, Jerusalem Post
The IDF has destroyed Hamas’s flagship terrorism project; its network of cross-border tunnels that snuck under the border into Israel. The military also began to pull its forces out of the Gaza Strip on Saturday evening.
Hamas has spent five years preparing this strategic threat; the IDF wrecked 31 tunnels in two weeks. By Sunday, all of the tunnels the IDF knew about, or discovered during the offensive, will be destroyed. A few tunnels that Israel doesn’t know about may remain intact.
Many of the underground passages were designed to send heavily armed murder squads into Israeli villages for killing sprees, and attack army positions from behind. They were filled with weapons, explosives, and equipment, enabling terrorists dressed in civilian clothing to disappear into a shaft in Gaza, and emerge in Israel, disguised as IDF soldiers and fully equipped to carry out a mass casualty attack. The IDF has discovered motorcycles in some of the tunnels, which were earmarked by Hamas for rapid raids into Israel and subsequent retreats back into Gaza.
Currently, inside the Strip, the army has gained good control of the areas it is maneuvering in. Despite very difficult fighting that has raged on the ground, which included heavy RPG, anti-tank, and automatic fire by Hamas cells, and despite the painful price Israel has paid thus far, the army is very close to achieving this key goal of its offensive.
In the big majority of cases where the IDF clashed with Hamas, the battle ended with the terrorists being killed, wounded, or with their surrender.
No one in the army expected the fighting to be easy, or one-way. And no one expected all of the battles to end without painful losses on the Israeli side, when tens of thousands of soldiers clashed with Hamas’s battalions of guerrillas.
Similarly, the intelligence available to the ground forces has been superb, but it is unrealistic to expect a 100% success rate. Planned ambushes, such as the one carried out by Hamas in Rafah on Friday, which led to the kidnapping of an officer, were part of the known threats facing the army in Gaza. Not all threats can be dealt with successfully on the battlefield. Such is the nature of war.
Only a ground offensive could provide the military with the needed tools to destroy the tunnels; air power alone could not achieve this goal.
The number of clashes between the IDF and Hamas cells has dropped dramatically in recent hours, an indication of the army’s firm control of the areas it holds. Exceptions to this include sporadic mortar and sniper fire.
Meanwhile, Hamas’s stockpile of medium-range rockets, of the kind it uses to target greater Tel Aviv, is becoming depleted. As a result, Hamas has lowered the number of of medium-range rockets it fires, to pace itself for a drawn-out conflict. On the weekend, Hamas has focused on firing on short-range rockets attacks on the south.
The IDF is in the process of reorganizing its ground forces. It is preparing for further instructions from the security cabinet. Ground forces remain active in three areas across Gaza, as the last of the tunnels are destroyed. The remainder of the ground units have taken up positions in staging areas, and some will remain in Gaza, to protect Israeli villages from attempts by Hamas to exploit gaps in the border fence to stage further attacks.
Some in the defense establishment believe that when Hamas’s leaders emerge from their bunkers, and see how years of tunnelling turned into wreckage, they may think again before investing so many resources into rebuilding a subterranean network. Nothing can stop Israel re-entering Gaza in the future to destroy newly built tunnels. this may lead Hamas to abandon the program.
Israel is continuing to search for a tunnel alert system, and has researched every known technology designed to deal with this threat.
According to the defense establishment, none have so far been found to be effective or operational. None would allow security chiefs to sleep soundly and expect to know, in real time, when Hamas’s diggers begin tunnelling towards Israel again.
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):
Tuesday, 29 July 2014 15:03
JERUSALEM (EJP)—Hamas had apparently been preparing a murderous assault on Israeli civilian targets for the coming Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year Holiday, which begins on September 24, according to unnamed sources in the Israeli security services, quoted by Israel’s daily Maariv.
The Hamas plan consisted of what was to be a surprise attack in which 200 terrorists would be dispatched through each of dozens of tunnels dug by Hamas under the border from Gaza to Israel, and seize kibbutzim and other communities while killing and kidnapping Israeli civilians.
Israel has reportedly discovered at least 30 tunnels, and has destroyed several of them by employing bulldozers. IDF excavation of the tunnels has resulted in the seizure of tons of Hamas supplies, as well as the discovery of plans for future operations.
Clearly, the network of tunnels — using hundreds of tons of concrete (supplied by Israel) that might otherwise have been used by the Palestinians for building homes, shopping malls, parks, schools, hospitals and libraries — indicates that Hamas had been preparing for an ongoing conflict for at least a year.
According to the reports, each tunnel has arteries, veins, offshoots, and offshoots of the offshoots in intricate and complex arrangements. As one Israeli spokesman said, “There are two Gazas, one above ground and one below ground: an underground terrorist city.”
We’ve seen these tricks before and the images they conjure for the unwary.
Not only are these supposed “massive tunnel networks” they’re screaming about “secret and hidden”, but like stories about the big ogre we only hear about but never see, these fake “intelligence reports” can paint any illusory monster they want with their bombardment of misinformation and propaganda.
Where did we hear about this “tunnel” scheme before? Oh yeah, the massive underground bunkers in Afghanistan.
