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Happy New Year Gaza Death

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  • hilton.obenzinger
    Happy New Year Gaza Death Meditations in a Time of Delusions and Lies 29 January 4, 2003 Note: I began writing little commentaries during the months leading up
    Message 1 of 8 , Jan 4, 2009
      Happy New Year Gaza Death

      Meditations in a Time of Delusions and Lies 29

      January 4, 2003

      Note:

      I began writing little commentaries during the months leading up to
      the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. I called them "Meditations in a
      Time of Delusions and Lies," and I wrote them, as I explained, to
      keep from going insane in the face of faith-based idiocy and murder.
      I didn't expect to change opinion but simply to keep myself from
      exploding.

      Should I stop? Should I instead write "Meditations in a Time of
      Clarity and Truth" now that Obama has been elected? I'd like to
      think I should – but somehow I feel that delusion and mendacity are
      still alive and well. I do have hope, but human stupidity has not
      let me down so far, so I'll keep the name. And the task: To keep
      from going insane in the face of official insanity.

      -----

      In the hiatus before Obama takes power, Israel has decided to take
      advantage of the vacuum, get one more shot at decimating the
      Palestinians before who knows what happens once the neo-cons finally
      step down. The Israelis only have a couple of weeks, but that's just
      enough time to hand President Obama a fait accompli.

      So now we have the Bloodbath of Gaza. Haaretz reported on Dec. 31
      that the Israeli military planned the invasion when it was in the
      midst of negotiations to extend the cease fire 6 months ago. A while
      ago a senior office in the Israeli military warned the people of
      Gaza that they faced a "shoah," the Hebrew word for holocaust, in
      retaliation for Hamas's rockets. That officer was shushed by other
      Israeli leaders for being a bit too blunt. It turned out that he
      spoke the truth.

      One more time the Israelis are trying to crush the Palestinians.
      Beirut 1982, now Gaza 25 years later. Can you guess the result?

      Hamas is irresponsible to its own people, and launching rockets
      against civilians violates international law. But after every so-
      called peace agreement, such as the Oslo Accords, conditions get
      dramatically worse for the Palestinians: more land is stolen from
      them, more checkpoints, more targeted assassinations, more blockades
      around Gaza. And after every advance, such as the Israeli evacuation
      of Gaza, the shape-shifting occupation only takes a different form.
      So, the logic of despair goes, why not the absolutist religious
      violence of Hamas? Diplomatic and political methods have only
      allowed Israel to stall, allowed it to keep on building settlements
      and enforcing misery. Hamas may be thoughtless, but in their minds
      what do they have to lose? Why not try the Ghost Dance?

      At the same time the world economy is contracting furiously.
      Financiers have gouged out huge "bail out" sums from the government,
      as if they're being awarded for wrecking their own capitalist
      system. Industries are about to collapse, state governments are on
      the verge of growing broke, jobs vaporize before our eyes.

      American leaders scorned the Soviet Union when it collapsed. How
      much of a failure is the command control economy! Unbridled free
      market is holy, and God has chosen Capital as his only Son.

      But it turns out that the Soviet Union wasn't the only loser in the
      Cold War. Now Americans can see what it's like to be brought low by
      the collapse of delusions. What rational choice theory takes into
      account lies and greed in its econometrics? Takes into account that
      greed breeds stupidity? You don't need a PhD to realize that the
      Lords of Money don't really know what they're doing, don't even
      understand their own system. What rational choice are they talking
      about?

      It was Reagan's arms race plus the Afghanistan quagmire that
      bankrupted the Soviet Union, even though the Soviet system played
      its own part in rotting from within. Bankruptcy and Afghanistan –
      why, that sounds like déjà vu all over again!

      And, as if it couldn't get any crazier, the greatest Wall Street
      swindler in the history of the world turns out to be a Jew. Between
      the murderous Jews with guns and the venal Jews with money schemes,
      is history written by an anti-Semite? Where's that other stereotype,
      those Commie Jews?

      But now the shit streams toward Obama like lava streaming down
      volcanoes in Hawaii . . . Just a slight shift in power – his
      election was not a revolution, just a shift – and the universe
      conspires to give President Obama a welcome in blood and misery.
      What next? A mid-winter Hurricane? Huge California earthquake?
      Nuclear war between Pakistan and India? The Arctic ice cap dissolves
      like Alka Seltzer?

      Just a shift. Imagine if his election were really a revolution?

      Hilton Obenzinger
    • neal
      ... step down. ------Hilton, this is an absurd statement. Israel has no intention of decimating any group...they have major problems with Hamas and cannot take
      Message 2 of 8 , Jan 5, 2009
        "hilton.obenzinger" <obenzinger@...> wrote:
        >
        > Happy New Year Gaza Death
        >
        > January 4, 2003
        >
        > In the hiatus before Obama takes power, Israel has decided to take
        > advantage of the vacuum, get one more shot at decimating the
        > Palestinians before who knows what happens once the neo-cons finally
        step down. ------Hilton, this is an absurd statement. Israel has no
        intention of decimating any group...they have major problems with
        Hamas and cannot take out Hamas, a fascist org, since they cannot
        engage with Hezbollah! I helped build the town of Sederot with Project
        Renewal, and you obviously have no idea of what has been happening
        there for three years...

        The Israelis only have a couple of weeks, but that's just
        > enough time to hand President Obama a fait accompli.----My guess is
        that as humanitarian as Obama (and the rest of us!) wish to be, there
        is no option other than to support Israel against Hamas! Civilian
        deaths are a horror, war is hell, but what do you think Israel should
        do when its people are shelled?
        >
        > So now we have the Bloodbath of Gaza. Haaretz reported on Dec. 31
        > that the Israeli military planned the invasion when it was in the
        > midst of negotiations to extend the cease fire 6 months ago. A while
        ago a senior office in the Israeli military warned the people of Gaza
        that they faced a "shoah," the Hebrew word for holocaust, in
        > retaliation for Hamas's rockets. That officer was shushed by other
        > Israeli leaders for being a bit too blunt. It turned out that he
        > spoke the truth.---If you are happy with exaggeration, so be it. The
        military has targeted Hamas, and killed 25% civilians...a horror...but
        your words are offensive. And why cannot you even mention that Hamas
        and Hezbollah and Iran are committed to getting rid of Israel
        altogether...do you read what is said???
        >
        > One more time the Israelis are trying to crush the Palestinians.
        > Beirut 1982, now Gaza 25 years later. Can you guess the result?
        >
        > Hamas is irresponsible to its own people, and launching rockets
        > against civilians violates international law.----------Here, you are
        circumspect about Hamas. I would like to know how you write about the
        Taliban! You have fury against the US and Israel, but seem quite calm
        about the terrorists and fascists!!! Shame on you.

