Lawless in Gaza: Why the West Backs Israel No Matter What

As Western politicians line up to cheer on Israel as it starves and bombs Gaza’s civilians, it’s important to understand how we reached this point – and what it means for the future, writes Jonathan Cook.

Israel’s attack against Gaza, 2009. (IDF Spokesperson’s Unit / CC BY-SA 3.0)

By Jonathan Cook
Declassified U.K.

More than a decade ago, Israel started to understand that its occupation of Gaza through siege could be to its advantage. It began transforming the tiny coastal enclave from an albatross around its neck into a valuable portfolio in the trading game of international power politics.

The first benefit for Israel, and its Western allies, is more discussed than the second.

The tiny strip of land hugging the eastern Mediterranean coast was turned into a mix of testing ground and shop window.

Israel could use Gaza to develop all sorts of new technologies and strategies associated with the homeland security industries burgeoning across the West, as officials there grew increasingly worried about domestic unrest, sometimes referred to as populism.

The siege of Gaza’s 2.3 million Palestinians, imposed by Israel in 2007 following the election of Hamas to rule the enclave, allowed for all sorts of experiments

How could the population best be contained? What restrictions could be placed on their diet and lifestyle? How were networks of informers and collaborators to be recruited from afar? What effect did the population’s entrapment and repeated bombardment have on social and political relations? 

And ultimately how were Gaza’s inhabitants to be kept subjugated and an uprising prevented?

The answers to those questions were made available to Western allies through Israel’s shopping portal. Items available included interception rocket systems, electronic sensors, surveillance systems, drones, facial recognition, automated gun towers, and much more. All tested in real-life situations in Gaza. 

Israel’s standing took a severe dent from the fact that Palestinians managed to bypass this infrastructure of confinement last weekend – at least for a few days – with a rusty bulldozer, some hang-gliders and a sense of nothing-to-lose. 

Which is part of the reason why Israel now needs to go back into Gaza with ground troops to show it still has the means to keep the Palestinians crushed. 

Collective Punishment

Which brings us to the second purpose served by Gaza.

As Western states have grown increasingly unnerved by signs of popular unrest at home, they have started to think more carefully about how to sidestep the restrictions placed on them by international law.

The term refers to a body of laws that were formalised in the aftermath of the second world war, when both sides treated civilians on the other side of the battle lines as little more than pawns on a chessboard.

The aim of those drafting international law was to make it unconscionable for there to be a repeat of Nazi atrocities in Europe, as well as other crimes such as Britain’s fire bombing of German cities like Dresden or the United States’ dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

“Gaza is about as flagrant a violation of this prohibition as can be found”

One of the fundamentals of international law – at the heart of the Geneva Conventions – is a prohibition on collective punishment: that is, retaliating against the enemy’s civilian population, making them pay the price for the acts of their leaders and armies.

Very obviously, Gaza is about as flagrant a violation of this prohibition as can be found. Even in “quiet” times, its inhabitants – one million of them children – are denied the most basic freedoms, such as the right to movement; access to proper health care because medicines and equipment cannot be brought in; access to drinkable water; and the use of electricity for much of the day because Israel keeps bombing Gaza’s power station.

Israel has never made any bones of the fact that it is punishing the people of Gaza for being ruled by Hamas, which rejects Israel’s right to have dispossessed the Palestinians of their homeland in 1948 and imprisoned them in overcrowded ghettos like Gaza.

What Israel is doing to Gaza is the very definition of collective punishment. It is a war crime: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks of every year, for 16 years.

And yet no one in the so-called international community seems to have noticed. 

Rules of War Rewritten

Amid the ruins of the 2009 attack on Gaza. (DYKT Mohigan/Wikimedia)

But the trickiest legal situation – for Israel and the West – is when Israel bombs Gaza, as it is doing now, or sends in soldiers, as it soon will do.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu highlighted the problem when he told the people of Gaza: “Leave now.” But, as he and Western leaders know, Gaza’s inhabitants have nowhere to go, nowhere to escape the bombs. So any Israeli attack is, by definition, on the civilian population too. It is the modern equivalent of the Dresden fire bombings.

Israel has been working on strategies to overcome this difficulty since its first major bombardment of Gaza in late 2008, after the siege was introduced.

A unit in its attorney general’s office was charged with finding ways to rewrite the rules of war in Israel’s favour.

At the time, the unit was concerned that Israel would be criticised for blowing up a police graduation ceremony in Gaza, killing many young cadets. Police are civilians in international law, not soldiers, and therefore not a legitimate target. Israeli lawyers were also worried that Israel had destroyed government offices, the infrastructure of Gaza’s civilian administration.

Israel’s concerns seem quaint now – a sign of how far it has already shifted the dial on international law. For some time, anyone connected with Hamas, however tangentially, is considered a legitimate target, not just by Israel but by every Western government.

