The Strangulation of Gaza

The people of Gaza were able to enjoy a few days of freedom last week, after demolition charges brought down the iron wall separating the impoverished Palestinian territory from Egypt, allowing hundreds of thousands to burst out of the virtual prison into which Gaza has been transformed over the past few years–the terminal stage of four decades of Israeli occupation–and to shop for desperately needed supplies in Egyptian border towns.

Gaza’s doors are slowly closing again, however. Under mounting pressure from the United States and Israel, Egypt has dispatched additional border guards armed with water cannons and electric cattle prods to try to regain control. It has already cut off the flow of supplies crossing the Suez Canal to its own border towns. For now, in effect, Suez is the new border: even if Palestinians could get out of Gaza in search of new supplies, they would have to cross the desolate expanses of the Sinai Desert and cross the canal, on the other side of which they would find the regular Egyptian army (barred from most of Sinai as a condition of the 1979 Camp David treaty with Israel) waiting for them.

Now that Gaza’s fleeting taste of freedom is beginning to fade, the grim reality facing the territory’s 1.5 million people is once again looming large. “After feeling imprisoned for so long, it has been a psychological relief for Gazans to know that there is a way out,” said John Ging, the local director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). “But it does not resolve their crisis by any stretch of the imagination.”

Indeed, all the frenzied shopping in Egyptian border towns brought into Gaza a mere fraction of the food that UN and other relief agencies have been blocked by Israel from delivering to the people who depend on them for their very survival. As long as the border with Egypt is even partially open, Israel refuses to open its own borders with Gaza to anything other than the bare minimum of industrial fuel to keep the territory’s one power plant operating at a subsistence level, and a few trucks of other supplies a day.

UNRWA has almost depleted the stocks of emergency food aid it had previously built up in Gaza. Only thirty-two truckloads of goods have been allowed to enter Gaza since Israel imposed its total closure on January 18; 250 trucks were entering every day before last June, and even that was insufficient to meet the population’s needs.

On January 30 UNRWA warned that unless something changes, the daily ration that it will distribute on the 31st to 860,000 destitute refugees in Gaza will lack a protein component: the canned meat that is the only source of protein in the food parcels–which even under the best of circumstances contributes less than two-thirds of minimum daily nourishment–is being held up by Israel, and the stock of those cans inside Gaza has been exhausted. The World Food Program, which feeds another 340,000 people in Gaza, has brought in nine trucks of food aid in the past two weeks; in the seven months before that, it had been bringing in fifteen trucks a day.

Gazans have been ground into poverty by years of methodical Israeli restrictions and closures; 80 percent of the population now depends on food aid for day-to-day subsistence. With the aid, they were receiving “enough to survive, not to live,” as the International Red Cross put it. Without it, they will die.

All this is supposed to be in response to Palestinian militant groups’ firing of crude homemade rockets into Israel, which rarely cause any actual damage. There can be no excuse for firing rockets at civilian targets, but Israel was squeezing Gaza long before the first of those primitive projectiles was cobbled together. The first fatal rocket attack took place four years ago; Israel has been occupying Gaza for four decades.

The current squeeze on Gaza began in 1991. It was tightened with the institutionalization of the Israeli occupation enabled by the Oslo Accords of 1993. It was tightened further with the intensification of the occupation in response to the second intifada in 2000. It was tightened further still when Israel redeployed its settlers and troops from inside Gaza in 2005 and transformed the territory into what John Dugard, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied territories, referred to as a prison, the key to which, Dugard said, Israel had “thrown away.” It was tightened to the point of strangulation following the Hamas electoral victory in 2006, when Israel began restricting supplies of food and other resources into Gaza. It was tightened beyond the point of strangulation following the deposition of the Hamas-led government in June 2007. And now this.

When Israel limited commercial shipments of food–but not humanitarian relief–into Gaza in 2006, a senior government adviser, Dov Weisglass, explained that “the idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet but not to make them die of hunger.”

Israel’s “diet” was taking its toll even before last week. The World Food Program warned last November that less than half of Gaza’s food-import needs were being met. Basics including wheat grain, vegetable oil, dairy products and baby milk were in short supply. Few families can afford meat. Anemia rates rocketed to almost 80 percent. UNRWA noted at about the same time that “we are seeing evidence of the stunting of children, their growth is slowing, because our ration is only 61 percent of what people should have and that has to be supplemented.”

By further restricting the supply of food to an already malnourished population, Israel has clearly decided to take its “diet” a step further. If the people of Gaza remain cut off from the food aid on which their survival now depends, they will face starvation.

They are now essentially out of food; the water system is faltering (almost half the population now lacks access to safe water supplies); the sewage system has broken down and is discharging raw waste into streets and the sea; the power supply is intermittent at best; hospitals lack heat and spare parts for diagnostic machines, ventilators, incubators; dozens of lifesaving medicines are no longer available. Slowly but surely, Gaza is dying.

