“…After more than 2,100 mostly-civilian deaths, tens of thousands injured or displaced and chunks of Gaza buried under rubble, they managed to get Israel to serve up some “concessions.”
Israelis seemed decidedly glum. Only 69 died, but there was no decisive “victory” either, which always rankles with the IDF and makes politicians drop in the polls.
…During the seven weeks of brutal attacks against the densely-populated civilian centers, Israel managed to put the Palestinian issue back on the Arab map, draw unprecedented global censure, and give wings to the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) campaign to undermine Israel’s economy. Israel also managed to unify Palestinian political parties across the board – a minor miracle – and make regional heroes out of the “Palestinian Resistance.” With every lash of Israel’s whip, Palestinians found new determination to break the siege of Gaza and end Israel’s occupation.
That’s all well and good, but here’s what needs to be clear: Palestinians did not achieve their goals either.
…Israel loves ceasefires. It is part of the occupation game. Every so often, Israel flexes its muscles and beats up Gaza. The trigger doesn’t even have to come from Gaza – the place is simply a convenient punching bag and is easily justified by the “Hamas-Terror” language beamed through western media.
The goal is always the same, regardless of what the Israelis publicly claim: To take down Hamas & Company a notch or two; to inflict pain on the population of Gaza in hope that they will turn on their leaders; to cripple Gaza enough to keep Palestinians busy rebuilding lives, but not fighting occupation.
The ideal Gaza attack is short and brutal. The longer it continues, the harder it becomes for Israel to control all the “variables” of conflict, and the more likely it is to “incur loss.” Israeli casualties, surprise Palestinian weapons/tactics, negative publicity…these kinds of things can make a routine exercise of “punishing Gaza” into a public relations disaster for a sitting Israeli prime minister.
…A 2009 study that tracked patterns of violence between Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza over the course of 8 years reveals some astonishing data. Unlike what western mainstream media coverage of the conflict suggests, Israel violates the vast majority of ceasefires by “killing a Palestinian” first.
MIT’s Nancy Kanwisher, Princeton University’s Johannes Haushofer and Tel Aviv University’s Anat Biletzki concluded the following in their exhaustive study:
“It is overwhelmingly Israel that kills first after a pause in the conflict: 79 percent of all conflict pauses were interrupted when Israel killed a Palestinian, while only 8 percent were interrupted by Palestinian attacks (the remaining 13 percent were interrupted by both sides on the same day). In addition, we found that this pattern — in which Israel is more likely than Palestine to kill first after a conflict pause — becomes more pronounced for longer conflict pauses. Indeed, of the 25 periods of nonviolence lasting longer than a week, Israel unilaterally interrupted 24, or 96 percent, and it unilaterally interrupted 100 percent of the 14 periods of nonviolence lasting longer than 9 days.”
In short, Israel can’t sit still when things are calm in Gaza for too long.
The study also manages to debunk a widespread Israeli myth about its need to retaliate against “Palestinian rockets.” The researchers amassed precise quantitative data from the IDF and Israeli human rights group B’Tselem on the numbers of Qassam rockets fired between January 2001 and April 2008: “3,645 Qassam rockets fired, but only 15 associated fatalities.”
The researchers then tracked Israeli actions before and after the rocket firings in order to ascertain if their reactions were retaliatory or not (the study tracks the same behaviors for Palestinians).
Seven years of data demonstrates that “Israeli military actions against Palestinians may lead to escalation of violence rather than incapacitation of Palestinian military operations against Israel.” In other words, Israel knows full well that attacks on Palestinians results in “escalation” of conflict.
The report arrives at a startling conclusion after examining the data patterns:
“If prevention of attacks was the main reason for Israeli attacks, one would expect Israeli killings of Palestinians to occur not only before but also after rocket attacks; in fact, one might argue that killings of Palestinians by Israel should increase strongly following rocket attacks, reflecting Israeli operations to shut down the cells that were responsible for the attacks. However, we find that killings of Palestinians by Israel do not in fact increase significantly following rocket attacks. This result suggests that the killings of Palestinians by Israel preceding rocket attacks are usually not preventative measures to suppress rocket attacks.”
Israel has managed to create a conflict-within-a-conflict: all eyes are on Gaza’s next ceasefire, not on ending the occupation. The terms of most of these ceasefires are violated, either immediately or shortly thereafter. After the last major escalation in November 2012, the ceasefire deal was never implemented. There was simply no mechanism for enforcing the agreement, and there never will be one. It is like the Oslo Agreement – a never-ending “process” that doesn’t ever outline the end game, but leaves things up to “further discussion.”
Palestinians are the only ones that can break the occupation and force an end-game, but this will not come about playing by Israel’s rules. Gaza may be the last battlefield, but it is a powerful one. Israel loses every single day it fights with Palestinians – each day brings undeterminable risk to the entire colonial enterprise that is the “Jewish State.”
