Truth Frequency Radio
Aug 13, 2014

James North and Phil Weiss, Mondoweiss

One of the most important strikes in the propaganda war for Israel in the last month was dealt by the New York Times and CNN when they ran long pieces giving credence to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim that Hamas was building tunnels out of Gaza aimed at kindergartens in nearby kibbutzes.

Back on July 22, Netanyahu asserted– on the basis of this cartoon drawing he tweeted– that the tunnels were aimed at Israeli kindergartens.

Netanyahu tweeted this cartoon evidence on July 22

In fact (and as we reported), the only Israelis attacked from the tunnels were Israeli soldiers. But a week after Netanyahu’s statement, both the Times and CNN took the prime minister’s claim at face value. The Times’s piece, “Tunnels Lead Right to Heart of Israeli Fear” gave priority to rumors over actual information, and reported that “one tunnel was found over the weekend” in Kibbutz Be’eri. The piece quoted a resident of the kibbutz saying,

“The tunnels, it’s game-changing. We can’t do anything if the terrorists will come to our kindergarten. The tunnels, it’s very surprising, it can hit you don’t know where.”

Now it turns out no tunnel was found in Kibbutz Be’eri.

The Israeli site +972 has blown that propaganda completely out of the water. A well-researched article in Hebrew that it translated from an educational worker near Gaza states that the tunnels do not appear to be targeted at civilians and they come out more than a mile from any kibbutz, let alone the kindergartens.

In short, the tunnels fear was hysteria, drummed up by the Israeli government to heighten war fever, and then purveyed by the New York Times and CNN.

The piece at +972 — which is headlined in part, “In reality, every tunnel so far has been used against military targets alone” — was published in Hebrew on “Local Call,” and written by Emanual Yelin, who lives in Be’er Sheva and is said to work near the Gaza border. Yelin is a full-on Israeli patriot, but he has no truck with the lies and propaganda disseminated around the tunnels.

Here are excerpts of the Q-and-A he asks and answers.

Q. Was Benjamin Netanyahu right in his national address when he said “we will not end the mission, we will not end the operation, without neutralizing the tunnels that exist solely to annihilate our civilians and to kill our children?”

A. No. It is certain that this is not their sole purpose, and probably not their primary purpose, either. We’ve already seen six instances in which Hamas was able to use the tunnels against Israel. Once when Gilad Shalit was captured, and the rest during the current operation. In all instances, Hamas’ target were IDF soldiers, not the communities….

Q. So what is the purpose of the tunnels?

Most likely to hurt IDF forces and capture soldiers. Little by little we are starting to hear military reporters saying this explicitly…

Q. So we can be certain that the tunnels will not be used for terrorism against civilians in the kibbutzim along the barrier wall?

A. No. We must not become complacent…

Q. But if they didn’t want to hurt communities, why did they dig tunnels under dining halls and kindergartens inside those communities?

A. Here’s the thing: they didn’t. It turns out that there were no tunnels into the communities. The tunnel into the Kisufim dining hall? That was an old sewer line [Hebrew] mistakenly identified as a tunnel shaft…

Q. So where do the tunnels go?

A. Probably just a few hundred meters from the barrier wall and a few kilometers from the communities. It’s hard to find accurate data about where the exit shafts are. But in all five instances of infiltration, the militants emerged 200-400 meters away from the wall, as can be seen on the maps in the IDF Spokesperson videos. For example, the alleged penetration into Kisufim was 1.5 kilometers away from the community. And actually, the tunnel’s exit point is just as close to Kibbutz Sufa.

Kibbutz Be’eri is nearly three miles from the Gaza border, according to Google Maps. Now the +972 report documents that the tunnel openings were within half a kilometer of the Gaza border– at least 2 miles away from Kibbutz Be’eri.

When can we expect the New York Times and CNN to publish updated articles pointing out the errors in their original reporting?


Israeli troops deploy as Gaza deadline looms

Washington Post

Bomb Disposal Experts, Italian Journalist Killed by Gaza Blast

Gaza Conflict: What Exactly is a War Crime Anyway?

