On the situation in Ukraine: Clearly the West, under the US leadership (and that includes Barack Obama who is apparently pursuing/facilitating the global agenda of the elite Cabal or somehow forced to do so) is pushing hard to destabilize Russia through trying to entrap Putin into direct military intervention to protect ethnic Russians living in eastern Ukraine, now bearing the brunt of the military wrath unleashed against them by the CIA-installed neo-nazi regime. This could lead to a global military conflagration. Apparently the Cabal/controlled US plutocracy doesn't take lightly - amongst other things - the threat to their economic hegemony and imperialistic dollar posed by the BRICS Development Bank initiative (see "Putin Blamed for #MH17 to Launch Attack on BRICS World Bank") opening the door to a multipolar world.
On the situation in Gaza: A new ceasefire has just started for 3 days and if this one holds, it may lead to a more lasting lull in the never-ending torments inflicted upon this almost defenseless civilian population. The global revulsion against Israel's despicable war crimes has reached fever pitch and calls are growing to establish an effective global boycott to make Israel pay for its horrific slaughter and wholesale destruction of large swaths of Gaza in its ultimately futile and painfully ill-conceived military efforts to prevent the Palestinians from having a real nation and to re-establish 'normalcy' for the Israeli society, enjoying first world luxuries while denying the most basic survical necessities to the neighboring Palestinian population of Gaza.
Both situations are connected as they both serve the imperialistic full-spectrum dominance agenda of the cabal.
On the spiritual 'front": This is all part of the litmus test countless souls must pass to graduate to a higher dimension. The choice is between falling into the rotten trap of hatred and its accompanying cycles of revenge, anger, prejudices and so on, or to choose the higher road of unconditional Love and compassion for all souls involved, without judging nor condemning, while following one's conscience to do the right thing for the highest good of all.
This is a major battle between apparently opposed forces - of 'good' and 'evil' - which ultimately are playing out their respective roles in this karmic merry-go-round between physical lifetimes and ethereal existence between them to figure out how to fully master the grand challenge set billions of years ago by the Creator Itself. Michael Newton's amazing books, Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls offer tantalizing visions and clues as to what actually is and where this is all going - See my November 8, 2013 post on him: Michael Newton - Souls and the Spirit World - and MUCH MORE!
So do what you feel you must with this material and these thoughts. We are each sovereign beings on a mission of Self-realization amidst the ups and downs of a most 'interesting' time...
Use you freewill wisely.
PS If you appreciate Matthew's higher vantage point's take on world events, his August 3rd message (once archived HERE) might be of interest to you as well.
This compilation is archived at http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/PlayingWithFire.htm
"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little."
Chickens will be coming home to roost very soon...
Netanyahus genocidal onslaught in Gaza has done more to delegitimize the Zionist entity than the work of all the worlds anti-Zionists put together. Yet the Israeli military cannot stop the Palestinian resistance; from an Israeli standpoint, the hecatomb in Gaza serves no military or strategic purpose.
Is Israel insane?
That is a rhetorical question. The real question is: WHY is Israel lashing out like a nation gone mad?
At least since the first Intifada and arguably since 1948 Israel has had a de facto official policy of butchering Palestinian children. (For details, see my recent article Child-Killing Sociopaths of Israel.)
But until now they were sane enough to hide it.
Today they are bragging about it. On the very day I wrote my article about Israels policy of intentionally mass-murdering children, Israeli sniper David D. Ovadia posted a picture of himself with his sniper rifle on Instagram boasting: I killed 13 childrens (sic) today and ur next ***ing muslims go to hell bitches. Rather than prosecuting this war criminal, the Israeli media and authorities are making a half-hearted effort to cover up the crime just as they did with the more than 600 sniper murders of defenseless children documented by British Medical Journal in 2004.
On Sunday, the Israelis intentionally bombed a United Nations school full of refugees, many of them children, killing more than ten and wounding dozens. It was the seventh UN school they have bombed during the current round of slaughter. When they butchered children in a UN school last week, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called it reprehensible. This time he called the child massacre a moral outrage and a a criminal act.
The strategic insanity of such actions beggars belief. What do the Israelis think they are doing? Former US Senate Counsel Jeff Gates, author of Guilt by Association, argues that Zionist actions, no matter how crazy they look, are the product of elaborate strategic calculations. The Zionists, he writes, are masters of game theory a psychopathic technique for following utterly amoral mathematical self-interest in pursuing ones objectives.
If Gates is right, the Zionists must be taking desperate measures because they are in a desperate situation. In my recent article Israel: A cornered rat I explained why the Israelis are desperate: The are facing a demographic challenge; the Palestinian resistance is getting better at asymmetrical warfare; and global public opinion (especially American public opinion) is gradually, inexorably turning against them.
But I left out what may be the most important factor: The slow, steady progress of the 9/11 truth movement.
The past week brought three landmark breakthroughs for 9/11 truth. First, Richard Gage AIA, founder of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, made a brilliant appearance on the American public affairs channel C-Span. It was the first time since 2006 that C-Span had given national television coverage to the 9/11 truth movement. (I organized the first nationally-televised C-Span 9/11 truth event David Ray Griffins 9/11 and American Empire talk at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2005; and then in June 2006 C-Span covered a Scholars for 9/11 Truth event in Los Angeles.)
David Ray Griffin, the unofficial dean of 9/11 studies and a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, congratulated Richard Gage:
C-span covered my speech at U Wisconsin in 2005.
Now you in 2014.
At this rate, I suspect we can expect C-span to cover us again in 2023.
However, thanks to your presentation, along with the organization you have built, all the architects and engineers you have convinced, and your successful speaking tours, and media coverage, we can hope things will go a little faster.
Congratulations for all of your successes!
The second 9/11 truth breakthrough this week was the success of the High Rise Safety Initiative in New York City, which would force a new investigation of the obvious (but officially denied) controlled demolition of World Trade Center Building 7. Organizers of the initiative finished gathering the 100,000 signatures they need to override a mayoral veto, virtually guaranteeing that the initiative will be voted on by the citizens of New York. Since Architects and Engineers for 9/11 truth has acquired WTC-7s blueprints and found slam-dunk proof of demolition, and since organized crime kingpin Larry Silversteins confession to demolishing WTC-7 has become widely known, the new investigation by New Yorks Department of Buildings is threatening to rip the lid off the Pandoras box of 9/11 scandals.
The weeks third 9/11 truth triumph was in the US Congress. The effort to force the declassification of 28 top-secret pages in the Joint Congressional Inquiry got a huge boost when two more Congressmen, Representatives Thomas Massie (R-KY) and John Duncan (R-Tenn), joined the campaign a bipartisan effort spearheaded by Rep. Steve Lynch (D-MA) and Walter Jones (R-NC), and vocally supported by former Senator Bob Graham (D-FL).
A few days ago Sen. Graham once again spoke out, saying: None of the people leading this investigation think it is credible that 19 people most who could not speak English and did not have previous experience in the United States could carry out such a complicated task without external assistance. Graham added that a huge breakthrough is coming for 9/11 truth.
Whose external assistance enabled the 9/11 attacks? Rep. Walter Jones, who has read the suppressed pages of the Report, blames one or more foreign governments. The two countries on everyones lips are Saudi Arabia and Israel.
The Report apparently does not mention a third government whose officials helped perpetrate 9/11: the government of the United States of America, whose Vice President briefly usurped the role of the President of the United States and directed the 9/11 false flag operation from the White House Situation Room.
But back to the Saudis and Israelis.
In 2001 Saudi Arabia allowed the CIA to borrow fifteen Saudi intelligence assets and bring them to the US on snitch visas special visas used to reward Saudi CIA assets with a trip to America. These fifteen young men, some from the Kingdoms leading families, were shadowed, impersonated, and in some cases apparently replaced by doubles. (The pork-chop-loving Mohammed Atta in Florida was a fluent speaker of Hebrew according to his stripper girlfriend Amanda Keller.)
The Israeli Mossad appears to have been responsible for surveilling and setting up the 19 patsies, 15 of them Saudis, who would be blamed for 9/11; reports by journalists Christopher Ketcham and Justin Raimondo, and an investigative report by Carl Cameron of Fox News, revealed that Israel mounted the biggest spy operation ever against the US as it surveilled (or ran) the 9/11 hijacker-patsies. Hundreds of 9/11-related Israel spies were arrested; all were quickly released on orders from above.
The Israeli Mossad also set up the controlled demolitions of the Twin Towers and WTC-7. Zionist crime kingpins Larry Silverstein, Lewis Eisenberg and Frank Lowy arranged for the condemned-for-asbestos World Trade Center to be privatized two months before 9/11 and doubled the terror insurance; and Mossad agents Paul Kurzberg, Silvan Kurzberg, Israelis Yaron Shmuel, and Omer Gavriel Marmari were arrested on the morning of 9/11 as they were filming and celebrating their agencys handiwork. Though the 9/11-perp Mossad agents failed polygraph tests, Michael Chertoff, a US-Israeli dual citizen then in charge of the FBIs Criminal Investigation Division, killed the investigation and ordered the dancing Israelis sent back to Israel.
Three Israelis were also arrested in New York on 9/11 with a truck load of explosives in an apparent effort to blow up the George Washington Bridge. Chertoff ordered mobbed-up New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik to destroy all records of the arrest, and witnesses have been murdered; but the New York Police audio recording of the arrest escaped destruction and can be heard on YouTube.
This is only a tiny fraction of the evidence implicating Israel in 9/11. For more information, visit the Wikispooks web page entitled 9/11: Israel Did It.
What can Israel do about the coming revelations of its role in the 9/11 attacks?
The answer is simple: Israel must flee forward into an ever-widening spiral of global war; because if peace ever breaks out, Americas post-9/11 wartime State of Emergency will end, secrecy restrictions will be lifted, 9/11 will be investigated and prosecuted, Israel will be exposed, and Zionism and US imperialism will go the way of apartheid South Africa and the Soviet Union.
That explains why the neocon Zionists are pushing for a wider war in the Middle East by madly tormenting the Palestinians, supporting sectarian terrorist groups like ISIS, and pushing for a US attack on Iran. It is also the reason the Zionist neocons are pushing so hard for a war with Russia. If a nuclear World War III breaks out, Israels role in 9/11 will be at least temporarily forgotten.
Maybe they call that strategic thinking. I call it madness.
Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AUGUST 1, 2014) A MUST WATCH!! http://www.c-span.org/video/?320748-5/washington-journal-architects-engineers-911-truth
Richard Gage talked about his group, Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, which claimed that the World Trade Center was brought down by explosive demolition on September 11, 2001. The group was founded in 2006 and said its mission was to expose the official lies and cover-up surrounding the events of September 11, 2001 in a way that inspires the people to overcome denial and understand the truth. Mr. Gage spoke via video link from San Francisco, California.
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THE SITUATION IN UKRAINE
Big Brothers war on Palestine, Ukraine and the truth - By John Pilger (August 3, 2014) http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/08/03/373882/big-brothers-war-on-palestine-ukraine-and-the-truth/
(...) In February, the US mounted one of its "colour" coups against the elected government in Ukraine, exploiting genuine protests against corruption in Kiev. Obama's assistant secretary of state, Victoria Nuland, personally selected the leader of an "interim government". She nicknamed him "Yats". Vice President Joe Biden came to Kiev, as did CIA Director John Brennan. The shock troops of their putsch were Ukrainian fascists. For the first time since 1945, a neo-Nazi, openly anti-Semitic party controls key areas of state power in a European capital. No Western European leader has condemned this revival of fascism in the borderland through which Hitler's invading Nazis took millions of Russian lives. They were supported by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), responsible for the massacre of Jews and Russians they called "vermin". The UPA is the historical inspiration of the present-day Svoboda Party and its fellow-travelling Right Sector. Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok has called for a purge of the "Moscow-Jewish mafia" and "other scum", including gays, feminists and those on the political left.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States has ringed Russia with military bases, nuclear warplanes and missiles as part of its Nato Enlargement Project. Reneging on a promise made to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 that Nato would not expand "one inch to the east", NATO has, in effect, militarily occupied eastern Europe. In the former Soviet Caucasus, NATO's expansion is the biggest military build-up since the Second World War.
