As Israel killed more than 50 Palestinians in cold blood protesting the American embassy move on Monday, U.S. corporate media failed to accurately report what happened in Gaza, once again meekly protecting the government line, argues Joe Lauria.
By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News
Typical of the mindset of corporate media reporting on what happened in Gaza on Monday as Israeli soldiers killed more than 50 protesting Palestinians, is this tweet from CNN. It says: “Death toll rises to at least 52 people during clashes along the border fence between Israel and Gaza, Palestinian officials say. More than 2,400 people have been injured.” CNN’s new slogan is “#FactsFirst.”
Adam Johnson, who writes for the media watchdog Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, responded to CNN with a tweet of his own:
“This one’s got it all:
- ‘death toll rises’ — no one was killed and no one specific party did the killing, the death toll just mysteriously ‘rises’
- ‘clashes’ — launders all power asymmetry
- ‘2,400 people have been injured’ — all 2,400 are Palestinian but lets go with ‘people’.”
Craig Murray, a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, said on his blog that he did a Google News search for the word “massacre” and found not one reference to Gaza.
A New York Times headline on Monday said: “Dozens of Palestinians have died in protests as the U.S. prepares to open its Jerusalem Embassy.” Journalist Glenn Greenwald responded: “Most western media outlets have become quite skilled – through years of practice – at writing headlines and describing Israeli massacres using the passive tense so as to hide the culprit. But the all-time champion has long been, and remains, the New York Times.#HaveDied.”
[Perhaps because of pressure from Greenwald and others, the Times on Monday night changed its headline to “Israel Kills Dozens at Gaza Border as U.S. Embassy Opens in Jerusalem.”]
Yet another CNN headline simply read: “Dozens die in Gaza.” Journalist Max Blumenthal responded: “Maybe they were old. Perhaps they were very sick. They just up and died! Who will solve the mystery behind these deaths?”
Blumenthal later offered a possible solution to the mystery: “According to the White House, Khhamas launched 41 protesters into unsuspecting Israeli bullets.”
Deflecting blame from Israel is one thing. But projecting it onto the victim is quite another. Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon on Monday called for the U.N. Security Council to, “Condemn Hamas for their war crimes,” because “every casualty on the border is a direct victim of Hamas.”
He said in a statement released by Israel’s U.N. mission:
“Condemn Hamas for the war crimes they commit. Not only does Hamas incite tens of thousands of Palestinians to breach the border and hurt Israeli civilians, but Hamas also deliberately endangers Palestinian civilians. The murder of Israeli civilians or deaths of the people of Gaza – each one of them is a desirable outcome for Hamas. Every casualty on the border is a victim of Hamas’ war crimes, every death is a result of Hamas’ terror activity, and these casualties are solely Hamas’ responsibility.”
That’s one way to wash the Israeli government’s (blood-soaked) hands of the matter. Especially if you fear Israel will be accused of war crimes itself for its actions on Monday. Danon mentioned “breaching the border.” But it is virtually impossible to get in or out of Gaza without Israeli permission. Burning kites lofted over the barrier that pens in nearly two million Gazans subject to an internationally unrecognized economic blockade, supposedly constitutes “breaching,” in Danon’s mind.
He would do well to consider the words of Moshe Dayan, one of the Israel’s Founding Fathers, who said in 1956:
“What cause have we to complain about their fierce hatred to us? For eight years now, they sit in their refugee camps in Gaza, and before their eyes we turn into our homestead the land and villages in which they and their forefathers have lived.” He went on: “We are a generation of settlers, and without the steel helmet and gun barrel, we shall not be able to plant a tree or build a house. . . . Let us not be afraid to see the hatred that accompanies and consumes the lives of hundreds of thousands of Arabs who sit all around us and wait for the moment when their hands will be able to reach our blood.”
So on the day, 61 years later, when the United States declared Jerusalem/Al Quds as the capital of Israel by moving its embassy there, rather than leaving its status to negotiation, people still trapped in Gaza protested at the gate fencing them in while Israeli military snipers picked off more than 50 of them and wounded thousands more for protesting their entrapment.
U.S. Parrots Israel, Media Parrots U.S.
Danon’s position was callously promoted by the White House on Monday. Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah was asked several times to condemn Israel’s military response. “We believe Hamas is responsible for these tragic deaths,” he said. “Their rather cynical exploitation of the situation is what’s leading to these deaths and we want it stopped.” He later blamed Hamas for a “gruesome and unfortunate propaganda attempt.”
Unsurprisingly, Congress also lined up behind the Jewish State, mostly ignoring what went on in Gaza.
At the ceremony opening the embassy, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, called Monday “a monumental day in United States-Israel relations.” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who was among four senators and 10 members of the House of Representatives present, incredulously said moving the embassy “furthers the chances of peace in the Middle East by demonstrating that America’s support for Israel is unconditional and will not be bullied by global media opinion.”
Back in Washington, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, proclaimed: “Every nation should have the right to choose its capital. I sponsored legislation to do this two decades ago, and I applaud President Trump for doing it.”
Ajamu Baraka, the Green Party vice presidential candidate in 2016, tweeted: “Where are the democrats condemning the slaughter in Gaza? If this was Assad they would be joining the republicans calling for military action pretending like they cared for Arab life.”
Handful of Democrats Speak Out
Bernie Sanders of Vermont mildly criticized Israel’s murderous response. “Hamas violence does not justify Israel firing on unarmed protesters,” he said. “The United States must play an aggressive role in bringing Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt and the international community together to address Gaza’s humanitarian crisis and stop this escalating violence.”
Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, was more critical:
“It’s just heartbreaking. The humanitarian situation in Gaza is desperate. Instead of cutting aid, the Trump administration must restore our leadership role and do what it can to alleviate the Palestinians’ suffering. The location of the embassy is a final-status issue that should have been resolved as part of peace negotiations where both sides benefit, not just one side. Israel will only know true security when it is at peace with its neighbors.”
Representative Betty McCollum, a Democrat from Minnesota, tweeted: “Today’s @USEmbassyIsrael opening in Jerusalem & killing of dozens of Gaza protesters advances @netanyahu agenda of occupation & oppression of Palestinians. @realDonaldTrump policies are fueling conflict, abandoning diplomatic efforts to achieve peace.”
Pressure to support Israel on The Hill is infamously intense. But what is the media’s excuse for being afraid to simply report facts, such as that Israeli soldiers “killed” Palestinians on Monday. They didn’t just simply die.
Just because U.S. government figures are apologists for Israel, does not mean the media must be too. But that would require the U.S. having an independent mainstream media.
When control of powerful mainstream communications breeds self-aggrandizement and adherence to a line pushed for so long because it got you where you are in the pecking order of media culture, it seems virtually impossible to shift gears and take another look at what you are reporting.
Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Sunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe .
Brazilian educator Paulo Freire observed that manipulation of
public thinking “is an instrument of conquest” and an
indispensable means by which the “dominant elites try to conform
the masses to their objectives.” Everything is make believe;
honesty is dangerous. Wars abroad and wars at home must be
constantly stage managed to keep the pretentions alive. Our
national news constantly stage manages events to conform to our
convenient view of ourselves as “exceptional.” Infotainment replaces information.
Eminent quantum physicist David Bohm summed up our dilemma
perfectly. Since exploitation continues to be the essential
feature of a modern society bent on accumulation of “wealth,” and
its popular consumption, man is doomed to ever-increasing
confusion, for he has to justify this theft to himself. “This is
in fact impossible, except by continual recourse to confusion. For
how else can you justify the arbitrary authority of some people
over others? You can pretend that God or nature ordered
it, that the others are inferior, that we are superior, etc. But
once you start on this line, you can never allow yourself to think
straight again, for fear that the truth will come out. You tell
the child that she or he must be honest, treat people fairly, etc.
Just this one point is enough to destroy the minds of most
children. How can you square up the emotion of love and truth with
that of plundering an enemy, stealing his wealth, murdering
helpless people, and enslaving others?”
Will There Be a Day Of Reckoning?
Will there be a day of reckoning, and justice for the oppressed?
Those hapless, miserable, unwanted millions who have nothing left
Refugees living in numerous camps with nowhere to go
Once they had homes, then along came the “helping” foe
Invaders and “liberators” bringing “order” and “democracy”
“Responsibility to protect:” Are these the words of hypocrisy?
Bombs, missiles, tanks and planes deliver the carnage of deadly “gains”
Cities destroyed, civilians killed and smouldering ruins just remain
Others have had their lands stolen, and possessed
By those in positions of power by “legalized” theft
Corporate cannibals swallow and plunder the earth’s resources
Aided and abetted by politically corrupt forces
The system has been captured and evil rules
Endless war is the plan of these bloodthirsty ghouls
The stupid serfs kill, and obey, for their satanic masters
Some of them even get medals from these warring bastards
Lunatics are in charge, wearing expensive suits
“Right Honourable” and “honourable” political galoots
Idiots ordering idiots to kill, destroy, and maim
Now we are seeing the brainwashed, obeying the insane
All these depredations are financed by the ‘money changers’
That Jesus ejected from the Temple’s hallowed chambers
Now they operate freely in the corrupt and crooked financial world
Profiting from the atrocities that gets millions killed
Profiteers of slaughter, death and destruction
Creating hell on earth is their role in perdition
Satan’s helpers and willing partners in evil
These are the monetary followers of the Devil
It is said, “Money is the root of all that is evil”
And it causes endless misery, wars and upheaval
The “work” of the ‘money changers’ is truly satanic and sickening
When, if ever: Will there be a Day of Reckoning?
[more info at link below]
In addition to all of this, President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu are force-marching a surprised American public down the road to war with Iran in the same way the U.S. was deceived into the disastrous “weapons of mass destruction” Iraq intervention. The anti-Iranian offensive, designed also to destabilize the relatively moderate government that agreed to the now disabled nuclear pact, will encourage Iranian extremists to try to regain power. It’s time to speak up to our Congress to avoid disaster!
The trick with Google is in the wording. This is the result I got when I did a Google search with these words – gaza massacre:
http://tinyurl.com/yczp4owg (because the result had 275 characters).
Along with the ongoing Israeli murder of unarmed Palestinians in Gaza, significant events are taking place at the Syrian-Israeli border:
“In the lead-up to the May 10 skirmish – just after the Trump administration exited the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear agreement – Israeli officials began warning of an impending Iranian attack from inside Syria. Then, within hours of the ensuing firefight, an Israeli army spokesman announced that the elite ‘Quds Force’ of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) had fired 20 missiles into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, after which Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman boasted that ‘we hit nearly all Iranian infrastructures in Syria.’
“IDF spokesman Brigadier General Ronen Manilas described Israel’s actions as ‘one of the greatest operations of the Israel Air Force in the past decade.’ But as the dust settled, an altogether different version of events began to take shape.
“A check of the actual conflict chronology shows that Israel initiated the incident by striking Syrian military targets in Kisweh (the Damascus suburbs) and Baath city (Quneitra) over the two preceding days. Russia had warned both Syria and Iran of the impending Israeli strike with the result that neither Iranian military personnel nor weapons systems appear to have been hit. The Syrian military (and not the IRGC) retaliated by firing 55 rockets at Israeli military outposts and installations in the occupied part of the Golan. Local Arab media identified these targets as key Israeli surveillance centers that crippled Israel’s ‘eyes and ears’ along that vital demarcation line. Israel’s vaunted ‘Iron Dome’ defense system failed to intercept most of these rockets, while the Syrian military intercepted more than half of Israel’s missiles, according to Russian military officials.
