kids, they just soak up the sun and enjoy themselves tremendously, their family and friends keep them happy. Their happiness and safety is comforting, but what would we say when they start asking us: mom, dad, what is war, who is doing it, and why can’t you stop it?

Hilla Dayan and PW Zuidhof

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, GazaComments Off on Collective fear, collective support for war crimes — it’s the ‘Time of Men’ in I$raHell

‘When Genocide is Permissible’ op-ed removed from Jewish Nazi news site


” Jewish NaziYochanan Gordon ” Shoah
‘When Genocide is Permissible’ op-ed removed from Israeli news site
By   Global News

Yochanan Gordon's blog post on the Times of Israel website was removed Friday for breaching the website's editorial guidelines. It was online long enough to cause widespread condemnation on social media.

Yochanan Gordon’s blog post on the Times of Israel website was removed Friday for breaching the website’s editorial guidelines. It was online long enough to cause widespread condemnation on social media.

Times of Israel/Screen grab via Patrick Cain

It’s rather unexpected to see a phrase like “When Genocide Is Permissible” in print, but even more surprising to see it at the top of trending subjects on social media.

The Times of Israel published an opinion piece with that title on Friday, written by Yochanan Gordon.

Gordon, a writer and sales manager for the New York-based 5 Towns Jewish Times, founded by his father, posed a question in the context of Israel having “its back against the wall” in fighting Hamas, but coming under immense international pressure because of the mounting civilian death toll in the Gaza Strip.

“We have already established that it is the responsibility of every government to ensure the safety and security of its people. If political leaders and military experts determine that the only way to achieve its goal of sustaining quiet is through genocide is it then permissible to achieve those responsible goals?”

The full text of Gordon’s opinion piece is available below. But, you won’t find it on the Times of Israel website. It has been removed “for editorial reasons.” A spokesperson for the Times of Israel told the Independent his blog post was “damnable and ignorant” and that it breached the website’s editorial guidelines.

The Times of Israel removed Yochanan Gordon’s blog post titled “When Genocide is Permissible,” calling it “damnable and ignorant.”

The Times of Israel removed Yochanan Gordon’s blog post titled “When Genocide is Permissible,” calling it “damnable and ignorant.”

Times of Israel/Screen Grab

Gordon learned the Times of Israel took his post down when Global News contacted him Friday afternoon. He admitted the word “genocide” may have been a strong term to use, but said he wasn’t “necessarily” saying to do away with all Palestinians.

The 5 Towns Jewish Times —Gordon’s publication —also removed the post less than two hours after Global News spoke with Gordon and issued an apology that called his use of the term genocide “irresponsible.”

The 5 Towns Jewish Times, the publication Gordon’s father founded, also removed and condemned the post.

The 5 Towns Jewish Times, the publication Gordon’s father founded, also removed and condemned the post.

5 Towns Jewish Times/Screen grab

Gordon justified using the term saying the only way Israel can deal with the threat against it “is to do away with the root of the threat.” He clarified the “root of the threat” is Hamas.

“I just wish the people would wake up and smell the reality of what’s going on out there… and the world is just looking on, condemning Israel all the way through and it’s heading in a bad place,” Gordon said in a phone interview from the 5 Towns Jewish Times office.

“How are you supposed to deal with an enemy that goes out of its way and puts innocent civilians in the line of the fire, with tunnels going through their homes and rocket launchers in their homes? How do you deal with such an enemy?”

Gordon wrote news outlets —particularly BBCCNN and Al Jazeera — all too quickly point out the number of civilian deaths in the Gaza Strip, But, he questions their innocence.

“But anyone who lives with rocket launchers installed or terror tunnels burrowed in or around the vicinity of their home cannot be considered an innocent civilian.”

He suggested watching “Fox News or other pro-Israel news channels” to see how “Israel has its hands tied” in this situation, adding there have been several incidents in which the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has “gone out of its way” to limit civilian deaths and not firing on targets where civilians are present.

“Fifteen hundred lives, if they’re innocent civilians, then it is a true tragedy. But the tragedy is not on Israel’s hands. The tragedy is perpetrated by Hamas,” Gordon said.

He referenced accusations that Hamas not only encouraged Gazans to ignore warnings of impending IDF attacks and act as human shields, but also physically abused civilians and forced them to do so.

“But, then again… if people are sitting in homes and they pray in mosques that have tunnels going through there and rocket launchers there, and they didn’t heed the calls of the IDF to leave the area and they had an opportunity to do so, maybe that makes them complicit in the crime as well,” Gordon said.

Late Friday afternoon, Gordon wound up issuing a public apology for his post.

I never intended to call to harm any people although my words may have conveyed that message. With that said I pray and hope for a quick peaceful end to the hostilities and that all people learn to coexist with each other in creating a better world for us all.

Gordon also appeared to delete his Twitter account, although several fake accounts attributed to him popped out throughout the day.

Vox‘s Max Fisher wrote Gordon’s op-ed was “obviously an extreme position.”

“Both the Israeli far-right and Palestinian militant groups will at times advocate for the absolute elimination of the other side from the land; they just know how to do it in a way that won’t raise so many eyebrows,” Fisher concluded.

Here’s a look at how raised those eyebrows were on Twitter:

This is the full text of Gordon’s blog post “When Genocide is Permissible”:

Judging by the numbers of casualties on both sides in this almost one-month old war one would be led to the conclusion that Israel has resorted to disproportionate means in fighting a far less- capable enemy. That is as far as what meets the eye. But, it’s now obvious that the US and the UN are completely out of touch with the nature of this foe and are therefore not qualified to dictate or enforce the rules of this war – because when it comes to terror there is much more than meets the eye.