“If you do something for long enough, the world will accept it”

Western officials have joined Israel in treating Hamas as simply a terrorist organisation, ignoring that it is also a government with people doing humdrum tasks like making sure bins are collected and schools kept open.

Or as Orna Ben-Naftali, a law faculty dean, told the Haaretz newspaper back in 2009: “A situation is created in which the majority of the adult men in Gaza and the majority of the buildings can be treated as legitimate targets. The law has actually been stood on its head.”

Back at that time, David Reisner, who had previously headed the unit, explained Israel’s philosophy to Haaretz: “What we are seeing now is a revision of international law. If you do something for long enough, the world will accept it.

“The whole of international law is now based on the notion that an act that is forbidden today becomes permissible if executed by enough countries.”

Israel’s meddling to change international law goes back many decades.

Referring to Israel’s attack on Iraq’s fledgling nuclear reactor in 1981, an act of war condemned by the U.N. Security Council, Reisner said: “The atmosphere was that Israel had committed a crime. Today everyone says it was preventive self-defence. International law progresses through violations.”

He added that his team had travelled to the U.S. four times in 2001 to persuade U.S. officials of Israel’s ever-more flexible interpretation of international law towards subjugating Palestinians.

“Had it not been for those four planes [journeys to the U.S.], I am not sure we would have been able to develop the thesis of the war against terrorism on the present scale,” he said.

Those redefinitions of the rules of war proved invaluable when the U.S. chose to invade and occupy Afghanistan and Iraq. 

‘Human Animals’

In recent years, Israel has continued to “evolve” international law. It has introduced the concept of “prior warning” – sometimes giving a few minutes’ notice of a building or neighbourhood’s destruction. Vulnerable civilians still in the area, like the elderly, children and the disabled, are then recast as legitimate targets for failing to leave in time.

And it is using the current assault on Gaza to change the rules still further.

The 2009 Haaretz article includes references by law officials to Yoav Gallant, who was then the military commander in charge of Gaza. He was described as a “wild man”, a “cowboy” with no time for legal niceties.

Gallant is now defence minister and the man responsible for instituting this week a “complete siege” of Gaza: “No electricity, no food, no water, no fuel – everything is closed.” In language that blurred any distinction between Hamas and Gaza’s civilians, he described Palestinians as “human animals”.

That takes collective punishment into a whole different realm. In terms of international law, it skirts into the territory of genocide, both rhetorically and substantively.

But the dial has shifted so completely that even centrist Western politicians are cheering Israel on – often not even calling for “restraint” or “proportionality”, the weasel terms they usually use to obscure their support for law breaking.

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Britain has been leading the way in helping Israel to rewrite the rulebook on international law.

Listen to Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour opposition and the man almost certain to be Britain’s next prime minister. This week he supported the “complete siege” of Gaza, a crime against humanity, refashioning it as Israel’s “right to defend itself.”

Starmer has not failed to grasp the legal implications of Israel’s actions, even if he seems personally immune to the moral implications. He is trained as a human rights lawyer.

His approach even appears to be taking aback journalists not known for being sympathetic to the Palestinian case. When asked by Kay Burley of Sky News if he had any sympathy for the civilians in Gaza being treated like “human animals”, Starmer could not find a single thing to say in support.

Instead, he deflected to an outright deception: blaming Hamas for sabotaging a “peace process” that Israel both practically and declaratively buried years ago.

Confirming that the Labour Party now condones war crimes by Israel, his shadow attorney general, Emily Thornberry, has been sticking to the same script. On BBC’s Newsnight, she evaded questions about whether cutting off power and supplies to Gaza is in line with international law.

It is no coincidence that Starmer’s position contrasts so dramatically with that of his predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn. The latter was driven out of office by a sustained campaign of antisemitism smears fomented by Israel’s most fervent supporters in the U.K.

Starmer does not dare to be seen on the wrong side of this issue. And that is exactly the outcome Israeli officials wanted and expected. 

Israeli Flag on No. 10

Starmer is, of course, far from alone. Grant Shapps, Britain’s defence secretary, has also expressed trenchant support for Israel’s policy of starving two million Palestinians in Gaza.

Rishi Sunak, the U.K. prime minister, has emblazoned the Israeli flag on the front of his official residence, 10 Downing Street, apparently unconcerned at how he is giving visual form to what would normally be considered an antisemitic trope: that Israel controls the U.K.’s foreign policy.

Starmer, not wishing to be outdone, has called for Wembley Stadium’s arch to be adorned with the colours of the Israeli flag. 

“The media is playing its part, dependably as ever”

However much this schoolboy cheerleading of Israel is sold as an act of solidarity following Hamas’ slaughter of Israeli civilians at the weekend, the subtext is unmistakeable: Britain has Israel’s back as it starts its retributive campaign of war crimes in Gaza.

