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Thread: Gaza complicates Barack Obama's policy in Mideast

  1. #91
    Elite Member effie2's Avatar
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    Ι went to a demo again..i came back home and yes..the ground invation has begun...

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    ^^Yes. Israel has moved in with artillery, infantry, navy and the air force. Totally rephrensible. Israeli general Avital Leibovitz was just on CNN where she stated something to the effect of "everything associated with Hamas is a target". This is a direct admission of intent to commit war crimes as defined by the Geneva conventions, no?

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, Bush & Co. can't say too much about Israel, considering that we did the same thing with Iraq. It's almost like Israel is taking a page out of the Bush Doctrine, strike your enemies first, ask questions later.

  4. #94
    Elite Member effie2's Avatar
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    Sarkozy hinted that and he is Jewish..i just watched on tv the army creeping in..that green night light really freaks me out..
    So many to die tonight..

  5. #95
    Elite Member january's Avatar
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    Fluffy, "the neighborhood bully strikes again" is a great article, thanks for the link.

    Sasha, Israel can do anything they like, even stating that they are prepared to commit more war crimes, and nothing will ever happen. At this point, its secondhand. Effie, how did the demo go this time, were you gassed again?

    If we would obliterate our relationship with Israel, we could solve 75% of our problems in the eyes of the world, and probably eradicate domestic terrorism. Even if we could just slap them on the hand every once and awhile! Even if Obama would step up and say, "Israel has committed atrocious acts" I would be thrilled, but it will never happen.
    Women ain't gonna let a thing like sense fuck up their argument. - Chris Rock

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    Elite Member effie2's Avatar
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    No,Jan,dear,no gassing this time,just sore throat from shouting and tired feet from walking..it rained some too.
    But more people tonight..

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    Gaza contains 1.5 million souls within
    the tiny confines of 128-9 sq miles AND THE FOURTH MOST POWERFUL ARMY
    IN THE WORLD JUST INVADED THEM, WITH HELP FROM THE SEA AND AIR.

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    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    I have to say I am a bit shocked that Israel is actually invading...I thought it would stay at the level of airstrikes and the massing of troops was more for 'show of strength' or such. A very dangerous escalation.

    and I am gonna stay the hell outta these threads..as..I am..well..a supporter of Israel under almost any circumstances. Sorry I have my reasons and opinions, facts, etc.(NOT a fundie xtian here!) But I am NOT going to get into it here with people and get my ass banned or anything. And for the record I find fault with both sides to various degrees. That is all on that.

    peace to all on here and we all have our opinions. Let's just hope there is a ceasefire, or something that stops this as soon as possible and there is some kind of resolution before too much more blood is shed.

    God I hate this unending, intractable situation with Israel and Palestine.
    Don't slap me, cause I'm not in the mood!

  9. #99
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by effie2 View Post
    Sarkozy hinted that and he is Jewish.
    Really? I was not aware of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by january View Post
    If we would obliterate our relationship with Israel, we could solve 75% of our problems in the eyes of the world, and probably eradicate domestic terrorism. Even if we could just slap them on the hand every once and awhile! Even if Obama would step up and say, "Israel has committed atrocious acts" I would be thrilled, but it will never happen.
    I would prefer we just stop giving military aid to them. We give them billions of $$ every year, yet they're pretty capable of maintaining their own army. It would save us plenty of bucks in these times...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sojiita View Post
    I have to say I am a bit shocked that Israel is actually invading...I thought it would stay at the level of airstrikes and the massing of troops was more for 'show of strength' or such. A very dangerous escalation.

    and I am gonna stay the hell outta these threads..as..I am..well..a supporter of Israel under almost any circumstances. Sorry I have my reasons and opinions, facts, etc.(NOT a fundie xtian here!)
    Usually when it comes to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, I'm of the opinion that it's six of one (Israel) and half a dozen of the other (Palestinians). Personally, I don't think the US can negotiate a fair outcome between the two sides when we're strongly backing the Israelis so much. A truly neutral party like Norway or Sweden should negotiate the peace process between the two. The Arab/Muslim world will always see anything negotiated by the US as unfair because we give so much backing to Israel.

  10. #100
    Elite Member january's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    Personally, I don't think the US can negotiate a fair outcome between the two sides when we're strongly backing the Israelis so much. A truly neutral party like Norway or Sweden should negotiate the peace process between the two. The Arab/Muslim world will always see anything negotiated by the US as unfair because we give so much backing to Israel.
    I agree completely, it only contributes more to the problem. How can anyone in the Arab world take us seriously when we say we want to achieve peace, while giving arms and military aid to Israel?

