Political talk from outside of the UK
:sunglasses: 100 %
By Big Arnold
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I don't know, but where is it getting them? Hundreds dead and infrastructure destroyed. Granted it makes Israel look bad, bur for how long? In a week or so,Israel will withdraw. Another crisis will replace it and Gaza forgotten. Until the next time...
By new puritan
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Can't remember if I've already posted this article but it's an important rebuttal of key Israeli propaganda myths, in particular:
6) This current Gaza conflict began with Hamas rocket fire on 30 June 2014

Times of Israel: "Hamas operatives were behind a large volley of rockets which slammed into Israel Monday morning, the first time in years the Islamist group has directly challenged the Jewish state, according to Israeli defense officials.. The security sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, assessed that Hamas had probably launched the barrage in revenge for an Israeli airstrike several hours earlier which killed one person and injured three more.. Hamas hasn't fired rockets into Israel since Operation Pillar of Defense ended in November 2012." The Nation: "During ten days of Operation Brother's Keeper in the West Bank [before the start of the Gaza conflict], Israel arrested approximately 800 Palestinians without charge or trial, killed nine civilians and raided nearly 1,300 residential, commercial and public buildings. Its military operation targeted Hamas members released during the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange in 2011."

7) Hamas has never stopped firing rockets into Israel

Jewish Daily Forward: "Hamas hadn't fired a single rocket since [2012 Gaza conflict], and had largely suppressed fire by smaller jihadi groups. Rocket firings, averaging 240 per month in 2007, dropped to five per month in 2013." International Crisis Group: "Fewer rockets were fired from Gaza in 2013 than in any year since 2001, and nearly all those that were fired between the November 2012 ceasefire and the current crisis were launched by groups other than Hamas; the Israeli security establishment testified to the aggressive anti-rocket efforts made by the new police force Hamas established specifically for that purpose.. As Israel (and Egypt) rolled back the 2012 understandings - some of which were implemented spottily at best - so too did Hamas roll back its anti rocket efforts."
It's easy to advise Palestinians to turn the other cheek when you're thousands of miles away, but you can't realistically expect them to do nothing in the face of yet another Israeli onslaught. They have a right - an obligation, in fact - to resist. Alright, that resistance might not amount to much militarily but what's the alternative? The task facing the Palestinians is even harder than that which faced black South Africans under apartheid. At least then the white South African ruling class was dependent on black labour, so black workers had some leverage in that respect. Israel isn't dependent on Palestinian labour to anything like the same extent. And with the Cold War drawing to a close, there was no longer any prospect of South Africa falling into the Soviet orbit by the early '90s so the apartheid regime could be safely ditched. The geopolitical situation is much different in the Middle East - the US needs Israel to help it divide Arabs and thereby exert some degree of control over energy resources in the region.
By new puritan
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More lunacy from Moshe Feiglin.
In a 1 August posting on his Facebook page, Feiglin, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party, calls for the “conquest of the entire Gaza Strip, and annihilation of all fighting forces and their supporters.”

“This is our country – our country exclusively,” he writes, “including Gaza.”

Feiglin’s posting is the text of a letter he addressed to Netanyahu.

Citizens and public authorities around the world should attempt to have Feiglin arrested and prosecuted under the Genocide Convention for his statements, should he set foot in their territories.
http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali ... ocide-plan" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Worth remembering that Netanyahu is widely seen in Israel as one of the more moderate (!!) figures in his government.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340 ... 24,00.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Very useful piece from Greenwald here.
Each time Israel attacks Gaza and massacres its trapped civilian population – at the end of 2008, in the fall of 2012, and now again this past month – the same process repeats itself in both U.S. media and government circles: the U.S. government feeds Israel the weapons it uses and steadfastly defends its aggression both publicly and at the U.N.; the U.S. Congress unanimously enacts one resolution after the next to support and enable Israel; and then American media figures pretend that the Israeli attack has nothing to do with their country, that it’s just some sort of unfortunately intractable, distant conflict between two equally intransigent foreign parties in response to which all decent Americans helplessly throw up their hands as though they bear no responsibility.

“The United States has been trying to broker peace in the Middle East for the past 20 years,” wrote the liberal commentator Kevin Drum in Mother Jones, last Tuesday. The following day, CNN reported that the Obama administration ”agreed to Israel’s request to resupply it with several types of ammunition … Among the items being bought are 120mm mortar rounds and 40mm ammunition for grenade launchers.”