With this and other false allegations they bombed the hell out of that innocent country in order to find the Osama bin Ogre. Of course he was hidden in his plush tunnel network from whence he masterminded and bamboozled, by cell phone no less, the entire western megalomilitary machine. And of course these massive, heavily armed, elaborate and sophisticated hideouts were never found, nor were any weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq. But who needs proof once you’ve got the excuse and the war is under way?
You don’t need to provide any evidence in today’s “mediotic” world, just a big enough microphone, as in the Zionist controlled mass-hysteria media. Just look at this nonsense propaganda being passed on as reliable information that clearly indicates and attempts to justify their “need” to bomb Gaza until it’s one massive crater to “really get the job done” in order to destroy this “massive tunnel system” located under every inch of “terrorist” Gaza.
Found! With photo op! Part of Bin Laden’s massive labyrinth of evil, as publicized by the mainstream media after the 9/11 “retaliation”.
In the following excerpt by the Washington Times, the focus is on Hamas’ secret tunnels:
Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
Israeli military intelligence is facing criticism for failing to comprehend the network of tunnels and other underground facilities built by Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip.
“We’ll see when the war was over,” Mr. Pollak said in an interview, “but it is clear that the underground tunnel complex was far more extensive than Israeli military intelligence understood.”
Information that Israel Defense Forces reportedly obtained from captured Hamas fighters revealed that the group was planning to use several Gaza tunnels that extend under Israeli territory for a major attack timed with the beginning of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, on Sept. 24.
The plan called for Hamas fighters to surface from the tunnels in Israel and kill as many people as possible. The plot was first reported by the Israeli newspaper Maariv.
Israel’s military operation against Hamas in Gaza has gone on longer than expected because of the discovery of the extensive tunnel network, which is estimated to have cost as much as $2 billion to construct. (Source)
The 9/11 hoax was perhaps the biggest open display of outright trauma based mind control ever perpetrated on humanity.
Aaron Russo, a true hero of our time, was laughingly told they’d be “looking in caves” for invented terrorists following 9/11 by a very well placed insider, a Rockefeller. Go to 3 minutes in if you’d like to cut to that point. The whole video is mindblowingly good.
They apparently like the caves and tunnels meme to hide their fake enemies in. After all, you’ll never see them, only imagine them. And that feeds the entrained program.
“Let’s also get that suicide bomber thing out there, that always works, and massive secret troop reserves readying to conduct raids on poor innocent Israelis. It’s worked for decades, why not pile on the BS as long as we’re at it. After all, we’re ready to wipe Gaza right off the map, we might need it for PR and getting even more weapons and money from the US stooges…”
The following excerpt is from CNN:
Israeli Analyst: Hamas Has 3,000 Elite Soldiers Ready to Die in Suicide Attacks on Israel
An Israeli analyst told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Friday morning that he received information from reliable sources that 3,000 Hamas elite soldiers told their families goodbye and appear ready to carry out suicide attacks on Israel.
Middle East analyst Gershon Baskin said that all the fighters were equipped with suicide vests and that they had expected to die in terrorist attacks.
Baskin spoke just hours after a Hamas suicide attack, believed to have been conducted by the group’s militant wing Ezzedine al-Qassam brigade, killed two Israeli soldiers. During the surprise Hamas attack, which happened two hours into the 72-hour agreement for a cease fire, the militants captured an Israeli officer.
“You say these elite fighting forces they’re all prepared– they all go in with suicided*** vests ready to kill themselves in order to kill Israelis?” Blitzer asked as Baskin nodded.
“I was told by someone who had spoke to al-Qassam, the military wing of officer who said that before the ground operation began they were all instructed to go to their families and say goodbye to their families with the intent that they would not be returning alive from this battle,” Baskin told Blitzer in an news report airing live from Israel. “This is one of the very difficult things about fighting with an organization like Hamas, particularly these very dedicated soldiers, combatants who are not afraid to die.”
“We will do what needs to be done to protect our people,” Mark Regev, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Blitzer after Baskin’s interview. (Source)
After all, Zionist Wolf Blitzer echoed it on mainstain news, it must be true. Why would anyone make something like this up? And the horrific echo at the end: “We will do what needs to be done to protect our people.”
That Netankillyoo would even consider saying the Palestinians are deliberately allowing themselves to be decimated to create a “telegenic” effect that “makes Israel look bad” is beyond belief. Yet the media carries this crap as if it deserves conscious attention.
Dead women, dead children, dead babies. Limbs missing, brains missing, guts spilled out on the floor. It’s impossible to put a positive spin on those kinds of images, unless you’re Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Two days ago, Bibi sought to explain why, in the space of a few hours, Israeli soldiers, under his orders, massacred 63 people, including 17 children, in the Shuja’iya neighborhood to the east of Gaza City. He said:
“We have to protect ourselves. We try to target the rocketeers, we do. And all civilian casualties are not intended by us but actually intended by Hamas who want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can because somebody said they use telegenically dead Palestinians for the cause. They want the more dead the better.”
Think about that for a moment, and while you do so, consider this image of a Palestinian girl in her father’s arms. Half of her head was blown off by Netanyahu’s soldiers in the Shuja’iya neighborhood two days ago.