        But after every so-called peace agreement, such as the Oslo Accords,
        conditions get dramatically worse for the Palestinians: more land is
        stolen from them, more checkpoints, more targeted assassinations, more
        blockades around Gaza. And after every advance, such as the Israeli
        evacuation of Gaza, the shape-shifting occupation only takes a
        different form.-------------This is too distorted to try to answer
        here. You know nothing...If you want to know about Gaza say,
        1948-present, call me some time: 646-884-0594. Under Israel, '67-'87,
        Gaza conditions improved greatly, said the UN and American Friends...
        We were maiking real progress, incl peace with Egypt and Jordan, and
        then came the Intifada, an operation by Arafat that only JJ would
        approve!!!

        > So, the logic of despair goes, why not the absolutist religious
        > violence of Hamas? Diplomatic and political methods have only
        > allowed Israel to stall, allowed it to keep on building settlements
        > and enforcing misery. Hamas may be thoughtless, but in their minds
        > what do they have to lose? Why not try the Ghost Dance?------Absurd.
        What we have actually is a "revolution of rising expectations"!---the
        exact reverse of what you claim, in ignorance of the facts (economic,
        strategic, on the ground in WB and Gaza, etc.) Good thing you are not
        teaching politics! And maybe ask yourself: is this not the most
        dangerous time for Israel...but then, do you care at all about the
        Jewish State...and I think you answered that long ago...

        ...
        > And, as if it couldn't get any crazier, the greatest Wall Street
        > swindler in the history of the world turns out to be a Jew. Between
        > the murderous Jews with guns and the venal Jews with money schemes,
        > is history written by an anti-Semite? Where's that other stereotype,
        > those Commie Jews?-------Silly...and well...David Axelrod is a Jew
        and so is Rahm Emanuel...Electing Obama is bigger even than Madoff!:)
        And you are a free-thinking Jew functioning quite well! Keep
        perspective Hilton! :)
        >
        Be well, Neal
        ###
      • Steve Goldfield
        A Lebanese friend of mine just told me that Shimon Peres was interviewed by Al Jizeerah and told them that no women and children have been killed in Gaza and
        Message 3 of 8 , Jan 5, 2009
          A Lebanese friend of mine just told me that Shimon Peres was
          interviewed by Al Jizeerah and told them that no women and
          children have been killed in Gaza and that hundreds of Israeli women
          and children were killed in the past few months. Al Jizeerah asked
          him why they didn't show or report that on Israeli television.

          Does this remind anyone else of Joseph Goebbels and his "big lie"
          strategy? The only question is why Peres wanted to look like a liar
          and an idiot. He is, after all, the president of Israel.

          Steve Goldfield

          --- On Sun, 1/4/09, hilton.obenzinger <obenzinger@...> wrote:
          From: hilton.obenzinger <obenzinger@...>
          Subject: [CU68-08Event] Happy New Year Gaza Death
          To: CU68-08Event@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Sunday, January 4, 2009, 11:01 AM

          Happy New Year Gaza Death

          Meditations in a Time of Delusions and Lies 29

          January 4, 2003

          Note:

          I began writing little commentaries during the months leading up to
          the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. I called them "Meditations in a
          Time of Delusions and Lies," and I wrote them, as I explained, to
          keep from going insane in the face of faith-based idiocy and murder.
          I didn't expect to change opinion but simply to keep myself from
          exploding.

          Should I stop? Should I instead write "Meditations in a Time of
          Clarity and Truth" now that Obama has been elected? I'd like to
          think I should – but somehow I feel that delusion and mendacity are
          still alive and well. I do have hope, but human stupidity has not
          let me down so far, so I'll keep the name. And the task: To keep
          from going insane in the face of official insanity.

          -----

          In the hiatus before Obama takes power, Israel has decided to take
          advantage of the vacuum, get one more shot at decimating the
          Palestinians before who knows what happens once the neo-cons finally
          step down. The Israelis only have a couple of weeks, but that's just
          enough time to hand President Obama a fait accompli.

          So now we have the Bloodbath of Gaza. Haaretz reported on Dec. 31
          that the Israeli military planned the invasion when it was in the
          midst of negotiations to extend the cease fire 6 months ago. A while
          ago a senior office in the Israeli military warned the people of
          Gaza that they faced a "shoah," the Hebrew word for holocaust, in
          retaliation for Hamas's rockets. That officer was shushed by other
          Israeli leaders for being a bit too blunt. It turned out that he
          spoke the truth.

          One more time the Israelis are trying to crush the Palestinians.
          Beirut 1982, now Gaza 25 years later. Can you guess the result?

          Hamas is irresponsible to its own people, and launching rockets
          against civilians violates international law. But after every so-
          called peace agreement, such as the Oslo Accords, conditions get
          dramatically worse for the Palestinians: more land is stolen from
          them, more checkpoints, more targeted assassinations, more blockades
          around Gaza. And after every advance, such as the Israeli evacuation
          of Gaza, the shape-shifting occupation only takes a different form.
          So, the logic of despair goes, why not the absolutist religious
          violence of Hamas? Diplomatic and political methods have only
          allowed Israel to stall, allowed it to keep on building settlements
          and enforcing misery. Hamas may be thoughtless, but in their minds
          what do they have to lose? Why not try the Ghost Dance?

          At the same time the world economy is contracting furiously.
          Financiers have gouged out huge "bail out" sums from the government,
          as if they're being awarded for wrecking their own capitalist
          system. Industries are about to collapse, state governments are on
          the verge of growing broke, jobs vaporize before our eyes.

