Roger Waters: GAZA Shall Overcome

“Today, hundreds of thousands, tomorrow, millions, soon, hundreds of millions. We Shall Overcome” –Roger Waters

Yesterday, Roger Waters, ex-vocalist & co-founder of the much acclaimed Pink Floyd, launched his own youtube channel, and his first video is a response to the Gaza Flotilla. The song “We shall overcome” is a song by Waters, in solidarity with Gaza’s plight and the Palestinian cause in general.

In 29 Dec 2009 , Waters sent the Gaza Freedom March a message of support, solidarity & goodwill. Here is the full text of Waters’ message:

“My name is Roger Waters. I am an English musician living in the USA. I am writing to express my great admiration for and solidarity with the 1,360 men and women from 42 different countries around the World who are gathering in Egypt, preparing for The Gaza Freedom March.

We all watched, aghast, the vicious attack made a year ago on the people of Gaza by Israeli armed forces and the ongoing illegal siege. The suffering wrought on the population of Gaza by both the invasion and the siege is unimaginable to us outside the walls.

The aim of The Freedom March is to focus world attention on the plight of the Palestinian people in Gaza, in the hope that the scales will fall from the eyes of all ordinary, decent people round the world, that they may see the enormity of the crimes that have been committed, and demand that their governments bring all possible pressure to bear on Israel to lift the siege.

I use the word ‘crimes’ advisedly, as both the siege and the invasion have been declared unlawful by United Nations bodies and leading human rights organizations. If we do not all observe international law, if some governments think themselves above it, it is but a few short, dark, steps to barbarism and anarchy.

The Gaza Freedom March is a beacon to all those of us who believe that under the skin, we are all brothers and sisters, who must stand shoulder to shoulder, if we are to make a future where all have recourse to law and universal human rights. Where life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is not just the preserve of the few.

All the oil in The Middle East is not worth one child’s life. So to those of you who march, I tip my hat. It is a brave and noble thing you do, and when you reach your goal please tell our Palestinian brothers and sisters, that out here, beyond the Walls of their Prison, stand hundreds of thousands of us in solidarity with them.

Today, hundreds of thousands, tomorrow, millions, soon, hundreds of millions. We Shall Overcome.

Roger Waters”

The wall must go down!

I have nothing to say except this:

Mr. Waters, thank you.

You prove that not only are you a great Musician, but also and more importantly, you are an artist of conscience and great sense of responsibility and humanity.

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Flotilla Israeli commando/Murderer may get ‘medal of valour’!

Six of the nine activists killed in Monday’s raid on board the Mavi Marmara of the  Freedom Flotilla aid convoy were shot by a single Israeli commando who is now being considered by Israeli army for an Israeli medal of valour, the highest military medal that could be awarded to a soldier of the Israeli army for bravery on the field of battle, established by the Knesset as a replacement for the Hero of Israel military decoration!!!

The Israeli Champion /Mass-Murderer, refered to only as S. in the Israeli media, is hailed as a true Hero of Israel! Jerusalem Post writes: “S. did a remarkable job… He stabilized the situation and succeeded in hitting six of the terrorists.”

Meanwhile Israel is still defiant, and refuses to allow an independent investigation. Israel claims that its own army investigation is enough, and credible. Based on preliminary results of this investigation into the Mavi Marmara massacre, which ended with nine dead passengers and more than 30 wounded, the IDF announced on Thursday that the commandos were attacked by a well-trained group of mercenaries, most of whom were found without IDs but with thousands of dollars in their pockets!!!

Israel, who hired an ‘army of bloggers’ to “represent” Israel in “anti-Zionist blogs” & combat anti-Zionism; wants us to believe that those brutally murdered activists were paid mercenaries, travelling with their mercenary-money on board a ship headed to Gaza and going to be attacked by Israel!

But wait… I thought they were Terrorists, according also to: Israel!

So are they mercenaries?

Or are they Terrorists???

Or are they a new creed of suicide-mercenary-terrorist-Drug Lords, who carried WMDs in their pockets and wore back-pack-rocket-launcher that could launch them directly into Tel Aviv???