What Netanyahu is saying is “the Palestinians are MAKING us kill them”. Many parallels could be drawn with this statement. The rapist who accuses his victim of ‘making him do it’ or ‘asking for it’; the psychologically deranged murderer who claims that he killed prostitutes ‘to save them’. When it raises its ugly head in civil society, this kind of twisted psychopathic thinking provokes revulsion and is universally condemned, yet when Netanyahu employs it in relation to the Israeli attack on Gaza, it’s accepted as a reasonable argument that absolves him and his shock troops of the mass murder of civilians. (Source)
That’s the mad world in which we’re living in a mad nutshell.
If that’s not bad enough, he claims the Palestinian resistance is using their own as “human shields”, when that is exactly what Israel has been documented doing time and again, which only adds fuel to their funeral pyre.
From the Israel Defense Force’s own website:
The IDF is currently engaged in Operation Protective Edge against Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip. Hamas places weapons and missile launchers in densely populated areas. They also send men, women and children to act as human shields for terrorists.
Innocent bystanders can be killed as a result of Hamas’ abuse of its own civilians. Instead of keeping its citizens out of harm’s way, Hamas encourages and even forces Gazans to join its violent resistance against Israel.
During Operation Protective Edge, evidence of Hamas’ and other terror organizations’ use of human shields has surfaced. (Source)
That crap is supposed to justify gratuitous mass murder anywhere they want to aim their genocidal weaponry. Is anybody even paying attention?
The irony is that this is exactly what Israel is perpetrating. Creating these very illusions of “telegenic” death while literally using Palestinians as human shields in every possible form.
The entire premise with which this usurping Zionist machine is exerting itself is based on one huge lie. Every aspect of it, from the religiously privileged malarkey, the poor, persecuted minority propaganda, to the defense of a literally stolen homeland charade. That realization will take most people some time, the propaganda has been so thorough and for so long. They very cleverly entrenched this fabrication inside of embedded emotional responses and fear based social programming over time, best exemplified now by so-called “political correctness”, a mainstay of the modern propaganda machine.
I think anyone with a conscience can sense this massive, aggressive disinformation campaign can’t be real, but they buy into it anyway, feeling it’s the safe, comfortable and accepted way to think. After all, look at the consequences. The Zio-minions have even released street gangs just to up the ante of backlash if you dare to oppose this projected scheme, never mind the public humiliation of anyone who dares to speak up against these ongoing atrocities and their source.
They’re now (again) turning the natural human outrage of an obviously cold and calculated land grabbing genocide by Israel into a form of anti-semitism. As in post 9/11 American jingoism, anyone not pro-Israel is now considered sympathetic to the cleverly demonized Hamas, no doubt infiltrated and controlled as in the case of fabricated al Qaida. Same old game. Controlled opposition is perhaps fascism’s most powerful tool, along with propaganda. Create the problems as they suit your ends using any means necessary. Then enact “the solution”.
Rallying their propaganda troops to dismantle any protest as either racially biased or an outright crime becomes a walk in the park. Georgie Bush’s “You’re either with us, or you’re with the terrorists” comes quickly to mind. The post staged 9/11 false choice of ages.
Look where that pre-planned staged 9/11 campaign based on psyops and staged events led – the decimation of nation after nation which continues to this day. The Israeli’s are only following their own corrupt lying script and again campaigning on these worn out propaganda lies and distortions. It’s time people snapped out of this fear-based hypnosis and called a spade a spade.
This type of social steering is happening on so many fronts they’re hard to count. It’s all propaganda warfare first and foremost, and as stunned humanity swallows this barrage of words and false images it holds them at bay long enough to accomplish their desired results. The repercussions afterwards are a piece of cake to handle. History attests to this time and again.
They’re fucking with humanity, primarily in its mind, as spiritually based parasites do. These ongoing horrific atrocities we’re witnessing then follow their pre-determined lead as does permission and condoning on the part of complicit, cowering humanity.
Realizing these types of truths can be devastating and leave you feeling helpless and alone. Don’t let it. We are many, and our ranks are growing by the minute. Hungry sincere souls are watching anxiously and looking for resolution in some form to spare the dear people of Palestine. But most of all, hearts long for a virtual splitting of the veil, a massive awakening where we can all bask in the light of truth together as these dark machinations are exposed and thereby destroyed.
As I’ve said before, the battlefield of awakening is you. And me. Keep that close to your heart and know that that is where true empowerment and solutions are awaiting anybody and everybody. It happens one heart at a time, but this beautiful awakening of humanity is now reaching critical mass.
Don’t look for confirmation in the media. You’ll know it in your heart. It’s time to fully awaken and activate, and do the part we’re each called and compelled to do.
This is an opportunity of the ages. Let’s not miss it. Charge the breach – consciously.
In a video recording dated in 2012, Netanyahu can be seen speaking to what presumably are family members, women and children, completely unawares to the fact that his remarks are being recorded the entire time.
