Monday, January 5, 2009

Gaza Updates, Testimonies, and Analysis


Due to growing length of post, further comments and articles will be posted seperately. Also, please check out Gaza Siege (RSS Scroll on right hand side)for latest news and analysis on the war. Please keep our brothers and sister in your dua...

Analysis/Testimony - Families in Gaza, Amira Hass
A. offered his own take on the situation: "I keep the children away from the windows because the F-16s are in the air; I forbid them to play below because it's dangerous. They're bombing us from the sea and from the east, they're bombing us from the air. When the telephone works, people tell us about relatives or friends who were killed. My wife cries all the time. At night she hugs the children and cries. It's cold and the windows are open; there's fire and smoke in open areas; at home there's no water, no electricity, no heating gas. And you [the Israelis] say there's no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Tell me, are you normal?"

Analysis - In the US, Gaza is a different war
For example, the newspaper's [The Washington Post] lead article on Tuesday, which was published above the mothers' photographs, quotes Israeli military and civilian sources nine times before quoting a single Palestinian. The first seven paragraphs explain Israel's military strategy. The ninth paragraph describes the anxiety among Israelis, spending evenings in bomb shelters. Ordinary Palestinians, who generally have no access to bomb shelters, do not make an appearance until the 23rd paragraph.

[The UK press is considerably more objective - I'm impressed by The Guardian's coverage of the war]

Analysis - Inheriting Bush's blinkers, Ali Abunimah
Obama has identified his daughters repeatedly with Israeli children, while never having uttered a word about the thousands – thousands – of Palestinian and Lebanese children killed and permanently maimed by Israeli attacks just since 2006. This allegedly post-racial president appears fully invested in the racist worldview that considers Arab lives to be worth less than those of Israelis and in which Arabs are always "terrorists".

The problem is much wider than Obama: American liberals in general see no contradiction in espousing positions supporting Israel that they would deem extremist and racist in any other context.

Blog - Moments of Gaza
Every minutes we hear a blast or two or three. This has been continuous for more that 15 hours so far. Tanks, artillery, warships.

Analysis - Israel's righteous fury , Ilan Pappe
Despite the predictable accusation of anti-Semitism and what have you, it is time to associate in the public mind the Zionist ideology with the by now familiar historical landmarks of the land: the ethnic cleansing of 1948, the oppression of the Palestinians in Israel during the days of the military rule, the brutal occupation of the West Bank and now the massacre of Gaza. Very much as the Apartheid ideology explained the oppressive policies of the South African government, this ideology -- in its most consensual and simplistic variety -- allowed all the Israeli governments in the past and the present to dehumanize the Palestinians wherever they are and strive to destroy them.

[Probably too difficult for the US public to grasp, but it's about time the rest of the world saw, or were shown, the big picture and how it all comes down to the racist, destructive political ideology called Zionism]

Analysis - Israel's parallel PR war
A new information directorate was established to influence the media, with some success. And when the attack began just over a week ago, a tide of diplomats, lobby groups, bloggers and other supporters of Israel were unleashed to hammer home a handful of carefully crafted core messages intended to ensure that Israel was seen as the victim, even as its bombardment killed more than 430 Palestinians over the past week, at least a third of them civilians or policemen.

[It is imperative that the global movement in support of Gaza and Palestine has clear demands: immediate cease-fire and end of seige]

01/03: News - Israeli ground troops enter Gaza
Thousands of Israeli troops, backed by tanks and helicopters, have entered the Gaza Strip as Israel escalated its offensive into the territory on the eighth day of operations.

01/03: News - Israel bombs Gaza mosque
At least 11 Palestinians, including one child, have been killed after Israeli forces struck a mosque during prayers in the city of Beit Lahiya, north of Jabaliya in the Gaza Strip.

Analysis - Who ended the six-month cease fire in Israel/Palestine?
While the editors [of the NYT] assign the blame conveniently and squarely on Hamas, this nevertheless remains a factually erroneous statement contradicting reporting by Israeli newspapers (in both Hebrew and English), the British press, Amnesty International and – perhaps curiously enough – November 2008 reporting by the NYT itself.

Analysis - In the name of Palestinians, Dr. Tariq Ramadan
The time has come to create an international, global non-violent resistance movement against the violent, extremist policies of the State of Israel. We must mobilize world opinion by keeping the Palestinian issue in the public eye through ongoing, scrupulously accurate information ; by writing articles, organizing conferences and demonstrations in support of the Palestinians, and by improving synergy between the efforts and activities of existing organizations. We know this much : the Palestinians may bend, but they will not break. We must continue to defend their legitimate rights on the ground. Around the world, we must support their resistance in a determined, peaceful way. Israel, for all its awesome firepower, has not won the conflict...

[Don't you love it when a Muslim scholar comes out and strongly defends the truth yet speaks in a rational, realistic, action-oriented language? Dr. Tariq Ramadan just laid out the action plan - thank you!.]

Testimony - We lived to tell the story, Cynthia McKinney
Last night I was on, along with others who were on the Dignity, and we debated a representative from WINEP, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. I reminded the audience that the Palestinians don't have nuclear weapons, depleted uranium munitions, white phosphorous, or F-16s, but the Israelis do. The facts, however, tend to get garbled after being processed by the "Grand Wurlitzer" organ of state-sponsored disinformation utilizing the world's press.

