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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  
 

 

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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


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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 @)

Israel News - July 17, 2014


Israel, Hamas agree to 5-hour cease-fire to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza - Fox News


Hamas demands changes to Egypt Gaza ceasefire plan - AFP


Hamas and Islamic Jihad set ten conditions in return for ten years of truce with Israel - israelmatzav.blogspot.com


Islamic Jihad: Fighting in Gaza will continue until demands met - Maan News Agency


'I want peace. I'm exhausted by war': Gazans speak out amid brief lull - theguardian.com


POLL: Gaza Public Rejects Hamas, Wants Ceasefire - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy


POLL: Violence is not a popular option among Palestinians, Hamas is not benefiting from the crisis - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy


While Gazans suffer in poverty leaders of Hamas live in luxury, They built their wealth through taxes on goods that were smuggled through the tunnels - The Tower


PA and Fatah have no ability to intervene in the Gaza strip because it is ruled exclusively by Hamas despite the unity agreement, Abbas adviser says - The Canadian Jewish News


For ceasefire, Abbas proposes PA forces along Gaza-Egypt border - The Times of Israel


Gaza: An exclusive look into the roles of Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades and Islamic Jihad - Al Akhbar English


Military wing of Hamas says it launched drones into Israel -- one of them downed by an Israeli Patriot missile - LA Times


VIDEO: Hamas releases own footage of armed drone and rocket fire at Israel - Haaretz


VIDEO: Israel shoots down homemade Hamas drone - Fox News


Analysis-Hamas homemade rocket industry bypasses crumbling supply lines - Reuters


Blog: Hamas Rocket Technology Moving Up - americanthinker.com


Israeli app tracks Hamas rocket attacks - THE DAILY STAR


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Israeli Shells Kill Four Children Playing Football On Gaza Beach - NYTimes.com


Witness Accounts of Israeli Gaza Attack That Killed 4 Boys - NYTimes.com


Police: First Israeli citizen killed by Hamas rocket fire, He was a rabbi delivering food to IDF troops - AP


Netanyahu Says Demilitarizing Gaza Strip Is Israel Priority - Businessweek


Analysis: Netanyahu talks of demilitarization as rocket barrage continues - JPost


Israel to Pause Bombing on Thursday, but Gaza Invasion Is Still Seen Likely - NYTimes.com


Livni: If Hamas rocket fire persists, Israel will have no choice but to invade Gaza - JPost


Undermining PM, Liberman calls to retake Gaza, denounces truce efforts - The Times of Israel


Ex-Israel Intelligence chief Efraim Halevy calls for talks with Hamas: ‘There are worse options than Hamas’ (VIDEO) - CNN.com Blogs


Israel warns Gazans to flee as air campaign intensifies, Hamas tells residents to ignore evacuation instructions - The Times of Israel


Israel charges 3 suspects in Palestinian teen 'revenge killing' - Fox News


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Obama: US using all means to get Israel cease-fire - US News


VIDEO: Barack Obama Calls for Israel Gaza Ceasefire - " Want to Protect Civilians on Both Sides " - YouTube


US blocks Qatari funds to pay salaries to thousands of Hamas employees, Hamas won’t accept truce unless it receives payments - Times of Israel


Israel's Iron Dome Gets New Funding by US Lawmakers - foreignpolicy.com


Why More of Israel's Iron Dome Will Be Made in the U.S. - Businessweek


POLL: Republicans sympathize with Israel much more strongly than Democrats - WashingtonExaminer.com


POLL (Full Report): As Mideast Violence Continues, a Wide Partisan Gap in Israel-Palestinian Sympathies - Pew Research Center


Erdogan Dismisses Reconciliation With Israel Over Gaza ‘Terror’ - Bloomberg


Hamas reaches out to Qatar and Turkey for mediation - The Times of Israel


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

CNN: Palestinians Want to Die

In this latest assault on Gaza, Israel had by Thursday already killed 69 Palestinians including 22 children and 13 women, plus 469 wounded including 166 children and 85 women, and 70 houses destroyed. These numbers have since increased significantly.