The new Snowden documents illustrate a crucial fact: Israeli aggression would be impossible without the constant, lavish support and protection of the U.S. government, which is anything but a neutral, peace-brokering party in these attacks. And the relationship between the NSA and its partners on the one hand, and the Israeli spying agency on the other, is at the center of that enabling.
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014 ... veillance/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
By new puritan
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(Gaza) – Israeli forces in the southern Gaza town of Khuza’a fired on and killed civilians in apparent violation of the laws of war in several incidents between July 23 and 25, 2014. Deliberate attacks on civilians who are not participating in the fighting are war crimes.

Seven Palestinians who had fled Khuza’a described to Human Rights Watch the grave dangers that civilians have faced in trying to flee the town, near the Israeli border, to seek safety in Khan Younis. These included repeated shelling that struck apparent civilian structures, lack of access to necessary medical care, and the threat of attack from Israeli forces as they tried to leave the area.
http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/08/04/gaza ... -civilians" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Makes me laugh when Israel supporters bang on about 'human shields'. Why would Hamas bother using human shields? That tactic would assume Israel actually gives a fuck about civilian casualties.
By new puritan
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More genocidal frothing.

In Gaza, there is no such thing as 'innocent civilians'

That country is hurtling to the far right at a rate of knots. Meanwhile, a sane take on the assault on Gaza:
The fact that Israel can repeat Gaza 2008-9, destroy even more infrastructure, and kill even more Palestinians, is troubling for all those who believed that the public outcry and outrage of the past would at least put some constraints on Israeli state conduct.

Why is it, then, that we find ourselves again faced with such a grim actuality? Why is it that Israel is given a free hand to deal so violently with the Palestinians? What could put constraints on Israel’s behavior in the future?

The crux of the matter lies in the fact that Palestinians are strategically and geopolitically insignificant, both in the region and as a dominated-without-being-exploited people. For Israel, since Oslo and its closure policies, Palestinians have been cut out of the Israeli labor market. Israel no longer exploits them directly as laborers. That leaves them not only without leverage to affect Israeli policy but also completely dispensable as a population.

They need Israel for everything (food, resources, water, electricity, access to their increasingly curtailed lands and to other areas inside the West Bank, access to the outside world, etc.), and Israel needs them for nothing. Israel holds the Gaza Strip and the West Bank as a captive market and dumps its own goods there without Palestinians having any leverage whatsoever to determine their own economic and political development. Oslo’s occupation mechanism has thus not only disenfranchised Palestinians politically (by blocking independence) but economically as well, leaving them completely dependent on and controlled by Israel. They are, as a result, a superfluous population. Oppressed but not exploited, dominated but not needed.
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/08/stopping-israel/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Another good piece on the 'terror tunnels':
Their primary purpose is economic, a response to Israel’s seven-year siege of Gaza. The tunnels along the Egyptian border weren’t built by Hamas: it merely taxes the goods being moved through by the entrepreneurs that dig and run them. Israel talks of a ‘terrorist organisation’ that ‘deliberately embeds its terrorist infrastructure inside civilian neighbourhoods’. In fact a system of loosely regulated capitalism governs the tunnel industry. If you live near the border you are likely to go into the tunnelling business because there’s nothing else to do.

Since the invasion, the tunnels have been used to attack Israel. Still, no civilian has been killed. Of the 59 Israelis killed in total, 56 have been soldiers, most of them in Gaza. More than 1800 Palestinians have been killed so far, 80 per cent of them civilians.

If the purpose of Israel’s operation is to destroy the tunnels, why has it cost more than 1800 Palestinian lives? There were thought to be at least 1000 tunnels between Egypt and Gaza, which the Egyptian regime – not known for its regard for human life – destroyed without killing anyone. There seem to have been no more than forty tunnels leading into Israel and the operation to destroy them has already taken two weeks.
http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2014/08/04/om ... e-tunnels/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
By new puritan
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Very interesting Spiegel interview with an Israeli sociologist.
SPIEGEL: Why is the right so strong at the moment even though there are far fewer terror attacks in Israel than there used to be?