That is also the purpose of Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s advice to the police to treat the waving of Palestinian flags and chants for Palestine’s liberation at protests in support of Gaza as criminal acts.

The media is playing its part, dependably as ever. A Channel 4 TV crew pursued Corbyn through London’s streets this week, demanding he “condemn” Hamas. They insinuated through the framing of those demands that anything less fulsome – such as Corbyn’s additional concerns for the welfare of Gaza’s civilians – was confirmation of the former Labour leader’s antisemitism. 

The clear implication from politicians and the establishment media is that any support for Palestinian rights, any demurral from Israel’s “unquestionable right” to commit war crimes, equates to antisemitism. 

Europe’s Hypocrisy

This double approach, of cheering on genocidal Israeli policies towards Gaza while stifling any dissent, or characterising it as antisemitism, is not confined to the U.K..

Across Europe, from the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, to the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Bulgarian parliament, official buildings have been lit up with the Israeli flag.

Europe’s top official, Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, celebrated the Israeli flag smothering the EU parliament this week.

She has repeatedly stated that “Europe stands with Israel”, even as Israeli war crimes start to mount.

The Israeli air force boasted on Thursday it had dropped some 6,000 bombs on Gaza. At the same time, human rights groups reported Israel was firing the incendiary chemical weapon white phosphorus into Gaza, a war crime when used in urban areas. And Defence for Children International noted that more than 500 Palestinian children had been killed so far by Israeli bombs.

It was left to Francesca Albanese, the U.N.’s special rapporteur on the occupied territories, to point out that Von Der Leyen was applying the principles of international law entirely inconsistently. 

Almost exactly a year ago, the European Commission president denounced Russia’s strikes on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine as war crimes. “Cutting off men, women, children of water, electricity and heating with winter coming – these are acts of pure terror,” she wrote. “And we have to call it as such.”

Albanese noted Von der Leyen had said nothing equivalent about Israel’s even worse attacks on Palestinian infrastructure.

Sending in the Heavies

Meanwhile, France has already started breaking up and banning demonstrations against the bombing of Gaza. Its justice minister has echoed Braverman in suggesting solidarity with Palestinians risks offending Jewish communities and should be treated as “hate speech”.

Naturally, Washington is unwavering in its support for whatever Israel decides to do to Gaza, as secretary of state Anthony Blinken made clear during his visit this week. 

President Joe Biden has promised weapons and funding, and sent in the military equivalent of “the heavies” to make sure no one disturbs Israel as it carries out those war crimes. An aircraft carrier has been dispatched to the region to ensure quiet from Israel’s neighbours as the ground invasion is launched. 

“Washington is unwavering in its support for whatever Israel decides to do to Gaza”

Even those officials whose chief role is to promote international law, such as Antonio Guterres, secretary general of the U.N., have started to move with the shifting ground.

Like most Western officials, he has emphasised Gaza’s “humanitarian needs” above the rules of war Israel is obliged to honour.

This is Israel’s success. The language of international law that should apply to Gaza – of rules and norms Israel must obey – has given way to, at best, the principles of humanitarianism: acts of international charity to patch up the suffering of those whose rights are being systematically trampled on, and those whose lives are being obliterated.

Western officials are more than happy with the direction of travel. Not just for Israel’s sake but for their own too. Because one day in the future, their own populations may be as much trouble to them as Palestinians in Gaza are to Israel right now. 

Supporting Israel’s right to defend itself is their downpayment.

Jonathan Cook is a MintPress contributor. Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East (Pluto Press) and Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair (Zed Books). His website is

This article is from Declassified U.K..

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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46 comments for “Lawless in Gaza: Why the West Backs Israel No Matter What

  1. David Hall
    October 15, 2023 at 19:54

    My goodness, Israel didn’t have to rewrite international law, after the Saudis knocked down the twin towers, we destroyed 3 countries, crippled a fourth, killed hundreds of thousands of civilians and perfected the martial art of rubblizing entire cities like Kobani, and not a single one of my fellow Americans has lost even a minute of sleep fretting over our crimes. Only question remaining, will Israel take control of the information coming out of Gaza, or do they actually want the Arab world to see the Western Industrial War Machine eat an entire city?