I wasn’t aware of this, but it seems that the nature of warfare has undergone a major shift over the years. Where wars were usually waged to defeat the opposing side, today it seems – and judging by the number of foul calls it would indicate – that today’s wars are fought to a draw. I mean, whoever heard of a timeout in war? An NBA Basketball game allows six timeouts for each team during the course of a game, but last I checked this is a war! We are at war with an enemy whose charter calls for the annihilation of our people. Nothing, then, can be considered disproportionate when we are fighting for our very right to live.

The sad reality is that Israel gets it, but its hands are being tied by world leaders who over the past six years have insisted they are such good friends with the Jewish state, that they know more regarding its interests than even they do. But there’s going to have to come a time where Israel feels threatened enough where it has no other choice but to defy international warnings – because this is life or death.

Most of the reports coming from Gazan officials and leaders since the start of this operation have been either largely exaggerated or patently false. The truth is, it’s not their fault, falsehood and deceit is part of the very fabric of who they are and that will never change. Still however, despite their propensity to lie, when your enemy tells you that they are bent on your destruction you believe them. Similarly, when Khaled Meshal declares that no physical damage to Gaza will dampen their morale or weaken their resolve – they have to be believed. Our sage Gedalia the son of Achikam was given intelligence that Yishmael Ben Nesanyah was plotting to kill him. However, in his piety or rather naiveté Gedalia dismissed the report as a random act of gossip and paid no attention to it. To this day, the day following Rosh Hashana is commemorated as a fast day in the memory of Gedalia who was killed in cold blood on the second day of Rosh Hashana during the meal. They say the definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over. History is there to teach us lessons and the lesson here is that when your enemy swears to destroy you – you take him seriously.

Hamas has stated forthrightly that it idealizes death as much as Israel celebrates life. What other way then is there to deal with an enemy of this nature other than obliterate them completely?
News anchors such as those from CNN, BBC and Al-Jazeera have not missed an opportunity to point out the majority of innocent civilians who have lost their lives as a result of this war. But anyone who lives with rocket launchers installed or terror tunnels burrowed in or around the vicinity of their home cannot be considered an innocent civilian. If you’ll counter, that Hamas has been seen abusing civilians who have attempted to leave their homes in response to Israeli warnings to leave – well then, your beginning to come to terms with the nature of this enemy which should automatically cause the rules of standard warfare to be suspended.

Everyone agrees that Israel has the right to defend itself as well as the right to exercise that right. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has declared it, Obama and Kerry have clearly stated that no one could be expected to sit idle as thousands of rockets rain down on the heads of its citizens, placing them in clear and present danger. It seems then that the only point of contention is regarding the measure of punishment meted out in this situation.

I will conclude with a question for all the humanitarians out there. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clearly stated at the outset of this incursion that his objective is to restore a sustainable quiet for the citizens of Israel. We have already established that it is the responsibility of every government to ensure the safety and security of its people. If political leaders and military experts determine that the only way to achieve its goal of sustaining quiet is through genocide is it then permissible to achieve those responsible goals?


Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, GazaComments Off on ‘When Genocide is Permissible’ op-ed removed from Jewish Nazi news site

Gaza Holocaust: ‘Palestinian Genocide is Permissible’ Writer Jewish Nazi Yochanan Gordon Launches Twitter Defence

Gaza Strip: ‘Palestinian Genocide is Permissible’ Writer Yochanan Gordon Launches Twitter Defence
Gaza Israel Hamas
A Palestinian family flees their house in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip(Reuters)

An American Jewish blogger who called the genocide of the Palestinian people a “responsible” and “permissible” goal has continued to defend his position on social media despite widespread criticism.

New Yorker Yochanan Gordon said there was only one way to “neutralise” Gaza and talked of “rooting out” the territory.

“5 ceasefires all breached through missiles and kidnappings. There is only one way to neutralise the threat. Wake-up!” Gordon tweeted.

“The existence of Israel and the Jewish people is at stake. How do you suggest we neutralise this threat?” he wrote.

The writer’s opinion piece – entitled “When Genocide is Permissible” – on The Times of Israel was published but then removed after criticism spread across social media. An archived link of the opinion piece can still be viewed here.

@Inanity101 @Moona9 5 Ceasefires all breached through missiles and kidnappings. There is only one way to neutralize the threat. Wake-up!

— Yochanan Gordon (@ygordon5t) August 1, 2014

The article mused: “We have already established that it is the responsibility of every government to ensure the safety and security of its people.”

“If political leaders and military experts determine that the only way to achieve its goal of sustaining quiet is through genocide is it then permissible to achieve those responsible goals?”

Genocide post

The article also refused to view Palestinians disassociated with militant group Hamas as innocent civilians.

“What other way then is there to deal with an enemy of this nature other than obliterate them completely?” he wrote.

According to Gordon’s LinkedIn page, he is based in the Greater New York City Area and acts as a sales manager for the “5 Towns Jewish Times”.

Social media users took to Twitter to express their disgust at Gordon’s remarks. Sports Editor at The Nation said the op-ed showed a “flailing, morally adrift society”.

Those in Israel also condemned the piece, including analyst Brooklyn Middleton, who said she was “horrified by the sentiment, overwhelmed by the stupidity. Looking forward to its prompt deletion.”

Other bloggers pointed out The Times of Israel doesn’t edit or approve pieces before their publication. However, there was no immediately visible information on the post that informed the reader of this.

A disclaimer attempts to absolve The Times of Israel of any blame for the material hosted on its website. It reads: “The opinions, facts and any media content here are presented solely by the author and The Times of Israel assumes no responsibility for them.”

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, GazaComments Off on Gaza Holocaust: ‘Palestinian Genocide is Permissible’ Writer Jewish Nazi Yochanan Gordon Launches Twitter Defence

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