Patients are dying unnecessarily: cancer patients cut off from chemotherapy regimens, kidney patients cut off from dialysis treatments, premature babies cut off from blood-clotting medications. In the past few weeks, many more Palestinian parents have watched the lives of their sick children ebb slowly, quietly and (as far as the global media are concerned) invisibly away in Gaza’s besieged hospitals than Israelis have been hurt–let alone actually killed–by the erratic firing of primitive homemade rockets from Gaza, about which we have heard so much. (According to the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, these rockets have killed thirteen Israelis in the past four years, while Israeli forces have killed more than 1,000 Palestinians in the occupied territories in the past two years alone, almost half of them civilians, including some 200 children.)

Israel’s squeeze is expressly intended to punish the entire population for the firing of those rockets by militants, which ordinary civilians are powerless to stop. “We will not allow them to lead a pleasant life,” said Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert when Israel cut off fuel supplies on January 18, thereby plunging Gaza into darkness. “As far as I am concerned, all of Gaza’s residents can walk and have no fuel for their cars.”

Olmert’s views and, more important, his policies were reaffirmed and given the legal sanction of Israel’s High Court. In what human rights organizations referred to as a “devastating” decision, on January 30 the court ruled in favor of the government’s plan to further restrict supplies of fuel and electricity to Gaza. “The decision means that Israel may deliberately deprive civilians in Gaza of fuel and electricity supplies,” pointed out Sari Bashi, of the Gisha human rights organization in Israel. “During wartime, the civilian population is the first and central victim of the fighting, even when efforts are made to minimize the damage,” the court said. In other words, harm to the civilian population is an inevitable effect of war and therefore legally permissible.

That may be the view of Israel’s highest legal authority, but it is not how the matter is viewed by international law, which strictly regulates the way civilian populations are to be treated in time of war. “The parties to a conflict must at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants in order to spare the civilian population and civilian property,” the International Red Cross points out, invoking the Geneva Conventions and other founding documents of international humanitarian law. “Neither the civilian population as a whole nor individual civilians may be attacked.”

Moreover, no matter what Israel’s High Court says, what is happening in Gaza is not a war in the conventional sense: Gaza is not a state at war with the state of Israel. It is a territory militarily occupied by Israel. Even after its 2005 redeployment, Israel did not release its hold on Gaza; it continues to control all access to the territory, as well as its airspace, territorial waters and even its population registry. Over and above all the routine prohibitions on attacks on the civilian population and other forms of collective punishment that hold true in case of war, in other words, international law also holds Israel responsible for the welfare of the Gaza population. Article 55 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) specifically demands, for example, that, “to the fullest extent of the means available to it, the Occupying Power has the duty of ensuring the food and medical supplies of the population; it should, in particular, bring in the necessary foodstuffs, medical stores and other articles if the resources of the occupied territory are inadequate.”

Israel’s methodical actions make it clear that it is systematically grinding down and now actually starving people for whose welfare it is legally accountable simply because it regards Gaza’s 1.5 million men, women and children as a surplus population it would, quite simply, like to get rid of one way or the other: a sentiment made quite clear when Israel’s chief Ashkenazi rabbi proposed, shortly after the current crisis began, that the entire Palestinian population of Gaza should just be removed and transferred to the Egyptian desert. “They will have a nice country, and we shall have our country and we shall live in peace,” he said, without eliciting even a murmur of protest in Israel.

The overwhelming majority of Gazans are refugees or the descendants of refugees who were expelled from their homes when Palestine was destroyed and Israel was created in 1948. Like all Palestinian refugees, those of Gaza have a moral and legal right to return to the homeland from which they were expelled. Israel blocks their return for the same reason it expelled them in the first place, because their presence would undermine its already tenuous claim to Jewishness (this is the nature of the so-called “demographic problem” about which Israeli politicians openly complain). As long as the refugees live, what Israel regards as the mortal threat of their right of return lives on. But if they would somehow just go away…

“Gaza is on the threshold of becoming the first territory to be intentionally reduced to a state of abject destitution, with the knowledge, acquiescence and–some would say–encouragement of the international community,” the commissioner-general of UNRWA warned recently.

The question now is whether the world will simply sit and watch, now that this unprecedented threshold is actually being crossed.

Having taken matters into their hands and destroyed the wall cutting them off from the outside world, it is most unlikely that the people of Gaza will simply submit to that fate. A hermetic closure ultimately depends not merely on Israel’s whims but on Egypt’s willingness–or ability–to cut off the Palestinians of Gaza and watch them starve. For all the US and Israeli pressure on Egypt, and for all the steps Egypt is now taking, it seems most unlikely that it would let things go that far. Not intervening to save fellow Arabs from the Israeli occupation is one thing; actually participating in their repression is quite another. The Egyptian government would have to answer not only to the people of Palestine but to its own people, and indeed to all Arabs.

