When the smoke clears in Gaza

by Robin D. G. Kelley, August 8, 2014

http://blackeducator.blogspot.com/2014/08/gaza-massacre-continues-us-academia-and.html

“We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians” –Nelson Mandela

Israel’s illegal, genocidal war on the people of Gaza has the characteristics of a massive tsunami.
Waged with even greater ferocity than Operation Cast Lead or any other assault since the Nakba of 1948 or the 1967 War, its destructive impact may even be worse. Masked as a war of “self-defense,” the euphemistically-named “Operation Protective Edge” is state violence at warp speed; it is completely indiscriminate yet calculated in its targeting of children and adult civilians, hospitals, schools, shelters, markets, and neighborhoods. So massive the onslaught, so swift the reports on social media, that my twitter feed resembles a ticker-tape machine. No one can write or speak fast enough to keep up with the body count.

As I write now, the Palestinian dead is inching toward the 2,000 mark, the injured close to 10,000; a quarter of Gaza’s population is displaced; about 10,000 homes were destroyed—including 141 schools; entire neighborhoods have been razed to the ground; morgues are filled to capacity as dead bodies lay strewn in streets, under rubble or placed in vegetable refrigerators or commercial ice cream freezers. The lack of electricity, clean water, food, sanitation, medical supplies, among other things, means a variety of infectious, nutritional and water-borne diseases are imminent.

If you are reading this, you’re probably familiar with these terrifying facts. Continue reading

Cowardly, Hypocritical, Subservient Congressional Black Caucus Endorses Israeli Apartheid and Current War Crimes in Gaza

http://blackagendareport.com/content/cowardly-hypocritical-subservient-congressional-black-caucus-endorses-israeli-apartheid-and-

Israeli president Shmon Peres meets with Marcia Fudge, chair of the US Congressional Black Caucus, and a delegation of the Congressional Caucus at the president's residence in Jerusalem. (photo credit: Mark Neyman/GPO/FLASH90)

                                         Israeli President Shimon Peres hosts Marcia Fudge, chair of the US Congressional Black Caucus, and a delegation of the caucus at the president’s residence in Jerusalem.  (February, 2014)

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon, July 30, 2014

Back in the 1970s, when the Congressional Black Caucus began calling itself “the conscience of the Congress,” that was almost literally true. CBC members could be relied upon not just to reliably vote for raising wages and expenditures on housing, health care and education, but to keep the issues of full employment and opposition to unjust war near thefront of their public agendas.

By the late 1980s, a gaggle of former CBC staffers had moved through the revolving doors of elite affirmative action to become corporate lobbyists, with the same ethics and table manners as their white colleagues, but with black faces. Thanks in large part to their efforts, by 2000 a tsunami of corporate cash began filling up the coffers of incumbent CBC members, their black replacements, or in the cases of Alabama’s Earl Hilliard and Georgia’s Cynthia McKinney, their black opponents.

Only a single member of the CBC, Rep. Barabra Lee opposed President Bush’s blank check for invading anywhere he pleased in Septermber of 2001, and by the 2003 invasion of Iraq, four CBC members, some of them swimming in donations from military contractors, raced down to the White House to have their pictures taken with Bush as the bombs were about to explode over Baghdad.

Continue reading

“Boycott Israeli Products” App Gets 350,000 Supporters

By Anthony Cuthbertson, International Business Times, 
August 7, 2014

An app that allows users to search for a product linked to targeted companies or countries in order to boycott them has seen a significant surge in users signing up to anti-Israel campaigns.

Buycott catalogues brands and their affiliations and lets users set up campaigns to either help or avoid funding certain causes. By scanning a product’s barcode with their smartphone camera, consumers are able to determine which brands are associated with which campaigns.

The two most popular campaigns currently on Buycott are Long Live Palestine Boycott Israel and Avoid Israeli Settlement Products. Between them they have close to 350,000 supporters, over a quarter of which have joined in the last 12 hours (at time of publication).

Included on the list of companies implicated by the Long Live Palestine Boycott Israel campaign are McDonald’s, Intel, Nestle and Marks & Spencer.

“This campaign is about ordinary people around the world using their right to choose what they buy in order to help bring about an end to oppression in Palestine,” the campaign’s page states.

Continue reading

London: Indian Workers Join Solidarity with Gaza Demo, 9 August

The National Demonstration for Gaza

London 9th August Saturday 2014

Condemn US, UK-backed Israeli genocidal bombardment of Gaza!
Condemn the killing of Gaza’s innocent women and children!
Stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine!