In this video from Thursday on CNN, Jake Tapper interviews Diana Buttu, a former advisor to the PLO.  After failing to persuade her of Israel's complete innocence, he tells her that Hamas is instructing women and children to remain in their homes to die as Israel bombs them. She responds by expressing doubt that people want to die.  Oh no, says Tapper, Palestinians live in a culture of martyrdom; they want to die.

William Westmoreland once remarked on Vietnam, where the United States killed 4 million men, women, children, and infants: "The Oriental doesn't put the same high price on life as does a Westerner. Life is plentiful. Life is cheap in the Orient."

Banastre Tarleton stood up in Parliament and defended the slave trade on the grounds that Africans did not object to being slaves.

President William McKinley said little brown Filipinos appreciated being conquered and dominated.

The view that the people you are abusing don't mind it has a long history of being employed to distract from the evil being done.

Just as powerful, if not more so, is the view that no evil is being done at all. 

ABC News' Diane Sawyer told her viewers that scenes of destruction in Gaza were actually in Israel, and was later forced to apologize, but did not note that scenes like those she'd shown do not exist in Israel, rather leaving the impression that a simple mistake had swapped out similar scenes from one country for the other.

Polls have found that people in the United States believe Iraq benefitted from the war that destroyed it and that Iraqis are grateful, while the United States itself suffered.

If people cannot be depicted as evil, because we see images of them, and they are 3 years old and have their limbs ripped off, and if our cruelty cannot be depicted as for their own good, then the cruelty must itself be denied.  We must completely avert our eyes or invert the facts.  Or we must blame someone else for it.  Blame Israel for getting a bit carried away after so many years of innocent suffering.

But it is with billions of dollars of weaponry provided free of cost courtesy of U.S. taxpayers that the Israeli military is bombing civilian neighborhoods in occupied Gaza. The ongoing occupation is at the root of the crisis, but this new turn to large-scale violence was produced by fraud. The Israeli government learned that three Israelis had been killed, falsely blamed Hamas, and falsely claimed to believe the young men might still be alive. This fraud was used to justify a search-and-rescue operation that left numerous dead and hundreds under arrest.

Small-scale violence by Palestinians is not justified by Israel's ongoing brutality. It is deeply immoral as well as absurdly counterproductive.  But if individual murders justified the mass killing of war, the United States would have to launch a full-scale war on itself every day of the year. And it is the United States' weaponry, provided under the euphemism of "aid," that is pounding the homes of the people of Gaza.

Jewish Voice for Peace says, in an open letter that you too can sign:

"In this time of tremendous suffering and fear, from Jerusalem to Gaza, and from Hebron to Be’er Sheva, we reaffirm that all Israelis and Palestinians deserve security, justice, and equality, and we mourn all those who have died.

"Our unshakeable commitment to freedom and justice for all compels us to acknowledge that this violence has fallen overwhelmingly on Palestinians. And it compels us to affirm that this violence has a root cause: Israel's illegal occupation.

"We are united in our belief that:

"The denial of Palestinian human rights must end.
Illegal settlements must end.
Bombing civilians must end.
Killing children must end.
Valuing Jewish lives at the expense of others must end.

"Only by embracing equality for all peoples can this terrible bloodshed end."

Israeli Lynch Mobs and the Banality of the West

By David Ragland

On June 30th, 2014, the bodies of three kidnapped Jewish-Israeli boys, Naftali Frankel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach, were found in a shallow grave. In response, Israeli authorities and vigilantes killed tenPalestinians, “including at least three children, a pregnant woman, and a mentally ill man.”Recently, Israeli officials arrested six Jewish suspects in the kidnapping and murder of a 16-year-old Palestinian boy, reportedly as "extremist revenge"for the prior kidnapping and murder. Around the same time, two videos surfaced on social media showing the brutalization of Black American women by American police. In one, a professoris arrested and beaten for jaywalking and in the other an older Blackwomanis severely beaten.