A NATO Membership Action Plan is Washington's gift to the coup-regime in Kiev. In August, "Operation Rapid Trident" will put American and British troops on Ukraine's Russian border and "Sea Breeze" will send US warships within sight of Russian ports. Imagine the response if these acts of provocation, or intimidation, were carried out on America's borders.In reclaiming Crimea - which Nikita Kruschev illegally detached from Russia in 1954 - the Russians defended themselves as they have done for almost a century. More than 90 per cent of the population of Crimea voted to return the territory to Russia. Crimea is the home of the Black Sea Fleet and its loss would mean life or death for the Russian Navy and a prize for NATO. Confounding the war parties in Washington and Kiev, Vladimir Putin withdrew troops from the Ukrainian border and urged ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine to abandon separatism.
In Orwellian fashion, this has been inverted in the west to the "Russian threat". Hillary Clinton likened Putin to Hitler. Without irony, right-wing German commentators said as much. In the media, the Ukrainian neo-Nazis are sanitised as "nationalists" or "ultra nationalists". What they fear is that Putin is skillfully seeking a diplomatic solution, and may succeed. On 27 June, responding to Putin's latest accommodation - his request to the Russian Parliament to rescind legislation that gave him the power to intervene on behalf of Ukraine's ethnic Russians - Secretary of State John Kerry issued another of his ultimatums. Russia must "act within the next few hours, literally" to end the revolt in eastern Ukraine. Notwithstanding that Kerry is widely recognised as a buffoon, the serious purpose of these "warnings" is to confer pariah status on Russia and suppress news of the Kiev regime's war on its own people.
(...) A third of the population of Ukraine is Russian-speaking and bilingual. They have long sought a democratic federation that reflects Ukraine's ethnic diversity. Most are neither "separatists" nor "rebels" but citizens who want to live securely in their homeland. Separatism is a reaction to the Kiev junta's attacks on them, causing as many as 110,000 (UN estimate) to flee across the border into Russia. Typically, they are traumatised women and children. Like Iraq's embargoed infants, and Afghanistan's "liberated" women and girls, terrorised by the CIA's warlords, these ethnic people of Ukraine are media unpeople in the west, their suffering and the atrocities committed against them are minimised, or suppressed. No sense of the scale of the regime's assault is reported in the mainstream Western media. CLIP
The West's Reckless Rush Towards War with Russia (July 31, 2014) A MUST READ !! http://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/86415/wests-reckless-rush-towards-war-russia
We're taking big risks for unclear reasons - For reasons that have no rational explanations at this time, the US and Europe have embarked on a concerted program to demonize Putin, ostracize Russia, and bring the world as close to a major conflict as it's been since the Cold War, a time hardly memorable to many in the current crop of our elected officials. Within hours of the MH-17 plane crash, the United States pinned the blame on Russia generally, and Putin particularly. The anti-Putin propaganda (and if there were a stronger term I'd use it) has been relentless and almost comically over-the-top (see image above, and those below). The US and the UK in particular, are leading the charge. Indeed, the UK's Daily Mail managed to crank out an article on the MH-17 affair within just a few hours on the very same day it occurred with this headline: That's really an amazing piece of journalism to have managed to have figured out the who, the what and the why of a major catastrophe without the benefit of any evidence or investigation. One wonders who the author's source was for obtaining what have become very crisp talking points that both the US and Europe are echoing as they exert increasing pressure on Russia? Nearly two weeks later, neither the US nor Europe has provided substantial evidence of any sort to support their assertions that Ukrainian separatists and/or Russia are to blame for the MH-17 catastrophe. There's literally been nothing. In the meantime, very important questions surrounding the shoot-down have gone entirely unaddressed by US officials and the western media. Why? Perhaps because they raise the possibility that there could be an alternative explanation: CLIP
"On a number of occasions recently I have made the point that the psychopaths in control of Washington are driving the West to war with Russia. The lies that the Obama regime and Western presstitute media are hurling at President Putin are even more blatantly false that the lies Washington used against Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Assad, the Taliban, and Iran, and the lies are far more reckless. Russia has a nuclear arsenal as large as Washingtons, and Russia is very much aware that for 13 years Washingtons lies and demonizations of countries are the preludes to launching military attacks on the countries. It is completely obvious that no one in Washington has enough sense to be in government. In Washington power is in demonic and idiotic hands. Washington consists of the largest collection of criminal fools in human history.
The threat to life on earth has never been as great as it is at this time. The crazed fools in Washington and the reckless scum that comprise the Western media are brewing armageddon."
Ukraine Crisis: Death and destruction continues in Eastern Ukraine - WARNING disturbing graphic images!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NE18iPQ1Euk
Extensive war crimes in Donbass from July 2 to July 24, 2014. Kiev's warmongers/Zionists continue genocide of civilian population and deliberate destruction of Eastern Ukraine's infrastructure - schools, hospitals, kindergartens, power plants, train stations, etc. The majority of the footage and interviews you will see in this documentary film have never been shown on TV.
Revelations of German Pilot: Shocking Analysis of the Shooting Down of Malaysian MH17. Aircraft Was Not Hit by a Missile (July 30th, 2014) http://www.globalresearch.ca/german-pilot-speaks-out-shocking-analysis-of-the-shooting-down-of-malaysian-mh17/5394111
According to the report of German pilot and airlines expert Peter Haisenko, the MH17 Boeing 777 was not brought down by a missile. What he observed from the available photos were perforations of the cockpit: The facts speak clear and loud and are beyond the realm of speculation: The cockpit shows traces of shelling! You can see the entry and exit holes. The edge of a portion of the holes is bent inwards. These are the smaller holes, round and clean, showing the entry points most likely that of a 30 millimeter caliber projectile. (...) All the eyewitnesses interviewed by the BBC confirmed the presence of a Ukrainian military aircraft flying within proximity of Malaysian Airlines MH17 at the time that it was shot down. (...) The accusations directed against Russia including the sanctions regime imposed by Washington are based on a lie.
The evidence does not support the official US narrative to the effect that the MH17 was shot down by a BUK missile system operated by the DPR militia. What next? More media disinformation, more lies?
Sahra Wagenknecht about the EU Crisis and the civil war in Ukraine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIi4a7ri-dc&feature=youtu.be&t=5m24s Angela Merkel gets an earful from a real truth teller. Germany, kotowing to the Cabal-inspired politics of Barack Obama in Ukraine, is sliding into a grave dead trap and dragging the whole world with it by supporting the new oligarch monster in Keiv who is killing thousands of innocent Ukrainians in an attempt to crush the Russian-supported separatists in Eastern Ukraine - most were not separatists before the slaughter began as they merely wanted more autonomy within Ukraine, but now they are so outraged by the abhorrent destruction rained on them by Ukraine's GRAD multiple rocket launchers that they don't want to have anything to do anymore with Ukraine.
Russian Sovereignty Under Attack- Putin (July 24, 2014) http://henrymakow.com/2014/07/russian-sovereignty-under-attack.html
(...) Russia is under attack by the globalists who wish to exploit internal divisions to destabilize Russia and install a puppet, as they have done in so many places. Russia cannot be expected to turn its backon fellow Russians living in E. Ukraine. The ABM system installed by NATO in Poland and inevitably in Ukraine is an offensive system. Russia must be prepared for war. I think Putin's opposition to the Illuminati banker-controlled NWO (or "unipolar world" as he puts it) is credible. The Illuminati Jews and their Masonic proxies are sowing the seeds for WW3. (...) they present Russia with an ultimatum: either you let us destroy the part of the population that is ethnically, culturally and historically close to Russia, or we introduce sanctions against you. This is a strange logic, and absolutely unacceptable, of course. Undoubtedly, such methods will not work with Russia. The recipes used regarding weaker states fraught with internal conflict will not work with us. Our people, the citizens of Russia will not let this happen and will never accept this. However, attempts are clearly being made to destabilize the social and economic situation, to weaken Russia in one way or another or to strike at our weaker spots, and they will continue primarily to make us more agreeable in resolving international issues. CLIP
25 Recent Events Causing WW3 They Want You To Forget
Remember when our rulers told us that regimes like Saddam, Gaddafi, and Assad were the epitome of evil and must be liberated because they allegedly killed their own citizens? Probably not. Americans have short memories.
I only remind you to let you know that the U.S. and other Western governments have reversed their stance on regimes killing their own citizens. They now fully endorse and support this rule-with-an-iron-fist so long as the victims can be successfully labeled "separatists" or "terrorists".
In fact, they want in on the action. The Pentagon began wargaming this week with the regime in Ukraine on how best to kill pesky citizens in Eastern Ukraine who oppose the U.S. Vice President's son stealing and fracking shale gas on their land.
People who defend their land and families are called "terrorists" when imperial powers want their resources. In turn, Western rulers call violent coups "duly elected" if they pledge allegiance to the IMF.
This situation is creating friction among the world's superpowers not seen since the Cold War. Obama recently expressed concern that "The old order isnt holding and were not quite where we need to be in terms of a new order." Later in the speech he blamed uncooperative nations (read Russia) for standing in the way of the New World Order.
It seems if Russia doesn't get on board with the Western-led world order, these powers are destined to clash in a West vs. East showdown over international banking and the control of gas supplies.
Here are 25 recent events, or data points, that our rulers hope we forget when they blame the collapse of the old world order on Russia:
1. US spent $5 billion to destabilize Ukraine, not to mention the millions NGOs spent on "opposition groups". The State Department was even caught playing kingmaker in Ukraine in secret recordings during the takeover.
2. November 21st, 2013 - Ukraine's President abandons an agreement on closer trade ties with EU, instead seeking closer cooperation with Russia. Violent pro-EU protests begin to organize.
3. December 17th, 2013 - Putin offers to buy $15bn of Ukrainian debt and discount the price of Russian gas by about a third.
4. February 2014 - Violence of coup peaks on the 20th. On 22nd protesters took control of Kiev and Parliament votes to remove president from power.
5. February 23rd - New interim government named, replaces head of Ukraine central bank.
6. March 6th - Obama signs national emergency executive order to punish Ukrainians that "undermine democratic processes and institutions" of the coup government in Ukraine. You can't make this stuff up.
7. March 16th - Crimea holds voter referendum to split from coup government in Kiev and ally with Russia, passes by over 95%.
8. March 20th - Obama announces more unilateral sanctions on Russia.
9. March 24th - Leaked tape where former prime minister of Ukraine and darling of the West, Yulia Tymoshenko, calls for wiping out all Russians with nuclear weapons.
10. April 29th - Obama unilaterally expands sanctions on Russia.
11. April 30th - Newly installed regime in Kiev receives $17 billion from the IMF for "economic reforms". (December deal from Russia with better terms for Ukrainian people discarded.)
12. May 3rd - Obama calls Kiev's coup government "duly elected".
13. May 11th - Eastern Ukraine votes for independence from Kiev and for self-rule. Kiev mobilizes military to punish citizens for disloyalty.
14. May 15th - US Vice President's son Hunter Biden named to the board of Ukraine gas company.
15. May 21st - Russia and China sign historic $400 billion "Holy Grail" gas deal not using petrodollars.
16. May 27th - Second day in office, new Ukraine president launches military "anti-terrorist operation" against eastern Ukrainians.
17. June 3rd - NATO pledges military support for Ukraine to battle dissidents.
18. June 16th - Ukraine refuses to pay its gas bill to Moscow's Gazprom, Russia cuts off gas.
19. June 26th - Gazprom agrees to drop the dollar to settle contracts with China.
20. June 27th - The EU signs an association agreement with Ukraine, along with Georgia and Moldova
21. July 15th - BRICS nations fund international development bank to compete with the IMF, World Bank, and the dollar itself.
22. July 17th - Commercial airliner MH17 shot out of the sky over eastern Ukraine. Appears to be classic false flag event after the West immediately blamed Russia citing sketchy YouTube videos.
23. July 2014 - US announces yet more sanctions on Russia. EU and Canada both join in calls for more sanctions for Russia.
24. July 2014 - Joe Biden's son's company prepares to drill shale gas in east Ukraine.
25. July 2014 - Pentagon creates military plan to clear path for gas drilling in rebel-held areas of Ukraine.
I'm sure I missed a few. Feel free to fill in the blanks in the comment section below.