Netanyahu explains that, “The main thing, first of all, is to hit them [the Arabs]. Not just one blow, but blows that are so painful that the price will be too heavy to be borne,” a policy doctrine we are now seeing play out in Israel’s current assault on Gaza in which the ‘price’ that is intended to be ‘too heavy to be borne,’ is measured in the indiscriminate murder of innocent civilian lives- their homes, their playgrounds, their beaches, their schools, their mosques, their hospitals; Israel has shown in Protective Edge that no one and no place in Gaza, not even children’s playgrounds and hospitals in which no militants whatsoever are present, is immune from the all-powerful roar of the highly-tuned, well-oiled and technologically sophisticated multi-billion dollar US-made killing machine that it has now descended upon the mostly defenseless, economically strangled, and poverty-induced population of Gaza (a WikiLeaks cable quoted an Israeli official in 2008 telling the US that they would “keep Gaza’s economy on the brink of collapse,” to ensure that the economy was “functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis.”)
The UN reports as of 29 July that a total of 1,118 people have been killed in the now 23 day assault on Gaza, 827 (or 74%) of which are innocent civilians. Updated figures for 30 July from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights put the current death toll at 1324, of which 1130 (or 85%) are innocent civilians, along with 5,924 wounded; Gaza’s Health Ministry has confirmed the death of at least 1,359; a number of 7,677 wounded has been confirmed by emergency service spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra.
These figures clearly tell us that only a very small amount of the targets are actually military targets, Hamas militants or resistance fighters, given that they account for only 20-25% of the deaths. The vast majority of those killed have been innocent civilians, this despite the IDF’s sophisticated US-made and financed military technology capable of precision striking and advanced intelligence capabilities, including joint cooperation between Mossad and the NSA.
These figures make more sense however when you put them in the context of advice given to the IDF from Israeli lawyers and statements by top military and political officials.
Don’t Make Me Shoot You
Nafeez Ahmed reports that,
“White highlights a Ha’aretz report from 2009 which revealed that “IDF officers were receiving legal advice that allowed for large numbers of civilian casualties and the targeting of government buildings.”
“The people who go into a house despite a warning do not have to be taken into account in terms of injury to civilians, because they are voluntary human shields,”
said one senior official of the international law division (ILD) of the Israeli Military Advocate General’s Office.
“From the legal point of view, I do not have to show consideration for them. In the case of people who return to their home in order to protect it, they are taking part in the fighting.” (emphasis added)
This statement presupposes that Israel has the right to order people out of their homes, without having to give a justification, without having to prove that it is a military outpost, just an arbitrary pronouncement by the military and either the civilians must flee or be murdered in cold blood by the IDF, in which case they will be referred to as ‘human shields’ and their extrajudicial slaughter justified in the eyes of the military machine and its legal aides; even if the civilian does flee, Israel presupposes the right to destroy their homes, property, and belongings- in other words, their property (and as well their lives) belong to us, because we say so.
According to U.S. Army Manuals terrorism is defined as, the
“calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear. It is intended to coerce or intimidate governments or societies … [to attain] political, religious, or ideological goals.” [U.S. Army Field Manual No. FM 3-0, Chapter 9, 37 (14 June 2001).]
Israel’s actions are therefore the exact definition of terrorism according to the U.S. army, where even just the threat of violence to obtain political goals is terrorism; Israel is saying to the civilian population “leave your homes, or else,” while then presupposing that if their orders are not heeded they are thus absolved from the responsibility of the murder which they will then go about committing. Even if they were just to threaten the use of violence to get people out of their homes it would be an extreme terroristic crime, let alone when they actually go through with the bombing, indiscriminate of who is inside.
What this amounts to is basically the military/war-time equivalent of holding a gun to someone’s head and saying “don’t make me shoot you,” and then demanding that they give you their wallet… or else. When the person doesn’t comply with your terror demands and use of intimidation, you then shoot them dead and claim that it was their fault for not giving you the money, I wonder how well that defense would hold up in a US court of law? Yet this is exactly what Israel is doing in Gaza, this is exactly what their lawyers and military generals are attempting to justify and codify into law.
Take Away Half the Land; Say the Dead Killed Themselves
Israel has used this terror tactic in order to take away 44% of Gaza’s land, drawing up a 3km buffer zone around the borders and then proceeding to hold the gun to the head of every innocent civilian living within that area and saying “don’t make us shoot you,” instructing them to leave their homes “immediately” or thus end up as ‘human shields,’ in which case, according to the IDF and their lawyers, their deaths will be their own fault.
Pepe Escobar thus points out,
“Translation: Israel, in one stroke, is creating OVER 400,000 REFUGEES. But refugees INSIDE the same cage/concentration camp/gulag – a major CRIME under international law. This huge area is now off-limits. All civilians staying behind will be deemed as “combatants”.”