          American leaders scorned the Soviet Union when it collapsed. How
          much of a failure is the command control economy! Unbridled free
          market is holy, and God has chosen Capital as his only Son.

          But it turns out that the Soviet Union wasn't the only loser in the
          Cold War. Now Americans can see what it's like to be brought low by
          the collapse of delusions. What rational choice theory takes into
          account lies and greed in its econometrics? Takes into account that
          greed breeds stupidity? You don't need a PhD to realize that the
          Lords of Money don't really know what they're doing, don't even
          understand their own system. What rational choice are they talking
          about?

          It was Reagan's arms race plus the Afghanistan quagmire that
          bankrupted the Soviet Union, even though the Soviet system played
          its own part in rotting from within. Bankruptcy and Afghanistan –
          why, that sounds like déjà vu all over again!

          And, as if it couldn't get any crazier, the greatest Wall Street
          swindler in the history of the world turns out to be a Jew. Between
          the murderous Jews with guns and the venal Jews with money schemes,
          is history written by an anti-Semite? Where's that other stereotype,
          those Commie Jews?

          But now the shit streams toward Obama like lava streaming down
          volcanoes in Hawaii . . . Just a slight shift in power – his
          election was not a revolution, just a shift – and the universe
          conspires to give President Obama a welcome in blood and misery.
          What next? A mid-winter Hurricane? Huge California earthquake?
          Nuclear war between Pakistan and India? The Arctic ice cap dissolves
          like Alka Seltzer?

          Just a shift. Imagine if his election were really a revolution?

          Hilton Obenzinger




        • a.gronowicz@att.net
          NY times: Who Ended the 6 Month Cease-fire in Israel/Palestine ? | Shiko Behar Date: Thursday, January 01, 2009 Topic: ::: Left Forum ::: On December 30,
          Message 4 of 8 , Jan 7, 2009
            NY times: Who Ended the 6 Month Cease-fire in Israel/Palestine ? | Shiko Behar
            Date: Thursday, January 01, 2009
            Topic: ::: Left Forum :::


            On December 30, 2008 the New York Times published its first editorial on the recent bombings of Gaza. The editors open their text with the following claim: “Hamas must bear responsibility for ending a six-month cease-fire this month with a barrage of rocket attacks into Israeli territory.”
            While the editors assign the blame conveniently and squarely on Hamas, this nevertheless remains a factually erroneous statement contradicting reporting by Israeli newspapers (in both Hebrew and English), British press, Amnesty International and – perhaps curiously enough – November 2008 reporting by the NYT itself.
            On November 12 the paper’s Jerusalem reporter, Isabel Kershner, wrote: “At least six Palestinian militants were killed in a clash and an Israeli airstrike on Nov. 4 after an Israeli force entered Gaza for the first time in five months”:
            Therefore, the rockets into Israeli territory after nearly six months of cease-fire followed – rather than preceded – the Israeli invasion into, and the killings of Palestinians inside, the occupied Gaza Strip. On November 14 the paper’s Jerusalem Bureau Chief, Ethan Bronner, re-stated the same facts reported by Kershner; he additionally voiced them in his accompanying interview on NYT radio – both can be read/heard here:
            More crucially, Israeli and international sources from the first week of November 2008 – sources that are scholarly (and otherwise) more reliable than the NYT – shed further light on the misleading claim by the NYT editors. They include:
            The Israeli Haaretz, November 5, 2008:  “Israel Defense Forces troops yesterday killed a Hamas gunman and wounded two others in the first armed clash in the Gaza Strip since a cease-fire was declared there in June. […] An Israeli army spokeswoman said troops had entered the territory.”
            The Israeli Yediot Ahronot, November 5, 2008:  “For the first time since the ceasefire took effect in June, IDF forces operated deep in the Gaza Strip Tuesday night.”
            (Note: had the NYT editors bothered to consult Hebrew sources they would have easily found that the Hebrew version of the news item cited above is even clearer:
            The Times (UK), November 5, 2008: “A five-month truce between Israel and the Islamist rulers of the Gaza Strip was foundering yesterday after Israeli special forces entered the besieged territory and fought.”
            Amnesty International, November 10, 2008:   “A spate of Israeli and Palestinian attacks and counter-attacks in the past 24 hours could spell the end of a five-and-a-half-month ceasefire. […] The killing of six Palestinian militants in Gaza by Israeli forces in a ground incursion and air strikes on 4 November was followed by a barrage of dozens of Palestinian rockets.”  
            The Guardian, November 5, 2008: “Hamas militants fired more than 35 rockets into Israel today, hours after the Israeli army killed six people inside the Gaza Strip in the first major exchange of fire since a truce took effect in June.”
            The Independent, November 5, 2008: “Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip fired more than 35 rockets towards Israel today, the army and the Islamist group said, hours after the Israeli army killed six militants in the coastal territory.”
                                                           *
            Curiously, the NYT opinion page chose to host two Israeli Jews two days in a row (Benni Morris and David Grossman) to voice their thoughts (representing left and right Zionism). The paper apparently did not find it necessary – if only to maintain the fa?ade of journalistic objectivity – to invite an Arab from Gaza (or elsewhere) to opine. This is particularly intriguing given that the death toll at the time stood on 360 Palestinians to 3 Israelis. The history of the NYT’s sloppy reporting on the Israeli-Arab conflict makes it unlikely that the editors will bother to correct their erroneous – needlessly inflammatory – editorial.
            Lastly, it is worth emphasizing that inaccuracies such as that of the NYT must be considered as much anti-Israeli/anti-Jewish – as they are certainly anti-Palestinian/anti-Arab: factual fallacies (let alone lies), whether willful or unintentional, benefit neither Israeli Jews, nor Palestinian Arabs, nor – most critically – the mere possibility for their more hopeful joint future. Illuminating such errors is therefore a simultaneously pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian act. Perhaps it is also pro-human.



