Friday :: Jul 21, 2006

The Meanest Sonofabitch


by pessimist

Barry Goldwater once said, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue," and frightened America into voting for the alternative to his nightmarish Apocalyptic visions of the Cold War.

I'm thus very sure that if those who are caught up in the battles in Lebanon, Israel, and Gaza were allowed to vote, they would also choose the alternative to that which they are already suffering.

But the will of the people is of no concern to the Israeli version of the neo-confidence man, who revels in the Apocalypse as a means of establishing that, he's the meanest sonofabitch in the valley.

His attitude matched by that of his opponents in Hamas and Hezbollah, and is what drives them to right the wrongs suffered by their relations at the hands of Israeli Zionists.

As 'Eye For An Eye' is all these two groups of morons understand, there needs to be an adult entity to step in and separate them until some sense can be driven into their boney heads. Unfortunately, the only 'adult' entity available is led by a bloodthirsty coward who never went to war himself but experiences orgasms every time he gets to order an attack upon defenseless foreign people. He's also holding the coat of one of the combatants, so he cannot be seen as impartial.

In fact, he and his minions are doing all they can to slant the view of the American people toward Israel for partisan reasons.

There is reason to wonder whose agenda George wants to represent, considering that he mouths platitudes that support and excuse Israeli aggression - aggression which isn't seen as defensible by the majority:

“Yet, the facts on the ground, when not obscured by one or another Zionist rationalization, show that the Zionists are the worst anti-Semites in the world today, oppressing a Semitic people as no nation has done since the Nazis. No, the Zionists are not yet quite as bad as the Nazis, not yet, but isn't the world witnessing a creeping ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians at this very moment?” - Bertell Ollman, Letter of Resignation from the Jewish People, 13 March 2005

This letter, of which I was reminded by Gabriele Zamparini in his Don’t mention the G word. It’s not good for business! of July 21, 2006, shows that - if anything - the Israeli hard-line attitude toward Palestinians and others who oppose the Israeli desire to emulate locally what the US has done globally has only gotten worse.

What justifies the destruction of infrastructure in both Gaza and Lebanon? Don't try to deny that it is going on! In Lebanon, Lebanon's Minister of Social Affairs has accused the Israeli army of targeting food warehouses and factories during their week-old bombing campaign:

Ms Nayla Moawad told Radio Netherlands that the destruction of the food production facilities was an example of the disproportionate force being used by Israel. "Yesterday, a big food factory was destroyed in the Beka'a valley, and a Proctor and Gamble milk processing factory in the south was also bombed," says Ms Moawad. "We're wondering if we're even going to be able to eat after all of this."

I'm listening to KABC News on 7/21/06 as I write this, and an Israeli spokesperson just claimed that Israel is targeting Hezbollah to enable Lebanon's military to be able to take over the battle. Ms. Moawad might well take issue with that bold assertion:

She decried the bombing of non-military targets, and was even puzzled by Israeli attacks on the Lebanese army, preventing them from helping to disarm Hizbollah or facilitate in the distribution of humanitarian aid.

When words don't match actions, that means that there is only one category available to describe the words: LIE

There is independent confirmation of the accusations of Nayla Moawad:

“The Israeli Army is making the situation even worse for Lebanese civilians by targeting warehouses and factories,” said Caritas. “In fact, food storage houses in particular have become the target of Israeli reprisals. A big milk factory in the Bekaa region called “Liban Lait” was completely burned and destroyed by direct attacks from the Israeli Air Force. A food storehouse called “TransMed” in Choueifate, in Beirut’s southern suburbs, was totally destroyed.”

More than 500,000 people have been displaced by Israel’s offensive, which began eight days ago. Schools, convents, and public buildings are inundated by people seeking refuge, while many other people are being taken in by friends or family, and even strangers, Caritas said.

Caritas Lebanon’s Overwhelming Task of Caring for Civilians, CARITAS, 20 July 2006

In addition, similar activities are going on in Gaza:

As Israel hammers Lebanon with bombardments, Caritas Jerusalem continues to call out on behalf of Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, a separate but no less tragic front in the military assault Israel has launched as violence in the Middle East spins out of control.