Just as a 75-80% civilian death rate figure falsifies the claim that only military infrastructure and personnel are being targeted, so too does this 3km buffer zone falsify that claim as well; there is no justifiable military reason to annex almost half of Gaza’s land to military invasion and wholesale destruction, the whole ‘tunnel’ argument the least of which as it is pure nonsense coming from a military perspective, and one that has also been used previously,
“The pretext for the [November 4, 2008] raid was that Israel had detected a tunnel in Gaza that might have been intended for use to capture another Israeli soldier. The pretext is transparently absurd, as a number of commentators have noted. If such a tunnel existed, and reached the border, Israel could easily have barred it right there. But as usual, the ludicrous Israeli pretext was deemed credible.” (Noam Chomsky, Peace News, February 2009)
Murder Civilians; Put Pressure on Hamas
In an exchange between former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and former Isreali UN Ambassador and Isreali Labor Party Foreign Minister Abba Eban, published in the Israeli press in August of 1981, Mr. Eban wrote,
“The picture that emerges is of an Israel wantonly inflicting every possible measure of death and anguish on civilian populations in a mood reminiscent of regimes which neither Mr. Begin nor I would dare to mention by name.”(1) (emphases added)
Prominent and noted scholar Edward Herman analyzes further the exchange,
“Eban is harshly critical of Begin’s letter because of the support it gives to Arab propaganda; he does not contest the facts. He even defends the earlier Israeli attacks on civilians with the exact logic which orthodox analysts of terrorism attribute to-and use to condemn-retail terrorists: namely, that deliberate attacks may properly be made on innocent parties in order to achieve higher ends. Eban writes that, “there was a rational prospect, ultimately fulfilled, that afflicted populations [i.e., innocent civilians deliberately bombed] would exert pressure for the cessation of hostilities.”
“Begin’s list is indeed “partial.” It is supplemented by former Chief of Staff Mordechai Gur, whom stated that “For 30 years, from the War of Independence until today, we have been fighting against a population that lives in villages and cities,” offering as examples the bombardments that cleared the Jordan valley of all inhabitants and that drove a million and a half civilians from the Suez canal area, in 1970, among others. The Israeli military analyst Zeev Schiff summarized General Gur’s comments as follows:
“In South Lebanon we struck the civilian population consciously, because they deserved it … the importance of Gur’s remarks is the admission that the Israeli Army has always struck civilian populations, purposely and consciously … the Army, he said, has never distinguished civilian [from military] targets … [but] purposely attacked civilian targets when Israeli settlements had not been struck.”(2) (emphases added)
This history is particularly important, it gives a clear context to the recent historical findings which echo the exact same sentiments, and thus prove that the strategic military doctrine has not much changed throughout the years, and that these genocidal policies are instead longstanding and rooted in tradition.
An independent investigation into the IDF by the Jerusalem-based Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) in the wake of Operation Cast Lead states that, “The policy of protecting soldiers’ lives, even at the cost of harming uninvolved civilians, cannot by itself explain the large number of casualties,” and so too can this statement be ascribed to the current death toll figures. The report explains this discrepancy however, “in the beginning of October 2008, the Commanding Officer of the IDF’s Northern Command, Maj. General Gadi Eisenkott, gave an interview to Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, in which he unveiled what he called the “Dahiye Doctrine”:
“What happened in the Dahiye Quarter of Beirut in 2006, will happen in every village from which shots are fired on Israel. We will use disproportionate force against it and we will cause immense damage and destruction. From our point of view these are not civilian villages but military bases.
“This is not a recommendation, this is the plan, and it has already been authorized.” (Yedioth Ahronoth (Hebrew), I have incredible power, I’ll have no excuse,, Saturday Supplement, October 3, 2008, by Alex Fishman and Ariela Ringel-Hoffman.)
According to the approach expressed in the Dahiye Doctrine,
“Israel has to employ tremendous force disproportionate to the magnitude of the enemy’s actions. The intent of this… is to harm the civilian population to such an extent that it will bring pressure to bear on the enemy combatants. Furthermore, this policy is intended to create deterrence regarding future attacks against Israel, through the damage and destruction of civilian and military infrastructures which necessitate long and expensive reconstruction actions which would crush the will of those who wish to act against Israel.” (emphasis added)
“…two months before Operation Cast Lead, the Institute for National Security Studies, a think-tank at the Tel Aviv University which reflects the mainstream of Israeli military thinking, published an article by Dr. Gabriel Siboni, a colonel in IDF reserves. In the article Siboni expresses an identical approach to that of Eisenkott, which he relates in greater detail:
“With an outbreak of hostilities, the IDF will need to act immediately, decisively, and with force that is disproportionate to the enemy’s actions and the threat it poses. Such a response aims at inflicting damage and meting out punishment to an extent that will demand long and expensive reconstruction processes. The strike must be carried out as quickly as possible, and must prioritize damaging assets over seeking out each and every launcher. Punishment must be aimed at decision makers and the power elite… attacks should both aim at Hezbollah’s military capabilities and should target economic interests and the centers of civilian power that support the organization.”
After “What happened in the Dahiye Quarter of Beirut in 2006,” Israel’s then Army Chief of Staff Lt-Gen Dan Halutz threatened that his military would “turn back the clock on Lebanon by 20 years.” A troubling statement given the next paragraph of the PCATI’s report, “Siboni makes it clear that: “This approach is applicable to the Gaza Strip as well.”
