Saturday, 2 August 2014

Understanding Israel’s War as Racist Is Crucial to Ending Occupation

The nearly month-long attack by Israeli forces on Gaza has revealed that anti-Arab racism permeates many levels of Israeli society. Indeed, to acknowledge Palestinians as humans worthy of a state, a home and basic necessities such as medical care, electricity, food and water, would undermine the brutality of Operation Protective Edge.
View image on TwitterRacism among the Israeli population is either stronger than ever, or simply more visible today thanks to social media and the proliferation of online means of expression.
Some Israelis are openly thrilled that Gaza is being leveled. A Danish reporter came upon a cheery group of people who gathered outdoors in the southern Israeli town of Sderot with folding chairs and popcorn to watch the air war, clapping each time a bomb dropped on Gaza. Other Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv to celebrate the killing of Gaza’s children. 
They were videotaped singing a song whose words included, “In Gaza there’s no studying; No children are left there,” and calling for violence against two of the Israeli Knesset’s Arab members.
They’ll take their papers away.
They’ll take their papers away.
They’ll take their papers away.
Olé, olé, olé-olé-olé
In Gaza there’s no studying
No children are left there,
Olé, olé, olé-olé-olé,
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Gaza is a graveyard
Gaza is a graveyard
Gaza is a graveyard
Gaza is a graveyard
The verbal vitriol is also flowing strongly. Early on in Israel’s operation, writer David Sheen compiled a list of what he called “Terrifying Tweets of Pre-Army Israeli Teens,” which included such gems as “Death to these fucking Arabs” and “We wage war so this will be our land without any Arabs.”
But the racism has gone beyond mere celebrations of war and death. While the horrific revenge killing of 15-year-old Mohammad Abu Khdeir is being dismissed as an extremist act, and the police beating of his cousin Tariq Abu Khdeir is being “investigated,” more attacks have followed with little U.S. media attention. For example, Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz noted that “two Palestinian youths were reportedly assaulted by a Jewish mob in Jerusalem.”
Professor David Shulman, who teaches at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, went further, writing in a July 12 column that “Israel has witnessed a wave of racist hatred on a scale perhaps not known before.” Shulman also cited the advent of “Israeli lynch gangs prowling the streets of downtown Jerusalem … and organized Fascist groups attacking any Palestinians unlucky enough to be going home late at night, after work.”
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‘If anybody is more guilty of Gaza genocide than the Israelis, it is the Americans’