    • Eric Arthur Blair
      October 15, 2023 at 22:43

      Fact #1: Zionists do NOT represent all Jews, Zionists do NOT speak for all Jews. They just have a bigger loudmouth platform on the sewer outlets of the mainstream media. Being anti-Zionist is NOT the same as being anti-Jewish.
      Many historic pro-Zionists were anti-semitic, such as many British behind the Balfour declaration, who simply wanted to rid Britain of Jews.
      Many righteous humanistic Jews of today are anti-Zionists.
      Jeremy Corbyn IS NOT and NEVER WAS anti-semitic, that was a filthy lie perpetrated in a smear campaign by The Guardian and other mainstream sewer outlets. As Goebbels said, repeat a lie often enough and people come to believe it.
      Fact #2: Israeli Zionists are using the holocaust inflicted on their grandparents as an excuse to inflict a holocaust on the Palestinians.
      Fact #3: Israel is a de facto Apartheid Theocracy, it is NOT a democracy. ZIONISM IS RACISM and must be OPPOSED by all decent human beings. BOYCOTT, DIVEST, SANCTION – BDS!
      Live and let live. Allow Israel to exist but it must return all terroritory illegally seized since 1967 so an independent separate Palestine can be established.
      Fact #4: The hysterical claim by rabid Zionist religious lunatics that God promised Palestine to his (her?) “chosen people” ie the Jews, is MADE UP BULLSHIT. It was written down by anonymous hallucinating Jews millenia ago in the most self serving manner, with ZERO EVIDENCE behind it. Today it is used by the Zionists as an excuse to conduct criminal atrocities in the name of their “one true god”, supposedly truer than the many thousands of other made up gods in human history. Why? Because the Zionist religious nutcases say so. Some of them, along with Christian religious nutcases like Mike Pompeo and his lying weasel sidekick Adrian Zenz and the sanctimonious pentecostal nutcase Scott Morrison believe the “end times” are nigh and may even try to bring it about by pushing for nuclear war. Bomb Iran! Bomb China!

  2. Fritz
    October 15, 2023 at 14:41

    The Zionists needed an excuse to commit all out genocide as explained by Caitlin Johnstone:

    The west, as Jonathon Cook explains herein, are monitoring the Zionists on how to do likewise with their “useless eaters”.

  3. ray Peterson
    October 15, 2023 at 12:57

    Your book, ‘Blood and Religion’ (2006), places the now Israeli genocide
    in an historical context and your thorough covering of the Israeli atrocities,
    in revenge for those whose “humanity has been twisted out of shape”
    (C. Dickens, ‘Tale of Two Cities’), by injustice makes Zionism a terrorist
    Have the Jewish people forgotten their God? “Revenge is mine, I will repay.”
    And Linsey Graham (R-SC), declaring the Israeli slaughter a “religious war.”
    Yes, as you prophetically announced, good and evil bring choices:
    “. . . and all were judged by what they had done” (Rev.20.13). This includes
    Israeli phosphorus bombs and U.S. aircraft carriers instead of peace proposals.

  4. Mark Thomason
    October 15, 2023 at 12:47

    “The world” does not accept what Israel does. See the constant UN votes against it.

    The US Jewish donor community supports it. The German war-guilt community supports it. The UK shifts back and forth from manipulating “antisemitism” claims to ignoring that. The rest of the world is pretty disgusted.

    This is a model unique to Israel. It won’t translate to anybody else.

    True, some repressive regimes do get away with a lot, but it is not from anything they learned from the Israeli model. Burma is just nasty, for example, and don’t need any guide or encouragement.

  5. Piotr Berman
    October 15, 2023 at 00:03

    I would like to thank Cook for the article, I was familiar with some of it, but it is much more coherent picture that I had. That said, there is a “mystery” why pro-Israeli think tanks and lobbyist were so successful. It seems that there was a lot of people in power in key countries of the West, including USA, not necessarily preoccupied with the welfare of Israel, her settlers etc. but having wider interests and wider perspective. And yet, they adopted those “novelization” with increasing enthusiasm.

    One thing we can observe is changing gears of the imperialist machine (not the direction), toward more naked use of power, or powers that it still possesses. One could call it Ruthless Concert of Democracies. Intimidation does not work if not used. Current terrifying spectacle is supposed to terrify, and for that “Israel would need to be created if it did not exist”. Soft power has increasingly sharp edges, except for the use of “less than solid intelligence” in propaganda (solid vs soft).

  6. RWilson
    October 14, 2023 at 20:44

    Then there is the power of Zionist propaganda. I’ve recently listened to the recent podcasts of Bret Weinstein, an evolutionary biologist, discussing the conflict in Palestine. In contrast to his usual discussions of biology, including his courageous analyses of COVID and the mRNA vaccines, in this case he is a textbook example of impeccable logic with incomplete information.

    He seems genuinely, totally unaware of the history of Israel. He seems unaware that Israel was founded by slaughtering one Palestinian village after another, with the intentional strategy of terrorizing the Palestinian population into fleeing for their lives. For example,
    Terrorism: How the Israeli state was won

    He seems unaware of the well-documented reign of terrorism inflicted by the Israelis on the besieged Palestinians for the entire history of Israel. Or of Israel’s repeatedly sabotaging peace agreements so they can continue taking more land, which has always been their true agenda.

    It appears that Dr. Weinstein has never done any research into the matter. It is telling that even someone as well-intentioned, and with the analystical skills of Dr. Weinstein, can be taken in by sufficiently pervasive propaganda.