Dan Halutz also made a previous appearance in a 2002 Hareetz article when he was asked to describe the emotions that are felt by a pilot that drops a bomb that kills civilians, one which perhaps gives more insight into this psychology, Dan replied,
“No. That is not a legitimate question and it is not asked. But if you nevertheless want to know what I feel when I release a bomb, I will tell you: I feel a light bump to the plane as a result of the bomb’s release. A second later it’s gone, and that’s all. That is what I feel.” (emphases added)
In the opening days of Operation Cast Lead of December ’08 – January ’09 the head of the Israeli army command in Gaza, Yoav Galant, echoed Lt-Gen Halutz’s statements when he confirmed that the attack was designed to “send Gaza decades into the past.”
With the recent headlines depicting the carnage and the slaughter currently plaguing Gaza today, one would be hard pressed to doubt the seriousness of these statements.
They Will Say We Are Defending
Understanding the civilian death toll in this context makes much more sense than listening to the Israeli governments pronouncements of using all necessary means to protect civilian life (a claim which is usually followed by some form of ‘under law’ or ‘all necessary lawful means,’ which given the above is equally as troubling.) However all of this is predicated upon the fact that “Israel has a right to defend itself,” since “Hamas struck first,” but as respected scholar Nafeez Ahmed points out, “Then three Israeli boys were kidnapped in early June of this year. As an investigation by the Jewish Daily Forward found, Netanyahu’s government knew almost immediately that the boys had been killed, and who had killed them – but pretended to know neither to justify a brutal crackdown.
“It was clear from the beginning that the kidnappers weren’t acting on orders from Hamas leadership in Gaza or Damascus.”
Thus ensued an 18-day ‘search-and-rescue operation,’ involving soldiers entering “thousands of homes, arresting and interrogating hundreds of individuals.” To justify the operation, Netanyahu “maintained the fiction” that they hoped to find the boys alive “as a pretext to dismantle Hamas’ West Bank operations.”
In the process, the IDF killed more than half a dozen Palestinians – while a Palestinian teenager was burned to death by settlers.”
And these crimes were then followed by Israel’s unprovoked attacks on Gaza, as the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs recounts,
“On 11 June, the Israeli Air Force targeted an alleged member of an armed group riding on a motorcycle together with a ten-year old child, in the Beit Lahiya area. The man died instantly and the child, who sustained serious injuries, died three days later; two civilian bystanders were also injured.
“Following this incident and through the rest of the week, Palestinian armed groups launched a number of rockets at southern Israel.” (emphasis added)
As I noted here, despite all of these provocations and attacks, Hamas still did not fire any rockets and therefore had abided by the 2012 November ceasefire… until Israel struck them first. After the month long military attack and raid of the West Bank, and the subsequent military aerial bombing raids in Gaza that provoked other Palestinian armed groups to retaliate, on June 29th an Israeli air strike killed 3 Hamas militants, after which Hamas launched its first rocket attack on Israel since 2012, in retaliation to Israel’s attack. Hamas then immediately called for the institution of a ceasefire, their conditions: that the stipulations of the 2012 ceasefire be re-instated, the same one that Israel repeatedly broke. Israel considered the proposal, but later refused, instead deciding to launch another air strike against Hamas on July 6th, Hamas responded the next day, and the day after Operation Protective Edge was launched.
It is within this context that the first round of Hamas rockets were unleashed, and it is through this that we must analyze the claims that Israel is acting defensively.
In the leaked recording of Netanyahu mentioned at the beginning of this report, the Prime Minister further clarifies the ‘pain’ he wished to inflict upon the Arabs, “A broad attack on the Palestinian Authority, to bring them to the point of being afraid that everything is collapsing.” A women can then be heard asking the question, “Wait a moment, but then the world will say ‘how come you’re conquering again?’”
“The world won’t say a thing. The world will say we’re defending.”
Steven Chovanec is an independent geopolitical analyst based in Chicago, IL. He is an undergraduate of International Studies at Roosevelt University and is a regular writer and blogger on geopolitics and important social matters. His writings can be found at undergroundreports.blogspot.com, find him on Twitter @stevechovanec.
1.) Abba Eban, “Morality and warfare,” The Jerusalem Post, August 16, 1981 in cited in Edward Herman, The Real Terror Network, (Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1982), p. 77.
2.) Edward Herman, The Real Terror Network, (Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1982), p. 77-78. For further discussion of what Edward Herman describes as “Israel’s Sacred Terrorism,” see p. 76-79.
[This article was made possible by the contributions and reporting of Eva Bartlett at http://ingaza.wordpress.com/, Twitter – @EvaBartlettGaza]
Benjamin Netanyahu isn’t the brightest bulb on the Hanukkah bush, but that doesn’t explain why he concluded that he could benefit himself and Israel by launching another assault on Gaza, the third in six years.
From any remotely plausible point of view, this was a colossal mistake. It is as if resistance fighters in Gaza snookered him into it.
Perhaps they did; they seem shrewd enough, and he seems dumb enough. But “the dead weight of history” and American politics played a role too.
Israel has gotten away with murder – and worse — before; many times.
Also Netanyahu knew that he could count on influential media in the United States and other enabling countries to mislead, misinform and generally promote the Israeli line. He knew too that he has 535 profiles in pusillanimity in his pocket – 100 in the Senate, and 435 more in the House.
Therefore if it seems politically expedient, why wouldn’t he kill again? It was a win-win situation. He would benefit politically and every little bit helps advance the long-term goal he and many other Zionists share — ridding the land of Israel of all but its Jewish inhabitants.