Palestinian-born Adnan Abu Odeh, a trustee of the International Crisis Group (ICG) and former Jordanian minister, senator and chief of the royal court to King Hussein, framed it this way last week:
“Israel’s locomotive is Zionism. The issue with Israel’s conflicts with Gaza and with southern Lebanon is not about how many Israelis were killed. The issue to them is deeper. Israel is based on two things: bringing Jews from all over world to Israel (Aliyah) and keeping Jews there. Gaza and Lebanon hurt them this way – Jews who want to immigrate to Israel will hesitate. And those already there, they are thinking whether they made a mistake. This is a strike at the core of Zionism.”
Beating up on Gaza periodically is one way of allaying Jewish fears.
...to see Gaza unbowed after 50 days of conflict – the missile capabilities of Palestinian Resistance undiminished, irrespective of “targeted” Israeli operations… That makes Israelis think twice.
What if Palestinians in Gaza did not cease fire? What if nobody and nothing could halt Palestinian outrage and determination to battle through? What if all “concessions”’ were rejected and only a total and immediate end to Israel’s occupation would stop the fight?
What would Israel do? Would it kill every Palestinian in Gaza? Could it bomb any more schools than it already has? When Palestinians inside Gaza swear allegiance to “Resistance” more than Palestinians outside, who has the right to thwart that spirit?
Israel is built on a narrative of persecution and genocide. There is a point at which killing Palestinians triggers vastly “diminishing returns” and we started seeing that as Palestinian casualties rose toward a horrifying new threshold of 2,000 deaths, and the term “genocide” started to be commonly used in relation to Israel’s behavior.
…Israel’s greatest fear is that Palestinians will break out of the ordered processes and patterns set up to control them. That would mean NOT accepting a deal; not participating in the ceasefire game. It also means – and this is crucial – rejecting Oslo, dismantling the compliant Palestinian Authority, reinstating the inclusive PLO as the “sole legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people.”
…Moreover, it means embracing armed resistance against Israel as a tenet of the struggle against occupation. You need the “stick” to make the “carrot” more palatable– an obvious tactic that somehow manages to elude the “well-behaved natives” that head the PA.
Five days after the latest ceasefire went into effect, Israel announced its biggest land-grab in 30 years, from five Palestinian villages in the West Bank.
On the same day, Israel began its game of unraveling ceasefire “concessions” by insisting on more “process.” A key ceasefire deal term was to allow Palestinians to import building materials to help rebuild the devastation in Gaza. After 50 days of negotiations, Tel Aviv now insists a “bilateral committee” be established to oversee this process, consisting of Israel, the PA and the UN? This post-deal demand, the Israelis know, means that All Things will perpetually be tied up in “discussions.”
Israel and its western/Arab allies have a goal. They plan to dismantle the Palestinian Resistance in this last Gaza battlefield. To do that, they will carefully begin to insert their PA partners into all aspects of Gaza’s administration. We will see more initiatives like this after US Secretary of State John Kerry’s upcoming visit to the region. His Saudi and Egyptian partners are on board. Israel will lead this game.
What should Gaza do? It should beef up its existing alliances and continue stockpiling its weapons arsenal. Israel must continue to endure losses, experience pain, and watch its citizens flee the “unpredictability” – take their second passports and leave. There is absolutely no other way forward – none whatsoever.”
“Israeli forces opened fire at fishermen off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday, in apparent violation of the ceasefire agreement reached with Palestinian factions a week ago, fishermen said.
Palestinian fishermen told Ma’an that Israeli warships used machine guns to fire at their boats while they were sailing within the agreed-upon six-nautical-mile limit near Rafah.
…and that navy soldiers fired warning shots into the air.” (saved the best bit for last!)
“On the 22nd August 2014, Chilean congressman Hugo Gutierrez filed a lawsuit against Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, for “crimes against humanity”. He was accompanied by the Palestinian Federation of Chile.
The congressman noted that various international organizations, such as the United Nations, have already described the Israeli attacks as “crimes against humanity”.
No one should be able to commit crimes against humanity without believing that they could be judged for them, he argued. “Thats why I find myself invoking the principle of universal jurisdiction in regard with these crimes,” he explained.
The principle of universal jurisdiction was used by Spain in the case of Augusto Pinochet, while the dictator was in London, and according to Gutierrez, by Israel for detaining and judging the Nazi Adolf Einschmann.
According to international humanitarian law, a military strike is illegal if it kills civilians, except if the death toll is judged proportionate to the concrete and direct military advantage the strike provided.
Yesterday, Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro also criticised Israel, calling the PM, Benjamin Netanyahu, a “Herod of today”, citing the number of children in Palestine who have been killed.”