“What is undisputed: the military back-and-forth was the first major firefight between Syria and Israel in the occupied Golan Heights since 1973 – making the Golan an operational theater for the first time in over four decades. This is also the first time during the Syrian War that the Syrian military has retaliated against Israeli strikes by hitting Israeli military installations – not just the incoming missiles and the Israeli warplanes firing them. And finally, Israel must contend for the first time with the fact that any battle it initiates can be waged in its own backyard. […]
“The Israelis expected the Syrian government, Iran, and Hezbollah to stay mired in their battles against militants elsewhere – and to be restrained by the Russians, who have openly resolved to stay out of Israel’s fights with Hezbollah and Iran. They did not expect this alliance to redirect the confrontation toward Israel’s military land targets inside the occupied Golan Heights, which remains legally Syrian. The international consensus that the “Golan is Syrian” is enshrined in countless UN resolutions, including a recent one adopted in December, creating a real source of political vulnerability for Israel, which cannot legally claim its northeastern border.
“That vulnerability has deepened since 2011, as the primarily Druze population of occupied Golan watched in horror as their Syrian relatives across the border were occupied, harassed, and even killed at the hands of Islamist militants. Many Druze believe these militants are supported by Israel. […] Put simply, the Golan is ripe for some stirring from inside and outside, and Israeli strikes in Syria last week just made it a target.
“The Russians may not like this turn of events – they would rather focus on de-escalating and resolving the Syrian conflict. But while Moscow has tolerated small Israeli strikes against Syrian and allied military targets, they have the leverage to contain the size and frequency of these attacks. Israel is held in check by Russia’s ability to deliver fully loaded S-300 and S-400 air defense systems to the Syrians, which would be a regional game changer.
“In turn, while it is unlikely that any of Israel’s three opponents (Syria, Iran, or Hezbollah) will choose to pick a fight with the Israelis right now, it’s also clear that all of them will retaliate if provoked. In the past seven years, the Middle East has never been so close to war as it is today, which is why there’s an urgent need for cooler heads to prevail—even if, as with Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah—they need to retaliate in order to de-escalate conflict and establish deterrence.”
Get Ready for the New Middle East Battlefield: The Golan
By Sharmine Narwani
The issue of the Gaza fence massacres resounds with meaning.
On all sides of all ethnic/religious distinctions, on both sides of every fence, may be found all that is good and bad in humanity. It is the worst element that pretends that all good is on their side and all bad on the other. Demagogues and tyrants must have an enemy beyond the fence, beyond the pale, to claim that they are the great defenders of their kind, the defenders of the faith, to demand domestic power and accuse their opponents of disloyalty.
Through much of their history the Jews were “beyond the pale” or fence between them and a majority culture. But give them a majority and a fence, and they are shooting at innocents just beyond, claiming that all good is on their side. Give their tyrants an “outsider” group beyond the fence, and they make it an enemy and demand power to “defend.” Their tyrants, the zionists, demand the land and property and lives of the nearest victims, just as Hitler did. That is zionism, it is fascism, and the zionists demand conformity just as Hitler did, having learned nothing.
But unlike Hitler, they have infested the US government and mass media by means of money, and have destroyed our democracy. They have created a cult of whining about the suffering of unrelated Jews long ago, to deliberately cause suffering in the present. We need to see that there are no more victims of Hitler among them, the Jews of today do not deserve special privileges due to events long ago, and the zionists are a savage and selfish cult among the Jews, unworthy of any support.
The Greek toponym Palaistín, with which the Arabic Filastin is cognate, first occurs in the work of the 5th century BCE Greek historian Herodotus, where it denotes generally the coastal land from Phoenicia down to Egypt. Herodotus also employs the term as an ethnonym, as when he speaks of the ‘Syrians of Palestine’ or ‘Palestinian-Syrians’, an ethnically amorphous group he distinguishes from the Phoenicians. Herodotus makes no distinction between the Jewish and non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine.
The Greek word reflects an ancient Eastern Mediterranean-Near Eastern word which was used either as a toponym or ethnonym. In Ancient Egyptian Peleset/Purusati has been conjectured to refer to the “Sea Peoples”, particularly the Philistines. Among Semitic languages, Akkadian Palaštu (variant Pilištu) is used of 7th-century Philistia and its, by then, four city states. Biblical Hebrew’s cognate word Plištim, is usually translated Philistines.
Syria Palestina continued to be used by historians and geographers and others to refer to the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, as in the writings of Philo, Josephus and Pliny the Elder. After the Romans adopted the term as the official administrative name for the region in the 2nd century CE, “Palestine” as a stand-alone term came into widespread use, printed on coins, in inscriptions and even in rabbinic texts.
The Arabic word Filastin has been used to refer to the region since the time of the earliest medieval Arab geographers. It appears to have been used as an Arabic adjectival noun in the region since as early as the 7th century CE, when the Rashidun Caliphate defeated the armies of Persia and the armies of the Byzantine Empire.
The name Palestine was acknowledged by European Zionist colonists. The first Zionist bank, the Jewish Colonial Trust, was founded at the Second Zionist Congress and incorporated in London in 1899. The JCT was intended to be the financial instrument of the Zionist Organization, and was to obtain capital and credit to help attain a charter for Palestine. On 27 February 1902, a subsidiary of this Trust called the “Anglo-Palestine Company” (APC) was established in London.
During the British Mandatory Palestine period, the term “Palestinian” was used to refer to all people residing there, regardless of religion or ethnicity, and those granted citizenship by the British Mandatory authorities were granted “Palestinian citizenship”. The term “Palestine Regiment” was used to refer to the Jewish Infantry Brigade Group of the British Army during World War II, and the term “Palestinian Talmud”, which is an alternative name of the Jerusalem Talmud, used mainly in academic sources.
In 1947, the British Government announced its intention to terminate the Mandate. The United Nations General Assembly voted to partition Palestine into independent Arab and Jewish states, with a special international regime for Jerusalem. The partition plan was rejected by the Arab population of Palestine. Avi Schlaim, University of Oxford historian and fellow of the British Academy, notes, “Britain had no moral or political or legal right to promise the land that belonged to the Arabs to another people.”
David Ben Burion, Zionist head of the Jewish Agency from 1935, later president of the Jewish Agency Executive and and Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization, proclaimed the establishment of a state of Israel on May 14, 1948, one day before the end of the British Mandate of Palestine. Of the estimated 950,000 Arabs that lived in the territory that became Israel before the 1948-1949 war, over 80% fled or were expelled in ethnic cleansing operations by the Zionist Jewish army.
After 1948, the use and application of the terms “Palestine” and “Palestinian” by and to Palestinian Jews largely dropped from use in Israel. For example, the English-language newspaper The Palestine Post, founded by Jews in 1932, changed its name in 1950 to The Jerusalem Post.
Jews in Israel and the West Bank today generally identify as Israelis. Israeli Palestinians commonly identify themselves as Arab or Palestinian by nationality and Israeli by citizenship.
Most of the Arabs living in East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed, were offered Israeli citizenship, but most have refused, not wanting to recognize Israel’s claim to sovereignty.
The Palestinian National Charter, as amended by the PLO’s Palestinian National Council in July 1968, defined “Palestinians” as “those Arab nationals who, until 1947, normally resided in Palestine regardless of whether they were evicted from it or stayed there. Anyone born, after that date, of a Palestinian father – whether in Palestine or outside it – is also a Palestinian.”
The term “Arab nationals” is not religious-specific, and includes not only the Arabic-speaking Muslims of Palestine, but also the Arabic-speaking Christians of Palestine and other religious communities of Palestine who were at that time Arabic-speakers, such as the Samaritans and Druze. Thus, the Jews of Palestine were/are also included, although limited only to “the [Arabic-speaking] Jews who had normally resided in Palestine until the beginning of the [pre-state] Zionist invasion.”
The first secular Zionist congress was to have taken place in Munich, Germany. However, due to considerable opposition by the local Jewish community leadership, both Orthodox and Reform, the proceedings were transferred to Basle, Switzerland.
Austro-Hungarian journalist Theodor Herzl acted as chairperson of the Congress which was attended by some 200 participants.
The 1897 congress resulted in the foundation of the Zionist Organization and the formulation of its declared policy.
The Zionist platform came to be known as the “Basel Program”. The source text on the document is as follows:
Der Zionismus erstrebt für das jüdische Volk die Schaffung einer (öffentlich-)rechtlich gesicherten Heimstätte in Palästina.
Zur Erreichung dieses Ziels nimmt der Congress folgende Mittel in Aussicht:
I. Die zweckdienliche Förderung der Besiedlung Palästinas mit jüdischen Ackerbauern, Handwerkern und Gewerbetreibenden.
II. Die Gliederung und Zusammenfassung der gesammten Judenschaft durch geeignete örtliche und allgemeine Veranstaltungen nach den Landesgesetzen.
III. Die Stärkung des jüdischen Volksgefühls und Volksbewusstseins.
IV. Vorbereitende Schritte zur Erlangung der Regierungszustimmung, die nötig sind, um das Ziel des Zionismus zu erreichen.
The English translation:
Zionism seeks to establish a home for the Jewish people in Palestine secured under public law.
The Congress contemplates the following means to the attainment of this end:
1. The promotion by appropriate means of the settlement in Palestine of Jewish farmers, artisans, and tradesmen.
2. The organization and uniting of the whole of Jewry by means of appropriate local and overall events, in accordance with the country’s laws.
3. The strengthening and fostering of Jewish national sentiment and national consciousness.
4. Preparatory steps toward obtaining the consent of the government, where necessary, in order to reach the goals of Zionism.
On 3 September 1897, Herzl wrote, “At Basel I founded the Jewish State”.
Examining the history, it is clear that the Anglo-European secular Zionist goal of a “Jewish state” required active measures (propaganda) to promote its version of “national sentiment and national consciousness”, often in opposition to the sentiment and consciousness of Anglo-European Jewish communities.
The Zionist project of “settlement” in “the country” of Palestine ultimately became a military project, which it remains after 70 years.
Did you know this about Theodor Herzl?
“Just because U.S. government figures are apologists for Israel, does not mean the media must be too. But that would require the U.S. having an independent mainstream media.”
Early in the twentieth century, monopoly power was an issue and it was addressed with legislation like the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. The issue of concentration of media power has not only not been addressed, it is seldom raised. Reason, why should those with this power shoot themselves in the foot.. But what about the rest of the talented activist oriented folks like the “progressives”? Why are they silent?
Who will raise issue to a national concern and what talented people will come forth with proposals to break up media concentration? And political dysfunction? Certainly, it seems it they would be issue that which would capture the imagination of talented people but why are they silent? Let us say that that most like things as they are, but do all of them?
Perhaps all those talented activist people are happy the way they are. Sure, the grouse about a bought politicians and media manipulation but why change the way things are? Better to spend their time with gender issues which seem to get them excited. Of course, our media and politicians like those issues, too.
Truly “The issue of concentration of media power has not only not been addressed, it is seldom raised.” If the people of the United States want to “promote democracy” that must begin here where democracy has been lost.
Democracy has been destroyed by money control of mass media and elections, the dictatorship of the rich. Bribery to US politicians controls the entire nation, a fraction of its budget fed back through the MIC/Israel/WallSt to corrupt political parties. Control of mass media by the rich hides the real governing mechanisms. A state of war permits primitive tyrant politicians to invent foreign enemies to pose with the flag as fake protectors, to demand power and accuse their moral superiors of disloyalty. We can stop this tyranny.
When the mass media are protected from domination by money, we will have public debate of all policy viewpoints by experts instead of propagandists. When elections and the federal branches are reformed, we will have far more beneficial policies. This requires constitutional amendments to restrict funding of elections and mass media to limited individual contributions. It requires better checks and balances, restriction of executive power, renegotiation of NATO as purely defensive, and elimination of AUMFs.
