“Israeli missiles and artillery shells began striking Gaza again Friday, after a 72-hour ceasefire with Hamas, the Islamist ruling party in Gaza, ended at 8 a.m. local time.
Hamas fired a barrage of about 40 rockets into southern Israel after the ceasefire deadline passed. One rocket injured two men and another damaged a house, but most fell harmlessly in open areas. Six were shot down by the “Iron Dome” missile defense system, Israeli officials claim.
The Israeli attacks over the next 12 hours were far more deliberate and lethal, and seemed calculated to demonstrate the complete indifference to world public opinion of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his war cabinet.
Israeli planes, naval warships and artillery fired on at least 47 targets in Gaza, killing at least five people and wounding 22.
An Israeli drone fired on ten-year-old Ibrahim Dawawsa as he was playing outside in the Sheik Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City, his family said. The New York Times described the impact of the explosion, “leaving a pool of blood from his skull next to a crushed SuperCola can and an abandoned flip-flop.” Two other boys were injured.
The boys were playing near a mosque that was under construction to repair damage from a previous Israeli attack on Gaza, Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009. Two-by-fours for the construction were scattered by the missile blast. “What, the boy was shelling Israel with this wood?” a neighbor asked the Times, adding bitterly, “I’m sure Israel will say he killed himself.”
Neither the Israeli government nor its Western media apologists bothered to answer the question why three boys playing in a yard would be targeted for drone missile assassination.
Health officials in Gaza have put the death toll from one month of Operation Protective Edge, the official title of the Israeli bombing, artillery and ground attacks, at 1,893 Palestinians, including at least 429 children. UN officials estimate that three quarters of those killed by Israeli attacks were civilians.
An Israeli delegation in Egypt for talks on the Gaza crisis left the country one hour before the expiration of the ceasefire, clearly anticipating the resumption of military action by the Israel Defense Force. Israel made no offer to continue the ceasefire and Netanyahu has flatly rejected any lifting of the tight economic blockade of Gaza, the main demand made by Hamas.
A Palestinian delegation empowered to speak for both Hamas and Fatah, the secular party that rules the West Bank, remained in Egypt for talks held under the auspices of the military dictator and president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The top Hamas negotiator, Mussa Abu Marzook, said “there is no commitment to a ceasefire. We will protect our people with everything we have.”
Several Israeli cabinet ministers issued statements after the latest round of strikes on Gaza began, demanding even more savage attacks on the Palestinian people.
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, leader of the ultra-right settler party Bayit Yehudi, called for ending talks in Cairo, saying the expiration of the ceasefire was “a moment of truth for Israeli deterrence in the coming years, and the response must be harsh.” He continued, “I remind the Israeli public Protective Edge is not over and Hamas has not been defeated.”
Housing Minister Uri Ariel was more explicit about the goal of the Israeli intervention, declaring, “This reality must change immediately, which will be made possible by clearly defining the objective to the security forces—toppling Hamas once and for all.”
Only two days before, historian Ze’ev Sternhell, a longtime Peace Now activist and critic of Zionism, publicly denounced Bennett and Ariel as “the most dangerous people,” in an interview with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
Comparing them to the leader of the French neo-fascist National Front, Sternhell said, “They do not understand what human rights are. They truly hate the Arabs, and there is no way for them to coexist with them. They have things in common with Marine Le Pen. In some ways Le Pen is to the left of them.”
While the Netanyahu government discusses whether to resume ground attacks on Gaza, press reports coming out of the blockaded territory paint a horrifying picture of destruction and social deprivation on a mass scale. The electricity, water and sewage systems have been wrecked, and fuel supplies are nonexistent. Nearly half a million people were displaced from their homes.
Palestinian officials have estimated 40,000 homes destroyed or damaged, seven times the number wrecked during Operation Cast Lead five years ago. At least 100 to 120 factories have been destroyed, wiping out the workplaces of thousands of workers. Eighty mosques have been damaged or destroyed, and nearly 150 schools.