“At night, we are in darkness. In the streets at night, all you can hear are children weeping, they are so scared,” said Father Manuel Musallam, Parish Priest of the Latin Convent in Gaza.

“We need food, yes of course we need food,” Father Manuel said, referring to the thousands of people going hungry and thirsty as food and water supplies are put in a stranglehold. “But more than that, we need freedom from fear,” he said. “We want peace and an end of the occupation.”

“Children are crying at night, some cannot find their mothers, their fathers, their brothers or sisters, and they are left in the dark,” continued Father Manuel.

Humanitarian Situation in Gaza Continues to Deteriorate, CARITAS, 20 July 2006

Why does Israel feel it's OK to make war on a people they already oppress? One Independent letter writer offers his opinion:

Of course the Israeli government is racist towards Arabs. How else could they operate an apartheid system in the West Bank with a separation barrier, separate roads, separate towns, schools, road blocks, pass laws, curfews, and daily discrimination according to race? The racism is not just from the not-so-moderate government of Olmert but is institutional and embedded within the system.

Only by demanding an immediate ceasefire would we show that we did not share Israel's racist attitudes towards Arabs whether they are Palestinians, Lebanese, Syrians - whether the are Muslim or Christian.

JAMES WILD
LONDON SE4

Another Independent letter writer points out that the resonse is much greater than the provocation:

Sir: The Government has dispatched two warships to help British citizens in Lebanon - it has not done the same for British citizens in Israel. This implies that the Israelis are using excessive force in dealing with Hizbollah and in the process destroying an entire country which has taken so long to rebuild itself.

DR ANDREW PETERSEN
DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY UAE UNIVERSITY AL-AIN, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Israel is also trying to claim that the world's Jews are united behind the attack on the enemies of Israel. Nothing could be further from the truth. The world's Jews are not - ahem, NOT - united behind Israel's attack on Lebanon just to get Hezbollah:

Jews in Britain protest Israel's Gaza aggression
by David Bloom
07/07/2006

The following paid advertisement was signed by 300 Jews in Britain and placed in The London Times on July 7 [PDF]:

WHAT IS ISRAEL DOING? A CALL BY JEWS IN BRITAIN
WE WATCH WITH HORROR the collective punishment of the people of Gaza. Everything reasonable must be done to secure Corporal Gilad Shalit’s safe release but nothing Israel is doing contributes to that aim. Instead, it is using its enormously superior military might to terrorise an entire people.

DESTRUCTION OF THE FRAGILE Gaza infrastructure will not release Shalit. Bombing power stations and cutting off fuel supplies deprives people of electricity, refrigeration, pumped drinking water and sewage disposal services. It holds hostage hospital patients on life support systems, or undergoing dialysis. It brings the threat of epidemics and starvation.

AS GIDEON LEVY WROTE in the Israeli daily Ha’aretz, this is “not only pointless, but … blatantly illegitimate”. Gilad Shalit has become a pawn in the Israeli government’s ongoing battle to topple the democratically-elected government of the Palestinians.

PRESENTING THIS AS AN ISOLATED hostage-taking incident ignores Israel’s regular snatching of Palestinians from their homes.Thousands are held in ‘administrative detention’ without trial, women and children amongst them. A doctor and his brother – civilians – were kidnapped from their home in Al Shouka, near Rafah, the day before Corporal Shalit was captured. Like him, they need to be returned to their families in the established practice of prisoner exchange. And all elected MPs, punitively imprisoned by Israel in recent days, must be immediately released.

FOR THE US AND ITS ALLIES merely to call for “restraint” is desperately inadequate – and evidently ineffective. This is a situation that requires determined action by the international community.

SUPPORT THOSE ISRAELIS protesting against their government’s destructive actions.

WRITE TO YOUR MP to demand that the British Government act to achieve an immediate ceasefire.

WRITE TO THE ISRAELI EMBASSY. Make them understand their actions are wrong, their explanations unconvincing.

Jews for Justice for Palestinians
(via piwp.org)

[Ad text is also available here.]