Working together, Hamas and the people of Gaza have forced Egypt’s hand and made much more visible than ever before the role it had been playing all along in the Israeli occupation and strangulation of Gaza; now that its role in assisting Israel has been revealed, it will be difficult for Egypt to go back to the status quo. Gazans have thrown Israel’s plans into disarray, because Israel’s leaders could do little more than watch with pursed lips as the people of Gaza burst out of their prison. And they have placed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the government of Ramallah in a corner: they will have to choose between defending their people’s rights and needs or confirming once and for all–as indeed they are doing–that the PA is there to serve Israel’s interests, not those of the Palestinians. In which case they too will one day be called to account.

Saree Makdisi, a professor of English and comparative literature at UCLA, writes often about the Middle East. Read other articles by Saree, or visit Saree's website.

33 comments on this article so far ...

Comments RSS feed

  1. jaime said on February 4th, 2008 at 8:43am #

    My heart bleeds.
    However as of today it is still far more important for the Gaza leadership & Hamas to attempt to annihilate Jews than it is to secure the future and well being of their own people.

    In fact that’s their biggest asset. The enforced suffering of their own people.

    The Egyptians and other Arabs don’t want them either, because they’re too violent and ideologically screwed up.

    This could end tomorrow, but their own leaders are keeping them hostage.

    February 5, 2008
    Israel Hit by First Suicide Attack in a Year

    DIMONA, Israel — One of two suicide bombers from Gaza who may have sneaked into Israel from the Egyptian Sinai blew himself up at a shopping center in this southern desert town on Monday, and medical officials said he killed an Israeli woman and wounded 11 other people. It was the first suicide attack in Israel in more than a year.

    The second bomber failed to detonate his explosive belt and was shot dead by a police officer at the scene, a police spokesman said.

    Militant groups in Gaza made the names of the attackers public later Monday, saying the attackers had come from Gaza. The militant group Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, a militia loosely affiliated with the mainstream Fatah movement headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Fatah, claimed responsibility, and said it carried out the attack with another militant faction, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and another unknown group calling itself the United Popular Brigade.

    Over the previous 11 days, residents of Gaza had been able to move in and out of Egypt with relative ease because of a temporary breach in the sealed Gaza-Egypt border, which the Egyptian military resealed on Sunday.

    The Israeli authorities had warned in recent days that Palestinian militants took advantage of the breach of the border between Gaza and Egypt, which occurred after members of the Hamas movement that runs Gaza blasted sections of a wall between the two on Jan. 23.

    The Egyptian authorities have reported the arrest of more than a dozen Palestinian militants carrying weapons and explosives in the Sinai Peninsula, close to the border with Gaza, over the past few days.

    The last suicide attack in Israel came in January 2007 in the southern city of Eilat, killing three Israelis.

    In the hours after Monday’s attack, police officers lined the streets of Dimona and closed off the area of the bombing to the public.

    Esther Peretz, 41, who had been running an errand at the shopping center, said she heard the bomb explode around 10:30 a.m. and arrived at the scene a few minutes later to see people gathering outside the City Hall. “It’s the first time a bomb has gone off like this in Dimona,” she said. “I can’t quite absorb it. There is a very hard feeling today.”

    Kobi Moor, 34, the police officer who shot the second attacker, said he approached the man as he lay on the ground, apparently injured from the first blast, then shot him when he moved his hand toward an explosives belt strapped to his abdomen.

    “His hand was twitching,” Mr. Moor told reporters. “He raised it again. So I shot four bullets into his head and neutralized him.”

    After the bombing, the police services went on high alert in various areas of the country, and near Dimona police officers were stationed at main junctions on roads leading to the city.

    Dimona, a remote working-class town in the Negev desert, is best known for its proximity to Israel’s nuclear reactor. The attack took place several miles from the heavily guarded reactor.

    “Palestinian terror groups continue to strike at Israeli civilians,” said David Baker, an Israeli government spokesman, after the attack Monday. “Israel will continue to take the requisite steps to defend its people,” he said, without elaborating on any likely response.

    Earlier Monday, Israeli forces killed two Islamic Jihad militants in an exchange of fire during an arrest raid in the village of Qabatiya in the northern West Bank.

    Mr. Abbas’s Palestinian Authority issued a statement on Monday condemning both the Qabatiya raid and the attack in Dimona.

    The Israeli air force later said it had also carried out an attack in Gaza against militants it said had been responsible for rocket attacks on Israel. Reuters reported that a senior Palestinian militant and several others were injured in the attack, citing a source in Hamas.

    At Sunday’s cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, the head of Israel’s Shin Bet internal security service warned that militants had smuggled advanced weaponry into Gaza while the border was down, including long-range missiles and antitank and antiaircraft missiles.

    The defense minister, Ehud Barak, told the cabinet there was an urgent need to build a fence along the porous border between Israel and Egypt.