gaza-conflict-ceasefire-usa.si
Israel gets signals from the US that it can do whatever it wants, so Tel-Aviv keeps refurbishing its weapons so that it could kill more Gazans, independent researcher and writer Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich told RT.
RT:What are the chances that the ceasefire will hold?
Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich: It seems that we are having incremental ceasefires for an incremental genocide. One has to understand the thinking that is behind all this as much as one does regret a single death; I do not care on which side. It is against the Zionist ideology to have a truce as Yitzhak Shamir said in 1997. So to think that they will give up the notion of taking over the whole of the land which they consider the Greater Israel – it is just not going to happen. What happens is we keep having these little ceasefires and then again the killings start anew. It also gives room to Israel to breath because international public opinion has turned against them, it now gives a kind of sense of credibility that they are really going to step back and allow you to take away the dead while they still continue to do destroy the tunnels which are the life saver for the Gazans, and at the same time come back and bomb what is left of you. It is really a travesty of justice and it is in violation of every human rights law and international law. I am just amazed at the UN for not calling it as it is which is genocide, if you look at the convention for prevention of genocide and punishment, and specifically in the Article 2. Everything that is happening in Gaza indicates it is genocide, and Mr. Ban Ki Moon’s predecessor Kofi Annan in 2004 addressed the UN Commission of Human Rights and he said part of his biggest regrets was that he did not stop the Rwanda genocide and the warning signs were there.
RT: The Israelis and Palestinians are set to hold negotiations in Egypt. Washington is also sending a delegation to Cairo. Do you think we can expect the U.S. to increase pressure on its ally?
SS: Frankly, I don’t think the US will ever increase pressure on Israel, but I have to point out that Egypt is not an honest broker and it is the last place you would want to have these negotiations in. If I were a Palestinian I would object to it. You have to understand that General Al-Sisi was held as a hero to all Jews. Do you think he will be an honest broker, especially since about three-four months ago the Israelis and the Egyptians signed an agreement whereby the gas has been stolen from the Palestinians, Israel was sending it through Egypt to a liquification plant and Egypt will benefit from this, and gas will be exported all over the world including Europe. To think for a moment that there is any good that will come out of the Egyptians brokering the so-called truce is being very naïve. I think that either Hamas is being played or maybe they too are buying time. Again, all other truces will not go anywhere unless any political solution is found and that political solution will only happen if the blockade is lifted, if the Gazans and Palestinians are allowed to live in peace. They are the ones who have been occupied and we cannot lose trace of this fact – they are leaving under occupation.
A Palestinian woman carries her belongings from her destroyed house in the Shejaia neighborhood, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during an Israeli offensive, in the east of Gaza City August 1, 2014. (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)
A Palestinian woman carries her belongings from her destroyed house in the Shejaia neighborhood, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during an Israeli offensive, in the east of Gaza City August 1, 2014. (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)
RT: As one of the conditions to a permanent truce, Hamas demands that Israel lift the blockade of Gaza. Israel calls this a non-starter. What solution do you see here?
SS: There is not a solution. There is no real solution until an international community, not US allies, but the global community, makes demands on Israel. And they are doing that, they are speaking out. But to think that the blockade will not be lifted – this is a crime. I do not particularly like Hamas but I do stand with them firmly on this.
RT: Does the responsibility for the situation fully lie on Israel?
SS: The day the ground invasion of Gaza started was the day that the Malaysian plane was shot down in eastern Ukraine. I think as analyst we need to sit and connect all these links. And in fact Russians in January offered to develop the gas fields for Gaza. At the time of the 2009 assault on Gaza the British offered to develop the gas for the Gazans and the Israelis said “we will never buy gas from them.” They attacked and took over everything again. So this is not more about land, about water, about power and it will not go anywhere until Israel has stopped. In 1947 Israel killed a representative of the UN Bernadotte, and it told the world that it wouldn’t have limits. In 1967 it killed American crew members of the USS Liberty, the American government covered it up. This also signals to Israel that “you can do whatever you want and we’ll have you back.” And they do. They are refurbishing their weapons so that they could kill more Gazans. If anybody here is more guilty than the Israelis, it is the Americans. It is America that is responsible for what is happening 100 percent. We cannot just point finger at Israel. Nothing will be stopped until America stops its support.
RT: What should the US do then?
SS: If America wanted the negotiations to go anywhere, instead of condemning what’s happening which is massacring children America would say “I will stop all aid to you until you can to the table, until you negotiate.” America is not saying that, it is sending more weapons.
Egypt is not honest in all this, Egypt has a lot to gain aligning itself with Israel, which it has done. Saudi Arabia is supporting this regime in Egypt that is not on the side of the Palestinians, they are in fact siding with Israel. You can go and negotiate with people if there is something to be negotiated, if you trust in their honesty and good will of the persons that are at the negotiating table. Egypt is not, United States is not. The US government is beholden to Israel.
A Palestinian girl carries a child across rubble from a building that police said was destroyed by an Israeli air strike, in the Burij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip August 1, 2014. (Reuters/Finbarr O'Reilly)
A Palestinian girl carries a child across rubble from a building that police said was destroyed by an Israeli air strike, in the Burij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip August 1, 2014. (Reuters/Finbarr O’Reilly)
You look around and it is just shocking that in America a Jewish woman was arrested for reading out the names of children that were killed in Gaza by Israel. This is the country that is promoting itself as promoting democracy and human rights. The fault lies here and America needs to change its course in order for Israel to change course. Otherwise we will be having this conversation 3 weeks from now, 3 months from now, 3 years from now. It’s just a slow death for the Palestinians. We have this truce in place, we have these peace talks and then there is need for more settlements and then something comes out and it is just all over again.
The world has become so desensitized because it’s not new. They are so used to this going on, that they disregard it and look the other way at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Hamas as a terrorist, but they really have lost interest in wanting to save human lives and this blows in the face of all international laws. If there are no laws in this world that we need to abide by at the international arena, then why should we have laws at home. If there is somebody coming and killing me, well… there are no laws.
I think this matter is far more serious than we give it credit. It is a news item, but it’s [also] a humanitarian item, it’s all about humanity and it really needs to be. It will either be resolved with half of the global community, people that are speaking out and Israel will be stopped or else they will not be stopping it, it will be too late.
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This is what a Gen. of Russian special force about Hezbollah هذا ما قاله جنرال بالقوة الخاصة الروسية عن حزب الله

