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I do not like Hamas. I detest religious fundamentalism and the use of suicide bombers. I find the group's anti-Semitism and ruthless silencing of internal Palestinian opponents repugnant. The rocket attacks on Israeli civilians are a war crime. But this does not negate the legitimacy of Palestinian resistance to the long Israeli siege and occupation of Gaza.
The moral scum of any society rises to the surface in war. Those who have a penchant for violence and an access to weapons dominate the landscape. It was the criminal class and gangsters who first organized the defense of Sarajevo. It was the thugs of Gaza who took control to confront the Israeli army. This is nothing new in wartime. Violence is a disease, a disease that corrupts all who use it regardless of the cause. But there are moments when a people face the terrible tragedy of resistance or obliteration. This was true in Sarajevo. It is true for the Palestinians. It does not make it pretty or good. It is what happens.
Today in Solidarity We're All Palestinians
by Stephen Lendman
World outrage continues over Israeli war crimes and Washington's complicity. Gazans are now immortalized. Hamas is more popular than ever and remains resolute despite everything the IDF threw against it.
Democrats and Republicans share equal guilt. They fund Israeli state terror, are partnered in its aggression, and have collaboratively planned, supported, and/or agreed to it for the past 41 years. Continuity under Obama is assured. The current Gaza carnage is the worst since 1967. In spite of its "unilateral" ceasefire, sporadic Israeli attacks continue. The IDF merely redeployed. Gaza remains under siege, and human suffering is overwhelming and unrelieved.
ISRAEL THE MIGHTY
by Rick Burnley
Hey there, Israel the Mighty,
It seems you've lost your way,
And by the time you've finished with your blitzkrieg,
You're going to have Hell to pay
The Palestinians Say: 'This Is a War of Extermination'
by Ahdaf Soueif | Guardian UK
Everyone says something new is going on here; something different. The residents of Egyptian Rafah are used to the sounds of rockets and shells exploding on the other side of their border, but they've never heard the sounds they've been hearing over the last 20 days. Twenty-five miles further into Egypt the general hospital at el-Arish is used to receiving the Palestinian wounded. The staff have never seen injuries like these before. The hospital forecourt is swarming with ambulances, paramedics, press. The wounded are raced into casualty.
The Palestinians are mostly silent; each man working out where he finds himself and what he's going to do. Fearing for their wounded and fearing for those they've left behind, they are silent but unfailingly courteous.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT INSIDE
UK Jewish MP: Israel Acting Like Nazis in Gaza
A cease fire in Palestine is the best news imaginable, except ...
When the people you're bombing have been demanding a cease fire for a long time, how can your cease fire be unilateral unless you consider your victims subhumans incapable of discourse?
The previous cease fire was supposed to also end the blockade.
The timing of the U.S. inauguration festivities kicking off is worrisome.
Those who began and continued the firing should go to prison, not be applauded for finally pausing.
By Lisa Schirch
WASHINGTON, DC - From an Israeli perspective, the cost in international outrage and Palestinian civilian lives of the current attacks on Gaza is worth the price of crushing Hamas’s firepower. The goal is seductive, and Israel will likely succeed in slowing the development of rockets by Hamas in the short term. But just like Israel’s siege of Lebanon in 2006, the Israeli “shock and awe” military strategy in Gaza will not undermine Hamas’s leadership or bring long term security.
Both Israel and Gaza have a right to defend themselves. But there is a difference between a right to defence and an effective strategy for ending the attacks and ongoing violence.
The key ingredients of Hamas’s rockets are not metal casings and bags of explosives brought through tunnels from Egypt, and then built and launched from Gazan garages.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 15, 2009) -- Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives calling for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire to allow humanitarian organizations to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
The resolution is currently cosponsored by Representatives Conyers, Ellison, Hinchey, Kaptur, McDermott, Rahall, Watson, and Woolsey.
The full text of the resolution is available HERE.
See a video message from Congressman Kucinich explaining the resolution HERE.
The transcript of the message follows:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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]