            This article comes fromHagada Hasmalit
            http://www.hagada.org.il/eng

            The URL for this story is:
            http://www.hagada.org.il/eng/hagada/html/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=248
              
          • a.gronowicz@att.net
            How Israel brought Gaza to the brink of humanitarian catastropheOxford professor of international relations Avi Shlaim served in the Israeli army and has never
            Message 5 of 8 , Jan 7, 2009
              How Israel brought Gaza to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe
              Oxford professor of international relations Avi Shlaim served in the Israeli 
              army and has never questioned the state's legitimacy. But its merciless assault 
              on Gaza has led him to devastating conclusions
              Avi Shlaim
              The Guardian, Wednesday 7 January 2009
              Article history
              
              A wounded Palestinian policeman gestures while lying on the ground outside Hamas 
              police headquarters following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City. Photograph: 
              Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images
              
              The only way to make sense of Israel's senseless war in Gaza is through 
              understanding the historical context. Establishing the state of Israel in May 
              1948 involved a monumental injustice to the Palestinians. British officials 
              bitterly resented American partisanship on behalf of the infant state. On 2 June 
              1948, Sir John Troutbeck wrote to the foreign secretary, Ernest Bevin, that the 
              Americans were responsible for the creation of a gangster state headed by "an 
              utterly unscrupulous set of leaders". I used to think that this judgment was too 
              harsh but Israel's vicious assault on the people of Gaza, and the Bush 
              administration's complicity in this assault, have reopened the question.
              I write as someone who served loyally in the Israeli army in the mid-1960s and 
              who has never questioned the legitimacy of the state of Israel within its 
              pre-1967 borders. What I utterly reject is the Zionist colonial project beyond 
              the Green Line. The Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 
              the aftermath of the June 1967 war had very little to do with security and 
              everything to do with territorial expansionism. The aim was to establish Greater 
              Israel through permanent political, economic and military control over the 
              Palestinian territories. And the result has been one of the most prolonged and 
              brutal military occupations of modern times.
              Four decades of Israeli control did incalculable damage to the economy of the 
              Gaza Strip. With a large population of 1948 refugees crammed into a tiny strip 
              of land, with no infrastructure or natural resources, Gaza's prospects were 
              never bright. Gaza, however, is not simply a case of economic under-development 
              but a uniquely cruel case of deliberate de-development. To use the Biblical 
              phrase, Israel turned the people of Gaza into the hewers of wood and the drawers 
              of water, into a source of cheap labour and a captive market for Israeli goods. 
              The development of local industry was actively impeded so as to make it 
              impossible for the Palestinians to end their subordination to Israel and to 
              establish the economic underpinnings essential for real political independence.
              Gaza is a classic case of colonial exploitation in the post-colonial era. Jewish 
              settlements in occupied territories are immoral, illegal and an insurmountable 
              obstacle to peace. They are at once the instrument of exploitation and the 
              symbol of the hated occupation. In Gaza, the Jewish settlers numbered only 8,000 
              in 2005 compared with 1.4 million local residents. Yet the settlers controlled 
              25% of the territory, 40% of the arable land and the lion's share of the scarce 
              water resources. Cheek by jowl with these foreign intruders, the majority of the 
              local population lived in abject poverty and unimaginable misery. Eighty per 
              cent of them still subsist on less than $2 a day. The living conditions in the 
              strip remain an affront to civilised values, a powerful precipitant to 
              resistance and a fertile breeding ground for political extremism.
              In August 2005 a Likud government headed by Ariel Sharon staged a unilateral 
              Israeli pullout from Gaza, withdrawing all 8,000 settlers and destroying the 
              houses and farms they had left behind. Hamas, the Islamic resistance movement, 
              conducted an effective campaign to drive the Israelis out of Gaza. The 
              withdrawal was a humiliation for the Israeli Defence Forces. To the world, 
              Sharon presented the withdrawal from Gaza as a contribution to peace based on a 
              two-state solution. But in the year after, another 12,000 Israelis settled on 
              the West Bank, further reducing the scope for an independent Palestinian state. 
              Land-grabbing and peace-making are simply incompatible. Israel had a choice and 
              it chose land over peace.
              The real purpose behind the move was to redraw unilaterally the borders of 
              Greater Israel by incorporating the main settlement blocs on the West Bank to 
              the state of Israel. Withdrawal from Gaza was thus not a prelude to a peace deal 
              with the Palestinian Authority but a prelude to further Zionist expansion on the 
              West Bank. It was a unilateral Israeli move undertaken in what was seen, 
              mistakenly in my view, as an Israeli national interest. Anchored in a 
              fundamental rejection of the Palestinian national identity, the withdrawal from 
              Gaza was part of a long-term effort to deny the Palestinian people any 
              independent political existence on their land.
              Israel's settlers were withdrawn but Israeli soldiers continued to control all 
              access to the Gaza Strip by land, sea and air. Gaza was converted overnight into 
              an open-air prison. From this point on, the Israeli air force enjoyed 
              unrestricted freedom to drop bombs, to make sonic booms by flying low and 
              breaking the sound barrier, and to terrorise the hapless inhabitants of this 
              prison.
              Israel likes to portray itself as an island of democracy in a sea of 
              authoritarianism. Yet Israel has never in its entire history done anything to 
              promote democracy on the Arab side and has done a great deal to undermine it. 
              Israel has a long history of secret collaboration with reactionary Arab regimes 
              to suppress Palestinian nationalism. Despite all the handicaps, the Palestinian 
              people succeeded in building the only genuine democracy in the Arab world with 
              the possible exception of Lebanon. In January 2006, free and fair elections for 
              the Legislative Council of the Palestinian Authority brought to power a 
              Hamas-led government. Israel, however, refused to recognise the democratically 
              elected government, claiming that Hamas is purely and simply a terrorist 
              organisation.
              America and the EU shamelessly joined Israel in ostracising and demonising the 
              Hamas government and in trying to bring it down by withholding tax revenues and 
              foreign aid. A surreal situation thus developed with a significant part of the 
              international community imposing economic sanctions not against the occupier but 
              against the occupied, not against the oppressor but against the oppressed.
              As so often in the tragic history of Palestine, the victims were blamed for 
              their own misfortunes. Israel's propaganda machine persistently purveyed the 
              notion that the Palestinians are terrorists, that they reject coexistence with 
              the Jewish state, that their nationalism is little more than antisemitism, that 
              Hamas is just a bunch of religious fanatics and that Islam is incompatible with 
              democracy. But the simple truth is that the Palestinian people are a normal 
              people with normal aspirations. They are no better but they are no worse than 
              any other national group. What they aspire to, above all, is a piece of land to 
              call their own on which to live in freedom and dignity.
              Like other radical movements, Hamas began to moderate its political programme 
              following its rise to power. From the ideological rejectionism of its charter, 
              it began to move towards pragmatic accommodation of a two-state solution. In 
              March 2007, Hamas and Fatah formed a national unity government that was ready to 
              negotiate a long-term ceasefire with Israel. Israel, however, refused to 
