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Odd Man Out

 

Odd Man Out

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

It's America's accustomed role. It's longstanding. It lets Israel get away with murder and much more.

 

Washington's support permits Israel to commit repeated crimes of war, against humanity, slow-motion genocide, and countless other human and civil rights abuses too grave to ignore.

 

BDS Breakthrough

 

BDS Breakthrough

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

The Global BDS (Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions) movement is one of the most important initiatives challenging Israeli lawlessness, occupation harshness, apartheid, and viciousness.

 

In July 2005, a coalition of 171 Palestinian Civil Society organizations created it to continue until Israel complies with international law and universal human rights principles.

Palestinian Hunger Striking Steadfastness

 

Palestinian Hunger Striking Steadfastness

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Palestinians are denied justice. Thousands are lawlessly arrested. They're brutalized in Israel's gulag. Prisoners committed no crimes. 

 

Israel persecutes them for not being Jews. Praying to the wrong God is criminalized. Hunger strikers defy Israeli lawlessness. Abstinence is their only weapon.

Netanyahu's Rage to Judaize Palestine

 

Netanyahu's Rage to Judaize Palestine

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

He's defiant. He deplores democratic values. He's a serial lawbreaker. 

 

International law is clear and unambiguous. Israeli settlements are illegal. Fourth Geneva's Article 49 states: 

 

Tortured in Israel, Imprisoned in Israel

 

Tortured in Sinai, Imprisoned in Israel

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

A new Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) report is titled "Tortured in Sinai, Jailed in Israel." More on it below.

 

Premeditated Israeli Violence

 

Premeditated Israeli Violence

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Merriam-Webster calls a police state "a political unit characterized by repressive governmental control of political, economic, and social life usually by an arbitrary exercise of power by police and especially secret police in place of regular operation of administrative and judicial organs of the government according to publicly known legal procedures."

 

How to Criticize the Israeli Government

The other day I tweeted an article that reported on a rather horrible story.  It seems that the Israeli government gives African women drugs that keep them from reproducing. 

I think if this story had been about Canada, Korea, France, or Brazil people would have read it.  The conversation would not have immediately shifted to my alleged hatred of all Canadians. 

Since it was about Israel, some people chose to announce that I hated Jews.  Such a response is not only baseless and nonsensical, but it shifts attention to me and away from the story, which in the end isn't seen. 

Now, I don't know any more about that story than what I've read at that website (the website of a Jewish organization, as it happens).  The report may be accurate or not.  Israeli newspapers seem to report it as fully established, neither doubted nor challenged.  The story at least seems to merit investigation.  The point is that nobody told me it was inaccurate (news that would have delighted me).  Instead, they told me that I was anti-Semitic. 

This happens with the United States too, of course.  If I criticize the U.S. government a few thousand times, and if the president is a Republican, I'll hear from some disturbed individual who wants to recommend that I leave the country since I hate it so much.  Why one would try so hard to reform the government of a country he hated is never really explained. 

With Israel, such nonsense is triggered much more swiftly.  I haven't made a career of trying to reform Israel's government.  All I had to do was tweet a link to an article.  Those who have gone to greater lengths to criticize the crimes of the government of Israel have, in some cases, seen themselves censored, vilified, and their careers derailed.  Many persevere despite this climate.

There is, however, a way to speak openly and honestly about Israel.  Not everyone can do it.  The trick is to be a veteran of the Israeli military.  This approach helps people whose "service" was years ago.  And it helps those whose memories of what they did "for their country" are very fresh.  Not only does such status shield one from a great deal of criticism, but it provides a substantive advantage in being able to report first-hand on what the Israeli military has been doing.  Just as Veterans For Peace are able to speak with some legitimate authority in the United States against the use of war (see Winter Soldier now if you haven't), members of the Israeli military, and those who recently were Israeli soldiers, command attention.

A new book called "Our Harsh Logic: Israeli Soldiers' Testimonies from the Occupied Territories 2000-2010," collects the accounts of numerous Israeli soldiers, although withholding their names.  Videos of some of the soldiers telling their stories can be seen online.  The online database sorts the stories into categories: › AbuseAssassinationsBriberyCheckpointsConfirmation of killingCurfews/closuresDeathsDestruction of propertyHuman shieldsHumiliationLootingLoss of livelihoodRoutineRules of engagementSettlementsSettler violence.