The US government has responded to the humanitarian disaster with a swift response—increasing its military aid to the regime that produced it. On Monday, President Obama signed a bill giving Israel $225 million in emergency aid for the Iron Dome anti-missile system, a measure passed by Congress with near-unanimous support and in record time. This comes after the Pentagon, at Obama’s direction, turned over huge quantities of ammunition, bombs and other military materiel to the Israel Defense Forces.”
“As Jewish survivors and descendents of survivors of the Nazi genocide we unequivocally condemn the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza and the ongoing occupation and colonization of historic Palestine. We further condemn the United States for providing Israel with the funding to carry out the attack, and Western states more generally for using their diplomatic muscle to protect Israel from condemnation. Genocide begins with the silence of the world.
We are alarmed by the extreme, racist dehumanization of Palestinians in Israeli society, which has reached a fever-pitch. In Israel, politicians and pundits in The Times of Israel and The Jerusalem Post have called openly for genocide of Palestinians and right-wing Israelis are adopting Neo-Nazi insignia.
Furthermore, we are disgusted and outraged by Elie Wiesel’s abuse of our history in these pages to promote blatant falsehoods used to justify the unjustifiable: Israel’s wholesale effort to destroy Gaza and the murder of nearly 2,000 Palestinians, including many hundreds of children. Nothing can justify bombing UN shelters, homes, hospitals and universities. Nothing can justify depriving people of electricity and water.
We must raise our collective voices and use our collective power to bring about an end to all forms of racism, including the ongoing genocide of Palestinian people. We call for an immediate end to the siege against and blockade of Gaza. We call for the full economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel. “Never again” must mean NEVER AGAIN FOR ANYONE!
Hajo Meyer, survivor of Auschwitz, The Netherlands.
Henri Wajnblum, survivor and son of victim of Nazi genocide, France.
**FULL LIST OF SIGNATORIES AT ORIGINAL POST
If you are a survivor or a descendant of a survivor of the Nazi Genocide and want to sign onto this statement, add your name here.
To donate funds to place this as an ad in the New York Times to counter Elie Wiesel’s manipulation of the Nazi Genocide to attempt to justify the attacks on Gaza, donate here.”
“The Gaza health ministry has confirmed the deaths of at least 1,916 Palestinians in the besieged strip since Israel began its relentless assault on July 8. Among those killed, at least 449 were aged 18 or younger.
More than 70 families have been “massacred” in Gaza in the past 33 days.
According to sources in Gaza’s health ministry, 80 percent of the people killed by Israeli forces in Gaza were civilians.”
*FULL LIST AT ORIGINAL ARTICLE
“With hostilities once again erupting between Israeli forces and Palestine, onlookers must keep in mind the greater agenda in which the current violence is playing out and the stated agenda of achieving hegemony over the Middle East in which Israel plays a pivotal role – as the “unilateral aggressor.”
Israel does nothing unilaterally. It is a stunted, militaristic faux-state that depends entirely on the West for its continued existence. From the funds it builds its military with, to the very hardware it buys and maintains, starting from the day the modern state of Israel was founded up to and including today, Israel is in reality a state-sized forward operating base (FOB).Wikipedia defines a FOB as follows:
“The base may be used for an extended period of time. FOBs are traditionally supported by Main Operating Bases that are required to provide backup support to them. An FOB also improves reaction time to local areas as opposed to having all troops on the main operating base.”
As such, Israel’s constant and otherwise irrational belligerence makes perfect sense. An FOB’s priorities are not prosperity and peace as would a nation’s, but rather to engage forward into enemy territory. The trick over the years has been to portray Israel as a nation, while propping up its constant belligerence and aggression as “self-defense.” To keep this illusion in motion, Israel and its regional and Western collaborators have even created full-time enemies, including Hamas itself – a creation of Israeli intelligence and to this day primarily propped up by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, both of which are defacto regional partners with the West and of course Israel itself.
…Logistically, it is obvious Israel does not exist without Western support, and therefore does not act without Western approval. The illusion of its unilateral aggression is designed specifically to lend the West plausible deniability for brutality and unprovoked aggression it believes it cannot afford to be associated with directly. This is stated across years of US policy papers, including the most definitive report on the subject, Brooking Institution’s 2009 report “Which Path to Persia?”