Pardon me Israel, I just want to get the story straight!

In the meantime, Turkey is still mourning its dead. National Public funerals were held for the nine activistsof Gaza aid flotilla amid emotional scenes.Crowds of people, some wearing Palestinian-style scarves, gathered in the city to meet the coffins, swathed in Turkish flags, at the Ottoman-era Fatih mosque.

The Autopsy results on the bodies of those killed, obtained by the Guardian newspaper, revealed that the Nine Turkish men (one as young as one 19 years old) on board the Mavi Marmara were shot a total of 30 times and five were killed by gunshot wounds to the head shot from close range.

The results revealed that Ibrahim Bilgen (60) was shot four times in the temple, chest, hip and back. Fulkan Dogan (19), who also had US citizenship, was shot five times from less that 45cm, in the face, in the back of the head, twice in the leg and once in the back. Two other men were shot four times, and five of the victims were shot either in the back of the head or in the back, said Yalcin Buyuk, vice-chairman of the council of forensic medicine.

So these well paid, well trained, unarmed mercenary war gurus, went on a ship to Gaza, to fend off the Israeli commandos with clubs and kitchen knives, only to get brutally killed by one commando, who happened to have his machine gun, right below his paintball gun!

Ummmmm…. Well of course!

But why may ask do you shoot 9 unarmed people 30 times? and why would you shoot 5 of them in the head from a close range????

What a load of crap… actually crap is much easier to swallow than what Israel wants the world to believe!

 

 

Israel & the evils of International Hypocrisy

Yesterday, in a televised address in Jerusalem, Israeli PM and long time war criminal, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu stood by the Freedom Flotilla massacre, and brushed away the criticism of Israel’s attack against which left at least nine activists dead, saying that “we (Israel) will never apologize for defending ourselves”.

Lost in his own delirious dream world, Benjamin Netanyahu (aka Bibi) continued to rant “Once again Israel faces hypocrisy and a biased rush to judgment” and finishing the argument with himself, he dismissed the international calls investigating the attack, saying “Israel should not be held to a double standard.”

Well; Mr. Bi-Bi, I never thought I would ever say this following sentence, but, unfortunately, I totally agree with you! I do, I kid you not!

Now, now, before you think I completely lost it, bear with me for a couple of minutes… and read this very very hypothetical scenario.


Imagine the following:

Imagine that 43 years ago, in 1967, Iran, invaded and occupied a neighboring country (implausible of course because then World Wor III would have broke within a week, but just Imagine that).

Now, let’s stretch that scenario by adding that over the last 50 years, this same hostile Iran amassed the worlds 2nd biggest nuclear weapons arsenal (improbable, no, ridiculously impossible, because then the US would have removed Iran from the World map, but com’on have some Imagination!) and even worse refused to sign any international treaties limiting this same very deadly WMD arsenal.

Ok, now imagine that over the 43 years of occupation the belligerent Iran have been displacing the population of the land it occupied and driving them into a small 360 square kilometers strip of land. All the while bombarding the hell of that strip very and attacking other neighbors in its spare time (I know it’s getting too fictional & surreal, but I did say it’s a very very hypothetical story, so bear with me please).

5 years ago this evil Iran withdrew from that small strip of land (all the while keeping the rest of the land it occupied), after it had crammed it with some 1.0 million are UN-registered refugees in addition to its original 0.5 million inhabitants.

Then, less than a year and a half later, it blockaded this overpopulated refugee camp, turned it into an open prison with no access to food, medication, building supplies or fuel, and constantly bombarded this godforsaken strip.

18 month ago this unspeakable Iran, attacked this very strip of land, by air, sea and ground, in a ruthless full fledged war and it (Iran) massacred its people.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Miraculously, the world stood by as all of this happened, except for some feeble and pathetic condemnations by the UN every now and then.

Now suppose that, after all the above, Last Monday, this seemingly crazy & bloodthirsty Iran, completely lost its mind, and attacked – in international waters- an international flotilla carrying aid to that blockaded starving strip, massacred at least 9 of its civilian activists and injured scores of others.
What do you think the international reaction would be then!

