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 An Eye For An Eyelash: The Gaza Massacre - Part 1

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PostSubject: An Eye For An Eyelash: The Gaza Massacre - Part 1   Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:32 pm

Very interesting analysis of the Gaza massacre from the medialens website*, particularly with respect to the mainstream media (and the 'liberal' media, BBC and the Guardian, Independent (uk) etc) line and the dichotomy in the ebullient response to the Kosovo crisis.

The liberal 'humanitarian' interventionists appear to be keeping their tongues very tied on this massacre...

Also contains information on the formation of what's called the National Information Directorate, created eight months ago by the Israelis to improve on PR after the Lebanon massacre.


*
Link and some quotes.

AN EYE FOR AN EYELASH: THE GAZA MASSACRE - PART 1
http://www.medialens.org/alerts/09/090112_an_eye_for.php

Quote :

On March 24, 1999, an emotional Tony Blair appealed to the House of Commons and to the people of Britain:

"We must act to save thousands of innocent men, women and children from humanitarian catastrophe."

Blair described the emergency:

"Let me give the House an indication of the scale of what is happening: a quarter of a million Kosovars, more than 10 per cent of the population, are now homeless as a result of repression by Serb forces... Since last summer 2000 people have died." (Blair: 'We must act - to save thousands of innocent men, women and children,' The Guardian, March 23, 1999; http://www.guardian.co.uk/Kosovo/ Story/0,,209876,00.html)

Not even Blair claimed all the killings had been on one side. George Robertson, the UK Defence Secretary at the time of the crisis, testified before the House of Commons that until mid-January 1999, "the Kosovo Liberation Army [KLA] was responsible for more deaths in Kosovo than the Serbian authorities had been". (Quoted, Noam Chomsky, Hegemony or Survival, Routledge, 2003, p.56)

The Guardian rallied to Blair's cause:

"The only honorable course for Europe and America is to use military force to try to protect the people of Kosovo... If we do not act at all, or if there is a limited bombing campaign which still fails to change Milosevic's mind, what is likely to be Kosovo's future?" (Leader, 'The sad need for force, Kosovo must be saved,' The Guardian, March 23, 1999)

The following day, NATO began its 78-day blitz of Serbia.

Ten years later and almost one-half of the 2,000 death toll that so horrified Blair and the Guardian in 1999 has been reached by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) in its massacre of 890 Palestinians in just over two weeks. Some 3,800 more have been wounded. The current slaughter is far more one-sided than Kosovo. There have so far been 3 Israeli civilian deaths and 10 soldiers killed: 4 of these were victims of their own 'friendly fire'.

KLA attacks did nothing to temper media outrage at the spectacle of the Serbian state attacking tiny Kosovo. The focus was on Serbian "massacres" and "genocide". The Observer wrote of the alleged killing of 45 Albanian civilians in Racak by Serb armed forces on January 16, 1999:

"History will judge that the defining moment for the international community took place on 16 January this year... Albanians returning after an attack by Serb security forces discovered the bodies of men they had left behind to look after the houses." (Peter Beaumont, Justin Brown, John Hooper, Helena Smith and Ed Vulliamy, 'Hi-tech war and primitive slaughter - Slobodan Milosevic is fighting on two fronts,' The Observer, March 28, 1999)

Serb forces, the Observer wrote, were "pursuing their own version of a Balkan Final Solution". (Ibid.)....

[....]

Quote :
.....On January 6, Israeli internal security minister Meir Shitreet responded to the massive civilian casualties on BBC's Newsnight:

"The French say, 'La guerre comme la guerre'." (January 6, 2009; http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/ b00gnjlm/Newsnight_06_01_2009/)

War is indeed war, but the civilian population of Gaza is not at war - the Geneva Conventions protecting civilian life apply.

Last year, Shitreet suggested that residential Gaza neighbourhoods from which Hassam rockets were fired should be obliterated: "any other country would have already gone in and level [sic] the area, which is exactly what I think the IDF should do - decide on a neighborhood in Gaza and level it." (Attila Somfalvi, 'Sheetrit: We should level Gaza neighbourhoods,' Ynet, February 10, 2008; http://www.ynet.co.il/english/articles/0,7340,L-3504922,00.html)

He added: "We should let them know 'you have to leave, this area will be taken down tomorrow' and just take it down - that will show them we mean business."

Using violence to show a civilian population "we mean business" is, again, terrorism. Needless to say, Shitreet was advocating major war crimes.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has declared that Gazan civilians should not be allowed "to live normal lives"; and internal security minister Avi Dichter has previously demanded that Israel take action "irrespective of the cost to the Palestinians". (Jonathan Cook, 'Disappearing Palestine,' Zed Books, London, 2008, p.132)
Preparing The Propaganda For War

Well in advance of the invasion, Israel developed plans to counter the inevitable images of bloodied children and tiny, dismembered bodies. Avi Pazner, Israel's former ambassador to Italy and France, drafted in to support the propaganda component of the offensive, commented:

"Whenever Israel is bombing, it is hard to explain our position to the world. But at least this time everything was ready and in place." (Anshel Pfeffer, 'Israel claims success in the PR war,' Jewish Chronicle, December 31, 2008; http://www.thejc.com/articles/ israel-claims-success-pr-war)

Eight months ago, the perfectly named National Information Directorate was formed within the Israeli Prime Minister's Office. This is now coordinating media operations across the various government departments. The Directorate began preparing for a Gaza offensive some six months ago. Yarden Vatikay, director of the National Information Directorate, told reporters:

"One of our lessons from the Lebanon War [2006] was that there were too many uniforms in the coverage, and that doesn't come over very positively."