August 01, 2014 "ICH" - "Press TV" - - American and European governments are saying that they are not seeking to confront Russia militarily. But what else can you make of their latest broadside of sanctions aimed at the heart of the Russian economy?
To threaten a country's vital interests in the way that the US and the European Union are doing against Russia has to be seen as an implicit declaration of war.
This week, the EU finally went along with American pressure to hit Russia's key economic sectors. In previous months, the Europeans were, by and large, resisting Washington's shrill calls for punitive measures beyond the "symbolic" sanctions against a list of individual Russian business leaders and politicians.
Now the gloves have come off, with the EU announcing this week that it would apply the sectoral economic sanctions that the Americans have been imperiously blaring for.
The Financial Times reports: "The EU announcement of sweeping measures intended to cripple the Russian economy and convince the Kremlin to abandon its support for separatists in Ukraine was followed by a new round of similar US penalties." Note here the stated intention to "cripple the Russian economy."
Meanwhile, the New York Times reported: "The United States and Europe kicked off a joint effort on Tuesday intended to curb Russia's long-term ability to develop new oil resources, taking aim at the Kremlin's premier source of wealth and power in retaliation for its [alleged] intervention in Ukraine." Note here the "taking aim at the Kremlin's premier source of wealth and power."
This full-frontal assault on Russia's vital economic interests is tantamount to an act of war. All the more so because the Western sanctions are gratuitous, based merely on spurious claims, assertions, and non-existent "intelligence."
The Western stranglehold being mounted on Russia is reminiscent of the American embargo against the Japanese economy in the years leading up to the Second World War, when Japan was eventually provoked into launching an attack on the US at Pearl Harbour in 1941.
And, of course, the Islamic Republic of Iran has had to endure years of similar Western-imposed blockade of its economy, which many international legal experts have defined as "illegal acts of aggression" seeking a pretext for war.
Russia seems to be now on the receiving end of the same Western aggression - an aggression, we can be sure, that none of the Western states would tolerate for a second without themselves decrying as an act of war.
The newly unveiled Western sanctions on Russia will target the country's future oil exploration, its military industry and its international banking sector, with all state-owned banks now frozen out of American and European capital markets.
US President Barack Obama says "this is not a new Cold War." The American president is lying through his teeth. This is exactly what it is. You don't cripple a country's economy and its vital strategic interests if you are intending to conduct diplomacy. This is the politics of war-making, not diplomacy.
The deeply troubling thing for Moscow must be that it is being forced into an insoluble conundrum. As with Iran's alleged nuclear program, Russia is being asked to prove a negative.
Obama says that "Russia and Mr Putin have a choice... to cooperate or set international relations back decades by Russia's unwillingness to recognize that Ukraine can chart its own path."
By "Ukraine," Obama means the Kiev regime that his government installed last February in an illegal coup, which involved the murder of civilians and police by undercover CIA-backed snipers.
The EU warned Russia that "destabilising Ukraine, or any other eastern European neighboring state, will bring heavy costs to its economy." That's an hysterical demand that's impossible to satisfy.
But how exactly can Russian President Vladimir Putin "prove" that Russia is "cooperating" when it is Washington and its European allies that are the ones who have destabilized Ukraine by installing an illegal regime in Kiev - a regime that is now killing the people of eastern Ukraine resisting its illegal rule, and which is also shelling Russian territory?
In the twisted logic of Washington and its allies, Russia cannot possibly win this conundrum through rational and legal argument. It is damned without any evidence or reason as the villain, as in the days of the Cold War.
The objective of Washington towards Russia has nothing to do with alleged Russian destabilization of Ukraine, support for rebels fighting the Kiev regime, or the recent shooting down of the Malaysian airliner.
Washington knows full well that Moscow has got little or nothing to do with these issues. The airliner was most likely blown out of the sky by the Western-backed Kiev regime, with Washington's collusion, for the obvious geopolitical gain of cornering Russia with the latest sanctions.
What Washington wants is for Putin to capitulate and prostrate himself in front of American global hegemony. The downing of the Malaysian airliner was the American breakthrough in lashing the Europeans into adopting Washington's aggressive line. Now Russia is being told, in political code: do you want to go to war, or are you willing to lick Uncle Sam's boots?
Licking Uncle Sam's boots, that is, giving way to US hegemonic dictates, will involve Russia relinquishing or rolling back energy deals with China and Europe, abandoning recent ambitious plans to set up a global bank to rival the Washington-controlled IMF, and getting Russia to reverse moves on dropping the American dollar as the world's reserve currency. It will also entail Russia giving the US a blank cheque to carry out foreign interventions in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere where natural resources are to be exploited.
To demonstrate its acquiescence, Russia will be expected, as a first step, to accept the Washington-imposed criminal neo-Nazi regime in Kiev, and to turn a blind eye to this regime's murderous ethnic cleansing of Russian people in the east of Ukraine. By acquiescing to that, Russia will then be letting Uncle Sam know that it is prepared to bend the knee of submission to its global hegemony.
The latest sanctions attacking Russia are like a gun being pointed at Putin's head. It is an immensely provocative and outrageous act of Western aggression that has no possible justification. But it reveals the reckless extent to which Washington is willing to go in order to preserve its precarious empire.
John Oliver: Nuclear Weapons http://youtu.be/1Y1ya-yF35g
America has over 4,800 nuclear weapons, and we dont take terrific care of them. Its terrifying, basically.
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THE SITUATION IN GAZA
Gaza crisis: Israel and Hamas begin 72-hour ceasefire (5 August 2014) http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/04/gaza-israel-hamas-ceasefire-agreement-egypt
Hostilities suspended as of Tuesday morning, with Israel saying it has finished destroying tunnels and withdrawn forces -- A definitive end to the four-week conflict in Gaza appeared possible on Tuesday morning as an agreed 72-hour ceasefire between Hamas and Israel came into effect and the Israeli military said it had withdrawn from the Palestinian territory. The suspension of hostilities came into force at 8am on Tuesday and is due to be followed up with further discussions in Egypt about ending the four-week war. The Israeli military said it had withdrawn all forces from Gaza by 8am. A volley of last-minute rockets was fired by militants towards Israel. The likelihood of Israel agreeing to a longer-term ceasefire appeared to increase on Tuesday as Israeli radio stations reported that ground forces had completed their main Gaza war mission of destroying cross-border tunnels. At least 32 of the underground passages and dozens of access shafts had been located and blown up, Israel Radio and Army Radio said. A member of the Hamas delegation in Cairo, Bassam Salhi, said it was "clear now that the interest of all parties is to have a ceasefire. It's going to be tough negotiations because Israel has demands too." Mark Regev, an Israeli government spokesman, said: "Israel will honour the ceasefire and will be watching to see if Hamas does too."An hour into the ceasefire, no rockets had been fired from Gaza and fisherman in the coastal territory ventured into the sea. Representatives of Palestinian factions had been in Cairo since Sunday to agree a set of demands and a possible end to hostilities. More than 1,800 Palestinians have died, health officials in Gaza say. Israeli casualties include 64 soldiers and three civilians killed by rocket fire.
(...) The Palestinian demands agreed on Sunday include "a ceasefire; Israeli troop withdrawal from Gaza; the end of the siege of Gaza and opening its border crossings". They have also demanded fishing rights up to 12 nautical miles off Gaza's coast and the release of Palestinian prisoners demanded by Hamas and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.
RAMALLAH, WEST BANK Centuries of European colonialism have provided the world with certain basic lessons about subjugating colonized peoples: The longer any colonial occupation endures, the greater the settlers racism and extremism tends to grow. This is especially true if the occupiers encounter resistance; at that point, the occupied population becomes an obstacle that must either be forced to submit or removed through expulsion or murder.
In the eyes of an occupying power, the humanity of those under its thumb depends on the degree of their submission to, or collaboration with, the occupation. If the occupied population chooses to stand in the way of the occupiers goals, then they are demonized, which allows the occupier the supposed moral excuse of confronting them with all possible means, no matter how harsh.
The Israeli occupation of Palestine is one of the only remaining settler-colonial occupations in the world today.
And it is not limited to East Jerusalem and the West Bank: Although Israel withdrew its settlers and army from Gaza in 2005, it is still recognized by the United Nations as an occupying power, due to its complete control of Gazas airspace, sea access and of almost all of its land borders.
Over the years, Israel has used all forms of pressure to prevent the Palestinians from achieving their national rights and gaining independence. It hasnt been enough for Israelis to believe their own claims about Palestinians; they have sought incessantly to impose this narrative on the world and to have it adopted by their Western allies.
Unsurprisingly, all of this has led to complete shamelessness in mainstream Israeli rhetoric about Palestinians. After all, if one is not held accountable, then one has the freedom to think and do what one wants. With no internal or external checks, one can act with impunity.
The Israeli left is a relic, all but extinct, and the extremist right is entrenched in the Israeli political establishment. Attacking the Palestinians has become officially sanctioned policy, embedded in Israeli public consciousness and politely ignored in Western political circles.
There is now an extremist, racist ideological current in Israel that not only justifies the recent onslaught on the Gaza Strip, but actually encourages the use of enormous and disproportionate violence against civilians, which has led to the extermination of entire families.
Moshe Feiglin, deputy speaker of the Knesset, recently called on the Israeli army to attack and occupy Gaza, paying no heed to anything but the safety of Israeli soldiers. He then demanded that Gaza be annexed to Israel, and asked the army to use all means at its disposal to conquer Gaza, by which he meant that obedient Palestinians would be allowed to stay, while the rest the majority should be exiled to the Sinai Peninsula. This cannot be understood as anything less than a call for ethnic cleansing.
Ayelet Shaked, a Knesset member for the Jewish Home Party, a member of the governing coalition, called on the Israeli army to destroy the homes of terrorist snakes, and to murder their mothers as well, so that they would not be able to bring little snakes into the world.
And Mordechai Kedar, a professor at Bar Ilan University, publicly suggested that raping the mothers and sisters of terrorists might deter further terrorism.The university did not take any measures against him.
Such statements are no longer isolated incidents, but reflective of the general sentiment within a country where chants of Kill the Arabs are increasingly common. It is no longer an aberration to hear these opinions expressed in public, or by politicians and academics. What is unexpected and unacceptable is that such statements are not met with any sort of condemnation in official Western circles that claim to oppose racism and extremism.
The rise in Israeli racism and extremism against Palestinians would not have happened without the unconditional support that Israel receives from its allies, most significantly the United States.
Israel cannot continue to be the exception to the rule of international law and human rights. The international community must hold it accountable for its rhetoric and its actions, and begin to treat it like all other countries. It should not be allowed to continue to enjoy its state of exceptionalism and to use this to wreak destruction on the Palestinian people.
After 47 years of occupation, two decades of stalled peace talks and almost eight years of a strangulating siege of the Gaza Strip, the international community must demand that Israel clearly state what it intends to do with its occupation of the Palestinian people. Since the Palestinians are not the occupiers, but rather those living under occupation, this question cannot be asked of them.
If Israel wants to continue its occupation and hinder Palestinians path to freedom and independence, then it should be aware that the Palestinian people will continue to resist with all the means at their disposal. If Israel intends to end the occupation, then it will find that the Palestinians are more than ready for an agreement.
What the Palestinians are enduring today in Gaza should be a clarion call for the entire world to end the bloodshed. But it will take more than a cease-fire. It will take peace. And peace cannot happen without an end to the occupation.
Ali Jarbawi is a political scientist at Birzeit University and a former minister of the Palestinian Authority. This article was translated by Ghenwa Hayek from the Arabic.
A version of this op-ed appears in print on August 5, 2014, in The International New York Times.
Assessing the Damage and Destruction in Gaza (JULY 27, 2014) http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/07/27/world/middleeast/assessing-the-damage-and-destruction-in-gaza.html
An analysis by Unitar/Unosat, an agency of the United Nations, found that about 600 structures had been destroyed in the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City in the first two and a half weeks of the Israeli incursion. Israeli officials have said that one of the goals of the incursion is to destroy tunnels leading from Gaza to Israel. Shejaiya has been the site of some of the worst fighting.
