Yoav Bar: Lessons from the Gaza War (Free Haifa)
The Israelis say they could conquer Gaza, but they didn’t do it. In fact, they already did it twice, in 1956 and in 1967. When they withdrew from Gaza in 2005 it was without agreement, after they paid a heavy price in two Palestinian intifadas. The fact that Gaza was not occupied again is the combine result of the expected resistance to the act of occupation and the memories of the resistance over 38 years of continued occupation. Any way you count it, the resistance is what keeps Gaza free of direct occupation.
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Serge Halimi: Unfair and unbalanced (Monde diplomatique)
For decades, we have been told that Israel is “responding” or “retaliating”. The story is always that of a peaceful little state, poorly protected, without a single powerful ally, which manages to win through, sometimes without a scratch. And the confrontation always starts at the precise moment when Israel appears as the victim, shocked by misfortune — an abduction, an attack, an act of aggression, an assassination. A commentator will express indignation that rockets are being fired at civilians; then another will argue that the Israeli “response” was much more murderous. Score, one all, ball still in play.
And everything else, everything that matters, is forgotten: the military occupation of the West Bank, the economic blockade of Gaza, the colonisation of the land (1). News channels never take the time to go into details… How many people know, for instance, that between the Six Day war and the Iraq war, between 1967 and 2003, Israel failed to comply with more than a third of all UN Security Council resolutions issued, many of them concerning the colonisation of Palestinian land? A simple ceasefire in Gaza would therefore mean perpetuating a recognised breach of international law.
Alain Gresh: Gaza: Palestine first and last (Monde diplomatique)
More than a thousand Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s latest assault on Gaza, against some 40 Israelis, and the numbers are rising. But Gaza, the birthplace of Palestinian nationalism, has a long history of resistance.
Slavoj Žižek: Rolling in underground tunnels (Mondoweiss)
Today in Gaza, the Israeli military is fighting not only in underground tunnels, but also against the natives of the land. They are fighting not only against Hamas, but also against Palestine itself. They –alongside the West– are fighting against a nation that they have tried to expel from the land for almost 70 years now. They are fighting not only because of these tunnels, but also and precisely to conquer the land within which the tunnels were dug. The refugee camps in Gaza are living evidence of this enormous land robbery…
Immediately after the occupation of the territories, Israeli political and intelligence officials began to debate the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Gaza Strip, on the assumption that it would remain under Israeli control: to El-Arish in Sinai, to Iraq, to Morocco…
The Gaza Strip was a thorn in the Zionist imaginaire. No one knew what to do with it…
Eshkol said: “I want them all to go, even if they go to the moon.” …
Occupation engenders resistance. Cruel occupation engenders fierce resistance, and terrorism as well…
Hundreds of Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured in shelling and bombardments since 2004 in Operation Rainbow (May), Operation Days of Penitence (September-October), Operation Summer Rains (June-November 2006) and Operation Hot Winter (February-March 2008). Those with a short memory, who live only the last war, remember at least the atrocity the Olmert government brought to a peak in Operation Cast Lead (winter of 2008-09). There was never any real link between the events and the “responses” of the Israel Defense Forces. They were always opportunities for rampages…
The crueler the oppression became, the more extreme the resistance that followed.
Evo Morales endorses BDS, calls Israel a terrorist state (BDS Movement) / Más de 500 personalidades del mundo condenan ofensiva de Israel (Jornada)
Yitzhak Laor: Eliminating the Palestinians as a political entity (Haaretz)
The [Israeli] government is intent on destroying every political entity in the West Bank and turning the Palestinians into a marginalized, fragmented people.
In response to Elie Wiesel advertisement comparing Hamas to Nazis, 327 Jewish Holocaust survivors and descendants publish New York Times ad accusing Israel of ‘ongoing massacre of the Palestinian people.’ …
“We must raise our collective voices and use our collective power to bring about an end to all forms of racism, including the ongoing genocide of Palestinian people. We call for an immediate end to the siege against and blockade of Gaza. We call for the full economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel. “Never again” must mean NEVER AGAIN FOR ANYONE!”
Gideon Levy, Alex Levac: Behind the IDF shooting of a 10-year-old boy (Haaretz)
It’s not clear why an Israeli soldier shot Khalil Anati in the Al-Fawar refugee camp. What is clear is that the shooter didn’t stay around long enough to offer assistance, or to watch the boy die…
Khalil Anati was 10 years and eight months old and came from the Al-Fawar refugee camp, south of Hebron in the West Bank, when he was killed. An Israeli soldier had opened the door of his armored jeep, picked up his rifle, aimed it at the upper body of the boy, who was running with his back to the soldier, and cut him down with one bullet, fired from a distance of a few dozen meters.
Stephanie Nebehay, Allyn Fisher-Ilan: Palestinian children tortured, used as shields by Israel: U.N. (Reuters)
Palestinian children in the Gaza and the West Bank, captured by Israel in the 1967 war, are routinely denied registration of their birth and access to health care, decent schools and clean water, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child said.
“Palestinian children arrested by (Israeli) military and police are systematically subject to degrading treatment, and often to acts of torture, are interrogated in Hebrew, a language they did not understand, and sign confessions in Hebrew in order to be released,” it said in a report.