In addition, some Jews are so torn between their sense of justice for Palestinians and their loyalty to Israel that loyalty wins:

Sir: I am the rabbi of a synagogue, encompassing 350 people - including around 50 non-Jewish friends. I am also a member of the UK Friends of Rabbis for Human Rights, which campaigns on behalf of the Palestinians. From this perspective I am writing to protest against Yasmin Alibhai-Brown's inflammatory column (17 July). She claims that "nothing but anti-Arab racism can fully explain the behaviour of the Israelis", and that "Israel espouses the same ideology" as the white Boer colonialists in South Africa. She is wrong.

The current impasse between the Israelis and the Palestinians is a tragedy for both peoples. The current conflict between Israel and Hizbollah only exacerbates that tragedy, and is bringing misery and death to Lebanese and Israelis - both Jewish and Arab Israelis - alike. The destruction of Lebanon is horrifying to witness.

Why is Israel targeting the infrastructure of that country? I ask the same question. But my answer is different. No, it's not racism. The President of Iran is a racist and has called for the destruction of Israel and the destruction of the Jews. In the face of the implacable hostility of Hizbollah, Syria and Iran, Israel seems to be sending out a message - Israel is not going to be destroyed; Israel is here to stay.

RABBI ELIZABETH TIKVAH SARAH
BRIGHTON & HOVE PROGRESSIVE SYNAGOGUE HOVE, EAST SUSSEX

But for other Jews, justice is the greater good, and deny that anti-Semitism is the motivation to oppose Israel:

Sir: In Linda Grant's article on How British Jews feel about Israel (18 July) it was inferred by one or two of the interviewees about the Palestine Solidarity Campaign "that there is antisemitism" in it. We are two of many Jews, and part of a whole spectrum of British society, who feel quite comfortable being members of the PSC, who would not associate with an organisation that countenanced such views.

As with Jews for Justice for Palestinians, there is a wide spectrum of opinions on activism to achieve a just peace in Israel/Palestine and from my own knowledge and experience of the PSC its far from "blunt analysis" is focused on a clear view of human rights and international law, of which Israel at this moment is in flagrant breach in its criminal destruction of Lebanon and Gaza. But antisemitism is certainly off the agenda.

ABE & ROSAMINE HAYEEM
EDGWARE, MIDDLESEX

Linda Grant offered this view of the range emotion of British Jews:

There is a famous Jewish saying: “Two Jews, three opinions.” Another joke tells of the rabbinical speaker giving a lecture on Judaism. “The essence of Judaism is disputation,” he says. A hand goes up in the audience: “I beg to differ.”
For some – like the characters in Mike Leigh’s hit play Two Thousand Years – Israel has been a heartbreaking disappointment, an exercise in idealism turned badly wrong. For others, it is still seen as a bolthole if anti-Semitism returns to Europe; a place of potential refuge (and this is particularly true of French Jews). Still others think its creation was an error that must be corrected. But it is highly unlikely that the Diaspora will come to regard it with disinterested objectivity any time soon.

Most want to be proud of Israel and are anguished that they are not.
[T]he British media is on fire with angry opinion and rhetoric, and the rights and wrongs of the escalating crisis have provoked a ferocious expression of opposing viewpoints inside the Jewish community itself. Ten days ago, it took only 48 hours for the organisation Jews for Justice for Palestinians to collect the names of 300 British Jews, including Harold Pinter, Mike Leigh and Gillian Slovo, together with small donations worth £10,000 to pay for a full-page advertisement in The Times condemning Israel’s bombing of the power station in Gaza that has deprived the civilian population of water, food and dialysis machines, and which has led some to make comparisons with conditions in the Warsaw ghetto.

Others, while sharing the horror at the fate of the Gazans, are discomforted by the advertisement. Why The Times, asked the columnist Jonathan Freedland, instead of the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz? [It's my opinion that Ha'areta wouldn't print such an ad considering the tone of their stories covering the issue - ed.]

A debate is underway in which one side argues
that speaking out against Israel is necessary to avoid the growth of anti-Semitism,
while others counter that there can be no excuses for racism.

See the previous two Independent letters if you need an example of this separation.

Reform Rabbi Tony Bayfield, writing in The Guardian, described a deepening dilemma for many British Jews, torn between dismay and despair at Israel’s actions and anger at the response to them in the British media.

