“The brutal attacks on the defenseless people of Palestine are the final phase in Israel’s campaign to ethnically cleanse the Holy Land.”
By Victor Thorn
Although the latest Gazan conflict is cited as having officially commenced on November 14, in actuality Israel ramped up hostilities weeks earlier in what would begin an eight-day war that led to 177 Palestinian deaths and 1,200 injuries. In comparison, only five Israelis died prior to the tenuous ceasefire beginning November 21.
As is typical of their modus operandi* in an ongoing Mideast reign of terror, Israel claimed to be the victim of Hamas rocket fire before unleashing a military assault known as “Operation Pillar of Defense.” However, on October 29, Israeli jet fighters waged an aerial assault on individuals associated with the democratically elected Hamas government in Gaza in addition to murdering one Gazan soldier.
A week later, Ali Abunimah wrote: “On November 4 Israeli forces shot dead an unarmed, mentally unfit man walking near an Israeli-imposed buffer area inside the occupied Gaza Strip.”
Abunimah reflected on Israel’s violent pattern of behavior: “Israel’s contempt for truces and ceasefires is nothing new.”
On November 8, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights chronicled another murder committed in a village known as Abassan. “As a result of indiscriminate shooting by Israeli occupied forces, 13-year-old Ahmed Abu Daqqa was seriously wounded by a bullet to the abdomen. At the time he was shot, Ahmed had been playing soccer with friends in front of his family’s house.” The teen later died as a result of the gunfire from these military vehicles.
Two days later the Israeli army attacked a neighborhood known as al-Shoja’iya where 52 citizens were injured and seven killed. Again, many of the child-casualties were engaged in a game of soccer.
Finally, on November 14, Israeli death squads carried out the extrajudicial assassination of Hamas leader Ahmad Jabari.
*For more on Israeli terrorism in the Mideast, get a copy of The Bunche Report: A Summary of Zionist Terrorism in the Mideast, 1944-1948 prepared for the United Nation’s Ralph Bunche. Chronicles 259 separate acts of terrorism committed by Israel against the Palestinians. Booklet, 8.5 x 11, #20, $7.50 plus $3 S&H inside the U.S. Order from TBR, P.O. 15877, Washington, D.C. 20003 or call 1-877-773-9077 toll free.
Assassination Served Purpose
By Victor Thorn
Did the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) assassinate a top Gazan official in an attempt to undermine a permanent truce between the Palestinians and the Israelis? This possibility is never broached in the American mainstream media.
Israel’s daily newspaper Ha’aretz revealed this fact on November 15, reporting: “Hours before Hamas strongman Ahmed Jabari was assassinated, he received a draft of a permanent truce agreement with Israel.”
Jabari had been working over the past three years to maintain a fragile peace between the Israeli government and various Islamic groups in Gaza.
In the article in Ha’aretz, negotiator Gershon Baskin, who founded the Israel Palestine Center for Research and Information in 1988, revealed that the Netanyahu government pushed forward a definite agenda when executing this hit.
“Senior officials in Israel knew about [Jabari’s] contacts with Hamas and Egyptian intelligence aimed at formulating a permanent truce, but nevertheless approved the assassination,” wrote Ha’aretz.
It should also be noted that during a 2004 air strike against Jabari’s home, the IDF killed his son, brother and three other relatives.
Adding insult to injury, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s henchmen boasted of their murderous deed on the Internet. On November 14, Noah Shachtman of Wired magazine, which specializes in technology-oriented news, wrote: “The IDF didn’t just kill Hamas military leader Ahmed Jabari as he was driving his car down a street in Gaza. They killed him and then instantly posted [video of] the strike on YouTube.”
That wasn’t all. Shachtman continued, “Then they tweeted a warning to all of Jabari’s comrades: ‘We recommend that no Hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leaders, show their faces above ground in the days ahead.’ ”
As a means of deflecting attention away from their unending quest for a Greater Israel, Netanyahu’s public relations men waged a social media campaign. Using Facebook, Twitter and other modern-day computer marketing techniques, the IDF attempted to put a bright smiley face on their genocidal vendetta against the Palestinians.
Taking this strategy to its most nefarious end, Shachtman postulated that the IDF posted the Jabari massacre video for three primary reasons: to warn Gazans that they can get anyone at any time; that their opponents are helpless under an unceasing barrage of military strikes; and that the power of the weaponry given to them by United States taxpayers allows them to utilize it anywhere.
