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An Epitome of Israeli Barbarism

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As a student of the collective Israeli mindset and long-time observer of Israeli behavioral patterns, I wasn’t surprised a bit by Lieutenant Colonel Shalom Eisner’s behaviors with Danish peace activist Andreas Ias.

The Israeli propaganda machine would want us to believe that the incident was an aberration, a kind of anomaly that in no way represents the true ethos of the Israeli army. But this is untrue.

In fact, from my observation of Israeli behavior for decades I can solemnly testify that Eisner’s behavior represents the norm rather than the exception.

Israeli barbarity, savagery, brutality and incivility, especially toward Palestinians, are too banal and too routine to even warrant raising an eyebrow.

The footage of the ugly incident near Jericho shows Eisner walking up to a man taking part in a bicycle ride in the Jordan valley, and without warning, hitting him in the face with his M-16 automatic rifle.

The Danish activist collapsed and was carried off by fellow protesters.

The attack was “condemned” by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Peres and Defence Minister Ehud Barak.

However, it is highly likely that these denunciations are disingenuous and only meant to mislead and deceive European public opinion. Needless to say, when it comes to deceitfulness and mendaciousness, the Israelis are masters in their own right.

In their commentaries on the “public relations disaster”, most Israeli pundits and commentators condemned Eisner for his stupidity and tactlessness, not brutality and savagery.

One noted commentator, Eitan Haber, wrote in Ynet: ” I would send him (Eisner) packing for stupidity alone.”
Haber suggested that Eisner’s blunder was not striking an unarmed peace activist in the face per se, using his M-16 rifle, but doing this in full view of TV cameras.

Indeed, since time immemorial, Israeli soldiers, paramilitary border policemen and settlers are rebuked, not for the brutal ugliness of their assaults on Palestinians and international peace activists, but rather for failing to make sure there were no cameramen nearby who would film the often barbarian act.

Likewise, I’m nearly absolutely sure that what has driven Israeli leaders, such as Peres, to strongly condemn the incident is not their concern about the excessive and unjustified violence and savagery, but the public relations damage Israel’s image would suffer.

After all, it was Peres who around this time in 1996 ordered the Israeli army to bombard a UN Peace-keeping Forces’ shelter in Southern Lebanon, where hundreds of Lebanese civilians had sought refuge from Israeli bombing and air-strikes, killing and maiming more than a hundred innocent civilians. The gruesome carnage was only one of the numerous Nazi-like atrocities identifying and characterizing Israeli conduct.

What is even more important is that Peres, who is often celebrated around the globe as a man of peace and moderation, has consistently refused to apologize for the deliberate mass murder. Not even a simple mea culpa has been uttered by the old man’s mendacious mouth.

I have chronicled hundreds if not thousands of “incidents” in which Israeli soldiers and settlers behaved even worse than did Eisner. Some of these acts are quite cannibalistic and worthy only of wild beasts. But, at the end of the day, every thing is swept under the carpet because the wrong-doers, the perpetrators, belong to the Master Race, the Chosen People, whereas the victims, whether they happen to be Palestinians, or British, or Danish, are children of a lesser God, whose flesh is like the flesh of donkeys and whose issue is like the issue of horses.!!!

In a certain sense, really don’t blame Eisner. This is all he has learned, this is all he has been taught, this is all he has been raised and trained to do.

Eisner puts a small kippa on his head, which suggests he is affiliated with the so-called religious Zionist camp. This camp, with which most settlers are affiliated, is racist to the bone. They believe that non-Jews are infra-human beings or quasi-animals, who are not entitled to human rights or human dignity. Indeed, the lives of non-Jews, according to these Talmudic fanatics have no sanctity, which should enable Jews to murder these goyem with utterly no compunction.

Similarly, it is likely that Eisner graduated from Merkaz Ha’Rav, the notoriously racist Talmudic college in West Jerusalem, where students are indoctrinated in Jewish fascism and supremacy.

There the students are taught that Jesus is the Hitler of Bethlehem and that Palestinians are Amalek who ought to be exterminated from the face of earth because so says the Lord.