The rhetoric and events surrounding the Israeli and Palestinian tragedies have sparked comparisons of historicand current structural injustices against American minority communities. Israel and the US, and other “Western”-identified nations, are fueling a racial superiority and complicity to apartheid conditions that cannot be tolerated in civilized society. Our moral outrage for murdered Israeli boys should extend to murdered Palestinians and people of color around the world, and we must begin building a new culture that no longer condones such brutality.

Israel’s response to the loss of its three youths - the detention and extrajudicial execution of Palestinians - is fueled by a socio-cultural environment in which the public’s outspoken hatred towards Palestiniansis being stoked by divisive rhetoric by political and religious leaders. In the US, politicians use racially coded language and negatively stereotypical characterizations, arguably resulting in fear of Black and Latino boys and “justifiable” violence against people of color.

How is this violence tolerated in a “civilized” global society?  In our global culture, the use of violence to manage or resolve conflict is acceptable. Many are numb to violence, especially if it is used against Palestinians or persons of color in Western-European nations. Underlying this arbitrary use of violence is a belief in the cultural, moral and racial superiority of “Western” identities. There is a profound failure to respect human life and dignity because our society teaches us to disrespect others by stereotyping all Arabs as terrorists and Black and Latino boys as criminals.  Thus, violence against these groups is justifiable. We have yet to develop the capacity for moral outrage of injustice and violence against those who are different from us. There is a hypocrisy at work when there is outrage for the lost lives of Israelis and none for the thousands of Palestinian, Black and Latino youth who are brutally beaten, submitted to checkpoints on their native lands, stopped, frisked and jailed in Israeli and American adult prisons.

We shouldn’t divert attention from the murder of the Israeli teens, the apartheid conditions or the most recent brutal attacks on Palestinians, but these episodes of violence should spark moral outrage at the lack of attention to human dignity and double standards imposed on people of color throughout the world.  

Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, Bishop Tutu, and the PresbyterianChurch acknowledge that the illegal occupation and oppression of the Palestinians is immoral. Still, US tax dollars continue to support the Israeli military. The only ethical response for persons of conscious is to boycott Israel, divestand avoid any kind of financial support of this Apartheid Regime. 

Contact your politicians to pressure Israel to stop the irrational, revenge violence against Palestinians. Contact your politicians and demand an end to police and vigilante murders, brutality and racial profiling. As Hannah Arendt reminds us, evil is not black and white, but an absence of moral capacities to see each other in our full humanity.  To see the “Other” as human means to respect their dignity and culture, to stand with the oppressed in solidarity and to oppose the blind rage of police and military brutality that creates the environment for such horrific acts of violence against our fellow human beings.

David Ragland, writing for PeaceVoice, is a visiting Assistant Professor of education at Bucknell University, board member for the Peace and Justice Association and United Nations representative for the International Peace Research Association.

Israel News - July 10, 2014


Israel steps up Gaza Strip airstrikes on second day of offensive, warns a ground invasion could be imminent - Fox News


Gaza wakes up to the devastation caused by 160 overnight Israeli airstrikes (PHOTOS) - Mail Online


Israeli army says the killing of 8 Gazan family members was in error - Haaretz


VIDEO: Israeli airstrikes pound Gaza overnight, death toll climbs - YouTube


VIDEO (English Subtitles): Statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the launch of Operation Protective Edge - YouTube


Israel's President Peres: Troops may go to Gaza 'quite soon' - CNN.com


VIDEO: Israeli President Shimon Peres speaks exclusively to CNN - CNN.com Blogs


Iron Dome: Israel's 'game-changing' missile shield Iron Dome - theguardian.com


VIDEO: Israel’s Iron Dome brings down a rocket fired by Hamas - YouTube


VIDEO: RAW: Iron Dome intercepts Hamas rocket over Israeli wedding - YouTube


VIDEOS: Footage of Hamas Cell Attempting to Infiltrate Israel by Sea, Hit By IDF Helicopter Strike - Washington Free Beacon


