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Republicans, Democrats, War and Corporate Profits

            In 1969, at the height of the U.S. war against Vietnam, Edwin Starr recorded a song called ‘War’, that reached number one on the charts. Among the lyrics are these:

War: What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing!

            Much as one would like to believe these simple lyrics, there are facts that belie them. In a report from the Financial Times from March of 2013, it is stated that private contractors earned at least a whopping $139 billion dollars from the U.S. war against Iraq up to that time, and that total is ever increasing. Kellogg, Brown and Root, a former subsidiary of Haliburton, the company once run by former Vice President Dick Cheney, the architect of this war, earned nearly $40 billion.

Desmond Tutu: “My Plea to the People of Israel: Liberate Yourselves by Liberating Palestine”

by Desmond Tutu

published on Haaretz 14 Aug 2014

 

The past weeks have witnessed unprecedented action by members of civil society across the world against the injustice of Israel’s disproportionately brutal response to the firing of missiles from Palestine.

If you add together all the people who gathered over the past weekend to demand justice in Israel and Palestine – in Cape Town, Washington, D.C., New York, New Delhi, London, Dublin and Sydney, and all the other cities – this was arguably the largest active outcry by citizens around a single cause ever in the history of the world.

Israel News - Aug 23, 2014


Hamas Militants Kill 18 Alleged ‘Spies' For Israel Including 2 Women, Saying They 'Had Sold Their Souls to the Enemy' - huffingtonpost.com


Amnesty International: Hamas must end summary executions as ‘informers’ face firing squad - Amnesty International


Palestinian Center for Human Rights Calls for Stopping Hamas Extra-Judicial Executions in Gaza - pchrgaza.org


VIDEO: Hamas gunmen execute 18 'collaborators' for helping Israel - YouTube


PHOTOS: Haunting Images Emerge of Hamas Public Execution of 18 Alleged Collaborators - Algemeiner.com


Palestinian Authority: Hamas arrested, shot Fatah activists during war with Israel - World Tribune


Gaza rocket that killed four-year-old Israeli was launched near UNRWA school, says IDF - JPost


VIDEO, PHOTOS: Deadly Gaza Mortar Attack Which Killed 4-Year-Old Child - JP Updates


Gaza Rocket Hits Israeli Synagogue, 3 Wounded - huffingtonpost.com


Israeli declassified intelligence report: Hamas fired rockets from churches, United Nations facilities, Red Cross stations, hospitals, schools, children’s playgrounds - Washington Free Beacon


REPORT (Full): New Israeli Declassified Report Exposes Hamas Human Shield Policy - slideshare.net


NGO asks US to extradite Hamas leader who claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and slaying of three Israeli teens - The Times of Israel


VIDEO (English): Hamas Leader's Statement Acknowledging Responsibility for Kidnapping Three Israeli Teens - Al Jazeera


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Palestinian Authority forces clash with Hamas protesters in West Bank - The Times of Israel


VIDEO: Palestinian Authority forces clash with Hamas protesters in West Bank - YouTube


PHOTOS: Hamas protests in West Bank turn violent - The Washington Post


Abbas castigated Mashaal in Qatar meeting, official says - The Times of Israel


Report: Abbas Forces Mashaal Back to Truce Talks - Arutz Sheva


Abbas, Meshaal seek UN timetable to end Israel occupation - Yahoo News UK


Europe, US mull UN resolution on Gaza truce - MiamiHerald.com


Interview: Meshaal spoke to Anadolu on the eve of his meeting with the Emir of Qatar and Abbas - middleeastmonitor


Haniyeh: Hamas will not accept less than end to blockade - Maan News Agency


Press Release of Abu Obeida, Al Qassam spokesperson - Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades


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Israeli airstrikes kill 3 top Hamas commanders in Gaza Strip - The Washington Post


VIDEO: Massive Funeral Procession for Hamas Military Leaders Killed in Gaza - YouTube


VIDEO (English): MEE reporter interviews Palestinians on the Israeli strikes that killed the three Hamas leaders in Gaza - YouTube


Gaza counts cost of war as more than 360 factories destroyed or damaged - theguardian.com


Smuggling between Sinai and Gaza still thriving - The Times of Israel


How Gaza’s Christians View the Hamas-Israeli Conflict - Christianity Today


Gaza's Christians Defy Hamas With Illegal Wine - MUNCHIES


Hold up of US missile shipment to Israel reportedly resolved - The Times of Israel

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

Israel News - Aug 21, 2014


Hamas official takes credit for kidnap and murder of three Israeli teens, praised as "heroic action" of the military wing Kassam Brigades - JPost


Hamas Leader Admits Responsibility For Murder Of Israeli Teens At Union of Muslim Scholars Meeting In Istanbul - Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch


VIDEO (English): Hamas Official Takes Responsibility For Murder Of Three Israeli Boys At Union of Muslim Scholars Meeting In Istanbul - YouTube


VIDEO (Longer version in Arabic): Hamas Official Takes Responsibility on the Kidnapping of 3 Israeli Boys At The Union of Muslim Scholars Meeting In Istanbul - YouTube


VIDEO (Arabic): Three hour footage of the International Union of Muslim Scholars meeting in Turkey - YouTube


IDF destroys homes of the suspected murderers of the three kidnapped Jewish teens - JPost


PHOTO: Hamas flags fly from atop the remains of the house of a Palestinian who Israel suspects of the abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers in June - Yahoo News Canada


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Israeli Airstrikes Kill Wife, Child of Hamas Military Leader - VOA


Hamas’ military chief believed to have been killed in airstrike, Israeli intelligence sources say - Fox News


Hamas Denies IDF Killed Gaza Military Chief, Mohammed Deif (VIDEO) - Algemeiner.com


At funeral thousands mourn slain wife, baby of Hamas commander - THE DAILY STAR


VIDEO: Funeral held for wife and child of Hamas military chief - YouTube


Hamas Threatens Ben-Gurion Airport, Warns Airlines to Stay Away - Arutz Sheva


Hamas says fired rockets at off-shore Israeli gas well - Reuters


Rights groups say Israeli ban hinders Gaza investigation - Reuters


Israel/Egypt: Provide Rights Groups Access to Gaza - Human Rights Watch


UN Security Council urges Israel, Palestinians to resume talks - Channel NewsAsia


Qatar 'threatened to expel Mashaal' if he agreed to Egypt deal - The Times of Israel


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Israel says it foiled Hamas plan for massive attacks on Israel, coup against PA - The Times of Israel


Abbas calls for probe into Hamas coup plot, says the report could severely impact the unity pact signed between Fatah and Hamas - i24news


Fatah were in the dark over Hamas coup plot - i24news


Meshaal, Abbas to Meet in Qatar Despite Alleged Coup - Arutz Sheva


Ankara rejects Israeli claim Turkey helped coup in West Bank - CİHAN


Palestinian Authority says Hamas shot Fatah men in legs during Gaza fighting - JPost


Hamas and Fatah: The rift - The Times of Israel


ARCHIVE: Hamas West Bank head arrested, indicted for planning wave of terror attacks - JPost

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

Death of Seaman Who Saved the USS Liberty Brings Memories of Israeli Attack

 

 


A USS Liberty’s Hero’s Passing

 

 

Editor Comment:  Silver Star winner Terry Halbardier, the hero who got off the SOS that saved the USS Liberty from Israeli destruction in 1967, died last week in California, prompting ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern to recall the murderous attack and the cowardly cover-up that followed.

By Ray McGovern

Terry Halbardier, who – as a 23-year old seaman in 1967 – thwarted Israeli attempts to sink the USS Liberty, died on Aug. 11 in Visalia, California. It took the U.S. government 42 years after the attack to recognize Halbardier’s heroism by awarding him the Silver Star, a delay explained by Washington’s determination to downplay Israeli responsibility for the 34 Americans killed and the 174 wounded.

A Meditation on Peacemaking: Americans Need to Break the Cycle of War

By John Grant


All we are saying is give peace a chance
             -John Lennon


Avoid bullies and thugs: Beware the World’s Leading War-Monger and Terrorist Organization

By Dave Lindorff



There’s an old adage that goes: “You can judge a man by the company he keeps.”