“As I listen to the news, with its details of Israel’s return to Gaza, I cringe,” he wrote. “I cringe at the continuing involvement of Israeli Jews in the suffering of Palestinians. I cringe because I can’t believe that it will advance the cause of peace. I cringe at the seeming hopelessness of it all. But I also become incandescent at the sanctimonious advice and the hypocritical disavowal of any responsibility that is so prevalent in this country and even in certain quarters of the [Christian] Church.”

There is a perception among the general public
that most, if not all, Jews support Israel
or are not prepared to criticise it in public.
Privately, figures in what is known as the Jewish “establishment” have been aghast at right-wing American support for Israel and the campaigns of bombarding dissenting journalists with abusive e-mails. “If you want to characterise British Jewry, as opposed to the American Jewish community,” sources say, “it has tended to support those Israeli governments that have made moves towards peace.
It’s not a coincidence
that most of the hard-line Gush Eminem [settler] movement
speaks with an American accent.”

Rabbi Bayfield wrote this in The Guardian on February 28, 2006:

We Jews are a thundering nuisance. Our persistence has always been a problem for Christianity, but we've really excelled ourselves over the last 60 years. Though Auschwitz was liberated back in 1945, a Christian still can't speak to a Jew without having the Holocaust waved reproachfully in their face.

Criticise the state of Israel
and the poor innocent is accused of anti-semitism.

And Israel itself, positioned as it is right where the tectonic plates of the post-Christian West and the Muslim world meet, is clearly an anachronistic obstacle to global peace. We are the party-poopers who won't move on.

Returning to Linda Grant's article, it's clear that for some Jews, using the Holocaust in this manner is not acceptible:

Growing up in a Jewish area of north London in a street she describes as 99 per cent Jewish, Irene Bruegel, Professor of Urban Policy at South Bank University, is the child of refugees from Czechoslovakia - socialists and anti-Zionists, her father a specialist on the Holocaust. “I grew up in the shadow of the Holocaust for all my childhood,” she says, “and we had people coming to live with us who had been in camps, so when people justify everything Israel does on the basis of the Holocaust, my father gets very upset.”

It may not be politically correct to say this, but some feel that Israel is conducting a Holocaust of its own. As Gabrielle Zamparini puts it on his blog:

The Evacuation Show of these last hours is nothing less than a license to slaughter given to Israel, an immoral country that’s committing GENOCIDE [CAPS in original post]. The Promised Land Myth feeds itself on innocent blood while the Axis Washington-London-Tel Aviv keeps Humanity under their boots. [Italics in original post]

There is agreement from other, more credentialled quarters:


Palestinian nation under threat

Sir: The latest chapter of the conflict between Israel and Palestine began when Israeli forces abducted two civilians, a doctor and his brother, from Gaza - an incident scarcely reported anywhere, except in the Turkish press.
Hamas pair seized 25 June 2006

GAZA: Israeli forces detained two Palestinians, who the army said were Hamas militants, in the Gaza Strip yesterday in what marked the first such arrest raid in the territory since Israel pulled out of Gaza a year ago. A spokesman for Hamas, which won control of the Palestinian government in a Palestinian parliamentary election in January, denied the men detained were connected to the group.

Ali Muamar, a Palestinian known to local residents as a Hamas loyalist, said he was asleep on a bed outside his home near Rafah refugee camp in south Gaza when he woke up and saw uniformed Israeli soldiers scaling down the walls of his courtyard with ladders. "They attacked me all of a sudden," he said. "They blindfolded and handcuffed me and started beating me up with the butts of their rifles and kicking me with their boots."

Muamar said the soldiers raided his home, took his computer and left after less than an hour with his sons - Osama, a doctor who had arrived in Gaza last month from Sudan, and Mustafa, a student of Islamic law.