  2. maryb said on February 4th, 2008 at 11:32am #

    j’aime = I love

    I don’t think you love anybody. You are misnamed because you are so full of hate and vitriol for the oppressed Palestinian people whose land was taken from them illegally by the Israelis.

    Any death which is unnatural or non-accidental must of course be regretted but please bear in mind that the mainstream media fed by the Zionist lobbies report events unevenly. Here in the UK all day on radio and TV broadcasts the BBC has given this awful incident a lot of prominence. However they rarely mention the daily raids on Gaza by Israeli aircraft, shelling, the use of thermo-baric missiles and illegal munitions and other incursions with the same emphasis. What is the difference between a suicide attack and a bomb dropped by an Israeli aircraft? The result(s) of both are the deaths of loved ones and the grief of those who live on.

  3. jaime said on February 4th, 2008 at 1:06pm #

    I luv you too, Dear.

    1) The Israelis vacated Gaza in 2005.

    2) There used to be a more or less open border between Israel and Gaza, except Gaza is in a war of annihilation with Israel.

    3) Gazans have been attacking Israel daily with rockets and mortar bombs.

    You’re from the UK? Ever heard of the German Blitz during WW2?
    I suppose not.
    Anyway, the British retaliated against the Germans bombing their cities by bombing German cities.

    Meanwhile these 2 assholes attacked civilians in a market place. With terror bombs.

    Both the Israelis and I want to see a negotiated settlement and a 2 state solution. If that’s hate and vitriol then what of it?



  4. Sunil Sharma said on February 4th, 2008 at 7:54pm #


    The only “peace” you’re interested in is the peace of a Palestinian graveyard.

  5. L.A. WRIGHT said on February 5th, 2008 at 12:09am #

    Israel stole land from the Palestinians in 1967. It has refused to end the occupation. It caused the Palestinians to be homeless and suffer the
    greatest misery and oppression in history. Israel committed genocide
    on these innocent helpless people. It has waged unrelenting war on these victims, destroyed their homes with bulldozers, and dropped
    2,000 pound bombs on Men, women, and children. They have imprisoned the victims, surrounding them with huge fences that deprive
    them of freedom of movement. They refused to engage in peace process that would return all the stolen land.

    We gave Israel five billion dollars a year, helping them to destroy
    the Palestinians. We need that money for our education, health care
    veterans benefits, unemployment insurance, Social Security Insurance, and a Department of Peace.

    U.S. cuddling is quite befuddling since it supports Israeli muddling.
    It takes more than a slap on the hand to make the thieves get off the
    land. Do not feed the Israeli greed that causes millions to bleed. Israel will never make peace I fear, as long as we give it 5 billion per yr.

    The time is drawing nigh as Israel makes the Arabs sigh and cry. Israeliterror is a plight fused with blood and massive blight. UN
    resolutions she will never abide with the U.S. tied to her side. Israel
    must allow inspections of 800 nukes in Dimona. They could put
    the whole world in a coma. We will never stop this bloody hour with
    AIPAC (American Israel Political Affairs Committ in power.
    I am Lloyd A. Wright, a WWII Marine Corps veteran, an “Honor Man”,
    who fought to save the Jews. Now I must fight with all my heart to
    save the Palestinians.

  6. jaime said on February 5th, 2008 at 9:41am #


    …and blowing up marketplaces and shooting missiles and mortar bombs at Israel is gonna help HOW, Mushbrain?

  7. maryb said on February 5th, 2008 at 12:27pm #

    See you’re still at it. Are you one and the same? Sounds like it.

    Submitted by Jaime Eisen (United States), Feb 13, 2005 at 10:18
    Did not Koheles said “There is nothing new under the sun”? The present negotiations between Israel and the Arabs are a repeat of Oslo and resemble Munich: Give Checoslovakia to Hitler and we will have peace in our time. 50 million people including 6 million Jews (my grandmother, my aunt and her husband and other relatives among them) had to die to prove the concept was wrong. The Arabs are saying what they plan to do and the West prefers to ignore these statements the same way Mein Kampf was ignored as well as the teaching given to the German younger generation.

  8. maha said on February 5th, 2008 at 2:31pm #

    All Palestinians have, under International Law, the right of return to their homeland in Palestine, which is currently being prevented by the Israeli apartheid regime which is guilty of countless crimes against humanity and in breach of hundreds of UN resolutions. Jaime, you can scream your head off about one suicide bomber and shut your eyes to everything else, just don’t imagine that people are as stupid and brainwashed as you are to ignore the reality of Israel’s crimes not only of 60 years of occupation and terror in the Middle East, but across the world.

  9. maha said on February 5th, 2008 at 2:48pm #

    mary, Hitler was Austrian not Arab, your “reasoning” is not only racist but totally warped. Why was a jewish apartheid state not formed in Austria or Germany rather than going to a far-off land, terrorising the indigenous people and displacing nearly 8million people. It has nothing to do with mumbo jumbo religion, that is simply a tool of mind control, it has everything to do with the British and European elite setting up a terrorist base of operations in the ME called Israel. Everything you project onto “Arabs” describes you yourself exactly.