Illouz: Entire generations have been raised with the territories, with Israel being a colonial power. They do not know anything else. You have the settlements which are highly ideological. They expanded and entered Israeli mainstream political life. Settlements were strengthened by systematic government policies: They got tax breaks; they had soldiers to protect them; they built roads and infrastructure which are much better than those inside the country. There are entire segments of the population that have never met a secular person and have been educated religiously. Some of these religious segments are also very nationalist. The reality we are faced with in Israel is that we must choose between liberalism and Jewishness, and if we choose Jewishness, we are condemned to become a religious Sparta which will not be sustainable. Whereas in the 1960s, you could be both socialist and Zionist, today it is not possible because of the policies and identity of Israel. Then you have the role which Jews who live outside Israel play in Israel. Many of these Jews have very right-wing views and contribute money to newspapers, think tanks and religious institutions inside Israel. Let's face it: the right has been more systematic and more mobilized, both inside and outside Israel.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/wor ... 84536.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Meanwhile, here's a pro-Israeli counter-demonstrator in Manchester offering to make common cause with EDL fascists.

By new puritan
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Stating the obvious but Zionism is in an extremely dark place these days.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/a ... sh-wedding" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
A Palestinian man and his Jewish bride-to-be are facing hostile protests in the Israeli town of Rishon Letzion after Israel's high court refused their application to ban demonstrations outside their wedding reception.

Mahmoud Mansour, 26, a Palestinian from Jaffa, has had to hire dozens of security guards after an anti-Arab group, Lehava, published details of his wedding reception online and called for Israelis to come and picket the wedding hall.

The group, which campaigns against assimilation between Jews and Arabs in Israel, is angry that Mansour's bride-to-be, Moral Malka, 23, is Jewish, although local media reported that she has already converted to Islam and the couple have had an Islamic wedding.
And would you believe it...
Lehava, which campaigns under the slogan of 'saving the daughters of Israel', was revealed to have links with the Israeli government in a 2011 investigation by Haaretz, receiving up to $175,000 per year from the state, over half of its operational budget.
The only democracy in the Middle East!
By new puritan
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This is so pathetic.
The international criminal court has persistently avoided opening an investigation into alleged war crimes in Gaza as a result of US and other western pressure, former court officials and lawyers claim.

In recent days, a potential ICC investigation into the actions of both the Israel Defence Forces and Hamas in Gaza has become a fraught political battlefield and a key negotiating issue at ceasefire talks in Cairo. But the question of whether the ICC could or should mount an investigation has also divided the Hague-based court itself.
http://www.theguardian.com/law/2014/aug ... za-inquiry" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

If you're a US client state you can basically do what the fuck you want.
By new puritan
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Sometimes there are just no words.
Nope, it’s not The Onion.

A few days ago some 300 Holocaust survivors placed an ad in the New York Times condemning the massacre in Gaza. My colleague from Local Call, John Brown, has selected a few of the responses on Facebook that Israelis posted in response to the ad.

I’ve translated a few from John’s selection:

David Cohen: Those aren’t Holocaust survivors those are probably collaborators with the Nazis.

Shmulik Halphon: He’s invited to go back to Auschwitz.

Itzik Levy: These are survivors who were Kapos. Leftist traitors. That’s why they live abroad and not in the Jewish State.

Vitali Guttman: Enough, they should die already. They survived the Holocaust only to do another Holocaust to Israel in global public opinion?

Meir Dahan: Now wonder that Hitler murdered 6 million Jews because of people like you you’re not even Jews you’re disgusting people a disgrace to humanity and so are your offspring you are trash.

Asher Solomon: It’s a shame Hitler didn’t finish the job.

Katy Morali: Holocaust survivors who think like this are invited to go die in the gas chambers.

Yafa Ashraf: Shitty Ashkenazis you are the Nazis.
http://972mag.com/nstt_feeditem/israeli ... tive-edge/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
By new puritan
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Good article here from the historian Avi Shlaim.
Israel has a habit of justifying its actions in the occupied Palestinian territories, however illegal and indecent, in the name of security. But denying any security to the other side only perpetuates the conflict.

