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By Kathy Kelly
Arish, Egypt— Yesterday, en route to the Rafah border crossing that leads into Gaza, our driver pointed to a long line of trucks laden with goods that are desperately needed in every area of Gaza. "You see," he said, "all of this is to help people." Generous people, around the world, want Gazans to have food, shelter, fuel, medicine and water while the Israeli military ruthlessly attacks their homes and neighborhoods. The aid shipments will surely save lives and ease affliction. Nevertheless, this relief will meet only a fraction of the need. What's more, the Egyptian government's recent decision to allow humanitarian goods into Gaza through the Rafah border crossing, a border over which they have sovereign control, is a departure from the normal state of siege that Gazans have endured for most of the past sixteen months.
Remember Gaza: One of History's Terror Bombing Victims
by Stephen Lendman
History's terror bombings. This article reviews some of the most infamous:
Because it recognizes the importance of the propaganda war, Israel fights on this front as vigorously and disproportionately as it engages on the battlefield, notes James Zogby.
As in past Mideast conflicts, both the media story line and political commentary here in the US has closely followed Israel's talking points on the war. This has been an essential component in Israel's early success and in its ability to prolong fighting without US pushback. Because it recognizes the importance of the propaganda war, Israel fights on this front as vigorously and disproportionately as it engages on the battlefield.
Here's how they have done it:
The Facts About Hamas and the War on Gaza
By NORMAN FINKELSTEIN, CounterPunch
The record is fairly clear. You can find it on the Israeli website, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. Israel broke the ceasefire by going into the Gaza and killing six or seven Palestinian militants. At that point—and now I’m quoting the official Israeli website—Hamas retaliated or, in retaliation for the Israeli attack, then launched the missiles.
By Dave Lindorff
If you want to really know what's going on in Gaza, you cannot rely on the US Media, which, along with the rest of the world's media, have been barred from the battle zone by the Israeli government.
The only international reporters in Gaza now who can show what is actually happening there are the ones from Al Jazeera.
Under pressure from the Bush administration, the major cable providers in the US have not offered Al Jazeera in the US. The number of communities that have it in their available cable offerings can be counted on one or at most two hands.
But you can watch Al Jazeera's English channel's live feed free by downloading Livestation, a program that also offers the BBC, Deutschewelle (Germany) and French TV.
By Press TV
An Israeli reservist has been sentenced to jail after refusing to fight in Gaza because of the killing of Palestinian civilians by the army.
The soldier whose identity has not been revealed has been sentenced to 14 days imprisonment in a military center, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Monday.
He is the first soldier to be tried over mutiny against his superiors.
Michael Sfard, the legal advisor of Omets, an NGO for social justice, said eight reservists has sought his legal assistance over conscription since the start of the Gaza offensive on December 27.
According to the attorney, three of the eight reservists have refused to fight in Gaza and two of the three have reached an agreement with their commander.
The Israeli Army has started the deployment of reservists into the Gaza Strip to join the regular army in its ground operation.
Imagine If You Could Make the President Drop What He Was Doing, Listen To You, Oppose His Own Policies
Israel's Olmert: Rice embarrassed over UN vote
By JASON KEYSER, AP
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's prime minister said Monday that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was embarrassed by orders to abstain from voting last week on a U.N. truce resolution for Gaza that she helped arrange.
Israel had argued that the Security Council measure calling for a halt to the Gaza fighting — which passed Thursday in a 14-0 vote with the U.S. abstaining — was unworkable because it did not guarantee Israel's security.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he called President George W. Bush to seek an abstention from the U.S., a key Israeli ally at the United Nations.
"I said: 'Get me President Bush on the phone,'" Olmert said in a speech in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon. "They said he was in the middle of giving a speech in Philadelphia. I said I didn't care: 'I need to talk to him now.' He got off the podium and spoke to me."
Israeli military operation is still increasingly killing more Palestinians mostly civilians. The victims are in contrary of the announced aim of targeting militants. Death toll 920 while wounded 4200. Around 350 of the victims are children while 160 are women. Israeli Artillery intensified the shelling scale leaving more victims and destruction. Part of An Israeli rocket hit my cousin's house then mine! READ REST.