  7. dave
    October 14, 2023 at 16:44

    “Hamas…rejects Israel’s right to have dispossessed the Palestinians of their homeland in 1948 and imprisoned them in overcrowded ghettos like Gaza.

    ^ Whether they realize it or not, this what people mean by “Israel’s right to exist.” Kudos to Jonathan for making that explicit.

  8. Mark Thomason
    October 14, 2023 at 15:06

    The West has been lined up cheering the abuse of Gaza’s people for decades now.

    This is just the latest, and worst, of ” a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism.” [Quoting Thomas Jefferson, in our Declaration of Independence.]

  9. Michael
    October 14, 2023 at 13:11

    When I was young, I heard an Ayatollah call America “The Great Satan.”
    When I was young, I did not understand.
    I am no longer young.

  10. October 14, 2023 at 09:15

    That the international response to the Israeli-Palestinian ‘conflict’ can be better seen as a preparation for the containment of the Great Many as the pressures of population, economic failures and environmental disruption drive desperation…of both populations and ‘overlords’…is a valuable addition to our understanding of geopolitical reality.

  11. happyhere
    October 14, 2023 at 07:01

    It is just the collective west plus Modi who is lining up to support Israel’s gross violations of international law and common humanity. The Ukraine backing crowd having lost, has now moved to egging Israel on.

    Step back and look at the rest of the world, the vast majority, who are watching all this. Horrified and disgusted I venture to say.

    • Mac
      October 14, 2023 at 13:31

      Once, America asked “Why do they hate us?”

      Today, we don’t bother. Too many wars, too many coups, too much torture, too many camps, too much sanctions and starvation, too many bombs. For too long we’ve only blustered and threatened and yelled at the world before we shift to more deadly force. Too long since we’ve done anything ‘likeable’. America no longer asks ‘why do they hate us?’ We may not say it out loud, but the answer is so obvious that the question is never heard anymore. Americans don’t like to be seen asking ‘stupid questions.’

    • Mac
      October 14, 2023 at 13:43

      Unfortunately, many of these might be having post-stress flashbacks from the times when America bombed them.

  12. horatio
    October 14, 2023 at 06:49

    Since there is no law, murder is legal, genocide and ethnic cleansing acceptable what is left but the cleansing action of war. Let no one say that all wars are bad but this one, if it takes place, will liberate the human race and re-institute the rule of law.

  13. Francis Lee
    October 14, 2023 at 05:27

    The western imperial bloc has been imposing its own Suzerainty on the global south for centuries. Palestine was simply another minor historical blip in an ongoing and widespread process of rape, pillage and mass murder. So why should the West be so outraged when the ‘Wretched of the Earth’ dare to fight back?

    A bare reference to ‘Nation’ ‘national independence’ and ‘sovereignty’ triggers an attack of some form of psychosis’ ‘Sovereignnism’, is viewed as some ‘weirdness of the past’. The idea of the nation is cast into the rubbish bin; although popular among the European middles classes (for obvious reasons linked to the issue of a construction of a European Institution – the EU) this thesis finds no echo in the global south (or even in the USA and Japan for that matter).

  14. Arthur Kuntsler
    October 14, 2023 at 05:17

    “Back at that time, David Reisner, who had previously headed the unit, explained Israel’s philosophy to Haaretz: “What we are seeing now is a revision of international law. If you do something for long enough, the world will accept it.”

    Pretty much straight out of Goebbels’ playbook. Reisner would have made a good Nazi.

  15. Michelle
    October 14, 2023 at 04:36

    I think we need to know the actual figures for the Israeli deaths. If, say, 1200 people were killed and 900 were soldiers, armed reservists or mic then any accusations of terrorism can be rejected out of hand. If 1100 were unarmed civilians then that would be different (although still not warrant the response we are seeing).

    The quiet on this issue suggests the former case is true.

    • Piotr Berman
      October 14, 2023 at 23:32

      At the moment, figures are what Israel authorities say, and I am afraid it will stay that way.

    • Robert v scheetz
      October 15, 2023 at 05:13

      Yes, all the reporting from Israel is restricted to partisan organizations and journalists. And their approach to veracity parallels that to International Law: a lie told often enough will soon acquire the status of truth. So that given their record for lying, nothing of theirs can be taken as true.

  16. rosemerry
    October 14, 2023 at 01:17

    Jonathan Cook really knows the situation from experience, living in Nazareth for so many years,and this is one of the best articles I have read. I remember in 2005 when the actual Israeli occupiers left Gaza and made agreements to allow the strip to continue life and trade they had established. All these agreements were NOT kept to on the Israeli side and the election of Hamas in 2006 was also not allowed to lead to the elected government ruling. The terrible attacks at the end of 2008, accepted by Obama as he became POTUS early in 2009, have led to this “Israel fighting Hamas” trope when it is always collective punishment for all of the people of Gaza. How so-called advanced, democratic, free rational people claiming legal and moral justification can behave like this is so well explained by Jonathan Cook and is a foreboding for the future. We already see Russia demonised and vilified and the extreme hatred of those ruling Ukraine extending to most of the West and it seems we have not learnt anything from our past.

