The Indelible Shame of the Jewish State

A Culture of Cowardice Exposed to Acts of Valor

The Jewish state’s genocidal rampage against Gaza appears unbound by any tenets of law or morality. Many Israeli Jews do not even heed their own holocaust mantra of “Never again.” It makes one wonder: does that mantra only apply to crimes against Jews and not by Jews?

The criminality of Israel includes:

  • massacres of civilians1 and families;2
  • interfering with medical personnel;3
  • targeting and killing UN staff4 to continue the Israeli policy of starving the Gazans;56
  • humiliating UN personnel;7
  • targeting of schools,89 mosques,10 hospitals11, homes and shelters;12 and
  • crackdowns on domestic dissent.13

Corporate Media Complicity and Gore

A tired editorial eye revealed the complicity of the corporate media in the crimes of Israel. At first, CBS ran a headline that read: “Airstrikes hit Gaza schools, dozens killed.” The headline was later softened to: “Israel OK’s Gaza ‘Humanitarian Corridor’: Amid Increasing Carnage, Israel Agrees To Suspend Attacks In Certain Areas To Allow People To Get Vital Supplies,” shifting the focus away from Israel as a killing machine and recasting it as humanitarian.

The original version of the story reported, “John Ging, head of Gaza operations for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, said three U.N. schools have been hit in the last 24 hours and the ‘indications are that these strikes originated from Israeli weapons.'” The article also featured a photo of a Palestinian child with a blood-drenched face. The quotation from Ging identifying Israel as the perpetrator and the graphic photo were deleted from the later version online.

Screen shot of original story at CBS

Screen shot of original story at CBS

A headline and story featuring Israeli atrocities in contemporary corporate America media is rare indeed. So it was not a surprise when the incriminating headline, quotations, and photo were removed.

The Telegraph reported, “Growing evidence … of the bloodiest single incident of the Gaza conflict [sic] when around 70 corpses were found by a Palestinian paramedic near a bombed-out house.”

The account related that Israeli soldiers “had ordered about 100 members of the [al Samouni] clan to gather in a single house … around dawn on Sunday. At 6.35am on Monday the house was repeatedly shelled with appalling loss of civilian life.”

Shame

Horror and outrage characterize these vile, premeditated murders. But there is another indelible trait exposed: shamelessness — in particular, the shamelessness that reveals the cowardice among Israeli “warriors.”14
The shame is so intense that Jews abroad are seeking to estrange themselves from Israeli Jews.

Pianist Anton Kuerti said, “Israel’s behavior makes me ashamed of being a Jew, and Canada’s servile support of the United States’ position15 that it is all Hamas’s fault makes me ashamed of being a Canadian.”16

Indeed. While the Canadian government has been standing solidly behind Israel during the slaughter, it realizes that people in Gaza are in danger and seeks to have Canadians there repatriated to safety.17

Dissidents with Montreal-based Palestinian and Jewish Unity expressed outrage at “Israel’s latest assault on the Palestinian people and by the Canadian government’s refusal to condemn these massacres.”

CTV said, “They are deeply concerned that Canadians are hearing the views of pro-Israel groups who are being represented as the only voice of Jewish Canadians. The protesters have occupied the consulate to send a clear statement that many Jewish-Canadians do not support Israel’s violence and apartheid policies.”18 It is difficult to discern what the primary motivation for these Jewish-Canadians is. Is it to dissociate themselves from the shame of being stigmatized by the murder spree being waged by Israeli Jews or is it to deplore the war crimes against Palestinians — or could it be both?

Jewish Media Focuses on Its Own Manufactured Victimhood

The wanton killing by Israeli forces seems to have incited vehemence directed at Jews outside Israel.192021

The JTA focused on the beating of a single Jewish girl, which is absolutely deplorable, but it hides and propagandizes over the genocide of Palestinians. The contrast in the value placed on Jewish life versus non-Jewish life is stark.

The Audacity of Valor

W (World Wide Weekly), a culture and current events program on MBC (Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation) in Korea, showed a video depicting the courage of an unarmed woman using her body to prevent Israeli soldiers from shooting at Palestinian children. That adult men would raise weapons against an unarmed woman and rock-throwing children betrays the cowardice of the soldiers.

The Korean announcer states: “Sometimes Palestinians’s thirst for freedom leads to intense confrontation. Armed soldiers attack. The Palestinians defy them with stones and run away. They are the targets of Israeli soldiers. Rubber bullets with high killing power sometimes threaten lives. But then, a girl’s voice cries out, “Stop, stop, stop.”

This she shouts as she places her body in front of a soldier to prevent him from a getting a line of fire on the children.

She tries to reason with the soldier, asking him if he understands. “You are shooting at kids.” She offers the simple way for the soldiers out from the situation: “Just pull back.”

The Korean announcer comments, “One Palestinian woman blocks the muzzle of the gun. Her action surprises the soldiers. She resolves to stop the Israeli gunfire even with her unarmed body.”

“What are you shooting at? Why are you shooting at them?” the courageous woman asks as the soldier tries to position himself above her. She raises her arms.

In the background other soldiers begin shooting. The woman flinches at the sound of gunfire, but she holds her ground. World View News Service identifies the woman as Huwaida Arraf. Arraf is a Palestinian-American who co-founded the International Solidarity Movement in Jerusalem. Since she is a Palestinian-American activist, she probably knows of American solidarity activist Rachel Corrie and her fate, further boosting the valorous credentials of Arraf.

The Korean announcer says, “Despite her last ditch effort in throwing her body before the guns, even a slight peace is hard to come by. This is the cold reality of this land.”

Apart from ill-gotten booty, those who wield preponderant power are in a no-win situation. There is no gain from using violence on someone smaller or weaker. If clever, the powerful counterpart will withdraw, status still intact. To use violence on the weak and lose would make one a laughingstock. To use violence and beat the weaker counterpart would expose oneself, at best, to be a bully and a coward — and worse, a craven war criminal.