Rest assured, if Iran was the one who committed such infamous massacre last Monday, the US army would have been stationing in Tehran by today, alongside another collation of the unwilling! Have no doubt about that!

But that’s all very hypothetically bizarre! Right?!

The reality of the matter is, Israel committed all the above. And in return, all it got was: Another UN condemnation to use as toilet paper, too head shakes from the US and allies, and requests of an investigation from the “really angry” countries.

Oh! and angry protests worldwide!

So you see, BiBi NoNo (a name fit for a person as delirious as you are), I really do agree with you:

Israel should never apologize: because all its actions are beyond the realms of apologies.

And yes, Israel is almost always faced with International hypocrisy and a biased rush to judgment.
(However the bias is for Israel, not against it!!)

& most certainly, Israel should not be held to a double standard!!! Not anymore, NO!!!

ISRAEL MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR ALL IT’S CRIMES MR. NETANYAHU.

But I don’t think, that what you had in mind when you said your speech now did you, so did you really lose your grip on reality, or are you that stupid?

I think not!

I think you are flashing the “WHY does everybody hate us?” card, after the “They were TERRORISTS and they were going to destroy Israel!” card have miserably failed.

So, which other cards do you still have in your pockets, Ol’ shrewd BiBi?! Or is that it?!!

Footnote: The reason I chose Iran for my hypothetical example is not to defend Iran by any means, it was just for the sake of argument! Afterall, they both start with an “I” and I dare say that’s not the only thing they have in common!!!

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Update on 5 of June 2010:

Israeli commando who murdered six on board Mavi Marmara ship may get ‘medal of valour’: Six of the nine activists killed in Monday’s raid on the Freedom Flotilla aid convoy were shot by a single Israeli commando who is now being considered by Israeli army for an Israeli medal of valour, the highest military medal that could be awarded to a soldier of the Israeli army for bravery on the field of battle, established by the Knesset as a replacement for the Hero of Israel military decoration!!!

Read complete post here.

Israel under the blinding light of a small Flotilla

Yesterday, the world woke up to a new, yet recurring horror, Israel, finally labeled by the international community as the Terrorist state, have committed yet another heinous crime against humanity.

In the dead of the night – as always is the case with Israeli crimes – Israeli commandos and navy troops stormed one or more of the Freedom Flotilla boats headed towards Gaza, and murdered 19 peace activists and injured scores of others. Despite what Israel wants us to believe, the fact remains that these were peaceful unarmed civilians who were attempting to break Israel’s unethical blockade of Gaza sector, bringing food and aid supplies to the starved population of the sector.

The ships were confiscated and the rest of the 650 activists were transferred to a prison facility in Ashdod.

That’s all we know until this moment, and I suspect that will be all we know for a while, because Israel is (as always) maintaining a full media blackout, over the past 36 hours, just as it did with its attack on Gaza 18 months ago.

So here are the available specu-facts as we heard them over and over from all the news organization:

– Israeli soldiers invaded at least one ship and attacked the flotilla in international waters, breaking international law, and, in killing civilians, committed a war crime.
– The Israeli government approved the boarding of these aid ships by an elite unit of commandos, some even go to saying that the Israeli PM commandeered the attack. The soldiers were armed with automatic weapons to pacify the civilians on-board, but not with crowd dispersal weapons as they should have been if Israel was really seeking to prevent bloodshed.
– After the deadly massacre, Israel illegally confiscated aid supplies that were gathered by humanitarian organization for the population of GAZA, and un-rightfully detained civilians with no charge defy and breaking all human rights.

Now lets analyze all these facts in the light of the following, internationally agreed upon and accepted statement:

Israel has no right to control Gaza’s sea as its own territorial waters.
Israel has no right to blockade Gaza or to stop aid convoys arriving to Gaza by sea or any other routes.

In doing so, it proves that it is still in belligerent occupation of Gaza sector and its 1.5 million inhabitants. And as an occupation force, then under international law Israel is responsible for the welfare of the Strip’s inhabitants. Given that the blockade has put Palestinians under the worst starvation circumstance for the past four years, Israel should long ago have been in the dock for committing a crime against humanity.