  10. jaime said on February 5th, 2008 at 5:32pm #


    I hate to interrupt someone during a good hateful rant, but Israel is not an apartheid state as much as you and your friends would like it to be so.

    Arabs are 20% of the population of Israel. Arabic is one of the 3 official languages. Arabs are not subject to “pass” laws, and may live wherever they wish in Israel and do not have to go home to “bantustands” at night. Arabs go to the same hospitals and universities as Jews, and also join the IDF. Oh, and they are free to travel, too.

    Are Arab Israelis leaving in droves????

    Uh no. Israel gives them the best and most open lifestyle in the Middle east.

    There is the occupation and the separation wall, and separate roads in the West Bank and these are regrettable but necessary to protect Israel’s population.

    If the Arabs quit shooting and chose to recognize the existence of Israel and negotiated borders and other terms then none of those security necessitated things would be needed.

    Want to see what an apartheid state looks like? Try Saudi Arabia.

    There’s no comparison.


    And those UN resolutions? Bogus. trumped up. Not worth the paper that they were written on. All hateful.

  11. jaime said on February 5th, 2008 at 8:00pm #

    Think about this, my little friends…

    How much closer to freedom, bread, prosperity and happiness did that suicide attack in Dimona bring those poor poor people in Gaza?

    It didn’t. It pushed those dreams further away, again convincing all but primitive violent savages that acts of terror just make things worse.

    The the Israelis retaliated, killing on a 10-1 ratio.

    Even the Egyptians and other Arabs don’t want them around. Until they change their approach, it’s going to get worse and worse for them. And nobody will care. The world will let them die.

  12. maryb said on February 6th, 2008 at 1:47am #

    Maha – you’ve got it wrong. Those were not my comments but a copy of those written by a ‘Jaime Eisen’ on another site. I was trying to draw out our Zionist friend who is so full of spite and hate that he sits poised like a spider behind his web awaiting comments from people like us who hold the opposite view. Then he goes into attack. He is one of many of the type who try to dominate the comments pages on the internet and print. I will not put anything further on here – it just feeds him opportunities to spew vitriol and he can’t talk to himself or can he?

  13. Mulga Mumblebrain said on February 6th, 2008 at 4:15am #

    There have been several hundred deaths in Gaza since the Israelis ‘withdrew’ to the concentration camps walls. The Israelis kill in many ways-through F16s dropping bombs on apartments, death-squads assassinating resistance fighters, artillery bombardment blowing up families picnicking on beaches or through slow starvation or cutting off electricity to hospitals etc. All this leaves jaime unmoved. What a surprise! Never forget Rabbi Kook the Elder’s inimitable words if you wish to understand the savage racism of the judeofascist mindset.
    ‘There is a greater difference between the soul of a Jew and a non-Jew, than there is between the soul of a non-Jew and an animal’.
    As to the particular savagery in Gaza, the judeofascists always attribute the blame to the ‘two-legged animals’, Israel being moral perfection. The rockets fired by the resistance are a mere pinprick besides the ordeal the Gazans endure, but we’re not talking ‘moral equivalence’ here. Fortunately very little Israeli blood has been spilt, but in response, Mordechai Eliyahu, former Chief Sephardic Rabbi, so no fringe figure, stated, as reported in the Jerusalem Post on May 30, 2007,
    ‘All civilians living in Gaza are collectively guilty for Kassam attacks on Sderot’ he wrote in a letter to Olmert. He ‘ruled’ that there was absolutely no moral prohibition against the indiscriminate killing of civilians (the truth of Jewish ‘morality’ is, apparently, somewhat different from the manner in which it is usually represented).
    To show he was up to Daddy’s level of ‘moral purity’, Eliayahu’s son, Shmuel, who is chief rabbi of Safed, said, ‘ If they do not stop after we kill 100, then we must kill a thousand. And if they do not stop after 1,000, then we must kill 10,000. If they don’t stop we must kill 100,000, even a million. Whatever it takes..’
    Not exactly congruent with International Law, but surely a complete facsimile of standard Nazi invective from the ’30s and ’40s. While it is essential to remember many Jews and Israelis would reject these views vehemently, it is also terrifyingly obvious they are nearly totally impotent, and the attitudes almost always presented as the Israeli or Jewish position, are those of the likes of jaime and his ilk. It is not too extreme, I believe, to see this hyper-aggressive, chauvinist and racist state, which feels no restraint in deliberately killing civilians and imprisoning and tormenting an entire people in their several millions, and which is armed to the teeth with hundreds of thermo-nuclear weapons, as one of the greatest menaces in the world today. Israel must be stopped, before a more crazed or desperate leader than even the likes of Sharon or Netanyahu arises (jaime, perhaps?) and plunges the entire Middle East into unprecedented bloodshed.