Washington D.C. (January 12, 2009) -- Following Sunday’s announcement by the Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert, that Israel was “getting close to achieving the goals it set for itself” in its military operation in Gaza, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) made the following statement:
“Recent reports indicate that the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is continues unabated. As the fighting moves into the densely populated, urban areas of Gaza, the potential for massive tragedy grows. Last week, the United Nations suspended humanitarian efforts after a UN school was destroyed by tank fire and UN aid workers were killed conducting emergency relief efforts. Additionally, the International Committee of the Red Cross reports that they are having difficulty reaching those in with the most desperate need. The world’s ability to mitigate disaster is steadily being withdrawn.
News from the Just Foreign Policy Action Center:
The Senate has passed the (Draft) AIPAC resolution (see Reuters, "US Senate supports Israel's Gaza incursion,") and the House passed a similar resolution Friday (see CQ, "House Adopts Measure Backing Israel on 'Durable' Gaza Truce"; the roll call is here. Members of Congress still need to hear from us advocating for an immediate ceasefire and lifting the blockade on Gaza. You can use this alert to call the House and Senate and report your result. You can also write to them here. Thank you for taking action.
The threat that the United States would launch a military attack on Iran has never been "taken off the table," but you'd be hard pressed to find many people who think that a U.S. attack on Iran in the near term is a realistic possibility.
Even the Bush Administration nixed an Israel attack on Iran, as the New York Times reported Sunday. (Haaretz reported this months ago.) President-elect Obama pledged as a candidate to abandon the "strategy" of isolation and engage Iran diplomatically. And the U.S. already has two wars going (three, if you count the war on Gaza, which is being waged with U.S. weapons and approval, and which is doing as much political damage to the U.S. in the Muslim world as any war waged by the U.S. directly.)
A striking similarity between Israel’s strategy in Palestine and Nazi long-term policy of extermination and annexation in Poland during the Second World War is clearly demonstrated by the Nuremberg Tribunal Charges and the Nuremberg Tribunal Judgement against Hans Frank, the Nazi Governor-General of the non-annexed occupied Poland in 1939 - 1945. It is absolutely shocking to read the documents and to see how many objectives and tactics in these two occupation theatres can be seen as parallel.
By Kathy Kelly
By Stephen Sniegoski
According to the critics, John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, in their “The Israel Lobby,” much exaggerated the power of the lobby. The critics claimed that congressional support for Israel simply reflected the views of the American people. Congress’ recent resolution on Gaza, however, would seem to belie this criticism and underscore the immense power of the Israel Lobby. Congress almost unanimously endorsed the Israeli mass killing of civilians in the Gaza Strip, which, of course, involves the use of American weapons. By voice vote, the Senate gave unanimous support for the resolution. The House of Representatives voted 390 for the resolution with only 5 against [Kucinich, Moore (WI), Paul, Rahall, Waters]
The view of the American public, however, was significantly different. As the following article points out, the American people “do not support this senseless slaughter in anything near overwhelming numbers.” [Quoting from a Rasmussen Poll]
Israel: Stop Unlawful Use of White Phosphorus in Gaza
Chemical ‘Obscurant’ Poses Serious Risk to Civilians
“White phosphorous can burn down houses and cause horrific burns when it touches the skin,” said Marc Garlasco, senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch. “Israel should not use it in Gaza’s densely populated areas.”...Israel’s use of WP as an obscurant in densely populated areas of Gaza violates the obligation to take all feasible precautions to minimize harm to the civilian population during military operations.
By Dave Lindorff
As we hear the horrifying and sickening reports of the atrocities in Gaza by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), and as ardent Israel backers predictably justify each one or contest the facts it’s worth reading a new book ("The War Behind Me: Vietnam Veterans Confront the Truth about US War Crimes"), by a former Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington bureau investigative reporter of the LA Times named Deborah Nelson.
Nelson with the help of war historian Nick Turse, got hold of a 9000-page secret report by the Pentagon's own people, stored in the National Archive and dating to the Nixon era. Compiled in the wake of a flood of charges from returning GIs and Marines about US atrocities which began appearing following the expose of the My Lai massacre, it sought to investigate and repudiate those claims.