Israel Creates No Mans Land in Gaza, Shrinking Strip by 40 Percent
By Jesse Rosenfeld - 07.28.14
To protect itself from Hamas rockets and tunnels, Israel is forcing tens of thousands of people out of their homes, turning their old neighborhoods into a no-mans land.
BEIT HANOUN, Gaza This narrow strip of land that used to be called the Gaza Strip, already one of the more densely populated places on Earth, is growing dramatically smaller. The Israeli military, relentlessly and methodically, is driving people out of the 3-kilometer (1.8 mile) buffer zone it says it needs to protect against Hamas rockets and tunnels. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the buffer zone eats up about 44 percent of Gazas territory.
What that means on the ground is scenes of extraordinary devastation in places like the Al Shajaya district approaching Gazas eastern frontier, and Beit Hanoun in the north. These were crowded neighborhoods less than three weeks ago. Now they have been literally depopulated, the residents joining more than 160,000 internally displaced people in refuges and makeshift shelters. Apartment blocks are fields of rubble, and as I move through this hostile landscape the phrase that keeps ringing in my head is scorched earth.
Its not like Israel didnt plan this. It told tens of thousands of Palestinians to flee so its air force, artillery and tanks could create this uninhabitable no-mans land of half-standing, burned-out buildings, broken concrete and twisted metal. During a brief humanitarian ceasefire some Gazans were able to come back to get their first glimpse of the destruction this war has brought to their communities, and to sift through their demolished homes to gather clothes or other scattered bits of their past lives. But many were not even able to do that.
When Rania Haels got within 60 feet of the debris that was once her family home in Al Shajaya on Saturday, a machine-gun on top of a nearby Israeli Merkava tank started firing. Probably these were warning shots pumped in her direction, but the 42-year-old mother of seven ran for her life. Now she stays with her family in an overcrowded parking garage in Gaza City and spends her days sitting in a public park full of refugees displaced by the Israeli push. Normally these would be festive times, the end of Ramadan is at hand and celebrations akin in spirit to Christmas festivities are beginning. But holidays have a way of intensifying tragedy. There is no place for Haels family to gather to give gifts and eat Palestinian sweets. There is, in fact, no place for them at all.
We lost our homes and so now we live in the streets, said Haels, holding a toddler in her arms who clings to her pastel-patterned hejab. This war has destroyed me. She says at least she knew where her home was. Some of her neighbors could not find their homes as they walked down streets made unrecognizable by the wreckage and horrifying by the presence of death.
Under American Bombs in Gaza: Food for Palestinians and bombs for Israel. Uncle Sam gives to bothjust not equally. (August 4, 2014) http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/04/under-american-bombs-in-gaza.html
AL ATATRA, Gaza During the brief ceasefire in a ferocious little war, as Gazas people go back to their shattered homes to look for whatever is left to find, from Beit Lahiya and Beit Hanoun to Khuzaa, they come across the tailfins of American-supplied 120mm mortar rounds. The things are embedded in living room couches and rest amid smashed stucco and concrete slabs that used to be someones walls. Craters and the twisted wreckage of buildings collapsed by bombs from the U.S.-made F16 multirole fighters in the Israeli air force are now part of the Gaza moonscape. Beneath some of the former homes and businesses, the bodies of those who couldnt escape American-supplied firepower are still decomposing.Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. military assistance in the worldabout $3.1 billion a year these days, and some $80 billion since the 1960s (without adjusting for inflation). As this war in Gaza drags on, Washington is committed to resupplying Israel with the weapons it needs to continue its assault. On July 30, the Pentagon, which stockpiles weapons in Israel, announced it was turning over large but unspecified quantities of 120mm mortar rounds (which were about to pass their shoot-by dates) to the Israeli military in a transaction so routine the White House didnt even need to be notified. Except that theres nothing routine about the Gaza slaughter. And that ammunition was needed by Israel to continue its offensive.Maybe thats why Palestinians were cynical when they heard U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry promise $47 million in emergency humanitarian aid to Gaza at the end of July. Uncle Sam giveth, and Uncle Sam taketh away. But in the midst of this, their third major war in a decade, Gazans know that where they are concerned theres never remotely as much giving as there is taking away.Some of Israels depleted stockpiles of 120mm mortars are now scattered about the war-scarred home of the Abu Hashish family.
(...) For many Gazans, Israels use of U.S. supplied weapons to destroy their lives and kill their friends and relatives is a reality they resigned themselves to long ago. While there is anger at America as Israels enabler, there is more indignation at the hypocrisy of Washington offering aid to their maimed society, crippled with the help of Washingtons weaponry.
In Fatal Flash, Gaza Psychologist Switches Roles, Turning Into a Trauma Victim (August 4, 2014) http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/05/world/middleeast/gaza-strip-israel-psychologist-trauma.html
GAZA CITY Hassan al-Zeyada has spent decades counseling fellow residents of the Gaza Strip who experience psychological trauma. Now, as he prepares to aid his neighbors after a new round of combat and carnage, he has a challenging new patient: himself.An Israeli airstrike demolished Dr. Zeyadas family home on July 20, killing six close relatives, including his mother and three of his brothers.
(...) It is difficult even absurd, the clinicians say at their darkest moments to try to mend psyches in the Gaza Strip, where even in calmer times the conditions are hardly conducive to psychological health, and safety is never more than provisional under the many cease-fires that have come and gone. People cannot flee from Gaza; Israel and Egypt keep their borders virtually sealed. Residents can flee their neighborhoods, but even United Nations schools being used as shelters in Gaza have come under deadly fire. And in downtown Gaza City, where Israel has urged people to go for safety, Israeli airstrikes have repeatedly hit apartment buildings packed with residents and refugees. One strike collapsed most of a building and killed the family of a bank employee who had moved to Gaza City because of Israeli instructions.
(...) The healthy processing of grief and fear works best when those affected feel they are out of danger, Dr. Zeyada said. But that is impossible in Gaza as long as the larger conflict persists. Sometimes, he said, he was troubled by the ethics of treating people who were likely to be traumatized again. You are, he said, like a prison doctor treating a victim of torture, making the prisoner healthy to be interrogated and tortured again.
(...) A few blocks from Dr. Zeyadas apartment, Younis al-Bakr, 9, sat curled on a sofa, chewing on his fist like a much younger boy. His family said he had not spoken a word since he witnessed the shelling that killed four of his cousins on the Gaza City beach on July 17. Younis and three more cousins survived the attack, suffering shrapnel wounds along with less visible ones. We didnt lose four, said his uncle, Hamis al-Bakr. We lost eight. One of the surviving boys sneaks out of the house to visit his cousins graves again and again, despite warnings of the danger. Another reacted to a later airstrike in the neighborhood by shaking so violently that he was taken to the hospital. The only one willing to talk Montasser, 10 launched in a trembling, reedy voice into a speech that mixed stock political slogans with thoughts from a small boys world. I tell the European world, the Arab world, we were playing on the beach, he said. I can go now and play, but they will kill me. Im afraid of death.Group and individual counseling can help trauma victims find resilience and move on with their lives, Dr. Gordon said. Many feel a mixture of guilt and powerlessness and a hunger for revenge that can fuel new cycles of militancy, he said, but as theyre able to express their anger, the vast majority find other ways to build their society.
(...) His family had had absolute faith that Israel would warn them if their house was going to be bombed, but there was no warning, he said.Through clenched teeth, he noted that his young daughters have now experienced three wars. Can you imagine what that means to the new generation? he said. Scared parents cannot assure or secure scared children.
Gaza in Ruins: Israel strikes university, flattens buildings (August 2, 2014) http://youtu.be/x4CzM4JPjdg
Israel launched dozens of airstrikes across the Gaza Strip early on Saturday as part of a large-scale search for a soldier suspected of being captured by Hamas militants. Palestinian officials reported more than 150 airstrikes including one against Islamic University in Gaza City.
We are all Gaza: West bank rises up against Israel (August 4, 2014) http://youtu.be/YYI7KDY9Bko
The death toll in Gaza has hit over 1,600 since Israel launched operation Protective Edge on July 8. The international community is pushing the sides to ceasefire as the world opinion rallies against Tel Aviv's operation. And Palestinians living in the West Bank express their solidarity with Gaza.
Hollywood divided: passions high as actors and celebrities speak out on Gaza (4 August 2014) http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/04/hollywood-divided-gaza-support-israel-backlash
Artists voicing solidarity for Palestinians trigger backlash from industry heavyweights in a town with strong Israel connections -- It is perhaps the last taboo in Hollywood but the carnage in Gaza is prompting an increasing number of artists and celebrities to do the unthinkable: criticise Israel.Figures as varied as Rihanna, Jonathan Demme and Selena Gomez have broken the cardinal rule, and risked giving their publicists cardiac arrest, by publicly expressing solidarity with the Palestinians. The insurrections have triggered a backlash from industry heavyweights such as Jon Voight, Joan Rivers and Howard Stern, verbal volleys in interviews and social media which are Tinseltown's version of civil strife. "My name is Jon Voight and I am more than angry," the Midnight Cowboy star wrote in an open letter the Hollywood Reporter at the weekend. "I am heartsick that people like Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem could incite anti-Semitism all over the world and are oblivious to the damage they have caused." The actor was responding to a letter from more than a hundred Spanish artists, including Cruz and Bardem, accusing Israel of "genocide" in its assault against Hamas militants. About 1,800 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed and more than 9,000 injured in the past four weeks, according to health officials in Gaza. Israel has lost two civilians and 64 soldiers. A Thai migrant worker was also been killed. Hollywood has close ties to Israel a cause which tends to unite prominent, liberal Jews such as Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Barbra Streisand as well as conservative non-Jews such as Voight.The bombing of UN-run schools and rising civilian casualties in Gaza however has emboldened diverse figures to speak out only in some cases to swiftly retreat.The actors Mark Ruffalo and Wallace Shawn, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters and the director Jonathan Demme, have experienced jeers since taking a stand."I don't see this as being politics or statehood for Palestine or Hamas," Demme, who directed Silence of the Lambs, told AP. "I think it's about taking innocent lives and the destruction of a culture. I've never been ashamed of my pacifist point of view of things at any time since I became a card-carrying hippie back in the '60s."The Daily Show host Jon Stewart also waded in, choosing his words carefully. "Just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel's policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas." CLIP
Amid all the horrors unfolding in the latest Israeli offensive in Gaza, Israel's goal is simple: quiet-for-quiet, a return to the norm.
For the West Bank, the norm is that Israel continues its illegal construction of settlements and infrastructure so that it can integrate into Israel whatever might be of value, meanwhile consigning Palestinians to unviable cantons and subjecting them to repression and violence.
For Gaza, the norm is a miserable existence under a cruel and destructive siege that Israel administers to permit bare survival but nothing more.
The latest Israeli rampage was set off by the brutal murder of three Israeli boys from a settler community in the occupied West Bank. A month before, two Palestinian boys were shot dead in the West Bank city of Ramallah. That elicited little attention, which is understandable, since it is routine.
"The institutionalized disregard for Palestinian life in the West helps explain not only why Palestinians resort to violence," Middle East analyst Mouin Rabbani reports, "but also Israel's latest assault on the Gaza Strip.
In an interview, human rights lawyer Raji Sourani, who has remained in Gaza through years of Israeli brutality and terror, said, "The most common sentence I heard when people began to talk about cease-fire: Everybody says it's better for all of us to die and not go back to the situation we used to have before this war. We don't want that again. We have no dignity, no pride; we are just soft targets, and we are very cheap. Either this situation really improves or it is better to just die. I am talking about intellectuals, academics, ordinary people: Everybody is saying that.
In January 2006, Palestinians committed a major crime: They voted the wrong way in a carefully monitored free election, handing control of Parliament to Hamas.
The media constantly intone that Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Israel. In reality, Hamas leaders have repeatedly made it clear that Hamas would accept a two-state settlement in accord with the international consensus that has been blocked by the U.S. and Israel for 40 years.
In contrast, Israel is dedicated to the destruction of Palestine, apart from some occasional meaningless words, and is implementing that commitment.
The crime of the Palestinians in January 2006 was punished at once. The U.S. and Israel, with Europe shamefully trailing behind, imposed harsh sanctions on the errant population and Israel stepped up its violence.
The U.S. and Israel quickly initiated plans for a military coup to overthrow the elected government. When Hamas had the effrontery to foil the plans, the Israeli assaults and the siege became far more severe.