              negotiate with a government that included Hamas.
              It continued to play the old game of divide and rule between rival Palestinian 
              factions. In the late 1980s, Israel had supported the nascent Hamas in order to 
              weaken Fatah, the secular nationalist movement led by Yasser Arafat. Now Israel 
              began to encourage the corrupt and pliant Fatah leaders to overthrow their 
              religious political rivals and recapture power. Aggressive American 
              neoconservatives participated in the sinister plot to instigate a Palestinian 
              civil war. Their meddling was a major factor in the collapse of the national 
              unity government and in driving Hamas to seize power in Gaza in June 2007 to 
              pre-empt a Fatah coup.
              The war unleashed by Israel on Gaza on 27 December was the culmination of a 
              series of clashes and confrontations with the Hamas government. In a broader 
              sense, however, it is a war between Israel and the Palestinian people, because 
              the people had elected the party to power. The declared aim of the war is to 
              weaken Hamas and to intensify the pressure until its leaders agree to a new 
              ceasefire on Israel's terms. The undeclared aim is to ensure that the 
              Palestinians in Gaza are seen by the world simply as a humanitarian problem and 
              thus to derail their struggle for independence and statehood.
              The timing of the war was determined by political expediency. A general election 
              is scheduled for 10 February and, in the lead-up to the election, all the main 
              contenders are looking for an opportunity to prove their toughness. The army top 
              brass had been champing at the bit to deliver a crushing blow to Hamas in order 
              to remove the stain left on their reputation by the failure of the war against 
              Hezbollah in Lebanon in July 2006. Israel's cynical leaders could also count on 
              apathy and impotence of the pro-western Arab regimes and on blind support from 
              President Bush in the twilight of his term in the White House. Bush readily 
              obliged by putting all the blame for the crisis on Hamas, vetoing proposals at 
              the UN Security Council for an immediate ceasefire and issuing Israel with a 
              free pass to mount a ground invasion of Gaza.
              As always, mighty Israel claims to be the victim of Palestinian aggression but 
              the sheer asymmetry of power between the two sides leaves little room for doubt 
              as to who is the real victim. This is indeed a conflict between David and 
              Goliath but the Biblical image has been inverted - a small and defenceless 
              Palestinian David faces a heavily armed, merciless and overbearing Israeli 
              Goliath. The resort to brute military force is accompanied, as always, by the 
              shrill rhetoric of victimhood and a farrago of self-pity overlaid with 
              self-righteousness. In Hebrew this is known as the syndrome of bokhim ve-yorim, 
              "crying and shooting".
              To be sure, Hamas is not an entirely innocent party in this conflict. Denied the 
              fruit of its electoral victory and confronted with an unscrupulous adversary, it 
              has resorted to the weapon of the weak - terror. Militants from Hamas and 
              Islamic Jihad kept launching Qassam rocket attacks against Israeli settlements 
              near the border with Gaza until Egypt brokered a six-month ceasefire last June. 
              The damage caused by these primitive rockets is minimal but the psychological 
              impact is immense, prompting the public to demand protection from its 
              government. Under the circumstances, Israel had the right to act in self-defence 
              but its response to the pinpricks of rocket attacks was totally 
              disproportionate. The figures speak for themselves. In the three years after the 
              withdrawal from Gaza, 11 Israelis were killed by rocket fire. On the other hand, 
              in 2005-7 alone, the IDF killed 1,290 Palestinians in Gaza, including 222 
              children.
              Whatever the numbers, killing civilians is wrong. This rule applies to Israel as 
              much as it does to Hamas, but Israel's entire record is one of unbridled and 
              unremitting brutality towards the inhabitants of Gaza. Israel also maintained 
              the blockade of Gaza after the ceasefire came into force which, in the view of 
              the Hamas leaders, amounted to a violation of the agreement. During the 
              ceasefire, Israel prevented any exports from leaving the strip in clear 
              violation of a 2005 accord, leading to a sharp drop in employment opportunities. 
              Officially, 49.1% of the population is unemployed. At the same time, Israel 
              restricted drastically the number of trucks carrying food, fuel, cooking-gas 
              canisters, spare parts for water and sanitation plants, and medical supplies to 
              Gaza. It is difficult to see how starving and freezing the civilians of Gaza 
              could protect the people on the Israeli side of the border. But even if it did, 
              it would still be immoral, a form of collective punishment 
              that is strictly forbidden by international humanitarian law.
              The brutality of Israel's soldiers is fully matched by the mendacity of its 
              spokesmen. Eight months before launching the current war on Gaza, Israel 
              established a National Information Directorate. The core messages of this 
              directorate to the media are that Hamas broke the ceasefire agreements; that 
              Israel's objective is the defence of its population; and that Israel's forces 
              are taking the utmost care not to hurt innocent civilians. Israel's spin doctors 
              have been remarkably successful in getting this message across. But, in essence, 
              their propaganda is a pack of lies.
              A wide gap separates the reality of Israel's actions from the rhetoric of its 
              spokesmen. It was not Hamas but the IDF that broke the ceasefire. It di d so by 
              a raid into Gaza on 4 November that killed six Hamas men. Israel's objective is 
              not just the defence of its population but the eventual overthrow of the Hamas 
              government in Gaza by turning the people against their rulers. And far from 
              taking care to spare civilians, Israel is guilty of indiscriminate bombing and 
              of a three-year-old blockade that has brought the inhabitants of Gaza, now 1.5 
              million, to the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe.
              The Biblical injunction of an eye for an eye is savage enough. But Israel's 
              insane offensive against Gaza seems to follow the logic of an eye for an 
              eyelash. After eight days of bombing, with a death toll of more than 400 
              Palestinians and four Israelis, the gung-ho cabinet ordered a land invasion of 
              Gaza the consequences of which are incalculable.
              No amount of military escalation can buy Israel immunity from rocket attacks 
              from the military wing of Hamas. Despite all the death and destruction that 
              Israel has inflicted on them, they kept up their resistance and they kept firing 
              their rockets. This is a movement that glorifies victimhood and martyrdom. There 
              is simply no military solution to the conflict between the two communities. The 
              problem with Israel's concept of security is that it denies even the most 
              elementary security to the other community. The only way for Israel to achieve 
              security is not through shooting but through talks with Hamas, which has 
              repeatedly declared its readiness to negotiate a long-term ceasefire with the 
              Jewish state within its pre-1967 borders for 20, 30, or even 50 years. Israel 
              has rejected this offer for the same reason it spurned the Arab League peace 
              plan of 2002, which is still on the table: it involves concessions and 
              compromises.
              This brief review of Israel's record over the past four decades makes it 
              difficult to resist the conclusion that it has become a rogue state with "an 
              utterly unscrupulous set of leaders". A rogue state habitually violates 
              international law, possesses weapons of mass destruction and practises terrorism 
              - the use of violence against civilians for political purposes. Israel fulfils 
              all of these three criteria; the cap fits and it must wear it. Israel's real aim 
              is not peaceful coexistence with its Palestinian neighbours but military 
              domination. It keeps compounding the mistakes of the past with new and more 
              disastrous ones. Politicians, like everyone else, are of course free to repeat 
              the lies and mistakes of the past. But it is not mandatory to do so.
              