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Hamas unveils bigger and better rocket arsenal against Israel, reaching beyond Tel Aviv and Jerusalem - CSMonitor.com


Hamas's New Rocket Is Inaccurate. It's Also a Serious Upgrade - foreignpolicy.com


Iran connection: Why are Gaza rockets reaching so deep into Israel? (+VIDEO) - CSMonitor.com


A Growing Arsenal of Hamas Homegrown Rockets Encounters Israel’s Iron Dome - NYTimes.com


Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel appear to be indiscriminate which are war crimes, while Israeli attacks targeting homes may amount to prohibited collective punishment - Human Rights Watch


Hamas: Gaza massacre against women and children is an ugly war crime, all Israelis have now become legitimate targets - JPost


Hamas: We attempted to hit the nuclear reactor in Dimona - Israel News


Hamas sets conditions for truce - middleeastmonitor.com


Three Fatah Armed Groups in Gaza Also Firing Rockets Against Israel - gatestoneinstitute.org


Military wing of Fatah to Israel: 'Flee Our Country and You Won't Die’ (VIDEO) - Washington Free Beacon


Three Israeli teenagers who were abducted by Palestinians in the occupied West Bank last month were shot at least 10 times with a silenced gun: US official - Stuff.co.nz


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EU, US call for Israel and Hamas to exercise restraint, urge PM Netanyahu to keep a diplomatic channel open with Palestinians - Middle East Eye


Obama takes up pen, paper to fight for Israeli-Palestinian peace - Washington Times


Obama Op-Ed: Peace is the only path to true security for Israel and the Palestinians - Israel Conference on Peace | Haaretz


VIDEO: Press Briefing: White House concerned for 'safety of civilians' in Israel, Gaza - YouTube


Kerry in telephone diplomacy to help quell Mideast fire - AFP


White House Mideast chief Philip Gordon blasts Israel for denying Palestinians sovereignty and dignity, says that Abbas is committed to non-violence and cooperation with Israel - The Times of Israel 


TRANSCRIPT: Remarks as Prepared by White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf Region Philip Gordon at the Haaretz Israel Conference for Peace - The White House


A peace conference sponsored by the leftist Israeli newspaper Haaretz marred by disagreements - freebeacon.com


Egypt Urges Calm, But Won't Mediate Ceasefire - Arutz Sheva

 

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

US Culpability in the Failure of Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks

By Stephen Zunes

The murder of three Israeli youth by unknown Palestinians and the less-publicized but equally tragic murder of three Palestinian youth by Israelis, along with Israeli bombing of urban areas in Gaza and the arrest and detention of hundreds of Palestinians by Israeli occupation forces, serves as a reminder that Israeli-Palestinian peace is still a long way off.

And the Obama administration deserves much of the blame for the failure of the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

It had originally been hoped that the United States would present a binding framework along the lines of what moderate Israeli and Palestinian political leaders had agreed to in unofficial talks in Geneva in 2003: Israel would recognize a Palestinian state based roughly on the pre-1967 borders with mutual territorial swaps, which would leave the Palestinians with 22 percent of historic Palestine and allow Israel to keep the remaining 78 percent; the Palestinian state would be demilitarized and all irregular militias disarmed; illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian territory near the Israeli border —encompassing close to 80 percent of the settlers — would be incorporated into Israel while settlers in the more remote settlements would be required to return to Israel; there would be no right of return for Palestinian refugees to Israel, but there would be international assistance in helping them resettle in the new Palestinian state; and some Israeli troops would remain along border crossings between the Palestinian state and its Arab neighbors, eventually to be replaced by international forces.