But if Israel still argues the legitimacy of its blockade on Gaza against International law, Israel cannot argue that by attacking these ships in International water, it have reached a new height of arrogance and contempt of International law.

With that stated, we have to acknowledge the following, that this latest massacre, as grotesque and outrageous as it is, is quite minor if it is to be compared with the 2008-2009 Gaza War and it’s atrocities.

The flotilla massacre is also significantly small if compared to the blockade itself, which have cost Gaza, millions in economic losses [1] and incalculable life loss due of starvation and deprivation of basic life and medical needs. (At the rare times where Israel is allowing supplies into Gaza, the amount of goods Israel allows is less than one quarter of the Sector needs.)

“Israeli acts that deprive Palestinians in the Gaza Strip of their means of subsistence, employment, housing and water, that deny their freedom of movement and their right to leave and enter their own country, that limit their rights to access a court of law and an effective remedy, could lead a competent court to find that the crime of persecution, a crime against humanity, has been committed.” The UN Fact Finding mission lead by South African Judge Richard Goldstone

The Goldstone report suggested that the blockade was a war crime and possibly a crime against humanity, it recommended that the matter be referred to the International Criminal Court if the situation has not improved in six months, that was in September 2009, that was 8 month ago! So according to Goldstone report, which was commissioned by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) as part of United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, according to that report, Israel should have been referred to the International Criminal Court 2 months ago!!!

The point I’m trying to make here, is that the flotilla massacre, despite being a grotesque and gruesome criminal act, it is relatively small in comparison by the other Israeli crimes.

Smoke rises after an Israel air strike in Gaza Strip December 28, 2008. (REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

Israel; is a terrorist state, it has committed crimes against humanity before and is in direct defiance of international laws and the Geneva Convention.

The blockade & starvation of Gaza population, and turning Gaza into an open air prison for 1.5 million prisoner; which is known as “Gaza Genocide”, is a much bigger crime against humanity.

Waging an atrocious War on the sector which killed 1,440, mostly civilians, 545 of which were women and children; which is known as Gaza Massacre, is a much bigger crime against humanity.

The international outrage at the Flotilla bloodshed is understandable and shared by all, but we must not lose perspective.

It is time the world takes action against this terrorist state, It is time Israel is held accountable, for all of its crimes, and not just for one.

In the light of the Flotilla massacre, and just in case you forgot, or lost perspective: Remember, Remember…. Remember GAZA

Gaza: A New century, a new world order…
A new Genocide

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Footnotes:

1. The Post 2007 Gaza Strip blockade is not the first blockade of the strip, following the Aqsa Intifada of 2000, Israel imposed a military blockade of the Strip and closure of the Gaza International Airport.
The economic effects were immense, in the order of some US $5.3 billion, and worsened after the creation of a ‘buffer zone’ in September 2001, that would seal all entry and exit points in the Palestinian Territories, for security reasons.

The worsening economic and humanitarian situation raised great concern abroad. According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in January 2003: ‘The Israeli blockade and closures over the past two years had pushed the Palestinian economy into such a stage of ‘de-development’ that as much as US $2.4 billion. had been drained out of the economy of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip’

Over the period between 2000 and 2005 as a consequence of the Gaza blockade and Israel’s ensuing military operations in the Strip, it is estimated that there was a loss of $42,846,895 in Gazan agricultural productivity, due to the destruction of land.

The Israel Defence Forces left the Gaza Strip on 1 September 2005 as part of Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan.

2. My previous Notes about Gaza:

  1. GAZA: The collapse of morality; And the prevail of evil
  2. The apathy of a nation
  3. Massacre and genocide: Gaza 2008
  4. A chronology of Gaza’s strife
  5. Why do they hate us that much?
  6. 109 dead since Wednesday
  7. Newsreel: Yet more Israeli Genocide, Holocaust & Massacres

 

3. Please take time to sign this petition “Gaza: investigate the raid, end the blockade” by AVAAZ.org 

And take time to join our facebook campaign:

In the Name of Gaza: A World united against Israel’s Genocide

FASCISM IN ISRAEL

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more about “FASCISM IN ISRAEL“, posted with vodpod