“During the war, operating rooms in all of Gaza’s hospitals were full of surgeons and obstetricians who worked hard to extract these unborn children alive from the wombs of their dead pregnant mothers, or in some cases, from injured mothers who had suffered serious wounds. But many of these babies did not make it. Nabila’s child died before he was transferred to the nursery section. The physical trauma that the mother sustained when her house collapsed on top of her was too severe.
…A Health Ministry spokesperson in Gaza, Ashraf al-Qudra, told Al-Akhbar that the ministry documented 700 miscarriages “constituting 25 percent of all pregnancies” and more than 50 women dying while in labor during the war. The reason behind the miscarriages, according to Qudra, is the fear that these pregnant woman endured during intense bombing and “while trying to flee dangerous areas. In addition, lack of proper nutrition at shelters also affected them.””
30 July 2014
The Bolivian President Evo Morales this Wednesday condemned the genocide being committed in Gaza and labeled Israel a “terrorist state”, after announcing that his government had revoked the visa exemption agreement with Israel,
“This means, in other words, that we are declaring Israel a terrorist state,”, said President Evo Morales.
“As a country, as people, he have taken the firm decision to denounce and revoke the visa agreement of August 17, 1972 with Israel, which was signed by the Bolivian dictatorship and the permitted Israeli citizens to enter Bolivia freely without a visa requirement,” Morales said.
“This means that we are declaring Israel a terrorist State, in other words, we have to take precautions before permitting the entry of Israelis to Bolivia,” he added. Morales condemned that Israel does not “guarantee the principles of life nor the elementary precepts of rights that govern the peaceful and harmonious coexistence of our international community….”
“Physicians and human rights activists say evidence shows Israel used internationally banned weapons against civilians during its recent military offensive against the Gaza Strip, Press TV reports.
According to international experts and physicians present during the most recent Israeli onslaught on Gaza, Tel Aviv once again used Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME), which are usually carried by US-made Hellfire rockets, against Gaza’s heavily-populated residential areas.
Injuries caused by DIME bombs, also used during Israel’s 2009 offensive, are distinguishable from injuries caused by other weapons.
“Most of the weapons that were used to kill hundreds of civilians in Gaza contained depleted uranium. They also used new weapons that even international experts were unable to figure out their types,” Gaza Bomb Disposal Squad’s Ahmad Abudayyah said.
Reports indicate that Israel also used armor piercing (AP) bombs, causing massive explosions resulting in large numbers of civilian casualties, including many women and children.
Thermobaric weapons were also used to burn down entire residential buildings in Gaza.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) said millions of kilograms of explosives were indiscriminately dumped on civilians in Gaza.
Experts also say that Israeli forces used internationally banned munitions like Flechette shells, which contain depleted uranium and other chemical agents.
During a recent summit on Gaza, internationally renowned Gaza-based Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert said Israeli soldiers intentionally targeted and killed Palestinians children.”
not comedy (as far as I know): Harper’s Nobel Peace Prize nomination slammed as ‘outrageous’ “You don’t know whether to laugh or cry,” says the Canada Palestine Association in Vancouver, in reaction to B’Nai Brith’s nomination of Stephen Harper for a Nobel Peace Prize
“Strong reaction to a national Jewish organization’s nomination of Prime Minister Stephen Harper for a Nobel Peace Prize continues to mount.
On Friday, the head of B’nai Brith Canada announced his intention to put forward Harper’s name for the world’s most prestigious peace prize, for his “outstanding moral leadership” in support of Israel during its conflict with Hamas militants in Gaza.
…“More than any other individual, he has consistently spoken out with resolve regarding the safety of people under threat — such as opposing Russian aggression and annexation of Ukrainian territory — and has worked to ensure that other world leaders truly understand threat of Islamic terrorism facing us today,” Dimant added.
An online petition asking the Norwegian Nobel Committee to deny Harper’s nomination now has 13,000 signatures, mostly from Ontario and British Columbia.
Kawas, who is also a long-time Vancouver radio broadcaster for “Voice of Palestine” – said the Prime Minister’s steadfast political and diplomatic support of Israel makes him complicit in the actions taken by Israel in the conflict.”
“We solemnly request that you deny the nomination from this or any other group or organization.
Norwegian Nobel Committee, Henrik Ibsens gate 51 NO-0255 Oslo Norway
Deny the Nomination of PM Stephen Harper for 2014 Nobel Peace Prize
- Your comments are being seen globally and shows how much Harper is despised…I am getting attacked all over social media now for this petition from Harper supporters aka trolls but I take pride in that as it shows exposing Harper is getting to them
- If you do notice any actual physical threats being directed to me, please forward them to me so I can contact the appropriate authorites
- thank you from the bottom of my heart
- ..and all who signed and commented….
- ..for reporting the petition that I started this past weekend
- by Edward Tanas
- Petition Organizer
since the “cease-fire”, the Zionists have:
via Mohammed Zeyara