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Middle East experts deconstruct reality underlying Gaza

by shergald Sun Jan 18th, 2009 at 02:22:29 PM EST


This diary features excerpts from articles/presentations by Noam Chomsky, John Mearsheimer, Jonathan Cook, and Patrick Seale, all experts on the Middle East, Israel-Palestine, in particular, talking about Gaza and Israel's subterfuge concerning the reasons for its undertaking.

Reading over the opinions of these Middle East experts on just what the Gaza invasion was all about, one singular theme was universally expressed: Israel's intent to annex the remaining Palestinian territories, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, a completion of the ethnic cleansing started 60 years ago. Gaza, of course, will remain an isolated prison on which Israel can impose control at will.

South African Apartheid appears to be the chosen path that Israel has taken, unwittingly or not. Jeff Halper, founder of the Israel Committee Against House Demolition, put it this way: I only hope that they will not decimate the Palestinian people when the Apartheid solution is finally achieved. The Palestinians will never concede to a stateless, imprisoned existence. And many more will die.

Elijah Jordan Turner wrote: Chomsky Condemns U.S. and Israel.

17 Jan 2009

Professor Noam A. Chomsky lectured on Tuesday, Jan. 13 about the ongoing Israeli incursion into Gaza. Chomsky asserted that Israeli provocation was at the root of the continuing conflict with Palestinians and Hamas.

At a talk last night about the current situation in Gaza, Professor of Linguistics Noam A. Chomsky came down hard on Israel for its frequent violence against Palestinian civilians and chastised the United States for enabling the Jewish state to carry out these actions with impunity. He also used the opportunity to touch upon broader issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The talk, which took place at Sloan's Wong Auditorium, was part of the Center of International Studies' Starr Forum lecture series


....Chomsky criticized Israel for setting its sights on the West Bank, where he believes it hopes to annex land carved out by settlements and a barrier currently under construction. He added that, on top of that, Israel hopes to acquire land in the Jordan River Valley on the eastern edge of the West Bank and fragment Palestinian land through settlements and checkpoints, which "make life impossible."


...while Chomsky argued that Israel has preferred expansion to security, he declined to say Israel does not aim to make peace.

"It's not that Israel doesn't want peace", said Chomsky. "Of course, it wants peace. Everyone wants peace. Even Hitler wanted peace."


"Israel has a straightforward route to defending itself: end criminal actions in the occupied territories", he said.


"Supporters of Israel are in reality supporters of its moral degeneration," he said.

Video of the lecture should be posted online at http://web.mit.edu/cis/starr.html

Jonathan Cook, a British journalist and specialist in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, published THE PLOT AGAINST GAZA on The Electronic Intifada on 17 January 2009.

Israel has justified its assault on Gaza as entirely defensive, intended only to stop Hamas firing rockets on Israel's southern communities. Although that line has been repeated unwaveringly by officials since Israel launched its attack on 27 December, it bears no basis to reality. Rather, this is a war against the Palestinians of Gaza, and less directly those in the West Bank, designed primarily to crush their political rights and their hopes of statehood.

The most glaring evidence contradicting the Israeli casus belli is the six-month ceasefire between Hamas and Israel that preceded the invasion. True, Hamas began firing its rockets as soon as the truce came to an end on 19 December, but Israel had offered plenty of provocation. Not least it broke the ceasefire by staging a raid into Gaza on 4 November that killed six Hamas members. Even more significantly, it maintained and tightened a blockade during the ceasefire period that was starving Gaza's 1.5 million inhabitants of food, medicine and fuel. Hamas had expected the blockade lifted in return for an end to the rockets.


Israel, however, had little interest in avoiding a confrontation with Hamas, as events since the Islamic group's takeover of Gaza in early 2006 show.

It is widely agreed among the Israeli leadership that Hamas represents a severe threat to Israel's ambition to crush the Palestinians' long-standing demands for a state in the West Bank and Gaza. Unike Fatah, its chief Palestinian political rival, Hamas has refused to collude with the Israeli occupation and has instead continued its resistance operations. Although Hamas officially wants the return of all the lands the Palestinians were dispossessed of in 1948, at the establishment of Israel, it has shown signs of increasing pragmatism since its election victory, as Diskin's comments above highlight. Hamas leaders have repeatedly suggested that a long-term, possibly indefinite, truce with Israel is possible. Such a truce would amount to recognition of Israel and remove most of the obstacles to the partition of historic Palestine into two states: a Jewish state and a Palestinian one.


The regime of Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank, meanwhile, will be further isolated and weakened, improving Israel's chances of forcing it to sign a deal annexing East Jerusalem and large swaths of the West Bank on which the Jewish settlements sit.

Why the Massacre in Gaza Continues is Patrick Seale's contribution to understanding the politics around Israel's preplanned intention to invade Gaza. Patrick Seale is a leading British writer on the Middle East and the author of several books on the topic.