هذا ما قاله جنرال بالقوة الخاصة الروسية عن حزب الله


 تاريخ النشر : 2014-08-02 07:27:48
جنرال بالقوة الخاصة الروسية يقول: بعد الاجتماع مع قادة امنيين وعسكريين من حلفائنا لدراسة الاوضاع السائدة في الشرق الأوسط لمعرفة الامور واستدراك الوضع تبين ما يلي:

مع دخول ما يعرف بالمقاومة اللبنانية الموصوفة بحزب الله إلى سوريا انقلبت المعادلة في سوريا ولم نعد قادرين على فرض السيطرة على زمام المبادرة، وكلما نضع خطة أمنية أو عسكرية لتسليمها إلى الجيش السوري لبسط سيطرته على منطقة، كنا نتفاجأ برجال نصر الله قد وضعوا خطط أشد تعقيداً منا وأشد شراسة وعلى مدى قصير، وبعدها العراق حيث شرح لنا جنرال عراقي وادميرال ايراني أنهم واجهوا عقداً كثيرة اثناء تحليلهم لطوبوغرافيا العراق الى أن وضع ضابط رفيع المستوى من حزب الله تكتيكاً اذهل الحضور واندرج هذا التكتيك قيد البحث ليدرس في الكليات الروسية.

ووضع غزة المعقد في ظل ما يواجهه أهل غزة على مدى أعوام من حصار وقيد ورقابة وما تبين الآن في هذه المعركة وباعتراف القادة الميدانيين الفلسطنيين أن لا يوجد سوى بصمات حزب الله على هكذا تكتيك.
لذا نحن كجنرالات وقادة عسكريين تبين لدينا ما يلي:

أن حزب الله يملك اناسا يملكون قادة لا يملكها ولن يملكها اي جيش في العالم منذ بدء العمل العسكري ولديه مقاتلون مخلصون رغم شراستهم وابرياء رغم عنفهم وهم المثال العريض للمقاتل الميداني.

وان كل المعطيات لدينا تقول أن حزب الله اتخذ مرتين قرار ابادة اسرائيل ولكن لظرف ما أجل العملية ولكنه لم يلغها ونعتقد أنها أقرب مما نتصور ولكنه يربط هذه المعركة بعقيدة معينة وسوف نشهدها قريباً.
موقع جنوب لبنان
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Video: ISIL shoot teens in heads, dump bodies

Jul 29, 2014, Press TV [VIDEO AT ORIGINAL PRESS TV LINK]
The ISIL Takfiri militants has released a video showing the terrorist forces shooting a number of Iraqi teenagers in the head and dumping their bodies in the river.
The ISIL released the 30-minute footage on its website on the occasion of the Eid al-Fitr.
The video shows masked ISIL terrorists taking the teens to a river. Then, they shoot them in the head on the river bank and throw their bodies in the water.
It is not clear whether the victims are Iraqi forces or civilians but the footage mentions that they are Shia.
The footage also warns the Iraqi forces of facing the same fate if they resist against the ISIL Takfiris.

Iraq’s Ministry of Human Rights says ISIL Takfiri extremists are using Iraqi children as human shields.
The Human Rights Watch has also confirmed the report that the ISIL Takfiri extremists are using children as human shields to carry out their acts of violence. The organization also said the extremists recruit children to help them in their fight against Iraqi government forces.
The crisis in Iraq escalated after the ISIL terrorists took control of Mosul in a lightning advance on June 10, which was followed by the fall of Tikrit, located 140 kilometers (87 miles) northwest of the capital Baghdad.
The Iraqi army, backed by tribal forces and volunteers, has been engaged in heavy fighting with the militants on different fronts and has so far been able to push back militants in several areas, including in Tikrit.