For those who don’t know, Merkaz Ha’Rav, which means the Centre of the Rabbi, was named after Abraham Kook, who considered non-Jews unhuman and utterly evil.

According to Kook (1865-1935), “The difference between a Jewish soul and souls of non-Jews—all of them in all different levels—is greater and deeper than the difference between a human soul and the souls of cattle.”

With this in mind, one can imagine how Eisner approached Andreas Ias. He, too, may have been instructed by his neighborhood synagogue that the lives of non-Jews, including Europeans, have no sanctity and that they can be killed rather nonchalantly.

How would or could fanatical Israeli Jews, indoctrinated in Tanya or Chesronot Shas think otherwise. In the final analysis, it is futile to expect Israel to behave “normally,” meaning in a civilized manner. After all, one can not give what one has not.

Again, I am sure Israel, which locks down innocent people for more than 10 years without charge or trial and murders school children on their way to school because someone somehow hurled a stone toward an Israeli tank or armored vehicle, will not change or amend its modus operandi, which is based on brutality, prevarication and deception.

In public, they argue that Eisner has been dismissed for two years and that his conduct will not be tolerated. But in private and away from the eyes and ears of the world, they will tell him not to worry at all, “we only want to shut up these anti-Semitic bastards in Denmark and the rest of Europe.”

(Source / 22.07.2014)

Written by altahrir

July 22, 2014 at 7:28 pm

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Massacre in Gaza

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Can international law provide justice for Palestinians?

The death toll in Gaza has exceeded 600 people

What has been happening in Gaza cannot usefully be described as “warfare”. The daily reports of atrocities situate this latest Israeli assault on common humanity within the domain of what the great Catholic thinker and poet, Thomas Merton, caIled “the unspeakable”. Its horror exceeds our capacity to render the events through language.

The events in Gaza are essentially a repetition of prior Israeli incursions with heavy sophisticated weaponry in which the people of Gaza are the helpless victims of Israeli firepower, with no place to hide, and increasingly without even such necessities of life as water and electricity, whose facilities have been targeted by Israel’s precision weaponry.

By now we should all understand that one-sided violence whether in the form of torture or state terror is criminal behaviour. When it leads to many civilian deaths on one side and few civilian casualties on the other side, then such state terror is best characterised as a massacre, epitomised by the high civilian death toll on July 20 in the Gaza City neighbourhood of Shujayea where a crowded residential district was repeatedly shelled by heavy IDF artillery. The latest casualty figures on the Palestinian side are more than 600 killed, over 3,000 injured, 75 percent of whom are estimated to be civilians. On the Israeli side, 29 killed, all but two were soldiers.

INTERACTIVE: Gaza Under Attack

As with earlier massive Israeli military operations carried out against the people of Gaza 2008-2009, and 2012, the defenceless Gazan population is again being cruelly victimised. If an adversary of the West was behaving as Israel has since July 8, it would be branded an aggressor whose leaders would likely be held accountable before the International Criminal Court (ICC) or some other tribunal with the authority to prosecute persons accused of international crimes which have distressed the US government and its allies.

Was this not the response to Slobodan Milosevic, Saddam Hussein, and Muammar Qaddafi whose criminality stood in the path, blocking Western interests? But what of George W Bush, Tony Blair, and Barack Obama whose crimes are shrouded in a thick cloud of impunity?

This contrast manifests the geopolitical logic of world order for all who have eyes that want to see “the real” as opposed to heeding the “reigning hegemonic myths”. It is this geopolitical logic that is shaping the application of international criminal law: accountability for enemies of the West, impunity for the West and its friends. Such double standards highlight the tensions between law and justice. There is currently no greater beneficiary of this deformed political culture of impunity than the political leadership and military command structure of Israel.

And yet there does exist an international criminal law and procedures for its application, and although so far successfully manipulated by the geopoliticians, the endgame of criminal accountability has yet to be played. Those who are victimised should not ignore its unrealised potential for justice, and the challenge posed to all who consider themselves “citizen pilgrims” – on a life journey of human solidarity and faith in a better future: Law from above, justice from below. This is the populist equation that can guide us towards thought, feelings, and actions on the “right side of history”.