    I just talked to my friend who is in Israel and she said the people that she has talked to are absolutely disgusted by their government for whats happening in Gaza. Gaza will be a graveyard by the time this is through, its trapped residents have nowhere to go. Not to mention that Israelis are concerned for their own sons and daughters who are going to fight in an unjust war.

    An update:

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Thousands of Israeli troops backed by columns of tanks and helicopter gunships launched a ground offensive in Gaza on Saturday night, with officials saying they expected a lengthy fight in the densely populated territory after eight days of punishing airstrikes failed to halt militant rocket attacks on Israel.
    The incursion set off fierce clashes with Palestinian militants and Gaza's Hamas rulers vowed the coastal strip would be a "graveyard" for Israelis forces.
    "This will not be easy and it will not be short," Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on national television about two hours after ground troops moved in.
    Army ambulances were seen bringing Israeli wounded to a hospital in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba. The military said a total of 30 soldiers were injured in the opening hours of the offensive along with "dozens" of militants.
    The night sky over Gaza was lit by the flash of bullets and balls of fire from tank shells. Sounds of explosions were heard across Gaza City, the territory's biggest city, and high-rise buildings shook from the bigger booms.
    Troops with camouflage face paint marching single file. As the ground troops moved in, Israel kept pounding Gaza with airstrikes. F-16 warplanes hit three targets within a few minutes, including a main Hamas security compound.
    Gaza residents said troops were seen before dawn Sunday in the town of Beit Lahiya, north of Gaza City, and the sound of intense fighting could be heard just east of the city, toward the border with Israel.
    In the city itself, the Hamas-run Al Aqsa radio station was in flames from a missile strike. Staff had evacuated the building about a week earlier, at the start of the Israeli offensive, and continued broadcasting from another location.
    "We have many, many targets," Israeli army spokeswoman Maj. Avital Leibovich told CNN. "To my estimation, it will be a lengthy operation."
    Israeli leaders said the operation, known as Cast Lead, was meant to quell militant rocket and mortar fire on southern Israel. They said it would not end quickly but that the objective was not to reoccupy Gaza or topple Hamas. The depth and intensity will depend in part on parallel diplomatic efforts that so far haven't yielded a truce proposal acceptable to Israel, the officials said.
    In the airborne phase of Israel's onslaught, militants were not deterred from bombarding southern Israel with more than 400 rockets — including dozens that extended deeper into Israel than ever before. They fired six rockets into Israel in the first few hours after the ground push began, the military said.
    One rocket scored a direct hit on a house in the southern city of Ashkelon earlier Saturday and another struck a bomb shelter there, leaving its above-ground entrance scarred by shrapnel and blasting a parked bus.
    "I don't want to disillusion anybody and residents of the south will go through difficult days," Barak said. "We do not seek war but we will not abandon our citizens to the ongoing Hamas attacks."
    Israel called up tens of thousands of reservists and the country's north was on high alert in the event Palestinian militants in the West Bank or Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon decide to exploit the broad offensive in Gaza to launch attacks against Israel on other fronts. Israel and Hezbollah fought a 34-day war in the summer of 2006.
    White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said U.S. officials have been in regular contact with the Israelis as well as officials from countries in the region and Europe.
    "We continue to make clear to them our concerns for civilians, as well as the humanitarian situation," Johndroe said.
    The U.N. Security Council held emergency consultations on the escalation in Gaza. But late Saturday, the United States blocked approval of a council statement demanded by Arab nations that calls for an immediate cease-fire.
    U.S. deputy ambassador Alejandro Wolff said the United States saw no prospect of Hamas abiding by last week's council call to end the violence. Therefore, he said, a new statement "would not be adhered to and would have no underpinning for success, would not do credit to the council."
    Israel's bruising air campaign against Gaza over the past eight days began days after a six-month truce expired. Gaza health officials say the air war has killed more than 480 Palestinians in an attempt to halt Hamas rocket attacks that were reaching farther into Israel than ever before. Four Israelis have been killed by rockets.
    Israel is taking a risk by wading into intense urban warfare in densely populated Gaza that could exact a much higher toll on both sides and among civilians.