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Five Things You Can Do About Gaza


Displaced Palestinian boys play on carts at an UN school in Jabalia in northern Gaza on July 28.
As the child death toll in Gaza soars past 200, many people want to support Gaza from a distance, but don’t know how. Below is a list of simple actions you can take.
1. Donate
The Israeli assault on Gaza has devastated its people and infrastructure. Gaza, already in a humanitarian crisis due to the eight-year-long Israeli imposed siege, is now in a state of heightened crisis.
If you are financially capable of donating to organizations that provide direct relief, here are some organizations we suggest: UNRWA-USAUnited Palestinian Appeal, and American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA).
If you would like to donate to DCI-Palestine’s monitoring and documentation efforts in the Gaza Strip, there are two ways to do so.
A) DCI-Palestine is able to accept tax-deductible US donations from US donors in partnership with CAF America in the amount of US$500 or more. Please click here.
B) For donations less than US$500, we can accept bank transfers to the account below:
Bank transfers in USD:
Defense for Children International–Palestine Section
9490-658067-0/510 USD
Arab Bank PLC
Ramallah (Al–Balad Branch), Palestine
Swift code: ARABPS 22090
IBAN: PS11 ARAB 0000 0000 9490 6580 6751 0
All donations received by DCI-Palestine support direct program implementation. In urgent situations like the current escalation in Gaza, funds are used to increase our capacity to gather evidence and record individual narratives and testimonies. All of the documentation and evidence collected by our field researchers on the ground is used to pursue justice and accountability for violations of children’s rights.
2. Protest
Protests around the globe in support of Gaza and the Palestinian people have drawn thousands in the last three weeks. From Tel Aviv to New York to Geneva, concerned citizens are drawing attention to the crisis in Gaza by publicly demonstrating. Find out about a protest near you here.
3. Stay Informed
DCI-Palestine posts daily updates on the child victims of the assault on Gaza, which you can read here. The Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), a UN body, publishes daily reports to their website. For live updates, check Al Jazeera Englishthe Guardian, and Haaretz. Also, check “13 journalists on the ground in Gaza you should follow on Twitter.”
If you are having trouble understanding the context and law behind the specifics of the situation in Gaza today, Noura Erakat, human rights attorney, provides great answers in her article “5 Israeli Talking Points on Gaza -Debunked.”
Essential Reading:
How the West Chose War in Gaza
By Nathan Thrall | The New York Times
Collective Punishment in Gaza
Rashid Khalidi | The New Yorker
4. Get Social
Sharing information and analysis on Gaza helps others in your networks understand the situation, and compels them to act. Posting recent articles and analysis to your Facebook is one way to do this. Using trending hashtags on Twitter with simple messages is another option. Below are a few sample tweets:
5. Call Government Representatives
If you live in a country with elected representatives, calling or writing to them is an important way to support Gaza from home. You can contact you Members of Congresshere.
Here’s a sample script for a U.S. citizen:
“I am a constituent in the [representative’s district] and I am calling to urge for an arms embargo on Israel. I am appalled by our government’s ongoing support of the assault on civilians in the Gaza Strip. As Amnesty International pointed out earlier this month, the United States is violating its own policy (specifically the Arms Export Control Act) by supplying weaponry to the state of Israel when there is evidence that weaponry has been used, and will continue to be used, in human rights violations. There is an urgent need for an UN-imposed arms embargo on Israel, and the U.S. must contribute to this effort by ending the transfer of munitions, weapons, and training to Israel.”
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Libya a complete mess: Thanks, Obama.