The Christian Science Monitor reports:

“Jerusalem – Israel is in a political bind. The nation voted Tuesday, but Wednesday two leaders claimed victory and a third-party newcomer found himself anointed the new Israeli “kingmaker.”
Centrist Tzipi Livni’s Kadima won 28 seats in the Knesset, or parliament, while right-wing Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud took 27 – so slim a margin that neither can claim a governing majority.
Enter Avigdor Lieberman. The third-largest vote-getter was his far-right Yisrael Beytenu party that wants a “national, right-wing government.” Common wisdom suggests an alliance with Mr. Netanyahu’s party. But some analysts say that Mr. Lieberman might find common ground with Ms. Livni. Either way, Lieberman will have great sway over the makeup of Israel’s next governing coalition, potentially winning control of key ministries.
Many observers – right and left – now worry that Israel is headed toward years of political gridlock and dysfunction, potentially putting any Middle East peacemaking in limbo.
“They’re saying we hold the keys to Israel’s next government, and I’m very glad to say we do,” Lieberman said in a speech at his campaign headquarters. “We have our own path and our own principles, and we are not going to compromise on them.” Among his goals, he said was the “elimination of Hamas,” the Palestinian group that Israel battered in a 22-day war in Gaza that ended with an unofficial pair of cease-fires last month.
Lieberman also says that terrorism inside of Israel is more of a threat than terrorism from the Palestinian territories – essentially calling Israel’s Arab minority a bigger threat to the Jewish state’s existence than is the militant Hamas…”

Lieberman’s views are notoriously racist, and his rhetoric is invariably violent. He called for the execution of Israeli Arab members of the Knesset who met with Hamas or didn’t celebrate Israel’s Independence Day. His party, Yisrael Beytenu (“Israel is our Home”), vehemently oppose the peace process, support the militant settlement movement, and are proud partisans of ethnic cleansing.
In 2002, Lieberman averred that he wouldn’t flinch at ordering the IDF into the occupied territories on the West Bank for 48 hours, an operation designed to “Destroy the foundation of all the [Palestinian] authority’s military infrastructure … not leave one stone on another. Destroy everything.” Civilian targets included: that same year he also argued the Israeli air force should bomb all Palestinian commercial centers, including banks and even gas stations.
Lieberman’s portfolio as minister in charge of strategic threats allowed the editors of Ha’aretz to quip “Lieberman is a strategic threat!” Here, after all, is a man who has threatened to bomb Tehran, the Aswan Dam, and Beirut.
Ha’aretz writes:

“The choice of the most unrestrained and irresponsible man around for this job constitutes a strategic threat in its own right. Lieberman’s lack of restraint and his unbridled tongue, comparable only to those of Iran’s president, are liable to bring disaster down upon the entire region.”

Up until this point, the stance of the Israeli government (at least officially) has always been set forth in the context of the American plan for the eventual creation of a Palestinian state, the so-called road map, which includes a freeze on Israeli settlements and the return of some land claimed by the settlers to the Palestinians.
And yet Israel have been committing carnage left and right, ending with the 2 years Gaza blockade and Gaza Massacre of 2008 – 2009 (which apparently was merely a pre-election propaganda stunt).
Yet now the future seems even bleaker with a radical like Lieberman “holding the keys to Israel’s next government”.

The Nation wites, in it’s article The Rise of Avigdor Lieberman:

“If Lieberman’s pronouncements are to be taken seriously–and there is no obvious reason they should not be–a Lieberman government would exclude some Arab citizens from Israel, would expel others who refuse to sign a loyalty-to-Zionism oath, would turn Gaza into Grozny and would execute Arab members of the Knesset who talk to Hamas or mark Israel Independence Day as the anniversary of the displacement of the Palestinians in 1948.”

We seem to be heading into a new era of unprecedented Jewish fascism.

Alas, Peace is officially dead…

War-Genocide as an election stunt!

Olmerian dreams!

Olmerian dreams!

Yahoo! News wrote today: “Analysts maintain a victory for hard-liner Benjamin Netanyahu in Tuesday’s parliamentary vote could shift Israel’s dealings with the Palestinians away from negotiations and toward an even tougher line against Hamas.”