  17. Sheb
    October 13, 2023 at 23:12

    Israel is a curse on the world. Don’t forget how modi is bootlicking feverishly. Bibi and modi are both war criminals. India and Israel are different sides of the same coin. Kashmir has been subjugated according to the mossad playbook. Indians now enthusiastically want to fight along the apartheid state of Israel. Both fanatic Hindus and fanatic Jews are the one and the same. They think they are racially superior to everyone.

  18. Charles E. Carroll
    October 13, 2023 at 19:11

    Free Palestine!

  19. RomfordRob
    October 13, 2023 at 17:40

    I have always thought that it says something significant about humans. After the horrors of the Holocaust, the victims can turn around within a few years, and inflict the exact same horrors on another group. And all the while the rest of the world just watches. Where the bloody hell is the United Nations? Or is that a stupid question?

    • Robert
      October 14, 2023 at 11:11

      Where is the UN?

      Unfortunately the UN at this moment is exactly where it’s been for the past 30 years. It collectively has its head deep in the sand. At this point it seems the non Western world would be better off just dropping out of that organization because it does more harm than good. “Reform” is not possible because the US likes the UN just as it is.

      Among the many goals the BRICS have, creating a new UN for its members only should be in the top five.

  20. Reynold
    October 13, 2023 at 17:35

    International law seems to be a madhouse. Where else can criminals change laws by breaking said laws?

    • LarcoMarco
      October 15, 2023 at 20:07

      “What we say goes.” — Bush 41’s foreshadowing of the Rules Based International Order; i.e., diktat du jour.

  21. Drew Hunkins
    October 13, 2023 at 17:30

    The West backs Israel no matter what it does bc of the Zionist Power Configuration in the U.S. The ZPC doesn’t just dominate Washington, L.A., and New York. It permeates almost everything at the state and even many local levels. Any astute critic, intellectual, or activist who becomes relatively popular speaking out against Israeli crimes and Zionist power in America will be smeared relentlessly. Just look at how the Jewish supremacist Zionists are currently this week absolutely dominating the mainstream narrative.

    Some books (most are relatively short) that are must reads:

    “Host and the Parasite” by Greg Felton
    “Power of Israel in the United States” by James Petras
    “Israel Lobby” by Mearsheimer and Walt
    “Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of U.S. Power” by James Petras
    “Against our Better Judgement” by Alison Weir

    • Drew Hunkins
      October 14, 2023 at 14:03

      Forgot an excellent book to add to the list:

      Paul Findley’s “They Dare to Speak Out”

  22. JohnB
    October 13, 2023 at 16:47

    I’ve thought for a couple of years now that we began to look like Palistine with the border wall, children being shot and business being migrated to other countries. Where are the cool heads? Seems like our own is all there is sometimes.

  23. JonnyJames
    October 13, 2023 at 16:11

    Thanks CN for posting such great material. I’m not a international law professor, but the UN charter and Geneva Conventions seem to be very clear about the rights of occupied peoples, collective punishment and attacking civilians under occupation.

    But the law is just a quaint notion when dealing with international politics. The self-proclaimed “exceptional, indispensable nation” does not have to follow the law. Just look at all the illegal, unilateral “sanctions” the US imposes, the illegal bombing and occupations of Syria by US military. Israel has committed hundreds of violations of the law, but is protected by the US, and they know it.

    Sadly, we have the Law of the Jungle, the Rule of Law is just a PR slogan that has been replaced with the Newspeak term: “Rules Based Order”.

    Another example: The Arms Export Control Act is made a mockery of regularly. Under this law, the US should not send Israel one single round of ammunition, let alone billions of free weaponry and loan guarantee giveaways.

    Even HRW has confirmed that Israel is using white phosphorous weapons on civilians, but nothing will be done about, just like last time and the time before…

    Following the law would be a great start, but in the US/UK/Israel “special relationship” all of the main political parties are rigth-wing (or extreme right-wing) and hardcore authoritarian. There is no left or center anymore and their “unconditional support for Israel” underlines this.

  24. John Manning
    October 13, 2023 at 15:17

    Can “western values” sink any lower. Israel’s right to self defense!
    If a woman beaten by her husband strikes out against her abuser it now seems that man has a right of self defense.

    • October 14, 2023 at 09:40

      The ‘right’ of a man to harm a woman who fights back has long been accepted by many societies; and yes, is a mini-example of what should be, if it is not, unacceptable and incomprehensible.

