A ‘we told you so’ moment


First off let me give props to the blogger(s) who deserves it and Mondoweiss has been the leader in exposing this story to the English reading blogspere.  One can’t say what the outcome of the news that Isreali soldiers purposefully shot and killed innocent civilians will be, but it’s now been said by those who did just that and it’s something that if not apparent by how the Gazan conflict was conducted was certainly pointed out by many people in the blogsphere.

Another squad leader from the same brigade told of an incident where the company commander ordered that an elderly Palestinian woman be shot and killed; she was walking on a road about 100 meters from a house the company had commandeered.

The squad leader said he argued with his commander over the permissive rules of engagement that allowed the clearing out of houses by shooting without warning the residents beforehand. After the orders were changed, the squad leader’s soldiers complained that “we should kill everyone there [in the center of Gaza]. Everyone there is a terrorist.”

The squad leader said: “You do not get the impression from the officers that there is any logic to it, but they won’t say anything. To write ‘death to the Arabs’ on the walls, to take family pictures and spit on them, just because you can. I think this is the main thing: To understand how much the IDF has fallen in the realm of ethics, really. It’s what I’ll remember the most.”

There is no rhymn nor reason for this murder spree committed in the name of “fighting terrorism” which has also been glossed over with “fear” and the threat, as Rupert Murdoch said just the other night that the fate of the entire western world hinges on the existence of Israel. Of course, nothing could be further than the truth; the world existed before the state of Israel, and did rather well it might be argued, just as it will exist well after Israel has become an historic relic just as it once was, but the intent of the leaders of Israel to tie their fate with that of their western sponsors has been a constant thread allowing for the West’s acquiescence towards Israeli atrocities. It is interesting to note, already spin is being generated to calm the furor about the published (read that “leaked“) accounts.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israel Radio that he believed such incidents to be exceptions, adding, “The Israeli Army is the most moral in the world, and I know what I’m talking about because I know what took place in the former Yugoslavia, in Iraq.”

Like most other Israeli analogies the Yugoslavia one is a faulty one.  That conflict which plagued Europe went on for several years, whereas the Gaza invasion was a month long intrusion.  Nevertheless the reality that civilians were targetted has been made clear.  Note the word “lead” in the reference above; this was not something that was to be made known to the public, but rather kept secret in the halls of Israeli government.  I wonder whether it was to be used to build upon or improve what was accomplished/committed in Gaza, the policy of the Israeli government has become just that dastard.  I salute those within Israeli society who exposed this story to the international public; no doubt at great risk to their position in that society.  I wish American politicians were equally courageous, because it will take that kind of courage to stop the madness known as the Israeli government from its murderous rampages.

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killarab1

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Palestinian civilians: An expendable commodity


They left behind their own unique detritus: bullet casings, roasted peanuts in tins with Hebrew script, a plastic bag containing a “High Quality Body Warmer”, dozens of olive-green waste disposal bags, some empty, some stinking full – the troops’ portable toilets.

But most disturbing of all was the graffiti they daubed on the walls of the ground floor. Some was in Hebrew, but much was naively written in English: “Arabs need 2 die”, “Die you all”, “Make war not peace”, “1 is down, 999,999 to go”, and scrawled on an image of a gravestone the words: “Arabs 1948-2009”.

There were several sketches of the Star of David flag. “Gaza here we are,” it said in English next to one.

The genocidal nature of the Israeli invasion of Gaza was designed to kill, intimidate or humiliate the civilian population. Any Hamas killed would probably be considered an unintended consequence; the primary target was the civilian population and the Israelis would use any means necessary.  Those means meant that many were, are, illegal.

On 17 January, a number of white phosphorous shells struck the yard of an UNRWA school in Beit Lahia, causing panic among the 1,600 civilians who had taken refuge there. While evacuating the shelter, an explosive shell struck the third floor of the school, killing two brothers, aged five and seven, and injuring 14 others including the boys’ mother. UNRWA has demanded an independent investigation into this incident. A total of more than 50 UN facilities have sustained damaged since 27 December. There are no bomb shelters in the Gaza Strip, and no alarm systems to warn of impending bombardment.

The Israelis knew where everyone of the UN facilities were and who was in them….civilian refugees fleeing the bombardment or advancing Israeli army.  The claim that  white phospherous was used was responded to by the Israelis that the use of all military munitions was in accordance with international conventions.  A rather dastardly response which further indicates how Israelis view Palestinians in general as all being terrorists.

1. It is prohibited in all circumstances to make the civilian population as such, individual civilians or civilian objects the object of attack by incendiary weapons.
2. It is prohibited in all circumstances to make any military objective located within a concentration of civilians the object of attack by air-delivered incendiary weapons.
3. It is further prohibited to make any military objective located within a concentration of civilians the object of attack by means of incendiary weapons other than air-delivered
incendiary weapons, except when such military objective is clearly separated from the concentration of civilians and all feasible precautions are taken with a view to limiting the
incendiary effects to the military objective and to avoiding, and in any event to minimizing, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects.

Israel agreed to the above conditions when it signed the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, but obviously doesn’t abide by it, or has a very loose definition of what is a civilian.  In the case of Palestinians there are none.

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Quote


“We’ve been coordinating with them (Israeli forces) and yet our staff continue to be hit and killed.” – U.N. spokesman, Chris Gunness

Gaza invasion is on


gaza-invasion-3_002The invasion of Gaza by Israeli forces has begun. Of course it was expected, but there are two points I want to make about it.  This conflict is about land and resources, so to that end if the Israelis can get it without inflicting maximum casualties that’s a plus for them as far as they’re concerned.  Already, Gaza residents are reporting that fliers were released by the IDF saying they should “leave”.  Of course once they do, they cannot return, which suits the Israelis just fine.

“Due to the terrorist actions undertaken by terrorist elements from the region of your residences against the state of Israel, the Israel Defense Forces are compelled to respond immediately in the region of your residences. For your safety, you are ordered to leave the area immediately”

The second point to be made about this invasion is it will inflict heavy civilian casualties, which also suits the Israelis just fine. In fact Israelis don’t consider any Palestinian a civilian, they are all terrorists, young, old, infant, male, female.  Even people who render medical aid and assistance to any one of the aforementioned groups is considered a legitimate target, which is why the Dignity, loaded with medical supplies for Gaza residents was attacked by the Israeli navy and had to abort their mission.

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

Finally, I’m amused at the spin most news reports are giving about the absence of any reaction by Obama to this latest Israeli atrocity, as if anything he says can change what’s taking place on the ground in Gaza.  It appears the absence of Obama’s reaction is why the Israelis are engaging in their blood lust; they can’t help themselves unless an American president stops them.  It’s the old, ‘the devil made me do it’ response with a slight twist.