At noon today about 75 people turned out in the plaza of our little town of Ashland, Oregon for a hastily called rally protesting Israel’s savage assault against helpless Gazans. Several speakers, including Gerry Cavanaugh, emphasized American complicity in this new round of terrorism Israel has visited upon the hapless Palestinians.
Israel is using high-tech U.S. weaponry, the gift of which to Israel has been authorized by representatives you and I have elected. And Israel is using these weapons illegally of course--against an utterly helpless population of civilians. So it not just the hands of Israelis that are red with the blood of innocents, but their enabler’s hands as well—your and my hands.
The U.S. is seeking to hire a merchant ship to deliver hundreds of tons of arms to Israel from Greece later this month, tender documents seen by Reuters show.
The U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC) said the ship was to carry 325 standard 20-foot containers of what is listed as "ammunition" on two separate journeys from the Greek port of Astakos to the Israeli port of Ashdod in mid-to-late January.
A "hazardous material" designation on the manifest mentions explosive substances and detonators, but no other details were given.
"Shipping 3,000-odd tons of ammunition in one go is a lot," one broker said, on condition of anonymity.
By Freeman URE, OpEdNews
With the recent rapid development of air strike and now full land based incursion of the Israeli military forces into the Gaza Strip, the need for the international community to intervene and impose a just peace for all parties concerned is more urgent than ever. A long haul stretching into months and perhaps years, the civilian casualty of thousands of innocent civilians including dozens from the Israeli side, along with a few billion dollars of financial burdens on both sides, is inevitable. Here it is yet another opportunity for the U.S. administration albeit the Obama administration to set a new bold "objective" leadership to effectuate the amicable resolution of this conflict, thereby regaining the respectful stature of the Americans they once enjoyed.
Yes, there are people even crazier than the Bush-Cheney gang: here they are.
towards the Israeli embassy in Kensington, in protest at Israel's attacks on the Gaza Strip
By London Paper
AN anti-war demonstration ended in violence tonight as protesters clashed with riot police in l London.
The protest against Israel's attacks on Gaza saw one police officer knocked unconscious and two others receive facial injuries, a police spokesman said.
An initially peaceful demonstration ended with a group of protesters facing mounted riot police throwing missiles and smashing windows on Kensington High Street near the Israeli Embassy.
Riot officers from the Metropolitan Police force charged at the group of mainly young men.
Sticks and barriers were hurled at the officers by the group, many of whom were masked.
About 300 police in full riot gear had surrounded a similar-sized group of protesters pushing them up the street.
As fighting continues in violation of the UN Security Council's near unanimous adoption last night (8 January) of resolution 1860 calling for an immediate and durable ceasefire in Gaza, Amnesty International calls on the Security Council to take firm action to ensure full accountability for war crimes and other serious abuses of international human rights and humanitarian law.
In an open letter sent today to the Security Council, Amnesty International also urged the Council to ensure that international human rights monitors are immediately despatched to Gaza and southern Israel to investigate and report on continuing abuses by all parties to the conflict.
Israel kills 30 civilians at shelter, witnesses tell U.N.
By Kevin Flower | CNN.com
Israeli forces shelled a house where they had ordered about 100 Palestinian civilians to take shelter, killing about 30 people and wounding many more, witnesses told the U.N.
Israel Defense Forces said it is looking into the allegations.
"Credible eyewitness accounts" described the incident, which occurred in the volatile Gaza City suburb of Zeitoun, said Allegra Pacheco, deputy head of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for the Palestinian territories. Pacheco spoke to CNN on Friday.
Witnesses reported that "about 100 civilians were evacuated" to a house Sunday, and the structure was shelled Monday, she said. The witnesses told the U.N. that two of the survivors said their children died.
“We Must Take a New Direction in the Middle East”
WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 9, 2009) -- Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today spoke out against a resolution affirming U.S. support for Israel’s military action in Gaza. While a firm supporter of the people of Israel and a critic of rocket attacks by Hamas militants, Congressman Kucinich led opposition against the incomplete resolution.
H.Res. 34, “Supporting Israel in Its Battle with Terrorist Hamas,” is incomplete because it does not address the humanitarian crisis of Palestinians in Gaza, fails to insist on an immediate ceasefire, and neglects Israel’s potential violation of the Arms Export and Control Act which governs U.S. arms exports to foreign countries.