The Indian Workers’ Association (Great Britain) stands in firm solidarity with people of Palestine and emphatically condemns the Israeli Zionist regime for murdering 1,655 and injuring 8,900 Palestinians during their recent military offensive on Gaza. These figures were still rising as we go to print. More than 74 percent of those killed are civilian. We are seeing gruesome images of decapitated children’s bodies and innocent injured individuals being shot. The Palestinian people in Gaza have no place to run or hide and are helpless against the Israeli tanks and superior fire power. This is not the first time Israel has attacked the Palestinian people in Gaza. The same happened in November 2012 and in winter of 2008-09. These attacks on the Palestinian people are war crimes that are being watched by the US and their allies, including Britain. The western governments shamelessly exercise duplicity. Unlike their stand in Ukraine, Syria, etc. there is no call for sending in the US military or the NATO forces to defend the Palestinian people. In their eyes the people in GAZA don’t matter so intervention on humanitarian grounds is not even a consideration. On the contrary the US imperialist are poised to sell $225m arms to restock the Israeli military arsenal. Continue reading

The Colonial Condescension of Those Who Ask for a “Palestinian Gandhi”

[The people of Gaza have, in their determined resistance, brought many issues to the fore among its supporters and defenders.  Central to these is the right of resistance itself -- "by any means necessary" i.e., with whatever force the defenders can bring to the battlefield.  The forces of self-defense and the struggle for self-determination include moral force, political force, and military force.  Those who claim to support the victims of imperialist and settler-colonial military aggression, but argue against popular military resistance and armed liberation strategies, are denying the very means by which defense is made and by which liberation is won.  In the essay below, Ramzy Baroud of Palestine Chronicle details the background and recent history and "debate" over this issue.  (And, an important, but here secondary, difference with Baroud's concluding paragraphs which cite 'Gandhi's inspiring greatness in the struggle against colonialism' -- this is disputed in India and elsewhere, as, most recently, Arundhati Roy and many others have challenged the iconization of Gandhi as a false anti-colonialist who ushered in an "independent" India without breaking the colonialist cultures and structures and laws of caste, class, and repressive state violence, and without empowering the people who, in their overwhelming majority, live today in the same same oppressive conditions that characterized the period of direct British colonial rule.  But this is a side-point here, which will be further explored separately and soon). -- Frontlines ed.]

Gaza’s resistance paradigm
By Ramzy Baroud, Palestine Chronicle

“Where is the Palestinian Gandhi? In Israeli prison, of course!,” was the title of an article by Jo Ehrlich published in Mondoweiss.net on December 21, 2009. That was almost exactly one year after Israel’s concluded a major war against Gaza. The so-called Operation Cast Lead (December 27, 2008 – January 18, 2009) was, till then, the deadliest Israeli attack against the impoverished strip for many years.

Ehrlich was not in the least being belittling by raising the question about the “Palestinian Gandhi” but responding to the patronization of others. Right from the onset, he remarked: “Not that I’m in any way playing into the Palestinian Gandhi dialogue, I think it’s actually pretty diversionary/racist. But sometimes you have to laugh in order not to cry.”

Indeed, the question was and remains condescending, ignorant, patronizing and utterly racist. But the question was also pervasive, including among people who classify themselves as “pro-Palestinian activists”.

Now that Israel’s latest war – so-called Operation Protective Edge – has surpassed Cast Lead in terms of duration, causalities, level of destruction, but also the targeting of civilians – the Gandhi question seems more muted than usual. To understand why, one needs to first examine the reason of why Palestinians were demanded to produce a non-violent Gandhi alternative in their struggle for freedom in the first place. Continue reading

Under Fire, The Resistance in Palestine and in Diaspora Dispels Illusions, Gathers Force

[In California, several mass protests of the Israeli attack have grown in size and spirit, and sizable numbers of Palestinian youth have taken the lead.  The Arab Resource and Organizing Center has been an important part of these developments.  An AROC speaker at the July 26, 2014 demonstration in San Francisco detailed their views at this crucial juncture. -- Frontlines ed.]