The following day the Palestinians took an Israeli soldier prisoner - and proposed a negotiated exchange against prisoners taken by the Israelis, of which there are approximately 10,000 in Israeli jails.
That this "kidnapping" was considered an outrage, whereas the illegal military occupation of the West Bank and the systematic appropriation of its natural resources - most particularly that of water - by the Israeli defence forces is considered a regrettable but realistic fact of life, is typical of the double standards repeatedly employed by the West in face of what has befallen the Palestinians on the land alloted to them by international agreements during the last 70 years.
Today outrage follows outrage; makeshift missiles cross sophisticated ones. The latter usually find their target situated where the disinherited and crowded poor live, waiting for what was once called justice. Both categories of missile rip bodies apart horribly - who but field commanders can forget this for a moment?

Each provocation and counter-provocation is contested and preached over. But the subsequent arguments, accusations and vows all serve as a distraction to divert world attention from a long-term military, economic and geographic practice whose political aim is nothing less than the liquidation of the Palestinian nation.

This has to be said loud and clear for the practice, only half declared and often covert, is advancing fast these days, and, in our opinion, it must be unceasingly and eternally recognised for what it is and resisted.

JOHN BERGER
NOAM CHOMSKY
HAROLD PINTER
JOSÉ SARAMAGO

MIEUSSY, FRANCE

I know the very sight of the name 'Chomsky' drives conservatives up the wall, so I also have another view of why Israel is viewed in a manner similar to that we ascribe to the SS:


The real cost of Israel's strategy in Lebanon
by Nadim Matta
21 July 2006

When Hizbollah embarked on its provocative incursion into Israel, most Lebanese (apart from ardent Shiite radicals) saw this incident for what it was: a reckless act aimed at advancing the interests of the Iranian and Syrian regimes, at great risk to both Lebanon and its people.

But the mood in Lebanon has drastically changed over the past few days. Very few now blame Hizbollah, or actively agree with calls for its disarmament (even though the majority of the population supported this goal prior to the recent events). And virtually no one would be pleased if the two Israeli soldiers were surrendered under the threat of Israel's continuation of its systematic destruction of Lebanon's infrastructure.

Understanding this radical transformation in mind-set can shed some light on the unintended - yet tragically predictable - consequences of U.S. policy in the Middle East.

What has happened in the span of a few days?

In the aftermath of Hizbollah's attacking and kidnapping of the Israeli soldiers across the border, Israel implemented a "shock and awe" strategy that blasted away every piece of infrastructure that the Lebanese painstakingly built over the past fifteen years.

In what can only be viewed as an insult to the intelligence of informed citizens everywhere,
President Bush argued simply that Israel "has the right to defend itself".
By failing to act on behalf of Lebanon and to call Israel to account for its actions, the US is putting the world at greater risk, and it is setting back by decades the cause of peace in the region. It would be a return to the law of the jungle that the world can ill afford in this age of nuclear proliferation.

Israel was able to articulate a more plausible explanation for its strategy: it was ensuring that Hizbollah will not smuggle the Israeli soldiers out of Lebanon, and it was cutting off Hizbollah's arms supply routes. In reality, this explanation is not borne out by the facts on the ground. For example:

* Israeli jets bombed the highest bridge in the Middle East - a few miles from my hometown on the main road between Beirut and Damascus - disabling it and rendering it unusable for months to come. Curiously, the Israelis were not satisfied by disabling the bridge. They came back the next day and completely demolished the remainder of the structure - as if to simply add tens of million of dollars to the eventual cost of repair.

* Israel also bombed power generating plants, cellular telephone towers, gas stations, foodstock warehouses and purely commercial targets.

I am not a military expert, but
none of these seem like relevant targets
if the aim is to block Hizbollah from transporting the Israeli soldiers out of the country
or to prevent it from receiving arms from Syria and Iran.

Similar actions are reported to be going on in Gaza:

While Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, has repeatedly stated this week that his government has "no interest to harm the Palestinian people", few in Gaza see what military benefit Israel derives from inflicting power shortages or ear-splitting sonic booms upon them.

Even before the land campaign, Gazans have been feeling the pinch from Israel's air and artillery assault. A missile strike on Gaza's power station has proved a critical blow on a territory where electricity is key to basic needs. While Gaza can get by -without air-conditioning, it cannot live without water, which is supplied from wells that rely on electric pumps.