    This sort of urban warfare has not gone well in past campaigns where Israel sent ground forces into Arab population centers in the Palestinian territories or in Lebanon wars in 1982 and 2006. Israeli forces have either gotten bogged down or sustained heavy casualties, without quelling violent groups or halting attacks for good.
    The decision to expand the operation, while continuing to batter Gaza from the air and sea, was taken after Hamas refused to stop attacking Israel, government officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because discussions leading up to wartime decisions are confidential.
    Before the ground incursion began, heavy Israeli artillery fire hit east of Gaza City, in locations where the military said Hamas fighters were deployed. The artillery shells were apparently intended to detonate Hamas explosive devices and mines planted along the border area before troops marched in.
    Hamas has long prepared for Israel's invasion, digging tunnels and rigging some areas with explosives. The group remained defiant as the ground war began.
    "You entered like rats," Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan told Israeli soldiers in a statement on Hamas' Al Aqsa TV, broadcast shortly after the start of the invasion. "Your entry to Gaza won't be easy. Gaza will be a graveyard for you, God willing," he said.
    "Gaza will not be paved with flowers for you. It will be paved with fire and hell," Hamas warned Israeli forces.
    A text message sent by Hamas' military wing, Izzedine al-Qassam, said "the Zionists started approaching the trap which our fighters prepared for them." Hamas said it also broadcast a Hebrew message on Israeli military radio frequencies promising to kill and kidnap the Israeli soldiers.
    "Be prepared for a unique surprise, you will be either killed or kidnapped and will suffer mental illness from the horrors we will show you," the message said.
    Hamas has also threatened to resume suicide attacks inside Israel.
    Before the ground invasion, defense officials said about 10,000 Israeli soldiers had massed along the border in recent days.
    Israel initially held off on a ground offensive, apparently in part because of concern about casualties among Israeli troops and because of fears of getting bogged down in Gaza.
    An inner Cabinet of top ministers met with leading security officials for four hours Saturday before deciding to authorize the ground invasion.
    Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told the meeting that Israel's objective was to bring quiet to southern Israel but "we don't want to topple Hamas," a government official quoted the prime minister as saying. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not supposed to share the information.
    The immediate aim of the ground operations was to take control of sites militants use as rocket-launching pads, the military said. It said large numbers of troops were taking part but did not give specifics.
    Israeli airstrikes intensified just as the ground operation was getting under way, and 28 Palestinians were killed. Palestinian health officials said civilians were among the dead, including a woman, her son and her father who died after a shell hit their house.
    One raid hit a mosque in Beit Lahiya, killing 13 people and wounding 33, according to a Palestinian health official. It was not immediately clear why the mosque was hit, but Israel has hit other mosques in its air campaign and said they were used for storing weapons.
    Israeli artillery joined the battle for the first time earlier on Saturday. Artillery fire is less accurate than attacks from the air using precision-guided munitions, raising the possibility of a higher number of civilian casualties.
    An artillery shell hit a house in Beit Lahiya, killing two people and wounding five, said members of the family living there. Ambulances could not immediately reach them because of a resulting fire, they said.
    Resident Abed al-Ghoul said the Israeli army called by phone to tell them to leave the house within 15 minutes.
    The ground operation sidelined intense international diplomacy to try to reach a truce. French President Nicolas Sarkozy was to visit the region next week, and President George W. Bush favors an internationally monitored truce.
    Israel has already said it wants international monitors. It is unclear whether Hamas would agree to such supervision, which could limit its control of Gaza.
    In Hamas' first reaction to the proposal for international monitors, government spokesman Taher Nunu said early Saturday that the group would not allow Israel or the international community to impose any arrangement, though he left the door open to a negotiated solution.
    "Anyone who thinks that the change in the Palestinian arena can be achieved through jet fighters' bombs and tanks and without dialogue is mistaken," he said.
    Hamas began to emerge as Gaza's main power broker when it won Palestinian parliamentary elections three years ago. It has ruled the impoverished territory of 1.4 million people since seizing control from the rival Fatah forces of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in June 2007.
    Israel occupied Gaza for 38 years before pulling out thousands of soldiers in settlers in late 2005. Israel still controls Gaza border crossings.