There should be no need to review again the dismal record since. The relentless siege and savage attacks are punctuated by episodes of "mowing the lawn," to borrow Israel's cheery expression for its periodic exercises in shooting fish in a pond as part of what it calls a "war of defense.
Once the lawn is mowed and the desperate population seeks to rebuild somehow from the devastation and the murders, there is a cease-fire agreement. The most recent cease-fire was established after Israel's October 2012 assault, called Operation Pillar of Defense.
Though Israel maintained its siege, Hamas observed the cease-fire, as Israel concedes. Matters changed in April of this year when Fatah and Hamas forged a unity agreement that established a new government of technocrats unaffiliated with either party.
Israel was naturally furious, all the more so when even the Obama administration joined the West in signaling approval. The unity agreement not only undercuts Israel's claim that it cannot negotiate with a divided Palestine but also threatens the long-term goal of dividing Gaza from the West Bank and pursuing its destructive policies in both regions.
Something had to be done, and an occasion arose on June 12, when the three Israeli boys were murdered in the West Bank. Early on, the Netanyahu government knew that they were dead, but pretended otherwise, which provided the opportunity to launch a rampage in the West Bank, targeting Hamas.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed to have certain knowledge that Hamas was responsible. That too was a lie.
One of Israel's leading authorities on Hamas, Shlomi Eldar, reported almost at once that the killers very likely came from a dissident clan in Hebron that has long been a thorn in the side of Hamas. Eldar added that "I'm sure they didn't get any green light from the leadership of Hamas, they just thought it was the right time to act.
The 18-day rampage after the kidnapping, however, succeeded in undermining the feared unity government, and sharply increasing Israeli repression. Israel also conducted dozens of attacks in Gaza, killing five Hamas members on July 7.
Hamas finally reacted with its first rockets in 19 months, providing Israel with the pretext for Operation Protective Edge on July 8.
By July 31, around 1,400 Palestinians had been killed, mostly civilians, including hundreds of women and children. And three Israeli civilians. Large areas of Gaza had been turned into rubble. Four hospitals had been attacked, each another war crime.
Israeli officials laud the humanity of what it calls "the most moral army in the world," which informs residents that their homes will be bombed. The practice is "sadism, sanctimoniously disguising itself as mercy," in the words of Israeli journalist Amira Hass: "A recorded message demanding hundreds of thousands of people leave their already targeted homes, for another place, equally dangerous, 10 kilometers away.
In fact, there is no place in the prison of Gaza safe from Israeli sadism, which may even exceed the terrible crimes of Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009.
The hideous revelations elicited the usual reaction from the most moral president in the world, Barack Obama: great sympathy for Israelis, bitter condemnation of Hamas and calls for moderation on both sides.
When the current attacks are called off, Israel hopes to be free to pursue its criminal policies in the occupied territories without interference, and with the U.S. support it has enjoyed in the past.
Gazans will be free to return to the norm in their Israeli-run prison, while in the West Bank, Palestinians can watch in peace as Israel dismantles what remains of their possessions.
That is the likely outcome if the U.S. maintains its decisive and virtually unilateral support for Israeli crimes and its rejection of the long-standing international consensus on diplomatic settlement. But the future will be quite different if the U.S. withdraws that support.
In that case it would be possible to move toward the "enduring solution" in Gaza that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called for, eliciting hysterical condemnation in Israel because the phrase could be interpreted as calling for an end to Israel's siege and regular attacks. And - horror of horrors - the phrase might even be interpreted as calling for implementation of international law in the rest of the occupied territories.
Forty years ago Israel made the fateful decision to choose expansion over security, rejecting a full peace treaty offered by Egypt in return for evacuation from the occupied Egyptian Sinai, where Israel was initiating extensive settlement and development projects. Israel has adhered to that policy ever since.
If the U.S. decided to join the world, the impact would be great. Over and over, Israel has abandoned cherished plans when Washington has so demanded. Such are the relations of power between them.
Furthermore, Israel by now has little recourse, after having adopted policies that turned it from a country that was greatly admired to one that is feared and despised, policies it is pursuing with blind determination today in its march toward moral deterioration and possible ultimate destruction.
Could U.S. policy change? It's not impossible. Public opinion has shifted considerably in recent years, particularly among the young, and it cannot be completely ignored.
For some years there has been a good basis for public demands that Washington observe its own laws and cut off military aid to Israel. U.S. law requires that "no security assistance may be provided to any country the government of which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights."
Israel most certainly is guilty of this consistent pattern, and has been for many years. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, author of this provision of the law, has brought up its potential applicability to Israel in specific cases, and with a well-conducted educational, organizational and activist effort such initiatives could be pursued successively.
That could have a very significant impact in itself, while also providing a springboard for further actions to compel Washington to become part of "the international community" and to observe international law and norms.
Nothing could be more significant for the tragic Palestinian victims of many years of violence and repression.
Dr. Chomsky is Institute Professor of Linguistics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Everyone I Know Is Brokenhearted (August 1, 2014) http://zenarchery.com/2014/08/everyone-i-know-is-brokenhearted/
All the genuinely smart, talented, funny people I know seem to be miserable these days. You feel it on Twitter more than Facebook, because Facebook is where you go to do your performance art where you pretend to be a hip, urbane person with the most awesomest friends and the best relationships and the very best lunches ever. Facebook is surface; Twitter is subtext, and judging by what Ive seen, the subtext is aching sadness. Im not immune to this. I dont remember ever feeling this miserable and depressed in my life, this sense of futility that makes you wish youd simply go numb and not care anymore.
(...) Yesterday morning, when I woke up, I clicked on a video in my Twitter feed that showed mutilated children being dragged from the streets of Gaza. And I started sobbing just sobbing, sitting there in my bed with the covers around my waist, saying Fuck, fuck, fuck, over and over to the empty room. Dead children, torn to bits. And then it was time for what? Get up, eat my cereal, go about my day? Every day? So youre haunted, and youre outraged, and you go on Twitter and you go on Facebook and you change your avatar or your profile picture to a slogan somebody thoughtfully made for you, so that you can show the world that youre watching, that you care, that it matters. But if youre at all observant, you begin to realize after a while that it doesnt matter; that your opinion matters for very little in the world. You voted for Obama, because Obama was about hope and change; except he seems to be mostly about hope and change for rich people, and not about hope at all for the people who are killed by American drones or who are locked away without trial in American internment camps or who are prosecuted because they stand up and tell the truth about their employers. There does seem to be a lot of hope and change in Fort Meade and Langley, though, where the NSA and CIA are given more and more leeway to spy on everyone in the world, including American citizens, not for what theyve done but what they might do. And the rest of the world? They keep making more dead children. They slaughter each other in the streets of Baghdad and Libya and Gaza and Tel Aviv; they slaughter each other in the hills of Syria; and, increasingly, they slaughter each other in American schools and movie theaters and college campuses. And when you speak up about that when you write to your Congressperson to say that you believe in, say, stricter control on the purchase of assault weapons, or limiting the rights of corporations to do astonishing environmental damage, or not sending billions of dollars to the kind of people who think its funny to launch missiles filled with flechette rounds into the middle of schools where children huddle together youre told that, no, youre the fascist: that people have the right to defend themselves and make money, and that those rights trump your right to not be killed by some fucking lunatic when youre waiting in line at Chipotle to grab a chicken burrito, and your right to not be able to light your tapwater on fire with a Zippo because of the chemicals in it, or not to end up in a grainy YouTube video while some demented religious fanatic hacks your head off with a rusty bayonet because your country not you, but whos counting is the Great Satan.
Israel-Palestine: This is how it ends
As a new round of violence kicks off in Israel-Palestine and more children are killed, it's not enough just to call for another ceasefire. Its time to take definitive non-violent action to end this decades long nightmare.
Our governments have failed -- while they have talked peace and passed UN resolutions, they and our companies have continued to aid, trade and invest in the violence. The only way to stop this hellish cycle of Israel confiscating Palestinian lands, daily collective punishment of innocent Palestinian families, Hamas firing rockets, and Israel bombing Gaza is to make the economic cost of this conflict too high to bear.
We know it works -- when EU countries issued guidelines not to fund the illegal Israeli settlements it caused an earthquake in the cabinet, and when citizens successfully persuaded a Dutch pension fund, PGGM, to withdraw, it created a political storm.
This may not feel like a direct way to stop the current killing, but history tells us that raising the financial cost of oppression can pave a path to peace. Click to call on 6 key banks, pension funds and businesses to pull out -- If we all take smart action now and turn up the heat, they could withdraw, the Israeli economy will take a hit, and we can turn the calculation of the extremists politically profiting from this hell upside down:
BOYCOTT ISRAEL http://www.inminds.com/boycott-israel.php
People of good conscience have chosen to boycott israeli products and companies supporting the zionist entity. Their ethical purchasing decision however is frustrated by the lack of accurate information as to which companies to boycott.We have carried out extensive research to identify the guilty companies. All our findings are provided here. Where ever possible, we have included full references for the source of our information so that you may independently verify its accuracy and understand exactly how each company is contributing its support to israel. We thank all those organizations who's research we have utilized. CLIP Companies to Boycott - Brands to Boycott - The boycott of Israeli products and companies supporting Israel is a peaceful means of putting international pressure on apartheid Israel and follows in the footsteps of the successful boycott against South African apartheid. Help end Palestinian suffering by boycotting Israel today!
The arms trade and Israel's attack on Gaza (18 July 2014) http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/18/arms-trade-israel-attack-gaza
Israel has once again unleashed the full force of its military against the captive Palestinian population, particularly in the besieged Gaza Strip, in an inhumane and illegal act of military aggression. Israel's ability to launch such devastating attacks with impunity largely stems from the vast international military cooperation and trade that it maintains with complicit governments across the world. Over the period 2008-19, the US is set to provide military aid to Israel worth $30bn, while Israeli annual military exports to the world have reached billions of dollars. In recent years, European countries have exported billions of euros' worth of weapons to Israel, and the EU has furnished Israeli military companies with research grants worth hundreds of millions. Emerging economies such as India, Brazil and Chile are rapidly increasing their military trade and cooperation with Israel, despite their stated support for Palestinian rights. By importing and exporting arms to Israel and facilitating the development of Israeli military technology, governments are effectively sending a clear message of approval for Israel's military aggression, including its war crimes and possible crimes against humanity. Israel's military technology is marketed as "field-tested" and exported across the world. Military trade and joint military-related research relations with Israel embolden Israeli impunity in committing grave violations of international law and facilitate the entrenchment of Israel's system of occupation, colonisation and systematic denial of Palestinian rights. We call on the UN and governments across the world to take immediate steps to implement a comprehensive and legally binding military embargo on Israel, similar to that imposed on South Africa during apartheid.
This letter has been signed by Nobel laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Adolfo Peres Esquivel, Jody Williams, Mairead Maguire, Rigoberta Menchú, Betty Williams, Noam Chomsky, Roger Waters from Pink Floyd, playwright Caryl Churchill, US rapper Boots Riley, João Antonio Felicio, the president of the International Trade Union Confederation, and many MANY other
Round-up: Israels massacre in Gaza prompts international sanctions and boycott action
August 1, 2014
- Chile suspends Israel trade agreement negotiations as 5 Latin American countries recall ambassadors from Israel
- BDS initiatives grow around the world
- A-list stars express solidarity
Occupied Palestine, August 1 As the death toll from Israels massacre in Gaza passes 1,100, Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activists have reiterated their calls for governments to hold Israel to account and for a redoubling of BDS initiatives to end Israels criminal impunity.
What we are witnessing is nothing short of a massacre against the Palestinian people. Israel must be made to pay a heavy economic and political price for its crimes against the people of Gaza, said Zaid Shuaibi, a spokesperson for the Palestinian BDS National Committee.
We call on people of conscience everywhere to get involved with the BDS movement, including by signing the call for a military embargo on Israel and taking action against companies and academic institutions that facilitate Israels heinous crimes in Gaza, Shuaibi added.
Shuaibi also welcomed news that governments across the world are taking action to pressure Israel to comply with international law and human rights.
Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador and Peru have all recalled their ambassadors from Israel, following Bolivia and Venezuela who have withdrawn their ambassadors during the 2008-09 massacre in Gaza.
The Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff has condemned what she described as Israels massacre in Gaza, a term also used even by the French foreign ministry. Turkeys prime minister has gone even further, accusing Israel of committing genocide in Gaza.
In South Africa, the parliamentary group of the ruling ANC party has called for the government to recall its ambassador and expel the Israeli ambassador, and politicians and political parties have made similar calls across the world.
The senate in Chile has voted unanimously in favour of a request to recall the ambassador. The government of Chile has also confirmed it has suspended negotiations on a new free trade agreement with Israel.
The government of Maldives has cancelled three bilateral agreements with Israel and is considering moves to prohibit Israeli products from being imported.
The trade and diplomatic sanctions taken in particular by countries from the global south are a hugely welcome step that we urge other governments to follow. States have a legal and moral obligation to do all that they can to hold Israel to account for its violations of international law, including by cancelling free trade agreements and imposing a military embargo, as a first concrete step, said Shuaibi.
Growing calls for military embargo
A call for a military embargo on Israel launched by 6 Nobel laureates and dozens of celebrities has been signed by more than 45,000 people. Strongly worded statements calling for a military embargo have been published by Amnesty International USA and Amnesty International UK.
In Belgium, 150 public figures have called for the Belgian government to end arms trade with Israel and a separate letter signed by more than 100 doctors has similar demands. In the UK, MPs, authors and artists were joined by more than 21,000 members of the public in calling for a military embargo on Israel, and a major association of medical students also called for a military embargo.
All across the world, people are echoing the call from Palestinian civil society for a full military embargo on Israel as the most urgent measure of accountability. Israels on-going massacre, its deliberate and premeditated targeting of schools, hospitals and civilians, including children, in accordance with its criminal Dahiya Doctrine, makes any continued military cooperation with Israel an indefensible act of conscious complicity, said Shuaibi.
International BDS grassroots action
While most world governments remain apathetic to, and in some cases complicit in, Israels war crimes in Gaza, people across the world are expressing anger and a strong resolve to make Israel pay for its crimes through the BDS movement.
Key developments include:
- More than a million people took part in demonstrations in cities all across the world during last weekend (see pictures and reports here). Demonstrations have been calling for an end to the siege on Gaza and for governments to impose arms embargoes and sanctions on Israel.
- An Avaaz petition calling for making the economic cost for Israel too high to bear through pressuring 4 companies, a British bank and a major Dutch pension fund to end their support for Israeli violations of international law has been signed by more than 1.5 million people.
- In a sign that the Israeli economy may face serious consequences in the wake of Israels on-going massacre in Gaza, Priniv, a major Israeli export company has revealed that a large export deal has collapsed as result of Israels current attack on Gaza.
- World famous Irish musician Sinéad OConnor cancelled a scheduled performance in Israel and explicitly stated she was doing so in order to adhere to the Palestinian-led cultural boycott of Israel. Nobody with any sanity, including myself, would have anything but sympathy for the Palestinian plight, she added.
Top performers and cultural figures of the calibre of Madonna and Rihanna and have expressed support for or solidarity with the plight of the Palestinan people in Gaza in an unprecedented and potentially game-changing manner. The Hollywood Reporter writes: [Jon] Stewart, director Jonathan Demme, Tori Amos, Rob Schneider, Kim Kardashian, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Bourdain, Roger Waters, NBA stars Dwight Howard and Amare Stoudemire, Italys goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, D.L. Hughley, Mia Farrow, Stephen Hawking and Annie Lennox are among the other big names who have weighed in with some degree of support for the people of Gaza or outright criticism of the Israeli government.
- At the recent Mercosur summit, social movements from all Mercosur countries (Venezuela, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina) handed over today a letter to the presidents calling for an immediate end of the Mercosur-Israel Free Trade Agreement, the withdrawal of the ambassadors, a military embargo and other trade sanctions.
- From Mexico to Brazil, Argentina, Chile, large civil society coalitions, including trade union federations, parties, farmers unions and more, are echoing the same demands for military, diplomatic and economic sanctions against Israel.
- The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) has called for an intensification of BDS campaigning and the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador from South Africa. Similar demands have been made by trade union federations and trade unions in Brazil, Ireland and the UK.
- The Mandate trade union in Ireland, whose membership includes retail staff, has written to all major Irish retailers calling on them to stop selling Israeli produce.
- Also in Ireland, Dublin city council passed a resolution calling for a military embargo and the suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement.
- The heads of the Social Democratic parties of Finland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland have issued a statement calling for an immediate ceasefire and for an international ban on trade with illegal Israeli settlements.
- In Turkey, at least 12 local municipalities, a number of major business associations and a major trade union have issued calls for a boycott of Israeli products.
- The Kashmir Manufacturers & Traders Association and other associations in Kashmir as well as the Mumbai Hoteliers Association have called for a boycott of Israeli goods.
- The US-based Critical Ethnic Studies Association and the African Literature Association have joined the campaign for an academic boycott of Israel due to the deep complicity of Israeli universities in Israeli violations of international law.
- The Church of Scotland has commended to its congregation the Kairos Palestine document, a document from Palestinian Christians calling for nonviolent action to resist injustice, including through BDS campaigning.
If scenes from the Gaza concentration camp reveal an Israeli-made tsunami, a counter tidal wave of BDS campaigning is crucially needed to end Israels habitual brutalities and massacres against Palestinian and Lebanese civilians. It has never been as urgent to isolate Israel as a world pariah as it is right now, said Shuabi.
Those who choose not to act to stop Israels massacre, especially those whose governments are implicated in Israeli war crimes, are choosing the side of the oppressor, as Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said.
Recruiting to Kill It Is Not Just an Israeli War on Gaza (July 29 2014) http://www.palestinechronicle.com/recruiting-to-kill-it-is-not-just-an-israeli-war-on-gaza/
(...) This is merely one of many bills and government initiatives that continue to give Israel a special undeserved status. But this military edge is used mostly to maintain Israels illegal military occupation. Most of Israels victims in its latest war on Gaza are civilians who are killed by US weapons. There is no escaping the fact that the US is a partner in the Israeli crimes in Gaza and the rest of Palestine. Without a complete reversal of US attitude towards Israel, the US will continue to lack any credibility as a peacemaker or a mere ceasefire mediator. But Americas support for Israel is crossing new red lines. There are reportedly over 1,000 US citizens fighting in the Israeli army according to reports that are now resurfacing due to the recent killing of two US-Israeli soldiers Max Steinberg, 24, of California, and Nissim Sean Carmeli, 21, of Texas. Like the rest of the IDF soldiers killed in recent fighting, they were killed while invading parts of the besieged Gaza Strip. But the number must be an understatement since some of Israels most ardent Jewish settlers are also American, and happen to be armed and dangerous. Although this is causing a bit of a media buzz, there is no political crisis. Instead, only condolences are offered to the families of the Americans fighting the genocidal war on Gaza.
The US is not alone in this. European governments display an incredible amount of hypocrisy as they continue to utilise doublespeak in their approach to Middle East conflicts in general, and the situation in Palestine in particular. The pressure mounting from European civil society makes it a bit more challenging for EU governments to endow Israel with the same unconditional love and support as that bestowed upon it by the US. EU hypocrisy is too palpable even for clever politicians to hide. The British government is shamelessly on the Israeli side, even while entire families in Gaza are being pulverized by western weapons and military technology. Meanwhile, the French government imposed a ban to prevent French society from showing its solidarity with the besieged and massacred Palestinians in Gaza. (...) Indeed, not only are western governments providing Israel with arms, funds and political cover to sustain its occupation and war, but they are also contributing thousands of military experts and boots on the ground in order to fight a war in Gaza where war crimes and crimes against humanity are being committed on an hourly basis. Consider this: While British citizens fighting against the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad are being detained and persecuted, British citizens who are fighting for Israel are not. The British government is turning a blind eye to what should be considered a criminal act.
(...) Legal cases should be brought before courts throughout western capitals to try known names of US-EU soldiers, and new lists should be composed of others who use dual citizenship status to further the suffering of the Palestinians so that legal action may immediately take place.It is one thing to fail to stop war crimes from being committed, it is a whole other level of failure to defend, finance and take active part in carrying out these war crimes. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not the only leader culpable of Gazas bloodbath; others in western capitals should also be held to account.
The Experts Verdict: Every Israeli Missile Strike is a War Crime (August 01, 2014) http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-experts-verdict-every-israeli-missile-strike-is-a-war-crime/5394402
(...) Andrew Exum, a former US army officer and defence department special adviser on the Middle East, who has studied Israels military operations, says this: There are good strategic reasons to avoid using air power and artillery in these conflicts: they tend to be pretty indiscriminate in their effects and make it difficult for the population under fire to figure out what theyre supposed to do to be safe. Pretty indiscriminate! So doesnt that mean Israel was committing war crimes by definition every time it made one of those thousands of air strikes that marked the start of Operation Protective Edge, and that continue to this day? But it is not just strikes from the air that are the problem. There is more: However, military analysts and human rights observers say the IDF is still using unguided, indirect fire with high-explosive shells, which they argue is inappropriate for a densely populated area like Gaza [Israel's 155m howitzer] shells have a lethal radius of 50 to 150 metres and causes injury up to 300 metres from its point of impact. Furthermore, such indirect-fire artillery (meaning it is fired out of direct sight of the target) has a margin of error of 200 to 300 metres.Read that again: a margin of error of up to 300 metres, plus a lethal radius of up to 150 metres and an injury radius of 300 metres. So thats a killing and injury zone of close to half a kilometre from the intended precise site of impact in a territory that is only a few kilometres wide and long. In short, one of the main shells Israel is using in Gaza is completely imprecise. CLIP
American media's new pro-Israel bias: the same party line at the wrong time (31 July 2014) http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/31/american-media-israel-bias-netanyahu
Evolving conversations on the ground demand probing questions on-air. So why does TV news look like a Netanyahu ad? (...) An analysis by Punditfact of CNN coverage during the first two weeks of the latest Gaza crisis showed that appearances by Israeli officials outnumbered Palestinian officials by more than four-to-one. There were substantially more interviews with what Punditfact called Palestinian laymen, but they included the relatives of a Palestinian-American beaten by Israeli soldiers that offered little insight into the bigger picture. All appearances by Palestinian officials were outnumbered by interviews with a single man: Israels former ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, whom CNN hired as a Middle East analyst earlier this year. The network presents Oren as a kind of neutral interpreter, when just a few months ago he was vigorously defending Israel on behalf of Netanyahus government. His limited value as an analyst was swiftly exposed by his assertion that Hamas was trying to get Israel to kill as many Palestinian children as possible as part of a media strategy. The number of guests booked or sources quoted has never been balanced on this issue in the mainstream American press, but more important is the nature of interviews and the broader coverage when Israel and Palestine are not thrust into the news by a fresh surge in violence. CLIP
Here is what the US media should be showing to the American public...
In the above video we see arriving ambulances being bombedclearly a war crime. Also, in case you havent heard, news came out several days ago that Micky Rosenfeld, the public spokesperson for the Israeli police, has admitted to a BBC reporter that Hamas was not behind the kidnapping of the three Israeli teens, the episode that sparked the current invasion of Gaza. According to one report: The recent explosion of violence in Gaza may have been initially sparked by false or inaccurate claims, according to Israeli police.The ongoing conflict began last month when three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped from a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank. Their bodies were later discovered in a field outside the city of Hebron. Before police were able to determine who was responsible, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu placed blame for the tragic deaths squarely on Hamas, Gazas elected political leadershipan accusation that may prove to be false.
