Updates: "New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman endorsed terrorism in a January 14 column defending Israel's attacks on the Gaza Strip. To answer his own question about Israel's plan --"What is the goal?"-- Friedman referred back to the 2006 attacks on Lebanon, which killed about 1,000 Lebanese civilians. To Friedman, this was the "education" of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah:
Israel's counterstrategy was to use its air force to pummel Hezbollah and, while not directly targeting the Lebanese civilians with whom Hezbollah was intertwined, to inflict substantial property damage and collateral casualties on Lebanon at large. It was not pretty, but it was logical. Israel basically said that when dealing with a nonstate actor, Hezbollah, nested among civilians, the only long-term source of deterrence was to exact enough pain on the civilians--the families and employers of the militants--to restrain Hezbollah in the future. The "logical" plan, as Friedman explained it, is to punish civilians in the hopes that this will force the political change you prefer. This is precisely the "logic" of terrorists." Friedman supports civilian suffering as "education" January 14, 2009
On the other hand:
"Every war Israel has waged since 1948 has had the same objective: expulsion of the native people and theft of more land. But why are we in the west silent on this truth? "When the truth is replaced by silence," the Soviet dissident Yevgeny Yevtushenko said, "the silence is a lie." It may appear that the silence on Gaza is broken. The small cocoons of murdered children, wrapped in green, together with boxes containing their dismembered parents, and the cries of grief and rage of everyone in that death camp by the sea can be witnessed on al-Jazeera and YouTube, even glimpsed on the BBC. But Russia's incorrigible poet was not referring to the ephemera we call news; he was asking why those who knew the why never spoke it, and so denied it. Among the Anglo-American intelligentsia, this is especially striking. It is they who hold the keys to the great storehouses of knowledge: the historiographies and archives that lead us to the why. They know that the horror now raining on Gaza has little to do with Hamas or, absurdly, "Israel's right to exist". They know the opposite to be true: that Palestine's right to exist was cancelled 61 years ago and that the expulsion and, if necessary, extinction of the indigenous people was planned and executed by the founders of Israel. They know, for example, that the infamous "Plan D" of 1947-48 resulted in the murderous depopulation of 369 Palestinian towns and villages by the Haganah (Israeli army) and that massacre upon massacre of Palestinian civilians in such places as Deir Yassin, al-Dawayima, Eilaboun, Jish, Ramle and Lydda are referred to in official records as "ethnic cleansing". Arriving at a scene of this carnage, David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, was asked by a general, Yigal Allon: "What shall we do with the Arabs?" Ben-Gurion, reported the Israeli historian Benny Morris, "made a dismissive, energetic gesture with his hand and said, 'Expel them'". The order to expel an entire population "without attention to age" was signed by Yitzhak Rabin, a future prime minister promoted by the world's most efficient propaganda as a peacemaker. The terrible irony of this was addressed only in passing, such as when the Mapam party co-leader Meir Ya'ari noted "how easily" Israel's leaders spoke of how it was "possible and permissible to take women, children and old men and to fill the road with them because such is the imperative of strategy. And this we say . . . who remember who used this means against our people during the [Second World] War . . . I am appalled." Gaza under fire John Pilger, January 8, 2009
"So once again, Israel has opened the gates of hell to the Palestinians. Forty civilian refugees dead in a United Nations school, three more in another. Not bad for a night's work in Gaza by the army that believes in "purity of arms". But why should we be surprised? Have we forgotten the 17,500 dead – almost all civilians, most of them children and women – in Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon; the 1,700 Palestinian civilian dead in the Sabra-Chatila massacre; the 1996 Qana massacre of 106 Lebanese civilian refugees, more than half of them children, at a UN base; the massacre of the Marwahin refugees who were ordered from their homes by the Israelis in 2006 then slaughtered by an Israeli helicopter crew; the 1,000 dead of that same 2006 bombardment and Lebanese invasion, almost all of them civilians? What is amazing is that so many Western leaders, so many presidents and prime ministers and, I fear, so many editors and journalists, bought the old lie; that Israelis take such great care to avoid civilian casualties. "Israel makes every possible effort to avoid civilian casualties," yet another Israeli ambassador said only hours before the Gaza massacre. And every president and prime minister who repeated this mendacity as an excuse to avoid a ceasefire has the blood of last night's butchery on their hands. Had George Bush had the courage to demand an immediate ceasefire 48 hours earlier, those 40 civilians, the old and the women and children, would be alive. What happened was not just shameful. It was a disgrace. Would war crime be too strong a description?" Why do they hate the West so much, we will ask Robert Fisk, January 7, 2009 . Obama, take away the pain in my stomach .