Fuel to run emergency generators is also running low, as Israel imposes a total blockade on Gaza. It has refused to allow the Red Cross to deliver emergency shipments of fuel and medical supplies.

But for Mr Olmert, a leader without strong army credentials, those considerations are outweighed by the need to appear tough and to end the barrage of home-made missiles launched at southern Israeli towns.

Nadim Matta picks up the thread:

The more plausible rationale for the "shock and awe" operation is to make the situation so painful for Lebanese civilians that they "take responsibility" for the actions of one of their own, the Hizbollah militia. The argument goes as follows: if the cost is made high enough, citizens will pressure their government into doing what it has been struggling to do for months: disarming Hizbollah.

This strategy was beginning to work in the first day of the Israeli operation, as voices in the country began to be raised against Hizbollah and its reckless action. But as the intensity and the perniciousness of the Israeli bombing escalated, even the most moderate civilians in Lebanon experienced an emotional transformation into what can be likened to the revulsion of an innocent person being terrorised into submission by a vastly superior power.

In an affront to human dignity and disregard for human life, Israel is inflicting severe pain and suffering on a huge number of civilians to incite them to do its bidding. Hizbollah may be accused of doing the same in Israel (though with a much more limited capacity to inflict pain). But then we would expect a terrorist organisation to commit acts of terrorism.

A state committing the same acts,
magnified many times over,
with the same intentions,
must be condemned and ultimately prevented by the world community.
Otherwise, we would be sending yet another message to people and nations who feel wronged yet do not have the means to win the fight against their aggressors: your only recourse is to equip yourself with whatever means necessary to deter your aggressors.

There are reports that very tactic is being planned:

'We will halt tanks with human mines'
By Harry De Quetteville in Khan Younis
(Filed: 02 July 2006)

Palestinian militants preparing for an expected Israeli armoured assault on Gaza have vowed to deploy suicide bombers against advancing tanks and armoured personnel carriers. Their favoured battlefield will be the twisting alleyways of refugee camps across Gaza, where Israeli tanks have little room for manoeuvre.

Militant leaders are activating volunteers who have lain dormant because security measures make it all but impossible for Palestinian bombers to attack Israel from fenced-off Gaza. Only a handful of suicide bombers have emerged from Gaza, including a British national who exploded a bomb outside a bar in Tel Aviv in April 2003, killing three.

But in the warren of streets just off the main north-south road through Gaza, a squad of young men once willing to die as "human bombs" are now preparing to die as human anti-tank mines. "We had a queue of volunteers so long we could not use them," said a leader of al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, who goes by his nom de guerre, Abu Jendal. "Now we are planning to attack tanks with our bodies. It is an effective means of resistance."

Abu Jendal is al-Aqsa's commander in Khan Younis... he recalled dispatching a woman who blew herself up at a border checkpoint between Israel and Gaza in 2004, killing four. "It's not easy choosing a suicide bomber," he said. "We don't want those who are angry or desperate but those who are convinced of the principle of sacrificing themselves. If I just followed the emotions of young men, I would be sending in dozens. We want an effective result."

But while militants such as Abu Jendal have been buoyed by their success in last Sunday's raid into Israel, few have any illusions about the battle that they assume is just days, if not hours, away. "We are not fools," he said. "We know they are strong. But they know that if they leave their tanks they will be shot. So we will strike the weak points of tank on foot, wearing suicide belts, and with explosives buried in the sand, to force them out."

Nadim Matta expands on the motivations of those who would be Palestinian kamikazes:

To understand the sense of injustice that people in Lebanon feel about their situation, consider this analogy: black rights activists, indignant at police brutality towards fellow blacks, kidnap a white police officer and retreat into their black neighbourhood, demanding the release of detained black activists in exchange for the police officer. The state calls in the exclusively white national guardsmen who surround the neighbourhood and start firing mortars into it, destroying businesses and killing whole families. To drive their point home, the national guardsmen cut off the electricity and water supply of the neighbourhood, and announce to the inhabitants that they, the community, will be held responsible for the actions of their radical fringes, and will continue to be pounded by heavy artillery until they rise up against the activists among them. Would blacks in the neighbourhood rise against their reckless brothers, or would this response by state authorities take their fury towards their white neighbours to new and irreversibly hostile levels?