    Israeli ground troops invade Gaza to halt rockets - Yahoo! News
    Women ain't gonna let a thing like sense fuck up their argument. - Chris Rock

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    Its Hamas's fault.Hamas kept sending rockets into Israel.Do people really think that Hamas cares about its people?

  12. #102
    Elite Member effie2's Avatar
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    Sarkozy,s maternal grand parents were Jews from Salonica,Greece.
    He said so himself at his speech to the Greek Parliament house while visiting here.I am not so sure about his father,s side,tho.
    Off in a while for one more demo..its the least i can do..

  13. #103
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    Default Hamas rockets block the birth of a Palestinian state

    Hamas rockets block the birth of a Palestinian state

    Peace in the Middle East will be more likely if the attacks against the Gaza Strip succeed, thus ensuring the election of a moderate government in Israel, says Sir Malcolm Rifkind.



    By Sir Malcolm Rifkind
    Last Updated: 7:07PM GMT 03 Jan 2009



    The conflict in Gaza should not be seen or judged in isolation. Its purpose is to stop Hamas attacks but its timing is linked to three elections. Israel faces a general election in February; Iran will choose its next president in June; and Barack Obama, the victor of the US elections, becomes president in 16 days.

    As well as an attempt to stop missiles being launched against its own citizens, the Israelis have a wider, strategic objective. They are seeking to create conditions on the ground that will enable a negotiated peace between Israel and the Palestinians and the creation of a Palestinian state.

    No Israeli government can negotiate withdrawal from the West Bank without the consent of its citizens. Tzipi Livni and her moderate coalition must, therefore, win the election. But the politician who leads the opinion polls in Israel is Benyamin Netanyahu, the hardline leader of the opposition, who is strongly opposed to the creation of a Palestine state.

    The Israeli attacks on Hamas are not unreasonable, regardless of electoral considerations. Imagine missiles being fired, most days, across the 21 miles of the English Channel and landing in the towns and villages of Kent. Imagine if, for several years, the IRA had been allowed to fire missiles into the villages of Northern Ireland from the Irish Republic with the consent and approval of the Irish government.
    Of course, it is controversial to make such comparisons, as Israel's conflict in Gaza has a very different historic background. But every government has a first duty to protect its citizens.

    Israel evacuated Gaza in 2005, removing not only its soldiers but all Israeli settlements, despite bitter resistance from the settlers and their political allies. If Hamas, with total power in Gaza, had been willing to concentrate its energies on the economic development of the region and cease cross-border attacks, the Israeli government and public would have been much more willing to make a similar withdrawal from the West Bank where the majority of Palestinians live. We could have been seeing, by now, the birth of a new Palestinian state.

    Instead, about 5,000 missiles and mortars have been launched from within Gaza against Israeli civilian targets over the past three years. The latest missiles have a range of around 25 miles and have been used to attack Beersheba. Over half a million Israelis live within range of these new, more powerful BM-21 Grad missiles.
    Against that background the Israeli onslaught against Hamas targets in Gaza is entirely understandable. But is it wise? That, in part, depends on the Israelis' objectives.

    The Israeli air attacks cannot, by themselves, eliminate the missile and mortar attacks launched from within Gaza. Hamas is constantly moving its missile launchers and cannot be prevented from doing so.
    The Israelis know this, but by pounding a range of Hamas political and government targets, are demonstrating that Hamas will pay an increasingly heavy price for its attacks. The Israelis also know that the Arab governments, despite their protests, are indifferent to Hamas's plight. Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia loathe Hamas, as do those Palestinians who give their loyalty to Fatah.
    The secular Arab states are hostile because Hamas is an Islamist movement; the Saudis because they see Iranian meddling and interference not just with Hizbollah in Lebanon but, increasingly, with Hamas as well.

    But the Israeli government's objectives are not just to influence Hamas. They are equally anxious to influence Israeli public opinion. Israel is a genuine democracy. It is due to have a general election on February 10. If that election results in Tzipi Livni as prime minister with Ehud Barak, the Labour leader and former prime minister, as her deputy, the peace process has a serious prospect of getting somewhere. The attacks on Hamas are already helping Livni and Barak in the opinion polls. The international community might not approve, but if we wish to see a Palestinian state in the foreseeable future this is likely to be the best route.

    An Israeli government re-elected just 21 days after President Obama takes office would create an unprecedented opportunity to relaunch the peace process. George W. Bush only seriously engaged in the issue in his last year in the presidency, when his authority was disintegrating. Obama is likely to have eight years of power ahead of him and will carry more weight with both Israelis and Arabs than any previous president for many years.

    Having Hilary Clinton as his Secretary of State is an additional asset. She is a powerful figure in her own right, well thought of in Jerusalem, and respected by the Palestinians. If the new US administration is willing to engage and help guarantee any successful negotiations, the Middle East could at last turn a vital corner.