Analysis - Where's the academic outrage?
Not one of the nearly 450 presidents of American colleges and universities who prominently denounced an effort by British academics to boycott Israeli universities in September 2007 have raised their voice in opposition to Israel’s bombardment of the Islamic University of Gaza earlier this week.

Analysis - A new low for the NYT, Asad Abukhalil (Angry Arab)
But he then moves quickly to report to you about the horrors of Hamas bombing of Israel, and at one point I almost expected him to report that Hamas fighter jets were bombing the Israeli coast. But the premise of this article—and all other articles and editorials in the New York Times—is quite simple and Arabs have gotten to know it full well: that the Palestinians are inferior to Israeli Jews, and their sufferings are never equal to that of Israelis.

Testimony - New Year in Gaza
Just 20 minutes before midnight, here in al-Maghazi refugee camp, as I write this report, two bombs have hit my town. In Arabic, people exchange the New Year's greeting, "Kul am wa antum bi khair" (May you be safe and well every year). From Gaza I say, "Kul qasif wa antum bi khair." May you be safe after every bombing.

Analysis - Israel's failure to learn
As in Lebanon, Israel should have learned years ago that military might cannot crush Palestinian resistance movements.

12/31: News - Israel rules out truce
Israel has rejected calls for an immediate temporary ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip after five consecutive days of aerial assault.

Analysis - Falling into the moral abyss
The gradual process of ethnic cleansing in the occupied Palestinian territories is accelerating, and with it so is the moral culpability of Israel and the supporters of its policies in the United States. More and more people from the mainstream of Israeli politics are voicing alarm.

[Even supporters of the Israeli society are realizing that these insane military attacks harm Israel's image and future more than anything else]

12/31 - News: Pressure grows on Israel
Diplomatic pressure on Israel to end its relentless military assault on Gaza gathered pace last night as its key ally Washington joined European Union foreign ministers in calling for an immediate ceasefire.

[What about sanctions against Israel? HOW CAN THEY GO UNPUNISHED?!]

Analysis - Myths of Israeli victimhood
Now after hundreds dead and counting, it is Israel who refuses to re-enter talks over a cease-fire. They are not intent on securing peace as they claim; it is more and more clear that they are seeking regime change - whatever the cost.

12/30: Analysis - The irony of bombing Gaza
But watching the news shows, you'd think that history began yesterday, that a bunch of bearded anti-Semitic Islamist lunatics suddenly popped up in the slums of Gaza – a rubbish dump of destitute people of no origin – and began firing missiles into peace-loving, democratic Israel, only to meet with the righteous vengeance of the Israeli air force. The fact that the five sisters killed in Jabalya camp had grandparents who came from the very land whose more recent owners have now bombed them to death simply does not appear in the story.

12/30: News - Israeli vessel damages Gaza-bound boat
The Free Gaza Movement, which organised the attempt to reach the territory with more than three tonnes of medical aid, said their boat was "rammed" and shots were fired.

12/30: Blog - Body on the Line
Marcy Newman posts the latest on the crisis - excellent Democracy Now! clips here

12/30: News - Gaza hospitals overwhelmed
Information received from Physicians for Human Rights indicates operations are being performed without anesthesia, and surgical gloves, gauze, sterile equipment and oxygen have run out. Needles, stretchers and hospital beds are already in short supply.

12/29: Testimony - "They are wrong to think we are the terrorists"
The second day was more painful than the first since we then understood that this all wasn't some nightmare. After I woke up, I headed directly to the hospital to document the cruel reality. As the casualties kept mounting -- women, children and men alike -- it was crystal clear that the whole of the people of Gaza were being targeted.

12/29: News - Gaza braces for all-out war
In the latest attacks, Israeli aircraft bombed the Islamic university and government buildings in Gaza City.
[Mosques were not spared either]
12/29: Analysis - The neighbourhood bully strikes again
Once again, Israel's violent responses, even if there is justification for them, exceed all proportion and cross every red line of humaneness, morality, international law and wisdom.
[Note article's Zionist slant, the Palestinians brought this on themselves...]

12/28: Press Release - Most Gaza casualities were non-combatant, civilians
Al Mezan's initial monitoring indicates that at least 257 people have been killed in the IOF's strikes in the last 24 hours. Of those, the vast majority are non-combatants and civilians; including 20 children, nine women and 60 civilians. The majority of the rest of the casualties are members of the civilian police who were inside their stations or undertaking training.

12/27: Testimony - Gaza: "This is only the beginning"
Entering al-Aqsa [hospital] was overwhelming -- pure pandemonium, charged with grief, horror, distress and shock. Limp, blood-covered and burnt bodies streamed by us on rickety stretchers. Before the morgue, tens of shouting relatives crammed up to its open double doors.

12/27: Press Relase - Right Orgs: Israel's willful killings a war crime
The number of deaths resulting from these attacks indicates a willful targeting of the civilian police forces in these locations and a clear violation of the prohibition against willful killings. Willful killings are a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention under Article 147 and therefore, a war crime.

12/27: Analysis - Gaza massacres must spur us into action
What the media never question is Israel's idea of a truce. It is very simple. Under an Israeli-style truce, Palestinians have the right to remain silent while Israel starves them, kills them and continues to violently colonize their land.
Palestinians everywhere are asking for solidarity, real solidarity, in the form of sustained, determined political action.

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