As a result, there are now: "Fewer military officers; more women; tightly controlled messages; and ministers kept on a short leash." (Ibid.)


A press centre was set up in the Israeli town of Sderot, near the border with Gaza, so that foreign reporters would spend as much time as possible in the main civilian area affected by Hamas rockets.

Israeli ministers have also been ordered not to give unauthorised interviews to avoid a repeat of last year's PR disaster when Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai threatened the Palestinians with a "holocaust".

"The more Qassam [rocket] fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they will bring upon themselves a bigger shoah because we will use all our might to defend ourselves." ('Israeli minister warns of Palestinian "holocaust",' The Guardian, February 29, 2008; http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/ 2008/feb/29/israelandthepalestinians1)

'Shoah' is the Hebrew word normally used to refer to the Jewish Holocaust at the hands of the Nazis.

A key deception promoted by the National Information Directorate involves the claim that the latest cycle of violence began when Hamas broke a four-month ceasefire agreed last June. In fact, Israel broke the ceasefire when it launched a raid into Gaza on November 4, killing six people. On November 5, the Guardian reported:

"A four-month ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza was in jeopardy today after Israeli troops killed six Hamas gunmen in a raid into the territory.

"Hamas responded by firing a wave of rockets into southern Israel, although no one was injured. The violence represented the most serious break in a ceasefire agreed in mid-June, yet both sides suggested they wanted to return to atmosphere of calm." (Rory McCarthy, 'Gaza truce broken as Israeli raid kills six Hamas gunmen,' The Guardian, November 5, 2008; http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008 /nov/05/israelandthepalestinians)


The Guardian added:

"Until now it had appeared both Israel and Hamas, which seized full control of Gaza last summer, had an interest in maintaining the ceasefire. For Israel it has meant an end to the daily barrage of rockets landing in southern towns, particularly Sderot."

On December 27, at the start of the latest attacks, Reuters reported that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had "blamed Hamas for breaking a cease-fire with Israel, which launched air strikes on Gaza killing more than 200 people." Rice commented:

"The United States strongly condemns the repeated rocket and mortar attacks against Israel and holds Hamas responsible for breaking the cease-fire and for the renewal of violence in Gaza." (Tabassum Zakaria, 'Rice: Hamas broke cease-fire,' News24, December 27, 2008; http://www.news24.com/News24/World/News/0,,2-10-1462_2446278,00.html)

Alan Dershowitz wrote in the Telegraph on January 10:

"Hamas deliberately broke the ceasefire by firing rockets into southern Israel from densely populated cities, using the areas around schools and mosques as launching points." (Dershowitz, 'Don't play into the hands of Hamas,' Daily Telegraph, January 10, 2009)

The BBC's version of events from January 9 was more subtly deceptive:

"The ceasefire, brokered by the Egyptians, was often broken in practice... Events began to come to a climax after the Israelis raided southern Gaza on 4 November 2008 to destroy smuggling tunnels." (BBC online, January 9, 2009;
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/ world/middle_east/7818022.stm)

No mention was made of the six human lives also destroyed in the attack. The same BBC article, "Q&A: Gaza conflict," asked:

"What casualties have the Hamas rockets caused?

"Since 2001, when the rockets were first fired, more than 8,600 have hit southern Israel, nearly 6,000 of them since Israel withdrew from Gaza in August 2005. The rockets have killed 28 people and injured hundreds more. In the Israeli town of Sderot near Gaza, 90% of residents have had a missile exploding in their street or an adjacent one." (Ibid.)

The article noted that "Palestinian medical sources say that about 700 people have been killed in Gaza during Israel's current campaign there." Again, curiously, despite mentioning that Hamas rockets have killed 28 Israelis since 2001, the BBC made no mention of the fact that 5,000 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli strikes over the same period prior to the current Israeli offensive - a figure fast approaching 6,000.....


(emphasis in bold and underlined added)
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PostSubject: Re: An Eye For An Eyelash: The Gaza Massacre - Part 1   Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:37 pm

Also, the article above links to a former BBC correspondent's criticism of the BBC's reportage of the 'Palastinian Story'

Tim Llewellyn was the BBC's Middle East Correspondent in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, he's now a freelance writer and broadcaster on the region.

The article below will be included in the book "Tell Me Lies" which will be launched in London on 29th January and published by Pluto Press. ("The book collates 32 powerful articles by the likes of John Pilger, Edward Herman, Noam Chomsky, Nancy Snow, Robert Fisk and many others on the media omissions and deceit that made war possible. ")

I think this fills in some of the gaps which were only marginally addressed on other threads with respect to the media's line on the Gaza massacre.


GUEST MEDIA ALERT: WHY THE BBC DUCKS THE PALESTINIAN STORY - PART 1

By Former BBC Middle East Correspondent, Tim Llewellyn


http://www.medialens.org/alerts/04/040115_Ducking_Palestine_1.HTM

[....]

Quote :

Why the BBC Ducks the Palestinian Story
Tim Llewellyn

Watching a peculiarly crass, inaccurate and condescending programme about the endangered historical sites of "Israel" - that is to say, the Israeli-occupied Palestinian Territories - on BBC2 in early June 2003, (1) I determined to try to work out, as a former BBC Middle East correspondent, why the Corporation has in the past two and a half years been failing to report fairly the most central and lasting reason for the troubles of the region: the Palestinians' struggle for freedom.