Now what does that mean? Seriously?!!

“Netanyahu could shift Israel’s dealings with the Palestinians away from negotiations”!!!

Was Israel Negotiation with the Palestinians, to start with??? have the peace process not been in halt mood for more than 5 years now?

Or did they not notify me that they changed the meaning of the word Negotiations, so that it now means massacres and carnage?

“… toward an even tougher line against Hamas”

Meaning? what “tougher” action can Israel do? NUKE GAZA?!

What difference would it make if Likud’s Netanyahu wins the election or Kadima’s Tzipi Livni… or even the Labor’s Barak?!
They are all hard liners who threaten (or actually promise) to kill more Palestinians… for the satisfaction of the Israeli nation!
They all have no intention of resuming negotiation, with Hamas or Fatah!
They all have no desire for peace, be it in Gaza or else where…

There is NO PEACE that is “coming soon” to the middle east…
No Prospect for Palestine or a Palestinian state, only more blood and misery, while the world continues watching…

Just an afterthought, from the news archives: “The election frontrunner and leader of Israel’s right-wing Likud party, Benjamin Netanyahu, informed Middle East envoy Tony Blair that he would continue the policy of the Israeli governments of Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert by expanding settlements in the West Bank, in contravention of the Road Map.”

Israel in Gaza: A Critical Reframing

A Palestinian family reacts as they rush past a burning building after an Israeli missile strike in the Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2008. Israeli warplanes pressing one of Israel's deadliest assaults ever on Palestine dropped bombs and missiles on a top security installation and dozens of other targets across Hamas-ruled Gaza on Sunday. Israel's Cabinet authorized a callup of at least 6,500 reserve soldiers, suggesting plans to expand an offensive against Gaza rocket squads that has already killed some 280 Palestinians. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)

 

by Jeff Halpe, Saturday, January 10, 2009

Israel’s core messages, listed below, argue for the justice of its cause in Gaza , cast Israel as the victim and ensure that its war is seen not in terms of occupation but of the broader Western struggle against terror. The critical reframing we offer, that of Israelis committed to human rights, international law and a just peace as the only way out of this interminable and bloody conflict, argues that security cannot be achieved unilaterally while one side oppresses the other and that Israel’s attack on Gaza is merely another attempt to render its Occupation permanent by destroying any source of effective resistance. It argues that Israel could have avoided all attacks upon it over the last twenty years, and the rise of Hamas, if it had genuinely negotiated a two-state solution with the Palestinian leadership. Israel , the strong party and the Occupying Power, is not the victim. Indeed, its attack on Gaza is a form of State Terrorism.

 

  • Israeli PR: Like all countries, Israel has a right and duty to defend its citizens. Israel , acting as any life-loving nation would, has a right to be a normal country living in peace and security.

    Critical Reframing: To pursue offensive policies of prolonged occupation as well as sanctions, boycotts and closures that impoverish a civilian population, and to then refuse to engage with that population’s elected leaders, is not defending ones’ citizens. To expect your citizens to live in security while a million and a half subjugated people just a few kilometers away live in misery is both unrealistic and presumptive. Israel will only be able to defend its citizens – which is indeed its duty – if it addresses the causes of their insecurity, a 41 year-old occupation.

 

  • Israeli PR: Israel had no choice but to attack in response to the barrage of 8,500 Hamas rockets fired from Gaza into Israel over the past eight years that have killed 20 Israeli civilians.

    Critical Reframing: In the past three years alone Israel – together with the US , Europe and Japan – imposed an inhumane siege of Gaza while conducting a campaign of targeted assassinations and attacks throughout the cease-fire that left 1,700 Palestinians dead. Hamas’ barrage did not exist in a vacuum. This war is no “response:” it is merely a more deadly round of the tit-for-tat arising out of a political vacuum. The rocket firings could have been avoided had there been a genuine political horizon. To present the “barrage” as an independent event disassociated from wider Israeli policies that led to them is disingenuous.