 

From Every Land, the People Stand With Gaza

[In cities and towns worldwide, protests have been raised in solidarity with the people of Gaza.  Many such protests have faced police attacks with clubs and gas, and media condemnation and slanders that standing with Palestinians is somehow anti-Semitic or terrorist.  Yet, still we march in anger at Israel's precision targeted killing of hundreds of civilians, hundreds of children, who are trapped in the world's largest open air prison with nowhere to escape the Israeli bombs.  And the solidarity takes many forms as the false legitimacy of the settler-colonial regime shreds, hour after hour.  In  California, poets established a Facebook group, Artists Against Attacks on Gaza, asking poets to write to and for the names of the dead in Gaza (see http://972mag.com/nobody-should-be-a-number-names-of-those-killed-in-gaza/93274/).  devorah major, the 3rd San Francisco Poet Laureate (in 2003), wrote the following, which, she says, is a poem without end.  -- Frontlines ed.]

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calling the dead

start to read the names and ages

Abed whose name means worship

was a  year  younger than my son

and the forgiving Samih

perhaps his one year old child

the baby of  seven of the Jarad  family

who died together on a Friday

day of prayer as a tank

bombarded their home

Continue reading

In This Time of Resistance to a Genocidal Assault, A Strategic Call for Palestine

[Today, July 31, amidst loudly announced "ceasefire talks" at hand in Cairo, one can't help but think of the endless see-saw of aggression by the gun and the aggression by the pen.  In this article below, the noted Palestinian scholar, Dr. Hatem Bazian, predicts the ominous and dangerous play about to be performed behind the doors in Cairo, based upon his careful and detailed review of the Oslo Accords and Camp David Talks (and other highly-touted but widely seen, in time, as notorious embellishments and extensions of the bloody settler-colonial Zionist regime in the historic land of Palestine).  As the balladeer Woody Guthrie once wrote, "Yes, as through this world I've wandered / I've seen lots of funny men; / Some will rob you with a six-gun, / And some with a fountain pen."  How the appeal of Dr. Bazian -- to keep eyes fixed on the goal of liberation, and not be tricked or dissuaded -- will be carried by the Palestinian representatives in the Cairo talks, will be seen in the days to come. -- Frontlines ed.]

Gaza: A Palestinian War of Independence

Gaza: A Palestinian War of Independence

July 30, 2014

by Dr. HATEM BAZIAN, Director, Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project

The PLO announced the sending of unified delegation to Cairo to participate in intense negotiations with Israel through Egyptian intermediaries intended to institute a ceasefire in Gaza. Leading up to the PLO delegation announcement, PA President Mahmoud visited Saudi Arabia to coordinate and reaffirm support for the Egyptian ceasefire plan. As such, one has to be clear on the unfolding process and the negotiation lines that will become transparent in the next few days. More importantly, how best for the Palestinians as a people, to confront plans coming from the smoke filled rooms in Cairo which seeks to dispossess them one more time but with the complicity and participation of the PA, Arab “leaders” and the Western powers.

Gaza’s resistance and steadfastness, in reality, is a Palestinian war of independence witnessing complete self-reliance and internal grassroots solidarity in the face of Israeli, PA, Arab and Western collusions to maintain the Occupation intact.

Let us again be clear on Israel’s approach to the Cairo negotiations, which at present sees high level coordinating of its positions with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the US with the specific short-term goal of a ceasefire to immediately be followed with restoring Abbas’s authority and power inside Gaza. Israel’s failure in this campaign is as much a result of the lack of intelligence on the ground as it is the success of resistance planning on the ground. As such, immediate reconstitution of Abbas and the PA in Gaza would be the game changer for Israel if the same framework present in the West Bank is permitted to sink roots in the Strip.

Continue reading

Incremental Genocide: An Interview with Israeli historian Ilan Pappe

[Khan Yunis Refugee Camp in Gaza, March 2006. Photo by zoriah via Flickr]

[Khan Yunis Refugee Camp in Gaza, March 2006. Photo by zoriah via Flickr]

In a recent Opinion piece published on Electronic Intifada, Israeli historian Ilan Pappe defines the Israeli policy towards the Gaza Strip as an “incremental genocide.” He writesIsrael’s present assault on Gaza, alas, indicates that this policy continues unabated. The term is important since it appropriately locates Israel’s barbaric action—then and now—within a wider historical context.” Malihe Razazan spoke with Professor Ilan Pappe about ways in which we need to examine the ongoing Israeli military aggression on Gaza within a wider historical background. The interview was conducted on 15 July, prior to the Israeli ground incursion into Gaza.