The approach of the programme - made by Arts rather than News and Current Affairs - reflected the general run of BBC domestic coverage of the issue: the strained effort at "balance"; the failure to question the circumstances of the beleaguered historical sites (why +are+ they beleaguered?); the acceptance of the "equivalence" of the two peoples fighting over this territory, the indigenous population and an occupying army; the assumption on which the whole programme was built: that in the then looming Anglo-American invasion of Iraq these historical and holy places might be damaged by missiles fired from Iraq. Perhaps BBC Arts was not aware before their team arrived that many ancient Arab monuments had already been besieged, shelled, violated, ransacked, bulldozed, and in many cases closed to their worshippers and their inheritors by Israel's occupying army.

A week earlier, in a BBC News documentary about the wall that Israel is building between the Israelis and the Palestinians (2) - much of it encroaching on occupied Palestinian land, destroying houses and olive groves and dividing families - it was again felt necessary to leaven the images of Arab suffering with the "balance" of how awkward the wall would be for a handful of illegal Jewish settlers. To explain this, a sympathetic Irish woman settler told that side of the story in the vivid English of her people.

It was not that the BBC did not tell the Palestinian story graphically and shockingly - but that "the other side" of the story had to be told as well, diluting the central and violent issue of The Wall and all it symbolises of Israel's fears, greed and brutal dismissal of its Arab neighbours.

Since the beginning of the Aqsa Uprising, or Second Intifada, in September 2000 there have been countless examples throughout the BBC's news broadcasts, discussion programmes, features, documentaries and even online of this muddying of the clear waters of the Israel-Palestine crisis. Elsewhere in this book academics and analysts such as Greg Philo give a scientific, +actuarial+ account of this carelessness with the public broadcaster's duty. Without the room to print my long litany of the BBC's sins of omission and commission, I can best highlight my findings this way: Channel 4 News at 7pm is the only mainstream television news/current affairs bulletin that has tried consistently to do justice to this story, which sits at the centre of world affairs and the west's political engagement overseas.

Where Carlton TV has shown John Pilger's graphic Palestine is Still the Issue (3) and Channel 4 Sandra Jordan's death-defying story of the International Solidarity Movement (4) the BBC has made no effort to tell us truly - as did these two documentaries - how this occupation demeans and degrades people: not just the killing and the destruction, but the humiliation, the attempt to crush the human spirit and remove the identity; not just the bullet in the brain and the tank through the door, but the faeces Israel's soldiers rub on the plundered ministry walls, the trashed kindergarten; the barriers to a people's work, prayers and hopes.

In the news reporting of the domestic BBC TV bulletins, "balance", the BBC's crudely applied device for avoiding trouble, means that Israel's lethal modern army is one force, the Palestinians, with their rifles and home-made bombs, the other "force": two sides equally strong and culpable in a difficult dispute, it is implied, that could easily be sorted out if extremists on both sides would see reason and the leaders do as instructed by Washington.

In London, respectful BBC presenters talk calmly to articulate Israeli politicians, spokesmen and apologists in suits in studios; from Palestine comes the bad-quality, broken voice on a dusty wire from some wreckage of a town. It is true that BBC teams risk their lives in the midst of the violence, but soon they are back in their Jewish Jerusalem studios, finding the balance for their pieces, so that the rolling tragedy of occupation can somehow be ameliorated by the difficulties inside Israel.

When suicide bombers attack inside Israel the shock is palpable. The BBC rarely reports the context, however. Many of these acts of killing and martyrdom are reprisals for assassinations by Israel's death squads, soldiers and agents who risk nothing as they shoot from helicopters or send death down a telephone line. I rarely see or hear any analysis of how many times the Israelis have deliberately shattered a period of Palestinian calm with an egregious attack or murder. "Quiet" periods mean no Israelis died... it is rarely shown that during these "quiet" times Palestinians continued to be killed by the score.

In South Africa, the BBC made it clear that the platform from which it was reporting was one of abhorrence of the state crime of apartheid. No Afrikaaner was ritually rushed into a studio to explain a storming of a township. There is no such platform of the BBC's in Israel/Palestine, where the situation is as bad - apartheid, discrimination, racism, ethnic cleansing as rife as ever it was in the Cape or the Orange Free State.

We are not reminded, continually and emphatically, that this strife comes about because of occupation. Occupation. Occupation. This should be a word never far from a reporter's lips, stated firmly and repeatedly as the permanent backdrop to and living reason for every act of violence on either side.

Much of the explanation of events the BBC offers from the scene reminds me of the "on-the-one-side-on-the-other-side" reporting that bedevilled so many years of BBC reporting from Northern Ireland. The performance in the London studios is little better. Presenters and reporters are, on the whole, not well briefed on the Middle East. They are repeatedly bamboozled by Israel's performers. Time and again, presented with an Israeli or some inadequately flagged American or other apologist for Israel, the presenter will accept the pro-Israel version of the truth at face value, respectful of an American accent, a well-dressed politician or an ex-diplomat (who is often nothing like as disinterested as it would appear), (5) while pressing hard on the recalcitrant Arab. (6)

The Arab view is not properly heard. This is partly an Arab problem, in that there are not enough articulate and willing Arabs readily available to go to studios or answer the telephone. But this is only part of the problem: the BBC has been plied with lists of suitable people by organisations such as the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding, the Arab League, individual embassies and private people, only for these lists to be ignored. Whether this is through inefficiency or deliberation, it is hard to say. I do know, for example, that the ambassador for the Arab League had, between January 2003 and the end of the Iraq war in early April, appeared once on BBC TV; a colleague of mine who is one of Britain's most articulate and intelligent Palestinian spokespersons is missing almost completely from mainstream BBC television and rarely heard on domestic radio. (7)...

