A Conversation On GAZA PT 2

I want to continue by looking at the validity of claims by the IDF.

Israel claims it invaded GAZA over the death of 3 Jewish teens killed by HAMAS in June! However HAMAS denied any involvement. Then they said it was men affiliated with HAMAS. The latest is it was a high ranking HAMAS official. So without presenting ANY proof of HAMAS involvement they invaded GAZA killing around 2000 people. The UN said the majority of those killed were civilians. And of those civilians, 500 were children. (update…..August 21: Saleh al-Arouri reported to be a high ranking HAMAS official living in Turkey, took credit for the kidnapping and murder…other High Ranking officials of HAMAS, including those in peace negotiations remain to say they have no knowledge of this.) 

Israel said HAMAS violated a cease fire by jumping out of a tunnel, killing 2 Israeli soldiers and “kidnapping” a third. “Kidnapping” is a curious term for a soldier supposedly under the control of the enemy. We normally use the term “captured” for soldiers and “kidnapped” for civilians. This again speaks to why we use the term “terrorist”. If they are “terrorist” then they have no legitimacy. Israeli fighters are referred to as soldiers. HAMAS fighters are “terrorist” fighters. Labels matter!

At any rate, per the IDF this “kidnapping” illustrated the need to destroy the tunnels in GAZA. So Israel pushed further into GAZA killing more civilians, because of the urgency to find the soldier before he could be moved. HAMAS denied the incident and denied they captured any soldier. Turned out the soldier wasn’t “captured” but was dead all the time.

Israel hit UN schools six times and blames it on HAMAS rockets which fell short. “But we are investigating!” How many times did we hear that. And the incident in which one school was hit and killed 16-18 people, Israel showed a very grainy film in which they finally admitted it was them, but then called the UN spokesman a liar. By saying “yes it was us, of course by mistake, and some may have been wounded, but no one could have been killed.” The UN representative was in the facility, but we are asked to believe the IDF and not the UN rep, because we know the UN is very anti-Israel. REALLY?

Any time you disagree with Israel in any way the “anti Israeli card” is played. And in this country, to question Israel’s right to exist (never mind the facts of how it was created) can cost you your job and reputation. Does Helen Thomas ring a bell?

Israel killed 4 children playing on a beach. Their response as usual “It couldn’t have been us it may have been a HAMAS rocket which fell short, but “we are investigating”. Because the hotel facing the beach was full of reporters, they finally said yes it was us…BUT we thought them to be HAMAS fighters. Really! You mistook nine and ten year old kids playing, for HAMAS fighters. Sorry! That’s a lie!

I think its evident Israel not only targets civilians, but CHILDREN.

This brings me to the issue of value of life. Why is a Jewish child’s life more valuable than a Palestinian child’s life? Israel and those who support Israel will deny this. But it must be! It must be because they killed almost 500 Palestinian children either to protect 1 Israeli child that might get hit by one of those rockets. Or, in retaliation for 3 Israeli teens. Or self-defense against terrorist pooping up out of those tunnels under kindergartners desks. Never mind that the only video of fighters emerging from these tunnels were in a field in which all were killed, and at a Israeli military post in which several Israeli soldiers were killed. No kindergartners!  Unfortunately, a lot and I mean a LOT of Palestinian kindergartners won’t see 1st grade. EVER!

So it was reported (several days ago)   2 homes were destroyed and another cemented in because the occupants were suspected of being involved with the murder of the three teens. It always gets back to that. How can I not believe the lives of Israeli children are approximately 497 times that of Palestinian children?

And of course the Palestinian Child who was burned alive had nothing to do with the Palestinian rage. Or the two Palestinian children killed before the three Israeli teens. Or the Palestinian-American teen beaten by Israeli Police so badly he was almost unrecognizable. An AMERICAN CITIZEN! Or should I say a Palestinian-American. Because it does apparently make a difference. Therefore to say that these things don’t justify rockets being fired into Israel is to say “Palestinian Children Have NO VALUE”!

Why is it that the things that Israel does, like targeting a HAMAS leader, and missing him but killing his wife and child (2 days ago) in the middle of peace negotiations is insignificant. And certainly no reason to walk away from Peace Talks. It has already been reported that HAMAS broke the cease fire by firing rockets, and Israel simply responded. “Quite for “Quite”? Catchy phrase! Bulldozing homes and assassination attempts don’t count as disrupting the “QUITE”.

No matter WHAT Israel does or doesn’t do, they are exempt. Exactly why is that? Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear bomb. BUT ISRAEL CAN! This is from Reuters:

“(Reuters) – Israel on Saturday rejected as “flawed and hypocritical” a declaration by signatories of a global anti-nuclear arms treaty that urged it to sign the pact and make its atomic facilities subject to U.N. inspections.

All 189 parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, including the United States, called on Friday in a declaration that singled out Israel for a conference in 2012 to discuss banning weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.

“As a non-signatory state of the NPT, Israel is not obligated by the decisions of this conference, which has no authority over Israel,” the Israeli government said in an emailed statement.