Ahmad and Mahmoud al Masri sit during the sunset on the rubble of their family house destroyed by Israeli strikes in the town of Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, Aug. 12, 2014. Mike Eckel, VOA

The argument, made by an American law professor and presented to the Israeli parliament as Israeli forces pummeled Gaza and Hamas rained rockets, was as provocative as it was straightforward: Israel has the legal right to shut off electricity and water to Gaza as part of its Operation Protective Edge, which, now in its fifth week, has resulted in more than 1,900 deaths and more than 10,000 injured. Howls erupted in legal circles. Days later, dozens of legal experts around the world piled into a debate with origins dating back decades, if not, centuries: in times of armed conflict, what exactly is a war crime? “How do you balance military targets with human lives? That’s exactly what all commanders must do,” said Gary Solis, a U.S. law professor and author of a definitive textbook on war crimes and humanitarian law. “And many think the Israelis have not done this well.” War has evolved quickly over the years. Less so the laws of war. Also known as humanitarian law, the laws of armed conflict were birthed in the U.S. Civil War, matured in the devastation of the First World War and refined after the Second, built on the proposition that even if war is inevitable, it doesn’t have to be immoral. The 1949 Geneva Conventions, adopted by every country in the world, spell out the rules for everything from how prisoners of war should be treated and who exactly is considered a soldier, to what objects or buildings are considered legitimate targets. Two “Additional Protocols” updated those rules in 1977 to include special protections for children, women and civilian medical personnel, and measures of protection for journalists. The International Committee of the Red Cross, considered the interpreter of international humanitarian law, or IHL, tries to be the neutral arbiter of conflicts like those now raging in Gaza, Ukraine and Syria. As of last Friday, more than 1,900 people had been killed in Gaza, along with 10,000 wounded and at least 400,000 people displace, according to the ICRC. That included at least 10 people killed when Israeli artillery hit a United Nations-operated school that was sheltering women and children. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called that shelling a “criminal act.” Necessity vs. Proportionality “International humanitarian law is meant to strike a balance between military necessity and humanitarian considerations,” ICRC president Peter Mauer said in a statement Aug. 8. “Having seen the destruction on the ground, and met the victims of the hostilities, I can affirm first-hand that this balance has not been respected.” Humanitarian law’s slow evolution was jolted by the Sept. 11, 2011 terror attacks, whose resulting wars highlighted the laws’ limitations. It’s one thing to have armies clashing on a battlefield — think U.S. and German tanks in the Ardennes in 1945. It’s another when the enemy doesn’t wear uniforms, or targets civilians with suicide bombs. When an attacking force launches Qassam rockets near schools or hospitals, or a soldier fires a Hellfire drone missile with the push of a button from suburban Washington, D.C., the Geneva Conventions’ proscriptions seem almost quaint. That was something the Bush administration struggled with, what to call men captured in Afghanistan who may or may not have had connections to al-Qaida. Under traditional laws, they would have been called prisoners of war and entitled to legal protections. For some Bush advisers, that was problematic: a “terrorist” is not the same as an “enemy combatant.” “The verbal gymnastics that the U.S. and others have undertaken is a good illustration of the conceptual challenge that IHL has had in trying to keep up with this new form of conflict,” said John Ciorciari, an assistant professor of international law at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Last month, Abraham Bell, a professor at the University of San Diego, submitted a legal brief to the Israeli Knesset arguing that Israel is within its rights to cut off the water and electricity supplies it provides to Gaza. “In times of armed conflict, warring parties have to allow humanitarian supplies to flow to civilians [in] enemy territory as long as they are certain the supplies will not be appropriated by the enemy combatants,” Bell said in an email interview with VOA. “[B]ut they obviously have no obligation to provide the supplies themselves, and they certainly have no duty to allow the passage of non-humanitarian goods. On July 26, on the legal blog OpinioJuris and elsewhere, Bell was rebutted by others who called cutting off power and water a violation of humanitarian law: civilians in Gaza are not combatants and shouldn’t be targeted as part of military action. That question, Cornell University law professor Jens David Ohlin said, turns on whether Gaza is considered occupied or not. “If Gaza is occupied territory, then Israel has certain humanitarian obligations to the residents of Gaza based on Israel’s status as a belligerent occupier of the territory,” Ohlin wrote in an email. “Many questions of international law hinge on whether a territory is a state or not, and the status of Palestine continues to be controversial and unsettled.” Days after Bell’s argument circulated on OpinioJuris, an open letter signed by more than 140 legal experts from around the world began circulating on the Internet, accusing Israel of war crimes. The letter, which doesn’t appear timed to Bell’s argument, argued that, among other things, Operation Protective Edge was in fact part of an armed conflict that’s been ongoing since 1967. Asymmetric Warfare Many argue that Israel, which has “smart” weaponry, sophisticated surveillance and a clear command structure, has a greater duty to avoid civilian casualties. If you have satellite-guided missiles that can be targeted with pinpoint accuracy, then using an artillery barrage in an area crowded with civilians is indiscriminate — illegal. Others point to the fact that Hamas is firing its missiles amid Gaza’s high-rise apartments where Palestinian civilians live— also a violation under IHL. The Palestinian group Hamas also doesn’t fit the traditional definition of a combatant; rather it is closer to something called a “non-state actor,” a legal concept that, according to Ohlin, is only gradually being incorporated in international legal thinking. “What we’re seeing in Gaza are the problematic outcomes when you try to apply IHL principles in these highly asymmetric conflicts,” Ciorciari said. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel tries to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza, and instead insisted that Hamas uses human shields in its tactics. “Israel deeply regrets every civilian casualty, every single one. We do not target them; we do not seek them,” he told reporters in Jerusalem on Aug. 6. “The people of Gaza are not our enemy. Our enemy is Hamas.” The goals of prosecuting war crimes overlap with the International Criminal Court, the 12-year-old Hague-based tribunal established to prosecute war crimes, as well as genocide and crimes against humanity. The Palestinian Authority has signaled it might seek an ICC criminal investigation into Israeli tactics in Gaza. That, however, might also result in investigations for Hamas leaders, also for war crimes. On Monday, the United Nations Human Rights Council announced the appointment of three experts to look into possible legal violations in Gaza, a step that in the past has resulted in full criminal investigations in other places. “A pox on both their houses,” Solis said. Source