Part 2 will follow shortly...
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PostSubject: Re: An Eye For An Eyelash: The Gaza Massacre - Part 1   Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:59 pm

As a contrast to the mainstream reporting above. Interesting video interview from the theRealNewsNetwork with Eric Margolis. ( theRealNewsNetwork does not recieve either state or corporate funding.)

Who and what is Hamas?
Eric Margolis: Hamas is more of a threat to corrupt Arab regimes than to Israel

http://therealnews.com/t/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=3091

Quote :
Bio

Eric Margolis is a journalist born in New York City and holding degrees from Georgetown the University of Geneva, and New York University. During the Vietnam War he served as a US Army infantryman. Margolis is the author of War at the Top of the World –- The Struggle for Afghanistan and Asia is a syndicated columnist and broadcaster whose articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The International Herald Tribune, Mainichi Shimbun and US Naval Institute Proceedings. Margolis is an expert of military affairs, a former instructor in strategy and tactics in the US Army, and a member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies and the Institute of Regional Studies in Islamabad, Pakistan. Eric Margolis' books have been published in the US, Canada, Britain, and India. He often appears and contributes to national and international news items for outlets such as CNN, ABC,CBC and Voice of America to the Wall Street Journal and Maninichi-Tokyo. He broadcasts regularly on foreign affairs for Canadian TV (TV Ontario and CBC), radio, and has appeared on ABC, CBS, CNN, and PBS
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PostSubject: Re: An Eye For An Eyelash: The Gaza Massacre - Part 1   Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:57 pm

Part 2 of "AN EYE FOR AN EYELASH: THE GAZA MASSACRE" is now available from the link below. (it will eventually have an exclusive archive link)

http://www.medialens.org/alerts/index.php

Part 2 starts with a useful history of the Palestinian holocaust here's a quote from the middle of the piece.

Quote :
Historically, the United States - Israel’s armourer and diplomatic sponsor - has played a supporting role, belying its carefully-crafted image as a “neutral broker”. Thus, the US was the only country to abstain from last week’s United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire. A BBC report noted blandly that “the US abstention weakened the impact of the vote because Washington's support would have placed more pressure on Israel to halt its offensive”. (‘Bombs hit Gaza as UN calls for truce,’ January 9, 2009; http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7819371.stm)

A glimpse of the real US role, buried in almost all mainstream coverage, was provided by Israel’s Haaretz newspaper. The US ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad, had “received explicit instructions from his superiors at the State Department to torpedo any initiative proposed by the Arab bloc which is designed to grant the Security Council the status of an official arbiter that will have direct involvement with disentangling the Gaza crisis.” (Shlomo Shamir, Haaretz correspondent, and Reuters, ‘U.S. to foil any Arab bid to push Security Council resolution for Gaza cease-fire,’ Haaretz, January 5, 2009; http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1052887.html)

Hamas has repeatedly declared its readiness to negotiate a long-term ceasefire with the Jewish state within its pre-1967 borders. But Israel has rejected the offer, just as it rejected the Arab League peace plan of 2002; and just as it has always rejected the international consensus for a peaceful solution in the Middle East. Why? Because the threat of such ‘peace offensives’ would involve unacceptable concessions and compromises. The well-known Israeli writer Amos Elon has written of the “panic and unease among our political leadership” caused by Arab peace proposals. (Cited, Noam Chomsky, ‘Fateful Triangle,’ Pluto Press, London, 1999, p.75)

The Palestinians are seen as an obstacle by Israel’s leaders; an irritant to be subjugated. Noam Chomsky writes:

“Traditionally over the years, Israel has sought to crush any resistance to its programs of takeover of the parts of Palestine it regards as valuable, while eliminating any hope for the indigenous population to have a decent existence enjoying national rights.” (‘Chomsky on the US, Israel, and Gaza,’ January 8, 2009; http://www.thecommentfactory.com/noam-chomsky-on-the-us-israel-and-gaza-1298)

And so, as Chomsky notes:

“The key feature of the occupation has always been humiliation: they [the Palestinians] must not be allowed to raise their heads. The basic principle, often openly expressed, is that the ‘Araboushim’ – a term that belongs with ‘nigger’ or ‘kike’ - must understand who rules this land and who walks in it with head lowered and eyes averted.” (Chomsky, ‘Fateful Triangle,’ op. cit., p.489)

The full title of Jonathan Cook’s latest book indicates the reality underpinning current Israeli policy: ‘Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s experiments in human despair.’ Behind “a mask of false legitimacy”, Israel “has carried out the destruction of Palestinian identity and living space and the theft of resources.” (Cook, ‘Disappearing Palestine,’ p.70)

Veteran Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery concurs, arguing that the Gaza blockade is “a scientific experiment designed to find out how much one can starve a population and turn its life into hell before they break.” Avnery adds: “The present war is a continuation of the experiment by other means.” (Uri Avnery, ‘Molten Lead in Gaza,’ Counterpunch, January 2-4, 2009; http://www.counterpunch.org/avnery01022009.html)

Reporting from inside Israel, Cook has carefully documented the longstanding oppression of the 4 million Palestinians in the occupied territories of Gaza and the West Bank, as well as the 1.2 million second-class Palestinian citizens within Israel itself. Because of their relatively high birth rate, Palestinians are seen by many Israelis as a “demographic time-bomb”; a threat to the Jewish nature of the Israeli state.