The Palestinian government agreed to these terms. Israel rejected them. Rather than make public this framework, and thereby hope the Israeli public would pressure its right-wing government to compromise, the Obama administration instead insisted that "both sides" had shown a lack of will to compromise.

An interview with an anonymous U.S. official close to the peace talks in Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel's largest newspaper, confirmed numerous other reports that the Palestinian side made major concessions while the Israeli side essentially refused to make any, generally refusing to talk about any substantive issues.

A host of Democratic and Republican former officials — including a former national security adviser, secretary of defense, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, trade representative, and undersecretary of state for political affairs — went on record arguing that the Obama administration would have to challenge the Israeli government's hard line towards the Palestinians in order for the peace process to be successful. Unfortunately, the White House apparently had no interest in doing so.

Instead, Washington has focused on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's refusal to give in to U.S. and Israeli demands that he recognize Israel as a "Jewish state." While the Palestinian government, the Palestine Liberation Organization, and the ruling Fatah party have all recognized the state of Israel for more than 20 years, the Obama administration has effectively moved the goalposts by declaring that recognizing the Israeli government, acknowledging its right to exist, and providing security guarantees is not enough, insisting that the Palestinians explicitly recognize the state of Israel's ethno-religious identity as well.

No previous administration has put forward such a requirement. President Carter never made such demands on Egypt, nor did President Clinton require this of Jordan as a condition for their peace treaties with Israel. Abbas has said that Israel can identify itself however it wants, but — given that 20 percent of the Israeli population is ethnically Palestinian Arab — it would be politically impossible to agree to something that would acknowledge second-class status for other Palestinians.

Never in history has any country been required to recognize the ethnic or religious identity of another state as a condition for peace. It appears, then, that the Obama administration's demand may have been an effort to destroy any chance of a peace agreement and leave an opening to blame the Palestinians — despite their agreement to virtually every other issue — for the failure of the peace process.

The Obama administration had been strongly pressured by Congressional supporters of the Israel's right-wing government, including area Congress members Sam Farr and Anne Eshoo, who supported a resolution calling on the president to push the Palestinians to recognize Israel explicitly "as a Jewish state." Meanwhile, a broad bipartisan effort is growing in the Congress to blame the failure of the peace talks exclusively on the Palestinians and to force the administration to cut all ties with the Palestine Authority.

Unless and until the Obama administration decides to end its unconditional backing for Israel's right-wing government and instead support Israeli and Palestinian moderates, there will be no hope for peace.

--end--

Stephen Zunes, a Santa Cruz resident, writes for PeaceVoice, is a professor of Politics and coordinator of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco.

Israel, Palestine and International Law

           As this is being written, Israel is once again bombing the Gaza Strip. There are a few key points that the U.S. government, and the populace, seem to constantly overlook:

·         Palestine has no army, navy or air force.

·         All of the borders of the Gaza Strip are controlled by Israel. Only goods and people that Israel allows can cross those borders, and the restrictions are extreme.

·         In the West Bank, occupied by Israel illegally in the eyes of the international community, Israel-controlled internal check points make the simple task of going to the market an hours-long ordeal.

Israel News - July 7, 2014


Six Jewish extremists arrested by Israel in killing of Palestinian teen - The Times of Israel


Palestinian teen burned alive to death, autopsy states - The Boston Globe


VIDEO: Dramatic new video footage shows Palestinian teen’s abduction - The Washington Post


Palestinian fury at Israel boils in funeral for slain youth - Reuters


VIDEO: Clashes Erupt In Jerusalem Amid Funeral For Palestinian Teenager - Fox News


Arson, Firebombs, Rocks and Rockets: 48 Hours of Terror Across Israel (VIDEOS) - Algemeiner.com


Israel Launches Airstrikes on Gaza Strip in Response to Rocket Fire (VIDEOS) - NBC News