Israel Claims It Killed 1500+ Palestinian Civilians “in Self Defense” — but Their Intent is Clear:

Israeli Deputy Knesset Speaker Moshe Feiglin Calls for Ethnic Cleansing of Gaza

JULY 25, 2014

by BRETT WILKINS

While the world recoils in horror at the sight of Israeli troops slaughtering Palestinians by the hundreds, one high-ranking Israeli parliamentarian says his country should go further and implement its own final solution in Gaza.

In an Arutz Sheva op-ed, Moshe Feiglin, deputy speaker of Israel’s Knesset (parliament) and a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, outlines his horrifying “solution in Gaza.”

Feiglin, who is banned from entering Britain for “seeking to provoke terrorist acts,” calls for an all-out attack on Gaza with “no consideration for ‘human shields’ or ‘environmental damage.’” He also advocates a “total siege” on Gaza, as if the current siege isn’t total nor devastating enough in its impact on the 1.8 million residents of the world’s largest open-air prison.

After the ‘ultimatum,’ ‘attack,’ ‘siege’ and ‘defense’ phases of Feiglin’s “solution,” we move to what he calls the “conquer” phase.

“The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) will conquer the entire Gaza, using all the means necessary to minimize any harm to our soldiers, with no other considerations.”

That means we’d surely be witnessing more slaughter of innocent men, women, children, infants, the elderly, the ill and the disabled, as if there’s not already enough of that going on in Gaza.

And for what? For Zionist lebensraum and cheaper rent in Tel Aviv: Continue reading

Cruelty of Israel’s Cast Lead assault captured by new documentary

Daryl Meador, The Electronic Intifada, 6 June 2013

WBoy leans against fence with destroyed homes in backgroundhere Should the Birds Fly, the new documentary directed and narrated by Fida Qishta, begins with chilling footage of Israeli bulldozers destroying houses in Rafah in 2004. Qishta, a native of Rafah, the city in the south of the Gaza Strip, watched her parents’ house of 30 years crumble under the bulldozers. As it was destroyed, her father told her and her family to leave and keep walking. “He feared if our eyes took in the sight, our hearts would be filled with hate,” Qishta says.

The young woman channeled the intense anger and frustration felt from this episode, and many others caused by the Israeli blockade, to create a touching film that reveals many of the daily injustices in Gaza.

Qishta began her career as a wedding videographer. After becoming comfortable with the camera, she began to film her surroundings and eventually accompanied human rights observers to document their work.

Much of the first half of the film features scenes of everyday life for Palestinians in Gaza. Qishta left the Gaza Strip in 2006 to visit Europe; when she returned she was forced to wait for three weeks at the border. She filmed the time she spent waiting to re-enter her home.

Shots of the border crossing terminal show tired men, women and children as they waited indefinitely without being offered beds or food.

Targeted by snipers

The documentary visits the farming village of Khozaa, which lies in the Israeli-designated “buffer zone,” land near the boundary with Israel that Palestinians are forbidden from entering. The land, once fertile farmland, is frequently targeted by Israeli sniper fire when farmers attempt to tend it.

The documentary follows farmers as they are accompanied by international activists and try to work the land. Included in this scene is footage of International Solidarity Movement volunteer Vittorio Arrigoni, who dedicated much of his life to working in Gaza and was murdered there in 2011.

Arrigoni stands up against the faraway Israeli soldiers who are shooting at the farmers and yells into a bullhorn, “Stop shooting. We are unarmed.” The shooting continues. Continue reading

Israel OKs oil drilling on occupied Golan

[In addition to this news from UPI, Saudi Arabian news reported that "It’s bad enough that over the decades the strategic plateau has been extensively settled by Israelis; now, Israel would like to get its hands on Syrian oil, a decision liable to have far-reaching political repercussions. The license was awarded to Genie Energy, which is headed by none other than Golan Heights resident and former IDF general and hawkish Likud Cabinet minister Effi Eitam, who fought against Syria in the 1973 war. The company’s shareholders, reports say, include Lord Jacob Rothschild and media mogul Rupert Murdoch, and one of the company’s advisers is former US Vice President Dick Cheney. The troika are all linked in one way or another with important Jewish enterprises."  On the eve of the highly-publicized trip by Barack Obama to Jerusalem, the Israeli's are ratcheting up their bid for further US-supported Zionist expansion. -- Frontlines ed.]

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Israel’s go-ahead for oil exploration on Syria’s Golan Heights is likely to stir a diplomatic hornet’s nest.

