Palestine | Iraq | Afghanistan | Egypt | Media

Jason Burke: Gaza homes ‘uninhabitable’ as tens of thousands come back to rubble (Guardian)

Previous estimates of 65,000 rendered homeless in Gaza now look conservative. In Beit Hanoun alone, around 30,000 people will have to be rehoused. The town is just one of around a dozen communities lying in the three kilometre “free fire zone” declared by Israeli troops during the most intense period of fighting to have been devastated…
On Monday, the United Nations called the level of destruction “unprecedented.”

Amy Goodman: Ilan Pappé: Israel Has Chosen to be a “Racist Apartheid State” with U.S. Support (Democracy Now)
Gaza: Israeli Soldiers Shoot and Kill Fleeing Civilians (Human Rights Watch)
Mounting evidence of deliberate attacks on Gaza health workers by Israeli army (Amnesty International)
Russ Greenleaf: Make no mistake, Israel is targeting citizens in Gaza (Courier-Journal)

When John Kerry said, “some pinpoint operation,” he was asking the obvious question: Why is it that over half the people Israel has killed in Gaza are women and children? More than 150 children. If Israel is trying to avoid hitting civilians, why are over 70 percent of the casualties civilians?

Ben Hubbard, Jodi Rudorenaug: Questions of Weapons and Warnings in Past Barrage on a Gaza Shelter (New York Times)
Geoff Earle: Netanyahu asks US to help Israel avoid war crime charges (New York Post)
Glenn Greenwald: Terrorism in the Israeli Attack on Gaza (Intercept)
Glenn Greenwald: Netanyahu’s ‘Telegenically Dead’ Comment Is Grotesque but Not Original (Intercept)
Desmond Tutu: My plea to the people of Israel: Liberate yourselves by liberating Palestine (Haaretz)

Those who continue to do business with Israel, who contribute to a sense of “normalcy” in Israeli society, are doing the people of Israel and Palestine a disservice. They are contributing to the perpetuation of a profoundly unjust status quo.
Those who contribute to Israel’s temporary isolation are saying that Israelis and Palestinians are equally entitled to dignity and peace.
Ultimately, events in Gaza over the past month or so are going to test who believes in the worth of human beings…
Nelson Mandela famously said that South Africans would not feel free until Palestinians were free.
He might have added that the liberation of Palestine will liberate Israel, too.

Amira Hass: A European green light to kill, destroy and pulverize Gaza (Haaretz)

In its ongoing silence, official Germany is collaborating with Israel on its journey of destruction and death, waged against the Palestinian people in Gaza. Germany isn’t alone – Austria’s silence is also deafening.
Actually, why single out these two countries? On the second or third day of the war, Chancellor Angela Merkel wasn’t the only one to declare that she stood beside Israel. The entire European Union supported Israel and its right “to defend itself.”
Yes, France and Britain did some squirming last week, making a few feeble sounds of protest. But the EU’s original stance, stated on July 22, still resounds. It accused the side under prolonged Israeli siege of causing the escalation. This is the side that, despite all the European declarations on its right to self-determination and an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza, is still under Israeli occupation after 47 years.
EU member states and, obviously, the United States, gave Israel a green light to kill, destroy and pulverize. They placed the brunt of the blame on the people launching the rockets, the Palestinians. The rockets are disrupting the “order” and the “quiet,” endangering the security of Israel, which is so weak and vulnerable, always attacked for no reason whatsoever.

Rainer Rupp: Genozidplanspiele (junge Welt)

Pepe Escobar: Why Obama is bombing the Caliph (RT)

Obama’s bombing of the Caliph’s goons has absolutely nothing to do with US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power’s much beloved R2P (‘responsibility to protect’) doctrine – as in the responsibility to protect up to 150,000 Yazidis, not to mention Kurds and remaining Christians, from a ‘potential’ genocide carried out by the Caliph’s goons…
The Caliph’s goons were dead set on conquering Irbil – the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is led by the wily Massoud Barzani – a long-time US client/vassal.
The US maintains a consulate in Irbil. Crammed with CIA types. Or, as the New York Times so lovingly puts it, “thousands of Americans.”

Afghanistan: No justice for thousands of civilians killed in US/NATO operations (Amnesty International)

“Thousands of Afghans have been killed or injured by US forces since the invasion, but the victims and their families have little chance of redress. The US military justice system almost always fails to hold its soldiers accountable for unlawful killings and other abuses,” said Richard Bennett, Amnesty International’s Asia Pacific Director.
“None of the cases that we looked into – involving more than 140 civilian deaths – were prosecuted by the US military. Evidence of possible war crimes and unlawful killings has seemingly been ignored.”

Patrick Kingsley: Egypt massacre was premeditated, says Human Rights Watch (Guardian)

Egyptian security forces intentionally killed at least 817 protesters during last August’s Rabaa massacre, in a premeditated attack equal to or worse than China’s Tiananmen Square killings in 1989, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has argued in a report…
The report recommends that several senior individuals within Egypt’s security apparatus be investigated and, where appropriate, held to account for their role in the planning of both the Rabaa massacre and others that occurred last summer – including Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, Egypt’s then defence minister and new president. As head of the army at the time, Sisi had overall responsibility for the army’s role at Rabaa, and has publicly acknowledged spending “very many long days to discuss all the details”.

Lisa O’Carroll: Seymour Hersh on Obama, NSA and the ‘pathetic’ American media (Guardian)

Seymour Hersh has got some extreme ideas on how to fix journalism – close down the news bureaus of NBC and ABC, sack 90% of editors in publishing and get back to the fundamental job of journalists which, he says, is to be an outsider…
The Obama administration lies systematically, he claims, yet none of the leviathans of American media, the TV networks or big print titles, challenge him.

Should we laugh or cry? Since Obama said “We did some things that were wrong. We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks”, the New York Times decided to call torture torture. I guess the New York Times paid special attention to what Obama said right after that: “It’s important for us not to feel too sanctimonious in retrospect about the tough job that those folks had. And a lot of those folks were working hard under enormous pressure and are real patriots.” Remember that Obama also said that after taking office, he only banned “some” of torture techniques.
Alan Yuhas: New York Times to use the word ‘torture’ when describing torture (Guardian)

Under pressure from reporters and editors, the New York Times’ leadership has decided to use the word “torture” with regard to the CIA’s treatment of prisoners in the years following September 11.
Executive editor Dean Baquet published a statement on Thursday announcing the change in style, explaining that since we now know many more details of the CIA’s methods over the past decade – including waterboarding, sleep deprivation and caging prisoners in a box – the “plain-English” meaning of “torture” now outweighs the “specialized legal meaning” of the word.

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