"Supporting the troops" is usually understood to exclude listening to the troops.  But these troops should be listened to.  Their experiences are very similar to those of the U.S. and coalition troops in Iraq.  But their war has lasted much, much longer, and with no end in sight.  Their testimonies make clear that their tactics do not serve the supposed purpose of reducing violence, and are in fact not intended to do any such thing.  The bizarre ordeals imposed on the soldiers outdo Kafka and pale in comparison to the nightmares imposed on Palestinians.  The driving forces are quite clearly racism, sadism, imperialism, and excessive obedience.

A very few of the many samples I was tempted to provide:

"They  called us to some location, they found [rockets] in the minaret of a mosque.  What do you do?  You look for someone to go up to the mosque and take down the [rockets] because it's dangerous for us.  So they knocked on doors in the area.  There's always someone with us who speaks Arabic. . . .  So they knocked on the doors and found someone.  He was retarded.  They said, 'Go up to the mosque.  There are pipes in the minaret.  Bring them down.'  They didn't even tell him it was explosives."

"There was an operation in the company next to mine where they told me that a woman was blown up by [an explosive used to break through doors], her limbs were smeared on the wall, but it wasn't on purpose.  They knocked and knocked on the door and there was no answer, so they decided to open it [with live ammunition] . . . .  and just at that moment the woman decided to open the door.  And then her kids came over and saw her. . . . someone said it was funny, and everyone cracked up, that the kids saw their mother smeared on the wall."

"[T]he brigade commander . . . briefs us, 'Any kid you see with a stone, you can shoot at him.' Like, shoot to kill. A stone!"

"[I]t's unbelievable how in the end the report on the radio was, 'In an operation in Tul Karem the IDF captured,' like, you know, 'twenty suspects, ten weapons, and fertilizer suspected for use in manufacturing [explosives], a ton and a half of fertilizer.'  So it's a success, because you hear it on the radio, and you say, 'Hey, look, like we went there, this is what we got, we did what we were supposed to do.'  And what we did was just the opposite.  Because what did we do?  We committed crimes.  We destroyed homes.  No house that we went into was the same when we left."

"There was this house we captured in Hebron . . . we took this house.  You know the procedure: the family moves down a floor.  Now, what did we do?  We were . . . on the third floor, the guys set up a pipe, a pipe to pee, so they could pee outside.  They put the pipe, we put the pipe exactly so that all the piss would flow into the courtyard of the house below us.  There were a few chicken coops just there, it all poured out there.  That was the joke every day, waiting for the father or one of the kids to go to the coop, and then everyone stands and pisses." 

"Apparently, that captain had gone to Takua, which is a pretty hostile village -- they were throwing stones at the jeep.  So, he just stopped a Palestinian guy who was passing, forty-something years old, and tied him to the hood of the jeep, a guy just lying on the hood, and they drove into the village."

"The Palestinians didn't know there were soldiers behind them, and the soldiers would just spray their legs. . . . His one goal was to lure Palestinian children, just to cut off their legs."

"We had a commander in the unit who would just say in these words, . . . 'I want bodies.  That's what I want.'"

"You're not ranked by arrests -- you're ranked by the number of people you kill."

"[The company commander] taught us about rubber bullets, and they showed us how it comes in what's called a 'tampon,' which is a kind of plastic bag that contains the bullets.  So they said, 'You need to separate them, meaning you tear open the package and put them in one by one so you cause damage.'  And they actually explained it to us, in this really pornographic way, 'Aim for the eyes so you take out an eye, or at the stomach so it goes into the stomach.'"

"Try to imagine it: I see my officers with their backs to me, laughing, falling about, and below I see the Border Police beating people up, guys being choked, one guy bleeding.  And I think, 'This is just like the books I read.' . . . Whenever people get shot, I have this image in my head, I must've seen it in a movie, of Nazis shooting Jews in pits, and officers standing at the side, laughing."

Israel's Lieberman Resigns

 

Israel's Lieberman Resigns

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Lieberman and Netanyahu represent the worst of extremist governance. They're hardcore racists. They're ideologically anti-democratic. 

 

They believe Israel has a divine right to persecute, torture, commit naked aggression, and dominate the region unchallenged.

 

Holding Israel Accountable

 

Holding Israel Accountable

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

For decades, world leaders let Israel get away with murder. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) said enough is enough. It wants Israeli officials held accountable.