Libya a complete mess: Thanks, Obama

World Post
Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014
Militant fighters overran a Libyan special forces base in the eastern city of Benghazi on Tuesday after a battle involving rockets and warplanes that killed at least 30 people.
A special forces officer said they had to abandon their main camp in the southeast of Benghazi after coming under sustained attack from a coalition of Islamist fighters and former rebel militias in the city.
“We have withdrawn from the army base after heavy shelling,” Saiqa Special Forces officer Fadel Al-Hassi told Reuters.
A separate special forces spokesman confirmed the militants had taken over the camp after the troops pulled out. Part of the area is Camp 36 in the Bu Attni district and the special forces school.
Intense fighting in Benghazi, Libya’s second city, and battles between rival militias in the capital Tripoli have pushed the nation deeper into chaos after two weeks of the fiercest violence since the civil war which ousted Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Benghazi has been at the centre of fighting between special forces and ex-rebel fighters of the Benghazi Shura Council who have joined up with the Ansar al Sharia, a militant Islamist group, residents said.
Ansar al Sharia, classified as a terrorist organization by Washington, has been blamed by authorities for attacking the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in 2012 when the U.S. ambassador was killed.
Special forces and some regular air force units had recently joined forces with a renegade former army general, Khalifa Haftar, who had launched a self-declared campaign to clear the city of Islamist militants.
A government MiG warplane crashed during Tuesday’s fighting in Benghazi. A Reuters reporter saw the pilot parachuting to ground after hearing an explosion.
Since clashes erupted two weeks ago, foreign states followed the United States and the United Nations in pulling diplomats out of the North African oil-producing state. Fighting in Tripoli between two rival brigades of former anti-Gaddafi rebels closed the capital’s international airport.
A rocket hit a fuel depot near Tripoli airport two days ago, igniting a huge blaze that fire-fighters were still trying to put out. Italy’s government and Italian oil group ENI had agreed to help them, the government said.
A member of the new Libyan parliament Mustafa Abushagor, due to take office in August, was kidnapped in Tripoli on Tuesday by unknown assailants, the state news agency LANA reported, citing security sources.
MILITIAS FIGHT FOR UPPER HAND
Three years after Gaddafi’s fall, the OPEC nation has failed to control ex-rebel militias who refuse to disband and who are threatening the unity of the country. The extent of recent hostilities has increased Western worries that Libya is sliding towards becoming a failed state and may once again go to war.
Despite the violence, Libya’s oil production remained at around 500,000 barrels per day, and its oilfields are secure, Samir Salim Kamal, director of planning at the oil ministry told Reuters on Tuesday.
That was an increase from earlier this year when unrest pushed output as low as about 200,000 bpd, but it remains well below the usual 1.4 million bpd.
While the tribal way of life declined as growing oil wealth attracted Libyans to towns and cities, traditional power structures remain strong in the nation of about six million people.
Gaddafi’s strategy effectively amounted to a system of divide and rule, buying off established tribal leaders.
In Egypt, the army has proved to be the supreme political force but in the post-Gaddafi era the Libyan militias are fighting for power, influence and oil wealth.
Tripoli was quieter on Tuesday than over the last fortnight during which the two brigades of former rebels, mainly from the towns of Zintan and Misrata, have pounded each other’s positions with Grad rockets, artillery fire and cannons, turning the south of the capital into a battlefield.
Nearly 200 people have died in Tripoli and Benghazi during the clashes in the two cities, according to the health ministry and local medical officials.
FUEL TANKS ABLAZE
A spokesman for the National Oil Corporation said on Tuesday the armed factions in Tripoli had agreed to a brief cease-fire to allow emergency services to fight the blazing fuel storage tanks containing millions of litres of fuel.
The tanks are operated by Brega oil company, which is owned by NOC, and store oil for consumption in Libya.
Black smoke billowed from one of the tanks hit by a rocket on Sunday near the airport road. The highway and surrounding areas were empty after homes in the area were evacuated, except for occasional militia roadblocks.
Fire-fighters were spraying the area with water to cool down storage depots near the fuel tank that was set ablaze to try to extinguish the inferno.
The United States, whose embassy is near the contested airport, evacuated its embassy staff in Tripoli on Saturday, driving diplomats across the border into Tunisia under heavy military guard including air support from warplanes.
Britain, other European governments, Turkey and the Philippines have also pulled out diplomatic staff or left just a few representatives behind in Tripoli, where the violence is also causing fuel and power shortages.
France and Spain on Tuesday were evacuating more nationals and some diplomats from Tripoli, according to LANA. Canada is temporarily pulling out its diplomats due to fears about their safety, Foreign Minister John Baird said on Tuesday.
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Israel: Hamas Violated Ceasefire by Hitting ATTACKING Israeli Troops