In 2002, General Eitan Ben Elyahu, a former head of Israel’s air force, declared on Israeli television that “eventually we will have to thin out the number of Palestinians living in the territories.” (Cook, op. cit., pp.134-135)

This vision of ethnic cleansing would have been familiar to David Ben-Gurion, one of the main architects of Israel and its first prime minister. The vision is a campaign of bombing, starving and maiming to terrorise the Palestinian population into flight; a terrible echo of 1948. The ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948, was massive and brutal, but incomplete: 80 per cent not 100 per cent of the Palestinians were expelled.

Cook warns that the political rise of Avigdor Lieberman, an immigrant from Moldova who leads a far-right party, is a sign of things to come. Lieberman, says Cook, “is the likely face of Israel’s political future. He has been publicly promoting, and garnering support for, the expulsion of Israel’s Palestinian minority, a policy that has been secretly formulated by more mainstream leaders for some time.” (Ibid., pp.139-140)

Israeli historian Benny Morris, previously a liberal voice, “is one of a growing number of Israelis espousing this hardline policy of expulsion, or ‘transfer’ as it is more commonly, and coyly, referred to.” (Ibid., p.141)

Cook argues that Israel’s real intention is to replicate the apartheid model of South Africa; to transform Palestinian cities into Bantustans in a sea of Israeli-dominated territory, leaving Israeli settlers in possession of the arable land and vital water resources. He warns:

“The apartheid model is unlikely to be the end of the story, however... Another solution – transfer – will be needed. The Israeli public is already being softened up, with government ministers openly subscribing to it. Palestinians will have to be encouraged, or made, to leave their homes and land.” (Ibid., pp.149-150)

Ilan Pappé notes that leading Zionist figures have long held such views. One of them, Yossef Weitz, wrote in 1940: “it is our right to transfer the Arabs” and “The Arabs should go!” (Pappé, ‘The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine,’ OneWorld, Oxford, 2006, p.23)

In 1948, David Ben-Gurion argued:

"We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population." (Edward S. Herman and Grace Kwinjeh, ‘Ethnic Cleansing: Constructive, Benign, and Nefarious (Kafka Era Studies, No. 1),’ ZNet, August 9, 2006; http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/3419)

Fifty years later, in 1998, Ariel Sharon made the same point:

"It is the duty of Israeli leaders to explain to public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certain number of facts that are forgotten with time. The first of these is that there is no Zionism, colonization or Jewish state without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands." (Ibid.)

On May 24, 2006, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told a joint session of congress that "I believed and to this day still believe, in our people's eternal and historic right to this entire land." (Ibid.)

Disturbingly, up to 60 per cent of Israeli Jews support schemes to encourage or force Arabs to leave both the occupied territories and Israel. (Cook, op. cit., p.141)
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PostSubject: Re: An Eye For An Eyelash: The Gaza Massacre - Part 1   Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:58 pm

here's the conclusion of Part 2.

Quote :
Conclusion

Edward Herman and Grace Kwinjeh point out that
Israel's brutal invasion of Lebanon in 2006 was portrayed as an act of
self-defense against a threat from Hezbollah. In fact, as Kaveh L
Afrasiabi wrote, this was a war “to annex a major chunk of Lebanese
territory without necessarily saying so, under the pretext of security
buffer and deterrence against future attacks on Israel". (Quoted,
Herman and Kwinjeh, op. cit.)

This drive to "redeem the land",
in Zionist parlance, requires the forcible takeover of land in the
possession of others. As such, Herman and Kwinjeh note, it “constitutes
a model case of a quest for a ‘Greater’ entity - here a Greater Israel
- a drive which in the case of Milosevic's and the Serbs' alleged drive
for a ‘Greater Serbia’ was presented as a prime element of illegal
activity in the ICTY [International Criminal Tribunal for the Former
Yugoslavia] indictment of Milosevic.” (Ibid.)

As Chomsky says
so well, the violent reactions of Hamas “can be condemned as criminal
and politically foolish, but those who offer no alternative have no
moral grounds to issue such judgments, particularly those in the US who
choose to be directly implicated in these ongoing crimes — by their
words, their actions, or their silence.” (http://www.thecommentfactory.com/noam-chomsky-on-the-us-israel-and-gaza-1298)

The
ongoing assault on Gaza, then, is about far more than restoring
military pride, preventing rocket attacks and crushing Hamas. It is
about Israel’s strategic plan to deliver the Palestinian people to an
abysmal fate in pursuit of the Zionist dream.

As is the case
for all major US-UK allies, honest analysis of state policy of this
level of ugliness is all but unthinkable for a mainstream corporate
media that is anything but free and independent.
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PostSubject: Re: An Eye For An Eyelash: The Gaza Massacre - Part 1   Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:05 pm

Israel is a land hungry state that has repeatedly and illegally pushed out its borders by means of war.
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PostSubject: Re: An Eye For An Eyelash: The Gaza Massacre - Part 1   Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:22 pm

It all comes down to that really. Israel is afraid of peace because of what it will cost it, and what it will mean when Israel wants to persist in an ongoing land grab. The US offers a 'supporting role' as Israel’s armourer and diplomatic sponsor.

' land hungry state' is really a mundane statement of fact in the real world.

It only becomes controversial because Israel is on the side of the allies and unlike the situation in the Balkans and Kosovo mentioned above (and many other examples) an ally must always get an inordinate amount of obsequious balance in the media.
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PostSubject: Re: An Eye For An Eyelash: The Gaza Massacre - Part 1   Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:33 pm

A few points in response to various remarks made in the posts.