“Given the distorted nature of this resolution, Israel will not be able to take part in its implementation,” it said.

The 28-page declaration said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and key states would arrange a conference that would include all nations in the region, by implication including bitter enemies Israel and Iran.

Israel is presumed to have a sizable nuclear arsenal but neither confirms nor denies it. It is the only Middle East state that has not signed the NPT and, like fellow non-members India and Pakistan, did not take part in the review conference.”

For those not keeping up with the significance of this, Israel is trying to push the United States into a confrontation with Iran on their behalf.  IRAN MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO HAVE A NUCLEAR WEAPON! I guess the rules are different for Israel!

Things like a cease fire are announced in GAZA. The terms of which are: during the cease fire Israel will continue destroying tunnels. When HAMAS rejects this, the media blitz is: Israel agreed to a cease fire but HAMAS rejects it”! Who ever heard of a cease fire while one side keeps on shooting? Sorry!  There was one. It was called the “Tet Offensive”!

Then there was the most famous Israeli narrative: “The UN has found Hamas rockets in UN schools three times”. Giving the impression, the bombs were under the desks of kindergartners, and thereby making it a legitimate target. And the media just repeated it almost word for word. Playing right into their second “go to” narrative. Which is: “HAMAS uses their children as human shields”. Like Erin Burnett of CNN saying “HAMAS benefits from these deaths. It’s a horrific fact”! FACT?  Ms Burnett I’m embarrassed for you and I don’t even know you. But this came after the Israeli Ambassador to the US, read you the riot act. I get it. CNN been berry berry good to you! I get it. But when you get a minute, name one reporter in GAZA that reports seeing children being used as Human Shields. Mark Regev constantly, and do mean constantly says, “Israel is not responsible for any deaths in GAZA! It’s HAMAS! Smacks of Golda Mier who said “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children,” she claimed. “We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.”

This BS has become almost a part of their DNA. They have been saying it so long I think they truly believe it, even in the absence of fact. And it does play well in the U.S.  Ms. Burnett, your own Karl Pendhaul attempted to reign in your ridiculous comments but you refused to even recognize it. He told you that an announcement had just been made for people to get inside their homes. But it was for their protection. The flares Israel uses are canisters, and will kill you if you are struck. You either didn’t get it or didn’t want to get it.

But back to the bombs found in the schools. Nice try Mark Regev, but no cigar. John Ging, Operations Director at the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) did say something like that. Mark Regev ALMOST told the truth. But Israel has never allowed the truth to get in the way of the narrative. What was actually said, taken from the UN website was:

“July 30th: Yesterday, UNRWA condemned the finding of more rockets in one of its schools, and announced an investigation. Speaking to journalists alongside Mr. Eliasson, John Ging, Operations Director at the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), clarified that the rockets found were in schools abandoned by the UN due to the intensity of the conflict in those areas, and thanks to the due diligence and the investigative approach taken by the UN. “When they are in control of the school they can [be assured] that it is free of weapons and no one with arms is allowed in the school,” Mr. Ging said. Both militants and the Israeli Defense Forces had occupied those schools in the past, he added, “we deplore that but we cannot control” the schools when the UN is not physically present in the building.”

I have watched this conflict intensely since the incursion. Not once by any network have I heard “Both militants and the Israeli Defense Forces have occupied those schools”. NOT ONCE! I did hear one UN rep say, when asked by Wolf Blitzer of CNN, in reference to the discovery of the weapons “were those Hamas rockets?’” His response was “they don’t have tags on them saying “property of Hamas”! I assumed, as I am sure every other person hearing that thought the munitions may have been from some other organization other than Hamas. Like “another terrorist organization”. BUT never would I have thought the IDF. Because I never knew they too occupied those schools.

The one thing I never want my family to think of me, is that I am one of those crazy “conspiracy theorist”! You know the guy! Everything that happens is related Area 51. But come on! I’m obviously not a journalist, just look at how this piece is written. Nor am I an investigative reporter. So how is it I found that quote by John Ging by simply goggling “UN web page”?  Especially since the Spokesman for Netanyahu, Mark Regev mentioned it every time he came before the cameras. (Which seemed to be at least ten times a day?) No matter what he was asked, he reminded us, “ALL the civilian deaths were on the head of Hamas because the UN said HAMAS placed bombs in UN schools.”

But I can’t believe I was the ONLY one who thought to look up the entire quote? Really? The press just accepted what Mark Regev said. That in itself speaks volumes! Israel says it and so it is repeated as FACT! Why is that?

Given the facts, perhaps Mark Regev, is right. You can’t believe a word a terrorist says!

But it appears there is more than one “terrorist” here!


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A Conversation On GAZA PT 1

In order to have a meaningful conversation, I have always found it helpful to define terms. So why don’t we start there? Two words necessary to define, for the purpose of this conversation are: (1) Terrorist and (2) Apartheid.

This first installment will deal with “Terrorist” and “Terrorism”. We will discuss Apartheid in the third installment.