  • Thanks to Yang Hyesun for the translation from Korean. Thanks also to Ron Saba for the screen shot and steady flow of information on the terrible situation in Gaza.
    1. Doctor Decries Israeli Attacks,” YouTube, 5 January 2009. Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert tells of the bombing of a market place and an apartment house with children playing on the roof. He said 50 percent of the casualties are women and children. He called this “hell” “an all-out war against the Palestinian population, and we can poof that with the numbers… They are bombing one-and-a-half million people in a cage.” []
    2. Tim Butcher, “Gaza medics describe horror of strike which killed 70,” Telegraph, 8 January 2009. []
    3. Frank Jordans, “Red Cross: Israel delayed access to Gaza wounded,” Yahoo, 8 January 2009. “The Israeli military must have been aware of the situation but did not assist the wounded,” the international Red Cross said. “Neither did they make it possible for us or the Palestine Red Crescent to assist the wounded.” Craig Whitlock and Reyham Abdel Kareem, “100 Survivors Rescued in Gaza From Ruins Blocked by Israelis,” Washington Post, January 2009. []
    4. Shashank Bengali, “Israeli troops kill U.N. truck driver at Gaza crossing,” Miami Herald, 9 January 2009. It is reported, “Israeli soldiers opened fire Thursday on a truck attempting to deliver humanitarian aid to the beleaguered Gaza Strip, killing one United Nations-contracted driver and seriously wounding another, U.N. officials said.” []
    5. UN halts aid to Gaza, citing Israeli attacks on staff,” CBC News, 8 January 2009. []
    6. Reuters, “Red Cross: Israel breaking int’l law, letting children starve in Gaza,” Haaretz, 8 January 2009. []
    7. Days After Calling Israeli Blockade of Gaza ‘A Crime Against Humanity,’ UN Human Rights Investigator Richard Falk Detained, Expelled from Israel,” Democracy Now!, 17 December 2008. []
    8. UK Sky News video: Israeli bombing of UN Gaza schools Jan609,” YouTube, 7 January 2009. []
    9. Airstrikes Hit Gaza Schools, Dozens KilledCBS News, 6 January 2009. []
    10. AFP correspondents in Gaza City, “Deaths as missile hits praying crowd,” The Australian, 4 January 2009. []
    11. Ma’an news, “Gaza hospitals under fire,” Uruknet, 5 January 2009. []
    12. Israel ‘shelled civilian shelter,'” BBC News, 9 January 2009. []
    13. Israeli intel targets Israeli protesters,” the Real News, 9 January 2009. The enormity of the massacres has led to fissures in Israeli Jews’s solidarity. []
    14. Zionism aside, some Israeli Defense Force members do draw a line and refuse to carry out acts that violate their conscience. Robert Hirschfield, “An Israeli Refuseniks Good Fight,” In These Times, 6 April 2007. []
    15. US Senate supports Israel war on Gaza,” Press TV, 9 January 2009. []
    16. Jordana Huber, “Canadian Jews condemn Gaza attack,” Canwest News Service, 8 January 2009. []
    17. Canadian Press, “Canadians evacuated from Gaza,” Yahoo, 8 January 2009. []
    18. Police arrest 8 protesters at Israeli consulate,” CTV.ca, 7 January 2009. []
    19. Jewish girl beaten in Paris over Gaza,” JTA, 7 January 2009. []
    20. DPA, “Israeli tennis star Shahar Peer faces Gaza protest while playing in New Zealand,” Haaretz, 8 January 2009. Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer’s participation in a tournament in Auckland, Aoteaoroa was protested. []
    21. Allon Sinai, “Shocked Bnei Hasharon players return home after Ankara scare,” Jerusalem Post, 8 January 2009. Israeli basketball players felt threatened in Ankara, Turkey. []
    Kim Petersen is an independent writer and former co-editor of the Dissident Voice newsletter. He can be emailed at: kimohp at gmail.com. Twitter: @kimpetersen. Read other articles by Kim.

    46 comments on this article so far ...

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    1. Lloyd Rowsey said on January 9th, 2009 at 10:13am #

      And this just in: Bombs Hit Gaza as UN Urges Truce. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7820027.stm

    2. Lloyd Rowsey said on January 9th, 2009 at 10:16am #

      And this just in: Bombs Hit Gaza as UN Urges Truce.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7820027.stm

    3. Sunil Sharma said on January 9th, 2009 at 10:38am #

      Lloyd Rowsey wrote: “You are REALLY fuc***-up, Dissident Voice.”

      Behave yourself Lloyd or you’ll be permanently banned from the Comments board.

      — Sunil

    4. John said on January 9th, 2009 at 11:34am #

      It is so sad the Canadian Gov. is looking the conflict through Israel’s view. I am ashamed of my Government and hope it is gone ASAP.

    5. mary said on January 9th, 2009 at 12:04pm #

      My brother has just forwarded this which he sent to a group’s e-mail enclosing one of those Christian ‘turn the other cheek/see the good in your fellow man’ homilies. He has received one reply saying ”Could be argued the point of that Christian ‘pap’ was to demonstrate that by getting on with each other we’d all be in a better place.”

      They don’t get it at all.

      ‘Please stop sending me this pseudo-Christian pap. There is a genocide in progress of immense size and depth. I am weeping for my sisters and brothers in Gaza, Muslim in large majority but Christian also. I tried to get there on the 30th December as you might know but the Zionist and genocidal entity rammed our boat with the clear intention of sinking it, the medical supplies and 16 souls*.

      That the entity is habituated to killing, imprisoning, torturing, starving, bombing, strafing, burning with phosphorus is partly down to the absence of any opposition in the Gentile world. The ‘Christian’ church in the world has been all but silent, especially the comfortable and often pro-Zionist CofE.

      I am an atheist being a rationalist. I despise superstitions which veil the intent to divide, to make ‘the other’. But I was brought up a Christian and hold to most of Christ’s teachings – so obviously ignored by Judaism. Vengeance and killing are strong drives in it.

      If Christ were to be here today he would be sheltering the terrified children of Gaza beneath his arms and weep like me. Project your imagination to the suffering multitudes in Gaza who are 70% refugees from 1948, who have been tormented ever since and who are now picking up leaflets telling them to flee, but they know not where.

      Finally, are you warm, and is there clean water in the tap and food in the larder?

      For truth, reason and justice.
      David Halpin FRCS —————————————————————-

      *David was on the FreeGaza boat Dignity that was rammed by the Israeli Navy.

    6. Joshua Frank said on January 9th, 2009 at 12:46pm #

      Kim, you write:

      “The Jews of Israel do not even heed their own holocaust mantra of ‘Never forget.’ It makes one wonder: does that mantra only apply to crimes against Jews and not by Jews?”

      I believe this to be misleading and ignorant as you seem to overlook the fact that there is substantial dissent and debate over this issue in Israel. Your statement implies that all Israeli Jews are lock-step in support of their government’s murderous deeds in Gaza, this is patently false.

      See this video of Israeli protests against the bombings and invasion:

      http://www.tv.social.org.il/eng/stv-aza-oferet-27-12-08-eng.htm

      Also, there is discussion and debate going on in the Knesset — far more so than on Capital Hill, not that that’s saying much.

    7. Erroll said on January 9th, 2009 at 12:53pm #

      Huwaida Arraf, like Rachel Corrie, is a truly brave and courageous woman. If only the corporate media would see fit to report what she has done.

    8. Gary Corseri said on January 9th, 2009 at 1:08pm #

      In these New Dark Ages, I am glad I can take a little light from brave, honest souls like writer Kim Petersen, and commentator-activists like David Halpin and Mary above.

      Brave–because, with all the lies and distortions of our mainstream media, a great many Americans and Englishmen are still buying into the mythology of the Zionist state–the B.S. about being “the only democracy in the Middle East,” “brave, little Israel surrounded by enemies that want to drive her into the sea,” and blah, blah, blah. And these misguided MSM afficionadoes are apt to target the truth-tellers like Kim, David and Mary rather than part the veil of deception to see the horrors that are there to see.

    9. DavidG. said on January 9th, 2009 at 3:00pm #

      No one can claim ignorance about multiple IDF war crimes. There are many sources of information available now outside the MSM.

      All decent, peace-loving people across the world must join together to fight against the mindless savagery being promoted and carried out by Israel and its main supporter and accomplice, America.

    10. opeluboy said on January 9th, 2009 at 3:04pm #

      Joshua Frank takes Kim to task for painting the Israeli populace with too broad a brush. I say good for Kim.

      Yes, there are dissidents among the Israelis, some profoundly eloquent and courageous, but they are a minority. And they have never accomplished ONE GODDAMN THING.

      Let’s just see who the supposedly non-monolithic Israelis put in office next. Sharon, already considered a war criminal, won in a landslide form promising to be brutal. Netanyahu is likely a shoo-in, since he’s even more of a murdering pig than Sharon.