NY governor offers ‘total solidarity’ for Israel

JERUSALEM — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo kicked off a two-day visit to Israel on Wednesday, where he expressed “total solidarity” with the country over the monthlong war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Cuomo met Israeli leaders hours before a temporary truce between the sides was set to expire. Israeli and Palestinian delegations have been in talks in Egypt over a long-term cease-fire. Speaking at the residence of newly inaugurated President Reuven Rivlin, Cuomo said Israel has the right to defend itself against rocket fire from Hamas and Islamic militants. “We understand the attack that you are under,” Cuomo said. “Everyone wishes for peace and that’s our eternal hope, but we also understand your need to do what is right by your people in defense, and we’re here to support you in that.” Rivlin said he was certain that the United States would continue to stand behind Israel. Since the truce went into effect Sunday, Israel has halted military operations in the coastal territory and Gaza militants have stopped firing rockets. The cease-fire was meant to give the two sides time to negotiate a more sustainable truce. More than 1,900 Palestinians have been killed in the fighting, Palestinian and UN officials say. Israel says 64 of its soldiers and three civilians have been killed in the war, which began July 8. Later Wednesday, Cuomo met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who praised Cuomo and the American government for “standing on the right side of the moral divide.” New York is home to 1.7 million Jews, the largest concentration outside of Israel, a fact Cuomo emphasized in his meetings. Cuomo faces a Democratic primary next month. This is Cuomo’s fourth trip to Israel, his office said. On Wednesday, Cuomo also visited the Holy Sepulcher and the Western Wall, two of Jerusalem’s most revered religious sites. On Thursday, Cuomo is expected to meet residents and injured soldiers in Israel’s south. Cuomo’s office said the governor and his delegation would not visit Palestinian territories or meet Palestinian officials during the 30-hour trip, despite a personal invitation by the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations to experience “all sides of the conflict, not just one.” Cuomo told reporters before leaving for Israel that he only received the letter from Ambassador Riyad Mansour late Tuesday. “This trip is to show solidarity with Israel and that’s what we’re going to do,” Cuomo said Tuesday. Source

A month of solidarity in London — does the BBC get the message?