The following is taken from Wikipedia. I figure that’s about as neutral a definition as we can get for the purpose of this conversation. It reads as follows:

“The international community has never succeeded in developing an accepted comprehensive definition of terrorism. During the 1970s and 1980s, the United Nations attempts to define the term floundered mainly due to differences of opinion between various members about the use of violence in the context of conflicts over national liberation and self-determination. Since 1994, the United Nations General Assembly has repeatedly condemned terrorist acts using the following political description of terrorism: “Criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes are in any circumstance unjustifiable, whatever the considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other nature that may be invoked to justify them.”

Now while we may not necessarily agree on the above definition, at least we know what I mean when I use it. So I’ll use this as a jumping off point.

Hamas is labeled a “terrorist” organization by most Western powers I suppose. But not by all in the Middle East, and certainly NONE in Gaza. I suggest the word “Terrorist” is at best, a relative term. And more often than not, used for political reasons. Dr. Mark Lamont Hill is an American academic, journalist, author, activist, and television personality. During a recent debate on the Israel-Gaza conflict on CNN, he said it more elegantly than I could ever hope to, so I won’t even try. Mark said: “resistance is NOT terrorism”. I believe this to my core!

For example “Nelson Mandela founded MK Sizwe (abbreviated as MK, Zulu for “Spear of the Nation”). It was the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC). Co-founded by Nelson Mandela in the wake of the Sharpeville massacre. , MK launched its first guerrilla attacks against government installations on 16 December 1961. It was subsequently classified as a terrorist organization by the South African government and the United States. “Madiba” as he was also affectionately known, received the Noble Peace Prize in 1993.”

Then there was “Menachem Begin, who was the head of Irgun. The Irgun was branded a terrorist organization by Britain, the 1946 Zionist Congress and the Jewish Agency. The Irgun believed that any means necessary to establish the Jewish State of Israel , including terrorism, was justifiable. The King David Hotel bombing was an attack carried out on Monday July 22, 1946 by the the Irgun, It killed 91 civilians of various nationalities and wounded 49. Menachem Begin received the Noble peace prize in 1978 for signing a peace treaty with Egypt.

So, here we have two men once labeled “terrorist” who were later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. One spent many years in prison because he resisted APARTHEID.

The other man supported a system very much like APARTHEID. His Likud party’s 1999 platform among other things stated “The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river. The Palestinians can run their lives freely in the framework of self-rule, but not as an independent and sovereign state. Thus, for example, in matters of foreign affairs, security, immigration and ecology, their activity shall be limited in accordance with imperatives of Israel’s existence, security and national needs.”

So this is why I say the term “Terrorist” is a RELATIVE term at best. But more importantly this term is used to demonize and discredit those whom we choose to label “Terrorist”. Now don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. THERE ARE TERRORIST! I’m simply saying we should ask ourselves “why are they called “terrorist?” For example, as to this conflict, why do I refer to Hamas as “terrorist” and not Israel? Is it because Israel is a democratically elected government? No! That can’t be it. Because as I write this, Carol Costello of CNN is asking a Palestinian Reporter in Gaza, “Do you see any scenario in which the people of Gaza will rise up and overthrow Hamas”? He reminded her that Hamas was “democratically elected, and what they ARE rising up against is the occupation of Gaza!”

So we have two “democratically” elected governments.  Which simply means people voted? We will come back to this idea of “democracy” especially as it relates to the Middle East later. But whatever criteria you choose to use, once that criterion is satisfied then feel free to apply that label of “Terrorist”.

The term as I am using it again is: “Criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes are in any circumstance unjustifiable, whatever the considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other nature that may be invoked to justify them.”

I say bombing the only electrical plant in GAZA, and in the process killing nearly 500 children, is terrorism.

Bombing UN facilities where you know civilians have taken shelter, because you have been told that in at least one case, thirty times by the UN. These UN shelters have been hit NOT ONCE but SIX (6) times in thirty days. I think that fits the definition of “terrorist”.

When a mother tells a reporter as she did in the a Aljezzera piece that she will not allow her three children to sleep in the same room, for fear that if they are hit by Israeli bombs tonight, she will lose all three of her children. So she has to decide “which child will I potentially sacrifice to save the other two? How can she explain this to a six year old who wants to know why she can’t sleep with her mom, because she is terrified of the bombs? How does she tell her “tonight I sacrifice you”! I think that fits the definition of “terrorism”. I say these are “Criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public”. This is terrorism!

Hamas has launched thousands of missiles into Israel. These missiles are NOT guided missiles in the sense they really know where they will land. Because of the US, Israel has the “Iron Dome” which intercepts somewhere in the neighborhood of 90% or better, of these rockets. But none the less I say these are “Criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public”. This is terrorism!

So here we have two democratically elected governments committing acts of terrorism, yet only one is labeled “terrorist”. Why?

I think it’s because once you label that entity as a “terrorist” and get others to agree then certain things follow. Most importantly the “terrorist” lacks credibility. You can’t believe a word they say! They are after all, “TERRORIST”!

To be continued.



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