The wonton killings, assinations, murder by the IDF especially by Natanhayu’s regime in nothing new. Since Trump’s election ardently supported by neo-conservatives and evangelicals the Zionist state has become even more emboldened to massacre innocent Palestinians protesting their apartheid conditioned environment. Palestinians rights have been railroaded by the US once considered the ‘higher statesman’ in the World Community.
Not only are the Israelis committing war crimes in several horrendous ways, but their cruelty surpasses even some of the most egregious actions by governments in the past. It is my belief that the snipers have been ordered to deliberately wound protesters in the most damaging way without killing them in order to leave a living warning to those who are uninjured as to what could happen to them if they don’t succumb to Israeli domination. Those who died from the bullet wounds were accidental. The target range was short enough that skilled snipers with high-powered rifles could easily have killed thousands and wounded scores of unprotected bodies instead of wounding thousands and killing scores. This kind of cynical cruelty is almost beyond belief, but we know from statements by government officials and ordinary Jewish citizens of Israel that the hatred of Arabs is so caustic as to burn the heart of the nation of Israel from the inside out. These media owners and political leaders know that a return of Palestinians to their land is as likely as that Native Americans will ever return to their land, so they will do and say whatever they must to the keep them on the “reservation”.
Both “Alexander Mikhailov” and “Berna” in their comments misspell “breach” as “breech.”
Have I caught a scriptwriter with his pants down?
Good work; the zio troll did not have his/her breeches down.
Israeli police treat inarmed entrapped and occupied Palestinians like Americas police treat unarmed blacks while both Palestinians and American blacks are murdered with impunity.as the politicians and the media whitewash these murders e en when it is captured on video for all to see. It’’s never the murderers fault. Maybe the American media and the American police are getting trained by the Israelis.
Giant Steps, the comparison is absurd. There was a time in our history that it would be, but not today. Hopefully, the Palestinians will someday enjoy the same status in Israel as the blacks have now in America.
You must be kidding A number of US police dept. send their decision makers to Israel for training in how to deal with “unruly masses”, and judging by number of unarmed black people being shot down over the past several years (really, an 12 yr. old with an orange tipped toy gun shot down in about a second and half!) they’ve learned their lessons well. Don’t have time for a lot of detail, but me as a male Black American – I keep my insurance papers close and in plain sight. Using the same drinking fountains and bathrooms is fine, but claiming the status of Black Americans is an acceptable threshold for the world’s oppressed to aim for is, well, kind of ignorant.
Israel is again complicit in the murder of innocent and justly outraged Palestinians, and so too is the USA through its blind and undying support for their bloody regime. In this sphere of conflict alone, let alone all the other war-ravaged arenas, these two nations must be viewed as the most violently aggressive on the planet.
Generally speaking, the media is so tame and pathetic on such issues one could almost call them irrelevant except for the fact that they too, through their silence, must also be recognised as partially guilty of these crimes. One is supposed to believe their loud cries of injustice over the alleged gas attack in Syria, with less deaths and a bombing run as punishment to top it off whilst the leaders of these two murderous states smile and shake hands in Jerusalem. Shame on them all!
THE REALITY OF DEFEAT
There have been so many pages of rhetoric by the Palestinian intellectual
elite and little truth emerges.
(I am not a “Zionist troll”!)
The entire history of Zionism documented in Thomas Suarez’ s book
(among others) proves that no other outcome could have been
even remotely possible.
Its specific characteristics are, of course, unique as is all history.
The best comparison is with the genocide of Native Americans.
Without any discussion of who is right or “moral”, after one defeat
after another, after “Wounded Knee” in the 1890’s, it became
clear that Native Americans could preserve their spirit, their culture.
They were never—NEVER—going to recover their lands. (Much
of their culture etc. involves the possession of these lands.).
Similarly, there is no possibility that Palestinians will regain their
land and the culture that was contingent upon it. There are no
other powers that will sacrifice for Palestinians, no other
Mideastern nations who will sacrifice lives to regain it.
The Palestinian intellectual elite wants the world to know
that it is against “international law.” As Joseph Massad has
recently pointed out, the decisions of the UN General Assembly are
Losing is hell and the misery of it are also tragic.
The basic tenets of Zionism do not permit the existence
or coexistence of others than Jews.This has alway been
the case.(See Francis Jennings: THE INVASION OF AMERICA…Ch 1)
It was also the case with Native Americans. It
is also the case with other violently colonialized and
oppressed peoples throughout history.
It was also the case for Christians (“Franks”) when they
massacred “Saracens” (Muslims) in the 11th century
calling the guts and heads of the defeated “marvelous”.
It is not that this writer does not “care”. To learn about
human depravity, to “feel” it, is a horrific experience.
At the same time, we in the west must assume our role
The views expressed above are in no way an endorsement.
At some point adults must recognize that “Workers of
the World Will Not Unite”.
—Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA
We have become part to the genocide of the Palestinians.
This is not genocide. This is self-defense. Ask yourself which group is advancing on the other.
And what do you think would have happened had Israel just let the fence and wall be torn down and thousands, or tens of thousands or more, cross the border? Maybe Lauria believes it would have been just one big, happy picnic?
Monsters would have destroyed six million Jews within seconds. We all know that.
That is why there is a massacre of innocents every time there is a gathering near a fence.
Perhaps a momentum for a different state would have resulted, one in which both Jews and Palestinians could live without overt discrimination. After the genocide perpetrated by the Zionist project, that would certainly include bitter resentment for a long period; but this is the only possible solution. If Zionists did not want that resentment they should not have done what they did. But they have, and deserve a long period of atonement for their deeds.
As for the history of indigenous Americans: We all know Europeans are not going home; but the same guilt applies here, and we should all should know it. The answers to that are not easy, and will never be sufficient, but much could be done and we owe it to them to do it.
If you showed more sensitivity in your comments you would not have to issue your disclaimer. Realization of the nature of crimes is the first step to making amends. I hope a solution eventually comes in which your approach is rejected in favor of one more just.
Man, sock puppets are out in force on this one, and no surprise; the article is an accurate representation of the reality in Palestine.
The leftist love affair with Hamas is amusing. Like they wouldnt kill them too…… lol
Yes. Mentally place the Israelis in the concentration camp that is Gaza,
and when they assemble at the barricades, imagine snipers apparently
shooting some sort of ‘expansion bullets’ systematically taking them down/out.
Be sure to make the snipers part of a well-trained, equipped and fed military.
Which prays to the God-that-is-on-their-side for the strength to kill civilians
Gaza and the Warsaw Ghetto
while the world stands by
Just curious: We see America’s hypocritical “outrage” at Israel’s retaliatory attack (after months of virtually ignoring every attack on Israel). But how many Arabs did the US slaughter in retaliation for 9/11? In 2003, we launched the longest war in this country’s history as a result of that attack on the US. How many were killed? We didn’t exactly see Americans marching in the streets, surrounding the Pentagon, demanding an end to war.
Another question: How many people have been killed to date, trying to cross the US/Mexican border? Quite a few, it seems — surely more than 60. How would the US respond to a surge of Mexicans breaking past the border guards? Would they, like Israel, shoot?
DHF is a zionist troll.
1. Wrongs by the US do not rationalize wrongs by Israel. Standard zionist trick.
2. No, the US would not massacre Mexicans breaking a border fence, as you well know.
Senseless comment. Classic hasbara, i.e., deflect, change the subject, also know as “whataboutery.”
DH, nobody in this massacre is trying to cross a “border”.
The Palestinian protesters and the murderous IDF Army are both in Israel.
Except the Palestinians are forced by their American armed overlords..to stay behind a fence .
…like being in jail.
Actually worse than jail.
At least prisoners are allowed food and water.
DHF: I was out there every time, and helped organize those demonstrations you didn’t see. We can’t control everyone’s motives, but can speak for ourselves. If you didn’t see us, you weren’t there. Why not?
Arab states: take in your Palestinian brothers. Please.
Come on Berna!
A better solution would be for the United States to take in all those crazy right wing Israeli Zionists.
And right the wrongs of stealing the Palestinians land 70-years ago.
And end the brutal Warsaw Pact like occupation
Berna: That’s like asking Mexico to take in American Indians, because they are just so… inconvenient. Do you understand the implicit racism in your comment?
Israel’s IDF has 2 choices in dealing with the infiltrators (note: they are not “non-violent demonstrators”. 1) Wait for them to breech the fence then open fire or attempt to capture them at great risk; 2) deter the infiltrators before they breech the fence. As far the cost of human life, number 1 would be much more costly. Thousands of infiltrators streaming into Israel would be a nightmare situation with surely hundreds if not thousands killed. Option 2 is obviously the way to go and I for one am thankful that the IDF has the sense to make the right choice. Of course to the politically correct supporters of Hamas terror, nothing but retreat would please you, so this argument has no bearing. But to those of you who understand the situation, both politically and militarily I hope you see my point.
For starters they would not be streaming into Israel, they would be streaming into occupied Palistine territory. Repeating a lie will never make it the truth.
Berna, it is not the Palestinians who are the “infiltrators”.
That would be the Israelis – who stole the Palestinians land, and occupy their country.
Because their fictitious God told them this was OK.
This is called “ethnic cleansing”.
Just like the Nazi’s tried.
Berna, you missed your calling. You would have had a brilliant career serving Germany’s Third Reich!!
Berna: IDF soldiers have a third choice, that which Tolstoy advised to Russian soldiers two centuries ago: Shoot your officers and go home.
That is clearly not working!
Well, it sure frightens them!
Well… That also is not showing up!
They keep killing other human animals with very ease! And in the economic sector they don’t seem to have any problems.
What happened to a reply I left before the reply I’ve up there?
Did I wrote to many reality?
It did in South Africa. It is one of many tactics, all of which should be employed.
Although, I would rather stay away from Israel vs Palestinian issue and let them live and let die, the author of this article has his head where sun does not shine. His bias against Israel and for Palestinians is obvious. Just because Palestinians disagree with Israel (and when they did not) does not make Israel wrong and require negotiations with Palestinians. Just as Palestinians did not just went dead in this violence all by themselves without somebody shooting at them the same way Israeli forces just did not shoot at Palestinians without a cause. Israel did not decide to capture Gaza until after it was attacked from all its neighbors decades ago. History tells us peace can be achieved only by force.
You are parroting the same fictional history Zionism has constructed as a cover for it’s illegal and immoral activity over the past century. However many people have been led to believe it in a time that has lost the ability to think morally and critically. It is a lie. What Israel is doing right now, using its military to shoot thousands of unarmed Palestinians as a part of its ongoing settler colonialism is the TRUTH.
Sorry mate, it’s you with your head up your fundamental orifice. Don’t you read? Israel, against all international dictates, is occupying and settling a Palestinian lands. I am white, aged 72 and I absolutely abhor what Israel is doing. If I had it in my power I would remove every Israeli from the occupied lands. Go back and read your history about how the state of Israel was carved out of Palestinian lands by colonial powers just to give Jewishe people a safe haven after the holocaust. At the expense of . Say, a million innocent Arabs turfed off their land.
Since you’re such a historian, please tell us when there ever was an independent country called Palestine? Apart from the fact it was approximately 400,00 “Palestinians displaced during the 1948 war but more than 600,000 Jews who fled to Israel from Arab countries.
That’s Zionist revisionist history at it very best right there!..lol
HK is a junior zionist troll. All facts and arguments wrong.
Such appalling and inexcusable ignorance!!
The definition of “Palestinian” in the Oxford English: Adjective: “relating to Palestine or its peoples.” Noun: “A member of the native Arab population of the region of Palestine.” Native Arab = Indigenous people.
The region between the Jordan River and the Med. Sea was referred to as “Palestine” by the Greek historian Herodotus (“the father of history”) during the 5th century BCE.
