Palestine/Israel | Ukraine | USA

Amira Hass: How many Palestinian civilians is a single militant worth? (Haaretz)

As of Thursday, 76.8 percent of the 2,090 fatalities documented by Mizan have been civilians. The UN team’s preliminary examination showed Wednesday that 71 percent of the fatalities — 1,434 out of 1,999 — are civilians.

Death Foretold: The inevitable outcome of bombing homes and inhabited areas in Gaza (B’Tselem)

From 8 July 2014, when the recent bout of fighting in Gaza began, through 10 August 2014, at least 1,767 residents of the Gaza Strips were killed. This according to initial figures B’Tselem collected in the course of the fighting. This number includes 431 individuals under the age of 18 (including one of whom it is known that he took part in the hostilities); 200 women under the age of 60; and 85men and women over 60.
To the best of B’Tselem’s knowledge, at least 70 residential buildings were bombed or shelled, with three or more relatives from a single family killed in each case. A total of 542 persons, mostly minors and women, were killed in these 70 homes: 242 minors; 126 women under the age of 60; and 25 men and women over 60.
Airstrikes on homes formed a major part of the policy implemented by the Israeli military from the start of this bout of fighting in Gaza…
As part of that policy, homes were bombed every day, more and more civilians were killed and entire families were obliterated. Even compared to previous bouts of fighting in Gaza, the number and frequency of incidents this time around was unusually high, with many people killed each time, mostly civilians who did not take part in the hostilities…
The grave consequences lend a hollow ring to Israel’s repeated claims that it has no intention of harming civilians. The massive bombardments of civilian locations were the rule rather than the exception in the last operation, routinely killing dozens of people a day. Whoever authorized the strikes must have known that they would result in many civilian fatalities, yet the bombardments continued day after day and even intensified. Authorizing attacks from the air, sea and artillery fire at heavily populated civilian areas and specific homes, constitutes willfully ignoring the inevitable killing of civilians – men, women and children – who did not take part on in the hostilities.

AP: UN: Gaza reconstruction 3 times more dire than after 2009 war (Haaretz)

Serry said approximately 16,800 housing units have been destroyed or severely damaged, affecting some 100,000 Palestinians. In addition, he said an estimated 108 installations belonging to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees were damaged along with the Gaza branch of his own office.

Amira Hass: Israel bars Amnesty, Human Rights Watch workers from Gaza (Haaretz)
Nir Hasson, Yaniv Kubovich: Israel Police’s war against Arab protesters (Haaretz)

Some 1,500 [anti-war] protesters were arrested between July 2 and August 6. Over 650 criminal records were opened and more than 350 people were charged … none are Jewish. Arabs are charged, Jews aren’t.

Jeff Halper: Globalizing Gaza (CounterPunch)

Operation Protective Edge was not merely a military assault on a primarily civilian population. As in its previous “operations” (Cast Lead in 2008-9 and Pillar of Defense in 2012), it was also part of an ongoing assault on international humanitarian law (IHL) by a highly coordinated team of Israeli lawyers, military officers, PR people and politicians, led by (no less) a philosopher of ethics. It is an effort not only to get Israel off the hook for massive violations of human rights and international law, but to help other governments overcome similar constraints when they embark as well on “asymmetrical warfare,” “counterinsurgency” and “counter-terrorism” against peoples resisting domination. It is a campaign that Israel calls “lawfare” and had better be taken seriously by us all.

Gidi Weitz: Signs of fascism in Israel reached new peak during Gaza op, says renowned scholar (Haaretz)

Israel Prize laureate and renowned scholar fears the collapse of Israeli democracy, and compares the current atmosphere with that of 1940s’ France. The time we have left to reverse this frightening trend is running out, he warns…
“What we’ve seen here in the past few weeks is absolute conformism on the part of most of Israel’s intellectuals. They’ve just followed the herd. By intellectuals I mean professors and journalists. The intellectual bankruptcy of the mass media in this war is total. It’s not easy to go against the herd, you can easily be trampled. But the role of the intellectual and the journalist is not to applaud the government. Democracy crumbles when the intellectuals, the educated classes, toe the line of the thugs or look at them with a smile. People here say, ‘It’s not so terrible, it’s nothing like fascism – we have free elections and parties and a parliament.’ Yet, we reached a crisis in this war, in which, without anyone asking them to do so, all kinds of university bodies are suddenly demanding that the entire academic community roll back its criticism.”

Noam Sheizaf: בואו לא נשתמש במלים “פאשיזם” ו”דמוקרטיה” יותר לעולם (Shicha Mekomit) / Let’s stop using the terms ‘fascism’ and ‘democracy’ from now on (972mag)
Ilan Lior: Demonstrators face off outside Jewish-Arab wedding (Haaretz)

Earlier in the day, the court refused to prohibit the protest outside the wedding hall where the mixed Muslim-Jewish celebrated their recent marriage, and ordered protesters to remain at least 200 meters from the venue … The Rishon Letzion Magistrate’s court issued the ruling after the couple applied for an injunction to stop the demonstration…
The protesters shouted racist and threatening slogans such as “Death to leftists,” and waved Israeli flags and blew the shofar. They carried signs saying such things as “Daughter of Israel to the people of Israel,” and “Assimilation is a Holocaust.”

Patrick Cockburn: The secret report that helps Israel hide facts (Independent)

Chris Marsden: Still no evidence of Russia’s alleged military incursion into Ukraine (World Socialist Web Site)

If reports from the Guardian and the Telegraph are to be believed, experienced journalists stood by and watched Russian military vehicles enter Ukraine without taking a photograph to record the event.

Niles Williamson: Why have the media and Obama administration gone silent on MH17? (World Socialist Web Site)

The deafening silence of the US media and government about the investigation into the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 one month ago reeks of a cover-up.

Speculation on flight MH17 picked up by Malaysian media:
Peter Haisenko: Shocking Analysis of the ‘Shooting Down’ of Malaysian MH17 (Anderwelt)
Robert Parry: Flight 17 Shoot-Down Scenario Shifts (Consortium News)
Haris Hussain: US analysts conclude MH17 downed by aircraft (New Straits Times)

Intelligence analysts in the United States had already concluded that Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down by an air-to-air missile, and that the Ukrainian government had had something to do with it.
This corroborates an emerging theory postulated by local investigators that the Boeing 777-200 was crippled by an air-to-air missile and finished off with cannon fire from a fighter that had been shadowing it as it plummeted to earth.

‘MH17 unlikely shot by fighter jet’ (Star)

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein is having none of the allegation that Flight MH17 was shot down by a fighter jet.
“In my personal capacity as Defence Minister and from what I have seen, I believe it’s impossible that an air-to-air missile was used to shoot down the plane,” he said yesterday.

Jesse Jackson: There is a Ferguson Near You (CounterPunch)

Ferguson is a suburb of St Louis that is two-thirds African American. Its 53-person police force has only three African Americans. Its mayor and five of six of its city council members are white. Its seven member all-white school board has just closed the school that Michael Brown graduated from.

Glenn Greenwald: The Militarization of U.S. Police: Finally Dragged Into the Light by the Horrors of Ferguson (Intercept)
Heather Digby Parton: Warrior cops on steroids: How post-9/11 hysteria created a policing monster (Salon)
Rania Khalek: Israel-trained police “occupy” Missouri after killing of black youth (Electronic Intifada)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: The Coming Race War Won’t Be About Race (Time)

Ferguson is not just about systemic racism — it’s about class warfare and how America’s poor are held back…

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