  14. jaime said on February 6th, 2008 at 8:30am #

    And what’s your cure for the problem Mulga?

    More kassam missiles? More suicide terror bombings?

    That’s what’s prompted the military responses and fences and blockades in the first place.

    We know your cure.

    Killing the 7 million people in Israel and turning the place into another forlorn shithole like the ones your ‘friends” are in now.

    You know what one of the saddest things I read lately was? It was a story about how while the fence was down, a Gazan managed to sell intact greenhouses to Egyptians for bargain prices. Never mind that they weren’t “his” to sell, …bequested by a Jewish philanthropist in 2005 to kickstart jobs and an independent economy for people in Gaza.. the greenhouses are now useless because the gazans can’t ship what they produce, because they’ve attacked the borders so many times that they’re sealed shut.

  15. Mulga Mumblebrain said on February 7th, 2008 at 3:59am #

    It’s really very simple jaime-Israel must stop killing the Palestinians, stop dispossessing them, stop torturing them, stop imprisoning them in their thousands, stop stealing their water and their olive trees. They must withdraw to the Green Line, as International Law demands. They must allow the refugees ethnically cleansed in 1948 to return. They must acknowledge that all the verbiage and self-serving sludge that Eretz Yisrael, from the Nile to the Euphrates, is the property of the Jews alone, and its other inhabitants must go ‘elsewhere’ on the say-so of a non-existent boogey-man, is rubbish, just like transubstantiation, manifest destiny, immaculate conceptions, jihads and all the other religious hindrances to human brotherhood. Israel must do all these out of common decency, and out of self-interest. The idea you appear to hold, that Israel can continue to imprison and slaughter at their pleasure millions of people, cannot continue indefinitely. No matter how great Israeli military power, no matter how thoroughly Jewish money power controls the media and politics of the West, the Palestinians will one day free themselves. At the moment they are still, through an act of unbelievable forebearance, prepared to live in peace with the Israelis, just so long as they are treated like humans. You seem to think that imprisoned and barbarised people should crawl on their knees to kiss the boots of their oppressors, and if not it proves that they are ‘terrorists’. It is the same colonial mentality every White settler from Jamestown to Rhodesia carried inside his head, the sure and certain faith that he was a white man, a superior type, and the ‘niggers’ were just an obstacle in the path of progress. Israel is the mirror image of every other racist, colonial state. Whether it ends up like its old love South Africa and reforms itself, or like the US simply slaughters the indigenous until only a tiny, demoralised rump remain, only time will tell.

  16. Woody said on February 7th, 2008 at 6:03am #

    “The the Israelis retaliated, killing on a 10-1 ratio,” says Jaime. Yeah, they’ve been slaughtering Palestinian kids at the rate of 10 to 1 since the second Intifada started in 2000. If there’s anything the Israelis are good at, it’s slaughtering kids.

    By the way buddy, my family lived through the onslaught of Hitler’s Dooldlebugs and V1’s. They were REAL rockets that would flatten a whole street, not daft little home-made Qassams. Get real.

  17. jaime said on February 7th, 2008 at 10:29am #

    Thanks Woody,
    Please post your address here and we’ll make arrangements for random drive by shootings at your home/apt. Being as you’re already used to V1 rockets, this should be a welcome diversion.

    (The above was posted in sarcasm, not as a threat)

    Mulga Mulga Mulga.

    So the Jews control all the media and all the politics of the west. Whew, didn’t know we were so powerful. Thanks.

  18. Mulga Mumblebrain said on February 7th, 2008 at 8:39pm #

    No jaime, not all the media, just most-check out the ownership, the ranks of senior executives, their avowed politics. Check out the editorial policies of, say Canwest, where criticism of Israel is literally career-ending. As to control, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. There have been scores of studies of media pro-Israeli bias. One needs only read the opinion pieces and the editorials. Denying the bleeding obvious is not a good look, jaime-it tends to diminish the strength of your other arguments. As to politics, the same position pertains, in trumps. While Israel destroys Palestinian society, kills Palestinian children, swallows yet more land and ignores international law with contempt, the silence from ‘Western democracies’ is deafening. The occasional whimper of protest is met by fierce, co-ordinated denunciation. We had a beautiful example here some years ago when Hanan Ashrawi was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize. The reaction was truly psychopathic. The University bestowing the award was threatened and the media was replete with articles denouncing Ashrawi as the acceptable face of terrorism. The Mayor of Sydney, whose multi-millionaire husband was seeking endorsement for the wealthiest electorate in the country, with the highest Jewish vote, denounced the award. The wife of a former Premier of NSW, let it slip that the driving force behind the campaign was Frank Lowy, a fanatically Zionist billionaire, with impeccable political connections. To top it all, an obscure military officer, on duty in Iraq as part of that illegal aggression, wrote complaining of the award, asserting, despicably in my opinion, that the award to Ashrawi would be of aid and encouragement to the so-called ‘terrorists’ in Iraq, an unconscious irony, as he was part of the real terrorist force in Iraq. This creature later surfaced as an expert on International Law when he asserted, with, in my opinion, stupefying arrogance, that the 14 out of 15 justices of the International Court of Justice were incorrect in finding Israel’s concentration camp walls to be illegal. That’s what I call chutzpah. Naturally such ‘politically correct’ devotion to the Holy State merits fitting reward, and he was duly chosen as a political candidate by the ‘Labor’ Party. He denied he was a stooge of Israel, and stated he’d never been in a synagogue, at least not since his son’s bar mitzvah! According to jaime, speaking of a ‘conspiracy’ in this and countless other circumstances, is akin to quoting from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. This is not even to speak of the countless occasions when group discipline has slipped, and braggadocio has taken over. You Ziocons just love having it both ways, don’t you?