World Leaders Denounce Israeli Terrorism
• But U.S. leaders still shamelessly support genocide of Palestinians, attacks on Israel’s neighbors
By Victor Thorn
Of all the world’s leaders, none came out as vehemently against Israel’s latest attack on Palestinians as did Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. At a November 19 Eurasian-Islamic Council conference, Erdogan told attendees, “I say that Israel is a terrorist state, and its acts are terrorist acts.”
Erdogan also criticized Western nations for “turning their heads from the massacre of children in Gaza” while accusing Israel of “engaging in ethnic cleansing” and “turning the region into a blood swamp.”
He also addressed another glaring problem, namely that the United Nations (UN) is unfairly stacked with pro-Israeli supporters. “I’m asked how much I trust the UN,” Erdogan proclaimed. “I don’t trust it.”
On November 19, Russia’s UN ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, lambasted the United States for blocking a bid by the UN Security Council to condemn Israeli violence in Gaza. In response, Erin Pelton, a spokesperson for the U.S. Mission to the UN, misguidedly admitted to preventing any resolutions because they didn’t address the conflict’s “root cause”—Hamas firing rockets into Israel.
Regrettably, the Obama administration parroted a long-standing mantra of U.S. foreign policy that “Israel has the right to defend itself.” Not once did they assert that Palestine, too, has the right to defend itself. In a November 22 article for a popular left-leaning website called The Daily Beast, Daniel Levy wrote, “A magnifying glass would be required to identify anything but business as usual in Washington’s approach to managing this latest crisis. The standard, unwavering support for any and every Israeli action was on display.”
In an almost taunting manner, Michael Oren, Israeli ambassador to the U.S., boasted, “Israel has received unequivocal and outstanding support from the United States and all branches of government: from the White House, from Congress, in both parties, completely bipartisan support.”
Fortunately, not every nation remains in subservient lockstep with the Israeli lobby. At a November 21 summit for developing countries that was held in Islamabad, Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabanni Khar denounced Israeli aggression against Palestinians during their latest attacks. Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi took it a step further, saying: “The savage and atrocious attacks by the Zionist regime against the innocent, Muslim and oppressed people of the Gaza Strip are an example of real terrorism.”
Taking a cue from his cabinet member, on November 23 Iran’s PressTV reported on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s analysis of Israel’s preemptive attack. “The main mission of the Zionist regime is to create wars and conflicts and it has been created to stoke divisions and wage wars in the [Gaza] region so that hegemons can control the region.”
At least there are some in the U.S. who do not toe the AIPAC party line. Former President Jimmy Carter joined a group of church leaders that are now questioning whether Israeli military aid should continue in light of that nation’s abysmal human rights record and history of deadly aggression in the Middle East.
What Does Future Hold for Region?
By Victor Thorn
As a ceasefire settles over the Middle East, the question remains, what does the future hold for this area? On November 24 AMERICAN FREE PRESS interviewed Stuart Littlewood, a UK based writer and author of the book Radio Free Palestine.
When asked about the possibility of a two-state solution, especially since Netanyahu and Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman are so opposed to it, Littlewood replied: “Everything successive Israeli leaders do—further encroachments, house demolitions, closures, restrictions on movement, illegal settlements—is designed to scupper any viable two-state solution. Western leaders should stop pretending a just solution can be reached by negotiation and realize that the peace process is a time-wasting device to enable the Israelis to cement their territorial gains. Besides, Palestinians should not have to bargain for their rights and property. International law and numerous UN resolutions have made it clear what should happen. Even Hamas has offered a long-term truce if Israel withdraws behind its internationally recognized borders.”
The question remains that considering America’s ongoing dependence on foreign oil, their arms sales to Gulf state countries and an interventionist foreign policy that continues from one administration to another, is there any hope that the United States will withdraw from the Middle East any time soon? Littlewood has his doubts.
“I wouldn’t think so,” said Littlewood. “But America and the UK both ought to start behaving themselves and make friends with the Middle East so that someday they can withdraw. That, of course, would involve throwing off Israel’s shackles. There has been no better time [than now] to pick that particular fight.”
So could this latest eight-day “war” really be a setup where Netanyahu could further claim that all Hamas weaponry originated from Iran, thus using this pretense as further leverage for a strike against Iran?
“The Israelis have been making this nonsensical claim for some time as part of their propaganda effort to demonize Iran,” he said. “It’s nonsensical because everyone knows America supplies Israel’s weaponry and funds much of its military capability.
The mantra that Israel has a right to defend itself is now being met with a similar mantra that Palestinians have a perfect right to defend themselves and to obtain the weapons to do so. Where else would that be but from Iran or Russia?”
Victor Thorn is a hard-hitting researcher, journalist and author of over 30 books.