      So, yeah, there are some Israelis who protest this ongoing war crime. That’s really sweet. I’m sure the hundreds of dead Palestinians are greatly relieved.

    11. AaronG said on January 9th, 2009 at 4:21pm #

      The actions of Huwaida Arraf on the video contrast explicitly the stark difference between those who kill for a cause (Zionism, water, God’s land, religion, paycheck or whatever was motivating that young man with the gun) and those who are prepared to be injured or even die for a cause.

    12. Brian said on January 9th, 2009 at 5:32pm #

      I admire the courage of the Palestinian woman taking on the Israeli terrorists.

      What bravery!

      Shame on the American government for directly supporting Israeli terror. Other than Kucinich there’s hardly anyone else even remotely interested in supporting U.S. law.

    13. Shabnam said on January 9th, 2009 at 6:08pm #

      Kim:

      Thank you for your article which is written very carefully and fairly not to single out any group, rather to present war crimes of people who claim they are a victim of genocide yet we do not see any noticeable action against war criminals who are running this attack on defenseless indigenous population of Palestine. These people, who reside in Israel as well as major western countries not only have not manifested any noticeable action against Israel but have taken majority of the western population hostage with a phony ANTI-SEMITIC charge, forgetting that Palestinians are hundred percent Semite compare to European settlers. Canadians who want to raise their voices have been shut by the power of Zionists and Jewish groups. The following example shows how the Zionists intimidate those who want to express their side of humanity

      Sid Ryan, president of the Ontario section of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), is calling for universities to ban Israeli academics from Canadian campuses unless they first denounce Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza. Israelis’ academic has not condemned this bombing which is against the International Law. In general, 95 percent of Israelis are supporting the Israel attack on Gaza.

      Mr. Ryan raised his voice against the Dec. 29 bombing of the Islamic University in Gaza. This call for boycott of Israel universities has been turned down right away by the University of Western Ontario and its president who made the following statement to explain his decision:

      {I’m very dismayed at the suggestion by CUPE that universities should boycott faculty from Israel,” said Western president Paul Davenport.}

      As people see this hypocrite is “dismayed” at the suggestion but he and majority of westerners have been silent for the past 60 years on occupation and massacre of Palestinian children, destruction of their houses, bombing of their religious center, hospitals, schools and the Islamic University in Gaza . He does not support small measure to condemn Israeli war criminals but by turning down this suggestion has joined Israelis against children of Palestine. They are ready to support boycott against other countries like Iran, Iraq, Sudan and more where Israel considers ‘enemy,’ but they are supportive or silent against massacre of Palestinian toddlers by Israel who uses phosphorous and depleted Uranium, are banned by the International Law.
      People would be surprised if this does not cost him his job. Sid Ryan equating Israel to the Nazis has infuriated people across Canada and he has already received thousands of angry emails and calls. On the other hand, Israeli soldiers, is reported, have entered Palestinian houses with their residents to use them as HUMAN SHIELD. Anyone with fair judgment will equate Israelis conduct of advanced WMD against DEFENCELESS population with Nazi.
      As usual the call for boycott is labeled as ANTI-SEMITIC and is condemned by individuals and Jewish community:

      {A proposal by the president of the largest union in the province to boycott Israeli academics at Ontario universities is being labeled as anti-Semitic and an affront to civil liberties}
      by prominent members of Canada’s Jewish community.

      {B’nai Brith Canada called on CUPE National to distance itself from CUPE Ontario and conduct an operational review in light of what they call a “vehemently anti-Israel agenda.}

      Sid Ryan later forced to Apologize for his comment comparing Israel’s actions to those of the Nazis during World War II.

      {The Nazis who demolished learning institutions and burnt all religious books, compared to the Israel Defense Force who targeted a building allegedly housing terrorists.} It has been asked by pro Zionist groups.

      If bombing of the Islamic University, schools, religious centers and civilians do not resemble Nazi war crimes then what does?
      Ryan bristled at suggestions from JEWISH groups that his criticism of Israel’s military action means he is taking an anti-Semitic position.
      “I don’t know of any other nation dropping bombs on learning institutions,” he said, adding yesterday’s military strike near a UN school in Gaza is another example of why the boycott should go forward.
      On the other hand a Malaysian Muslim group began a boycott of some major U.S. products on Friday as Italian politicians JOINED JEWISH GROUPS in condemning a trade union’s call to boycott Jewish-owned shops in Rome.
      The Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia said Muslims in the Southeast Asian country would not buy goods produced by U.S. toothpaste manufacturer Colgate-Palmolive Co, soft drink maker -Cola and coffee chain STARBUCKS to protest U.S. inaction against the attacks.
      {We urge Muslim consumers internationally to unite so that we can teach a lesson to Israel and its allies.}
      As usual these companies are using ‘economy’ to hide their complicity in Israel war crimes.
      {Coca-Cola spoke against a boycott of its drinks and said it would only hurt the local economy and citizens.}
      Also in Italy, the Italian politicians from right and left slammed a call to boycott Jewish-owned shops in Rome in protest over Israel’s bombing of Gaza.
      But there are people in Italy who want to boycott Israel {..[B]ecause they believe WHOEVER USES MILITARY FORCE AGAINST UNARMED CIVILIANS, whether they are Palestinian or Israeli, commits a crime against human life.}

      The head of Rome’s JEWISH COMMUNITY, Riccardo Pacifici, said he would be SUING the union under Italian anti-racism laws

      Italy’s main TRADE UNION DENOUNCED the boycott proposal as
      “shameful” and suggested that Rome shopkeepers throw the Flaica handbills — which they said listed streets dominated by Jewish shops under the slogan “sales dirtied by blood” — in the trash.
      People in the west must target the economic power of the Zionism to bring this apartheid state down.

      ISRAEL HAS NO RIGHT TO EXIST. The European settlers must go back to where they have come from. No place for them in our region.

    14. DanE said on January 9th, 2009 at 6:20pm #

      Before taking up my main point: since 1982 I’ve been trying to make some contribution to the struggle against the Zionist Enterprise but alas have to admit I haven’t been very effective here in the Sacramento area. Over the last five years I’ve only managed to set up two really successful events: one a talk by Huwaida Arraf and Adam Shapiro, the other a reception for Cynthia McKinney. Which I guess proves that “one never knows, do one”. Wonder in what odd little character part the Lords of Karma will cast me next.
      Looking at the entire diverse movement in opposition to the Zionist Entity’s ongoing Crimes vs Humanity, and trying to identify the problems, conflicts, unanswered questions within same, it appears to me that the key hangup could well be labelled “The Chomsky-Petras Contradiction”. Of course no oneliner label can substitute for a detailed analysis. There are other important players on either side, notably Steven Zunes, Antonia Juhacz, and (surprise) Richard Becker/PSL & ANSWER Coalition allies. Notable among those who’ve published work more or less supportive of views closer to Petras are Professors Walt & Mearsheimer, Jeff Blankfort, Kathy & Bill Christison, Hatem Bazian, and the author of the piece to which this “comment” is appended.

      The bone of contention is over how to view the relative importance of A) the mainstream US Jewish Establishment and the Lobby it finances, the phenomenon Petras calls the US Zionist Power Configuration, vs B) other elements within the upper echelons of US Capitalism, primarily “Big Oil”, secondly “the Military-Industrial Complex”.

      If one concludes that Walt/Mearsheimer, Petras & the others are basically right about the motive force behind US Mideast Policy and the Bush-era “War On Terror” (sic), it follows that it would make more sense to focus protest efforts on the nearest synagogue that to break windows in the local Chevron offices.