100 years later, in the mid-4th Century BCE, Aristotle referred to Palestine while discussing the Dead Sea in his Meteorology. “Again if, as is fabled, there is a lake in Palestine….”
Jewish historian Josephus’s (c.37-100 CE) The Jewish War, Antiquities of the Jews contains many references to both “Palestine” and “Palestinians.”
Contemporaries of Jesus also routinely referred to Palestine as “Palestine.” In the first decade of the 1st Century, the Roman poet Ovid mentioned Palestine in both his famed mythological poem Metamorphoses and his erotic elegy The Art of Love. He also wrote of “the waters of Palestine” in his calendrical poem Fasti. Around the same time, another Latin poet, Tibullus wrote of “the crowded cities of Palestine” in the section “Messalla’s Triumph” in his poem Delia.
The Zionist claim that the Roman emperor Hadrian officially changed the name of the region to “Syria Palaestina” or simply “Palestine,” in 135 CE is contradicted by the fact that by then, the term “Palestine” had already been in use for over 600 years.
When the Muslim Arabs arrived in Palestine in the 7th century CE (and liberated its Jewish population from Byzantine oppression), they retained the administrative organization of the territory of Palestine as it had been under the Romans and later, the Byzantines. They referred to the territory as Filastin (no “P” in Arabic.)
To quote the opening sentence of the section entitled “Filastin” that appears in the book “Dictionary of the Lands,” written by geographer Yaqut ibn Abdullah al-Hamawi in 1225: “Filastin: It is the last one of the regions in the direction of Egypt. Its most famous cities are Ashkelon, Ramle, Gaza, Arsuf, Caesaria, Nablus, Jericho, Jaffa and Beit Guvrin.”
By about 1300 CE there were virtually no Jews in Palestine, which was a recognized geographical concept using coinage with “Filistin” written on them. There were diaries of Palestinian travelers who said they missed “Palestine” and a distinctive Palestinian dialect of Arabic had evolved. From 1300 on, the vast majority of people who lived in Palestine were Christians and Muslims.
In 1603, Shakespeare wrote in his play Othello: “Emilia: I know a lady in Venice would have walked barefoot to Palestine
for a touch of his nether lip.” (Act IV, Scene iii.)
MAP DESIGNATING “PALESTINE” FROM THE YEAR 43 CE.
Maps: Palestine before Israel:
In 1863, The Religious Tract Society of London published its “Pictorial Journey Through the Holy Land; or Scenes of Palestine.” In this work Beersheba is described as the southern limit of Palestine. Beersheba lies south-east of Gaza on the northern edge of the Negev desert. Palestine is described as “south of Lebanon.”
European tourist books of the nineteenth century refer to “Palestine,” as did Theodor Herzl in his correspondence and the 1917 Balfour Declaration as well as the 1922 Class A League of Nations British Mandate.
To quote the Winston Churchill Memorandum (1 July 1922) regarding the League of Nations Class A British Mandate:
“[T]he status of all citizens of Palestine in the eyes of the law shall be Palestinian, and it has never been intended that they, or any section of them, should possess any other juridical status.”
You write: “Apart from the fact it was approximately 400,00 “Palestinians displaced during the 1948 war but more than 600,000 Jews who fled to Israel from Arab countries.”
As determined by Walter Eytan, then Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, 800,000 Palestinian refugees were dispossessed and expelled by Jewish militia and the IDF between late 1947 and the end of 1948, including 400,000 between late 1947 and 15 May 1948 when the “Jewish state” was declared by Polish born David Ben-Gurion (real name, David Gruen), et al.
Regarding Arab Jews:
To quote Yehouda Shenhav, of Iraqi Jewish heritage and professor of sociology and anthropology at Tel Aviv University: “Any reasonable person, Zionist or non-Zionist, must acknowledge that the analogy drawn between Palestinians and Mizrahi [Arab] Jews is unfounded. Palestinian refugees did not want to leave Palestine….Those who left did not do so of their own volition. In contrast, Jews from Arab lands came to this country under the initiative of the State of Israel and Jewish organizations.” (Ha’aretz, 8 October 2004.)
Historian, Avi Shlaim, born into an affluent and influential family in Baghdad: “We are not refugees…., nobody expelled us But we are the victims of the Israeli-Arab conflict.” (Ha’aretz, August 11, 2005)
Yisrael Yeshayahu, speaker of the Knesset: “We are not refugees…. We had messianic aspirations.”
Shlomo Hillel, former minister and speaker of the Knesset: “I don’t regard the departure of Jews from Arab lands as that of refugees. They came here because they wanted to, as Zionists.”
During a Knesset hearing into the matter, Ran Cohen, member of the Knesset: “I am not a refugee….I came at the behest of Zionism, due to the pull that this land exerts, and due to the idea of redemption. Nobody is going to define me as a refugee.” (Ha’aretz, October 8, 2004)
It should not be forgotten that after having its bid for UN membership rejected twice, Israel signed the 1949 Lausanne Peace Conference Protocol and declared before the UN General Assembly that it would comply with UN Resolution 194, which, based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, calls for the repatriation of and/or compensation for the then 800,000 Palestinian refugees dispossessed and expelled by Jewish forces and the IDF before and during the 1948 war** (including 400,000 between late 1947 and 15 May 1948), as a precondition for gaining UN admittance (see UNGA Resolution 273, 11 May 1949.) Israel is the only country admitted to the UN subject to a precondition. It has since refused to comply with its pledge and should have long since had its UN membership cancelled or suspended.
The bottom line is that while well over one million Palestinians were brutally dispossessed and expelled from their homeland by Jewish militias and the IDF between late 1947 and 1967, they played no role whatsoever in the emigration of or any ill treatment and or loss of assets that Jews of Arab origin may have experienced in their former homelands. In short, apples and oranges.
**In 2004, when asked by Ha’aretz journalist, Ari Shavit, what new information his just completed revised version of The Birth of the Palestinian Problem 1947-1949 would provide, Israeli historian Benny Morris replied: “It is based on many documents that were not available to me when I wrote the original book, most of them from the Israel Defense Forces Archives. What the new material shows is that there were far more Israeli acts of massacre than I had previously thought. To my surprise, there were also many cases of rape. In the months of April-May 1948, units of the Haganah were given operational orders that stated explicitly that they were to uproot the villagers, expel them and destroy the villages themselves.” (Ha’aretz, January 9, 2004)
GET EDUCATED!! There is no excuse for your ignorance.
Wow David thanks for all of that. Both comments were enlightening.
In the 50’s when I was in grade school the Nuns always called the land Jesus walked on as it being Palestine. Joe
Reality: Israel is still belligerently, illegally and brutally occupying the Gaza Strip.
Human Rights Watch, 2005: “…Israel will continue to be an Occupying Power [of the Gaza Strip] under international law and bound by the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention because it will retain effective control over the territory and over crucial aspects of civilian life. Israel will not be withdrawing and handing power over to a sovereign authority – indeed, the word ‘withdrawal’ does not appear in the [2005 disengagement] document at all… The IDF will retain control over Gaza’s borders, coastline, and airspace, and will reserve the right to enter Gaza at will. According to the Hague Regulations, ‘A territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised’. International jurisprudence has clarified that the mere repositioning of troops is not sufficient to relieve an occupier of its responsibilities if it retains its overall authority and the ability to reassert direct control at will.”
The International Committee of the Red Cross: “The whole of Gaza’s civilian population is being punished for acts for which they bear no responsibility. The closure therefore constitutes a collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law. The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, ratified by Israel, bans collective punishment of a civilian population.”
“In practice, Gaza has become a huge, let me be blunt, concentration camp for right now 1,800,000 people” – Amira Hass, 2015 correspondent for Haaretz, speaking at the Forum for Scholars and Publics at Duke University.
To quote Dov Weisglass, then PM Ariel Sharon’s senior adviser:
“‘The significance of the [proposed] disengagement plan [implemented in 2005] is the freezing of the peace process,’ Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s senior adviser Dov Weisglass has told Ha’aretz. ‘And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda….’ Weisglass, who was one of the initiators of the disengagement plan, was speaking in an interview with Ha’aretz for the Friday Magazine. ‘The disengagement is actually formaldehyde,’ he said. ‘It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.’” (Top PM Aide: Gaza Plan Aims to Freeze the Peace Process, Ha’aretz, October 6, 2004)
Seriously Joe? You’e going to damn Bernie with faint praise and over praise Diane Feinstein just because she said the “right” words you wanted to hear and Bernie didn’t at that moment. When did you write this? Weeks ago? And do you seriously think Feinstein (who over the decades has been mostly in lock step with Chuck Schumer) is more sympathetic to Palestinians than Bernie, or is she simply better practiced at pouring out the right words. Never mind what she says, watch how she votes, not just on Israel, but on other matters dealing with the welfare of humans and then take note of Bernie’s record.
Because of two words?: “more critical.” Personally I’d take Sanders over Feinstein any day of the week. I was just reporting what was said. Please don’t overreact. Though in this political climate that appears to be the norm.
Not sure if the author is a propagandist pushing an agenda, or simply ignorant, so I will give him the benefit of a doubt. It is no secret whatsoever what Hamas has been planning. They have openly declared it seven weeks ago, when these weekly border riots have began, and have restated it on numerous occasions since then. It was called “The Great March of Return” and the goal was to breech the Israel security fence and inundate the border zones with hundreds of thousands of “peaceful” marchers. (the reason for the quotation marks is that at least half of those killed during this time were claimed by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Islamist/Jihadist groups as their operatives)
No country on Earth would allow hundreds of thousands of hostile forces to invade their borders. In fact, this is a prime casus belli. Hamas was perfectly aware of this and knew very well what Israeli reaction would be. There are towns and villages nearby, some only a couple of hundred meters away from the Gaza border and, just as any other country, Israel will do whatever it takes to stop the invadion and protect its citizens, up to and including the use of deadly force. Nevertheless, Hamas has spent months inciting the residents of Gaza to do just that. They knew perfectly well that they were sending these people to be killed or injured, but they also knew that there is a whole contingent of mass and alternative media, politicians and NGOs who will gladly report on the expected violence, omitting and distorting facts in the way that makes Israel (and by extension, Jews in general) look like monsters. The author of this article certainly fits this category by omitting the adamantly stated goals of Hamas, th tactics and weapons they used, calling Israel’s defensive actions “cold blooded murder”.
Had Hamas known that it cannot rely on the sympathetic propagandists to spread their hateful message of demonization and deligitimization, it would have thought twice about staging this bloody theater and these people would still be alive. By obediently serving to enable this strategy, you, therefore, bear as much responsibility as Hamas for the bloodshed.
I appreciate much work that consortium news has done, in many cases providing a much needed unbiased reporting on world events but, unfortunately, it leaves much to be desired with regards to the Arab-Israeli conflict. I am completely dismayed why publication with ostensibly liberal and progressive stance would carry water for the oppressive, totalitarian forces, such as Hamas. I do not call for giving Israel any sort of exceptionalist status, nor am I suggesting that Israel cannot be criticized,just honest reporting within a proper context. In this way, when you do criticize it, your criticism will have some validity and credibility, rather than coming across as just more grist for the propaganda mill intended to pander to the converts.
Alexander, sadly it is Israel that is the “oppressive totalitarian force”. Not Hamas.
The protesters are in Israeli occupied and controlled Gaza.
Your whole argument is based on a false premise.
The Gaza protests are organized by ordinary Palestinians to highlight their desperate plea against a barbaric occupation and prevention of residents returning to their historic homes, including in Jerusalem. Gaza’s population are descended from refugees who were displaced by Israeli settlers in the 1948 pogroms and later in the 1967 War.This is also the seventieth anniversary of one of the most shameful episodes of ethnic cleansing and dispossession over the past century – the 1948 Nakba or Catastrophe for Palestinians. And the US government, and you Alexander, are brazenly siding with the heirs of that historic violence, the Israeli state.