Feb. 22, 2013TEL AVIV, Israel, Feb. 22 (UPI) — Israel’s go-ahead for oil exploration on Syria’s Golan Heights, largely occupied since the 1967 Middle East war, is likely to stir a diplomatic hornet’s nest and possibly even retaliatory action by forces engaged in Syria’s civil war.But the timing of the award by the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources of the first oil drilling permit for the territory almost on the eve of a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama to Israel is particularly controversial.The drilling license given to the U.S.-Israeli company Genie Energy covers about half of the southern area on the volcanic plateau that Israel has occupied for nearly 50 years. Continue reading

Killing Hope: Why Israel Targets Sports in Gaza

Israeli Airstrikes Wrecked Palestine Stadium

Dave Zirin, The Nation, November 19, 2012

Let’s start with a fact. On November 16, the Israeli Air Force bombed the 10,000-seat Palestine Stadium “into ruins.”* The stadium also headquartered the center for youth sports programs throughout the Gaza Strip. This is the second time Israel has flattened the facility. The first was in 2006 and the people of Gaza have spent the last six years rebuilding the fields, stands and offices to keep the national soccer team as well as club sports alive in the region.

I’m sure the reaction to this fact will depend on what side people take in the current conflict. For the Israeli government and their supporters, they promised “collective punishment” following the Hamas rockets fired over the border and they are delivering “collective punishment.” Matan Vilnai, deputy defense minister of Israel has in the past threatened a “holocaust” and Gilad Sharon, son of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, called for Gaza to be the new “Hiroshima.” In this context, a sports facility must seem like little more than target practice.

For those attending daily demonstrations against the carnage, this news of a stadium’s destruction must also be seen as an irrelevancy. After all according to The Wall Street Journal, ninety Palestinians, including fifty civilians, have been killed in Gaza. Two hundred and twenty-five children are among the more than 700 injured, and these numbers are climbing. Israeli ground troops are massing at the border and President Obama can only bring himself to defend Israel without criticism. There is only so much concern for a stadium people can be expected to muster.

I think however that we should all take a moment to ask the question, “Why?” Why has the Palestinian sports infrastructure, not to mention Palestinian athletes, always been a target of the Israeli military? Why has the Palestinian domestic soccer league completed only seven seasons since its founding in 1977? Why are players commonly subjected to harassment and violence, not to mention curfews, checkpoints and all sorts of legal restrictions on their movement? Why were national team players Ayman Alkurd, Shadi Sbakhe and Wajeh Moshate killed by the Israeli Defense Forces during the 2009 military campaign? Why did imprisoned national team player Mahmoud Sarsak require a hunger strike, the international solidarity campaign of Amnesty International, and a formal protest from both FIFA and the 50,000-player soccer union FIFpro to just to win his freedom after three years behind bars? Continue reading

What is Israel Really Up to Gaza?

Smoke and fire from an Israeli bomb rises into the air above Gaza City

from Counterpunch by JOHN MEARSHEIMER

In response to a recent upsurge in tit for tat strikes between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza, Israel decided to ratchet up the violence even further by assassinating Hamas’s military chief, Ahmad Jabari. Hamas, which had been playing a minor role in these exchanges and even appears to have been interested in working out a long-term ceasefire, predictably responded by launching hundreds of rockets into Israel, a few even landing near Tel Aviv. Not surprisingly, the Israelis have threatened a wider conflict, to include a possible invasion of Gaza to topple Hamas and eliminate the rocket threat.

There is some chance that Operation ‘Pillar of Defence’, as the Israelis are calling their current campaign, might become a full-scale war. But even if it does, it will not put an end to Israel’s troubles in Gaza. After all, Israel launched a devastating war against Hamas in the winter of 2008-9 – Operation Cast Lead – and Hamas is still in power and still firing rockets at Israel. In the summer of 2006 Israel went to war against Hizbullah in order to eliminate its missiles and weaken its political position in Lebanon. That offensive failed as well: Hizbullah has far more missiles today than it had in 2006 and its influence in Lebanon is arguably greater than it was in 2006. Pillar of Defence is likely to share a similar fate.

Israel can use force against Hamas in three distinct ways. First, it can try to cripple the organisation by assassinating its leaders, as it did when it killed Jabari two days ago. Decapitation will not work, however, because there is no shortage of subordinates to replace the dead leaders, and sometimes the new ones are more capable and dangerous than their predecessors. The Israelis found this out in Lebanon in 1992 when they assassinated Hizbullah’s leader, Abbas Musawi, only to find that his replacement, Hassan Nasrallah, was an even more formidable adversary. Continue reading