      Why a synagogue? Well, first because of the role they play in supporting the local Democratic Party structure.

      What about the Republicans, you ask?
      Sorry, can’t cover every pt in one brief off-the-top comment. I’ll check back & see if anybody finds these notions of enough interest to continue the discussion — ?

    15. Maxwell Black said on January 9th, 2009 at 7:07pm #

      Frank, “ignorant and misleading” seems a little harsh. Read this little gem from the Wall Street Journal. The majority of Israeli citizens are in a state of euphoria regarding Gaza. This article is simply stunning:
      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123136613816062175.html

    16. Brian said on January 9th, 2009 at 9:15pm #

      Boycott Israel.

    17. Deadbeat said on January 9th, 2009 at 9:48pm #

      Hey Dan you can count me in. I’m interested in your perspectives.

    18. Kim Petersen said on January 9th, 2009 at 11:48pm #

      Josh,

      It is axiomatic that no national group is a monolith. Also, if you had read the entire article, you would have noted that I pointed to dissent by Jews in Israel and abroad.

      With all due respect Josh, you are being simplistic in your interpretation. Since when does anyone think that every member of a national group is homogeneous in their opinions on a range of topics? If I wrote “Canadians support NATO soldiers in Afghanistan,” would that mean all Canadians? If I wrote “Americans are killing Iraqi civilians,” would that mean all Americans? If I wrote “Catholics are anti-abortion,” would that mean all Catholics? If I wrote “Israeli soldiers are committing war crimes” would that mean all Israeli soldiers? Of course not! So please don’t mislead with meaningless rhetoric.

      As for “substantial dissent,” how should that be defined? The media did not hide the initial overwhelming support of Israeli Jews (and I don’t want to hide behind the word Israelis because that really would be misleading; Palestinians in Israel are not supporting the slaughter of their kinfolk in Gaza. And to be perfectly clear here, I do not imply that all Palestinians are of same mind on this.) for the attacks on Gaza and Gazans.

    19. mary said on January 10th, 2009 at 12:53am #

      This report has just arrived from one of the Free Gaza/ISM workers. Very graphic and shocking details are given of what the medical workers are dealing with and he confirms that white phosphorus is being used. The BBC have referred to this subject only once and have not debated the illegality of its use in a densely populated area although they have photographs on their website of the showers of fire from the exploding shells.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Vittorio Arrigoni, Gaza, January 9, 2009

      Take some kittens, some tender little moggies in a box”, said Jamal, a surgeon at the Al Shifa, Gaza’s main hospital, while a nurse actually placed a couple of blood-stained cardboard boxes in front of us. “Seal up the box, then jump on it with all your weight and might, until you feel their little bones crunching, and you hear the last muffled little mew.” I stared at the boxes in astonishment, and the doctor continued: “Try to imagine what would happen after such images were circulated. The righteous outrage of public opinion, the complaints of the animal rights organisations…” The doctors went on in this vein, and I was unable to take my eyes off those boxes, sitting at our feet. “Israel trapped hundreds of civilians inside a school as if in a box, including many children, and then crushed them with all the might of its bombs. What were the world’s reactions? Almost nothing. We would have been better off as animals rather than Palestinians, we would have been more protected.”

      At this point the doctor leans towards one of the boxes, and takes its lid off in front of me. Inside it are the amputated limbs, legs and arms, some from the knee down, others with the entire femur attached, amputated from the injured at the Al Fakhura United Nations school in Jabalia, which resulted in more than fifity casualties. Pretending to be taking an urgent call, I took my leave of Jamal, actually rushing to the bathroom to bend over and throw up.

      A little earlier I’d been involved in a conversation with Dr. Abdel, an ophthalmologist, regarding the rumours that the Israeli Army had been showering us with non-conventional weapons, forbidden by the Geneva Convention, such as cluster bombs and white phosphorous. The very same that the Tsahal Army used in the last Lebanese war, as well as the US air force in Falluja, still violating international norms. In front of Al Auda hospital we witnessed and filmed white phosphorous bombs being used about five hundred metres from where we were, too far to be absolutely certain there were any civilians underneath the Israeli Apaches, but so terribly close to us all the same.

      The Geneva Treaty of 1980 forbids white phosphorous being used directly as a war weapon in civilian areas, allowing it only as a smoke screen or for lighting. There’s no doubt that using this weapon in Gaza, a strip of land concentrating the highest population rate in the world, is a crime all on its own. Doctor Abdel told me that at Al Shifa hospital they don’t have the medical and military competence to say for sure whether the wounds they examined on certain corpses were indeed provoked by white phosphorous bullets.

      But on his word, in twenty years on the job he had never seen casualties like those now being carried into the ward. He told me about the traumas to the skull, with the fractures to the vomer bone, the jaw, the cheekbones, tear duct, nasal and palatine bones showed signs of the collision of an immense force against the victim’s face. What he finds inexplicable is the total lack of eyeballs, which ought to leave a trace somewhere within the skull even in case of such a violent impact. Instead, we see Palestinian corpses coming into the hospitals without eyes at all, as if someone had removed them surgically before handing them over to the coroner.

      Israel has let us know that we’ve been granted a daily 3-hour truce, from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. These statements from the Israeli military summit are considered by the people of Gaza as having the same reliability as the Hamas leaders’ declarations that they’ve just provoked a massacre of enemy soldiers. Just to be clear on this point, the soldiers of Tel Aviv’s worse enemy are the very same who fight under the Star of David. Yesterday a war ship off the coast of Gaza’s port picked out a large group of alleged guerrilla fighters from the Palestinian Resistance, moving as a united front around Jabalia. They shot their cannons at them. But as it turned out, they were their own fellow soldiers, with the shooting resulting in three being killed and about twenty injured. No one here believes in the truces that Israel declares, and as it happens, today at 2:00 PM Rafah was under attack by the Israeli helicopters. There was also yet another massacre of children in Jabalia: three little sisters aged 2, 4 and 6 from the Abed Rabbu family were slaughtered. Just half an hour earlier in Jabalia, once again the Red Crescent hospital’s ambulances were under attack. Eva and Alberto, my ISM colleagues were on board that ambulance and managed to film everything, passing those videos and photos on to all the major media.

      Hassan was kneecapped, fresh from mourning the death of his friend Araf, a paramedic who was killed two days ago as he came in aid of the injured in Gaza City. They had stopped to pick up the body of a man languishing in agony in the middle of the road, when they were under fire by about ten shots from an Israeli sniper. One bullet hit Hassan in the knee and the ambulance was filled with holes. We’re now at a death toll of 688, in addition to 3,070 injured, 158 dead children and countless missing. Only yesterday, we counted 83 dead, 80 of which were civilians. Thankfully, the death toll on the Israeli side is still only at 4.

      Travelling towards Al Quds hospital, where I’ll be working all night on the ambulances, as I raced along on board one of the very few fearless taxis left, zig-zagging to avoid the bombs, on the corner of one street I saw a group of dirty street urchins with tattered clothes, looking exactly like the “sciuscià” kids of the Italian afterwar period. They threw stones towards the sky with slingshots, at far away and unapproachable enemy who was toying with their lives. This is a crazy metaphor, which could serve as a snapshot of the absurdity of this time and place.