And yet, remarkably, I can find no photos of indigenous Palestinians having penetrated the “border fence” and entering Israel. At best, some have removed the extra barbed wire fence Israel installed far inside the “border fence.”
And somehow, these malicious Hamas “terrorists” have failed to cause an Israeli Offense Force soldier so much as a scrapped knee, while suffering many thousands of casualties themselves.
It is you who spread a “hateful message of demonization and deligitimization” as you well know.
For your much needed edification:
On 16 June 2009, after meeting with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Ismail Haniya, prime minister of Hamas’s Gaza Strip government, announced that “If there is a real plan to resolve the Palestinian question on the basis of the creation of a Palestinian state within the borders of June 4, 1967 [i.e. 22% of historic Palestine] and with full sovereignty, we are in favour of it.”
“‘We accept a Palestinian state on the borders of 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital, the release of Palestinian prisoners, and the resolution of the issue of refugees,’ Haniyeh said, referring to the year of Middle East war in which Israel captured East Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories. ” (Haaretz, December 1, 2010)
In its revised Charter, April, 2017, Hamas again agreed to a Palestinian state based on the 4 June 1967 borders. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, Israel promptly rejected the Hamas overture instead of using it to open a dialogue.
“Senior Hamas Official: ‘I Think We Can All Live Here in This Land – Muslims, Christians and Jews.’” By Nir Gontarz. March 28, 2018, Haaretz.
As for Netanyahu and the Likud party, here’s a brief summation of their positions that are contrary to international law and explain why the conflict continues:
The Likud Party Platform:
a. “The Jordan river will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel.”
b. “Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel. The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem”
c. “The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.”
d. “…. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.”
David, your research and comments are great. Please write an article that brings it all together and sent it to St Clair. I value the efforts you have put into this.
I agree; this would be useful on CN as well. Perhaps a compact series :
1. History highlights of Palestine thru early 20th century
2. Zionism and Jewish immigration and problems through the 1930s
3. Zionist pressuring of Truman to pressure the UN to create Israel
4. The creation of the state of Israel and attacks on Palestinians
5. Before & after the 1967 war
6. US zionism and its corruption of US mass media and elections
Hi Mr Mikhailov.
I’m afraid there is a litany of factual mistakes and/or misrepresentations in your allegations against Hamas, and I would like to respond to them. For what it’s worth, I don’t presume your epistemic guilt, I don’t believe it’s your fault that you are expressing falsities, because I myself have (foolishly) been a supporter of Israel before I saw the light, and during that time I was consistently misinformed by the outlets of Israel-advocacy – they tend to deceive their readers a lot. So my responses do not contain the slightest reprimand against your epistemic practices, I just want to set the record straight with regards to certain aspects of the Gaza Marches that you touch upon, so that readers won’t be misled –especially readers with pro-Israel tendencies.
You say (emphasis added):
“It is no secret whatsoever what Hamas has been planning. They have openly declared it seven weeks ago, when these weekly border riots have began, and have restated it on numerous occasions since then. It was called “The Great March of Return” and the goal was to breech the Israel security fence and inundate the border zones with hundreds of thousands of “peaceful” marchers. No country on Earth would allow hundreds of thousands of hostile forces to invade their borders. In fact, this is a prime casus belli.”
I think this is a statement that blows things out of proportion.
First of all, there were indications that Hamas was not relentlessly pursuing a massive breach of the fence. Its top Chief, Ismail Haniyeh, refrained from stressing in a relevant speech that a massive breach of the fence was a goal. I quote from the most widely-circulating Israeli newspaper, Israel Hayom, (it is right-wing) on April 10:
“Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, for his part, renewed a pledge Monday that the marches would pave the way for a return of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to what is now Israel.
“We will return to Palestine, our villages and Jerusalem,” Haniyeh said in a speech at one of five protest camps set up along the border.
He [the Hamas Chief] stopped short of threatening a mass breach of the border, though another Hamas leader has done so in recent speeches.”
Be that as it may (and I am not claiming it amounts to too much), it is clear that you are making this statement about one of Hamas’ stated goals (i.e. the entrance of Palestinians in Israel proper) so that you will justify the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) actions. But note that what counts for a potential justification of the IDF killings is not what Hamas said, but what the threat that was generated by the Hamas statement in the IDF’s mind was. And even if Hamas’ words generated the impression of threat in the IDF’s mind, the facts on the ground might have annulled this perception of threat in the mind of the IDF., because the IDF did not see hundreds of thousands of Palestinians at the protests. It only saw 30 thousand (a number that dropped significantly the weeks following (only to resurge the final week, Jerusalem embassy relocation day), due to Israel’s permissive rules of engagement that scared many Palestinians, a goal that Israel consciously pursued through its killings, i.e. to kill many Palestinians even if they were posing no threat so as to deter other Palestinians from coming close to fence, as top pro-Israel analysts assessed — links for this in the end of the comment). But even these 30 thousand Palestinians were not all close to the fence. In fact, the number of Palestinians that were a “threat” to breach the border was so small that even the former head of Israel’s National Security Council who served for 33 years in the IDF, including as head of its Strategic Planning Branch, hinted that Israel might have acted with disproportional lethal violence in the first week of Marches (a very lethal week):
“But my impression is that we, to a certain extent, may have been too quick to fire at a demonstration that I’m not sure endangered our soldiers and that I’m not sure would have trampled the fence and seen masses getting into Israel.
With small numbers [of protesters who may trample the fence], say a few thousand, you can catch them, hold them, feed them, give them flowers and send them home.”
“… hundreds of thousands of “peaceful” marchers. (the reason for the quotation marks is that at least half of those killed during this time were claimed by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Islamist/Jihadist groups as their operatives)”
The mere fact of being a member of Hamas does not mean that one necessarily is not a peaceful protester. One might as well be Jack the Reaper and yet not behave as a threat at a particular demonstration.
In fact, there is abundant evidence that Hamas members (and lots of them were among those killed by the IDF) were not “threats” when they were shot, because Hamas had given explicit directions to its members not to approach the fence. To the extent that the IDF tries to justify its killings by appealing to the dangerousness of a potential breach of the fence, and hence to the consequent dangerousness of those who actively breach the fence, Hamas members couldn’t have been threats in this respect since they were staying away from the fence. It was others that were trying to breach it. I quote the Shin Bet (the Israeli spooks) which, even in its attempt to misinform, had to admit the plain fact that Hamas members were generally not trying to breach the fence:
“Hamas has warned its own members to stay away from the security fence during Gaza’s mass protests, lest they get shot…”
More evidence that Hamas members were not real threats can be gleaned from the fact that Hamas did not want to shoot at the IDF. I quote Nathan Thrall, from the International Crisis Group, the best analyst of the Israel/Palestine conflict I have encountered up to now (April 2, first week of the Marches):
“All major Palestinian factions agreed to participate and keep the demonstrations unarmed. Hamas instructed its followers and security forces to ensure that no arms were displayed among the protesters and no weapons were fired at Israeli forces.”
More evidence that Hamas did not intend to shoot at the IDF comes from Avi Issacharoff, the top journalist of the Times of Israel (though I am not sure how much credibility the Times of Israel can claim to have when it disseminates as news visibly deceptive propaganda from MEMRI –more on this at a post scriptum in my comment). Avi Issacharoff (who speaks with the top echelons of the defense establishment) quotes his Gaza sources as saying that Hamas tried prevent shootings against the IDF (March 31, first week of protests, the second most lethal week):
“Despite the violence at the fence, and at least one case of gunfire directed at Israeli troops, these Gazans said, Hamas security forces made an effort to prevent gunmen from getting to the border on Friday.”
So during the first demonstration (the second most bloodiest of all), Hamas was not presenting a threat to shoot at IDF soldiers. But then why so many Palestinian deaths?
More evidence that Hamas was not intending to shoot comes from the statements of its leaders before the first week of the Marches. I quote from the Times of Israel:
“Hamas leaders had said in the past few days that the protests would be “peaceful” and “non-violent.” However, they also warned that Palestinians will not sit idly by if Israel used force to disperse the protesters.
A statement issued by Hamas,…on Thursday [one day before the protest] called on Palestinians “to effectively take part in the Great March of Return and remain peaceful to achieve the objective of this event.”
But how about the second week of the protests? Did Hamas turn blood-thirsty, horns and all, asking Palestinians to drink the blood of Jewish children? Far from it, and despite the first week’s body-count, Hamas asked for peaceful demonstrations again, we are told by the Times of Israel:
[Hamas] tells protesters to avoid friction
Hamas on Thursday urged Palestinians to “maintain the peacefulness” of the mass protests scheduled to take place along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, issuing a rare call for calm as both sides geared up for fresh violence Friday.
A statement issued by Hamas’s internal security apparatus also urged Palestinians to avoid friction with the Israel Defense Forces during the protests,”
Therefore, Mr Mikhailov, your scare quotes around Hamas’ peaceful protests are not that scary after all, Hamas was indeed trying to be peaceful, as I think I have demonstrated with links from pro-Israel sources mainly.
Continuing in PART 2
A minor (and a bit vain) point that i need to make in case a reader with a taste for analytic philosophy encounters PART 1 of my comment and recoils in horror after reading this sentence of mine:
“Therefore, Mr Mikhailov, your scare quotes around Hamas’ peaceful protests are not that scary after all”
I do know the distinction between use and mention, i do know i violated it, i do know that peaceful protests (whether by Hamas or anyone else) are not the sort of thing that can be surrounded by scare quotes (as opposed to the linguistic expression “peaceful protests”, which is the sort of thing that can), but it would be too cumbersome to express it.
Mr Michailov you continued by saying:
Hamas was perfectly aware of this [i.e. that No country on Earth would allow hundreds of thousands of hostile forces to invade their borders] and knew very well what Israeli reaction would be.
Well, certainly Hamas anticipated that Israel would kill disproportionally, but this does not exculpate Israel from killing disproportionally. Israel should not have killed disproportionally to the level of threat.
And here at long last we come to the gist of your claims regarding the nature that Israel supposedly faced. Because up until now we have been discussing an elusive threat (“breach of the fence”) which doesn’t really seem much of a threat – fences are inanimate, they don’t die if breached, and the IDF soldiers are more than capable of protecting themselves if it so happens that the fence is breached.).
You said, by way of clarifying the threat:
There are towns and villages nearby, some only a couple of hundred meters away from the Gaza border and, just as any other country, Israel will do whatever it takes to stop the invadion and protect its citizens, up to and including the use of deadly force.”
I don’t believe that there is a single person who would deny the truth of your implied moral principle: attackers are legitimate targets of necessary and proportional force, if they are a threat to innocents, that’s your implied moral principle. I fully agree.Except I fail to see how these innocent Israelis in the nearby communities would come under danger if there were a limited number of breaches of the fence.
First of all, we all know, or should have known, that Hamas does not in any way prioritize the targeting of civilians. During Operation Protective Edge, as has been admitted by IDF officers and has been reported in Israeli newspapers, Hamas had at least three times the opportunity to attack civilians and yet all three times chose to attack soldiers. I quote myself from a comment that I made at the time:
“here is, from the Times of Israel, an off-the-record but official
Israeli admission by an intelligence official that Hamas targets Israeli
soldiers with its tunnels, not civilians. I quote, but it’s worth
reading the whole thing:
Hamas operatives aim primarily to abduct soldiers and not to
penetrate into civilian communities along the border with Gaza, a senior
intelligence source said Monday. “The central objective is to
kidnap a soldier,” he said, “to replicate the success of Gilad Shalit.” The
assertion was borne out hours after the interview, when it became clear that a
squad of Hamas gunmen had infiltrated into Israel Monday evening,… and
directed their attack at an army post …Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu…stated
that the “sole purpose” of the cross-border tunnels from Gaza to Israel is “the
destruction of our citizens and killing of our children.” The
intelligence source, however, said that of the nine cross-border tunnels
detected, none actually stretches into the grounds of a civilian community.