The report itself conspires to use covert provocations to trigger a war with Iran, to undermine it politically through foreign-sponsored “protests” augmented by covert armed groups, the direct funding, arming, and use of listed terrorist organizations against the Iranian people, and specifically the use of Israel to attack Iran with covert Western backing to make it appear as if Tel Aviv took the steps unilaterally. It specifically states:
“An Israeli air campaign against Iran would have a number of very important differences from an American campaign. First, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) has the problem of overflight transit from Israel to Iran. Israel has no aircraft carriers, so its planes must take off from Israeli air bases. It also does not possess long-range bombers like the B-1 or B-2, or huge fleets of refueling tankers, all of which means that unlike the United States, Israel cannot avoid flying through someone’s air space. The most direct route from Israel to Iran’s Natanz facility is roughly 1,750 kilometers across Jordan and Iraq. As the occupying power in Iraq, the United States is responsible for defending Iraqi airspace. “Which Path to Persia?-page 105 (.pdf)
“From the American perspective, this negates the whole point of the option—distancing the United States from culpability—and it could jeopardize American efforts in Iraq, thus making it a possible nonstarter for Washington. Finally, Israeli violation of Jordanian airspace would likely create political problems for King Abdullah of Jordan, one of America’s (and Israel’s) closest Arab friends in the region. Thus it is exceedingly unlikely that the United States would allow Israel to overfly Iraq, and because of the problems it would create for Washington and Amman, it is unlikely that Israel would try to fly over Jordan.” Which Path to Perisa?-page 106 (.pdf)
“An Israeli attack on Iran would directly affect key American strategic interests. If Israel were to overfly iraq, both the Iranians and the vast majority of people around the world would see the strike as abetted, if not authorized, by the United States. Even if Israel were to use another route, many Iranians would still see the attack as American supported or even American orchestrated. After all, the aircraft in any strike would be American produced, supplied, and funded F-15s and F-16s, and much of the ordnance would be American made. In fact, $3 billion dollars in U.S. assistance annually sustains the IDF’s conventional superiority in the region.” Which Path to Persia-page 106 (.pdf)
“…the Israelis may want to hold off until they have a peace deal with Syria in hand (assuming that Jerusalem believes that one is within reach), which would help them mitigate blowback from Hizballah and potentially Hamas. Consequently, they might want Washington to push hard in mediating between Jerusalem and Damascus.” -page 109 (.pdf)
With the US fully withdrawn from Iraq and Damascus significantly weakened, many of these problems have been adequately addressed, and with the US’ perceived “failure” in and “withdrawal” from the region being eagerly reported by the Western press itself, the stage is set for the ultimate staged “unilateral” attack by Israel, not only against its own Hamas provocateurs, but through a series of dubious associations, Hezbollah, Damascus, and even Iran itself.
…What Israel is doing across the region is both criminal and demands condemnation. However, it must be condemned in the context of a belligerent client regime acting not in the best interests of the Israeli people or toward peace, prosperity, and coexistence with its neighbors, but rather for foreign interests that see the nation instead as a massive forward operating base. Protesting Israel alone is not enough. Boycotting Israeli businesses and industries is also fruitless and even helps play into the engineered strategy of tension constructed by Israel’s sponsors. Israel does not fund its military might by local cottage or even national industry, it does so via immense foreign aid.
Instead, to protest and undermine Israel’s role as regional provocateur, target the corporate-financier interests that feed it billions of dollars annually. Separate, isolate, and protest Israel’s political leadership rather than Israel’s existence and population. Reach out to Israelis who oppose their government’s current posture of perpetual provocations, and those in the middle who may be swayed one way or another.
By throwing rocks at Israel as a whole, one plays into the besieged mentality the government invests immense resources in perpetuating among common Israelis. Those who might otherwise see their government as the villain will seek its protection against irrational external hatred directed at the entire nation rather than at those responsible for its criminal extraterritorial brutality – whether it is in the occupied territories of Palestine, or across the borders of its neighbors in Syria, Iraq, Iran, or beyond.”
Dr. Mads Gilbert: Solidarity with Gaza! If no siege, no tunnels! – If no occupation, no rockets!