      Stay human

      Vittorio Arrigoni
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    20. ceti said on January 10th, 2009 at 1:48am #

      The Israelis are using Terminator-style hunter killer predator drones to do their dirty work. They are also world pioneers in artificial intelligence for the coordination of such killing machines. The depravity is unbelievable.

    21. ceti said on January 10th, 2009 at 2:00am #

      You can think about it this way. A lot of people say the Germans did this or did that in World War II. Some say Nazis to be more specific, but all Germans are often identified with the regime that carried out the atrocities of that war. The same will come to pass for Israel. Rather than saying Zionists, people will understand that Israelis, who by and large support this war, are complicit in this savagery, just as Americans, despite the Dissident Voices, are responsible for their government’s atrocities. We are reaching a point now where these human distinctions, important as they are, will get buried underneath the debris and mangled bodies of such a great evil, guaranteeing the future cycle of violence until only one tribe stands in Canaan as Yahweh commanded them in the genocidal Deuteronomy 20:17.

    22. Hue Longer said on January 10th, 2009 at 2:42am #

      and then to call it love

    23. Lloyd Rowsey said on January 10th, 2009 at 7:03am #

      Sunil. I thought DV did not recognize my “Your Name (required)” and my “Email (will not be published!)” when I submitted the critical post which you say I’d better watch or be banished. And indeed, I accessed DV twice yesterday subsequent to submitting that critical post, from this browser, Mozilla, and the critical post was nowhere to be found.

      I suggest that you have a software expert look at your problems. In fact, I will enter my Your-Name-Email info INTO THIS COMMENT. But judging from my experience yesterday, THIS COMMENT will not appear at DV until sometime tomorrow.

      I am (also) experiencing software problems at my end, Sunil. But I’ve had a history of “Add to the discussion” problems when I try to access DV with my Mozilla Browser (like I’m now trying to do).

      Have a nice day.

    24. Lloyd Rowsey said on January 10th, 2009 at 7:10am #

      Excellent, DV. Now I’m present from Moziall.

      But forgive me if I don’t try to read the voluminous comments in this thread, or even all of Kim’s piece. I’m expecting my CPU usage to drop to 0-5% any moment, at which time I’ll be disconnecting to drive my 2002 Dell mainframe ten miles to some computer specialists for an overhaul.

      Gary Corseri. Good! to see you submitting articles and posting here, wherever you might be geographically.

      – Lloyd

    25. Lloyd Rowsey said on January 10th, 2009 at 7:27am #

      Rob Kall and his OpEdNews have been moving toward a more radical perspective on the Gaza atrocity. I’ve been reading the long preface and the Introduction and so far the first 100 pages of the UC Press’ 2008 paperback edition of Finkelstein’s Beyond Chutzpah. And submitting numerous Articles and Diaries at OEN supporting Cynthia first, and then supporting the resistance in Gaza at OEN, but Rob has not promoted any of the articles to the headlines (the diaries can’t be promoted).

      Before the Israli’s hit Gaza again, I was distinguishing Israelis from Jews in my mind and with my friends in America, being well aware of the fact that Jews are in the forefront of social justice movements everywhere. Since last week(?), I have been distinguishing between Israelis and Israeli militants.

      From scanning the previous comments to this piece, I think its author Kim Petersen is responsible for the most noteworthy and, hopefully, effective words here at DV to date on Israel’s insanity in Gaza.

    26. mary said on January 10th, 2009 at 9:46am #

      I have just returned from London where an enormous rally at Speakers’ Corner followed by a march to the Israeli Embassy has taken place this afternoon. The organisers estimated the number taking part as 100,000. It was very peaceable and also colourful with banners of all descriptions, placards and Palestinian flags. Following speeches, the march set off with some drummers at the front, many of the people carrying shoes which they were intending to throw at the Israeli embassy gates.

      I switch on the tv (Murdoch’s Sky) to hear a Middle East ‘expert’ saying that Israel needs ‘to finish the job’ and annihilate Hamas followed by a report of an Israeli leaflet drop in Gaza warning the people that the campaign (eupemism for slaughter?) is being intensified. Following that item, a report on the march in London is describing it as ‘violent’, which is typical of Sky’s usual distortion of the truth and pro-Israel bias.

      This e-mail just in from Free Gaza with an update if I might prevail upon the Editors for space here:

      From Jennifer Loewenstein; Beirut, Hamra; 1.10.09. 2:30am

      Here are some newsworthy items out of Gaza that are unlikely to be making it to the Western presses. I received this information directly from one of the staff of the Mezan Center for Human Rights about twenty minutes ago.

      1. Israel has begun a new policy in Gaza in the past two days called the “roof knock”. This is when a “small” rocket is fired from Israeli military aircraft that is strong enough to blast open the roof of a targeted building. It is sent as a “warning message” to the building’s inhabitants giving them between 2 and 3 minutes to evacuate before the building is completely destroyed. A number of cases of this new technique have been reported recently.

      2. While the UN continues to claim that “only” 25% of the casualties from the attacks on Gaza are civilian, the Mezan Center for Human Rights (known for the care it takes not to overstate the numbers and for its strict verification policies) estimates that the number of civilian casualties is approximately 85%. In particular, the number of children has increased to over 200, and the number of women has surpassed 75. One reason for the lower civilian casualty figures used by the UN has to do with the reluctance to consider men -other than the elderly and sick- as non-combatants. In fact the overwhelming majority of men killed in “Operation Cast Lead” up to now have been non-combatants, including fathers, teachers, shopkeepers, construction workers, laborers, students, as well as the civil policemen. The vast majority are not “Hamas militants.” Note that the civil police are considered ‘non-combatants’ under international law and are therefore not ‘legitimate’ targets in any military confrontation any more than traffic cops or firemen.

      3. The UN announced this evening that “almost everyone in the Gaza Strip” is now in need of humanitarian aid. Indeed, even those with adequate food supplies are a) handing out what they have to people in “shelters” (which have been targeted consistently by Israeli war machines in the past); Even those with adequate food supplies are b) unable to obtain bread anywhere. Many are using rice or spaghetti to substitute for carbohydrates — when these are available and when there is water and electricity to allow for cooking these items.

      4. There are widespread reports now of forced evacuations of entire neighborhoods of people who go mainly to nearby schools or other public buildings not yet destroyed. These are considered no more secure than their homes but remain the only other places to go (other than to move into crowded dwellings with relatives; or places no more secure than their own homes). The congregation of so many people in these enclosed spaces increases the likelihood of major civilian casualties when airstrikes target the area.

      PLEASE PROTEST THESE AND OTHER ACTIONS OF THE UNITED STATES AND ISRAEL, TWO COUNTRIES THAT CLAIM THE WHOLESALE DESTRUCTION OF A PEOPLE IS A MATTER OF ‘SELF DEFENSE’.

      Greta Berlin
      Media Team
      Free Gaza Movement
      310 422 7242
      http://www.freegaza.org
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/29205195@N02/

    27. Joshua Frank said on January 10th, 2009 at 12:36pm #

      Kim,

      Well, then call it poor wording on your part. Regardless of what you address later in your piece, there simply are not many ways to interpret the following:

      “The Jews of Israel do not even heed their own holocaust mantra of ‘Never forget.'”

      You are safe not to include Palestinians in Israel in your above comment, so why not be just as cautious when talking about Jews in the country? True, no group is monolithic, so why do you write as if Israeli Jews are in your opening paragraph?