Netanyahu may also have decided that the time is right, now that so many calamitous consequences of the Bush-Obama wars are falling due, and now that the failures (temporary or permanent) of the Arab Spring have destabilized the region.
He may have figured that, with the Near East in turmoil, powers friendly to the Hamas government in Gaza — Qatar, Turkey, Iran, Hezbollah – would be unlikely to lift a finger in Gaza’s defense; while others, hostile to Hamas, could be counted on discreetly to help Israel. This would include Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
The temptation to launch another massacre must therefore have been irresistible.
But pity the poor Bibster. Those pesky Palestinians, the ones sequestered in Gaza, snookered him good.
One would think that with so many Russians and other ex-Soviets in his government, somebody would have straightened him out. Russians know their history. They know how the Soviet Union defeated the invincible German army. They know about Napoleon. They know that the mighty don’t always prevail.
They might have told him what he didn’t learn in high school in the Philadelphia suburbs: that the side aggressed against has an advantage even when it is weaker than the aggressor – if it is willing to pay the price in casualties and suffering.
The strategy is clear: draw the enemy’s army in, then wait them out and wear them down. In a war of attrition, the side that stands its ground, that does not succumb to exhaustion, wins.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) will not have to face a Russian winter. But a densely populated “open air prison,” amply provisioned with tunnels and full of desperate people willing to suffer anything to be free from the boot of oppression, works just as well.
What was Netanyahu thinking?
And the vaunted IDF brass; how could they not have seen the trap? Could their arrogance and their contempt for Arabs be that overweening?
Over time, primitive rockets are bound to get better, even without help from outside parties. This is not rocket science; it is common sense.
Netanyahu and the others should have realized too that, even with Hezbollah mired in the Syrian civil war, Gazans could still learn a great deal from them.
Hezbollah defeated the South Lebanon Army, Israel’s proxy, in 2000; six years later, it fought back the IDF itself. They see this as a victory, and not without reason.
Hezbollah is strong on strategy and tactics. For mastering the art of putting unguided missiles to use, and for guidance in building networks of underground tunnels under the unrelenting scrutiny of an occupying power, there is no better teacher.
Did Netanyahu and his generals think that none of this would matter? Could they have thought that in 2014 the Israelis would have as easy a go of it as they had in 2012 and 2008-9?
It is hard to believe, but it looks like they did. They let themselves be snookered into a trap.
Needless to say, the IDF will not meet its Stalingrad in Gaza or anywhere else in the Occupied Territories. The power asymmetry is too great, and when things don’t go well for Israel, the United States is always there to save the day. This has happened before – most conspicuously during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
But defeat comes in many guises. The United States hasn’t unequivocally won a war since World War II — except against Grenada and Panama. And yet the juggernaut survives, more bloated and deadly than ever.
Israel will not emerge similarly unscathed. It has already been damaged in Gaza, and there are signs of greater trouble ahead.
Hamas – and perhaps also Islamic Jihad and other resistance groups — now have rockets capable of reaching population centers in Israel. They don’t have guidance systems, but this hardly matters.
One fell about a mile away from Ben Gurion Airport. This caused international airlines to cancel flights into and out of Tel Aviv.
This concentrated the minds of Israel’s business elites. The potential blow to Israeli tourism and therefore to the Israeli economy, should a protracted shutdown become necessary, was also too obvious for the corporate media, especially the business press, to ignore.
It is a portent of things to come as Israel loses international support, and as the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement gains traction.
Inadvertently, Netanyahu gave solidarity movements around the world a powerful reminder of the power of boycotts and, especially, of sanctions. It is hard to believe that Netanyahu et. al. wanted people reminded.
It is even harder to think they would take a chance on igniting a Third Intifada. The IDF’s savage attack on a UN school where Gazans had taken shelter from Israeli bombs and mortars ignited massive solidarity protests throughout the West Bank. Do the Israelis really think that all the pent-up fury their actions cause can be contained?
A new Intifada would be a nightmare for Israel. Among other things, it could cause the Palestinian Authority (PA) to collapse. This would require the IDF to do its own policing of the lands Israel occupies, and it would force Israel to administer both the West Bank and Gaza directly – without the benefit of generous EU subsidies.
And, worst of all for Israel, it could cause Palestinian Israelis to rise up in solidarity with Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza; twenty percent of the population of Israel is Palestinian.
These Palestinians are citizens of Israel theoretically; they have the right to vote and other political rights. But, by law and custom, they endure countless forms of discrimination. In “the only democracy in the Middle East,” they are second- or third-class citizens.
Israeli politicians are now clamoring to keep anyone from serving in the Knesset who will not swear fidelity to the idea of “a Jewish state.” If they get their way, it is a fair bet that, before long, Arab and other non-Zionist political parties will also be banned. This would spell the end of any semblance of real democracy in Israel.
And it would hasten the time when Israel itself, not just the Occupied Territories, becomes a full-fledged Apartheid state.
Do Netanyahu and the others really want that to happen? Do they want Israel to become an international pariah, facing – and deserving — worldwide opprobrium?