 

Israeli forces fire on Gaza Farmers and Internationals in Khuza’a

By International Solidarity Activists      

Gaza Strip---  Israeli forces fired live ammunition and tear gas at unarmed farmers and international solidarity activists working in Khuza’a, a small village outside of Khan Younis located near the Israeli border.  At 10:30 AM, the farmers arrived and began to plough approximately 100 meters from the separation fence while internationals lined up in between the border and the farmers.  They were quickly met by an Israeli military jeep and transport vehicle.  An Israeli soldier issued a warning in Arabic to leave the area and then fired two rounds into the air. The farmers and internationals remained calm and continued their work and the Israeli soldiers left the area.  

At around 11 AM, approximately 20 Palestinians and farmers gathered around 300 meters back from the fence. Two military jeeps returned to the area.  One soldier exited his vehicle and fired four shots in the direction of the farmers and activists.  The fourth shot crossed the line of the activists and landed in the field being ploughed.  Again, the Palestinians and internationals were not deterred. The Israeli jeeps left and the farmers finished working on this section of land and moved on to an adjacent plot.

Fifteen minutes later, two Israeli jeeps returned, one equipped with an automatic machine gun.  A soldier fired three canisters of tear gas directly in front of the activists.  He proceeded to shoot at the tractor, damaging its engine and bringing the work to a halt.  An international was accompanying the driver aboard the tractor. The accompaniment team included participants from Spain, Italy, France, England, Scotland, Germany and the United States  

Gazan farmers successfully ploughed and sewed wheat in adjacent plots, with the presence of internationals, during the two days prior to the incident.  Though they were issued warnings by Israeli forces to stay 100 meters from the fence, they were not fired upon in a similar fashion. “This incident is a prime example of the military harassment and unpredictability of the Israeli occupation forces that farmers routinely face while working their land in Gaza,” said a solidarity activist from Spain.  For a report from the previous days farming, see http://palsolidarity.org/2012/12/gazan-farmers-at-work-in-kuzaa/.

Residents from Khuza’a said they have not planted in this area, declared a closed military zone by Israel, for the past thirteen years.  Formerly an orchard, Israeli forces bulldozed the field multiple times during military incursions and regularly shoots at farmers who attempt to work there.  Farmers were under the impression that this area was now accessible after the November 21st ceasefire’s stipulations that Israeli forces would “refrain from targeting residents in the border areas” and to “stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip land, sea and air including incursions and targeting of individuals.”  This is the optimum season for planting wheat and the Gazan farmers only have a small window of time in which to work before the land will be rendered unusable.

Netanyahu Mocks Legitimate Governance

 

Netanyahu Mocks Legitimate Governance

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Netanyahu never met a non-Jew he considered equal, a peace plan he didn't spurn, a law he didn't violate, or truth he didn't turn on its head.

 

He reveals Israel's true face. He's contemptuous of Palestinians, other Arabs, and Iranians. He considers them subhuman enemies. More on his latest outburst below. 

Raising Money for Killers

 

Raising Money for Killers

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Imagine holding a fundraiser for murder, destruction, and occupation viciousness. 

 

On December 6, Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF) held their annual gala in Los Angeles. Guests annually include high-ranking Israeli military and government officials. Well-known Americans attend.

Netanyahu's Israel

 

Netanyahu's Israel

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

He's made Israel more unfit to live in than any of his predecessors. Palestinians have no rights whatever. Israeli Arabs have few. Most Jews are losing theirs incrementally.

 

Neoliberal harshness plans destroying Israel's safety net entirely. Budget cuts target housing, healthcare, education, employment and welfare. 

Israel’s Lesson to Palestinians: Build More Rockets?

 

Eman El-Hawi, a smart and perky 24-year-old business student from Gaza got teary when she told our delegation about what she witnessed during the eight days that Israel pounded Gaza. “I saw the babies being brought into the hospital, some dead, some wounded. I couldn’t believe Israel was doing this again, just like four years ago. But at least this time,” she said with pride, “we struck back.”

Corruption in Israel

 

Corruption in Israel

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Israel ranks among the world's most ruthless states. It qualifies for rogue state status. 

 

It spurns the UN Charter, major treaties, and other international law. It violates its own. It gets away with murder because world leaders mattering most do nothing.