‘Sign or leave!’

In this connection, I was moved by reports of the young activists in Ramallah and other cities in the West Bank putting forth the demand that Mahmoud Abbas “sign or leave!” That is, sign the Rome Treaty on behalf of Palestine, and thereby join the International Criminal Court, or give up the presidency of the Palestinian Authority, because not fit to lead.

Such an impassioned call for criminal accountability expresses a populist demand that justice must finally be rendered by a court of law, and Palestinian victimisation authoritatively confirmed and vindicated by overwhelming evidence of Israel’s multi-dimensional criminality. It is the faith of those who believe that the ICC is a tribunal of justice and not an instrument used as a moralising convenience by power-wielders shielding their own greater criminality.

In practice, even if Palestine is accepted as a party to the ICC, and should the prosecutor, as seems unlikely, proceed to investigate, indict, and issue arrest warrants, the prospects of adjudication, conviction, and punishment are near zero. And yet the demand “sign or leave!” makes political sense. Legal literalism misses the point.

For one thing, since Israel so intensely opposes Palestine’s adherence to membership in the ICC, such an initiative should be presumed helpful for Palestinians. For another, mere recourse to the ICC would make a significant contribution to the struggle between Israel and Palestine for the high moral and political ground, generating commentary and dialogue.

We need to keep in mind that it is the outcome of this legitimacy struggle that will, in the end, likely decide this long conflict in favour of the Palestinians, as it has determined the outcome of every prior anti-colonial struggle of the last 70 years.

The BDS movement

And finally, such moves towards Palestinian control over the legitimacy discourse would help mobilise global support for the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaign and an arms embargo on Israel. It will also push governments and the United Nations finally to support the Palestinian call for pressure on Israel, use leverage and non-violent coercion to obtain a sustainable peace that realises Palestinian rights under international law, especially, the right of self-determination and the right of return.

Palestinians have suffered for nearly a century as a result of what the international community decided on their behalf without seeking their approval, or even their consent. It is time that all of us, including those who act in solidarity, to be sure that it is the Palestinian national movement that decides what self-determination means for Palestinians.

At this stage, the most authentic expression of Palestinian views on a just peace is contained in the declaration of 2005 by a coalition of 171 Palestinian civil society organisations (NGOs and labour unions) that initiated the worldwide BDS campaign. BDS made three demands from the outset of its campaign:

  1. “Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;
  2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
  3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.”

It is an illuminating commentary on the confusing political situation that it is the BDS leadership that is presently best able to serve as a more authentic and legitimate voice of the Palestinian people than either the Palestinian Authority or Hamas.

Palestinians may suffer from what has been widely identified as a leadership deficit, but this is being offset by an innovative surge of democracy from below, and how this might yet produce the first global intifada that will be the next, and hopefully, emancipatory stage in the Palestinian struggle.

(Source / 22.07.2014)

Written by altahrir

July 22, 2014 at 7:18 pm

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Arsenal fans join pro-Palestine protest in west London as Middle East conflict intensifies

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Protest: the Arsenal fans at the pro-Palestine demonstration

Arsenal fans joined a pro-Palestine protest in west London today as fighting intensifies in the Middle East.

The group of supporters were spotted with a banner which read ‘Gooners Against Apartheid’ and ‘Free Palestine’ at a march in Kensington High Street this evening.

The demonstration, organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), is one of several to be staged outside the Israeli Embassy recently.

More than 600 Palestinians are believed to have killed and thousands more have been injured by Israeli army attacks since July 7, when the conflict in Gaza was reignited.

Campaigners are set to take part in another protest on Saturday, when they will march from the Embassy to Westminster.

Placards: demonstrators in Kensington High Street (Picture: Twitter/@Z_e_e_)They are calling on the UK government to put pressure on Israel to stop attacks on civilians.

In a statement online yesterday, the PSC said: “The Government is refusing to act to end the slaughter, and respect Palestinian lives.

“The new Foreign Secretary said “Israel has the right to defend itself”

“Israel is not defending itself: this attack on Gaza is simply the latest stage in a long, brutal, illegal, military occupation.

