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Several thousand protesters descended on the White House Saturday in support of Palestinians in war-ravaged Gaza, as other protests took place across Canada and in the Mexican capital.
As many as 10,000 people, according to organizers, gathered from about 1:00 pm (1800 GMT) in Washington's Lafayette Park, across from the White House, chanting "free Palestine" as protest leaders and activists spoke from a podium.
The United States Promotes Israeli Genocide Against the Palestinians
By Professor Francis A. Boyle
(from "Tackling America's Toughest Questions," now at Amazon.com)
As long ago as October 19, 2000, the then United
Nations Human Rights Commission (now Council) condemned Israel
for inflicting "war crimes" and "crimes against humanity"
upon the Palestinian people, most of whom are Muslims. The reader
has a general idea of what a war crime is, so I am not going
to elaborate upon that term here. But there are different degrees
of heinousness for war crimes. In particular are the more serious
war crimes denominated "grave breaches" of the Fourth Geneva
Convention. Since the outbreak of the first Intifada in 1987,
the world has seen those heinous war crimes inflicted every day
by Israel against the Palestinian people living in occupied Palestine:
e.g., willful killing of Palestinian civilians by the Israeli
army and by Israel's illegal paramilitary settlers. These
Washington D.C. (January 15, 2009) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza on the House Floor:
“The attack on the United Nations headquarters in Gaza is further proof that a post-legal era in world affairs has taken shape; where law and moral principles are irrelevant, where might makes right, where retribution and vengeance, even against innocent children, fails to shake us from moral lethargy or political paralysis.
“Collective punishment, disproportionate use of force, using U.S. planes, helicopters and munitions to attack a wounded, starved and thirsty civilian population of mostly children trapped in a box called Gaza has become acceptable, perhaps because we have already accepted the deaths of over one million innocent civilians in Iraq in a war based on lies.
A Plea From a Teen in Gaza
By NOUR KHARMA, CounterPunch
Today, it is the two weeks of this horrible war. Last Saturday was the worst day of all. When I woke up in the morning one of my friends called. His voice sounded strange when I asked, “How are you?”
He answered “Fine, but have you heard any news about any of your friends?”
I was really scared, and asked him, “What’s wrong?”
He told me Christine died. I went into a state of shock. I still don’t believe it. I threw the phone and started crying. I called some of my other friends to make sure, and all of them were grieving. Christine has been my friend for almost four years. We used to go to school and to the YMCA together. I’m sad, afraid, and worried all at once, because she could have been my sister. I feel very sorry for her and her family.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says he had told the US president not to vote in favor of the recent United Nations resolution on Gaza.
"I told him (George W. Bush) the United States could not vote in favor. It cannot vote in favor of such a resolution. He immediately called the secretary of state and told her not to vote in favor," said Olmert on Monday.
Last Thursday, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1860, calling for an immediate ceasefire between Hamas and Israeli forces and an immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza. The US was the only country to abstain; fourteen of the 15 council members voted in favor of the resolution.
According to Olmert, Bush had ordered Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to abstain. Rice is among officials who had helped arrange the resolution.
The war in Gaza continues, largely because the Bush Administration has continued to oppose, in practice, an immediate ceasefire. With each day that passes without a ceasefire, more innocents are killed.
Representative Dennis Kucinich plans to introduce a resolution in the House soon calling for an immediate ceasefire. There are a number of whereases in the draft, recounting the human toll of the war and the blockade, but the punchline is very simple:
Resolved, That the House of Representatives calls on the Government of Israel and representatives of Hamas to implement an immediate and unconditional ceasefire and to allow unrestricted humanitarian access in Gaza.
Israeli forces yesterday pounded dozens of targets in the Gaza Strip and dropped leaflets warning of an escalation in attacks, as southern Israel came under renewed Palestinian rocket fire. Last night, as flames and smoke rose over Gaza City, speculation grew that Israel was about to launch the so-called third stage of its offensive: the forcible entry into Gaza City by thousands of troops.
In response, Hamas said that the Gaza offensive had "killed the last chance for settlement and negotiation with Israel". Earlier yesterday, Israeli aircraft attacked more than 40 targets throughout Gaza, striking 10 rocket-launching sites, weapons-storage facilities, smuggling tunnels, an anti-aircraft missile launcher and gunmen. And civilians. In the day's bloodiest incident, an Israeli tank shell landed outside a home in the northern Gaza town of Jabaliya, killing nine people as they sat in their garden. They were all from the same clan, and, said health administrator Adham Hakim, their bodies were so mangled they were brought to hospital in the boot of a civilian car. Two were women and two were children.
Al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden urged Muslims to launch a jihad against Israel and condemned Arab governments as allies of the Jewish state in a new message aimed at harnessing anger in the Mideast over the Gaza offensive.
Bin Laden spoke in an audiotape posted Wednesday on Islamic militant Web sites where al-Qaida usually issues its messages. It was his first tape since May and came nearly three weeks after Israel started its campaign against Gaza's militant Hamas rulers.
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.