, Mondoweiss Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of London last Saturday (August 9), honoring the call for a global “day of rage” in response to the ongoing Israeli atrocities in Gaza. The organizers estimate that 150,000 protesters attended, making it the biggest Gaza-solidarity demonstration ever to take place in Britain. The organizers set a precedent by choosing to launch the demonstration from the headquarters of the BBC in London. The choice was justified, as it reflected the common sentiments shared by almost everyone who’s followed the news organ closely. For weeks, the anger at the “balanced” coverage the BBC claims to produce, has been building steadily, as each day brought with it more bad news from Gaza. To quote Tariq Ali in his interview with the BBC’s Mark Sanders: “we shouldn’t underestimate the anger with the BBC at its coverage of the Palestine-Israel conflict. In all my experience, I have never known a demonstration to begin outside the BBC headquarters; that’s how angry people are…”    Important to note is the fact that this particular demonstration came as the latest in a series of many other, similar actions that have taken place across the UK over the past month, and the turnout has been sustained and built upon with each subsequent action. Judging whether a movement has truly become a mainstream one is difficult, but the fact that more and more people are getting involved in the protests for the first time, indicates the solidarity that exists– or is being created by Israel’s actions– within the mainstream. Hyde Park demonstration, protesters arrive, Aug. 9, photo by Ahmad Elabbar The demonstrators arrive at Hyde park, having marched from the BBC headquarters, passing the US embassy on their way.  The crowd was addressed at Hyde Park by a number of MPs, intellectuals and activists. Among them was Baroness Jenny Tonge, Tariq Ali, and Mustapha Barghouti -via recorded speech from Gaza. Bruce Kent, from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, reminded everyone that the day marked the anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki, in reference to Israel’s own nuclear arsenal; the assault on Gaza was being carried out by a state with the ultimate capacity for destruction, against an occupied and besieged population. In his speech, Tariq Ali spoke of the unequivocal nature of Palestinian resistance and Israeli occupation, saying: “…it’s no good saying it isn’t a perfect resistance: if the occupation is ugly, you will not have a pretty resistance!” Tariq Ali Tariq Ali, writer and journalist: “There is a basic point that has to be made to our politicians. They have to understand that there is no equivalence between the Palestinian resistance and the Israeli occupation. When a country is occupied, resistance emerges. If you want no rockets being fired, no tunnels being dug, get out of Gaza.” (Description: Palestine Solidarity Campaign ) Seamus Milne, photo by Ahmad Elabbar Seumas Milne, Guardian columnist and associate editor: “Israel is in illegal occupation of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel has no right to defend itself from territories it occupies. It only has an obligation to withdraw. The Palestinians are an occupied people. They have a right to defend themselves from the occupier.” (Description: Palestine Solidarity Campaign) Glyn Secker, photo by Ahmad Elabbar Glyn Secker, Jews for Justice for Palestinians: “Today, an image remains in my mind. It is the image of a Palestinian father carrying the flesh of his son in a plastic bag. As a Jew, I will not ever be associated with these monstrosities. Never in my name, never in my life, never in my children’s life.” (Description: Palestine Solidarity Campaign) Going back and reviewing the events of last month, one can quickly see how the Israeli war on the people of Gaza has moved so many -especially from parliament- to speak out. The two major demonstrations that took place in London last month were on the 19th and the 26th, respectively. Between the two, the IDF massacred 558 people. The enormity of this figure sustained the demonstrators, and forced even more people to act. On the 26th, 100,000 people occupied Parliament Square calling for an arms embargo. On the 29th, a vigil was held in front of 10 Downing street. Flowers were laid, accompanied by letters written in memory of the children killed in Gaza. On that same day, over 100 Palestinians had been killed. On the following day, the Jabaliya Elementary Girls School was attacked killing 21 of the homeless who had sought refuge within its walls. This attack and others, brought thousands to the Israeli embassy in Kensington on the 1st of August. The IDF responded to the global outrage by attacking another UN school on the 3rd, killing 11 people, five of whom were children between the ages of 3 and 15. This was the final straw for many, including Baroness Warsi, who handed in her resignation on the 5th. Understandable: only the day before, David Cameron had refused to endorse Ban Ki-moon’s view that the attack on the UNRWA school was in violation of international law, saying: “I’m not an international lawyer.” Photo by Ahmad Elabbar Ola, a Palestinian whose family’s home was bombed in Gaza, said in her speech: “This is a regime that was built on massacres and murders. They said of the Palestinians that the old would die and the young would forget. Well, I am a young Palestinian, and I have not forgotten.”  July 26, 2014 (Description: Palestine Solidarity Campaign) Brian Eno, by Ahmad Elabbar Musician Brian Eno said, when he visited the West Bank, it was “the little things” that made him realise the scale of Israel’s occupation. “It was things like the whole village that had been evacuated and was living in caves so that three Israeli settler families could take their land and be protected by the army.” July 26, 2014 (Description: Palestine Solidarity Campaign)   Scene from the march on Parliament Square, July 26, photo by Ahmad Elabbar Mandela statue, photo by Ahmad Elabbar Protesters invoked the memory of Nelson Mandela. Seen in the photo, is the statue of Nelson Mandela in Parliament Square, appropriated for the occasion. July 26.    10582825_760800283963236_8083938389749895142_o.jpg Hugh Lanning, Chair of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, at the vigil on the 29 of July. (Photo: Palestine Solidarity Campaign) Bloody hand in demonstration In a symbolic gesture, a demonstrator raised the palms of her hands, painted in red, toward the Israeli Embassy in London.  As the involvement of people in Britain with the solidarity campaign increases, the controversy over the BBC’s representation of the conflict, is likely to increase also. A question of fairness has been put many times before on this issue; mainly: are the serious criticisms being leveled at the BBC -pro-Israel bias and distortion by emission of context, etc- proportionate to its coverage over the years? To answer this justly, a detailed study is required: one that looks at the entirety of what the BBC has produced on the issue over the years. Such a study was commissioned by the BBC back in 2006, and it concluded that the BBC’s reporting on the Palestine-Israel conflict was “incomplete” and “misleading,” highlighting a “failure to convey adequately the disparity in the Israeli and Palestinian experience, reflecting the fact that one side is in control and the other lives under occupation.” Other studies have reached similar conclusions, differing only in the severity of their indigments. Among them is the revealing study conducted by the renowned Glasgow Media Group; their findings were published as a book entitled Bad News From Israel. Author, professor Greg Philo, has dismissed much of the TV news on the issue as propaganda, “straight from the Israel Project.” The main issue highlighted by the study is the context within which Israeli attacks are consistently framed. The argument is that once you’ve framed the event as a “response to Hamas rockets,” it won’t matter how much death and pain the viewers see on their screens; in their minds it becomes justified “retaliation,” excessive at worst, but justified nonetheless. Some individual reporters, have attempted to inform the viewer of the larger context of oppression suffered by the people in Gaza, and not just the immediate results of “retaliations.” An example of this can be found in Jon Donnison’s report from Shujayea:

“…people in Gaza have had to rebuild so many times. They’ve seen half a dozen wars, and decades of Israel’s occupation. Much of the money for reconstruction will be foreign aid, some of it American. Who also provided Israel with the weapons to do much of this. But this will not be a lasting peace. In few years time, there’s no guarantee that it won’t all just happen again. Gaza has been crippled. The healing will take years. Many, will never recover.” (BBC News at One, August 5, 2014)

Judging by the BBC’s coverage of Gaza these last few weeks, it’s clear that the failure is rooted, and the problems run very deep. The previous criticisms made by credible studies have been dismissed. The reporting this time round is in many ways worse than it was during the previous Israeli wars on Gaza. The message to the BBC couldn’t have been clearer than it was on Saturday, and time will show whether the institution is capable of reform when it comes to covering Israeli occupation. Source

#OperationCeasefire ~~ HOW ABBAS CAN PUT AN END TO IT

latuff mother-palestine-gives-abbas-a-lesson-on-right-of-return-2


From demilitarization to UN control, Israel’s leaders have their own ideas on Gaza



Relying on the Saudis, granting Abbas more power, UN control of Gaza – while senior ministers propose their plans for the days after Operation Protective Edge, yet Prime Minister Netanyahu has preferred to remain silent. * The military campaign has not officially ended and already ministers, members of Knesset, researchers, and foundations – both in Israel and abroad – have proposed a variety of plans to change the face of the Middle East and promote a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Yet, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is directly responsible for the negotiations in Cairo, has barely said a word about the end of Operation Protective Edge. Some of the proposals are innovative while others are rehashed iterations of the same proposals which have been part of the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians over the past two decades. It remains to be seen whether the proposals are feasible, whether they are acceptable to Netanyahu, and whether they have any legitimacy with the Palestinians. Regardless it appears that Netanyahu, who is supposedly the top policy maker, cannot prevent his ministers from suggesting alternatives – that may make it more difficult for Israel in the negotiations and in the international arena.