    Finally, there is the Iranian dimension. Iran may not be a proper democracy but no one can predict whether Ahmadinejad will get a second term in June or be ousted by a moderate opponent. If he goes, much of his rhetoric on liquidating Israel will go with him. A peaceful resolution of Iran's nuclear aspirations would also be more likely, especially as Obama has promised a serious dialogue with Iran to try to meet its security concerns. If the United States, under Bush, has been able to do a deal with Gadaffi's Libya then a new relationship with Iran, brokered by Obama, is not inconceivable.
    So the stakes are high. An Israeli-Palestinian peace will not ensure, as is sometimes asserted, that Iran will become peace-loving, that al-Qaeda will disband or that terrorism will be a thing of the past. But no one can doubt that Israel-Palestine, Iran and terrorism are linked both in the political psychology of the Middle East and in the strategy of many Western governments.

    Stopping Hamas launching missiles at Israeli civilian communities will not ensure peace nor an independent Palestine. But Israel will never concede a Palestinian state unless the Palestinians provide an absolute guarantee of an end to hostilities by all Palestinian parties.
    It is time Hamas showed some maturity and recognised this basic fact of political life.

    Hamas blocks the birth of a Palestinian state - Telegraph

  14. #104
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    UN Complicity in Israel's Massacre in Gaza

    By OMAR BARGHOUTI


    A friend forwarded to me the most original greeting for the New Year: “I wish in 2009 a horrible year for all war criminals and their accomplices.” I could not but think of whether some UN officials can be counted among such “accomplices.”

    Over the last two days, various UN officials stated that the percentage of civilians among those Palestinians killed in the current Israeli war of aggression on Gaza is about "25%" and is "likely to increase." Assuming the best of intentions, stating such a painfully low figure reflects shabby research or scandalous incompetence. At worst, it reveals intentional deception and misinformation that can only benefit the already massive and well-oiled Israeli PR machine.

    The United Nations' complicity in Israel's propaganda war is the latest, albeit hardly ever mentioned, dimension of the international organization's utter failure in defending its principles, foremost among which are the prevention of war and the promotion of peace, when performing such a duty is expected to stir the wrath of the US master and the uniquely influential Israel lobby. Not only has the UN General Secretary betrayed the very Charter of the UN and all relevant international law principles by failing to even condemn Israel's massacre of civilians and targeting of civilian institutions and residential neighborhoods; the entire UN system has so far dealt with it as a "war" between two relatively symmetric forces, where the mightier side has sufficient justification to "defend itself," but should do so more proportionately, while the weaker side is chiefly responsible for triggering the "armed conflict."

    Now, senior UN officials, excluding the particularly courageous and principled UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, Richard Falk, and a few others, are only focusing on "women and children" victims of the massacre, implying, even if unintentionally, that all Palestinian men in Gaza are fair game for the Israeli killing machine. The tens of Palestinian civilian policemen that were butchered in the opening hours of the massive Israeli attack by dozens of fighter jets were, thus, conveniently dismissed by such irresponsible UN figures of casualties as Hamas “fighters,” more or less, that may be targeted with impunity. This is not to mention the scores of male teachers, doctors, workers, farmers and unemployed who were killed by Israel’s indiscriminate bombing in their workplaces, public offices, homes or streets and were not accounted for as civilian victims of Israel’s belligerent murder spree.

    Above everything else, this UN discourse not only reduces close to half a million Palestinian men in that wretched, tormented and occupied coastal strip to “militants,” radical “fighters,” or whatever other nouns in currency nowadays in the astoundingly, but characteristically, biased western media coverage of the Israel “war crimes and crimes against humanity” in Gaza, as some international law experts have described them; it also treats them as already condemned criminals that deserve the capital punishment Israel has meted out on them. I am not an expert on the history of the UN, but I suspect this sets a new low, a precedent in dehumanizing an entire adult male population in a region of "conflict," thereby justifying their fatal targeting or, at least, silently condoning it. But this should surprise no one as the same UN leaders have for 18 months watched in eerie silence or even indirectly justified, one way or another, Israel’s siege of Gaza which was described by Falk as a “prelude to genocide” and compared by him to Nazi crimes.

    If one wants to be truly magnanimous and give those UN officials the benefit of the doubt -- not something I would recommend at all, given the scale of the massacre and their verifiable complicity -- one has to assume that they are quite confused as to how best to categorize the thousands of Palestinian victims of Israel’s war on Gaza, whether those injured or killed. A casual overview of Israeli army press statements and human rights organizations’ reports, however, will immediately dismiss the possibility that the UN figure of 25% was the product of clinical incompetence or technical ineptness, widely recognized trademarks of the organization.