 

Israel: Heading for a Political Cliff?

 

Israel: Heading for a Political Cliff?

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Middle East expert Patrick Seale knows the region well. He's covered it for over four decades. On December 4, he said:

 

Israel Gives Chutzpah New Meaning

 

Israel Gives Chutzpah New Meaning

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

The Yiddish word derives from the Hebrew hutspa. It means insolence or audacity. The Urban Dictionary adds "unmitigated effrontery or impudence."

 

Israel Violates Ceasefire, Attacks Gaza Fishermen

By Dooler Campbell

Since the ceasefire was put into effect on Thursday, 22 November 2012, 29 fishermen have been arrested while out at sea, including 14 fisherman arrested on Saturday, 1 December 2012. An announcement was issued by the Hamas government stating that the maritime boundaries had been extended from three to six nautical miles under the terms of the recent ceasefire. International standards set the limit at 12 miles, while the Oslo Accords granted Gaza fishermen 20 miles in 1995. However, this limit was reduced to three miles in January 2009 after the attacks of Operation Cast Lead.

In late January 2009, when fishermen returned to the sea after Operation Cast Lead, they were viciously attacked. Boats were completely destroyed, and many fishermen were shot, with serious injuries. Some were even shot in the back as they attempted to return to the shore.

Israeli Settlement Construction Fallout

 

Israeli Settlement Construction Fallout

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Netanyahu's E1 Ma'aleh Adumin settlement construction announcement drew considerable flack. What it means remains to be seen. Palestinian rights have been spurned for decades. Expect little change now.

 

Davids Oppose Israel's Use of King David

One tool being employed by the government of Israel to evict Palestinian people from their homes is the claim that doing so will allow archaeologists to discover historical evidence of the existence of King David.  Such evidence is intended to strengthen the claim that Jews are returning to land occupied by Jews millennia ago. 

Yet the living people moved off their land by Israeli expansion are denied any right to return to it. 

The King David in the book of Samuel is greedy and cruel, thoughtless of the pain he causes others.  David is punished for his actions, but appears to learn nothing from the punishment.  The lesson that Nathan attempts to teach David, to condemn evil actions in oneself that one would condemn in others, is a difficult lesson to learn. 

We encourage the government of Israel to try. 

 

David R. Applebaum, professor, USA

David Bacon, photographer, USA

David Barkham, film-production-designer, South Africa

David Becker, environmental-lawyer, USA

David ben Or, computer-scientist, USA

David J. Biviano, educator, USA

David Berrian, videographer, USA

Dave Bleakney, educator, Canada

David Booth, software-architect, USA

David Brast, appliance-repairer, USA

David Brookbank, social-worker, USA

David B. Buehrens, editor, USA

David Camfield, professor, Canada

David Cobb, activist, USA

David Cole, researcher, USA

David Cone, webmaster, USA

David Crowningshield, consultant, USA

David Earnhardt, filmmaker, USA

David Ecklein, computer-consultant, USA

David Finke, printer, USA

David Finkelstein, filmmaker, USA

David Graeber, anthropologist, UK

David Scott Halenda, rambler, USA

David Hall, MD, physician

David Hartsough, activist, USA

David J. Heap, professor, Canada

David R. Heap, actor, Ireland

David Janzen, activist, Canada

David Klein, professor, USA

David Korten, author, USA

David Kubiak, journalist, Japan

David Lambert, Activist, USA

David Lerner, PR guy, USA

David Levy, computer-consultant, USA

David Lindorff, reporter, USA

David Lippman, songwriter, USA

David Lloyd, Professor, USA

David L. Mandel, attorney, USA

David Marsh, broadcaster, USA

David R. Marshall, guitarist, USA

David McGiffen, atheist, UK

David McNally, professor, Canada

David McReynolds, activist, USA
David Meserve, activist, USA

David J. Milne, peace-and-justice-worker, Canada

David Morris, musician, USA

David Neff, manager (retired), USA

David Norris, city council member, USA

David I. Robinson, professor, USA

David Rovics, musician, USA

David Rubinson, activist, France

David Schaich, physicist, USA

David Schott, partnership-coordinator, USA 

David Shelton, entrepreneur, USA

David Shewan, Environmentalist, UK

David Eric Shur, salesman, USA

David A. Smith, sociologist, USA

David Solnit, author, USA

David Soumis, human, USA

David Stark, executive director, USA

David Swanson, author, USA

David Tykulsker, attorney, USA

David Underhill, descendant, USA

David Weiss, environmental-activist, USA

David Welsh, labor organizer, USA

David Witham, educator (retired), USA

David Zaworski, pastor, USA

 

If your name is David, please add your name and identification at http://davidswanson.org/davids

Secret US Construction in Israel

 

Secret US Construction in Israel

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Washington and Israel partner in jointly planned imperial wars and related activities. 