12 Jan 2009

Israel's aims (in the Gaza invasion) can be listed as follows, in reverse order of importance:

  • stopping the rockets Hamas has been firing at the Negev;
  • destroying the tunnels into Gaza from Egypt in order to prevent Hamas from rearming;
  • restoring Israel's `deterrence' by means of an overwhelming display of force -- with the `lesson' directed as much at Hizbullah, Syria and Iran, as at Hamas itself;
  • crushing the Palestinians' aspirations for independent statehood by inflicting a decisive defeat on them; and,
  • pre-empting, by a hoped-for sweeping victory, any attempt by the incoming Obama administration to re-launch Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Juan Cole quoted similar conclusions from an article by the well-known Israel expert, John Mearsheimer, which was published in The American Conservative. Cole contends that  
John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago presents absolutely the clearest and most concise account of the Gaza atrocity.

Another War, Another Defeat.

Mearsheimer argues that diminishing Hamas or stopping the rockets are subsidiary goals for Olmert to the more central one of controlling all of historical Palestine via an Iron Wall policy that permanently subjugates the Palestinian population and ensures Israeli control of Palestinian land, air and water.

Mearsheimer points out that this goal cannot be achieved, and certainly not by the brutal method of a total war on the Palestinian population. The likely outcome even in the case of relative Israeli success is a permanent Apartheid, which itself will doom Israel.

The above cartoon from the ICAHD site depicts the outcome, and a repeated theme in the purpose of the Gaza invasion. Jimmy Carter is no fool either.

simply because I'm just an American peasant and all but hey, anybody research stuff like Jewish moneyed people financing the new world financial capitals of the world like Dubai?  Just an evil thought from a guy who can, is able and has been trained to observe and propose the most Satanic of thoughts.

Do Hamas rockets amount to mere firework type bottle rockets in light of Raytheon's famous Patriot missle defense systems.

by Lasthorseman on Sun Jan 18th, 2009 at 08:39:06 PM EST
Raytheon has been under the fire of peace activists in Ireland, but not, sadly to say, in America.

I'm getting the feeling that America has lost it as the front-runner in human and civil rights activism, something we once were know for. The EU is the place to look for this kind of activity today.

by shergald on Mon Jan 19th, 2009 at 12:34:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's Juan Cole, not John. In fact, there is an American political blogger called John Cole.
by Gag Halfrunt on Tue Jan 20th, 2009 at 06:08:11 AM EST
Yes it is Juan. A typo. Thanks for noticing.

by shergald on Tue Jan 20th, 2009 at 08:32:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Israel used white phosphorus in Gaza civilian areas | Amnesty International
The Israeli army used white phosphorus, a weapon with a highly incendiary effect, in densely populated civilian residential areas of Gaza City, according to indisputable evidence found an Amnesty International fact-finding team which reached the area last Saturday.

When white phosphorus lands on skin it burns deeply through muscle and into the bone, continuing to burn until deprived of oxygen.

Amnesty International's delegates found still-burning white phosphorus wedges all around residential buildings on Sunday. These wedges were further endangering the residents and their property; streets and alleys are full of children playing, drawn to the detritus of war and often unaware of the danger.

The carrier shells which delivered the wedges were also still lying in and around houses and buildings. Some of these heavy steel 155mm shells have caused extensive damage to residential properties.

And much more where that came from.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jan 21st, 2009 at 09:20:43 AM EST
Sorry no link to this news read earlier today, but it is now claim that the IDF is investigating the inappropriate use of phophorous shells by its own military. Yes, everyone is now impressed by the ethnical standards applied by the IAF in decimating civilian populations in Gaza.

by shergald on Wed Jan 21st, 2009 at 12:33:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd seen the link to that earlier, but couldnt see it straight away and thought that here was as good as anywhere. hadn't seen the original source other than the Palestinians who could have been dismissed as Propaganda far too easily.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jan 21st, 2009 at 12:53:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There was a video going around of a blackened Palestinian baby almost burnt to a crisp by a phosphorous bomb.

Maybe I don't want to find it. It was sickening.

by shergald on Wed Jan 21st, 2009 at 05:03:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now I dont want to see it either, and this may sound callous, but does being burned by white phosphorous look any different to being burned any other way?

Now it's going to be denied, we all know that. but is there a way to tell?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jan 21st, 2009 at 07:04:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd imagine that it does look perceptibly different. After all, humans do not, generally, burn on their own accord. The human body contains quite a lot of water, which has to evaporate before the dry matter can burn. Even fatal burns usually don't strip away much more than the skin - so if your arm is burned through to the bone, Somebody Did It Deliberately. Whether it's possible to tell the difference between napalm and phosphorous, I'll leave to the forensics people, but it's for damn certain that you didn't have an accident with a jug of kerosene. Or even concentrated sulfuric acid.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jan 22nd, 2009 at 05:00:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The point may be that the use of these kinds of bombs are prohibited by international law, especially when you are intentionally bombing civilian targets.

by shergald on Thu Jan 22nd, 2009 at 11:03:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes and I get the point, all I'm asking is is it easily visually recognisable that someone has been burned by phosphorous rather than anything else? easily enough that it can be pointed out to someone who is of a denialist frame of mind.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Jan 22nd, 2009 at 01:31:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What I heard as an explanation on the news was that
'the victims had no pieces of shrapnel or other matter, but were critically burned'.  I don't know if that in itself justifies the diagnosis, or if Gaza hospitals had no other means to confirm it at the time.  

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Sat Jan 24th, 2009 at 02:07:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
News reports tonight said there were strange burns, and shrapnel should be easily found by x-ray, if it isn't instantly obvious from the holes in the body.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jan 24th, 2009 at 02:19:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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