Palestinian teen: I was used as a human shield in Gaza (+972)
Gideon Levy: The difference between children / ישראל מתחבאת מאחורי דניאל (Haaretz)
After the first child, nobody batted an eye; after the 50th not even a slight tremor was felt in a plane’s wing; after the 100th, they stopped counting; after the 200th, they blamed Hamas. After the 300th child they blamed the parents. After the 400th child, they invented excuses; after (the first) 478 children nobody cares.
Then came our first child and Israel went into shock…
An iron wall of denial and inhumanness protects the Israelis from the shameful work of their hands in Gaza…
We must admit the truth: Palestinian children in Israel are considered like insects. This is a horrific statement, but there is no other way to describe the mood in Israel in the summer of 2014.
John Jackson: What if Hamas fired rockets at Britain? (+972)
When Israeli spokesmen defend the IDF’s actions in Gaza by asking what you would do if rockets rained down on your home, the example of Northern Ireland can serve as one response.
PFLP salutes the Black struggle in the US: The empire will fall from within (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine)
Comrade Khaled Barakat said in an interview with the PFLP media outlets that “Police brutality, oppression and murder against Black people in the U.S., and against Latinos, Arabs and Muslims, people of color and poor people, has never been merely ‘mistakes’ or ‘violations of individual rights’ but rather are part and parcel of an integral and systematic racism that reflects the nature of the political system in the U.S.”
“Every time a crime is committed against Black people, it is explained away as an ‘isolated incident’ but when you see the massive number of ‘isolated incidents’ the reality cannot be hidden – this is an ongoing policy that remains virulently racist and oppressive. The U.S. empire was built on the backs of Black slavery and the genocide of Black people – and upon settler colonialism and the genocide of indigenous people,” said Barakat. “The people of Ferguson are resisting, in a long tradition of Black resistance, and we support their legitimate resistance to racist oppression.”
Amid fierce debate, members of German think tank take a stand on Gaza (MondoWeiss) / Erklärung einiger RLS-Stipendiat_innen, Ehemaliger, Vertrauensdozent_innen und Mitarbeiter_innen der Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung zum Gaza-Krieg (Inamo)
Justin Raimondo: ISIS: Made in Washington, Riyadh – and Tel Aviv (Information Clearing House)
ISIS didn’t just arise out of the earth like some Islamist variation on the fabled Myrmidons: they needed money, weapons, logistics, propaganda facilities, and international connections to reach the relatively high level of organization and lethality they seem to have achieved in such a short period of time. Where did they get these assets?
None of this is any secret: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the rest of the oil-rich Gulf states have been backing them all the way. Prince Bandar al-Sultan, until recently the head of the Kingdom’s intelligence agency – and still the chief of its National Security Council – has been among their biggest backers. Qatar and the Gulf states have also been generous in their support for the Syrian jihadists who were too radical for the US to openly back. Although pressure from Washington – only recently exerted – has reportedly forced them to cut off the aid, ISIS is now an accomplished fact – and how can anyone say that support has entirely evaporated instead of merely going underground?
Volodymyr Ishchenko: Ukraine’s Fractures (New Left Review)
I wouldn’t claim that Ukraine is more of a democracy than the other countries—better to say it’s a more competitive authoritarian regime. The political system that emerged in Ukraine was from the outset more pluralistic than those of, say, Russia, Kazakhstan or Belarus. One of the main reasons for this was the country’s cultural diversity: there were very significant regional differences between the east and the west, and these were reflected in electoral outcomes from the 1990s onwards. Any candidate who won the presidential elections would not be seen as legitimate by almost half the population, who would immediately voice strong opposition to him. The strength of regional identities also tended to politicize socio-economic questions very quickly. This was one reason why the neoliberal reforms were not carried out as rapidly as in Russia, for example—the political forces behind them were unable to build up the same kind of momentum. The difference is also apparent in Ukraine’s constitutional system, which was much less presidential than those of the other post-Soviet states. In Russia, 1993 was clearly a crucial moment, when Yeltsin imposed his will on parliament by force, sending the army into Moscow. Nothing like this happened in Ukraine.
Noam Chomsky: How Many Minutes to Midnight? On the Nuclear Era and Armageddon (Asia-Pacific Journal) / 「午前0時まで、あと何分？」～核時代とアルマゲドン （原子力発電 原爆の子）
If some extraterrestrial species were compiling a history of homo sapiens, they might well break their calendar into two eras: BNW (before nuclear weapons) and NEW, the nuclear weapons era. The latter era of course opened on August 6 1945, the first day of the countdown to what may be the inglorious end of this strange species, which attained the intelligence to discover effective means to destroy itself, but, so the evidence suggests, not the moral and intellectual capacity to control their worst instincts.
“His latest book, Masters of Mankind, will be published soon by Haymarket Books,” they say. Actually, the German translation came out in March already: Die Herren der Welt. Vienna: Promedia, 2014.
Mel Gurtov: Time for the U.S. to Engage North Korea (Asia-Pacific Journal)
Sticks and carrots won’t get North Korea to give up its nukes. But a willingness to negotiate a peace treaty and provide security guarantees might.
Jordan Sargent: Cop Pens Touching Op-Ed: Do Everything I Say and I Won’t Kill You (Gawker)
Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you.