A contact, in petition to the Israeli government, has written inter alia:
"Re Palestine, the callous cynicism of this latest spasm of depravity is almost as breath-taking as the crimes themselves: the timing suggests to me that the crimes are geared to the forthcoming elections, in addition to the approach of Obama's inauguration - just in case the Zionists he has put into his inner circle should fail to restrain the logic of his implied promises to honour the rule of law & the basic demands of justice & decency - not to mention just plain human pity for the defenceless victims of this ongoing holocaust. His appointees certainly seem to reinforce the view (which i hope to God Almighty is mistaken) that his stance on Palestinian rights is even worse than Bush's.
Pardon the diatribe! I grieve daily over the relentless torture of defenceless victims who, in addition to the crime of being born Palestinian, dared to vote for an Islamic party in one of the very few credible, democratic elections in the Middle East."
"My father fought against Germany in the second world war. He was wounded and spent the rest of his life with a disability as a result. In 1973 he and I were both tempted to move to Israel from South Africa when war threatened the independent state of Israel.
My father has since passed away but I believe I speak for him when I condemn the heavy handed attacks and the use of massively destructive weapons that result in the heavy loss of civilians in this terrible war.
I call on you to end this war, it seems that you have lost your humanity in fighting this way.
When you fight this way you attempt to write your own Testament – 1000 eyes for an eye."
The Zionist Israeli Humiliation of America: “Early Friday morning the secretary of state was considering bringing the cease-fire resolution to a UNSC vote and we didn’t want her to vote for it.” Olmert said. “I said ‘get President Bush on the phone.’ They tried and told me he was in the middle of a lecture in Philadelphia. I said ‘I’m not interested, I need to speak to him now.’ He got down from the podium, went out and took the phone call.”
Israeli politicians have been bragging for decades about the control they exercise over the US government. In his final press conference, President Bush, deluded to the very end, said that the whole world respects America. In fact, when the world looks at America, what it sees is an Israeli colony.
It is American supplied F-16 fighter jets, helicopter gunships, missiles, and bombs that are destroying the civilian infrastructure of Gaza and murdering the Palestinians who have been packed into the tiny strip of land. What is happening to the Palestinians herded into the Gaza Ghetto is happening because of American money and weapons. It is just as much an attack by the United States as an attack by Israel. The US government is complicit in the war crimes.
Yet in his farewell press conference on January 12, Bush said that the world respects America for its compassion.
The compassion of bombing a UN school for girls?
The compassion of herding 100 Palestinians into one house and then shelling it?
The compassion of bombing hospitals and mosques?
The compassion of depriving 1.5 million Palestinians of food, medicine, and energy?
The compassion of violently overthrowing the democratically elected Hamas government?
The compassion of blowing up the infrastructure of one of the poorest and most deprived people on earth?
The compassion of abstaining from a Security Council vote condemning these actions?
And this is a repeat of what the Israelis and Americans did to Lebanon in 2006, what the Americans did to Iraqis for six years and are continuing to do to Afghans after seven years. And still hope to do to the Iranians and Syrians.
Turkish PM says 'Jewish-backed media' spread false info on Gaza: "Excuses are found for mass killings of children at schools, hospitals and mosques, especially by Jewish-backed media," he said. "News stories saying that terrorists hide among children or (describing bombings) as technical errors or accidents are aimed at making fun of the world (public opinion)."
According to El Pais, Rafael Shultz, the Israeli ambassador to Spain, succeeded in having the Spanish Socialist Worker's Party (PSOE), Spain's governing party, tone down a manifesto read at a pro-Palestinian demonstration last Sunday in Madrid. The Israelis succeeded in having the word "genocide" removed from the PSOE's manifesto. Shultz had unsuccessfully tried to have the demonstration, sponsored by PSOE, the PSOE's Socialist Youth, United Left, UGT (Socialist Workers' General Union), and CCOO (Workers' Committees trade union) cancelled.
Spain's neo-fascist Popular Party called the PSOE's use of the term genocide to describe Israel's attack on Gaza "terribly irresponsible," according to El Pais. The Spanish neo-fascists have been joined in their support for Israel's actions by the Italian neo-fascist party that supports Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government and by the British National Party. The nexus of fascists and neo-Nazis and the Israeli government is not new. WMR has been told by two knowledgeable sources that the American Nazi Party, led by its later-assassinated leader George Lincoln Rockwell, was heavily financed by the Anti-Defamation League.
In a situation similar to President George W. Bush ordering Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to not vote for the UN Security Council resolution after Bush received a pressuring phone call from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who governs with the support of a far-right Danish political party, countered a statement by his own Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller, that Israel's attack on Gaza was out of proportion.
Rasmussen, a close ally of Bush, repeated the Israeli propaganda line that Hamas was solely responsible for the crisis. Rasmussen rejected Moeller's contention that Israel's attack was disproportionate.