“We demand that the British government calls for an immediate end of Israel’s action – which is fundamentally based on the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.”

Today UN secretary-general  Ban Ki-moon said it was his “hope and belief” that his emergency mission to the Middle East will lead to an end to the fighting between Hamas and Israel “in the very near future”.

Earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the international community must hold Hamas accountable for rejecting multiple cease-fire offers and continuing its attacks against Israeli civilians.

Mr Netanyahu said Hamas was “like al-Qaida” and it must be dealt with accordingly.

Overnight, Israel bombed five mosques, a sports complex and the home of the late Hamas military chief, a Gaza police official said.

The Israel military announced earlier that two more soldiers had died – one from sniper fire yesterday and one from as yet unexplained causes – bringing the military death toll to 27.

It is the highest number of Israeli military fatalities for any campaign since the 2006 Lebanon war. Two Israeli civilians have also been killed in the latest conflict.

(Source / 22.07.2014)

Written by altahrir

July 22, 2014 at 7:10 pm

Posted in Revolution Palestine

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Al-Jazeera Gaza offices evacuated after direct hit by Israeli fire

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Israel denies deliberate targeting of TV station, but staff claim that ‘two very precise shots’ were fired

Al-Jazeera journalists evacuate their building in Gaza

Al-Jazeera journalists evacuate their building after it came under fire in Gaza.

Israel‘s army has denied targeting the Gaza offices of al-Jazeera TV after the network’s correspondents reported that the building had come under fire on Tuesday.

Staff in Gaza said their 11th floor bureau was hit by two Israeli bullets as a crew was preparing to broadcast live from the balcony. “Two very precise shots were fired straight into our building,” said Stefanie Dekker. “We are high up in the building so we had a very strong vantage point over the area. But we have evacuated.” Al-Jazeera aired footage of their staff standing outside the building.

A spokesman for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said no warning shots had been fired but could not confirm or deny whether there had been indirect damage to the building from firing at nearby military targets, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The incident came a day after Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, called for al-Jazeera to be banned.

Lieberman accused the Qatar-based channel of being a mouthpiece for Hamas, and said the foreign ministry was taking steps to prevent it from broadcasting from Gaza, according to Israel’s Channel 2 TV.

Al-Jazeera “has abandoned even the perception of being a reliable news organisation and broadcasts from Gaza and to the world anti-Israel incitement, lies, and encouragement to the terrorists,” he said.

“All the big networks operate in Israel, some of them are not exactly pro-Zionist, and yet as a democratic state we allow them to operate here. In the case of al-Jazeera it is not an issue of freedom of the media but of a terrorist wing that currently fights against Israel.”

A statement posted on the al-Jazeera website said: “Al-Jazeera network considers statements made against it by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman a direct incitement. (It) considers (his) comments as a very serious matter. Israel is accountable for the safety of al-Jazeera teams working in Israel and the Palestinian territories.”

Al-Jazeera also reported that Israel’s communications minister, Gilad Erdan, has asked Israeli cable and satellite providers to stop airing al-Jazeera, calling it an “enemy” broadcaster. The request is not mandatory.

Al-Jazeera said: “Our journalists have been doing an outstanding job in reporting to our mass audience in the region what is happening on the ground. A threat to one is a threat to all, and this is a dark sign for all journalists operating in the territory. Journalists must be protected while doing their job of giving the public information they have the right to know, helping them understand what is going on. Journalism is not a crime!”

Al-Jazeera has often come under fire in war zones and been banned, at different times, from almost every country in the Middle East. Its most recent troubles have been in Egypt, where three journalists working for al-Jazeera English were sentenced to between seven and 10 years in jail on charges of aiding terrorists and endangering national security.

(Source / 22.07.2014)

Written by altahrir

July 22, 2014 at 6:58 pm

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‘What would you do?’ Israeli tweet shocks London

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Trying to put outsiders in their shoes, the IDF mocked up an image of rockets raining down on the Houses of Parliament. (Twitter)

In an apparent attempt to win over the British public over their assault on Gaza, Israel’s Defense Forces on Monday sent out a controversial image on social media, in which the guns are pointed at Westminster.