      Why am I even splitting hairs over this? Because your lead statement portrays all Jews as supporting the war, which one could interpret as meaning that all Jews in Israel are Zionists. It’s simply inaccurate, and it makes us an easy target for those idiots who are quick to toss the “antisemite” label around.

      As for “substantial dissent”, a Jan. 1 poll in Haaretz showed that 20% of Israelis wanted a truce to be negotiated as soon as possible. Unfortunately there wasn’t a question asking if they wanted the incursion to end at once. But I’d still call this number substantial, and I’d imagine that percentage is even higher today.

      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1051852.html

      The war on Lebanon in 2006 came to an end as public opinion in Israel turned against it. My hope is the same will happen now, as pressure from within the country seems to matter much more than any UN resolution.

    28. mary said on January 10th, 2009 at 1:49pm #

      Joshua and Kim – Jews for Justice for Palestine were well represented at the London rally and Mike Cushman was one of the speakers. He went on the last but one Free Gaza voyage which got into Gaza and brought out 11 students who would otherwise have been unable to leave and to take up their university places. There are over 1400 signatories on this page http://www.jfjfp.org/signatories.htm#C

      Further I have two Jewish friends, members of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign here in the UK and they are both extremely fervent activists in the cause.

    29. bozh said on January 10th, 2009 at 1:58pm #

      joshua frank,
      what matters the most is the fact that we don’t know what Kim meant with his, “jews don’t heed their own mantra”, ‘never again’ “.
      he may have meant all, some, or most israelis are forgetting the mantra.
      the matter is easily resolved by simply asking Kim what he had in mind.
      people often read minds or do not know that the meaning sent may not be meaning received.
      i suggest that we stop hunting for the snark; ie, one doesn’t have to forever to qualify one’s statement with “not all”.
      when we say, Russians are great pianists, we know that there may be just 10 or so such people.
      when people speak of ‘jews’ as “jews”, they may or may not mean to say that ‘jews’ have any connection to judeans.
      also if one talks about qassams, one seldom if ever mentions the first european tsunamy that destroyed palestine.
      i know of no ‘jew’ who has condemned the first cause. so, for joshua to dwell on an insignificant detail is just a ploy to divert us from doing our work.
      it is common practice for defenders of israel to bring up a peripheral issue that cannot be proven true or false and then use it as defence of israeli major crimes like the first and other tsunamis while dwelling on pals ripples to which they a right anyhow.
      i do not know enough about joshua to accuse him of using such ruses.
      thnx

    30. bozh said on January 10th, 2009 at 2:17pm #

      mary,
      in my experience as a member of StopWar.ca, a vancouver org, ‘jewish’ members seldom if ever talk about first cause nor do they condemn israel as monster state that has no moral right to exist.
      also they may exclude the role the ‘jewish’ cult plays in this conflict.
      even finkelstein, whom i have met, shuns to talk about socalled religion, which to me is a main factor in all this evil.
      or like chomsky, are for a twostate nonsolution. anyhow, ask your ‘jewish’ friends about the issues i have brought up? turn up ever stone in your quest for knoweldge.
      do you also believe that the ‘jews’ have some connection, other than the cultish one, with the judeans. will you do that for us? thnx

    31. Max Shields said on January 10th, 2009 at 2:32pm #

      The issue I have with the “peace movement ” in Israel is that like here they are not only totally ineffective, but they have institutionalized and thus marginalized the very “cause” they profess to be moving for.

      Power structures have learned how to deal with such groups. A cynic might even conclude that such groups are really stooges for the power structure, providing one side that says “all Israeli Jews are not for this murderous war…just some…it is the military/government policies, not us…peace loving Jews.”

      But at bottom the killing is never ending. That is not to say, voices aren’t important, wherever they may come from, but they are ever so marginal. Power does not care one iota about marches or chanting, or professors. These represent the powerless and so can be easily ignored.

      Israel now roams the Middle East with complete impunity against, resolutions, against morality against the people of the world who have no power to stop them.

      The answer to this dilemma is in the problem/question: what can really stop the Israeli parsitic monster? (Cerainly not some kind of call to read the Old Testament).

    32. mebosa ritchie said on January 10th, 2009 at 4:20pm #

      700 palestinians dead in gaza==holocaust,massacre,atrocity

      1200 fatah palestinians killed by hamas palestinians june 2007 is ok muslims killing muslims

      30,000 palestinians killed by jordan 1970 is ok muslims killing muslims

      20,000 killed by assad in syria is ok muslims killing muslims

      400,ooo dead in darfur is ok muslims killing muslims

      2,000,000 dead in iran-iraq war is ok muslims killing muslims

    33. Ramsefall said on January 10th, 2009 at 10:07pm #

      Kim,

      you’ve written an excellent article; there was certainly no assumption on this end that you were generalizing all Jews, and which you substantiated in the remainder of your piece. Thanks most for including the incredible video footage.

      I don’t know about anyone else, but I propose that Huwaida Arraf be awarded the Nobel Peace laureate for 2009. I know it’s early, but that was the most unselfish act of bravery I’ve ever seen. I find myself rather speechless.

      Nonetheless, “It makes one wonder: does that mantra only apply to crimes against Jews and not by Jews?” Of course, Israel is permitted/encouraged to use the same rationale as its US ally.

      And to think, as Maxwell Black linked in his post, Jews are congregating on hilltops to watch the war unfold as if it were a sporting event; calling plays, reacting with enthusiasm to explosions, rooting for their army that’s finally doing something to prove that Israel is not weak. A sick bunch of f***ers for sure.

      Dark days friends, these are some dark days indeed.

      Thanks Kim.
      Best to all.

    34. Kim Petersen said on January 11th, 2009 at 7:52am #

      Readers,

      Josh is right that clarity is important. I have amended the sentence.

    35. bozh said on January 11th, 2009 at 9:53am #

      adequacy/accuracy is important. so, “Many israelis not following own mantra” is neither accurate, adequate, nor clear.
      it may be much clearer to say that in one’s educated guess only 1% of world ‘jews’ are for one state solution; ergo for peace also. or if % is larger than that, why don’t ‘jews’ who listen and talk to other cultists tell us how many ‘jews’ are for one state solution without pals and how many with the pals?

      am i mistaken in my assumption that ? all ‘jews’ shun these weighty matters?
      of course, i am daring to guess that Kim is using the word “clarity” generally and specifically about the sentence that he had just emended.
      not a single ‘jew’ had to date, as far as i know, demanded that an alleged israeli war criminal face ICC.
      this statement is for me adequate and accurate.
      as i said ‘jews’ know more about what ‘jews’ say and think; so, let’s obtain clarity also on this. thnx

    36. Shabnam said on January 11th, 2009 at 2:03pm #

      The Zionists must immediately stop the killing of Palestinian toddlers using white phosphorus shells in their assault in Gaza. To weaken Zionist’s financial support, people of the world must boycott Israel’s enablers to prevent Zionist’s expansionist policy which is based on removal of Palestinians from their land, by killing , expulsion, shelling their houses and building settlement on land taken by force to WIPE PALESTINE OFF THE MAP so they can implement their main project,
      “The Greater Israel.” Please support the BOYCOTT.