The Israeli National Information Directorate sounds chillingly like a press office. I can’t see what’s so sinister about this. Te whole thing about breaking ceasefire’s well I see where you’re coming from. Assuming it was the NID that put this out, the remark about Hamas breaking the, at that point, non-existent ceasefire is quite misleading.

The BBC said that Israel broke the ceasefire back in the day. No kudos there however. Instead they forget to mention that six lives were destroyed in the attempt, or six Hamas militants. No context for the Israeli actions provided. The bit about the BBC not mentioning all the deaths in Gaza in the past few years is a good point.

The fellow giving out about BBC coverage seems to be overly concerned with the struggle for balance, which he argues dilutes the suffering of the Palestinian people and equates the two sides. I myself am concerned with balance and holding both sides to account, for my troubles I am branded an Israeli apologist. Personally I feel that the last thing the world needs is one-sided coverage. He may have a point that prioritising balance over, say, proportional suffering can weaken a report but I think it is the lesser of two evils. To start off every report with the words occupation and not provide a context for that occupation would do no one any good and leave the report open to the accusation of apologist, a word he’s fond of throwing around.

The article makes this point at one stage:
Quote :
A glimpse of the real US role, buried in almost all mainstream coverage, was provided by Israel’s Haaretz newspaper. The US ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad, had “received explicit instructions from his superiors at the State Department to torpedo any initiative proposed by the Arab bloc which is designed to grant the Security Council the status of an official arbiter that will have direct involvement with disentangling the Gaza crisis.” (Shlomo Shamir, Haaretz correspondent, and Reuters, ‘U.S. to foil any Arab bid to push Security Council resolution for Gaza cease-fire,’ Haaretz, January 5, 2009; http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1052887.html)

Compare it to this story, which the media lens seems to have overlooked. In the interest of balance:
Quote :
Diplomatic sources said the US was closely involved in the drafting of the security council resolution calling for a ceasefire and that Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, had defended it in the face of pressure from Israel. The US abstention, at the final vote, stunned British and French diplomats... Thursday night's call from Washington ordering an abstention appears to have come after an eleventh-hour appeal to the White House from Olmert... The incident marked the latest in a long line of issues on which the state department has been over-ruled by the White House, both under Rice and her predecessor, Colin Powell. (US abstention stuns security council)
Olmert has made some bizarre comments on the topic, which have been denied by Washington (Al Jazeera English - Americas - US denies Olmert influenced UN vote).

The rest of the article concerns the push for a Greater Israel, something I hadn’t heard about in a good long while. Clearly I’m not listening to the factual sources. The first mention I had of Olmert though described him an expansionist ‘Greater Israel’-type person. There are a couple of issues. The drive to expel the Palestinians and the description of Gaza as an enormous prison don’t quite fit. The official policy of Israel is to promote a two-state solution, something that at least might be mentioned in the article. And the use of remarks made in 1948 mirror those who refer to Hamas’ 1988 manifesto which involved a similar rhetoric of driving out all the enemy. The bit about it being a fact that the Lebanon war was about expanding territory didn’t really convince me, but I haven’t read the cited references.

Israel’s reputation as a land hungry entity is somewhat damaged by the fact they have given up chunks of occupied territory: the Sinai paeninsula and of course Gaza. They were negotiating with the Syrians to hand over the Golan Heights not so long ago.
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PostSubject: Re: An Eye For An Eyelash: The Gaza Massacre - Part 1   Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:10 pm

Interesting. I've only a minute, so I'll just mention that it was pointed out last night on Al Jazeera that Hamas's last manifesto in 2006 dropped the goal of "driving out all of the enemy". Hamas have been offering a 10-15 year cease fire for some time now, and commentators who seem well informed say that that is de facto recognition of Israel, with only "the dream" reinstating an arab palestine on the pre-67 territory, a political motif, not a reality.

As for the rockets, tbh, can we be sure that they are all from Hamas and the other arab groups? There are question marks over the rockets coming in from the Lebanon, in the Global Research article that Aragon linked.
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PostSubject: Re: An Eye For An Eyelash: The Gaza Massacre - Part 1   Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:23 pm

Cactus, the Israeli government itself (in the person of Mark Regev)has admitted that it knew, before it invaded, that Hamas had kept to the ceasefire and had even tried to stop smaller groups from firing them. The reason they didnt succeed in that was because the Israelis had broken their word and not lifted the blocade/embargo for the period of the ceasefire which engraged the people of Gaza - understandably so. conditions were dreadful - worsening throughout the ceasefire. Hamas were under intense pressure from within but the held to their word.

'Fact Sheet: The Hamas Israeli ceasfire of 2008' - interesting reading:

http://www.indymedia.ie/article/90608

Also here is the text of the intelligence assessment relied on by the Israelis:

http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/html/hamas_e017.htm

4. An analysis of the situation on the ground indicates two distinct periods:

i) A period of relative quiet between June 19 and November 4 : As of June 19, there was a marked reduction in the extent of attacks on the western Negev population. The lull was sporadically violated by rocket and mortar shell fire, carried out by rogue terrorist organizations, in some instance in defiance of Hamas (especially by Fatah and Al-Qaeda supporters). Hamas was careful to maintain the ceasefire. The IDF refrained from undertaking counterterrorism activities in the Gaza Strip, taking only routine defensive security measures along the border fence. Between June 19 and November 4, 20 rockets (three of which fell inside the Gaza Strip) and 18 mortar shells (five of which fell inside the Gaza Strip) were fired at Israel .



http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/pdf/hamas_e017.pdf

14. As soon as the lull arrangement went into effect there was a marked decrease in the
extent of rocket and mortar shell attacks against the western Negev population and the
Ashqelon region. There was relative calm in Sderot and the towns and villages near the Gaza
Strip, although the calm was disrupted by sporadic rocket and mortar shell fire and occasionally by light arms fire and attempts to place IEDs by rogue terrorist organizations (primarily networks of Fatah, the Popular Resistance Committees and other small groups, some of them affiliated with Al-Qaeda). Hamas, for its part, was careful to maintain the ceasefire. IDF forces refrained from undertaking counterterrorism activities in the Gaza Strip and only carried out defensive security activity around the border security fence to prevent attacks. That was the situation on the ground before November 4. During the first period 20 rockets were fired, three of which fell inside the Gaza Strip, and 18 mortar shells, five of which fell inside the Gaza Strip.