“They could have gone 500 meters more, into the kibbutz,” he said. “Why didn’t
they do that?”.
…Monday’s [July 28]attack, too, seemed explicitly geared toward attacking soldiers.
A week before, Monday July 21, there was another tunnel attack, again directed at
soldiers and not at civilians, despite the fact that Hamas could have waited to
attack civilians. I quote from Netanyahu’s newspaper, now officially the
most-read Israeli newspaper:
Monday’s attack, during which four Israeli soldiers
were killed, including the commander of the Gefen Battalion, was
the second tunnel attack in two days to catch Israel by surprise.
…Just like in the previous tunnel attack near Kibbutz Reim, during which
an officer and a soldier were killed, the terrorists once again disguised
themselves as Israeli soldiers, and again [Hamas]opted not to
storm the nearby Israeli community — Kibbutz Nir Am — but rather waited for a
This may indicate that Hamas believes that attacking military forces
would be perceived by international public opinion as “legitimate,”
while targeting civilians would undermined their claims of an Israeli
“massacre” in Gaza Strip.
Mr Michailov, I was saying that I fail to see how these innocent Israelis in the nearby communities would come under danger, as you claim, if there were a limited number of breaches of the fence. The above links show that in the past Hamas did not opt for attacking the very same Israeli communities we are now talking about. Besides, during the protests there were already IDF forces in the communities guarding the communities. I quote from the Times of Israel,May 14 (the most deadly day of the protests, around 60 Palestinians killed):
“ Additional soldiers have also been deployed to provide extra security to Israeli communities near the Gaza border.”
But this means that the probability that a breach of the fence will lead to the death of innocent Israelis is extremely low, even if miraculously the intruding Palestinians managed to evade the IDF soldiers at the fence (and assuming that the intruders intended to go to some nearby Israeli community), because the probability that they would manage to overcome the lethal force of the IDF force in the community is extremely small too. So the overall probability that innocent Israelis would die if the fence was breached at a limited number of places is negligibly small.Too many hurdles to overcome – not to mention Hamas’ past reluctance to attack via tunnels the Israeli civilians in the communities.
Of course, the Palestinians that wanted to breach the fence did not even seem to want to confront IDF soldiers, let alone attack innocent Israelis at nearby communities, because in the one case that there was a breach of the fence that was not detected in time by the IDF, video footage shows the Palestinians merely celebrating their achievement, not directing themselves to marching towards an Israeli community. They also immediately retreated once the IDF showed up. Oh, yes, one of the Palestinians held a meat cleaver, not much help when it comes to facing an armed IDF soldier, but then the Palestinian didn’t seem intent on using it anyway, he retreated. So what on Earth was so scary about the breach of the fence? Please see the video (Times of Israel, May 5):
“A Palestinian video aired on Al Jazeera over the weekend shows demonstrators at Friday’s Gaza border protests breaching the border and entering Israeli territory unchallenged.
Around 15 people can be seen in the clip crossing over to the Israeli side of the security fence. The protesters are then seen running around, celebrating. One wearing a Guy Fawkes mask and brandishing a butcher’s knife jumps up and down while crying “Allahu Akbar.”
After a short time the protesters are apparently spotted by Israeli troops, and can be seen running back into Gaza. The army said in a statement that the Gazans were identified by soldiers monitoring the border and a patrol was dispatched to the scene. Soldiers fired tear gas at the infiltrators and forced them back over the border.”
All I see is youth, desperate youth, that wants to let some steam off and regain some dignity (misconstrued or not) against an Israel that, in collectively punishing them through the blockade, humiliatingly rubs their faces in their utter impotence to control their lives. They want to say “we are here, we are Muslims and you won’t break our spirit with your punishments”. The Palestinian youth wants a symbolic breach of the fence, if anything to gain some temporary sense of meaning and empowerment.
Hamas too seems concerned with the symbolism of the breach of the fence, rather than with killing innocent Israeli civilians in the nearby communities. I quote Yoav Limor from the right-wing Israel Hayom, who is this newspaper’s contact with the IDF establishment – like Avi Issacharoff from the Times of Israel, and like Amos Harel of Haaretz, they all seem to be disseminating in their respective newspapers the officially unofficial view of the Defense establishment, which is not always congruent with the government’s view. Anyway I digressed, I was saying that Hamas is concerned with the empowering symbolism that the breach of the fence carries, rather than with the blood of Israeli civilians that such a breach of the fence would supposedly enable, according to you Mr Michailov. I quote Yoav Limor (May 15, most lethal week of protests):
“It’s been eight weeks since it [Hamas] began bringing protesters to the fence area … in an attempt to rouse international public opinion and along the way scratch out a tactical victory – infiltration of Israel to prove that the rage in Gaza is stronger than the IDF.
Hamas’ former Chief sees the symbolism of the breach of the fence as a tool for embarrassing Israel, rather as a tool for infiltrating Israeli communities, I quote him (link is from the far rightwing pro-Israeli-advocacy org MEMRI, which recently perpetrated such a deception that it has lost all credibility that it could muster. More on this in a post scriptum):
“[Israel] is at a loss. If it allows the multitudes to cross the border, this will constitute an embarrassment to it, but if it kills them in cold blood – as, in fact, it did, it will be exposed for the whole world to see. In every scenario, [Israel] is committing a crime, and in every scenario, our people emerges victorious.”
So Hamas is saying in effect to Israel “either we breach the fence and we embarrass you by showing you that you can’t beat us, or you execute us in cold blood and the whole world sees what monsters you are”.
Given that there was no real threat to the nearby communities from a potential breach of the fence, I say that Israel was morally obligated to go for the first option, namely to accept a degree of embarrassment from some more breaches of the fence without killing so many Palestinians. Hurt Israeli pride weighs less than Palestinian human life.
A small correction, I said:
And here at long last we come to the gist of your claims regarding the nature that Israel supposedly faced.
I ommitted a word, i should have written:
And here at long last we come to the gist of your claims regarding the nature of the threat that Israel supposedly faced.
Mr MIkhailov, PART 3 of My comment must still be in moderation (though i can’t see it on my screen). I shall wait until tomorrow and if it hasn’t showed up i will repost it
The first Times of Israel link in PART 2 is broken, here is the same link:
Could Israeli soldiers, not civilians, be the target of the attack tunnels?
Mr Mikhailov, here is PART 3 of my comment, posted temprarily at my Facebook page, in case you want to read it before it finds its way out of the spam filter of Consortium News:
Before moving on to your other allegation, Mr Michailov, let me quickly respond to a potential thought that probably crossed the mind of any reader who is sympathetic to Israeli advocacy: that the statements by Amos Harel have no credibility because they come from the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, which in the mind of Israel advocates is a traitor of Israel (Haaretz, Israeli human rights orgs, the Israeli Left in general, they are demonized in public discourse in Israel). My response is that Haaretz is the most objective Israeli newspaper, but the important point is that, no matter what one might be thinking about Haaretz , she can’t dismiss Amos Harel, because he has the imprimatur of the pro-occupation Israel advocacy org CAMERA. I quote myself and link to a past discussion where I proved it (please see my relevant comment):
“Just to make sure that no one is going to try to discredit this Harel article, i just cite in defence of his credibility that even the hard right-wing pro-occupation org CAMERA considers him credible in general(April 2013):
“On Friday (April 5), the usually sharp Amos Harel…”
He was also a participant in some discussions that the hard right-wing (and awfully Islamophobic) Gatestone Institute was hosting, and he was introduced as “our fifth and last regular participant, Amos Harel, the distinguished military reporter and defense analyst for the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz.”
Therefore, no chance that Harel can be dismissed as “delusional Lefty” who would lie for political reasons. And his revelation transmits the same aura of IDF callousness that the testimonies of Breaking the Silence do.
As for your allegation, Mr Michailov, that the author (of the article we are commenting
on right now) ignored the stated goals of Hamas, I have shown above that the actions of Hamas (and a fortiori the stated goals of Hamas) didn’t pose any threat to the physical well being of Israelis that would justify so permissive killings by the IDF. Therefore, the stated goals of Hamas were irrelevant to explaining the moral rightness or wrongness of the killings.
But you are also accusing the author of ignoring the tactics and weapons that Hamas used. As far as the weapons are concerned, here is an assortment of links from pro-Israel sources that shows that the way you speak about guns blows the thing totally out of proportion. I quote the Times of Israel (April 2, commenting on the first week of the Marches, the second most lethal week) to the effect that there was only 1 shooting incident in the first week:
“On Friday, some 30,000 Palestinians took part in demonstrations along the Gaza border, during which rioters threw rocks and firebombs at Israeli troops on the other side of the fence, burned tires and scrap wood, sought to breach and damage the security fence, and in one case opened fire at Israeli soldiers.”
But then, why the massive Palestinian casualties? Only one incident involved firing by Palestinians.
I also quote from the Times of Israel the IDF spokesman who makes clear that the worst that happened in terms of violence during the first 3 weeks of protests occurred during the third week, and it was only 3 incidents, 2 of them involving shootings:
“[the IDF spokesman]cited three attempted attacks by armed men against Israeli forces during the riots — two teams of gunmen who opened fire at IDF soldiers and one group that tried to plant an improvised explosive device along the border — as the main proof of the riots’ ferocity, during a phone briefing with journalists.“This is unprecedented in terms of the level of violence, compared to previous weeks,” he said.”
Dangerous by all means, but hardly the sort of evidence that if reported would make the casual reader feel that the protests were not overall weapons-free, especially given the fact that Hamas had been trying to prevent shooting incidents, as some of my previous links proved. So, Mr Michailov, I don’t see why you are so riled up with the author of the Consortium article for not mentioning ‘Hamas’ weapons’. – he didn’t have too, I suggest, given that Hamas did not intend to use weapons. Please tell me something Mr Michailov: would Hamas’ Chief Sinwar bring his wife and beloved children to the protests if he knew he had planned exchange of fire with the IDF? I quote from the Times of Israel March 31st (first week of protests):
“Sinwar made plain that he had come to the event together with his wife and children”
And please let no Israel advocate retort that Palestinians don’t love their children – a usual demonizing theme of Israel advocacy. For in this case we have corroboration from the Defense establishment that Sinwar loves his children so much that he might have become much softer due to this love,(it is the journalist Avi Issacharoff speaking, but this is the sort of informational tidbit that can only have come from his sources in the Defense establishment. Besides, he had written once more about this love of Sinwar for his first child, and I think in that article he did refer to his IDF sources):
“As Monday’s clashes intensified throughout the day, it appeared the sides were on the cusp of war. But then Hamas stopped the protests, sent the rioters back to their homes, and halted its own activities to stir up demonstrations — for a few days, at least.
Was this a complete surrender by Hamas, as some in the Hebrew media were quick to report?
What happened to the Sinwar of old, who championed terror attacks and murder, who personally killed a Hamas commander suspected of collaborating with Israel? Did his elevation to Hamas leader in Gaza in early 2017 change him? To abuse a familiar Hebrew expression, are there things he sees as Hamas leader that he didn’t see before, from lower in the hierarchy?
It may be that becoming a father has had its influence; he and his wife have had two children since his 2011 release.