Trying to put outsiders in their shoes, the IDF mocked up a shock image of rockets raining down on the Houses of Parliament.

Alongside the image, @IDFspokesperson tweeted: “Hamas terrorists just fired rockets at southern and central Israel. What if they were attacking your home?

The image is part of an information war on social media between both sides attempting to use hashtags such as #GazaUnderAttack and #IsraelUnderFire along with images of death and destruction, mainly in Gaza, where more than 500 people have died in two weeks of Israeli bombardment and a ground invasion.

The IDF’s onslaught seeks to stamp out Hamas rocket attacks against Israel being launched from Gaza, but the vast majority of deaths has been from the Palestinian civilian population.

A man sits next to the bodies of Palestinians from Abu Jama’e family, who medics said were killed in an Israeli air strike that destroyed their house, during their funeral at a mosque in Khan Younis. (Reuters)

The IDF’s tweet to Londoners appears to be in response to wave of mass protests in London. At the weekend, up to 15,000 people are thought to have marched through London from Downing Street to the Israeli embassy in Kensington to protest its actions.

But the tweet prompted mostly angry reactions online:

“Oh my. You’re really getting desperate aren’t you? This would be funny if it weren’t pitiful.”

“FYI Palestine is not ur home! Go get one then we will support u defending #gaza”

“I’d probably not have colonised their homes, driven them into ghettos and shot their children.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron told the House of Commons on Monday that he has grave concerns over the heavy loss of life during the ongoing crisis in Israel and Gaza.

“I spoke to Prime Minister Netanyahu again about this crisis last night,” he said. “I repeated our recognition of Israel’s right to take proportionate action to defend itself, and our condemnation of Hamas’ refusal to end their rocket attacks, despite all international efforts to broker a ceasefire.”

(Source / 22.07.2014)

Written by altahrir

July 22, 2014 at 6:50 pm

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Israel targets 50 mosques since start of Gaza offensive

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GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israel has destroyed or severely damaged over 50 mosques since its assault on Gaza began, a Hamas official said Tuesday.

Undersecretary of the Ministry of Endowments in Gaza, Hassan al-Saifi, said over 50 mosques have been targeted.

Israel does not distinguish between targeting militants, civilians, hospitals, mosques, and cemeteries, al-Saifi told Ma’an, adding that he is afraid that schools may be targeted in the coming days.

“People are buried in mass graves or in used family graves,” he said, adding that hospital morgues can no longer accommodate the growing number of casualties.

Cemeteries are nearly impossible to reach due to heightened insecurity, he said.

(Source / 22.07.2014)

Written by altahrir

July 22, 2014 at 6:45 pm

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#GazaUnderAttack | Israel imposes media blackout on Gaza war

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An Israeli Merkava tank is pictured near the Gaza Strip on July 22 , 2014.

Israel has kept tight reins on media outlets with regards to the exact number of Israeli soldiers captured or killed during its ongoing assault on the besieged Gaza Strip.

Israeli media refuse to confirm the recent capture of an Israeli soldier by the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas fighters in the coastal enclave.

Hamas’s military wing, the Qassam Brigades, said it captured the Israeli soldier, Oron Shaul, on Saturday during an ambush on Israeli forces in the Sheja’iyah neighborhood, east of Gaza.

The resistance group also presented the soldier’s ID as evidence. The news of Aaron’s capture prompted celebrations across the West Bank as well as the Gaza City.

The Israeli army said one of its soldiers has been lost in combat with Palestinian fighters in Gaza, and is now presumed dead.

It said the soldier went missing after his military vehicle was attacked.

Palestinian resistance fighters have killed over 40 Israeli soldiers since Tel Aviv started its offensive on the besieged enclave.

Al-Qassam Brigades says its forces killed 15 more Israeli forces in eastern Gaza City on Monday alone.

Israeli military sources have confirmed the deaths of at least 22 Israeli soldiers since the beginning of offensive.

The rising death toll of Israeli forces during the ongoing assault on Gaza Strip has prompted growing opposition to the war among Israeli public.

(Source / 22.07.2014)

Written by altahrir

July 22, 2014 at 6:41 pm

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