Rasmussen also contradicted a statement by his Development Aid Minister Ullla Toernaes that Denmark was considering asking Israel for compensation for the Israeli destruction of Danish-funded medical clinics and a torture rehabilitation center in Gaza. Rasmussen, who obviously puts Israel interests ahead of Denmark's, said his government had no such plans to ask Israel for compensation. Denmark is plagued by the same "dual loyalty" problem vis a vis Israel as does the United States.
A similar situation in Malawi played out. Former President Bakili Muluzi called on President Bingu wa Mutharika and the government of Malawi to condemn Israel's killing of Gazans. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Henry Mumba said Muluzi's comments were ill-timed. State House Press Officer Chikumbutso Mtumodzi, obviously influenced by Israel's non-resident ambassador in heavily Israeli-influenced Kenya, called Muluzi's comments misplaced and influenced by his Islamic faith. Muluzi said, "while the rest of Africa countries are renting their voices and weight behind the suffering Palestinians, Malawi government is quiet. This silence is very disturbing and is costing a lot."
Meanwhile, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child condemned Israel's actions for the "devastating impact" they are having on the children of Gaza.
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Mohammad Ali Hosseini called for Israeli leaders to be tried at the International Court of Justice in The Hague for war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the use of banned weapons in Israel's aggression on Gaza and the deliberate targeting of hospitals, religious buildings and educational centers.
It is also apparent that pro-Palestinian groups in other countries are becoming more adept to seeking out Israeli intelligence targets. A Danish-Palestinian man attacked two Israelis recently at a shopping mall kiosk in Odense, Denmark. Israeli kiosks have been identified by U.S. intelligence and law enforcement as Israeli intelligence fronts. Five hooded men also attacked the Mestre (Venice) headquarters of Israel's Zim Shipping, the firm that moved out of the World Trade Center two weeks before the 9/11 attack.
The Turkish Consumers Association is promoting a boycott of products from Israel and the two major supporters of its Gaza aggression, the United States and United Kingdom. [ . . . ]
The companies mentioned in the campaign are McDonald's, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, Coca Cola and the Marlboro cigarette brand. The people behind the campaign urge that if all people worldwide were to stop purchasing American products, the United States economy would lose $8.6 billion a month.
Coca Cola's media coordinator in Malaysia responded angrily to the new campaign, stating that "such a boycott will not help the Palestinians.* It will only damage the local economy."
In Lebanon, protesters angry at Israel's onslaught on Gaza forced the closure of a Starbucks coffee shop in Beirut, calling for a boycott of the US-based chain. "We want to revive the boycott campaign in Lebanon and the Arab countries," demonstration organizer Yara Harakeh said adding, "We have begun with Starbucks." --------------------------- * Nothing mobilizes the corporate world like a snatch from the pocket book.
“Kol Acher from Sderot and the communities around Gaza calls on the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister to act urgently to restore calm in the area.
“The ceasefire changed the lives of the people of Sderot, Ashkelon and the region beyond recognition, allowing all of us to experience again a life that is more normal and sane. The continuation of this calm is essential and critical to the residents of the region from every possible aspect: physical, mental, spiritual and economic.
“Another round of escalation may break our already brittle spirit, and take us all to another round of self-destruction and pointless bloodshed. It is not certain that we will survive. And you must be aware of that, if you indeed care about the residents of this area. We’ve been through this movie too many years–and results speak for themselves: feeling trapped, abandonment, and hopelessness for our children and us!
“On the other side of the border live a million and a half Palestinians under unbearable conditions, and most of them want, like we do, calm and the opportunity of a future for themselves and their families.
“We live in the feeling that you have wasted that period of calm, instead of using it to advance understandings and begin negotiations, as well as for fortifying the houses of residents as promised.
“We call on the Prime Minister and the Defence minister not to listen to the voices of incitement and do everything they can to avoid another round of escalation, to secure the continuation of the calm and to work...towards direct or indirect negotiations with the Palestinian leadership in Gaza in order to reach long term understandings.
“We prefer a cold war without a single rocket to a hot war with dozens of victims and innocent fatalities on both sides.
“We ask you to offer us the possibility of political arrangement and hope and not an endless cycle of blood.”
Their petition had no effect. On December 27th, while politicians in the West were on holiday and the US had a lame duck President in his final weeks of office, Israel launched a savage assault.
That same day the Israeli Foreign Ministry changed its website, removing charts giving the numbers of rockets and mortars fired every month from the Gaza strip, perhaps because they revealed the near-total cessation of fire during the truce. These charts were based on statistics supplied by the Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center and provide striking evidence of Hamas’ good faith. Contrary to government statements made repeatedly since then, Israeli government statistics show Hamas kept the ceasefire. (emphasis added)
Photographs of civilian casualties from Gaza were pasted on to the computer screens of public relations executives, phone lines cut off to halt the organisation's media rebuttal unit and leaflets thrown out of window on to the main road and handed out to staff pressing them to confront the truth about the human cost of Israeli aggression.