 

Walter Pincus reports on national security issues for the Washington Post. He's been at it many years. In late December he'll turn 80.

 

Israel's Genocidal War on Palestine

 

Israel's Genocidal War on Palestine

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Longstanding Israeli policy reflects slow-motion genocide. Non-Jews aren't wanted. Israel considers them subhuman.

 

Peace, nonviolence, diplomacy, human and civil rights, as well as fundamental rule of law principles are systematically spurned. That's now rogue states operate.

Chicago Solidarity Activists Currently in Gaza

CHICAGO, IL - In response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis there, and to answer calls for a solidarity presence from some of its humanitarian organizations, several delegations of international activists and grassroots journalists are now in the Gaza Strip, meeting and working with survivors of Israel’s recent bombing campaign.  

Travelers include Kathy Kelly, Johnny Barber and Joshua Brollier of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, who left for Cairo on Thursday, November 22 and passed through the Rafah border crossing into Gaza on Monday, November 26. The activists aim to complete their Gaza itinerary whether or not the current ceasefire holds.

Kathy Kelly, who witnessed Israel’s “Cast Lead” campaign 4 years ago, has been interviewing survivors of the current, much briefer, campaign.  “This was worse than 2009 because of the intensity of the bombing,” reported one doctor. “Bombs fell so frequently, morning, noon, and night, and it felt like there was no place safe to hide.” 

The delegates spoke with EMT workers excavating a leveled 4-story building in Jamaliya, then met with farmers at a buffer zone protest at Khan Younis, whose acreage on the Gaza side of the border fence has been inaccessible due to long-standing Israeli policy of firing on those who approach the fence. Later, they met with a water specialist who reported that no desalinization plants are currently working.  At one site neighbors grieved a family of 14 lost under the ruins of a three-story building thought to be a safe place to hide from the bombing.

Josh Brollier and Johnny Barber interviewed fishermen on the Gazan seashore – “Youth don’t want to leave their homeland but can’t see how they will have any future here.”  They talked to teenagers whose fishing boat was boarded by by Israeli troops for working more than three miles from shore.  They had refused an order to strip naked in their boat and then acted to prevent the customary destruction of their boat’s motor by gunfire. “I grabbed the motor,” reported one youth, “and said ‘you can put the bullet here [indicating his head] but I will not do what you ask me to do.”

Delegates will post on twitter (info_from_vcnv), facebook and the Voices website, vcnv.org

Please contact Voices co-coordinators in Chicago, Buddy Bell and Gerald Paoli, for updated information and cell phone numbers for the activists in Cairo and Gaza.

Voices for Creative Nonviolence (www.vcnv.org) has deep, long-standing roots in active nonviolent resistance to U.S. war-making. Begun in the summer of 2005, Voices draws upon the experiences of those who challenged the brutal economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and U.N. against the Iraqi people between 1990 and 2003.

Israel Signals Hardline Policy Intentions

 

Israel Signals Hardline Policy Intentions

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Observers thinking Palestinians gained from Pillar of Cloud might think again. 

 

Nothing changed. Hardline Netanyahu policies continue. Expect worse ahead. Palestinian peace, reconciliation and unity advocates are murdered or arrested.

 

Netanyahu Plans More War

 

Netanyahu Plans More War

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

He admitted it. He's not finished. He has lots more killing and destruction to do. He "will not hesitate to do what is necessary to defend our people," he said. 

 

In other words, he'll ignore memorandum of understanding ceasefire terms, maintain Gaza's siege, manufacture pretexts to eliminate Israeli enemies, and kill Palestinian civilians he calls threats.

Righteous Condemnation of Israeli Mass Murder

 

Righteous Condemnation of Israeli Mass Murder

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Media scoundrels feature pro-Israeli supporters. Doing so makes them complicit with Israeli crimes. 

 

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