               Avi Shlaim is a professor of international relations at the University of 
              Oxford and the author of The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World and of Lion of 
              Jordan: King Hussein's Life in War and Peace.
              

            • a.gronowicz@att.net
              Growing outrage at the killings in GazaThe Guardian, Friday 16 January 2009 The massacres in Gaza are the latest phase of a war that Israel has been waging
              Message 6 of 8 , Jan 17, 2009
                Growing outrage at the killings in GazaThe Guardian, Friday 16 January 2009 
                
                The massacres in Gaza are the latest phase of a war that Israel has been waging 
                against the people of Palestine for more than 60 years. The goal of this war has 
                never changed: to use overwhelming military power to eradicate the Palestinians 
                as a political force, one capable of resisting Israel's ongoing appropriation of 
                their land and resources. Israel's war against the Palestinians has turned Gaza 
                and the West Bank into a pair of gigantic political prisons. There is nothing 
                symmetrical about this war in terms of principles, tactics or consequences. 
                Israel is responsible for launching and intensifying it, and for ending the most 
                recent lull in hostilities.
                
                Israel must lose. It is not enough to call for another ceasefire, or more 
                humanitarian assistance. It is not enough to urge the renewal of dialogue and to 
                acknowledge the concerns and suffering of both sides. If we believe in the 
                principle of democratic self-determination, if we affirm the right to resist 
                military aggression and colonial occupation, then we are obliged to take 
                sides... against Israel, and with the people of Gaza and the West Bank. 
                
                We must do what we can to stop Israel from winning its war. Israel must accept 
                that its security depends on justice and peaceful coexistence with its 
                neighbours, and not upon the criminal use of force.
                
                We believe Israel should immediately and unconditionally end its assault on 
                Gaza, end the occupation of the West Bank, and abandon all claims to possess or 
                control territory beyond its 1967 borders. We call on the British government and 
                the British people to take all feasible steps to oblige Israel to comply with 
                these demands, starting with a programme of boycott, divestment and sanctions.
                
                
                Professor Gilbert Achcar, Development Studies, SOAS
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                We regard Israel's indiscriminate killing in Gaza as a crime against humanity. 
                We protest against Israel's exterminating tactics and offer our wholehearted 
                support to the people of Gaza. 
                Stephen Frears – Film Director – UK
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              • a.gronowicz@att.net
                WAR
                Message 7 of 8 , Jan 18, 2009
                  WAR CRIMES
                  _http://liammacuaid. http://liahttp: //lihttp: //liammahttp: //liahttp: //liahttp: /
                  /liammacuhttp: //liammacuahttp: //liammahttp: //l_ 
                  (http://liammacuaid. wordpress. com/2009/ 01/14/olmert- livni-and- barak-are- mass-murderers- and-war-criminal s-sir
                  -gerald-kaufman/ ) 

                  The video can be seen here. It’s an astonishingly 
                  powerful and personal speech.

                  This is the full text

                  Sir Gerald Kaufman (Manchester, Gorton) (Lab): I 
                  was brought up as an orthodox Jew and a Zionist. 
                  On a shelf in our kitchen, there was a tin box 
                  for the Jewish National Fund, into which we put 
                  coins to help the pioneers building a Jewish presence in Palestine.

                  I first went to Israel in 1961 and I have been 
                  there since more times than I can count. I had 
                  family in Israel and have friends in Israel. One 
                  of them fought in the wars of 1956, 1967 and 1973 
                  and was wounded in two of them. The tie clip that 
                  I am wearing is made from a campaign decoration 
                  awarded to him, which he presented to me.

                  I have known most of the Prime Ministers of 
                  Israel, starting with the founding Prime Minister 
                  David Ben-Gurion. Golda Meir was my friend, as 
                  was Yigal Allon, Deputy Prime Minister, who, as a 
                  general, won the Negev for Israel in the 1948 war of independence.

                  My parents came to Britain as refugees from 
                  Poland. Most of their families were subsequently 
                  murdered by the Nazis in the holocaust

                  My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came 
                  to her home town of Staszow. A German soldier shot her dead in her bed.