Peri’s Plan: Committee to demilitarize the Strip

Former Shin Bet chief and current suggested his plan even before the fighting paused and the talks in Cairo were attended by officials. During an interview with Ynet, Peri proposed an international committee to deliberate on demilitarizing the Strip and rehabilitating the war-torn territory.

Science Minister Yaakov Peri Science Minister Yaakov Peri

“We have an opening here not only to renew the peace process but for an agreement or a regional council which will begin deliberating on an end to the conflict,” he said in the interview. “There is an opportunity here because a moderate axis has been created in the Middle East – Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority. Israel must make use of this moderate axis.”

Livni’s Plan: Let Abbas rule Gaza 

A few days after the interview with Peri, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni – who has ceaselessly worked on the negotiations with the Palestinians – offered her own plan.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni. Resuming peace process (Emil Salman) Justice Minister Tzipi Livni. Resuming peace process (Emil Salman)

As Israel’s chief negotiator to the peace process, she presented a number of principles for a new arrangement in Gaza, which may win wide support in the world.

        • Immediate humanitarian assistance to residents


        • Economic support in return for demilitarization


        • Recognition of PA authority, legislation, and security forces


        • Ending of terror funding (using observers to ensure aid reaches residents and not Hamas)


        • Rehabilitation of Strip by Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas


        • Opening of border crossings under supervision to prevent transfer of materials for terror


        • Resuming peace process between Israel and PA


Lapid’s Plan: Four point draft

Finance Minister Yair Lapid also delved into the diplomatic arena with a political proposal, similar to the one presented by his Yesh Atid colleague, Peri. The minister offered an international committee which included countries from both the Middle East and the West, convened to draft a proposal for the demilitarization and rehabilitation of Gaza.

Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Photo: Nimrod Glickman) Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Photo: Nimrod Glickman)

Lapid’s plan included four points: 

        • Returning control of the Rafah border crossing to the Palestinian Authority


        • Giving the PA control over the rehabilitation of the Strip to prevent funds from reaching Hamas


        • Stipulating that safety of Israeli civilians was a condition of the rehabilitation process


        • Cementing principles to prevent the reinforcement of terror – demilitarization of Gaza, removing threat posed by tunnels and rockets


Lieberman’s Plan: UN control of Gaza

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman raised the possibility of having the UN take control of Gaza in a Knesset committee last week. “We should consider returning the mandate for the Gaza border and the Strip to the UN. This might be one of the ideas that can actually be implemented,” Lieberman said to the committee.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. UN control of Gaza (Photo: Gil Yohanan) Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. UN control of Gaza (Photo: Gil Yohanan)

During an interview with Ynet on Monday, Lieberman focused less on the day after the operation and emphasized the conditions Israel must achieve before Protective Edge can end. “We must not end the operation before the bodies of our soldiers, Lieutenant Hadar Goldin and Staff Sergeant Oron Shaul, are returned. It is unacceptable that all of Hamas’ members will receive their paychecks while the bodies of IDF soldiers have not been laid to rest in Israel.” The foreign minister then categorically rejected a number of Hamas’ conditions for an extended ceasefire. “We do not agree to any release of terrorists, and we will not even agree to discuss the opening of a seaport or an airport in Gaza.”

Herzog’s Plan: Advance the two-state solution

The chairman of the opposition, Labor Party Chairman Isaac Herzog, also presented a proposal. Herzog said that a new coalition with similar interests had risen in the Middle East, which included Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority – and was backed by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.

Labor Party Chairman Isaac Herzog. Two-state solution (Photo: Gil Yohanan) Labor Party Chairman Isaac Herzog. Two-state solution (Photo: Gil Yohanan)

Herzog offered a multi-step proposal that begins with an immediate ceasefire and emergency humanitarian assistance to Gaza. The second step would involve a diplomatic agreement which included the entry of PA security forces to the border crossings and granting Abbas the authority to rule Gaza as part of the unity government formed before the operation. The third step calls for a convention of donor countries in Norway at the beginning of September, to launch an emergency fundraising campaign for the rehabilitation of Gaza. Herzog believes that a billion dollars needed to be raised as soon as possible through the Palestinian Authority. He said a political proposal must be drafted to lift the blockade of Gaza by opening border crossings and building a seaport under Abbas’ authority – based on international legislation and supervision – with a binding international agreement based on a Security Council resolution, which would demand demilitarizing the Strip and an end to the funding of Hamas. The end of the multi-step process, according to Herzog, would allow for the inclusion of Hamas in the political sphere. “We cannot operate only through force,” he explained. “We need to start a political process immediately with the aim of raising a Palestinian state. Israel must submit a far-reaching plan under which a state will be created which would maintain our security interests. It forces the administration to make a bold move.”