You continued by saying:
“Had Hamas known that it cannot rely on the sympathetic propagandists to spread their hateful message of demonization and deligitimization, it would have thought twice about staging this bloody theater and these people would still be alive. By obediently serving to enable this strategy, you, therefore, bear as much responsibility as Hamas for the bloodshed.
These people would have still been alive if Israel had not fired with disproportional force, and had chosen to respond only to actual threats. Whatever responsibility you might wish to impute to Hamas, it cannot annul the Israeli responsibility for the killings.
Continuing to PART 5
The following paragraph in PART 4 was cast in italics, whereas it should have been in normal font (they are my own words, as is obvious):
“And please let no Israel advocate retort that Palestinians don’t love their children – a usual demonizing theme of Israel advocacy. For in this case we have corroboration from the Defense establishment that Sinwar loves his children so much that he might have become much softer due to this love,(it is the journalist Avi Issacharoff speaking, but this is the sort of informational tidbit that can only have come from his sources in the Defense establishment. Besides, he had written once more about this love of Sinwar for his first child, and I think in that article he did refer to his IDF sources):”
Mr Mikhailov you said:
“I appreciate much work that consortium news has done, in many cases providing a much needed unbiased reporting on world events but, unfortunately, it leaves much to be desired with regards to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
I like consortium news too. I only recently discovered it. I was reading an academic paper about the role of Palestine in transnational jihad by Prof Thomas Hegghammer:
The Palestine Effect: The Role of Palestinians in the Transnational Jihad Movement
In page 3 of the pdf in a footnote I came across a link to this brilliant article by Ray McGovern here in consortium news:
Ray McGovern, “Cheney Goofs on Israel”
And that’s how I came to subscribe.
Mr Michailov, after expressing your appreciation for the work of Consortium news and your misgivings at its treatment of the Israel/Palestine conflict, you said about consortium news:
I am completely dismayed why publication with ostensibly liberal and progressive stance would carry water for the oppressive, totalitarian forces, such as Hamas.”
Thank you for this, it’s a good opportunity to end this meme about the ‘oppressive totalitarian’ Hamas.
It should be said at the outset that Hamas is a Resistance org, that regrettably has committed terrorist acts too and has not renounced the tactic – in the same way that the IDF is a legitimate Army that regrettably commits war crimes and kills innocents with callous disregard at least . But to label Hamas as “terrorists’ is obscuring, they are resistance fighters and even the Chief of IDF Southern Command during Operation Protective Edge recognizes this function of Hamas (February 2018):
“Hamas, the leading resistance movement, received widespread credit among Palestinians for “expelling” Israel from the Gaza Strip, similar to what Hezbollah had purportedly accomplished in Lebanon five years prior
Hamas walks a fine line between governing the Strip and maintaining its character as a resistance organization;
Furthermore, Hamas actively prevents many attacks by other terrorist groups against Israel, and even detains and punishes those who attempt such attacks”
Now, let me respond to your comment about the oppressiveness and totalitarianism of Hamas with a comment that I had made twice in the Guardian. It was a comment that was deemed ok by the initial moderation team (stayed up close to 24 hours while other comments in that thread were getting deleted) but then miraculously disappeared together with another comment that I had made about how the Israeli occupation and the consequent need of the West to support oppressive autocrats in the Middle East so as to prevent hostilities of those countries with Israel is a cause of terrorism in the West – I can’t guess which of the two comments was more annoying for the powers that be at the Guardian. I can only deplore that a progressive newspaper becomes the epitome of conservatism when it comes to protecting Israel. Anyway I digressed, here is the view I expressed about the totalitarianism of Hamas:
Hamas has been calling for elections, Parliamentary and Presidential, because it is a democratic party:
Hamas leader calls for fresh Palestinian elections
It’s because Hamas is very popular. As the Chief of the Israel Defense Forces has conceded:
“Hamas has entered the people’s hearts. I would very much like to root it out, but people believe Hamas and identify with the movement”.
And as we learn from the Times of Israel:
” It is abundantly clear to all which is the dominant movement in Palestinian politics today[Hamas]”
It is Israel that prohibits Palestinian elections, because its preferred kleptocratic dictator (Abbas), to whom Israel has outsourced the occupation in exchange for allowing him to run his kleptocracy at the expense of the Palestinian public, will certainly lose any election (70% of the Palestinian public want him ousted, because he is both corrupt and a collaborator of Israel). I quote from the Times of Israel:
“The current Israeli government would likely not allow elections to be held in East Jerusalem if Hamas candidates were taking part.”
So, we should be asking Israel to allow the Palestinian society to express itself in fair elections.
Israel is indeed the only democracy in the region. It is because both Israel and the West support autocratic kleptocrats in Jordan,Egypt and Palestine, for the sake of Israel.
To wrap it up, Mr Michailov, supporters of Israel, which is actively supporting Abbas the dictator, supporters of Israel which is destroying democracy in Palestine and influences Western governments to do the same, have no standing to talk about totalitarianism. And, at the end of the day, if Hamas is so oppressive as you say, why did Hamas win elections? And why is Israel so much afraid that even today, after all the punishments inflicted upon the Gazans for voting for Hamas, Israel is still afraid that Hamas will be reelected?
Here is my suggestion, let’s start calling for fair elections in Egypt, Jordan and Palestine.
Mr Michailov, you concluded by saying:
“I do not call for giving Israel any sort of exceptionalist status, nor am I suggesting that Israel cannot be criticized,just honest reporting within a proper context. In this way, when you [author of the consortium article] do criticize it, your criticism will have some validity and credibility, rather than coming across as just more grist for the propaganda mill intended to pander to the converts.”
I sincerely hope that with my comment I have managed to create some doubt in the minds of the converts of your side.
An important clarification. I said in PART 5:
“It should be said at the outset that Hamas is a Resistance org, that regrettably has committed terrorist acts too and has not renounced the tactic”
By ‘terrorism’ i mean what most people have in mind when they hear this word — targeting of civilians. I certainly don’t include targeting of Israel’s security forces. Soldiers and police officers are morally legitimate targets of the Palestinian resistance. Obviously, the civilians who are armed guards at settlements are legitimate targets too (they are guarding with their guns occupied territory. Terrorism would be to target the other inhabitants of the settlements, the unarmed ones. Please don’t ask me about the status of armed settlers who are not guarding the settlements, i don’t know.
But i am making the clarification because Israel’s influencing of Western governments has reached the Orwellian level of finally persuading the EU and Germany and other Western countries to condemn as terrorism even attacks by Palestinians (unaffiliated to Hamas, not that this matters though) against IDF soldiers — in occupied territory no less (not that this is essential for the legitimacy of the attack, but i’m just spotting how easy it was for the EU to realize the absurdity of calling “terrorist” the Palestinian who attacked the soldiers of the occupying Army):
“…attack in eastern Jerusalem, which killed four Israeli soldiers on Sunday.“The European Union condemns the murder of these four young Israelis, as well as any praise or incitement for terrorist acts,” Brussels said in a statement”
And, of course, Israel persuaded the European Parliament to consider terrorism the attacks of Hamas via tunnels –those tunnels that the IDF admitted have never been used for attacking civilians, but only for attacking Israeli soldiers:
“The European Parliament…condemns the terror attacks of Hamas and other militant groups against Israel from the Gaza Strip, including the firing of rockets, infiltrations into Israeli territory, and the building of tunnels”
No surprises here. Since we have state legislatures openly violating their oath of office to pass legislation protecting Israel of criticism.
“The legislation defines anti-Semitism as including calling for attacks on Jews, blaming Israel for all political tensions, and denying its right to exist”
“While Tennessee has similar legislation pending, no other state has passed a law like the one in South Carolina”
It’s what one would expect of states that once fought to defend slavery. They’re a disgrace to any notion of civilization.
We will be boycotting SC.
Hamas did what, exactly? This is a protest and all the protesters are in Israeli occupied and controlled Gaza. So all this talk about Israelis being able to defend themselves is bullshit. One thing I have figured out tho’. Whenever the US accuses some country of X, look around because that means that we are doing it ourselves and we’re trying to avoid having people notice that we’re doing it. Accuse RT and Sputnik of being propaganda outlets? What’s CNN doing when it reports a non-existent gas attack in Douma based on “reporting” from the Syrian Human Rights Observatory which is a one room operation in downtown London that gets all it’s “reports” from Syrian jihadis and rebels? Spewing propaganda. That doesn’t qualify as reportage. Or when, as pointed out, the NYT chooses the passive voice to hide the subject instead of using simple declarative sentences? Spewing propaganda. And when they talk about breaching the border, that’s simply lying. Watch out all you honest news outlets! If you’re not a government toady, you’re likely to be kicked out.
the SOHR is actually in Coventry and did not confirm Douma;it was rather a White Helmets false flag as all the evidence from on the ground there shows.The missile attacks were therefore another a war crime; no doubt more will follow
> “reporting” from the Syrian Human Rights Observatory which is a one room operation in downtown London
> that gets all it’s “reports” from Syrian jihadis and rebels?
And, as we now learn, is actually financed by the London regime and other usual suspects…
The American public “someow” never hears the real truth available from ABBY MARTIN
Seymour Hersh told us how Hillary Clinton Approved Delivering Libya’s Sarin Gas to Syrian REBELS :.
Great article Joe. Thanks. It is very useful to point out the propaganda from CNN and their #FactsFirst. Adam Johnson is to be commended as well. It would be great is we could somehow penetrate the MSM propaganda machine. Too many people are insulated from hearing alternate viewpoints, especially when they run contrary to Israeli plans for the region. Imagine CNN or MSNBC doing a piece on the Oded Yinon plan, AIPAC’s influence in Congress, and the attack on the USS Liberty!
Norman Finkelstein called it a “Murderous Assault”
Last night on PBS “News” hour, the intro to their sickening “Monday Politics” discussion included a gee-whizz mention in passing about 50 people having died. One might have thought that their audience (those not comatose through powerful volleys of propaganistic nonsense doled out by PBS over the years) would have wanted to know more about just how those folks came to die …
The reason that the U.S. Congress consistently supports Israel is that it is their money laundry. Taxpayer funded foreign aid out, campaign contributions in. Israel is nothing but a kickback scheme.
Don’t simplify the obvious: The parasitism of Israel and Israel-firsters on the body of US and the jolly Fifth Column of the ziocon-selected dealers in the US Congress.
I will agree with you both. The US aid to Israel is basically a money laundry for bribes to politicians. This would be superb (but massive) racketeering lawsuit, which could proceed on not many of the more direct links.
But of course Anna is right, that the ziocons are a yet larger operation of parasites, a Fifth Column who select the “dealers in the US Congress.”
Your ` I’ve never read ` is telling.Time to suggest to read them all to learn the ugly truth that indeed `Zio-Jewish is controlling MSM`!
What do you expect, the government and the media are one and the same thing.
Exactly. They tell us what they want us to hear in order to keep the public confused. None of the “news” we get from the corporate media makes any sense at all. You’d think people would look further since we have the internet at our fingertips (for now), but that would require an actual interest in something outside our own lives.
Well to be fair, it takes considerable time to search out, find and support credible news / commentary
sites on the internet, and then read / digest the information they provide. So many families are simply
slammed between obligations that they just don’t have that time or the energy it takes. If you pay
attention to TV news, it’s designed to make people feel ‘informed’ but the reality is just shouted sound-
bites (interspersed in the case of network news with interminable pharmaceutical ads which make you
feel sick even if you’re not). Most people are lucky to catch a half-hour of such ‘news’ while they try to
get dinner going or the house picked up. And lots of people would prefer to watch their local news,
which may be more interesting, is probably more relevant, and while not so slickly produced, very
likely has better content.
The real crime is the information students are not getting in school, even at the college level in what
should be fairly balanced ‘political science’ and ‘geopolitical seminar’ classes.