Israeli air strikes kill seven Gaza gunmen, Hamas says - Yahoo News


IDF Officials Favor Ceasefire, "If Hamas would stop the rocket fire, then quiet will be maintained on our part" - Arutz Sheva


Abbas Pleads with Hamas to Stop Rocket Fire - Arutz Sheva


Israel shuts down main highways as clashes erupt across country - Haaretz


American Teen Tarek Released from Jail After Alleged Brutal Beating by Israeli Police - ABC News


VIDEO: Israel police brutally beat American teen Tarek Khdeir - YouTube


VIDEO: Palestinian teen Tarek speaks about his beating at the hands of Israeli police - YouTube


PHOTOS: Photos of American teen Tarek, before and after the brutal beating by Israeli Police - Twitter / WilliamsJon


State Dept. demands investigation into reports of teen's beating in Israel - TheHill


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

Israel arrests suspected Palestinian accomplice in killings of 3 Jewish teens - Times of Israel


Dramatic recording of Jewish teen's emergency call before being killed, kidnappers can be heard yelling (AUDIO, TRANSCRIPT) - Times of Israel


The men Israel blames for the deaths of Israeli teenagers and their violent family history - The Washington Post


Accused kidnappers are rogue Hamas branch - Al-Monitor


Hebron branch of rogue Hamas wing has dark history - Al-Monitor


The Shocking Comment From the Mother of One of the Prime Suspects in Israeli Teen Abduction Case: "If he truly did it – I’ll be proud of him till my final day” - TheBlaze.com


PHOTOS: Israeli soldiers destroy kidnapping suspects' family homes in retribution attack - mondoweiss.net


VIDEO: Explosion Rocks Home of Israeli Kidnapping Suspect - NBC News


ISIS Already in Gaza Strip - gatestoneinstitute.org

 

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

War Stories: Bad Wars and the Voice of Disillusion

By John Grant

 

      When lo! An angel called him out of heaven,

      Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad, . . .

Racism: Alive and Well In the U.S. and Israel

            The media is reporting that three teenagers living in illegal Israeli settlements in Palestine are missing, and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated, on evidence he has not chosen to share, that they have been kidnapped by Hamas. In response, he has unleashed a new level of terrorism against Palestinians living in the West Bank, with mass arrests and a new level of harassment that is shocking even for his IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) terrorists.

            At this point the whereabouts of the three missing people is unknown; how and why they left, whether or not there is a criminal component and, if so, who is responsible, are also unknown. One hopes they are found safely. However, the outrage that Israel and the United States is demonstrating by this event is somewhat puzzling at best, and wildly hypocritical at worst.

Lessons on an Anniversary: When Israel Learned it Could Get Away With Murder

Leaving the USS Liberty Crew Behind

June 8, 2014

Editor Note:  Justifying the swap of Taliban prisoners for Sgt. Bergdahl, President Obama cited a principle of never leaving U.S. soldiers behind, but that rule was violated in the shabby treatment of the USS Liberty crew, attacked 47 years ago by Israeli warplanes.

By Ray McGovern

On June 8, 1967, Israeli leaders learned they could deliberately attack a U.S. Navy ship and try to send it, together with its entire crew, to the bottom of the Mediterranean – with impunity. Israeli aircraft and torpedo boats attacked the USS Liberty, a state-of-the-art intelligence collection platform sailing in international waters off the Sinai, killing 34 of the 294 crew members and wounding more than 170.

7000 times NO! Signatures against Italian cooperation with Mekorot delivered to mayor of Rome.

On Thursday, May 29, with 25 meters of signatures, the resounding NO to Italian cooperation with Israeli water company Mekorot was taken to Rome City Hall. The 7114 signatures on the petition against the agreement signed between Rome’s water utility ACEA and Mekorot snaked their way through the public square where a delegation of the Committee Against ACEA-Mekorot Cooperation and the Rome Coordination for Public Water delivered a copy to the office of mayor Ignazio Marino.  The petition calls on the city of Rome, the majority shareholder in ACEA, thus far silent on the issue, to take the necessary steps to block the agreement signed by the two companies.