15. The sporadic rocket fire during this period was generally carried out in response to what
the rogue organizations called “Israeli violations” of the arrangement. In certain instances there were attacks to protest the fact that the arrangement had not been extended to Judea and Samaria; that was noticeable from the beginning of the lull. For example, on June 24
three rockets were fired at Sderot, the first Palestinian violation of the arrangement, after a Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative was killed in Nablus (in Samaria), despite the fact that
Judea and Samaria were not included in the lull arrangement, and both terrorist attacks and counterterrorism activities were carried out there at that time.

16. Networks belonging to Fatah/Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades were the most prominent and central in violating the lull arrangement. Their motivation was the desire to show themselves as the standard bearers of the “resistance” (i.e., terrorism) and to send a message of defiance to Hamas, their rivals, even though Fatah in Judea and Samaria renounced the attacks.5 In certain instances the Palestinian Islamic Jihad or other organizations fired rockets. In most instances they did not publicly claim responsibility. Such attacks were motivated by deep internal Palestinian rivalries, especially between Fatah and Hamas, and not responses to “violations” on the part of Israel.

17. During the first period Hamas was careful to maintain the ceasefire and its operatives were not involved in rocket attacks. At the same time, the movement tried to enforce the terms of the arrangement on the other terrorist organizations and to prevent them from violating it. Hamas took a number of steps against networks which violated the arrangement, but in a limited fashion and contenting itself with short-term detentions and confiscating weapons. For example, a number of times Hamas’s security services detained Fatah/Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades operatives, including Abu Qusai, an Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades spokesman, who claimed responsibility for rocket fire (June 29). Detained operatives were released after a short interrogation and no real measures were taken against them. However, it was clear that throughout the first period Hamas sought to avoid direct confrontations with the rogue organizations (especially the PIJ) insofar as was possible, lest it be accused of collaborating with Israel and harming the “resistance.” Hamas therefore focused on using politics to convince the organizations to maintain the lull arrangement and on seeking support for it within Gazan public opinion (including issuing statements by its activists regarding the lull’s achievements).


19. The second period of the arrangement began with Hamas’s preparations to abduct an
Israeli or Israelis through a tunnel dug under the border security fence. In our assessment,
those who planned it had to take into consideration that such an attack would do great harm to the arrangement, but nevertheless Hamas was eager to have another Israeli hostage to
use as a bargaining chip.6 Following information, the IDF went into action close to the border, prevented the attack and killed seven Hamas terrorist operatives. Hamas responded with a massive barrage of rocket and mortar shell fire, unprecedented since the lull arrangement had gone into effect.
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PostSubject: Re: An Eye For An Eyelash: The Gaza Massacre - Part 1   Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:33 pm

19. The second period of the arrangement began with Hamas’s preparations to abduct an
Israeli or Israelis through a tunnel dug under the border security fence. In our assessment,
those who planned it had to take into consideration that such an attack would do great harm to the arrangement, but nevertheless Hamas was eager to have another Israeli hostage to
use as a bargaining chip.6 Following information, the IDF went into action close to the border, prevented the attack and killed seven Hamas terrorist operatives. Hamas responded with a massive barrage of rocket and mortar shell fire, unprecedented since the lull arrangement had gone into effect.

I wonder what the evidence was for that. It seems contradictory for them to have put so much effort into the cease fire and then go and wreck it with an abduction.
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PostSubject: Re: An Eye For An Eyelash: The Gaza Massacre - Part 1   Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:44 pm

cactus flower wrote:
19. The second period of the arrangement began with Hamas’s preparations to abduct an
Israeli or Israelis through a tunnel dug under the border security fence. In our assessment,
those who planned it had to take into consideration that such an attack would do great harm to the arrangement, but nevertheless Hamas was eager to have another Israeli hostage to
use as a bargaining chip.6 Following information, the IDF went into action close to the border, prevented the attack and killed seven Hamas terrorist operatives. Hamas responded with a massive barrage of rocket and mortar shell fire, unprecedented since the lull arrangement had gone into effect.

I wonder what the evidence was for that. It seems contradictory for them to have put so much effort into the cease fire and then go and wreck it with an abduction.
Mmm well we only have the Israelis word for it. But it was contradictory for them to fiddle with the ceasefire too. Was it six or seven Hamas members killed?

On the point you made above, I think it's ridiculous to constantly cite something Hamas said twenty years ago. But ditto the 1948 Israelis. De facto recognition was not far off anyway, I think you made that point yourself.