If that’s the case, then applying it to nations, the world has to judge the US to be a truly wretched and repugnant country, and should be steering clear of it.

Israel News - Aug 9, 2014


Israel strikes Gaza after Palestinian militants resume rocket fire, five dead including a 10-year-old boy - Reuters


A Boy at Play in Gaza, an Israeli Missile, a Mourning Family - NYTimes.com


U.N. Reports Dire Impact on Children in Gaza Strip - NYTimes.com


Scale of Gaza civilian deaths 'mustn't happen again': Red Cross - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Red Cross President: Disregard for humanitarian law led to unacceptable toll on civilians in the Gaza-Israel conflict - ICRC


One Palestinian dead, dozens wounded in West Bank clashes - The Times of Israel


Iron Dome intercepts two rockets over Beersheba; Three Israelis hurt in south - JPost


Israeli procedure reignites old debate in one of the bloodiest episodes in the Gaza conflict - NYTimes.com


Palestinian shift may bring war crimes case closer to Israel - Reuters


In Gaza, dispute over civilian vs combatant deaths - The Washington Post


Caution needed with Gaza casualty figures - BBC News


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Exclusive: Europe proposes U.N. mission for Gaza to lift blockade and disarm Palestinians militants - foreignpolicy.com


Full text of the European plan backing U.N. monitoring mission in Gaza - scribd.com


UN: Arab states call for reconstruction in Gaza - Worldbulletin News


Egypt officials say Israel demands Gaza demilitarization - altahrir


Hamas threatens attacks if blockade is not lifted - The Portland Press Herald


What does Hamas want, and what may it get? - Ynetnews


Is it time for a Marshall Plan for Gaza? - The Washington Post


Gaza Symposium: Is reconstruction for demilitarisation the way forward? (AUDIO) - fathomjournal.org


Ruined Gaza Will Not Be Rebuilt By Hamas, But International Aid - ibtimes.com


Hamas backers spend fortunes on rockets and tunnels while Gazans live in misery - Fox News


POLL: Huge majority in Gaza want lasting ceasefire, IDC survey finds that 72% hope for peace deal with Israel and 68% prefer reconstruction over rearmament - The Times of Israel


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Gaza official confirms that "resistance groups" in Gaza executed tens of Palestinians deemed as alleged "informants" to Israel - Arutz Sheva


Hamas Executes One of Its Leaders, Then Blames Israel - gatestoneinstitute.org


Archbishop: Hamas Fired Out of Our Church in Gaza (VIDEO) - Algemeiner.com


To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

Killing Lt. Goldin...and 150 innocents: The IDF’s ‘Hannibal Protocol’ and Two Criminally Insane Governments

By Dave Lindorff


The sickness of present-day Israel, on display over the past horrible month of the one-sided slaughter of over 2000 Palestinians (including over 400 children) in the fenced-in ghetto of Gaza, has finally reached its nadir with the ugly case of the deliberate Israeli Defense Force murder of captured IDF 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin.


Israel News - Aug 7, 2014

 

According to the UN About 1800 Palestinians Died in the Gaza Conflict: Civilian or Not? New Fight in Tallying the Dead - NYTimes.com


Gaza cease-fire takes hold ahead of talks with Israelis in Cairo - The Washington Post


Exclusive: For Cairo deal, Israel calls for ban in Gaza on all but light arms, free hand against tunnels, rocket plants - DEBKAfile


As Cairo Talks Begin, Hamas Vows Never to Disarm - Arutz Sheva


Analysis: Hamas emerges weakened from Gaza war - AP


Hamas Learns It Has Few Friends In Latest War With Israel - NBC News


War-weary Gazans lash out at Hamas - Fox News


POLL: New Poll Shows Support for Hamas Plummeting in Gaza - Clarion Project


VIDEO: "May Allah Curse Them!” Gazans Share Harsh Words for Hamas - The Gateway Pundit


Report: Hamas spokesperson attacked by Gaza civilians - Ynetnews


Hamas Combat Manual Explains Benefits of Using Human Shields - americanthinker


France 24 Reporter Reveals Hamas Rocket Launcher Fired Near Civilians, United Nations Facility and Reporters (VIDEO) - Algemeiner.com


Indian TV Reporter Films Hamas Launching Missiles Outside Gaza Hotel Minutes Before Cease-Fire (VIDEO) - Algemeiner.com


One killed, six hurt when terrorist attacks with digger in Jerusalem, Hamas: Do you have cars, motorcycles, diggers and trucks? If you do not hit Jews, then you are not Palestinian - Ynetnews


Hamas funded the kidnapper who started the Gaza war, but the kidnapper didn’t receive specific instructions from the group’s leadership: Israeli intelligence official - The Daily Beast


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Obama: No sympathy for Hamas, but Gaza blockade cannot go on - The Times of Israel


VIDEO: Obama Has ‘No Sympathy’ for Hamas, ‘Great Sympathy’ for People of Gaza - CNN


POLL: CBS News Poll: 54 percent of Americans sympathize with Israel against Hamas, but 47 percent blame both sides for the violence - CBS


POLL: Gallup: U.S. Support for Israel Is Stable, Four in 10 say Israel's attacks are justified - gallup.com


VIDEO: Americans Continue to Support Israel's Actions Against Hamas - gallup.com


Jimmy Carter pushes US to recognize Hamas, slams Israel in op-ed - Fox News


Jimmy Carter Op-Ed: How to Fix It - foreignpolicy.com


What Hamas leaders think, Neither John Kerry nor the media show any awareness of the group’s stated goals and core beliefs - National Review Online


The Hamas Charter: Selected Excerpts - Israel Foreign Affairs News


Full Text of The Hamas Charter - Palestine Center


VIDEO: Hamas Spokesman Won't Say Whether Hamas Would Remove Call for Killing Jews from Its Charter - CNN


VIDEO: Cleric on Hamas TV: Muslims to Exterminate the Jews - breitbart.com


Hamas TV: Dress up like Jews to execute suicide bombings (PHOTOS) - PMW Bulletins

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

If a Genocide Falls in the Forest

There's a wide and mysterious chasm between the stated intentions of the Israeli government as depicted by the U.S. media and what the Israeli government has been doing in Gaza, even as recounted in the U.S. media.

With the morgues full, Gazans are packing freezers with their dead children. Meanwhile, the worst images to be found in Israel depict fear, not death and suffering. Why the contrast? If the Israeli intent is defensive, why are 97% of the deaths Gazan, not Israeli? If the targets are fighters, why are whole families being slaughtered and their houses leveled? Why are schools and hospitals and children playing on the beach targeted? Why target water and electricity if the goal is not to attack an entire population?

The mystery melts away if you look at the stated intentions of the Israeli government as not depicted by the U.S. media but readily available in Israeli media and online. 

On August 1st, the Deputy Speaker of Israel's Parliament posted on his FaceBook page a plan for the complete destruction of the people of Gaza using concentration camps.  He had laid out a somewhat similar plan in a July 15th column.

Another member of the Israeli Parliament, Ayelet Shaked, called for genocide in Gaza at the start of the current war, writing: "Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there."

Taking a slightly different approach, Middle East scholar Dr. Mordechai Kedar of Bar-Ilan University has been widely quoted in Israeli media saying, "The only thing that can deter [Gazans] is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."

The Times of Israel published a column on August 1st, and later unpublished it, with the headline "When Genocide Is Permissible." The answer turned out to be: now.

On August 5th, Giora Eiland, former head of Israel's National Security Council, published a column with the headline "In Gaza, There Is No Such Thing as 'Innocent Civilians'."  Eiland wrote: "We should have declared war against the state of Gaza (rather than against the Hamas organization). . . . [T]he right thing to do is to shut down the crossings, prevent the entry of any goods, including food, and definitely prevent the supply of gas and electricity."

It's all part of putting Gaza "on a diet," in the grotesque wording of an advisor to a former Israeli Prime Minister. 

If it were common among members of the Iranian or Russian government to speak in favor of genocide, you'd better believe the U.S. media would notice. Why does this phenomenon go unremarked in the case of Israel? Noticing it is bound to get you called an anti-Semite, but that's hardly a concern worthy of notice while children are being killed by the hundreds.