  19. jaime said on February 8th, 2008 at 9:32am #

    So…uh…what do you want to do about the Jews and Israel, Mulga?

    Kill them all?

    In the name of peace and justice?

    Why don’t you just get your sorry ass over Gaza and help them out? They’ve got lots more like over there. You’ll feel right at home.

  20. Woody said on February 8th, 2008 at 10:08am #

    “So…uh…what do you want to do about the Jews and Israel, Mulga? Kill them all?”
    Maybe random drive-by shootings… such an excellent idea of yours Jaime. “And nobody will care. The world will let them die.” Such a nice way you have with words too.
    How do you think things will look in 20 years’ time with Isreal’s attitude problem?

  21. maryb said on February 8th, 2008 at 11:19am #

    Mulga, Woody and the others Please don’t waste your time. He’s obviously obeying orders.
    The following letter was sent by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to a variety of pro-Israel organisations, so-called ‘hasbara’-groups and other supporters of Israel.
    Dear friends,

    Many of us recognize the importance of the Internet as the new battleground for Israel’s image. It’s time to do it better, and coordinate our on-line efforts on behalf of Israel. An Israeli software company have developed a free, safe and useful tool for us – the Internet Megaphone.

    Please go to, download the Megaphone, and you will receive daily updates with instant links to important internet polls, problematic articles that require a talk back, etc.

    We need 100,000 Megaphone users to make a difference. So, please distribute this mail to all Israel’s supporters.

    Do it now. For Israel.

    Amir Gissin

    Director Public Affairs (Hasbara) Department
    Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem

  22. Ekosmo said on February 8th, 2008 at 11:44am #


    “…doing it NOW…. For Israel…”

    Hahahahahaha… ROFLMAO….!

  23. maryb said on February 8th, 2008 at 1:46pm #

    I didn’t notice but ‘they’ had sabotaged that link by adding a comma at the end. It should be

    Cheers everybody. I’m just sorry that Professor Makdisi’s article has provoked these interventions and hope that it has been read and not overlooked.

  24. dan e said on February 8th, 2008 at 5:45pm #

    Finally I’ve figured it out. Jaime is actually a vicious anti-Semite nazi type who is out to make as many people as possible as angry as possible at Zionists, who he represents as representative of Jews in general. He’s hoping people will get mad enough to join him in his anti-Jewish vendetta.

    Sorry, man, no dice. Instead of wasting my life refuting each & every increment in your torrent of garbage, I’m going to just cool it, kick back & listen to my Flip Phillips records, maybe a lil Serge Chaloff, check out Prez on some them Gershwin & I Berlin tunes, might even download some Gilad Atzmon. Whose playing don’t crack me up that much, I’m probly just mired in the past, right? But his writing is mindblowing. He’s got your number, J’aimy. So does Dave Rovics, the git-tar picker.

    Hey, speaking of Religion, die ever tell the one bout Ruddy Bich and God? Well, see, Max Roach died & went to heaven. He gets up front a the Pearly Gates & here comes this Jewish-looken dude with a big beard wearen a real nice suit, pair a pointy-toed…

    Oh damn, gotta go the store. I’ll run down the rest of it necks time:)

    Yore Pal,


  25. jaime said on February 8th, 2008 at 6:03pm #

    Hey Woody,

    Here’s what the Gazan’s brothers said about them this week:

    CAIRO (AFP) – Egypt said on Thursday it would no longer tolerate Palestinians infiltrating the country from the Gaza Strip, and threatened to break the legs of anyone crossing the Rafah border illegally. “Anyone who breaches the border will have their legs broken,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit was quoted as saying by the official MENA news agency on public television overnight.