                  My grandmother did not die to provide cover for 
                  Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian 
                  grandmothers in Gaza. The current Israeli 
                  Government ruthlessly and cynically exploit the 
                  continuing guilt among gentiles over the 
                  slaughter of Jews in the holocaust as 
                  justification for their murder of Palestinians. 
                  The implication is that Jewish lives are 
                  precious, but the lives of Palestinians do not count.

                  On Sky News a few days ago, the spokeswoman for 
                  the Israeli army, Major Leibovich, was asked 
                  about the Israeli killing of, at that time, 800 
                  Palestinians—Palestinians—<WBR>the total is now 1,0
                  instantly that “500 of them were militants.”

                  That was the reply of a Nazi. I suppose that the 
                  Jews fighting for their lives in the Warsaw 
                  ghetto could have been dismissed as militants.

                  The Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni asserts 
                  that her Government will have no dealings with 
                  Hamas, because they are terrorists. Tzipi Livni’s 
                  father was Eitan Livni, chief operations officer 
                  of the terrorist Irgun Zvai Leumi, who organised 
                  the blowing-up of the King David hotel in 
                  Jerusalem, in which 91 victims were killed, including four Jews.

                  Israel was born out of Jewish terrorism. Jewish 
                  terrorists hanged two British sergeants and 
                  booby-trapped their corpses. Irgun, together with 
                  the terrorist Stern gang, massacred 254 
                  Palestinians in 1948 in the village of Deir 
                  Yassin. Today, the current Israeli Government 
                  indicate that they would be willing, in 
                  circumstances acceptable to them, to negotiate 
                  with the Palestinian President Abbas of Fatah. It 
                  is too late for that. They could have negotiated 
                  with Fatah’s previous leader, Yasser Arafat, who 
                  was a friend of mine. Instead, they besieged him 
                  in a bunker in Ramallah, where I visited him. 
                  Because of the failings of Fatah since Arafat’s 
                  death, Hamas won the Palestinian election in 
                  2006. Hamas is a deeply nasty organisation, but 
                  it was democratically elected, and it is the only 
                  game in town. The boycotting of Hamas, including 
                  by our Government, has been a culpable error, 
                  from which dreadful consequences have followed.

                  The great Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban, 
                  with whom I campaigned for peace on many platforms, said:

                  “You make peace by talking to your enemies.”

                  However many Palestinians the Israelis murder in 
                  Gaza, they cannot solve this existential problem 
                  by military means. Whenever and however the 
                  fighting ends, there will still be 1.5 million 
                  Palestinians in Gaza and 2.5 million more on the 
                  west bank. They are treated like dirt by the 
                  Israelis, with hundreds of road blocks and with 
                  the ghastly denizens of the illegal Jewish 
                  settlements harassing them as well. The time will 
                  come, not so long from now, when they will 
                  outnumber the Jewish population in Israel.

                  It is time for our Government to make clear to 
                  the Israeli Government that their conduct and 
                  policies are unacceptable, and to impose a total 
                  arms ban on Israel. It is time for peace, but 
                  real peace, not the solution by conquest which is 
                  the Israelis’ real goal but which it is 
                  impossible for them to achieve. They are not 
                  simply war criminals; they are fools.

                  Sir Gerald Kaufman Asks "What the International 
                  Reaction Would Be If Hamas Had Slaughtered Nearly 
                  900 Israelis and Subjected Nearly 1.5 million 
                  Israelis to Degradation and Deprivation? I

                  Sir Gerald Kaufman (Manchester, Gorton) (Lab): In 
                  congratulating my right hon. Friend [David 
                  Miliband] on steering resolution 1860 through the 
                  United Nations Security Council, may I ask him 
                  what the international reaction would be if Hamas 
                  had slaughtered nearly 900 Israelis and subjected 
                  nearly 1.5 million Israelis to degradation and 
                  deprivation? Is it not an incontrovertible fact 
                  that Olmert, Livni and Barak are mass-murderers 
                  and war criminals -- [ Interruption. ] Yes. And 
                  they bring shame on the Jewish people whose star 
                  of David they use as a flag in Gaza, but whose 
                  ethos and morals go completely against what this Israeli Government are 
                  doing.

                  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                  See, also:

                  Mr. Peter Kilfoyle (Liverpool, Walton) (Lab): I 
                  note the rather cosy consensus between the 
                  Foreign Secretary and the right hon. Member for 
                  Richmond, Yorks (Mr. Hague), but I can assure the 
                  Foreign Secretary that it is not shared by all of 
                  us. On armaments for Israel, he said just a 
                  moment ago that he would very much like to see 
                  the prevention of arms going to terrorist 
                  organisations. That is the case for everybody in 
                  this House, and on the basis of what we have just 
                  heard and what he himself just said, will he 
                  undertake to ensure that no arms at all go to 
                  Israel at the moment, given that it is guilty in 
                  many people’s eyes of state-sponsored terrorism 
                  with its activities in the Gaza strip?

                  Sir Patrick Cormack (South Staffordshire) (Con): 
                  In agreeing particularly with what the right hon. 
                  Gentleman has just said, may I ask that after he 
                  leaves the House and goes back to the Foreign 
                  Office he will summon the Israeli ambassador and 
                  say to him calmly but clearly that many of us who 
                  have been in this House for a very long time and 
                  who have been proud to call ourselves friends of 
                  Israel now feel ashamed because Israel is not 
                  behaving as a civilised state should behave?

                  Mr. Marsha Singh (Bradford, West) (Lab): Will my 
                  right hon. Friend accept that condemnation has 
                  brought no relief to the people of Gaza? The 
                  killing goes on. Is it not time for stronger 
                  action? Is it not time that we expelled the 
                  ambassador of Israel and brought our ambassador 
                  back from Israel? Is it not time that we called 
                  for international sanctions against Israel?