Another explanation is U.S. complicity. The weapons Israel is using are given to it, free-of-charge, by the U.S. government, which also leads efforts to provide Israel immunity for its crimes.  Check out this revealing map of which nations recognize the nation of Palestine. 

A third explanation is that looking too closely at what Israel's doing could lead to someone looking closely at what the U.S. has done and is doing. Roughly 97% of the deaths in the 2003-2011 war on Iraq were Iraqi.  Things U.S. soldiers and military leaders said about Iraqis were shameful and genocidal.

War is the biggest U.S. investment, and contemporary war is almost always a one-sided slaughter of civilians.  If seeing the horror of it in Israeli actions allow us to begin seeing the same in U.S. actions, an important step will have been taken toward war's elimination.

Yes, how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn't see?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

Assault on Gaza: The Moral Agonies of Asymmetrical Diplomacy

By John Grant


At a birthday dinner with friends last night, the Israeli assault on Gaza came up. One friend said having to helplessly watch the violence infuriated him and made him ill. Another said it made him want to cry.

Israel News - Aug 2, 2014

 

Obama says Hamas responsible for bloody end to humanitarian ceasefire, calls for 'unconditional release' of IDF soldier held captive in Gaza - JPost


VIDEO: President Obama condemns kidnap of Israeli soldier just after the start of a ceasefire in Gaza - YouTube


Kerry urges Qatar and Turkey to use their influence to secure the release of Israeli soldier - NYTimes.com


UN Chief Blames Hamas for Breaking Cease-Fire - ABC News


Statement of Hamas military wing claiming responsibility for capture of Israeli soldier - shafaqna.com


Egypt delays Gaza talks after Israel soldier 'captured': Islamic Jihad - THE DAILY STAR


VIDEO: Arab states turn against Hamas - CNN


Saudi King Condemns Gaza War but Not Israel - ABC News


US Senate approves funding for Israel’s Iron Dome - The Washington Post


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Israel says Hamas suicide bomber hit unit clearing tunnels, collapsing Gaza cease-fire - McClatchy DC


VIDEO: Israeli Analyst: Hamas Has 3,000 Elite Soldiers Ready to Die in Suicide Attacks on Israel - TheBlaze.com


VIDEO: Finnish TV reporter witnesses Hamas rocket attack in the parking lot of Al Shifa Hospital at two o’clock in the morning - Algemeiner.com


How Hamas Uses Ambulances for Military Purposes (VIDEO) - jspacenews.com


VIDEO: The footage at the end shows UN ambulance transporting Hamas fighters - YouTube


Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel on Friday published a full-page ad in major U.S. newspapers condemning Hamas for using children as human shields (Op-Ed Full Text) - Algemeiner.com


VIDEO: Children and guns at Hamas summer camp - JerusalemOnline


VIDEO: Islamic Jihad showcases rocket capabilities - The Times of Israel


Hamas Loses Grip On Gaza Government Amid War, Poverty, Disillusionment - ibtimes.com

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

Guess Who Cheers When Cease-Fires Collapse

Among those who cheer when a cease-fire ends and killing resumes are those who want more Palestinians slaughtered as a form of mass punishment for fictional offenses.  Also among those cheering are certain mainstream U.S. newspaper columnists.  In fact, at least one person is clearly in both of the above categories.

My local newspaper in Charlottesville, Va., printed a column on Friday from Thomas Sowell, distributed by Creators Syndicate but actually written for the right-wing Jewish World Review. Sowell writes:

"It is understandable that today many people in many lands just want the fighting between the Israelis and the Palestinians to stop. Calls for a cease-fire are ringing out from the United Nations and from Washington, as well as from ordinary people in many places around the world. According to the New York Times, Secretary of State John Kerry is hoping for a cease-fire to 'open the door to Israeli and Palestinian negotiations for a long-term solution.' President Obama has urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to have an 'immediate, unconditional humanitarian cease-fire' -- again, with the idea of pursuing some long-lasting agreement."

Here is where Sowell might logically object to Washington shipping Israel more weaponry in the midst of proposing cease-fires and mumbling quietly about the inappropriateness of particular bits of the mass-murder underway.  John Kerry doesn't hope for a long-term solution any more than he knew Syria used chemical weapons or Putin shot down a plane or Iraq deserved to be destroyed before it didn't but after it did.  John Kerry knows the U.S. provides the weaponry and the criminal immunity to a nation intent on completing the process of eliminating its native peoples, as Kerry's own nation effectively did long ago.  There's no solution possible in that context other than a Final Solution for Palestinians. But this is not what Sowell goes on to say.

"If this was the first outbreak of violence between the Palestinians and the Israelis, such hopes might make sense. But where have the U.N., Kerry and Obama been during all these decades of endlessly repeated Middle East carnage?"

Well, the same place all of their Republican and Democratic predecessors have been, supporting endless armaments for Israel and most of its neighbors, and vetoing any U.N. resolutions that would impose any consequences for Israel's occupation, blockade, and Apartheid repression on the basis of religion and race.

"The Middle East must lead the world in cease-fires. If cease-fires were the road to peace, the Middle East would easily be the most peaceful place on the planet."

Stop for a moment and appreciate the unfathomable stupidity of that remark.  One might as well say the Middle East must lead the world in U.S. weapons imports or the Middle East must lead the world in wars.  If these were paths to peace, the Middle East would easily be the most peaceful place on the planet.  One might also just as easily say the Middle East must lead the world in the brevity of its cease-fires, with cease-fires elsewhere lasting longer, and with as many broken agreements lying in the sand of the Middle East as anywhere since the last big batch of promises made to Native Americans.  One might even just as easily say the Middle East must lead the world in resumptions of fighting, rather than in halts to fighting. But that's not where Sowell is headed.  He's out to reverse Benjamin Franklin's notion that there has never been a good war or a bad peace.

"'Cease-fire' and 'negotiations' are magic words to 'the international community.' But just what do cease-fires actually accomplish? In the short run, they save some lives. But in the long run they cost far more lives, by lowering the cost of aggression."

Here it comes.  Just as the Jewish World Review wants to make poor people "self-sufficient" by denying them any assistance, Sowell wants to teach the people of Palestine a lesson for their own good.  Of course people dispossessed of their land, made refugees, entrapped and blockaded, and targeted with missiles that level their homes and explode in their schools and hospitals and shelters are unusual suspects to accuse of aggression.  And for those who shoot rockets, so ineffectively and counter-productively, into Israel, the lesson Sowell wants to teach through mass slaughter is demonstrably not taught.  Everyone in Gaza will tell you that Israeli violence increases support for Palestinian violence.  Not every Palestinian understands that the reverse is also true, that the rockets fuel Israeli attacks, but that hardly justifies their murder or creates a lesson where Sowell imagines Israeli missiles teaching one.

"At one time, launching a military attack on another nation risked not only retaliation but annihilation. When Carthage attacked Rome, that was the end of Carthage."

Ah, the good old days, when any colony or challenger that stepped out of line could be wiped out, starved out, and cleansed from the earth.

"But when Hamas or some other terrorist group launches an attack on Israel, they know in advance that whatever Israel does in response will be limited by calls for a cease-fire, backed by political and economic pressures from the United States."

The political pressure of Kerry groveling before Netanyahu? Of Susan Rice explaining to the world that Kerry never meant to negotiate and has always been 100% in Israel's camp? Of Obama joining Sowell in blaming the victims? The economic pressure of the free weapons continuing to flow from the U.S. to Israel?  What sort of fantasy is this?

One possibility is that it's a fantasy of racism or culturalism.  Americans are rational beings in this fantasy.  It would only make sense to apply obvious points of pressure for a cease-fire once you've proposed one.  Arming the Middle East for peace would be insanity.  So, Sowell perhaps fantasizes that sanity and rationality prevail.  Except in places like Palestine or Iran:

"Those who say that we can contain a nuclear Iran, as we contained a nuclear Soviet Union, are acting as if they are discussing abstract people in an abstract world. Whatever the Soviets were, they were not suicidal fanatics, ready to see their own cities destroyed in order to destroy ours. . . .  Even if the Israelis were all saints -- and sainthood is not common in any branch of the human race -- the cold fact is that they are far more advanced than their neighbors, and groups that cannot tolerate even subordinate Christian minorities can hardly be expected to tolerate an independent, and more advanced, Jewish state that is a daily rebuke to their egos."