  25. October 13, 2023 at 15:17

    I am not an anti-Semite but by the end of this missive I’m sure some will be offended enough to accuse me of it, to do so, head in the sand:

    From early teen age when I first started paying attention until now I have witnessed the gradual erasure of Palestine, and it’s been going on longer than that, I’m 56. The whole world ‘condemns’ Israel for illegally taking Palestinian lands, but never does anything to stop it. Based upon a biblical birthright and a ‘Right to Exist’. I believe in both BTW. Pre-1948 Jews, Arab Christians, and Muslims co-existed is the region and shared Jerusalem as a holy city, tenuously no doubt.

    IMHO with regard the biblical birthright: Israel turned its back to God multiple times, and each time Israel suffered dearly for it. Each time they cried out to God, and in His love for Israel He took them back. Israel HAS NEVER stayed loyal to God’s instruction. From The Book of Exodus on forward. For this, they are no longer God’s chosen, they are now his cursed.

    They treat the Palestinian People as sub-human, steal all of their lands and resources while the entire western world enables it, push them into Camps that resemble Warsaw, and treat Palestinian’s much like the Nazi’s treated their European forbearers. And somehow Israel and the western world are shocked, shocked, when Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood act out.

    There is NO 2 state solution. God’s plan is to have his children all together in peace, and to love a serve one another. Until Israel cries out to God again, and heartfully repents (whatever that looks like I do not know), we should expect nothing but more of the same, what we’ve stood by and let happen – and in the case if Israel, what WE’VE paid for.

    And this should serve as example to the US as well; look around you, we are adrift and tearing ourselves apart – why? Because as a country we’ve turned our backs too.

    • Dozer1
      October 13, 2023 at 23:26

      I don’t disagree. This is a complicated matter, only because of politicians and resources (money and oil) involved. The complications grow out of this phony belief in a “Jewish homeland” in previously occupied Palestinian territory. For thousands of years, the Jews survived without a homeland. But by British accords and skullduggery, the Israelis were placed into a territory that was illogical and ridiculous. There are more Jewish people living in New York City than in Israel. Somehow, American Jews have found a good existence to live apart from the “Holy Land.” But we also know that the British, and now American empires (still largely controlled by British economic interests) have found a convenient use for 7.4 million Jewish people to occupy a land in the middle of Arab territories, or in the middle of oil lands. The US works in concert with Israel to protect the oil lands, by arming Israel to the teeth with tanks, planes, troops, and nuclear weapons. In other words, Israel is a military dictatorship with US-backed military power to protect the oil lands. As part of this effort, the US-Israel coalition creates fairy tales about Holy Lands while increasingly crushing the Palestinian Arabs into inhumane conditions. The Gaza Strip is an open-air prison, blockaded on all sides including the ocean. When the “prisoners” get restless, they react. It’s not a good scene, but understandable. If Israel were boxed in like the Palestinians, there would be some fight and anger from the Jewish people. The real solution is basically to absolve the Israeli state in this area, and repatriate the Jewish people to a more comfortable environment. But that would destroy some dreams of empire, which are the problem to begin with. The US in conjunction with Mexico and Canada can produce enough oil for generations. The concept of the Federal Reserve, and control of the “fiat” American dollar, is the reason why the US strives to control the Mideast oil flows. It is about transactional currency, and empirical control, not resources.

  26. Rudy Haugeneder
    October 13, 2023 at 14:41

    Among people I know in Victoria, BC, Canada, most now think Palestinians are the lesser animals some (most) Western politicians, and especially Israeli, portray them as. And these people (the huge majority and who once claimed to be kind and thinking), actually believe themselves to be civilized creatures that they clearly are not, not any more than religious fanatics of all faiths anywhere who would behead or otherwise execute any and all non-believers. Bad as this sounds, it is simply a repeat of Sapiens history — and which continues to repeat itself.

  27. Peter
    October 13, 2023 at 13:22

    I wrote a letter to my Congresswoman. At first, I laughed at the idea, but then I thought of an approach, and sent it. She’s part of the MAGA rebels, which is usually connected to the same money as Netanyahu. But, what I did was this.

    I asked her to read her Gospels.

    I provided a couple of helpful quotes, like “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be the children of god” (Mathew 5-9, IIRC), and “Put thy sword back into its place, for those who take the sword shall die by the sword” (Math 26-52).

    I suggested that the teachings of Jesus were a better course than ‘an eye for an eye.’

    Don’t know if it got through. But, it seemed like a way to try to get through to a MAGA republican who courts the Christian right. Even if it didn’t reach her, it might get through to a young, christian, 20-something staffer in her office.

    Christians now face a stark choice. Who do they follow? Jesus, or the Old Testament? They can not do both. I suspect that many are failing the test.