    Pretty welcome visitors I’d say. Ya’ll come back anytime!!!!,7340,L-3504139,00.html

    Egypt: Gazans used forged bills in Sinai

    Security sources report $1 million in counterfeit bills brought into country while Egypt-Gaza border was breached

    Roee Nahmias
    Published: 02.07.08, 19:06 / Israel News

    About $1 million in counterfeit bills, apparently originating in the Gaza Strip, were seized in the Sinai Peninsula in the past few days, Egyptian security sources told Palestinian news agency Ma’an on Thursday.

    According to the sources, hundreds of counterfeit bills, which are being used by merchants amongst themselves or in their dealings with the Egyptian banks, are being discovered every day.

    The Egyptian security sources estimated that additional forged banknotes would be discovered in the near future in light of the fact that Egyptian residents – mainly in the el-Arish, Rafah and Sheikh Zweid areas – are expected to use the money they received from Gaza residents in exchange for the various goods they sold them.

  26. maryb said on February 9th, 2008 at 4:42am #

    He is talking to himself now as I predicted 3 days ago.

    Oh what tangled webs we weave
    When first we practice to deceive.
    And when we’ve practiced for awhile,
    How we do improve our style!

  27. jaime said on February 9th, 2008 at 9:54am #

    I agree with Maryb.

    You should too.

    The Egyptians didn’t actually say that they were going to break legs, and the Gazans didn’t actually pass off monopoly money on the folks who gave them a break.

    And Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are coming to visit you.

  28. maryb said on February 10th, 2008 at 4:02pm #

    Something to watch here

  29. jaime said on February 10th, 2008 at 7:04pm #

    Yeah, the Iranian English language propaganda channel.

    This from a country where they hang gays from building cranes in the middle of Teheran.

    So tell us Maryb…do 8 year old children deserve to have their legs torn off by random bombing attacks from your friends?

    From The Times
    February 11, 2008
    Israeli fury over boy maimed by rocket
    James Hider in Jerusalem

    An eight-year-old boy lost his leg in a Palestinian rocket attack on the Israeli town of Sderot, heaping pressure on Ehud Olmert, the Prime Minister, to launch full-scale retaliation.

    Osher Twito was walking through the town centre on Saturday night with his brother, Rami, 19, when a volley of the unguided rockets hit, partially severing the boy’s leg, which doctors had to amputate. He suffered severe wounds to his other leg and abdomen. His brother also suffered severe injuries. More than 40 rockets landed in and around the southern town over the weekend. About 100 residents of Sderot blocked the main road leading into Jerusalem yesterday in protest at the Government’s inability to curb the rocket fire. A group of Sderot schoolgirls carried signs that declared: “We are not ducks at a shooting range.”

    Israel launched an airstrike on Gaza in response, killing a military leader of Hamas, which controls the coastal territory. But that failed to quell the anger over the constant attacks on Sderot. One opposition MP called for Israel’s military to “wipe a neighbourhood in Gaza off the map”.

    Mr Olmert rejected calls for a full-scale attack on Gaza, but served warning that the Islamist movement’s leaders, political and military, could be singled out for assassination.

    “We will continue to reach all the terror bodies — those responsible for them, those who send them and those who operate them,” said Mr Olmert, recalling past strikes that killed a number of Hamas political and spirit-

    ual leaders including Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the movement’s wheelchair-bound founder.

    Mr Olmert emphasised that he understood the fury of the Sderot residents but cautioned that a large-scale invasion of Gaza, such as the five-month operation in 2006 after an Israeli soldier was captured by Hamas, was not necessarily the solution.

    “The rage is understandable,” he said. “But it should be clear that rage is not a work plan. We must act in a systematic way over a long period of time. This is what we have been doing and we will continue doing.”

    Tzipi Livni, the Foreign Minister, said that there could be no peace with the Palestinians until the rocket barrages, fired by Hamas and other, smaller factions, ended. Her comments dented recent hopes that had been revived by negotiations between Israel and the secular Palestinian administration of the West Bank.

    Israel has focused its tactics on cutting supplies of fuel, electricity and all but the bare necessities to Gaza to squeeze its Islamist rulers into curbing the attacks. Hamas responded last month by destroying a wall separating it from Egypt although this has now been closed by Egyptian forces.

  30. maryb said on February 15th, 2008 at 10:41am #

    Something here to learn and remember. I am sure that the victims remember well.

  31. jaime said on February 15th, 2008 at 11:23pm #

    You may be sure that they do.

    & Be sure to check out all of the photos really closely, M’Dear.

  32. jaime said on February 15th, 2008 at 11:30pm #

    Here Mary,

    Meet Lilach. Tell us all again why she deserved to die.


    Would you torture the person who sent her killer in order to save other lives?

    Would you torture the person who sent her killer in order to save other lives?

  33. jaime said on February 16th, 2008 at 1:32pm #

    Hey where’d everybody go???

    I guess MaryB doesn’t know to say.
    That’s OK, this is a regular event here. Whenever the sickness of this terror culture is exposed and required to justify itself, all of you armchair revolutionaries take a walk.