Since when does Iran not tolerate minorities? Since when is it populated by 76 million suicidal fanatics?

You see, not only do the Gazans want to die, in the view of Sowell and so many others we've been hearing from via our so-called public airwaves, because it makes good footage, because they have a culture of martyrdom -- you've heard all the explanations for Gazans stubbornly remaining in their homes and hospitals rather than swimming to Cyprus as normal people would do -- but the source of Gazans' irrational aggression against the benevolent power that stole their land and starves their children and bans the importation of books is -- wait for it -- jealousy. It's wounded egos.  Just as poor Americans are jealous of the success of those with the wisdom and fortitude to be born into the families of billionaires, so Palestinians resent the superiority, the Ubermenschness of the people who have been clever enough to get born into Pentagon subsidies.

As a contrasting view of the world to Sowell's allow me to offer this new Willie Nelson video (http://youtu.be/MezGqmMCrwo):

Israel News - Aug 1, 2014


Israel, Hamas agree on 72-hour humanitarian Gaza ceasefire - Yahoo News


Text of the UN and US Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Cease-fire Announcement in Gaza - US State Department


Israel calls up 16,000 reservists as Netanyahu vows to destroy Hamas tunnels 'with or without a cease-fire' - Fox News


Netanyahu Says 'Protective Edge' Goal is Demilitarization of Gaza - Algemeiner.com


Netanyahu's vision for Gaza: Internationally supervised demilitarization - Haaretz


Op-Ed of Shaul Mofaz, Chairman of the Kadima party: Gaza demilitarization is vital - Israel Hayom


Disarm Gaza? Why Israel's idea deserves a look. - CSMonitor.com


Report: U.S. Has Sold Ammunition to Israel Since Start of Gaza Conflict - ABC News


US Senate Passes Resolution In Support of Israel - The Times of Israel


US Senate: Text of the resolution supporting Israel's right to defend itself against Hamas, and for other purposes - Congress.gov | Library of Congress


Arab Leaders Silent, Viewing Hamas as Worse Than Israel - NYTimes.com


Cairo denies Hamas an audience without Fatah umbrella - JPost


Egyptian media reveals just how isolated Hamas is - The Washington Post


Qatari tech helps Hamas in tunnels, rockets: Expert - The Times of Israel


Dark Side of UNRWA Emerges with Discovery of Terror Tunnel Hidden Inside a Booby-Trapped Clinic, Three IDF Soldiers Were Killed - The Tower


UNRWA spokesman denies handing rockets over to Hamas - The Times of Israel


Nunn’s validation of Islamic Relief USA reveals system-wide failure - Money Jihad


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Mohammed Deif: elusive Hamas military chief defying Israel - Yahoo News


Who is Hamas’ military chief Mohammed Deif aka ‘Phantom’? - Al Akhbar English


Deif the Islamic holy warrior unites Hamas - The Times of Israel


VIDEO (English Subtitles): Mohammed Deif to Israel: 'Our soldiers run toward martyrdom like yours flee from death’ - Israel Matzav


TRANSCRIPT: Text of address by Muhammad Al-Daif, Hamas General Commander of the Izz Ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades - NODISINFO


Hamas' Armed Wing in Numbers: IHS Jane’s listed the group as having 13,000 well-trained and well-equipped personnel - Business Insider


Intelligence report: The Hamas collective, Hamas’s decision making is a joint process of its religious council and political and military wings - JPost


Gaza crisis: Who's who in Hamas - CNN.com


Netanyahu 'Nixed' Idea of Killing Hamas Leaders - Arutz Sheva


Tunnels and rockets, but no top brass: Why Hamas' leadership is still alive - Ynetnews


Hamas:Tip of the Muslim Brotherhood spear, Haniyeh pointed out that it “was the Jihadi movement of the Brotherhood, with a Palestinian face” - Center for Security Policy


VIDEO: IDF footage: 12 Examples of Hamas Firing Rockets from Civilian Areas - YouTube


VIDEO: IDF Forces Find & Destroy Terror Tunnel In Gaza Mosque - YouTube


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NYT on why it hasn’t shown photos of Hamas fighters: We don’t have any - Jewish Journal


In LA Times Gaza-Israel Photo Slideshow, Hamas Not in Picture - CAMERA


Hamas images missing from the Gaza war: If journalists are threatened, their news outlets should be out front saying so - Jewish Journal


Hamas threatening journalists in Gaza who expose abuse of civilians - The Times of Israel


Trapped in Gaza: How Hamas punishes reporters for the truth - The Australian


Journalists threatened by Hamas for reporting use of human shields - JPost


To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

TODAY AT 12PM: ARTISTS & ACTIVISTS STAGE "MARCH OF DEAD" ON ISRAELI CONSULATE

Masked & Black-Clad Mourners will March on Consulate in Memorial for Thousand Gazans Killed

 

NEW YORK, NY — Members of the arts and activism collective We Will Not Be Silent will march upon the Israeli consulate at 12pm EST today, Thursday July 31, 2014. Donned in black clothing and face masks, the group hopes to memorialize the names of the Palestinians who have lost their lives in the recent bombardments of the Gaza strip.

We Will not Be Silent has issued the following statement in advance of today's march:


"
In the name of decency we must act. Artists and activists, Jews, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and atheists, we join together to create an arresting visual presence on the streets of NYC. We carry the names of the dead in Gaza. We march to the Israeli Consulate. We are the March of The Dead.
 
"We will create a representation of the carnage from the war crimes perpetrated by the State of Israel on the civilian population of Palestinians in Gaza. 
 
"'We will not be silent...we are your bad conscience...we will not leave you in peace.' - The White Rose resistance movement against Nazi Germany"

 
WHAT: Protest march on Israeli Consulate, creative visuals.

WHEN: 
Thursday, July 31st, 12PM EST

WHERE: Israeli Consulate, 800 2nd Ave, New York, NY  
 

 

###


WE WILL NOT BE SILENT is an artist/activist collective that has been in existence since 2006. Through the creative use of language embodied on shirts and emboldened on signs held up in public spaces, we respond to current social justice issues, encouraging creative, direct public-actions where many people can participate.

Should Israel Teach the Holocaust Less?

Humans almost invariably imagine humans to be far more imaginative and original than they are. But most of our ideas come from (often imperfect and improvised) imitation. And even more powerful than our tendency to imitate is our inability to refrain from imitating, to shake an idea out of our heads once it's there, to "not think of an elephant."

Anthropologists have found cultures whose members cannot conceive of killing. "Why won't you shoot an arrow at those slave raiders?" "Because it would kill them." 

In Western culture, children hear of killing in fairy tales, cartoons, Harry Potter books, video games, the TV news, the newspaper, the games played in the park.  It's everywhere.  Usually it's frowned upon, although often a distinction is made between bad killing by bad guys and good killing by good guys, or inexplicable random killing and killing justified and sanctified by bitter revenge.

But even when a behavior is frowned upon, the listener or viewer has now heard of that behavior.  There have been studies of children's responses to stories and television dramas in which fictional children misbehave for three-quarters of the episode and then learn an important moral lesson at the end.  Guess what?  Kids don't retroactively view the whole story as a package and wipe the bad behavior out of their minds.  Instead they display a tendency to try out the behavior demonstrated to them in so many of the isolated moments that they lived while watching or listening to the story.

Humans also almost invariably imagine humans to be far kinder and far more selfless than they are. Most of us very much want others to be kind to us, and we try our best to be kind to others. So, when we see behaviors and institutions that cause horrendous suffering, we like to imagine there is a rational cause, a greater good, or that the explanation is incompetence or stupidity -- anything other than the most obvious explanation: vicious, evil sadism.

We are often encouraged to picture vicious cruelty and irrational evil in certain foreign groups of humans. But usually this perspective is intended to help us avoid seeing cruelty in those who are supposedly like ourselves.