by Jason Ditz, August 01, 2014
The narrative surrounding Hamas being to first to “violate” the 72-hour ceasefire is taking a strange turn today, with Israel claiming that their own ground troops were in the process of attacking a Hamas tunnel when they were “attacked” by the Hamas fighters inside that same tunnel.
Among the attackers, according to the Israeli military, was a suicide bomber, who killed two Israeli soldiers. A third soldier was reportedly “captured”by other Hamas fighters, though since those fighters died in Israeli shelling it is unclear if the Israeli soldier survived.
Hamas, for their part, reported the ceasefire was actually violated by Israeli tanks before the tunnel clash, when they opened fire in southern Gaza, killing four people including a Reuters photographer.
Israel seems to be basing their own “Hamas violated first” story on Prime Minister Netanyahu’s promise to keep attacking tunnels with or without a ceasefire, implying that the attacks on the tunnels shouldn’t be a surprise and shouldn’t themselves count as a violation.

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US to Train, Arm Ukraine National Guard in 2015


Local Editor

Ukraine military personnelThe Obama administration has notified Congress of its plans to train and arm the Ukrainian national guard next year, the Pentagon said on Friday, as Washington continues to intensify its response to Moscow's support for rebels in eastern Ukraine.

"The Defense Department and State Department have notified Congress of our intent to use $19 million in global security contingency fund authority to train and equip four companies and one tactical headquarters of the Ukrainian national guard as part of their efforts to build their capacity for internal defense," Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters.

The training, which requires congressional approval, would occur at a location within Ukraine that hosts multilateral exercises, Kirby said. The trainers would be provided by U.S. Army Europe and by the California National Guard, he added.

Earlier on Friday, President Barack Obama urged Russian leader Vladimir Putin to stop supporting separatists in eastern Ukraine and to seek a diplomatic end to the crisis. Washington and European nations announced new sanctions against Russia earlier this week.

While the United States has repeatedly slammed Russia's troop buildup along the border with Ukraine and its support for the rebels, the Obama administration has limited military assistance to non lethal aid such as medical supplies and helmets.

Also on Friday, the United States pledged about $8 million in new aid to bolster the Ukrainian border guard service.

Source: Websites
02-08-2014 - 14:54 Last updated 02-08-2014 - 14:54

Hell On Earth – Gaza

 


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We saw it in Lebanon during the 2006 July War, in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead in 2008 and we are witnessing it again in the besieged Strip today
In a delusional attempt to break the will of a resisting people, the cowardly Israeli war machine engages in the incessant massacring of children, women, civilians and the systematic destruction of homes, hospitals, schools and other infrastructures.
Make no mistake though, the latest genocidal Israeli assault is not merely a plot against Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the other armed Palestinian factions, it is a continuation of the expansionist Zionist entity’s wider strategic aims to redraw the map of our region and eradicate resistance movements in Lebanon and Palestine as well as the last bastion of state-level Arab resistance in Syria.
Just as Hizbollah shattered this scheme in 2006 and emerged stronger however, and as the Syrian Arab Republic is triumphing over the conspiracy waged against it, the steadfast Palestinian people and their fearless Resistance fighters are defeating this project today, for the grassroots culture of resistance cannot be destroyed and no amount of colonialist savagery will change the fact that the illegitimate, un-viable, and alien Zionist entity has no place in our midst. 
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Israel uses Palestinians as human shields but US lawmakers condemn Hamas

A market in the Shujaiya district of Gaza City was attacked by Israel yesterday; at least 17 people were killed. 
 (Ashraf Amra / APA images)
by Rania Khalek on Thu, 07/31/2014 
Both houses of the US Congress are considering passing a resolution that condemns Hamas for using human shields despite not having any evidence to prove Hamas is employing this tactic.
Over the last 22 days, the Israeli army has deliberately bombed family homes, UN shelters, schools, places of worship, hospitals, water infrastructure and more, killing more than 1,300 Palestinians, 80 percent of whom have been civilians, including nearly 300 children.
In propaganda echoed by the US State Department, the Israeli government has repeatedly claimed that Hamas is using women and children as human shields to protect its weapons and rocket launchers, forcing Israel to massacre innocent Palestinians.
The only evidence Israel has provided for this unsubstantiated accusation is cartoon sketches.
But even The New York Times has conceded that “There is no evidence that Hamas and other militants force civilians to stay in areas that are under attack.”
The BBC’s Middle East editor, Jeremy Bowen, similarly declared, “I saw no evidenceduring my week in Gaza of Israel’s accusation that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields.”
But Israel’s pathetic drawings are all the evidence US elected officials need to absolve Israel of responsiblity for war crimes.