      {The online campaigns call for a boycott of several major U.S.-based companies like McDonalds, the coffee chain Starbucks, Pizza Hut and cigarette maker Phillip Morris and others.}

      http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2009/01/11/63968.html

    37. ronald mcdonald said on January 11th, 2009 at 3:58pm #

      boycott computers; most intel chips are made by israel
      boycott mobile phones; technology made in israel

    38. Sunil Sharma said on January 11th, 2009 at 9:28pm #

      Max Shields said on January 10th, 2009 at 2:32pm: “The issue I have with the “peace movement ” in Israel is that like here they are not only totally ineffective, but they have institutionalized and thus marginalized the very “cause” they profess to be moving for. Power structures have learned how to deal with such groups. A cynic might even conclude that such groups are really stooges for the power structure, providing one side that says “all Israeli Jews are not for this murderous war…just some…it is the military/government policies, not us…peace loving Jews.” But at bottom the killing is never ending. That is not to say, voices aren’t important, wherever they may come from, but they are ever so marginal. Power does not care one iota about marches or chanting, or professors. These represent the powerless and so can be easily ignored.”

      The same can be argued — it’s painfully clear — about the US anti-war movement. I wouldn’t be so cynical (though that’s the space in which I often live) to call these dissenters “stooges”, and I understand, Max, that’s not necessarily your own conclusion. Still, though, I’ve long felt that the types of protest we’ve been accustomed to here in the US since the ’60s — be it opposition to war protests or labor protests — have indeed become useless and more often serve the interests of power by sustaining the illusion that we live in a liberal democracy that tolerates opposition. And the reason is these protests don’t seriously challenge the institutional roots that are the basis of the injustices in question.

      Personally, I think that acts of protest in Israel — especially acts by Israeli refuseniks — are far more significant than protests here in the US. Israeli Jews, for the most part, are a people weened from cradle to grave on a diet of mythologies about their role in the region, and a perverse (and inverted) psychology of victimhood vis-a-vis the Arabs that is lent credibility (in their minds) by the occasional acts of Palestinian resistance that manages to reach them within the Green Line or the illegal settlements (e.g. suicide bombings, the relatively rare Qassam rocket that manages to hit its target, etc). To be clear, I’m talking about the Israeli population generally, not their civilian and military leaders who clearly know that the Palestinian rocket attack justification for their war on Gaza is complete bullshit, and that the real motives are territorial expansion, fear that the Palestinian “peace offensive” was actually working and that international pressure for a settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would therefore follow, among others. Anyway, in the context of Israeli society, where a culture of unity against an “outside” enemy strongly prevails, expectations and demands of conformity run high, and protests or expressions of sympathy for the Palestinians (such as those of more honest journalists like Amira Hass, Gideon Levy, etc) elicit howls of betrayal and the real possibility of violent reprisal by Israeli “patriots”.

      The same doesn’t exist for the US, despite 9-11 — a rare incident in US history, still by far the most secure nation on the planet. It’s just much safer to hold rallies or protests in the US. As long as protesters can go back to living their safe and relatively privileged lives, nothing of import is seriously threatened. Most Americans hear about protests and just shrug their shoulders if they even give protests and their meaning a passing thought at all. I often see many would-be protesters talk of and treat protests as a cute and fun social thing to do. We have opportunists like Medea Benjamin get arrested for show, after first getting a protest permit and announcing to the cops her intent to get arrested — knowing she’ll be kicked loose the next morning, which hardly strikes fear in the powers-that-be. Instead, the few times protesters really threaten to shut things down and go to a higher level of direct action, the “leaders” of the “movement” work to shut them down out of a bullshit need to look respectable and not “alienate” the larger public, and nothing changes. Something that more successful movements of the past never went along with.

      Until Americans are really ready to get out of their (enormous) comfort zones and really challenge power and privilege beyond meaningless marches . . . there’s not much to hope for. For the Palestinians, or us.

      — Sunil

    39. Maxwell Black said on January 11th, 2009 at 11:33pm #

      Not to make light of a very serious situation, but it’s been interesting watching this unfold. You guys should jump in more often!

      The dilemma here was about the clarity of wording. What began as “The Jews of Israel” was amended to “Many Israeli Jews.” It’s still off. Here is a sentence:

      In Nazi Germany MANY people participated in the Nazi movement and while SOME spoke out against and/or resisted MOST just went along as good German citizens.

      Most.

      If we’re shooting for clarity, this is the more honest and accurate word.

    40. Maxwell Black said on January 12th, 2009 at 12:52am #

      PS: Its not “Never Forget.” Its “Never Again.” Hardly.

    41. ronald mcdonald said on January 12th, 2009 at 3:26am #

      BRAVE IRAN DOESN’T GIVE A TOSS ABOUT PALESTINIAN CASUALTIES EITHER

      Iran is exerting heavy pressure on Hamas not to accept the Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire with Israel, an Egyptian government official said on Sunday.
      The official told The Jerusalem Post by phone that two senior Iranian officials who visited Damascus recently warned Hamas leaders against accepting the proposal.

      His remarks came as Hamas representatives met in Cairo with Egyptian Intelligence Chief Gen. Omar Suleiman and his aides to discuss ways of ending the fighting in the Gaza Strip.

      The Hamas representatives reiterated their opposition to a cease-fire that did not include the reopening of all the border crossings into the Gaza Strip, Hamas spokesmen said on Sunday.

      Egypt sees progress in ceasefire talks with Hamas
      The spokesmen said Hamas voiced its strong opposition to the idea of deploying an international force inside the Gaza Strip.

      The Egyptian official said that the two Iranian emissaries, Ali Larijani, Speaker of the Iranian Parliament, and Said Jalili of the Iranian Intelligence Service, met in the Syrian capital with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ramadan Shallah.

      “As soon as the Iranians heard about the Egyptian cease-fire initiative, they dispatched the two officials to Damascus on an urgent mission to warn the Palestinians against accepting it,” the Egyptian government official told the Post.

      “The Iranians threatened to stop weapons supplies and funding to the Palestinian factions if they agreed to a cease-fire with Israel. The Iranians want to fight Israel and the US indirectly. They are doing this through Hamas in Palestine and Hizbullah in Lebanon”.

      The official pointed out that the Iranians were applying “double standards” regarding the current conflict – on the one hand, they encouraged Iranian men to volunteer to fight alongside Hamas; on the other hand, Iran’s spiritual leader, Ali Khamenei, told the volunteers that they would not be permitted to join the fight against Israel.

      “The Iranians never fired one bullet at Israel,” he said. “But now they are trying to appear as if they are participating in the war against Israel. The leaders of Teheran don’t care about the innocent civilians who are being killed in the Gaza Strip”.

      The Egyptian official accused Iran of “encouraging” Hamas to continue firing rockets at Israel with the hope that this would trigger a war that would divert attention from Iran’s nuclear plans.

      “This conflict serves the interests of the Iranians,” he said. “They are satisfied because the violence in the Gaza Strip has diverted attention from their nuclear ambitions. The Iranians are also hoping to use the Palestinian issue as a ‘powerful card’ in future talks with the Americans.

      “They want to show that they have control over Hamas and many Palestinians”.

      Karam Jaber, editor of the semi-official Egyptian weekly Roz Al-Youssef magazine, said that Hamas was caught between the Syrian anvil and the Iranian hammer. The Iranians, he said, prevented Hamas from negotiating a cease-fire with Israel, while the Syrians were blackmailing and intimidating the Hamas leaders in Damascus.

      “History won’t forget to mention that Hamas had inflicted death and destruction on the Palestinians,” he said. “We hope that Hamas has learned the lesson and realizes that it has been fighting a war on behalf of others. We hope the Hamas leaders will realize that they are fighting a destructive war on behalf of the Iranians and Syrians”.