These thoughts arise as I'm confronted by the polling showing that 95% of Israelis deem the slaughter of Gazans to be just, and the realization that for many in Israel "just" is a rather disgusting euphemism for "satisfyingly sadistic."  People are sitting on hills watching the missiles hit the homes, some of them telling cameras they want everyone killed, and then explaining that their thoughts are "a little bit fascist." 

This week we'll be remembering Harry Truman's bombing of Japan with nuclear weapons, and we'll be told that he must have believed those acts of mass murder would help end the war, even though the evidence shows he knew otherwise. Truman had earlier advocated aiding the Russians or the Germans, whoever was losing, so that as many people as possible would die, he said.  Top U.S. military officials wanted Japan cleansed of all human life.  The most likely explanation for the nukes, namely that Truman viewed killing lots of Japanese as an advantage to be weighed along with impressing the Russians and so forth, is too ugly, so we turn away.  We even have to turn away from his own statement on the occasion, which justified the bombing in terms of revenge, not in terms of ending the war.

Also this week we'll mark 50 years since the Gulf of Tonkin fraud.  We like to imagine such incidents, even when they result in the deaths of 4 million foreigners, as misunderstandings.  But during the course of the savagery that followed, how was progress gauged?  That's right: by body counts. 

Examples of evil policies, in one's own or other parts of the world, flood in the moment you begin to look for them.  The evidence is clear that locking kids up in juvenile prisons makes them more likely, not less likely, to grow into criminals. But we just go on locking them up for other motives we don't care to examine too closely.  We've learned what it's impolite to mention.  Support for wars in Afghanistan or Iraq is discussed on television in terms of "strategic interests" and other such blather, but the counter-demonstrators across the street from a peace rally sometimes have different desires, including the death of foreigners -- and of the peace activists with them.

Courageous peace activists in Israel have been facing hostile counter-demonstrations from those in their society who have moved in a different direction

There are many reasons why I shouldn't make any observation on Israeli society, beginning with the fact that I know very little about it.  But when a nation is continually engaging in the most horrific and massive crimes, using weapons and criminal immunity provided by my nation, and protests are raging around the earth, when the news is packed with information, analysis, propaganda, and poisonous pontificating, when the peace meetings I go to discuss the matter at great length, when the guests on my radio show and the books I read and Israelis I meet begin to inform me a little, and when the problem appears enormous and glaring but guarded by a protection of intimidation and obedience, then I think tossing an idea into the mix may be justified, despite being dramatically more impolite by U.S. standards than criticizing Harry Truman or LBJ.

Israel is a nation where children grow up learning about the holocaust, marking the holocaust with holidays, planning trips to Germany to visit the camps.  U.S. children dress up as Pilgrims and Indians, but nobody tells them that the Pilgrims ended up murdering the Indians, or what it was like to be an Indian child preparing to be murdered or watching your loved ones murdered.  The U.S. origin story is, appropriately enough, one of feasting, not one of genocide.  I'm speaking of how it is told, of course, rather than what actually happened. 

To criticize the Israeli government for its wars, even though I also criticize every other government for their wars, generates inevitable and truly stupid accusations of anti-Semitism.  But criticizing the teaching of the holocaust, which I've never done before, seems likely to go beyond that into an area of accusations of holocaust denial.  I have, of course, been there.  I've been accused of denying the holocaust for opposing bombing Iran because someone in Iran supposedly denied the holocaust.  I've been accused of denying the holocaust for criticizing World War II, even though the actions I express a wish had been taken include opposing fascism in its early years instead of waiting, defunding the Nazis rather than supporting them as preferable to Communists, and finding homes for Jewish refugees when they needed them, rather than turning them away.  But this is all ridiculously dumb: denying the holocaust and flooding society with its ubiquitous presence are not the only two choices, any more than leveling people's homes in Gaza and "doing nothing" are the only two choices.

To say that people are behaving like Nazis is not to say that they are exactly identical to Nazis, any more than to say that your child's piano playing is exactly like Mozart.  Without question, Nazism is a source of imitation for rightwingers around the world, including in Israel.  Might a lesser focus on its significance be helpful?  Would a greater emphasis on peace studies do any harm?

Talk Nation Radio: Sarah Ali: Under the Missiles in Gaza, Palestine

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-sarah-ali-under-the-missiles-in-gaza-palestine

Sarah Ali is a Palestinian living in the Gaza Strip. She has lost friends and neighbors in the current war on Gaza. She speaks to us about conditions under the bombing.  Sarah Ali studied English and literature and currently is working as a teacher in Gaza City. She contributed a short story called "The Story of the Land" to the book Gaza Writes Back: Short Stories from Young Writers in Gaza, Palestine. We close the show by reading that story.

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download from Archive or LetsTryDemocracy.

Pacifica stations can also download from AudioPort.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at
http://davidswanson.org/talknationradio

Israel News - July 30, 2014

 

Hamas faces internal dissension: It summarily kills some 20 alleged “spies”, trigger for executions was a protest by neighborhood residents - The Jewish Press


Fatah allegedly appealed to Hamas to stop arresting its members, was told that detentions were carried out by individuals and were not Hamas official policy - jspacenews.com


THIRD Palestinian Rocket Arsenal Found At UNRWA School In Gaza - breitbart.com


Israel outraged over UNRWA turning over rockets to Hamas - JPost


Are UN Agencies Fighting for Human Rights or Supporting Terrorism? - Algemeiner.com


IDF: Islamic Jihad behind explosion at Gaza hospital and park, 10 dead and 40 wounded - www.jewishaz.com


PHOTO: IDF releases aerial photos of Palestinian misfired rockets hitting Gaza hospital and park - Twitter / IDFSpokesperson


Italian journalist’ tweet: Misfired rocket killed children yday in Shati, witness: Palestinian militants rushed and cleared debris - Israel Matzav


WSJ Journalists Delete Tweets About Gaza Hospital Hit by Errant Rocket - NewsBusters


Israel’s ambassador to U.S: 2,500 Rockets fired at Israel thus far, over 500 rockets fired at Israel landed back in Gaza - Jewish Telegraphic Agency


Israel: Hamas still has 5,000 rockets in its arsenal - usatoday.com


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Israel pounds Gaza; Hamas rejects PLO's proposed cease-fire - LA Times


Hamas rulers have presented a list of demands to stop their fire on Israel in the Gaza war - The Washington Post


VIDEO: Full Interview with Hamas leader Mashaal - THIRTEEN


In recorded message Hamas military chief Deif says: Our fighters are eager for death, will not stop attacks until Israel lifts its blockage of Gaza - The Times of Israel


Gaza Crisis: Hamas Military Wing Release Video of Covert Tunnel Raid Which Killed Five IDF Soldiers - Yahoo News UK


VIDEO: Hamas Military Wing Release Video of Covert Tunnel Raid Which Killed Five IDF Soldiers - YouTube


Gaza Crisis: Five Palestinian Militants Killed Infiltrating Israel after Hamas Reject Ceasefire - ibtimes.co.uk


Americans blame Hamas over Israel for the fighting in Gaza by a roughly 2-1 margin, poll finds - LA Times


POLL: Hamas Seen as More to Blame Than Israel for Current Violence - Pew Research Center for the People and the Press


POLL: Over 90% of Jewish Israelis say Gaza op justified - The Times of Israel


U.S., Israel Strongly Decry Obama-Netanyahu Transcript as Crude Fake - NBC News.com


TRANSCRIPT: Reported transcript between Obama and Netanyahu - MarketWatch


VIDEO: State Dept Criticizes Israeli Strike on Power Plant: 'Deeply Troubled By Humanitarian Impact' - Washington Free Beacon


State Department: Palestinian-American teen jailed in Israel for over three weeks, Considering his age we are calling for a speedy resolution to this case - Jewish Telegraphic Agency


Turkey to Send Another Flotilla to Gaza, this time with an armed Turkish military escort - jspacenews.com


Turkish PM Erdogan returning Jewish American award - US News


Chinese Hackers Stole 'Large Amounts' Of Tech Behind Israel's Iron Dome: Report - huffingtonpost.com