Double standards

In the House of Representatives, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican, introducedResolution 107 on 16 July, “Denouncing the use of civilians as human shields by Hamas and other terrorist organizations in violation of international humanitarian law.” With 76 co-sponsors — 47 Republicans and 29 Democrats — the bill is awaiting consideration in the House’s foreign affairs committee.
On 24 July, an identical resolution was introduced in the Senate by Ted Cruz, a Republican,  and co-sponsored by Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat.
Like the House bill, the Senate version slams Hamas for “placing its underground tunnel network and missile batteries in densely populated areas, and in and around schools, hospitals, and mosques” and “calls on the international community to recognize the grave breaches of international law committed by Hamas in using human shields.”
Besides ignoring the fact that all of Gaza is densely populated, this accusation fails to address that Israel also places its military command centers among civilian populations, most notoriously HaKirya, the Israeli army headquarters, which is located in the heart of densely populated Tel Aviv, surrounded by malls, museums, hospitals, schools and so on.
Perhaps one day Israel will be held to the same standards as Hamas by US elected officials, but for now it appears the “most moral army in the world” can do as it pleases.
The bill goes on to condemn some 2,000 rockets fired by Hamas at Israel but makes no mention of the more than 3,000 tons of precision-guided explosives that Israel deliberately dropped on Gaza’s civilian population and infrastructure in the first fifteen days of this onslaught.

Praising Israeli “warnings”

Next, the bill praises Israel for warning Palestinians in advance with leaflets and text messages before obliterating their neighborhoods, though it neglects to note that the people of Gaza have nowhere safe to evacuate to, given that they are prevented from leaving the tiny coastal enclave, where nothing, not even hospitals, is off limits for Israeli bombs.
Still, the bill declares that Israel “goes to extraordinary lengths to target only terrorist actors,” which suggests that the bill’s authors believe hospitals, playgrounds, family homes and UN schools sheltering the displaced (at least six have been shelled by Israel) qualify as “terrorist” targets.
Most outrageously, the bill equates Hamas with al-Qaida and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Hamas is the Palestinian political party that was democratically elected in 2006 to govern the occupied West Bank and Gaza. It also happens to have a military wing engaged in armed resistance against the State of Israel, a state that has been ethnically cleansing Palestinians from their indigenous lands for nearly seventy years, in what amounts to “incremental genocide,” according to the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe.
Likening Hamas’ armed resistance to a rogue sectarian militia that is slaughtering civilians in Syria and Iraq is utterly absurd and irresponsible propaganda that only the most extreme of Israel’s supporters are spreading.

Israel should be condemned

Ironically, it is Israel that has a well-documented history of using Palestinian civilians, including children, as human shields. In what is referred to as “the neighbor procedure,” Israeli soldiers force Palestinian civilians to approach armed suspects and homes potentially rigged with explosives to protect the lives of soldiers.
Israel was condemned by the United Nations as recently as last year for its “continuous use of Palestinian children as human shields and informants.”
More recently, Palestinian civilians have accused Israeli forces of using them as human shields in the Khuzaa neighborhood in Gaza, which has been the site of heavy shelling.
If anyone should be condemned for using human shields, it is clearly Israel.
Nevertheless, the US Senate has already unanimously passed two resolutions reaffirming America’s unconditional support for Israel’s right to carry out massacres in Gaza.
Meanwhile, the US was the only nation to vote against a United Nations inquiry into possible Israeli war crimes in Gaza.
In other words, don’t be suprised if the Senate resolution, currently making its way through the Senate’s foreign relations committee, passes without a word of dissent.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
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