      Egyptian political analyst Magdi Khalil said he shared the view of the Palestinian Authority and Egypt that Hamas was responsible for the war in the Gaza Strip. “Ever since Hamas seized control over the Gaza Strip in 2007, they turned the area into hell,” he said. “They imposed restrictions on the people there and even prevented them from performing the pilgrimage to Mecca”.

      The analyst said that the head of the Egyptian General Intelligence Service was right when he recently described Hamas as a group of gangsters. “Hamas and its masters in Damascus and Teheran want to spread chaos in Egypt,” he said. “They want to solve the problem of the Gaza Strip by handing the area over to Egypt. They want to create a homeland for the Palestinians in Sinai”.

      He said that Hamas was not only jeopardizing Egypt’s national security, but had also destroyed the Palestinians’ dream of statehood. “By endorsing the Iranian agenda, Hamas has brought the Iranians to Egypt’s eastern border,” he said. “Hamas has also copied Hizbullah’s policy of entering into pointless adventures

    42. mary said on January 12th, 2009 at 7:59am #

      Ronald Macdonald – What a silly name!

      Perhaps you would like to listen to Sir Jeremy Greenstock, latterly Britain’s Ambassdor to the UN, to learn some salient facts about Hamas and which go a long way to dispel some of the myths that have been put about by the entity that you represent.

      He follows the pipsqueak Blair, the grandly named Quartet Envoy.

      The interview took place on BBC Radio 4 Today this morning.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_7823000/7823746.stm

    43. ronald mcdonald said on January 12th, 2009 at 8:18am #

      mary,what a stupid name.
      i was given the name ronald by my parents,donald and margaret, long before mr mcdonald sold a burger
      see below and you’ll be educated. my e mail address shows i have a sense of humor,something you obviously don’t have

      Clan/Family Histories
      – MacDonald/Donald/MacDonnell

      The largest of the Highland clans, the Gaelic first name “Domnuill” was anglicised to “Donald”. The original Donald was a grandson of the mighty King Somerled who drove out the Vikings in the 12th century. Somerled’s mother was Norse and his father was descended from the kings of Dalriada, according to clan history. The family was founded in Islay and extended their territory to the mainland. Donald’s great-grandson, “Good” John of Islay, became known as Lord of the Isles and later holders of the title became powerful enough to challenge the king of Scotland. The Lord of the Isles had its own parliament at Finlaggan on Islay. Eventually, the Lord of the Isles was defeated in 1493 by King James IV and the various branches of the clan evolved under their own chieftains. The main branches were Clan Donald of Sleat (in Skye), Clanranald (in Moidart, Glengarry, Lochaber and Glencoe). The Glengarry line adopted the spelling MacDonnell. The MacDonells of Keppoch were descended from Alastair, third son of John, first Lord of the Isles. Their lands were on the mainland in Lochaber; they were sometimes known as Clan Ranald of Lochaber. The last clan battle in the Highlands took place between MacDonell of Keppoch and Mackintosh of Mackintosh in Lochaber in 1688.

      The Clanranald MacDonalds were involved in both the 1715 (the clan chief was killed at the Battle of Sheriffmuir) and 1745 Jacobite Uprisings. Bonnie Prince Charlie landed in Clanranald territory in 1745.

      Many MacDonalds emigrated to North America and other parts of the world in the 18th and 19th century. 300 MacDonalds from Clanranald emigrated to Prince Edward Island in 1790 and MacDonnells of Glengarry settled in some numbers in Glengarry County, Ontario.

      MacDonald was the most frequently registered “mac” name in Scotland – it was the 26th most frequent surname at the General Register Office in 1995.

      The motto of MacDonald of MacDonald is “Per mare per terras” (By sea and by land). The MacDonalds of Clanranald and MacDonalds of Sleat have the motto “My hope is constant in thee” and the MacDonnells of Glengarry have the motto “Cragan an Fhithich” (The rock of the raven).

      As befits a large and powerful clan, the septs or sub-branches under the protection of the MacDonalds are many. The list provided by the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs include Alexander, Allan, Allanson, Balloch, Beath, Begg, Bowie, Burk, Colson, Connall, Connell, Coull, Coulson, Crombie, Crum, Daniels, Donaldson, Domillson, Galt, Gilbride, Gill, Gorrie, Gowan, Gowrie, Hawthorn, Hewitson, Hewitt, Howison, Hudson, Hughson, Hutchenson, Hutcheson, Hutchinson, Hutchison, Isles, Jeffrey, Kean, Keene, Kellie, Kinnell, Leitch, Macallan, Macbeth, MacBride, MacBurie, MacCall, MacCash, MacCaul, MacCluskie, MacColl, MacConnell, MacCoish, MacCook, MacCosram, MacCrain, MacCrindle, MacCririe, MacCruithein, MacCuag, MacCuish, MacCutcheon, MacDaniell, MacDrain, MacEachan, MacElfrish, MacElheran, MacGeachie, MacGeachen, MacGill, MacGillivantie, MacGilp, MacGorrie, MacGoun, MacGowan, MacGown, MacHendry, MacHugh, MacHutcheon, MacIan, MacIlriach, MacIlrevie, MacIlvride, MacIlwraith, MacIsaac, MacKeachan, MacKean, MacKechnie, MacKellachie, MacKellaig, MacKellock, MacKechan, MacKiggan, MacKillop, MacKinnell, MacKissock, MacLardie, MacLarty, MacLaverty, MacMurrick, MacO’Shannaig, MacPhillip, MacQuistan, MacRaith, MacRorie, MacRory, MacRuer, MacRurie, MacShannachan, MacSorley, MacSporran, MacSwan, MacSween, MacVarish, MacWhannell, Mark, Martin, May, Murdoch, Murdoson, Murphy, Norie, O’Drain, O’Shaig, O’Shannachan, O’Shammaig, Park, Paton, Philipson, Purcell, Reoch, Revie, Riach, Ronald, Ronaldson, Rorison, Sanderson, Shannon, Sorely, Sporran, Whannell, Wheelan, Wilkie, Wilkinson.

    44. mary said on January 12th, 2009 at 8:37am #

      My sense of humour, normally healthy, is lacking at the moment for obvious reasons and I didn’t really need a lesson in Scottish genealogy. I am sorry if I offended you. Do try to listen to that link if you can – it is very educational.

    45. ronald mcdonald said on January 12th, 2009 at 10:07am #

      why has your sense of humour gone. what’s the obvious reasons.i hope it’s not haemorrhoids as i could understand that.
      did you still have it when hamas fired 8,000 rockets in to israel killing israelis.
      did you have it when gilad shalit was kidnapped?
      well,hopefully it will come back soon
      yours in jest,
      ronnie

    46. Kim Petersen said on January 16th, 2009 at 9:46am #

      A take for consideration:

      “Perhaps you will also say that only some Jews are involved in this crime, that I should hold ‘Israel’ or ‘the Zionists’ responsible. But do you ask me to say that only some Spanish, or some British, or some Americans, or some Belgians committed genocides?

      Perhaps you will now ask me to do this, but if I hadn’t said that ‘the Jews’ were trying to wipe out the Palestinians you would probably have been quite happy with my generalisations.

      For we recognise that although not even a fraction of British people, for instance, were directly involved in the genocides of the nineteenth century, and clearly those who were born after those atrocities could not have been directly involved, yet we admit that this is a stain on our national consciousness which affects all of us, in so far as we identify as being British.” [emphasis in original]