Mekorot, Israel's national water company, is responsible for serious violations of international law. The company extracts water illegally from Palestinian water sources, in turn providing the stolen water to Israeli settlements built illegally in the occupied Palestinian territory, which could not exist without Mekorot. An artificial water shortage that concerns only the Palestinian people has been created by Israeli policies, implemented by Mekorot, while abundant water supplies flow to the swimming pools, lawns and intensive agriculture of the Israeli settlements. The Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq refers to this as "water apartheid," and organizations such as Amnesty International have stated that the purpose of these policies is to expel the Palestinians from their land.

On the Campidoglio Square in front of City Hall, where the movement for the right to housing was also protesting, activists noted that while the ACEA denies the fundamental right to water with cutoffs for those unable to pay their water bill, the company is now looking to go into business with those stealing water in Palestine in order to turn a profit on a common good.

Beyond Rome and Italy, the signatures on the petition also came from more than 60 countries around the world, including Israel. Just days prior, on May 25 a letter from Israeli citizens was sent to the City of Rome and ACEA demanding that all cooperation with Mekorot cease immediately. http://bdsitalia.org/index.php/comunicati-nomekorot/1252-boycott-from-withtin-no-mekorot-acea

Protests will continue on June 5 at 10:00 am during the ACEA annual shareholders meeting, where activists working to defend the fundamental right to water, from Rome to Palestine, will reaffirm, in addition to the calls for an end to the agreement with Mekorot, that there is no room for profits and private speculation on water and its management must be public.

No Committee Mekorot ACEA Agreement
Coordination Roman Public Water
fuorimekorotdallacea@gmail.com

Photos: 

http://bdsitalia.org/components/com_rsmediagallery/assets/gallery/800x599/9af6c8c8c692d0b86a67e3a3aeb48ecd.jpg

http://bdsitalia.org/components/com_rsmediagallery/assets/gallery/800x599/1d8615ef61064223b1017d02733c1953.jpg

http://bdsitalia.org/components/com_rsmediagallery/assets/gallery/800x599/7c291a8fda515575bbf4914b35b77b4f.jpg

Hillary Clinton: Not the Democratic Savior.

           


            The media is awash with information about a potential presidential run by Hillary Clinton. She has the overwhelming support of Democrats, unparalleled name-recognition, and the assurance of more money for her campaign than either candidate had in the historically-expensive Obama-Romney match-up of 2012. Her credentials – mastermind of her husband’s comeback campaign for Governor of Arkansas, former first lady, former senator from a heavily populated state, presidential candidate, former Secretary of State – look very impressive, if one doesn’t look too closely. However, it is high time one did so.

Palestine, Israel and the International Criminal Court

            It appears that the weak, spineless Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas may finally have realized that his place in history is not going to be assured by functioning only as the puppet of the U.S. and Israel. As the latest round of so-called peace talks, sponsored by the U.S. which has no interest in any real negotiations between Israel and Palestine, has crashed and burned, Mr. Abbas has applied to join fifteen international treaties and conventions, with others expected. All this, it is said, is merely a lead-up to joining the International Criminal Court (ICC), which could then investigate and charge Israel with war crimes.

Israeli Hypocrisy: Business as Usual

             On Sunday, April 27, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared on U.S. television, denouncing progress made in reconciliation talks between Fatah, which ostensibly controls the West Bank, and Hamas, the democratically-elected government in the Gaza Strip.


            According to CNN: “Netanyahu said he and Secretary of State John Kerry recently applauded that some progress was being made toward a peace agreement. ‘And then the next day, we were both shocked,  there's no other word, we were absolutely stupefied that President Abbas embraced the terrorist organization Hamas that seeks Israel's destruction,’ he said on ‘Face the Nation.’”

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