Ironically, this would make Israel what it claims to be: a state on its own in a hostile world, besieged by “existential threats.” The pretense has proven useful to the Zionist cause, but the reality would be catastrophic.
Did Hamas engineer this situation? Or do we owe that to the stupidity of Netanyahu and his colleagues? There is no either/or answer; the evidence suggests they both had a role.
In any case, the fact remains: Netanyahu and the others have led Israel into a trap. If they weren’t deliberately snookered, they might as well have been.
Whatever happens next, the one sure thing is that Palestinians will suffer horrendously – Palestinians in Gaza most of all.
Barack Obama could stop it in a Tel Aviv minute because everything Israel does, it does at the sufferance of the United States. But he won’t, and not just because he is too inclined to remain aloof. From his point of view, there is no percentage in forcing Israel to wage peace.
In any case, Obama has seen to it that the Israel-Palestine conflict now falls under John Kerry’s remit.
Thanks to Israeli intransigence and skullduggery, Kerry just might, by now, be just pissed off enough to do the right thing. Don’t count on that, however. In his heart, Kerry is still a Senator and a Democrat. In other words, he is squarely in the camp of the servile and the base.
No doubt too, he still subscribes to the idea that the Israel lobby is invincible, and therefore that political death awaits any politician who rattles its cage. This is a delusion, the emperor has no clothes; but, unlike the child in the Hans Christian Anderson fable, no American politician yet has found the courage to declare this simple truth.
Nevertheless, miracles happen; Kerry might still somehow recover his Winter Soldier self. But even were he to bolt, Palestinian suffering would go on. Netanyahu could still rely on American inertia. And, if that isn’t enough, he could count on the National Security Council to keep up America’s tradition of obeisance to the Israeli state, and complicity in its crimes.
From that quarter, Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken has so far been the most up front. The man sounds as if he gets his talking points straight from the Israeli embassy. If he is not actually on their payroll, then he is a fool; he is that blatant.
But, of course, one could say the same about nearly every pundit who gets to mouth off in mainstream media.
And so, the suffering goes on.
Nevertheless, the Palestinian people will survive.
The vast majority of Israelis these days won’t like that one bit; and neither will Americans and others who have been deluded into accepting the Israeli narrative. But it is an inexorable fact.
As a modern day Friedrich Nietzsche might say: whatever does not annihilate them, strengthens them.
And, as a modern day Martin Luther King might then add: the arc of the moral universe will, in time, swing Palestine’s way. Inasmuch as it bends towards justice, how could it not?
ANDREW LEVINE is a Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What’s Wrong With the Opium of the People. He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).
The official account claimed that Iman was shot as she walked towards an army post with her schoolbag because soldiers feared she was carrying a bomb.
But the tape recording of the radio conversation between soldiers at the scene reveals that, from the beginning, she was identified as a child and at no point was a bomb spoken about nor was she described as a threat. Iman was also at least 100 yards from any soldier.
Instead, the tape shows that the soldiers swiftly identified her as a “girl of about 10” who was “scared to death”.
The tape also reveals that the soldiers said Iman was headed eastwards, away from the army post and back into the refugee camp, when she was shot.
At that point, Captain R took the unusual decision to leave the post in pursuit of the girl. He shot her dead and then “confirmed the kill” by emptying his magazine into her body.
The tape recording is of a three-way conversation between the army watchtower, the army post’s operations room and the captain, who was a company commander.
The soldier in the watchtower radioed his colleagues after he saw Iman: “It’s a little girl. She’s running defensively eastward.”
Operations room: “Are we talking about a girl under the age of 10?”
Watchtower: “A girl of about 10, she’s behind the embankment, scared to death.”
A few minutes later, Iman is shot in the leg from one of the army posts.
The watchtower: “I think that one of the positions took her out.”
The company commander then moves in as Iman lies wounded and helpless.
Captain R: “I and another soldier … are going in a little nearer, forward, to confirm the kill … Receive a situation report. We fired and killed her … I also confirmed the kill. Over.”
Witnesses described how the captain shot Iman twice in the head, walked away, turned back and fired a stream of bullets into her body. Doctors at Rafah’s hospital said she had been shot at least 17 times.
On the tape, the company commander then “clarifies” why he killed Iman: “This is commander. Anything that’s mobile, that moves in the zone, even if it’s a three-year-old, needs to be killed. Over.”
The army’s original account of the killing said that the soldiers only identified Iman as a child after she was first shot. But the tape shows that they were aware just how young the small, slight girl was before any shots were fired.
The case came to light after soldiers under the command of Captain R went to an Israeli newspaper to accuse the army of covering up the circumstances of the killing.
A subsequent investigation by the officer responsible for the Gaza strip, Major General Dan Harel, concluded that the captain had “not acted unethically”.
However, the military police launched an investigation, which resulted in charges against the unit commander.
Iman’s parents have accused the army of whitewashing the affair by filing minor charges against Captain R. They want him prosecuted for murder.
Record of a shooting
‘It’s a little girl. She’s running defensively eastward’
‘Are we talking about a girl under the age of 10?’
‘A girl of about 10, she’s behind the embankment, scared to death’
Captain R (after killing the girl)
‘Anything moving in the zone, even a three-year-old, needs to be killed’
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