(...) UN human rights chief Navi Pillay lashed out at the Zionist entity on Thursday, over its attacks in Gaza, saying that such attacks are considered a Israels deliberate defiance of international law.Pillay slammed the countrys attacks on homes, schools, hospitals and United Nations facilities which are sheltering 250,000 civilians in Gaza.There appears to be deliberate defiance of obligations that international law imposes on Israel, the South African told reporters.Pillay said that repeated calls to respect the laws of war had gone unheeded during the latest crisis and previous spikes in the Israeli offensive. The same pattern of attacks is occurring now on homes, schools, hospitals, UN premises. None of this appears to me to be accidental, she said. She spoke a day after Israeli shells slammed into a UN school in Jabalia refugee camp which was sheltering some 3,300 homeless Gazans, killing at least 16 people.Pillay said that under international law, civilian facilities should not be attacked, noting that due warning must be given before an attack, in order to allow civilians to be evacuated. It is completely unconscionable that the proportionality and precaution that international law requires is being ignored, said Pillay. She also criticized Israels strikes on Gazas power plant, as well as water and sewerage systems. Last week, the UN Human Rights Council voted to open an inquiry into the Gaza offensive, despite fierce opposition from the Zionist entity and its international sponsor, the United States. We cannot allow impunity. We cannot allow this lack of accountability to go on, Pillay said on Thursday, calling into question domestic investigations by Israel into abuses.I join the world in condemning the aggression that is taking place in Gaza, and particularly the killing of civilians. This is wrong and it will always be wrong, she added.
US Senate Approves More Aid to Israel Despite Deficit Concerns (August 01, 2014) http://www.imemc.org/article/68704
In a turn-around from Thursday, US Senators Friday morning decided to move ahead with approval of an additional $225 million for Israel, even while calling for drastic cuts to social services and other domestic spending. The US gives more in aid to Israel than it does any other country, despite the fact that Israel is in the top one-third of world economies, and the Israeli military is in the top 10 worldwide in terms of funding and weaponry.
If Anybody is more Guilty of Gaza Conflict than the Israelis, it is the Americans (August 3, 2014) http://richardedmondson.net/2014/08/03/if-anybody-is-more-guilty-of-gaza-conflict-than-the-israelis-it-is-the-americans/
Israel gets signals from the US that it can do whatever it wants, so Tel-Aviv keeps refurbishing its weapons so that it could kill more Gazans, independent researcher and writer Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich told RT.RT:What are the chances that the ceasefire will hold? Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich: It seems that we are having incremental ceasefires for an incremental genocide One has to understand the thinking that is behind all this as much as one does regret a single death; I do not care on which side. It is against the Zionist ideology to have a truce as Yitzhak Shamir said in 1997. So to think that they will give up the notion of taking over the whole of the land which they consider the Greater Israel it is just not going to happen. What happens is we keep having these little ceasefires and then again the killings start anew. It also gives room to Israel to breath because international public opinion has turned against them, it now gives a kind of sense of credibility that they are really going to step back and allow you to take away the dead while they still continue to do destroy the tunnels which are the life saver for the Gazans, and at the same time come back and bomb what is left of you. It is really a travesty of justice and it is in violation of every human rights law and international law. I am just amazed at the UN for not calling it as it is which is genocide, if you look at the convention for prevention of genocide and punishment, and specifically in the Article 2. Everything that is happening in Gaza indicates it is genocide, and Mr. Ban Ki Moons predecessor Kofi Annan in 2004 addressed the UN Commission of Human Rights and he said part of his biggest regrets was that he did not stop the Rwanda genocide and the warning signs were there. CLIP
Israeli strike kills dozens during Gaza 'ceasefire' http://youtu.be/PICw_5Aqk_4
A humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has failed. Israeli selling reportedly kills up to 30 Palestinians in heavy fighting that broke out just hours into the 3-day truce.
Attacks Against Civilians by Troops in Gaza (July 29, 2014) http://www.imemc.org/article/68658
An Israeli soldier has published accounts of Israeli soldiers being authorized by their commanders to carry out revenge attacks against civilians in the Gaza Strip to enable the soldiers to take out their frustrations and pain at losing their fellow soldiers. Eran Efrati reports, Soldiers in two different units inside Gaza leaked information about the murdering of Palestinians by sniper fire in Shujaeyya neighborhood as punishment for the death of soldiers in their units. After the shooting on the Israeli armored personnel carriers, which killed seven soldiers of the Golani Brigade, the Israeli army carried out a massacre in Shujaeyya neighborhood.A day after the massacre, many Palestinians came to search for their relatives and their families in the rubble. In one of the videos uploaded to YouTube, a young Palestinian man Salem Shammaly calls the names of his family and looking for them between the ruins when he is suddenly shot at in his chest and falls down. A few seconds after that, there are two additional shots from snipers into his body, killing him instantly. CLIP
The harrowing effects of the broken Gaza ceasefire | Channel 4 News ( Aug 1, 2014) http://youtu.be/EhmRfRzeBqg
WARNING - this report contains graphic images some viewers may find distressing.Paul Mason reports on the end of the propsed 72-hour ceasefire and violent attacks on Gaza which followed
How are Israelis being shown the war in Gaza? | Channel 4 News (July 31, 2014) http://youtu.be/5crlV-_TuGQ
Israel's security cabinet approves the continued assault on Gaza, saying it is close to achieving its goal. Inigo Gilmore has been in Israel and asks if it is seeing the same reporting of the war as the rest of the world.
In Gaza's rubble, with the families who live there | Channel 4 News (July 31, 2014) http://youtu.be/-we9utB7qD4
Paul Mason meets the families in Gaza living in the rubble of buildings shelled in Israel's war against Hamas.
US supplies Israel with bombs amid Gaza blitz (July 30, 2014) http://youtu.be/qIeoTaUw7wo
Al Jazeera's Patty Culhane reports the #Pentagon has confirmed the delivery of two types of munitions to #Israel in the last week: 120mm mortar rounds and 40mm grenades, while calling for a ceasefire in #Gaza.
Shujayea: Massacre at Dawn http://youtu.be/DTr_Un4a_zA
A powerful film with exclusive footage from the day of the Israeli assault on the densely populated district of Shujayea in Gaza City.
Israel blames Shujayea civilians for not evacuating http://youtu.be/XiaTHtpVhDc
In an interview with Al Jazeera's Sami Zeidan, Israeli spokesman Paul Hirschson blames residents of Shujayea for not heeding Israel's warning to evacuate from their neighbourhood before the shelling began.
What Israel regards as unimaginable restraint in Palestine - WARNING! Extremely graphic pictures! http://www.veteranstoday.com/2014/07/31/what-israelis-regard-as-unimaginable-restraint-in-palestine
If this is the IDF showing restraint, as officials claim, what kind of horrific atrocities would it be capable of unleashing if it went all the way? Jerome Roos
With the Israeli assault on Gaza in its third week and the amount of civilian casualties still rising relentlessly, Israels ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, had some warm words for his countrys troops. Addressing the annual gala of Americas largest Christian-Zionist advocacy group, Christians United for Israel, Dermer commended the IDF for its unimaginable restraint: Some are shamelessly accusing Israel of genocide and would put us in the dock for war crimes. But the truth is that the Israeli Defense Forces should be given the Nobel Peace Prize for fighting with unimaginable restraint.One day when the enemies of Israel are defeated and the moral idiots are silenced, people will look back and marvel at how the most threatened nation on earth never lost its nerve and always upheld its values. Lets take a second to digest that statement. Apparently, for leading Israeli officials, dropping over 1,500 tons of explosives on an open-air prison camp half the size of New York City in two weeks time constitutes unimaginable restraint. Killing over 800 Palestinians, up to three quarters of them civilians and one third children, clearly constitutes unimaginable restraint. Destroying 18 health centers and 85 schools cannot be mistaken for anything but unimaginable restraint. Killing two handicapped women while striking a home for the disabled unimaginable restraint.
In fact, Israels restraint has been so thoroughly unimaginable that, in the words of one Norwegian doctor on the ground, it has drawn lakes of blood to Gazas hospitals like when the bodies of 27 members of a single family were wheeled in after an Israeli bomb fell on their home while they were enjoying their traditional Ramadan feast. Of course, leveling an entire neighborhood to the ground and targeting the ambulances that try to evacuate the wounded killing a paramedic inside is another telltale sign of unimaginable restraint. Or what about the IDF snipers who take aim at unarmed civilians as they search for surviving family members in their bombed-out homes, bravely shooting them as they lie wounded and eventually motionless on the ground? These Israeli heroes should surely be commended with the highest possible honors for the unimaginable restraint they display while repeatedly pulling the trigger on their helpless victims. Hell, with fathers forced to collect the various body parts of their dismembered children in plastic shopping bags, the inhabitants of Gaza should be absolutely relieved about and truly grateful for the unimaginable restraint Israel has shown so far.
With more than 100,000 Palestinians fleeing from their homes in absolute horror, Gaza still under total aerial, naval and land blockade, and Israel shelling a UN-run refugee shelter inside a school killing 15 women and children who had fled there expecting it to be the last safe place in Gaza there can be absolutely no doubt about it: Foreign Minister Lieberman was completely right when he praised the IDF as the most humane and bravest army in the world. After all, what other army uses tanks to wipe out 5-month-old babies, gunboats to exterminate boys playing football on the beach, or remote-controlled drones to target women and children from the skies overhead? So humane. So brave. CLIP
Israeli military announce they will bomb al-Shifa hospital in Gaza (August 1, 2014) http://n.twitlonger.com/show/n_1s2rbll
Al-Shifa hospital has received a phone call telling them a building of the hospital will be bombed. At 16:30, the hospital received a call from an unlisted number, stat ing a building needed to be evacuated immediately.The building is being used for overflow patients, and is directly across the road from the main hospital building. It is part of the hospital site, but building work has yet to be completed. The hospital is now in the process of evacuating all staff and patients inside."I'd like to say that Israel's threats to bomb Gaza's largest hospital have reached a new low, but in light of it's relentless atrocities and civilian massacres over the last 25 days, it's hardly unexpected." Stated Joe Catron, U.S. International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activist now in al-Shifa hospital. Since July 25th, international volunteers from countries including Spain, Sweden, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, New Zealand, Australia, and Venezuela have begun a constant protective presence in various locations at the al-Shifa Hospital. According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, as of July 29th, there have been 34 attacks against Gazan medical facilities since this latest Israeli military assault began 25 days ago.
As Israel targets the wounded, international volunteers to stay at al-Shifa hospital (July 25, 2014) http://palsolidarity.org/2014/07/as-israel-targets-the-wounded-international-volunteers-to-stay-at-al-shifa-hospital/
International volunteers from countries including Spain, Sweden, the United states, the United Kingdom, France, New Zealand, Australia, and Venezuela have begun a constant protective presence in various locations at the al-Shifa Hospital. At 2:30 PM this afternoon, a press conference will be held at al-Shifa regarding the Israeli attacks on the health and emergency sector in Gaza. According to the Gazan Ministry of Health, six out of Gazas 13 hospitals have already been severely damaged. One, el-Wafa rehabilitation hospital, has been completely destroyed. Two medical clinic and 12 ambulances have been completely destroyed, seven other clinics have been damaged, 12 medical staff members have been injured, and four have been killed. Dr. Medhat Abass, Director General of the Ministry of Health told the International Solidarity Movement that, People are terrified. No where is safe. The hospitals are not safe. The streets are not safe. Homes are not safe. The children and the wounded are not safe. Wounded people leave the bombed areas in ambulances and the ambulances are targeted and hospitals are targeted. There are no red lines. Israels ruthless onslaught against Gazas hospitals, clinics, and ambulances has pushed its health care sector, already struggling under siege, to the breaking point. With deaths and injuries, including those from Israeli attacks on medical facilities, rapidly mounting, al-Shifa is a red line the world cannot allow Israel to cross. Stated Joe Catron, a U.S. ISM activist now in al-Shifa. They [the Israeli military] are targeting medical facilities, the wounded, the sick, and our children, all over the Gaza Strip. They want us to know that no where is safe. Stated Dr. Basman Alashi, the executive director of el-Wafa Rehabilitation Hospital. El-Wafa was repeatedly bombed and shelled by Israeli forces, forcing the evacuation of all patients and staff on the 17th then attacked by the military once again on the 23rd, completely destroying it. With so many hospitals already dysfunctional due to attacks by the Israeli Occupational Forces, we are deeply concerned with how to safeguard al-Shifa Hospital. It is already overwhelmed with wounded and dying people. If Israel continues bombing, patients are going to end up on the street, as there will be nowhere else for them to go. If anything happens, let it be known that the world was forewarned and did nothing to stop this. Stated Rina Andolini, a UK volunteer now in al-Shifa.