To put things in perspective, Lebanese civilians are experiencing the same type of revulsion towards Israel that American citizens felt towards Osama Bin Laden and al Qaeda after September 11. But blame is also directed at the U.S. government for its political and moral support of Israel in this affair. And I am not talking here about Lebanese Shiite fanatics. I am talking about Jane and John Doe of Lebanon: your average Sunni, Christian, Shiite and Druze who may otherwise hold living in the US as their greatest aspiration.

The Lebanese are feeling tremendous indignation at the injustice they are facing. Let us not allow this indignation to fester and turn into new seeds of hatred. The US had best seize the moment, quickly and decisively, to demonstrate that it understands that there is no lasting peace for Israel or Lebanon without some measure of justice and dignity for all parties involved.

Nadim Matta
Stamford, Connecticut (USA)
July 18, 2006

Nadim Matta is a management consultant and US citizen of Lebanese origin. During the civil war in Lebanon, he worked for USAID and for Save the Children Federation in Beirut. He can be reached at nadim@rhsa.com.

This article is distributed by the Common Ground News Service (CGNews).

And the Israeli position?


Palestinian medics say IDF troops killed doctor in Nablus
By Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz
21/07/2006

Israel Defense Forces soldiers killed a Palestinian doctor as he tried to help wounded protesters in the West Bank on Friday, witnesses and medics said. An IDF spokesman said troops shot at the demonstrators, who threw rocks and petrol bombs at the forces.

Palestinian witnesses said the soldiers had detained half the group. After the remaining gunmen ignored calls to surrender, bulldozers began demolishing some structures inside the compound -- prompting the protests outside.

The doctor had stopped to help three protesters after they were wounded in a clash with soldiers in the city of Nablus. He was killed by IDF gunfire, witnesses said. Palestinian medics later confirmed his death. Palestinian medics said the doctor died from shrapnel wounds, saying the man was hit by an artillery shell.

The IDF denied firing artillery shells in the area.

New IDF policy: Attack arms caches in homes

The IDF dropped Arabic leaflets in Gaza City on Thursday, warning it will attack homes where Palestinians hide weapons for militants and pressed ahead with a deadly sweep through a refugee camp.

Military officials told The Associated Press the army is adopting a new policy of attacking homes in civilian areas where weapons, such as the homemade rockets routinely fired into Israel, are hidden. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Palestinians to Hezbollah: Strike Tel Aviv

In the West Bank city of Nablus, about 4,000 Palestinians demonstrated in support of Hezbollah in the fighting in Lebanon, calling on the militia's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, to attack Israel with rockets.

"Nasrallah, our dearest, strike, strike Tel Aviv," the Palestinians shouted Thursday.

I suppose that Palestinian calls for Hezbollah missile strikes on Israeli cities justifies this?


Gaza doctor says Israel is using chemical weapons on Palestinian population
11 July

Evidence is mounting that the Israeli occupation forces are testing the impact of new types of chemical weapons on the occupied Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip.

Dr. al-Saqqa, head of the emergency service at Shifa hospital in Gaza city, said that most of the dead bodies taken to the facility were torn apart and completely burnt and that even bodies of the injured have been burnt in such an unusual, diffuse and serious way, that many limbs had been amputated when otherwise it would not have been necessary.

Furthermore, the bodies of dead or body parts of injured "have been deformed in a very ugly way that we have never seen before", he reported to Al-Jazeera.

Al-Saqqa said relatives had been unable to identify the dead victims. "When we try to X-ray dead bodies, we find no trace of the shrapnel that hit the person killed", he said, concluding that the bodies seemed to have been burnt by chemical substances. "We are sure that Israel is using a new chemical or radioactive weapon in the current operation. More than 25% of the injured are children, aged under 16".

Among the dead last Monday there were four teenagers,
who had been playing football on the remains of a soccer field.

Palestinians fear the worst as Israel closes in on Gaza

Will this new assault cause Gabrielle Zamparini realize his worst fear?

“No, the Zionists are not yet quite as bad as the Nazis, not yet”. But today is July 21, 2006...


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