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

Israel News - July 29, 2014


Hamas and Israel trade blame for deaths of 9 children, IDF releases aerial photos allegedly showing the paths of two Hamas misfired rockets that hit Shifa hospital and a park - AP


VIDEO: Bodies of Gazan children slain in park playground attack - YouTube


Washington Post: Shifa Hospital in Gaza City 'Has Become a De Facto Headquarters for Hamas Leaders - Algemeiner.com


French-Palestinian journalist Dagga tells newspaper Liberation to have been detained in Hamas offices at Shifa Hospital - Elder Of Ziyon


VIDEO: IDF Spokesman Peter Lerner: We Have Photographs of Hamas Rocket Launch that Hit Gaza Shifa Hospital - YouTube


New video appears to dispute initial media reports about Gaza UNRWA school shelling, IDF says mortar round landed in empty yard and did not kill civilians (VIDEO) - TheBlaze


UK media fail to report evidence contradicting presumption of IDF guilt in UN school deaths - CiF Watch


Hamas hiding and launching rockets from inside and around mosques, hospitals and children’s playgrounds, Israel and UN agency say - Fox News


PHOTOS: IDF releases aerial photos of Hamas rocket launch sites near a mosque, a hospital, a children’s playground and a cemetery - algemeiner.com


Hamas’ Top 10 Hiding Places (VIDEO, PHOTO) - TheBlaze.com


Gaza foreign reporters tweet Hamas rockets fired from civilian areas, receive death threats for informing or "fabricating information for Israel" - JPost


VIDEO: Live footage of Hamas Terrorists Firing Rockets from a Gazan School - YouTube


VIDEO: Grad Rocket Launchers Discovered Next to Gaza School - YouTube


Israeli leaders vow to keep up Gaza operation until tunnels destroyed - The Times of Israel


Hamas spokesman: Israel has reached only a fraction of our tunnels - JPost


VIDEO: Israeli military releases video footage from inside ‘Hamas tunnel’ – before spectacularly blowing it up - The Independent


Egypt army destroys 13 more Gaza tunnels - Yahoo News


Hamas said to execute over 30 suspected collaborators with Israel - The Times of Israel


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Obama calls Netanyahu urging immediate and unconditional ceasefire, stresses that a lasting solution must ensure demilitarization of Gaza - Times of Israel


UN Security Council Calls For Cease-Fire As Muslims Start Celebrating Eid al-Fitr - huffingtonpost.com


Netanyahu says UN cease-fire plan not addressing Israel security, ignoring demands for the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip - Fox News


VIDEO: Interview: Benjamin Netanyahu denounces Hamas for violating cease-fire agreements, promotes demilitarization of Gaza - CBS News


Israel says leaked document confirms Kerry ceasefire bid generous to Hamas, addresses opening of crossings but ignores Israel’s security demands - The Times of Israel


Israel disputes US account of Kerry's ceasefire effort - The Times of Israel


Kerry: Truce 'Must Lead to Disarmament of Hamas' - Arutz Sheva


VIDEO: Statement of Kerry on Gaza ceasefire - YouTube


Hamas and Fatah to discuss ceasefire in Cairo - The Times of Israel


VIDEO: Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal: No peace as long as Israel occupies Palestinian lands, The full PBS interview will be broadcast tonight - CBS News


VIDEO: Interview: Son of Hamas founder: Hamas is not seeking coexistence and compromise, Hamas is seeking conquest and taking over” - CNN


Leaked doc: Michelle Nunn non-profit validated grants to Islamic Relief USA charity with Hamas-tied affiliate - ajc.com


Islamic Relief Worldwide programs staffed by Hamas - Money Jihad

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

Israeli Genocide will Ultimately Fail

                As Israel continues its unspeakable brutality, violating not only international law but basic human decency by targeting children, hospitals, mosques and private residences, its many outrages are being widely publicized, thanks to social media. One can access YouTube and see Israeli soldiers using Palestinian children as human shields. Facebook is awash with pictures of bloody, dismembered, dead children, victims of ‘the most moral army in the world’.  Twitter is filled with links, all showing not only the horrors that Israel is inflicting, but the many worldwide demonstrations supporting Palestine. Numerous large such demonstrations have been held in Israel itself.

Israel News - July 26, 2014


Israel and Hamas agree to 12-hour halt to fighting; Kerry says more work needed for full ceasefire - The Chronicle Herald


Hamas considers 7-day ceasefire in Gaza: Group leader - Anadolu Agency


VIDEO: Kerry calls for sense over Gaza, insists he is still "confident" a week-long truce can be secured - YouTube


Pursing Ceasefire, Kerry Looks to Hamas Supporters Turkey and Qatar for Help - CNS News


Hamas allies Turkey, Qatar huddle as Gaza truce calls mount - Yahoo News


Turkey FM meets Hamas chief Meshaal in Doha for Gaza talks: Official - Ahram Online


Gaza conflict spotlights role of Qatar, the Hamas-funding U.S. ally - JNS.org


Why Qatar could be key to a Gaza ceasefire - CNN.com Blogs


Who in the Arab World Still Supports Hamas? - TIME


VIDEO: Israel: Qatar is funding Hamas - CNN


Meet the Hamas billionaires: One of the big mysteries is how the Palestinian leaders have become so wealthy and reclusive - Globes English


Private jets, restaurants, luxury hotels: the good life of senior Hamas officers - Ynetnews


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Israel weakens Hamas, but demilitarization far off - THE DAILY STAR


White House Adviser: Cease-Fire Should Include Demilitarization Of Gaza (AUDIO) - NPR


EU calls on Hamas, Islamic Jihad to disarm - The Times of Israel


Saudi Arabia behind effort to disarm the Palestinian Resistance - Al Akhbar English


Mofaz's Gaza 'demilitarization for dollars' plan gains traction, Netanyahu, Peres endorse idea that calls for the international community to oversee it - JPost


Cease-fire Brokers Grapple With How to Rebuild Gaza, Israel Will Need Security Guarantees to Ease Blockade - WSJ


Palestinian journalist and media activist: Demilitarizing Gaza Could End Conflict for Good - US News


VIDEO: Israel Economics Minister Bennett to CNN: We will continue until we disarm Hamas - YouTube


AUDIO: What Would Demilitarizing Gaza Entail? - NPR


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Violent Clashes Over Gaza Erupt in the West Bank After 10,000-Strong March - newsweek.com


VIDEO: Raw AP footage of West Bank Clashes - YouTube


VIDEO: Injured West Bank Protesters Pour Into Hospital - LiveLeak.com

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

The Palestinian Right and the American Left

Chris Hedges says that Palestinians have the right to self-defense in the form of rockets, without including any consideration of whether the rockets make the Palestinians more or less defended.  There is, after all, a reasonable argument that the rockets are counter-productive and endangering, rather than protecting, Palestine.

Legally, if we ignore the Kellogg-Briand Pact and stick to the U.N. Charter, much less its frequent abuse by the powerful nations of the world, there is no doubt that Hedges is correct.  If demolishing Iraqi or Afghan or Libyan or Pakistani or Yemeni homes is "defense" of the United States, then surely the people of Gaza, under actual attack, have the legal right to shoot rockets at Israel.  That's just basic Western consensus with the hypocrisy removed.

"[M]any Palestinians, especially young men trapped in overcrowded hovels where they have no work and little dignity," writes Hedges, "will risk immediate death to defy the slow, humiliating death of occupation. I cannot blame them."

Here are the false choices framed: either we blame the victims of Israel's vicious and massive assault on a trapped population, blame them for reacting as virtually anyone else in the so-called developed world would, or we advocate for the right to fight defensive wars -- regardless of whether it helps or hurts the situation.  Those are not the only options.

I'm not sure I can prove that the rockets hurt the situation, but to render the question inadmissible seems fatally flawed.  The justification that the U.S. Congress and White House use for arming Israel and seeking to shelter Israel from legal consequences is always and exclusively the rockets.  The justification that Israeli spokespeople use on television is likewise almost entirely the rockets.  In a world without the rockets, would other excuses prove successful? It's hard to say for sure.  But the rockets provide the public packaging for Israeli war-making, accomplish virtually nothing in military terms, and almost certainly do more to frighten and enrage the people of Israel than to bring Israelis around to sympathizing with the plight of their government's victims.