Five days after reaching a ceasefire with Hamas to end the latest round of fighting in Gaza, the Israeli cabinet decided to appropriate 988 acres of land on the West Bank, near the place where three Israeli teenagers were recently abducted and murdered, to make way for another illegal Jewish city. This is the biggest land grab in three decades. As the justice minister, Tzipi Livni, pointed out: “It was a decision that weakens Israel and damages its security.” What it proves, if further proof is needed, is that Israel’s leaders are determined to prevent a two-state solution to the conflict.
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... -land-grab" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
By The Red Arrow
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Israeli refuseniks will be treated as criminals, says defence minister
Moshe Ya'alon joins political and military leadership in attack on reservists who refuse to serve in Palestinian territories
Peter Beaumont in Jerusalem
theguardian.com, Monday 15 September 2014 10.43 BST

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/s ... e-minister" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
By new puritan
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On 26 August a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was agreed, bringing a fragile end to a war that killed 2150 Palestinians (mostly civilians) and 73 Israelis (mostly soldiers). Since then Hamas has not fired a single rocket, attacked an Israeli target, or done anything to break the terms of the ceasefire. Israel has done the following:

1. Annexed another 1500 acres of West Bank land
2. Seized $56 million of PA tax revenue
3. Not lifted the illegal blockade (as required by the ceasefire)
4. Broken the ceasefire by firing at fishermen on four separate occasions
5. Detained six fishermen
6. Killed a 22-year-old, Issa al Qatari, a week before his wedding
7. Killed 16-year-old Mohammed Sinokrot with a rubber bullet to the head
8. Tortured a prisoner to the point of hospitalisation
9. Refused 13 members of the European Parliament entry into Gaza
10. Detained at least 127 people across the West Bank, including a seven-year-old boy in Hebron and two children, aged seven and eight, taken from the courtyard of their house in Silwad – and tear-gassed their mother
11. Continued to hold 33 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council in prison
12. Continued to hold 500 prisoners in administrative detention without charge or trial
13. Destroyed Bedouin homes in Khan al Ahmar, near Jerusalem, leaving 14 people homeless, and unveiled a plan to forcibly move thousands of Bedouin away from Jerusalem into two purpose-built townships
14. Destroyed a dairy factory in Hebron whose profits supported an orphanage
15. Destroyed a family home in Silwan, making five children homeless
16. Destroyed a house in Jerusalem where aid supplies en route to Gaza were being stored
17. Destroyed a well near Hebron
18. Set fire to an olive grove near Hebron
19. Raided a health centre and a nursery school in Nablus, causing extensive damage
20. Destroyed a swathe of farmland in Rafah by driving tanks over it
21. Ordered the dismantling of a small monument in Jerusalem to Mohamed Abu Khdeir, murdered in July by an Israeli lynch mob
22. Continued building a vast tunnel network under Jerusalem
23. Stormed the al Aqsa mosque compound with a group of far right settlers
24. Assisted hundreds of settlers in storming Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus
25. Prevented students from entering al Quds University, firing stun grenades and rubber bullets at those who tried to go in
26. Earned unknown millions on reconstruction materials for Gaza, where 100,000 people need their destroyed homes rebuilt. The total bill is estimated at $7.8 billion
http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2014/09/12/om ... asefire-2/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Also, Simon Schama really is a complete dick. Goes to show that historians are frequently pisspoor commentators on current affairs.
Simon SchamaVerified account
Jews lost one million children, one million in Holocaust none of which belonged to communities firing rockets and digging death tunnels
Not sure what he's getting at there and I'm not entirely sure he is either. Is he implying that Jews didn't take up arms to resist fascism? Because that would be erasing a huge swathe of the anti-fascist partisans across Europe from the history books altogether. Or does he think they'd have been unjustified in firing rockets at / digging tunnels to get at Nazis?
By new puritan
Membership Days Posts
Palestinian cabinet minister murdered by Israeli colonial enforcers.
Ziad Abu Ein, a Palestinian minister, has died after clashes with Israeli forces, reportedly due to inhaling large amounts of tear gas in the occupied West Bank, sources told Al Jazeera.

Abu Ein, who was the head of the Anti-Wall and Settlement Commission, died in Ramallah Hospital on Wednesday after inhaling the gas at a protest against the separation barrier near the village of Turmusayya, northeast of Ramallah.

In addition to inhaling tear gas, Abu Ein, 55, was hit in the chest by Isreali soldiers, according to a Palestine TV reporter who was at the scene.

Witnesses, including an Israeli journalist and a Reuters news agency photographer, also said he was assaulted by the soldiers during the protest.

Others said he was headbutted and then collapsed.
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeas ... 80119.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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