Bloodsport: Israelis Gather, Watch, Cheer, Celebrate Over 1,200 Dead in Gaza (July 31, 2014) http://21stcenturywire.com/2014/07/30/bloodsport-israelis-gather-watch-cheer-celebrate-over-1200-dead-in-gaza
Before the start of Israels siege of Gaza, we predicted that the government of Israel would not relent until approximately 1,500 Palestinians were dead. That looks to be the case this time around, as the death toll in Gaza reaches 1,200 today. Tel Aviv made noises to the effect that they want to continue their military campaign until they feel that Gaza is disarmed, or crippled with the inability to resist, in any way, Tel Avivs strangulation of Gaza. Previous over-the-top bombing campaigns and ground incursions in Gaza and Lebanon have seen those numbers reached, before Israel would back down on hostilities. If past history is any guide, the 1,500 number seems to be limit before international, and even US, public opinion kicks in and demands an end to hostilities by the IDF. Israelis Celebrate the Massacre - As Israelis gather, appearing to celebrate (see below) this latest massacre waged in the name of security, long-term observers of Israeli military operations can easily see a bombastic pattern, of wanton bloodsport, becoming the new standard for Israel. C L I P
Citing Holocaust, Israel Demands Strict Regulation of Antiwar Protests in Europe (July 28, 2014) http://news.antiwar.com/2014/07/28/citing-holocaust-israel-demands-strict-regulation-of-antiwar-protests-in-europe/
A new Holocaust is imminent, if one is to believe Israeli MPs, who spent the afternoon berating European officials about the growing antiwar protests across their countries, centered on criticizing the Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip. Officials blamed one-sided media reports on the large number of dead civilians in Israels attack, and demanded the European Union impose strict regulations on the format and content of antiwar demonstrations going forward.Some of the EU officials present, notably Danish officials, insisted that they had a right to free expression that would be abridged by the proposed regulations, but Israeli officials were having none of it, insisting that criticism of Israel was anti-Semitism in and of itself, and that there is a difference between free speech and incendiary speech.The Israeli proposal would see the creation of a Special Commissioner in the European Union that would empowered to monitor antiwar protesters and restrict them from portraying Israel an an aggressor during its assorted invasions of Palestinian territory.
Uncut Chronicles: Gaza-Israel War. Deadly July 2014 http://youtu.be/xRaXUZhkFs8
The IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) began their current operation against Hamas after three teens were kidnapped and killed. The military op has already claimed over 1,500 civilian lives in Gaza. The fragile humanitarian ceasefires end within minutes of creation pushing the region into further bloodshed.
Israel: A cornered rat (August 2, 2014) http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/08/02/373712/israel%2Da%2Dcornered%2Drat/
Israel is strong, mighty, invincible. Israel has truckloads of nuclear weapons. Israel has cluster bombs, DIME munitions, white phosphorous, and other illegal or experimental weapons with which it can kill and maim as many Palestinian civilians as it likes.Israel is especially proficient at mass-murdering children. Israel constantly reminds us that it can exercise the "Samson option" and drop nuclear weapons on the capitals of Europe and the Middle East. Israel has even colonized America, the world's most powerful nation, exacting billions of dollars a year in tribute. What a stunningly prepotent entity! The world stands in awe of the great and terrible Israel.That, at least, is what the Israelis would have us believe. But it is just an illusion. Israel is not behaving like a confidently powerful nation. Instead, it is desperately lashing out like a cornered rat in the final throes of rabies.Israel's genocide against the people of Gaza is sparking a seismic shift in world public opinion. Former New York Times journalist Philip Weiss, a noted Jewish critic of Israel, recently wrote: "There are more signs today that what the Israeli assault on Gaza in 2008-2009 did for the left, the latest assault is doing for the mainstream: solidifying a perception that Israeli leadership has lost its moorings, opening the floodgates of criticism."Netanyahu's decision to crucify Gaza has backfired. Israel has attained none of its announced strategic objectives: It cannot destroy Hamas, cannot stop the rocket fire, cannot stop Gazans from digging tunnels. In short, it cannot stop the Palestinian resistance from building on Hezbollah's accomplishments in its 2006 victory over Israel.
(...) What longer-range future? asks another legendary National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger. In a 2012 interview with the New York Post, Kissinger made the following blanket statement:"In 10 years, there will be no more Israel."Even Israel's most rabid supporters admit that it is failing in Gaza. Neocon Zionist Jeffrey Goldberg admits as much in his article "Why Is Israel Losing a War It's Winning?" Goldberg's attempts to answer his own question are preposterous; he lashes out like a cornered rat at Hamas, at the world's Muslims, at anyone who is "anti-Semitic" enough to oppose Israel's ongoing genocide.And genocide it is. Even the Zionists admit it. Yochanan Gordon spoke for the vast majority of Israeli Jews, and their supporters around the world, when he published an opinion article in Friday's edition of The Times of Israel openly advocating genocide. Gordon's article, entitled "When Genocide Is Permissible," is far more extreme and revolting than anything Adolf Hitler ever wrote.As Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan said last week, "Those who condemn Hitler day and night have surpassed Hitler in barbarism."
(...) Once again, the cornered rats are lashing out at the wrong target. Israel's real political problem in America is not Obama himself, but the young people who voted for him. Israeli journalist Peter Beinart just published an article in Ha'aretz headlined: "On Gaza, Israel is losing the Obama coalition. As America grows less nationalistic, less hawkish, and less religious it will grow less sympathetic to an Israel defined by exactly those characteristics."Beinart notes that Israel's American supporters are gradually dying off: "According to Gallup, while Americans over the age of 65 support Israels actions by a margin of 24 points, Americans under 30 oppose them by a margin of 26 points." It seems inevitable that in the not-so-distant future, the US Israel's lone supporter on the world stage will turn against the Zionist entity. When that happens, Kissinger's prophecy that Israel will cease to exist will be fulfilled.Israel's leaders know that time, history, and demographics are working against them. They know that apartheid South Africa, a racist regime that was not nearly as vicious or genocidal as Israel, was erased from the pages of time by a changing current of global public opinion very similar to today's rising tide of anti-Zionism.The rats in Israel have their backs to the wall. They are cornered, and they know it. And as they blindly lash out in useless fury by mass-murdering ever-increasing numbers of helpless women and children, they are simply hastening their own inevitable demise.
Gaza massacre Israel rerun of Nazi genocide (August 3, 2014) http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/08/03/373898/israeli-gaza-war-revives-nazi-genocide/
(...) Over the past 27 days, Israel has demolished all the achievements of the modern world after World War II step by step. Concepts and notions such as human rights, international law, peace, Security Council, diplomacy, international conventions and international organizations are among the post-war world achievements which were made at the cost of 50 million lives in wars. But, the racist Israeli regime has blatantly demolished all these achievements and values over the past 27 days and seeks to prove that bullying and violence are the only ways to survive in the international scene and that legal, moral, political and human means have no application in the world.The Israeli regime, through such an attitude, is in fact confirming that its identity is illegitimate because legitimate and legal establishments have no need for violence and bullying for their survival. Illegal and illegitimate regimes need bullying, terrorism and violence for their survival. The supportive silence in the face of the Zionists genocide in Gaza is support for the revival of racist policies of Hitler's Nazis in the world and an approval of the law of jungle in international relations. It also means that any illegal and illegitimate move can be justified through bullying and violence. CLIP
Collective Punishment in Gaza (JULY 29, 2014) http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/collective-punishment-gaza
Three days after the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched the current war in Gaza, he held a press conference in Tel Aviv during which he said, in Hebrew, according to the Times of Israel, I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.Its worth listening carefully when Netanyahu speaks to the Israeli people. What is going on in Palestine today is not really about Hamas. It is not about rockets. It is not about human shields or terrorism or tunnels. It is about Israels permanent control over Palestinian land and Palestinian lives. That is what Netanyahu is really saying, and that is what he now admits he has always talked about. It is about an unswerving, decades-long Israeli policy of denying Palestine self-determination, freedom, and sovereignty. What Israel is doing in Gaza now is collective punishment. It is punishment for Gazas refusal to be a docile ghetto. It is punishment for the gall of Palestinians in unifying, and of Hamas and other factions in responding to Israels siege and its provocations with resistance, armed or otherwise, after Israel repeatedly reacted to unarmed protest with crushing force. Despite years of ceasefires and truces, the siege of Gaza has never been lifted.As Netanyahus own words show, however, Israel will accept nothing short of the acquiescence of Palestinians to their own subordination. It will accept only a Palestinian state that is stripped of all the attributes of a real state: control over security, borders, airspace, maritime limits, contiguity, and, therefore, sovereignty. The twenty-three-year charade of the peace process has shown that this is all Israel is offering, with the full approval of Washington. Whenever the Palestinians have resisted that pathetic fate (as any nation would), Israel has punished them for their insolence. This is not new. CLIP
When Genocide is Permissible (AUGUST 1, 2014) https://archive.today/RPf3M#selection-633.0-637.3
(...) I will conclude with a question for all the humanitarians out there. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clearly stated at the outset of this incursion that his objective is to restore a sustainable quiet for the citizens of Israel. We have already established that it is the responsibility of every government to ensure the safety and security of its people. If political leaders and military experts determine that the only way to achieve its goal of sustaining quiet is through genocide is it then permissible to achieve those responsible goals?
Israel bombed 161 mosques in Gaza (4 August 2014) https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/13229-israel-bombed-161-mosques-in-gaza
Israel has so far destroyed 161 mosques in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Awqaf Minister Yousef Dois said yesterday. He said 41 mosques were completely destroyed and 120 were partially destroyed during the war adding that a number of religious institutions have also been attacked.Dois continued by saying Israel is taking advantage of the fact that the world's attention is on Gaza and using this to stop Muslim worshippers from gaining access to Al-Aqsa Mosque. He said rabbis are delivering provocative speeches."These acts are clear proofs on the continued religious persecution practiced against Muslims and their places of worship," he said. He called upon the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to take serious steps to deter Israel for its "crimes and violations", which are increasing daily in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Jerusalem.
UN official: Gaza is 'on the edge of a health disaster' (4 August 2014) https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/americas/13232-un-official-gaza-is-on-the-edge-of-a-health-disaster
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are facing a "massive health disaster" caused by the continuous Israeli war which has been ongoing for four weeks, the UN warned yesterday. The Humanitarian Coordinator of the UN in the Occupied Palestinian Territories James Rowley also said that there is no safe place that people in the Gaza Strip can take shelter in. Speaking from the Gaza Strip, Rowley said: "I talked to the Gaza residents who fled their homes once, twice and three times. They asked me: Mr Rowley, you are a UN official, tell us where we shall go?"He continued: "I was obliged to tell them that I had no answer! There is no safe place in Gaza; therefore, we are facing a real humanitarian disaster here." The official said that 250 UN officials in Gaza, with their families, are now seeking shelter in the UNDP in Gaza.Previously, the UN said that about 460,000 Palestinians were displaced because of the Israeli war in the Strip. This is about one quarter of the total number of residents in Gaza.
In addition, UNRWA said it is struggling to fulfil the needs of all the displaced civilians. For that reason, the UN launched an urgent appeal to raise $187 million to buy beds and the basic needs of the displaced in order to face possibilities of the spread of diseases in UN shelters. Rowley said new diseases, which had disappeared long time ago in Gaza, are likely to spread fast amid the deteriorating health situation and bad hygiene in the UN shelters. "We have no basic services, we have no sewage services, no electricity and water," he said. "There is a shortage in clean water and medicines. We are on the edge of a real health disaster." Hundred thousands of Palestinian children are in an urgent need of psychological treatment. The department of humanitarian affairs in the UN said that there is an urgent need for pesticides; especially in the disaster-struck areas such as Rafah and Shujaya. Rowley said that the UN is committed to providing for the humanitarian needs of those in the Gaza Strip, but the need for lifting the seven year siege on Gaza to be lifted. "This is important," he said. "We are strongly committed to helping the residents of Gaza have a normal life," he said. He continued: "This of course includes stopping the kill and to provide for their humanitarian needs. This requires restrictions imposed on the goods exported from and imported to the Strip be lifted, allowing fishermen to sail and farmers to access their lands."All these are basic needs. The Palestinians have been deprived from them for a decade."