    • Piotr Berman
      October 13, 2023 at 16:19

      The Bible provides texts for assorted motivations and justifications. Theologians of American Enterprise Institute (totally stumped me that they have such) were disputing pacifist nature of New Testament with the passage starting with “I bring you a sword…”. But because “sword to plow” quote I check Isaiah. And I realized that some atrocity could be inspired by religion that used bulk of Old Testament as its basis. According to some interpretation of events, Hamas created a well trained and armed tight-lipped unit that blitzed through Israeli military installations. Of four battalions responsible for guarding/defending the Gaza border, three were moved to the West Bank to assist settlers there in traditional (there) celebrations of Jewish holidays: bashing Palestinian neighbors who could resist in the absence of the military at hand. After the fence and guarding towers was blown away, the blitzing units were followed by mob-like gangs of men despising their imprisonment by the fence. If so, one such group encountered a mob matching Isaiah 3

      The LORD said: Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with necks outstretched,
      Ogling and mincing as they go, their anklets tinkling with every step,
      The Lord shall cover the scalps of Zion’s daughters with scabs and the LORD shall [shave their heads]
      On that day the LORD will do away with the finery of the anklets, sunbursts, and crescents; the pendants, bracelets, and veils;
      the headdresses, bangles, [and other vain accessories, long list]
      Instead of perfume there will be stench, instead of a girdle, a rope,
      And instead of elaborate coiffure, baldness;
      instead of a rich gown, a sackcloth skirt.
      instead of beauty, shame. [other translation: brand of a slave]

      Three thousands of participants of a rave, all women dressed much less modestly than the “Haughty Daughters of Zion”

      • Valerie
        October 13, 2023 at 18:19

        You missed a bit off at the end Piotr:

        25 Your men will fall by the sword,

        and your warriors in battle.

        26 And the gates of Zion will lament and mourn;

        destitute, she will sit on the ground.

        • Piotr Berman
          October 14, 2023 at 23:40

          I just quoted a passage that could motivate a person deeply believing in it (Holy Quran parallels Old Testament on such matters) when facing a rave. Israel has its internal factions that think that way, and now they stand between Netanyahu and a prison.

          • Valerie
            October 15, 2023 at 06:24

            It wasn’t a criticism Piotr. I felt though that it warranted inclusion, as the way things are going, it might come about. (If i’ve understood it correctly)

  28. Cynical Rex
    October 13, 2023 at 12:31

    Thank-you, CN, for publishing this article – Jonathon Cook is one of the sharpest journalists I have read, able to put issues into a larger context and connect the dots. I am deeply saddened by the road Israel has taken, as the state was founded in response to the Holocaust: now the Israelis have become the very thing they fought against, a version of Germany’s Nazi party. What’s next, showers and Zyklon B for Palestinian families? I guess you don’t need that if you can bulldoze their homes, and bomb their cities.

    Israel has all but declared war on the Muslim world. I see the US, its pillar of support, as a failing empire, just judging by its effectiveness in supporting Ukraine. What happens when the US is a shadow of itself in the coming years, and Israel finds itself alone in West Asia (Middle East). Will the wolves be circling?

    I very much agree with Jonathon’s deductions, that Israel is using the Palestinians as a testing ground and concentration camp. Reading this article feels like George Orwell’s vision of 1984 taking shape, a very surreal experience. In the near future almost any dissenting views will be criminalized, and as threats like climate change mount, governments will begin to treat the general population as disposable as the Palestinians are.

  29. Drew Hunkins
    October 13, 2023 at 12:24

    Could nuclear weapons be used?… The lunatics are running Tel Aviv…

    Breaking! — the racist, Jewish supremacist Zionists are set on “relocating” over a MILLION Palestinian civilians in northern Gaza over the next 24 hours. Israel is demanding they uproot themselves and flee pronto to the southern districts of Gaza.

    Look. We could possibly be on the brink of seeing a nuclear weapon used. Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Syria, or even Egypt may have to respond to such a sickening and outrageous demand. If one of these states hits Israel hard enough (after all, the forced relocation is so demented and outlandish), would the crazies currently ensconced in Tel Aviv resort to the ultimate weapon?

    Call your Congressperson, tell folks who are level-headed and reasonable what’s exactly going on. The Zionists have clearly gone berserk and barely anyone has the stones to call this out. In the old days a few old fogies in Washington could put a check on this. Now, we don’t quite have that with Nuland, Blinken, Sullivan, running Washington.

    • Valerie
      October 13, 2023 at 13:30

      But Hamas has told the people not to move. Stay put. And it’s funny, but before i read that (and knowing the Israelis had told them to move) i was thinking they were better off staying where they are. Yes, the Israelis have clearly gone berserk. Oh i give up Drew. We are a very sick species relying on invisible, ficticious, omnipotent entities. OMGodzilla.

      • gcw919
        October 15, 2023 at 16:40

        A sick species indeed, mostly governed by self-serving sociopaths. And whatever happened to the “rules based order?”

  30. susan
    October 13, 2023 at 11:56

    We’d better pay close attention otherwise, we might just end up like the Palestinians!

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