I've just spoken by phone with a smart writer in Gaza named Sarah Ali for an upcoming edition of Talk Nation Radio.  She explained to me quite eloquently how Israeli attacks on Gaza were generating support for Hamas and violence against Israel.  She described the emotional need to fight back.  So, I asked her if rocket attacks on Israel weren't likewise counterproductive. No, she said, she imagined that Israelis saw the rockets and began to understand the point of view of Palestinians.  In the absence of any evidence of that phenomenon, I can only say that I'll believe it when I see it.  In every case I'm aware of in which one nation has militarily attacked another, it has done far more to enrage than to stimulate sympathy in the people coming under attack.

Of course, I have no right to tell the people of Gaza what to do or not do from the comfort of my home in the heart of the imperial monster that is funding their apocalypse.  Of course I cannot know the situation as they know it.  But it's not clear to me that every Gazan has as deep a familiarity with Israelis or every Israeli with Gazans as one might imagine from their geographic vicinity.  The division between these two societies is extreme.  How else could Israelis imagine children as their enemies?  And how else could those children's parents imagine that firing rockets would win over hearts and minds?

This is the Israeli Military Calling: Civilizing War Has Failed

http://www.worldbeyondwar.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/voltaire.jpgProbably the biggest news story of 1928 was the war-making nations of the world coming together on August 27th and legally outlawing war.  It's a story that's not told in our history books, but it's not secret CIA history.  There was no CIA.  There was virtually no weapons industry as we know it.  There weren't two political parties in the United States uniting in support of war after war.  In fact, the four biggest political parties in the United States all backed abolishing war.

Cue whining, polysyllabic screech: "But it didn't wooooooooork!"

I wouldn't be bothering with it if it had.  In its defense, the Kellogg-Briand Pact (look it up or read my book) was used to prosecute the makers of war on the losing sides following World War II (an historic first), and -- for whatever combination of reasons (nukes? enlightenment? luck?) -- the armed nations of the world have not waged war on each other since, preferring to slaughter the world's poor instead. Significant compliance following the very first prosecution is a record that almost no other law can claim.

The Kellogg-Briand Pact has two chief values, as I see it.  First, it's the law of the land in 85 nations including the United States, and it bans all war-making.  For those who claim that the U.S. Constitution sanctions or requires wars regardless of treaty obligations, the Peace Pact is no more relevant than the U.N. Charter or the Geneva Conventions or the Anti-Torture Convention or any other treaty.  But for those who read the laws as they are written, beginning to comply with the Kellogg-Briand Pact makes far more sense than legalizing drone murders or torture or bribery or corporate personhood or imprisonment without trial or any of the other lovely practices we've been "legalizing" on the flimsiest of legal arguments.  I'm not against new national or international laws against war; ban it 1,000 times, by all means, if there's the slightest chance that one of them will stick. But there is, for what it's worth, already a law on the books if we care to acknowledge it.

Second, the movement that created the Pact of Paris grew out of a widespread mainstream international understanding that war must be abolished, as slavery and blood feuds and duelling and other institutions were being abolished.  While advocates of outlawing war believed other steps would be required: a change in the culture, demilitarization, the establishment of international authorities and nonviolent forms of conflict resolution, prosecutions and targeted sanctions against war-makers; while most believed this would be the work of generations; while the forces leading toward World War II were understood and protested against for decades; the explicit and successful intention was to make a start of it by outlawing and formally renouncing and rendering illegitimate all war, not aggressive war or unsanctioned war or inappropriate war, but war.

In the never-ending aftermath of World War II, the U.N. Charter has formalized and popularized a very different conception of war's legality.  I've just interviewed Ben Ferencz, aged 94, the last living Nuremberg prosecutor, for an upcoming edition of Talk Nation Radio.  He describes the Nuremberg prosecutions as happening under the framework of the U.N. Charter, or something identical to it, despite the chronological problem.  He believes that the U.S. invasion of Iraq was illegal.  But he claims not to know whether the U.S. invasion and ongoing over-12-year war on Afghanistan is legal or not.  Why? Not because it fits either of the two gaping loopholes opened up by the U.N. Charter, that is: not because it is U.N.-authorized or defensive, but -- as far as I can make out -- just because those loopholes exist and therefore wars might be legal and it's unpleasant to acknowledge that the wars waged by one's own nation are not.

Of course, plenty of people thought more or less like that in the 1920s and 1930s, but plenty of people also did not.  In the era of the United Nations, NATO, the CIA, and Lockheed Martin we have seen steady progress in the doomed attempt, not to eliminate war, but to civilize it.  The United States leads the way in arming the rest of the world, maintaining a military presence in most of the world, and launching wars.  Western allies and nations armed, free-of-charge, by the United States, including Israel, advance war-making and war-civilizing, not war-abolition.  The notion that war can be eliminated using the tool of war, making war on war-makers in order to teach them not to make war, has had a far longer run than the Kellogg-Briand Pact had prior to its supposed failure and the Truman Administration's remaking of the U.S. government into a permanent war machine in the cause of progress. 

Civilizing war for the benefit of the world has been an abysmal failure.  We now have wars launched on unarmed defenseless people thousands of miles away in the name of "defense."  We now have wars depicted as U.N.-authorized because the U.N. once passed a resolution related to the nation being destroyed.  And just seconds before the Israeli military blows up your house in Gaza, they ring you up on the telephone to give you a proper warning. 

I remember a comedy sketch from Steve Martin mocking the phony politeness of Los Angeles: a line of people waited their turn to withdraw cash from a bank machine, while a line of armed robbers waited their turn in a separate line to politely ask for and steal each person's money.  War is past the point of such parody.  There is no space left for satire.  Governments are phoning families to tell them they're about to be slaughtered, and then bombing the shelters they flee to if they manage to flee. 

Is mass-murder acceptable if done without rape or torture or excessive targeting of children or the use of particular types of chemical weapons, as long as the victims are telephoned first or the murderers are associated with a group of people harmed by war several decades back?

Here's a new initiative that says No, the abolition of the greatest evil needs a renaissance and completion: WorldBeyondWar.org.

Never Again to Us

By Robert C. Koehler

“Israel regrets every injury to civilians. I call on the residents of Gaza: Don’t stay there. Hamas wants you to die, we want you to be safe.”

This is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as quoted in the Jewish Daily Forward, cleansing the nation’s collective conscience. Is it really that easy to sweep away the moral sting of violent action? A captive population is being pummeled with missiles. Well over 500 Palestinians have died so far in Operation Protective Edge, three-quarters of them civilians and, of course, many of them children. But “we want you to be safe” and wish we didn’t have to do this.

Netanyahu, pushed into a public relations corner by global sympathy for the Palestinians, also made this slightly more cynical, less regret-tinged comment: “They want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can. They use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause. They want the more dead, the better.”

Glenn Greenwald compared this remark to a 1941 comment by Joseph Goebbels, belittling the Jews for plucking the sympathy strings of soft-hearted Germans: “One suddenly has the impression,” the Nazi propaganda minister wrote, “that the Berlin Jewish population consists only of little babies whose childish helplessness might move us, or else fragile old ladies.”

Violence begets violence in a never-ending cycle. And violence is almost always perpetrated against the powerless. The perpetrators have “interests” at stake but almost nothing to lose. Bombing a civilian population is the moral equivalent of torture. This is the story of Western civilization; it’s the story of “progress.” On and on it goes.

Writer Naomi Klein, who is Jewish-American, put it this way when she spoke in Israel in 2009, according to Haaretz: “The debate boils down to the question: ‘Never again to everyone, or never again to us?’”

Nations aren’t formed around the first possibility, which requires an evolutionary leap we haven’t made as a species: to build collective structures that honor the whole of humanity. Nations require enemies. Last week, writing about nationalism, I quoted historian Michael Howard, who wrote: “From the very beginning, the principle of nationalism was almost indissolubly linked, both in theory and practice, with the idea of war.”

Israel is the contemporary poster child of this principle.