    A recent article published in the Washington Post, for instance, quoted a senior Israeli military official saying: "There are many aspects to Hamas, and we are trying to hit the whole spectrum, because everything is connected and everything supports terrorism against Israel." An Israeli army spokeswoman went further stating. "Anything affiliated with Hamas is a legitimate target." Given that, in the ghetto of Gaza, Hamas is effectively the “ruling” party -- it was democratically elected, after all -- and its network of social and charitable organizations are the largest provider of social services to the impoverished and besieged population, all of Gaza’s civilian infrastructure, public schools, hospitals, universities, law and order organs, traffic police, sewage treatment and water purification stations, ministries providing vital services to the public, mosques, public theatres and many non-governmental institutions can technically be considered “affiliated” with Hamas.

    Lest the reader feels that this is an exaggeration, today, in the first hours of the first day of the new year, the Israeli air force already bombed the following “targets” in Gaza: the Palestinian Legislative Council, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Justice. Earlier, several mosques were pulverised to the ground. So were main buildings in the Islamic University of Gaza, which serves 20,000 students. Ambulances and private homes were not spared either.

    Even B’Tselem, Israel’s leading human rights organization that often issues sanitized, “balanced” or selective reports focusing on Israel’s less criminal behaviour in the OPT, was compelled to conclude that the Israeli army was intentionally targeting “what appear to be clear civilian objects” that are not “engaged in military action against Israel,” without making the distinction between male and female civilians. A statement from the organization on December 31st said:

    For example, the military bombed the main police building in Gaza and killed, according to reports, forty-two Palestinians who were in a training course and were standing in formation at the time of the bombing. Participants in the course study first-aid, handling of public disturbances, human rights, public-safety exercises, and so forth. Following the course, the police officers are assigned to various arms of the police force in Gaza responsible for maintaining public order.

    Another example is yesterday’s bombing of the government offices. These offices included the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Labor, Construction and Housing. An announcement made by the IDF Spokesperson’s Office regarding this attack stated that, ‘the attack was carried out in response to the ongoing rocket and mortar-shell fire carried out by Hamas over Israeli territory, and in the framework of IDF operations to strike at Hamas governmental infrastructure and members active in the organization.’

    Just to drive the point closer to home for an average western reader who may have internalized over the years a perception of Israelis -- inaccurately and quite deliberately depicted by Israeli and western propaganda as part of the “west” -- as full humans and Palestinians, along with almost all global southerners, as relative humans, perhaps the following mirroring exercise is necessary.

    Imagine if the Palestinian resistance, in exercising its otherwise perfectly legitimate, UN-sanctioned right to fight Israel’s occupation and apartheid, were to regard all institutions “affiliated” with the Israeli government as legitimate targets, justifying the bombing of universities, hospitals, civilian ministries, publicly-run synagogues, neighborhoods where government or army officials live or work, and other civilian “targets,” killing in 5 days only 1,600 Israelis and wounding 8,000 (four times the current toll in Gaza, given that Israel’s population is four times as large). What would the UN do? Would UN officials only count Israeli women and children victims? Would they call on both parties to “exercise restraint” or to end “the violence”? Morally, and even legally, this is not even a fair reversal of roles, for Israel, no matter what, remains the occupier and settler-colonial oppressor, while the indigenous Palestinians remain the colonized and oppressed.

    The truth is the UN leadership, in the unipolar world that we are still living in and is perhaps on its way to be transformed to more multipolar space, has effectively turned into a rubber stamp bureau for US dictates. Ban Ki-Moon will go down in history as the most subservient and morally unqualified general secretary to ever lead the international organization. The only question remaining is whether one day he and his senior staff will stand trial for being accomplices in Israel’s war crimes, together with leaders of the US, the EU and many Arab regimes. In a more just world, governed by the rule of law, not the US-dominated rule of the jungle, they should.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/barghouti01022009.html

  15. #105
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    We were in Manhattan yesterday to see a show and happened to come across a demonstration in the Times Square area. There were hundreds to support the Palestinians and more were coming as we left. It was a peaceful demonstration and I was happy my daughter got to see it. She happens to be writing a paper on the conflict for school and she had a chance to speak with several of the demonstrators to get their perspective. My daughter's last name is very jewish and she was thrilled to see a large group of students there with signs that read JEWS FOR PALESTINE. The tide does seem to be turning towards peace.

    Later in the day we were walking in the UN area and there were tons of diplomat vehicles headed to the emergency session.

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