Diplomats: Gaza op causing long-term harm to Israel's image: The straw that broke the camel's back for that ambassador was the Red Cross report from Gaza that small children had been found wounded, near the corpses of their mothers, under the ruins of their homes, and other reports of civilians on the verge of dying in places ambulances could not reach because of the fighting.
Wayne Madsen Report (in fulll) - January 14, 2009 -- Remember, remember the 17th of January: In Africa, dates are important. Many city streets throughout Africa are named after famous dates in history, including dates that mark independence and revolutions. However, one infamous date for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is January 17, which twice was the date of assassinations of its top political leader three days prior to the inauguration of a new American president during a change over in political party control in Washington.
On January 17, 1961, as the Eisenhower administration was passing the torch to the incoming Kennedy administration, Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba was kidnapped and assassinated in Congo. The CIA oversaw the assassination. On January 17, 2001, as the Clinton administration urned over the reins of power to the George W. Bush administration, Congolese President Laurent Desire Kabila was shot in Kinshasa. He later died of his wounds en route to a hospital in Zimbabwe.
We are now approaching January 17, 2009 and a changeover from the Bush administration to the Obama administration and Kabila's son, Congolese President Joseph Kabila, is clearly aware of history and worrie.
On December 19, 2008, WMR reported on Kabila's worries about a coup against him launched with the support of Rwanda's U.S. dictator-client President Paul Kagame.
On December 19, 2008, WMR reported: "Kabila is clearly aware that his capital has been infiltrated by Rwandan and Congolese Tutsi forces. On October 20, the Congolese Republican Guard and National Police were deployed in massive numbers in Kinshasa. Two weeks earlier, an arms cache, along with DRC Armed Forces (FARDC) uniforms, were discovered by Kabila's forces in Kintambo, Katanga Province at Number 35 Avenue Lusambo. On October 21, Kabila's Republican Guard seized an additional arms cache at the Kimwenza poultry farm in Montgafula, west of Kinshasa. The farm is owned by wives of a number of ex-Liberation Army of Congo (ALC) soldiers, the former army of exiled rebel chief Jean-Pierre Bemba."
Bemba is currently on trial before the International Criminal Court in The Hague for war crimes.
On January 12, a Belgian and American were arrested in the central province of Maniema. The two did not have visas and were carrying weapons. The two men were transferred to Kinshasa and there has been very little reported about their identities and their mission. The Belgian and U.S. embassies declined to comment on the arrests.
The arms caches in the DRC and the arrest of armed poe mercenaries has Kabila worried as January 17 approaches. Based on history, he has every reason to be worried.
Wayne Madsen Report (in full) - January 14, 2009 -- Propaganda war over Gaza continues to be waged: A group of 75 Holocaust scholars have criticized Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez for accusing Israel of carrying out a "Holocaust' in Gaza. In a petition sent to Chavez, the scholars defended Israel's actions in Gaza. The petition stated, "Any comparison between Israel and the Nazis outrageously distorts Israel's actions and trivializes the enormity and nature of the Holocaust." The petition drive was coordinated by the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies in Washington, DC and was sent to the Venezuelan embassy in Washington. The scholars also pointed to a U.S. State Department report that any comparison of Israeli policy to the Nazis is an example of "anti-Semitism."
However, Manchester, UK-based Rabbi Ahron Cohen of the group Neturei Karta said that the "Israeli regime was based on terrorism and the flawed concept of Zionism." Cohen told the Iranian news agency IRNA, "I wonder how people are surviving. I cannot imagine Gazans are living in such terrifying and horrific circumstances. It's beyond description." Cohen added, "Israel is terrorism. Israelis conducted terrorist activities long before others did."
Meanwhile, in Canada, such pro-Zionist groups as the Canadian Jewish Congress and B'nai B'rith Canada are stepping up their campaign against street protests in support of Gaza. The groups are singling out Canadian politicians and groups for supporting the anti-Israeli protests. Some Canadian Jewish organizations are asking the government to invoke laws against anti-Semitism to shut down the street protests.
Of particular interest to the Jewish groups are the stances of Amir Khadir, Member of the National Assembly of Quebec and the Ontario chapter of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
Collective psychopathy: ". . . is it even possible to imagine an Op-Ed or column being published by a major newspaper that enthusiastically trumpeted all of the great strategic benefits that would accrue to Muslims from the violent deaths of large numbers of Israeli civilians, the way Friedman today did with regard to the deaths of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians?"