In an open letter addressed to the United Nations and the nations of the world, 64 public figures — among them, seven Nobel Peace Prize recipients — called for an arms embargo against Israel, whose “ability to launch such devastating attacks with impunity largely stems from the vast international military cooperation and trade that it maintains with complicit governments across the world.”

This is the hegemonic complicity, one might say, that rules the world. Richard Falk, former U.N. special rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, called it “accountability for enemies of the West, impunity for the West and its friends.”

He went on: “Such double standards highlight the tensions between law and justice. There is currently no greater beneficiary of this deformed political culture of impunity than the political leadership and military command structure of Israel.”

The most chilling sentences in the open letter signed by the Nobel laureates and others were these: “Israel’s military technology is marketed as ‘field-tested’ and exported across the world. Military trade and joint military-related research relations with Israel embolden Israeli impunity in committing grave violations of international law and facilitate the entrenchment of Israel’s system of occupation, colonization and systematic denial of Palestinian rights.”

Field-tested? There’s more going on here than alleged self-defense, or even the pursuit of territorial interests. This is about business. Israel is one of the world’s leading arms exporters, ranking number six globally in 2012, behind the United States, Russia and France. Britain and Germany, according to IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly. Periodically bombing the Gaza Strip is apparently the way it field-tests its weapons and maintains a position of global respect among the international war-mongering and moneyed classes — which own the world, or at least assume they do.

Indeed, Israeli journalist Yotam Feldman is the director of a 2013 documentary called “The Lab,” which asserts that the occupied territories, whatever else they are, have become a lab for testing and showcasing Israel’s weapons systems.

There’s such a thing as self-defense, but there’s no such thing as a principled, or legitimate, war. Murder is always murder: a zero-sum game of winning and losing through sheer, violent domination.

As individuals, we can look at the carnage that our own and other governments wreak and cry, from the depth of our souls, “Never again.”

When we band together in armed groups, we link in fear and hatred and cheapen our salvation. “Never again to us (and only us)” is a battle cry of the lost, guaranteeing perpetual war and everyone’s ultimate demise — even the profiteers’.

Robert Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist and nationally syndicated writer. His book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound (Xenos Press), is still available. Contact him at koehlercw@gmail.com or visit his website at commonwonders.com.

© 2014 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, INC.

Barbecuing the Palestinians: Once it was Nazis Leveling the Warsaw Ghetto, Now it’s Israel’s IDF Leveling Gaza

By Dave Lindorff


About six years ago, as part of his Bar Mitzvah, my son Jed did a project on the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, producing his own graphic novel about the undergound fighters who used courage, creativity and the city’s sewer system to, in some small way, offer resistance to the murderous program of the Nazis to exterminate Poland’s Jews. 


Veterans to Deliver Letter to Israeli Ambassador to United States

Stop the Slaughter of Palestinian Civilians in Gaza!

Members of Veterans For Peace will deliver a letter to Israel's Embassy, 3514 International Dr. NW, WashingtonD.C. 20008, at 1:30 pm Monday afternoon, July 21. The letter calls on the government of Israel to immediately halt the bombing of Palestinian civilians and to withdraw all its troops and military assets from Gaza.  Colonel Ann Wright, who has visited Palestine and Israel several times, will head up the delegation.

The letter reads as follows:

To: Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer

From: Veterans For Peace National Board of Directors

Dear Ambassador Dermer,

As veterans who have witnessed the horror of war, we are deeply outraged by the state of Israel's slaughter of many innocent civilians in Gaza. The military assault against children, women and men, by air, by sea and now by land, is a clear violation of international laws of war and of human rights.   More than 300 Palestinians have been murdered, almost all of them civilians, nearly a quarter of them children. Thousands are wounded, including nearly 1,000 children.

Veterans For Peace joins millions of people all around the globe who are shocked by this vicious, one-sided slaughter. We understand the huge injustice of the Israeli occupation. Palestinians have been ethnically cleansed from their homes and forced to live in the Occupied West Bank, or in the open-air prison that is Gaza.

Mr. Ambassador, please tell the government of Israel to stop the massacre now! There should be an immediate end to all bombing and an immediate withdrawal of all Israeli military from Gaza.

Mr. Ambassador, please remind Prime Minister Netanyahu that you can bomb the world into pieces, but you cannot bomb it into peace.

Veterans For Peace calls for an end to the 8-year blockade of Gaza, so that normal trade and travel can occur.

Mr. Ambassador, please remind the government of Israel of the billions of dollars in aid that is provided to Israel by the United States. Veterans For Peace will push for an end to all military aid to Israel until such time as the Israeli occupation gives way to real peace negotiations based on the human rights of all the people concerned.

Veterans For Peace recommits itself to participating in the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel and Israeli products.

We encourage all parties to search for a nonviolent path to peace. We urge both Hamas and the government of Israel to refrain from targeting civilians.  We especially call on the state of Israel to stop its massive violence now. It is time to recognize the human rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to return to the homes from which they were forced to flee in 1948.

Mr. Ambassador, the peoples of Palestine, Israel and the world deserve to live in peace and harmony.  The ultimate goal of Veterans For Peace is to abolish war. In the meantime, we stand ready to assist those Israelis and Palestinians who seek peace and reconciliation.

[signed]  Patrick McCann, President

for National Board of Directors

VETERANS FOR PEACE

www.VeteransForPeace.org

Israel News - July 19, 2014


Israel takes Gaza war underground by targeting tunnels - The Washington Post


Full text of Israeli PM statement on Gaza, Netanyahu says ground operation launched in order to damage terror tunnels - Haaretz


IDF unearths at least 20 Gaza tunnels believed used to smuggle weapons - JPost


Why the Hamas tunnels are first priority in Israel's ground offensive - The Times of Israel


VIDEO: Israel army opens fire on 13 armed Palestinians infiltrating Israel via Gaza tunnel - Haaretz


VIDEO: Tunnel and Weapons Used During Hamas Infiltration into Israel - YouTube


VIDEO: IDF Givati Brigade Detects Terror Tunnel - YouTube


VIDEO: IDF troops enter Gaza Strip as operation continues - jspacenews.com


From Gaza, an Array of Makeshift Rockets Packs a Counterpunch - NYTimes.com


20 missiles found in UN-run school in Gaza, UNRWA apologizes to Israel and condemns a ‘flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises’ - The Times of Israel


The Mofaz plan for demilitarizing Gaza - The Times of Israel


-----------------------------------------------------

Gaza conflict: Palestinian death toll reaches 274 amid fierce fighting - theguardian.com


20 Hamas fighters killed, 13 captured in first hours of ground offensive - The Times of Israel


Obama expresses concerns to Netanyahu about civilian Gaza deaths - Reuters


VIDEO: Obama Says Israel Has Right to Defend Itself, Is Concerned About Innocent Deaths - YouTube


US State Dep: Israel must do more to protect Gaza civilians - The Times of Israel


Kerry urges 'precise operation' from Israel in Gaza ground campaign, to target tunnels and avoid further escalation - Reuters


Hamas under pressure to accept immediate ceasefire in Gaza - theguardian.com


Hamas leader says Israel must 'lift siege' of Gaza before any ceasefire - Telegraph


VIDEO: Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal lays out terms of ceasefire - Telegraph


Arab World Increasingly Frustrated With Hamas - Algemeiner.com


REPORT: The Current Gaza Conflict: Arab World Losing Patience With Hamas - memri.org


Egypt says Qatar, Turkey and Hamas hurt Gaza ceasefire bid - Reuters


France asks Qatar to get Hamas to agree Gaza ceasefire: source - chicagotribune.com


Qatar seeks role as Gaza mediator, Israel wary - Reuters


Turkey spars with Egypt over failed Gaza cease-fire bid - todayszaman.com


Turkish PM accuses Israel of terrorism, genocide; protesters pelt consulate with stones - Fox News


After violent protests, Israel to pull some diplomatic staff from Turkey - The Times of Israel


VIDEO: Turkey Police defend Israeli consulate from furious Palestine demo - YouTube


Abbas asks France to lobby Hamas for Gaza truce - GlobalPost


Hamas slams Abbas despite condemnation of Gaza op - Ynetnews

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

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