On the subject of rockets in Lebanon, there would also be question marks over suggestions that it was some sort of Tonkin-bay like incident.
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PostSubject: Re: An Eye For An Eyelash: The Gaza Massacre - Part 1   Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:46 pm

905 wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
19. The second period of the arrangement began with Hamas’s preparations to abduct an
Israeli or Israelis through a tunnel dug under the border security fence. In our assessment,
those who planned it had to take into consideration that such an attack would do great harm to the arrangement, but nevertheless Hamas was eager to have another Israeli hostage to
use as a bargaining chip.6 Following information, the IDF went into action close to the border, prevented the attack and killed seven Hamas terrorist operatives. Hamas responded with a massive barrage of rocket and mortar shell fire, unprecedented since the lull arrangement had gone into effect.

I wonder what the evidence was for that. It seems contradictory for them to have put so much effort into the cease fire and then go and wreck it with an abduction.
Mmm well we only have the Israelis word for it. But it was contradictory for them to fiddle with the ceasefire too. Was it six or seven Hamas members killed?

On the point you made above, I think it's ridiculous to constantly cite something Hamas said twenty years ago. But ditto the 1948 Israelis. De facto recognition was not far off anyway, I think you made that point yourself.

On the subject of rockets in Lebanon, there would also be question marks over suggestions that it was some sort of Tonkin-bay like incident.

I don't argue with that, but at this stage of the game would be very wary of making any quick assumptions about the truth of any statement made by the Israelis. I wonder is there any third party confirmation?


According to the BBC this is video footage of one of the three rockets launched from the Lebanon. Wouldn't work for me though. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7828168.stm
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PostSubject: Re: An Eye For An Eyelash: The Gaza Massacre - Part 1   Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:49 am

Oh, well I was thinking of the 2006 Lebanon war. Eh, current rockets, this might do as independent confirmation:
Quote :

Three rockets fired from Lebanon landed in northern Israel in the second such attack since Israeli forces launched their Gaza offensive. Police said the rockets landed in open areas and there were no reports of damage or injuries. People in northern Israel were advised to head to bomb shelters. Reports from Lebanon said five rockets were fired but that two fell short. Israel's military responded with artillery fire towards the firing sites.

Four rockets were fired on northern Israel last Thursday. Hezbollah denied responsibility and speculation focused on small Palestinian groups in Lebanon. (The Guardian - Palestinian death toll in Gaza reaches 1,000)
The Israelis alleged there was an attack on an army post a few days ago. There were similar reports recently from along the Jordanian border; I don't think anyone is suggesting Israel is scheming to attack Jordan.

I heard there were attacks on Israelis in Europe in the past few days. Nothing serious. These are the best sources I could find but I don't think they would pass muster with Aragon, though they are certainly not mainstream.

Anti-Semitism on the Rise in Europe

It’s 1932 in Europe
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PostSubject: Re: An Eye For An Eyelash: The Gaza Massacre - Part 1   Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:39 am

Those websites, which I only recomend if you have patience, have thrown up some interesting comments. Now these fellows are serious nutcases, but it shows what they think of the coverage.
Quote :
A Danish Make Love not War segment from the far left, represented by among others the Socialist Unity List, had teamed up with Palestinian women carrying the Hizbollah flag and young Arabs shouting “Allahu akbar”, “Takbir” (expansion, conquest) and “We want war! We want war!”

Unfortunately, the journalists from the mainstream press must be hard of hearing, for the war cry did not find its way into their reports.

This should come as no surprise given the decidedly pro-Palestinian slant that totally dominates the mainstream media. Day after day they stick to the same theme: What can the “international community” do to curb Israel’s blood thirst? Why have the Israelis decided to kill innocent women and children? It’s 1932 in Europe | EuropeNews


The site links to an opinion piece claiming that Hamas are openly bragging about using human shields. Here’s the author’s take on media coverage of the phenomenon:
Quote :
What is also being almost totally obscured by the western media jihad against Israel is the murderous onslaught by Hamas against the Palestinians themselves. Also obscured by the media jihad is the fact that Hamas are not parochial Palestinian terrorists but Islamists bent on global domination.

The comments on the article are interesting. Here’s what they say on the BBC.
Quote :
The Press, BBC, CNN and SKY which are all we can get here in Prague are hopelessly one sided, barraging their screens with pictures of wounded children on an almost non-stop loop, and without explanation of these pernicious Hamas tactics.

I have just contacted my local Conservative MP regarding the BBC and press bias and questioned why these attacks on Jewish people are going unreported. I was told that I enjoyed freedom of speech (!) in this country and if I could substantiate my claims, I should approach the BBC and press directly. I had the distinct impression that he could not be bothered and was rather annoyed by my phone call

Melanie, This morning I have heard on BBC News harsh criticism of the Israeli shelling of the school, no mention of Hamas firing from near there or secondary explosions.I heard criticism of Israeli soldiers firing on civilians after directing them to a house and not allowing the Red Cross access. This was not verified as absolutely fact by a Red Cross worker interviewed separately from the main news, she said the information had been given by unknown sources,which was suspicious but the BBC presented this as an outrage and a fact. Then I saw Sir Jeremy Greenstock in an interview desribing the wrongs suffered by Hamas. (The Hamas are not terrorists) his words. Last night on BBC News, beleagured Israeli spokesman Mark Regev was harrassed in a most aggressive way by a reporter and the Israeli government was virtually accused of crimes against humanity. Can anyone suggest why this is happening? Do Jews have any future in Britain?

Louise, the only way standards will be restored to the BBC is a wholesale purging of the subversives who have infiltrated it, both in front of the cameras and behind them, in front of the mikes and behind them. The BBC is riven with subversives serving our enemy at time of war. Sorry to say, I can't see it getting better. Our democracy is crumbling before our eyes.
That’s before it gets silly.

So you see that mainstream media get it from all sides.
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