Nice one Joe. Its almost crazy the way the American MSM has essentially become an echo chamber for the Israeli government.
Another matter of not is how Trump has become so obliging to Israel after he made some noise about being a maverick in his foreign policy. Simply a disgrace what has happened to any shred of objectivity on the dispute.
Its almost funny that the Israelis should blame Hamas, since as Robert Dreyfuss wrote in his book The Devil’s Game, the Mossad secretly started Hamas for the specific purpose of outflanking Fatah, and painting the Palestinians as being Islamic Fundamentalists. Thereby obfuscating the issues.
Thank you; I had not known that Mossad started Hamas, and will check Dreyfuss’ book The Devil’s Game. The US mass media are mostly owned by zionists, and the exceptions are owned by dependent oligarchs.
It’s unsettling to know many people who are sympathetic to the Palestinians and their struggle have no empathy for Syrians massacred and tortured by the Ba’athist regime there. They have bought into the (false) dichotomy of Assad and the Ba’athists or Sunni jihadist groups.
Anyone who does a bit of honest research will learn that the Ba’athists have a four decade long history of torture, murder and repression and that the initial protests were peaceful and the government did massacre unarmed peaceful protestors, just like the IDF does. These are hard facts that transcend opinion.
I learned this for myself after becoming uneasy with the contradictions and propaganda (which comes from ALL sides) and I can no longer support the Assad as good guy narrative. I think Syrians should have been allowed to sort this out without foreign powers using the uprising as a catalyst to stage their proxy wars on Syrian soil. I do not know what the entire truth is but I do know the conflict is extremely complex and reductionist binary thinking that reduces it to good guys versus bad guys is much too simplistic and is an insult to the Syrian people.
This article from 2016 sheds some light on the inability of the two dominant, over simplified narratives to satisfactorily explain the Syrian conflict.
John, I think we’re dealing with an AI troll designed for a higher level of confusion and distraction of communal thought of a degree we see here with Consortium News.
Wow! That was one sentence! Cheers, Jack
You are a paid person who comes with different names on the similar websites like this. But the piece of writing you are given is the same. You came with assumed name Baalbeck onCraig Murray website and the same reference link, very imoral.
Is there a ‘debate” over whether the head chopping terrorists would make a better government for Syria?
Let’s use fewer words but more facts: https://yournewswire.com/israeli-weapons-isis-damascus/
“Since the onset of hostilities in Syria, the Syrian military has repeatedly seized armaments and munitions with inscriptions in Hebrew.”
The arming of ISIS by the state of Israel has been part of the implementation of Oded Yinon genocidal plan for Eretz Israel.
At the same time, the ziocons have been collaborating with banderites in Ukraine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-RyOaFwcEw
The realized neo-Nazification of Ukraine is the Kagans’ clan gift to humanity: https://www.counterpunch.org/2014/02/27/the-neo-nazis-of-ukraine/
The genocidal Oded Yinon: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article33220.htm
“The plan operates on two essential premises. To survive, Israel must 1) become an imperial regional power, and 2) must effect the division of the whole area into small states by the dissolution of all existing Arab states.”
Your comment is totally off-base. It’s the Islamic extremist rebels who are responsible for the massive bloodshed in Syria. As well as their backers, namely Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and the US government.
You mean a fake uprising funded by the United States.
This is one more piece of evidence that America’s media is under the thumb of the Israelis, along with America’s foreign policy. America is being plundered, and its democracy and reputation are being destroyed. Israel’s deep control of America’s media is laid out in http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com
I have a few words to describe my feelings for what Israel is doing to the Palestinians. Evil is the first one that comes to mind. Cowardly is another one for the Israeli troops who are murdering unarmed civilians. These words also describe my feelings for members of congress who refuse to call out Israel’s actions for what they are.
No DiFi, you can’t just condemn Trump for cutting off aid to the Palestinians. The $3.8 billion that you and your fellow congress members should be stopped until Israel stops refusing to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza and finally you should call for an UN investigation into Israel’s war crimes.
The Nuremberg trials were for the German war criminals who committed atrocities against the Jews and others are now shown as nothing more than hypocritical theater. Robert Jackson said that any other countries that commit these same types of crimes should also need to be held. Where are those trials? Nowhere to be seen. This country has done just as many heinous acts as what the Germans did. Just because we are not sending people into gas chambers doesn’t mean that what has been done is not as heinous. We have used depleted uranium in Fallujah during the Iraq war as well as using white phosphorus, two nuclear weapons on two cities in Japan and countless other atrocities.
I wonder what the Jewish ancestors of the WWII camps would think about the way their descendants are treating the Palestinians? Would they applaud the Israeli troops who are murdering unarmed Palestinians including women and children? Or the Israeli people who went up on a hill that overlooked Gaza and cheered when bombs would hit buildings that they knew women and children were in? Or that soldier who clapped his friend on his back after he shot that child, that old man who had his back turned? Or, or, or……? I’d like to think not.
The figure for Jewish casualties should certainly be verified, because there was so much emigration from Europe to Palestine during the 1930s, that ordinary records would not provide a basis without reliable emigration records. Almost every ship in the Med was full of Jewish emigres to Palestine for years. Prior use of the very same figure is certainly suspect.
Until such a study is done, my readings suggest a lower figure, still possibly in excess of one million, a figure that the zionist-controlled media had no qualms about the US causing in Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, and Iraq, a total exceeding even the six million figure . And even six million is less than half of the WWII civilian casualties in China, less than a third of those in Russia. I do not hear the zionist-controlled media advocating special rights for members and unrelated persons of those groups generations later on such grounds, which is sufficient proof of their racist and opportunist intentions.
The zionists (Defsec Wolfowitz, Perl, Wurmser and Feith) were happy to arrange the deaths of similar numbers in Iraq by infiltrating US CIA, DIA, and NSA to fake up WMD evidence, and are now trying to arrange even more deaths in Iran by such means, alleging security problems that are in fact almost entirely due to their greed. So the use of casualty figures by zionists to gain sympathy is fallacious and corrupt.
“Israeli troops shot and killed at least 37 Palestinians during mass protests along the Gaza border today, Palestinian officials said.”
— L.A. Times
I hope Feinstein means it.
All I could picture while reading this article was a Francis Ford Coppola directed scene in the fashion of Godfather I, that during the baptism of Michael’s baby was where the Zionist celebrate the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem replacing Michael’s baby’s baptism scene, while the Palestinian plays the part of Michael’s enemies who Bibi has slaughtered as they protest the stealing of their holy city as well.
This is a sad day for America, as we are as guilty as our Israeli Masters for the human crimes that were and still are being committed in that tiny piece of land they insist on calling Israel, all because of a make believe 3,000 year old history. A history told by the thugs who hijacked the Jewish religion, and in large part it’s culture. A Rothschild creation, buttressed by an English Lord’s Declaration, and a struggling American presidential candidate who wanted to run his campaign from the back of a caboose all because Zionism needed a place to call home. Talk about creating your own reality.
Well anybody doubts that we are living in Orwellian world at least in MSM.
Butcourse NYT did ignore or hopelessly twisted Holocausts before, starting from American Indian Holocaust, Hindu Holocaust by Brits and guess what NYT ignored Jewish Holocaust by Nazis before and during WWII.
Nor later holocausts were correctly reported as such in Vietnam it was called VC cleansing operations like My Lai.
NYT is Holocaust ignoring and even promoting machine and mouthpiece for American and global oligarchy and their murderous ways always decided by board of directors via democratic vote always facing excruciating pain of choosing between $zillion to pocket or $zillion +$1 with murdering thousands in money making process.
Ruling elites and their media minions left their own humanity behind, dehumanized themselves by dehumanizing others, since nobody can take away our humanity only we can do it ourselves.
And they are grave consequences of that deed.
You have no idea what you are talking about.
Holocaust is a direct consequence of denying basic human rights to a group, deportations, arbitrary detention and killings denying degrading religion culture etc.,(Nuremberg Laws) as savages and that existed in 1935 in Germany according to leading Jewish scholars but New York Times only complained about fleeing German refugees US refused to take in significant numbers, not about dehumanization of Jews by degrading their basic civil and human rights as it was practiced against slaves and Indians in the US what NYT also Forgot you report properly either.
As far as Dachau concentration camp, read some books of survivors there you will learn how working people to death on 190 calories a day and constant beating for small infractions brought death within two months is not extermination not only Jews but at that time a lot of Jewish communists and LGBT were exterminated that way. Tel them they were not victims of Holocaust.
Portable gas chambers were first introduced before WWII in order to murder mentally ill and crippled Germans in hospitals where there was no specially installed permanent gas chambers , go to YT to see them.
In Auschwitz-Birkenau not all were sent to gas chambers immediately from transport, only after strong, healthy and with special skills or beauty used in camps whore houses for men and women or on symphony orchestra or operating fashion warehouse dealing with stolen from dead Jews furs, shoes and clothes or as personal slaves to SS officers before they were killed and burned anyway, they were temporarily spared while human refuse as they called Old and useless Jews and others were gassed with Zyklon B (by subsidiary of Bayer) and then cremated in crematoria.
WHILE US KNEW IT AND REFUSED TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT NOT TO UPSET BUSINESS RELATIONS WITH NAZIS WHAT NYT CONVENIENTLY FORGOT TO WRITE ABOUT AS WELL.
When they ran out of wood or crematoria capacity was overwhelmed then the corpses were pushed by bulldozers into pits as you can see on Nazi films on YT.
OPEN YOU EYES AND YOU WILL SEE.
What can we expect from the fascist state of Amerika? Only lies and more lies. The evil always lie to cover their tracks. They are disgusting. Most of the American public is comfortable being shielded from the ugly truth of their evil government. If the wanton killing of men, women, and children by our Ally Israel doesn’t qualify as evil, what the hell does??
And in New Zealand yesterday there was a full page Hasbara propaganda advertisement in every newspaper in every city newspaper praising the “only democracy in the Middle East”, with “the most moral army in the World”. Fronted by the Christian Fellowship Church. I bet you that there is zero coverage of the latest Israeli atrocity. It’s enough to make one scream!
Dennis, wait a minute and consider the actual logistics and costs of getting full page ads in our countries (I presume ur a Kiwi) three major newspapers? and so fast….or was this planned ahead? Now here’s one for you conspiracy-minded out there to ponder. We are one day ahead internationally and they break a fully laid out full page ad pretty much hours thereafter.
As I’m pretty certain these 3 papers are still not Jewish owned, it must have been extremely tempting ($$$) for them to so oblige on a moment’s notice.
Actually J, there was no conspiracy. The Hasbara propaganda pieces published in all three New Zealand major newspapers was a shameful celebration of the seventieth anniversary of one of the most blatant episodes of ethnic cleansing and dispossession in the past century – the 1948 Nakba or Catastrophe for Palestinians. Trump and Netanyahu apparently wanted to rub salt in Palestinian wounds with the equally shameful opening of the Embassy in Jerusalem on that anniversary. There is no end to Zionist cruelty it seems.
US Colonel Fletcher Prouty said he saw an Australian newspaper feature article about Lee Harvey Oswald that was published before that information was given in the US.
The most recent release of JFK documents showed a British newspaper had gotten a tip about JFK’s murder 1/2 hour before it happened.
Thanks to Joe Lauria for the beginning expose of the Palestinian Tienanmen holocaust.
The US mass media are almost entirely zionist controlled, and entirely oligarchy controlled.
US politicians are with few exceptions bribed by zionists via campaign financing.
All the exceptions know that they dare not say anything or their careers will end.
The same is true in the US judiciary, many executive agencies, and large businesses.
Not surprising that the jewish Sanders and Feinstein make lukewarm criticisms.
Not surprising that US media personalities follow the party line for promotions.