Netanyahu’s silence

And what about the prime minister? Up to now, despite the opportunities presented after Protective Edge – first and foremost reinforcing the relationship with Abbas – Netanyahu has no political plan. At least, not one expressed to the public. Netanyahu has remained silent even about the day after the operation in Gaza, except for Israel’s demand for calm and an end goal in Gaza – demilitarizing the Strip.

Netanyahu. Remained silent (Photo: Yogev Atias) Netanyahu. Remained silent (Photo: Yogev Atias)

The prime minister has hinted in one of his speeches during the operation of his close ties to various nations in the Middle East, but he has not yet presented a diplomatic draft to take Israel off the course towards international isolation towards which it is currently walking and which would improve its relations with Washington and with other Western nations. Netanyahu’s office said in a statement that “the operation continues, that is why we are not discussing the day after. We note the statements made by the prime minister a few days ago, in which he spoke of the new opportunities that will appear after the operation.” Source

Joan Rivers taken to the Woodshed

Ry interviewed about Gaza: Destroying Israeli talking points

Disgust as Israeli soldier spotted laughing and drinking in Jerusalem bar wearing a ‘Deployed, Destroyed and Enjoyed Gaza 2014’ T-shirt


    • Army reservist pictured wearing the T-shirt while drinking in a Jerusalem bar


  • Had the slogan ‘Deployed, Destroyed, Enjoyed, Gaza 2014’ on back



  • People disgusted with the shirt have taken to Twitter to express their views



  • Comes as a 72-hour ceasefire is due to expire at midnight



By Jennifer Newton For Mailonline

  An Israeli soldier has been spotted laughing and drinking in a bar wearing a T-shirt with the slogan ‘Deployed, Destroyed, Enjoyed, Gaza 2014’ emblazoned on the back. The man, thought to be an army reservist was pictured wearing the shirt while enjoying a drink and chatting with friends at a bar in Jerusalem in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Pictured from behind, the black shirt has the slogan in white lettering emblazoned across the back of the garment.  The Israeli army reservist officer with his back to the camera, pictured  wearing the T-shirt referring to the Israeli forces' operations in Gaza

And since the photo, snapped by an Associated Press photographer, surfaced today, people have taken to Twitter to express their disgust. Dara de Brun tweeted: ‘You have to question the mentality of someone who wears a t-shirt like this? #ICC4Israel’ Another Twitter user named Abid posted: ‘#gaza You have to question the mentality of someone who wears a t-shirt like this?’ While Kate Jackson wrote: ‘what kind of person wears a t shirt like this…surely illegal?#gaza’
The picture comes as 72-hour truce between Israel and Hamas is set to expire at midnight local time with negotiators in Cairo trying to thrash out a more permanent ceasefire arrangement.
Since the latest truce went into effect on Monday, Israel has halted military operations in the coastal territory and Gaza militants have stopped firing rockets.
The ceasefire was meant to give the two sides time to negotiate a more sustainable truce and a roadmap for the coastal territory. 

During the ceasefire, people have strewn graffiti across the walls of buildings in Gaza, expressing their views on the conflict

The 35-year-old Italian national, had worked for the Associated Press since being hired as a freelancer in Rome in 2005
A member of the Palestinian delegation to Egyptian-brokered talks in Cairo said Wednesday that his team was considering an Egyptian proposal, which was tabled on Tuesday.
The Egyptian proposal calls for easing parts of the Israeli blockade of Gaza, bringing some relief to the territory, according to Palestinian officials in the talks.
Meanwhile six people were killed, including three members of a bomb disposal unit and an Italian journalist, while the Palestinian team attempted to defuse an unexploded Israeli rocket in Gaza.

The journalist was later named as 35-year-old video journalist Simone Camilli, who worked for the Associated Press, who died alongside his translator Ali Shehda Abu Afash. 


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