                  Gerald Bernard Kaufman is a British Labour Member 
                  of Parliament. Sir Kaufman made the statement 
                  above during the 12 January 2009 House of Commons 
                  debate on Gaza in the United Kingdom.
                • neal
                  ... Steve: Absolute nonsense. Really...dumb.
                  Message 8 of 8 , May 20, 2009
                    --- In CU68-08Event@yahoogroups.com, Steve Goldfield <stevesage@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > A Lebanese friend of mine just told me that Shimon Peres was
                    > interviewed by Al Jizeerah and told them that no women and
                    > children have been killed in Gaza and that hundreds of Israeli women
                    > and children were killed in the past few months. Al Jizeerah asked
                    > him why they didn't show or report that on Israeli television.
                    >
                    > Does this remind anyone else of Joseph Goebbels and his "big lie"
                    > strategy? The only question is why Peres wanted to look like a liar
                    > and an idiot. He is, after all, the president of Israel.
                    >
                    > Steve Goldfield
                    Steve: Absolute nonsense. Really...dumb.
                    > --- On Sun, 1/4/09, hilton.obenzinger <obenzinger@...> wrote:
                    > From: hilton.obenzinger <obenzinger@...>
                    > Subject: [CU68-08Event] Happy New Year Gaza Death
                    > To: CU68-08Event@yahoogroups.com
                    > Date: Sunday, January 4, 2009, 11:01 AM
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Happy New Year Gaza Death
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Meditations in a Time of Delusions and Lies 29
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > January 4, 2003
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Note:
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > I began writing little commentaries during the months leading up to
                    >
                    > the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. I called them "Meditations in a
                    >
                    > Time of Delusions and Lies," and I wrote them, as I explained, to
                    >
                    > keep from going insane in the face of faith-based idiocy and murder.
                    >
                    > I didn't expect to change opinion but simply to keep myself from
                    >
                    > exploding.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Should I stop? Should I instead write "Meditations in a Time of
                    >
                    > Clarity and Truth" now that Obama has been elected? I'd like to
                    >
                    > think I should – but somehow I feel that delusion and mendacity are
                    >
                    > still alive and well. I do have hope, but human stupidity has not
                    >
                    > let me down so far, so I'll keep the name. And the task: To keep
                    >
                    > from going insane in the face of official insanity.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > -----
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > In the hiatus before Obama takes power, Israel has decided to take
                    >
                    > advantage of the vacuum, get one more shot at decimating the
                    >
                    > Palestinians before who knows what happens once the neo-cons finally
                    >
                    > step down. The Israelis only have a couple of weeks, but that's just
                    >
                    > enough time to hand President Obama a fait accompli.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > So now we have the Bloodbath of Gaza. Haaretz reported on Dec. 31
                    >
                    > that the Israeli military planned the invasion when it was in the
                    >
                    > midst of negotiations to extend the cease fire 6 months ago. A while
                    >
                    > ago a senior office in the Israeli military warned the people of
                    >
                    > Gaza that they faced a "shoah," the Hebrew word for holocaust, in
                    >
                    > retaliation for Hamas's rockets. That officer was shushed by other
                    >
                    > Israeli leaders for being a bit too blunt. It turned out that he
                    >
                    > spoke the truth.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > One more time the Israelis are trying to crush the Palestinians.
                    >
                    > Beirut 1982, now Gaza 25 years later. Can you guess the result?
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Hamas is irresponsible to its own people, and launching rockets
                    >
                    > against civilians violates international law. But after every so-
                    >
                    > called peace agreement, such as the Oslo Accords, conditions get
                    >
                    > dramatically worse for the Palestinians: more land is stolen from
                    >
                    > them, more checkpoints, more targeted assassinations, more blockades
                    >
                    > around Gaza. And after every advance, such as the Israeli evacuation
                    >
                    > of Gaza, the shape-shifting occupation only takes a different form.
                    >
                    > So, the logic of despair goes, why not the absolutist religious
                    >
                    > violence of Hamas? Diplomatic and political methods have only
                    >
                    > allowed Israel to stall, allowed it to keep on building settlements
                    >
                    > and enforcing misery. Hamas may be thoughtless, but in their minds
                    >
                    > what do they have to lose? Why not try the Ghost Dance?
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > At the same time the world economy is contracting furiously.
                    >
                    > Financiers have gouged out huge "bail out" sums from the government,
                    >
                    > as if they're being awarded for wrecking their own capitalist
                    >
                    > system. Industries are about to collapse, state governments are on
                    >
                    > the verge of growing broke, jobs vaporize before our eyes.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > American leaders scorned the Soviet Union when it collapsed. How
                    >
                    > much of a failure is the command control economy! Unbridled free
                    >
                    > market is holy, and God has chosen Capital as his only Son.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > But it turns out that the Soviet Union wasn't the only loser in the
                    >
                    > Cold War. Now Americans can see what it's like to be brought low by
                    >
                    > the collapse of delusions. What rational choice theory takes into
                    >
                    > account lies and greed in its econometrics? Takes into account that
                    >
                    > greed breeds stupidity? You don't need a PhD to realize that the
                    >
                    > Lords of Money don't really know what they're doing, don't even
                    >
                    > understand their own system. What rational choice are they talking
                    >
                    > about?
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > It was Reagan's arms race plus the Afghanistan quagmire that
                    >
                    > bankrupted the Soviet Union, even though the Soviet system played
                    >
                    > its own part in rotting from within. Bankruptcy and Afghanistan –
                    >
                    > why, that sounds like déjà vu all over again!
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > And, as if it couldn't get any crazier, the greatest Wall Street
                    >
                    > swindler in the history of the world turns out to be a Jew. Between
                    >
                    > the murderous Jews with guns and the venal Jews with money schemes,
                    >
                    > is history written by an anti-Semite? Where's that other stereotype,
                    >
                    > those Commie Jews?
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > But now the shit streams toward Obama like lava streaming down
                    >
                    > volcanoes in Hawaii . . . Just a slight shift in power – his
                    >
                    > election was not a revolution, just a shift – and the universe
                    >
                    > conspires to give President Obama a welcome in blood and misery.
                    >
                    > What next? A mid-winter Hurricane? Huge California earthquake?
                    >
                    > Nuclear war between Pakistan and India? The Arctic ice cap dissolves
                    >
                    > like Alka Seltzer?
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Just a shift. Imagine if his election were really a revolution?
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Hilton Obenzinger
                    >
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