 

  • Israeli PR: There is no occupation – in general, but specifically in Gaza . Israel ended its occupation of Gaza in 2005 with the “disengagement.” Gaza could have flourished as the basis of a Palestinian state, but its inhabitants chose conflict.

    Critical Reframing: Economic development, not to mention a political process which might have prevented the violence on both sides, was actively prevented by both Israel and its international supporters, which share responsibility for the present tragedy in Gaza . At no time since the “disengagement” did Israel ever relinquish or even loosen its control. The closure remained in force, including by sea; Gazans were never allowed to reopen their sea or air ports; nor were any conditions conducive to economic development allowed. Israel ’s claim that there has never been an occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza is rejected by every member of the international community. Neither does it accept Israel ’s claim that occupation ended in 2005, since the definition of occupation in international law has to do with exercising effective control of a foreign territory, which Israel obviously does over Gaza .

 

  • Israeli PR: Only Hamas violated the cease-fire, and thus it carries full responsibility.

    Critical Reframing: Israel and Hamas agreed to a truce (through Egypt ) by which Israel would allow the opening of the Gazan border crossings (at least partially) in return for an end to rocket fire on Israel . Hamas largely, though not entirely, kept its part of the bargain; Israel almost never did. Killings of Palestinians from the air continued, and on the American election day in early November it attacked the tunnels (which functioned as alternative means of supplying Gaza in the absence of open borders, which would have allowed control over the movement of arms), killing a number of Hamas people. In response Hamas launched rockets and….the truce began breaking down.

 

  • Israeli PR: Israel is only attacking the “infrastructure of terror” in Gaza and only targets Hamas fighters.

    Critical Reframing: Being the elected government, all the infrastructure, from traffic cops to schools to military installations, “belong” to Hamas. It is clear that Israeli attacks go beyond “the infrastructure of terror.” Who’s a “Hamas fighter?” The graduating class of traffic cops that was slaughtered in the first aerial attack on Gaza ? Professors and students who attend the “Hamas” Islam ic University? Family members of Hamas military figures? People who voted for Hamas? All, but for those actively participating in hostilities, would be defined as civilians under international law.

 

  • Israeli PR: Civilians may die, but it’s because Hamas hides its fighters and weapons factories among ordinary people.

    Critical Reframing: Israel’s military headquarters are located in the center of Tel Aviv, the military headquarters over the West Bank are in the densely populated civilian settlement Neveh Ya’akov in East Jerusalem, the Pentagon is located in downtown Washington D.C. and the British Ministry of Defence is located in central London. Hamas, of course, as both a government and a military organization, carries responsibility for protecting the civilian population and keeping the fighting away from them but the question that should be asked, and never is, is why western nations who do the same are not faced with such criticism?

 

  • Israeli PR: Hamas is a terrorist organization that refuses to recognize Israel or enter into a political process.

    Critical Reframing: Which Israel should Hamas recognize? 1947 U.N. partition borders? 1967 borders? With annexed East Jerusalem ? With the settlement blocs? So long as Israel refuses to define its borders then there is only an abstract concept available for recognition. Hamas has openly declared that it will de facto recognize Israel on the 1967 borders. Israel has made no such offers to any Palestinian faction, government or representatives.

 

  • Israeli PR: Hamas is a global problem, part of Islam ist fundamentalism together with Iran and Hezbollah and therefore Israel is only doing its part in the West’s agreed-upon War on Terror.

    Critical Reframing: Hamas started as a social welfare organization that was allowed by Israel to develop as a political force in Occupied Palestine to weaken the standing of the secular PLO. There also, was no Hezbollah prior to the 1982 Israeli invasion. The theocrats in Iran were an organized but quite small political force until the U.S. overthrew Iran ’s democracy. The local population will always resist when foreign countries try to oppose their will and the resistance will not always be pretty. Painting Hamas as part of a global conspiracy when it’s a product of the Occupation itself is disingenuous and a gross distortion of history.

 

Dr. Jeff Halper, an American-born Jew and founding director or The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, gives the following analysis and important reframing of the talking-points we so commonly hear from the Israeli PR machine.  As an Israeli citizen for the last 35 years, Jeff offers a vital perspective, from personal experience.